June Preview

As has been happening more often than not, I look up and it’s been 23 days since I last blogged. How that happened, I have no idea. Three busy weeks and packed weekends have come and gone and suddenly it’s June 24th. My living room holds a random assortment of items not quite put back in their places after I’ve passed through quickly. The plants, at least, have not been neglected.

In an attempt to catch up, how about one post a day this week. June has included a Web Conference at Penn State University, a trip to Hershey with Jon for the weekend, family visiting for Father’s Day weekend, long work days, full week nights, lots of good eats and a packed weekend (including a brief trip to NJ) to celebrate Jon’s birthday (which is today).
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Despite the 90 degree temperatures lately, I’m so glad that it’s finally summer. An abundance of events around the city should keep me busy and content for the next few months. 
 
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Stay tuned.

Cooking Adventures: Stuffed Artichoke

Relaxing Saturday evening included kitchen reorganization and a whole lot of cooking. I had a lot of Farmigo vegetables leftover from last week and since I’m leaving on Wednesday morning, I figured this weekend was the best time to use them up. There’s also something to be said about a slow evening in the kitchen.

No particular recipes in mind but I wanted to tackle the artichoke and use up the rhubarb.

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Stuffed the artichoke with a mixture that included whole wheat bread crumbs, parmesan and pecorino romano cheese, salt/pepper, vegetable oil and parsley. Steamed it in a pot of water on the stove for almost an hour.

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While that was cooking I tackled the mushrooms – super easy. Drizzled them in olive oil, salt/pepper and fresh basil. Roasted some leftover lonely carrots as well. That all was basically an effort to clear out the fridge.

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The artichoke came out really well! Much better than I expected and super easy so I’ll definitely be eating it again soon. It was also super filling despite not having a lot inside so I only ended up eating half and the rest will be lunch tomorrow. Two of the mushrooms and leftover carrots are also going to be making their way into meals tomorrow and Monday! Yay planning.

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While all of that was cooking I whipped up a quick strawberry rhubarb crisp with fresh fruit also from Farmigo. It turned out really well! I made an apple crisp a while back and it seemed to turn out dry but even without following a recipe this time, I was impressed!

Enjoying dinner while watching Silver Linings Playbook from Netflix & working on some slides for the conference I’m going to next Wednesday. More on that later! A much needed relaxing day in Brooklyn – my first in weeks!

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The Artichoke

Thursday after work 15 Carrots all headed to the Financial District for a 5k run for the American Heart Association. Unfortunately it was the hottest day in NYC so far this year – 92 degrees is NOT, in fact, fun running weather. When we arrived there the race was absolutely packed so it took a bit to get up to the front and get started (ie. sweating before you even started). Absolutely gorgeous race course right through the lower part of Manhattan – right under the World Trade Center, down to the tip of the island and then ended along the Hudson looking towards Jersey City (hi Eric & David!). It was a fun run despite the fact that I had to walk some of it – better luck next time. But I finished! We all went out for celebratory beers at a bar afterwards. Sounds like this is going to be a yearly Carrot event so I have another year to train for the next!

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Friday came super early this week (or so it felt) due to having Monday off. Headed to Midtown after work to meet up with Jon. I was feel generally discombobulated and annoyed with the number of people around so I plopped down on a bench outside to wait. Soon after a lady walked up to me and pointed to her camera and then herself – indicating she wanted her photo taken. I figured she was a tourist so I quickly took a few shots of her. Instead of leaving she sat down on the bench next to me and began (in broken english) telling me that she was visiting NYC (clearly). I discovered it was her first time in the US and she was from China along with a tour group that was apparently doing a huge cross country tour of all of our major cities (LA, DC, NYC, Hawaii, etc.). She stayed around for about 10 minutes telling me about other countries she’d been to and telling me how much NYC was like Shanghai and that I should visit. The conversation involved a lot of me asking a question and her responding to something totally different but it worked out! Soon she spotted someone she knew across the street and darted off. Thanks for the small bit of community NYC 🙂

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Eventually met up with Jon and we headed down to 23rd street (Flatiron District) for cheap tacos and dinner in Madison Square Park (mom & dad, that’s the one with the cool rope art installation). Hung around that area for a while before heading to get a drink at this dive bar down the street – full NYC date night experience. Ended the night back in Madison Square Park looking at Shake Shack and the Empire State building in the background! Jon headed to Hershey this weekend to see his family so I’m on my own for the weekend!

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After saying goodbye to Jon I swung by Trader Joe’s because it was just down the street. Picked up some frozen fruit for smoothies & a impulse purchase – an artichoke! Turned out to be the best impulse ever because while I was waiting in line the lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder to ask how you cook artichokes. I confessed that I usually buy them in a jar so I really had no idea and that I was using it as an experiment. Soon enough the lady next to us in the other line chimed in with directions of how to prepare it and what to eat it with (along with detailed nutrition facts). The lady behind her also joined the conversation and before I knew it there were 6 of us standing around talking about the artichoke in my hand. Best purchase ever. One of the people noticed I had a RISD bag and said that since I was clearly a designer if cooking it didn’t work out I could always turn it into a nice center piece! By the time I got up to the register I was laughing and the cashier said “sounds like someone had a good Friday!”

It’s those little moments that make NYC great.

