Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Contrast

I’ve spent a decent amount of time in the last few months thinking about if and when I would ever want to move back to DC. While that internal debate continues, I was struck by a variety of emotions and observations during a 3-day trip to our Nation’s capital last week.

Observation #1- DC is a small town. The lack of sky scrapers was even more noticeable to me last week that is has been on previous trips.

Observation #2- the clean subway system is invaluable!! There was no trash on the ground, no dark spots marking old chunks of gum, no pealing paint and no graffiti—beautiful!

Observation #3- fashion is very different in DC (or NYC, depending on your perspective.) Women wore conservative suits and I even saw a few headbands in their hair. Missing were the ueber-stylish people and the people who, in trying hard not to be trendy, are in fact quite hip. I paid homage to both cities and wore my DC pants and hip NYC hat (no worries, I was wearing a shirt too:-))

Observation #4- rush hour on the subway in DC is so much less crowded than in NYC. I was also pleased to see how many people were reading the Washington Post, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal…no tabloids in sight.

Big Thought- being in DC leaves me with the feeling that New York is but an interim stop on my way back from Berlin. Perhaps I’ll still be saying that 10 years, one husband and a couple kids from now, but that was a huge feeling that I got while being down there.

What does all that mean? Who the heck knows. It’s all just another element of my New York Adventure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Come on ride the train, and ride it

Despite what people say about the MTA, they did something fun in the month of December. Every Sunday, antique train cars were run on the V line between 2nd Ave and Queens.

What fun, it reminded me of visiting Greenfield Village in Detroit! One of the first things that you notice is how stinky the old trains were. I've been known to complain about other smells in the subway, but the diesel smelling exhaust filling the 2nd Ave train platform was quite strong. Inside the train car, I was most curious to see the old advertisements-- ads for NATO, war bonds and Grape Nuts were among my favorites. I was interested to see that wicker seats were bouncy and a good 20% smaller than today's plastic ones. The other surprise was the ventilation system-- open windows and ceiling fans.

The added bonus was watching the perplexed faces of the tourists at each station who were not expecting train cars from the 1930s-70's to pull up. Only in New York kids:-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Extra, Extra Read All About It

Okay, I'll admit it, today's New York Post has the scoop over the New York Times and Daily News...

Check it out:

"Juice Gotta Be Kidding: Roid Outraged Fan Sues Yankees" by James Fanelli

Guess which Brooklyn resident is suing the Yankees?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Pretty" Mexican in Ft. Greene

My Ft. Greene culinary tour continued a couple of weekends ago at Bonita, a Mexican restaurant on DeKalb between Carlton and Clermont.

The sangria was a good start to the meal, but was not the best I’ve ever had. Guac and chips came next and did not disappoint. The pleasant surprise of the night was my main course—veggie tacos. The lime and cabbage that accompanied a mix of potatoes and other veggies reminded me of the wonderful fish tacos I tried in LA a few years ago. I normally prefer bean and cheese Mexican dishes over sautéed veggies, but this was such a unique and fresh flavor that I’m hooked! As Mexican in the city goes, Bonita is also very reasonable-- $7.50 for 2 tacos.

Better than Pequena in Ft. Greene? Hard to say. I’m still in love with Pequena’s black bean and sweet plantain quesadilla and like the restaurant’s more extensive menu. But Bonita’s veggie tacos be on my mind for a quite a while:-) Matt loved Bonita's chicken tacos so I expect we'll be back to both!

In other news, be sure to check back on Sunday for a super unbelievable story!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bucca Lopa

Fireworks on the Promenade was not the only fun activity of my night on New Years Eve. After deciding that clubs in Manhattan might be a bit too much, Matt and I headed down Henry Street to Bucca Lopa, an Italian tapas restaurant that gets rave reviews. You can add this review to the list.

The restaurant doesn’t accept reservations but we arrived around 8pm and got a table right away. There is no sign in front, but the balloons filling the restaurant and inviting lighting gave clues that this was the place to be.

I started out with a blackberry cosmo with a squirt of lime. Devine! Next up was bruschetta. Mine was with cannellini bean puree and black olive tapenade. Matt had one with Gorgonzola, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Mine was so tasty, I ordered a second! Next up, on the meat side, were baby lamb chops and veal meatballs. Captain Carnivore liked both and I’ll admit that I tried the tomato sauce and bread that came with the meatballs and it was a phenomenal flavor. I got Baked Maccherone Tre Formaggi...Italian mac & cheese. It was so wonderfully rich I took half of it home.

The restaurant was a bit loud, but manageable. I’m sure this would be a cozy and more quiet neighborhood spot on a normal weeknight. I'm sure I'll be back.

Monday, January 07, 2008


New Yorkers had a green alternative when disposing of their Christmas trees--Mulchfest. You could bring your tree to one of 30 locations in the five boroughs and watch as your tree was chipped up into mulch that will be used in the parks or you could take some for your yard.

I wrapped up my little tree and took it by subway to Ft. Greene Park (imagine the look I got from the 4 police officers in my subway car!) Good bye tree. The park smelled great!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happenings on the block

3:30pm Saturday

The quiet in my apartment was broken by the scream of fire engine sirens coming down the street. But the siren didn’t stop, it kept screaming right outside my apartment. One of the idiotic students in the dorm across the street parked his car on the left side of street and far enough from the curb that the fire engine couldn’t get through.

I hope there were other fire engines that took the call because the Tillary St. engine wasn’t going anywhere fast. When the idiot showed up, he was issued a ticket and summons. Who knew that firemen could do that, but I’m glad they can and did!

I’ve also had the realization that I’ve become the old biddy who keeps watch over the street from her window. I’ve called 311 twice to report incidents and now I’m snapping pictures…oh my goodness!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy 2008 from the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights!