Posts Categorized: Life in New York

Jun 07 2012
3

Bill’s Crumpets #blogjune

By now you all know how much home baking we do – as much as possible in our little apartment kitchen! We haven’t bought store bread since February and with that, a few weeks ago Bill set about to make our own homemade crumpets! Crumpets are hard to come by here. When we lived in Chelsea, the local Garden of Eden would sometimes have them in stock and otherwise you can get them in some speciality grocery stores. Now that we know how easy they are to make, we will stick with the Bill recipe.

Here they are being cooked – Bill used special English Muffin rings to keep their shape.

Bill's Crumpets

And here they are nearly finished… with a bad photo.

Bill's Crumpets

I thought I took a photo of the end ‘end’ result but I must have forgotten.. but trust me.. they were beautiful!!

We made a stack and froze them in a large ziplock bag. Bill cuts squares of parchment paper so they don’t stick together in the freezer. They defrosted and toasted perfectly!

Now that we’ve had home made crumpets, I am converted! If you are a fan, you should definitely try making your own!

Jun 06 2012
3

Cruising with the Space Shuttle Enterprise #blogjune

We see some amazing things from the Library.

Back in February we were working away when we heard a horn play New York, New York. We ran to the windows and could see a beautiful cruise ship sailing up the Hudson. It was the inaugural Disney Cruise arriving in the city with much fanfare. They also played When You Wish Upon A Star – it was just beautiful! You can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise

Disney Cruise

Anyway today, we didn’t have a cruise ship. We had the Space Shuttle Enterprise floating up the Hudson River to its new home at the Intrepid. It was quite a bit of a novelty to be able to say you saw a Space Shuttle going past your workplace!

Shuttle Enterprise

Shuttle Enterprise

Jun 03 2012
0

Boo to the BBC #blogjune

The Queen’s Jubilee has been something I have been excited about for months. For the river pageant, I made sure our calendar was absolutely clear. Because of the time difference, we could get up and enjoy the pageant on Sunday morning.

So naturally, I was so excited I was up at about 6am. I had plans to basically be on the couch with a great front row seat along the Thames. BBC America finally decided to do away with the eight hours of Top Gear they show a day and dedicate the next few days to the Jubilee. I was excited because we were getting the actual BBC broadcast – not a special one made for America.

For the first couple of hours of the broadcast, we meandered along while listening to many dull interviews waiting for the Royal arrival. But once the Pageant started, the broadcast didn’t improve in the slightest. We learnt hardly anything about what was happening, the shots were awful (this was baffling because even on the most overcast day of weather in London, you cannot get a shot of the Thames and Westminster wrong), one minute there was a interview with some person in the crowd in a Union Jack tie and then we would be cut straight to the Royal barge and then off to speak to someone at some twee-hipster tea party. It was truly awful and amateurish and as the weather got worse, so did the broadcast. It was brutally dumbed down and really did not offer the viewer at home anything more than watching some row boats going along a river in miserable weather with random shots of Her Majesty thrown in. Then, they basically ran out of things to say. This shone a light on lack of research by those who were hosting the segments and just a real lack of understanding of how to portray such an event to us at home.

To say it was disappointing would be an understatement but it was good to know I was not alone in my thoughts on the BBC broadcast. Almost immediately, other viewers were letting their feelings be know on Twitter and the next day, many newspapers also reported on the dismal nature of the BBC broadcast. I was thankful that would still be able to watch the many documentaries that would be shown as well as the Jubilee concert and Thanksgiving service but from the BBC, the Queen deserved better.

Jun 02 2012
0

2012 Lebanese Food Festival #blogjune

Yesterday we went along to the Lebanese Food Festival for the restoration of Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral – for the third year in the row!

Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as hot and humid as the other years so straight after Mass we headed down to Remsen Street to join in the festivities. The cathedral is beautiful and this event is always so successful – I hope they are getting close to their fundraising goal for renovations.

My photos are very much like the previous years… but it is such a great event, I had to share it again! It reminds me of home. 🙂

People enjoying the afternoon festivities –

Lebanese Food Festival

Dancing and games –

Lebanese Food Festival

The grill –

Lebanese Food Festival

The Lebanese Pizzas were very popular!

Lebanese Food Festival

The menu –

Lebanese Food Festival

Our dinner –

Lebanese Food Festival

Lebanese Food Festival

Lebanese Food Festival

The desserts tent –

Lebanese Food Festival

Getting there for an early dinner meant no wait for a seat!

Lebanese Food Festival

Dessert!

Lebanese Food Festival

Food tents –

Lebanese Food Festival

Lebanese Food Festival 2011
Lebanese Food Festival 2010

Jun 01 2012
3

Memorial Day Weekend 2012 #blogjune

Brooklyn Borough Hall

This Memorial Day weekend was just fabulous. Humid, but fabulous! The photo above is our Brooklyn Borough Hall all decorated for the day!

The weekend got off to a great start on Saturday morning by Collingwood winning against Adelaide. This is how we listened to the end of the game –

Our BMW

We picked up our Zipcar (a gorgeous BMW that was just beautiful!) and hit the road.

