Tag Archives: new york

The NYC Return

It’s getting to be that time, New York.  I have exactly one more week to go before moving back home to Hawaii, and since returning from Paris, I’ve had oodles to be grateful for.  Here’s the breakdown:

Friday, July 12th

The convenient – though sometimes hideous – MTA.  Alright, the paint is peeling off the walls and cat-sized rats scurry not far from the platforms.  But all in all, New York’s public transport gets you where you need to go.  After landing at JFK I took trains all the way back to Park Slope in time to shower and repack for my next trip that day.  I’m especially grateful for the public transport here in NY since I’m remember how tough it is to get around Oahu without a car.  I’m soaking up this train/bus action while I can!

Saturday, July 13th

The first official day of the Third Root collective owners’ retreat in the Poconos.  Today I’m grateful for catharsis.  Not the kind of anger-fuelled punching bag catharsis that’s now been proven to make matters much worse.  Rather, the kind of mindful catharsis that can cleanse the soul, paint a clearer picture of the past, dark shades and all, a catharsis that brings us to understanding.

DSC07018Sunday, July 14th

Lake fun!  It was a long morning and afternoon, sitting inside and sorting through heavy important to-dos . . . uber grateful to have had a jaunt to the lake for swimming, tanning and a whole lotta craic.

Monday, July 15th

One of my dear friends from the Abu Dhabi days came to visit and there are so many moments of gratitude here, it’s mighty hard to choose.  The fountain at Washington Square park, so calming in 100 degree weather?  The joy of having a good friend in town?  The decliciousness at Thewala?  I’ll go ahead and highlight Greenwich Village Comedy Club, where just about all the performers were on point, making us giggle and guffaw the whole evening through.  And as a few bonus cherries on top, we scored a bunch of free tickets for future fun and made a few friends from out of town.  The impromptu sesh went on at the Bowery Hotel – equal parts hunting lodge and bad trip.  I highly recommend a visit if you’re in town!

DSC07030Tuesday, July 16th

Despite the 106 degree weather, like the pros we are, Nat and set out on a full day of explorations: cwoffee from a no-nonsense Brooklyn dinah – black, to go!  Onward bound to the New York Aquarium and Coney Island boardwalk, complete with beachy rendezvous with a few yoga sisters on a picnic day.  Hungry and determined to try some of the best pizza in Brooklyn we hit up Totonno’s – only to find it closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Boo!  But you know what, it was worth the walk, because one of owners popped her lovely head out the door and chatted with us, apologizing for not being open, and blowing us “sweethearts” a kiss before asking God for our blessing.  Now *that’s* some Brooklyn hospitality I hadn’t been before!

DSC07039After a shower and a costume change, we nibbled on sushi (delicious and affordable, at some spot on 2nd ave and 8th street – such a good find if you can find it!) before checking out some rare peace and greenery in Manhattan at the Highline.  On the flip side of NY kindness, when we rocked up to the Standard Hotel for a rooftop tipple, we were rudely turned away (despite our reservations) and told to sit in the snazzy bar a floor below.  Thankfully there was a four piece swingtime jazz band bopping away to welcome us!  We met up with another mate and checked out the Jane Hotel, a slightly more disco version of The Bowery, before finding our way to a hooka joint.  Today’s source of gratitude: STAMINA, BABY!

Wednesday, July 17th

biggayiceNat’s last day in the citay 😦  We decided to make it a food tour day and set straight out for the best bagels in Brooklyn at The Bagel Hole.  An everything bagel and veggie cream cheese, does it every time!  Two blocks up the road and we took a stroll through Prospect Park on our way up to catch a Q train to Chinatown (for a taro puff, of course!) and Little Italy – home of hardcore espresso and delectable tiramisu.  Apparently, the Italian American Museum is open by appointment only on weekdays, but we made the most of our steamy – and very brief – stroll through the ‘hood.  Next up: the East Village for some BIG GAY ICE CREAM!  Honestly, I was more impressed with the unicorns and She-ra decorations, but the Salty Pimp (a dulce de lece vanilla ice cream cone, dipped in chocolate and rolled in pretzels) was no doubt delightful.  Overpriced.  But delightful.

No trip to NYC would be complete without a romp through hipsterville, the infamous Williamsburg.  It’s home to the Mast Brother’s Chocolate shop, a gaggle of places to eat drink and be merry, and a center dedicated to “learning through making,” 3rd Ward.  We dined on the best dumplings ever to cross my palate, the spicy won tons (in heavenly peanut sauce) at Shanghai Bistro and Garden.  Seriously, they’re on another level.

What was I thankful for that day?  The company of a dear friend.  I might have blogged about that one before.  But I changed the wording around a little bit this time.  Friends deserve multiple blogs 🙂


Creamy Truffle Sauce of the Gods

I just had one of the best thin crust pizzas of my life at Numero 28 in the East Village – perfectly crusty bottom, a warm soft center, loads of mushrooms, speck, and the key ingredient: a decadent creamy truffle sauce. You might just want to bathe in it, it’s just that good.

