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Posts Tagged ‘Bronx’

Being on Arthur Ave is like taking a step back in time to when I lived in a predominantly Italian American neighborhood.   Shops stuffed with cannoli shells – ready to be filled with fresh cream.   Bakeries making fresh bread around the clock, cold cuts and marinated artichokes.   We ate in a restaurant that had old wood paneling on the walls and painted scenes of Venice, and men donning pinky rings while eating a four course meal at noon.  The smells and sights always take me back… and not surprisingly, all this Christmas decor was pulled out days before Thanksgiving – no holding back.  There is a little peek into the Spanish speaking population there… in the cigar making stand and the  ‘ferreteria’ (Spanish for hardware store):

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I think we are. But we were happy to tag along with our friends this past Sunday – to see the New York Botanical Garden’s Haunted Garden. Lots of crazy ideas here for how to carve (or stack) your pumpkins into nifty sculptures. We have 2 last pumpkins to carve/paint or stick with these cool decorators that Bubby found… and then it’s over. Pumpkins – prepare to become soup!

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I’ve been to a few of these fairs before having kids, and I didn’t quite understand the appeal. But now that I have an aspiring princess on my hands (and a prince who occasionally likes to joust) – we just couldn’t stay away from the Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park last Sunday. Ezra dressed as a ‘mystic magician’ and seemed to have a certain pose in mind, that he would strike now and again for a photo opp. Zoe of course needs no invitation to dress like a princess. They were both obsessed with chain mail and how to make it. (I think due to Ezra’s recent obsession with Minecraft, he was really interested in all things made of iron and metal.)
I got a big kick out of seeing a humongous turkey leg in the hands of tiny 3 year old Zoe… it was nearly half her size!

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here he's wearing his dad's old cowboy vest from childhood - and Zoe wants that leg back!

here he’s wearing his dad’s old cowboy vest from childhood – and Zoe wants that leg back!

this is his very studied 'magician's' pose...

this is his very studied ‘magician’s’ pose…

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If you remember a while back my brother married in Florida. His wife Tricia has a family who lives not too far from us near Yonkers, NY. They invited us to sit in their garden and eat a lunch like they do when they spend their summers in Italy: al fresco. The tomatoes were amazing – and their garden has copious amounts of little peppers that Ezra insisted on eating right off the plant (and then drinking a gallon of milk to take the burn out!) Tricia’s dad was so impressed that he wants to “keep him for a week” to help with gardening and to enjoy the vegetables; an invitation that E will never turn down! And Zoe loved eating figs right off of the tree.

For now (sadly September is over but..) I’ve been inspired to enjoy all the tomato dishes I can. And that mozzarella – I have to find some of that fresh mozzarella from Stew Leonard’s – buono!

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We are seizing the last of summer by enjoying the outdoors as much as we can. We can’t possibly bank on this coming winter being as mild as last winter, so we are getting in as much park and garden time as we can. Somehow in all my years of living in the NYC area I never quite made it up into the Bronx to see this spectacular riverside garden. You know you’ve found nirvana when you turn the corner to enter the garden and – greeted with the cliff views on the Hudson – Ezra shouted ‘whoa!..this is AWESOME!’

I do love that gardens please him as much as cars do.

We went on a perfect Sunday while a bee information and honey harvesting day was in full swing. With friends Lea and Mia, the kids got to dress up like little bees and then march in a bee parade with kazoos in hand. They were able to check out a hive and look for the queen bee, then taste the different honeys from different seasons. Later we wandered around and found a path of gourds hanging overhead, and an amazing pond of giant lily pads.
They have a fun fall lineup that will definitely get us back there for more.
This is the view that had Ezra in awe (and click here for the fall folliage version):

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