April 11, 2005

Our House was Off Limits this Weekend

The house was listed on Thursday and the brokers' open house was on Friday. Between Friday and Sunday night, I believe it was shown about 20 times, maybe more. We were politely asked by our realtor to make ourselves scarce this weekend since, after all, they are trying to show a house in which a family resides all while pretending no one lives there.

We were out on Saturday by 9 to deliver the children into the tender care of their grandparents. The kids slept over there Saturday night and, by most accounts, had a really nice time. Although, my father reports the following interesting exchange with the Girl Child:

GC: The Boy Child and I are going to get married and have a baby.

Grandfather: What are you going to do with the baby?

GC: We're going to play with it.

Grandfather: Where will the baby come from?

GC: Out of my butt!

That seems pretty close, actually, for a 4 year old.

And when queried about what she was going to be when she grew up, she explained that she was going to be a dentist and a ballet dancer and when questioned further about the combination, replied indignantly, "I can do both!!" You go, girl!

But that was all from Sunday. On Saturday, still on Saturday, my wife and I enjoyed a practically perfect example of the pre-child day, the kind of weekend day we used to spend when we were younger and had no responsibilities in our relationship other than making each other happy. Actually, those were pretty nice days, in retrospect.

We drove into the City on a glorious Spring day, dropped my wife's bag off at the gym so we could work out later and went off to the nearby American Scandinavian Foundation House to see an exhibit of contemporary Norwegian paintings from the collection of her Majesty, Queen Sonja of Norway -- a dedicated collector of contemporary Norwegian art. They also exhibited some of the Queen's stunning photographs of Norwegian nature. The photographs were mostly far superior to the paintings, I felt.

Then a taxi down to Chelsea to get tickets for the matinee performance of the Richmond Ballet at the Joyce. The Joyce is the preeminent center for modern dance performance in New York City. The best troupes in the world come through NY and many of them play the Joyce. Pre-child, we used to have a subscription to the Joyce and attended a lot of performances there. I heart the Joyce.

After procuring tickets, we adjourned for lunch at the Rocking Horse Cafe, where we sipped exceptionally spicy Bloody Mary's, drank strong coffee, and where my wife fell in love with a sandwich. And she fell hard for this: the Croque Señor, pulled pork sandwich with rajas poblanos, avocado, watercress, and queso Chihuahua.

After lunch, we wondered up the avenue a bit to go to my favorite source for Gay dance music so I could get the latest Gay Pride cd and whatever other excellent Gay party mix my buddy behind the counter, who has been there for years, could talk me into buying. They always have such a great selection and, what can I say, I love the music.

Then, the ballet. I was so disappointed by the performance. First of all, this was a big deal for this troupe -- the State Ballet of Virginia. This was their New York debut. As one group seated behind us said, they were "prepared within an inch of their lives". An inch, huh? Maybe they should have gone the extra mile. We saw two pieces -- Nuevo Tango and some Scottish thing. They were terrible. The dancers were wooden, no emotion, bad lines, sloppy movements, poorly defined hands and legs. I had a thought while watching them that just flinging yourself around a stage does not a ballet make. The choreography was worse, though. It was filled with cliches like dancers walking purposefully around the stage, lots of floor rolls, excessive use of props, overly dramatic lighting, total insensitivity to the music (unless that was the point, but I doubt it), and bad timing plays. It was dreadful. It was a second rate performance, if that.

I think we are spoiled living in NY and having our eyes trained by the best dancers in the world. I think that maybe the Richmond dancers, maybe, are at a disadvantage being so far from other dancers and the exchange of dance ideas and developments. I am trying not to say that they were provincial, because that is such a loaded word, but. . .

In any event, after the ballet, such as it was, we window shopped our way back over to the East Side and to go work out. On the way, we popped into furniture stores and thrift shops and a fun restaurant supply store where, my wife pointed out and wants to get, a sign for the kitchen which reads: The Hostess will seat you. I eyed several big espresso makers covetously, out of the corner of my eye so as not to alarm my good wife.

After a decent workout, we took ourselves off for dinner in the little concentration of Indian restaurants in the upper 20's in Lexington Avenue and for a little spice shopping in one of the excellent spice stores. My wife also picked up a glossy Bollywood gossip magazine from which I have added the word "gymming" to my lexicon. I did manage a decent little play on words, something that passes for humor in my house, when my wife and I had the following conversation concerning her order of Butter Chicken:

W: Do you think that they make this with regular butter or with Ghee?

Me: I have no idea. Why don't you ask the waiter and perhaps he can clarify it for you?

On the way home from the City, we received a phone call from my parents. The Girl Child was demanding to come home. She was only pacified with the promise of pancakes in the morning but it looked, for a moment there, as if we were going to have to go get her.

The Boy Child, by the way, declined to nap at my parents' house. My father said that after the Boy Child was piteously crying for a really long time, he went in where my son looked up at my father, cried, "Duuuude!", was picked up, flung his arms around my father's neck and kissed him as his savior. My father was quite pleased.

In any event, it was a wonderful day.

Now, as for the house, let the bidding begin!

By the way, if you are curious, I've put a picture of the exterior in extended entry below.

Our house:


Posted by Random Penseur at April 11, 2005 10:15 AM

Your house is gorgeous!

Posted by: Helen at April 11, 2005 11:46 AM

What an absolutely beautiful house. Good luck with the offers!

Posted by: dee at April 11, 2005 02:27 PM

Yes, your house is wonderful. Now, why are you leaving this abode??

Posted by: Azalea at April 11, 2005 05:31 PM

Well, that explains why people should live in NYC. ;)

Great house! I don't even want to know what you're asking for it.

Posted by: Kathy at April 11, 2005 07:11 PM

'out of my butt'
*takes notes*

glad that was strightened out. i had it all wrong! thank god for girl child.

as for the house...yes, it is lovely.
and another opportunity to see the lions! :)

seems the whole process is moving along quite nicely.
good luck.

Posted by: sn at April 12, 2005 08:06 AM

You're leaving that??????? Oh, man, what I wouldn't do for it! :)

And it's still got the lions!

Posted by: Hannah at April 12, 2005 03:26 PM
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