Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire

taste like crap.

Winter brings the roasted chestnuts to the street vendor carts. I've always wanted to try them and I finally did last Sunday.

Wow was I disappointed.

The shells slip off easily to reveal the nut flesh.

The nuts themselves are very soft and taste almost like a bean/legume - they are not nutty.

The best thing I can say about the experience is at least I've tried them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Compact Size

Now in baby size - a patchwork throw made out of Jason's old aloha shirts.
It's backed with super soft fleece and trimmed with a nice band of satin.
This is CJ's Christmas present, good thing he can't read yet and ruin his surprise.

Words Can't Describe

The bond between a cat and her human.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yay for Girlfriends!

Last weekend my CA buddies flew in to the city for shopping, eating, and general mayhem. We kept the mayhem to a minimum but did manage to shop until we dropped.

Mel flew in Wed night so she could have her Soho shopping day. She's an expert at hopping on the 6 train to Spring St. I was able to take a half day on Thursday and warmed up for the main shopping event with some great purchases at Uniqlo. Post shopping we took a nice long breat at Teany - I had some fabulous Earl Grey Creme tea and a super rich chocolate brownie. Mel's tea wasn't our fav - a melon flavored white tea that was a bit weak and a HUGE cookie. Seriously the cookie would have been enough for 3 people.

After our spot of tea we enjoyed a tasty dinner at Bondi Bar. Home of Toohey's New and blue drinks. This time Mel cleared the bar of the Toohey's and we both stayed away from anything blue. Annie and Bex flew in late Thursday night, we decided to wait for them at their hotel -but made them think we were already home for the night (hee hee).

We totally surprised them at the hotel - which was really fun. They were hungry so we wandered a bit through mid-town to find a place for them to eat. We went somewhere Micheal and I have never gone before and will probably never go again - Mimi's (and not the chain, some piano bar/restaurant in mid-town NYC). The food was fine, but the scene was surreal. There was live piano entertainment that just can't be described. Singing, dancing, toothless women and a pianist in drag - what more can you want at 1am?

Friday morning came way too early. Micheal left for CA (and yes, USC beat Cal!) and then the party really started. To make sure we had strength for shopping we had a tasty lunch at Nick's. White pizza with ricotta and mozzarella and salad (house salad for A&B and Caesar for K&M). The thin crust pizza fresh out of the brink oven was outstanding as usual.

Credit cards ready we headed off to Lucky Shops. Bex snapped this great shot along the way. All photos are credited to her - I get totally lazy when she is around, because I know she is so good about taking pix. I know, we all rely on her to capture the memories - we need to be better about that!

We made it, let the shopping begin....

We should have taken a photo on the way out too - it would have been funny to see the before and after.

This photo below is from the Rebecca Taylor booth - I love her designs, especially her suits. Even though Bex didn't love it, I did get the shirt I'm trying on. She liked everything but the pleating on the sleeves - but I thought that was a fun detail. I wore it yesterday and I'm quite happy with the purchase, the color goes with many items already in my wardrobe. I am totally coveting the animal print sweater Annie found. It is so cute and flattering - how did I miss it on the rack?

This dress looked great on Mel from the front, but way too big in the back - so no luck in this booth, but never fear she didn't leave the event empty handed.

After 5 hours of shopping we came home with all kinds of fabulous purchases. Mel and I scored on an amazing Kooba bag, Annie's managed to find an absolutely perfect Shoshanna LBD, and Bex picked up a timeless black skirt.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Candle 79 (the vegan restaurant we discovered during the Waldron family visit). The food was outstanding, but the photos weren't so pretty - it must be really hard to be a food stylist on a photo shoot.

Our dinner order for the night:

Annie - Seitan Piccata creamed spinach, grilled potato cake, oyster mushrooms, lemon-caper sauce

Mel - Black Pepper & Balsamic Grilled Seitan potato-celeriac purée, sautéed wild mushrooms, haricots verts, shallots, roasted vegetable au jus

Bex - Porcini Crusted Tofu garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, cabernet-wild mushroom sauce

KO - Cornmeal Crusted Eggplant Napoleon tofu spinach ravioli, roasted tomato sauce, cashew cream, broccoli raab, arugula-pine nut pesto

And once again we had dinner and a show. Instead of the piano player and his crazy fans we had a girl at the bar pass out right in front of our table. She just toppled right over and landed with a big thud about 3 feet away from us. In spite of Bex telling the self appointed person in charge to call 9-1-1, she didn't. She claimed this had happened to her a month ago and all that was needed to fix the situation was to give the woman that passed out some salt?! Luckily the bartender had the sense to call for help. EMTs were there within minutes and the drama was moved away from our table and outside. We think she was taken to a hospital, but we don't really know.

