34 articles

Any excuse for a cookie

black hound cookies

These are the delicious Black Hound cookies I chose to purchase yesterday. They were all incredible. Every last one of them.

While we’re on the topic of celebrations, I happened to find myself in the East Village yesterday whilst all filled with hooray-my-ceiling-is-painted good spirits. And I’m sure I made some kind of gasping out loud sound when I realized I was but one block from Black Hound, which is by far the best cookies-and-other-sweet-stuff bakery around. Even my daughter knows them by name.

So off I went to 2nd Ave and 9th Street to gather myself a little bundle of deliciousness. There are all sorts of sumptuously delicious looking cakes, but I always head straight for the rear of the store to stock up on their cookies a la carte. Maybe a detour at the “try this stuff for free” display (Yesterday’s sample was german chocolate cake. Yum!) The result is pictured above. Well, most of it. Some of the cookies never made it home.

Because while I started out thinking only of my daughter, I of course ended up with more cookies for myself, hiding the loot so that she doesn’t know what she’s missing. Dishonesty, or self-preservation? You tell me.

After you’ve tried some of them for yourself, that is.

Time out for grown ups

lunch at bakeri

A delicious carrot curry soup and freshly baked bread at Bakeri, in WIlliamsburg.

A short and sweet thought for you all today.

On the day when your apartment is all covered with plaster dust and under tarps, your husband is out of town for, like, ever (ok 10 days, but it feels like forever…) and you are horribly underslept but only have 30 free minutes to yourself before all hell breaks loose again in the form of your kid home from school and the guys returning to “finish” the work on your collapsed ceiling, I suggest you take yourself out to a cafe for lunch. With a nice glass of water (lets be honest, wine would knock you out) and a real life, hold in your hand, made out of paper magazine or newspaper to read.

I did that today and it has saved my a**.

If you live in Williamsburg, the cafe of choice is Bakeri. Fresh bread. Perfectly brewed coffee in vintage cups. Deeply flavorful food made to order. Bikini Kill playing in the background. What more can you ask for?

Open daily from 8 to 7. 150 Wythe Ave, at N 8th. Always delicious.

Shelter Island deliciousness

Reddings pizza

The pizza menu at Reddings Market on Shelter Island.

This week, we visited some friends who are renting a picture perfect house, right on the water in Shelter Island. It has everything you could want… a big yard for the kids to run around in, equipped with an amazing old fashioned wooden playhouse (with real window boxes, a toy kitchen, a picket fence– the works!) Plus, right out front, the beautiful bay with a sweeping view of both sunrise and sunset.

If you looked up perfect childhood summer memories in the dictionary (remember dictionaries?), the first photo would be of this place.

The only thing they don’t have on site is an endless supply of food. For that, we headed over to Reddings Market, a great local gourmet market that alone makes the ferry ride worthwhile. — Read more

Buy the right stuff

Bi Rite grocers

The Bi Rite store in San Francisco looks like a little unobtrusive grocery store that’s been around for half a century, and yet…

When I walked into this little market on Dividsadero in San Francisco, I was suddenly overcome with the desire to take out my camera and photograph everything. And then I realized that I’d had this exact feeling before, in this exact place, about 7 years ago when I was last in the city by the bay.

Much like Diner (and Marlow & Sons, and Marlow & Daughters, etc etc) Bi-Rite is actually an empire disguised as a little neighborhood market. But what a lovely empire it is. — Read more

Weekend in Bolinas

Psychedelic graffiti on the beach in Bolinas.

Psychedelic graffiti on the beach in Bolinas.

Last weekend we were lucky enough to get to spend the weekend with some friends in Bolinas, a tiny town on the Pacific coast north of San Francisco.

Not sure exactly where it is (because these days nobody uses maps, so when you’re driving, all you have is a tiny phone version of your immediate area and some annoying woman telling you the next step like two seconds before you’re supposed to make the turn so you either miss it or endanger the lives of all the people in the car as you swerve to make the exit… But that’s a topic for another day.)

Plus they’ve taken down the road signs leading to the place, because the residents don’t want anybody coming to visit.

Feel free to read the rest of this post if you’re curious and want to see more photos… — Read more

We are not gay…

at the gay pride parade in San Francisco.

Here are my partners-in-crime at the center of the universe, getting ready to join the party…

But we are proud. And as we managed to find ourselves in San Francisco today, we couldn’t help but head downtown to see (and be immersed in) the gay pride parade. Because if San Francisco wasn’t the place to be today, I don’t know what was.

My husband and I both found ourselves moved to tears, thinking about what an incredible journey so many of these people have been through, and what the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act must mean to the folks marching, and the GLBT community in general.

My daughter, on the other hand, slightly annoyed that I had neglected to pack any of her dress up clothes, just wanted to be in the parade, and didn’t understand why it is such a big deal that these same sex couples can now be married. To her, any two people that love each other make a couple, and her life is filled with so much same-sexness that it doesn’t even occur to her to question it.

Which is as it should be.

Some photos of the parade follow. — Read more

Online shopping hits the streets

kate spade window shop

Who needs stores anymore? Kate Spade turns window shopping into actual shopping. The future is now.

So I’m walking down W 18th street and I see this guy standing in front of a bright yellow storefront rubbing the window like it was some kind of oversized iPad or something.

