Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tacos Camarones!!!

I love Mexican food. I never realized how spoiled I was when we lived on 34th street and First right next to El Parador. And I am pretty sure I've blogged on this topic before, but Alma is really delicious. Not as good as El Parador, just from a variety/quality standpoint, but the Camarones Asados (aka shrimp tacos) are freaking amazing. They are spicy but not too spicy to where all you feel is horrible tongue burn.

The food countdown to Weight Watchers continues, culminating with delivery from Fortune House on Jan 1st.

P.S. - You can blame Yahoo Image search for this cartoon shrimp character. When I did a search for shrimp tacos this is what I got. There were a lot of relevant images (aside from one of an Audi TT) but this was funny so I had to include it.

Fitness Guru

So next Wednesday at 7 pm I am going to try out a class called Smack Down at the Fitness Guru, which is located by Gleason's in DUMBO. It's right by my house so I figure it's not too hard to get to even if it's super cold. I have a feeling it's going to be horrible, but I'll let everyone know the outcome on Thursday. Hopefully I can walk the next day!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post Holiday Post

I love the holidays but am happy to say they are over. We just took down our tree and decorations and put away our presents. The thought of shopping even makes me feel a little sick. I feel like I have been eating non stop since November, which is the truth. I am looking forward to my annual New Year's resolution to lose weight. This is the brief time of year I get motivated to go to the gym, eat better and lose a few pounds. My coworker and I are hoping to motivate each other and I think it might be a good formula. We'll see. Weight watchers is a great program. We are planning to join on January 2. I had joined a few months back but got off track after a trip to Austin TX, where food is abundant. It does work though and it's simple to follow. You should definitely look into the program if you're trying to lose some weight in 2007. And no, I won't be posting before and after pictures but I'll let you know how I net out.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My New Obsession a Few Months Too Late...

I still consider myself new to Brooklyn. It has only been 8 months since I moved to the DUMBO area. So I love it when friends come into visit and I get to play tour guide because I am still discovering cool places and new hoods.

This past weekend as ya'll know my friend from Austin came into town. On Sunday we drove up to Prospect Park after hanging out on the pier at Fairway in Red Hook. No, I am not a terrible hostess taking my friends to the grocery store. She really, really wanted to go and plus it's a terrific view of the Statue of Liberty. In any case, we drove up to the park and now I am obsessed! I can't believe it took me so long to get there and see it for myself. Some observations/suprises ...

1) It's huge! Well not huge like Central Park, but it's really really big. Did you know it's 585 acres? Don't get lost, here's a map.
2) It's beautiful. The entrances into the Park are grand and reminds me of the area around Columbus Circle in Manhattan, which makes perfect sense considering Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed both parks.
3) It has a resevoir like Central Park, but it's actually a lake because it's all natural and not manmade like several elements of Central Park. You can go boating on an electric or pedal boat.
4) There is a Zoo! I've been to the Central Park Zoo and found it to be a nice escape with some interesting animals, despite the crowds and funny smells. I'll definitely be touring the BK version.
5) Like its Manhattan cousin, there are bike paths and running trails, and kids and playgrounds. There are lots of stretches of lawn for sunbathing, frisbee throwing and lounging.
6) It was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn back in August 1776. According to the park's Web site:
"The Continental Army under George Washington fortified passes along a section of Flatbush Avenue that now serves as the Park's Drive. As British and Hessian soldiers approached from the south, the Americans fought in vain to hold them back at Battle Pass. Although the Continental Army lost the battle, they held the British back long enough for Washington's forces to make a moonlit escape from Brooklyn Heights to New Jersey. Today, plaques just north of the zoo commemorate this event, as does the Maryland Monument at the foot of Lookout Hill."

7) Ice Skating is also available. Not that I am good at it or would especially want to go and fall on my ass, but it's nice to know the option is there and doesn't require waiting on the ginormous line in Rockafeller center.
8) HORSEBACK RIDING! This is in all caps because I HEART Horses and have since I was a little girl. I used to horseback ride competitively and may have to do this when it gets warmer.
9) They also have tennis bubbles, quite a few, so you can play tennis in bad weather too. Another activity I do not excel in but I may take a lesson now that it's close by.

Run Forest, run!

