Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Springtime Mixtape

I'm SO GLAD that spring has sprung! I was getting caught in a downward spiral for a minute there with all that snow and Radiohead (no knock on Radiohead, just sayin' its easy to forget about the sun,  Sublime, and the possibility of flip flops). I've compiled a spring mix (left out the Rhianna that  I've been listening to while running- you're welcome), with links to audio files and sweet videos. I highly recommend downloading the whole Foals and Holy Ghost! albums. They rule. 

TV on the Radio- No Future Shock*
Avett Brothers- Laundry Room *
Bon Iver- Skinny Love

* denotes super awesome video

Awesome TV on the Radio clip from their film, Nine Types of Light. Its an hour long (the film, not the clip). Next time you have an hour to kill, watch it. You'll be on the edge of your seat and feeling very artsy/cool the whole time. I was :)

The Avett Brothers link above just melts my heart. I heart them. If you liked their Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR offices, Edward Sharpe, Tom Tom Club and Raphael Saadiq also have Tiny Desk Concerts. Great way to waste a morning. Or an afternoon.

Pls share if you are listening to something that tickles your fancy :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Break

CLA & KCA at Rocky Mountain National Park 2011
I love vacation. I don't know what I'm going to do when I don't get it built in to my job. It's a total reset button. After a week of marching to the beat of my own drum and catching up on things that are just too annoying to do after a day of work, I feel like myself again. I spent my spring break in Denver with my sister Clare, who was an amazing hostess. We ate great food, worked out every day, and got on the same page in a way that you just can't on the phone.

It is weird being a grown up and not having my sister around. I suppose I should be used to that, seeing as though it is going on eight years since we have lived under the same roof. But it is different now that she is in Denver and not always at home when I go back to visit Baltimore. We talk on the phone all the time, but nothing beats just hanging out, watching The Office and making dinner together.

One of the highlights of my Denver vacay was our day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Wednesday was gray in Denver and threatening rain, but we were up early and booked it up north in an attempt to make the best of the day. As we wound through Lyons, up into the mountains, pondering how mountain people get their groceries, the clouds disappeared behind us and the blue sky stretched out in front of us. AMAZING! That thing that we wanted to happen, but probably wasn't going to happen actually did!

Elk behind me. They have VERY furry butts.
Our hike began in rocky/grassy/streams and zig zagged up the mountain into the snow, where we ate lunch and I got shat on by a bird with a mohawk. After lunch, the wind picked up and it started snowing, but we didn't really notice because our attention was focused on not sliding down the snowy mountain or falling through the snow. Of course, we weren't always successful in avoiding the snow holes and every few minutes one of us would let out a yelp as we sunk past our knees in the snow. It was the best hike ever. Lots of laughing and many pauses to take in the beautiful mountains.

It was cold, but we were determined to make
 that mountain ours. Layering was key.

Cub Lake

The "frolicky part" of the hike. Before the serious incline
and sinking into the snow holes. 

Narnia trees


Strike a pose.

Nothing better than a hard earned dinner:
Shrimp sauteed in Sawtooth Ale, shallots and garlic
over wild rice & shrooms. MmMmm

Monday, April 18, 2011

Romping in the rain

Pals at the Highline

Maureen came to visit this weekend from Baltimore! Maureen and I met while I was on Time Out from college. We both did time as snack bar employees at Baltimore Country Club. We immediately bonded over an affinity for small pleasures, oddball observations and feel good, guitar centric music. 

A few weeks ago, I stopped for a piece of pistachio cake from Brooklyn Larder while on my way to Brooklyn Boulders to climb. Pistachios always remind me of Mo because she used to keep them in her pockets for anytime snacking. So I sent her a picture of my snack and she decided to come to NYC for a slice of cake. It was great to have her vibe around this weekend while we romped throughout Brooklyn and the East Village.

We started our day by hitting up the Highline, an elevated park built on an old rail line in Chelsea, and had a lovely stroll through nature.  The Highline is beautifully designed and has tons of really thoughtful features, like how the chaises are built on rollers that slide along the old rails, and the benches seem to lift up from the ground. Very neat. I wish it were sunny and beautiful, but I think we noticed more about the park since the sun was not around to steal the spotlight. 

The sun wasn't out, but the chartreuse chair sure shone :)
Despite the cold drizzle, we moseyed on to the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Green to peruse some jewelry and nibble on delicious food. Edible highlights: Cheezy corn, spicy hot chocolate, fish tacos.  We didn't last too long here, as we started to lose feeling in our fingertips. 

Cheezy corn at the BK Flea

Amazing breadsticks. Perfect packaging as well. 
After the Flea, we struck out in search of the pistachio cake. Following our phones through new neighborhoods (new to me) in Bk, we were ecstatic to finally round the corner and see our destination, Brooklyn Larder. Bk Larder kept popping up in things I've been reading about food, people who love to eat, and establishments who purchase from local farms. It has been on my list of places to explore, and by explore I mean, eat their food. We rewarded ourselves with a menage a trois of soul satisfying desserts, followed by a mid afternoon bottle of wine at Franny's.

