Tuesday, December 30, 2008

happy holidays!

this year we have a little more room than last year- so we were able to get a small Christmas tree.  We decided to get just a small tree, but it has been so nice.  All of my decorations are at my parent's house- which i managed to forget until we brought the tree home.  So, I made a few, and bought a couple of new strings of lights.  The cats love having a tree.  They are always really good and don't try to knock it down or eat the ornaments.  Dot has a special love for the tree and enjoys sitting under it (and also drinking the tree water).  Silly kitty! :)

let it snow...

last week we had a little bit of snow.  i was like a small child sitting at my desk watching the snow come down, and announcing to the rest of the office the size of the snowflakes.  In the city- the snow quickly turned to mush, much to my dissappointment.  I really really hate cold wet feet from walking through inches of slush.  Fortunately, our backyard in Brooklyn did not melt.  On last Saturday morning, we took Dash outside to checkout the snow.  As much as he loves going outside, I think that he was thoroughly confused about the snow.  He also seemed to dislike the feeling of cold, wet feet!  
i also snapped a photo of the snow in city hall park.   The park is closed on the weekend, so all of the snow remained untouched.  So pretty.  :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

marathon weekend

the first sunday in november is the new york city marathon.  the route goes through all five boroughs, and runs about a block from our apartment.  we made a trip to gorilla coffee and then down to fourth avenue to watch the runners.  the first people to go are the disabled athletes.  they were incredibly inspiring.  i know that there were more than a few tears of admiration shed as these determined individuals passed us. 
 the elite runners come next- first the women and then the men.  it is always incredible to watch these athletes.  we were standing at about mile 7, i think.  the time clock was in front of the athletes- and was at about 35 minutes- they were still running about 5 minute miles!  wow.  then following is everyone else.  the people just kept coming and coming.  i love when people write their names on their shirts so that the crowd can cheer them on by name.  the runners were so enthusiastic- but the prize goes to the french as a whole.  somehow every person i saw wearing a french flag was super excited - often giving the crowd high fives as they ran.  it was just a fantastic experience to watch all of these people- just think of the committment all of them have made to this achievement.

spaceship? in central park

three weekends ago we went to central park on sunday to visit the chanel mobile pavilion- an art installation in a "building" designed by zaha hadid.  zach had gotten passes weeks ago, which was fantastic.  i would not have wanted to wait in the standby line- it was extremly long, and slow moving.  the leaves were just starting to change in the park, and we walked to the pavilion through the mall.  this is my favorite part of the park- the one you always see in movies with the benches along the side and the promenade through the middle.  it was especially beautiful with the leaves.  i miss the mountains in the fall- but between the parks and the street trees in brooklyn, the fall is still beautiful in the city.  the pavilion was interesting- you were led through slowly- first by the staff and then by the audio track.  i didn't love the art- but it was overall an interesting exhibit.  

Sunday, October 5, 2008

models in a box

My grandmother has told me that I need to update my blog more often.  I will make an attempt to work on that. :)

Saturday we went to meet our friend Chris following his wedding in Fort Greene.  We were meeting them in DUMBO, and stopped by the pier at Fulton Ferry Landing.  A television shoot was going on for "Make Me a Supermodel" (a show on Bravo.)  They were suspending models two at a time in a clear cube from a crane high in the air.  We watched for a bit.  We did not select to be part of the "crowd" for the tv footage.  
It was also funny to watch Tyson Beckford watching from his chair with a bullhorn.

We walked to the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge to take some photographs.  This photograph is taken looking towards the Manhattan Bridge.
Following photos in DUMBO, we went to Flushing to celebrate the wedding at their traditional chinese banquet.  This ten course meal was unlike anything I have ever had.  Zach and I both tried everything.  I wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing out on something fantastic.  Flushing is such a bizarre place as well. It is a bit like stepping into another world.  We took the subway back home afterwards- I don't think I had previously ridden the train from one end of the line to the other.  We stopped in Times Square to transfer trains, and popped outside to see what was happening in the city.  It was full of tourists as always- but it was interesting to check out the Netflix glass box with a group trying to break a movie watching world record.  I think the goal is 100 hours.  They seemed to be well equiped with coffee and red bull. 

Apparently it must have been the day for people to be in clear boxes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

brooklyn botanic garden

Zach spent the end of the week and the weekend in Virginia. He was at Virginia Tech on Thursday and Friday, and went home for the rest of the weekend. I decided to go check out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, since it was such a beautiful weekend. Although most plants were not in full bloom, the garden is still beautiful. I stumbled across the start of a tour, so I followed along with that. Now, I think that I will have to return in May when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
This is the Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope, I took this photo on my walk up to the Botanic Garden.
This fountain is at the north entrance to the park, off Eastern Parkway. This is in the Osborne Garden, and is flanked by whispering benches.

