Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Memories: Homecoming

photo: T. Krever

She has always shared room with me.  

Like the one that summer when we were maybe 14 or 16, that summer at the new age community we were part of for years and years and years, it had the perfect bed and we'd say "Good Night!" and open our eyes again and it was morning.

Like our first apartment together, the one I still live in today, but then only kids, 17 or 19, there were roaches, tranny hookers, lots of diners, watching her do her morning exercises, friends visiting all the time, going to rock places or clothing stores now written up in history books....

Like in between and forever after, the words that flow out of secrets admitted or feelings spoken out loud, the attempts at love, the failures of dreams, the refusing to give up, finding our soulmates, the possibilities before us...

Whenever we speak, the rare moments of seeing her face, she is still maybe 14 or 16, or 17 or 19 or just our secrets admitted or our dreams still embrace, all my heart sees is its DNA and remembers its home.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And A Blessing

Why does Her New York
write about animal rescue?

It was late in our lives, but early one morning when the Mariner and I looked around our favorite room and saw only blessings.

Here ...

...and here...

...and everywhere.



The gorgeous, super fit woman on the right (she's a runner!) recently fostered and fell madly in love with the stunning girl on the left -- Giselle, a rescue mutt from Tennessee, now lovingly called Elle.

She had fostered a few dogs for Social Tees before, but knew after a few days that this one was a keeper. 

Their energies and lifestyles melded pretty much seamlessly, and they are now beginning their happily ever after journey. 

Giselle's proud mom says: "Elle charmed her way into my heart the moment I met her... I walked into Social Tees and she came over and greeted me with kisses. She's the calmest, friendliest dog. We've been meeting lots of new people and dogs in the neighborhood as Elle has to introduce herself to everyone. She makes passersby smile everywhere she goes because she is just such a sweetie. I can't tell you how many people stop me on the street to say hi to her because she is so cute, and she says hi back to each one with kisses She's also now my running buddy! We usually do 4 to 5 miles most mornings." 

Wow! Match made in heaven!  And blessings all around!



Social Tees has a bunch of way-too-cute rescue puppies arriving this weekend, and all need loving forever homes! 

Labradoodles, beagle babies, hound pups, Jack Russell Terriers, and more! 

Get details on our Petfinder page here and complete an adoption application at 


Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!
Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lost And Then Found Again

There was a truck. There were cones.  There was lots of yellow tape. 

So I didn't even bother to read the sign.  I just looked up to see if there was some window washer platform swaying about or some crane about to tear something down.

Instead, nothing was there.

So I looked at the sign.   Oh, I wondered, is art being throw out the window?  Or are they trying to find lost art and it might accidentally hit the sidewalk? 

I'm not very imaginative or bright in the morning.  Certainly, not after one cup of coffee.

A kid in a jumpsuit with a logo was moving stuff around.  So I asked him.  What art and how did it get lost?

"Sign painting," he said.

I looked up again, and instead of nothing, I saw a wonderful canvas, waiting to be found.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Memories: A Morning Beach

Every once in a while, Florence took us with her when she ran away, hopping an early morning F train barreling out of Delancy Street headed straight to Coney.

Once there stomping onto the 9 a.m. beach, the sand was almost always completely empty except for a few like-minded souls.

Settling in, before she nagged us into the water or before she dove in herself, swimming way out as if freed from everything that made her a human being, we'd sit. 

That rare chance to be at rest and at peace with the waves and the wind and, for me, the rare chance to visit with my mother.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Needs Some Loving And Giving


Animal lovers, lend us your ears! ...and your hands, hearts, time, and so forth. 

Social Tees looking to expand their group of super cool volunteers, and they want your help. 

CAN YOU MAKE A WEEKLY COMMITMENT? You would be doing stuff like staff adoption events, and cleaning cages (hey, the elves went on strike...). 

AND you'd also get to walk the dogs, play with the puppies, cuddle the cats, and be adored and loved back. I mean, does it get any better????

 Shifts are 5pm-7:30pm weekdays and 12pm-4pm weekends -- find more details on positions here:

Ready to join in on the LOVE-IN? Email for an application. They look forward to working with you!!!

Meanwhile, Maxwell...

... would love to get to know you. 

This boy is so friendly, he makes the Brady Bunch look like... well.. REALLY  MEAN. 

He rubs himself like crazy against the bars of his cage for attention and meows with all his might to get you to pet him. 

