Sunday, August 31, 2008
- a private deck containing a weber grill suitable for grilling anything that tickles my fancy, sitting out while the mesquito magnet removes the mesquitos, and solving the worlds problems with Rick.
- motorcycle rides to Petey's Summertime Seafood Restaurant.
- The annual lobster bake.
- Hosting friends and family in our home.
- hanging out at the beach, including the occasional dragging of Rick to the beach for coffee early in the morning.
- having a garage and a car
- storage for loads of christmas decorations and ornaments
- stopping at the 99 for dinner for less than $35 or the Rusty Hammer for less than $30
- going to the Music Hall, the Theater by the Sea, and Prescott Park festival
- Market Square Day or New Years Eve downtown
- sirloin tips on the grill from the Meat House with a rich cabernet
- room to have a wine cellar to let my cabernets age gracefully
- the Portsmouth Farmers Market every Saturday morning in summer, and $6 lobster rolls for brunch
- corn stands and fresh tomatoes
- fresh salty air
It was fun getting dressed up - granted, I do find myself paying more attention to fashion and what I'm wearing than I used to. It's kind of a new hobby :) Around here, you have to be careful, because it could be a really expensive hobby. I actually wore a dress I ordered online - there was free shipping, so I figured I'd try it out and send it back if it didn't work. Thankfully it did work :) I paired some crystal earrings and a big flexible crystal bracelet, and I carried a cocktail purse with grey pearl beading. Rick bought me the purse at York Beach when we were on vacation:) Rick wore a sportcoat and slacks and looked like a million bucks.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
- Sweet beefsteak type tomatoes - like the variety Tomato Glamour - fresh from the garden - cut in bite sized pieces
- Crumbled Feta cheese
- the best balsalmic vinegar you can afford
I mix the tomatoes and feta at a ratio of about 5 parts tomato to 1 part feta. Drizzle with vinegar just a little heavier than you would for a green salad.
That's it! Such an easy side, especially if you have a few tomato plants and you have tomatoes coming out your ears. The feta cheese is salty already, so you don't need more salt. If you favor black pepper, you could try some - black pepper is not my thing, but maybe you'll like it. Try it without to start.
Ann and I shared emails throughout the morning, and I got a call from Mom and one from Pa - yes they do still live together, but sometimes they are on different farm schedules. My friend Darrah was sweet to send a card, and I woke up to roses Rick so sweetly and thoughtfully brought home the previous evening.
Rick made reservations at the Oyster Bar for lunch - a beautiful historic seafood restaurant located in the lower level of Grand Central Terminal. That blue thing in the middle is the lobster tank!
When I arrived at the restaurant, the m'aitre d thoughtfully wished me a Happy Birthday :) Rick was on a conference call, so he was delayed a couple of minutes, but when he arrived he grabbed the camera and took my picture. I took one of him too. The waitress kindly took one of the two of us.
At lunch it was difficult to decide what to order! I changed my mind at least 5 times. I finally settled on the clams casino for an appetizer - cherrystones pried open and topped with butter, garlic, minced red bell pepper and crisp bacon, roasted and served on the half shell. I rarely find these in restaurants, and while usually they aren't as good as when my friend Suzanne makes them by the panful, these were very very fresh and tasty! For lunch I had pan seared scallops topped by a cherry tomato salsa with sauteed veggies. The scallops were so sweet and fresh - and I love cilantro so it was a great flavor combination. I even talked Rick into trying a bite, and he liked it! Woo Hoo! Now I can make them at home! Rick started with a green salad, and had broiled haddock - normally he doesn't order fish, but he's agreed to eat it once a week since it's good for him :)
After lunch we decided to take home a very small birthday cake from the bakery in Grand Central Market - Zaros's had a Chocolate Blackout cake - it was chocolate cake, with chocolate pudding between the layers, and chocolate icing and chocolate cookie crumbs over the top. We decided a picnic with a small slice of cake and champagne in bed would be fabulous for dinner since we had such a big lunch ;)
I left Grand Central and Rick went back to work, and I headed to Blooming Nails II on Lex. I hadn't had a pedicure since Ann came to visit in June, and I really needed one. Seemed like a nice way to spend a birthday afternoon. I picked out one of the new fall colors - a dark grapey purple. My pedicurist, Ann, spent an hour and 15 minutes scrubbing, rubbing, moisturizing and painting my toes (and feet and legs). It was amazing! I think since it was a mid week afternoon, and the shop was slow, she spent extra time :)
I stopped on the way home to pick up some strawberries at Grestedes on Lex and a medium dry pink champagne at Mister Wright's on Third for our picnic later. Wow - that champagne - well, it was really sparkling wine since it was from California - a Chandon Rose - it was *perfect* with the cake and the strawberries. The evening was wonderful :)
Monday, August 25, 2008
The festival was from 2 - 8, and I got there around 2:30 - looked like the organizers weren't quite ready as there was a line a few blocks long out front. I noticed the Chelsea Piers were just a block or so from the end of the line, so I thought I'd walk through and check out the Chelsea Brewing Company. I'd read that this is supposed to be a great place to have a drink outdoors. I had the Summer Wheat.
If I lived in the area I might go again, but I don't so I probably won't.
After lunch, I went back by the blues festival, and the line was gone. It was out on a long pier (54) and I walked in past 5 or 6 different BBQ tents - I think the BBQ may have been the bigger draw for the festival based on the very long lines at each tent. I was really more interested in the music.
