Monday, April 25, 2011

Makin' Lemonade

Before you begin: Something I noted as I was typing, I use a lot of forward slashes in this. I'm owning it, I just wanted you to know this was intentional, or at the very least I recognize that it's a few too many.

So my buddy is a hyper-obsessed audiophile, a condition/trait/sickness which has led to many a road trip to feed his addiction.

Notably, spending the weekend of MLKjr Day driving from Oklahoma to Indiana to pick up some speakers, the first of our sound adventures. It was that trip that set the precedent of always always doing something other than just buying speakers. We took a minor-ish detour on our way to Memphis for some BBQ at Corky's, one of two uber-famous joints that are must stops.

Well this weekend was to prove no exception. We were driving to Sayre, PA to check out some La Scalas, which are my favorite speakers ever. Google 'em. We buy vintage, not new, so it is always fun to meet their former owners, see where they(speakers not the owners) live and learn about the their provenance.

Our route took us through Corning, NY, never heard of it? I hadn't either. However, while driving through it we saw signs for their glass museum. This led to much debate about what Corningware was/is made of. Thank the dear sweet baby Jesus for iPhones and Google. Turns out it is made of glass, which makes the whole Corning/glass museum thing come full circle. I feel like my buddy would probably want it noted that he made that Grand Canyon sized leap of logic and I did not. I thought Corningware was ceramic. Turns out we are both right.

We drove through, but not before deciding that Corning would be our side bar, the event that made this drive an adventure and not just a shopping trip. A glass museum, how could I not?! It was only about 40 miles outside of Sayre so we were going to do business first and then attend to our fun.

The speakers were terrible.* Their owner was kind of creeptastic and borderline hostile. The cute toy fox terrier that belonged to the speaker's owner urinated all over me. It wasn't fun. *they looked terrible and had sub-par parts and finish, they sounded fine (but we have a much nicer pair already)

We decided to take a lap in Lois and discuss. The discussion ended with us leaving Sayre sans speakers. It was a good choice. We were using our noggins for real that day. But, one of us was a little dejected to have an empty cargo area and we really needed something to turn that frown upside down.

Once again reaping the blessings bestowed on us by the technology gods we searched Yelp for good pizza in Corning. Turns out they have two legendary pizzerias. We picked Aniello's, which had the best/most reviews and headed that way (thanks google maps!). Aniello's, it turns out, is in the heart of Corning on their fabulously historic/restored/thriving main street, which is right up my alley. Boon! (it's like boom, but funnier because a boon is a timely benefit!)

We ordered our pizza, 1/2 cheese 1/2 chicken wing (weird right? that's what all the reviews said to do) and sat down to wait. There was a super silly Leather and Lace store across the street so while my buddy stewed on his semi-loss I went to check it out. Bizarrely, and yet not, it was just what the name implied. Bondage, super ornate dildos (did i just type that in a blog my mother reads?), and low quality lingerie. They did have a fabulous skirt made of feathers. It was lovely.

As soon as I wrapped up my experience at Leather and Lace my buddy called to let me know our pie was ready. It was massive. It was fantastic. It was all but gone within about 15 minutes. I fully recommend this joint and the chicken wing pizza. Now, some of the reviews claim the chicken is dry, and I will admit it looks it, but come on guys, it was in a billion degree pizza oven for 20 minutes, it's gonna crisp. It didn't taste dry at all. It tasted like wings, without the mess and the bone. The cheese pizza was outstanding as well.

After we ate (and ate and ate and ate) we decided we should probably walk it off for a while. Fortunately the weather was divine so we set off to see what Corning had for us.

Sigh. I already want to go back.

They have a jewelry store which makes its own jewelry. I found, with the quickness, something we could spend that speaker money on... but we didn't. Sad face. I made my buddy go into the cutest little fabric and notions shop. They had a billion vintage handkerchiefs in a bucket by the door, would that I had a project for them, and tons of fabric, and trim and lampshades and all sorts of wonder and glory. The fabulously hep and cool-kid girl running the store was listening to Adele, who was singing To Make You Feel my Love, I tell you this because that was the tone and mood of the store encapsulated in the clerk and song. Deep contented sigh. We spent a good deal of time there. Next time I go I will be spending a good deal of money there. Maybe. Probably. Definitely.