Gonna have to take a few moments to appreciate what they’ve done there.  In the meantime, if you’re feeling inspired, here’s a Truffle Cream Sauce recipe from the Food Network….

5 egg yolks, at room temperature
4 cups canola oil
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
2 ounces truffle oil
1 1/4 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
French fries, for serving
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Whisk the eggs yolks with 1 teaspoon water in a mixing bowl. Slowly whisk the canola oil into the eggs until an emulsion forms. Slowly add 1/2 cup lukewarm water and the lemon juice when the emulsion becomes too thick.

Make sure the sauce is creamy and fully emulsified before adding the truffle oil. Whisk in the truffle oil and add the salt and pepper. Add more water until the sauce turns off-white in color and has the consistency of ketchup. Taste for seasoning and acid, and add salt and lemon juice accordingly.

Serve on top of fresh, hot French fries tossed with a little salt and pepper, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Cook’s Note: All the ingredients should be at room temperature to prevent the sauce from breaking. The sauce should be creamy and not too runny.

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/truffle-cream-sauce-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Hiking Yoga in Brooklyn, Back in Full Effect

It’s back, baby!

Hiking Yoga is back in Prospect Park and I am fully stoked.  So good to reconnect with hiking yogis, to hook myself up with the tastiest spelt poundcake and coffee in Brooklyn, and train a new teacher on the team.

Big gratitude hugs for Hiking Yoga – here’s to another season of joyful romping (and may the sun gods be a little more merciful in future! ;o))








Gratitude Day #182: Spring!

It’s *finally* here, New York.  The sun actually came out yesterday, and today, we made it to the 50’s.  Tomorrow, I hear we’ll have highs in the upper 60’s.

Oh, reeeeeeeeally??

So this five month stint of chill may be coming to a – rather slow – close?  Thank all which is holy in this world!  No more puffy range-limiting coats!  No more bulky boots!  No more scraggly grey trees!

Thanks for coming, Spring.  It’s been way too long.

Brooklyn Chocolate, Baby!

Yesterday’s supreme moment of gratitude (and this was another one of those days when sources of gratitude were plentiful): MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE in Billyburg.  If you’re a dark chocolate fan, and you appreciate supporting local bidness, it’s all about Mast Brothers.

They keep it simple, just seven choice flavors, and three limited edition tastes on rotation.  This week’s rare concoctions were Vanilla Smoke, Maple Syrup and something else I can’t remember.  They generously provide samples for a handful of choice bars (that last bar clearly had no samples!).

Curious about the benefits of chocolate eating (as though we even need them)?  Check out a previous choco blog here.

Urban Park Lovin’

It’s such a relief to find those tiny specs of green in this sea of grey …

. . . and for that, today, I’m grateful!


Want to make your own neighborhood park?  Ehow explains the nitty gritty:



    • Look for land. Since the park will be in your neighborhood, you should have a pretty good idea of what sort of land is available. Ideally, getting the land donated is best, but be prepared to study your city’s park budget and plan fundraisers to purchase land for your neighborhood park.

    • 2

      Decide what you think should go into your park, how much it is going to cost to build and how much it will cost to maintain. Consider things like water lines, electrical lines, playground equipment and regular maintenance. Again, the better prepared you are, the better your chances of having your park become a reality.

    • Sponsored Links

    • 3

      Build your case, deciding upon the primary reason your neighborhood needs a park. For example, it may be a safe place for kids to play, get-away for neighborhood residents or a place to hold neighborhood meetings and activities. Make sure your park serves a purpose and that the purpose is clearly defined.

    • 4

      Consult the city council. In many towns, making a call can get you on the agenda for the next city council meeting. Alternately, if you can recruit a member of the council to help, she can take the matter up when it is appropriate.

    • 5

      Present your case to the council and bring supporters. The city council needs to know that this isn’t just your personal project, and that the neighborhood as a whole wants the park.

    • 6

      Be patient and prepared to try again. Even if everyone loves your idea, it can still take time to get through all the red tape. Sometimes, details of your proposal might have to change and you might have to redo your homework to make the proper accommodations.

Bagel Moment: Affordable Pampering

New York is one of those rare cities where you have the option of a quality mani-pedi after too much time in the freezing cold!  I always found in Tokyo and London this kind of luxury was just plain out of the question. And in Thailand, where you could get three for the price of one NYC service, every visit is a roll of the dice. It’s a great way to practice “non-attachment” to your lovely nails, but professionalism is not common!

So, after waiting for my bus for 45 min in the nasty windy cold…. For this sweet warm soak n massage I’m grateful. And the polish isn’t even on yet!