30 March 2008

a continuation of great brooklyn restaurants.

A lovely Saturday for Vadim, Cuba & I...we enjoyed a slow morning. A brisk walk for Cuba, a surprisingly painless wait in the post office line (another box of my books arrived from Washington!) According to my calculations...just two more and I will have everything I left behind.

I cajoled Vadim through Chip Shop's doors to indulge in their Restaurant Week Prix Fixe. An impressively over the top two for $23 three-course challenge. Now ordinarily, Vadim and I will share one order of Cod & Chips and a slice of deep fried pizza- don't judge it until you try it! Chip Shop is perfect for a dreary day with your wellies...

Any who, I'm getting on a bunny trail...The Prix Fixe: We both chose the deep fried mac & cheese. The batter is gloriously light, a beer-based recipe that encases a homemade white cheddar macaroni. We both dashed a flirtation of imported malt vinegar.

To cleanse our palates between bites, Vadim sipped on a Ribena black currant soda, while I enjoyed a Club Orange soda, which boasted "real orange bits!" on the can. We also enjoy the Old Speckled Hen ale & Unsweetened iced tea. Be advised! If you order the sweetened tea, it's from the soda gun and quite horrifying! In my opinion, the one blemish on the Chip Shop experience.

We took a few moments before our second course to take in the decor- a mixture of plates you'd expect to see in your grandmother's china case, paintings of British rock stars indulging in fish & chips, slightly overweight servers with hair dyed in outrageous magenta hues- with off the beaten path piercings...all while covertly taking in the occasional clever comment from the small children sitting at adjacent tables. You can always anticipate a hearty collection of Park Slope children, young couples with great sweaters and tired Mums in the Chip Shop. A nice addition to the canary painted walls and toasty smell of beer batter permeating the atmosphere.

The waitress placed Cod & Chips in front of me and Battered Chicken strips before Vadim. As per usual, delicious. We hadn't tried the Chicken before and found it quite satisfying with a vinegar infuzed mustard sauce for dipping. I do prefer the Cod and homemade tar tar sauce. The chips were to be as expected: consistently wonderful. Fresh cut potatoes- crispy edges, moist well defined potato flavor at the interior.

When we were ready to give up: she brought us a few Plum Puddings. One deep fried, one steamed. Dense and deeply purple with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. The flavor was velvety and liquor soaked. This is something I think I would like to eat alone, in a much smaller portion- share one! With a cup of Yorkshire Gold Tea....rather than the punctuation to three courses of deep fried food.


I took Cuba for a second walk in the brisk March air and came back for a nap. Vadim returned from a photo excursion in Manhattan, and we all took naps. I woke on the couch with Pug warming my legs and picked up my cell phone to dial Vadim. (Who found it tremendously amusing that I would call him in our one bedroom apartment...) To my defense...I didn't realize he was napping in the other room...rather I decided he was most likely on his computer- with the phone next to him. When I heard the phone vibrate on top of the fridge...I decided to let it ring and bate him into the room with me.

We put on a some warm clothes and went to get a drink at Excelsior, the Gay Bar which rests a hop, skip & a jump down the Slope from our apartment, for an appetizing cocktail. The bar is clean and precisely decorated. We enjoyed the simplicity of the design and the men checking out Vadim. After we finished our drinks, we walked across the street to Mura for dinner.

We had our usual Miso soup with Enoki mushrooms to start- with hot sake in an attempt to warm our cores. We then enjoyed a generous seaweed salad on a bed of masterfully ripened mandarin oranges and a few random sprigs of mesculin greens. Garnish? No one's too sure. We took in the patrons at our neighboring tables in between bites of delightful sesame encrusted seaweed- two mothers with their Park Slope hips and belly's- stroller with sleeping baby resting behind their table, whose conversation - a bit loud for the atmosphere, "I'm tired of these 29 year olds who have no money...I just want someone older, now don't take me the wrong way, you know what I mean" Adjacent to young couples...the awkward shifts and conversations...Did he really just tell her how to hold her chop sticks? To his credit, she was struggling a bit...

When we finished our soup and salad, the three overly friendly servers brought us more plates, soy sauce and the two rolls we ordered. We decided to try a few new combinations- The baked spicy roll. Delicious, and light. The perfect compliment to the Red Dragon Roll which had tuna tempura, endive & topped with salmon resting next to generous puddles of mango- spicy mayo sauce. We decided to skip our usual fried green tea ice cream to get more air and walk to a diner for a more ridiculous dessert.

