Thursday, July 31, 2008

Charles Lane and Mews

When the Yankees tour turned out to be a bust, Matt and I decided to take a walk through the West Village, where Matt has read about a number of hidden courtyards/mews and old stone streets.

Here's a picture of Charles Lane. With modern row houses on one side and new construction and more old houses on the other, it was a charming little street. Apparently the new construction replaces an old prison.

We saw a couple cute courtyards, but as they are private streets, I refrained from taking a photo (sure Matt is appreciative;-))

We did however walk past the Christopher Street Path Station. It reminds me of my 2/3 station in that it blends into the neighborhood so well.

It took a while, but I have really come to love the West Village (well first I had to figure out where exactly it is). Definitely need to spend more time in its plethora of cute cafes and stores!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Aunt Barb and Lexy, Read This

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've lived in Brooklyn for 1.5 years and have never bothered to get a library card... until Saturday.

Desire to read a book I read about in the newspaper convinced me that I needed to take the plunge and make my librarian aunt and friend proud. I marched myself into the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and 5 minutes later had my very own card.

The Rochester Hills Public Library it is not! But the library did have one of the two books I was looking for and a decent collection of movies (though more videos than DVDs.)

I bet the central branch of the library is quite nice. Hopefully it won't take me 1.5 years to make it there.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Big surprise...big bummer

I mentioned a mystery trip for Captain Carnivore at the end of yesterday's post. I thought I had it all planned out. He knew where to meet me and what to bring (information given to him in the form of a poem.) I was going to run early this morning, hop the 4 train to the Bronx to get tickets for a tour of Yankee Stadium and then meet up with him late morning. I appreciate the history of the stadium and he loves everything about it...a fun activity for us both I figured.

The website said an arrival between 9 and 10 am should get you tickets... or ABSOLUTELY NOT, as I unfortunately discovered.

By the time I rounded the stadium near Gate 4, just before 9am, 150 Yankee fans stood ahead of me. And to put that in perspective that is 150 people for 20 tickets for the 12pm tour and 20 tickets for the 1pm tour. Let's call those tours strike 1 and strike 2. Strike 3 was the extra tour added at 2pm for 50 or 65 people (rumors seemed to vary). Even that sold out with about 50 more people in front of me.

While I'm not going to reveal how early the first 20 people were in line (the guy behind me asked someone with tickets already in hand), let's just say it was significantly earlier than 9am!! Who knows why the line was so long today-- perhaps a combination of great weather, last year of the stadium and one of the one remaining Saturdays that the tour includes the clubhouse (only happens when the team is away.)

So I'm bummed we didn't get to go on our mystery trip and super annoyed that the Yankees website isn't even REMOTELY accurate. But I will say this, the other people in line epitomized what I think of when I picture a New York Yankees fan. The accent, the dedication, the blue and white attire, it was all there. I felt like I was in a baseball movie. **Yankees fans, don't read the next sentence.** The people in line TOTALLY reminded me of the Red Sox fans in the Drew Barrymore movie Fever Pitch. One guy actually said he was getting tickets so he could take his 6 month old son, 6 MONTHS OLD, to the stadium so that one day he could tell him that he had been in the House that Ruth built. Um, yeah, okay! Ridiculous, maybe, but it all added to the morning, which I think definitely qualifies as another little chunk of my NY Adventure.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nexus of my universe

Since work finished early today, I decided to make the corner of Prince and Green the nexus of my universe this afternoon.

Why pick such a cool, albeit crowded, tourist-laden intersection?


1. On the southeast corner of the street sits the VanLeeuwen Ice Cream truck, an artisanal ice cream outlet new to the streets of NYC this year. What could be more perfect than an ice cream cone on such a quintessentially summer afternoon? The ice cream man recommended the ginger ice cream over the red currants and cream saying it was a "pretty special flavor." He was right! With the sweetness of a gingerbread cookie, the freshness of the ginger you eat with sushi and a texture that reminded me a bit of pumpkin ice cream, VanLeeuwen's ginger ice cream was a winner. The truck also carries more traditional flavors like strawberry, vanilla, chocolate and coffee. Much more expensive than your average scoop (a whopping $3.95), the company is very environmentally and locavore friendly.

2. I need new IPod headphones and the Apple store is there. Even though I hate the Apple Store because leeches (not customers, they aren't buying) consume the free internet access like gamblers raid Vegas buffets for steak and crab legs, today it was a necessity. My IPod ear phones have died. Now the good news...just as I was about to pay for a new set, the check out guy asked why I was buying them and told me that if I bought the last pair within a year then I could bring in the old ones and get a new pair for free. Groovy!

3. Some guy has created a fun idea machine and put it at that corner. What?! Here's an article about it, but basically, you put 50 cents into a converted toy machine and out pops a fun idea. Unfortunately, the machine wasn't there today (actually just read that it moves around). Perhaps I'll see it when I go back to Apple to get my free headphones:-)

And that, ladies and gents, was my afternoon in SOHO.

Tomorrow...a mystery trip for Captain Carnivore. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Midwest friendly

Yes, another post on Midwest friendliness, specifically my lack thereof.

First, a guy dressed in shorts, white sport shoes, wife beater (white tank top undershirt) and man jewelry was blocking the sidewalk the other day. My very first thought as I mosied toward him..."move it guido." Not, "excuse me," "pardon me" or even "out of my way." No, I wanted to say "move it guido."

