Thursday, July 30, 2009

More St. Ann's

And now some videos!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

St. Ann's Festival

Here is the church and here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people:-)

The promise of zeppoles (pronounced: zay-po-lee) and a 600 lb statue being paraded through the streets, led Matt and me to Hoboken, NJ on Sunday for the 99th St. Ann's Festival.

After noon mass, St. Ann emerged, carried down the stairs by the men of the church and then carried through the street by the women. A band led the procession. Matt commented that he felt like we were in some tiny Italian town in the 1950s. I agree. The festival was something special to behold.

The King Lives!!

After we followed St. Ann around the block, we had a procession of our own to the Eggplant Parm hero and Italian Sausage stands. Fantastic!

And then came time for zeppole. Silly us, we majorly underestimated how long the line would be and that when people order dozens at a time, it takes a while to make enough of these handmade creations. Nevertheless, we finally got our 6 zeppoles. Warm fried globs of dough covered with powdered sugar, how could you go wrong. Our only mistake was not wearing white shirts because we were basically covered in powdered sugar by the time we finished.

Go to your happy place

Very belatedly, here are some Jolli Lodge pictures. And if you happen to be a Leelanau Enterprise subscriber, check out this week's Diversions Section for a love letter to Leland written by Washington DC's biggest Leland fan (and no, I don't mean Kathleen Sebelius).

Friday, July 17, 2009


It's a summer right of passage in Brooklyn-- the annual New York Philharmonic concert in Prospect Park. As the sun starts to set, couples with picnics (and lots of wine), groups of friends, Park Slope moms with strollers, old and young, hippies and people still in work attire, all gather at the baseball fields in Prospect Park for a free concert and fireworks.

Matt and I went on Wednesday night and brought our beach chairs, blanket, and a lovely picnic of cheese, crackers, fruit, veggies, Scoops and Matt's famous dip. (No wine for us because I'm too scared to break the law, but seriously 90% of people around us had a bottle or two.)

At 8pm, Borough Pres Marty spoke, instruments tuned and a hush came over the audience. Matt surmised that people wouldn't quite down but I was pleasantly surprised that they did. The orchestra treated us to Mozart's Symphony No. 41, Jupiter and Beethoven Symphony No. 7.

We headed out during the encore to make sure we didn't encounter subway madness.

Some people brought citronnella candles, which we thought was very smart, though we were really fine without one.

Definitely something to put on the list again for next year.


Stretched pink Mini Cooper limo with Jacuzzi in the back-- cool thing

8th Avenue between 50th and 42nd-- bad thing

Watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the Ziegfeld theater with an old friend-- good thing

Certain world leader interfering with my plans because he shuts down the whole city (for the 3rd time)-- annoying thing

Times Square at night-- could do without the tourists but how can you not be wowed by this sight:-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Buddy's Pizza

As Maria Van Trapp said, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start..."

I've been in Michigan for the last 9 days and we started the trip with a visit to Buddy's Pizza, my all time favorite pizza place that serves Detroit style deep dish.

Living in NYC, I know NYers are accustomed to claiming pizza superiority and this blog certainly serves as testament to the fact that there is great pizza in the city. But my heart will always belong to Buddys. Alan Richman, in a recent GQ, even gave Buddy's the #15 spot on his list of the country's 25 best pizzas (which only just compensates for leaving Di Fara off the list.)

So what makes Buddy's so great? As my dad likes to say, it all begins with a well seasoned and greased blue steel pan. The dough rises in the pan, before brick cheese and then sauce is added. Different toppings find their way to different layers of the pizza. Brick cheese is also an important part of the whole equation. It is a bit saltier than moz and pairs nicely with the thick and slightly sweet sauce. When the pizza is done, the big question is corner or middle slice. I am a fan of the corner slice because that maximizes the amount of crunchy and buttery crust. Buddy's also gets points for offering green olives as a topping, one of the most underrated and least offered topping around.

I also recommend the antipasto salad. I don't even eat meat, but the little pieces of brick cheese and lettuce with an absolutely delicious oil and vinegar dressing make the whole salad worth ordering. The ability to get salad with your pizza is also a plus compared with many NY pizzerias.

I am also happy to report that is does well on the reheat AND that TSA didn't confiscate the foil wrapped slices when I went through the Metro Detroit Airport. Buddy's in Brooklyn, OH YEAH!

Jolli Lodge photos tomorrow.

what good looking pizza, I mean what good looking people;-)

Friday, July 03, 2009

I head to Michigan today so probably won't be posting for a week. But in the meantime, check out my 2 favorite articles from the last week.

1. A Times article that explains what, where and why Bristol Basin is in New York City. UK connection! Seems that during WWII, when we dropped supplies off to the Brits, we picked up rubble from the bombing of Bristol and used it as ballast to get back across the ocean. The rubble was dumped between 23rd and 34th street in the East River and created the area for park of the FDR drive. Interesting!!

2. Another Times article explains one guy's quest to find unmarked/forgotten spots in history. For instance, did you know that:

"And what about the old Winter Garden Theater at 671 Broadway? In 1864, on the very night that Confederate sympathizers singled out the Lafarge Hotel next door in their plot to burn down New York, the Booth brothers — John Wilkes, Junius Brutus Jr. and Edwin — starred in “Julius Caesar.” The benefit performance, which was billed as the brothers’ sole joint engagement, raised $3,500 for the Shakespeare statue that still stands in Central Park."

The initiative is called Here is Where. Check out the website. The picture on the homepage at the moment is of my beloved Wardman Park Marriott in Woodley Park! There is where...