Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I'm going to check out the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village this evening. Full post tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bye Joe, Hi Joe

This summer, I wrote about my experience going to the Tigers-Yankees game. What I didn’t mention a couple weeks ago is that more than 50% of the city let out a collective cry over the Yankees failure to make it into the World Series (some are still mourning.) My thought was “heh, they had a decent season, made it into the play-offs and might have made it to the big dance had it not been for some Canadian soldier bugs who infested Game 2 in Cleveland. There’s always next season.” But true Yankees fans wanted it all. Just like everything else in the city, passion for baseball is intense!

Most also wanted to see a 13th season with Joe Torre as manager. A second choice seemed to be Don Mattingly. But neither was to be and a guy named Joe Girardi has been offered the position. While the NY papers weren’t happy about Torre’s departure, they seemed indifferent about Girardi this morning. They seemed more excited by yesterday’s other baseball news that A-Rod won’t be returning to the team next year.

Some Yankees fans are furious at the GM, Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner bros, Hal and Hank (perhaps another post is required to discuss why someone would name their boys Hal and Hank).

One fan I know is threatening a boycott to protest the

Others wonder if Girardi might be a

We’ll just have to wait and see. Spring training is just a few months away.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Noodle Pudding

Where on earth have I been for the last week? Well, I’ve spent the last two weekends in Newtown and work has been super busy, hence the radio silence. I'll do better this week:-)

Anyway, as promised, a review of Noodle Pudding:

Overall, the restaurant lives up the reputation…one of the best restaurants in Brooklyn Heights, one of the best Italian places in Brooklyn and tasty enough for Manhattanites to come across the river for dinner. They don’t take reservations or credit cards, so arrive early and bring cash. We were there around 6:45pm on a Wednesday and didn’t have any problem getting a table for four though the restaurant was more than ½ full when we got there.

Grandpa thought the lasagna was good and Matt recommends the carpacio and osso buco. Granny and I had Strozza Preti Alla Siciliana—rigatoni noodles with an eggplant and tomato sauce with sharp parm shredded on top. I expected the eggplant would be chunked, but it came mostly integrated into the sauce. The dish was a fantastic variation on eggplant parm!

I was fascinated by the crowd…everything from people out for a special dinner to local families and singles out for a solid plate of pasta. Pictures of Italy cover the walls and a giant wooden framed bar mirror in the back of the restaurant makes the dining room seem much larger than it actually is.

My two beefs were that it’s a bit noisy and our meals took a while to arrive (but that may have had to do with the osso buco.) But bring some great people with you and the wait won’t matter:-) Erin’s verdict: a definite go-back-to!

Following up on our Today Show adventure, check the old post for some new pictures. Thanks G&G!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

G&G in NYC

Today is a most auspicious day—Grandpa Lee’s 81st birthday!! We decided that this called for a visit to the Today Show…with a big birthday sign of course. We arrived on the Plaza by about 7:40 and I was told I needed to unroll my sign to prove that I wasn’t going to display anything inappropriate. I told the guard the sign was “very controversial” and then proceeded to display the “Happy 81 Grandpa Lee” message. He asked where Grandpa Lee was and when I pointed over my shoulder, he gave Grandpa a big handshake and congratulations.

We found a spot on the railing-- good though not prime, but being on the railing is important we thought. We got to watch Santa get into a glider that was going to be shown as part of a Niemen Marcus Christmas gift segment (OMG the shopping season is upon us.) Santa was nervous he would hit us with the wing of the glider but I wasn’t concerned…if I got hit, I felt confident I’d get on tv:-) As we watched all the goings on, one of the crew members and other spectators wished Grandpa happy birthday too!

Matt and Meredith came outside at 8am. Matt didn’t come to our side of the railing but when Meredith got close I yelled, “Meredith, today’s my grandpa’s 81st birthday.” She gave a big smile and came over and gave him a big hug and kiss. (Granny’s editorial comment: “she’s got more lines on her face than you can see on tv.”) How exciting!! Meredith ran over to Matt with 5 seconds to go until the show went live again. As Matt spoke, Katie called to say that she could see us over his shoulder! A few minutes later, Matt was at the other side of the Plaza so Ann Curry came out and starting working with crowd. She seemed so nice and spent quite a bit of time with a number of the spectators. When I (again) yelled “today’s my Grandpa’s 81st birthday” she came over and gave him a big hug and kiss. She told him that NYC was quite a party town and a great place to spend his birthday! (Granny's editorial comment: "I love Ann now, not Katie Couric.")

We were amazed that by 9am the crowd really started to thin out. When the crew started taking the glider a part, one guy told Grandpa to watch his head so he makes it to 82. Some people moved to the other end of the Plaza to see Cosmo’s 50 hottest bachelors (a group who I originally thought was a choir because of the riser they were on—good lookin’ choir!)

G&G and I headed for breakfast at Dean and Deluca’s, which is also on the Plaza. Our birthday fun continued when Granny put the birthday sign in the window. Many of the passers-by stopped, mouthed “who’s 81?” When Granny and I pointed to Grandpa, everyone gave him thumbs up, blew kisses or clapped and said “happy birthday.” One guy even came into the store and wished him well. He said he hopes he looks as good as Grandpa at 81.

