Tag Archives: brooklyn

Progress Report: My NYC To Do List

I crossed #15 off my to do list recently: I dined at Peter Luger.

Sometimes iconic experiences don’t live up to the hype but Peter Luger absolutely did. I loved it.

The restaurant is from another time. It was established in 1887 but is aging quite well.

Peter Luger

There are gleaming brass light fixtures throughout, wood paneling and in a little booth, a purple haired cashier (I’m pretty sure her hair isn’t purple out of trendiness). The servers, all men from what I can tell, are no-nonsense. Not brusque, but efficient.

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Twitter Spotlight: Sabina Hitchen

How could I not feature someone whose professional title is Chief Excitement Officer?! That’s Sabina aka @SabinaKnows.

CEO

Sabina, co-founder of Tin Shingle, is my Brooklyn neighbor. I admire her enthusiasm for entrepreneurship – hers and that of others. Here’s your chance to get to know Sabina.

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Suddenly we were on the bridge to Brooklyn

First read this related post.

Suddenly we were on the bridge to Brooklyn. The Manhattan Bridge this time, not the Williamsburg. I laughed.

“Don’t laugh. This isn’t funny!” Mom said.

I kept laughing. What else are you supposed to do when a Chinese New Year parade and dozens of NYC traffic cops thwart your Little Italy lunch plans and Canal Street spits you onto the bridge to downtown Brooklyn without any choice?

Just thirty minutes earlier, everything was fine. Great really. Mom came in from Scranton for a post-birthday (hers, not mine) visit. I had a present waiting for her at my apartment in Williamsburg. We planned to drive there after shopping and lunch at Pellegrino’s.

We shopped at Lord & Taylor. I found a dress that might be fun for my friend Candace‘s wedding in Jamaica. We got Mom’s car out of the lot ($26 for two hours, and that’s the Weekend Special) and headed downtown.

And sat in spectacular traffic once we passed Bleecker Street.

“I’m never doing this again,” Mom said about driving downtown, and agreeing to drive to Brooklyn for her birthday gift. But she has said that many times during my life about things she has absolutely done again so I laughed some more.


Each summer, my parents and I would drive eight-ish hours south to Nags Head, NC. Once, when I was a seven or eight years old, we arrived the Cabana East Motel only to find that our reservation was actually for the next day. No rooms were available.

Click link for photo credit

Dad, not the adaptable sort, was furious at Mom who, although she might have gotten a date wrong, also did all of the heavy lifting for planning our vacations with no offers of help from Dad. Even though we were able to get a room for the night at the Beacon next door, I don’t think my parents exchanged a civil word for 24-48 hours.

I wished we could all just be happy about the extra day at the beach.


When we found ourselves on the Manhattan Bridge, I turned to Mom (who was getting progressively more hangry thanks to my laughter) and said “why don’t we eat in Williamsburg? You can eat food you don’t eat around Dad.”*

I felt tense during the drive up the BQE but tried to hide it with chatter. We parked near the restaurant and then walked down the middle of the street to avoid the ice-covered sidewalks. The ice was another strike against Brooklyn in my mother’s eyes.

Miraculously, she stepped across the restaurant threshold and expressed her approval.

Mom and Jen

We went to Mesa Coyoacan for Mexican food. Tamarind margarita for her, michelada for me. We gorged on tortilla soup and esquites and guacamole and tacos. When we were done with that, I surprised her with churros con chocolate y caramel with a birthday candle. She no longer seemed mad at me for laughing.


Guess what? Mom loved my black nail polish. She proclaimed my hair too “gold.” I’m keeping it though.

 

*Between his health concerns and narrow idea of what constitutes Good Food. (In my dad’s opinion, every cuisine that isn’t American or Italian might serve him cat for an entrée. Don’t ask. I have given up.)

Working remotely

Tobys

Today at the coffee shop…

Australians ordering flat whites.

The guy I pretend not to see, and not to know.

Two people, one male and one female, who look like troll dolls come to life. Maybe it’s the beanies.

Lounging long-haired lesbians

The man who looks like Val from Dancing with the Stars (but only in profile)

A photographer, and a stylist and an artfully rumpled model looking bored

A woman resembling grown up Lorde

Me listening to Sia on repeat while writing a handful of proposals, booking business trips to Nashville and London, and marveling at this tweet:

 

There’s a beach in Williamsburg?

One of the things I love most about life in NYC is the sense that I can never completely know it. There will always be secrets to uncover. Something new replacing something old. Mysteries just down the block.

Photo property of ScoutingNY.com

Photo property of ScoutingNY.com

And here’s one: a beach of sorts right in my neighborhood.

OK, so it’s not South Beach, or even the Rockaways. But I had no idea you could get so close to the shore of the East River.

Who knows: maybe in a few more years, we’ll really want to.

This gluten-free thing…

I woke up, filled with dread. This day had loomed in my mind like a dark cloud on a distant horizon.

I rolled out of bed and left my apartment, still wearing the clothes in which I slept. Turning the corner, I walked into Swallow Cafe and evaluated the pastry selection.

Where were the weird gluten-free pastries I had seen just last week — and turned up my nose at? Not at Swallow, apparently.

Starbucks pastries via EatAtState.com

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Things that are hard to explain to a Kenyan teenager

You may have read this list elsewhere. However, this is an edited version with new! exciting! items. OK?

Some things are hard to explain to Kenyan teenagers.

  • Skyscrapers
  • The subway
  • A dog as a pet versus one who herds cows, goats and sheep
  • A dog wearing a coat made for a dog

dog in a coat

  • Snow (which is how I ended up showing them the picture above in the first place)
  • Why I have pictures of food in my phone
  • Being child-less and husband-less
  • Not living with my parents (which is where Kenyan singles live)
  • Being an only child – polygamy is the norm, as are large families
  • Seamless.com
  • Same-sex marriage

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