Tag Archives: Brooklyn

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.

BrooklynBridge

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.

Water Tower

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

Chickpea & Olive

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.

last week: hedwig, hair, and hats

This past week was a busy one. We got a lot of snow and it was below freezing for much of the week, so navigating even the simple everyday tasks has been challenging. I’m in desperate need of clean laundry, but with the weather like it is, nothing gets done until you reach desperate level.

Brooklyn-Week-Snow

On Tuesday, Ryan and I ventured out to the theater district to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I knew almost nothing about the show, but wanted to catch it while Michael C. Hall was still playing the lead. It was fantastic. I thought the show had a lot of energy, even though the audience seemed asleep (probably all in winter comas). We got day-of tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square, which is always a crapshoot. But I was thrilled when the only tickets they had available were 3rd row! I was sitting so close, I could see Michael C. Hall’s smoothly waxed…well, everything.

Brooklyn-Week-Hedwig

Wednesday was when my week took a turn for the worst. But first, I’ll start out with the positive. I got my hair dyed by my stylist friend at the salon where she apprentices. She did beautiful hand-painted highlights and it was only $30! If you are interested in getting high-end work done at a professional salon at a steep discount, definitely schedule an appointment with an apprentice. She recommends salonapprentice.com. If you’re in the New York area, email me and I’ll give you her name.

Brooklyn-Week-Hair

Now on to the negative. My skin had a terrible allergic reaction to the dye she used and my face broke out in a horrible red, itchy rash. I pretty much cancelled all of my plans for the rest of the week and sat inside eating ice cream and moping over episodes of New Girl. Fortunately, it was snowy and freezing out, so I didn’t feel like I was missing much.

My best friend also gifted me this incredibly intricate and beautiful coloring book, so it kept me occupied for some of the week.

Brooklyn-Week-2

Today the rash is almost cleared up.

On Thursday, I went on a run and locked myself out of the house. Fantastic.

Brooklyn-Week-Locked-Out

On Friday, I had to venture out of the house with my ruddy, bumpy face to the Brooklyn Brainery. Ryan bought me a loom weaving class as a Christmas gift. I learned how to dress a loom and somewhat mastered a few weaving techniques. I’ve been interested in loom weaving for years, but have always been intimidated. Now I’m seeing weaved pieces everywhere, it seems like everyone is doing it. I can’t wait to create my own.

Brooklyn-Week-6

Speaking of looms, if you follow me on facebook or instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve picked up another hobby – loom knitting. For those of you who can’t knit or crochet (me!), I definitely recommend loom knitting. It’s very simple and, most importantly, quick. I don’t have the patience to spend days killing my fingers knitting a 3-foot-long scarf that doesn’t even look that good. But with loom knitting, you can knit a hat in just a matter of hours. Hours! And it looks wonderful. I made Ryan a hat for Christmas and this week I finished my own. I followed this pattern for both hats.

Brooklyn-Week-4

Brooklyn Week-3

On Saturday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or maybe it was just the renovations that are going on upstairs. Everything that could go wrong, did. It’s not that interesting of a story, just a ton of small things building on each other to put me in a bad mood, but the highlights were a broken phone, dropping my french fries all over the floor at lunch, and having a CO2 tank explode in my living room. I’m glad that day is over.

We ended the week on a positive note by inviting some friends over for board games. It feels like my weekend flew by and I’m definitely not ready for today to be Monday. But oh well. Here’s to hoping the laundry gets done today.

PS. Thursday is my two-year anniversary for living in NYC!

lovely spring weekend

This past weekend was the first weekend I didn’t worry about getting things done around the house since we’ve moved. My parents came to visit and we spent out time exploring the city and taking it all in.  In a lot of ways, it was as if I was seeing the city for the first time. Winter was so long and grey. Then I wasted the first bits of  Spring in Uhauls and unpacking boxes. Walking through Brooklyn I was taken aback by how green everything was.

Flowers

I had some great adventures with my parents. We saw the 9/11 memorial and headed to the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum (absolutely recommend).  Of course, we stopped by the Museum of Natural History, which is my favorite place on Earth. On a foggy day, we walked over the Brooklyn bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge

After they left, I decided I needed some serious “me time.” I booked a two-hour long trail ride out in Long Island on the Old Westbury trails through Big River Barn.

horse Riding

Isn’t he the most handsome? I can only afford to ride once or twice a month, but I think this might be the barn for me. It’s only a 45 min. train ride away.  They focus on horsemanship, which works on communicating with horses by becoming familiar with their behaviors, instincts, and personality. So, I won’t be doing work in the ring, but I will get to experience what it’s like to be on a horse outside of a ring, so it’s a bit more practical.

