Monthly Archives: July 2014

Love in the time of the internet

Hi Hart Beat. It’s a stormy night here in Brooklyn and I desperately hope that this rain cools down the temperatures before Carolyn and I head to the beach this weekend… Anyway, a couple days ago I came across this fascinating article about a New Yorker who chronicled his heartbreaking love story in a series of Yelp reviews.

The author behind the story, Chase Compton, tells a riveting tale of romance, courtship and heartbreak by leaving different episodes of his story at different places around the city. Each episode is written in the review space for popular restaurants and landmarks in lower Manhattan (like Tompkins Squire Park, Cafe Mogador and the Brooklyn Bridge.) The first part of the story takes place down the street from where I live in Greenpoint and, as a New Yorker, I found reading the story somewhat eerie. The way that Chase describes falling in love in this intimate, loud, public and intoxicating city is unbelievable accurate. I couldn’t stop reading his story and I thought you might enjoy it too Hart Beat. For the full list of reviews you can find Chase’s Yelp account here.

On the topic of keys, I had noticed something about the bridge that I hadn’t noticed before. I had been on the Brooklyn Bridge just about a year ago, with Him, and had failed to notice all of the locks that embellished the wires running all along it. They all had names and engagements and testaments of eternal love carved into them–it was just like that bridge in Paris. It was slightly less grand-scale, but still the same concept. People from all over the world had come here, to this place, and placed locks on it that represented their steadfastness in love. It was as if to say that love really did stand a chance when it was true, and it could in fact be made into something of permanence. Too many people these days saw the notion of love as being “locked” or “trapped” into something, but I knew that there was more to it than that. Love should be something that frees you, and liberates you, and makes you stronger–it’s that permanence and strength that the lock represents. Delving further into metaphor, I wondered what the key was in this equation. What was the key to making love stay? 
– Chase Compton

Top photo via source.
Bottom photo via source.

My best dating tip

Hey Hart Beat. Since moving to Brooklyn two years ago as a single lady I can confidently say that I have tried every single online dating site made known to man. The list is long, including the likes of OKC, Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder and many more. You want to know the truth Hart Beat? The best dating service I’ve found since moving to the 11222 has been investing in some old fashioned business cards. CRAZY RIGHT????

I’m totally serious Hart Beat. If I could give one piece of advice to other singletons moving to the borough or anywhere really, it would be to by a pack of 100 business cards with your name and number on them. Personally, I loved the simplicity and price of a pack from Mandate Press (they have great designs and you can buy 100 cards for $95 on great card stock.) But to be honest, you probably can have just as much success making your own like my best friend did when she first moved here.

The great part about having a business card with your information is it makes it super easy to give out your number. I love asking guys out and I think that women should be more forward in reaching out but, sometimes it’s hard. It can feel awkward waiting for someone to get out their phone, see if they remember your name and wait for the almost obligatory “I’ll text you soon!” (or just straight up rejection.) It is so much breezier and confident leaving a great conversation with someone by handing your card and casually saying they should call you. Boom, done. You walk out the door like a baller.

This little trick has worked so well for me. I give my card out all the time. And now I find myself using it for other things, like meeting new friends, collecting contacts and cheeky dating situations I would never do like leaving your card at the bar for the cute bartender. The best was one time when I was seeing someone after meeting through my business card trick and seeing him use my card, months later, as the bookmark to his book. So romantic. So go forth, Hart Beat! Grab that amazing confidence, shake out your hair and let the dating begin!!

P.S. If you’re ever in a situation where you just DON’T WANT TO GIVE A GUY YOUR NUMBER AND HE WON’T STOP ASKING, pass along these beautiful seven digits. The number automatically answers with quotations from bell hooks, the amazing feminist and social activist author from the 70’s. Awesome.

How should a person be?

Hey Hart Beat. Happy Saturday! What are you doing on this overcast day? I had been hoping on going to the beach with C. but this foggy weather has me instead hanging out in Greenpoint doing yoga and reading this amazing book (seriously can’t put it down). I’ll tell you about it when I finish but today I want to recommend another boot that I loved reading this summer.

I flew through Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? this month and am still thinking about it since finishing the last page. This review from Bookforum couldn’t describe the novel better, “A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium — a compulsive read that’s like spending a day with your new best friend.” The story is told through the point of view of Sheila, a young woman living in Toronto, navigating her romantic life, artistic inspiration, and above all, a relationship with her best friend.

At its heart, How Should a Person Be? is an ode to female friendship. The real love story of the novel is between the Sheila, the narrator, and Margaux, another artist living in Toronto. The two meet at the beginning of the novel and find commonalities in their struggles as female artists and navigating their early 20s in a modern city. I could relate so much to the characters and was struck especially in the way that Sheila talks about her admiration and inspiration she finds in Margaux while trying to find her own place in the world. She is constantly questioning how her friends live and how she can adopt these ways. At one point the narrator asks, “Responsibility looks so good on Misha, and irresponsibility looks so good on Margaux. How could I know which would look best on me?