Oh my, this little guy is smart! Run Forest, run!
"A baby calf on the way to the slaughterhouse escaped into the streets of Brooklyn on Tuesday night, touching off a wild cow chase that had police cars and ambulances criss-crossing every which way. The 4-6 month old male Hereford calf made a run for it out of a truck, just as its new owner was about to lay claim to it and take the animal to a slaughterhouse in Yonkers."


No seriously... RATS! Rats freak me out. Not as much as roaches but I will definitely cross the street if I see one to avoid having it cross my path. I used to live in Boston where they were supersized and quite "friendly" (read: will run right at you!).

But rats are dirty and they bite. Actually, I read that roaches bite too which is just disgusting. This story about a boy being bitten by a rat during a "time out" at school is just horrifying.

"Richard Medina was shocked when he received a call that his son Patrick was bit by what he described as a rat that he was playing with during school. Patrick loves playing with his family's pet hamster, 'Marissa,' at home, but the rodent he played with inside his special education classroom at PS 231 was no teacher's pet."

I watched the school hamster and its new babies over a long weekend when I was little. The mommy hamster began to eat her babies. It was disgusting and I will never forget it. So now, I hate hamsters too. And their cousins the guinea pigs. Rodents are rodents in my book. Euh I have the creepy crawlies now!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Everybody Loves a Brooklyn Girl

Just came across this in New York Magazine: "Get the borough man in your life a Brooklyn Girls calendar. [Trendy Nation via Sunset Parker]"

I guess it was only a matter of time...

Developments regarding Atlantic Yards

From the Daily News today ...

"Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Gov. George Pataki apparently have an agreement that will lead to approval of a giant redevelopment project that could reshape Brooklyn ... Atlantic Yards would include a basketball arena, office towers and thousands of apartments."

In case you aren't familiar with the area, the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards encompass the area near the current mecca of traffic hell by Target on Atlantic Ave downtown. If it's weren't for Target, I probably would never ever go down to that area.

In fact, the former Williamsburg Savings Bank is being converted into super high end condos

That is the very tall phallic looking building in Brooklyn that you can see from pretty much anywhere. You know, the one right by Target. It will be called One Hanson Place and you can view the finishes and floor plans here.

It seems like it's going to be amazing once it's completed but I really couldn't imagining living down in that area just cause it's sheer craziness in my opinion. From the availability section it looks like the units are selling well. Maybe I'll try to go see one of the models and report back.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Brooklyn Breweries Branches Out

Reuters covered the expansion of Brooklyn Brewery into six new U.S. states. Brews will now be available for sale in the Midwest -- bringing the total to 18 states in all.

"... a former iron foundry and matzoh bakery in an industrial section of Brooklyn, is perfecting a new Belgian-style ale: Brooklyn Local 1, which goes on sale in March."

Monday, December 18, 2006

A lovely weekend in Brooklyn

My friend was visiting from Austin in the hopes of seeing some NY Winter Wonderland. Alas, we had 50 degree temps and no snow. But the tree at the Rock was beautiful (although a bit sparce) and the ice skaters got us in the spirit.

On Sunday I gave her a tour of Brooklyn and we took some photos that I thought I'd share. Some were taken down by the Fairway in Red Hook. Then we also did a walk around Brooklyn Bridge Park and took some nice shots of the bridge.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hmmm, just what I didn't need

Since I moved to Dumbo in May, I have been excited at the thought of a woman's clothing store opening up right in my neighborhood. But I must say I am slightly disappointed ... not suprised, but definitely disappointed (felt that was worth a repeat!).

Zoe is well merchandised and has amazing clothing, but it's just not the type of clothing the average woman would wear or be able to afford. Yes, I get it I live in a swanky neighborhood but that doesn't mean I am gonna drop a G on a Zac Posen dress. Or pick up a Miu Miu bag on my way home from the F train for 1,300. Plus, did I mention that I am not a size ZERO! Urgh, I also see they've put a sale sign in the window, but that doesn't help my cause.

Case in point, the following suggested "Look 1" on their Web site that will run nearly $2,000 if you bought the whole look, before taxes.

I'm not suggesting Target or Dress Barn open up down the block - that's not my style either - but it would be nice to have a woman's retail store that sold merchandise that won't break the bank. Right now it's between Blueberri (my fav out of the bunch), Loopy Mango (again, very very high end, which = $$$) and Zoe. We need something in between!!!

Mom always said to look both ways...

