Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Monday, July 31, 2006

Forbidden Pleasures

Today I joined Dan and M at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (where Dan's office is) for Forbidden Pleasures --- the one day a year when employees and their family/friends can picnic and play games etc at the garden. They have a constant BBQ too! Yum!

This was also the first year they had the BBQ Olympics! The competition was tough.
3-legged race, Marshmallow relay, pass the banana (from your knees to the next persons' knees) and the dizzy bat!

It was the perfect speed for me in the heat (and with the darn cold!) I was able to sit beneath the trees and be fairly still, yet still be there. M enjoyed the bouncy house and the sprinkler the best! Thankfully the folks who ran the bouncy house had a 5 minute limit per round so that no one over heated.

Hmmmm....What else??

Today marked the two year anniversary of Dan's being in New York! Yeah for Dan being in New York! So to celebrate we went over to try Grimaldi's Pizza! We'd both heard good things about it and decided that tonight was the night! M was enthralled at watching them make our pizza and put in to the firey brick oven...but she was even happier to eat it!! Yum!

After dinner we went for a stroll down by the water's edge and stopped for some homemade Brooklyn ice cream. I like this photo Dan took of us beneath the Brooklyn Bridge (although I do look rather piggish holding his ice cream while eatting mine now don't I?) It was a great day!!!

Back to work tomorrow!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Yes - I've lived in and/or worked in NYC for over 12 years...and I'd NEVER been to Coney Island! A shocker, I know! Today was the day!!! Yippee!!!!

It was a ROASTER out there so being able to get those cool breezes off the beach was a nice thought indeed! We hopped on the subway and made the long journey out to the end of the Q to meet up with Dan's cousin Jenny (go check out her new blog, she's hoping to get some college credits for it!!) at Nathan's Famous for a hot dog and fries before heading over to the boardwalk! After a nice viewing of the beach and boardwalk we journeyed to Astroland to take a ride on the famous Cyclone rollercoaster... but...sadly M was a little too short and we wouldn't ride it without her! Instead we headed over to the log ride (water ride) where we all piled into 2 logs and zoomed around hoping for as much splashing water as possible! From there, after some water, we meandered over to the Scrambler where M and I climbed up into one of the big seats and "rode till the ride didn't spin no mo'!" Weee-haw!!!
Next stop? A moment of rest on a bench on the boardwalk with some more water while Dan took a photo with the pinhole camera. Meanwhile Meg played in the sand... Sand angels anyone? The day was nearing an end and we decided it was time for one last ride... so Dan and M hopped onto the Tilt-a-Whirl. Along the journey out we HAD to stop and pop a quarter into the fortune teller's machine down in the arcade! Oooooh! Spooky!
An ice cream bar from the vending machine and another bottle of water and we were off to the subway for the long ride home!
After the journey home, we relaxed for a little while then Dan and Meg jumped back into pinhole camera fun!
Me? Well -- I've been fighting this cold for a few days and felt it best to just sit and relax...the low grade fever was making me think twice! Although Coney Island in that heat might not have been the smartest choice for my cold -- darn it was FUN!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Small and lovely

Have you ever had one of those days where everything you touched seemed to just - well - not work out? That was today. (For the record I'm officially boycotting the Duane Reade on Broadway between 102nd & 103rd streets in NYC -- incompetent doesn't even scratch the can they hold medications hostage?)
Thankfully I got it all out of the way before dinner!


Because we were joined by some dear friends for a potluck soiree in the garden! Carina, Jo and Emanuel joined M, Dan and I for a small and overly fooded meal. Yum yum yumminess!

(That's Dan making the dough for the peach-cherry cobbler above right!)

Yum! Certainly NO ONE went hungry!! That's for sure!! What a nice way to spend a Saturday evening!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Firsts and Lasts

Today was M's last day of "real camp" she is getting off of the bus for the last time! One of her councelors gave her a "REAL STAFF SHIRT!" that you can see her clutching in her hand. She just LOVED Oasis! Being able to swim so much was definately her favorite part. She's a total water baby. Who knows, perhaps she'll be a competitive swimmer! I liked the different daily themes that the camp had to keep things fun!! Well done Oasis!!
Dan had planned a little special surprise for us after I picked her up!! We sat and enjoyed a lemonade and then hopped on a subway to shoot straight downtown! Why? Baseball baby!!

Tonight I went to my FIRST baseball game in New York. You see - I'm a life long Red Sox fan which has proven to be difficult livingi n NYC!
BUT -- Dan surprised us with tickets to see the Brooklyn Cyclones vs. the Staten Island Yankees at the Staten Island site.

First we took the free Staten Island Ferry over (photo above shows another ferry just like the one we were on as it passes us). It's a great ride and we passed our beautiful Lady Liberty. Upon arrival I realized that we were sitting in the home teams side, but rooting for the away team...thankfully there was a group much louder and more obnoxious than we would have been cheering the Cyclones on too!

