Sunday, April 26, 2009

out and about

Yesterday was beautiful -- 85 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. And like every other New Yorker, Ian and I could hardly wait to get outside. We started by walking through Riverside Park to a mystery destination on 89th Street. Ian found out that the West Side Community Garden was having its annual tulip show and wanted to surprise me by stopping there.

The story of the garden is pretty interesting. The space used to be an abandoned lot covered in rubble, but in the mid '70s, some folks in the neighborhood decided to clean it up. These days, a portion of the garden is an amphitheatre landscaped with bulbs and other perennials, but there's also a section of raised beds where people can cultivate gardens of their own. A number of cultural events are hosted there over the summer, including the Music in a Garden series. I'll certainly be there! Until I can have my own garden, this will be a wonderful substitute. Maybe I can even help out.

When we finished enjoying the garden, we stopped at one of our new favorite pubs, Soldier McGee's, for some Golden Tee and a cold drink. Like a lot of the other restaurants and bars in the city, Soldier McGee's can fold back its front windows making it completely open to the street -- perfect for a day like this.

To finish the day, we met our friends Candice and Bryan for dinner at The Spotted Pig in the West Village. What a cute place! Can't wait for more weekends like this one. Next weekend, though, is reserved for apartment hunting in Inwood and The Heights. Wish us luck!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

new york resurrection

I love it when Easter seems to be timed with the arrival of spring. This year, we in New York have enjoyed just that. The plants are coming out of dormancy and there's vibrant color everywhere. And a lot of this seems to be happening overnight. Sound familiar?

We've had a really nice day so far. We woke up early to make a German apple pancake (highly recommended...and not very difficult!) so we could eat it while we watched Sunday Morning. Then we headed off to church. Here's what greeted us when we stepped outside:

Our church is actually going through a bit of a resurrection itself. At some point in the last century, someone thought it would be a good idea to paint over all the gorgeous murals and mosaics in the chancel. They're finally being restored, and the team is making tremendous progress. It's fun to note the changes each time we go.

Following worship, we walked home because the weather is so gorgeous (albeit a little chilly when the wind whips up). I snapped a few more shots for you. Don't worry...if you haven't seen evidence of it yet, spring really is coming!

(Thank you, Ian, for giving up 68 seconds of your life for this. xo)

Now I'm off to make Easter dinner: spicy roast pork loin with apricot chutney, garlicky haricots verts, and golden onion strata with gruyère and prosciutto. Will report in a comment. In the meantime, happy Easter, Passover, or just plain spring!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

pipes and drums

Last weekend, Ian's parents came to spend a few days with us, and we had great fun catching up, eating great food, sightseeing, and play-going -- but I think my favorite part was the Tartan Days parade (the "Hey, we're Celtic too" answer to St. Patrick's Day). It was chilly, gray, and windy, but that didn't stop hundreds of people from lining 6th Avenue to watch the festivities. It was fun to see a whole lot of people who are so enthusiastic about our heritage.

Now, imagine the lilting, haunting music of a pipe and drum corps playing...

As we were making our way back to the subway after the parade, we happened upon two corps who had started to play together: one of the youngest groups (who was actually from Scotland) and one of the oldest.

It was nothing less than heartwarming.