30 November 2009

Thanksgiving Day

My first ever attempt at pecan pie with homemade crust. It was amazing.

Matt toasting our meal

We weren't able to get very close at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but could still enjoy the balloons






Looking down Central Park West after the Parade had ended for us

25 November 2009

Rih an my way to work

Jello update

I have started seeing boxes of jello everywhere... Duane Reade, Food Cellar (they were lying!), deli down the street... however none of them had lemon jello so my trip to Brooklyn was still needed. There has been a request for the recipe...

Grind on pound of cranberries and mix with a cup of sugar, let set for several hours
Mix two boxes lemon jello with two cups boiling water till dissolved, add two cups cold water, pour in dish and set in refrigerator to begin to set.
Grind (or chop, I used a food processor, mom uses an old fashion grinder with a crank) three apples (peels on) and one orange (peeled) add to this one cup of drained crushed pineapple.
Once jello begins to set (this is the tricky part) add all the fruit (and chopped nuts (optional)) and mix in well. Make sure you get the corners and if the jello has set too much, make sure you mix it all the way to the bottom.

That was all from memory, so please correct me if I missed something. :)

22 November 2009

Socrates Sculpture Park

On my way home from the game I cycled past the sculpture park, which I've been wanting to visit for awhile now, but had only recently figured out where it was located. The pieces were interesting and it was a nice park. You could tell a lot of locals came there a lot and the dogs seemed to love it as well. A few highlights:
Tiny resin buildings

Dogs love art.


The bird on top and the accompaning droppings are part of the piece...
Fun with rebar
Follow the yellow brick road?

And this little guy is some of my own art. He was walking along the path when I noticed his shadow before I saw him.

Biking to Randall's Island

Today I had a touch football game on Randall's Island. Randall's Island is pretty challenging to get to if you don't have a car, no matter where you live. Last time I took the subway and it took me over an hour to get there, so this week I decided to see how biking it would work. Took me about 40 minutes to go the 4.5 miles. The trip along Vernon Blvd was very nice- a well defined bike lane and little traffic. It got a bit trickier approaching the bridge, but not bad. The Triborough however had lots of stairs up and down, it looked like they were fixing the path, but still keeping the stairs. Over all not a bad ride... feeling a bit sore now, but I'll blame that on the two months since I last rode my bike.

Where I started. The really tall building on the left (tallest building in Queens) is about the distance south... but I started more towards the water to the right.

Triborough (or Robert F. Kennedy for those that believe in name changes)

Where I'm headed

This much further to go

USA Rugby. I caught a scrum, but not with the camera, these guys looked pretty tough from the bridge.

Take my hand we'll make it I swear

Jello... its often the little things that set you back in NYC. On Friday I stopped by the Food Cellar to collect the last ingredients I needed for my family's legendary cranberry salad. I had been invited to a pre-Thanksgiving party and decided to bring the cranberry dish. Those in my family will know that something everyone loves and we use it to test the new comers in the family (try it- we like you, refrain from tasting- you'll have to work a little bit harder for us to like you). So back to the jello. The dish requires apples, an orange, can of crushed pineapple, bag of fresh cranberries, little sugar, and two boxes of lemon jello. The Food Cellar had everything but the jello. When I asked if they had it somewhere hidden, customer service responded that they only had it already made. Saturday morning came and I still needed the Jello. So I set out on a trek to Key Foods, a 1.3 mile walk away (I acknowledge there were other options a store 1 mile way, checking the delis, heading into Manhattan). I had wanted to walk over to Brooklyn anyway, so it was as good as excuse to go. Key Foods did have the jello (they have everything!).

View looking towards Manhattan from the Pulaski bridge
Mid bridge

Back towards LIC
Toll booths for the midtown tunnel
Art along the bridge
Success! It turned out great. And there was at least one new believer at the dinner party.