At the Fifth Ave Diner we shared a slice of Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and an ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce (completely unlike the description on the menu, but still what is to be expected at a Brooklyn Diner). As we sipped our fresh hot coffee- We continued a conversation from last weekend's breakfast at Fifth Ave Diner...why is it that all the diners in Brooklyn seem to be Greek owned with an influence of Greek cuisine in the usual suspects of eggs, pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches? Unsolved mystery.

28 March 2008

a long weekend, a week of brooklyn restaurants

Enjoying a Good Friday off & an Easter dinner in Massachusetts- I spent the weekend with the Pugs and enjoying great meals. Vadim and I opted for Sushi at Tamari on Friday afternoon. I highly recommend their lunch specials. The Beef Negamaki is completely heavenly as well the yellow tail scallion roll- something to write home about. The portions are generous, deeply satisfying and well balanced in flavors. Try the crunch roll! (It's a Slope favorite). They have a great happy hour as well- Buy one, get one house sake until 8pm!

I should also admit- that for whatever reason I felt compelled to take the Jackie's Fifth Amendment plunge. A thoroughly savage dive at 7th St and Fifth Ave in the Slope. I'm yet to see the establishment closed. The same two people are always there: arguing. The scent of urine is beyond comprehension. I am quite positive that the regular patrons are either predominately homeless or simply do not need a home- (because they never leave). Swaggering over the juke box- listening to over-played, tired songs-- and suffering through another beer with a side of tomato juice, "Great neighborhood. I will never leave, Great place, I love this bar, great neighborhood," The bartender stares at us- wondering who we are and why exactly we came through the Jackie's Fifth doors... Nice folks, cheap drinks. Washed my hands several times- don't need to do it again.

Later in the day (Post Jackie's Fifth & Tamari) Vadim and I met a former coworker of mine: Michael Anthony, and his girlfriend, Brandy Hamrick- for dinner a Mitali. We ordered a tremendous amount of the best Indian I have ever had. I'm generally very particular about the preparation of my meat, and find that I am not so much a fan of the way it's prepared in this variety of cuisine. Mitali proved me wrong. The curried lamb dishes superb. The chicken divine. The textures parfait. The ingredients expertly crafted. The banana fritters incredible! Brandy and I agreed the Spinach was lovely, but we weren't crazy about the meat samosas. I wonder if the quality and precision was increased based on the location of the restaurant. There must be at least 20 Indian restaurants lined up- one after the other and practically on top of each other in just this block of the East Village. More competition- *golf clap*

Last weekend was:

The ideal precursor to Brooklyn's notorious RESTAURANT WEEK. Tragically, I didn't get started until Wednesday. Brittain and I met at BAR TABAC for a glass of wine and the soft rhythm of the French bartender's jovial murmurs. After we finished our red, we walked over to Jolie to meet a collection of her college friends for the Three Course Prix Fixe Dinner. Beautiful company, flawless service. A satisfying wine list- We enjoyed a few bottles: Sicilian red and a Pinot Gris...

Brittain and I must have similar tastes in food- we both chose the Scallop
soufflé with grapefruit and greens wrapped in a smoked salmon. Delightful, fresh. An ideal first course. I was a bit skeptical about scallops in a soufflé form, but I must admit the flavors mingled beautifully.

For our second course, we both chose the Pan Seared cod with a grapefruit beurre blanc, broccoli rabe and mashers. Delightful. The beurre blanc was the ideal match for the palate. We then partook in a white chocolate mousse with warm rhubarb ribbons, poppy seeds and fresh strawberries. I would absolutely return to Jolie again. They have a regular three course Prix Fixe offered on Mondays for 25 dollars. You can also take advantage of their Tuesday Wine specials and Wednesday Oyster specials for "Lady's Night." I am also curious about their Sunday Fondue Savoyarde for $19.