After dinner we managed to score the coveted back booth at Trinity. Just one round of drinks before we called it a night and headed home.

Except for a rainy Saturday afternoon the weather totally cooperated - we didn't need to wear excessive layers or even gloves!

Saturday started out with bagels and undergarment fittings at Intimacy. Nothing can make a woman happier than getting the girls locked and loaded.

Next stop - The Plaza! After months and months of renovations the hotel is open and in full splendor.

Luckily Eloise is back, right at home in the beautiful lobby and looking over tea at Palm Court.

Of course Bex had to pick up a little something something for M - and look at this treasure trove. I bet she would love to just have this entire cabinet in her bedroom!

The sales woman has the best expression on her face - I think Bex said she was surprised to have her photo taken, but even better look at the bag. Total score for Bex because she was out of plastic bags, so it was an upgrade to the fancy handle bag.

And if you think you can't have something as wonderful as this Tsar Nicholoas II Baccarat commissioned candelabra in your home, think again...it's for sale! I didn't see a price tag, maybe it's on the bottom?

The rain started as we were leaving the Plaza. We did a little bit of window shopping down 5th Ave, but quickly caught a cab - window shopping in the rain just isn't much fun.

Rose joined us for lunch at craftbar. (And I know everyone else probably hates this picture, but since I look decent, it's in the blog post!)

We shared some very tasty starters - the Peccorino fondue with hazelnuts and spicy honey

and the chickpea fries with black olive aioli. Rose also suggested a very tasty cheese - but I don't remember the name now. Something with Bliss in it - I would definitely get that again.

I had one of my favorite brunch items at craftbar - white anchovies, soft boiled egg, and leeks over toast. Finally - a good picture of this very tasty dish.

We walked off lunch by having a few adventures in Canal St. We didn't have quite the adventures as the last time Bex was here, but did pick up a few choice items. The selection wasn't as good as in the past - maybe the economy is slowing down on the black market as well?

Still pushing to do as much as possible we made two more stops on the way home - Dylan's Candy Bar for some sweet treats and some accessories at Laila Rowe.

Whew - what a day! After all of that we had sushi for dinner and one last drink at Uptown.

Yay for my girlfriends and Yay for an amazing weekend!

Monday, November 03, 2008

NYC Marathon 2008

So I started this post and didn't finish - this was supposed to be posted Monday Nov. 3rd....

The streets were shut down most of yesterday to accommodate the thousands of people running the New York Marathon.
The marathon brings out an unexpected side of the city. So many people line the streets to cheer on the runners. Most runners put their names on their jerseys and as they run people shout out their name and yell encouragement. It's really touching to see the crowds reach out to the runners.

We're right in between people running up 1st Ave headed to the Bronx and 5th Ave where they turn in to Central Park, almost at the end of the race.
I decided to watch the runners just as they made the turn in to Central Park. When I got out to the streets the last of the wheelchair racers were headed to the finish line. The crowds were cheering like crazy for each racer that rolled by - Time Warner was handing out cow bells, between the clang of the bells, the claps, and the cheers the racers has plenty to keep them motivated.
The picture below shows the turn in to Central Park at 90th. The crowds on the corner would shout how they were almost done and to keep going. There was one wheelchair racer who just looked exhausted, as he turned the corner he grabbed the wheels gave a big heave and then hoisted his arms in to the air - the crowd went wild, they were on their feet cheering him in to the park. It was so emotional.
I waited about 15 minutes and the leader (and winner) passed by - first the official time truck, then the cameras and police escort
and then the leader. She's really hard to see in this photo - but look towards the right side her shoes and gloved hands stand out among the crowd. Her stride was amazing - by this point she had completely broken away from the pack and was clearly in command of the race. She went by so quickly I couldn't even get in another photo.

I waited for the leaders in the men's race and then packed my cow bell away for next year. I always think I want to run a marathon - but really I'm more suited for cheering from the sidelines.

More than just costumes on Halloween

Of course I wanted to make some Halloween cupcakes for Michael to take to the office. Completely from scratch, I made some tasty pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream frosting. They were so delicious and the spider rings on top were a bit hit.