Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Katherine Grace, born this morning to my cousin Melissa and her husband Willie.

I am now a first cousin, once removed, three times over (got that??)

Happy Friday

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Definition of heaven and hell

The church lady was at the Fulton Street subway stop again today. With her left hand pointing towards the subway to my apartment and her right hand pointing towards the subway to midtown she asked "are you going to heaven or hell."


Monday, August 24, 2009

This and That

After almost three years of living in BH, I am happy to report that I finally figured out how to get out of the Court Street M and R subway stop at the corner of Montague and Clinton. Yes, it really took me this long. It was all about the elevator! The subway is like playing Super Mario Brothers-- I found the Court Street warp zone:-)

Second, it was fun to read in the Daily News this morning that Michael Jackson filmed his Bad video in the Hoyt-Schemerhorn subway station.

And finally, a New York Adventure that I WILL NOT repeat WILL NOT be participating in. Only in New York!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Far out man, I was there! Really:-)

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with Matt's family in the Catskill Mountains, near Hunter ski resort. After a delightfully relaxing Friday, Matt's mom suggested we go to Woodstock on Saturday because there was a good tea shop. I was sold!

It probably doesn't come as a great shock that I had NO IDEA that it was the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock. What a fun surprise. While I am sure there are still a healthy amount of hippies tooling around town on an average weekend, last weekend the town was packed.

Musicians played folk songs on their guitars every couple hundred yards. Peace signs abounded. Tie dye was everywhere. It was wonderful.

Indeed the tea shop was great too. It was a Harney and Sons shop where I could get my favorite green tea with citrus. I also bought an ice wine tea. Haven't tried it yet, but it is one of my favorite kinds of wine.

Here's a question for debate. In telling someone about my trip on Monday, the person said his toddler daughter had recently received some clothes from a friend, among which was a shirt with a peace sign on it. He didn't want her to wear it out of the house because people might think her parents were making a political statement. I suggested the symbol has lost most of its original meaning and who doesn't like peace?! Your thoughts? Would you let your tots toddle with peace signs?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tomato Photo

urban gardening-- TADA!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Urban Gardening

Some people sneak around having affairs or doing drugs. I too have been sneaking around for the last month. And what nefarious and covert activity have I been engaged in? Growing a tomato plant on my roof:-o

I got the idea in my head that I wanted home grown tomatoes. But my flower boxes are full and the front of the building doesn't get nearly enough sunlight anyway. So I decided to sneak a plant up onto the very sunny roof.

There are no alarms to go off if you open the door to the roof, just a sign that says "keep off of the roof." I also have to contend with a few flights of creaky stairs that could give away my location to a nosy neighbor. I have decided to take the sign more as a general suggestion rather than an explicit order. And I skip stairs to minimize squeaking and even use the squeaking to my advantage to listen for neighbors before I head out to do my watering. But the nosy neighbor busted me! He popped out of his apartment, initially happy to see me, but quickly gave a disapproving glance and "ohhh" when I told him what I was doing. I don't know why he is so upset. It was his partner who first showed me the roof when I moved in. I can only surmise that he's concerned I won't lock the door properly and figures that if the boogie man ever got in he'd hit his apartment rather than descend a couple flights of stairs to mine.

Feeling guilty, I moved the plant out to the garden, hoping that it would get enough sunlight. But I am not sure it does, plus the garden smells like cat sometimes and I didn't want the tomatoes to get peed on. AND the garden is a fancy garden and I am not sure certain people (one in particular who determines how much rent I pay each year) would appreciate the aesthetic of my jury-rigged tomato cage and plastic pot.

So back to the roof Mr. Tomato went. Neighbors be damned! I want tomatoes, I'm not hurting anyone, and if I get busted by the super I plan to flash my nicest midwest smile... and then maybe offer a tomato or two:-)...

I've had 3 tomatoes so far and they are DELIC! Pictures to come.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Swinging like you've never swung before

I've mentioned Governor's Island before, but let me give it its latest shout out.

We were having another spectacular weather day on Friday so I met Matt on the island to go for a stroll.

As we walked towards Picnic Point on the Southern side of the island, I saw them...THE SWINGS.

Porch swings and playground swings, definitely big enough for adults and enough for everyone to enjoy.

So as the breeze blew, the sun shined and the Statue of Liberty waved at us, Matt and I got to swing. How cool! I am slightly dismayed to admit that I now get motion sick if I pump too high but it was fun nonetheless.

