Archive for the ‘flora and fauna’ Category

New York Adventure Day: Red Hook!

May 21, 2010

It’s Spring, people! But with this weather we’ve been having in New York (oy the heat!), you could easily trick me into believing it’s summer. Regardless. It’s warm. It’s lighter later. Let’s get on our bikes and find some ice cold beverages.

Welcome to one of my favorite new neighborhoods: Red Hook!

I feel like I’m telling the world about a great secret whenever I talk about Red Hook. Although many have explored and enjoyed the neighborhood before lil’ ol’ me came along, it still feels like uncharted territory. It has a small community feel and a very beachy vibe. And as a California girl, it really felt like home. It’s the type of place that makes me wanna listen to Jack Johnson and take a long nap. And maybe bring along a sketch book.

The first time I visited, I remember thinking, “This type of place exists in New York? And it’s a mere 20 minute bike ride from my apartment??”

I tell ya, it’s worth the trip.

Not only is Red Hook home to the only Ikea in New York, and the 2nd location of the huge amazing market, Fairway. But it also hosts a number of delightful small businesses (which is the more appealing aspect of Red Hook to me personally). You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a delicious bakery, or a homegrown nursery or flower shop, or a fresh lobster place. They have everything!

With a free Saturday and a loose gameplan, my boyfriend and I set out to do some Red Hook exploring last weekend. Here are the highlights.

Calexico. Holy moly. This is some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in New York. I felt like I was transported to San Francisco. They’ve been getting some crazy press (they used to be just a food cart, and now they have this store front! YAY Calexico!), so I was eager to see what all the buzz was about.

This food was outrageously good. It was the perfect fuel to keep us going for our bike ride. The atmosphere is not pretentious at all and the food is such good quality. Calexico gets an “A+” in my book. And David was very pleased as well.

Please allow me to recommend the Carne Asada Quesadillas. Promise me that you’ll get this when you go there. It was a recommendation from my friend Jessica, who said to me: “I know, I know, quesadilla?  What are you, 11?  I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed because it comes with the crackiest of crack sauces I’ve had in a long time”. She was right. The Crack Sauce. Mmm! Don’t even get me started. Here’s their website.

whatadweeb

Free kayaking! WHAT!? Yes. Red Hook is, apparently, just that cool.

As a totally unplanned unexpected bonus, David and I happened upon this amazing program sponsored by the volunteer organization called the Redhook Boaters. The kind and good-hearted people of Redhook Boaters set up shop at Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park (phew, what a mouthful!). And in exchange for helping them clean up the waterfront, they provide free kayaks to take out on the river. With gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty and the satisfaction of knowing that the Red Hook waterfront has a few less cigarette butts and bottle caps as a direct result of your help, an afternoon spent at the Pier is a win win!

It was a blast. And a pleasant little work out! When we got there, it wasn’t super crowded and we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes for a kayak. But I would recommend checking it out soon before word gets out that this is the best deal in the city. They’ll be at the Pier every Sunday, and during July and August they’ll be adding evening kayaking on Thursdays from 6-8pm! Checkemout.

Say hello to Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies. If you’re a key lime pie person (which, why shouldn’t you be?), then fuggedaboutit. Yer done. This is all you need. These little treats are off the hook.

David and I kept things classic with their 4-Inch Key Lime Tart. But if you’re lookin’ to get crazy, try their Swingle: a key lime tart, on a stick, dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. I have yet to sample one myself, but I hear good things.

I heart Red Hook. It’s so quiet and charming…in an abandoned-warehouse-beach-town-sorta-way. There are a few other wonderful little places that I love, but didn’t mention in this post.  They are definitely worth a visit:

*Baked – their Sweet & Salty Brownies make me weak. And check out Jen’s delicious blog post about her first time at Baked!

*Fort Defiance – order their Muffuletta and Ginger Soda, and you’re looking at a perfect lunch.

*Saipua – a flower and soap shoppe, this is the best-smelling storefront in Red Hook. The gorgeous bouquets that they post on their blog cheer me up daily. (Click here to check out my amateur, but beautiful, bouquet I assembled there!)

Cleanse

April 21, 2010

Isn’t this tree beautiful? I noticed it for the first time on my walk home from work. It’s like Fern Gully or something!

Spring is here. And that means Spring showers, Spring iced coffee (just go with me), and Spring cleaning. Whether I want to admit it or not, I am in some dire need of Spring cleaning. I have a dust buster for a reason, and I’m gonna put it to use dammit!

