even after sandy.

photos are from the nytimes.

new york city is lively today - even after sandy... the hurricane. i feel so lucky that ben + i live uptown - where there was no flooding and few power outages... and we are on higher ground.

lower manhattan, parts of brooklyn and queens which are on the coast, new jersey... and numerous other places (especially those directly at sea level) saw so much damage from the storm. flooding, power out, trees falling, houses ruined, et cetera.

it's amazing that there was very little rain but because of the water swells - the flooding came.

ben and i were home from sunday afternoon to tuesday afternoon. i worked from home and ben's classes were cancelled. today i am back at work and ben's at home until classes resume probably tomorrow. this morning i took a bus to work - thank heavens the buses are running now. some very limited subways should be back tomorrow... but full service won't be back for weeks, maybe even months (i will never take advantage of the subway again...).
the subway has never had to shut down like this before... not in its 108 year history. 

i feel so emotional about the whole thing.
especially for those lost so much, for those who work an hourly wage and are unable to get to work, for those commuting from one borough to the other and can't, for those who lost loved ones and homes. please keep these people in your hearts. and if you pray, please pray for them.

you can donate to the red cross here.


my fancy brother

my brother, brandon and his wife, edee came to nyc over the weekend to have a romantic time. and to eat and hang out.

free moma friday.
ate at the modern - the restaurant at the moma. it's like a food extravaganza - everything brandon tasted was "stupid good." apparently, that is like really good.

we  had an early night because in the morning, edee and i did a crazy thing and waited in line to get tickets to a show. we ate cambodian sandwiches in bryant park (i love those sandwiches). saw our matinee. hung at a fancy hotel. ate a really derricious indian meal in tribeca (i need to spend more time in tribeca).
we walked from tribeca up to chelsea (just a couple miles) to the upright citizens brigade comedy club - it's all improv and it's the place that amy poehler started. it was fun. improv is so impressive. i want to gooo back.

we also saw the world trade center memorial (my 3rd time) and visited lincoln center - because it's awesome and because ben had a school thing for family (me). and then we said goodbye. and it was sad. and i cried. actually i didn't. but i felt like crying.

playing in the city is best with the people that i love most.

p.s. my brother is fancy. so i tried to say that as many times as i could when he was here. 


acadia national park.

i am convinced acadia national park in maine is probably gorgeous all year long - but i am so happy we were able to see it in autumn given the amount of trees with changing leaves and the unpredictable weather.
we got a rainy, misty, foggy romantic day and a sunny, shiny, lovely bright day.

acadia is on mount desert island on the coast of maine, has the tallest "mountain" (cadillac mountain) on the atlantic seaboard and has the most beautiful jagged cliffs and trees for days. even the two of us, having grown up in the land of national parks (utah/wyoming/idaho/california area) - we were highly impressed with acadia. such a gem. such a unique part of the east coast and the united states.

some highlights:
mount desert island is tiny - so we got places quickly.
we ate at the jordan pound house (the only place to eat in the park) for lunch and it was so quaint and they had tea + popovers - popovers are like hollow bread/roll/muffin things. really fun and yummy.
we loved all the stops throughout the park - schooner head trail, otter cliff.
the hike around jordan pond, 3+ miles is so gorgeous, part of which is elevated on a narrow boardwalk. but the hike itself isn't hard just beautiful.
we were lucky with great weather (not cold).
i loved all the buoys in the water and being on the coast.

we want to go back. many times.


mainely bar harbor + portland

portland head light. so maine. so pretty.

we spent the weekend in maine. thank you jetblue fare sale. thank you thank you. on friday afternoon we flew to portland, rented a car, ate lobster and maybe some ice cream and then drove the coastal route to bar harbor.

i loved both these towns mostly because they are so typically what i thought maine would be. quiet. small. little shops. lobster at every restaurant. and nice people. say what?! really. nice. people.

i want to go back to maine again and again. mostly in the fall, though. maybe the summer too.

highlights include:
guy who brought his own hot sauce to breakfast
ben and the devil alarm clock (the alarm clock went off early saturday morning in our hotel room to really loud static on the radio - so ben showed that clock who was boss)
the portland jetport (not airport)
we asked if there was an upgrade for our rental car and the guy said we had already been upgraded, twice
we dragged main. in maine.
the lobster statue outside an ice cream place.
ice cream.
the piano player at the bar harbor inn - pretty music
cool bridge on the drive (pictured above)
it was awesome having a car! a car! to put your stuff in! cool!
one place we ate was closing for the season so we got everything 50% off. yes please.
most people who work at seasonal places have a 2nd job
i was playing with my whole lobster at dinner and embarrassing ben
all the houses along the water... how could you get sick of living there?

where we ate:
-fisherman's grill (HUGE lobster rolls, nice people)
-beal's ice cream (black raspberry ice cream, also has cheap lobster rolls)
-maple's gelato (really creamy and good, but actually in yarmouth)
bar harbor
-bar harbor inn (lobster bisque, we were in the lounge)
-ben and bill's ice cream (lobster ice cream. oh yes, it's true. sounds gross but everyone has to try it once. it's like a buttery ice cream with bits of lobster in it!)
-cafe this way (blueberry pancakes, tea, eggs benedict with lobster - amazing food)
-west street cafe (whole lobsters and blueberry pie)
-mount desert island ice cream (awesome flavors, seasonal stuff, lots of options)
-jordan's (blueberry pancakes. oh yesss)
on the road
-chez michel (50% off...yes!)

