*Lyrics from Heaven For The Sinner by Bonobo featuring Erykah Badu. I felt like lounge music was appropriate for this post (about our outdoor lounge space), and this song is really cool sounding. Their latest album was released in March, but I was otherwise occupied at that time, so I missed it. Until now. I enjoy a good chill album from time to time, and this one is really nice. Have a listen, and find your own vision of paradise.
At the start of the summer I had high hopes for our little roof deck. And by ‘little’ I mean larger than our entire apartment. We’ve estimated that the roof terrace is about 520 sf which is an unheard of luxury for a rental apartment (let alone a non-rental one). But, it’s not flat (like, at all) and it’s hampered by logistical issues – no water source (and pitiful building water pressure), small hallways in the building inhibiting bringing up any sizeable furnishings or grillware, troubling structural questions that prohibit us from putting any large pots or plants anywhere (we just don’t know if the roof could take it). So, we’ve made do with what we could do, and are doing without where we just can’t solve the issue.
When I last showed you the space we’d managed to get a pair of sofas, inherited a couple of teak lounge chairs, as well a couple of plastic IKEA chairs for dining. Since then, we’ve added a rug (IKEA, and not a proper outdoor one, but it’s polypropelene, so we figured it was good enough), a small dining table (IKEA), and a tree stump coffee table (a HomeGoods find that Jeff and I debated about for an hour before caving, and we are so happy we did, even though it’s not properly weather resistant). We couldn’t figure out pillows dedicated for just the outdoor space (and we don’t really have enough storage for extra anything) so we just bring out our indoor pillows when we want to use the space.
*Lyrics from another song, Givin’ Em What They Love, from Janelle Monáe‘s new album The Electric Lady (deluxe album via Target, regular iTunes album here). This song features Prince, and is one of those songs I’m sure could turn into a 20 minute set at a concert. At least I hope. Great song, great album, great way to usher us across that early September doldrum into autumnal sexiness. Perfect for a post about our bed, right? Too much information?
While we may not have a full-on bedroom at The Pied – what we have is technically a ‘sleeping area’ since there is no closet, no door, no window, no means of escape – we do have enough space for a queen sized bed. I should say mattress, not bed. Even though we were lucky enough to carve out enough room for a dresser, some shelves, a mattress, and side tables, we can’t exactly devote any more space to the extra inches that a true bed frame would need. The mattress on the floor option was the cheapest bed solution, but the dramatically unlevel floors (I would roll toward the edge of the bed during the night, often waking gripping the side of the mattress for stability), combined with our need to have more options for under-the-bed storage made it necessary for us to think about getting yet another this’ll-do-for-now bed. The simplest (read: next cheapest) solution we could think up involved a split box spring, some form of risers, and a whole lot of screws.
*Lyrics from Ghosts by On An On from their album Give In. I actually wanted to feature a different song, but I couldn’t find the lyrics or make them out well enough myself (which is my kinda music), so I chose their big single. This album was just sitting in the ‘highlights of 2013’ list on iTunes, and I really liked the album art. Sometimes it’s as simple (and stupid) as that. Album is great. Perfect to usher in a new, more relaxed end of summer feeling. Give it a listen on Spotify first. Then purchase and offer to do some errands by yourself so you can listen again.
For the past few weeks I’ve been on a mental hiatus of sorts. I’ve been letting go of my worries about the future, my melancholy about the past, my general anxiety about all things out of my control… I’ve been trying to, at least. It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a stress monkey, and the past year or so has been taxing. Don’t get me wrong, lots of great things have happened, but stress can mount even with positive change. So I took a break from thinking, from worrying, from planning, from participating. Sometimes that’s the best course of action while you’re waiting for time to heal all wounds, or whatever.
So, we had a vacation in two parts. Part one (which was actually two separate weeks, on in July, one in August) was in the form of hosting my niece for a summer vacation in the big city. She loves New York, and claims that she “hates the country” (which isn’t really true, but she’s ten, so it feels true to her). Getting to experience the city through the eyes of an exuberant and saucer-eyed child is uplifting, and really helped create the feeling in me that ‘yes, I live here!’ We saw museums, we walked too much (on an injured foot), we ate too much restaurant food, we listened joyously to the din that makes up city summer nights, we sweated, we laughed, we rode the subway like locals, we hung with my local sister, we made up fake accents and pretended to be weird characters, we (mostly she and my sister) sang karaoke, we shared an apartment too small to comfortably host guests, we bonded. It was a great distraction from my own bullshit.