Came across some news that there was a pedestrian death this week at the interection of Montague and Henry Streets in Brooklyn Heights. While it's terrible news it's unfortunately not suprising at all. I have a car in Brooklyn and am nervous driving in that area because it is exploding with children and pets. People (myself included) don't look both ways before crossing the street. Brooklyn Heights is such a close knit neighborhood and you don't have the cab and bus traffic like you do in New York. I think people just get comfortable and think "oh that car will stop." When I am driving I am suprised at how many people just step off the curb without looking or when it's clear I am coming. Of course, when I am on the other side of the steering wheel, I feel like I have the right of way too. So I guess best rule of thumb is to remember what mom said and "look both ways" before crossing any street.

New Condo Crop Near Harvest

Interesting article in Gothamist about the new class of luxury condo buildings that are almost complete in Dumbo. I'm interested to see how the neighborhood will absorb what will be a dramatic increase in population. JCondo is probably the nicest of the bunch. The yellow condo in the sky is interesting but I wonder how the building below it will net out.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What's all the fuss about?

The other weekend we ordered Grimaldi's so that my dad could have a taste while he was in town. Not only was the guy answering the phones incredibly rude, but he hung up on us several times and told us there was no more pizza for the rest of the night. Then, after several calls we finally just launched into our order and magically it was set to be ready in 15 minutes. To top it off, I got really sick from the pizza.

It's good, but not THAT good. I've had better pizza in CT. Don't bother...

Album Release in Williamsburg

It's been a really really long time since I last posted anything. Sorry, work has been so busy and with the holiday season I just haven't had time. So I am going to try and make an effort to be more regular with postings. I do enjoy blogging...

If anyone is in Williamsburg this weekend, check out this release party.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Henry's End

It's been a really long time since I posted anything so I am coming back with a restaurant review. Last night, my husband and I went to Henry's End, a restaurant in Brooklyn Heights on Henry Street. It's right next to another one of our favorite places, Noodle Pudding, which is Italian and always packed. We went to Henry's End because I had read a few rave reviews and stepped in once before but the wait was too long. The thing to know is that they only take reservations for 3 or more.
It's one of those restaurants everyone wants in their neighborhood -- it's small, friendly, warm in the winter, has a great menu and is reliable. The food was great and they are known for their game. I'm not so into that but my husband had the Elk chops and they were really good. I had steak diane, which was delicious. All the dinner entrees come with a side salad and vegetables with rice. That's a nice touch considering NYC doesn't like to include things with meals. Our waitress, Bonnie, was awesome. She is one of those people you remember when you leave the place and one of the things that makes you want to come back. We also had crab cakes, which were really nice. They were fresh and not loaded with breadcrumbs. To finish things off we had Mrs Mudpie, which was equally delicious but of course from a dessert perspective.
They also take credit cards, which is nice considering a lot of my favorite places in Brooklyn only take cash.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloween Weekend in DUMBO

It's soggy, windy and cold. BOOOOO!

Michelle Caplan

For our wedding, a group of my friends gave us a comissioned piece of art. What that means is that we worked with an artist and worked together on the subject of the piece. The artist, Michelle Caplan, is a collage artist. Her pieces are incredibly beautiful, thoughtful and personal. The medium we picked for our piece was DUMBO since it represents our new beginning as a married couple. This photo does not do the piece justice, but hopefully you'll get a sense of her talent and check out her Web site. She's also in the latest issue of Real Simple magazine, which is the November issue.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My other favorite topic

When not writing about Brooklyn, my mind is on sushi. My favorite UES sushi spot Gari just opened a new venue in Chelsea. Read about it on Gotham Gal's blog. Also, I came across a blog about food in NY that other foodies may also find interesting.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Brooklyn Haunted House

So I LOVE Halloween and I heard this haunted house is super scary. The one on the LES is the famous one but now there is one in Brooklyn too.

UPDATE: Ok, so I heard now that this haunted house is kinda lame. If anyone knows of a good one, let me know.


DUMBO continues to be a popular topic among media. An article from Saturday's New York Times offers an overview of the area. I just adore the NYT real estate stories.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chinese in the hood

The first time I ordered from Fortune House I wasn't impressed, but we decided to give it another try. I guess it's hard to like mediocre Chinese food when you're used to ordering from Pig Heaven on the Upper East Side. We used to pay extra to have the guy come from 81st down to 34th street. Kinda crazy, but we figured it was less than a round-trip cab ride and the tip was less.

