Category Archives: Kate
Okay, there’s a reason I don’t go north of 14th Street – there are too many people up there. Kate and I went to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation and it was like a gigantic people explosion. Miserable tourists with hungry, cranky kids were cursing the steady, but thankfully light rain. New Yorkers were cursing themselves for thinking that it wouldn’t be as crowded as it was. It was as crowded as they thought. It was more crowded than you can imagine…
After one quick lap around the north side of the balloon inflation area, I had had enough. Snoopy, Horton, and a Smurf would have to suffice. New York City’s finest were leading everyone into a cattle catcher area with blocks of people lined up to see Spongebob Squarepants and Spider-Man on the south loop. Kate could tell by the panicked look in my eyes that we were done. We passed the south staging area and after a dozen blocks finally escaped the crush of people looking for food, drink, and bathrooms.
It was only when we hit the Barnes & Noble at Columbus Square that I started loosening up a bit. I had briefly thought about attending the parade tomorrow, but we will be sticking close to home. Kate has made her killer apple pie and we’ll hit an Indian place tomorrow for dinner. Enjoy the parade, but by all means do so from the safety of your own home.
After a dinner of shitake buns and ginger scallion noodle bowl at Momofuku Noodle Bar, followed by dessert at new East Village dessert bar Spot, Kate and I decided to split up. She zipped over to Soho for shopping and I snapped a few pictures along the Bowery.
The New Museum
Os Gemeos mural on corner of Bowery and Houston
Steve’s on the Bowery
Video Facade of 52 East 4th
Art Show Posters
If you held a gun to my head and asked me to pick my favorite NYC neighborhood, I would, after pissing down my leg, whimper, “LES.” It’s a little like “Sophie’s Choice” to pick a favorite neighborhood, but the Lower East Side is the place that speaks to me at my most basic level. I feel comfortable there.
Walking around on beautiful atmospheric streets, you often look up and notice the spire of the Empire State Building. Leaving one of my favorite restaurants, Freemans just off Rivington, and looking down the alley. Rivington barely lit up by street lights.
I’m always drawn to these old stairways off of the Bowery.
Durian hanging at a fruit stall. Kate walking on Broome Street. Technically, this is just across Bowery and not the LES anymore, but… Kate crossing Chrystie Other post with LES shots: Restaurants at Night, showing Paladar, Alias, and Katz’s.
If you’ve ever walked down 1st Avenue just below 6th Street in the East Village, then you know the lights of Milon and Panna II. I can’t walk by without slowing down like a kid staring at his first Christmas tree. And if you slow down, the carnival barker/maitre’d men out front cajole and beg you to pick their fine establishment over his equally garish neighbor. The one time Kate and I ate at Panna II (or was it Milon, I can’t remember or tell them apart in the chaos of light and begging), the food was passable Indian. Very weakly spiced and palatable for the masses, but nothing to write home about it.
On Saturday night I had a few minutes to kill before getting my hair cut, so I stopped and snapped some photos. I tried to capture the lights, but it’s pretty difficult with the lively atmosphere on the sidewalk.
I walked across the street and dialed down the shutter speed, just to see what it would look like with the streaming lights of cars in front of both restaurants. I didn’t dare go below 6 seconds on the shutter speed, because I don’t use a tripod or anything like that. But, it looks kind of neat for hand held.
New York is most beautiful at night. You can have your Central Park, midtown, and the usual tourist stops during the day, but I love the way our downtown restaurants and bars glow in the darkness. Some of my favorite moments here are nights when Kate and I are just randomly walking and stumble upon some place we *have* to visit. Often it’s just a leisurely drink and appetizer or dessert, then back we spill into the street. This happens a lot. And, as the temperature creeps lower, the signs seem to be even more captivating and enticing.
Schiller’s Liquor Bar in the Lower East Side La Esquina in Nolita Alias Restaurant in the Lower East Side Paladar in the Lower East Side Delicatessen in Soho Katz’s Deli on Houston between LES and East Village
Here’s a rare, for me, daytime shot that I couldn’t resist. The Mars Bar in the East Village
While Kate was learning how to make apple pies at One Girl Cookies I wandered around Brooklyn and visited a couple of comic book stores. While I was walking on Bergen Street, I noticed the Atlantic Clock Tower that I’ve been a bit attracted to since the first time I saw it up close a few weeks ago. It’s an eye-catching building. In a neighborhood of low rises, independent stores, and brownstones, the clock tower dwarfs anything else around it. You can’t not look at it. Then it’s got those weird red neon hands that glow in the night sky. I took a couple pictures of it from a different perspective. Well, I took like 20 pictures from a bunch of perspectives. That tower must have felt really self-conscious with me gawking at it and snapping photos. At least I wasn’t using flash. Later when I was walking back to Smith Street on Bergen, I looked to the side and realized that the tables had turned. The clock tower was watching me… Also on Bergen walking towards Smith, I noticed this neat Baptist Church neon sign. This decrepit old crane game looked like fun – Treasure Chest indeed! And then there was this one lone window glowing in the side of a random apartment building.