I still feel very much like a beginner, so I appreciate any time on a horse. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is making sure the horse is comfortable and we’re both having fun.

horse riding

At some point, I hope to get back in a ring, but I’m not sure that’s feasible for me in NYC. This was my first trail ride, and it’s completely different from anything I’ve done before – running up hills and down valleys, through trails with fallen trees, and being the only people around for miles.

horse riding

Isn’t he just the most handsome?

dip candle workshop at the Brooklyn Brainery

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend the dip candle workshop at the Brooklyn Brainery. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Brainery, it’s a Brooklyn gem that hosts all sorts of classes ranging from d.i.y., cooking, history lessons, financial education, and many other topics. They even taught me how to use my DSLR camera!

Dip Candle Workshop at the Brooklyn Brainery

The workshop itself was a lot of fun. Our fabulous teacher, Jessica Kaufman (above), was a pro at dip candles and she gave us the rundown. We learned a bit of history, technique, and how to make patterns with the wax.

After about ten minutes of introduction, we got right to work. The format of the class is engaging and hands-on. In two hours we received instruction and technique, then spent the rest of class socializing while dipping our candles. At the end of the class we walked away with a finished product and a new skill.

Dip candles are remarkably easy to make. If you’re at all interested, there are great tutorials on Youtube and the equipment costs are low. The basic process requires dipping a wick into a pot of melted wax in a double-boiler.

DIY Dip Candles

Wait a few seconds for the wax on your wick to cool slightly, then dip it back into the wax. You do this multiple times until you build the shape and pattern you’re looking for.

DIY Dip Candle

They start off small, but eventually grow in size as you add more wax.

DIY Dip Candle

At the end you walk away with absolutely unique tapered candles.

DIY Dip Candle

What do you think? Is it something you’d try? If you’re in the New York area, be sure to check out the Brainery!

around here: some last photos of winter

The first day of spring is just around the corner. I’m sitting outside at a local coffee shop and the sun is shining and I’m not wearing a sweater (or jacket).

There’s this excited energy in the air and it seems like all of Brooklyn is celebrating. Everyone is super chatty and friendly. There’s a 90’s music Pandora station on the radio and lots of laughing and singing along.

I’ve taken a few photos over the past few weeks that I couldn’t really fit into a full post. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my camera lately and have spent lots of cold winter days editing photos that just sit in my Flickr account. Here are a few leftover from my New Orleans trip.

I absolutely love this Mardi Gras themed house. I’m pretty sure they decorate like this year-round.

A pretty fire house.

Amazing street art.

And handsome men.

A few photos we snapped while we were drinking hand grenades…

This one really captured the essence of the place.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a craft night and we made felt balls! I dyed the wool and everything. It was a success.

I took this photo from outside my window because I thought it would be the last snow we’d get this winter. Sadly, it seems like I was wrong. We’re expecting more snow later this week.

I guess that’s ok, because when it’s cold outside this little man is more cuddly.

He has the cutest darn paws. Look at those spots and the tufts of hair between his toes. I just can’t…<3

I also had a birthday part last weekend and it was completely love. I have some pretty great people in my life. I made my own birthday cake and it was a hit. I absolutely loved the color.

So I took like a million pictures.

For the cake: Martha Stewart’s Yellow Butter Cake Recipe, Sprinkle’s Buttercream Frosting Recipe, and this tutorial for how to perfectly frost a messy cake.

brooklyn summer weekends

It’s tempting to wait out these hot summer days in my air conditioned room, but for the past few weekends I have been entertaining guests. So we’ve endeavored up and down Brooklyn and enjoyed the sunburns that come with soaking up the last days of summer. Here are a few photos of our adventures. Some of them you might recognize from my instagram.

I took my guests to DUMBO for Smorgasburg, an amazing outdoor food market under the Brooklyn Bridge. The food served is some of Brooklyn’s finest. It’s right on the water and you have a nice view of Manhattan.

Under the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

And needless to say, the food is incredible. Here are a few poorly snapped photos of what we were eating.

Ryan is devout to the fried chicken and cheddar waffles. He gets them every time.

Fried Chicken and Waffles

I had pupusas with pickled cabbage from Solber Pupusas. Holy yum! Next time I’m in Red Hook, I’m heading here.

Pupusas

Since it’s so hot, there are a lot of refreshments. I had a strawberry basil lemonade. Ryan always goes for kombucha at Kombucha Brooklyn.

