by Deborah on September 15th, 2013 · No Comments ·
When I was living in New York City, I always made a point of popping in at the greenmarkets – usually the Union Square Farmer’s Market as it’s quite sizable and meant I was almost sure to find something I wanted but occasionally at the smaller ones. There was one in a school yard – on 70th or 69th between 1st and York, quite close to home that I perused now and again. There was some quite good bread there but the jams and veggies at Union Square always drew me back down there.
Of course, it’s a bit far for me to go these days but I have a new version of “going to the greenmarket” and that is “popping to the farm shop. I’d seen mention of Daylesford Farm Shop and wanted to check it out so – as we have a free day and it’s only a short drive (the area is AWASH in farm shops), off we went. It’s a whole complex – farm shop, cafe, cookery school, “wellness center” and it was all beautifully laid out and presented. The prices for some stuff – not everything – made us gasp but it was top notch stuff, no question and while I wouldn’t do my regular shop there, that’s not what it’s for. It’s special occasion, company is coming stuff.
GORGEOUS stuff and very well thought out. The prepared stuff looked delicious as well. The bakery almost had me at hello. As did the world’s most gorgeous brioche. Next time I’ll fill you in on some of the more “everyday” farm shops but this was too yummy a visit not to share.
Tags: And beyond · Banbury · Life in the UK
by Deborah on August 16th, 2013 · No Comments ·
August in New York City can be a tad warm. Even more than a tad. But this does not prevent people from getting out and getting things done. As we can see from the very impressive list of things people have accomplished and done in ‘Augusts gone by’:
- 1776: US army evacuates Long Island/falls back to Manhattan, NYC. OK< so that wasn’t much of an accomplishment but the implication is that a whole lot of people were out and about, working up quite a thirst.
- 1820: 1st US eye hospital, the NY Eye Infirmary, opens in NYC. Having once been a patient one of the descendent institutions (the New York Eye and Ear Hospital), I salute them.
- 1855: Castle Clinton in NYC opens as 1st US receiving station for immigrants. And now it is an interesting enough, historical ticket booth for those of us who want to pop out to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. Do yourself a favor, get an early departure and stay on the boat when it docks at the Statue. You can see the statute just fine from the boat and it’s hot in there. Definitely get off the boat at Ellis Land. SO worth seeing. And A/C!
- 1860: Queen of Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) arrives in NYC. Because in August it seems like everyone is a tourist in New York City.
- 1884: Cornerstone for Statue of Liberty laid on Bedloe’s Island. And yes, it’s New York City. Hush, New Jersey and stop splitting hairs.
- 1891: 1st public bathhouse with showers opens in NYC. Presented without comment (but not without a snicker *snerk* ’cause sometimes I’m 12). I’m sure it was very cooling.
- 1896: Chop suey invented in NYC by chef of visiting Chinese Ambassador. Proving (as if needed proving again) that NYC has always been a foodie town.
- 1904: NYC begins building Grand Central Station. And a damned fine job they did too.
- 1912: NYC ticker tape parade for Jim Thorpe & victorious US olympians. ANd the great ticker tape parade tradition continues to this day (though substitutions for ticker tape are necessary these days). Also, last time I was in Gotham for such a thing, the thing that left me MOST impressed was the speed and thoroughness of the clean up. 2 hours after it was over, you’d have never guessed the parade had happened at all.
- 1930: Supreme Court Justice John Force Crater disappears in NYC. Doubtless he is somewhere enjoying a cool drink with Lord Lucan.
Obviously, New York City history doesn’t stop in 1930s but you get the idea … more to follow.
And a happy birthday month to several New Yorkers who also gave us some of the quintessential portrayals of New Yorkers
- Aug 29, 1917: Isabel Sanford who played Louise “Weezy” Jefferson in both The Jeffersons and All in the Family.
- Aug 15, 1923: Rose Marie who played Sally Rogers in The Dick Van Dyke Show. The bow. I loved the bow.
- Aug 2, 1924: Carroll O’Connor known to generations as Archie Bunker in All in the Family
- Aug 17, 1943: Robert De Niro, who gave us so MANY fantastic New York characters but Taxi Driver? Come on!
- Aug 9, 1944: Smokey the Bear. Yes, that’s right. Smokey the Bear. And yes, he is a New Yorkers. He was named after NYC fireman Smokey Joe Martin
Tags: historical gotham
by Deborah on July 1st, 2013 · No Comments ·
I was back for a quick visit to the old stomping grounds this weekend – UES, UWS specifically – I note a few things that have not changed (some for the good and some for the not so good)
A year later and the massive sheds on 72nd Street and 2nd Avenue have not moved so I presume they have not gotten to the point where they are working on the next section. Seeing as they had been there almost a year when I left 18 months ago, this seems oddly slow even for them. I don’t know what the latest MTA estimate is on completion of the 2nd Avenue subway but whatever it is, the are wrong and it will take three times longer. I don’t know if you all realize just how long (on and off) this subway line has been in the works? Since just after World War 1. Yes, that’s right. JAPAN was rebuilt after WWII faster than this. Rome wasn’t built in a day but I’ll tell you what – it was built faster than the Second Avenue Subway.