The Japanese garden has a viewing pavilion overlooking the pond. This was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden.

One of my favorite things in the Japanese garden is the turtles on the turtle rock. They all look like they are enjoying this beautiful day!

Friday, August 1, 2008

weekend in the windy city

we spent this weekend in the windy city. this was a nice break from the humid city that new york becomes in the summer!
we were there for a fantastic chicago wedding for some of our favorite people. these are a few of my photos of the city that i took this weekend. the first photo is overlooking the beach along the lake shore. somehow i never had realized that there was a "beach" in chicago. it is such a bizarre little place.

the photo below is from a cubs game. i just may become a baseball fan yet. the game was really fun. now, i'll have to add a yankees game to my list of things to do.
if you ask nicely i will send you photos from the wedding. here's a sneak peak of the phenomenal reception venue.

the fourth... of august?

i apologize for being a delinquent blogger. i found these photos on the digital camera and realized that i never posted them online.

for the fourth of july, we decided to brave the crowds and watch the big macy's fireworks display. we headed down to the brooklyn heighs promenade, overlooking lower manhattan and the brooklyn bridge around 6 pm. somhow luck was with us, and we managed to find a bench seat. which was a good thing, as the fireworks didn't start until 9:30.
so we settled in with our books and picnic dinner to wait it out. from the photos you can also see one of the waterfalls, by olafur eliassonthe crowd continued to fill in the gaps until there was nearly no room to walk. it did start to rain just before the fireworks began, but tapered off during the big show. the fireworks were unbelievable. we realized that we never thought much of fourth of july fireworks - more that it was a time to have a big family cookout and shoot off bottle rockets and sparklers. from our seats, the barge was directly in front of us, and our seats shook with each firework. the show just went on and on- with appearances by all of my favorite fireworks. i really like the ones that whistle. i also read that there were orange fireworks as part of the display- which supposedly are unusual.

so- all in all a fantastic display. another thing to check off the list. although- definitely not a place to go if you dislike crowds and noisy children. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

a "moving" experience

well, we've moved again. we have been super busy with work, finding an apartment, and moving. now we're totally settled in- in brooklyn! we moved to park slope two weeks ago- to a fantastic little place that even has a backyard. the building is very nice, and the super really is super. today we got a grill. just like everything in the city- this was more difficult than it should have been. i had the crazy idea of buying a grill from a friend of a friend- a fantastic deal- but how to get it home? so zach and i pulled it home- from one and a half miles away. needless to say- we were exhausted when we got home. and then we had to get propane! about four hours later we were finally able to make delicious hamburgers.

brooklyn is fantastic. our neighborhood is so beautiful, the people are friendly, and the commute is nearly the same to work. and, best of all, we have enough space. we took this panoramic photo the weekend we moved in. there is not a skylight- the photos pieced together weirdly.
you can see that the kitties love the new apartment too. they have two windows to watch the birds and the squirrels- which provides hours of entertainment. we even got a harness and leash for them so that we can safely go outside to the backyard. dash loves to sit and just watch everything. dot on the other hand, thinks we are trying to kill her by taking her outside. she is absolutely terrified. so, needless to say, dot hasn't been outside very much. we are trying to help her calm down a bit about it- but so far it isn't working well.

the cats also seem to think that we have set up a racetrack, that ends on the bed. the problem is that race time seems to occur at sunrise- so it is not very well received by the sleeping humans in the house. fortunately, tiring the cats out at night with crazy playtime seems to help everyone sleep through the night.

more photos to follow, i have a deadline at the end of the week. after that hopefully things will slow down again for a while. at least summer hours start for me this week- woo hoo!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

another visitor braves the city

last weekend zach's mom, shannon came to visit. i am starting to think that we are going to develop a reputation at home of torturing our visitors. like my parents, shannon also claimed that we tried to walk her to death! we promise we aren't trying to do this- we really do just walk a lot!

we had a very busy three days, before easter weekend. we visited all of the touristy spots, as shannon had not been to new york before. we are still trying to get a good list of places to take visitors. unfortunately, we only see the city on the weekend, so we're still building our repertoire.

one of the best things we did was visit the top of the rock. zach and i had been to the empire state building before, when we visited the city in eighth grade. so, we wanted to try something different. other than the jerk of an elevator operator, who was unnecessarily rude, the experience was terrific. there was virtually no line at sunset, and the views are terrific. because it is located further uptown than the empire state building, it also has full views of the park. i love to see the city at night too, with all of the lights. we could almost see our apartment, but there was a big, ugly building in the way. oh well.

i think that shannon's favorite thing would probably have been the shopping. century 21 was a big hit, and we didn't even make it past the first floor. we also went to canal street, in search of bargains.

so, come visit us, it will be fun!

to market, to market

we visited chelsea market for sunday brunch, the day after our trip to the guggenheim. this is an interesting place: home of the food network, as well as some interesting specialty stores.

