Thursday, June 28, 2007

Jolli Lodge Here We Come

Tomorrow begin's year #28 of the annual family pilgrimage to Leland, Michigan, specifically the Jolli Lodge. Check out the Jolli Lodge blog for some of the most spectacular sunsets around. Our cottage looks directly onto Lake Michigan. After a year away because of Germany, I cannot wait to wake up to the waves lapping onto the shore and fall asleep to magical sunsets.

(The Lodge has gone hi-tech and now has wireless internet. I'll post some of my own pictures in a few days.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

BH Updates

I've been running (jogging) every other day and am getting a kick out of watching the progress at the Floating Lady pool that is to open in Brooklyn Heights on the 4th of July. In the last 10 days, the beach has been installed. It looks a bit silly because the pool and beach is in a super industrialized area. But I like that the beach creators haven't just dumped the sand; it has actually taken on a neat organic shape. I'm also pleased to see that by 7am each morning, guys are putting the final touches on the pool and barge. I even ran down Joralemon yesterday so I understood where the entrance to the pool will be. Like I said, the area is industrial, but it will work!

In other news, major progress is being made on Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries on Montague. At 7pm on Tuesday, I saw guys with paint rollers working away. The lights were on, tables set down, menus up. Matt (aka the burger guru) emailed the restaurant and was told they plan to open on July 1. Hope the veggie burger doesn't disappoint!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Summer

In Britain, people celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge. In New York City, for the first time, people will celebrate with music, lots and lots of music.

As the Make Music website says, “Make Music New York is based on France's Fete de la Musique, which has been a great success for 25 years. Since it was inaugurated, the festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 300 cities in 108 countries, including Germany, Egypt, Australia, Vietnam, and Congo”

As the Time Out website says, “From Metropolitan Opera singers to high school rock bands, church choirs to underground MCs, Tuvan throat singers to Salsa bands, punk rockers to string quartets, there's something for everyone.”

Apparently this goes on in Berlin every year. I have NO idea how I missed it last year. (Actually a quick check back at the Berlin Adventures blog reveals that June 21, 2006 was World Cup soccer time. The music must have blended in with all the other revelry.)

I will be enjoying the festivities this year. Apparently there a string band will perform ON THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE from 6:30-9 tonight. I am so there!! Full report later…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Restaurant Reviews Return

I’ve been out to lots of great restaurants since last posting a restaurant review. Where to start? The Village? Midtown? Brooklyn Heights? Fort Greene? Boerum Hill? How about my ‘hood first...

Lantern on Montague between Hicks and Henry is just the kind of restaurant that is needed in B Heights. Not outrageously priced, yet it has good ambiance and solid food and service. My veggie spring rolls (especially the sauce) were very tasty! Good Thai iced tea too.

My new fav local spot is Tazza on Henry just north of Atlantic. I actually think it’s a bit pricey for a café/a spot to grab a quick sandwich, but the food is high quality and it gets major points for reminding me of the cafés I came to love in Germany (it even has good Euro-style bread.) Last night I had a brie and apricot panni that was most memorable. Fantastic! Good fresh brewed ice tea and lemonade too. I am highly dismayed that the café had a little (maybe somewhat big) problem with the health department earlier this month. I think it looks clean now and plan to go back again and again!

The Heights review that I can’t yet write is for Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries. At some point I heard it would open on June 2. But a quick peak into the store window reveals much work to be done. They have, however, recently installed a video screen that shows a live image of the front window and dining area. A bit odd yet intriguing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

City Musings

According to a woman at the Broadway Nassau subway stop, Jesus is coming and when he does, there will be no subway. While lack of subway will not be my biggest concern if Jesus comes to earth today, her statement does raise the question: where will the subway go?

Meanwhile, summer temperatures are creeping in to NYC, so I would like to take this opportunity to make some general and summer specific fashion statements:

1. Straphangers need to make sure their white shirts are still white. Pit stains must be considered an absolute no-go in a city where most people commute while grabbing on to poles above their heads. Deoderant has also moved from a personal hygiene product to a product for the public good, please use it!

2. Not every shirt/tube top flatters every body. The general rule of thumb: it is not dinner time, put the rolls away.

3. Men need to use discretion when clipping things to their belts. 1 Blackberry, 1 phone, a pair of sunglasses and heaven forbid a fanny pack is just too much!

Incidentally, I saw a guy on the subway this morning wearing his undershirt and carrying his dress shirt over his shoulder. The shirt was obviously the one he wore last night, so my first thought was booty call. (messy hair, yawning and carrying a bottle of H2O reinforced this belief) But then I felt bad that I was being so judgmental. Perhaps he is a hard working law associate and was just forced to pull an all-nighter. But then I saw him yawn again…and then smile a smile that only says hookup. After hours activities aside, this leads me to one final fashion observation: wear a shirt on the subway. No shirt is unacceptable, but so is only wearing an undershirt.

