Wednesday, November 12, 2008


On June 26, 2008 our lives changed forever with the birth of our identical twin girls. We had to abandon our small DUMBO apartment for the burbs to be closer to our family. Thanks to everyone who read this blog and commented. We can't wait to bring the girls back to Brooklyn.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Local DUMBO Bar Frequented by Media

Gridskipper offers a round-up of "media drinking hangouts" and 68 Jay St. is No. 7 on the list. I have always loved this understated bar. It's the kind of neighborhood bar everyone wants in their neighborhood. Plus they play great music, allow dogs and serve goldfish crackers as a snack. In the warmer months, they open the windows and doors and it's a great place to grab a pint after work.

Happy Hour Specials
Monday–Friday from 4 p.m.–7 p.m..
68 Jay Street, corner of Jay and Water
Open Daily at 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Murakami Vuitton Bags to be Sold at Brooklyn Museum

A different kind of exhibit is slated to open on April 5 and run through July 13 at the Brooklyn Museum. According to the Daily News, a new line of Louis Vuitton bags designed by Takashi Murakami, "considered the Andy Warhol of Japan," will be on view and for sale at the Museum next month. Murakami is well known for his initial collaboration with the famous handbag maker - the limited edition Cherry Blossom line. (And another example.)

While some local folks quoted in the Daily News article thought the exhibit was out of place, a representative from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles said the exhibit was their "most successful show of a living artist ever."

According to Wikipedia:
Murakami’s style, called Superflat, is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga. Superflat is an artistic style that comments on otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism and sexual fetishism.

I for one would love to see this exhibit, although I doubt I'll be leaving with a bag. The exhibit is supposed to serve as a preview before the bags actually go on sale at stores.

Art and sculpture, as well as the Murakami bags and other less expensive merchandise, will be on view at the museum on April 5-July 13. For information, visit. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for older adults and students with valid ID; children under 12 are free.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Classes at Brooklyn General Store

Brooklyn General Store has released their Spring Schedule of knitting, sewing and spinning classes.

Here is a link to the schedule. I did the Project Knitting class and loved it!

Hecho en DUMBO

I feel really silly having lived in the neighborhood for almost 2 years and having never eaten dinner at Hecho en DUMBO. I have had breakfast and lunch there several times but never made it in past 5 pm. Wow, have I been missing out!

We love Mexican food, but since I am pregnant with twins, I've been advised not to walk up the stairs -- which totally rules out Alma. Honestly, I don't think Alma is the best Mexican ever, but it does the trick when you crave it and the view is gorgeous.

We tried ordering from Pedro's the other week. The food looked good but arrived ice cold and my vegetable burrito was just a tortilla filled with rice & beans. A bit strange to me.

My husband and I went in last night for dinner after picking up a menu last Sunday during brunch. The music was lively and it was nicely crowded. The food was excellent and very affordable. We started with some guacamole and chips, which were freshly made and delicious (not oily). I had the Burritas De Res (wine braised local steak stewed in lime with caramelized onions). There were three to the order and they resembled mini burritos (no rice), about the size of a sushi hand roll. They were delicious and came with two different kinds of fresh salsa (a spicy red tomato and a less spicy green tomatillo salsa). My plate was only $8 and I was very full and content with the portion.

My husband had the sampler, which was still under $20 but more than enough food for two people. It offered a little bit of everything from the menu. I'd definitely recommend trying this if you go with a friend and want to share. One thing to note, it's cash only.

We'll definitely be back very soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Amazing Easter Cookies

I was reading the Wednesday Food & Dining section in The New York Times and saw these cookies from Betty Bakery in Boerum Hill. They are just amazing and so special.

Natalie Portman Films New Movie in Brooklyn

Natalie Portman is filming select scenes for a new flick called "New York I Love You" in Brooklyn Heights.

Interestingly, the article reports that the man playing Natalie's husband, a Hasidic Jew from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, quit the film. Being filmed and photographed, with images appearing on the Internet, was against his beliefs. Isaac Abraham, a Hasidic community leader, called him a "little naive."

