i finally made it to coney island

After living in New York for 11 years, I finally made it to Coney Island! HHH got an invitation to check out the opening party for Coney Island Art Walls, and when I heard that there would be free Smorgasburg food, I got in the car. :) 

 Boardwalk snacks. Photo by hhh.  

Boardwalk snacks. Photo by hhh.  

We arrived early so we could wander a bit and check out the boardwalk. It was a gorgeous, breezy day and perfect for a walk on the beach. Even though it's just at the end of the R line, it feels like a different world. The beach itself is not anything special to look at, but it's sand, sun, and water right in Brooklyn! (And clam rolls and oysters and Nathan's hotdogs. Yum.) 

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 Sweets. 

Sweets. 

We went over to the Art Walls party after our walk, and ate a lot. I'm not even going to say all the things I ate, since there's no need for written records of that kind of thing. The art was pretty cool too. 

 The party setting up in the shadow of the roller coasters. 

The party setting up in the shadow of the roller coasters. 

 The band getting ready.  

The band getting ready.  

 I ate here. 

I ate here. 

 I ate this.  

I ate this.  

 I may have also eaten a lobster roll. 

I may have also eaten a lobster roll. 

 Some of the other vendors, including Blue Marble Ice Cream. 

Some of the other vendors, including Blue Marble Ice Cream. 

 More art. 

More art. 

 The famous Nathan's.  

The famous Nathan's.  

a sunday in greenpoint

I'm almost packed for another trip to Asia...Hong Kong and Taiwan this time. I'm going to eat a ton of dim sum, Din Tai Fung, and mangoes. Can't wait! Before I go, I thought I should post these photos from last weekend in Greenpoint, where Julie and I checked out BKLYN Design 2015 at the Greenpoint Expo Center. Last year, I went to the stalls at Industry City and saw some great locally-made furniture and accessories. Here are some of the displays from the 2015 event:

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I wandered around a bit after and found some fun secondhand shops, and this adorable coffee shop+florist place called Homecoming.  

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And of course, I never go to Greenpoint without dropping into Bakeri, where I snagged the last apple cider flower (like a financier, but flower-shaped!). Those things are soooo good. 

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lazy weekends

It's been gorgeous around here lately. I'm not sure if it makes the awful winter "worth it," but I'm very pleased that there are now summer dresses and outdoor suppers in my immediate future. One of the best things about the weather is the chance to resume long neighborhood walks with hhh and Willa. We have a couple routes, either west to Prospect Park, or east towards Carroll Gardens through Gowanus. We'll usually walk for an hour, or possibly two. One of my favorite spots, though, is right across Fourth Avenue - the Gil Hodges Community Garden. 

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It's a bit of a secret garden, and I like it best when the eastern redbud blooms magenta. It'll look like this for another week or two, and then turn completely green. That's nice too, but not nearly as thrilling as a wholly pink tree.  

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Last weekend, we went to a slightly less secret garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It was a gorgeous, sunny day - so of course it was as packed as SoHo on a Saturday afternoon. But it was still nice. 

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We checked out the bonsai trees, the herb garden, the Japanese garden, and the cherry blossoms.  

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And in my own backyard...the stonecrop came right back, totally delightfully. And the hydrangea, which was only budding a couple weeks ago, is now nice and full and continuing its ascent up the wall. (Not sure what's going to happen when it starts to climb over to the neighbor's side....)

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And lastly, another shot of Gil Hodges. It's such a lovely spot!  

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snow day

i was going totally stir crazy today indoors. it snowed last night, but it's quickly turning into that special brand of yellow-ish brown new york city slush that you want to avoid at all costs. everything is dead and sad (by everything i just mean my outdoor plants, not people or anything). and on monday, the semester starts and i have to (i mean...get to) teach, so i can't just sit around watching my paperwhites grow anymore.  i've been propagating some jade plant cuttings too, but recently realized that i was doing it all wrong. this seems to be a theme with my gardening...i really should research then cut, rather than the other way around. anyway, we'll see if i was able to save them...stay tuned. 

 my sad dead yard.

my sad dead yard.

 how i wished my yard looked. (this is actually a garden near the river cafe and brooklyn bridge park in the summer of 2014.)

how i wished my yard looked. (this is actually a garden near the river cafe and brooklyn bridge park in the summer of 2014.)

so instead, for some insta-plant gratification,  i went up fifth avenue to zuzu's petals. zuzu's is the neighborhood florist (it's weirdly also the name of the ramen shop in the neighborhood, but there's no relation that i can see), and i'm always tempted to submit a job application when i go in there so i can be surrounded by beautiful flowers all day long. everyone in there is living the dream, if you ask me. 

so i trudged through the said slush and got myself some snow day plants. this is what i came home with: 

 the green leafy thing with purple undersides is a calathea, and the pinky-green plant is a chinese evergreen.

the green leafy thing with purple undersides is a calathea, and the pinky-green plant is a chinese evergreen.

 a close-up of the bright pink edges of the chinese evergreen. it went perfectly into the crinkle planter from  cb2 . 

a close-up of the bright pink edges of the chinese evergreen. it went perfectly into the crinkle planter from cb2

i instantly felt 1,000 times better. aren't those lovely? the google gods say that they are both low-light plants, and the calathea is from the tropics. the "siam aurora" chinese evergreen is apparently a new hybrid - they don't all have the variegated pink coloring. anyway, now that i have these plants, i suppose i can go on living until spring comes. but i may need another new houseplant or two if this miserable weather keeps up. (hhh, don't say i didn't warn you.)