Anyway, back to Fortune House. It's actually pretty good, especially classics like fried rice, moo shu, dumplings, etc. I just recently tried the Chicken Hunan and it's awesome. They send free soda and free sesame noodles when your order totals a certain amount. They are also super fast. Definitely try it!

Fortune House
82 Henry St, Brooklyn 11201
Between Pineapple & Orange St
Phone: 718-855-7055

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lady on Stilts Gets us into JCondo

Not sure whether it was the stilts, the chocolate or just curiousity, but we finally checked out the JCondo sales room. The units are really nice and the windows really do block out the sound. The sales guy said they were 80 percent sold - if you're interested they can even take you up in the real building and you can wear a hardhat. There will be a 4 floor parking garage and everyone will have a spot to lease if they wish. The units are expensive, as expected, and the A line has an especially nice floorplan. It has a panoramic view. Really nice. The sales person said they expect move in Summer/Fall 2007, which he chuckled meant late fall/winter 2007. Either way still not bad!

The DUMBO Arts Festival

My husband and I really enjoyed the art festival yesterday. The weather was perfect and we had a picnic in the park before going to the galleries. I was especially blown away by the Katrina exhibit and the hip hop exhibit. I took some pics so you all can see what it looked like, although these photos don't really do it justice.

Also, there was an awesome band on Washington Street that camped out until pretty late. I was also totally feeling the two man group in the loading doc on Main street. I really want a CD but I couldn't figure out what the name of the band was called. The flyer said one thing and then the singer announced they were called Project something. If anyone knows, drop me a comment.

Then there were also these pink ladies...we saw them for the first time on Friday night at Superfine around 10ish. There was also a marching band too. Guessing it was supposed to be street mob type buzz tactic to get people excited about the festival, but I have no idea really. Again, if anyone knows if they were associated with something, let me know.

Friday, October 06, 2006

30 Blocks of DUMBO Done Over With Artistic Flair?

Being in the PR field, I understand the importance of a catchy headline on a press release. This one offers details on the upcoming under the bridge art festival on Oct 13-15.

Although something seems fishy to me:
"The free three-day festival spans 30 blocks of DUMBO, Brooklyn."
So when have there been 30 blocks in our neighborhood? Maybe 10...

Also I hope this is a very overzealous estimate:
"when an anticipated 200,000 visitors descend on the locality to celebrate the creative ferment of a unique terrain."

Liking This Web Site

Found a very useful Web site that everyone else probably knows about but me. But anyway, it's the site of the Dumbo Improvement District and it has information about local events, news, etc.

Of note, Forager's is hosting a holiday party on December 7th from 5-9 pm.
"Free. To show their appreciation to the neighborhood, Foragers is hosting its first annual neighborhood appreciation discounted holiday shopping night to be followed by a holiday party at the General Store featuring hors d?oeuvres from Foragers, egg nog, champagne and holiday cheer."
Discounted shopping there is greatly appreciated!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Superfine is Super Delicious

Finally got a chance to have brunch at Superfine in DUMBO. It was so delicious and the people were so nice. They have a wide variety of yummy breakfast items all made with fresh, organic ingredients. Definitely order a slice of the banana blueberry bread to share. They make a great bloody mary too. Haven't tried it for dinner yet.

Bubby's does a great brunch too but it is really expensive. I do love Bubby's pancakes. Mmmm.

Brooklyn Fashion Weekend in DUMBO

This looks like fun! According to a press release, BK Fashion Week{end} will show spring 2007 collections on October 20-22 at Tobacco Warehouse at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in DUMBO. How fabulous.

Friday, September 29, 2006

DUMBO Block Party October 1

Another fun DUMBO block party is set for this Sunday, October 1. Wish I was small again so I could go on the bouncy castle!!!

For more details, visit

Sunday October 1st from 1pm - dusk
Pearl Street between Front and Water Streets

An all day, free, family-oriented outdoor community event featuring Ferrigno's BBQ and booths featuring outstanding products and services from local businesses and artists. Halcyon and Oblique Sound present a live performance by Tama Waipara and DJ's June Joseph and The Dahkter. Live graffiti art by James Top. To entertain the kids we'll have a bouncy castle, a face painter and Arts & Crafts activities brought to you by Half Pint and Jan Larsen Art.