Halloween night began with a drizzling rain. After hopping off at the Christopher Street station, Kate and I hoofed it over to The Rusty Knot on West Street and 11th Street. We were the only people there and didn’t stay long. Next we walked over to a new favorite, Wilfie and Nell on west 4th Street. During the walk, Kate’s Morton Salt Girl umbrella came in handy.
At Wilfie and Nell.
Next, Kate, Jess, Justin, and I hit the streets and headed to a party in Chelsea. Things were wonderfully weird on the street.
OK, the look in this guy’s eyes combined with the red background really creeps me out.
This is how we felt riding the subway home. Poor guy…
I find myself in Union Square more times than I care to mention. It’s a good halfway point for Kate and I to have breakfast or meet after work. They have a Petco where I get Chloe’s hard to find Royal Canin dog food. The City Bakery (pretzel croissants!), Maoz Vegetarian, and the Strand bookstore are close by and the Barnes & Noble has an excellent selection of photography books.
This facade, which once towered over the Virgin Megastore, soon to be a Nordstrom Rack, features a smoking, bubbling chasm and a visual representation of our nation’s debt. The W Hotel Random Buildings with Lights
On the rocks.
Up with a twist.
Lemon, olive, cherry, orange rind…
The possibilities are endless and they all matter. Especially to me. I like a good cocktail and enjoy talking about or reading about cocktails almost as much as drinking them. The preparation appeals to me. I like to think about ingredients or what shape of glass compliments a drink. And I can be a bit obsessive about what and where I drink. I’ve left a bar or restaurant before if their drinks program looked dodgy.
I will only order a good cocktail if it’s a bar that can handle my request. I’ve noticed that Kate does the same thing now. Recently she lamented, “I can’t order a cocktail here!” I was SO proud of her. But when a bar gets it right, magic happens. The Freakness (Rye, Cognac, Sweet Vermouth, Yellow Chartreuse) at Jake Walk in Brooklyn is an example. Good ingredients and perfect glassware. Here’s a shot of some of the bitters they use: Making drinks at home is probably my favorite way to have a cocktail. I control the ingredients and glassware. Here is a shot of a classic Manhattan well stirred and made with Old Overholt Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura Bitters, and a marischino cherry. No ice and perfectly acceptable. Preferable, really. My love of cocktails usually means we’ll be at the bar regardless of the restaurant. That’s where the action is. I like to see what type of strainer they use or what their bitters program looks like. But one of the things that really fascinates me is ice. Ice in a drink is important.
Some places make their own ice. The ice at Rye in Brooklyn is particularly impressive. They make these huge perfectly square blocks of ice that will cool your drink, but not result in an excessively watered down mess.
I’ve tried without success to find something for our home freezer that will give me bigger blocks of ice, but so far haven’t found anything that gets it right. Kate had noticed a small ice tray at the MoMA Design Store that gives you large spherical ice cubes, but every time we checked the web or the Soho store they were out of stock. Luckily, I’m not only obsessive, but persistent. I noticed a friend on Facebook had purchased the MoMA round cube tray, so we braved the Soho Sunday crowds (not for the weak at heart) and found the $8 tray.
The verdict? Well, it’s $8 for a flimsy plastic tray that gives you two cubes. It takes a little experimenting to make sure the top and bottom trays are filled correctly, but once you get it down, you’ll have two perfectly round, large cubes that cool your drink efficiently without watering down your drink.
We try to mix it up with our running routes. Early morning runs will be up West Broadway to Union Square and then back down Broadway to our home in the Financial District. In the evenings, however, we will often zip over to Greenwich Avenue following it up to the Meatpacking District and then back down Hudson Street.
On our Greenwich Avenue runs I am always struck by what I refer to as “the graffiti blonde.” She resides just off the corner of Greenwich Avenue and Vandam Street, almost lost in a tangle of graffiti and miniature broadside posters. But she’s always there, topless and sporting a modest gaze aimed at the sidewalk. Today, Kate and I were wandering around Tribeca, Greenwich Village, and Soho on a damp overcast day, and I knew we were just a block north of Greenwich and Vandam. Kate was wearing one of her adorable Topshop dresses and a pair of black Hunter Wellingtons, and I knew the combination of the “graffiti blonde” and my own perfect blonde would make an ideal shot.