Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy, Brooklyn Style

Hello Everyone!  Thank you to all for your concern these past few days as Hurricane Sandy took her toll on the NYC area.  Living in Brooklyn, I was nervous but stayed put, as my neighborhood was not ordered to evacuate and we are on high ground - they don't call it Fort Greene for nothing!

As the MTA was shut down and work cancelled, I spent Monday at home, doing some cooking (recipes to come), reading, watching hulu, and lounging about.  It was kind of nice!  I took a stroll on Tuesday morning as the rain and wind had stopped, for the most part, and I wanted to see how my area had fared.  

 This was the worst of it, that I could see.  And yet another reason why I don't need a car in NYC.  This poor van was parked outside of an evacuation center - luckily no one was inside when the tree was uprooted but yikes!  

Subways are still shut down, so work was cancelled again on Tuesday.  Not sure what will come for the rest of the week, but looks like more leisure time for me.  I know a lot of my friends in Manhattan are without power and water so I am thinking of them and wishing them well.  Apparently this is the worst disaster the MTA has experienced in its 108 year history, with tunnels flooding, equipment damage and more, so I don't know when things will be operational.

I did get supplies - plenty of food and water just in case, but it is good to know that in addition to an assortment of bodegas, also open in my neighborhood Tuesday morning are: bookstores, coffee shops, dry cleaners, hair salons, and more!  So, even if I do run out of any number of goods, I am pretty well set.  Also, the preemptive Christmas decorations that went up last week are still standing.  Even though it is before Halloween!  Sheesh.  

This is my street - as you can see if is clean and clear!  I am lucky.  

And my building is in one piece too.  

Hope all is well out there for all of you that experienced the wrath of Sandy - good luck!


Luckily I got a lot of wear out of my Halloween costume this past weekend, because I'm not so sure how many people will be able to be out and about tomorrow, what with Sandy Super storm's aftermath.

So here is the big reveal - ta da!  I'm a Brooklynette!  

 What is that you may ask?  Well, the former New Jersey Nets basketball team recently moved to Brooklyn where they had a fancy new stadium, The Barclays Center, built for them.  There has been a lot of hullabaloo over the stadium, and I'm not a sports fan, but after seeing this picture of the costumes for the Brooklynette Dance Team, I knew what I had to do:

So, these looks are my inspiration, and I think I made it my own.  Plus I wasn't up for too much pleather and spandex.

A lot of outfits coordinated with mine, unintentionally!

Like this amazing Beyonce costume.   

Matt had an spot on Roger from Rent costume.

With Vanessa as a killer Mimi, to boot.  
 All in all it was a fun weekend!  And one of the most comfortable costumes I've had in recent memory.  After wearing it three days in a row, it could use a wash, but I may just have to break it out tomorrow one last time...we shall see!  

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

You make Lemon Curd!  Right?  Right.

So, due to Hurricane Sandy, I happen to have not one but two days off from work!  Wow!  With the wild weather, I can't spend time on a nice fall stroll, or explore the fabulous city in which I live, or even do something mundane like go to the gym, or do errands or what have you.

Not to focus on what I can't do.  Here is what I can: make delicious lemon curd!  Because in addition to having extra time at my disposal, I also have a freezer full of egg yolks and a bunch of lemons.  Score!
(Side note - I eat egg whites for breakfast a lot, and generally have a bunch of leftover yolks.  I found the recipe below - and a whole bunch more - here - a great list of things to do with extra yolks!  Waste not, want not.  Check it out!)

This makes a great hostess gift, and is amazing on top of cake - angel food, pound, gingerbread, cheesecake,  muffins - and more.  Also delightful swirled into yogurt, or on fresh berries, and also right out of the jar.  I covered the decommissioned (and thoroughly cleaned) salsa jar with a fabric scrap on top and a little ribbon to make it cute and presentable.

To be absolutely honest, I can't have this lying around the house because I will seriously eat the whole batch with spoon, over the course of a week or two.   So, I'll be giving this away, most likely, but it is seriously so good.  And easy!  Try it, you'll see.  

From John Mitzewich, former Guide

Makes about 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes             Cook Time: 15 minutes           Total Time: 30 minutes
· 6 egg yolks
·  1 cup sugar
·  1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
·   2 tbsp grated lemon zest
·     1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick butter), cut into 1/8-in slices
1.        Add 1-inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. In a medium metal bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar for about 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until combined. 
2.        Place the mixing bowl on top of saucepan (the bowl should be wide enough to fit on top of the saucepan, but shouldn't be touching the simmering water). Stir the mixture constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir, until it begins to thicken, and will coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. 
3.        Whisk in the butter, one slice at a time. Wait until each piece almost disappears before adding the next. Spoon into clean glass containers and allow to cool with a piece of plastic wrap laid on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.  
Refrigerate until needed. This lemon curd will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Only Make Believe!

I  bet you are wondering where you can purchase such phenomenal chapeaus such as the ones we are wearing below. Sorry to crush your dreams, but you can't.   
Now stop crying.  My work pals and I participated in a volunteer day where we helped out with an awesome organization - Only Make Believe.   (That's me on the left - you might not recognize me with Viking blonde hair, plus Julie, Seida, and Cassie). 

They have volunteers come in and create cool costume hats for kids - like this cute tiger that Julie made (go Tigers!). 

We also made some fun necklaces for the kids - or, "bling" as we were asked to call it.  (The little boys won't wear necklaces, but "bling" is ok.)

We had a few hours to make a whole bunch of fun hats for kids that they could wear during a interactive musical performance

 From their website, " Only Make Believe is a non-profit organization that creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities."  

 We went to an out patient facility where the kids came by after school to have fun, dress up, watch a little play and join along with it, and then have some nice snacks.  

 It was a pretty fun afternoon, and the kids loved it!  I did too.  Whenever I can use my powers of crafting for good, not evil, I am a happy girl. 

If you're in the New York area, definitely consider volunteering for this great organization!  It was a lot of fun and a great way to bring joy to kids that need it. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Columbus Circle - A View From the Top

Well hello there! 

Recently my friend Julie M and I went to visit a cool new art exhibit.  Lucky for us, it is right across the street from our work here:
and tickets are free!  Not too shabby!  Artist Tatzu Nishi has constructed an 810 square foot living room (aka, bigger than my apartment) around the statue that graces Columbus Circle, at 58th street and Broadway in Manhattan at the base of Central Park.

To check it out, you have to hike up six flights of stairs, but the view is spectacular!


You can see the hustle and bustle of the circle below, central park, down Broadway to Times Square, and beyond.

 If you are in New York, the exhibit is open until November 18th, and again, tickets are FREE!  You can get them here.  
 There is also a kiosk and information center inside the mall at the Shops at Columbus Circle, if you're in the area.

 In this exhibit, you can get up close and personal with Chris.  Just like Julie here!

 There is a cute little living room build around him, with lovely windows to gave out on the city. 

Interesting wallpaper adorns the walls, full of iconic American imagery - celebrities, hot dogs, architecture, and the like. 

Comfortable couches surround the statue if you'd like to take a break after all of those stairs.  There is a flat screen TV on one side to catch up on your news, as well as books, magazines and newspapers if you're looking for reading material. 

And, a giant statue in the middle of it all, as I mentioned. 

 The artist has created similar exhibits all around the world feature famous public works of art.  Check them out here.  Pretty fascinating, and an intriguing and unique way to look at art we may see every day in a new way! 

Thank you to Julie M for the lovely photos.