Monday, August 23, 2010

Nautical New York

Another day of our ramblings through the city brought us to the Brooklyn Bridge and the South Seaport. It's surprising how you can still find scenes like these surrounding such a busy, modern city as New York.

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And here we are at the Brooklyn Bridge. This trip evoked fond memories of watching Newsies in elementary school with my sister and our friends; they all had a crush on Spot Collins (I maintain I did not--but really, who knows? I can't remember who I had a crush on when). "Let's hear it for Brooklyn!"

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I do remember that now I have a crush on Pete. And photographic proof.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SoHo Safari

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Now that Pete is finished with his internship (which went so well by the way) we are officially on vacation. We decided to spend some time wandering around different areas of the city that we hadn't as yet ventured into, SoHo being the first. We'd heard that SoHo was a really artsy area of town. This is what we found:

Artistic indeed.

My Little Prodigy

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As we are getting ready to move to a new place in Utah there are a few things about New York I think Amelia is really going to miss; her morning music time is definitely among them.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Food for Thought: Real Food = Real Thought

Those of you who know Pete and me personally know that we are Food People. (I hesitate to call ourselves "foodies" as I think that term is jealously guarded by a small, elite, and militant group of individuals who would probably eschew us with a firm hand based on the fact that we have eaten at Arby's by choice in the last six months. I can't give up the curly fries.) But we love food. And we love to make food and get really excited about trying new foods.

And I've been thinking about food a lot lately. Individuals and cultures have largely defined themselves in terms of diet and cuisine since the first pot of neolithic stew made it's unfortunate appearance. We're lucky early man didn't give up on cultivating his palate right then and there. So, defining ourselved using what we cook and eat as criteria, who are we as Americans? I'm not sure we know. Probably cheap, fast and easy. Hooray.

Oh, and did I mention that I've been readying Michael Pollan lately? This book:

Brilliant stuff. I am starting to believe it should be required reading in all college and university health courses. I know I will never think about food (particularly supermarket food) the same way.

So with the influences of the Food Network, Michael Pollan and all the different food cultures that New York has to offer swirling around in my nose and my brain, I've been making a more conscious effort to be actively aware of what I eat, and more to the point, what exactly is in what I eat.

Tonight Pete and I took a step in reclaiming our freedom from the extensive and unpronounceable ingredient lists found on typical packaged foods that are more reminiscent of a science lab than a kitchen, and made homemade tortillas for our Mexican dinner. Delicious. I'm so energized by the success. And it wasn't even hard!

Now, I'm not going to get all crazy and utterly refuse to eat anything that has been in the slightest bit processed or lacks sufficient nutritional information, especially as a guest. It seems impractical, and besides I quite agree with the French who believe that having special dietary requirements is bad manners. But I am committed to eating as locally and seasonally as possible. Not necessarily organically, or vegan, or even vegetarian. Just fresh and local. With myself (or Pete) being the chief preparers of food. Sticking to these guidelines, I believe, will help us to stay healthier, learn to live better, and attune us to enjoying the truly finer things in life.

Now I need to find a good local Farmer's Market in Manhattan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

One Year and One Half

It's true. The Babe is officially 18 months old.

What was once my sweet little bundle of newborn cuddliness is now an independent and grown up girl complete with electronic gadgets and fashion accessories.

To celebrate the occasion Pete made his signature Key Lime pie; a bit sophisticated for a toddler, but then, she's a sophisticated young lady, as you can see from the photos:

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Following the pie demolition, the Half Birthday Girl required a bath. I love these bath time pics (no worries, she's decent--at least for at her age).

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And because milestones like this make me a tad sentimental, I want to share some updates on Miss Amelia Rose.

Amelia is a happy, happy girl. She has limitless confidence and will talk to anyone and everyone. She especially loves to make new friends on the subway and in elevators.

Amelia loves music and will stop what she's doing and dance whenever she hears music. TV commercials, opera in the park, street entertainers, break dancers on a street corner, it doesn't matter she'll dance along. She also loves to play on the keyboard in our apartment, pounding along with the pre-recorded songs.

Amelia loves Indian food, Mexican food, Italian food, and anything spicy or sweet.