And this Spring, I’m doing something new that I’ve never done before. I’m not just cleaning my apartment, but I’m also cleaning my body. I’m going to go on my first ever cleanse!

Yep. You heard it here first, folks. I’m doin’ a cleanse. Call it one too many chocolate chip cookies, or the gym membership that I recently cancelled, or panic about getting ready for swimsuit season. Whatever the many reasons may be, I realized that I needed something to kickstart my movement towards a healthier lifestyle. Am I cutting out caffeine, sugar, and dairy forever? Heck no. Just for these next few days. As a little experiment. 🙂

Right now I’m in the “prep” phase of a 2-day juice cleanse that goes down on Saturday and Sunday. Prepping for this cleanse basically means gradually weaning out certain foods (sugar, meat, dairy) to prepare your body for a smoother transition into the juice cleanse. After doing some research and talking to friends who’ve tried it, I decided to go with the BluePrintCleanse. You drink 6 “special” juices a day that the BPC elves prepare for you in advance. It’s all fresh and natural and some of the flavors actually sound yummy (cashew milk?!). And in between each juice, I’m supposed to drink A LOT of water. Oh boy. We shall see how this whole cleanse thing goes down… Fortunately, a few of my girl friends have signed up to do it with me this weekend as well! So we’ll have each other’s backs when we’re looking for a hunger sympathy vote.

I’m not looking forward to the kvetching that will inevitably come with the fact that I WON’T BE EATING FOOD for 2 days. But actually, in this very moment I’m buzzing with the excitement of embarking on this little juice adventure. (If my tone seems testy on Sunday, you can blame the fact that my belly will be filled with mostly water). And I just keep telling myself, “It’s only 2 days. You can drink a few colorful juices for 2 days. Just think about the slice of pizza that’s waiting for you on that 3rd day!” Just kidding. Am I?

I’m making a Spring resolution to look good and feel good. A resolution to say “yes” to more yoga classes and “no” to second helpings of pasta.

Selleck Waterfall Sandwich

March 27, 2010

So, this exists.  And I’m so happy to know about it.  Photo courtesy of a blog called selleck waterfall sandwich.

Can Every Day Be a Lazy Saturday?

March 11, 2010

Another reason why I am convinced that I will never move (have I ever mentioned on this blog just how much I love my apartment?  I love my apartment), is my close proximity to Prospect Park.  It’s like having a really big backyard…open to the public.  But the cutest public imaginable: lots of babies and little puppies.  And being just minutes away from the Grand Army Plaza entrance has it’s perks, one of which is the Saturday greenmarket.  Every Saturday, in front of the big arch, farmers set up their wares and all afternoon you can stop by for a fresh focaccia, refreshing milk, or even a succulent plant.

Look at these kids playing in the little patch of snow (bottom right)!  A-door-a-bull.

Come on, Spring!  I’m ready to let the sun shine in.

A Fine Night for a Picnic

March 10, 2010

*This evening was sponsored by The High Line and Trader Joe’s*

Yesterday’s high of 55 degrees and low of 42 degrees had all of New York City in a wonderful mood.  The air was crisper, people were smiley-er, coffee was sweeter, and the subways were still fairly smelly and unreliable…but not as bad as usual!  The random patches of dirt-covered snow hadn’t even fully melted from every sidewalk, but everyone was out on park benches with their ice cream cones and their lighter jackets.

My sweet boyfriend met me after work with a bag full of Trader Joe’s goodies, and we snacked and strolled along The High Line for an hour before I had to go to Harvard Sailing Team rehearsal.  One of the entrances is right near my office, and after last night, I promised myself I would take advantage of escaping to The High Line more frequently.  I hadn’t been back since I blogged about it in the summer, and it’s interesting to see how the place changes with the seasons.  It’s still just as magical, but the overgrown dried-out grass (see first photo) added an eerie feeling that reminded me of what the original abandoned railway tracks must have been like before they revamped ’em.  But there is just something so peaceful about being at eye level with many of the surrounding buildings.  When we perched on a chaise lounge, I looked up at the sky, and I swear I saw at least a star and a half.

We’re Back

February 26, 2010

puppies!

