Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I have always enjoyed history, and recently discovered a couple new blogs that deal with New York City history.  The first and best is The Bowery Boys, whose podcasts and blog really make the history of places we walk every day as New Yorkers come alive with context and humor. The second is Ephemeral New York, which has little tidbits about forgotten areas of the NY and is a great resource for vintage imagery of the city (see above). Another, which I have known about for a while and is the most obsessive and cantankerous of the bunch, is Forgotten New York. There is an entire section on this blog about lampposts! Amazing!

Another great source of historical amusement is the now out of print book New York Then and Now. You can view it online on Google Books. It's great because the "new" comparison shots are from the 70's and look even less familiar than some of the older 19th century ones.

image via Ephemeral New York

Monday, April 26, 2010


I have been consumed lately trying to find a subletter for my former apartment in Williamsburg, where I still hold the lease. I spent the entire weekend painting, fixing up, and cleaning up behind the last person who subletted from me. There is a soft spot in my heart for this apartment, which was the first and only residence in New York where I lived totally on my own. I spent quite a bit of money to fix it up and make it cute, only to move out after just a year. I love where I live now for a lot of reasons, but my little bachelor pad was great, in its own tiny, 6th-floor-walk-up kind of way.


Ah yes, Edison bulbs and chalk board paint. Welcome to 2005.

The table was a flea market find.

The bathroom had slightly lavender tinted white tiles, and I found the perfect color match with a Ralph Lauren paint called Aspen Peak. A glamorous color name for such a teeny tenement bathroom. I then added the gloss black trim in all the corners, like a gift box.

Snake plants under the sink. You saw it here first. Actually I think I may have seen it in Dwell before I did it.

My grandmother's art hung in the bedroom.

Shield yours eyes... that is a Philippe Stark chair! Part of my senior thesis project hangs on the wall above the bed.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


We made a trip out to Flushing for some authentic southern Indian cuisine at Southern Spice.  An explosion of spices and flavors ensued.  It was Indian food you can only get in Queens or India.

Here is the Hyderbadi Mutton Dum Biriyani.  Mutton is not my favorite, but with the rice and yogurt sauce, that dish was tasty.

The lamb vindaloo was tasty too.

One of the highlights for me was the pepper crusted tandoori duck breast.  It was like nothing I have ever had.

The masterpiece at Southern Spice, however, is the Chicken 65, which purportedly uses 65 spices to achieve its flavor profile.  This is the dish that will keep me going out to Queens for Indian food.  Totally out of this world.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The days are long and warm now, and a friend and I spent a few hours last weekend volunteering at the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint.  We prepped beds, planted seeds, painted bee hives and hauled rubble.  The farm is a 6000 square foot roof garden with a fantastic view of the city.  They have great workshops and education programs, and are on the cutting edge of organic urban farming.

The farm sells its produce to several local restaurants including Eat, where we ate breakfast before going up to the farm.  Check out New York Magazine's review here.

Here are the seedbeds.  We planted a mixed lettuce and arugula.  I can't wait to come back in May for chicken day to see how things have grown (and to learn about the use of chickens as pest control and fertilizer!)

With a newly legalized rooftop beekeeping ordinance passed, the farm is expanding their hive count.  I am fascinated by beekeeping.

Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with some tacos from El Diablo Tacos at Union Pool along with some "American" micheladas.

Some of the best tacos in Brooklyn if you ask me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


We went to Cape Cod for a long weekend and ended up celebrating not only three 30th birthdays (including mine... late) but lots of other good news as well, including an engagement that occurred while we were there!  We had a celebratory dinner of classic broiled steak, lobster salad, and french potato salad.  It was a blustery, cold spring night on the cape, but we used the summer fare and some champagne to toast to the future.

Lobster Salad
(recipe adapted from Sunday Supper at Lucques)
serves 6

5 live Maine lobsters, 2 pounds each
10 ounce slab applewood smoked bacon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 cup fresh corn (or frozen if fresh is out of season)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
3 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados
3/4 pint cherry tomatoes
2 large heads butter lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried
2 tablespoons sliced basil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Insert the tip of a large chef knife just below the eyes of each lobster-- this will kill them instantly.  Add the lobsters to the pot of water and completely submerge them.  Cook for 10 minutes and then remove immediately to a bowl of ice water.  When the lobsters have cooled, remove the meat from the shells and set aside.  You can use the shells to make a great lobster stock to freeze for future use.

Slice the bacon into 3/8" cubes and cook for about 5 minutes in a hot pan on high heat.  Remove to a plate with paper towels and drain the fat from the pan.  Return the pan to a medium heat, add the corn, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pinch of black pepper.  Saute for 3-4 minutes until the corn is cooked.  If you are using frozen corn just cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and let cool.  For the vinaigrette, place the shallots, lemon juice and 1/4 tablespoon salt in a small bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and a pinch of cayenne.  Season to taste.  Cut the avocados into cubes and and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.  Toss the lobster, avocados, tomatoes, corn, bacon and vinaigrette in a large bowl and arrange over lettuce.  Scatter basil on top and serve.

Some beautiful red meat, ready to be seared in a pan on the stove, then broiled to medium rare perfection.

French Potato Salad
(recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa)
serves 6

3 pounds mixed fingerling potatoes
4 tablespoons good dry white wine
4 tablespoons chicken stock
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
10 tablespoons good olive oil

Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20-30 minutes until they are cooked through.  Drain and let cool, then cut in half.  Place in a medium bowl and toss gently with wine and chicken stock and let sit to soak up the liquid.  Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk with olive oil.  Add the vinaigrette and vegetables/ herbs and toss.  Serve at room temperature.

The finished beef.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Spring has come and the intense rains of March followed by some very warm days (and one quite hot day) of early April weather shock sprouted the garden.  Last year's daffodils and hyacinth were out early.  I also planted some pansies and ranunculus to cope with the usual bouts of cold we still get here in the early part of the month, and I thought for a while it was an unnecessary step since we had so much sun and heat this month.  A single night of frost last week, however, killed all the non-hardy plants my neighbor put out too early.  Nature is a cruel mistress.