i guess we ate a lot.


the garden.

my community garden.

i think i've concluded that i am much more in love with the idea of a community garden than the actual reality of a community garden. i mean, don't get me wrong. it's great. it's such a little haven the garden where we have a little plot uptown. but it's also complicated.

at first, i was super excited and nervous and wasn't sure how or what to plant. and i would go to the community meetings and spend weekend mornings weeding and trying to make the plot happy. but then
i realized, it's hard to keep a garden - when it's in your backyard, let alone down the street behind a locked gate. time. i don't have a lot of it. and we don't have a direct water source - only rain barrels so during the heat waves... well the cucumbers died.

not to mention there has been all kinds of drama with our garden because it's half owned by the city, half owned by someone else now. so for about half of the summer, the garden was unlocked (after the previous locks had been broken by someone) because of the complication of ownership.
and then someone(s) was living in the garden... adding other details i'd rather not get into.

let's just say, my community garden experience has been less than ideal and i may prefer a csa share in order to support local, organic produce over trying to grow my own.

i think if you don't have to worry about certain above dramas, i recommend becoming part of a community garden. it's not all bad, i swear. just had to get it off my chest.


columbus with a macaroon

love grows in harlem // metropolitan opera
happy lady // pop up farmers market
spontaneous date // hand knit slippers 

i can't say it enough... but i love this city of new york. especially in the fall. for some reason it just seems calmer and more welcoming. probably because there are less tourists and the heat isn't getting to me.

we went and saw the rad columbus statue art installation at columbus circle. tatzu nishi created an entire living room around the high statue of columbus. really awesome. and then maybe we got a large caramel macaroon to share at bouchon bakery. so. good.

we were lucky enough to be gifted tickets to the metropolitan opera.we saw turandot (which turns out we saw in dc at the kennedy center, also gifted tickets). let me tell you, i never thought i'd love opera - more like, i thought i'd love to make fun of it. but it's so beautiful and powerful and the met is enormous and the set - incredible. so incredible that one of the two intermissions was 50 minutes long - so the set could be changed entirely. i love opera.

the shows we've seen lately:
annie - it's back! the felt like the cast was so perfect for their roles. and such a difficult show to pull off - with lots of children and a dog! leaping lizards. you have to go see it. in fact, i'll go see it with you.
grace - a play about an overzealous christian pushing his beliefs on others and how his world and the others around him completely change. oh, and paul rudd is in it.
if there is i haven't found it yet - i still can't decide if this play is on or off broadway... no matter, it's all about serious issues many of us face - bullying, marriage struggles, body image, self confidence. all of it. not to mention jake gyllenhall did a great job as a british washed up uncle. ha.

after ben's baseball team lost to another baseball team on friday, we had a spontaneous s'mac date, the kind where you go order s'mac, wait for about 40 minutes because the kitchen is small and understaffed. and then i showed ben a dress that i've been wanting for a while and it's on sale! so then ben let me buy it right there on my phone. because he's the nicest guy i know.

we joined a csa - community supported agriculture. where you pay for a share and a local farmer provides veggies and fruits once a week. i like it so far, it's made us more adventurous with our cooking - like using poblano peppers, purple carrots and mustard greens.
i have words to say about the community garden we are a part of. more on that, later.

there are a few farmers markets in harlem but a pop up farmers market came last week - in the prettiest little spot in harlem. there was live jazz, local restaurants selling little bits of food and of course, food from local farmers. i hope it stays.


just a hop down to north carolina to meet our nephew

i love holding new babies. they are so sweet. and sleepy. and poopy.

at the end of september, we spent the weekend in north carolina - durham to meet our new nephew. ben's brother and wife had this cute little guy in august.

teddy. well, theodore. but we (everyone) just call him teddy. he's one of those babies that doesn't cry so much and is pretty mellow. and then i think, i could do this.

that thought lasts for about a second. and for that reason, i collect nieces and nephews. i'm up to 12 now. proudest aunt there is. i love buying tiny clothes for them. 

p.s. you love that grey sweater teddy has? ben's sister knit it. the whole thing. i want one (hint hint, katie).


sunlight is like gold

autumn always makes me feel a certain way

- when i was in school, it was so exciting to be starting new again and to begin another academic journey. and now that i'm not in school, i feel nostalgic for crisp walks to school, layering and trips to starbucks for tea to "get me through class." (at least ben is in school so i can live vicariously.)

this year feels different somehow. like - that i am now a real live adult. or something.

i've been thinking a lot about relationships, about being spiritual/mormon/believing in God and i've been feeling full of love for family and friends.

sometimes, although i feel full of love for my husband, family and friends - i feel helpless and i wish so much that i can somehow be the person that can say all the right things in times of trial. or do the right things. (and then i struggle with the notion that maybe that's inherently selfish - that i could be the one to solve everyone's problems, ha.)
i wish that somehow all people, not just the good ones or the people i love - wouldn't have to suffer. wouldn't have to go through things that i can't even bare to even think of that would be so trying and so emotionally and physically taxing. and such a struggle to even recover from.

for some reason, now that i am sitting down to write this post - i am not as eloquent as i would have liked. the end.