And then tonight on the subway, there was an idiot holding the center pole in the subway car with 2 hands. As the train would slow down and speed up, he would pull and push towards and away from the pole like he thought he was holding on to a wind surfer. I tolerated this until about 8th Street when a decided it was time to get some sharp elbows.

All of this has me wondering about my longevity in a city full of guidos and crowded subways.

p.s. This isn't a hint towards any kind of announcement...just a bit of frustration!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Cel-Ray fun

After enjoying lots of Vernors in MI, I was excited to get back to my regional NY beverage of choice, Cel-Ray. I’m pleased to say that it is great in a float and with watermelon ice cubes. (Slight amendment to the recipe-- use a 9x13 pan)

A couple people have also told me that Alton Brown MADE celery soda on a recent episode of “Good Eats” on the Food Network.

Monday, July 14, 2008

General Greene

New York may be a heck of a lot hotter and more stinky than Leland, but I am glad I am back to enjoy the wonderful plethora of restaurants the Big Apple, and Brooklyn especially has to offer.

On Tuesday, Matt and I tried General Greene, a new "American tapas" restaurant in Ft. Greene. I was pleased that we were seated right away, though the restaurant was at least 80% full. The wait staff was super friendly and attentive.

We started with eggplant spread, which we had read good things about and a plate of deviled eggs. Both were awesome! The eggplant spread was well seasoned and perfectly complemented by toasted bread. The deviled eggs had just the right amount of mustard in them (though mom's are better!)

Next came the heirloom tomato salad and butter lettuce salad with pink grapefruit and curried almonds. I could have made a whole meal of just those two dishes. They were wonderfully summery.

Finally, we tried grilled prawns with lemon aoili and a small steak with shallots (well I didn't try the steak:-)) Captain Carnivore really enjoyed the steak. The prawns tasted okay but I couldn't get back the fact that the head was still on it and it wasn't peeled.

Oh, no, that isn't the "finally". Finally, we shared a strawberry rhubarb crisp that was absolutely wonderful and perfect to share. Once again, so summery.

The quality of the food was high so we didn't have a problem with the bill. But General Greene is definitely not an inexpensive tapas restaurant. More of a special occasion place. But a definite go back to!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Up North Beauty and Fun

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Big City News in the Little Town

This title alludes to two tidbits of news…

First, New York may have the Nathan’s hot dog eating competition but I am pleased to say that I was present for the first (and some people say last) Jolli Lodge Hot Dog Eating Competition on the 4th of July. As “Eye of the Tiger” blared from a little boom box (and Katie and I stood off to the side eating veggie burgers), 7 or 8 of Jolli Lodge’s finest stomachs gathered to devour 150 hotdogs. Seemed reasonable considering that the winner of the Nathan’s competition ate 59 in 10 minutes.

But actually, it wasn't reasonable at all! The winner of the Jolli Lodge competition ate 7 in 12 minutes…and the first kid puked after just 3. It was a massive display of YUCK if you ask me!

In other news, Captain Carnivore read today that potential Democratic VP candidate Kathleen Sebelius has a vacation home in Leland. I don’t know how I feel about this. On the up side, it shows a level of taste and judgement that would make her an excellent choice for VP. On the down side, were she to become VP, Leland could become overrun by tourists who see pictures of idyllic Leland splashed across cable news stations when she goes on vacation each summer. On the up side, she might march in the annual 4th of July Parade. On the down side, Secret Service could temporarily shut down the ice cream line at the Harbor House if she was coming for a scoop of Mackinaw Island Fudge or Moose Tracks. Hmmmm….

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

4th of July

I'm back in New York but still have lots to show about vacation. Here are some shots from the 4th of July.

A campaign to save Fishtown has been successful!!

Harry the Cherry Queen joined the Dried Cherry Queen to add some humor to the parade

The parade was longer than normal this year because of all of the political groups who walked. Surprisingly, Dems seemed to outweigh Republicans this year. Here's the "Obama Mamas."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tuesday and Wednesday

We had a wonderful day on Tuesday, shopping in Glen Arbor and then an afternoon on the beach. Very "Up North!" Our favorite stop in Glen Arbor is always Cherry Republic, the shop for everything from dried cherries and cherry salsa to cherry wine and cherry ginger ale. This year's new addition was spicy cherry feta spread. Wonderful!

The beach could not have been more perfect. The water was warm enough that even my mom went in. And the waves were as big as Katie and I remember as little girls. (We've talked a lot this week about whether the "gigantic" waves we remember playing in with Corey and Stephanie in the early 90's have shrunk or whether we have grown;-))

Yesterday, was rainy but that made for a perfect day to shop in Traverse City and visit Uncle Dave's office. Cool on all fronts!

Guess we've been pretty busy because I haven't taken a bunch of photos. That said, here's one we took last night-- trying to touch the sun.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

E-dog at the JL

It was a blast to have Ellie spend a night with us! From swimming to making bamboo skewer books and Ugandan bead necklaces, the fun was pretty much non-stop:-) Here are some highlights...

blogging babes! Check out LETIMES

Making bamboo skewer books with Aunt Martha




And then Erin and Ellie dump

Another wonderful sunset (captured by Ellie)

The girls

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Taylors jumping for joy that they made it to Jolli Lodge

Link over to LETIMES for a video of the fun