- the mouth-watering perfection of the spareribs at Nancy Lee’s Pig Heaven. I would fly across the ocean for these any time.
- the classic New York diner/coffee shop experience at Viand on Madison though they have a new lovely treat served with breakfast. A delicious, very fresh strawberry spread.
- the quality of breakfast at Pershing Square across from Grand Central Terminal remains top notch and you can’t beat the convenience if you’re coming in to town or out. New to me however was the Iced Mocha Frappe
Tags: life gotham-style
by Deborah on June 19th, 2013 · 1 Comment ·
First – the back garden: The edges in back garden a bit clearer now. Is it perfect? No. But it is tidy & I can sit out & enjoy it without thinking, “oh, I should …” I am willfully ignoring the front (easy to do since I rarely if ever use the front door) until such time as we can acquire some shrubs to replace the weird, half dead bank of lavender put in by the previous owners. I weed it to keep the place from looking abandoned and the lawn is mowed regularly but actual landscaping? It’s gonna wait.
The Beyond? Well, isn’t it funny? The UK and Europe used to be the “beyond” but now, going back to Gotham (even London on occasion) has become “beyond – as in Beyond Banbury. That may (and probably should) trigger a re-branding of the blog. I shall think about it. But yes, I’m headed back to Gotham and all points tri-state for a visit next week. Here’s hoping the weather is good ’cause I have a Manhattan rooftop cookout to attend.
And now, two public service announcements of a ‘beyond’ nature
1) It is June 19th and that means it is MARTINI DAY! I have expounded on the strong views held on the subject beyond the confines of this blog but Martini Day is big enough for many blogs! Cheers!
2) In case any of you Stateside are planning a bit of London-type beyond yourself and were thinking about some kitschy, touristy fun – it entirely possible that you came across mention of The London Dungeon. Having just returned there for the first time MANY years, I have some thoughts to share on the subject. It has DEFINITELY evolved from those early, early days as a museum of the macabre. Sad to say the floating holographic heads of Henry VIII’s wives are no more. It’s now part water and fair ground ride, part comedy show, part haunted-house. It has moments of real interest (the hall of mirrors was AWESOME) but too many long walks along darkened corridors with nothing but dark to recommend them and waiting around. Oh and if you have ANY sensitivity to odor, smells or incense? DO NOT GO. I am not overly sensitive to these things and even I was about the claw my way through the walls to get to the fresh air.
Finally, I found this beyond funny. Transatlantic Towers is home to Miss Thing, a white feline of style, grace and boundless cute. The other day, it occurred to me that a) I had not seen her in a while and b) that despite it being June, it was a bit chilly and I wanted a jacket or hoodie as the evening set in. I found Miss Thing. And the jacket I wanted. That’s where the trouble started.
Miss Thing: You cannot see me
Me: OK, that’s fine but I need my jacket
Miss Thing: You cannot see me
Me: Yes, yes – fine! But I see the jacket.
Tags: And beyond · Banbury
by Deborah on June 5th, 2013 · 2 Comments ·
Big doings in Banbury this weekend – it’s the Banbury & District Show in Spiceball Park. Never been and don’t quite know what to expect but as a new(ish)resident, I feel I ought to go and check it out. Meanwhile, back in Gotham this weekend is the 11th edition of the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. Now that I’ve been to (quite a few times) and I can highly recommend going if you are a BBQ fan (as I am). It’s in Madison Square Park (yes, the one with Shake Shack – BONUS) Sat Jun 8 – Sun Jun 9
Also happening this weekend – the Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival (hosted by the Museum at Eldridge Street which is housed in the former Eldridge Street Synagogue). The Festival, a colorful block party, is “a cross-cultural celebration of the Jewish and Chinese communities of our Lower East Side/Chinatown neighborhood.”
Later in the month – grab your inner Gatsby and get out to Governors Island for the next Jazz Age Lawn Party (June 15-16). I’m a fan of the music and era (not the recent movie, it must be said but then I am clearly not alone as almost any of the reviews reveal). And of course, I adore Governors Island. It’s one of the best things about summer in New York City – one my favorite quick “still in the city but get out of the city” day trips and one I made (and make) whenever the chance presents itself. Even the ferry terminal is gorgeous.
Gov Island Ferry Terminal (Manhattan water side)
Gov Island Ferry Terminal (interior water side)
View of Manhattan from the Ferry heading to Gov Island
Towards the end of the month (June 22), head towards the water again but this time to Coney Island for the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
So, there’s no excuse for sitting around the house. Lots going on. I’ll report in from the Banbury Show next week but I want a FULL report on the BBQ and egg creams from folks on the other side. Deal?
Tags: And beyond · Banbury · entertainments and events · free · life gotham-style · NYC Summer Fun