Archive for the 'Travel' Category

My New Baby

Now don’t get any crazy ideas…this little baby is what I’m referring to. Check out my brand spankin’ new Dutchie-style CitiBike 700C in black (what did you expect?) with the super-sexy child seat attachment, naturally. It’s made by Biria, which I think is actually a Spanish company (with German engineers I guess). Who knows?

All I know is I’ve been without a bike since I sold my beloved Trek prior to leaving for Argentina. And now, I’m mobile, folks. Biking really opens up the city so much more. Last weekend, my co-pilot and I hit up the park at Bleecker & Hudson just because we could. This Sunday, I think we’ll cruise on over to this.

Now I just need to get a basket for the front and a lock (although I’m loathe to lock her* up on the mean streets of New York). See you on the bike paths!

* I think she needs a name. I have a tendency to name cars and such. It’s another weird family thing. Feel free to make suggestions.

The Great Gatsby & East Egg

A quick note to send thanks to friends who checked up on us in the “evacuation zone” last weekend. We escaped unscathed to the hills of Park Slope in Brooklyn (I never actually made the connection between the name and the elevation; see how learning comes out of life’s trials?). And were re-ensconced at home by Sunday (albeit after climbing 28 floors to our apartment as the elevators were still out). Others have not fared so well, and we send best wishes out to everyone who weathered the slow-moving, but sneakily insidious Irene.

As you may have heard, Baz Luhrmann has just started filming an adaptation of one of my favorite books, The Great Gatsby. I have two problems with this:

1. He’s filming it in Australia. That’s just wrong.
2. It’s going to be in 3D. WHY? Do we really need to see the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg in 3D, I ask you? No, we do not.

Photo (c) Jen Ross

I was reading about this on one of my favorite gossip blogs, and they included a link to this amazing photographer’s site. On the site is a portfolio of Land’s End, a dilapidated, but once clearly gorgeous, house in Sands Point, Long Island that was purported* to be the inspiration for Tom and Daisy’s house in East Egg.

From a sales brochure (NOTE: Stanford White was not the architect)

The house was recently demolished because the current owner claims he couldn’t afford to maintain it (but reports suggest he’d planned to demolish and subdivide all along). This site has a ton of info about it with before/during/after photos. Also, check out Jen Ross’s post-demolition images on her blog. And here’s a link to a Today Show piece about the estate. So sad. Hand-painted wallpaper from 100 years ago and pink onyx bath fixtures…all gone (or probably sold).

Photo (c) Jen Ross

It makes me wistful for a time I wasn’t even born in. I guess that’s what good storytelling does to you. Even if it wasn’t Daisy’s house, Lands End still represents a time and place that is long gone. It makes me sad for the future of historic preservation in this country. And not to get all 9th grade English on you, but isn’t the demise of Lands End also a metaphor for Jay and Daisy and their beautiful, doomed lives? Please, Mr. Luhrmann, don’t screw this up.

* But according to this, it isn’t. But you’ve got to love all the drama!

West Tisbury Farmers Market

On our recent trip to Martha’s Vineyard, we stopped by the farmers market in West Tisbury, which is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the summer months and has been running for an impressive 37 years. Everything is island-grown and/or made, including the alpacas, which apparently are for sale but only in sets of three as they are pack animals. Good to know.

We weren’t lucky enough to see any alpacas as I think the alpaca vendor is there on Saturdays, but we managed to sample and buy a few goodies. We really enjoyed Good Tastes’ fresh-squeezed juices, the jalapeƱo pepper jelly from New Lane Sundries and fresh corn on the cob.

Of course, I had to sample the vegetarian egg roll from the Egg Roll Lady, as there was a lot of talk about it on the Chowhound boards. And I really wanted it to be good because of her immigrant-makes-good story. Unfortunately, while nice and crispy in texture, the actual flavor was a bit bland as the filling was mostly cabbage without much seasoning. The cold summer roll with curried tofu was more flavorful, but I was a little disappointed.

Overall, the market was pretty low-key with some gorgeous produce and even more beautiful flowers, particularly the zinnias that filled the entire bed of a pickup truck (the owner even invited me to climb into the cab of the truck, as she claimed this was the best angle to shoot from!).

Maybe it’s because I have such fond memories of going to the farmers market with my mom on summer Saturdays — where you could not only get the freshest fruits and veggies, but also homemade clothes for your Barbie (what, your farmers market didn’t have that?) — or maybe because you know you’re supporting local farmers and craftspeople, but farmers markets are just happy places. You’re strolling, noshing, hanging with your family and just enjoying a beautiful day. And this was just that kind of day. Perfect.

Martha’s Vineyard

Hey ho…whaddya know? I’m still alive, don’t worry. I neglected to inform you lovely readers that we actually had a little holiday last week. We had a lovely time in Martha’s Vineyard, and I took a much-needed blog/technology/email break. It was fan-frigging-tastic, yo. I highly recommend it. I am now back and rarin’ to go, despite my recent wisdom tooth removal and subsequent codeine-induced haze for the last couple days.

But enough about that…how about some pics from our trip?

This was my second trip to Martha’s Vineyard (the first was for a wedding for our wonderful friends, Mark & Renee), and we rented a house in Oak Bluffs (via We went with Ryan’s family, which meant we had the luxury of a live-in babysitter (thanks, Nana!).

It was totally mellow. We road our bikes to the beach, went running, kayaked in the saltwater pond in front of our house (let’s not talk about the wipeouts on the slippery rocks, please), built lots of sand castles, saw the final Harry Potter movie, rode the oldest carousel in America and played a lot of Zingo.

As for the food situation, we managed to eat quite a bit of lobster in both “boiled” and “roll” permutations, sampled locally grown Katama oysters and partook of the infamous Back Door Donuts a frightening number of times (justified by all that biking and running). More details to come on the food front in a later post, including a trip to the farmer’s market in West Tisbury.

Bottom line: vacations are a very good thing.

Happy Father’s Day

Here’s to sleeping in, boating with your boy, laughing at your wife’s water-skiing attempts and lots of hugs and kisses.

We had a lovely time in Vermont this weekend…lots of eating, water-skiing and a decent amount of lying around. Perfect.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and pops out there. Wish you were here, Daddy.