Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wish List: Spring-inspired Style & Travel

Despite the brief return to winter-like coldness the past few days, I think it’s safe to say that spring has officially arrived in New York City.  And spring-like weather certainly served as inspiration for the look I put together for the Blogger’s Style Challenge over at my sister-in-law Jessica Davis’s blog, The Eagle’s Nest.  I’ve shown two of my chosen items above, but you can see the complete ensemble here.

With the promise of beautiful weather, I’ve been wishing I could spend time outdoors at some of my dream travel locales.  I would love to wear this outfit while sipping coffee at an outdoor cafe in Bruges, wandering around the Amalfi Coast, or enjoying a delicious meal under some spectacular trees in Provence.

From top left to right: (1) Dennis Barloga, (2) Simply Bloom Photography , and (3) Ed Alcock for The New York Times.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Food Adventures: Hide-Chan Ramen

Hakata Kuro Ramen, wooden spoon + sake cup, Annin Tofu

I am a big ramen fan, and am always up for trying new ramen places.  Last week, a good friend introduced me to Hide-Chan Ramen (248 E 52nd St), and it did not disappoint.  Hide-Chan specializes in tonkotsu (pork) broth ramen, and the Hakata style (very rich & oily) broth I ordered was absolutely delicious.  You can also have the broth “NY style” (read: less fatty), but there was no way I was passing up the Hakata broth.  In addition to selecting your broth style, you choose from different flavors (original tonkotsu, kuro – my choice, spicy – what I want to get next time, miso, or vegetable).  Add a variety of noodle styles (extra firm, firm, medium, or soft) and a myriad of potential add-on ingredients (extra pork, nori, mushrooms, bean sprouts, garlic paste, spicy paste, hard-boiled egg, etc. etc.) and I don’t think you can go wrong in creating a perfect bowl of ramen.

I decided to go with the Kuro broth, described as “ma-yu” (black garlic oil) style, because it was touted as being especially garlicky, and chose firm noodles.  For my add-ons I selected nori, bean sprouts, scallions, and garlic paste (that’s the garlic lover in me).  The Hakata Kuro ramen paired with an ice cold Sapporo made for an excellent meal.

For dessert we ordered “annin” (almond) tofu, which was just the right amount of sweetness and a perfectly smooth way to finish off the night.

Hide-Chan is definitely on my “go back to” list.  I’m looking forward to dreaming up some new ramen combinations!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Floral Stylings: Mini-Carnations

A few years ago, if you asked me whether I liked flowers, my answer would have been noncommittal at best.  My relatively newfound (going on three years) love of flowers stemmed from planning my wedding – it was only then that I realized how much I love different types of flowers and thinking about how to arrange them.  So every now and then I like to purchase some flowers for myself and have some fun at home arranging and then photographing them.  I’ve got a stockpile of these photos (including ones from our Philly days), so you can expect to see them popping up on the blog in future posts!

The white and green mini-carnations featured here were so fresh and lovely that I couldn’t resist buying them on a recent grocery store trip.  As a plus, these flowers last for a relatively long time!

I’ve included one “before” picture, followed by some favorite “after” images.  I also snapped a few pictures with some pottery that we purchased for a song at a phenomenal student pottery sale run by The Clay Studio in Philadelphia.  If I remember correctly the sale was usually around Mother’s Day Weekend.  Anyone in Philly should check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Springtime in New York

The last few days, my walks to and from work have been utter perfection because New York City has been enjoying the kind of weather that makes you happy to be alive (think lovely sunlight and the most refreshingly light breezes).   I must confess that I am usually guilty of beelining it from one place to the next, and sometimes it takes this sort of glorious spring weather to make me stop and relish the small moments of beauty that are present around me.

The other day I suddenly noticed that the trees in Manhattan (and some on Roosevelt Island) are budding and blooming.  Whites, pinks, tender greens - such harbingers of spring.  I’ve been stopping frequently to snap iPhone photos of some of my favorite trees.  Here are a few of my recent captures.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Local Travels: The Metropolitan Museum of Art [Part 2]

I love bright, open spaces – so it’s no surprise that some of my favorites areas in The Metropolitan Museum of Art are defined by glass and light.  The photos in this post feature the American Wing Courtyard, the Egyptian Wing, and the Sculpture Court.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Local Travels: The Metropolitan Museum of Art [Part 1]

Recently, my parents were in town and we took the opportunity to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It is such a stunning space filled with incredible art, and I can’t believe that this is only the second time I’ve been since moving to New York City last March. 

Each trip to The Met makes me recall a favorite childhood book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  As a kid, it was hard not to envy the adventure of running away and living at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

On this visit, I didn’t devise a runaway scheme, but did document some of my favorite spaces, sculptures, and exhibits in the museum.  A taste of our visit is below.

I'll be posting a few more pictures from the museum tomorrow!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recipe Files: Sunny side up eggs with avocado and salsa on toast

One of the main reasons I look forward to the weekend is the opportunity to cook a hot breakfast.  During the workweek my breakfast usually consists of cereal/oatmeal, Greek yogurt with honey and granola, or fruit.  While all of those options can be satisfying, I can’t deny my love of eggs, pancakes, bacon, hash, etc.  Basically, what I’ve come to think of as “brunch food.”  I like to savor these types of meals, so it’s nice to be able to do so on a lazy Saturday or Sunday.

On this morning, we happened to have a perfect avocado on hand, and in thinking about how to prepare it for breakfast, my mind immediately jumped to a sunny side up egg.  When I was young, I hated undercooked yolks, but now I can’t get enough of them.  I’m pretty sure that a runny egg yolk makes anything better.

Sunny side up egg with avocado and salsa on toast

Salsa (Whatever you like, we are fans of Green Mountain Gringo Salsa.)
Salt (Here I used an Australian pink salt from Williams-Sonoma’s finishing sea salt collection.)
Bread (We just had wheat bread, but would have loved this with a good, crusty bread.)

Cook a sunny side up egg.  Place the cooked egg on toasted bread, follow with sliced avocado on top.  Garnish with salt, pepper, and salsa.

This ended up being an incredibly easy and tasty meal - definitely one to file away for the future.  We also each had another piece of toast with butter and marmalade, to satisfy both our sweet and savory cravings!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hello, world.

So this is it, my first blog post.  After many months of thinking/dreaming/talking about starting a blog, I have finally decided to go ahead and actually DO IT.

I have always loved art and design, and have been searching for ways to fulfill that side of my personality (as my day job is quite outside the artistic world).  This blog is one way for me to make that commitment to explore my creativity.

This is a fledgling blog, and it will certainly grow and develop over time.  I hope that those of you who may read this will enjoy the journey with me!

I’m starting with a photo I took in October 2011 of some gorgeous dahlias I bought from a bodega in Manhattan.  I loved the colors, and the ombre feel to the petals.  Put the dahlias in a vase, place them on our windowsill, add some delicious light – I couldn’t get enough of photographing these beauties.