Monday, August 30, 2010

Alice's Tea Cup

After church on Sunday, I went to one of my favorite places in the city, "Alice's Tea Cup," with my friends Martin and Nick. It is a little spot on the Upper East Side that is filled with whimsical happiness. The theme of the restaurant is "Alice in Wonderland" and the walls are lined with pictures of the Mad Hatter's tea party and quotes from the book. They even sell fairy dust and little girls come in glitzed up with that any of the fairy wings that adorn the walls.
I usually skip the dress up but never the tea. They have about a 15 page tea menu which I am continually shocked by. Martin gets the smokey tea, it smells like a campfire, but he loves it. Then there are the famously delicious scones. This is a strawberry one I had in January, but on Sunday I had the blueberry banana. It's served with jelly and cream. If you get the formal tea you get to choose from these little tea sandwiches, egg salad is my fav, a scone, and assorted cookies, all for you! You also get a little tea pot like the one below. It's a can't miss in the city!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Les Mademoiselles d'Avignon by Picasso

Memories @ the MoMA
On Thursday, I started the day with a quick run around the Jacklyn Onassis reservoir which was just lovely. Then I went to "Absolute Bagels" in my neighborhood for a power brunch of a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. The bagels are terrific, but it's a bit of a stressful ordering sitch-you have got to know what you want, spit it out, pay, and get out of the way! I then hopped on the train and headed to the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art.) I have been once, but only to see a quick exhibition. So with the power of a pb bagel within me, I explored the six floors of art. WOW! It was fabulous, and I did it in about 3 hours. I will definitely have to return for a slower look at more of floors 4&5, which house most of the famous pieces in the collection, like the one pictured above.
The MoMA was featuring an exhibit on Matisse when I was there and it was beautiful. I learned that he did a lot of reworking to his pieces. Some of his paintings were scraped down and painted over several times, and the art people only know this because they can look at them through x-rays and see the changes. Very cool I thought!
However, my favorite part of the MoMA was the sculpture garden. It's a tranquil spot filled with sunlight, fountains, and chairs. It's mostly the reason I got a membership there. It's only 10 blocks from work, and I picture many afternoons there in my future, soaking up the sun and some modern art along the way.

a view of the sculpture garden from inside the MoMA

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bean Town

What a great weekend I spent in Boston! Jay Coffey from old cross-country/middle school/ high school days lives there, and so I went up for a visit. Here are some of the highlights: Red Sox game, beach time, running through a beautiful nature preserve, and "The Friendly Toast." We went to the Sox game on Friday, and it was one of my favorite games EVER. They lost to Toronto, 16-2. We arrived at the end of the 1st inning, and the score was 5-0. What happened? However, these fans are not your usual cats. They booed their players! I thought they were going to start cheering for Toronto! The sarcasm in the stands was amazing. Some of my favorite phrases were: "Oh typical...." and "Don't swing, we wouldn't want you to tire yourself out" and "2 down, 13 to go." My always dry personality soaked it up! Great game, beautiful park, favorite fans.
The beach was also lovely. We packed beer, jalapeno chips, and gummy bears, essential for beach fun. I have never seen seagulls that big either. Huge-like small dogs! Sunday, after a refreshing rainy run, we went to "The Friendly Toast." We waited an hour but it was totally worth it. They made their own bread and I had drunken french toast with a raspberry & Grand Marnier syrup. Also, I had this lovely cocktail called the Lifeboat. It had blueberry infused vodka, champagne, and grape Fanta! A great end to a fabulous trip to Btown!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Adults and a Baby.......