And when I got a bit closer, I realized that was exactly what he was doing. The entire window had been transformed into a giant display with a 5 foot tall framed area where you can swipe your way to a new wardrobe, pay for it, and have it delivered to your (Manhattan, I’m assuming) location in one hour.

Turns out Kate Spade has partnered up with eBay and put their new capsule collection (called Saturday) up for sale at 4 electronic kiosk/pop-up shops around the city. So from now through 7 July, you can drunkenly stumble down Orchard Street, impulse buy some flowered sunglasses you don’t need, and the $$ will be gone from your bank account in the time it takes to wipe your hand across a window.

Great and kind of big brother/horrible at the same time. The technology is really cool and very attractive, but there is something unsettling about the absolute lack of human contact here. Are stores going to be a thing of the past soon? Like the helpful people at ticket windows in the subway are quickly becoming?

Finally a NYC recycling upgrade

recycling sign

We all know what this sign means, right?

A good friend, who is very on top of all things green, just sent me this e mail about NYC’s expanded plastic recycling program. I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it (besides an earlier e mail from a different friend) but hey, at least now we New Yorkers can recycle a lot more plastic with a lot more ease.

I’m just going to quote the entire email here, since it basically says everything:

New York City now recycles All Rigid Plastic Items. Regardless of number. They define Rigid Plastic Items as having a relatively inflexible shape and being made entirely of or predominantly of plastic.

Examples of rigid plastics included in the expansion are:

rigid plastic tubs – yogurt, deli, hummus, sour cream
rigid plastic caps & lids
rigid plastic jars – creams, cosmetics, salves
rigid plastic take-out containers – “clamshell” and snap together
rigid plastic food containers – cookie tray inserts, plastic egg cartons
rigid plastic packaging “blister-pak”, consumer packaging, acetate boxes
rigid plastic housewares – flower pots, mixing bowls, plastic appliances
bulk plastic – crates, buckets, pails, furniture, large toys, large appliances

Please Empty and Rinse Out All Food and Beverage Containers.
Place the rigid plastic items in the recycling bin with the plastic bottles and jugs, glass bottles and jars, juice boxes and aseptic packaging, beverage cartons and any metal items, same as before.
Remove All Batteries (return any rechargeable batteries to a retailer for recycling).

The items below are not recyclable by New York City’s vendor, and can create problems in processing the materials that are recyclable.

Do not put these items in your recycling:

plastic tubes – toothpaste, lotion, and cosmetics
plastic disposable razors or razor blades
plastic lighters – plastic, metal, or any material
plastic containers that held dangerous or corrosive chemicals
plastic pens & markers
plastic cassette or VHS tapes*
plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, produce bags, any kind of plastic “film”**
squeezable pouches – juice pouches, baby food, yogurt to go
styrofoam – cups, egg cartons, trays, packing peanuts and inserts
electronics – computers, TVs, and related devices, cords and cables***

* cassette or VHS tapes(+CD’s/DVD’s)can be recycled at Greendisk
**plastic bags should be returned to a local retailer for recycling
**electronics must be recycled check for E-waste events near you

Why I love Kula

The main studio at Kula Yoga Project's Brooklyn location.

The main studio at Kula Yoga Project’s Brooklyn location.

Today I took a lunchtime hour long class at Kula’s Williamsburg yoga studio. Which I love. Here’s why.

Not only does my longtime pal Schuyler Grant co-own and teach here, and not only do they serve up the most delicious food and drink at the shanti shack, a delectable little vegetarian cantina (to borrow their own definition) located in the lobby, and not only do they have two studios and the brains to schedule a kids class at the same time as the adult class so you and your little ones can get your asanas on simutaneously…

But, and here’s the kicker, the studio is BEAUTIFUL. I mean, look at that photo. If that’s not enough to free your mind, I don’t know what is.

And check out the details:

floor at kula yoga

Like these stencils that are painted at various spots on the antique wooden floor… — Read more

Keeping Virginia blue

VA_canvassersI don’t put a lot of photos of myself up here, but this one was too good to resist. My little family, along with about 30 other like-minded NewYorkers, decamped to Virginia Beach for a few days leading up to the election, to help the Obama campaign get out the vote in the slightly less glamourous cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake.

And it worked!

For five days we went door to door, in neighborhoods that ranged from lovely to desolate, making sure that the President’s supporters had the information, the wherewithall and the motivation they needed to exercise their right to vote.

We spoke to a very blonde, very white woman, all dressed in pink, who told us how happy she was to see Obama supporters “out of the closet” because so many of her peers are voting for the President, but don’t want to advertise that fact. We talked with people about the economy, jobs, women’s rights and the difficulties of returning home after fighting in a war. We made sure that people understood the new ID laws that were put into place, by the way, largely to intimidate the very people we were talking with. We compared notes on raising small children and how to keep turtles alive through the winter. We drank some of the worst coffee and ate some of the best baklava I’ve ever encountered. Didn’t find any transformative soul food joints, but Johnson’s BBQ did the trick in a pinch.

Most of all, we checked out a corner of our country that is very different from the mean streets of Brooklyn, we gave our daughter a priceless lesson in how our democracy works (as well as s few people we talked to) and we participated, which is exactly what the bad guys didn’t want us to do.

And I took a bunch of photos while we were at it, a few of which I have included here for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s one of the walls at Johnson’s BBQ in Norfolk:

VA_obama wallA typical street in the Chesapeake, VA area we frequented:

VA_houses

— Read more