We continued the week of wonderful restaurants at Le Petite Marche in Brooklyn Heights. Unfortunately, Brittain couldn't make it, but we had a good group of people to enjoy the Prix Fixe. We started with Ciabatta with garlicy hummus and a lovely Malbec. Followed by Escargot, Casaer salad- (spicy and salty with garlic and anchovy), and a ginger carrot soup with an herbed creme fraiche. For our main courses- we chose the Pork Tenderloin with curried sweet potato mashers and the Pan Seared Mackerel with asparagus. As dessert negotiated its way into our minds...I decided on the chocolate-banana bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream (I offered my ice cream to Ali, she furnished me the whipped cream from her warm apple crisp). A delicious, but slightly too heavy meal. I definitely prefer the portion size and balance of Jolie to Le Petit Marche.

19 March 2008

park slope: father of the year!

The morning commute guarantees the usual suspects- crossing guard- a lovely convenience as the delivery truck drivers are fairly savage through their determination to meet deadlines- the gaggle of school children in bright and impressively mismatched clothing, dangling canvas bags. The defeated mothers with their ill-fitting sweats and over sized jackets. The occasional father- shifting from foot-to-foot-precariously-- another father proud, almost showing off, smiling at the young girls that walk by in their business attire. My personal favorite is the dad that slides away on his child's razor scooter.

Vadim and I pass the school, the arriving yellow bus , and glance up at a man gliding down the Slope, at a rather rapid rate:on a bicycle. No helmet, small child running along next to him, holding his hand. Amazing. The child had a blank stare, complacent, as she galloped, thud - thud- thud- forward. We began a chuckle- as we took jovial stabs at his parenting...I looked back and watched the child, the father, and stepped into 7th Ave station.

Yesterday, we saw a father, Vadim corrected me, "the same guy!" with the small child balanced on the metal in between the handle bars and his seat. No helmets. The father had one paw on the handle bars- and his arm slung around the child. Blank, forward stares worn on both of their faces, dirty blond hair feather in the breeze created through their motion. Somewhat concerned, but also accepting, as he's clearly seasoned in this method of travel- I glanced back and noticed a smaller child perched on a rack behind him. Her tiny hands grasping his jacket for support. Park Slope's Father of the Year, to be sure.

Is the Slope-parent vibe massaging its way into my mentality?

18 March 2008

brunch at Sette

Last weekend: Brittain Mason and I connected to take brunch on Sunday. She met me at my Park Slope apartment and we headed for Stone Park. After offering my cell phone on a 1.5 hour wait list, we decided to walk around the Slope and enjoy the beginnings of Spring. I noted on 7th Ave that there appeared to be an abundance of NYPD manning the intersections...as we approached 6th street, we took notice of a St. Patty's day parade approaching us. Pausing to take in the various high school bands and women in hand-knit fisherman sweaters- We noticed that Michelin Guide recommended Sette was offering a three course Brunch with unlimited Bloody Mary or champagne cocktails. The forty-minute wait and provided entertainment of the parade seemed to be a good trade-off for Stone Park. (I had been craving the Blue Fish Cakes Benedict)

As if in matched timing- he moment that the Parade's caboose reached our steps, our table was available...

We started with homemade raisin-walnut foccacia- Vadim and I had the Bloody Mary, Brittain the Bellini. The bartender was a bit overzealous with the horseradish, but I will admit I am a bit sensitive to the measurement of this ingredient in my Bloody. We enjoyed a handful of thin, tailored Italian waiters circling with pitchers of our breakfast libations...

For my Antipasti, I partook in the light and expertly balanced flavor of the balsamic figs & prosciutto- as well did Brittain. Vadim opted for the Ricotta Fritters with Fruit Puree, which he noted could have been improved if the Ricotta flavor was more detectable. For our Secondi, Brittain and I both chose the Smoked Salmon Omelet with tomato, caramelized onion and goat cheese. The eggs were buttery soft- a delicious combination- but I almost feel as though one fewer eggs would have complimented the contents better. The dressed greens were excellent- a variety of spicy and bitter perfected with a light oil and vinegar. Vadim stepped out of our suit and chose the Poached Eggs, 'Benedict' on foccacia. The meal was so, precise and well crafted. We were lucky enough to get a table on the heated garden, and although a bit crowded- the experience was well worth our time.

I've had dinner at Sette before and would have to admit that it is equally satisfying in ingredients and presentation- but the overall design of the brunch ritual is better crafted. If you would like a late dinner, I would recommend their pizza and greens. Anything with figs and chevre is completely lovely. You may also spot Steve Buscemi, who is noted to enjoy dining at Sette.

