Pleasant Street

Pleasant Street

Late Dinner

image by Tracy Benjamin via flickr

After seeing Beyonce in this winter (yes, THAT Beyonce, and OMGYOUGUYZ), my best friend and I were stuck in a garage for about an hour, part of a parking lot traffic jam. I swear, the concert planners were in cahoots with WMATA to make it hell to get out of there, specifically to make sure the next time I see Mrs. Carter at the Verizon Center, I will take the Metro. Maybe it was the fumes, but as soon as Sarah said, “I’d really love a late dinner,” soon began The Bit that Wouldn’t Die. 

A “late dinner” is thrown-together, but not half-assed. It’s finishing off that leftover cheeseball from your dinner party a couple of days before, after you and a friend got back from a movie that was started at about 6 pm - and you only shared a small bag of popcorn and could REALLY use something else. You already have a bottle of white wine open and chilled in the fridge, the first half of which you enjoyed earlier that week watching DVR-ed episodes of Parenthood and Modern Family.

It’s pulling out the last of the water crackers and polishing off the olives. Ina Garten has late dinners during the week when Weekend Husband Jeffrey is out of town and she spent all day in the garden and all evening helping the Weekday Friends rearrange their furniture after two of them just moved in together.

Weekday Friend A: “Does…does anyone want a bite to eat?”

Weekday Friend B: I AM a little nibbly… just a little something?”

Ina Garten: “Let’s have a little late dinner, go back to my place and - “

Weekday friend B: “Oh, Ina (<- INA ALWAYS HOSTS THE LATE DINNERS) we’d hate to put you out like that.”

Ina: “No, no! I already have half a bottle of white open and some leftover appetizer fixings from my dinner party with The Senator earlier this week. It’s no trouble. Come on, we’ll just eat at the kitchen island and listen to some John Coltrane. No trouble at all!”

We eventually got out of the garage - thank you, North Carolina license plate lady! - but never got that late dinner. Now, whenever I see a block of $9 cheese or spinach and artichoke dip, I think of Beyonce and Sarah, and I can almost still smell the mix of gasoline and desperate hunger that made up our that last half of our night together.

Frosted. Cross section. Bitten. Via @smittenkitchen

Frosted. Cross section. Bitten. Via @smittenkitchen




Is it just me, or are those a couple of dancers’ most commonly used buzzwords? And am I the only one who notices this, but are some companies/studios/choreographers more “diverse” than others?

I love the dancers and choreographers I’ve worked with so far this summer,…

Hey girl! I love your blog. Here are some dances and dancers who have bodies different, for various reasons, than the “existing ideal” (“long limbs, slender, athletic, small head, little to no curves”)

Rennie Harris Puremovement

Hilary Clark (here she is in Tere O’Connor’s “Baby,” full length and excerpts)

Axis Dance Company (here’s a recent work sample). I’m excited about the new dance that Joe Goode will choreograph, “to go again, a dance theater work that brings to light issues facing our nation’s veterans and addresses their resilience following sever life changes.” 

Larry Goldhuber/BIGMANARTS, he danced for for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Suzanne Richard 

Peanut butter brownies. Pre-icing.

Peanut butter brownies. Pre-icing.

"Oh my God. Thank you."

"Oh my God. Thank you."

Sharon Jones does not away around. She will bring people onstage whether security likes it or not.

Sharon Jones does not away around. She will bring people onstage whether security likes it or not.


I got this in an email:

As a married working mom with a young child, when do you find the time to read?

I’m a married SAHM with a 6 month old and almost 3 yr old. Once we put the children to bed it’s mommy/daddy time but I miss reading a good book!

For me, it’s not about how long I read…

First Class, Same Class

I was terrified to take my first dance class in New York City.

They will all be so much better than me! The teacher is going to kick me out! I’m going to feel overwhelmed and cry and probably injure myself!
None of that happened, because dance classes are all the same.
The dance community is so small, and it’s such a specific interest that it attracts the same kind of people, who have all been trained by the same people (or descendants of the same people), and teach a similar class. 
The class was great, I had fun, I found can move quickly but still dance with fullness, and the ending phrase was fun and challenging. 
I did make sure, though, I wore something so I’d fit in (my Professional Dancer Friend said, “baggy and layered and ideally ratty and/or street clothes-y”). HOWEVER, Professional Dancer Friend must have had experience with a different kind of Downtown Modern Dancer, because the preferred look was drop-crotch-harem pants with cinched ankles. As a 5’2” bottom-heavy woman, that’s not the look for me.
Also, women in the tank top with large arm hole cutouts and no bra - you do you, boo boo, but…why? No, I don’t need to know why. HOW is a better question.
"Give yourself credit for being a Nasty Girl. Dave Chappelle and Lorde and Joan Didion and Kanye West and Tori Amos and Jonathan Ames and Elaine Dundy and Adrienne Rich are all nasty girls. John Updike and Cynthia Heimel and Sofia Coppola and David Chase and Stevie Nicks and David Sedaris and Jennifer Egan and Kim Gordon and Iris Owens are nasty girls, too. It’s ok to be bored and annoyed and sick inside. Put it somewhere. Write something freakishly mean and scathing and gloriously self-aware and self-abnegating and grandiose and sad. Create something soaring and melancholy and frustrating. You are full of so many charged, combustible thoughts and feelings. You are full and rich and alive and you deserve to feel what you feel and be who you are. Celebrate the nasty. Lean in, Nasty Girl. Lean the fuck in and be nasty. Not callous. Not withdrawn. Not punishing. Not escaping. Not self-destructing. Engaged and furious and generous and heartbroken and glorious and nasty, nasty, nasty."

How to Be Nice