I’ve never done one of WordPress’s Daily Prompts before, but when I saw today’s topic (“Photographers, show us JUMP”), I knew I had to participate.
The weekly roundup of super good stuff from the internet:
- The reunion of Ham and Squints from The Sandlot. One, they look exactly the same. Two, The Sandlot is one of the defining movies of my childhood and this is amazing.
- Things like this reaffirm why I love the internet: Hipsters Who Dress Like Jackie from Roseanne.
- Hillary Clinton is now on Twitter and has the best twitter bio ever: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…”
- And then Hillary reaffirmed that she is the queen of social media (slash the world) with this selfie. Seriously, when did she become so cool?
- 29 Things the UK Does That the US Needs to Start Doing. Agree, agree, agree.
- Back in the day, I loved American Dreams (did anyone else watch this show?!), and was bummed that it was abruptly cancelled and didn’t have much closure. Here’s an alternate ending to the show that’s pretty satisfying.
- Game of Thrones Season 3 as Infographics. Brilliant.
- 25 Things You Wish You Could Ask Someone on a First Date. For whatever reason, #13 and #14 strike me as crucial.
- I don’t want to brag, but I got 17 out of 17 (naturally): How Well Do You Know Mean Girls?
- This is about a decidedly not awesome topic, but it’s an interesting read: At the Movies, the Women Are Gone.
(Image via Patrick Stewart’s Twitter feed)
Whenever I go to Brooklyn and do something cool, I always think of a scene from Sex and the City (bear with me here). Carrie visits Miranda at her new house in Brooklyn, and Steve comes home with pastries from a local bakery for the two of them, and Carrie says, “What a delightful borough!” And that’s the line I think of, whenever I stumble upon something awesome in Brooklyn.
And Smorgasburg? Well that’s definitely something more than a little awesome in Brooklyn. Smorgasburg is essentially a weekly food festival. On Saturdays, it’s held in Williamsburg; on Sundays, you can find it in DUMBO. I visited Smorgasburg on a Saturday, so it was off to Williamsburg I scooted.
I arrived relatively early in the day (not much after 11am), so Smorgasburg wasn’t very crowded yet. I recommend this, as it gave me plenty of time to make a few loops around the stands and scope out what I wanted to try without having to wade through crowds of hungry people. I sampled from several booths and found some really delicious stuff, including…
Maple bacon from Landhaus:
Full disclosure, I don’t even like bacon much (I know that’s weird), but I was intrigued by the delicious-looking hunks of meat at Landhaus, which were thick and juicy and maple-y – quite a far cry from your standard breakfast bacon.
Next up, a slice of margherita pizza from Pizza Moto:
As you can see, Pizza Moto is very generous with their slice sizes. This was oh so yummy (and quite messy).
And next, I visited Lumpia Cafe, whose advertisement for its “Filipino inspired spring rolls” intrigued me.
I ordered the sampler, under the impression that you got three rolls – one of each combination. Nope, you get three of each of the three kinds of rolls (original pork, Peking duck, and truffled adobo mushroom). On a related note, I can also confirm that these make good leftovers…
I thought those items were it for me, but as I was leaving Smorgasburg (and melting in the heat – it was scorching that day), I couldn’t resist trying the shaved ice at People’s Pops.
They have a gigantic block of ice and they shave it right in front of you. Pretty cool:
I ordered the lemon mint and came to the conclusion that shaved ice is pretty much the perfect dessert on an uber-hot day: it’s light and refreshing, but not overly sweet. It’s not, however, very photogenic:
And with shaved ice in hand, I headed back through the streets of Williamsburg and hopped on the L train bound for Manhattan. I know, however, that I will return to Smorgasburg again one day soon – and, in fact, I already know which booths I want to hit next time. Smorgasburg, I love you.
