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Posts Tagged ‘food’

We find ourselves wandering around Washington Square Park on weekends lately. We found an old playground that’s been spruced up finally – after years of being neglected (near the McDonalds at the West 4th Street Station.) The kids loved walking on the winding street where Cafe Wha? stands – Cafe Wha? AND Mamoun’s Falafel have been there since I first came to NYC (1989!) so I felt like I was stepping into my past. It’s not easy to find unchanged areas of Manhattan these days – so it was nice to feel reminiscent again. And even though autumn leaves are falling on The Village, the summer stench of garbage was still there (another crucial part of all my memories, so I almost welcome it!)

By the way, Mamoun’s Falafel is STILL the best falafel in town …

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some things never change: Ezra says it's a little stinky here

some things never change: Ezra says it’s a little stinky here

leaves (and trash) on the sidewalk of MacDougal Street

leaves (and trash) on the sidewalk of MacDougal Street

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This past Saturday was a day of fasting, for those of us observing Yom Kippur. We broke the fast at my friend Kate’s house… who is not only a phenomenal cook but has the cutest home ever. I am starting to think I want to move to her nearby neighborhood and convert my garage to a party spot, as she has. And since she and her husband spent some time in Russia they have a very cool, folksy red and blue thing going on in their home that is reminiscent of my godmother’s Hungarian pillows (which I love). It’s a Good Yontif when you have this to look forward to at the end of it all!

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even though we are far from water, the kids like to pretend we are on a vast sea

even though we are far from water, the kids like to pretend we are on a vast sea


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What a great use of unused space, right? Take all the rooftops of the city, and imagine how much you could grow! We visited Brooklyn Grange‘s Queens location – the flagship farm on Northern Blvd – which is just a short distance from our home.

The kids loved searching for mint and other herbs (a challenge the farm stand attendant put them to as soon as they got to the roof). We happened to be there when a little ‘end of the farm apprentice season’ celebration was going on .. and watched chefs put together lunch in a ‘paleo-diet theme’, and Ezra loved studying how a DJ scratches a record.

Read more about the incredible process of turning a roof into a farm here.

first 3 pix © Donnelly Marks

first 3 pix © Donnelly Marks

© Donnelly Marks

 

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cannot. stop. eating. the. goods!

cannot. stop. eating. the. goods!

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While Ezra and Zoe were away at ‘grandma and grandpa camp’ – my husband and I got to go on a series of date nights. (I also got to sleep 8 hours uninterrupted for the first time in 7 years, we saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway .. what an amazing week!)

One night we stumbled into the free outdoor movie fest that comes with Smorgasbar at South Street Seaport on Wednesday nights this summer. (If you remember we went to Smorgasburg last summer.. this smaller ‘bar’ version accommodates the hungry moviegoers.) Best of all, the movie being shown was ‘GhostBusters’ and a group of fans came dressed as Ghostbusters. These guys were taking their roles seriously – reciting all the lines to the movie and carrying ghost-busting packs with blinking light parts that seemed to work!

Even though we found ourselves there in the middle of a heat wave, the breeze off the water at South Street Seaport is INCREDIBLE in the summer – and the lobster rolls via Smorgasbar made the night complete.

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While away we found a weekend activity to do at Wegmans – the kids were so excited to get to stir things up on their own and make their own burritos and red quinoa corn salad. I wish we had kid-cooking classes in NYC area that were this affordable because my kids really took to it (and mom really loved eating their food)! After the class was over – Ezra kept telling me he wanted a restaurant for his birthday – HOW do we do that?
(Have a great weekend!)

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grandma helps

grandma helps


Tali ready for the kitchen

Tali ready for the kitchen

even with a broken arm, Jake is not deterred!

even with a broken arm, Jake is not deterred!


ready for his restaurant

ready for his restaurant

.. or at least a TV show?

.. or at least a TV show?

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After we went camping , we went to Saugerties to check out the town. We stopped into Lucky Chocolates for ice cream and discovered their fun collection of chocolate treats. While Zoe ate homemade blue berry ice cream, Ezra loved checking out cases of chocolate nuts and bolts, dogs and cats, horses, shoes and they even had pretty little crystal cream flowers in a variety of colors. When we were seated outside the kids loved viewing the miniature amusement park in the store front window … while the parents nibbled on salted caramel covered in dark chocolate – yum!

Have a great, safe and dry 4th of July!
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Of course while in the Lower East Side of Manhattan one cannot help but stop in to Russ and Daughters – another fixture in the neighborhood since the early 1900s. I have memories of walking a few blocks with friends to get to some lox and schmear on weekends when I lived nearby in the LES – but I had no idea that even Martha Stewart had by now become such a big fan. You gotta love their website page of Lower East Side history and Yiddishisms (see it here.)

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Ezra looks longingly at the lox

Ezra looks longingly at the lox

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More hamentaschen, yum!

More hamentaschen, yum!

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While I’m not 100 percent ‘off’ of meat, I do live with a vegetarian and – truth be told – I do like the idea of saving the environment and some animals by eating less of it. We got a nice warm welcome to the NY Vegetarian Festival at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan however. The folks at the door loved the idea of kids coming around to test the nibbles. There were puppets being made of recycled materials, crafts and coloring, and of course some veg meat options (Ezra loved the faux jerky) to try. My kids love beans and Indian food so they sampled this the most!

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I think I already mentioned that a dear friend of mine passed a vintage Snoopy Sno Cone Machine on to the kids a few weeks ago (thanks Amelia!) They love it but this toy comes with its frustrations. One is that the shaved ice melts so quickly when you pour flavoring/juice on it… and there’s a lot of sweat and labor that goes into shaving the ice (and it yields little for all that work.) We’ve discovered that freezing juice in ice cube trays first really helps. Not only are the ice cubes a bit softer and easier to grind away at, but the juice is already right there in the ice!

And once again, here are some ways to dress up and eat snow and shaved ice. Maybe we will try to freeze cream next!

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This is another photographer who I met at a portfolio review. Kat Teutsch’s interior shots are amazing – I love the palettes of the rooms in her photos. (Do you think she had some Cat In the Hat inspiration?) Those turquoise-blues with red! And don’t even get me started on her gorgeous food photography. With her permission I’ve put together some of her photos here – to brighten up the winter blas I’m feeling today. Are you getting the urge to repaint your apartment yet?


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