Madeline is one of my favorite characters of all time, but I never knew her creator Ludwig Bemelmans was such an interesting guy himself! For example, I didn’t know he moved to the U.S. as a last resort after shooting a waiter at his uncle’s restaurant in Austria, and I definitely didn’t grow up knowing the prostitution backstory to Madeline’s Rescue (not included in the kid-friendly audio guide, just on the adult-friendly writing on the wall). No pictures inside the exhibition, so I only got some shots of the cafe and the gift shop that has everything Madeline and more. Anna didn’t want to trek across the park to Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel to see his paintings, so we went to Isabella’s at the end of the block for one of our typical 4-hour lunches instead. Check out the New-York Historical Society for more info to visit the exhibition and/or get a tea party invite!
9:53 am • 27 August 2014
Through a stroke of luck and some awesome people, I got to meet with a publisher yesterday! He had A LOT of advice for me. Long story short, I have to make changes to both book ideas I presented, including making drafts of two different versions of one of the books, then submit and see what happens! Super stoked to not get a flat out “no”. I even left with a goodie bag :D
In other news, look who won play dough and boomwhackers in an education raffle. It’s gonna be a fun year in preschool and music!
AND my fasule or golden pothos (conflicting opinions) is still alive!! Could this be the end of my plant killing days I wonder?
1:27 am • 19 August 2014 • 2 notes
Beatles for mandolin and uke crash course!
12:04 am • 9 August 2014 • 2 notes
Just had the best meeting ever with the best coffee shop owner ever, now prepping the next book ideas!
Also found out something exciting and semi-top secret about a storefront on the same block… vague but delicious hint: authentic cuisine from halfway around the world coming to Harlem, just in time to keep us warm this winter!
8:36 pm • 5 August 2014 • 1 note
Check out whose book made it into Bank Street Bookstore’s August newsletter! Yes, I booked a bookstore gig :)
I’ll be reading and singing The Right Thing to Do at Bank Street Bookstore in NYC on Saturday, August 30 at 10:30am. Labor Day weekend - but early enough to take off for the beach right after, which is what I’m planning to do! If you’re looking for a fun, low-key Saturday morning activity for the kids, come by for story hour!
And of course I’ll have autographed copies available. This is your chance to support a wonderful independent bookstore instead of Amazon!
9:24 pm • 3 August 2014
I didn’t make any music videos this year like I said I was going to, but I’ll always have a thing for you MTV! Happy birthday, welcome to 33!
12:02 am • 1 August 2014 • 4 notes
I’m so proud of the song I wrote today at Manhattanville Coffee in West Harlem. It’s relevant to this day and age, it’s not for kids, it has a bridge, it’s longer than three minutes. And it has five really great lines! I know because I ripped off lines from five U2 songs. Is that legal? I mean, Shakira did it with Estoy Aquí (verses: I’ll Stand By You / prechorus: Wind Beneath My Wings) and Underneath Your Clothes (Eternal Flame). Legal, right? Then again, when I did a search of “Shakira copyright infringement” the whole first page of Google results was about her World Cup song, in which the only lyrics she made up in the chorus were “This time for Africa.” They settled for a hefty sum and Golden Sounds, the Cameroonian band that originally recorded the same exact song in the 80s, got some cash money and recognition. So I guess everybody wins?
My friend Irene of Home in Harlem (currently in hibernation but hopefully not for long) asked me to guest blog about Manhattanville Coffee, but I’ve never been good at sticking to the stuff you’re supposed to mention in reviews of coffee establishments. Just look at this Shakira rant slash U2 love fest. Yelp would have deleted that in a heartbeat. Also, I love Shakira, aside from the stealing. Wish I knew for sure that she had permission to borrow from those other songs.
Manhattanville Coffee: ★★★★☆
Coffee: it was ok. Iced drinks are yummy. I’m picky about coffee except in the early morning when anything piping hot will do. This was in the afternoon, so my opinion probably shouldn’t count.
Food: flaky pastries, swankily-named quiches and artisanal bagels. A bit pricey, like most Brooklynesque places popping up in Harlem, but I guess we all have to make rent.
Atmosphere: light and casual. Good place to plug in, study, work, chat, write hit songs that can never be sold.
3:46 am • 31 July 2014 • 2 notes
Shady operation I’m running out of abandoned classroom cubbies. Have you placed your order yet? :)
9:16 am • 21 July 2014 • 1 note