Brooklyn Heights .... In Ohio?

Who would have thought that there would be another Brooklyn Heights in the U.S.? Apparently there is another Brooklyn Heights, but in Ohio. It's just Southeast of Brooklyn, Ohio (just South of Cleveland).

Brooklyn Heights is a village in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. The population was 1,558 at the 2000 census.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chipshop Fries Up Well

My husband and I went to Chipshop a few weeks back and I've been meaning to do a post. We'd passed the restaurant several times (our vet is right nearby too) and finally got around to going.

If you haven't been, it's a small bar/restaurant that is smartly decorated with British paraphernalia -- from food items to rock band posters. They have a nice selection of traditional British fare (kidney pie, bangers and mash) as well as fried delights like their famous Fish N' Chips. For dessert (didn't have room), you can get deep fried candy bars (Mars, Twix, Snickers, Bounty). At first I used to think these were the grossest things, but when done right, they are a real treat (a once a year thing of course).

My husband ordered the Fish N' Chips and I got the chicken fingers. I know, kind of a wuss out, but I'm pregnant and couldn't remember which fish I was allowed to eat and which one I'm to stay away from (you can choose from Cod or Haddock).

Let me tell you, these were the best chicken fingers I have ever had (I am a bit of a connoisseur). The batter was amazing... not greasy at all! My husband felt the same about his dish.

He ended up going back last night with a friend for a few beers and dinner, and reported back to me that we have to go back and try the Mac N' Cheese. He said it was amazing.

So if you haven't already, go try Chipshop, either at its Atlantic St location or in Park Slope on 5th Avenue. They have a kids menu too, so bring the troops.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Brooklyn Restaurant Week

Brooklyn Restaurant Week is scheduled for March 24-31. For more information, visit here and here.

Dine-In Brooklyn, the biggest borough's restaurant week, will offer three-course prix-fixe menus for $23 at more than 175 food spots from March 24 through 31.

Applewood, Rose Water, Blue Ribbon, Alchemy, Stone Park, Tempo, Vesuvio, L & B Gardens, Queen, Tatiana, Alma, Crave, River Café, Chez Oskar, ici, and Junior's are among the restaurants taking part -- some for lunch, some for dinner, some for both. (And some may also opt out of the weekend.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Baby Blogs & Mom Blogs

We've got babies on the mind and have been scouring the Web for good blogs to read. I love blogs for baby and parenting tips, products and news (of course wouldn't replace Consumer Reports), and have found a few that I really enjoy and read on a daily basis.

the poop
mommy track'd
and of course, achildgrowsinbrooklyn

What are your favorites?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fro Yo Wars

The New York Times discusses the competition in the frozen yogurt space, with stores like Pinkberry and Red Mango popping up within blocks of each other in Manhattan. The story also highlights Brooklyn's \eks\ (which I have never been to, but now have to go).

After several trips to Pinkberry (come to DUMBO!) I have figured out my favorite combination. It's blueberries or mango, chocolate chips and mochi balls. Yes, it's super expensive but it's totally worth it in my opinion.

I remember when I used to think Tasti-D was the best thing ever, but now I know better. I still love me some Tasti-D, but Pinkberry is my favorite.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Greenpoint Concert Venue in the Works

NYMag and Gothamist report that a new live music concert venue could pop-up in Williamsburg by next Summer to help balance the loss of McCarren Park pool.

As Gothamist aptly points out, "Wonder if the residents of the new luxury condos sprouting up in that area would prefer loud concerts or a power plant?"

More on the story here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Why is Good Pet Care Hard to Find?

For many of us, our pets are like children -- members of the family. That's Oscar, one of our cats. So when we go away, we want to be sure they are taken care of properly.

