September-Gram

Hello all! Where did this month go?! I truly cannot believe I will be turning the pages of my calendar to October tomorrow.  After next weekend, my busy, on-the-road-every-weekend social calendars slows a but (at least for a couple weeks), so I hope to be able to share more recipes and fun fall DIYs with you all.  For now, let me catch you up on our comings and goings this past month:

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The first glimpses of fall while on a walk in South Mountain Reservation near my in-law’s home in NJ / NYC by sunset in my side-view mirror on a drive home to Queens one Sunday evening / Election season brought a hopeful candidate who decorated our block with balloons *swoon*

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After letting the entire summer slip by, we finally ate at Jackson Diner / Post-wedding brunch necessary: an epic bloody mary bar at Bond Street Social

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Josh and I “celebrated” 7 years since our first meeting / we traveled to Baltimore to watch two dear friends get married, and enjoyed the ambience including a giant pink poodle at the American Visionary Art Museum / Dimona got cozy with three Suss-men while watching football / my MIL and I enjoyed some glowing animal ears at my cousin Jonah’s bar-mitzvah

I hope you all had a beautiful September.  Looking forward to seeing you more next month and as we enter the holiday season! xo

(*all photos mine via Instagram)

BBQ Brunch

Hello every lovely body! I hope you all had a nice weekend!  Josh and I are in recovery mode after returning from a long weekend in VT with friends.  This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill get together, but a 5 year college graduation reunion that pretty much knocked the life out of me. (See: “The Art of Drinking like You’re Still 21“; See also: “You’re Too Old for This“). Pain and suffering aside, we had a blast, and it was so wonderful to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in years.

Onto today’s post.  If you live in the NYC area and haven’t yet been to The Strand Smokehouse in Astoria, you are seriously missing out.  Josh and I had gone during the wintertime, not long after it first opened, and we had a mixed experience.  While the food and beverages were amazing, and the company – we went with two dear friends – was great, it was overly packed and suffered from a few organizational snags:  they had run out of many of the key menu items early in the evening, the CC machine was down so we had to run out for cash unexpectedly, seating was very limited so we had to squeeze all four of us on the end of a bench, etc.  However, the mouth watering slow-cooked meat, good beer selection, fun blue grass band, vintage whiskey barrels, homemade hot sauces, and overall ambience brought us back.

We thought we were going to catch an early dinner/late lunch, but when we went by past 3 pm on Sunday they were still serving brunch.  Trying not to be too disappointed that we wouldn’t have meat piled on platters in fornt of us, served in quantities by weight (as was done at dinner), we were actually quite pleasantly surprised with the brunch menu options.  Since we both were looking for a bit more of a midday meal rather than eggs, we opted for the BBQ chicken and biscuits (Josh), and the Pork Belly BLT (Me). However, I got a good glimpse of our neighbors’ chicken and waffle dish (featuring a delicious looking half chicken) and another dish with some drool worthy biscuits, gravy and eggs combo.  Let’s just say we’ll be back shortly for another round of brunch with an appetite for breakfast food!

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Are you as big of a bbq fan as we are? Add The Strand to your list of places to dine!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your week, xo.

Socrates Sculpture Park

To set the tone: we awoke to a gorgeous Sunday morning.  We spent a brief moment lamenting the fact  that we no longer lived half a block from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, where getting outside was just oh so easy.  While Jackson Heights boasts a lot of green space available in the form of private yards, we have yet to find a really great park in our immediate vicinity.

However, all it took was a quick Google search and we were drowning in parks located in our new fabulous borough. As we were about to head to Queensbridge Park, I somehow landed upon the website for Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria. As a brief “about the park”, the location is right on the waterfront where the Harlem and the East River meet.  In fact, due to a large number of ship wrecks in this small waterway during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch settlers named it “Hellegat” or “Hell Gate” in English.

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This abandoned marine terminal fell into disrepair and became an illegal dumping ground until 1985 when a coalition of artists took over the space.  “Socrates” was chosen as an ode to the philosopher but also in homage to the largest Greek population living in Astoria.

Josh and I had a fabulous day seeing the various sculptures, taking in the view, playing cards, and relaxing on our blanket in the shade.  This small, funky park is a definite recommend to all you locals and tourists alike.

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Have a lovely day! xo

It Must Have Been the Roses

Everyday I feel more and more fortunate that Josh and I landed in Jackson Heights.  The beginning of June brought a burst of some of the most gorgeous roses I have seen – and they are absolutely everywhere! Enjoy!

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I dont know, it must have been the roses,
The roses or the ribbons in her long brown hair.
I dont know, maybe it was the roses,
All I know I could not leave her there.
– The Grateful Dead

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Another month has flown by and I am seriously bummed that I didn’t make the time in my schedule to come here more often and share my comings and goings with all of you.  I don’t want to fall into the habit of relying on another social media platform – Instagram – to fill my blog content.  But alas, for this past month filled with moving, weddings, concerts, crazy weather, and everything in between, here are a few pictures to fill you in on everything I should have been blogging about!
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  • If you haven’t been to Jackson Heights, Queens, you really should.  Falling in love with the sights and sounds of our new neighborhood…
  • My happy girl, in our her new bed, in her new apartment
  • The Great Googa Mooga festival was unfortunately rained out on Sunday, but we had an amazing time Friday night seeing the Flaming Lips and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with friends, family, and a lot of good food!
  • When the rain cancelled the Googa Mooga festivities, we opted for a Sunday brunch scene at Woodland in Park Slope, BK.  Bloody Mary complete with salted rim featured here.
  • Easy weeknight panini recipe:  Sliced apple, caramelized red onion, sharp cheddar, bacon, kosher sandwich pickles, honey dijon mustard on rye bread.
  • Josh and Dimona enjoying a sunny Sunday on MDW
  • A quick “selfie” we took, waiting for the subway, at our new stop – 90th St/Elmhurst Ave on the 7 train. Think we like wayfarer sunglasses much?
  • Snapshots of 5 Pointz, an amazing haven of graffiti in the city
  • Manhattan skyline showcasing the city swelter of this past week’s 90˚F+ days

Welcome June!