The fun actually started last night with a walk around my 'hood and dinner at Noodle Pudding with Matt. Look for a Noodle Pudding review tomorrow:-)

(I forgot my camera, but I'll get a few picts from Granny)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wedding in Annapolis

Time: Early evening on a perfectly crisp fall day in October
Location: A Chesapeak Bay inlet on Kent Island near Annapolis, complete with boats sailing in the distance and migrating birds overhead.
Event: The wedding of Suzanne and Chris (Matt's good friend from college)

The happy couple

We clean up pretty well:-)

Put a bunch of Univ of Alambama and Auburn fans in a room on a Saturday in the fall and the big question is who's winning the SEC football games. Thank goodness for text message updates! I tried to explain to a couple of people that Big 10 football is where it's at but I was not in the right company for that kind of conversation!

To see the couple off on their honeymoon, all the guests lit giant sparklers and illuminated the path to their awaiting towncar

Downtown Annapolis was packed with people today because of the annual boat show, but we enjoyed a stroll around town before heading north again

State House in Annapolis

Friday, October 12, 2007


Matt believes the city's (world's??) best coffee is sold at MUD, a small coffee shop located on 9th Street between 1st and 2nd in the East Village. Not being a huge coffee drinker myself, I'll take his word for it. But I would like to bestow another honor on the mom and pop coffee shop-- city's best chai tea latte. It is heaven in a cup! Not too spicy, it's frothy sweet goodness-definitely better than Starbucks.

The food and atmosphere are also great.

I realized that it is one of only 3 or 4 restaurants we've been to more than once in the last 7 months. That says a lot:-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

PB & Js

Don't feel like a Dosa from the Dosa Man? Head down the street to Peanut Butter & Co, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich restaurant located on Sullivan at Bleecker in the Village.

Upon walking into the restaurant, you are transported back to a 1960's kitchen. I had a classic PB&J with strawberry jam. Matt had the Elvis-- grilled peanut butter sandwich, stuffed with bananas and honey. Both came with the perfect bag of plain potato chips and 2 carrot sticks. (None of that kettle chip nonsense...just quality regular chips!) Had we ordered milk, it would have come with a twisty straw. Our homemade cherry coke was great nonetheless. Baloney and chicken salad sandwiches are also on the menu. It is a bit pricey for a PB&J, but not out of line with what you pay for a grilled cheese or mac & cheese at those respective theme restaurants. I will say that the peanut butter was super good! I will likely be back to buy a jar!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cheryl in Central Park

Cheryl came for a quick but fun visit over the weekend. Our destination on Sunday was Central Park. We ended up on the Sheep's Meadow and watched the fun mix of people who had selected the park as their afternoon spot. Truth be told, I am easily overwhelmed by Central Park on the weekend because there are SO many people. But lots of people meant lots of people-watching opportunities!

picnic for one

this guy was singing his heart out...and quite good

me and Cheryl

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Old Customs House

The second stop on my Open House New York weekend was the Alexander Hamilton US Customs House. Located at the Bowling Green subway stop, the building is one of the country’s best examples of the Beaux Arts style of architecture. From the turn of the century until the early 70’s the building was used as the customs house. It was vacated in 1973 when the customs service was moved to the World Trade Center. The building was saved from demolition in the late 70’s and is now home to the NY branch of the American Indian museum and federal court space.

We couldn’t walk around that much, but we were able to see the main room that used to be used as the customs office. The murals on the ceiling, a mix of steamship pictures and paintings of sculptures in the tromp l’eoile style, were stunning. Apparently they are in extremely fragile condition, but some restoration has been done to them.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Governors Island

Matt and I took advantage of Open House New York this weekend and set off on Saturday morning to see Governor’s Island. Located ½ mile from the southern tip of Manhattan, it takes just 7 minutes to reach the island that served as an Army and then Coast Guard installation from 1783-1996. The island’s name stems from British colonial times when the colonial assembly reserved the island for the exclusive use of New York's royal governors.

I was struck by the fun mix of buildings. On the one hand you could see the Castle Williams, which was used as a defensive position for the harbor and a prison for Confederate soldiers, among other things. (See the giant cannon on the top of the building.) Fort Jay, complete with a moat and underground magazine anchored the center of the island.

On the other hand, you could also walk around a modern ghost town complete with churches, schools, a library, hospital, bus stops and officers’ houses. Here's the Admiral's House. (Doesn't everyone want cannons in their front yard?!) Interestingly enough the admiral's house was used for a meeting between Reagan and Gorbie in the late 80's.

A highlight for both Matt and I was seeing the remnants of the 9-hole golf course that used exist on the island.

For my part, I wish I could buy one of the houses and renovate it. Many of them have seen better days, but the wooden floors, fireplaces, moldings, and giant sliding doors between the living and dining rooms were gorgeous!

This buoy was an island landmark and a centerpiece for many family Christmas cards during the Coast Guard years when the island was the largest Coast Guard base in the world.

The island is open from Memorial Day-Labor Day and there are free concerts throughout the summer. I can’t wait to go back.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Do you know the Dosa Man who works on Sullivan St.

Oh Yes, I know the Dosa Man, I met him yesterday!

After reading in the paper that the Vendy (street vendor) competition was held over the weekend and the Dosa Man won, I knew I needed to go visit.

Located on the South Side of Washington Square Park at Sullivan Street, the cart is easy to spot because of the long line of people extending from it.

It took about 15 minutes to make it through the line at lunch time, but the time went fast because of all the people watching I was able to do. There was the lady with pink, white and black hair waiting for her dosa and the woman wearing a skate boarding helmet chatting with the Dosa Man and munching on a samosa. Then there was the couple who arrived on line and announced "We came all the way from Forth Worth Texas for this."

I had a dosa filled with potatoes and other veggies, which is served with coconut chutney. I also ordered a samosa (indian dumpling). Both were fantastic-- at least at good as any restaurant in the city!