February 2010

Best. Boots. Ever.

I know, I know. It’s pretty much March. Winter is over. The stores are filled with cotton sheaths and sandals, and people are starting to think about summer beach rentals. But I’m looking out my window at a snow covered tundra (20.9 inches fell in Central Park this week!) and I felt it would be doing the world a disservice if I did not give a shout out to my Steger Mukluks, which I have been sporting for 7 years now and are still going strong as the warmest, most perfect amazing snowboots I have ever seen.

Made in Minnesota in the Northern Cree Indian style, these lightweight moosehide boots come with thick felt insoles and lining that basically keep your feet from ever knowing that it’s cold outside. They come in a number of styles and colors, so even the picky NYC fashionista in us all can find something that works.

click below for more:

To be honest, I don’t understand why everybody doesn’t have a pair of these, but secretly I’m happy not to be wearing something that is totally ubiquitous. (Uggs, anyone?)

Although the end of the mukluk’s underground status may be near. I was wearing mine when I stopped by a freind’s apartment yesterday, and she has already ordered herself up a pair. She’s Canadian and knows a good snow boot when she sees one!

date night at rye

Rye is a truly welcome addition to the dining scene in Williamsburg. The food is good enough for grownups to love, while the atmosphere is cool enough to keep you from feeling stodgy. Just what the doctor ordered.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not take this picture. I just lifted it from their website for the purpose of illustrating this post. When I showed up at the restaurant the other night, exhausted and slightly miffed at the tardiness of my overworked husband, it was all I could do to manage to act like a somewhat civilized human being, mush less take photos. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, and to say that we were desperate need of a date night is an understatement. I’d heard this place was good and figured we should try something new to shake it up again.

The concept of a romantic date night was ruined as soon as we saw  our old neighborhood buddy Vihn Nguyen, the chef of the dearly departed  Silent H (sob!) waving at us from across the room. But we joined him and another chef friend at their table and began an eating orgy that far exceeded my expectations for the evening.

I think we tasted about half of the menu. The beet salad and the artichoke stew were delicious and took spectacular advantage of the natural flavors of their main ingredients. The meatloaf sandwich was killer, and is beyond worth it’s weight in gold.

click below for the main course:

I was so full by the time my cassoulet arrived that I thought I’d barely touch it. Wrong. Scarfed that down too. It was just too good. The only problem came in the form of a cold hanger steak which, when we sent it back, came back warmed up, but overcooked as a result. Just lazy service. Not worth getting bent out of shape about, but it did put a splash of cold water on our otherwise flushed faces.

Whatever. It was all still so delicious. And so close to home. I’ll be back for sure. And next time I’ll take my own pictures, I promise.

cheap date

I am finally going through and getting rid of all of the piles in my office. And their name is legion, for they are many. One of the benefits of this massive undertaking is that I am actually taking a second look at all of the pages that I have ripped out of magazines for god knows what reason over the past few (or 7) years. And I am finding some pretty cool stuff. Which may not be brand new, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of sharing.

Like this play stove and washing machine made out of cardboard by the design collective Nume. Each can be yours for $38 here, should you be so inclined. The price cannot be beat, the design is cool and all of that blank white space really encourages your kids to get creative with the crayons.

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Plus the entire thing can be folded flat and recycled when all is said (and cooked and washed) and done. Which makes it as friendly to the earth as it is to the wallet.

Stay tuned for more goodies from the piles as I unearth them. At least now I feel like there was a point in saving all of that stuff… or am I just desperately trying to justify my packrat-ness?

The Good 100

So this came out last October, which makes this little blog entry pretty far behind the ball, but I only just had a chance to check it out (welcome to my life!) and I think it remains as relevant now as it was a couple of months ago.

Good magazine is all about people who are actively doing things to help make the world a better place in all sorts of disciplines… education, design, politics and food, to name a few) It’s goal is to create a community of like minded people all of whom, in their own ways, to save our planet from the certain disaster it is headed for if we just sit around and do nothing.

The Good 100 is their list of the 100 most important people and projects going on right now that we should all know about. If you go to the site, each icon (some are pictured above) corresponds to a particular item on the list. A simple click will tell you all about ilovemountains.org, which is helping to fight against mountaintop coal mining in Appalachia, or Emily Pilloton who designs impactful stuff like educational playgrounds in Uganda and North Carolina.

more below:

During this time of strange and unpredictable ups and downs, it can be easy to become complacent, or just to decide that keeping your head in the sand is the only way to go. Checking out a few of these projects can help us all to get our butts off of our chairs and start making a difference.

And that’s all good.

beautiful music

I have known Lara Meyerratken for years and years and she has never stopped making music. Sometimes for herself, sometimes in other bands (like Ben Lee and Luna, for example) she has been tinkling away on the keyboards and singing her heart out for as long as I’ve been aware of her existence. And now, finally, she has her own full length CD which I stumbled upon when reading her blog one night (when I should have been sleeping.) The limited edition hand screen printed version (you can order it electronically, but why would I do that when there’s actual artwork to be had?) arrived in my mailbox this weekend and it’s been on high rotation ever since.

I’m terrible at describing music and have no idea why I think I can start now, but here goes… My husband says she reminds him of Suzanne Vega, which I kind of get in that the subjects of the songs are all intimate and very real, but the harmonies and the arrangements, while blissfully simple, are more lush than the Suzanne Vega that I remember. I’m thinking this music is not unrelated to the Brian Wilson aspects of the Beach Boys, but with a distinctly female and modern sensibility that is most evident when you buckle down and really listen to the lyrics. It’s kind of sun-is-streaming-through-the-window-on-a-lazy-Sunday-afternoon kind of music.

And what could be better than that?

See below for links, etc:

To listen to some of Lara’s songs, go here.

To buy the CD, go here.

To read her blog, aptly titled “In Everyone, Diamonds”, go here.