Our BMW

The traffic was not bad at all and we made it Upstate in great time. It seems traffic to or from Albany works in two ways – super fast or super slow.

We went to vigil Mass at Holy Spirit in the afternoon and then later that night, Bill was going out to dinner with the guys and to check out The Avengers at the Cinemaplex at Colonie. This was his third time seeing it in three weeks. Locations of viewing – London, Brooklyn and Albany!

I caught up with Colette for dinner at the Cracker Barrell and then she introduced me to the yummiest soft serve at one of East Greenbush’s most happening places on a Saturday night – Lickity Split!

Lickity Split

I had never seen so many varieties of ice-cream in one place – Froyo, Soft Serve (in stacks of flavours), sundaes, little cups, super cones – it was ice-cream heaven and a really nice place to hang out on a warm night.

Lickity Split

I had an amazing sleep in until sometime after 9 and before we knew it Sunday morning was in full swing. This was the view from our room at the Fairfield Inn. We never get sick of this place. We stay there so much and it is always dependable.

View from the Fairfield Inn

We spent all day at the Family Homestead spending quality time with Bill’s mom and dad. Bill made us French Toast for breakfast and then I got a head start on going through my recent findings with the genealogy research I have been doing. Bill was busy preparing lunch for us all. Everyone gets together EVERY Sunday for lunch without fail and over the past couple of years we have been doing cooking throwdown challenges. This time the choice was pizza and Bill was going against niece Rebecca. Bill decided to make a deep dish Chicago style pie while Rebecca did a whole wheat crust with chicken and bacon. Bill won and he was SO happy about it! Here is a photo Rebecca posted to Twitter with her face being all sad and Bill’s jubliation. Yes, we have a champion cup and everything.

We then went off to do some shopping before it was time to head over to the Johnson’s for a bonfire. I have never been to a bonfire and had never had S’mores before so this was very exciting for me!

Check out the sunset from their backyard. It is like this every night!

Our Bonfire

Here was the bonfire just getting started –

Our Bonfire

It started to take hold –

Our Bonfire

Then it got so huge none of us could stand the heat by sitting so close to the flame!

Our Bonfire

Then it started to settle down and feel less like an inferno –

Our Bonfire

This was Bill’s first attempt at getting my mashmallows toasted… the fire was still too active!

Our Bonfire

Here we are assembling our S’mores – they are awesome! The gooey marshmallow, solid chocolate and almost savoury graham crackers mesh so well together. Oh they were SO yummy!

Our Bonfire

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture!

Our Bonfire

A funny thing happened during the bonfire – we managed to get a good wifi signal so we were able to FaceTime mum and dad back in Melbourne while we were sitting outside. It was such a treat!!

We didn’t get back to the Fairfield Inn until way after midnight and we had to be up super early on Monday to check out and get back to the Johnson’s for the Memorial Day parade in Castleton.

This was how the bonfire looked 14 hours after it was ablaze –

Untitled

We got a great postion out the front of the Elementary school and near where the judging panel sits so we got a great view of each of the groups participating. Getting there early was the key!

The parade is a big deal. Here is one of the local policeman directing traffic –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

View from our spot –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The early birds –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

This miniature collie was TOO CUTE. I need one now!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Here I am… one more Memorial Day to go and then I’ll be Citizen Jenelle Blevins. I cannot wait!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Everything is so green.. and how cute is the Castleton Elementary school? LOVE!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Rebecca and Emily were on awesome niece duty and bought everyone iced coffees and muffins!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The patriotic couple with Bill wearing his Aussie bush hat that we happened to get at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. We finally found one that fits!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The parade started and here are the veterans!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Kids decorate their bikes –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The girl guides were adorable!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The volunteer fire brigade –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The preschoolers –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The local Republicans –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The local Democrats –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The Friends of the Library didn’t let anyone down – check out their amazing float!

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The school band –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Float from one of the locals –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

The boy scouts being awesome –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

Here is an original, fully restored ambulance –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

This one said it all – SOME GAVE ALL –

Memorial Day Parade, Castleton-On-Hudson

I have a lot more photos over on my Flickr account. It was a wonderful morning and it was a beautiful display of community spirit.

Pauline and Rob then had another big BBQ lunch at their place so we managed to get to spend more time with everyone. We decided to leave Albany at 8pm to try and avoid the usual traffic and this worked a treat as we were back in Brooklyn by 11.30!

Even though we left late, it did not dampen my enthusiasm for visiting the New Baltimore Thruway plaza for some drinks… here is a beautifully retro looking Roy Rogers –

New Baltimore Thruway Plaza

The New York State tourist information booth was closed –

New Baltimore Thruway Plaza

This was one Memorial Day weekend that was so jam packed but it was full of great memories and catching up with everyone… I wish every weekend could be like that one!

Sadly, our other tradition of watching he PBS Memorial Day Concert from Washington didn’t eventuate as it was cancelled not long after it started due to bad weather. So we watched what we could. That is one Memorial Day event I would love to go to… but then it would mean missing out on everything I have just posted about!

Looking back –
Memorial Day 2011
Memorial Day 2010

May 14 2012
0

America’s Got Talent

Are you watching? We are!

