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Rockaway Beach’s New Wave

A red and white bullseye beach umbrella at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

One of my favorite parts of summer is taking the ‘A’ train out to Rockaway Beach in Queens.

I love watching the huge waves continuously crash against the shore and seeing all the surfers who come to ride them. It’s a relaxing escape from the city without even leaving its limits.

The weather today was slightly overcast and a bit chilly, but as you can see, that didn’t stop people from enjoying the Rockaway’s charms.

People crowd the beach on a Wednesday afternoon at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

A man builds a sand castle along Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

Typically I pack a little lunch for myself since most of the concessions usually involve fluorescent yellow cheese or dirty water hot dogs.

This year, however, the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach has been taken over by some of the best vendors in the city.

Blue Bottle Coffee along the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York.

San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee opened up shop at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York, for summer 2011.

Blue Bottle's drip coffee at their Rockaway Beach, Queens, location.

I was particularly excited when I heard that San Francisco-based Blue Bottle Coffee was setting up a beachfront shop. Their New Orleans-style iced coffee is the most perfect drink for the beach.

Caracas at Rockaway Beach serves up arepas, micheladas and more.

They share their airy space with the East Village empanada joint Caracas. Caracas is serving up arepas and tangy micheladas in addition to bean and cheese or fish empanadas.

A michelada from Caracas at Rockaway Beach.

Just a few doors down is Rockaway Taco, the vendor who started this Rockaway revitalization.

Rippers at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York

Rippers, a Rockaway Beach collaboration between Brooklyn's Roberta's and The Meat Hook.

One of our favorite restaurants has even been sucked into the surf, so to speak.

Roberta’s has teamed up with The Meat Hook to open Rippers, a surf shop meets burger joint that serves up twisted takes on concessions of yore. Go here for your hot dogs, but they won’t be rotating on a rusty grill all afternoon.

If you get a chance to head out that way, don’t forget your appetite along with your sunscreen.

– Ryan

A cook at Rippers in Rockaway Beach, Queens, prepares fresh French fries.

A surfer holds his surf board at Rockaway Beach in Queens, New York

 A "Fish Boat" from Motorboat and the Big Banana


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San Francisco: SFMOMA

While we were in San Francisco, we were lucky enough to wander into the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (one of my favorite museums) during one of their Food & Thought events, sponsored by Meatpaper magazine.

The museum has been holding the events monthly on the rooftop (although April was the last one—boo!) and brings in local chefs to prepare themed dishes. Some past themes include Still Life, Secrets & Disguises and Vertigo. Meatpaper’s Flickr stream has some amazing photos of the previous events.

On our night, the theme was Flowers and all of the dishes were centered around using edible flowers and plants. We absolutely adored a chamomile panna cotta and a few other small plates, but my personal favorite was the one you see below—peas, strawberries, and flowers in a little olive oil and salt. It was so simple but so delicious.

We enjoyed beer and wine on SFMOMA’s gorgeous roof deck… What could be better than eating delicious fresh food and sipping wine underneath a Calder or next to a Bourgeois?

Oh, another fun thing: the Blue Bottle (yes, we’re obsessed!) at SFMOMA has the most amazing art-themed desserts. You, too, can eat a cake from Wayne Thiebaud or better yet, your own Mondrian. We were seriously charmed by all of these.

– Laura

P.S. The photo above of us is courtesy of Meatpaper magazine and the photo of the Mondrian cake is courtesy of Gwen Harlow. Thanks!

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San Francisco: Blue Bottle

While in San Francisco, it was important to me that we went on a tour of San Francisco’s many talked about coffee shops. I eventually determined that Blue Bottle—which recently opened a location in Brooklyn—was my favorite.

We met up with my friend Clay and his dog Charlie for a cup at the Mint Plaza location.

Laura and Charlie

I had a Siphon Pot of their Sulawesi Toarco Jaya Peaberry which was super rich and dark. Almost woodsy.

I can’t wait to try out the Brooklyn location upon returning home.

– Ryan

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