Amelia loves shoes and actually loves to shop for shoes too. When my sister was in town and we went to Daffy's to find discount designer baby shoes for my niece, Amelia went nuts piling the stroller high with shoes from the shelves. Poor Caroline was buried under all of Amelia's selections. She also loves to try on my shoes and wear them around the house.

Amelia loves jewelry and will make friends with whoever is wearing the most glitz at church so she can play with their jewels.

Amelia loves things that smell good, and will carry my lotions and perfumes around the house sniffing them loudly.

Amelia loves other babies; "baby" is probably her favorite word at the moment (doggie, daddy, please and sippie being close seconds).

This girl is pure sunshine and Pete and I are crazy about her. Happy 1/2 birthday Sweet Baby!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Strolling at the Park


We spend a lot of our days at local parks. Here's the latest collection of park pics.

One thing I love about NYC parks is that most of them have water areas for kids to play in. This is especially nice since it's so blasted hot in Manhattan in the summer and the thought of taking the babyface to a public swimming pool here is a bit unsettling. (Who knows what's in the water??) So an alternative way to cool off is appreciated.

Cookies Please Mamma

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Sorry baby, not until after your dinner.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Houseguests, Hot Dogs and Spectacle Trouble

As I mentioned in my last post (sorry about the pics not showing up by the way. Hopefully I fixed the problem) I had a lot of family visiting all last week. This place has never been so messy or so fun. Our living room was wall to wall air mattresses sprinkled with a healthy dose of baby books, stuffed animals, designer baby shoes, water bottles and cheap jewelry we kept buying from street vendors.

I loved having my sisters here; it was like old times staying up entirely too late talking about absolutely everything and analyzing each other's lives. Except for the bit about the babies and the husbands, they weren't around before and they served as a necessary reminder that we have grown up and aren't teenagers anymore.

Exploring New York is always fun, but it's more fun to show off the city to other people and be able to see it all for the first time again through them. Sharon lived in New York as a young single interior design intern, but hadn't been back in several years. Allysann had never been here before. So we packed the days full and saw New York.

It has been on my To Do list ever since I came to New York to get a hot dog at a real NY hot dog stand. I can finally cross that one off the list. Pretty tasty I must say, but then, I imagine everything tastes better on 5th Ave.

I have lived in New York long enough that I have my favorite areas of Central Park, and I took the girls to one of them. The Bethsaida Terrace Archade is a beautiful area with a gorgeous carved stone staircase that leads to a huge water fountain featuring a giant winged angel. Under the arched bridge there are mosaics on the walls and ceilings and the whole place has the feel of a cathedral even though it's outdoors. I didn't take these first two pics, but they give you an idea of the area.

I also took my girls to see the Turtle Pond in Central Park, which Pete and I happened upon once by accident and I thought it was so charming I keep bringing visitors back. There are actually turtles in Turtle Pond. Dozens of them. And you can see them if you lean over the end of the pier.

And of course, what's a trip to New York without a visit to Time Square? By this time my poor babydoll was exhausted. My favorite pic from Time Square really doesn't show the buildings, billboards, lights, etc. Just the sweetest little face I've ever seen.

Notice Amelia is missing her glasses again. The next pair is in the mail; this makes three pair of glasses and over $900 in six months. Sweet face or no, this kid is in trouble.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Naked on Broadway

My sister and her baby girl came to visit for a week (thus explaining my cyber-silence, as well as the new look to the blog--hope you enjoy). I had so much fun taking photos of my niece, one because she's pretty darn cute, and two because she actually looks at and smiles for the camera. My own little bundle can't be bothered with such things very often. Here are a few of my favorite images from the last week:

And finally, my favorite pic I took all week, and quite possibly ever:

This was a stroke of genius; we were on Broadway sitting on a bench and taking in the beautiful madness that is downtown NYC when Caroline needed a change. As my sister was changing her I decided it was too perfect of an opportunity to get naked baby photos interacting with New York. All the passers by seemed to agree; she drew quite a crowd before we were through with her. Now Caroline will always be able to tell people she's been photographed nude on Broadway. Shocking!