Sunday, May 31, 2009

Governor's Island

Fun weekend-- the weather has been awesome and Governor's Island opened for the season. I know I've written about it before, but I love Governor's Island! Located in New York Harbor, it has been used by the Brits, used by NY to defend against the Brits, used as US Coast Guard and has now been turned into a park for all to enjoy.

The historic north side of the island has been open for the last few years. But this year the south side of the island (which was created by the dirt taken away when the 4-5-6 subway line was created) is open. People can now bike all the way around the island (2.2 miles, and yes, fun runs are also planned). The south side is also being used for unique events such polo, which was held there yesterday.

I've never seen polo before and was amazed that people can ride a horse, while swinging a mallet to hit a ball the size of a grapefruit. Incident waiting to happen if you ask me, but luckily, in this match, nobody got hurt:-) It was also cool that a woman was on one of the teams.

No pictures, but lots of fun memories. I will definitely be back to explore more of the island!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

R Hirt Jr. wishes you a Happy Memorial Day!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Visions of tacos, tamales, pupusas, huaraches and fresh fruit juices have been dancing in my head for the last few months, so I was thrilled to head down to the Red Hook Ball Fields on Saturday night for dinner.

From May until October, vendors line Bay and Clinton Streets in Red Hook, serving Latin American food to those playing soccer and to the hoards of other people who bike, bus and drive to Red Hook for authentic and reasonably priced specialties.

I enjoyed a bean and cheese papusa with some kind of pickled cabbage plus an order of fried plantains. It was all very good!

Matt says: 'I had what I had the first time, a beef Huarache (originating in Mexico City in the 30's) off of the Martinez taco truck. It consists of a grilled flat tortilla loaded up with beef (or chicken or pork), onions, lettuce, tomatoes, a green guac type sauce, and spices. Oh, the spices! It can be tough to eat, though I found a method to kind of fold up one end and eat it like a taco. It is just so flavorful, and for $6 a great deal. Something this size in Manhattan would be twice as much and probably half as authentic. I complemented it with the freshest limeade I have ever had off of another truck that had about 10 different fresh juices. El gato negro gordo being walked on a leash completed the scene."

Ceviche from yet another truck is still on our list to try but as there was only one cup of it left and as it was the end of the day we didn't think we wanted to risk it with raw fish.

This was my second visit in as many years. Captain Carnivore and my one word of your papusas first and then head over to the huarache truck. It seems that papusas take a while to make.

I had a Vietnamese sandwich for lunch and a Salvadoran specialty for dinner... oh to live in Brooklyn:-)

Related, Matt says: "I have always wanted to try the Classic at Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwich Shop and finally had the courage to throw caution to the wind this time. A Classic has Vietnamese ham, roasted ground pork, pate, and the requisite pickled shredded carrots and cucumbers. It was very good, on par with the chicken, with the pork being the dominant flavor. Definately up for another one. We have probably been to Nicky's together more than any other place.'

Hopscotch Pictures

Thanks to Jane for providing photos of the creation of the hopscotch display/installation across the Brooklyn Bridge. I love these picts, they are artistic in and of themselves.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Ever thought of hopscotching across the Brooklyn Bridge? Me neither ...until yesterday morning. I decided to walk part of the way to work and thought it was kind of fun and urban when I saw a hopscotch course on the was eastern side of the Brooklyn Bridge. I was slightly disturbed by the giant smiley face with a bullet in its head in the bikers lane but figured that someone must have had some fun after the kids were done making "sidewalk art."

But as I kept walking, I saw another hopscotch course, and then another and then another... Some courses had numbers, another was shaped like the Empire State Building, another had Monopoly references. The numbers on one course were square roots, another course contained the Fibonacci Sequence. Hopscotch courses lined THE ENTIRE length of the bridge.

I was astonished! From what I could deduce, Niki, Jenna and a few of their friends (who all wrote their names in chalk on one of the signs) started in Manhattan and walked to Brooklyn because all of the numbers were readable from that direction. The bullet smiley face and a big "Have a Nice Tuesday" message in the bike lane was readable from the other direction.

Of course I did not have my camera with me (when will I learn!?). None of my fellow commuters seemed as astonished as I was but that's okay, it made for a cool start to the day. (As an added bonus of the day, Freiburg was on the front of the NYT!!)

Wikipedia says hop scotch is called "Potsy" in NYC. Can anyone confirm? New Yorkers just have to be different, don't they?! ;-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Scream, You Scream...

We all scream for ice cream...Argentinian ice cream or YogoMonster frozen yogurt to be exact.

Last week turned out to be an unexpectedly dessert heavy week for me. On Monday, Drew introduced me to YogoMonster in Park Slope. Springing from the Pink Berry phenomenon, YogoMonster offers non-fat frozen yogurt in tart/original yogurt flavor and a few others. Tart yogurt might sound gross but it is actually quite refreshing and pretty sweet as well. Add some strawberries and graham cracker crumbs and you have a delicious dessert!

On Friday, Matt introduced me to Cones, an Argentine hand made ice cream store on Bleecker street. I had grapefruit sorbet and he had mint chocolate chip gelato. Both were incredibly smooth. The grapefruit was such a pure flavor.

Neither YogoMonster or Cones is cheap-- $4-$5 for a small. But well worth it for a special treat:-)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Spring attire

Rainy spring means two trends are finding their way from the back of the closet-- rain boots and trench coats. The rain boots are amazing; everyone seems to have a pair! Mine are Kermit the Frog Green. I was apprehensive to wear mine for a business meeting a few weeks back only to discover that every other woman was wearing a pair. Okay, mine are green and everyone else's were New York black, but still, Wellies are a must in a city where the subways flood as soon as the first drop of rain falls.

The trench trend is also interesting. 1. because I want one but can't find anything I like other than the classic Burberry trench, which is certainly not in the budget. Where can I get a reasonable stylish, khaki colored, water resistant trench??? Is that too much to ask? 2. why don't women know that you have to let the cross stitch out of the back vent. I am seen a few poor women whose butt looks like it is splitting the jacket. Snip, snip ladies, the vent is meant to flap.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Anselmo's Pizza

The pizza tour continues. Captain Carnivore and I headed to Red Hook last week to try Anselmo's, the latest coal fired oven pizza shop in the area. Coal fired is special because that's how pizza was baked back in the day. But you can't build news ovens in NYC because they are not eco friendly. Luckily for Anselmo's, while they were renovating the building to turn it into a bakery, they found a coal fired oven!

Now to the important bit, the pizza. We ordered a regular pizza and paid extra for Grana Padano (to make it more like a DiFara pizza:-)) DiFara has not been dethroned. But the pizza was very good! Great cheese and sauce, the right amount of charring on the crust, the availability of grana padano is a major plus. I was also tempted to order their pizza of the day with smoked mozz, artichokes and roasted red peppers. Also on the plus side, there was no wait and the restaurant was very clean and had a cool atmosphere. I think my only complaint was with the basil. It seemed to be added more as a small garnish rather than intended to flavor the pizza.

Can't wait to go back. If only they would consider delivering into the Heights, hint hint!!