I made myself a strict budget for this summer, and I have done a good job sticking to it so far – a fact I’m pretty proud of, given how expensive New York is. My budget means that shopping for non-essential items is strictly forbidden, which is a real shame as there’s plenty of awesome shopping to be had in NYC. But even though I can’t buy, I still have been browsing shops around the city (a girl can dream, right?), and I’ve found several great spots. Several of these stores are so visually inspiring that I couldn’t help but snap a few photos. And with that, here are a few of the shops that have caught my eye recently.
First up, Marimekko. My best friend and I have an ongoing joke: she always wears neutral clothing and jewelry, and she mocks me for favoring bright colors and prints in my dressing. So, naturally, Marimekko, with its bold, graphic designs is right up my alley. I love everything in the store, but if I had to choose a favorite, I would pick the pillows – one day (far from now, probably), a few of these babies will be on my couch:
Next up, Fishs Eddy, a store that sells a variety of dinnerware and glassware. Fishs Eddy is packed, top to bottom, with beautiful goods. There’s so much to take in and, much like my beloved Marimekko pillows, I hope that one day some of this dinnerware will be mine.
Even though I’ve stumbled upon some really inspiring places, I know that I’ve only scratched the surface (and barely even that) of all the wonderful shopping options in NYC. What are your favorite spots?
The Details: Marimekko | 200 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010 |
Fishs Eddy | 889 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 | 212.420.9020
If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know I have a fondness for French macarons (see exhibit A, exhibit B, and exhibit C). So naturally, when I discovered there was a bakery a few blocks from my office selling macarons, I was there.
A few Fridays ago, after leaving a fun happy hour at Cock & Bull, I walked to Bouchon Bakery in search of some treats. Bouchon is located right across from Rockefeller Center, making it an area I wouldn’t normally go without a very good reason due to the abundance of crowds. Macarons, of course, are one such very good reason.
Bouchon sells a variety of baked goods, not just macarons, so its macaron selection isn’t as varied as, say, Laduree. But there are a few very tasty flavors; I was particularly impressed by the caramel and pistachio.
Macarons in hand, I walked to my subway stop, pausing to get a shot of this building, which I thought looked particularly beautiful in the near-twilight hour:
And then pausing again when I stumbled on this, the fabled Manhattanhenge:
And at moments like that, you remember what a lovely city this is, tourist hordes at Rockefeller Center and all.
The macarons help too.
The Details: Bouchon Bakery | One Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020 | 212.782.3890
My first few weeks in the city have been pretty busy, so I had intended for this weekend to be nice and relaxing to compensate for all of that. On my agenda, I had no sites to see, no restaurants to try, and no places to go. Of course, nothing ever works out as planned, so instead of doing nothing, I ended up doing a bunch of stuff. And like any good blogger, I had my iPhone in hand and am now here to report on it.
The weekend started out inauspiciously, with monsoon-level rains hitting the city on Friday evening (this is only a slight exaggeration; I got absolutely drenched on my way home from work, and my umbrella barely survived the super high winds unscathed). On Saturday, thankfully, the sunshine was out again. And, much like Madison Square Eats a few weekends ago, there was a festival in my neighborhood – the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really love barbecue, but since it was happening so close by, I figured I had to give it a try. The event draws barbecue restaurants from around the country, who come to NYC and set up stands all over Madison Square Park and the adjacent streets. It’s $9 per plate, and most stands seemed to serve pulled pork, ribs, or sausage. The event was jam-packed, so I ended up choosing the stand with the least outrageous (though still long) line and wound up with this tasty pulled pork sandwich:
I considered sampling from other booths, but the crowds were so insane (and the streets were so smoky from all the barbecuing) that I just gave up…only to head over to Eataly, which is equally filled with insane crowds. My mission at Eataly? Gelato, of course.
After waiting in line for about a half hour, I made my way to the front and got a cone with two scoops – one tiramisu, and one salted caramel. The tiramisu gelato was only average (I thought the flavors were a bit too subdued), but the salted caramel gelato was crazy good. Next time I brave the Eataly madness, I’d go with straight up salted caramel.
Later that night, I met up with my best friend for dinner at Hummus Kitchen. I forgot to snap a picture of my meal (hummus, falafel, and chopped side salad), but I did manage to get the most important part: my sangria. Priorities.
