I don’t know if you all heard me last week, but I’ve had an impressively nasty cold. It’s now burrowed it’s way down into my lungs where it’s manifesting as a chesty cough and a generalized shortness of breath. It’s delightful. It has not however been allowed to stop me living my life. So despite the fact that I probably should have been sleeping, I managed to get up to all manner of shenanigans this week so let’s get to it.
On Tuesday, I bounded out of work and on up to Ethical Tech. It’s one of my favourite Meetups here in the city, hosted at the wonderful socially conscious, counter-culture software firm Thoughtworks. The hosts are Thoughtworks employees and the topics are always fascinating from discussions of online activism to counter culture communities, and social implications of innovations like AI. This session featured a talk on Drop City, an artistic counter culture community established near Colorado in the 70s, a pitch for a “platform co-op”, and a brief introduction to NYC Mesh, the decentralized wifi based network that is gradually spreading its tendrils along DIY lines across the city. The talks were interesting but alas the questions swiftly dove off the rails and into investment potential and nit picky points about networking security. And I’m not saying that these topics aren’t interesting, but they are not the kind of interesting that I want to get into at Ethical Tech. I go there for philosophy and an escape from the money hungry New York rat race, but I suppose you can never quite escape that. Regardless, the balance still came out on the side of interesting and philosophical and so we smile, thank the organizers, and move on.
Delightfully, when I eventually made my way home, I found a beautiful envelope all swirled with beautiful orange and blue with my name in the middle, and a certain delightful Finn’s in the upper left. I will never get past the delight of receiving post.
After work on Wednesday, I unfortunately did not end up at tutoring as my poor student had fallen ill and wasn’t able to make it. So instead I made my way home and collapsed for a bit before donning my war paint and heading to dance. My first port of call was Ripley Grier for another fantastic class with Karel Flores. This one was a brain buster where we did the whole combo facing front and then, without a moment even to breathe, spun it around and did all over again facing back. It seems so simple, but turning a combo around so that you have only your own internal points of reference to orient your movement is incredibly difficult. In spite of ourselves, we survived.
Sometime later, soaked in sweat, I made my way down the street to westie cafe where I quickly towelled myself off, changed clothes and shoes, and stepped out on the floor to test out my brand new jazz boots. To put it simply, I’m in love. They are soft and bendy and perfect for spinning and sliding all over. Best $20 I’ve spent in a long while! Predictably, I stayed out until the better end before climbing aboard a late night train to whisk me away home to bed.
Thursday saw a very sleep and still slightly sickly Salsa Girls tumbling into the office with her eyes on the prize, entirely too many hours away: her bed. Between me and my precious sleep lay: at least 8 hours in the office, a quick stop home to change gears, and then at least a few hours out at Civic Hall learning about all the open data available from the Department of Buildings and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. It was an interesting event but I was a touch too tired and sore to properly appreciate it.
On Friday, I was feeling slightly more alive so I set out to K-Town for a pre-dance dinner with the dance folks. We ended up in Seoul Garden eating steaming bowls of tofu soup and chatting away merrily in a digital dead zone. Yes, there was no cell service in our corner of the restaurant so we all left our phones alone and actually had conversations. It was delightful. Following up our tofu with some sweets, we dropped by a tightly packed food court to snag a few fishies. Yup, it was taiyaki time! I’d never had a taiyaki before but they are so adorable that I just couldn’t say no. It’s basically a fish shaped waffle stuffed with cream cheese, red bean paste, or even nutella. I ordered a cream cheese and a nutella, was given a red bean paste one, identified the problem, and then ended up with two cream cheese fishies. I might have gone back and demanded my chocolate fix, but there was a charming middle classhole throwing a fit over the direction of the queue so I decided to cut my losses, save myself from a public argument, and walk on outta there.
With our fishies in hand, we then headed to dance. It was a quiet night, but the music was good and I had my crew so no complaints.
Saturday morning, I rolled out of bed and straight into yoga. It was a substitute teacher so, rather than the expected broga it was qi gong, spirituality, and a little bit of yoga thrown in around the edges. It felt nice but it definitely wasn’t what I’d been planning to spend my noon hour doing. When my meridians and I got back to the apartment, I turned to bread making. Once the bread was in the fridge retarding, I headed up to Harlem for a critique session with the westies. We skyped in Mandy all the way from Chengdu and somehow spent over two hours sprawled across Patrick’s apartment watching and discussing our dance videos. When I made it back to the train, I found myself staring down a 20 minute wait for the next D train so I decided to take the transfer option and start on an A or C train. Mere minutes later I would find myself on the slowest express C train that has ever been seen. It was only stopping at the express stops, but between them it crawled along slower than a drunken tortoise climbing Everest. When I eventually made it home, I was sufficiently frustrated that I just had to watch a movie before bed. And then suddenly it was 2am and I was missing out on all the sleep I actually really needed.
The next day, I woke up, threw my bread in the oven, and decided to completely rearrange my room. Halfway through the repositioning of every piece of furniture I own, it was time to get my ass to class. Yes, it was contemporary time! Being terribly clever ducks, Patrick and I managed to miss the first ten minutes of class waiting outside of the usual studio when in fact the class had been moved to a different studio three floors up. It was a beautiful combo with just the right mix of ethereal beauty and aggressive awkwardness all wrapped around an entirely manageable bit of floor work. Yes, you heard me, manageable floor work. Normally I hate floor work and my knees do too, but this was actually entirely approachable and I’m not even bruised!
In the afterglow of class, Patrick and I made our ritualized stop at Turnstyle for snacks and gossip. Unbelievably, we didn’t end up eating Bolivian. We diversified and ate vegan and macarons. Both were delicious, but I think the macarons take the cake. We tasted a honey and lavender and a red velvet. The former was punchy and aggressive but somehow more delicious than the soft florals that most macarons are made of. The latter was possessed of the most velvety flavours known to macarons. It was softly chocolatey with a silky cream cheese frosting between the disks of meringue. I probably didn’t need sweets, but they were delicious.
Shortly thereafter, I was back in my room attempting to roll a bit of the chaos out of the way so that somehow, at some point, I might be able to make it through to my bed again. It was a hasty operation because I had fun waiting for me somewhere down the J train. Which is how I found myself drinking entirely too much dark and stormy over party games in Bedstuy. We ate, we drank, we played ridiculous games–it was delightful, and I even won a few rounds. I also managed to stay out until 1am which made today much harder than it ought to have been. I mean it wasn’t destined to be an easy day, but the addition of exhaustion did not assist. After work, I headed down to tutoring. My student is still out sick, but another one of the tutors was also out sick so I adopted his student instead. I have to say that it’s nice to have an easier student every now and then. This one was a charming little fourth grader in a minions sweatshirt who’s just made grade level. I’m sure I’d get bored if I only ever worked with the students with fewer challenges, but today’s exhausted Salsa Girl was very glad for it.
I had intended to end my night with yoga, but then the laziness and the exhaustion won and I stumbled my way home to eat a sandwich, throw together some lunch for the week and get my blogging out of the way so that I miiiight get a bit of sleep tonight. On the topic of which, I think Imma wrap this up and do just that.
Almost healthy again,
The Salsa Girl