i love to take the bus on the weekend, when there is less traffic. its a great way to see where you are going, instead of just arriving from underground. so, we took the bus straight down ninth avenue to 14th street.

we ate at the ronnybrook dairy- a "milk bar" for some delicious eggs and a great "chocolatte". this wonderful beverage is a latte made with chocolate milk. it took quite a long time to make up our minds that this was where we wanted to eat- there were so many delicious options.
we then visited the manhattan fruit exchange for some delicious fresh produce. this made an excellent addition to dinner on sunday night. i think my new favorite veggie (other than potatoes of course) is carrots. fresh, sweet, steamed carrots cut on an angle, and with just a bit of sugar. mmmmm...

i want to believe

zach and i decided to go to the guggenheim. we were interested in seeing the exhibition there, and have decided that we need to see more museums! the installation was by cai guo-qiang, entitled i want to believe. the pieces were mostly from other installations, and modified for installation in the gugenheim. the center piece is a series of nine cars, that simulate a bombing, exploding vertically and rotating through the center of the space.

we followed the audio with the show, which took you through the space from the bottom, spiraling up the ramp. zach and i were thinking that we remembered that you were "supposed" to take the elevator to the top and then view the art while walking down.
my two favorite pieces were the wolves and his re-interpretation of the rent collection courtyard. Both pieces were very interesting to move through. when we walked along the wolves, you felt as if you were running with them. their over exaggerated forms had so much energy. (you should know that they are not real wolves- i think they said that cai used to be in set design)the rent collection courtyard was a series of sculptures that had been originally exhibited in venice in 1999, which is when this photo is from. he and his team reconstruct the work from 1967, a series of sculptures. his version is shown in process, with some sculptures unfinished, and tools lying around. the series is left to dry and crack throughout the exhibition, which adds to the expressions and postures of suffering.

cai is apparently known for his gunpowder pieces, which filled the upper levels of the exhibit. zach really liked these.

this exhibition has gotten a lot of hype, and was filled with people the day that we visited. we both really enjoyed it. i think it was definitely a good way to spend a saturday morning.

the farnsworth invention

i recently found out that the farnswoth invention was going to end its run on march 2. i had really wanted to see this, and so, on saturday, march 1, i got out of bed early to brave the lines at tkts. i wanted to see the show, but not at full price. fortunately, i was there early, and by 10:15, had my ticket in my hand. zach had to work that day, so i had decided to go by myself.

the show was really good. i can see why it didn't do well- in two hours they managed to pack so much information in about the characters, the multi-layered plot, and all of the scientific information about how to build a television. i actually never thought a play about cathode ray tubes could be so interesting, but it really was.
the one big disappointment, however, was when i sat down and opened my playbill. i don't think i had ever seen that many little white sheets of paper in a playbill. all of the main characters were being played by understudies. that meant that hank azaria, who was really excited about watching, was not going to be in the show today. good thing my tickets were half price. it all turned out okay though, the understudies did a good job- with only a few trips over the amazingly fast string of lines.

the interesting part was the two older couples sitting beside me. apparently (i was listening to their conversation) the man had worked as an engineer for one of these companies, developing the television at this time. he was explaining how he had worked on the cathode ray tube, and was told to copy it from some drawings. the woman, who was his wife was like, "yeah, yeah, we've all heard this story before." i guess all stories get old once you've heard them thirty or forty times!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

snow in central park

the last couple of weeks have been busy- lots of work... so not a lot of blog posts. this friday we were very excited to wake up to snow having fallen overnight. this is what we got up to on friday morning... the great thing about friday snow is that it was still around for saturday! we thought we would take a walk in the park on saturday morning, so we went to bouchon bakery in columbus circle for a little coffee and some pastries. zach got a demi baguette, and i got a small pistachio and cherry brioche. although zach was sure it would have been better if the cherries were replaced with chocolate, i thought it was absolutely amazing. the park was beautiful- and even better- the paths had been scraped so we could walk through without getting our feet wet! its so amazing to walk though the park in the snow, its sometimes hard to believe that you're still in the middle of the city. this part of the park is called the mall, its one of our favorite places. oh, and watch out for the vampire snowman. he's very frightening.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

super tuesday

super tuesday was a very odd day. i voted this morning, at my neighborhood polling place. the voting booths are the old school ones where you pull the lever. this was new- i have only voted on the computer voting stations before. for some reason i also decided to answer the questions of the person conducting interviews outside. that was a bit of a disaster, unfortunately i was not at my most articulate this morning...
then the train was delayed slightly... due to the parade traffic. yes. the giants parade downtown was also this morning. this meant that a ton of people were filling the streets and screaming all morning and afternoon today. zach was able to watch the parade from the top of his office. all i saw was the police barricade when i went to meet him for lunch.
it was actually pretty cool to watch all of the excitement. far down the street was a big projection screen, although you can't really see it in this photo. the parade started at south street seaport, and ended at city hall. we did see some people jump on top of a taxi, which was rather crazy! my favorite thing from the day was the t-shirt slogan "18 wins, one GIANT loss."

