weekend at Astoria Park Shorefest

Hi everyone! How was your weekend? I missed you!

Coming to you fresh from a medium to wildly productive couple of days in Astoria. Sent the hand-holding-man-friend off to sunny San Diego, so its just been me and the ‘Rooms roaming around the apartment. Went for a couple long runs, did some website work (made a fun 404 page in case you care at all), and popped over to the Astoria Park Shorefest in the backyard on Sunday.

parks and rec booth at Astoria Park Shorefest

I’m glad I got a chance to stop by since we missed the pet parade last week. Sophie is still miffed. The fest on the shore was a nice little ditty, smaller than a street fair, but bigger than a 2R party? Every week has a theme. Last week was families, this week was food (Astoria food writer Meg Cotner was there, and I totally missed her, like a loser), next week is jams. No not the food, like tunes, musical stylings and such.

flamenco, music, dogs, and free sod?

It had everything an event needs to be successful. Dogs, nice weather, music, ukulele lessons, dancing, snacks, and sod? Yeah, it took me a hot second but I tracked down the meaning to the sod patches. I thought maybe it was meant to be like a Highline type thing or some kind of art installation, this is NYC… But nope, turns out jokes on me as their website clearly states that they’re giving away sod at the end of each day! You’re supposed to contact them if you’re interested. Someone with a lawn PLEASE contact them. I have to know more about this sod business. Is this a big draw? Should all aspiring events be giving away sod? I LOVE YOU ASTORIA YOU STRANGE BEAST!!

Check out the schedule of entertainment for next week, and maybe I’ll see you there? I’ll be the weird girl taking pictures of strangers’ dogs. 

PS. Note the dreadlocks on that dog. It was awesome. Also, I’ve never seen him around the ‘hood, he must be visiting. I hope he/she’s there next week…

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good light in the living room

I talked to the big empty room and she’s positively BLUSHING at all of your compliments on how beautiful her light is. Honestly, I don’t know what we’re gonna do for her ego. Maybe we’ll just strip her of all furniture or useful purpose… oh, wait.

This room was originally the ‘Room’s boudoir, but lack of an air conditioner solution (it has those long tall crank windows) renders it pretty uncomfortable for four seasons boudoir-ing. So shortly after our housewarming party a little room re-arranging took place and bam, now we’ve got a big empty space perfect for drink photo shoots, cat photos, and dead plant photos. Eventually we will put office-y things here and some day when I achieve my dream of working from home it will be awesome. This room is also useful for yoga moves and storing empty plant pots.

I feel the need to share that these walls are pretty much the perfect shade of grey/gray for photographing. Benjamin Moore sweet innocence. When this shade first came home it was a bit lavender/blue for my taste, I love a super dry gray like Benjamin Moore’s gray owl. But boy does it look good in photos, it makes everything around it look really soft and grounded.

All credit for wall color and Sophie’s “custom” cat bed goes to the ‘Rooms, all credit for sunlight goes to Mutha’ Nature herself, and photographing those things goes to me and the Olympus E-PM1, the camera for people who don’t know anything about cameras.

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beach day 2012

Ya’ll I went to the beach and lived to tell about it. Let’s be clear, I’m not a beach-er. I live in New York City and can’t afford to leave. I’ve never been to the Hampton’s and the thought of Coney Island or Rockaway makes me want to lock the doors to my air conditioned apartment and never leave. People in the city lay out on the grass in Sheep’s Meadow or in my case Astoria Park, and think nothing of it. Another point to clear is that I do not lay out. I enjoy park time, but always under a tree in a quiet corner.

BUT, one of our girlfriends is leaving the city for a few months for a job so she requested that her “going away party” be a beach day. Confession, I was totally three sheets to the wind on some watermelon margarita’s when I agreed to this business, but I’m nothing if not a woman of my word. Paperwork was filed for a day off, a swimsuit was purchased, and beach day was on! Enter Robert Moses State Park on Fire Island, NY.

seagulls at the beach

long sandy road

strict swimming guidelines

unmanned lifeguard station

Notice a theme? Yep, it was overcast the whole day and It. Was. Awesome. You know you’re advancing in years when you go to the beach and are totally unphased and markedly relieved that the sun stayed behind the clouds and you were able to enjoy your day without the peril of debilitating sunburn or dehydration.

all of the beach-y things

Even though it was cloudy, we were still able to partake in all of the usual beach activities. Shell collecting and rock skipping. Lunching and sandcastle building. I bought a beach ball at the 99 cent store but it was carried on the wind to new adventures very early in the day, and the Frisbee was well, worth 99 cents and fared better as a repository for shells and rocks.

And yes, we did build our sandcastle out of empty lunchable containers and a guacamole tub, post guac consumption. We even gave it an underground subway tunnel, it was very Second Avenue construction you know. Then we got bored and buried the ‘Rooms in the sand and gave him boobs. Duh. We’re getting older, not less fun.

All of this would not have been made possible if it weren’t for the incredible child New Yorker wrangling skills of the ‘Rooms who spear headed the booking of the minivan and many many Facebook threads and group texts about the what, where, when and how much. You’d be shocked the level of co-ordination it takes to get seven grown ass adults to stop what they’re doing and get the heck out of dodge. Mission accomplished. See you in another five years beach!

 

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blackberry mint and whisky julep

Welcome to the best drink you will ever put to your lips. I am not much of a heavy drinker, but I DO like delicious things, and a cheeky cocktail or three from time to time. The good news is this recipe calls for bourbon, so if you happen to date, live with, or are inviting a mad man-esq drinker to partake in this beverage with you, they should be pretty happy, or at least give them the bottle eh?

Original recipe from good ole Martha. That woman really does summer right, she tends to lose me around gourd season and into winter, but SUMMER for her empire is exceptional. ‘Rooms landed on this recipe one lazy summer Sunday for our Bachelorette finale get together with friends. If you like easy drinks that have minimal ingredients + are super easy, AND that you can make in large quantities in it’s own vessel, then this drink is for you! Right out of the box this blackberry julep is delicious, but we added twice the booze tweaked a ‘lil bit to our liking and garnished with an orange because WE ARE PARTY ANIMALS.

all you need for a delicious blackberry mint julep

Here are the ingredients in laymen’s terms. (sorry Martha, but I am not measuring my mint)

  • 1 bunch o’ mint (stems off ladies and gents)
  • 1 package of blackberries (the plastic one from Key Food, or your locally grown CSA if you’re fancy)
  • 6 spoons of sugar (solid handful? or to taste)
  • bourbon (Martha says 1/2 cup serves 4, we easily doubled that) so 1-2 cup(s)?
  • juice from the orange adds a nice tang if that’s your thing
  • ice (add until smoothie-ish)

mint julep smoothie in the making

  1. Give that mint a rough chop and put everything but the ice in the blender and turn it on.
  2. Add ice until smoothie like, or you can’t take it any longer.
  3. Pour in glasses, add a paper straw and an orange slice for fanciness.

Very important side note: Martha’s step two is to run this juice mixture through a “fine sieve,” which is nice if you know what that is. I didn’t, and we don’t have one, but I’ve had about seventeen of these cocktails seeds and all and lived to tell about it. Plus I think that’s where the fiber is?

The good news about this recipe is that blackberries are in season which means they’re cheap and delicious and you’re doing that really hip thing of eating seasonally and local. Also if your blackberries are a little over-ripe or smushed Jim Beam sure doesn’t care. Blackberry season lasts until the end of August so get to drinking!

Bonus: Blackberries are good for preventing gout and cancer. I know because Lance told me.

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