Ah, the world according to me:-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I scream, you scream...

My favorite story in today’s papers comes from the Daily News: The Staten Island Borough president is upset that the 5 Borough Ice Cream Company has selected “Staten Island Landfill” as the name for his borough’s ice cream.

I will refrain from commenting on the name Staten Island Landfill. I would, however, like to go on record as suggesting, “Brownstone Bumble Berry” as the flavor for Brooklyn Heights. How about flavors for other Brooklyn neighborhoods? Cobble Hill? Ft. Greene? DUMBO? Ooh, I wonder if Elephant Ear ice cream would taste good (the carnival treat not the real thing.) That could be the flavor for DUMBO:-)

Here’s the link to the full article in today’s Daily News.

P.S. I must give Daniel (fellow BHeights resident) credit for suggesting the topic for today’s posting:-)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Are they really that friendly?

While Lena was in town, she was struck by how many times we were asked to give directions and were just talked to on the street (probably 7 or 8 times and she was only in town for 24 hours!) I tried to tell her that this was not normal, but she believed that she was just witnessing friendly New York. No way!

Or maybe New Yorkers really are that friendly…

While walking into the West Village on Saturday, Matt was stopped by two groups of people and asked for directions. He helpfully told 2 Brits how to get to the Meatpacking District. But for the mini van of African American ladies on their way to Dallas BBQ, he went a step further…
Driver: excuse me, can you tell me how to get to BBQs at 10th and University?

Matt: hmm, 10th and University [with a bit of uncertainty in his voice,]you need to go straight like 3 blocks and then turn right for a few blocks.

Driver: okay, and that will take us to Dallas Barbeque?

Matt: OH, Dallas Barbeque, that’s where you’re going? Yes, near 10th and University; that place is great!! Yes, it’s that way [pointing down the street.]
: [leaning with one arm on the window of the van] Now what are you going to order, ribs or pulled pork?

Driver: [passengers now cackling with laughter] I’ve never had pulled pork before, should I try that?

Passenger: girl, I TOLD you pulled pork is good

Matt: Yes, I recommend the pulled pork at Dallas

Driver: Well god bless you; you are so cute; you and your girlfriend look good together

Now who knows if the ladies actually made it to Dallas BBQ, but if they did they arrived with an expert menu recommendation and a good story to tell!

In their own unique way, maybe New Yorkers are Midwest Friendly:-)

Monday, June 04, 2007

More Sacramento Picts

The American Friends of the Humboldt Foundation has a new advertising campaign...I'm honored, but oh my goodness, do you see it?

The LELAND Stanford House. The brown line shows where the original 1st floor and new 1st floor meet. Sacramento is prone to flooding so the house was raised. Stanford actually had to take a row boat out the top floor for his house to attend his inauguration as governor.

Sergej and Johnna at the California history museum.

I took this picture from under the shade of a tree shortly before being told that 12 people are killed a year in Sacramento because of falling trees and branches. I moved soon after.

State House

Deep thoughts at the State House.

Sacramento Picts

View of the Tower Bridge from my hotel room window (guess the hassle at the front desk was worth it for a view like this.)

Loren, Lexy, Seth, Ethan and Kevin at dinner

Matt and Tricia at dinner (They are my NYC neighbors)

The center section of the bridge moves up and down to allow boats to pass through

Johnna teaches our Russian friend Sergej how to make a fajita. Fascinating!

Old Sacramento-- the building are original but they've been restored to look like Sacramento did in the mid 1800's during the gold rush.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

California Dreaming

No, my lack of postings in the last few days doesn't mean I'm dead, it just means I'm in Sacramento, California, forgot the cord that connects my camera to the computer and figured it is hard to describe the trip without pictures.

I'm having a great time in Cali, participating in the orientation for the new German Chancellor Fellows (the fellowship I participated in last year.) I haven't seen 8 of the 9 other fellows from my year since last summer, so we've all enjoyed our mini reunion. Germany seems like it was just yesterday and yet so long ago too. Among the group there are new jobs, new homes, new husbands, new boyfriends, girlfriends, babies...apparently we've been a busy group.

The trip started off a bit rough when I got to the hotel at 12:35am and was told that for some unknown reason they didn't have a room for me, despite actually having a reservation and calling to confirm a late check-in. It was the most Seinfeld experience I've had in ages:

Luckily, after a while, a very nice riverfront suite miraculously appeared and I've been able to stay in that room for my whole stay.

Pictures on Monday when I get back.