Randall's Island is one of those places in the city that makes you feel like you are far far away and if you took public transportation to get there you might feel like you'll never make it back. On Sunday I biked up through Queens and across the Triborough bridge (pictured) (I refuse to call it the RFK) to play soccer on Randall's Island. After a few months of spin it felt odd to be back on a regular bike and I think I need toe clips or clip-ins, felt weird to only push down when pedaling.
We lost the game, but it was close and I thought I did decent for not having any formal training in the sport (like in dance this makes a big difference). I also kicked the ball into my face somehow, but nothing broke so all is ok.
It has been a week of crazy weather. It made it to the high 90s then there was severe thunder storms and now today it is chilly (60s) and after overcastness (credit me when Webster adds it to the Dictionary) and a few hours of misting it began to rain all out.. now its back to an overcast sky.
I went for a run this morning to prepare myself for the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge next week. I signed up for Facebook to automatically post my split times, so I want to make sure they aren't embarrassing. I usually run a 10 minute mile and the Challenge is 3.5 miles so I set out to run for 35 minutes. I've mapped a nice course through my neighborhood that runs me past several great landmarks (one of these days I'll post about some of them), but I tend to switch it up a bit. Well I got back to my apartment and mapped my run... guess what? Exactly 3.5 miles, exactly 10 minute miles. I'm going to try to speed it up for the race, but it will be difficult with the millions of other runners.
By the time I cleaned up and headed out the door the mist had begun. Luckily I planned for it and had my rain jacket. I had great timing and the bus to Brooklyn pulled up right as I got the bus stop. I don't ride the bus as much now that I live in Queens, but I love riding it when I can. A few stops later I got out at McCarren Park in Greenpoint/Williamsburg for the Renegade Craft Fair. If you are on the market for handmade jewelry, prints, t-shirts, kid's toys, and bags you should definitely head over. Some of it got repetitive, I mean how many different things can you put a mustache on? or a bicycle? and I wish everything wasn't so brooklyn and manhattan centric... I would of bought a map print of queens. I bought a necklace and a hamburger. I almost purchased a purse and a print of the Midwest, but the purse was $110 and the print had the star for Jefferson City in the wrong place.
After the craft fair I continued walking down Bedford Ave into Williamsburg. The street was blocked off for "Williamsburg Walks" unfortunately the rain was keeping people away and activities off the street. I walked down and stopped in a few shops and got a non-fat latte at a nice little shop.
But then the mist started to turn to rain and walking in rain isn't as fun as mist. I headed to find the bus, which was detoured because of the street fair and ran into this guy:
The Renegade Craft Fair is going on again tomorrow from 11 to 7 (hopefully with less rain) and the Williamsburg Walks is going on again next Saturday.
While in Texas one must eat BBQ everyday (its a rule, you must eat tex mex for your other two meals). So we headed to Stubbs BBQ for lunch. I had never been to this legendary BBQ and music landmark. And eh I wasn't impressed with the sauce, but it did look like an amazing live music venue and I shall return!
beautiful and HOT Austin
Pulled pork and mashed sweet potatoes
A view from my seat
After lunch my friends had to leave so I headed to the Capitol to meet my next friend I would grace with my presence. You guessed it, Gov. Perry. haha no, but my amazing friend Matt. Matt is another grad school friend (are you detecting a pattern here yet?) and works at the capitol passing bills and stuff.
After wandering around the capitol a bit and meeting the big wigs I went the Bob Bullock The Story of Texas museum. They had a special exhibit on arte en la Charreria all about the life of the Mexican Cowboy. Did you know that buckaroo came from the spanish word for cowboy vaquero?
I then headed out on the town to a lovely concert overlooking downtown Austin.
It was a pretty cool venue and the heat broke (a bit) for a perfect evening for dancing under the stars.
After the wedding I loaded up in the bride's friend's dad's pick up truck along with three other lovely ladies and rode back to Dallas where I met up with another grad school friend, Shannon, and her husband and very cute little girl.
We road tripped down to Austin. On our way we made a lunch stop in Waco at Buzzard Billy's where I had some fantastic red beans and rice. As I am putting this post together I'm noticing my lack of pictures. Lately I've gotten pretty lazy and this blog has been subjected to way too many cell phone pictures. On this trip I did use my camera, but not nearly enough. Anyways....