On this particular afternoon, the cool factor was elevated when a group of 4 Asian men in business suits rode up on a bicycle built for four, spotted the swings and all ran over to enjoy.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Summer Streets

Today is the first Summer Streets Saturday in the city. Starting at City Hall Park, Lafayette Street and then Park Avenue is closed to cars all the way up to 72nd Street. 6.9 miles of streets for strollers, walkers, joggers (that was me) and bikers to enjoy.

I started at the park and intended to run to Astor Place for a chai latte. But both because the MUD truck was not yet there and because I was having so much fun, I ran to Grand Central Station. And as if it was meant to be, I took the subway back to Astor Place and the MUD truck was then in position.

Three cheers for Mayor Mike, Summer Streets is a good thing! How about Fall Streets??

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Riverside Park

Most unusually for me, the most fabulous part of my Katie weekend was not food related.

After a lunch stop at Dinosaur BBQ (okay slightly food related), we walked over to the Hudson River at 125th street to discover The Water Pod, "a floating, sculptural, eco-habitat housing artists for the summer. It is navigating New York's waterways, visiting all 5 boroughs."

Attention Brooklyn Heights neighbors, the barge arrived at Brooklyn Bridge Park this week and is open to the public starting this weekend.

Our adventure continued down Riverside Park to about 90th street. The park is very narrow up that far north but the views of the Hudson really are lovely.

As we cut back in towards the subway, we walked up a set of stairs and encountered a group of people who we thought were making fun of the people on a platform at the top of the stairs. Kind of. We had come upon a theater company practicing A Midsummer Night's Dream on the terrace of The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at 89th street. Fairies hopped around, down the stairs and over the half-wall as Theseus and the others performed. We watched from the stairs of the monument with others passersby.

Katie later researched that the group was The Hudson Warehouse and they will be putting on a free performance this Sunday at the Monument.

It was all so uniquely New York. Or at least uniquely New York that we might come upon all of these fun and free activities on a random afternoon in the city.

Fun visit Kater! Come again soon!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The rest of the food tour

Katie and my food tour continued on Friday night at Artisanal, a brasserie on Park Avenue. The mission was fondue and man did we find some good stuff. We chose the grande artisanal blend with bread, apples and veggies.

The atmosphere was lively and we thought it was funny when the waiters and manager had to take a fondue stand out an emergency door and quickly out of sight of diners when it caught on fire. It was less funny when our fondue flame went out and when we were finally able to get someone to re-light it, it too soon got MUCH too big of a flame. That would be my main criticism of the restaurant, inattentive albeit friendly service.

If I ever go back, I'd love to dine in the Cheese Cave! Yes, they really have a cheese cave/room.

Saturday's food highlight was Carrot Top Pasteries on Broadway at 164th street. Katie knew about it because of her internship at the Track of Field Hall of Fame. The museum was closed when we tried to visit but the carrot cake made up it.

Did we do anything other than eat? Yes, our Saturday adventure was awesome. Story tomorrow.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Katie came for a visit this weekend and we wasted no time having fun in the city. Not 15 minutes off the NY 2 DC bus, we were in the West Village at Taim, where Bobby Flay recently did a falafel Throw Down. Even at 2pm, the line was out the door.

Her green falafel sandwich was delicious as was the lemonade with ginger and mint. We also understand that the french fries with saffron dipping sauce are to die for!

Equally cool, the people watching is amazing. As I waited for Katie outside on a bench for Katie, a well-fed man in a stripped shirt, dark blue pants and braces showed up in his chauffeur driven BMW to place his order. Meanwhile, an arty looking guy in thick, black rimmed glasses, red shirt and black jeans approached. Walking Leopold, his friendly dog that looked like a golden retriever dachshund mix (not sure how that happens), he was carrying a caterpillar on a leaf and wanted to show it to everyone he passed. In his caterpillar excitement, we were a bit concerned he wasn't paying enough attention to Leopold who looked like he wanted to use Katie's backpack as a fire hydrant. Luckily a little head scratch (Leopold's not the guy's) averted disaster. Other assorted people with colored Ray Ban looking sunglasses, colorful pleated high-waisted pants, and skinny jeans as well as a guy who sounded like he was giving a West Village tour meant to impress his lady friend were also great to observe.

We didn't take pictures but check out NY Magazines slide show in the link above.

Fondue review tomorrow (preview: the table almost caught on fire!)