Best lemon bar ever (upside down) at Brooklyn Larder.
The infamous pistachio cake is on the left.
I don't even know what the top left was. Shortbread/fudgy heaven square.

Mid afternoon bottle of vino at Franny's. Well timed. 


The weather was totally nasty and we were soaked to the bone when we finally got home, but I was proud of us for sticking to our agenda. We had a great time. Later, Melissa came over to make pizza and drink some vino, which turned into the perfect rainy night w/ friends and food. Thanks pals for a great wknd :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm alive

I've been sick for a week w/ a stomach bug (see above). Nothing but saltines, toast, rice, and plain pasta. For a week. It has taken every ounce of self control to eat such boring food, but anything else has killed my stomach. And then tonight came.... and I went on a run and had a real dinner... and I feel good. I think I am getting better :)

Grateful to be healthy! Grateful for the sun and daffodils! Grateful that tomorrow starts the first day of spring break!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I'm currently reading Omnivore's Dilemma, a book about the nature of our eating habits, how food is produced on a large scale (the industrial food complex) and a small scale (sustainable farming), and how we (USA) have developed such a twisted notion of what food is. It is awesome. I can't put it down. I like reading a book that causes a reaction in me. Some of the reactions that have come up while reading are curiosity (wait, what do you mean free range doesn't really mean that chickens run around in grassy yards?), resentment (how effing rediculous is the pharma/agribusiness/policy makers relationship that is once again screwing the people) and inspiration (to support sustainable, local farmers who grow real food.) I highly recommend it and would lend it to you, except that Clare has dibs on it next.

What it is not is a ranting, stomach churning description of a filthy, inhumane Tyson's chicken factory. It is also not a soapbox for going vegetarian or vegan. Skinny Bitch covered that. The Omnivore's Dilemma raises questions and provides informed answers, but is not a doctrine for how to eat.

Inspired by the Omnivore's Dilemma, Food Inc., and people who work hard to make good food, Zach and I have joined our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). You pay upfront for a share of veggies, which provides the farmer with some security for the season (and keep your fingers crossed that it will be a good season.) Writing a check in February sucks, but it all pays off when you receive a box of veggies each week from June through October, based on what the farmer chooses. We participated in a CSA when we lived in the Bronx and loved the element of surprise (like when a kohlrabi showed up for the first time). It is also a challenge to figure out what to do with some of the veggies (WTF do you do with 16 jalapeno peppers? Make poppers, obviously!) The farm is different than the one that we worked with in the Bronx and I'm looking forward to seeing what shows up. Marthastewart.com will definitely be of help.

While also on the topic of food, I am SUPER EXCITED for the Brooklyn Flea and Hester Street Fair to open. Both awesome street fairs that show off hand crafted, high quality jewelry, clothing, wares and antiques and creative, delicious food. Brooklyn Flea opened this weekend and Hester Street opens May 7. I'm sure the Flea was a mob scene, considering it was beautiful out and everyone is happy to be strolling the streets. I'm going to give it a few weeks and hit it up when my friend Maureen comes to visit in mid April.

LCD Soundsystem

So I guess LCD Soundsystem is officially broken up. Last night was their last show at Madison Square Garden. Zach and I went to one of their shows earlier this week at Terminal 5, where they were playing for what seemed like a week straight. They were awesome. I couldn't have asked for anything more. They played 3 sets with songs from all 3 albums and their instrumental project for Nike. I loved hearing Daft Punk is Playing In My House, the first song of theirs that I ever fell in love with. Reminds me of cruising around Syracuse in Zach's pink Jetta :) Seeing Losing My Edge live was way better and more poignant given the setting than it could ever be on an album.

Great signage. Message received. Love ya, too. 
Oh hey, James Murphy
Disco Ball.

Hard at work.
So much love. and dancing. 
Wouldn't be a dance party without a fog machine.

Much better than "Good Bye," though I know that's what you mean. Sigh.  

It's still early in 2011, but I'm pretty sure that was my favorite show of the year. Favorite Show of the Year is a tall order, but I think LCD deserves the title. Some of the past winners are as follow:

2004- David Byrne at Bonnaroo
2005- Simon Posford at Camp Bisco
2006- Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra at Langerado
2007- Blur of a year, don't remember anything I saw nor did I write it down...
2008- Lindstrom and Prinz Thomas at Studio B & Lady Gaga at Sullivan Hall
2009- David Byrne at Radio City Music Hall
2010- Pearl Jam at MSG & Medicine for the People at Bayside Kava Bar
2011- LCD Soundsystem at Terminal 5