Friday, October 30, 2009

October's got those orange eyes

October is almost over - holy crap! After eating that pumpkin mini-cupcake at the Brooklyn Flea over the weekend, I developed a taste for more of them. And thanks to a recommendation on A Cup of Jo, I baked up these delicious pumpkin cupcakes of my own! I hope my friends eat them ASAP or else I will end up looking like a pumpkin myself...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just in time for Halloween!

Sharing last year's "Ghosts" playlist was one of the driving forces behind me starting this blog, and I am happy to add the following 3 songs to it this year as I prepare for Halloween!

"Ghosting" by Mother Mother: a song passed on to me by Eve, which then proceeded to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day! However, it says "you don't need no Halloween" and clearly that's just not true...

"Ghosts" by Fanfarlo: as I mentioned, I'm going to see Fanfarlo in December, and I couldn't be more excited! I love this track off their album Reservoir, independent of its pertinence to this playlist.

"Ghosting" by Freelance Whales: one of my favorite tracks off of Weathervanes, with its increasing layers and levels as the song progresses - great stuff.

Ghosts Add-on

And now, back to sewing my Halloween costume!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street Wanders and watches, with eager ears, Till in the silence around him he hears...

[photo via Google images]

Fall is my favorite season, but it oftentimes makes me wonder why I live in a big city. It conjures up images of rolling around in a pile of leaves or eating dinners in a barn--I'm a real sucker for apples and pumpkins and how they pair nicely with my favorite spices: cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. I want to go find a big tree with crunchy, falling leaves and sit under it all day listening to this new playlist I made. Calm, folky, sometimes even a little eerie: things that are oh-so-very Fall in my mind.

Autumn 2009

* The title of this post is taken from the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem "Paul Revere's Ride", which I distinctly remember having to learn by heart at some point in elementary school - my dad also often quotes it, and now I can't remember if he only knows it as a result of drilling it into my brain...

Monday, October 26, 2009

...and then the clouds parted

Sunday of my mom's visit was significantly improved by the weather, if nothing else. I took her to what turned out to be a very hopping day at the Brooklyn Flea, full of extra food vendors who were anticipating a visit from the Martha Stewart film crew. I saw the cameramen, but no Martha, and was finally able to snag myself a cute mini pumpkin cupcake (after the segment was filmed, of course). I had initially wanted a pumpkin pie flavored People's Pop, but they were "holding them for Martha Stewart" - it was tremendously disappointing!

I quickly got over my disappointment though, as my mom and I went from booth to booth, and I scored myself a red Woolrich, plaid-lined, funnel collared coat with batwing sleeves. Look for it to make its debut when the temperatures inevitably take another dip. I also got a really nice silver feather-shaped brooch, which needs a little polishing, but then it will be perfect!

We were walking back to my apartment when I noticed how picturesquely "fall in NY" these benches and trees seemed, so clearly we stopped to snap a photo (in which you can also see that it really was quite warm out--no coat!):

Our last big meal together was dinner at Perilla, the restaurant of Harold Dieterle (Top Chef season 1 winner!) I loved the touches fall decor, and the cute little dishes of sea salt on the tables instead of salt shakers!
I had my second steak of the weekend (thanks, mom!), this time served with a delicious jus and the best creamed spinach I've ever had--and I love spinach. Sorry this photo is so dark, I didn't want to use the flash in the restaurant! But it was delicious, take my word for it.

Our meal finished with a fantastic dark chocolate souffle, which was the dessert special of the evening and had to be pre-ordered at the beginning of the meal. It was definitely worth the over-stuffed feeling that I left with.

Mom's gone now, so it's back to the grind... I have to prepare for Halloween this weekend and finish up my costume!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

rain, and lots of it!

The forecast was not kidding around for today when they said it was going to rain all day and night. My mom is here visiting for the weekend, which always has its ups and downs, but today was pretty good, all things considered.