Hi friends.  Thanks for allowing me a few months’ hiatus.  It’s been some snowy days today and yesterday (New York, are these not the hugest flakes you’ve ever seen?), and it’s got me feelin’ all introspective.  And in my introspection, I realize that I’ve quite missed this blog.  I’ve missed posting my photos, and sharing my stories, and giving the latest updates.  So let’s start up again: my name is Faryn, I started a new job in September, I like it, I’ve also started a bakery with my friend Jen, I take pictures of food, lots of pictures of food, I love living in Brooklyn, my boyfriend is funny nice and loving and his name is David, Harvard Sailing Team is the sketch comedy group I’ve been performing with for the past four years, they are my family, I still don’t have a cat but I work daily on warming my roommate up to the idea of a cute little adorable sweet playful kitten pouncing around the apartment and snuggling with us on the couch.  Now you should be all caught up.

I know you’re dying to know about all the meals I’ve eaten, friends I’ve seen, Brooklyn experiences I’ve had, and general life updates (mom).  So thanks for coming back, and I promise some great new posts veddy veddy soon!

So Fresh

December 2, 2009

Never underestimate the power of fresh flowers.  I’m convinced that having flowers, or any living plant, in the house, has magical healing powers that leak into your subconscious and release endorphins.  Like going to the gym.  Except you don’t have to put on sweatpants.

A few weeks ago, my sweet boyfriend came home from a catering gig with a “little treat” for me.  I groggily hop out of bed (it was 2am), and am taken aback by a huge-ass bouquet of flowers sitting on my kitchen counter.

This thing was a monster!  It was from a big fancy shmancy wedding reception.  It is the biggest bouquet I have ever seen.  And to think, David carried this big heavy thing home for me.  >blushing<

So, the next morning, Shawna and I giddily began disassembling this big white flowery poof and carefully crafted smaller bouquets to scatter all around the house.  The fumes, or the seductive magical power of flowers (see above) must have gotten to our brains, because we started singing little songs and giggling and throwing petals in the air as we noticed all the flowers that soon seemed to take up every inch of kitchen counter space!  It was a riot.

It was a blast.  The week of life that we got out of these beautiful flowers, was an aromatic and happy one.

I know it’s only the 2nd of December, but I suppose I should start thinking about resolutions.

My first resolution for 2010: keep flowers in the house!

My Favorite Tree on the Block

November 25, 2009

Looks like this…

It’s the only tree on my block that goes  yellow this every autumn.  All the other trees’ leaves are red, orange, or brown prone.  As a girl who was born and raised in L.A., I am still in awe of the actual season changes.  You don’t see trees like this, with such vibrant yellow leaves, on Wilshire Blvd!  Shawna, also a fellow Los Angelina, and I marvel at it daily as we walk by on our way to the train in the morning.  And those sprawling branches!  It’s like if Big Bird were a tree.

I took the above photos a few weeks ago, and now the branches are quite a bit more bare, and the leaves are definitely starting to fall…

Is December really this close already??

Wait a Second, I LOVE This Time of Year!

October 29, 2009

4GettingSerious

7FarynScrapesGuts

12Portrait

Okay, look.  I know I said that I was bumming out about my birthday fast approaching.  But truth is, that was last week.  And today’s another day.  And today?  I love the fact that it’s Fall, and the end of October, and holycowMyBirthday’sINTWODAYS!!  PARTY!  CANDY!  CAKE!

I’m quickly overcoming my case of the “Birthday Blues” and I’m now entering Phase II: “Birthdays Rule!”  Tonight I’m looking forward to getting drinks with the girls at this new neighborhood spot in Park Slope, and the celebrations continue on Saturday night with a big ol’ spooky birthday house party!  Word on the street is that the DJ has put together some ill tunes, appropriate for dancing allll night long.

And check out the seasonal fun I was having at this pumpkin carving party last weekend!  I was seriously looking forward to this event for weeks, and it didn’t dissappoint.  I have a few scars from all the stabbing and gutting, but who said pumpkin carving was cinchy?  Thanks to Mason, Selina, and her dad, Gregory, for generously hosting this fabulous party! (Stay tuned for pics of my pumpkin!)

Autumn in New York

October 14, 2009

IMG00263

This tree on my block confirmed it: it’s happening!  My favorite season is here!  I’m dusting off my scarves and bringing out my mom’s chocolate chip pumpkin cookie recipe, and counting down the days till Thanksgiving feast.

The leaves are changing.  It’s official, people.

\”Autumn In New York\” by Billie Holiday