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Started Saturday morning off early with a yoga class in DUMBO with Casey. Walked up to Brooklyn Heights afterwards for breakfast at a place called Siggy’s – super delicious tofu scramble! Walked Casey to the train before parting ways and I continued walking to fit in a bit more exploring. There was a middle eastern grocery store I’ve been interested in trying out for a while so I walked to Atlantic Ave. It was seriously so cool! Filled with bulk food items, so much cheese, coffee and the best part was.. everything was so cheap! Even by not NYC standards. I got a bag of pita for 85 cents! Picked up some dried strawberries and two varieties of hummus (Kalamata Olive & Feta Cheese Hummus + Zaatar Hummus).

Stopped in a kitchen supply store just because it looked cool – ended up getting in a conversation with the store owner for a bit. Apparently the theme of the weekend is talking to strangers.

Walked further down Court Street to Cafe Pedlar a new coffee shop I’ve also been wanting to try out. Sat down for a bit to catch up on email and drink iced coffee – it’s HOT out today!

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Eventually ended up back at home all hot and sweaty (and no AC) so a shower and strategic fan positioning was in order. Spending the rest of the afternoon catching up on blogging, listening to music, reading the NYTimes and eating strawberries from Farmigo! Definitely a good Saturday so far!

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Girls Reunion Weekend

This past week has absolutely flown by. I can’t believe it’s already been 8 days since I headed up to Queens to pick up Remy and Kristin for our first hangout in 10 months! Was so ready for some quality girl time and catching up with them in person instead of daily emails, IMs or texts.

Met them after they got off their (delayed) plane and headed back to Brooklyn where we promptly order pizza, walked down the street to pick up wine & met Casey before getting ice cream. Clearly we know how to start girls weekend off right. Friday night included much catch up time before finally falling asleep a little after 1:45am. Yikes!

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Woke up early on Saturday to get a head start on the weekend with brunch at a diner down the street. Introduced them to the concept of mimosas and brunch, a NYC staple. At this point Kristin’s boyfriend had driven down from RI and joined us as well.

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Started off with a visit to 30 rock before walking north to the MoMa. One of the guys who worked at Leo last summer with Remy & I had moved to NYC a while back and now works for the MoMa so he had generously left 4 free tickets at the information desk for us! Super good plan for a rainy Saturday. It was packed! 968895_863941542299_2094721358_n 972032_864020529009_656530743_n

Spent a good 2+ hours wandering around, talking and looking at art. Reminded us of our art history days at RIT. One of the exhibits was a huge screen with a video of an elephant. We discovered that if you walked on the other side of the screen it made cool shadows. So we caused a little trouble there.

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Eventually left the MoMa after we had all decided we had enough of modern art. Jon headed into Manhattan to meet up with us just in time for the MoMa design store & a coffee shop down the street where we all got the most amazing hot chocolate and relaxed for a bit. Casey, Rob & Kristin all split off from us at this point so Jon, Remy and I wandered up to the Apple Store at the bottom of Central Park. Walked through Central Park despite the ominous clouds above in search of the Waffle  Truck in Columbus Circle (didn’t end up finding it). It started absolutely pouring so we hopped on the subway and headed down to Chelsea Market. Had fun wandering around looking at all of the shops there – art fair, olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting, ate crepes, and took funny pictures.

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Headed upstairs to walk on part of the High Line (it was less rainy by then). Made it about 5 blocks on the High Line before it started raining again and we headed to a hotel to check out the (new!) Intelligentsia Coffee shop that went in. That coffee shop was the one that was at the end of the block Kristin & I lived on in Chicago last summer (and where she lives now) so I’m super pumped they opened a NYC location. We, of course, had to check it out on opening weekend.

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Hung around there for a bit before heading down to SoHo to meet up with Kristin & Rob and then walked down to Chinatown for some dumplings (I’m working on a list of 21 places to go in Chinatown as recommended by a coworker).

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Ate pretty quickly and then headed north to the East Village for an RIT reunion at a bar there. There were about 15 of us who all graduated from photo or design within the last two years so it was super fun to catch up with everyone!

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Sunday morning Remy and I woke up early to head out on a walk through Prospect Park. Showed her all of the fun secret parts of the park before exploring some Brooklyn streets filled with brownstones and finally ended up at a coffee shop (theme of the weekend).

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Quickly headed home to shower and get ready before all of us headed to DUMBO for Smorgasbord and hanging out in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Finished a quick brunch there before walking across the Brooklyn Bridge all the way down to the tip of Manhattan to catch the ferry across to Governor’s Island. The island opened for the first time this season the day before we went. It was super windy over there but provided amazing views of Manhattan & was welcome after a hot walk across the bridge.

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Sunday night we all split up for a bit as Remy had friends to meet up with, Kristin & Rob went to Chelsea Market and I took a (much needed) nap 🙂 Kristin, Rob, Jon and I went out for frozen yogurt nearby after dinner and then acted like little kids playing in the park across the street. Swings are still my favorite! Stayed up for a little bit talking to Remy and then promptly passed out.

Monday morning we had a slower start and all met up at a local bagel place (same park from last night). Super gorgeous weather that made up for a rainy Friday and Saturday. Rob left to go home to RI so us girls spent the rest of the day wandering and talking. Walked all the way down 5th avenue, through Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Stopped in lots of shops along the way. Eventually ended up at Carroll Park in Carroll Gardens to sit down for a bit & meet up with an old coworker that Remy knew at Leo. Had quite a good time watching a neighborhood gang of 8 year olds playing with water guns around the park. Everyone was a wee bit soaked! Took the train back home and stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at Zito’s Sandwiches before Remy and Kristin had to hop on the plane.

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It was a whirlwind weekend but so much fun! It was fun to get to show them around Brooklyn and definitely made me feel like I actually live here! Can’t wait to make this reunion a yearly thing 🙂