Friday, July 27, 2012

off to raleigh!

Kurt and I are on a flight to Raleigh today! We are off to visit my friends, Jen and Joey, who reside in the lovely state of North Carolina. They have been fixing up their house down there for a million years, and, the lousy friend that I am, I have not seen it yet! I cannot tell you how much it irks me that Kurt and his brother have been there, but I have not experienced the glory of Casa Fante yet...but that is a story for another day. (Kurt keeps trying to claim Jen and Joey are our friends but I'm not quite ready to give them up yet!)

Any suggestions of what we should do in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area?! All I have on my wish list is visiting Furbish and spending copious amounts of time with Gracie pup! Oh, and maybe we'll fit some yummy food and drink in there along the way :) Wish us luck! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

storm king road trip

Since Kurt's parents were in town last weekend sans dogs (if you know me, you know I love dogs but those pups are kind of high maintenance), we tried to brainstorm fun things to do outside the city. Kurt and I have been wanting to visit Storm King Art Center for a while, and since his parents always drive in from Ohio, we could get there without having to rent a car.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

silvia's garden

A couple Sunday's ago, Kurt, Gui, and I rode our bikes down to Brighton Beach to visit the community garden Silvia has been in charge of at Kingsborough Community College. She works through Project Eats who then sells the produce to local restaurants and engages with the community about urban agriculture.

There had been some sort of composting event earlier in the day with Erik and Grow NYC, but we were fashionably late and missed it. That's ok with me. I like the idea of compost and happy that it's catching on here in the city and all, but I'm not exactly dying to roll around in a pile of it :)

Nice work!

What the school lacks in location, it's makes up by having a beach on campus. We didn't stay long because duty called back in our corner of Brooklyn--only long enough for me to reconsider my choice of university for one of a more coastal variety. Sigh. Maybe in my next lifetime :)

It was great to see what Silvia has been working on and catch up since she had been gone from NYC for a while. I hope to see more of her soon, especially if she brings us fresh veggies from the garden! Hint, hint :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

visiting brazilians

Kurt and Erik recently had a friend in town from Brazil. Gui had been an exchange student in their hometown of Salem, Ohio and went to high school with Erik. Gui stayed with the Martigs in NYC a little over a week before meeting up with his girlfriend (she is in the midst of a 6 month study abroad in South Carolina) to travel around the US. Gui had never been to New York before, so it was great to show him around all our favorite sites.

To give Gui the full NYC experience, there was some brunching on the weekends. Giovanni's in Park Slope has a great brunch deal with unlimited Mimosas or Bloody Mary's (clutch for a brunch spot). Our helpful waitress even found Gui some vegan dishes, so he left just as stuffed as the rest of us.

Thankfully, Gui was game for biking, and we were able to show him more of Brooklyn via our favored mode of transportation. Of course we went to Red Hook and took in the views on Valentino Pier.

There was more skyline ogling at Pier 6 of Brooklyn Bridge Park where we could enjoy a drink, watch the sunset, and catch some beach volleyball.

One day, Kurt and I took Gui to Grand Central Station. Kurt looked it up and it is the sixth most visited tourist attraction in the world and the largest train station by number of platforms! Wow! We were all amazed with the Apple Store, and I made sure to introduce Gui to the Whisper Gallery. It's one of my favorite spots!

After Grand Central, we visited the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They typically have an exhibition on the roof during the summer where you can take in an installation piece and the amazing views over Central Park with a beer or glass of wine.

I'm a sucker for details, so I was sold by the Argentinian beer in honor of artist Tom├ís Saraceno whose mirrored sculpture was on display.

We had a blast with Gui and hope he swings back through NYC with his girlfriend before heading back to Brazil. And maybe we'll just have to pay his mother land a visit someday. World Cup 2014 anyone?!

{interior shot of Grand Central thanks to Kurt!}

Monday, July 23, 2012


Pardon the lack of posting lately. I was trying to be a good student and study for my latest architecture exam.  I took my fourth this Saturday and need to keep on a good study schedule to get all seven in before the end of the year!

After my Saturday morning exam, I met up with Jenn and Pilar for a celebratory/relief-it's-over lunch at Flipster's complete with boozy shakes.

Sadly, Erin and Paul are leaving NYC soon and hosted their final barbecue in their killer Fort Greene backyard. (I was impressed by the array of bicycles in their parking area.) Kurt and I couldn't stay long because we were entertaining his parents who came in town for the weekend. Erin and Paul splurged on a keg, so it pained us to leave early! 

