Wednesday, January 25, 2012

i'm still here

Why hello there! Sorry for my recent absence, but things have been pretty boooooring around here. I was fighting a cold for a few days and have been trying to introduce studying back into my life. Since procrastination is my forte, I completely organized my apartment this weekend instead of reading up on the ARE. I have a feeling this is going to be a theme for the next several months.....

Regardless, I wanted to update you on some of the semi-interesting things that have been going on the past couple weeks. 

I recently attended a presentation at the Center for Architecture about NYC's upcoming bike share program. The place was packed! It was refreshing to see such support for a great movement. Kurt and I used a bike share program when we visited Montreal and can't wait for the same convenience to grace our dear city. Plus, we got to see NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan speak about the program and the process of bringing it to NYC. Saying that Kurt was star struck is an understatement :) He asked a Jane Jacobs worthy question during the presentation and got to speak with Janette (because they are on a first name basis now) on her way out the door. He usually swoons over economists and football coaches, so I'm actually pretty supportive of his crush on a powerful female figure! (Not that women can't be economists or football coaches. Those just aren't the ones he stalks follows.)

Yep, we finally got some snow! Even me and my seasonal depression were excited to see some winter precipitation. It finally feels like January. Then I had to go outside and remembered why I love summer.

That same snowy day, we treked all the way to Greenpoint to see a FEAST presentation. It's a pretty interesting organization that puts on public dinners to support community projects. Attendees pay $20 for food, beer, and a ballot. Artists present project ideas that could use funding and at the end of the evening, attendees vote for their favorite. The winning artist(s) is awarded the prize money. Last year, Kurt's brother was awarded a FEAST prize for his project Composting Gowanus! Check out past winning projects here.

My friend Will is from Louisiana and makes a mean gumbo. He was nice enough to cook up a huge pot this past weekend and invited a bunch of people over to share it with. He asked for some sides, so I decided to make some cornbread. I usually prefer a really sweet version but decided a cheesy version with chilies would go better with the gumbo. I found my recipe here. It might be a little dry on its own but was delicious with the gumbo. However, an old shoe would taste good with Will's gumbo. It's that good. You should be jealous.

Even though reading for pleasure is suspended for a while, I've added a couple new books to my collection. I'm not exactly sure why, but I've decided to start cooking with more beans. I guess they're cheap, easy, and pretty healthy. This cookbook looks promising with lots of information and interesting recipes. I am a little sad it lacks pictures though :( I'm one of those uninspired cooks that can't get excited about a recipe until I see what it is supposed to look like in the end. Regardless, I will give it a shot. I'll pass along the successes (and maybe even some fails).

I've also added The Perfectly Imperfect Home to my coffee table collection (you know, for when I actually own a coffee table). It has fun illustrations and tips throughout. Plus, the author, Deborah Needleman, former editor of Domino, is going to be giving a presentation at ABC Carpet and Home next week hosted by Apartment Therapy. Yours truly is going to be there and am hoping to get an a crazy person. Hey, Kurt has his crushes, and I have mine :) Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

blog hiatus

Architect Barbie (I want to be her!)

Dear Loyal Reader(s),

I hate to inform you that I am going to be scaling back the blog a bit for a while . I've really enjoyed getting in a routine of posting regularly and have been thrilled with all the lovely comments. However, it has come time that I start diving into my Architectural Licensing Exam. I've dreaded this for a while but it is a necessary step for me to become a fancy pants Architect (and justify those five years of college...thanks, Mom and Dad!). Even though I love the blog, it is going to have to take a back seat to some study time. Plus, my usual blog worthy travelling and bar hopping will most likely be replaced with cram sessions and pre-exam freak outs. (Honestly, you're better off without me.) I hope to stop back in occasionally with some posts but with less frequency and intensity. I'm sure I will be looking for every possible distraction but will try to keep it to a minimum.

Wish me luck on my tests and let's keep our fingers crossed I can get this thing over with soon! Then it is back to carefree, fun times! :)


Friday, January 13, 2012

my new toy

Let me start off by saying that Kurt's mother is the Queen of Deals. She is always scouring Goodwill and yard sales, coming away with some amazing finds. Luckily, I was on the receiving end of her latest expedition.