A Chill in the Air

Nothing like the feeling of fall in New York. It's so nice to have the windows open and feel the cold breeze from outside.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Record Sale in BK Heights

The New York Daily News is reporting there may be a buyer for a very expensive townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. I read about the townhouse a few weeks back and was amazed by the description. It's a Corcoran listing (suprise!) for a cool $12.9 million dollars (reduced from $20 million - apparently no one was biting):

"Breathtaking Sunset River, Manhattan Harbor, and Skyline Views! This exceptional 25' mansion is for the discerning buyer who either: loves Brooklyn Heights or cannot find a home they love in Manhattan, and someone who appreciates the finest design and renovation! Hop across the bridge to Brooklyn Heights to see this truly exquisite historic renovation on the Promenade! This elegant home has views to the Statue of Liberty and the downtown city skyline from every one of the five floors. It includes an elegant English garden, plus 2-3 other terraces on the river. A formal parlor floor has an astounding living room with floor-to-ceiling windows leading to a custom-designed wrought-iron terrace and one of the finest formal dining rooms."

I think it would be really cool to live on Pineapple street. I just love that area. The firm also has another listing in The Heights on Remsen street for $12 million, and another on Montague Heights. It's amazing how much the price of real estate is in Brooklyn. My mom grew up in a brownstone in Park Slope on President street two blocks from the park. If only they hadn't sold it to move to Long Island ;-)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard Move to BK

According to the New York Observer, we have some new celeb company in Brooklyn:

Maggie Gyllenhaal and fiancĂ© Peter Sarsgaard have just signed a contract for a vintage 3,600-square-foot brownstone in north Park Slope. The four-story house, which was selling for $1.75 million, had been an owner’s triplex with a top-floor rental apartment. But the Gyllenhaal-Sarsgaard family will not be a landlord: According to the Corcoran listing, the brownstone will be delivered vacant. Ms. Gyllenhaal confirmed the deal through a spokesperson, but Mr. Sarsgaard was filming and could not be reached.

I really can't look at Maggie the same way after that movie Secretary. I wonder what her baby will think of that movie. I do really like Peter Sarsgaard. He's a great actor.

Guinness and Oysters, Oh my!

One thing DUMBO is really great for is festivals. We have them all the time and there is one coming up next weekend that looks amazing:

The 3rd Annual Guinness Oyster Music Festival -- October 07, 2006
This street-wide event will feature:
-- a procession from Manhattan’s City Hall to Brooklyn’s Water Street with the NYPD Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society Marching Band
-- a Guinness Beer Garden
-- oysters
-- 12 hours of live bluegrass, country and rock music
-- live performances outdoors (12 noon to 6 p.m.) and indoors (6 midnight); and traditional Irish music and step dancers

Unfortunately, I made plans a long time ago to Austin that weekend so I will have to hear about how great it was from my husbund. For more information visit here and here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bad News for Greenpoint Residents

News sites including the picked up a story on Monday about recent tests done by The Department of Environmental Conservation for ExxonMobil, who spilled a 17 million tons of oil in the area in 1950. Tests show there are dangerous chemicals in the soil. Hey at least the Kielbasa hasn't been affected - yum!

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Brooklyn a Destination, Not a Side Trip"

My mother in law sent me this Associated Press article which ran in her local paper in CT. It's interesting to see this coverage, although not suprising. Brooklyn has a lot to offer.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Informal Bagel Test - H&H vs Bagel Delight

On Saturday I decided to go to Retreat for an H&H bagel. I felt really guilty walking by Bagel Delight... I even walked on the other side of the street. While the coffee (or iced latte) at Retreat was really yummy, the bagel didn't stack up. It was too dense and I couldn't get my veggie cream cheese I like so much. Perhaps they are better from an actual H&H location, but I think Bagel Delight reigns supreme.

Friday, September 08, 2006

new blog - manufactured dissent

Just came across Peter Hyman's blog called manufactured dissent. I likey.

He regularly posts updates on the Dumbo hood and the most recent edition answered some questions for me about retailers moving in. Thanks, Peter!

Who are you "still in dumbo"?

Someone has an axe to grind and hey that's what blogs are all about - opinion. But this guy "still in dumbo" who has posted several comments to this Curbed post just kills me.

He told me to stop drinking the Kool-aid and that the owners at 70 Washington are egomaniacs. Does this guy/gal even live in the building? Why not move out? I am sure someone else would love to have your apt. And thanks to DumboNYC for having my back.