Maxwell likes to chill on the top floor of his duplex cage (as seen here) and watch for potential cuddlers to open the door and give him the cheek scratches he craves. He's two-years old, great with everyone, and awesomely orange and stripey. 

Interested in adopting? Come meet him at 325 East 5th Street, NY, NY, 10003.

And if you do THIS could happen to you...

This sweet pair is a Social Tees mega success story. 

The handsome dude on the right fostered a few dogs for us before foster falling in love with (adopted!!) the handsome dude on the left. 

Leo (fka Bandit) looooooooooves his human as much as any dog possibly could. Soul mates!! 

Why does Her New York
care about animal rescue?

... and because they made sure that five-inch water bug didn't have a chance in hell.


Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!
Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Company They Keep

Once again, look closely.

I had already threatened the environmental guy that he better not mess with the babies.  I didn't threaten threaten but I demanded do know what he was going to do down there and something about there being babies and you're not going to mess with them, which was not quite a question but more like I'm asking it like a question because really you could have me arrested if I put a period at the end of those words...

He was from New York so he understood and probably lied through his teeth saying it would be fine.

I didn't see anything moving for days and regretted putting a question mark on the end of my sentence.

Then just today, there in the man-made puddle.. the itty-bitties not so little as they swam about,  their parents always nearby. 

Maybe it's watching parents who really love their kids, or maybe its nature defying all the stupidity we do to this earth, but seeing them this morning made my feet sing like a little kid's.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

See You On The Other Side

From a mile away, those Con Edison smokestacks, up on 14th Street and Avenue D, loomed over us down on Broome and Columbia Street (which was Avenue D but with a different name).

Staring out of windows that hung over the playground, past the Williamsburg Bridge,  any window we looked out of, the bedroom or bathroom, the living room or kitchen, we saw those stacks in the horizon.  They were our mountain range, with stripes of red curling around them, always reminding me that maybe come winter I'd luck out on some candy-canes.

There was never a need on a sunny weekend to walk up to the stacks, harbored by squat, brick buildings.  Prettier streets to wander, some with ice cream or coffee on them even.

But, wandering through Stuy Town we heard familiar sounds coming from those mountains, it sounded like a baseball game and how was that possible but look there was an ices cart right there and where there were ices there were kids but that was impossible because there was nothing there just Con Edison and the East River Drive...

So we walked down a street I didn't even know was there and a chain link fence appeared on the right and behind it were fields bursting out of brick and stacks and chock full of running jumping catching throwing hitting.

And on a corner of a field were girls.  Not pom-pom-short-happy-skirts-that-flew-up-in-cheers girls, but uniforms-cleats-powerful-arms-in-short-sleeves girls.  

All those years staring at man-made mountains, being told "girlie, shut up" or "when you gonna get married?" or "girls can't do that"... all those years fighting for something as small as being able to wear pants to school or take boy's shop or just have an opinion... even when we tried, there was no team or uniform and there was certainly no coach.  There were smokestacks.

But here, and now, behind those smokestacks was this coach and he got up and he talked real serious about the team and the players and how hard it was to decide who got what because they were all so great and then he read out their names, and these girls, taller and stronger than any smokestack, they got up and accepted trophies for pitching and home-runs, and being valuable to the other players.

Watching them, I wept.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Memories: Dad And Lawrence And The Memories He Never Got To Have

Ok. Let's get something straight on this day of fathers.  We never had a television in the house.

So, there was no gathering around the TV to watch Ed or Johnny or Lawrence.

And, while we're at it, we never lived in those guys' America.

There was no clean-cut nothing going on on the Lower East Side.  We didn't speak with that bell-like crystal clear accent or with syntax that lined up as it was supposed to.

Our voices were loud or coarse, and our words came out like they had just been beaten up, vowels all open and wide and tired from centuries of running that never stopped even after sitting down at a table of food not always guaranteed.

Those beat-up words lined up in the formation of a language my father called a "slave tongue" which is why he never spoke Yiddish to us, his desperate wish, like God's for Moses' people, we grow in a world free and unknowing of those chains.

Our clothes were proudly gotten from friends, outgrown yet still good, or church bazaars where tables overflowed with proof of other peoples' abilities to buy what they needed new, now no longer useful or wanted.  We wore those clothes proudly.

How we spoke and what we wore looked nothing like what I saw that recent night in California, Dad's chair pulled up as close as he could get, his hearing so gone and the volume so loud.

I wondered when he fell in love with Lawrence Welk.