Kombucha

We’ve also had doughnuts, iced coffee, sweet potato tater tots, and a variety of sweets. They have a vendor who only sells giant black and white cookies. I think that’s next on my list.

After thoroughly stuffing ourselves, we walk the Brooklyn Bridge and headed down to the Summer Streets festival, where they close some of the roads in Manhattan. Here’s our obligatory picture on the bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge

We also rode the ferry up to Williamsburg, to peruse the flea market.

Ferry Ride

During the Summer Streets, we hopped over to the Lower East Side to visit New Beer Distributors. We were stunned with their overwhelming selection of craft brews. It felt like we were there for an hour before we finally made our decisions.

Aisles of BeerI took my friend Baker on a walk through Prospect Park, where we got caught in the rain. We took shelter in the beautiful tunnel there. I thought it was romantic. He thought it was a creepy tunnel.

Prospect Park Tunnel

And when my friend Amy was here, we soaked up some rays and dipped our feet in the Washington Square Park fountain. It was so refreshing. Also, it was the first time I have ever been barefoot in NYC. Gross, huh?

New York has some great things to do in the Summer, but I’m pretty excited for Fall. Once it gets a little cooler, I want to take a bike ride to Central Park with Ryan. I always feel like Fall is “my season.” What about you? Do you have a season that you absolutely love?

perfect weekend: brooklyn botanical gardens

After spending the past two weeks moving and painting my new apartment, I really needed a relaxing weekend. Ryan and I woke up early on Saturday Morning and scoped out Tom’s Restaurant. It’s one of the few diners in our neighborhood, and still a mile away, but Yelp promised it would be worth the walk. When we got there, the line was wrapping down the block. The 30-minute wait was made pleasant by a server who brought us coffee, water, oranges, and then french fries, in that order. It was worth the wait. Tom’s makes their own flavored butters and serves fries for breakfast (with horseradish sauce!). Incredible.

Then Ryan and I walked over to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Sadly, I misplaced my DSLR camera battery during the move, so I had to snap all of these photos with my iphone.

The gardens were filled with rows and rows of tulips. I couldn’t stop staring at them. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I immediately longed to sleep in a bed of tulips a la Alice in Wonderland. I see the appeal.

More Alice in Wonderland flowers! I was on such a literary kick at the gardens. We walked through, and loved, the Shakespeare garden.

The gardens had an excellent Bonsai exhibit, and I fell in love. I hope to grow my own Bonsai soon, but what a commitment.

We really embarked on this trip with the intentions of seeing the Cherry Blossoms. Unfortunately  we picked a bad day. There were tons of people celebrating a cultural event. It sort of felt like Disney World. There was even a giant tent set up underneath the blossoms, so it was hard to get a good idea of how spectacular they were.

We mean to come back later this month. But, we were lucky enough to snap a pretty great picture in front of them.

And a few more, just to show you how genuinely happy and excited we get about gardens.

It really is like we’re at Disney World. Like, this photo below was taken solely because we found a willow tree.

Then we finished up the trip with some shared FroYo.  Pretty perfect.

Other highlights of the weekend are: cheap pedicure, baking, really great conversations with Ryan, watching the Roomba sweep while I drank my morning coffee, and this guy:

Always. <3

new york: one week anniversary

Ryan and I celebrated our one week anniversary in New York with my first snowfall. I’ve seen snow maybe one and a half times ever. And I certainly haven’t seen it falling from the sky. I was so excited about it, I took photos from our bedroom window in my pajamas.

Snow

snow2

The snow only lasted a few minutes and it was completely gone by the time the sun came up. Maybe I’ll regret saying this later, but I can’t wait for the first downpour.

I’ve spent this week walking around the city and eating copious amounts of bagels, cupcakes, and pizza.

Oh god, the cupcakes! I ate n them two days in a row. At least I’m walking it off, right?

Manhattan and Brooklyn are filled with such beautiful things (and people!).

Fort Greene Whale

Fort Green Right Whale

Coca Cola Bottles

Cage and Bottles

Look! A wall full of cookie cutters! Be still my heart.

Cookie Cutters

Brooklyn has a surprising amount of greenery. The apartment I’m staying in is right next to Fort Greene Park, so I get to walk through it daily.Fort Greene Park

Every day I find more favorite things about New York. Today it was using kale as a decorative plant.

kale plants

And how there are flowers at every market. I imagine all the houses are filled with fresh flowers and like to fantasize that lovers randomly stop at the markets to bring home bouquets to their partners.

Flowers

Also on my list of favorite things: a four-story tall Designer Shoe Warehouse.