And I am sick of the talk about rat complaints. It's NYC for crying out loud!!! Maybe you've not had the pleasure of crossing paths with a gigantic dog-sized rat in the East Village or in Murray Hill where I used to live. Oh and in Boston, they run right at you!

We have rats, mice and roaches, along with garbage, homeless people and other fun things. Get over it or get out... at least that's my opinion.

Ok, feeling better now :-)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

9/11 Memorial Lights

Just looked out my window and saw the 9/11 memorial lights. It was an amazing site. Here is a photo I snapped with my camera but it came out quite blurry with all the lights from the bridge and car traffic. Still, it's amazing.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Dumbo Block Party - Sept 10th.

The last Dumbo block party was on July 4th and had everything from a jumpy castle and pony rides to drum n' bass DJs (goods ones like DB).

Just noticed the posters are up for the next event on Sunday, September 10th. Unfortunately we'll be in CT for my mother-in-law's 60th birthday fete but if anyone is reading this, they should check it out. It starts at Noon on Main Street between Plymouth and Water.

This time around the DJs are Monk One, A. Frog and Ishnock Baptiste Rock. Not familiar with these folks, but I am sure it will be a fun time. There's also food and work by local artists.

Hail the F Train

In Dumbo & most of South Brooklyn, it's all about the F. It's great in the morning and comes on schedule to the minute. At night it's less reliable and packed. Forget about the weekends.

I found some cool pictures on Flickr of the F (the pics are hyperlinked back to the user's page).

The one to the right is of York Street Station, which is the Dumbo stop. You can also take the A/C but it's a little bit longer walk. I also like the F because it goes underground and then above ground (see sunset pic below).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Torn Bridge Flag Comes Down

Sitting here drinking my coffee and noticed that one of the American Flags on the Brooklyn Bridge was ripped, likely from the storm. An hour or so later, we saw two people walking up the middle of the bridge - pretty cool. Right now they have taken down the flag and will likely replace it with a new one. My camera is dead or I would have taken a picture.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Confession: I'm a Bagel Addict

I LOVE bagels. Frankly I can't imagine someone not liking bagels. It would just be strange. I probably couldn't be your friend. Luckily, we have great bagels in Brooklyn. I was worried when we left manhattan cause we had a great place and they delivered. Yes, we're lazy and sometimes didn't feel like walking a block for our bagel.

CitySearch recently announced the top bagel places for 2006. Ess-a-bagel was at the top of the list and it comes highly recommended. Although I have never had one. My new local favorite is La Bagel Delight, at the Front St location.
The guys there are funny and they get your food out fast. Most importantly the bagels are how I like them - crispy on the outside, bubbly on the bottom and smooshy on the inside. They have a good selection of bagels too, all home made in the store. I also hear that the coffee box in dumbo carries H&H bagels.

When I used to live in Boston, it was all about Bagel Rising. It was a great neighborhood one of a kind place, where the line hung out the door on weekends. It was my first stop after a long night of partying.

And when I visit my friend in Hoboken, I love their local bagel joint Bagel Smashery. It's literally one blcok from her house. The fun thing there is that you can get a normal bagel with whatever you like on it and then you can have it smashed. It sounds gross but it's really good. It's not at all like those flat bagels, which I have had too but would rather indulge on the real carb-a-lishious thing.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

One of my favorite topics... neckface

When we first moved to the city about two years ago we began to notice grafitti in the east village with the tag neckface. It was usually a strange cartoonish looking monster character, something like the sand worms from beetlejuice. But until recently I had forgotten about neckface. In my new hood, there is a large neckface piece that is visible from the York Street F station (Jay & Front Street). That links to a clearer picture and here is another:

So, my interest was renewed and I decided to do a search online.

According to wikipedia, one of my favorite sources, neckface is a trained artist from California who lived in brooklyn for some time. neckface's identity is unknown, however he granted one interview to Dana Goodyear at The New Yorker on the condition he would remain anonymous.

I also came across some of his grafitti on flickr. There are also a lot of articles on neckface and his graffitti - this blog post in Curbed talks about a famous neckpiece tag in Chelsea.