Since we moved to New York 4 years ago (Brooklyn 2 years ago), we have had a hard time finding a reliable cat sitter. You can't bring them to the kennel cause it makes them crazy (who wants to sit in a cage!!!). So we end up paying anywhere from $25-30 for a cat sitter to come, feed the cats at our apartment, scoop the litter box and hopefully pet the cats. Yes, that's $25-30 for EACH visit.

I have often thought about doing cat sitting myself. The idea of getting that much cash for something so simple is just golden. I mean are the cats really going to tell me whether someone played with them or just threw the toys around the apartment?

But what I find appalling, especially since this is technically a very simple job, is the fact that so many of these cat sitters -- many of which come highly recommended -- are completely irresponsible. I've had experiences where they have come several hours late or not come at all. You may be thinking that cats probably don't need the attention that dogs do because they go in a litter box inside the house, but some cats, including mine, get very anxious when their routine is messed up. As a result, they can get sick

To their credit (and I won't name names), I have received gracious apologies for these types of mistakes, even refunds. But does that mean I should use them again? Sometimes, I just don't have a choice unfortunately.

So, my question to you is whether or not you have had similar situations? Do you have a pet sitter you love? If so, tell me!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why Give Chalky Hearts When You Can Give Chocolate?

I was searching the Web for Valentine's Day stories and found myself laughing at this point-of-view on Conversation Hearts because it's SO TRUE!

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Conversation hearts taste like crap: Much like the Marshmallow Peep at Easter, these little heart-shaped candies have developed a kitschy following -- mostly because of the little sayings stenciled on the front. (Too Cute! Love ya!) And also like the Peep, nobody actually wants to eat them. The yellow one has the faint taste of banana, but the orange, blue and white ones all taste exactly the same -- like little hunks of sugary chalk, with a hint of pineapple.

I picked up some chocolate treats from Jacques Torres last night and they were so beautiful. Some nice boxed truffles for my husband and these red colored, white chocolate pops in the shape of lips and the word Love for my girlfriends at work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Impress Your Valentine With Red Velvet Cupcakes

Recipe from Magnolia bakery (courtesy of Epicurious):

Cupcake Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Frosting Ingredients:
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

Cupcake Directions:
In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with Creamy Vanilla Frosting.

Frosting Directions:
In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.

Epicurious Test-Kitchen Tip:
This recipe also makes 2 dozen cupcakes. Use 2 muffin pans, each with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups, and line each cup with a paper liner. (There's no need to grease the cups.) Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. To ice, mound about 1/4 cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Paul Simon @ BAM

I just got an e-mail from The Public Theater about upcoming performances at BAM. One of my all-time favorite artists, Paul Simon, will be performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this April.
Latin beats and 50s doo-wop fill New York City's nights with Songs from The Capeman. In Under African Skies, Simon rekindles a love affair with the sounds of South Africa and Brazil which began with his masterpieces Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints. Finally, Simon revisits the quiet railway stations, urban rhythms, and immigrant dreams of his greatest American Tunes.

For tickets, click here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cutest Dishes from Fishs Eddy

There used to be a store on Montague, but unfortunately it closed last year. But they are having a sale on their Elephant patterned plates, bowls and mugs -- all 50% off.

If you're a DUMBO resident, you're probably into the Elephant theme too, so thought I'd pass this along!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Chinese New Year

For a more traditional experience than General Tso's, amNewYork offers its top picks for restaurants to celebrate Chinese New Year in the city. I heart dim sum and this place in Park Slope looks great. I have to check it out. My friend also loves the Vietnamese place listed below, which is across the river in Chinatown proper.

Park Asia
On Brooklyn's 8th Avenue lies New York's second Chinatown, though you won't find hawkers selling baby turtles and Gucci knock-offs. The neighborhood has an old-world flavor, as well as some of the city's best dim sum. Check out the modestly decorated Park Asia. As the cart touting goodies goes by, be sure to snag some crispy seafood rolls, taro dumplings and barbecue beef pastry. Bring an adventurous palate, because if you don't have a solid grasp of the Chinese language you're likely to bite into a crispy frog. 6521 8th Ave., Brooklyn; 718-833-1688; $7/person on average.