On Sunday, I headed to Central Park and met up with a bunch of friends for a picnic. It was perfect picnicking weather, and we set up camp on the grass in the southwest (Columbus Circle) corner of the park. Everyone brought something to share, and we ended up with a random but oddly satisfying spread: bread and various cheese, cherries, Chinese dumplings, mini cupcakes, and Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. Like I said, random but delicious!
After our picnic ended, I wandered around the park a bit and then headed back home, inadvertently getting caught up in the chaos of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. After a weekend filled with crazy crowds, finding myself awash in a sea of Puerto Rican revelers somehow seemed like a fitting conclusion.
And thus ended my “relaxing” weekend in NYC. What did you do this weekend?
The weekly roundup of awesome ways to waste your time on the internets:
- This is cool: A group of college friends recreates the Friends opening credits.
- Amy Schumer’s Compliments Sketch. This is pretty accurate, now that I think about it.
- The Game of Thrones theme, a capella style. So geeky, and I love it.
- Which Grease Pink Lady Are You? I wanted to get Rizzo but, let’s be honest – I’m so not a Rizzo.
- Really interesting: Map of the Deepest Linguistic Conflicts in America.
- The Sound of Music’s Baroness Meets Robyn. Weird but wonderful. And, on a related note, I could easily watch The Sound of Music on a weekly basis and not get sick of it. Just a little fun fact about me.
- I’ve never been much of a fan of Jack White’s music, but after he did this, I’m a big fan of him.
- 9 Honest Disney Movies. Preach!
- Doctors Give Children Superhero Formula to Fight Cancer. I like these doctors. A lot.
- Holy Mother What Are These Colin Firth Photos. And just as the author of this piece writes, I too love him more than ever.
(Image via The FW)
One thing that living in New York this summer has reaffirmed to me is this: I hate the Subway. I hate, loathe, and abhor it, to be more precise. One, it’s summertime, so it’s super hot and sweaty (making you look absolutely lovely when you turn up at work). Two, it’s dirty and gross. I’m sorry, New York, but one place where almost every other major city in the world (especially DC) beats you is in Subway cleanliness. Three – and this one is my fault – I have the bad habit of absentmindedly getting on an express train when I really need a local, only to realize the error of my ways when I see my destination go whooshing by me.
Despite these challenges, I have to ride the Subway almost every day. But whenever possible, I walk to where I need to go. Sometimes it’s a specific destination; other times, I just walk around and explore different parts of the city. In my humble opinion, seeing this city on foot is the way to go. Rather than exiting from an underground cave, completely disoriented about your location, walking gives you a sense of the city and where its neighborhoods and important spots are located. It lets you stumble upon cool spots and hidden gems you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. And, most importantly, it doesn’t involve clinging to a metal pole while sandwiched between people with varying levels of personal hygiene standards.
And so recently (two Sundays ago, to be exact), I took one of the long walks I so love, just because. Here are some of the places I stopped.
First up, I walked from my neighborhood (Gramercy Park) down towards the East Village, stopping for a slice of pizza at Artichoke Basile. True story: I wanted the famed artichoke slice, but it was $4.50, and I literally only had $4.00 in cash. Pathetic (but, the pizza margherita was tasty nonetheless):
Next, I walked down 2nd Avenue for a while, pausing to take this picture of Professor Thom’s (one of two “Michigan” bars in Manhattan):
I continued down 2nd Avenue and stumbled upon a 16 Handles. Treat yo self, I thought (since I was taking a long walk and all), and I stopped in for some salted caramel fro yo. By the way, 16 Handles salted caramel frozen yogurt is the best fro yo flavor known to man. Don’t even challenge me on this one.
When I got to St. Mark’s Place (8th), I turned and headed west down the street, which is one of my favorite spots in Manhattan – there’s such a fantastic energy there. I made my way to Astor Place, where the signposts are covered in really cool (and super Instagram-able) mosaic tiles:
Astor Place is also home to what I like to call “The Poor Man’s Cube.” Meaning, it looks an awful lot like the Cube in Ann Arbor, but it’s smaller and you can’t spin it. Nice try, New York.
