29 September 2008

is this really necessary?

This evolving display as existed on 12th Street been 6th and 7th Avenues for a minimum of two years. I just thought you should know. What exactly is going on here?

Park Slope, Brooklyn.

window seat, beer table

After a hectic Monday of ordering large quantities of Veuve Clicquot to be delivered, researching preferred restaurants and witty banter with the Director of Accounting- I all but clapped my hands at the mention of beer table. I pulled on shorts and sheep skin boots to match the comfort of my pug- and headed out to 7th Ave and 14th street... White Trippel and a honey, fig and spice ale was placed on the window sill between us. We nibbled on rustic bread, concord grapes and mild cheese with honey and sea salt. The blend of textures, coupled with the bitter ale- lingered sexily on my mind as the cool air talked me into closing the tab and returning home to a glass of red.

granola bars to tulips.

In recent speak: reception has introduced a new line of granola bars to our kitchen: Cascadian Farms Chewy Chocolate Chip. With a hint of savory (sea salt) these organic bars are delightful and quite satisfying. I turned over the package to discover that the company produces the bars about thirty minutes south of where I went to school. The scenery is unbelievable. In fact, it's ranked one of the most scenic drives in the world (Chuckanut in particular).

A coworker asked about the region- and I mentioned that I had some photos I took a few years back of the Tulip Festival. If you're ever looking for a destination spot- this is absolutely phenomenal. Vibrant colors make up what feels like an endless terrain with foothills in the distance.

28 September 2008

fashion, points of interest

With the influx of Russian oligarchs and Arab princes settling in London, Harrod's has acclimated by debuting a line of bullet-proof clothing for men. The items by Colombian designer Miguel Caballero range from $6,150-$14,000 (USD) per piece. In the event of past rivalries peaking their ugly faces on the streets, the wealthy gents will not need to rely on bulky protective gear. Within the fashion-forward collection, there are crisp white tuxedo shirts lined with bullet-proof materials- and natty leather jackets which take on a role of body-armor.


In other fashion news and developments, Barcelona based retailer Mango has developed plans to lay down roots in Iraq. Mango would be the first international retailer to set-up shop in the war-torn, conservative country. Mango's intent is to create a line which ascribes to the culture's covered-up style.

Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad has linked up with Mango to put aside the signature flirty dresses and to introduce head scarves and veils to their tailored product line. It is anticipated that the store will be installed into the Kurdish city of Arbil, which has been witness to heinous violence such as a suicide bombing in May of 2007.

appropriate for sipping: picks for the early autumn

Within this past weekend of balmy weather and the slight makings of Autumn, I considered a few spirits for sipping-local market pick: Brooklyn Brewery's Oktoberfest and imported: Egri Bikaver's Bull's Blood of Eger.

On the beer:
Märzen / Oktoberfest / 5.50% ABV. I like this beer, but do not particularly feel that it's suited to be an Autumn beer. Although for a warmish weekend early in the season, it's a reasonable transition. The beer exhibits a malty taste and bread-like aroma. It's meant to be paired with sausages, steaks and roasted meat.

On the wine: This dry red is a bit more robust than I typically select, but felt it appropriate in the face of the humidity. Bull's Blood is Hungary's most famous red wine- and shouldn't be purchased unless it's been properly aged for at least four years in oak (my bottle made the cut by a close margin). The hearty wine is best served after exposed to the air for a half-hour or so. The distinctive flavor comes from the Kadarka variety that is thought to have arrived in the grape growing region during the Turkish invasion in the sixteenth century.

photos: fliKr

young denizens, wine & politics.

Bottlerocket Wines exhibits a lovely splendor with tastings, classes and wines tailored to specific needs. The vibrant shop exhibits an energy with its light wood shelves and warmly lit citron walls. Each rack is labeled: are you having poultry, meat or...take out?

The shop also features a gifts section. Although other shops make recommendations, few clearly label and divide their bottles in such a clear, devoted way.


5 West 19th Street

----And in other business, homemade- and with a goal:
Park Slope.

Talented young bakers Sophia & Claire organized a bake sale with their friends to raise money for the Obama campaign this past weekend.

flea markets: manhattan, queens

Union Square, Manhattan.

"Those are pins," a small boy explained.

"Ouch, I learned that the hard way. I wonder when the last time I had a tetanus shot was..."

The boy chuckled a bit, and pressed his teeth onto an earring, "These pearls are fake. Four dollars."

A woman adjacent to him raised a brow, she briefly considered, then declined.

"Do you want to go on a mission?" suggested Julia.

"Of course."

"We're going to Elmhurst."

"I'm afraid to ask where that is."


Young Asian in girls in quasi trendy boots, flea markets in old Roman Catholic churches, and Italian-American social centers: we negotiated for twenty-plus year-old bobbles with Russian, Chinese and Italian immigrants.
Julia selected a pair of gold cuff-links, an Egyptian inspired plated gold necklace and a distressed white leather clutch with gold trim. While rifling through belts, I selected a red leather one, "How much?"

The woman paused, "One dollar."

I pulled a twenty from my satchel.

She shook her head at me, "Rich girl, you don't have anything smaller? Spare change?"

I rifled through my things, extracting some quarters.

"Ah, pretty girl, are you a model?"

I shook my head and dropped the coins in her hand. Her voice drifted about me as I walked away-

Turning to Julia, "Refreshing to be called 'rich girl,' when you pull out a Jackson, no?"

