Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week 52: The Last Portrait Of The Year

For our final self-portrait, Jon and I took a leisurely walk over to East River State Park. I had been fighting a nasty cold and hadn't left the apartment in over a day. The fresh air and sunshine were a welcome change. This park is the site of our engagement and remains one of our favorite spots in Brooklyn.

Jon and I took a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Week 51

Did you have a good holiday? We traveled back to Ohio to be with our families this year. We had an early Christmas celebration with my family in Cleveland. As we drove up to my parents' home, I could see Frosty the Snowman lighting up their front door. This guy has been with our family for over twenty years. He faithfully lights my way home every single holiday.

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 50

We took a quick trip to New Mexico over the weekend to visit with some of my family. I've never been to this part of the country and didn't really know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when we got to the hotel and found a bonafide road attraction sitting next to the parking lot. This is the World's Largest Chile Pepper, made from steel, two and a half tons of concrete, and a lot of love. 

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Week 48

Jon and I traveled to Durham for Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with his best friend and his best friend's wife. The paintings you see behind us are hanging in their home and are portraits of a few of their good friends, all painted by another one of their good friends. Jon is lucky enough to have a fairly large group friends who all met in either middle or high school. They've remained close, and although everyone is scattered all over the country they are still incredibly important to one another. It was awesome to have some quality time with Jon's friends over the holiday.

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 47

We spent the day doing a whole lot of nothing as we were tired from the evening before. We were recovering from a night of performance art, walking through Chinatown to find some late night eats, and good conversation and company with friends until the wee hours of the morning. Saturday was definitely a rest day.

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 46

We took some time on Sunday to finally check out Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. This is one of the many large scale outdoor installation on the grounds. 

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

What I Saw: KAWS

My little brother came into town for a few days. Per his request, we had an art filled weekend and managed to catch three Kaws shows, two in NYC and one in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Danny's best friend drove in from Massachusetts to join us on our adventures. It had been over a year since they had seen each other! We savored every second of Danny's trip.

Just look at how happy those two are to be together again. Also, it blows my mind to have a photo of my brother at the subway stop to my neighborhood. Blows my mind.

So, Kaws - do you know who he is? I first found out about him through Danny. Kaws has designed a number of toys and is also a prolific painter and sculpture. The first show we saw was a collection of his paintings.

Honestly, I don't get his paintings. His technique and line work is definitely impressive, but what I love are his sculptures. When we got to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for his show we were all totally blown away. The juxtaposition of these enormous sculptures paired with huge, classic bodies of work was stunning.

We drove from Philly directly to the last Kaws show in Chelsea. This show consisted of only three sculptures but they were enormous. They were my favorites of the weekend.

Danny kept exclaiming through out the weekend how this had been the best trip to New York that he had ever had. He also mentioned how it was so nice to see me in Brooklyn. You see, this was the first time he has visited me since I've moved. I know that sounds strange, but before Jon and I were married and doing the long-distance thing, I would be in Ohio quite often. Consequently, I got to see my brother and our family on a pretty regular basis. After the wedding, Jon and I have been back a few times but it has not been as often. Having my brother here in New York was amazing. We are so close and we count ourselves lucky to be such good friends. Watching his excitement and wonder while looking at the work of one of his favorite artists was a joy to experience. His enthusiasm for art and motivation to practice his own craft is inspiring. Having this time with him was really a gift. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What I Saw: The Catskills

One of the great things about living in New York City is the close proximity of some serious mountains. It always blows my mind that a complete change in scenery is available by only a couple hours of travel by train or by car. This weekend was no exception.

Jon and I spent the weekend in the Catskills for our first wedding anniversary. We stayed in Phoenicia, one of many charming small towns in the area. We booked a one room cottage at the Phoenicia Lodge and I highly recommend this place. The owners are so gracious and kind AND are former Brooklynites. When we arrived late in the evening on Friday, we were greeted with freshly baked cookies and an exhaustive list of hikes and sightseeing around the area. We decided to get up early on Saturday for a hike to the Giant Ledge.

The forecast called for rain later in the day but thankfully it held off until we were finished with our hike. We knew that most of the leaves had already fallen from the trees but the hike was still beautiful. Being outside in nature is something that I will never, ever pass up.

We got to the top and found a ledge where we could have a snack and enjoy the view. It was unbelievably still and quiet. The view was amazing.

