Wednesday, May 30, 2012

on the mend

The last week and a half has been pretty woe is me around here. Wah! I'm sick and can't hear anything! Wah! I have to study! Wah! Why is it always raining!? I'll spare you all the whiny details and share some pictures instead:

Jenn started at my office (henceforth to be known as "our office")! The bosses didn't waste any time putting her to work. After a couple hour key debacle, Jenn and I measured this nice townhouse on the Upper East Side.

I was convinced for a while that my cold and ear infection were never going to go away (almost back to 100% now!). Kurt was sweet and brought me Thai takeout and gorgeous sunflowers to make me feel better.

These thumbs made me feel a little better too.

We hit up Mad Sq Eats again for a work week lunch. This time I tried the Pigs Head Cuban from the Cannibal - beer and butcher (catchy, right?). 

Over the weekend, Kurt and I finally tried sandwiches from Zito's Sandwich Shoppe and sat in the back yard.

On the Memorial Day holiday, I spent a few hours with half of Brooklyn in Prospect Park (the other half was at Rockaway Beach) getting a little too much sun. It was really hilarious to see all the regrettably burned commuters on the train Tuesday morning.

I made some Pinto and Rice Burgers and pretended I was at a cookout instead of trapped in my apartment studying :(

I took my Programming, Planning, and Practice test on Tuesday (fingers crossed, please!) and Kurt took me out to Van Horn Sandwich Shop to celebrate that evening.

I was pretty crushed to find out they don't regularly have hush puppies on their menu anymore. A jalapeno margarita helped drown my sorrows a little though. Kurt ate the jalapeno chunk when I was finished and almost died. Died. They mean business.

I also tried their fish sandwich which was really yummy. I really like the description I read beforehand, "This must be what McDonald’s was thinking of when they made the Filet-O-Fish. You know, right before they decided to manufacture some fish." (via Immaculate Infatuation).

Kurt and I tried to avoid an impending rainstorm on our bikes and stopped in Lucey's Lounge on my block for a drink. (I mean, it's literally across the street from my apartment. I can see their sign as I am writing this.) We had been intimidated to go in before even though it is so convenient. It just didn't seem like a place where yuppies likes us would be welcome. It was really fun though! The bar tenders were nice and the place was cozy. I look forward to going back. Hopefully not too much though...there is such a thing as too convenient.

Not pictured: 
I treated myself to a post test manicure before begrudgingly going into the office. Clambake from Essie. Really cute orangey red.
I saw Moonrise Kingdom with Jenn and Christian on Sunday. Wes Anderson always does visually interesting stuff. The story was fun and cute too. I would recommend!

I hope you all had a great holiday and are excited as I am to kick off the summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

auburn, design parties, and hoboken

The NYC Auburn club is a bit fickle. We've switched bars the last two years. I hope we've found a winner with Tavern on Third. It's back in the neighborhood with all the other college bars, and the bar was so happy to have us on board that they threw the club a free happy hour. How nice is that?! I think we've found a winner :)

Kurt, Christian, and I enjoyed a few drinks and snacks while checking out the bar's setup. I think it will be great for gameday!

The next evening, Kurt and I went to a party at McGuire to celebrate the launch of New York Magazine's Design Hunting issue. My firm was featured in the resource section!

Kurt was impressed that the moss was real :)

We enjoyed some drinks and snacks while wandering around the showrooms, rubbing elbows with fancy pants designers. Plus, I had some celebrity sightings! I spotted Nate Berkus but he was too fast and I couldn't get a picture. Then I saw Cathy Hobbs from season six of Design Star (above in the green dress)! Hardly a celebrity, you say? We all have our things :) Too bad I was with Kurt and he had no idea who any of these people were. Sigh.

Kurt and I decided to meet up for lunch one day and check out Madison Square Eats. It was absolutely packed but really fun and we had some great food! (panoramic thanks to Kurt)

Aren't the Marimekko umbrellas awesome? 

Choosing something to eat was nearly impossible because the options all sounded so good. In the end we landed at Mexicue because the line was short and I was intrigued by the Alabama BBQ Chicken Slider. They also serve beer and wine! Bonus points for Friday lunches!