Another reason that I loved the book so much was that it was lent to me by my best friend and current roommate. Samantha and I have known each other since the day I was born and grew up next to each other until we left for college. Now we live together in Brooklyn and it feels like full circle, like coming to live with a sister. Sammy recommended the book to me and I loved reading her copy. On the first page was an inscription from another one of Samantha’s closest friends, Margo, gifting the book for Christmas back in 2011. Then, every so often in the novel there are liner notes from Samantha about her college roommate Viv. Vivian is a painter and the two of them lived in an apartment in Los Angeles through college. I love the idea of all these close female friends sharing this one book. I can’t wait to pass it along to someone else.

Sia amazes me

I heard THE BEST interview with singer/songwriter Sia over the weekend and if you are all interested in music or song writing, you have to listen to it. What I found so interesting from the interview was Sia’s stance on showing her face and promoting herself as opposed to her art. She won’t tour anymore and if she has to appear live she will sing with her back to the audience. In any photos of herself she covers her face. This is so interesting to me. I have so much respect for this woman and how she only wants to promote her work and not her sex appeal. I didn’t know this but when David Guetta asked for her to write the lyrics to “Titanium” for Alicia Keys, and when she dropped it he used Sia’s demo vocal instead of the version that Mary G. Blige recorded for the song.
Listen to the full interview here and for a taste of Sia’s talent and creative brilliance watch the music video below for her newest single, “Chandelier.”
“Chandelier” by Sia. 
The dancer in the video is Maddie Ziegler of the reality show “Dance Moms.”

Well done, Mr. Linklater

Hey Hart Beat. As you loyal readers probably know, my favorite movie of all time is the mesmerizing Before Sunset. I love that movie (and it’s predecessor and follower) so much that when I went to Paris I followed their exact steps and I watch the movie at least once a year. Dios, even the scenes of the trailer get me so good.

Anyway, the brilliant director behind those three movies, Richard Linklater, is now releasing his most recent movie. Boyhood is about a young boy growing up in America. The story is pretty typical but the way that Linklater created it is definitely not. The movie was filmed over 12 years with the same actors, and more importantly, the same actor playing the lead. Ellar Coltrane was 6 years old and ends this year, when the actor is 18. You can listen to this amazing interview with Ellar on NPR here. What do you think, Hart Beat? Want to see it with me?

Hats off to you, Richard.

Welcome home, son

Happy Sunday Hart Beat. This weekend I was so happy to get out of the city again and head back to my parents house in the Berkshires for my dad’s birthday. My parents still live in the house that I grew up in and I love getting back here and relax in the country. Check out my instagram for recent photos.

On another note, I want to share with you this amazing song that I’ve been listening to non stop for the past couple of weeks. It was especially great to hear as I drove into Massachusetts with the full moon on Friday night. This version bellow the original here is a great acoustic version by the band. I love it.

Radical Faces” “Welcome Home, Son”

Radical Face singing “Welcome Home, Son”

My old flame: Part I

Hi Hart Beat. One of my favorite days of the week is Wednesday when I come home from work, check my mailbox and find the newest New Yorker Magazine waiting for me. When I moved to Brooklyn two years ago my mom secretly changed her subscription address to my New York address and ever since then I’ve gotten to enjoy the stories and articles every week. Thanks Mom! A few weeks ago the annual love edition came out and there were a few short stories that I just can’t stop thinking about. They are all very Hart Beat appropriate so I thought I would write them here to you. Let me know what you think of this first one!

Good Legs
by Joshua Ferris

My old flame and I met in the hallway of a dorm in Iowa City. I didn’t think much of her, but I was sure she had never seen anyone quite so handsome. That was the year the weather never cleared of hand-rolled smoke and a mild hangover. I was arrogant with the ignorance of all that I didn’t know. She was sating the Philosopher, a theoretical proponent of free love who dissaproved of her seeing other men. The onetime incident behind the pool table in her basement meant almost nothing to us. Then my old flame graduated early and was gone. There were rumors of a new boyfriend and a life in Ireland. I didn’t miss her. By then, I was in this terrible on-off thing with Sisyphus, who kept dragging me up a pretty blond hill and hurtling me down.

A few years later, my old flame and I caught up with each other in Chicago. She was a whole new person. Her interest in medieval theory had given way to Scotch on the rocks. Everyone has a little pocket money. We drank in a hotel bar and ate fried chicken in the suburbs. She has moved on to the Writer, but she still wore the same weird pants. We had a brief thing in front of the television. The Writer moved out. What a poisoned letter he wrote! Then I insulted her at a Tom Waits concert. It was “Rabbits to you!” after that, at least for a while.

I realized one night that I loved her, but with conditions. I wanted fire to hover over my lovers’ head. Could she do that? My heart was a cathedral. Did she expect me to give her every last key? And those pants had to go. I was looking for someone exactly like her but totally different. She continued to make love to other men, which was provacative. We ate by candlelight on a balcony in Andersonville, and every Monday tutored a family of Sudanese. The Mighty Blue Kings played on the Green Mill.

Then my old flame moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became another new person altogether. She spent her nights eating Indian and studying the law with blue bloods who had hames like Turner Buford deSalles Jackson IV. I had hardly recognized her until she made me pancakes in her pajamas long distance is doom, and my old flame resumed making love to other men while after a former heroin addict who danced alone to Etta James in Orange County, California. At points it was like she wanted to a pornstar on the likes of, and then at other times I was the only one for her.