I continued walking west (and then a bit south) to Washington Square Park, which is a wonderful place to hang out but which, no matter how many times I visit it, will always be the place where Sally dropped off Harry. And if you don’t get that reference, then we cannot be friends.
After hanging out around the park for awhile, I headed north on 5th Avenue and then cut over at 14th to Union Square (which is one of my least favorite spots in New York – way, way too crowded).
And then I continued walking north until I got back “home.” All in all, the perfect evening strolling around Manhattan. New York, I love you more and more every day.
In New York, I’ve often noticed, brunch seems like a religion. While you can get a fine brunch in many cities across the US (and indeed the world, I’d imagine), there’s just something about an NYC brunch. It’s an event, and it’s usually crowded, and it takes hours, and, to do it properly, it requires selecting a spot with bottomless drinks (there is good food, of course, but that’s usually a secondary concern).
For someone who doesn’t live in New York, I like to think I’ve tried a decent amount of brunch spots in the times I’ve visited, but Sotto 13 was possibly the first NYC brunch I actively loved. Our whole experience there was excellent, from the food to the atmosphere, and I would definitely return.
I went to Sotto 13 with several friends from high school. I think it’s pretty awesome that four girls from tiny Oxford, Michigan all wound up in New York (granted, I’m there temporarily, but hopefully on a permanent basis after law school).
One of my favorite things about Sotto 13 was its ambiance. Case in point: the center of the restaurant includes a giant greenhouse-like window, which lets in lots of natural light to the restaurant. Particularly nice if you happen to be a blogger who wants to take photographs of your food. I’m sure non-bloggers enjoy it too.
We ordered the Prosecco bar, pictured below. Your waiter will bring you a big pitcher of Prosecco and a tray with lots of mix-ins. The ones that I can remember include candied ginger, raspberries, blackberries, lychee juice, and blood orange juice. It was fun to play around with different drink combinations!
Because it was bottomless brunch, I also had a raspberry white peach bellini (pictured on the left; my Prosecco creation is on the right):
And finally, my entree – a pizza with spicy fennel sausage and carmelized onion. This was quite tasty:
All in all, a very enjoyable Sunday brunch. I highly recommend Sotto 13 and definitely hope to return someday soon!
The Details: Sotto 13 | 140 W 13th St., New York, NY 10011 | 212.647.1001
For awhile last year, I was posting a look back at past travels every Wednesday. Life got in the way and I stopped doing it, but I figured I’d start back up again. Today’s post is from my graduation trip to Greece in the summer of 2008. You can find the rest of my Greece posts here.
Our trip to Greece concluded with stops in Epidavros and Hydra before returning to Athens and heading home. Epidavros is home to a gigantic ancient Greek theater known for its perfect acoustics. While we were there, we saw a random man sing opera in the middle of the theater as tour groups milled about around him – a very cool moment! The design and size of the theater itself was also quite impressive.
Our time at Epidavros was brief – we mostly just explored the theater for a bit – and we soon headed to the island of Hydra. While I was bummed not to make it to any of the “famous” Greek islands on this trip (particularly Santorini), Hydra was a lovely place to relax for a few days. No cars are allowed on the island, leaving donkeys as the primary method of transportation:
While on the island, we spent almost all of our time relaxing – we wandered around the beach, and we spent many hours hanging out in cafes by the shore, playing cards under big umbrellas. After two weeks of cramming lots of activities into our days, this was the perfect way to unwind!
And with that, our trip to Greece drew to a close. My one biggest takeaway from Greece was that there was so much more to the country than I had ever imagined. Previously, when I thought about Greece, I thought about the ancient wonders in Athens or the idyllic islands like Mykonos and Santorini. But as we toured around, I realized that there was so much more to see, and a richness of culture (and food!) that I hadn’t even realized existed. It will always go down in my mind as one of my very favorite trips, I am sure.
Next up next week – Honduras!