Monday, June 21, 2010

summertime, and the livin' is easy

Oh goodie, it's my favorite time of year! Although it's been hot as balls for weeks already, today marks the "official" first day of summer, and, more importantly, the arrival of the annual New York Magazine Summer Guide! NYMag always has a way of reminding me of all the reasons why I put up with the broiling heat of summer and bitter cold of winter just to live in this city, and the summer guide is a particularly compelling example.

I feel like nowhere else do people appreciate warm weather more than in New York, as evidenced by the near-unlimited daily offerings of summer-only outdoor events and concerts. So many, in fact, that The Onion spoofed the whole phenomenon itself, with an article entitled "Nation's Boyfriends Dreading 'Free Event In The Park' Season." Sure, they're talking about the country in general, but I'm convinced that New York is the most extreme example by far (so what if I'm biased?). Luckily, I have no boyfriend to drag along with me, so my single girlfriends and I are free to joyously partake in any and all cheesy summer events. Some highlights:

  • Tuesdays through July, 10-11am: free Pilates Fusion classes
  • Tuesdays through August, dusk til 9:30pm: stargazing with the Amateur Astronomers Association
  • Thursday, August 12, 6pm: Salsa on the Highline - live music and free salsa lesson

Thursday nights at Brooklyn Bridge Park through September 2. Seat-snagging and live DJ at 6pm; films begin at sundown. Highlights:
  • July 8: Annie Hall by Woody Allen
  • July 29: Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock

Prospect Park Bandshell, through August 8. Highlights:
Live outdoor concert series at PS 1; Saturdays through September 4. Highlights:
  • July 17: Ratatat DJ-ing live
  • July 29: Animal Collective DJ-ing live

Annual pig-roast and dance party at the avant-garde Brooklyn space 3rd Ward; July 18, 2-9pm

Outdoor film screenings in Bryant Park; Monday nights through August 23rd. Park opens at 5pm for seat-snagging and picnicking; films begin at sundown. Highlights:
  • July 26: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • August 2: Rosemary's Baby by Roman Polanski
Also in Bryant Park: free yoga classes, Tuesdays 10-11am, and Thursdays 6-7pm, through September 30th

Thursday, June 10, 2010

prepping the kitchen cabinets

disassembling and sanding...


...and drying! Wheee! Keep you posted on the end result....!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

burgers and beer at Bark

Yummmm! So I've been curious about this new gourmet hot dog joint Bark, down the street from my mom's place, ever since she snail-mailed me the menu when it first opened as graphic design inspiration. I got my first hot dog there a few weeks ago, but what she continued to rave about was actually their hamburger, which was a relatively new addition to their ever-expanding menu (which now includes beer, wine and breakfast!).

So finally, after a busy morning of Home Depot-ing, I was finally hungry enough for a Bark burger - which involves a blend of pork jowl, beef short rip and top round, all from almost neurotically sustainable, local sources, topped off with house-made pickles, garlic mayo and Grafton cheddar. Dee-freakin-licious.

And just to round out the decadence, we got an order of fries AND onion rings, the latter of which were some of the best I've ever had - super crispy with just the right amount of batter. They still have a little tweaking to do on the fries, which were a tad soft for my taste, but really, even a mediocre deep-fried potato is pretty damn tasty with some organic ketchup and extra salt.

Once we rolled ourselves out of there, we got a little more work done on the apartment, and after we called it a day, I went to go meet the "Team Monday" crew for drinks at Brooklyn Inn in Boerum Hill, and after raving about my glorious lunch, the tipsy group decided they needed to get Bark burgers ASAP! So for the second time in one day, I made my way back to Bark.

This time we took advantage of their new booze options and got one of their cute logo-emblazoned "growlers" of Six Point Ale, and the rest of the gang got dogs, burgers, and an order of cheese fries (far superior to the naked version - lesson learned).

After we successfully drained our growler and licked our cute compostable burger-and-fry containers clean, it was official - Bark is my new neighborhood standby, for any time of day. Now all I need is to get my hands on some of those biscuits at breakfast and I'll be a true connoisseur!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's all happening...

Ahhhhh! It's official! I did the final walk-through with my mom's broker and the building's broker today to check for any unexpected, er, presents left from the previous tenants (water damage, giant holes in the walls, etc), and with nothing major to be found, the place is now officially ours!! Woo hooooo!!

I thought I'd post a few more descriptive "before" photos, since you still haven't seen the bathroom, and it's nice to see the place without another person's furniture in it, clogging up the imagination and all...

For the bathroom, we're ripping out all the grubby tile and doing the floors in this great Cararra marble hexagon tile that we found for supercheap, and then doing simple white subway tile for the walls. Clearly we need a new light fixture, and a new medicine cabinet situation, so I'll keep you posted on developments there as well.

For the kitchen we're going to replace all the outdated appliances with newer, stainless versions, tile the backsplash (probably with some more white subway tile), and we've set out to tackle the daunting project of painting all the cheesy cabinetry bright white (for the uppers, to give them the illusion of lightness) and dark charcoal (for the lowers, to visually anchor the counters to the floor). 

Some inspiration:

I'll keep you posted on the progress... It's finally happening! Woo hoo!