But if you start to look at his work, it's really disturbing and dark. I found his MySpace page as well - it may be a fake - but it's something I plan to look into further. At first I was quick to think about adding him as a friend (I really do love MySpace) but he's kinda creepy. I think I'll watch from a far.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

PS 8

I am really hoping to stay in Brooklyn after we have kids and send them to public school. I grew up in Manhattan and went to an amazing private school, but then moved to Connecticut to go to public school. I think both have their advantages and disadvantages. Spence taught be a lot about discipline, study habits and teamwork. When I left after 7th grade, I felt like I would never make friends again. It was such a close knit environment there, especially since it was all girls and we were just beginning grow up. There were less than 500 girls in the entire school, K-12, which made for small classrooms and full accessibility to teachers.

When I moved to Connecticut, I went to one of the best public schools. But it was very opposite from what I was used to in New York. It was co-ed for one and the high school had thousands of students. I wasn't used to learning in a co-ed environment. People came to class late and didn't do their homework, which was very strange to me. It was easy to let your standards sink... not study as hard, let your grades slip, be late, skip class. But who is to say that wouldn't have happened anyway at Spence? I think the difference is that there wouldn't have been tolerance for the behavior.

But I've been reading a lot about the local school, PS 8, and it seems to be taking a turn for the better in part thanks to the growth of the community in Dumbo. Private school is nearing the same as a college education, which is too much for most parents to afford twice! Hopefully PS8 will continue in the right direction. I can't wait to get involved.

desperate dogs in Brooklyn

WABC is reporting on some disturbing and disgusting news from Prospect Heights about a half dozen dogs who were neglected and mistreated. Some poor little kids looked over a fence and saw dogs canibalizing each other. Neighbors reported a stench.

Thank God this wasn't in my neighborhood. I always see these types of stories on the news where people mistreat their animals, but usually it's some scary cat lady hoarding like 30 cats in one nasty apartment. I don't understand how people can do this to their pets?

One thing about dumbo is that it's really animal friendly. Everyone has a dog or two. There are english and french bulldogs, labs, daschunds, chiwawas and mutts everywhere. But somehow the sidewalks are so much cleaner because people genuinely care about their environment and clean up properly. Some day we'll get a dog but for now we love our two cats.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Area for improvement: sushi in Dumbo

You could say Dumbo has a little bit of everything, but one thing it lacks is consistently good sushi. DumboNYC inspired me to blog on sushi, one of my favorite topics.

Miso Sushi is the only sushi in Dumbo and the first time we ate there it was really good. Maybe it was the excitement of eating after a long day of moving. We were psyched.

But the last few times we've ordered from Miso it just hasn't been so great. We absolutely did NOT get sick, but it just tasted off or the consistency wasn't quite right. It's hard when you really love sushi and have gotten used to really excellent sushi (hint: Sushi of Gari East). I guess I'll have to go to manhattan when I get a craving or to Park Slope for Blue Ribbon, whose SOHO counterpart is fantastic. At the SOHO location they often have artic char. Ask for it Hakozushi or box style with the chive oil. It's amazing.

Cube 63 in Brooklyn is medicore compared to its sister restaurant on the LES. But some of the rolls are imaginative, but don't waste your money on omasake. Save your money for Gari "chef's choice" and make sure they give you a few pieces of sushi called snapper salad.

My hood circa 1926

DumboNYC has a great post up about a collection of photographs from the New York Public Library. There is a great picture of Washington Street looking down to the water that was taken in 1926, which is juxtaposed with a recent picture. Definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Feeling like fall...

This weekend it is starting to feel like fall. It's been gray here since late last week and rainy. But for the first time since, the Jahova's temperature clock has dipped below 20 degrees C. It's only 68 and it feels great. I know in January I will be wishing for the hot days of summer but that's what's great about the Northeast - seasons. Nothing like pumpkins, red & yellow leaves and halloween.

Another bridge in Brooklyn

I love, you can find great photos on a given topic like this one of the Verazzano Bridge from the Brooklyn side.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

SUVs Banned on Brooklyn Bridge

That's right, cars over 3 tons are not allowed on the bridge. That includes Navigators, Escalades, Chevy Surburbans, Dodge Durangos, GMC Yukons, Hummers, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Mercedes M Class 320 and 500s, Toyota Land Cruisers, Sequoias and Ford Expeditions. There are always police cars on the bridge but they don't seem to be stopping any of the SUVs crossing the bridge.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rainy, Cloudy

It's gray and raining in Brooklyn today. Manhattan too. It's a perfect day to stay in bed and watch movies. But of course, I dragged myself to work after reminding myself that there would be a better day - sometime in December - to call out sick when it's snowing. Tomorrow is also my last summer friday at work so it's kind of like friday today.

