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some pix of our summer thus far –

 

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beach going in Long Island

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lots of tomatoes from our garden – and lots of water trips to stave off the heat

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The cousin crew enjoys Brooklyn for a day

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Zoe didn’t want to let Ezra go to the Grand Canyon without her

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showing Tali midtown and the Rockettes!

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took cousin Tali out for tea in the big city

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Zoe saw Niagara Falls with Aunt Becca and cousin Tali!

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al fresco back yard movies are the best

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large flowers sprouting in our front yard

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a new cousin Angelo was born

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lemonade stands

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friends back from long trips

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trying out the longest slide on Governor’s island

 

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Zoe got her ears pierced!

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Zoe’s penchant for dresses and sandals never ends

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Ezra has been making and photographing his own breakfasts

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and miraculously this boy got to Hamilton for his birthday!

Over a decade ago I lived near here (had a small apartment just a couple blocks away) and I loved walking by the weeping willow on 9th Street. While strolling through the East village, the kids and I bumped into this old haunt again –

Some history from their website: The 9th Street Community Garden was started in 1979 by Augustine (Nin) Garcia on a large fenced-in vacant lot on the northeast corner of 9th Steet and Avenue C in The East Village, New York City. It is graced by a large weeping willow tree, evidence of an underground stream.

Today, the garden is one of the largest community gardens in New York City, having expanded to encompass one acre. It contains a stage and barbeque area, seating areas, fish pond, grape arbor, gazebo, Japanese garden, wisteria arbor, herb garden, and brick-lined walkways.

I am always wondering why we don’t do this to the vacant lots in Queens.. maybe they are purchased too quickly now that real estate is so hot in NYC?

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A trip to East Sandwich

In an effort to relive my 10th birthday (yeah – denying my new age), my family and I went to Cape Cod for a weekend.  I have fond memories of eating lobster and riding go-karts in this neighborhood – and while much of the terrain has changed since I was younger, we did manage to find fun NEW things to do.  Like this amazing boardwalk beach in East Sandwich: not only was the stroll on the boardwalk over wetlands amazing, but the little inlet near the ocean proved to be a fun stomping ground for kids chasing feisty hermit crabs.

You’re never too old to find new traditions I guess:

 

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over some sand to an inlet

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low tide exposes the layers that are normally under sea!

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walking the boardwalk to the ocean

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a long trek over what NORMALLY is wetland, but we were there for low tide

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the big blue ocean!

 

Ezra’s camp

When Ezra is in his summer frame of mind, it’s not easy getting my boy to leave the couch and stop his reading and go off to another place for ‘camp’ daily.  This year we got him into a day camp at the school that he will be newly attending in the fall.  We figured this was a good way to get him familiar with the place and – as it turned out – he got to ‘put his mark’ on the place a bit as well by fixing up the building’s roof garden.  He had a wonderful experience with the Urban Design and Sustainability Program via Beyond Organic Design (see him sawing some wood in the blog here!)  He was so proud of the ‘Amelia’s Garden’ mural that he painted, as well as bird houses he made and we were so amazed by how much compost, gardening, and natural pest removal info he has in his head now!

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Ezra and his friend Miguel explain their dream garden layout.

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noshing on fresh veggies

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showing dad the ropes

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Zoe sneaks a cupcake

A little trip to Toronto

My husband and I made a quick trip to Toronto together – alone for a couple days – a first in many, many years!  We were surprised that we actually didn’t bother visiting as many museum and art shows as we thought we would.  Instead we kept indulging in Toronto’s fine restaurants.  I guess we had forgotten how lovely it is to eat undistracted, at any hour, without concern of other little hungry bellies or picky eaters (thankfully our kids are not too picky, but it was nice to eat whatever we like without little hands in our plates!)

We checked out Canoe Restaurant, Bar Raval and Byblos Restaurant to name just a few.  We are officially hooked on Canadian dining!

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Bar Raval is architectural eye candy inside

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a whimsical ‘sand’ house with macrame window screen over the door

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so many tall buildings I thought I was in Hong Kong!

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Toronto has the best ‘graffiti’ and outdoor murals

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figs used for the delicious fig salad at Byblos

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chef making my fig salad at Byblos

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Jeweled Rice at Byblos

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my husband takes me on a date with a view – traditional Canadian eats at Canoe Restaurant 

 

 

Ezra and his dad were invited to GMA for a father’s day grill off … which was postponed to the last day in June.  Their challenge was to create a side dish to compliment the main dish  (which was Tony Roma ribs).  They made Ezra’s great grandmother’s potato salad with some minor changes like mustard mixed in with mayo, home grown dill and keeping the skins on the red potatoes.  We won a grill and a year’s supply of ribs!  And best of all they got to meet the GMA crew:

 

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Ezra gets a moment with George

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from our TV at home I catch Ezra peeking at the camera!

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AGD cafe with cousins

This is NOT a paid ad — but just a full admission that my girl (and her cousin Stella) are pretty nuts about American Girl Dolls.  When cousins Stella and Alison came to town there was no denying that a trip to the AGD Cafe was in order, and we all had a lovely time (including the dolls!)  Alison and I have to admit that the food was pretty yummy and having the dolls seated at the table – well that just made Zoe’s day. Extra special thanks to Stella and Alison for the cafe date and to cousin Eve for the American Girl Doll that Zoe loves to tote around!

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hooray for cousins!

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mmmm dessert is chocolate mousse in a flower pot!

 

 

 

 

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