Instead, I got to spend the evening in Staten Island with the Martig clan :) Here are 3/4 of them on the ferry over.

We arrived just in time to see the Staten Island Yankees take on the Brooklyn Cyclones. Can you believe all the seats were sold out?! Minor league baseball, people!! Luckily, we grabbed some standing room tickets and squatted in peoples' seats. No one ever asked us to move!

We briefly watched the game but were more interested in the sunset. We stuck around a couple hours until our dinner reservations at Enoteca Maria. Kurt took me there a couple years ago for my birthday and we ended up ordering half a sheep's head! We were pretty tame with our ordering this time but have plans to go back with adventurous friends :) The food is always delicious and very Italian. 

{thanks to Kurt for several of these images. i've taken to raiding his camera lately! he's quite the photographer!}

Monday, July 16, 2012

ride away to rockaway

Last Saturday, Jenn, Kurt and I rode our bikes out to Rockaway Beach for a day in the sand. I was a dummy and didn't ask how long the trek actually was even though I was assured it was "really easy" multiple times. 16 miles later (each way!) on the hottest day of the year, my amateur cycling legs wanted to give up and take a cab home.

But the ocean as a destination is pretty awesome. I was a sweaty disgusting mess when we arrived, so a quick dip in the ocean was in order. The water was chilly and I'm a big baby, so getting in is always a slow process. As you can see, the beach was packed. We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the sand. I was a walking sunscreen advertisement and didn't get burned one bit. I was a little disappointed I didn't get more sun but will settle for not being a lobster all week. Maybe I will look into a little lower SPF next time...

Continuing my string of dummy moves, I didn't eat breakfast before our eternally long ride and was famished once we reached the beach. Kurt and I shared some nachos and a Bolivian empanada-type dish.

Yeah, I use an Auburn koozie as my camera case. No big deal :)

And of course the best way to finish off the afternoon is with a beer.

Here, Jenn and Kurt are practicing their double high fives. Obviously I can barely manage to take a photo with one hand on the bike.

Reluctantly (or maybe that was just me), we climbed on our bikes to head home. After an already long day, the ride back was exhausting. I wasn't such a happy camper at the end of it all. But, hey! I rode 32+ miles and got to go to the beach. I'll call that an accomplished day :) Check me out on that bridge! (Thanks for the photo, Jenn!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

birthday banner

Somehow I didn't get any actual photos of Jenn at her birthday party, but I did document the birthday banner I made for her! (Hopefully she will recap the party over at Perishable Item soon?!) Jenn and I have been sharing a love for neon lately, so that was my inspiration for the decorations. I used kraft paper sacks, pink and green neon craft paint, letter stencils from the hardware store, and neon twine. Luckily, the party destination, Greenwood Park, is bordered by shipping palettes that Kurt and I were able to tack screws into and hang the signs (I hope the management doesn't mind!). Quick. Cheap. Easy. Happy Birthday, Jenn!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the fourth

Since we were off work on July 4th and her sister was in town from South Dakota, Jenn made us reservations to see the 9/11 Memorial.

The fountains were enormous and incredible and impressive. The plaza was a little meh. I'm hoping one day, after all the surrounding construction has been put to rest, that the area around the fountains is just open to the public. The security we went through was pretty intense and I don't feel like the space contributed to your experience of the memorial much. I think it would be better free flowing, mixing tourists and Wall Street-ers on their lunch break. It will be interesting to see how it evolves!

On our bike ride back to Brooklyn, Kurt couldn't resist this open fire hydrant. I'm not sure I've ever seen him happier...well, maybe when Ohio State is involved.

Kurt and I considered going to Hoboken to see the Macy's 4th of July Show on the Hudson River, but since  I don't really care for fireworks all that much, and it was technically a school night, we grilled out in Kurt's backyard instead. I drank Mexican beer. We grilled tons of food, including fresh peaches (served with ice cream, of course). Then we tried to catch some glimpses of the fireworks from Kurt's roof. From our high perch, we could see distant displays in Staten Island, New Jersey, and throughout the streets of Brooklyn. I think I prefer that to a big show on the river anyway. You can keep it, Manhattan!

I hope everyone had a great Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

when tuesday = friday

Last week since (pretty much) everyone had the Fourth of July off work, Kurt organized a trip down to Rocky Sullivan's in Red Hook to celebrate the midweek break. Conveniently, Rocky's offers half price pizzas on Tuesdays if you ride your bike. The pitchers of beer are cheap and led to a few (too many) rounds of flip cup. Apparently I spent too much time studying in college and didn't work hard enough honing my flipping skills because I was by far the weakest link on my team. Regardless, it was a blast and we got hang out on a rooftop and enjoy each other's company. You can't really complain about that.