Nha Trang
While the Lunar New Year is most often referred to as Chinese New Year, few people are aware that the holiday is also celebrated by the Mongolian, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. For some killer Vietnamese food, head to Baxter Street's Nha Trang, where the portions are large, the tab is minimal and the service is lightning quick. The cornerstone of Vietnamese cuisine is Pho, a type of rice noodle in broth. The Pho Tai ($4.75) gets you a huge bowl with beef cooked just right. Locals go for the barbecue pork chop over rice ($5) and the squid, chili sauce and lemongrass ($8.75) is to die for. 87 Baxter St; 212-233-5948; $4.75-$8.75.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

10 Romantic Restaurants for Valentine's Day

Restaurant Girl offers her top picks for a romantic Valentine's Day meal:

RAOUL'S 180 Prince St., between Sullivan & Thompson Sts., (212) 966-3518. This quintessential SoHo bistro and its classic French fare make for an effortlessly romantic evening. The three-course meal ($75) features chestnut and foie gras ravioli as well as sea bass with Maine mussel fondue. Request the cozy enclosed garden, then retreat to the upstairs loft for an after-dinner reading from the resident fortune teller.

ELEVEN MADISON PARK 11 Madison Ave., at 24th St., (212) 889-0905. Serious food lovers can feast on acclaimed chef Daniel Humm's outstanding French fare and partake in a sumptuous, seven-course tasting menu ($225), including diver scallops with black truffles. Dine under exquisite vaulted ceilings or settle into one of the more intimate dining suites at Danny Meyer's lavish Flatiron destination.

DRESSLER 149 Broadway, near Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 384-6343. With its stunning chandeliers and mosaic tile floor, this polished New American is an enchanting Williamsburg oasis. The three-course tasting menu ($70) is scattered with a flurry of aphrodisiacs: oysters, foie gras, scallops and artichoke hearts.

PUBLIC 210 Elizabeth St., between Prince and Spring Sts., (212) 343-7011. If a dining room lit with one thousand flickering candles doesn't sound romantic enough, there's also the exotic allure of an Australasian menu with a five-course tasting menu ($90), featuring a New Zealand venison chop with truffle parsnip mash.

DESSERT STUDIO (at Chocolat Michel Cluizel), 888 Broadway, at 19th St., (212) 477-7355. You may want to skip dinner and indulge in a his-and-hers dessert tasting ($85 per couple), designed by whimsical pastry chef Will Goldfarb. Desserts at this sweets laboratory include a white chocolate spuma with rose Champagne gelee and a sampling of luxe Michel Cluizel chocolates.

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA 17 Barrow St., near Seventh Ave., (212) 255-8649. Tucked into a West Village carriage house, this timelessly romantic backdrop boasts two fireplaces and a grand piano. Newly installed chef Craig Hopson will not only be preparing a four-course tasting menu ($150) on Feb. 14, but also a belated Valentine's Day tasting ($95) throughout the week. Dinner begins with American sturgeon caviar, a decadent rite of passage for a romantic meal.

CAVO 42-18 31st Ave., near 42nd St., Queens, (718) 721-1001. With rose petal-covered floor and long stem roses for the ladies, this chic Astoria lounge does all the romantic legwork for you. The modern Greek kitchen serves a tasting menu ($65) with chickpea-coated oysters, filo-crusted shrimp glazed in Cretan honey and a "Lover's Tasting of Desserts."

L'IMPERO 45 Tudor City Place, near 42nd St., (212) 599-5045. Spend the evening at this elegant Tudor City landmark, where you can sample chef Michael White's refined Southern Italian cooking and a stellar wine list. The four-course tasting menu ($110) includes lobster-filled ravioli and grilled lamb chops with escarole.