It was a gorgeous day to have lunch outside. The market is going on until June 4th, so Kurt and I can't wait to go back and try all the things we missed!

On Friday evening we went to a promotional event for Tsar Carpets. Kurt's boss' sister, Lucy, is the US rep for the company and the showroom is actually in her gorgeous and enormous apartment near Tribeca.

Kurt and I were able to chat with this lovely couple who do a lot of world traveling. We compared notes on Italy and they said we must go to Greece. I'm sold :)

Kurt, Erik, Andrea, and I had to leave our socializing a little early and hop on the train to Hoboken, NJ. The station is at the World Trade Center and here you can see one of the new buildings going up.

In Hoboken, we met up with Kurt and Erik's friends from Ohio State, Scot and Kelly, who now called the great state of New Jersey home. We had sushi outside at a nice spot on Washington Street. I'm hooked on their Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Rolls!

Next, we took a stroll to the waterfront to see the piers and the view of Manhattan.

Kurt and I shared a couple more beers with Scot and Kelly before taking the long trek back to Brooklyn.

I spent most of the day Saturday studying, fighting my allergies, and snacking on these chickpeas

I am so upset I forgot to watch the Preakness! I can't believe it totally slipped my mind. I hear my fave horse, I'll Have Another, won, so at least I can cheer his Triple Crown chances on at the Belmont Stakes in June! I've got my calendar marked this time.

While not watching the horse race, Kurt, Will, and I pedaled up to Williamsburg. We had some snacks at Lodge before heading to Public Assembly for the NYC Popfest.

One of Kurt's friends from Ohio State has a sister that was in one of the performing bands called Seapony. They were great but could use a little more projection in the microphones. Other than that, it was fun, happy music. (At this point I was falling asleep against a wall, so this photo is courtesy of Kurt.)

On Sunday, I realized that out of the $30+ of allergy medicine I had purchased the day before, nothing was non-drowsy. I spent most of the day like a zombie but built up the energy to play Kurt in our inaugural tennis outing of the year. It was great to get back on the court but it completely wiped me out. I was out of commission for the rest of the day, and I developed this sore throat that suspiciously seemed like more then allergies.

After a long nap, I hyped myself up to make the walk to Baskin Robbins for some soft serve to cool my sore throat. It was the best decision I had made in a while. That counts as dinner, right?

After waking up on Monday morning with an even worse sore throat and newly acquired ear ache, I called off from work and begged my doctor to squeeze me in for an appointment. Turns out I have an inner ear infection. Who over the age of ten gets one of those?! Me, apparently. Now I am on a regimen of antibiotics, Advil, and a periodic trip to Baskin Robbins to get me back on the mend. Let's hope it's a quick recovery!

Monday, May 14, 2012

summertime in the city

Great things that happened this week:
Kurt returned from his trip to Samoa and New Zealand!
I got word I passed the last test I took!
And the weather is finally gorgeous here! 

On Monday, Kurt was in need of some greens after his travels, so we went to Bar Toto to celebrate his return and my passed test with an enormous pile of arugula.

Kurt was sweet and brought me back an awesome bottle of wine from New Zealand. This is only a picture of his fabulous wrapping job. The bottle will have to be revealed in a later post. My imported present is seen here propped up against another gift Kurt found on the street for me...

It's this awesome flat screen TV with a sign that says "it works :)" In fact it does work but has a smashed screen :( It seemed too good to be true. Thanks for thinking of me, Kurt. I will just have to stick to plan of buying myself a TV once I pass all my AREs. Sigh.

This week I had a work meeting at the Plaza Hotel. Our office mainly does residential work but has a great relationship with a French chocolate shop and do all their New York boutiques. The Food Hall at the Plaza will be opening in a few weeks and I had to check in on our almost-completed shop there. 

I can't wait to see it when it is all finished (and all the kinks are worked out)!

Central Park is across the street. I make it up that direction much too infrequently.

All the horse drawn carriages line up at the park right near the Plaza. This shot is for you, Mom!

On Thursday, we went to see This American Life LIVE at BAM in Brooklyn. I miss taking a train over the bridge everyday. That view of my beloved Brooklyn never gets old.

