Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Just a little GOOP-style post today to connect a lot of random thoughts.


This week is the opening of a citywide public piano installation.  Chobani and Sing for Hope have teamed up to refurbish and place 88 pianos, decorated by local school children and artists, around all five boroughs of New York City so that anyone can play.  Iowa City had something similar while I was there, so there was always music on the streets.  I'm excited that the project is coming back to NYC this year after a one year hiatus.  If you happen to be around the city, tickle some keys.


To be fair, this probably is more of a "watch" situation than a "see" situation, but I'm such a believer in FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" that I can't wait to share it with non-watchers.  It might seem like another corny reality competition show, but it actually has a lot of substance and can be somewhat subversive.  It's a primetime show on a major network, with millions of typical American viewers, but it exposes those viewers to everything from classical ballet, emerging underground street hip-hop styles, avant-garde contemporary pieces, and world folk dance.  Yes, it also throws people a couple of ballroom numbers in each show, but those can be pretty awesome when they have someone who has never taken a formal dance class in his/her life victoriously rise to the occasion with a complicated samba routine.  I mean, a couple of seasons ago a krumper won the whole show!  How many typical Americans even knew what krumping was at that point?  And now people who either won or made it pretty far on the show are able to reinvest some of their profits and fame to their communities so that they can encourage other young local dancers (as was the case with Cyrus's "Dragon House" in Atlanta).  They've also featured unconventional dance troupes on the show several times, like dancers with physical disabilities.  On top of everything else, it's also one of the few big network shows on which you can find such a racially diverse cast.  It is a lot of fun to watch, but I think it's also doing a lot in the way of familiarizing people to real art and different forms of culture who wouldn't otherwise get to experience it.
On what other show would you be able to see something like this...

...alongside something like this?
especially because the show values both styles equally


I hate buying diet, light, fat free, or sugar free products in the grocery store because they are usually way more artificial than the real thing.  Since I care more about nutrition than calories, I'd rather eat something that's full-fat and full-sugar rather than full of thickeners and nutrisweet.  I may have found the perfect compromise.  I've known about frozen banana "ice cream" for a while now, but yesterday I tried it for the first time and it met my expectations.  I was afraid it wouldn't work at first because the mixture kept sticking to the sides of the blender and wouldn't get smooth, but then suddenly it all came together into perfectly frozen, creamy goodness.  
I blended two frozen bananas with about a teaspoon of peanut butter, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, and a few drops of vanilla bean extract.  If you're making a paleo version, skip the cocoa and use actual vanilla bean rather than extract.  It will still taste awesome.  If you're skeptical, just try it.  I promise it is just as satisfying as real ice cream and doesn't taste "diet" at all.


Another public art installation going on right now is the Little Free Library project.  Ten designers developed little outdoor structures around downtown Manhattan for housing an informal lending library.  The library is on the honor system, so when you take a book, you're supposed to leave one in return.  This program is sponsored by PEN World Voices and the Architectural League of New York and will continue until September.
This particular LFL is in Nolita at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School.


...a more considerate person.
I know I'm not the most polite person in the world.  I have trouble feigning friendliness sometimes.  I might not say, "Hi, how are you?" when I pass you in the street, or I might forget to say, "Bless you," when you sneeze.  But I like to think that I take other people into consideration before I do things.  Therefore, I have a few pet peeves relating to other people's self-centeredness.  For example...
  • If you are in a store, or in the check-out line of a store, and you pick something up and then change your mind about it, you should really put it back where you found it -- especially if you are standing right in front of where you picked it up.  I was in Starbucks the other day and the guy in line in front of me picked up EVERY SANDWICH and then threw it down on the shelf any which way he wanted, rather than placing it down in its designated row.  I mean, would it really have taken that much more effort to put it back the way he found it?  I know the store's employees are paid to put things back properly, but they're also paid to make your drinks and run the cash register.  Which would you rather have them spend their time doing -- serving your coffee or cleaning up after you?  Don't act like a little kid who expects someone else to pick up your garbage.
  • When you're driving around in a parking lot and you approach a car that is in the middle of pulling out of a space, it's best for everybody if you just stop for a minute and let them pull out of the parking spot.  It's the same concept as letting people off of a train/elevator before you get onto the train/elevator.  Except that when someone's in the middle of pulling out of a parking space, they were clearly doing that before you came up and decided to drive around them. A little patience goes a long way, people.
  • Don 't walk in the bike lane or bike in the car lane.  The different lanes are designated that way to keep traffic moving smoothly and to ensure everyone's safety.  I know it's not that easy in a city, but on the boardwalk or in a park, it's pretty simple to follow the separate signs for pedestrians, bikes, and cars.
And with that, congratulations!  You've made it past the middle of the week!

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