Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Three things:

1. Tuesday night I was sitting out on our terrace drinking a glass of wine. Drew was at his father’s place, Jackson was asleep. Simone and Miles were sitting outside with me. After a really hot afternoon, it was the perfect summer evening — warm, maybe 74 degrees, with a light breeze. Someone was grilling something in the yard next door. Someone was playing Bob Marley from some window a few buildings down. I could barely hear it, but I could hear it. There was a dog barking half a block away, a few birds were still chirping, there was a plane flying overhead on its way to somewhere or maybe on its way back. And in the moment, everything was fine and I wished it could be summer all the time.

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2. There are four musicians I can listen to any time whose music instantly cheers me up: Lucinda Williams; Nina Simone; Paul Simon; and Willie Nelson. There are other musicians whose music cheers me up, but I have to be in the right mood. With these four, it doesn’t matter when or where, really (though it does sometimes matter what song). I’ve seen all of them perform, all of them multiple times, save for Nina who died shortly after the first time I got to see her live. Their music doesn’t just cheer me up, it transports me — to childhood road trips and summer nights in college, to falling in love and nursing broken hearts. I like that I don’t have to wait for my favorite season to experience my favorite season even if it’s just for a few minutes; I like that I don’t have to get on a plane to travel very far.

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3. I have a favorite dive bar in New York that has live bluegrass every weekend and feels like the kind of place where I may have spent the last 15 years of my life even though I’ve only been there three or four times. It’s kind of hard to get to — a mile from the nearest subway and right on the edge of Brooklyn, so close to the water that it’s hard to believe it’s even in the city. It’s open at odd times, too, as if the owner, who’s got to be around 80 now, only lets people in when he’s in the mood for visitors. Once, my friends and I showed up on a Sunday afternoon and it was closed, but we managed to convince him to let us in for a drink. We’d come so far, we told him. We spent the day helping ourselves to the beer behind the bar and listening to his stories of the time he lived in India, before he inherited the bar from his father who had inherited the bar from his father before him. There are some places that feel like home the moment you first walk in and some people who feel like home the minute you meet them. And lucky me: Saturday night I get to go to one of those places with some of those people. It’s really been too long.

18 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 20, 2014, 4:07 pm

    Your number 1 reminds me of a part in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. When Francie is getting ready for a date and she describes what she sees out her neighborhood window and all the senses that go along with it. I don’t know, but your description just sounds so new york and so Brooklyn, so that’s awesome.

    This week I feel lucky to live in a neighborhood with nature paths only 1-3 blocks away in either direction. It really improves my quality of life to be able to walk along streams/creeks on an every-day basis.

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    • gigi

      gigi June 20, 2014, 4:42 pm

      That is my all time Favorite book…

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  • Lianne

    Lianne June 20, 2014, 4:15 pm

    This might be one of my favorite open weekend thread posts. I started a weeklong vacation from work today (I’ll ignore the fact that I spent the first day of vacation working) and it makes me feel just like your first post describes. My best friend is in town from Amsterdam and I’m so excited to spend the week with him doing nothing but enjoying our time together. It’s a wonderful way to kick off the summer.

    Happy weekend all!!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray June 20, 2014, 4:48 pm

      Agreed!

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray June 20, 2014, 4:53 pm

    This was really sweet. That same Tuesday night that Wendy was soaking up the sounds on her patio, I was pedaling my little heart out on a Divvy bike, along with a friend, on the lake path from the Gold Coast up to Andersonville. We had to pedal fast so we could check our bikes back in within 30 minutes, lest we get charged an extra $1 (hale no!). We then met another friend for some creative maki rolls by Sushi Mike. By the time we got there, we were sweaty and hungry and ready to eat. Summertime is here!

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 20, 2014, 5:03 pm

    I’m having a World Cup party on Sunday afternoon. I love hosting little parties! I need to come up with a food menu, though, and I’m at a loss. Originally I thought about making food from each of the 4 countries in the group, but Germany, Portugal and Ghana? What would I make! I’ll probably just make a bunch of random appetizers and stick little American flags in them to pull it all together. Any suggestions are welcome!

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh June 20, 2014, 5:40 pm

    I spent happy hour last night at an open bar by the marsh. It was so lovely. And was my idea of a perfect summer evening. The weekend will hopefully be filled with much more time at the beach and reading all of my newly downloaded ‘young adult’ books! 😉

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  • Lyra

    Lyra June 20, 2014, 5:43 pm

    You guys I just got the sweetest, most thoughtful gift from my best friends. They got together and collected all the pictures they could find (I’m guessing from Facebook) of my dog and put together this amazing book in memory of her. The captions talk about how my dog meant so much and how she loved her family and how our home was the place she was meant to be. They even found some pictures of when our whole friend group was at my parents’ house and my dog jumped in the picture with us because she loved being around people so much. And I started sobbing. I’m still sobbing right now. I have the most amazing friends.

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    • avatar

      sarita_f June 20, 2014, 9:06 pm

      Oh, Lyra, that makes me tear up a little! You have great friends 🙂

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      • Lyra

        Lyra June 20, 2014, 10:14 pm

        It was so perfect. My friends knew just what I needed. I’m going to literally cherish it forever. The last pages talked about the Rainbow Bridge and the very last page has a picture of her that says “I’ll be waiting for you.” That set me off sobbing. One of my friends has a brother who just finished a degree in graphic design and he helped them make it too. It’s overwhelming (in a good way!) how much they care about me.

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  • Astronomer

    Astronomer June 20, 2014, 7:42 pm

    Wow, that’s so wonderful. I got a little misty just reading that.

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  • avatar

    XanderT June 20, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Lucky you! Have a great weekend, Wendy!

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  • avatar

    Taylor June 20, 2014, 8:32 pm

    Thanks for that Wendy.

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  • avatar

    Anna June 20, 2014, 8:36 pm

    I look forward to enjoying evenings like the one you described after I start my new job. After a year of working 60-80 hrs/week I am burnt out and sick of never being home before it’s dark. Hurry up background check!! I can’t wait to be off at 5 pm every day and off every weekend. I will actually get to have a life this summer!

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    • avatar

      sarita_f June 20, 2014, 9:07 pm

      Anna – congrats on the new job! What will you be doing?

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  • avatar

    Anna June 20, 2014, 9:46 pm

    Thanks!! This job offer pretty much fell into my lap. I sold a car to the Operations Manager of Orkin commercial services. He was so impressed by how I handled his car deal that he called me up the next business day and offered me an outside sales job. I will be selling pest control contracts to businesses in the Raleigh area. It’s 8-5 Monday-Friday with full benefits and double my current base salary. Can’t wait!!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray June 20, 2014, 10:05 pm

      Way to go, Anna!

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