11 March 2008

shattering a young buck

Emerging ourselves in the chilly Mornings of Bryant park- career women in Uggs, business men in dark hues- a few pop-fashion forwards in their twenties dashing across 42nd, to Conde Naste- the deli burgeoning with construction workers- strategically holding lists scratched onto cardboard: baskets full of muffins and bagels-

And I focus on the lone soldier:

He stood in the distance. He was tall, thin- remnants of adolescent acne upon his sunken face. Hair, a mousy brown. He stared forward. No one in particular was in his focus. He kept his back a few inches from the painted yellow plywood wall of a construction site.

Cigarette in one hand, dangling, occasionally jolting up for a desperate drag. In the other hand, a Monster energy drink. (He's "unleashing the beast" ?) He succumbed to frequent pulls from the drink, a ritual to break up the inhales from his cigarette. Beyond him, uniformed City Sights tours salesmen: speaking to enthusiastic blond couples, their children in strollers.

The next day, I spotted him again. Amongst the usual pressing chaos, everyone in their distinct and expected roles. He continued his ritual. Cigarette in one hand. Monster in the other. His corporate America.

Day three. I cannot help myself. I simply cannot resist. I bound toward him and exclaim, "Let's do this!" And offer him a high five. Cigarette in his mouth, he tentatively raises his free hand. We share this moment, then I depart from him. I walk around the corner, politely declining an AM New York free newspaper, and into my building.

The next day: he is MIA. He is missing for over a month. I find myself disappointed. What have I done? Have I shattered this young buck's reality? Is he now self-conscious of his breakfast ritual?

And then this morning: I spotted him. Departing from the Deli, with an orange Gatorade- No cigarette.

10 March 2008

eagle harbor: bainbridge island, wa

Returning to the Island after three months in Central California, I felt compelled to drive along the edges to take in the Puget Sound, snow-capped mountains, salty cool breezes and reassess where I thought I should be. As I whipped along the curves of Eagle Harbor in low tide, pug in the passenger seat- I saw this chair slumped in the sandy mud. I pulled into a deserted parking lot, left the car running in park and began to photograph the discarded item. Or was it placed and left for the tide to rise? I couldn't be sure, but it seemed to be a plausible option. Images like these are how I identify the island. Lounge, design- and a curious laissez faire mask over well defined intelligence and success. It's a place to end up. A place to grow up. A place to leave and then, eventually: return. Seattle beckons from across the Sound, an outlet of varied Pacific Rim cultures, steep hills and gray tones. The Island is a bakery from scratch that only uses butter, a sailboat in the calm: tucked deep in a palate of mountain ranges.

the chicago files

As to be expected the quintessential Midwestern Winter didn't allow for the best 'quality' photos. I decided to work with what the raw images I captured: sharpening details, pumping the contrast- and layering. Through these alterations, my intention was to demonstrate the savagely persistent chill that we dipped our selves into. The streets of Rosco Village and downtown Chicago were very much Midwestern with their yellow and sky hues. As Chicago is considered a Mecca to North Dakotans, I couldn't pass up the temptation to dig into my past and consider the perception of the buildings in these terms. A slicing of the land with industry and detailed structure. One also cannot push away the images of Upton Sinclairs, The Jungle.

Photographed, in order:
holly bonds, keisha eremic &
lindsay hamsik

But there were no obvious Lithuanian neighborhoods or socialists...or perhaps we weren't looking in the right corners. The closest thing to remnants of what could have been were yards of industrial waste, metal pieces settled over time in endless expanses along side the highway to the airport home.

09 March 2008

a williamsburg debacle

An ad in AM New York (>>>I needed something to read on the train home) boasted the Beauty Bar's tempting martini with a manicure- for just ten bones. After the slight debacles of:

Waiting for the F train at 7th ave for over 30 minutes - all while a transient man covers Bob Dylan songs with a Toys R Us electric guitar (Yes, that guy), listening to MTA employee with a well defined speech impediment yell some incomprehensible information over a loud speaker, I called out: "Did anyone follow that?" A chorus of nos cajoled Vadim upstairs to find a translator. The NYPD officer shuffling his feet adjacent to the 24-Hr stand noted, "I have no idea. Clearly one the MTA's finest. Go to 4th Ave"

We bounced our way through the tunnels and upstairs, allowing the wind push us down a few avenues-

As we crossed Fifth Avenue towards Fourth, we overheard a man's whistle to a black town car, a Puerto Rican man took a brief moment from aggressively shoveling McDonalds into his mouth to correct the whistler, "That doesn't help, asshole!"