She got me this awesome sewing machine! Let's temporarily forget that I know absolutely nothing about sewing and start dreaming of the possibilities! I've never had any Project Runway aspirations and have no desire to sew my own clothes (other than a simple hem here and there), so I think I will stick to home decor items. My retirement plan is finally falling into place! Kurt will drown in throw pillows every time he comes over :) 

I think Kurt's mom specifically had my donated couch in mind when she got me this machine. Those cushions eventually need to be recovered, but I'm thinking I need to start with baby steps (even though I saw this awesome tutorial on Design*Sponge today). Plus, my couch is currently covered in old curtains, so the pattern isn't bothering me too much (how Scarlett O'Hara of me! or is more Von Trapp?!).

After reading through the manual, I am convinced that sewing machines are the most complicated devices known to man, so I may be slow to start whipping things up. Luckily, Kurt also got me a sewing class for my birthday! Jeez, these Martigs sure are pushing me to be self-sufficient :) Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

bull riding

A month or so ago, I found a deal online for cheap tickets to see Professional Bull Riding at Madison Square Garden. How often do you get to see rodeo events in NYC?! And cowboys?! And bulls?! And belt buckles?! Oh my! I was not about to miss out on that.

The event finally rolled around this weekend and I was joined by Kurt, Jenn, Christian, and Will. I was surprised how over the top everything was. Look closely, and you can see PBR spelled out in fire in the ring.

The bull riding was awesome! It's something that really doesn't translate when you watch it on TV. It's something you have to see in person.

There were some great rides and energetic cowboys. Luckily, no one got hurt too badly (although there was a broken cheek and two broken legs in the previous days' events) thanks in part to the awesome bull fighters and horseback cowboy. It's a pretty well oiled machine to keep the riders safe.

During the "halftime" while they set up for the championship round there were a couple activities for the audience. Here, some bass fisherman competed by casting lines in order to win gift certificates.

And an odd little blimp floated around the arena dropping coupons for Western wear.

Kurt went down to the ring to get some shots close to the action. You can see the snot coming out of the bull's nose!! Gross!!

After 40 rides in the preliminary round and 10 more for the finals, they finally crowned a champion!

We had tons of fun! 

After bull riding, we went for a drink at the Breslin at the nearby Ace Hotel.

Obviously, I didn't get the we're not looking at the camera memo. (P.S. - Kurt wants credit for this photo (and the next one). He's much more agile with the self timer on my camera than I am. Yet.)

The Ace Hotel just oozes hipness. Has anyone ever stayed at one? I'm dying to try it sometime. Vacation anyone?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

sad tigers

This Monday was college football's national championship game between LSU and (that other team from my state) Alabama. If that combination sounds familiar, you're right, it is a "rematch" from this game we saw in November. A few of our friends who attended LSU chose Bar 718 in South Park Slope to watch the game. We ordered in some pizza and Mexican food, had some beers, and settled in to watch a pretty painful game. I was convinced LSU was going to win, but that was not the case. Not only did they lose, but they managed to score zero points.

Here is the projection screen we watched the game on. Sadly, it's the end of the game and Alabama is celebrating and accepting their trophy.

The LSU crowd cleared out almost immediately. I'm pretty sure they had to run home and cry themselves to sleep. Keep your chins up! You're still an awesome team. There is always next year!

On the bright side, the national title stays in the state of Alabama for the third year in a row. No doubt the trophy will set off on its Wal-Mart tour very soon :)

Phew! Football season is over! Time for a nice vacation until next fall!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

sitting on the wild side

Remember this guy from my Film Biz Prop Shop spree? And remember all those crazy fabrics I picked up when I was in Alabama? Well, it was about time they met. A while back I saw some chairs on Design*Sponge recovered in zebra fabric and thought it would be perfect for this guy.

After some yanking and cursing, I was able to pry the old seat off the frame.

Then I consulted my Lazy Girls Guide to Life and it suggested I leave the original padding and fabric on the seat and just cover with my new pattern. It was in good shape and saved me a whole lot of work. (FYI, I do not own such a manual and have no idea if it actually exists. It's just how most of my DIY projects tend to go these days.)

I pulled the fabric taut all the way around and used an excessive amount of staples then trimmed the extra fabric.

Voila! Almost done!

I'm pretty happy with my handiwork! I never thought I would be an animal print kind of person but I am digging it. Kurt is going to kill me, but I kind of wish I had two of them! :)

It was a crazy warm day, so after all my hard work, Erik, Jenn, Kurt and I went out for ice cream! It doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, January 9, 2012

my birthday!