Such a classic New York moment occurred this evening. Carly (who I will refer to as "Rooms" because we roomed together last summer at NYU and I nickname all people I love) and I were walking home from Community Group. We were just strolling, it was a beautiful night, digesting the bible study and suddenly, we saw a flash of fur. Yep, you guessed it, three of New York's finest scurried across the sidewalk into the nearby bush. Three rats, or as Rooms put it, "It was two adults and a baby! There was two big ones and a little squirmy one." As we were slowing down our breathing and laughing, the gag reflex came. I literally feel like I may vom when I see a rat. Just thinking about it conjures up the feeling. :)
Rooms and I safely crossed the street and got a good laugh out of it. I am still laughing really. I love New York, but I can live without the rats. Here's to the 5th Floor!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Day at the Beach

It's almost been 2 weeks since I started my new life here and things have been going wonderfully! As soon as I got done whining about that heat, it cooled down. I have had fans off, windows open, and enjoyed less sweat. It's amazing. The apt is pretty much done, and I had my first dinner party this weekend. What a great feeling! I love having people over and feeding them.
Last Friday, I did something very New Yorkish. My friend, John Son, who I met at Kensington Publishing last summer, and I headed to the beach. Not just any old beach either. This beach is called, Fort Tildon. It's at the end of the A train to Brooklyn, and it's an old Army base. Surrounding the beach are old Army buildings and bunkers which are very beautiful in their own empty, sad way. The beach is not well known and is unique in that you can go there and not have 600 people sitting around you. We brought cheese, bread, fruit, chips and guac, and Coronas for a great afternoon! The ocean was beautiful and the sun came out to give us a nice little tan. Only an hour and a half from the city and you're in for a day of relaxation. Thank you John Son!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

HOT Tamales!

I have only one complaint thus far of the city I now call home: the heat. Now, I know you fellow Texans are saying, "Oh please, it's 110 degrees here, give me a break!" I know, I felt the exact same way. Well friends, let me tell you something, we were mistaken. In Texas, you go from one ACed place to the next. I have never been so grateful for an AC. I seek them out these days at Starbucks, grocery stores, museums, laundry mats, wherever there is a breeze. I could buy an AC, but the 5 flights and installation process have stopped me. So, I have fans. Lots of fans, five to be exact, one in every room. (plus the personal one I use on the subway) There is a constant humming sound flowing through my abode, but I find it quite comforting.
However, I don't want you to worry because I have discovered some bonuses of living without AC in August in New York City. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Great opportunity to drink TONS of water
2. Wearing a lot of different outfits each day
3. Sweating off those unwanted lbs
4. Ice cream, popsicles, & froyo
5. Watching kids running through the fire hydrant
6. Sticking your head in the freezer
7. Wearing a swimsuit around your house
8. Not turning on the stove/oven, easy cooking
9. Eating lots of salty foods (need to replenish)
10. Taking a freezing cold shower before bed

See, it's basically a party everyday. Wish you were here with me, I would share my fan with you. Stay cool friends!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Adventures in the UHaul

On August 1st, my brother Ben and I departed to the Big Apple. It was a wonderful trip filled with lots of laughs. Ben is one of the quickest people I know, and he had a comment for everything. I laughed the whole way here! We named our UHaul the "Red October." It had a submarine on the side, and we were usually in the red zone on the gas efficiency gage.
We arrived on Tuesday and shot out of the Lincoln Tunnel around noon. Let me preface that Ben has never been to NYC, and now I have lead him into Times Square in a 17 foot UHaul. We were both a little speechless. However, we navigated that thing up the West Side Highway to my place, double parked that puppy, and met the movers. After 3 hours, all of my belongings had traveled up 5 flights of stairs, through the 33 inch wide hallway, and into my apt.
We spent the next day hanging heavy things, putting together furniture, and oh moving a bed 50 blocks. Yes, my box springs didn't fit up the stairwell, so I had to buy a bed quick. I turned to my new found friend, "Craigslist," and found a bed 5 blocks away. It's an Ikea bed, so we took that thing apart and walked it 10 blocks x 5 trips. Not so fun at the time, but definitely made for some good stories.
After an exhausting few days, we met my friend Carly for dinner in Union Square. As we walked up the street, we heard sirens. Sirens are as normal as birds chirping in NYC, so I didn't think anything of it. Carly comes up to us traumatized because she has just heard a women jump out her window. She said it sounded like a gunshot, and turned to see a man jump away from the lady that almost landed on him. Then she saw an EMT put a body part into a bag. Yikes. I turned to Ben and said, "Welcome to New York."