There was a super fab/modern/high end baby store, a theatre, a little hotdog/milkshake/diner joint, a billion restaurants, a million bars, a thousand different glass galleries and so many fun stores. We didn't get to go to them all; had to get home to our errant children that had broken out while we were gone. And by children I mean child, and by child I mean our basset with a penchant for chewing through wood and a wanderlust that knows no match.

We didn't go to the glass museum. We didn't go to the Rockwell either, Corning's art museum which is currently featuring a Warhol exhibit entitled Cowboys and Indians. We did however find an inn above one of the billion restaurants and made firm plans to come back this summer, have a romantical weekend (probably just a night) see both museums, visit all the shops, eat yummy foods and drink heavily. Don't judge me, or do, it's not going to change my plans.

It started off like a super long drive for nothing, but it turns out it was one of our best adventures and Saturdays to date.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Total Devastation

I finally, finally, finally got some film for my new toy and much anticipated Christmas present (thanks buddy!), just in time for a sunny day in Ohio. I didn't know this before I got here, so I shall assume that you don't either, sun is about as elusive as a decent radio station in Ohio, that is to say pretty hard to find.

I was amped, we were headed to Hudson for the day, the most beautiful and fabulous small-ish town in the world (little to no research has been done to back up that statement, but it is really epic, you'll just have to trust me).

Now, Holgas are "toy" cameras, they aren't fancy, they are cheap and plastic and faulty by nature. That's the charm of it, the imperfection and inconsistency in production allow light leaks, which in turn make for unique and unexpected photos. Knowing that, my first roll of film was just to see what my Holga did, how it reacted, what it made.

Would that I had pictures to show you. But, I don't. Not one. Total devastation.

When I showed up at Walgreens (don't judge me, I've been here for less than six months, I have yet to look for/find an independent and local photography store) there was a crowd (3) of employees surrounding the photo processing machine, one of whom was on the phone with tech support. Well, needless to say that wasn't a good sign.

My negatives were all but white.

Nothing could be done with them. Total devastation.

Several forum pages later I now know that I have joined the ranks of amateur photographers that have enjoyed the heartbreak and letdown that the Holga offers. I am armed with information and comfort that many/most people have useless rolls of film compliments of that temperamental master called Holga.

There isn't much sun in my immediate future, but when it returns I shall try again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


One of my oldest and dearest friends has lived in New York for years, my mother and I took a trip up there ages ago, but I hadn't been back since.
My buddy and I went up there a few weeks ago with one item on our agenda, a picture in front of the tree at the Rockefeller Center, however, aside from that we just wanted to hang out.

We couldn't have had better hosts! My friend and his super deluxe wonderful wife are residents of Brooklyn. I have to be honest, I thought Brooklyn was gross and scary and blegh before I went. Well, there is no way I could have been more wrong.

I'm fully obsessed now. My friends took us to meet their friends and to check out some of their favorite bars, restaurants, and shops. Oh, so much fun.

Saturday we flew in and met up with a big group of Sooners to watch the OU/Nebraska game. We had a near crisis as the bar we chose initially had some super spotty cable and the game came in spurts. My buddy is a rabid OU fan and that was obviously not going to work. So, we lit out onto the streets and literally stumbled upon a bar that had a sandwich board sign advertising the game. Turns out the owner was a Sooner! It was so much fun. Obviously the game was great, and the company was great; it was also fun because there was a hoard of Santas there! So funny.

Afterward we all went back to my friends' house for a rooftop dance party! Icy cold, but a blast.

Sunday, we were paying for what we had done the night before. My friends, however, go hard all the time. We were up for a lovely, if poorly served breakfast at a cute little place with a great bloody mary (once I could get it down!). That set the pace, we went to a tea shop, a malt shop, several bars and a community sale inside of a school. Ridiculous and fabulous.

Monday my buddy and I went to Manhattan for our picture and some Frrrrrrrozen Hot Chocolates (yes, plural). It was a good/bad idea. We had a really fantastic day, we started at the Museum of Natural History and then walked through Central Park to get to Serendipity. That said, I love Brooklyn so much more than I love Manhattan.

Then it was time to go home. Boo.

It was incredible, so much fun to hang out with my friends, so amazing to see, eat and drink at all of those unique places. Ready to start planning our return trip... if they'll have us again.