Tuesday, June 24, 2008

work gym and fireflies

I'm officially working at the NYU library for the rest of the summer. Yesterday and this morning were spent mainly running around sorting out paperwork to make this happen, but today I got to actually do some work, and it was great! I'm going to be behind the desk sometimes, and at other times I'm helping the music director check that the library's music books collection is up to date. And in two week's time, there will be some money coming in again.
I tried to go to the gym after work, and discovered that my student status only entitles me to use it at no cost during the academic year, and that officially ended at the start of this month. So no swimming for a few weeks. But I think I'll survive that. I'll just have to find excuses to walk a little further each day.
Oh, and on Friday and Saturday night I saw fireflies for the first time. NYChoirgirl calls them "lightning bugs". They're delightful little creatures that look utterly unremarkable until their butts light up, which they do at seemingly random intervals. I was utterly entranced by them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Neighbourhood

I now live in Astoria. It's wonderful to be living in a place in the city, comfortably close to all the things in Manhattan I need ready access to, but far enough out to be quiet, and to have a real neighbourhood feel. I'm learning which of the green grocers are more consistently reliable, where to get the best fresh fish or home-made feta cheese, and where to get the more unusual products that local stores don't normally stock, at non-specialty store prices. There's a wonderful store near here that stocks every kind of regional specialty food you could ever want! And there's a health food store, a bakery, and a Japanese convenience store on the way to the subway stop. There are also a good selection of restaurants in walking distance of our apartment. We'll not be short of options.
And in looking for information about our local community gardens, I found this great local blog. Thanks for the updates, Joey!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Well, a lot has happened over the last while. I completed my comprehensive exams (not without some difficulty), hosted my parents for three weeks, attended my brother's wedding, and moved in with NYChoirgirl. And now I'm on summer break. Mostly, I'm working on my thesis proposal, and appreciating the delights of the season here in a hot, humid New York.
I've also been fighting an infestation of fungus midges on my herbs. I think they came in the soil in which I purchased the herbs, and for my first week or so here, there were hundreds of them! lots of spraying and soil drenching, all with non-toxic products, and long strips of sticky fly paper hanging from the curtain rail, and little dishes of apple cider vinegar seem to have them under control, but any other suggestions anyone has would be much appreciated. The plants are looking distinctly worse for wear, mostly, I think, from the spray, and I'd love to find a method of control that does them less harm.