Monday, July 2, 2012

i want to be outside

That seems to be my goal for the entire summer. It makes sense because I have a distaste for air conditioning and refuse to own one (cheapness may have something to do with it) so my apartment get stuffy on these 90+ degree days. Bonus points for rooftops.

On Thursday, Jenn and I went to a happy hour with some engineers she used to work with at her old firm.

We went to the Rare View rooftop bar in Chelsea. Awesome skyline vantage point!

Then we made our way back to Brooklyn for the opening night of Greenwood Park right in Kurt's neighborhood. Remember when we peeked in at Easter? We've been waiting so long for this place to open!

Yay! We're so glad it is open! There is tons of outdoor space, including bocce courts. I've got high aspirations for this place the rest of the summer. I have a feeling we're going to be regulars.

Summer Fridays are a wonderful thing. Monday through Friday I don't think it is so fun working 9 hours a day, but come Friday, that half day flies by and I am onto happy before you know it! Sangria at City Tavern seen here.

Kurt's friends that live in Hoboken (remember our visit to see them?) had never been to the Brooklyn Brewery, so Kurt put together a little outing for Friday evening. I was excited to see that the brewery is on the next block of this new Wythe Hotel I've been hearing all about.

Kurt and I both get out early on Friday, so we got there early to stand in line at the brewery because the tables fill up quick. And there is just something satisfying about being first in line somewhere :)

I'm a huge fan of their Gold Standard now. I've never seen it at a store or bar but hope to soon. It's not too sweet or heavy or bitter. Perfect! 

We ordered in some pizza from Fornino which is always delicious.

We stayed at the brewery for a while but then decided we should show Scot and Kelly more of Williamsburg because they rarely get over there. I suggested we try the rooftop bar at that hotel right down the street called The Ides.

The views were awesome and the whole place was gorgeous! We had to wait in line in the lobby for a few minutes before heading up but it was totally worth it.

While I think the bar needs to work out a few kinks still (it took forever to get a drink!) we had a great time hanging out on the roof. The people watching is always entertaining in Williamsburg as well. I highly recommend checking it out!

On Saturday, I buckled down and did some studying. I've been majorly slacking in that department. I guess sitting in a cute cafe with delicious iced coffee and free A/C makes it a little more bearable. 

That evening, some friends wanted to try Pok Pok near the Columbia Waterfront. Apparently everyone else in NYC who read the NY Times article that week also wanted to check it out so there was a super long line.  Instead, we went to our old rooftop standby, Alma. Yummy Mexican food (I'm a huge fan of their salsa!) and beer with that view of Manhattan is always welcome.

After dinner we checked out Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Bark Hot Dogs has a rooftop outpost at the park and sells food, beer, and wine. 

How crazy is that view?!

Apparently I need to get Kurt some hip sunglasses so he blends in with the cool Louisiana kids.

Summer evenings don't get much better than this.

Oh, wait...add ice cream and its damn near perfect.

While riding back towards Park Slope, we took a detour at Van Leeuwan Ice Cream. I tried the cinnamon with caramel sauce. It was definitely delicious but seemed more like an Autumn flavor. Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't go with the Strawberry! I guess I will just have to go back soon. :)

Somehow we found our way back to Greenwood Park that evening. Two times in three days. Like I said: regulars.

On Sunday, I did some catching up and then met Jenn and Andrea for a drink at Dekalb Market. It was kind of sleepy while we were there but it was nice to hang out in the sun with a good cup of sangria. Sadly, the vendors are getting the boot soon because a developer is going to build on the lot. Check it out before it's gone!

AND I turned 26-1/2 this weekend! It's really not a holiday I celebrate, but since January is such a dismal month to have a birthday and I obviously love summer a lot more, it only seems natural to give my half birthday a nod. I forced  asked Kurt to make me dinner and we shared this lovely bottle of wine he brought back all the way from New Zealand. Thanks, Kurt!

While the boys were making dinner, a new couple were moving into the top floor of Kurt's building. I was being nosy and offered to help, and ended up roping in Kurt, Erik, Will, and Jenn as well. It's amazing how fast a move goes when you've got 5 extra sets of hands helping :) The new people seem really nice and I hope to see them around more often!

Have a great week! Any big Fourth of July plans?!
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