NYC weekend: bike date + day trip to Governors Island

On what must have been the sunniest day of the year, Ryan and I hopped on our bikes to celebrate summer with incredible food, ferry rides, and goats, of course.

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We pedaled down to South Brooklyn to the piers, where Smorasburg is held.  Smorgasburg is a giant food bizarre with more than 100 vendors offering New York’s city’s finest food served under a tent. It’s truly incredible. And it just keeps getting bigger. The New York Times described it as “the Woodstock of eating,” which seems about right. Shoes are not required.

Visiting Smorgasburg is one of Ryan’s and my favorite things to do during the summer. I wrote about another trip here. This beautiful water tower overlooked the event. You can see the white tops of the food tents in this photo.

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We picked up some vegan fare at the ‘burg from Chickpea & Olive. Their jackfruit pulled “pork” sandwich hit the spot.

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We ran into my neighbor and ate lunch with her and her friends. They were also heading to Govenors Island.

After a quick jaunt to snag some vegan ice cream we we headed over to Pier 6 to board the ferry with our bikes. There were so many people bringing their bikes on the ferry! I love seeing a popular bike community.

Fun fact: This photo was taken probably seconds before I broke a spoke and almost ruined the trip for us. Thank god there was Citibike on the island, so you don’t even have to bring your own bike! They also have independent bike rentals.

Here’s the South Manhattan view from the ferry.

Govenors Island has a rich American history, serving as an important location in the American Revolution and the Civil War. It has more recently been occupied and then abandoned by the Coast Guard, leaving it with tons of shut down buildings  that look like this:

Now it’s open for public use and it’s a great place to ride bikes with no cars! We made a few loops on our bikes and stopped at the shore to snap a photo of the lovely view of the Statue of Liberty.

Because I can’t resist a good farm, or any farm at all, we headed over to the urban farm to check out what they’re growing.

It’s a teaching garden, which educates public school kids on urban farming. There were lots of kids there helping plant seeds and till the soil.

This one even had livestock! Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of a chicken? They never stand still.

They also had some very sweet goats. I think I was more excited about them than the kids.

My gosh, how cute. Those eyelashes!

When someone first suggested that we visit Governor’s Island, we heard – and didn’t believe – that you could walk goats on a leash. It’s totally true!

Sadly, we missed the goat walk, but I definitely need to make this happen.

The island was lined with food trucks, so we stopped for some ice cream, took another lap on the bikes, and made our way home on one of the last ferry’s out.

NYC Meow Parlour Cat Cafe

Warning there will be lots of photos of cats and cat-shaped things.

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NYC Meow Parlour is part cafe and part cat heaven.  The idea came from crowded Asian cities with small apartments that wouldn’t allow pets. These cafes let you interact with cats in a homey environment, without having the responsibility of being a full-time cat mom (or dad).

It’s kind of perfect. If I didn’t have two cats of my own, I’d probably live at a cat cafe.

The best part, they’re adoptable! But I can’t imagine the cats wanting to leave. The cat cafe was  glorious – so many places for them to climb, sleep, and play!

We went in the middle of the day, so the cats were doing what they do best.

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Sleeping.

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This is an ottoman with a cat bed inside. Brilliant.

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Our trip wouldn’t be complete without some excitement.

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There was lots of drama over the toys.

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Sleeping in the toy box because #yolo.

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My friend Sara and I booked our visit to the cafe months in advance! That’s how busy it is! So as not to exhaust the poor kitties, they limit the amount of people who can visit the cafe in a day.

You can also purchase coffee and treats at the cafe across the street and bring them into the cat area. Are you ready for this?

So many cat shaped sweets!

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It was all very cute. And tasty!

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The whole cafe was super cute and calming. It had everything you’d find in your favorite coffee shops, plus cats!

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hanging yarn banner

I have historically categorized any type of wall art into categories like: “later,” “unnecessary,” and “not now.” When it comes to budgeting my time, money, and decision-making capacity, I can never commit. Even if it’s something cheap and small.

My homes throughout the years have suffered from a sad lack of art and decor. It stems from my minimalist and frugal tendencies,  but another part comes from the side of me that is loathe to pull any type of trigger.

In my mind, it goes something like this, “If I buy this piece unframed, I can save money by getting it framed locally. But where would I do that? I’d have to research this. How much money would I really save? God, this is turning into a lot  of work…” And the dialogue goes on until I decide I have other things I need to focus on. So I table this discussion another few months only to start it over.

I’m working on it. I really want art in my house. Until that happens,  I’ll continue to supplement my bare walls with interesting shelves, statement walls, and the few plants that manage to stay alive.

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I’ve seen a few of these yarn wall pieces floating around pinterest, and I thought, “why not?” I needed a reason to visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio by Union Square. I was pleased to find the quality of yarn was much higher than I expected and the prices were on the low side, which is a relief if you know what it’s like to try to find reasonably priced yarn in NYC.

I settled on these three colors.

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The gem of this batch was the light yarn with the gold leaf, which stays attached to the yarn quite well.

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I was so thrilled when I found it, when I took it home to Ryan, I showed him with pride, exclaiming how it matches our gold and white theme in the house.

To which he replied, “I didn’t know we had a gold and white theme.”

Doing a face-palm never felt  more appropriate.

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Hanging Wall Art Supplies

-3 different types of yarn. You won’t use a whole skein, so this is a good project for leftover yarn.
-2 two-feet wooden dowels
-Copper wire or twine for hanging

This project is pretty simple and fast. You’ll want to prep the yarn by cutting it into a lot of equal-length strings.

Grab the bottom dowel, and  taking the cut yarn, loop some knots working left to right. Continue making knots to the width that you prefer. I stopped in the middle to change colors, making sure the outer colors had the same amount of knots to keep the symmetry.

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Once you’ve completed the bottom row, do the same with the top row. I wanted my top row of yarn to have a smaller width, so I did fewer knots. Then I secured the two dowels together by tying them together with copper wire. You can also use string or twine for this step.

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Once they were attached, I took the scissors to it to try to even out the shape. It turned out nicely.Wall-Art-2

One of these days, I’ll get around to creating my own weaving to display on the wall. I’ve even taken a loom weaving class! But in the meantime, this piece adds a bit of texture and color to the room.