I wondered when he even got the chance to dream of a life where words were crystal clear and all the pretty girls' dresses had nary a stain or mend on them and looked like they were not three year-old fashion but just off the pages of some smart happy magazine, like Good Housekeeping.

I wondered when he got a chance to sit before a TV screen we never had and stare at the bubbles and watch skits that had utterly no irony, wit or depth or the synchronized swaying of a big band that looked like they just came out of the washing machine.

Lawrence's world looked so happy and there was none of that where we grew up.

And when the hell did my father get a chance to peek into that America?  He was too busy supporting us, his own dreams paying for our care.

He wasn't an awful father, but he dreamt of being a dad that could have lived in Lawrence Welk's America.

Sometimes, when it gets late, sometimes late in the evening, sometimes late in life, you dream of memories you wish you had.  And sometimes, that's good enough.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  And thank you for the microscope and engraving pen and the painting kits and the stuffed basset hound dog and the...

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving And Bursting With Hope


Listen up, dog people!!!

Foster Dogs NYC, an amazing organization Social Tees works with, is hosting a FREE 101 dog care  workshop on June 23.
It's a great way to brush up on your pup care giving skills so that you can be a better (and less stressed!) foster parent or dog owner. Plus, it's a great way to meet fellow animal lovers. 

Details are here: Save the date and spread the word!
— with Mark Harvey.


"They came for miles around to bask in the glow of her ethereal beauty," they'll say about this cat for years to come.

Just look at her! How could this magnificence not draw crowds of cat lovers like moths to a flame?

Shockingly, Cali Girl was on the euthanasia list a few nights ago, but she made it out by a hair.

In addition to her mesmerizing good looks, she's truly a charmer. She rubs herself against the bars of her cage to ask for affection, and she'll head butt your hand and cheeks when you lean in for some cuddling.

She's three years old, around 11 pounds, and super ready for some loving. Interested in adopting her? Come visit SOCIAL TEES at 325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003; 5-7pm weekdays; 12-4pm weekends;


Aeri, fondly called Julep by her foster mom, is a 5-month-old Treeing Walker Coonhound recently rescued from TN, and she's hunting for her forever home. 

Her foster mom says: "True to her Southern roots, Aeri is one smart, sassy lady! She also adores her creature comforts. She loves a good, vigorous scratching session and has recently discovered a budding love of belly rubs. She will follow you around all day, waiting loyally for you to get out of the shower or finish washing dishes. 

When she goes to the park -- her very favorite thing -- she's the belle of the ball: people and other dogs fawn over her and she eats it up. She's fascinated by small children and is pretty sure she needs to be by their side giving them kisses as soon as she sees them. 

If you're single, she's the perfect way to pick up a date! Everybody wants to stop and pet her and talk about how gorgeous she is. 

She's on her way to being an amazing running companion and does very well with all other animals. She's good at respecting their boundaries and spends all day wrestling with a mustachio'd cat, who's taught her how to stalk and pounce just like him. If you're looking for lanky, bright, and adorable, this is your dog!"

Interested in adopting her? Complete an adoption application at!

Why does Her New York
care about animal rescue?



Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!
Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Little House That Could

You just know the two empty lots on either side will be filled with massive glass monster giants that will make that gorgeous old building look like an ingrown toe-nail. 

But that little building and the bar inside it are hanging tough.  Because progress may be inevitable but everybody really wants true beauty which is why everybody is always going to Italy or France or Italy or any place that looks like Italy because old stuff tells your heart its story and glass monster giants only melt your car.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Her New York's Debutante Of The Year

You can spend years in a room.   Wondering if that whole "caterpillar in a cocoon" thing was just a fairy tale that kept you locked up.   Until one day you're done and it's finished and you push open the door to a huge world and you come out, bursting with brilliance that would make the most beautiful butterfly weep with envy.

And that's exactly what Carola Dibbell's debut novel, THE ONLY ONES has done. 

And it will soon be available.

Below are excerpts from TWO DOLLAR RADIO's announcement and interview:

With a stylish voice influenced by years of music writing, The Only Ones is a time-old story, tender and iconic, about how much we love our children, however they come, as well as a sly commentary on class, politics, and the complexities of reproductive technology. It is an outstanding book, grand in scope, relatable, heartbreaking, accessible, that I know will turn a lot a lot of heads.

TWO DOLLAR: The Only Ones is your debut novel, and we’ve scheduled it to publish in March 2015, which is a month before your 70th birthday. That’s pretty rad.