There is a lack of photographic evidence, but we stayed at the Driskill, a fabulous 4 star hotel on 6th street. It is rumored to be haunted, but I must of slept right through it. After strolling around a bit we had dinner on the rooftop of the Iron Cactus. The food was delicious, but you know what was better? Misting machines... NYC street cafe's need to look into these. Later on Shannon and I hit 6th street for some entertainment and randomly ran into another grad school friend who was just in town for the weekend as well.
Then what is a vacation without some history? We headed to the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum on the UT campus (or is that tu? my Aggie teachings are wearing off). The building was very impressive as you can't see it till you pass through the (not so attractive) LBJ school.
I've been to several presidential library/museums and I always enjoy seeing the gifts people send them. These boots are particularly nice.
This exhibit had LBJ telling some of his jokes (the clean ones). While I was watching he told how his daughter lied to him about seeing a lion in the yard. He told her she needed to pray about it and afterwards she said God thought it was a lion too. (or something like that)
Second best part of Presidential Museums are the Oval office reproductions. LBJ's "technology" was pretty interesting.
But Lady Bird's office was oh so much cooler. I would take that desk, chair, and couch for my place.
I took a picture of this dress, as the sign said Lady Bird enjoyed wearing it a lot. Why is that interesting?
1. What modern day first lady would wear the same dress to several state dinners?
2. It is sleeveless... Mrs. Obama I'm sorry you aren't the first sleeveless first lady.
For some reason I thought I was over weddings... Well I was wrong. After attending an amazing soiree earlier this month I was off to Texas to a fantastic ranch wedding.
we stayed at Turtle Hill lodge- 10 or so 4 unit buildings we had to ourselves (amazing)
wind and oil energy together
fans at the church (and my dress)
it was a small country church, unique and beautiful
waiting for the bride
the beautiful bride and her father
at the reception- flowers and wine bottles
After a sweet ceremony we headed out to the pasture for the reception. There was BBQ, dancing (lots of dancing), cowgirl boots, carriage rides, and platinum restrooms (amazing). And best of all I got to see a few of my long lost grad school friends.
Before we begin there are a few things you should know:
1. Peeps are always filming things in my neighborhood.
2. I'm always having to go sit in a cubicle and work while they be filming
3. I kinda still love Justin Timberlake
Ok now we can start
Remember a few weekends ago when JT and Lady Gaga were on SNL? Remember how you tivo'd it because you have better things to do on a Saturday night? Remember how you later watched and thought... oh my JT you so funny? Remember the Golden Rule? I do.
I woke up from a nap to watch SNL (I had played three games of touch football in the hot sun on Randall's Island, I was exhausted) but only made it through a few skits be for falling back asleep (yeah I know). As my eyelids were growing heavy I see this:
Wait a second... is that the yopaintmywall wall? can't be....
Then I zonked out. A few days later I remember the scene and youtube'd the video.
Not sure why it took till the yopaintmywall wall to make me realize that the entire video was SHOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD and where was I? AT WORK. No big deal... I could of met JT. I don't get excited about celebrities, but JT... dressed like that? come on.
the boardwalk by the gantries
is that my old apartment building in the background? yes.
the loading dock building? uh huh
more Gantry State Park
next to my laundromat
yes I pass this wall on the way to the grocery store
I don't live in the Upper East Side anymore, but I have several friends that do so I still visit quite a lot and try to stay in the know. Over the last few months I was hearing a lot about Cascabel Taqueria. So yeah most of the people talking about the place were North-easterners or Europeans, but one of the ravers was my friend who had lived in Texas for several years, so I decided I had to check it out.
After Glen at the Met we were hungry and since we were in the neighborhood I suggested we try this place out. I wasn't disappointed.
the watermelon margarita came highly recommended and it was refreshing (but expensive)
but the tacos were amazing (steak tacos)
I mean look at this...
The steak tacos were amazing. We also had guacamole, which was very good (my friend said it was much better than Rosa Mexicano table side, but I don't know if it beat mine) and came with tostadas.