20 November 2009

Livin' on a prayer

While at a training in Orlando they took us to Universal Studios "City Walk" we had a few locations for our exclusive use, but I was drawn to the live band karaoke bar. After only a few songs I knew I had to get on that stage. It didn't take too long to convince my friend Lauren to join me. There were fewer songs to choose from than the traditional karaoke, but it was still a hard decision-- we decided on Livin' on a Prayer.

Let me tell you... I loved the stage. I am now looking for rock star openings.

The band consisted of a keyboard, drums, two guys on guitar, two back up lady singers and a back up guy singer. There were lights... and cameras... and big screens... and screaming fans... (well maybe they were just singing along)

15 November 2009

Halfway there!

This year I watched the race from my new home in Long Island City. A block from my place is right after the halfway point on the Pulaski Bridge. People looked a lot more fresh at this point than they did last year when I watched on First Avenue.

The lead women coming up the street. Go Paula!
And there they go...
Mayor Bloomberg
The lead men run by at top speed.
The pack making the turn and heading towards the bridge to Manhattan.

A weekend of music

Aunt Betty likes the musicals... well I do too. So while she was in town we saw three shows- Jersey Boys, In the Heights, and Memphis. Betty had been wanting to see Jersey Boys for a long time. I have been wanting to see In the Heights for a long time. And well Memphis is a new show and was suggested by one of my theater going friends.
Memphis reminded me a lot of Hairspray. Racial topics, music crossing boundaries, and a radio/tv dance/music show. It was a good show with good music and good dancing.
Outside the Memphis show. This guy was mute for the first half of the show until he burst in song and impressed us all.

On our way to the subway we passed by the neighborhood children trick or treating... This little guy is dressed as Mozart.
In the Heights is a story taking place in the north tip of Manhattan, Washington Heights. It had a very latin flavor. This show not only was well performed, but also put me through some emotions. Heights also had some great dancing, more sensual and sexy than the other shows.

The set of In the Heights

Betty was very excited to see Jersey Boys as the music took her back to her youth... I liked the songs I knew... "oh what a night" so I was happy to go as well. Although I knew some of the music I knew none of the story. It was told in narrator fashion with each character getting a chance to tell the story as they saw it. At intermission I had lots of questions and luckily they were all answered in the second half.

Outside Jersey Boys... I was performing with them.
We couldn't just watch musicals we also needed to listen to music while we ate. Betty had been to Ellen's stardust diner before and thought we should go. It was the day before Halloween so instead of poodle skirts and bowling shirts the employees were in costume. They were singing nonstop and after splitting fajitas we had a delicious ice cream dessert.

Bam Bam and Mrs. Cleaver singing Summer Nights

Good Morning America

My aunt Betty was in town visiting so we decided it was high time I made it on Good Morning America. We had passed by the studio earlier in the weekend and noticed that no reservations were needed this month, but that we had to be in line at 6:45 am. We got there right on time and were let in around 7am. From that point on it was a lot of standing and waiting. Right before 8 am they had us go outside for the outside segment. Betty and I were slow pokes and were in the very back. But aha there was a fence, with Betty's encouragement I climbed on top. With my added height I got my 20 seconds of air time. They then shuffled us back inside and I texted my family in the central time zone to catch me at 8. Scott Wolf made a surprise appearance talking about his new show. Emeril was cooking something, but he wasn't too friendly to the crowd. After the segment Robin kept eating forever. Sam stayed around for pictures and the rest went back up stairs. We were all sad when they announced that they would close the show upstairs, but then they announced that some of them would come back down for pictures! Horrah!
Betty and I pose with the Giants.

07 November 2009

Sidewalk Fashion Show

A Baja Fresh just opened about a block from work, I thought it could be a great substitute for Chipotle, which is a bit further away, but after two visits I don't think it comes close (although I do like the chips). On Friday I gave the place its second shot and what was going on next door? None other than a sidewalk fashion show. The building and huge sign has been going up for awhile, so I guess this might of been Nygard's grand opening. The models were all wearing these sunglasses and at then end they all had feather headdresses.