I really enjoyed the festival, and the music. Next year I'll come again, and get there a little later so I won't have to wait in line to get in. I will plan to wait in line for the BBQ - the roasted corn looked really good!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Next we came upon the turtle pond - there was quite a little turtle party going on - I thought I saw them smiling and satisfied :)
I think my favorite was the polar bear. Although, he too may have been in his habitat too long, he spent all the time we were there swimming back and forth, back and forth. He starts at the waters edge - smells to the left and and right, and once satisfied he is alone, leans back in to a Nestea-plunge. You can see in the shot below he even occassionally will let his tounge lol around.
We also saw the sea otters being fed, and the sea lion came out when we got to his pool to swim for us.
After spending a couple of hours looking at all the exhibits, we found a nice bench in the shade, and had a hot dog. The souvenier trolley in front of us did a brisk business - I was surprised that all the boys wanted the stuffed bats (they were cool), and the girls went for the spray bottle - slash - fan (??? no idea why). I would have gotten the polar bear myself if I had a place to put it :)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I decided to pack up my bag go someplace. While I was in the elevator, I weighed going to Central Park with heading over near the river. Rick is talking about going to the Central Park Zoo on Saturday, so I picked the river. Plus I could hit the produce store I really like :)
I started walking south and east, and it was so nice out I decided to just keep walking a while to see more of the neighborhood (though is it my neighborhood if it's more than 2 blocks away? Some NY'ers indicate not as they want to stay close to home I guess, and others not, willing to walk further). So around 77th street or so I decided to make my way all the way to the river - where ever I was, there just happened to be a ramp crossing FDR Drive to drop pedestrians on the otherside near the river.
See the teeny tiny strip on the otherside of the highway? At this point along the river it's really more like a median strip than a walk way or park. And, no kidding, some chick was sunbathing on the 3' wide strip of grass in her little black bikini. I guess you have to get sun when and where you can :)
Now, you probably can't read this, but the graphic is nice - it tells you that the landing strip you are about to come upon is John Finlay Walk. It's actually pretty nice for runners, walkers and bikers that it's continuous and there is access.
While I was sitting on a bench listening to the traffic a few feet behind me and reading my book, I looked up and found this boat right in front of me. I had to wait a little to take a picture because it wouldn't fit in my view finder!
This cleate is very big and it looks like there used to be boats parked up along here. Kinda hard to imagine doing any kind of unloading or loading since the highway is so close. These line the area near the water every few feet.
Oh - I just found this picture and it looks like I was on 78th street not 77th. Gotta love documentation that makes up for a leaky memory :)
Up around 84th Street this strip widens considerably and is raised above the traffic so you really can barely hear it. This is Carl Schurz Park. There are lots of flowers and benches, and 2 dog parks - one for the little ones and one for the big ones. I didn't see the sign that said "You must be at least this tall to go on this ride" on the park for big dogs - maybe they should have one :)
While in the Carl Shurz Park, I got this nice shot of the light house. At some point they must have needed it, though now it aways seems pretty bright in the city.
I stopped on the way back from the park at my favorite veggie shack - U Don't Know Nothing Produce. I really wish this place was closer to me. I got some beautiful heirloom tomatoes, some blackberries and a nectarine. Some night soon I'm going to make my Tomato and Feta salad. Gotta celebrate summer while it's here!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I bought a couple ears of corn - I feel pretty confident that it wasn't picked this morning, but maybe yesterday afternoon :) Since the line was short, I also got a couple of small yellow squash too.
The markets also had lots of places with fresh baked goods, artisan cheeses, organic grass fed beef, organic lamb, organic eggs....there were even a few fish stalls! Also, if you feel like you need more variety, there is a huge Whole Foods store here too. If the 4/5/6 wasn't so busy and crowded, I would come here 2x a week :)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
We walked along the boardwalk - it was a traditional boardwalk made with actual boards. You need to keep your eyes open - those boards aren't too even.
We decided to take a ride on the Wonder Wheel. It has stationary carriages and those that swing in and out of the wheel - so it's different than any other ferris wheel I've ever been on...below you can see the cars that are toward the inside of the wheel - those are the ones that swing. And those are the ones we rode on!
As we swung from the outter part of the wheel to the inner part of the wheel and back, we heard the little girls ahead of us screaming - I think they were surprised :) I said "Wheeeeeeeeeeee!" and the people in the stationary car ahead of us looked back at us each time I said it....ok maybe they glared at me - who knows?
We walked out and had some really bad shish-ke-babs - avoid those if you go. Then we walked over to the pier. Lots of people were fishing and drinking beer and generally talking loud (guess those fish aren't afraid of a little human noise :).
There were some people with small crab traps - I thought it was funny because they were baiting them with raw chicken legs (no kidding). I kinda thought that was like gambling since if you cooked the chicken, you could eat that and didn't need the crabs. This guy was pulling in his trap and he had about 8 crabs in there, but he tossed them all back. Too small?
The view of Coney Island was pretty as you walked back from the pier.
We took the train back - the train station at Coney Island is really pretty and I meant to take a picture of it, but some how missed that. We left at 1:45 (figuring our sunburns were nicely renewed from vacation) and got home around 3:45. We took the Q into Union Station and the 4/5/6 was jammed with people - we were able to squeeze into the next express train, but lots of people didn't make it in. I thought this would be quicker as there are fewer stops, but sometimes things just take longer in the city!