Thursday, December 28, 2006
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.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
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.
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."
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
"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
"... 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
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
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!!!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
It's good, but not THAT good. I've had better pizza in CT. Don't bother...
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
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
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
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
UPDATE: Ok, so I heard now that this haunted house is kinda lame. If anyone knows of a good one, let me know.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
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!
82 Henry St, Brooklyn 11201
Between Pineapple & Orange St
Sunday, October 15, 2006
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!
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
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."
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
Bubby's does a great brunch too but it is really expensive. I do love Bubby's pancakes. Mmmm.
Friday, September 29, 2006
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.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
"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 fiancé 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.
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
-- 12 hours of live bluegrass, country and rock music
-- live performances outdoors (12 noon to 6 p.m.) and indoors (6 p.m.to 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
Monday, September 18, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
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
Monday, September 04, 2006
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.
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
Friday, September 01, 2006
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
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
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.
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
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.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I love Flickr.com, you can find great photos on a given topic like this one of the Verazzano Bridge from the Brooklyn side.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.