Photo Gallery: Snowpocalypse 2.0 and Kings County Distillery

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Worrying About Winter

New York City Declares Weather Emergency.  You can read all about it here in the NY Times article, that was released earlier this afternoon.  Now I know it hasn’t snowed yet… and it is winter… and we live on the north east coast where bad weather almost never happens… but we have a storm headed our way!  Being fairly new to the area having only lived in New York for 13 months I should probably be following suit and panicking, possibly stocking up on canned items and flare guns, but I am going to follow my initial instincts and have a beer.  Might I remind everyone here in the city that we don’t actually own cars, and therefore will still be able to commute the long distances to a local store even if  .05 miles is daunting task with 12 inches of snow on the ground.  Lately I have found myself gazing out of the window at the remaining snow left melting from the last storm that crippled our city for a day, and yet everything already seems like it has resumed like nothing has happened…

I’m sorry about being cynical, I know there are consequences to the winter storms we have out here.  I worry about the response of emergency teams, and messed up travel schedules.  I worry about everyone having heat and electricity.  These things are concerns that are brought to the forefront whenever something like a snow storm is looking in the distance, although they probably should be looked at without the prompting of something as routine as snow in winter.

Unfortunately as I brace myself for the second coming of Snowpocalypse, as the city has fondly titled our repeated assaults from mother nature, I find only excitement at the prospect of a change of scenery from our apartment window.  Currently I am locked up at home instructed to lay low in order to not spread or excite my current condition, Chickenpocalypse v2.0.  Yes, I ended up with Shingles!  Although as far as I can discern I may have the mildest case ever recorded limited to some unsightly blotches on my arm, sniffles, and an ear ache.  Fortunately the doctor did prescribe staying very much under cover for a few days in order to not spread it and also not excite it.  So I am hunkering down with my laptop and chinese delivery, which if I had to guess would still have delivered in spite of 8-12 inches of snow, and have began to catch up on all of reading that should have been down over the last year.  If I have not already said so: Kindle = Awesome.  I adore books, and I mean physically, I love the feel of a heavy book and I was immediately concerned about betraying books across the world by purchasing a Kindle, but time after time it continues to prove its worth.  Today’s case for the eBook that could: I can finish all of the books I have on hand, and then without leaving the couch dive into 10 more.

So here I am in my apartment with the radiators on, new books downloaded, and a stack of netflix envelopes waiting for the meds to kick in and the snow to fall.  With any luck this time tomorrow I will at least have a wonderful white world to watch.  There is something so peaceful about being wrapped up inside with hot cider while everything is hushed outside by cold weather.

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.

Food.

Shaky Face.......

And into the night...

Rainy Days

Day 3 of rain and wind here in NYC.  I do enjoy how it makes curling up with a good book and a beer the best option for your day, but I am getting a little tired of having a good excuse not to go out and run or go to the gym.  The weather here has really had a grip on controlling my schedule.  When you have to walk everywhere, and the weather is harsh, it makes your destination seem a lot less attractive.  I would say that it also made life cheaper, but with so many delivery options available that isn’t even the truth.

Shannon and I were escorted around the French Culinary Institute yesterday for a lovely afternoon.  We went down to Soho and met up with one of their tour guides who walked us through all of there kitchens, showcasing the culinary arts, pastry, and bread making classes, and as we walked introduced first hand to all of the wonderful dishes that were being concocted at the time.  I do not actually have the time to write down everything we ate, but all of it was amazing.  They also sent us home with an armful of different breads from the master bakers which turned into our lunch after a stop off at Dean & Deluca’s for some artisan cheeses.  I would highly recommend to anyone scheduling a visit to your local culinary schools simply for a tour, it is free, and delicious.  While we were at the French Culinary Institute we wandered through a final test for some of the students, and proctoring the final exam was one of our favorite chefs, Cesare!  As we trounced through the middle of a panel of judges scrutinizing a student we caught sight of our favorite portly Italian, who surprisingly immediately recognized us.  Dan, we definitely need to stop back in to see him when you return.  After our brief run in with the chef I am positive our tour guide thought we were bored millionaires with nothing better to do with our time then to harass him.  Verdict: French Culinary Institute = Incredible.

Today Shannon and I are actually going to make it to the gym in spite of sheeting rain.  We are going to sand down the top of our kitchen island, and refinish it.  We are going to cook some soup, and not quick soup, but the kind that sits on the stove top all day.  We are going to continue our streak of really bad movies, last night New Moon, tonight….?

Anyways, Hope all is well out there where you are!