SILVERLEAF TAVERN 43 E. 38th St., at Park Ave., (212) 973-2550. If you're not the romantic type, this swanky lounge in Murray Hill celebrates the occasion with an Anti-Valentine's Day menu ($35) where couples can share small plates labeled "Unrequited Ribs" and "Angry Lobster," to name a few.

BACARO 136 Division St., near Ludlow St., (212) 941-5060. This bi-level, candlelit wine bar is intimately furnished with wood-beam ceilings, exposed bricks and cozy cafe tables to enjoy an extensive wine menu and Italian small plates like marinated sardines and gnocchi with mushrooms. With a no-reservations policy, this downtown Italian is a perfectly charming and low-key last-minute option.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Superbowl Countdown

My husband is a sports fanatic and a huge Giants fan, so we are no doubt looking forward to this Sunday and Super Bowl XLII. Hopefully Eli and team will pull through for a victory!

Aside from the usual Super Bowl snacks, I decided I should try to cook up some other classic fare. I promised my husband I would make some chili -- something I have never done actually. I came across this recipe online for Turkey Chili, but he was disappointed it wasn't beef. I'll probably end up doing it with beef instead just because it seems so simple (I imagine it would work either way?). I also found this chili recipe from Tyler Florence, who is usually good for staple recipes.

Let me know if you have any good recipes!

30-Minute Turkey Chili (from Food Network Kitchens):
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (12-ounce) Mexican lager-style beer
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Sliced scallions, cilantro sprigs, avocado, sour cream, grated Monterey jack cheese, and/or tortilla chips, for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.

Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes--crushing them through your fingers into the skillet--along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil.

Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with the garnishes of your choice.

Tyler's Texas Chili
  • 3 dried ancho peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 1/2 tablet Mexican chocolate (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • Grated queso fresco, for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

In a small dry skillet over low heat add the ancho peppers, oregano, paprika, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Cook until they begin to smell, about 2 minutes. Put the spices into a spice mill or food processor and grind until they are powdered. Set aside.

Heat a large heavy bottomed casserole over medium heat; add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Add it to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until it has browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the toasted spice mix, the garlic, chipotle, jalapeno, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Season with salt and stir well. Add some hot water until the meat is just covered with liquid.

Return to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the meat and shred it with a fork. Return it to the pot, stir in the masa harina and chocolate, and cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered, to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with the queso fresco, cilantro, and lime for garnish.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mercury Levels Too High in Fav NYC Sushi Spots

Say it ain't so! I just read this article in The New York Times about a recent sampling of tuna at popular NYC sushi restaurants. It's a story that has been circling the Web today and may make sushi lovers (well, probably not me) think twice about ordering tuna.

"... laboratory tests that found high levels of mercury in tuna bought at 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants, including the Gourmet Garage. Its tuna had the second-highest mercury level in the study, 1.25 parts per million."
According to reports, "mercury of more than 1 part per million is the 'action level' at which the FDA can take food off the market." OK, well I've never been there, phew!

"The federal Food and Drug Administration can move to have fish containing that much mercury taken off the market, though it rarely does so. The four restaurants are Nobu Next Door, Sushi Seki, Sushi of Gari and Blue Ribbon Sushi."

Shoot, I've been to 3/4 but I'm still alive and writing this blog so what should one believe? How much sushi does one have to consume to get mercury poisoning anyway?

"Hiro Nishida, the president of the company that owns Megu, said Megu served tuna that was almost mercury-free at its other restaurant, in the Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza. Mr. Nishida said that that type of tuna, kindai tuna, was developed at Kinki University in Japan ... kindai tuna cost 50 percent more than ordinary tuna, but that he had not raised the prices on items that call for kindai tuna."

There's still hope, if you can afford it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cobbile Hill's Alex McCord to Star in "Real Housewives of NYC"

According to The Daily News and Gothamist, Bravo is launching a spin-off of their popular Real Housewives of Orange County series on March 4.