We’ve never watched it before but we are this season. For one reason, Howard Stern is a judge. Hooray!

Ordering chinese for dinner and watching AGT is us trying to cope with Post Vacation Depression.

Then I remembered, we were just watching the finale of Britain’s Got Talent while we were in London… and it starts again.

I hope to start up a series of posts about Europe tomorrow! We have clean clothes and Bill picked up our duffel bag of mail from the post office this afternoon so things are kind of getting back to normal but I won’t like, being on the bus and going to work at 7.10 this morning was way harsh.

Apr 19 2012
2

Dick Clark

I always remember randomly reading about Dick Clark when I was younger and not knowing much about him. When I moved over here and saw parts of Rockin’ New Years Eve I couldn’t understand how he was still hosting it with his difficulties since having a stroke. I am so glad I watched some his broadcast this past New Years Eve. What an amazing spirit!

I remember first hearing the term ‘Bandstand’ by watching Grease – of course with that, I thought Vince Fontaine hosted Bandstand… not Dick Clark! To know of the influence he has had on so many people over his career is truly remarkable. For me though, the main ‘American voice’ I remember listening to growing up was Casey Kasem and Shadoe Stevens when I would listen to American Top 40 every Sunday night. I would just wait on edge for them to say “Broadcast in Australia on Fox FM…” I only wish we got to experience Bandstand as well!

Anyway, here are some random clips from Bandstand.. they should bring it back! What a great contribution to American entertainment.

Dick Clark interviewing the Little River Band!

The Mamas and the Papas –

Can you believe it? Real Life was on Bandstand!

ABBA –

Apr 18 2012
1

Yankees Vs Twins

Just a quick recap from our fab night at Yankee Stadium last night as other stuff happened besides scoring a baseball! This was my frist time at the new Yankee home though Bill had been before. I love watching sports live, in a stadium. This is just total Collingwood influence – I just can’t watch sports on TV. I love the sights, smell and noise. I love to watch the game without commentary and camera angles. The only benefit of watching baseball at home is you don’t have to watch for baseballs flying at your head at a million miles an hour!

In the lead up the only thing that I kept thinking of when I heard the Minnesota Twins was Beverly Hills 90210. No-one can ever forget Emily Valentine and her creepy infatuation with Brandon’s prized Twins jersey.

Anyway… back to the game! We were so excited we actually got there before the gates open. Total nerds. Bill was super excited –

Yankees vs Twins

The stadium has that amazing new feeling.. still!

Yankees vs Twins

The 161st Street Station is right at the entrance.

Yankees vs Twins

Big screens to catch the action IN the breezeways.. and yes.. a Hard Rock Cafe!

Yankees vs Twins

The concession stands were awesome. SO much variety. I could have eaten ten Nathans Corn Dogs.

Yankees vs Twins

We ran straight to Memorial Park. This is right near the bleacher section and closes before the game. It is amazing to have something like this basically in the stands. The memorial to George Steinbrenner is beautiful –

Yankees Vs Twins

Yankees Vs Twins

There is even a plaque commemorating Pope Benedict’s last Mass at Yankee Stadium… and there are also two others for previous Papal Masses.

Yankees vs Twins

One of the best things I have ever eaten. This delicacy is simply called Fried Dough.

Yankees Vs Twins

Our seats were SO fantastic. They were super comfy and have all been designed with a slight turn so you are at a natural angle to view the game.

Yankees Vs Twins

To make the seats even better. We had waited service! You just hold up this menu and they come and take your order!

Yankees Vs Twins

The order is all entered into a device and you pay at your seat –

Yankees vs Twins

Then.. your stuff arrives!

Yankees vs Twins

I always feel sorry for the food guys carrying all the stuff on their heads. It is amazing how fast they move around the stands!

Yankees vs Twins

Can you believe how big the screen is? And the picture is so clear!

Yankees vs Twins

The game in action –

Yankees vs Twins

View from up in the breezeway area –

Yankees vs Twins

Downside? Snooki’s boyfriend was right near us. He kept making a spectacle of himself so people knew he was there. Ugh!

Yankees vs Twins

Another view of the breezeway. This reminded me of Telstra Dome –

Yankees vs Twins

It was an eventful night with the Twins manager being ejected for arguing (“YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!!“) and then we got a semi-streaker running out onto the field. We left before the end or we wouldn’t have got home until midnight. The Yankees went on to win.. so everyone was happy! The train ride home was the most entertaining since I’ve lived here. We had a preacher preaching loudly to us in front of a priest, a guy arguing back to the preacher, then a beggar get on and try to outsmart the preacher and then another beggar hopped on with only one arm and proceeded to shake money loudly in two cups for the rest of the way. He ultimately annoyed a girl sitting near the end of the carriage by looking down her top so she started to film him. All this was going on, underground, late at night with a whole lot of people who didn’t know each other just shaking their heads and laughing. Only in New York.

Apr 17 2012
1

Catch!

Tonight we are at the Yankees Vs Minnesota Twins game. I can feel the spirit of Brandon Walsh right here! Anyway, look what we got from one of the Twins players! Score!!

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