soho shopping

this weekend, we started out in soho to do a little shopping at best buy and muji. we ended up exploring through the area, and walked from west 4th and 6th ave, down through soho, back up lafayette, turned around at astor place/ cooper union, and then back down through soho to muji. in our wandering, we came across the new musuem...
this weirdly proportioned building... (doesn't it look like it should be wider?)i got this neat booklet of walks through the city . its 50 cards, each with a different city walk map, and facts about the area. we thought this would be a neat way for us to see new things and also pick up handy facts along the way.

Monday, January 28, 2008

strands of macaroni

this weekend after zach recuperated from his trip to los angeles, we took a little trip down to nyu area/ the east village. we did a little window shopping/ browsing through several stores... but amazingly i went to both dsw and filene's basement and did not buy a thing! how is it that living in new york i buy less clothes? this photo is walking up the stairs at strand books. somehow we also went to strand and zach didn't buy a book! what the heck is going on here? :)

we followed up our little walk with an excessive amount of macaroni and cheese at s'mac. it was delicious, they had so many options to choose from! next time, however, i think we'll be splitting a dish- there is actually such a thing as too much macaroni and cheese. maybe next weekend we'll head to peanut butter and co, to indulge in another comfort food restaurant.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

walking the brooklyn bridge

this weekend was filled with walks. on saturday afternoon we took a long walk through central park. we started at columbus circle, and walked up the mall. we hadn't been to this park, and were pleasantly surprised with this part, lined with statues, that reminded us of the champs elysees. we continued up past the bandshell, and turned around at the nature observatory. we back tracked along the east side, and walked through the zoo area. we caught a glimpse of a polar bear, but didn't see any other animals.
we walked back through the lower, upper west side and dropped in at a farmers market to pick up a few veggies for the turkey that we had decided to make on sunday.
on sunday we decided to walk across the brooklyn bridge, and walk around in dumbo and brooklyn heights for a bit. the walk was quite nice, with beautiful views along the way. its amazing how many people are on the bridge, and how many walk it each day. we visited jacques torres for a shared cup of hot chocolate, and perused a book store. after a walk through brooklyn heights and along the promenade, we decided to head home and make some soup. the temperature has dropped quite a lot today, and we are hoping that we get some of this snow that all of the weather people have been talking about. the forecast right now stands between one and three inches tonight...

laundry lady

so far we have resisted the typical new york laundry habits- the wash and fold service. we'll see how long this continues. this is a photo from inside our laundromat. i was spoiled from laundry in richmond- its expensive to be clean in new york! compared to 75 cent washers and dryers in richmond, here a small washer is $2.50 and a large one is $5.00! the quarter slots are even set up that each holds two quarters! the positive side of laundry is that the people watching is always quite interesting, and it gives me a bit of quiet time to read. i'm thinking between this and the subway, i am going to have read more this year than in the last several years.


this is the pigeon that is sitting on the window sill that i can see from my desk at work. there is another bird that comes sometimes as well. they are pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

while not at work...

zach and i had the week off for the holidays, and had a nice time in the city. for new year's eve we decided to go ice skating at bryant park. the line was super long, but the skating was fun. it is a similar experience to skating on railroad tracks full of people! we also walked over to grand central station to check out the light show and the christmas train display in the transit museum. we discovered that this is where they sell the credit card sized subway maps, but unfortunately they were sold out. oh well, we'll check back another day.
this is one of the many christmas tree stands in the city. you can see the remnants of snow on the street too.
i made chocolate chip cookies on christmas eve, i thought that i would test out the kitchen, and do a little baking. the cookies turned out well, i don't think i can remember the last time i made cookies from scratch. we had a nice quiet christmas day at the apartment opening presents and making breakfast and a roast for dinner. dash enjoyed helping assembling the muji storage containers.
my family came to visit at the end of the week. we walked around the typical city sites, and then went to moma's free friday nights, to show them some of the modern art galleries. on saturday, we stood in line at tkts to get half price tickets to Mamma Mia. (featuring the music of abba) the show was good, there is one scene where the guys are wearing wetsuits and dancing in flippers which is hillarious!
new year's was a fun time, hanging out with friends. unfortunately our firework view was blocked by buildings, but we still had the countdown. at 2am we went to a les savy fav show at the bowery ballroom which was excellent. i didn't really know what to anticipate, but it was quite a show. we managed to get home after five am, we took the subway, which was still bustling even at that time. we had decided to avoid the crowds of times square, and steer clear of that area for the whole day! (i also had an exciting afternoon of doing laundry before all this.)happy 2008!