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.) 

sunday meanderings

usually, i prefer to go in the direction of prospect park on our sunday walks. but today, we went west through gowanus. the walk looks different time every time i take it - there are new businesses popping up constantly. and root hill cafe is back! so. glad.

the corner of union and nevins.

the corner of union and nevins.

ample hills opened this location over the summer...dangerously close to my apt.

ample hills opened this location over the summer...dangerously close to my apt.

love this seafoam green subway tile.

love this seafoam green subway tile.

the substation at union street bridge.

the substation at union street bridge.

walking along union.

walking along union.

the gowanus canal.

the gowanus canal.

black mountain winehouse ...i dont' know why i don't come here more often.

black mountain winehouse...i dont' know why i don't come here more often.

we also stopped into a shop with antiques and thrifted goods along a french theme.

we also stopped into a shop with antiques and thrifted goods along a french theme.

schoolhouse chairs at the thrift store...they looked like they were in great shape. 

schoolhouse chairs at the thrift store...they looked like they were in great shape. 

the inside of the store.

the inside of the store.

farmacy , in carroll gardens.

farmacy, in carroll gardens.

along henry street.

along henry street.

these gorgeous fall days. perfect for long walks...i hope i get to go on more of them before it gets too blustery. have a great week! xoxo

rooftop farming in long island city

last weekend, i finally visited brooklyn grange, a farm that sits atop a sprawling office building in long island city, queens. it's actually not too far from where i used to live in astoria! too bad i didn't know about it then...volunteer farming would have been a good way to spend weekends. 

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there's something really incredible about all that produce growing in an industrial landscape. they have tomatoes (dozens of varieties!), eggplants, peppers, okra (which have lovely yellow blooms, did you know?), and big ol' sunflowers at the end of every bed. 

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they keep chickens in this coop, as well as a bee apiary down at the edge of roof. i also learned that it's nyc honey week soon! looks like there are some fun events, including a honey-themed dinner at the giant 50-ft long picnic table at the grange.  

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there are open visiting and volunteer hours every saturday from 11am to 4pm, and you can buy their vegetables and honey. we were big fans of the ground cherries, which are related to tomatoes. totally delicious. 

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and there was this little guy, who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his visit. 

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brooklyn grange now has a location at the brooklyn navy yard. there's a pretty cool video of that space by christopher st. john. you can check it out below.