In case you didn't know, my birthday is on January 1st. It's an interesting day to be born. I get a lot of "New Years Baby" comments and people often ask if I was the first baby born in my hospital (Nope. Sorry I didn't win that year supply of diapers, Mom and Dad). It is fun to ring in my big day as the ball drops on Times Square, but I will admit that my actual birthday is often a bit of an afterthought--even for me. I get wrapped up in the holidays and then once the new year rolls around, I suppose I have to actively take part in growing a year older. 

This year I tried to make a plan of some activity other than sitting on the couch, recovering from the night before. After a delicious mimosa and pancake brunch from Jenn, Kurt and I set out for the Highline.

We've had a ridiculously mild winter so far, so it was actually pleasant to be outside and the park was packed.

Kurt is working on his camera settings for some artsy shots :)

After walking the length of the Highline, we popped down to the street level to see what was happening at the Standard Hotel. The Biergarten looked nice with all its Christmas lights still up.

The hotel has a small ice rink in the cool months. They rent skates and sell hot beverages from cute little ski cabins while kids whiz around the ice. If I weren't such an awful skater and there weren't so many people around (to watch me fall) it could have been fun to jump on the ice for a few laps.

Next, Kurt and I walked a little south in the West Village and stopped for a drink at the White Horse Tavern. Jane Jacobs used to live on this block and this portion of Hudson Street is even named after her! We instantly made a friend at the bar as soon as we sat down because of Kurt's Ohio State hat. The guy was hilarious and chatted about sports and New York with us through an entire beer. He had some interesting stories!

After more than enough time in Manhattan, we headed back to Brooklyn for a glass of wine at the Black Mountain Winehouse.

Then we finally settled on Bar Tano as our spot for dinner. It's right near my apartment, and we've been for drinks but have never been for food. It was so good! Maybe a little too close to home for my wallet and waistline...

For appetizers, we got the Polpette in Umido (braised pork meatballs in marinara sauce over polenta and spinach) and the Carciofo alla Griglia con Gorgonzola (prosciutto wrapped grilled artichokes with gorgonzola sauce and balsamic reduction).

Whoops! We devoured our pasta before I could get a photo. In case you were wondering, we had the Rigatoni Tano (sundried tomatoes and capers with gorgonzola sauce). And if you had any doubts, it was delicious. The tiramisu was inhaled before I even thought about getting my camera out. Yum! Thanks for a wonderful birthday dinner, Kurt!

Wish me luck on 26! I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!

Friday, January 6, 2012

new year's eve

Happy 2012!

[image via]

This year we decided to stay in and throw a party. Jenn and Kurt (whose apartments are across the hall from one another--Friends style) were kind enough to offer up space for the festivities. While I wouldn't exactly call it low key, it was a nice alternative to spending loads of money at a bar.

What party is complete without a champagne tower?! Luckily, many guests brought a bottle of bubbly to share. Unfortunately, not a single one was the same, so they all got mixed together in the tower. We're just classy like that (as is the can of PBR next to the champagne tower). Thanks to Thomas and Paul for being expert pourers! The product of your steady hands was the hit of the party. It was such a fun way to prepare for the countdown to midnight.

Check out Jenn's post for all the yummy food at the party!

Besides food and drink, there was lots of flannel...

...good times with friends...

...and lots of dancing. The neighbors weren't too happy with us. A few minutes after the ball dropped, Kurt and Jenn were kind enough to round up a candle and a cupcake and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. I was slightly uncomfortable being the center of attention for a few moments, but it was very nice of everyone to chime in. Thanks guys!!

We also had a wall of resolutions hung between Kurt and Jenn's front doors. Party guests could write down their goals for the year for everyone to see. Some were serious. Most were funny. And somehow a few caricatures and devotionals made their way up there.

I generally don't try to make resolutions because I've broken far too many by February in past years. However, I was coerced convinced to write on the board that I vow to find some attractive, single gentlemen for several unattached lady friends. Currently working on that one. If you know of any fitting candidates, send them my way!

Surprisingly, the next day cleanup wasn't too terrible. We were left with quite a collection of champagne bottles though. Check out that variety! 

I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve and have been enjoying the fresh start of 2012. Winter has finally decided to show up to the party here in NYC (13 degrees one morning this week!) so I plan on spending the weekend indoors trying to stay warm!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...