Of course we indulged in a ballpark dinner!! And when all was said and done - the score was 10-6 -- the Cyclones WON!!! Yippee!

The night ended with a wonderful fireworks display and return ferry ride which dropped us right at the foot of the subway that we needed to take!

A great first baseball game in New York! Yippee

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pinhole Camera Fun!

Here we see Dan inspecting and showing his newly completed pin hole camera (although it may get a coat of paint to make it all one color...
I can't wait to see the photos we get with it.
I'm sure it's just the first of many pinhole cameras to be made!
I can't wait to start on my own! Till then we'll share this one!

Meanwhile - upstairs on the big ole couch I sat covered by 3 cats as I worked on the knit accessories collection for next fall and watched the Constant Gardener.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fun Day!
This afternoon I took my new Assistant along to shop the market with me. We hit a bunch of the big names (Prada, Furla etc)and then took a walk through Takashimaya. If you come to NYC or live here and don't visit Takashimaya- it's a pity. It's the only branch of this Japanese Department store in the USA. Everything there is, well, special. Even the bags are special!
Make sure to take time for afternoon tea too! This photo is of my Assistant enjoying the afternoon tea set we stopped for a few minutes to enjoy and rev up with! The tea set doesn't break the bank. Shown left is the East-West set --- Not bad for $18 (plus tip!)
The staff makes you feel well taken care of too.

Back pack fix

What a busy night last night!
After getting m, we dashed to the market and then home to make a chicken pot pie (yum!)
and salad etc. Oooh - and I picked up a nice bottle of white burgundy - double yum!

While i cooked, M lounged in the garden reading her book. She bumped her knee at camp and had a nice little bruise forming. Her first camp wound! I can't even COUNT how many I had over the years!

After dinner, yes with only 3 days left at camp, I put shoulder straps, padded shoulder straps, on M’s backpack.

That thing is awful to carry! OUCH! She went through my fabrics and picked a print called “Giggles” with little bugs and butterflies on it.

The addition to her bag is JUST in time for spirit day tomorrow!

As I sewed, Dan and she worked more on the making of the pinhole camera.
She got to paint the inside of the box black. One step closer to giving it a try! Yeah!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Whirlwind Weekend!

The weekend came and went in a flash.

Saturday began with laundry, the spring cleaning kind where you drag even your curtains the multiple blocks to be cleaned. Sadly the machines at the new (and only) laundromat in my neighborhood (there wasn't any for a while) has extendedly long was cycles -- 47 minutes long!!! -- which I didn't know until the clothes were in and wet! Dan and M arrived as all was startng and we popped across to the West Side Cafe -- really a diner. They make REALLY good smoothies (try the Razzamataz!)

After breakfast I went back to hit the laundry while Dan and M went to see Rumple Who? Sadly laundry wasn't done in time and I missed it. M said it was "REALLY GREAT!" which was the hope I'd had when I got the tickets.
I met up with them downtown and we did a spot of shopping... The Container Store (in search of a perfect box for a pinhole camera - but walked away with a snazzy new dish drainer), Home Depot and Barnes & Noble (books, gifts and research for work!)
Then we lugged it all home for buffet night (leftovers night!) We had put off M's suprise from Friday night (she had a wee tummy ache) and after her shower - voila...
Bananas, 2 types of sprinkles, chopped nuts, whip cream, cherries (green lime flavored ones and one real cherry for me), cookie sticks, Godiva (not for M obviously), warm caramel, FLUFF, warm fudge, Hershey's syrup and 3 flavors of ice cream!
A good YUM was had by all!!
Sleep came easily and soon the house was quiet!

I awoke early and couldn't sit still! So I dashed out for a few things (paper, fruit) and soon all were at the table enjoying a nice breakfast while reading the paper or a new book bought yesterday!

Sunday also brought the start of building a pinhole camera! M learned how to use a compass to draw a circle and lots about measuring with a ruler. Meanwhile I went through 3+ months of non-urgent mail and unpacked the bits of clean laundry left behind in all too many suitcases.
Wow! There WAS floor under there!
Early evening my brother and his family arrived to share dinner in the garden...AND I'd finally get to meet my new nephew!! They were passing through and since we didn't know what time they'd arrive we ordered in from a new Japanese spot in the neighborhood -- Tokyo Pop. The food was good & a bit offbeat.

They call it a Japanese Bistro...

Menu items list mashed potatos with the beef teriyaki and creme fraiche with another dish. The homemade pork Gyoza - YUM! The girls had fun playing in the ever growing dress-up trunk too!

After they all left I finally took the time (it's only been 2+ years!) and I hemmed the curtains in the living room!! A job long over due!

Now I need to decide...
Do I pony up the cash and buy the really nice top-down/bottom-up blinds for the bedroom or what?
Damn they are $$$...and I don't own this place!
...but it would make such a difference!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The First Day of REAL CAMP!