I negotiated pump donning feet down the steep steps of the train station and handed my block ticket to the MTA employee, who then offered me a hearty serving of sass as I pushed my way through the door to the M/R trains. A few moments later, an unexplained " F" labeled train charged through and picked us up. We bonded with a couple- deciding to race across the platform: transferring with gusto to the N train.

At Union street, we stepped back into the savage wind to investigate the martini/manicure potential of the beauty bar.

Beginning to lose my patience with the wind and shoddy public transportation- we ended up
indulging in kamikaze shots at a rowdy Irish "tavern" - hectically buzzing with NYU students. We Located Elif across the street: bogarting Chinese, dropping her phone twice and spilling her diet coke. At which point we opted out of the Beauty Bar plan. Far too crowded, having watched the single manicurist repeatedly bumped into ...we flagged a cab to the Lower Eastside, wait no, Midtown- change of plans again, Captain Cabbie- Royal Oak calls. Who doesn't want to attempt to end the night (or rather commence) TO WILLIAMSBURG! in the spirit of partaking in hipsters, with the backdrop of a seemingly illusive venue.

Tumble weeds and hipsters, the Hasidic Jewish community having already tucked themselves into their homes- we found our way through the otherwise empty streets and into an overcrowded bar- with an ATM a step deep into the floor of a dark, tiny hole. The wall paper resembled the patterns of our sheets and curtains, the drink line was much beyond it's value of alcoholic refreshment. We snuck out the door, stopped a gaggle a hipsters to point us to another bar and ended up on a somewhat more active street. We huddled into the first tavern we visually located, finding ourselves knee deep in Polish immigrants. You get two choices in Williamsburg bars, Hipster or Polish. Well I suppose Polish Hipsters are a plausible combination and I really shouldn't rule out the Hasidic Jewish community. To clarify, in bars: you have these few options. We enjoyed a delicious import beer in lovely glasses, and decided to head back to the Slope. Another series of trains later, we succumbed to the push of the wind, teetering me in my four-inch pumps over and over the hill to home. An enthusiastic pug greeted us in, for red wine and a cheese plate.

08 March 2008

nylove: block parties

After speaking with a woman about her house building project in East Africa at a farmer's market, Vadim and I walked down a street and into a block party. NYLOVE- where else do people make their own signs, closing off streets, opening up fire hydrants to BBQ and let the kiddies run free?

This young girl instantly connected with me. We took turns spraying each other: dashing through the frantic drops of city water. She kept belting out, "Dolphins! They look they dolphins!" I have to be honest, I was a little skeptical about getting wet at first, but her father- (who was spraying his other two young children with a hose, while laughing gleefully), called me a "chicken," I had to maintain my street credit, you know?

nylove: shopping for vintage in carroll gardens.

Where else, than NYC'S Brooklyn neighborhood can you be spending the day shopping through the humidity, stopping for the occasional drink special in open air cafes, then be stopped by ESQUIRE and photographed for a section titled, "Women We Love" ?

nylove: vitamin water

Yes...we understand it's actually high fructose corn syrup with minimal amounts of vitamin content...but it really does nurse you as you wait for the Manhattan-bound F.
And those 'clever' promises all down the bottles. It's worth the $1.75 at the deli, when you need the push beyond the Poland Spring.

reservoir : Times Square Monday Morning

Someone from back home recently asked me why I would want to be here: because even in the morning- the streets are blurred with people, and here it's mostly individuals on their way to the office, rather than swarming, side walk clogging tourists. At any time of day- I can get whatever it is that I want. I can pick it up, or have it brought to me. Because champagne and vodka is placed by the bottle on tables with mixers patiently waiting around it, glasses and lights painting the table- People are absurd, yes- but where else can you walk five minutes and be in a completely different backdrop- with another distinct language expressing its dominance? After leaving a museum on the upper west-side to see Wangari Maathai speak- you take note of a woman's coat and then notice that she is Glenn Close? You step into one of your neighborhood Thai restaurants and nearly bump into Jennifer Connelly, for the second time. During your lunch hour, you take a seat in Bryant Park and glance over that a crowd that has gathered to watch Sarah Jessica Parker be filmed for the Sex and the City movie... Every one of the dozens of local magazines are self-loving, the buildings are sexily gritty...and the sample sales. Amazing, delicious fabric- gloves, dresses- leathers. You do need all three and really should come back tomorrow to negotiate a lower price on the other one- when it's one day closer to the sale ending...

