Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hello Neighbor

Ah my neighbors, ah the the woman in my building who broke up with her boyfriend from 1-2am a few weeks back. Her yelling "F&*% you" out the window at him while he walked into the subway station was probably the clincher. Then there was the college kid who felt it necessary at 3am to call his parent and scream about how terrible the other kids in the dorm are and make threats against them (2 officers from the 84th precinct finally had something to say about that.)

But in the spirit of friendlier neighborly relations, I would like to highlight Sweater Day, part of "Won't you be my neighbor week" in Pittsburgh. Sweater Day is being held on March 20, in honor of what would have been Mr. Rogers' 80th birthday. People from around the world are being encouraged to wear their favorite sweater and send a picture or video of yourself to the Fred Rodgers organization called Family Communications. My favorite Mr. Rogers sweater was always his red one (he NEVER wore it often enough.)

So I plan to wear a red sweater on March 20 and maybe I'll make nice with my neighbors (and the 3 people who have been mean to me recently on the subway...subject of an upcoming post.)

"Would you be mine, would you be mine, won't you be my neighbor?"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Carpe Ski-em

Seize the opportunity to ski!

I didn't know what the snow would be like in Prospect Park this afternoon, but I decided it was worth the effort to take my skis on the subway to find out.

I wasn't disappointed! Perfect snow, not to dry, not to wet, covered the park. As I skied between snowmen, sledders and frolicking dogs, I couldn't help but smile.

Winter has finally arrived!

Snowy Friday

I grew a snow day and look:-) Fingers crossed that I can leave work early for some XC skiing! Happy Friday!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches

Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches has quickly become one of my favorite (and reasonably priced) restaurants in the city. The original store is on the Lower East Side. Conveniently, the second location is in my ‘hood—on Atlantic Ave between Smith and Hoyt.

There is only one veggie option, so my decision is made simple—a portabello mushroom sandwich, Vietnamese style. As I’ve learned, that means portabello mushroom, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and mayo on a toasted French baguette. You can make it “spicy” by adding jalepeno pepper or order it mild and add your own chili or hoisin sauce (I prefer the later.) Captain Carnivore likes the same sandwich but with chicken:-)

Finish off the meal with a lemonade with lime—tart but not too tart, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the fresh and unique sandwich. I’ve yet to sample the plum drink or Vietnamese coffee, but both are on “the list” to try.

Apparently the co-owner learned the trade from her father, who runs a restaurant in Sunset Park. The most classic version of the sandwich also has pate, ham and ground pork. On other blogs, some people commented that Vietnamese sandwiches in Chinatown are larger and cheaper. Since I doubt the shops in Chinatown are veg friendly, I plan to stick with Nicky's!

A Vietnamese sandwich, sitting in Sarah Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side, with my sweetie. I don’t need an invite to a rope-line club to know I’ve arrived in the city. To me, lunch today couldn’t have been more perfectly New York.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cleanses the soul

For a few brief hours yesterday, snow was falling in New York City at quite a good clip. Rain has taken most of it away this morning, but I can't help but smile when seeing shots like this from Fort Greene Park. The atmosphere is quiet, the sky is bright, fantastic!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

On a cold and rainy Saturday...

Some stayed inside, but Katie, Atiya and I had LOTS of the city to see.

Here's what we were dealing with:
Katie-- had seen Chelsea Market before but loved it; she and I had shopped in SOHO but didn't spend any time in the Village.
Atiya-- had only ever been to Times Square; loves french fries and requested a trip to Pommes Frites french fry shop

I studied the map and my Not for Tourist book and decided on the perfect tour...

We started at Fish's Eddy, Katie and my favorite dish store just north of Union Square. I was told by a store clerk with a major 'tude that I was not to take this picture (oops), but I still love the store. They have collections of NY patterned dishes-- Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn-ese (like a "shuguh" bowl) and Central Park are among my favorites. They also have glass sets containing the faces of "Famous Democrats and Republicans."

Next it was on to Chelsea Market for lunch. Atiya liked the crab bisque from The Lobster Place, Katie chose some Hearty and Hale spinach, artichoke and cheddar soup and I enjoyed a veggie quiche from Buon Italia. As we sat on a bench eatting lunch, we were all amazed by the totally urban 5- and 6-year olds running around. One little girl with curly brown hair was at the market with her dad after having attended gymnastics class. After saying hi to her equally urban little friend, she and her dad sat down for a plate of...wait for it, wait for it...seaweed salad!!

A stroll down the cobbled streets of the Meat Packing District, into the West Village and down Bleecker street was then required to walk off all the good food we just ate. The cold weather didn't see to deter those who wanted a cupcake from the famous Magnolia bakery. The line stretched around the corner! Katie and I first visited Bleecker street in the early 90's when my Uncle Skip wanted to see Bleecker Street Records. Katie was also able to point out the little Italian cafe where we waited for him to finish his shopping AND where we first purchased Orbitz (remember that strange drink?) Ahh, the memories:-)

I tried to take the girls on a stroll past Washington Square Park on our way east, but there is so much construction going on it is hardly worth the walk at the moment. The next bummer was that MUD was only seating brunch customers, not those just ordering coffee/chai, when we arrived at 3pm. What is up with that?

But that snub did provide a great opportunity to go across the street to Max Brenner Chocolate. How cool! I had chai with white chocolate, Katie had a dark hot chocolate with mint and Atiya had a Mexican (spiced) hot chocolate with a shot of espresso. The hot chocolate was served in a hug mug (or urinal as Katie liked to say.) My tea came served in a awesome filter similar to this.

Finally, Pommes Frites didn't disappoint! I'm still a huge fan of the parmesan peppercorn dipping sauce, but the euro mayo mixed with ketchup and onion was also great. Katie liked her sweet chili sauce (a la Australia) and Atiya liked her Rosemary Mayo but thought the Mexican sauce (we think it was ketchup and ground cilantro) wasn't the best. We met up with on of Katie and Atiya's friends from GW and she liked the roasted garlic sauce.

We headed back to Brooklyn completely stuffed but had an awesome day and saw lots of great sights. Wish they'd both move to town soon:-)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Super Tuesday--New York has spoken

While I don’t vote in New York, I was interested to see where political allegiances lie in the 5 boroughs. According to a fascinating story in the NY Times this morning and some interesting maps, it seems that my neighborhood is Obama and McCain territory. Interestingly, Barak The Vote came closest to defeating Hill in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Italian Adventures

We headed back out to Christoforo Columbo Ave recently for other Italian treats. This time we took the D train to 71st for a famous cannoli at Villabate Bakery. They were delicious (even with the filling speckled with fruit.) And at $2/cannoli it was a steal!

With Erica in town last weekend, we also headed back to Di Fara pizza. We took the Q train to Ave J for a square version of Dom's fantastic creations. The pizza didn't disappoint! Here's Dom making OUR pie (and sporting an awesome beenie.)