A familiar perspective

OgilvyViewNYC Tomorrow marks my last day at my first job out of college. I snapped this photo a few weeks ago from the 9th floor of our office. This view is one of the things I’ll miss most about the joint. Morning, noon, and night, the scene is quintessential New York to me: brownstones, skyscrapers, hotels, little boxes, little people, all squished together. In the summers it reminds me of this photo by Jamie Beck. In the winters chimneys puff white smoke into the air and it feels so cold, so bleak. On the other side of the building you look out onto the Hudson and the Intrepid and the Penthouse billboards, and when the weather warms, you hear the loud horns from the Disney cruise ships beckoning the mini-mice back onboard. And by god the sunsets. And the gloamings. And that dusty rose light that gleams off the brick buildings to the north. It makes me love New York. It makes me want to go home. It’s the view from the 9th floor of the office — and one of the things I’ll miss most about the joint.

Field Trip: Brooklyn Crab

Brooklyn CrabThis weekend T and I trekked to Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook with a few friends and had the best time. We sat up on the roof and feasted on crab rolls, snow crabs, king crabs, and blue crab. Essentially, we recreated that scene in Forrest Gump where Bubba rattles off all the different preparations of shrimp — except with crab.

If you plan on heading over, here are a few tips I found helpful:
– Bring sunscreen and sunglasses; the view is fantastic, but it can get really bright on the water.
– Steamed crab is the way to go (as opposed to boiled) — it keeps the meat nice and plump!
– The king crab and crab rolls were our favourites.
– The restaurant is very family-friendly. There are lots of activities (mini-golf, beanbag tosses, coin rides) and a kid’s menu for pickier eaters (you may not need it though, because what kid doesn’t love beating crabs with mallets?).
– Our friends surprised us with the best key lime pie from Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies, around the corner. I was licking the foil clean :)

I’d highly recommend Brooklyn Crab for a fun outing. We can’t wait to go back!

Soho cast iron façades

Soho facadesAren’t these buildings beautiful? I recently learned they’re made of cast iron — or, more accurately, their façades are. The material came into favour during the Industrial Revolution because it was cheaper than traditional masonry and easier to manipulate into ornate details. See those large windows and Grecian columns? Made possible because of cast iron. Much sexier than the newer brick and steel buildings that abut them, no?

Ann Hamilton’s ‘The event of a thread’

Much has been written about Ann Hamilton’s evocative art installation, ‘The Event of a Thread’, but I wanted to add my little voice to the choir.

First off, if you ever get a chance to head over the the Park Avenue Armory, please do. It’s a wondrous space and they host many interesting events throughout the year, a list of which can be found here. When T and I went, we found many kids and their families just hanging out and playing chess in the eerily appointed reception halls. Doesn’t it feel straight out of Harry Potter?

Armory Reception Room

Secondly, I just loved listening to the flowing fabric. T and I laid down underneath the curtains and it felt so soothing to hear the heavy silk whipping around. It reminded me to do that more often: lay and listen.

Ann Hamilton 1

Ann Hamilton 2

T, the Pilot

This weekend we celebrated T’s birthday with a flight lesson! I had to let him in on his present earlier in the week so he could read up beforehand, and this Saturday evening I rode along as he flew around the city.

It was thrilling to watch T maneuver the plane up and down the length of Manhattan; he was such a natural and I was beaming the entire time :)

We took off at around 8pm and were treated to a beautiful sunset. It was the perfect weather for flying.

The view from the passenger window was pretty spectacular. We were so close to all the skyscrapers; it felt like I could reach out and touch them! Also, one of the best parts was listening to the flight communications: “Hudson Traffic: this is Cessna 172 Skyhawk at 1,200 feet. Passing the Intrepid. Northbound.” It was just like the movies :)

Happy birthday, T! I adore being your co-pilot.

Northern Catskills

This past weekend T and I headed upstate, where we rented a charming little cabin in the Northern Catskills. Have you ever been that way? It was so lovely; I can’t recommend visiting enough. Here are a few memories we made along the way.

On the drive up, we stopped in the town of Saugerties and shared a delicious shortcake overflowing with ripe strawberries at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen.

Okay okay. I didn’t really share :)

We made a few friends with manes…

…and maybe a few enemies with udders.

Speaking of animals, can you spot the black bear?

The Catskills and Hudson Valley are dotted with darling little towns that we loved ambling around in. We couldn’t make it to all of them, but a couple standouts were Tannersville (it’s got a cool hippie vibe and sits on the edge of Rip Van Winkle Lake, which is so fun to say!), and Hudson (it’s right on the river and seems to have six antiques shops on every block).

Tannersville’s Last Chance is a tavern, antiques store, cheese shop, and restaurant, all-in-one. They have a fantastic selection of beers and make some of the best pulled pork around.

I loved the little whales on Hudson’s street signs.

On Sunday, we went canoeing on North-South Lake.

During our walk to the boat launch, a couple of kids introduced us to a dinosaur :)

Perhaps my favourite part of the whole trip though, was admiring Haines Falls.

Do you have a favourite getaway memory? I’d love to hear!

Spaghetti with burrata, parmigiano, and butter

Yesterday was one of those perfect New York spring days, where the entire city seems to come out of hibernation: flowers peek out from buds, and buds from branches; whole families take to the parks and streets to stretch their legs, stripping off layers as they walk; even the air feels like it’s testing out new wings, first with cool breezes, then easing into a still warmth that flushes your skin.

I spent most of the day basking in the sun on my friend’s rooftop, sipping sweet hibiscus tea over ice; it was glorious.

By the early evening, when I returned home, I wanted nothing more than to collapse onto my couch, contentedly worn out from doing absolutely zilch. ZeroNada. Yet, somehow, I threw together a few ingredients I had on hand and made what is now, quite possibly, my new favourite ‘school night’ meal. Simple, easy, and restorative — just like spring.

Spaghetti with burrata, parmiagiano, and butter
Serves 4

This is a one-pot-wonder that you may customize this any way you please. I tossed in some broccoli florets, spinach, and a couple of canned roma tomatoes, roughly chopped, just to get some veggies in there — but the beauty of this meal is that you can add just about anything you’d like. Feel free to experiment with pastas and cheeses, too. Next time, I think I’ll try orecchiette and pecorino.

Ingredients:
3/4 pound of spaghetti, or other dried pasta
1/2 pound burrata cheese, halved, creamy filling scooped out (reserve the firmer exterior for another use)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of fresh, coarsely ground pepper
2 cups broccoli florets (optional)
2 cups baby spinach (optional)
10 oz canned roma tomatoes, roughly chopped or diced (optional)
salt to taste
zest of one lemon

Directions:
Cook spaghetti in lightly salted water until just tender, but firm to bite (al dente). I threw in the broccoli with the pasta during the last two minutes of boiling time, and the spinach in the last 30 seconds — no sense using a whole new pot. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid. Drop the butter, cheeses, and pepper into the pasta, tossing until well combined. Add reserve liquid if dry. Salt to taste. Spoon the spaghetti into bowls. Dot the pasta with the creamy burrata filling. Garnish with lemon zest.

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