Today was M’s first day of real camp! Real camp in the mind of a seven year old constitutes that there is uniform (tshirts) and a camp issued back-pack and they have a CAMP CHEER which we practiced over and over all weekend. Of course she wasn’t quite so thrilled with it when Dan and I awoke her this morning my loudly singing it to her! Hee hee hee!

Dan will be dropping her at the bus mornings and I’ll collect her from a bus stop near to my office evenings. This evening when I went to meet her I waited. And waited. One bus goes by and stops 3-4 blocks down… it leaves. I wait. I call my office to have them confirm from the chart on my desk that I’d written it down right. I wait. I wait. I am NOT LEAVING MY POST – I WAIT.

Meanwhile another bus comes by and stops one block up. I think – this is the bus and I’m at the wrong stop… the bus just sits there. I stand where I am because you KNOW if I leave to check it out her bus will come and I will not be there! Dan calls me… they MOVED the BUS STOP and never told us… that WAS the bus (my gut knew it!)
At least I’ll know from now on! Phew – day one of camp was fun!
Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A perfect example of why I love NYC...

After I dropped M off at camp I stopped for a bite-to-go.
As I left the tiny French Patisserie and walked back into the thick humid air there was a woman in a Burka sitting on a bench selling the major NYC newspapers from a box top in front of her, a black man with beautiful braids having a conversation with two older women seated on a bench - one Eastern European looking with her grey curlered hair wrapped in a scarf and the other Italian looking, still wearing the shocking black hair she'd likely had some 60+ years before...both laughing loudly at whatever yarn he was spinning.
Just past them there was a young woman with 2 small children playing and giggling.
It was a very beautiful site but I didn't take a photo for fear I'd disturb it.

I really love New York!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Back in NYC!

I'll get some posts up this week with photos of the San Fran, The Wedding Celebration, Meetin' the Family and VT this week!

We made it back in time to see the sun going down as we crossed the bridge!

Home again!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Green Mountains – We’re Here!

We decided to take the long and scenic route up to the Green Mountains. Very pretty. I always forget just how many great towns New England has until I pass through them! We arrived last night after dark and successfully put camp together by headlamp. Weeeeeeeeee!
I awoke this morning to this view (that’s the top of the tent!) I love it!

We began our day (after breakfast etc.) with a walk up the creek... across the to the creek...
and of course...a little bit of in the creek!Dan gave us a bit of interesting info about this tree covered in fungi...but he lost Meg after a few moments (too many cool things to explore at once you know!)

Next it was time for Frisbee lessons in the meadow.

How to throw (and how to catch) 101!
M got pretty good by the end of the session!

After packing up the car for the day and heading up to a neigh-boring town we stopped and had lunch next to this covered bridge. We checked out a great thrift store too! Scored a great REI raincoat and some books for Meg, and a vintage necklace and table linen for me!

The next stop of the day was what we'd all been waiting for...
Only a few more miles and we'd be at


We took the 30 minute tour of the facility to see how it all works...although sadly our visit coincided with the OSHA safety traiing day. That said, our tour guide was good and they provided fun vidoes with more info as we went thru the facility. The tour ends with a sample taste. Yum! From there we walked over to the Flavor Graveyard...
I needed a moment to pay tribute to the best flavor ever made...and sadly discontinued (except for the summer a few years back where they brought it back as a limited edition flavor!
My dear Dastardly I miss your yummy chocolate ice cream with the tasty treats held within -- ESPECIALLY the raisins!

Perhaps some day they will bring it can hope.

Fun was had by all!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

A quick entry...
After a day of laundry and packing for our camping trip, we caught a wonderful fireworks display down in Battery Park City in NYC tonight. We couldn't find parking as folks had begun to arrive in the early afternoon! Thankfully a parking attendant agreed to give us his street spot (and put his own car in the garage which was "full") for $20. A bargain that night!

Off to the Green Mountains of VT tomorrow! Cheers all!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Off to see the Wizard…
This morning was the handoff. Dan’s daughter M will be with Dan (and myself for much of it) until early August!
On our way in the morning, M took some photos including this one of me knitting – that’s still sock #1 of the Jaywalkers! It’s moving right along! What a lovely way to begin the day!

Our first stop of the day was for a visit with Dan’s Father. I was happy to meet his friend Wanda who visits daily. Thanks Wanda! Dan’s sister, her fiancé and her four children also met us there. A full house indeed. After our visit we were on to stop #2…meeting Dan’s Mom and her husband Doc along with spending some time with Dan’s sister and her family.

Upon arrival, Dan’s Mom had a spread lain out for us to nibble on all afternoon. Thanks!

There was even time for some sprinkler running, hacky sack playing and horse shoe throwing!
Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Dan’s other sister. Perhaps next time!

It was a long day and another flight tomorrow!
Back to NYC for one and all!