I have a feeling I am going to have an over the top relationship with Habana Outpost this year. We're off to a good start!

Bikes lined up at BAM. Hipster parking :)

This American Life LIVE was amazing and hilarious! We had such a good time. All the guests had great stories, we saw a funny short film, watched some impressive dance performances, and even took part in an interactive musical performance with Ok Go! 

Friday night, we took an excursion to Carroll Gardens/Red Hook. After drinks and snacks at Abilene, we made our way to Jalopy for the Bayou N Brooklyn Festival.

My main complaint with Jalopy is that they don't have a great dance floor because it is always taken up with seating. I was pleasantly surprised to see they had moved the salvaged church pews out of the way so all the Zydeco lovers could bust a move on the dance floor all weekend.

Red Hook must have been the theme of the weekend because we rode bikes down again on Saturday to take part in the Total Red Hook Immersion. WE. HAD. THE. MOST. GORGEOUS. WEATHER. EVER. I can't even tell you how ecstatic I am. I put up with crazy NYC weather for most of the year because of two or three months that are like this. I am in my element. If you need me for the next few months, you can find me outside working on my tan.

Our journey began at Rocky Sullivans where we learned they were giving away free beers! A special card entitled you to one free beer at four different bars. We took that as a challenge and set off on our beer crawl through Red Hook.

Our next stop was the Brooklyn Ice House. They have great backyard which was packed. The last time I was here, I think Kurt and I were the only patrons. I guess free beer tends to draw a crowd :)

Even free beer on an empty stomach is bad news, so we waited in line at the Red Hook Lobster Pound which was offering discounted lobster rolls.

Huge tanks full of crustaceans!

Jenn and I split a Maine style lobster roll. In hindsight, I could have probably eaten one on my own. Actually, they were so good, I would have enjoyed multiple :)

Our next stop was Fort Defiance for a complimentary drink. Red Hook is so off the beaten path that people were just hanging out on the sidewalk with their beers. I love how laid back it is.

I was incredibly excited to make it to Botanica for our final beer of the afternoon. That place is gorgeous. I want to go back soon--like tomorrow. It is next door to a chocolate factory called Cacao Prieto. I hear they have tours!

Not only did we drink on the sidewalk, we ventured out to the middle of the street, the cobblestone street, mind you. 

Not ones to turn down a deal, we also ran by Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie shop. We all got "shwingles" which are key lime pie tarts dipped in chocolate. We ate ours on the pier and it was delicious!

I love Red Hook. I just wish it wasn't so hard to get to. But then it probably wouldn't have the same remote character if it were easily reached by public transit. So I will continue to enjoy it when I am ambitious enough to take the bus or ride my bike down there.

If an afternoon beer crawl wasn't enough entertainment for Saturday, we had to rush back to Jenn and Kurt's apartment for our newest culinary competition: the Pizza Off. 

Ever since Jenn sent out the Pizza Off invitation, I had been bookmarking pizza recipes I came across online.  I finally settled on an Egg, Prosciutto, and Asparagus Pizza (adapted from a recipe from How Sweet It Is). I  cut a few corners and used prosciutto instead of bacon in the original recipe and used a store bought dough from Trader Joe's. I was excited how pretty they turned out!

The pizza spread in Jenn's backyard. There were so many yummy options! I'm always impressed at people's creativity and the variety we always get at the Cook Offs. There were sweet and savory options using all sorts of interesting ingredients.

The taste testing. We take it very seriously. Isn't there some joke about sex and pizza? That even when it's bad, it's still pretty good? I'm no comedian but I think there is some connection there :)

The aftermath. Only a few crumbs were left.

After some secret ballot voting, I came away with Best Overall! It feels good to have an Off trophy back in my possession (I have to give up my Lemon Off title after falling in the Beet Off competition :( ). Chris and Pilar took the Best Savory award for their Mexican Pizza and Hillary conquered the Sweet category with her Nutella Calzones and Strawberry Dipping Sauce. Great job everyone!

And now here I am enjoying a mint julep while studying for my Programming, Planning, and Practice test. Summer weekends are may favorite :)
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