Reasons to Love New York and Magic Markers

Mystery Girl, corner of Chamber St & Broadway, with her dachsund in the basket

I am so utterly in love with this city right now. The weather is ideal, even the rainy days. I took a bit of a break from drawing on my Mac this week and did some old fashioned artwork with some artists markers that I had forgotten I had and hit the streets with my moleskin sketchbooks and mechanical pencils, plus my camera to record color. I walked and shopped and gazed and sketched, then came home and sat at my kitchen table in the rain yesterday and today and colored. My self imposed assignment: to record things that make me happy in a perfect-bound book. Book of Happy. I just came up with that right this minute. Here we go:

Oh, and if anyone can tell me the name of the woman who rides around Tribeca with her dachsund in the basket of her bicycle, please forward it. would like to give her a copy of this sketch. I saw her for only a moment: and yes, her dog did close his eyes as his ears were lifted by the wind. I think he must have been daydreaming about flying.

 I have dusted off my tennis shoes and started playing in the leafy little park near my house, which conceals one of the many lovely public tennis courts in NYC. A single $100 permit gets you court time all season, first come first serve. And on Wednesdays? The same park hosts a farmers market that currently has peonies, freesias, daisies, and sunflowers. 

My friend Kerry taught me about garlic scapes. If you chop them up super-fine and mix them with olive oil and salt and spread them on pumpernickel bread with a little ricotta and sea salt? Oh. My. God. Get them now, for a very brief time, at your farmers market. 

I have also discovered this wonderful paste, which marks the end of all of those little half-used tins of tomato paste that have always crowded the condiment shelf in my fridge. I have to confess, everything this company makes is so delicious and beautiful, I buy the canned tomatoes and stack them on my kitchen island just because. 

 Wild and Tri Star Strawberries, actual sizeWhen I was very small I would crawl around the horse pastures and roadsides hunting for wild strawberries. It was a little labor-intensive, admittedly, but they were the most wonderful, most sweet thing ever. Last week Lobo and I were walking around on the Irish Hunger Memorial and came across a few, growing wild in the tall grass. I never expect to see them outside of northern Vermont. Then, this morning, I stumbled across a vendor at the Union Square farmers market who picks them in his own fields and sells tiny baskets of them. He also sells a variety of strawberry called "Tri Star", which he tells me is a cross between the Wild Strawberry and the variety that we get at the supermarkets. I am in the midst of a taste test and will report back. Lobo, for one, prefers the wild.