I’m not sure ecatly how we patched things up. I know that punching the sand at the beach in Naples helped. There were letters. Other people’s weddings. Rom-coms.

We drove a Penske to Brooklyn and unpacked during the blackout. My old flame dressed in a power suit and began spending her days at Federal Plaza, eating Peking duck for lunch. She was going places. I was the same old me: reading Bellow out on the fire escape. I liked to wander our Carrol Fardens neighborhood before the gates came up in the morning. For Thanksgiving that year, she made eight courses for just the two of us.

Later, for a time, we were married to entirely different people. How had that happened? We woke up one morning and introduced ourselves. My God! It was us after all, only no longer impossibly young. We were out of joint, better friends to our phones, though we still made love once a year whether we needed to or not.

How about taking up tennis together? we asked. How about starting a family?

The bank let us buy a house. The exterminators rid of it mice. My old flame grew round-wombed. It was a boy. One night, as we lay in bed, my hand on her belly, she said “You know what’s strange? I’m growing a penis.” It was hard to argue with. We brought the baby home from the hospital and the tennis rackets gathered dust.

My old flame was now a mom. What an apotheosis! Nothing had prepared her; not the long nights with the law, not years of her husband’s tantrums. But she was a natural. That sealed the deal for me, although I still appreciated women who smoked in Berlin bars. Part of me still wanted to die wrapped around a tree. We spent seven years in that house, going out Saturday mornings and brining back half the farmers’ market and a few more books. Eventually, as the boy grew, she decided to leave herself, yet again, for another woman. I didn’t mind.

I don’t know who my old flame is and never will. All other candidates are fixed in amber. They tell a static story of heartache and fixed in amber. They tell a static story of heartache and faliure. This one keeps evolving. She’s the violin player, the precocious bowler, the shy nerd, the medieval scholar, the assistant to the director of the foundation, the law student, the clerk for the district judge, the discovery drone at the law firm, the good mother, the happy cook, the wit with an idea. Who will she be next? Whatever she wants, I hope. Burn on, old flame.

New York is the thing that seduced me

One of my favorite thing is finding quotes by my favorite writers and song writers about New York City. There was a great quote I saw written in Washington Square Park two summers ago almost welcoming me to the city and now, I want to share some words of wisdom from Patti Smith. Coming back to Brooklyn tonight I kept thinking these words over and over again in my head.

“New York is the thing that seduced me.
New York is the thing that formed me.
New York is the thing that deformed me.
New York is the thing that perverted me.
New York is the thing that converted me.
And New York is the thing that I love too.”

– Patti Smith, 1971


Shakey Graves, you and I both know

Oh Hart Beat. You know that feeling when you meet someone and you just can’t get enough of them? You want to see them in the morning, you text them all day and then when you see them it’s just rainbows and cupcakes over and over again. Well, tonight that feeling will come to you via Hart Beat and via the amazing artist Shakey Graves.

I came across Shakey Graves aka Alejandro Rose-Garcia on my internet wanderings and now I can’t get enough of him. The Texan artist has been on the scene for a few years now and I can’t believe this is the first I’m hearing his music. According to critics, the one man act Shakey Graces plays “unique blues-infused flapicking style with a voice that can flicker from a fragile whisper to a startling howl.:
Unfortunetly, Shakey Graves is another one of those artists who has not made the way to Spotify. This really bums me out because all I want to do on my morning commute is listen to his amazing voice and obsessive beat. Hey Mr. Rose-Garcia, help a girl out and put some tracks on there please?
I hope you like Shakey Graves as much as I do and give these two tracks a listen. If you want more all you have to do is go to youtube and search a way. There are so many amazing live songs that I had a hard time picking ones to put here.
P.S. You think Alejandro looks familair. Does sometime along the lines of The Swede sound familiar. Yup, that’s right. Alejandro played Julie Taylors older (swedish?) lover on Friday Night Lights once upon a time. You’re welcome internet.
And one more, just for good luck…

July, the time for rosé

Hi Hart Beat. How’s your Tuesday night going? I am so glad this is a short week and in two days I’ll be taking the train home to one of my favorite places in the world. The Berkshires are so nice, especially in this heat since it’s always a good 10 degrees cooler in those hills than it is in this sweltering city.

To celebrate this first day of July, I thought I would write to you about one of my favorite summer drinks while sitting at one of my favorite bars in Greenpoint. Speaking of this neighborhood, I need to get back on my Greenpoint Guide. Anyway, ROSE IS IT FOR THE SUMMER.

I was thinking the other day about the progression of my alcohol tastes since college. I’m not going to share it with you here but I will say that I am happy to have finally come full circle to land on rosé this summer. These beautiful photographs come from this great blog post on the Need Supply Company’s blog defending the pink drink. All I can say is yes yes a thousand times yes. The only thing better than rose might be chilled red wine but until we can get that to be a norm at the neighborhood bar, I’ll settle for a glass of the pink stuff.
Thanks Need Supply Co for the beautiful photos!!