Last night, me and my husbund and our two good friends went for dinner at Alma. Next time I go I'll have to take some photos cause the view is amazing. We went a bit late so the sun was setting and the lights were shining from the financial district. It was breezy and cool - perfect. Oh I should have mentioned they have rooftop seating and it's tented. The food is really good, although not as good as El Parador in my old neighborhood, Murray Hill. That place is hands-down the best authentic mexican I have ever had.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Living in the walled city

The best part about DUMBO is that so much of its history has been perserved.

I was just reading on a Web site that "the first urban street improvement project occurred in DUMBO in 1819 and is one of the earliest examples of formal surveying and mapping of roads and the addition of sidewalks. In reference to the mammoth warehouses erected along the entirety of the Brooklyn waterfront, Brooklyn received the nickname the walled city."

If you walk through DUMBO you can still see the names of the factories on some of the building. The name Gair is a popular one: Robert Gair Company, Gair Building No. 6, Gair Building. A New York Times article offers interesting background on the guy, who was a Scottish-born immigrant who created an empire out of making cardboard. He built his factories next to the water since it was a good location near the ships. In 1981, David Walentas purchased most of the Gair properties for $12 million. I live in Gair building No. 7.

Some of the manufacturers in DUMBO included: Tubal Cain Iron Works, Sweeney Metal Works, Yuban Coffee and Spices, and the Robert Gair Bottle Cap and Cardboard Box Manufacturing buildings.

One of my favorite weekends this summer

This year we were in DUMBO for July 4th. It was super hot - gross hot - but it was totally worth it.
The view of the fireworks was amazing! People started to gather in the park early to get their spot on the grass, while others like me and my family strolled through the hood to the street fair -- chalk on the sidewalk, a jumpy castle, pony rides, DJs spinning and beer. What else could you ask for?

Look at that sunset. Being in Brooklyn makes you appreciate the Manahattan skyline so much more.

This is me trying to be artsy. But the flowers were too pretty not to take a photo. This was in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

How all bars should be

The 68 Jay St. Bar is the kind of bar everyone wants in their neighborhood. It's relaxed, casual and small. The lady who owns it (Karen, I think) is super cool. She plays great music from her book of CDs, remembers what you like to drink and serves up Goldfish crackers as snacks with your beer. People are allowed to bring their dogs inside too and she'll bring over a bowl of water.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Summer Photos in the Hood

I love how the streets in Brooklyn Heights are named after fun things like pineapple. According to (1939) WPA Guide to New York City there is a fun story behind the naming of Cranberry, Pineapple, Orange, Poplar and Willow Streets.

"In the decade before the Civil War these streets bore the names of prominent local families. This fact aroused the ire of a Miss Middagh, a determined member of the Brooklyn aristocracy, who vented her dislike of some of her neighbors by tearing down the street signs bearing their names and substituting placards with botanical titles. When the original signs were replaced by the city authorities, she again changed them. This continued until an aldermanic resolution accepted her signs as official. A Heights street retains, however, Miss Middagh's own family name."

Here's another nice shot. This is the bridge and water taxi from the pier in DUMBO. The east river actually looks nice from this spot. I always see people jet skiing, but that's kinda gross. Apparently in the fall there is some race from South Street Seaport over to DUMBO. So not signing up for that one but would certainly watch from the pier.

Abundance of Good Italian in Brooklyn

talian food can be delicious. It's the kind of food that makes you feel good, has lots of flavor and can bring people together over a meal. I love cooking Italian food for me and my husband. In Brooklyn, there is no shortage of Italian food -- really good and well priced Italian food.

Some of our initial favorites: Al Di La, Noodle Pudding, Aurora and Grimaldi's

Just remember to bring cash cause many places in Brooklyn don't take credit/debit cards.

Hello Again

I have decided to a blog focused on my new favorite place, Brooklyn. We moved to DUMBO last May after my weddding. I love it.

It's quiet, clean, has culture and all the essentials - and a starbucks. It's exploding with babies and dogs. Lots of French Bulldogs. The parks are goregous and the restaurants serve great food for much less than you'd find in Manhattan. The people are friendly and I love the architecture, which for the most part has been preserved.

There's nothing like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on a nice day. It's beautiful and calming, even among the hundreds of people walking, running, biking and taking photos. I also can't wait to do the walk in the snow. It would be equally beautiful I think.

Anyway, this is just my initial post... more to come!