On A Three Hour Tour…

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this eastern port
Aboard this tiny ship. “

While not quite as eventful as Gilligan’s infamous voyage, Shannon, Jean, Kay, and I did get to take a rather lovely cruise around out island.  With Shannon’s mom and aunt in town we decided it would be a good time to take in the sights around Manhattan.

Since brunch is our favorite thing here in NYC, Shannon and I decided that eating brunch and drinking mimosas while sight seeing might be the best possible thing to ever exist, and so we booked a brunch cruise.  It all happens on the deck of this trusty little barge aptly named the Manhattan:

The ManhattanOnce aboard the yacht we were promptly handed mimosas and quickly kicked out to sea by the captain.  Once out on the river the air temperature immediately dropped and we were encased in the cool salty breeze coming off ocean.  We began our journey down the Hudson river towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Statue of Liberty.

The view from the Yacht was spectacular.  Straight from the beginning as we were ushered by the Statue we were continually floated by famous views including the Financial District skyline, the low and neighborhood like Village, the sea ports and forts, and the industrial shores of Queens.  We swam down the Hudson river and up the East River, our ever knowledgeable captain spouting off trivia at every turn.

Some of the standout sights glimpsed from new angles aboard our small vessel were the bridges.  These colossal stone and iron structures are really neat to see from underneath.  It is amazing to me the amount of care that was put into the aesthetics of the bridges, the stone work, the iron work, and then add to this the actual structural intricacies it makes for pretty a pretty awe inspiring sight.

Brunch was served in 4 delectable courses, non of which did I think to photograph, and each accompanied by a new mimosa.  We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of quiches and freshness of the fruits, but still were distracted by the steady stream of sights ripping by the large glass windows.

The whole experience was extremely eye opening, but in particular one section of Manhattan threw me for a loop.  As we crested the top of the island about to enter the Harlem River the entire scene turned to something none of us expected to see on the small island of Manhattan: Green.  Lots and Lots of Green.  As it turns out the top of the island and then into the Bronx is an endless sea of beautiful green forest, gardens, parks, and water.  We got only the shortest glimpse into this world from the yacht, but it suddenly made the top of my destination list!  It also turns out that we can access all of the greenness from a subway train!  It is crazy to me that this area of dense foliage is attached to the urban jungle which I have been trapped in for all this time!  It doesn’t compute in my brain, it is just too much of a contrast.

All in all it was a wonderful breath of fresh air, and a welcomed escape from the heat of the city streets.  Shannon is now convinced we need a boat, and I think I am inclined to agree.  Here are some pictures from our voyage:

Hot, Haught, Hawt.

Yesterday was a hot, humid, and wet hint of what summer may be like in New York.  As it turns out, when it gets hot here it feels like walking through a swimming pool everywhere you go.  I am not concerned about it, but it is going to take some adjusting, and the purchase of an air conditioner.  We made the most of the day by heading out to a new restaurant to try out their brunch, and ended up hitting a little place down the street from us called the Brindle Room, which serves a killer brunch menu.

Heart attack on a plate.

Embarrassingly we both had: Buttermilk Biscuits with bacon and a poached egg covered in sausage gravy.  Yes it was as delicious and awful as it sounds.  We both Vowed to never again speak of this encounter, and to never eat such a pile again.  Just the yogurt parfait for us next time.  all in all though it was a great edition to our brunch locations.

After brunch we headed out into the world to walk off our plate of death and get some errands done.  Shannon headed to Whole Foods and I ended up going to get some fresh herbs to grow at home, and then to the gym.  One of the things Shan and I are trying to incorporate into our lives a little better is trying to eat local.  One of the biggest assets to this endeavor is the little farmers market that happens every weekend at the park near our house! There is always a good selection of veggies, fruits, meats, honey, plants…. etc.  We even signed up to use only renewable wind energy here at the market.  The fact that it is also closer than any grocery store is also extremely convenient.  Yesterday I headed down to the market on a mission to find some good house plants.  Both Shannon and I love having some green plants in the house, and the few we have bought already seem to be doing pretty well, so I went out to get a few more and ended up with some good herbs.  Hopefully these little guys will be flavoring our dishes in no time!

Peppermint, Lavender, Sage.

After spending the afternoon running errands we headed over to Jamie and Willow’s for an early evening bbq on their back deck.  We took over some veggies in foil packets, cajun shrimp skewers, and a six pack of Stone IPA, and met up with a group of friends to unwind in the oppressive humid heat.

One of the cool things about New York is each block of buildings is hollow in the middle.  So on almost every block is a hidden courtyard.  This is where you find the community gardens, the back porches at restaurants, and of course the back decks at apartment buildings.  Our apartment building of course doesn’t have one, although the space needed is there (currently just a slab of concrete).

The Deck, and Tom staring intently at his Rum Punch.

Jamie and Willow have a beautiful open wooden deck with tons of furniture, huge umbrellas, and most importantly a grill.  It is nice to have such a secluded hideaway when you are stuck in the middle of such a dense city, someplace to really kick back and relax.  Anyways, we had a blast with a bunch of friends lounging from afternoon into night, drinking beer and Willow’s incredible rum punch, eating chips, guac, and shrimp.  I hope this is the theme of the summer.  Here are some of the pictures from the rest of the night.  Highlighted among them are a couple of us looking… special…. trying to play Jamie’s favorite picture game: Shaky Face.  As the name explains, you shake your face as fast as possible to get the least attractive result.  Enjoy.

Grill Master Flex.


Shaky Face.......

And into the night...

74 Degrees.

Happy Easter!

Nothing overly exciting here.  Just beautiful weather, brunches, and lots of people dressed up for the day.  Easter outfits are awesome.  Everyone walking around today looks dapper and well put together, and noticeably so, which is saying a lot because everyone here always leave their homes looking put together.  We unfortunately didn’t get to complete our original brunch/museum plan as Shannon had to go into a restaurant to work this morning.  I ended up walking to the coffee shop, and then the gym.  Luckily Shannon came home fairly early and we were still able to to go to a modest Easter brunch, and then grocery shopping!  We ended walking down to a not very close but infinitely better Wholefoods, and luckily they deliver!  So we are now waiting at home for the groceries to show up!  On our walk today we cruised by the park, and dog park, to soak in some sun.  Here is the sight we found.

Thompkins Square Park

Found this little gem just up the block on my way to the gym!

Cafe Mogador: Brunch of Choice

So this is the brunch place Shan and I have been going to on Sundays.  It’s called Cafe Mogador, and it has the best Eggs Benedict around.  Included with your meal is a glass of fresh oj and bottomless espresso.  On the side are a side salad and some b-fast potatoes.  I am in love with these poached eggs, they come out so beautiful every time.  It looks almost like they are a dollop of whipped cream… How do they do it? Sorry about the picture quality, we forgot the real camera at home, this comes from my phone…

My Typical Sunday Selection

A Close Up on Perfection