Friday, November 5, 2010

artistic brooding

Being prone to kinds of depression, sadness and general all around melancholia, and exhibiting such behavior to those close to me, I received this recently from a friend:

"respecting your feelings of sadness, could the sadness just be a place in you you retreat to to nourish your interriority, introspection and need to just 'brood'? Creative brooding is very important. It is a kin to contemplation. I thought of that because your sense of humor is so at the ready and you laugh easily. It seems incomparable with sadness? Maybe what seems like a place you don't want to nourish because you see it as a place of sadness, is the place God is calling you to hear His whisper. And God's whisper is always affirming, supportive, caring and loving.

things aren't always what they seem. I am offering an alternative interpretation to what you label sadness to a healthy place of divine brooding.

sit in your 'sadness' as a listening post for God and a nesessary place to visit because maybe it is your place for hearing God. Maybe you just need to brood. You are after all a kind of artist. Don't all artists need inside places?"

It's true, I think. I believe I become the saddest at times when I've most removed myself from God. I think the sadness is some kind of natural soul-instinct that draws me closer to the Almighty.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

*Roti Roll

Location: 994 Amsterdam Ave. @ 109th St.
Phone: 212.666.1500
Free Delivery

If you've never experienced the absolute joy that is a "bombay frankie" at Roti Roll, then you are seriously missing out — especially if you live even remotely uptown. A "frankie" is basically like an Indian burrito. Delicious Masala, Paneer, or the like, rolled up in a delicious Indian flatbread (like a thick tortilla.) They make it within about 3 to 5 minutes, then hand over the goods. Filling. Satisfying. Delicious.

My favorite is the (always on) special eggplant frankie.

The place is somehow joined, connected or owned by Suite - one of the strangest gay bars I've ever been to.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

181 Cabrini

Location: 854 W. 181st St. @ Cabrini Blvd.
Phone: 212.923.2233
Music: Live Jazz on Monday nights (no cover)

This is a nearby joint and I'm really not sure why I don't come here more often. It's always a relaxed atmosphere inside and there's nothing in the neighborhood that even comes close to competing with the free jazz offered on Monday evenings.

Last Monday I stopped by for a Maker's on the rocks and listened for a short time. Good tunes. Didn't catch the name of the quartet (else I would mention them specifically,) but they were good and the it was a nice place to be.

I didn't eat then, but I've been here before for grub. Always tasty. I typically just come here for a drink or two — it's a great place to bring a date, or a single friend or two for conversation. Once I met Mr. Wikipedia and his wife here. He had dragged her along convincing her it doubled as a juice bar. Unfortunately is was not. But it is both a great bar bar, as well as coffee bar — and restaurant.

Lucky to have it up here. Lucky to have it. Now if only the could make outdoor seating in the summertime happen, the place just might be perfect.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Starbucks (181st St. & Ft. Washington)

Location: 803 W. 181st St @ Ft. Washington
Phone: 212.927.4272

What can I say? It's a Starbucks.

However, I suppose I will say that I do not like this location very much and in fact it's probably one of my least favorite Starbucks in the city, aside from any of the Times Square locations. On the whole, the staff is either short or rude to me every time I go in - at least the male staff. I can't remember any female baristas ever offending me.

But again, it's a Starbucks. I still go there. Often buy a pound of coffee there.

Stupid corporations.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Indian Road Cafe

Location: 600 W. 218th St. @ Indian Road
Phone: 212.942.7451
Music: Live music or entertainment almost every night

This is one my very favorite places in the entire city! Perhaps it is because it was shown to me on that same wonderful day I was introduced to Inwood Park; or perhaps it's because it's a nice big open restaurant - so unique to Manhattan; or maybe because it serves pretty damn good food and has a great wine and beer selection, as well as a complete coffee bar. In the case of Indian Road Cafe, the list kind of just goes on and on.

They have some kind of live music or entertainment pretty much every night of the week. The beer selection is fairly extensive and though the beer and wine are often pricey, Indian Road typically offers some kind of special — so if I am in the mood to travel to the northernmost point of Manhattan island and tie one on, I can usually accomplish this.

But this is no divey bar to get sloshed at, though that's always an option, Indian Road is really more of a family joint. The food is an always delicious mix of local, organic foods that range from steak and fish, to vegetarian and vegan recipes. This morning, after my favorite activity of walking through Ft. Tryon Park and then Inwood Park, I ended up here for a cup of French pressed coffee and a very filling and fulfilling breakfast burrito.

What's best about this place is what's best about the entire neighborhood of Inwood — it's kind of a quiet hidden secret. A gem.

Whenever I go there, especially after walking the hills of Inwood, or through the magic landscape of Ft. Tryon, I always feel like I am suddenly whisked away on some kind of vacation - far away from the city, mundanities of life, or some of the very lonely emptiness I've been experiencing lately. My friend who made the trip with me this morning said the same thing, that she felt she was no longer in New York city, possibly back in some neighborhood of California, or some other, greener, brighter, more natural place.

You get that feeling of revival uptown a lot of the time. And joy.

This restaurant is fantastic. If you live uptown and haven't heard of it or been, you better get your ass there asap. And if you do not live uptown, break your stupid rule of never rising above 14th street, or 72nd, or 125th, and have a yourself a nice little time at Indian Road Cafe.