We decided to head back and returned to our cottage for some downtime before our dinner reservation at Peekamoose Restaurant, another great recommendation from our hosts. Everything we had was excellent, but we were especially blown away by the charcuterie board, complete with house cured meats and the most delicious chicken liver pate I've ever tasted. Seriously, this stuff was unbelievably delicious. 

They were also kind enough to surprise us with an extra little something with our dessert to help celebrate our anniversary. We were definitely surprised.

Sunday morning we slowly made our way back to Brooklyn. We crossed the Hudson River and took the scenic route down, making some stops along the way to whatever looked interesting. When we arrived back to the city the NYC Marathon had just ended, making the drive a little complicated but we were both in high spirits after a beautiful weekend. We just laughed at the ridiculousness of other drivers and made our way back home.

Week 44

Jon and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this weekend. On Friday, I took a train out to a little town near his workplace. He picked me up and we continued on to the Catskills. We stayed in a one room cottage and hiked to the Great Ledge. Much of the leaves had fallen off of the trees in this area, but the view from the top was still a stunner. We briefly shared this ledge with another couple who had celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary. Every year they go on a hike together. They told us that we have many more beautiful anniversary hikes to enjoy. 
Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What I Saw: Fall in Prospect Park

On Sunday, Jon and I decided to head down to Prospect Park and go for a run. We planned to start at the top of the park and make our way down to meet up with a couple of friends who live near the park. The day was clear and the weather was cool. This is my favorite time of the year to run.

We didn't go all that far - just shy of two miles - but at the end of the run I felt really winded. I had no idea why until I looked at the stats. We were running way too fast.

We caught our breath and met our friends and continued to make our way around the park, this time at a more leisurely pace. The park is a total jewel in the middle of our busy borough. My friend told me that moving closer to the park allowed for a huge change in her quality of life. And not just for her but for her sweet dog as well.

We made our way up and out of the park and spent the rest of the afternoon brunching and catching up. I love days like this!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What I Saw: The Oyster Festival at Oyster Bay

This weekend Jon and I headed out to Long Island for the annual Oyster Festival. This has been an annual tradition for one of our friends and this year we decided to join in the festivities.

The trip started with a looooong ride on the Long Island Railroad. They had a special going for the festival weekend where a round trip ticket included a voucher for three oysters. Jon didn't want his and neither did a friend of ours who joined us on this adventure from Brooklyn. That left me with nine free oysters! The line was long but moved quickly. They had a crew of people shucking those oysters like mad. The oysters were delicious and no, I didn't share.

 Our long time Oyster Festival attending friend decided to join the oyster eating contest. Can you guess which one he is?

He didn't end up winning but ate nearly 100 oysters in less than three minutes. The winner consumed over 170 oysters and lived to see another day. 

Sidenote: Is my husband not the most handsome thing ever? Love this guy.

There was a plethora of non-oyster foods to choose from at this festival and soooo many people. We had arrived early on the advice of our friend and by the time we were ready to head home the line for the LIRR was outrageously long. Thankfully we got on the train and headed back to Brooklyn, a little tired and dazed from the entire experience but happy to have gone on this little adventure.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Sweet 34th Birthday

Saturday night my brother and sister-in-law hosted a birthday party for me in Ohio. They got the bonfire going before the sun went down and we were well equipped with the goods to makes infinite s’mores.
Did you guys know that jumbo marshmallows exist in the world? Well, they do and they totally change the s’mores game. Also to try – s’mores made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Will blow your mind.
Also on the menu was an ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen (there are no Dairy Queens in Brooklyn!) so I was extra happy, although that could just have been from all the sugar I consumed.
Seriously though, it was a great evening and I felt so lucky to be able to spend it with some beloved people who I don’t get to see too often. And yes, s’mores absolutely taste better when they are consumed on your birthday. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday Supper

We arrived back to Brooklyn on my birthday. Our flight was delayed so I was a little nervous that we would be late to our dinner at North Brooklyn Farms. We rushed home and then headed straight to Williamsburg for a beautiful and delicious outdoor dinner, underneath the glow of the Williamsburg Bridge. 
The three course dinner was made from the vegetables grown in the garden and was absolutely delicious. The wine was flowing and the conversation was lively. Sharing this experience with my husband and friends was definitely the best birthday gift I received that day.