CAROLA:  Having said all that about the dignity of unrecognized labor, let me be clear. It is a life-changing event to have  work I’ve put so much into about to head out in the world. I find myself thinking I should finally start cardio workouts so I’ll be alive to write the next novel. I think about the shape of a life with this late-breaking twist.  It is very, very sweet.

It also would have been sweet at sixty.

Even fifty.

Happy Birthday, Carola!

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Memories: Returning to Oz

 John Waters didn't understand why Dorothy wanted to go home.

"To that awful black-and-white farm, with that aunt who was dressed badly, with smelly farm animals around when she could live with winged monkeys and magic shoes and gay lions. I didn't get it."

But what if someone was clicking their heels to get back home to Oz.

From the first airplane ride thirty-five years ago to the one just last week, seeing home in the distance, that wasn't Nebraska or Kansas or wherever rising up from the horizon.  It was Oz.  Beckoning me back from a black-and-white world and flying me into color.

Perhaps Mr. Waters didn't know, but Mr. Baum wrote 14 more books after that first one.  Dorothy returned many times to Oz.  She needed to go home to a place that was the color of her heart and soul.


Related Post: 

Sunday Memories: The Long And Winding Road That Leads To The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday's Child Is Loving And Giving
And Knows You Want
That Puppy In The Window


She's sweet and  sweet and really sweet.

Did we mention she was sweet?



He's three years old, 18 lbs, and just got groomed so he's feeling (and smelling) fresh as a daisy.  He's housebroken, hypoallergenic, and a big cuddle bug!! 

He's fine with cats and most dogs, but miserable at the shelter.  Rescue him!! He wants your tender charms 'Coz he's lonely and he's blue and he need you and your love too!!!!!



She's a puppy with Moxy!



Six years old, 20 lbs, and overflowing with doggy charm.  He was completely covered in matted fur when he arrived at the kill shelter (his eyes were covered!), but one solid grooming later and he's loving the summer breeze he's probably feeling for the first time in his life. 

Michael is friendly with everyone he meets, good with other dogs and cats, and truly enjoys lying at your feet while you lounge on a park bench. Adopt him now!! He's ready to be your loyal companion forever!!!


Why does Her New York
care about animal rescue?

... the only time the Mariner and I got a full night's sleep was in a hotel.



Come Volunteer!!! 
Come Visit!!!!
 Come On In!!!!!
Social Tees  
325 East 5th Street, NY, NY 10003 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Paintings He Breathes Out:
William Chaiken

He was the young painter who sat in a Henry Street Settlement House dance studio every morning, listening to my mother, Florence commence her morning practice.   The scales, the etudes, the repertoire of  a young pianist becoming his private concert.

 His painting, given or sold to Florence decades ago, is part of home, always has been.

At 92, he doesn't 'still' paint.  He paints.  Just like Florence played.  Just like Jutta explores.   Just like....  we all breathe until we don't.  There is no 'still' about it.  

He may not be under the Williamsburg Bridge, but somewhere where there are trees and solitude and quiet and a cat that acts as both muse and boss, he paints. 

His work will be on display until July 27 at the Pomona Cultural Center, New York.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

In Memoriam Of A Sunday Memory - Cuz It's Your Birthday

Originally posted August 17, 2008, 

My cousin, who had already made sure I got through adolescents in one piece, had just scooped me up in New York and taken me to Atlantic City to lick my wounds after being left in an ignoble manner.  

Taking charge of raising a child not her own, she was my guiding force and my moral compass.  She died in February.

'Cuz when there is no refuge except by an ocean there's only one person in the world to go with.

'Cuz you were brave enough to enter a car with me at the wheel knowing I didn't understand the concept "stay in between the lines."

'Cuz there was no one else in my life I could ask those questions and you answered them. (And I'm sure you NEVER repeated our conversation to anyone else.)

'Cuz you let me borrow it.

'Cuz you went forward and forward and forward again.

'Cuz you're the only person who could flip me the bird and still make great art.

'Cuz to shop like that takes talents guts and skill and you are the best argument for shopping to be in both summer and winter Olympics.

'Cuz of that day we walked through the old old neighborhood and we understood we are the ones left to remember.

'Cuz of every meal you shared with me.

'Cuz you trusted me with your kids. Even after we all took the 5th.

'Cuz the generosity was at a price and I hope I did right by you when I passed it forward.

'Cuz again you went forward and forward and forward again.

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