Energized by our lovely finds at the Italian Charities of America Center, we opted to head out to Jamaica for another market featured in New York magazine. A word to the wise (and unadventurous) the market at Parsons and Union Pike is quite a hike from the subway and is canceled when it rains. We learned this the hard way. Let's just say we earned our sangria and tapas at Boqueria.

It wasn't a complete loss, we did come across a boutique flea market at an Italian Senior Center on Parsons street where I snagged an absolutely delightful dove gray pocket book. Julia had her eye on a hand embroidered pillow that caused quite a stir amongst the elderly women with scarves on their heads, and black dresses squeezing their curves, as they bickered in Italian.

26 September 2008

commute people, friday am.

Waiting on the the M/R this morning, I glanced at my watch:


I took stock of the folks to the left: old couple- man with a few teeth missing, Yank's hat and his lady friend with the never ending perm. A few kids in school uniforms slapped each other around with their free AM papers. I considered the NYPD duo wavering from heel to toe, then to my right...oh, who's this?

Pushing obesity, tapered leg jeans..bright white tennis shoes! Whatcha readin' there?

The Playboy Meets His Match.

Where do people find books like this? Amazon.com, apparently.

Starting price $0.01.

TOP SECRET: official pug business

buttercup, another in the running.

Cupcakes have become an established focal point of discussion in the office. Often on Fridays, admittedly, pretty frequently on Mondays...Wednesdays...I think you get what I'm throwing down here. The new location of the office has stimulated a search for a new venue: Buttercup Bakery.
Although the frosting is not as delightfully buttery and light as Magnolia, it can hold its own. The two products are so different, it almost seems inappropriate to compare them. Buttercup's approach is a heavier butter cream. I'd put Buttercup's quality before Crumbs, but not quite making the Magnolia cut. I lower my head as I admit that the winner for cake quality (in terms of moistness) is still Bay Ridge's Little Cup Cakes Bakery.
Recommended: Red Velvet (hello cream cheese frosting) and anything with Chocolate Frosting....
973 2nd Ave (between 51st & 52nd).

25 September 2008

boyz on the express

Brooklyn bound N, 5:46pm. Midweek.

they think i'm black.

Not a week goes by, that I do not receive some sort of junk mail targeted to those of African-American heritage. Usually, it's pretty tame- something like a subscription to Ebony magazine, or a membership to "Black Expressions Book Club." The most recent offer, "King of Peace Nativity" figurines.

Cute, no?

It's a bit amusing- how my family name is Eastern European, and yet something as simple as a traditionally Southern black girls name can reel in all the flavorful assumptions. I also get, "Keisha? that's my Husky dog's name." (Note: always a husky, and the people are always from Alaska).

poco dolce, you're all i need.

Lovely, lovely...divine...religious-

My Mum introduced me to poco dolce after I requested fran's smoked salt caramels (another neccesary pleasure in my life).

poco dolce bittersweet tiles- may I suggest the aztec chile with gray sea salt? A gorgeous marriage of savory and sweet with a tease of spice. The chocolate squares stand alone and beg to be slowly nibbled.

pug series: friends

keisha & pilgrim
new york, ny

Three friends, three pugs. Coincidence? I think not.
ashley & brinkley
bellingham, wa

ashley & i met in college. we lived together in the dorms- where we bonded over coors light, andre champagne- a yearning for pugs and a common earning of a lit degree.
alysha & jade.
scottsdale, az

(photo: seattle-bainbridge island ferry)
alysha & i met in fifth grade. our mutual appreciation for basketball and the seattle super sonics quickly cemented our friendship-

the stapleless stapler

It looks like the Guggenheim and promotes a greener cause! Supposedly the products works as effectively as a traditional stapler...and you don't have to work out jams!

Fact: if every office worker used one less staple every day for a year, we'd save 120 million tons of steel.

Buy it here.

24 September 2008

good bye, masters of the universe

This week's New York magazine is wonderfully delicious! Indulge yourself in the political briefing of the Obama campaign versus the McCain-Palin train wreck, and The Rage of the Previously Rich...

"...Friday, September 12, as Lehman's stock flatlined at $3.65 per share...The eight colleagues, friends really, stood around glowing Bloomberg terminals as the $700 Barbaresco was poured into paper cups. A crowd formed. Champagne was brought out " (28).

photo series: roadside, pennsylvania

she exists. she's still here. it's 2008.

see the film, along came polly. no further explanation needed.
all american sign, children's playground carved into the shape of an ark. white picket fence.
I'm still a bit disappointed that I was not successful in snapping a photo of 'World of Pigeons.'

warm things, hospitality: trafford, pa

Basket, carved from a single piece of wood, folds down flat for storage. Jean (our 86 year old hostess) received as a gift.
wallpaper, small child-like soliders. red & cream.
bobbles & weave.
homemade angle food cake w/ strawberries and vanilla ice cream. iced tea.
grandmother (left) and jean- looking at a photo of young pilgrim on my cell phone.

The skinny on Trafford- a borough of Pittsburgh, the humble makeup was established in 1904.

23 September 2008

september fashion picks

As seen at Bergdorf, Fendi Solitare ring.
J.Crew Italian Deco-Print dress.
R & Y Augousti Clutch. Geometric and Modern.

Dangerous heels, by Chanel.

photo series: pittsburgh

One hundred and fifty-one high rise buildings and four hundred and forty-six bridges make up the city of Pittsburgh. Colloquially, Pittsburgh is spoken of as the The City of Bridges or The Steel City.