Friday, October 24, 2014

Food Friday-

When I graduated from college I moved to New York. My first full-time job was at the 92nd Street Y. When I say full time, that isn’t quite correct. I had a buffet of part time jobs at the Y that allowed me to put a roof over my head.  I loved the variety in my work week. I think that the book keepers at the Y must have hated me because I was working at so many different pay scales all at the same time.

One of my jobs was running an every day after-school group for kids ages 3-6.  Tonight one of my favorite kids from that group is coming for dinner. I haven’t seen him since he was 5.

This is what we will be eating tonight. we hare having pomegranate chicken.


I cooked the chicken with freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice and then topped the whole thing with pomegranate molasses. I added the pomegranate seeds  and they will soften when the chicken is reheated.

We are also eating curried rice with mushrooms and apricots.



For dessert I made a cranberry and apple pie in an oatmeal/almond crust.


All of this was cooked in my now, working oven. I love having an oven that works.

Don’t worry, I do plan to make a green salad.


Shabbat Shalom!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Yet Another Hunchback Dress

I get that for most of the world’s population the next sentence  sounds whiny and spoiled.  Today was the first day since Yom Kippur that we have had phone and internet, a working oven and heat all at the same time.

I am really happy to have all of my first world pleasures.

I have also been doing lots of work on a piece that involves lots of hand embroidery. Yes, I will post pictures, but not today.

Doing so much slow work gets me itchy to make a fast garment.


I had purchased this bright drapey sweater knit at Fabric Mart. I had purchased this fabric in a different fun print and had made something I love. But the cold weather made me want a sweater dress.


I made another hunchback dress mostly because they are so simple to make.


This is what the dress looked like cut out , before I sewed up the seams. This time I remembered to make sure that it was wide enough. I remembered before cutting that a knit  on the bias has less stretch than it does going crosswise. I would be lying if I told you that I came up with an actual algorithm about how much larger I should cut along the bias. I went with bigger than the dress I was using as my sort of pattern.


I stitched up the seams on my serger and rough finished the hems on the serger as well. I may turn the hems tomorrow.

A  few minutes later I had this.


Some of the dresses that I make look better on the dummy than they do on me. This is not the case here.SAM_3258


This dress is crazy flattering on my highly imperfect body. It’s knee length. I love how a dress that looks so wrong laid out on the floor can look so good on an actual human being.SAM_3259


I’m glad to be back in the first world again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Water Towers

I had taken these photos during the time that our internet was on the fritz.  When I began my morning workout the sky was an amazing grey.

During the 90 minutes of my work out the sky entirely changed. My windows face west.SAM_3151

The brick reflects the early morning light in a really cool way.




























Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maybe chocolate will make things better

It’s been a less than stellar week.  Clearly I’m having a better time of things than my dear friend in Israel whose husband suddenly died . I guess you could say that I am having a week of first world problems.

Our phone and internet have been spotty to nonexistent since Yom Kippur. They both seem to be back, sort of, today.

I have had crazy allergies which have made simple things like breathing not so easy.

We had no water in our apartment this morning and the gas was turned off in our building for a chunk of the day.

So, I get it. My family is fine. None of us has Ebola. My husband is alive ( worried and cranky because of the stock market tumble, but alive)


People we love are coming for tonight’s dinner. One of our guests loves chocolate so I made him chocolate almond  apricot non dairy ice cream.


Maybe it will make all of us feel better.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Open House NY 2014- Part 2

After visiting Central Synagogue, we hopped on the subway to 29th street to the church known as “The Little Church Around the Corner”.

We had a wonderful tour guide. One of the fascinating things about churches is that the buildings themselves can  deliver  a strong theological message--not just a general religious one but one that is particularly denominational.


I know that my usual topic is Jewish ritual art, so if you do not want to read about theological splits in the Protestant church then just skip this post.

I grew up not far from the spot of land where the Pilgrims first set foot on this continent. The Puritans were essentially  interested in creating a further reformation of the Anglican church.They saw the lushness of the churches and the vestments and even the church service to be on the slippery slope to what they saw as the great evil, Catholicism.

The Puritan desire to seek the divine through the austere expressed itself architecturally. Their churches  are exercises in restraint , the walls are white,  windows are clear, decorations are few. 

The Church of the Transfiguration on 29th street, also known as “ The Little Church Around the Corner” is a reaction against Puritan and Congregational sensibilities. The first rector of the church wanted to reclaim the Anglican lushness that the Puritans rejected. So he brought back stained glass windows, statues, gilding and even incense ( How Popish!!)  to his church.

Visually, it’s a party. Here’s the floor.



Our tour guide described the building as growing like a cucumber vine.  old and new elements mingle comfortably with one another. SAM_3187SAM_3188SAM_3189


Yes, both the use of pattern and of color are similar to the slightly later central synagogue


The ceiling timbers were simply amazing.I could have looked at them all day.SAM_3195


I loved that the ribbons painted on the columns were done freehand. I love the bit of wobble. it’s always nice to see evidence of a real human hand at work.SAM_3196


The church had a display of some of the vestments. I am a member of a sewing discussion group on the internet. Several of my friends on that list make liturgical garments . I made sure to take lots of photos for them.


SAM_3198SAM_3199The shoulder piece here is a brocade that has been pumped up with applique and embroidery.


Couched gold cord always looks spectacular. it’s not all that difficult to do and packs a whallop of a punch visually.



This church is famous for it’s connection to the theatre community. I would not be surprised if these vestments were produced in a costume shop.

Here are some other random bits of beautiful decorative bits from the church.





This is a 1933 window designed to celebrate world religions. The swastika is to symbolize Buddhism.


Our tour was followed by a concert of show tunes given by actors who are church members. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Open House New York 2014-Part 1

SAM_3167My husband and I love architecture. So the Open House NY weekend is one we anticipate every year. We can’t always participate because some years the weekend falls on yom tov.

This year coming as it did after three shul days in a row it was very, very welcome.  One of the sites this year was Central Synagogue. I was inside the magnificent building for this first time this spring to see the adult bar-mitzvah class that I had taught lead a service.

I knew my husband would love this jewel-box of a building.

The synagogue was built in the 1870’s. Several years ago the building was being renovated to it’s former glory. Just before renovation was completed a giant fire broke out. They began the renovation anew.
Every surface of the interior is covered with a pattern.
The floors, the columns, the walls, the woodwork are all patterned. SAM_3163
One might assume that so much pattern would seem busy.SAM_3164

Instead, all of the pattern is soothing. There is a whole lot going on here visually in this corner of the ark.

These skylights are above the ark.
The niches next to the ark were not neglected.

The ark is in the same shape and configuration as the façade of the building.
The vestibule was equally fabulous.

There are a couple of other sweet details. Most synagogues have hanging racks of tallitot available . Central Synagogue carefully rolls up their tallitot.

I loved the charity boxes at either side of the entrance.
I love the sanctuary doors.
Even the hinges are adorned.
We then got on the subway and proceeded to a church my husband and been dying to visit, the Church of the Transfiguration, also known as “the little church around the corner”.