Monday, June 30, 2014

Sugar Sculptures at Brooklyn's Old Domino Sugar Factory

Most of our time in New York was spent visiting old favorites, but we managed to squeeze in a few new things, too. One of these was an art exhibit, Kara Walker's "A Subtlety."

Located in the former Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the exhibit is "anHomage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes ...," as the title explains here.

The building was dark and dank, and the exhibit included several slightly larger-than-life sculptures along with the main attraction: a giant, sugar-covered Sphinx. Curbed had a nice article about the installation, stating that Domino donated the 80 tons of sugar the artist used.

The entire installation was enveloped in a sickly sweet smell that really was nearly too much to handle. But overall it was an interesting exhibit, and well worth the long line if only to see the factory building before it is demolished.

"A Subtlety" has limited hours through July 6.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Home" Again in New York

Central Park

Visiting New York after moving away 11 months ago was like putting on an old shoe. Comfy. It fit just right.

Tears welled up when I caught my first glimpse of the skyline, driving into the city. I didn't expect that. I did, however, expect the tight throat and bleary eyes that regularly resulted whenever I did something ultra familiar -- like walking down 5th Avenue near our old apartment.

Getting on the subway again felt like no time had passed. Stopping by Little Cupcake for a slice of Brooklyn Blackout cake: ditto. I still remembered how to get from Point A to Point B -- and if I had to look at a map, it was no more often than I had to a year ago. I was pretty proud of that.

But some things were harder. Traipsing around with a toddler was tough. I wonder if it would have been easier had we lived there this entire time -- maybe Edith would be used to the long subway rides that frustrated her, or she at least would have been on a more regular schedule (that pretty much disappeared as soon as vacation started).

And New York also reminded me of her worst side: the summer heat. With temperatures reaching the 90s for part of the week, it was easy to see what drives people away from the city.

Overall it was an excellent trip. The proof: I kept asking Paul if he was sure he didn't want to move back. No dice. I wish I was still there, but it's nice to be in our comfortable home once again.

Off and on throughout the next several weeks, I'll be highlighting specific events, trips and photos on this blog. I hope you enjoy them even a fraction of the amount that I did.

View from Roosevelt Island

Lower Manhattan from Shore Road Promenade

Riding the Staten Island Ferry

At Madison Square Park

Monday, June 23, 2014

Vacation in New York City

As we were preparing to leave for a week's vacation in New York two Saturdays ago, I was so excited that you would have thought we were traveling halfway around the world. I even chastised myself a bit -- I should save excitement like that for visiting someplace new!

I even had second thoughts about our vacation. As much as I miss New York (to the extent that I would move back in a heartbeat on most days), I thought that perhaps we should indeed visit someplace new and that I would regret spending Paul's precious vacation days on a trip to a city we know so well. Either that, or the trip to Brooklyn would remind me of what I was missing and make me want to move back all the more.

So did either happen? As I write this the day before we are scheduled to leave for New York, I'm not sure. But I do know that I am anxious to visit old friends, eat my favorite foods and see the sights I had grown accustomed to over six way-too-short years. I'll have plenty of photos and adventures to share here over the coming weeks.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Photo Friday: Old-Fashioned Edith

My friend Kathryn took these photos of Edith at a recent play group held at her house. Love the filter. Thanks, Kathryn!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Edith and Mama

It's Edith week! Which is really every week, but here it means that I'll have photos of her Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Enjoy.

Not frustrated.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Photo Friday: 15 Years Before It's for Real

When we went to COSI at the end of May, driving this truck was her favorite thing to do. She even tried to push other kids out of the way if they happened to be in the driver's seat!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Skittlebrau: A 'Simpsons' Beer Dream Come True

In one "Simpsons" episode, according to Paul, Homer tries to buy a six-pack of Skittlebrau, only to be told that the beer isn't real. It was only in a dream he had. So Homer instead asks for a 6-pack of Duff and some Skittles.

Paul's making the dream come alive with his own version of Skittlebrau, which he brewed at the end of May. The brew consists of your typical beer ingredients, along with two 14-ounce bags of melted Skittles.

Melted Skittles form a rainbow blob.

He expects Skittlebrau to be ready to consume at the end of June. But there will be one more step.

Paul plans to take another bag of Skittles, separate the colors and create a simple syrup for each color. Each color of syrup can then be poured into the beer when it is ready to drink, giving it a unique color and flavor.

At least that's the plan. Can't wait to give it a try!

Monday, June 9, 2014

It's (Literally) About Time

When we moved to New York, I had trouble with the concept that miles did not equal time. Now that we're back in Ohio, it seems strange that places that take an hour or more to drive to are indeed quite far away.

An example: Memorial Day weekend we spent a day in Yellow Springs, which is 55 miles away from Columbus. It took almost exactly an hour to get there. I considered it sufficiently far away to plan the trip a week or two in advance.

In New York, Central Park took nearly as long to get to from our apartment, but it was only a fraction of the distance. We'd go there whenever we wanted, no advance planning needed.

Another example: Cincinnati is 90 minutes away -- far enough that I really have to think if I want to make the trek to a Reds game. But the Mets' stadium in Queens took just as long to get to and -- well, I guess even then I really thought about if I wanted to make the trip!

Maybe the difference is that in New York there was also backup transportation. If the subway was down or took too long, you knew you could always take a taxi. Sure, it would be more expensive, but it was also much quicker.

These differences have significantly changed my outlook on time. After all an hour is an hour, no matter what the map shows.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

And Now, Sausage Links

You've probably heard that it's not a good idea to see either laws or sausage being made.

I'm out of luck. Not only do I know how a bill becomes a law by working at the Ohio Statehouse once upon a time, but Paul has shown me firsthand how to make sausage.

I'd rather stick to politics.

I wrote earlier this year that Paul has taken to grinding his own meat with the help of our stand mixer. He recently went a step beyond by buying casings (read: intestines) at Cabela's so he could form his own sausage links.

Let's be clear: I was born in northwest Ohio. I wasn't raised on an animal farm, but close relatives have long had plenty of animals raised specifically for our eating pleasure. I'm not a vegetarian.

But making sausage links is disgusting.

Some of the meat bust through the casings, so Paul made a couple of patties out of that. Pretty good. But those giant links? No thanks.

My head knows that they are basically the same thing. But ... ick. I'll be deleting these photos from my phone as soon as I can.

First, grind the meat.

Slip the casing onto the stand mixer attachment.

Feed the meat back through the grinder and watch it slide into the casing.

Ready to cook. Yuck.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Planning a Trip to New York

We're visiting New York for a week later this summer, and I can't hardly wait.

I have a long list of things I want to see and do and eat -- museums and parks to visit, friends to catch up with, restaurants to try. And in a stroke of luck, we're able to skip the hotels and instead stay in a Bay Ridge apartment, so I can really pretend that I live there again.

It's weird though. The list I've created would have taken months to complete when we lived there -- Paul (and I, for five of our six years there) worked full-time, of course, and we rarely made non-work-related outings outside the neighborhood on weekdays. We'd often go into the city or do something fun on the weekends, but even then it was usually only one or two things. Like strolling around Central Park followed by our favorite sushi restaurant. Or getting a piece of cheesecake from Junior's in Times Square and eating it in Bryant Park. You get the idea.

I think I'm going to explode if I get to do all of my favorite New York things in seven days. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try.

This partly feels like a vacation, but it partly feels like going home. I feel just as excited now as I used to in Brooklyn in the lead up to our visits to Ohio! And after almost a year away, I'm curious if I can step back into the groove as easily as I think I can. Stay tuned.


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