Monday, May 31, 2010

A Manhattan-Style Memorial Day "Cookout" for Two

You'll have to pardon the photo overload that this post is going to be, but the absolutely incredible food we ate yesterday caused my camera to start snap snap snapping away!

Besides bragging about how good my Food Network recipe-finding skills are, I wanted this post to be another one of those "this is how different it is to live in Manhattan than anywhere else" posts. It seems like nearly everyone else in the entire country was either at a family picnic or the beach yesterday, which makes our little "cookout" that much more of an oddity, I guess.

You see, we grilled...

Granted, it was on a 14-inch-wide hibachi grill with easy-lite charcoal and on a balcony 23 stories above 6th Avenue, but we grilled. And, as always, my husband made goofy faces.

But he did grill our burgers to perfection the very first time he ever grilled anything! He was like a man discovering fire for the first time. I think I may have created a grilling monster ;)

Meanwhile, I was inside baking our garlic french fries (check out this super easy recipe here for a side dish that is next to godliness), slicing up my homemade bread, and picking lettuce leaves from my AeroGarden. When everything combined on our gorgeous new black (wedding gift) dishes, it looked incredible, if I do say so myself:

I'm not usually really a foodie, but damn, I couldn't resist snapping some up-close shots of those fries.

And the burger...ugh, I'm getting hungry again just writing this...

Dan paired his meal with some high-class fruit punch and a smile:

I paired mine with some sun tea I had brewed earlier and could barely restrain myself from digging in long enough to let Dan take this picture.

So that, my friends, is how us New Yorkers (or at least, my little New Yorker family!) celebrate what seems to be National Cookout Weekend.

On a more sombre note, a big, heartfelt thank you to all of the men and women and their families who have sacrificed their lives, their health, or their security to defend us and our right to grill on our balcony, if we so desire. This year, I have a brother in the Marines and it always hits a little closer to home when your own family is involved, right?

How did you celebrate Memorial Day?


Saturday, May 29, 2010

New York Secrets

One of my favorite things about living in New York is that, no matter how many times you walk down the same city block, take the same subway train from the same subway station, or buy your milk from the same corner deli, there's always something new to see.

The 34th Street/Herald Square subway station is the closest to our apartment, so naturally, it's one of the stations that I visit most frequently. It wasn't until we'd been living here for about a year, though, that I noticed the big green rectangular racks hanging between the signs that say which way the train is headed.

Anyone who thinks to reach a hand way up above his or her head (okay, maybe it's just me, I'm short!) and set off the motion sensors will be rewarded with a loud musical note that sings in the hustle and bustle of the station. And every time I reach my hand up there and "play" a note, people turn and stare because they had no idea that the green "instrument" was even there. And there's another one on the opposite side of the station, too!

It's apparently all an art installation by Christopher Janney called, "REACH: New York, An Urban Musical Instrument" and has been there since 1996, largely unnoticed from what I can see. Its creator intended for it to be an interaction among strangers on the platform who would play the notes together.

But no one ever plays with me! So all you readers out there have to help me spread the word, okay? :)


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Getting Nostalgic for My Alma Mater

A fellow friend posted the link to this music video on his facebook this afternoon, and watching it made me all nostalgic for my Hofstra days.

Even though my Hofstra experience was almost completely different from the one he sings about, I definitely know exactly what he's talking about and for the first time in a long while, I want to take a trip out there and visit the place where I grew up, so to speak. I just need an excuse to go. My friend Whitney is getting paid to choreograph for them in the fall, so that show should be just the excuse I need!

Even though I only lived there for four years, that part of my life will always be so special to me as the place where I found the training and confidence I needed to be successful in this crazy showbiz and as the place where I found my husband and many lifelong friends.

Here's to Hofstra U!