01 March 2008

s u b t l e t i e s

Nearly two months into the new apartment I noticed the imprint- a few steps further up the Slope the reverse. On this crisp morning the series of images negotiated themselves into my thoughts. Ordinarily, a detail-oriented individual- I had some how managed to miss this seemingly obvious design - an accident- naturally pressed into the sidewalk. Perhaps the additional calm brought on by the Winter air pressed an interest in how the environment was reacting? Watching ones feet as they walk- so as not to slip?

On another note...Vadim and I spent the afternoon in the Russian concentrated neighborhoods of Coney Island negotiating prices for a new table. The furniture stores displayed an impressive array of garish choices. Beyond the delicious bortsche and vareneki, walking into each store- being addressed in Russian- a lovely assumption (who else would patronize??) The furs and boots, the glitter on the clothes and tables. We went to a Russian restaurant. The server was clearly Siberian in his build and facial structure. Handsome, precise, helpful- managing to provide excellent service- even while conversing on his cell phone. We enjoyed eggplant pureed with deadly and satisfying amounts of garlic, a salad flirting on the edge of greek in its influence. Potatoes sliced, roasted and decorated with more garlic and fresh dill. Tart cherry pel' meni's, potato with caramelized onions- farmers cheese with sour cream and clearly meat perogies with butter. Vodka, red wine and Baltika. Although we would ordinarily consider the country and grape of the wine to be of great importance, it is not as significant in the Russian restaurants. The server didn't even realize that they had what we asked for- up until he brought it to our table along with another bottle and we pointed it out.To finish- double espressos with sugar crystals on sticks. Divine. Alex and Irina spoke of the food in terms of how it tasted twenty years ago in Kiev and Russia. For in New York City's Russian neighborhoods the immigrants believe in maintaining these aspects of their culture, whereas in Eurasia today- there is an emphasis on change and modernizing.

The lay out of the restaurant, Volna (translates to 'wave,') was traditional in the sense that it had a 'bistro' which functioned to serve men quick shots of vodka attached to the boardwalk separating us from Brighton Beach. Attached was the humble layout of the restaurant- with doors that opened to the beach in th Summer- adjacent an open room with longer tables, disco lights and Gypsy dancers and music. The quintessential Russian celebration for no reason beyond a Saturday night.

a mild Winter for NYC

The snowman in our stoop.

a nod to Seattle

Seattle & Bainbridge Island: Vadim joined the Eremic Family Circus for over stuffed stockings- Amazing sushi at Shima on the Island- all of the fish is gingerly prepared and gloriously fresh. I'd start with the Kinoko Miso soup which has truffles! The rice- we're still investigating where we can get our hands on some for our pantry. A few days later we partook in Nijo of downtown Seattle. I had been anxious to get Vadim into Nijo as it is a favorite to Becky and myself for happy-hour tours. The cocktail list is well crafted- they boast the best Bloody Mary in town and I would have to concur. Nijo introduces Wasabi to the recipe- a deeply satisfying marriage. Beyond the beauty of the Pacific Northwest that I have missed - I admit that I have looked around the tall buildings of downtown Manhattan- expecting to see the mountains I have grown up around and found myself incredibly disappointed- The urbane shifts to grit- another appreciation I hold close- although it is a lovely thing to indulge in Seattle proper and exchange the street vendors for well-crafted espresso and fleece- mountains for a few of those architectural achievements.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the Seattle trip is the snow on Christmas day:I cannot recall previous snows in Winter holidays. I'm sure they are laying in the past, but this particular day developed a significance as the landscape cooled to layers of powder over the varying grays. What was it that cajoled this PNW nostalgia? A few encouraging conversations with my father and mother after work this evening. There are certainly aspects of Seattle and the Island that I miss- the geological beauty, the simplicity of intrepid drizzling- the art walk in Pioneer Square- a night meant to end with a Gyro and nap on the boat home-buzzy warm from cheap wine libations- and how did we end up at the private party above the New Orleans?