Our task for the day was to find some lamps for my apartment, which has pretty bad lighting. I really wanted to go by Apartment 48, because it's right down the street from where I used to work, but I had never gone in. It's a really cute store, curated perfectly with tons of quirky little things that would make fantastic housewarming gifts, stocking stuffers, and birthday items (but, alas, no lamps). My mom fell in love with several of their larger furniture pieces, but alas they were all too big for any of the gaps in our house back in Chicago (and the store wasn't sure they could ship them there anyway). I came away with this cute candlestick in the shape of a tree branch, which I have paired with a white ceramic dish adorned with some painted gold birds. It now sits proudly on my bookcase, but may very well move:

I wound up buying two lamps- one for next to my futon, and one for next to my sewing machine. The larger lamp (for the futon) was from Pottery Barn, and it was large enough that we didn't feel like carrying it with us, so it's being delivered this week. The smaller lamp is from West Elm, and is totally over-priced. Regardless, it's kind of cute and now will give me some much needed extra light in my (extremely messy) sewing area:

After all of this shopping, we met up with my friends for some dinner at BLT Steak, up on 57th Street. I had heard good things about it, and it truly did not disappoint. The only regret I have is that I was too full to try one of their dessert specials: spiced pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream - I really am a sucker for fall flavors.

Above: a red wine jelly-topped spread, served with toasted baguette
Fresh out of the oven gruyere popovers, served with butter and sea salt. (so good!)
We all had hangar steaks - this was mine. I also had some bernaise sauce and potatoes gratin.

Tomorrow I'm taking mom to the Brooklyn Flea, to see a movie, and to dinner at Perilla! I'm crossing my fingers for smooth sailing the rest of this weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

my brief jaunt with CMJ

This week has been CMJ Music Marathon, a whirlwind of concerts and showcases, which I always wanted to go to when I was in college.

I was a complete failure at trying to see The Antlers for free at Sound Fix, because I forgot that Sound Fix moved... Oh well, I grabbed some banh mi in Williamsburg and otherwise amused myself by going to buy some more pieces of my Halloween costume.

Clare and I had a fantastic Thursday, though, grabbing lunch at Benny's Burritos and then heading to the Brooklyn Vegan (free!) showcase at Pianos. They also had free Miller beers and Vitamin Water--score! We saw one punk band (if punk rockers wore grey cardigans), and a more folk-y act that Clare thinks wants to be Bob Dylan.

a really bad shot of Lovvers playing at Pianos

I never made it to the Gothamist CMJ showcase at The Bell House, which looked like it was going to be awesome... But! Ana and I now have tickets to see Freelance Whales and Fanfarlo play Webster Hall in December. I'm super psyched. Fanfarlo has gotten great reviews of their live shows during this CMJ week, so it should be a good time.

Unfortunately, my CMJ has to be cut short because my mom is here now for the weekend, and I can't even picture taking her to a concert...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thinking about...Brunch!

This past Sunday was the perfect Brunch opportunity: Clare was staying here, and it was Nicole's birthday. We even convinced our perma-busy friend to join us for some brunch in Hell's Kitchen. We ate at 44&X, where I had eaten dinner previously but never brunch. I had really delicious Herb Scrambled Eggs with Vermont Cheddar Grits and an English Muffin. Their coffee was good ($3, bottomless coffee, not unreasonable), but their juice was kind of a rip off: a glass of orange juice (with ice!) for $6...and we saw the bartender pour--it's a glass of Tropicana. Talk about making a profit!

I digress... I'm SUPER EXCITED because I just got an e-mail saying that my *favorite* brunch in Manhattan is reopening: Community Food & Juice in Morningside Heights. I look forward to eating my favorite savory brunch, full of the best biscuits in New York and some chicken sausage. Perhaps I'll make my mom go while she's here this upcoming weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How 'bout them apples?