The show will focus on Bethenny Frankel, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin of the Upper East Side and Alex McCord of Cobble Hill.
Alex McCord Born: Washington, D.C.
Lives: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Married: Yes; husband works in boutique hotel management.
Kids: Two sons, ages 2 and 4.
Job: Works in visual merchandising for a major retailer.

Bethenny Frankel (website)
Born: New York.
Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: No.
Kids: None, but her boyfriend of 10 months has three, ages 4, 7 and 9.
Job: Frankel's health food company, bethennybakes, creates wheat-, egg- and dairy-free baked goods as well as tailored, healthy menus for clients.

LuAnn deLesseps (website)
Born: Connecticut.
Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: Yes, to Count Alexandre de Lesseps, a French aristocrat she met in the Swiss Alps.
Kids: 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.
Job: Hosts "The Countess Report," her own cable show based in the Hamptons.

Ramona Singer
Born: Rhinebeck, N.Y. Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: Yes, and co-creating a jewelry line with her husband.
Kids: 12-year-old daughter.
Job: Buys and resells excess fashion inventory to discount boutiques and chains. Also developing her own skin-care products.

Jill Zarin
Born: Woodmere, L.I. Lives: Upper East Side.
Married: Yes, to second husband.
Kids: 15-year-old daughter; husband has three kids of his own, ages 25, 28 and 31.
Job: Owns Zarin Fabrics & Home Furnishings on the lower East Side.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Awesomeness in Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO?

Was strolling the Chowhound boards and came across this new thread. Let this guy know he should take the plunge and move to Brooklyn. He's concerned there's no good food!

Brooklyn Oenology

An article from a site called Lenndevours focuses on Brooklyn Oenology (BOE), a relatively new winery located in a converted Greenpoint warehouse. Apparently BOE wines are available at several NYC locations, including DUMBO's Blanc et Rouge and Rebar.

Here is a link to the Q&A with Alie Shaper, who is described as an "engineer-turned-winemaker." I should note that the grapes don't actually come from Brooklyn, they come from Long Island, but the production is all local.

Project Knitting @ Brooklyn General

My favorite neighborhood knitting store, Brooklyn General, is starting up its weekly Project Knitting class. The instructor Kaitlyn is fantastic and I highly recommend trying it if you are interested in learning how to knit a scarf, hat, socks or sweater.

You should know the basics (cast on, cast off, knit, purl), but if you are a little rusty, Kaitlyn will show you the way. She's very patient and the class size is small, so you get the attention you need to finish a project with confidence.

The fee for the class covers instruction; you have to purchase materials separately. I took it this fall and knitted a lovely cable stitch hat. It looks really impressive!

Brooklyn General Store
128 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Off Topic Post

I got one of those cute forwards this morning with the animals cuddling up together. I am such a sucker for those! Anyway, this was the last photo and I thought it was hilarious so I decided to post it here for you all to see:

Friday, January 04, 2008

Corcoran Group Releases Data on Brooklyn RE Market

I'm late blogging about this since it's yesterday's news, but as a home owner in Brooklyn and avid real estate enthusiast, I found Corcoran's data interesting. Here's an excerpt from Brownstoner, specifically with regard to Brooklyn RE:

The Corcoran Group released its year-end market data today, and the brokerage’s stats show the ’07 Brooklyn market making healthy (if not huge) gains over 2006. The median sales price on all condos and co-ops was up 7 percent last year, to $590,000, while median townhouse values rose 2 percent in ’07, to $1.2 million."

"... Brooklyn Heights, where the median price shot up 19 percent, to $1.3 million. Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, on the other hand, showed a median price decrease of 9 percent, going from $950,000 in 2006 to $860,000 in 2007. And Park Slope’s median price slipped from $999,000 in ’06 to $928,000 in ’07."

Best Smith Street or Court Street Restaurant

Chowhound has a good thread on its outer borough board about restaurant recommendations on Smith Street and Court Street. One of the posters mentions Queen, a restaurant my husband and I have been interested in trying based on a recommendation from a family friend. We read mixed reviews of Queen online, but then on this thread it looks like a favorite.