I'm not a big apple eater, normally, but I have a lot of them after our little trip on Sunday. I've eaten a few over the course of the week with my lunch, and one was attacked by my rabbit, Ken, so now it belongs to him. So, what to make with all these apples?

Tuesday: I made an apple pancake. Sadly, it was not as good as the ones back home at Walker Bros. It wasn't even pretty. But it was delicious enough to eat.

This morning I made more pancakes, with apples on the side...

And tonight, I baked some cinnamon/clove/nutmeg cookies, to pair with apple slices. They're delicious :)

I still have more apples to eat before they go bad! It's almost stressful...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thanks, Columbus

A great weekend, courtesy of Christopher Columbus, and multiple friends visiting NYC!

Ali and I outside NYU med school, waiting for Vinay and Jibben. This is our new album cover.
a little freshmen year reunion at Shake Shack. Delicious.
Cocktails, dance party, and general awesomeness at The Bell House.

photobooth fun time! On the right, the results of trying to fit 6 people in the booth. Tip: this doesn't work.

a very formally dressed mustached man at the Bell House...
A bit of our autumn picnic in Central Park, full of Magnolia cupcakes, pumpkin ale, and sangria!

This weekend also included driving up to Westchester and encountering the craziest apple orchard I've ever seen...lines of cars down the road, lines of people waiting to pick apples, and at least 10 minutes in line for apple cider donuts. Totally worth it.

I realized that this was the weekend when I normally would have taken the bus/driven down from Ithaca and seen the foliage changing colors. Upstate NY at this time of year is great, even if it was only Westchester this time. And, our apples got used to make a delicious pie upon returning to the city!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Brooklyn-centric Weekend

In a rather odd coincidence, I never left Brooklyn this weekend. Friday night I had dinner in Park Slope, and then proceeded to Lucky 13, a metal/punk bar with $2 PBR, which we not only took advantage of, but made into a lovely tower:Saturday I took my bike out on the town with her new front basket and shiny silver bell. (clearly the bike is a "she" - what else would a cute little white and fuschia cruiser be?!):
We went to Target, and then to the Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene, where I saw this awesome statue made of scrap metal:
Sunday has been spent running a few errands, and then walking back along Atlantic Avenue via the entire stretch of Atlantic Antic, a really great and diverse street fair spanning from 4th Ave to Hicks St. I passed an unprecedented number of "mozzArepa" stands (who knew these were so popular?), and stopped only at a few places that really caught my attention. The first was Another Work in Progress, a collection of handmade notebooks, some with soft leather covers, and some made of vintage board games with game piece charms hanging from their spines. I fell in love with one, and bought it for my friend's birthday--it suits her quite well.

Next, I stumbled upon the display outside of Cityfoundry, an antiques store on Atlantic. They had a lot of great things set up:
vintage film reels
scrap Robots (don't touch!)
Vintage luggage and chests, and a great standing birdcage

The whole time I was walking along Atlantic, I kept passing people walking the opposite direction carrying these tin mugs. I was intrigued, and finally came across where they had gotten them. Wild Bills offered up two sizes of souvenir mugs, with free refills on their old fashioned sodas:

I didn't buy any mozzarepas, or any of Wild Bill's soda, but I did get a really great cup of iced coffee from Crop to Cup, and the cutest little sweet potato pie (yum!) from Sweet Chef Southern Styles Bakery, which is up in Harlem.

It was a beautiful day out, uncharacteristically warm, especially after this November-esque chill that has been going on lately! I took the opportunity to wear a more summery dress again, and was quite happy.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Happy October! My apartment is freezing - I've been sitting around in sweatshirts, jeans and thick socks all week...I look like I'm in high school again.

Last weekend I got into the "Oktober" mood by celebrating my friend Liz's birthday at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria where Oktoberfest was in full effect. There was a great band, delicious food, and of course, great costumes.

some good old fashioned Czech dancing...

my absolute favorite thing all day: cymbal spurs!