Tag Archives: flowers

The High Line’s New Addition

The Grassy Lawn on The High Line, Phase Two

A few weeks ago, we wrote about one of our favorite places in the city—the High Line.

Flowers Along The High Line, Phase Two

Water Feature at the High Line

The post was slightly fueled from cabin fever (it had rained that entire week!), but mostly we were anticipating the opening of the High Line’s Phase Two, which runs from 20th Street in Chelsea north to 30th Street.

That time has finally come.

Flowers Along The High Line, Phase Two

The second phase differs from the first in a few ways.

Unlike the original section of the park—which seemed to be wide open, with the exception of a few warehouses and the Standard Hotel—the new pathway seems to snake along between residential buildings, both old and new.

This gives the second phase a more intimate feel, as windows and fire escapes of buildings are within arms reach of the park’s railings.

The High Line, Phase Two

A View of the High Line, Phase Two

Near 22nd Street, there is a nearly 5,000 square foot grassy lawn for visitors to lounge or picnic on.

You can also people watch on the nearby stadium seating, made from reclaimed teak wood from southeast Asian farm buildings.

The Grassy Lawn at the High Line, Phase Two

Viewing Area at The High Line, Phase Two

There is even more seating near the end of Phase Two, where an elegant curve of teak benches extends toward the exit of the new section.

The Lot at 30th Street at the High Line, Phase Two

One of the biggest attractions surrounding the new section’s opening is actually below the High Line itself. The Lot at 30th Street—yes, literally a lot—currently houses food trucks and a bar, so hungry and thirsty High Line visitors won’t go without.

Food Trucks at the Lot at 30th Street

Colicchio & Sons Bar at The High Line, Phase Two

A few perennial favorites, including Red Hook Lobster Pound, the Taco Truck, and Kelvin Slush were out today. Colicchio & Sons is manning the bar, serving beer and wine on draft.

Rainbow City at the High Line

The former parking lot is also home to a rotating selection of public events, most of which are free.

Currently, the space is home to AOL and FriendsWithYou’s “Rainbow City.”

Described as “an urban playground,” the lot is filled with colorful (and giant!) inflatable balloons that visitors are encouraged to interact with.

Flowers In Bloom Along The High Line

Blooms Along The High Line, Phase Two

The second phase has been a long time coming, so we were thrilled to finally have the chance to enjoy it. This new addition has set the bar pretty high for the third and final addition!

– Ryan

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Salty, Bitter, Flowery and Sweet

Congratulations to Amy Green of New Jersey, the winner of our giveaway! Amy wins a copy of Mark Bitterman’s James Beard award-winning book Salted! Thanks to all who entered, and be sure to keep reading—we have a few more fun giveaways planned for this summer!

While walking down the West Village’s Hudson Street one day last fall, a new shop caught our eye.

A formerly vacant space was once again full of life—bursting forth with brightly-colored flowers and tall shelves filled with, of all things, chocolate and salt. Once we actually entered The Meadow, we discovered that it was even better than we had initially thought!

The Meadow sells more than 100 (yes, a hundred!) varieties of salt, some of the most beautiful and unique flowers I’ve ever seen, an amazing variety of chocolates, and, in the back, an extensive collection of cocktail bitters. We were instantly in love.

The store, owned by Mark Bitterman and his wife, Jennifer, is the younger sibling to their Portland, Oregon, outpost that they founded in 2006. With its reclaimed wood shelves, vintage vases, and simple, but elegant displays, customers are invited to touch, taste, and simply enjoy everything within.

The salts range from the simple, like fleur de sel, to the unique and rare, such as maboroshi plum from Japan or lemon flake from Cyprus. And, yes, lemon flake salt does actually taste like lemons!

The chocolate and bitters selections are equally diverse, so if you are in the mood for some ramen noodle chocolate or Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters, you won’t leave empty-handed.

Mark traveled the world far and wide to discover all he could about the salt he carries—he is immensely knowledgeable about every product he sells, whether you are looking for regular table salt or how to perfectly season your steak tartare.

His travels and vast knowledge came together last year with the publication of his recent James Beard award-winning book, Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral.

The book, a massive hard-covered volume, is an encyclopedia of salt, complete with recipes, beautiful photography (all photographed by Mark and his wife!), and tales from around the world.

It remains approachable to the home cook—learn just how salt can push your roasted chicken over the edge—without being dull or uninteresting.

Did you know that cucumbers are the perfect vehicle to taste salt with, or that Kala namak, an ancient Indian salt, was used in 300 BCE by Maharishi Charak, the father of Ayurvedic medicine?

Like I just told Ryan, the book has all the style and panache of Anthony Bourdain’s writing, but with beautiful seriousness to it, complemented by the recipes and lush photos.

Now that you’re clamoring for your own copy (as you should be), I bring you the good news: Ryan and I have a signed copy of Salted that we’re going to give away to one of our lucky readers. We’ve been so flattered by every comment, view, and click, that we thought we would share something that we love with you.

You can have up to two chances to win. For one entry, you can simply leave a comment below. If you really, really, want to win, you can enter a second time by following us on Twitter and retweeting our contest tweet.

The contest will be open until Sunday, June 5, 12 a.m. EST, at which time we will randomly choose a winner from both our comments and retweets. Make sure that you leave your e-mail in your comment or leave us some way to get in touch.

Enjoy, and good luck!

– Laura

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The Hidden Gardens of New York City

Living in New York, we tend to be a lot more appreciative of the limited amount of green space we have available for our everyday use.

Aside from the major parks, we have tiny community gardens sprinkled throughout the city, which are entirely volunteer run. These gardens provide a beautiful addition to the neighborhoods they serve, but more importantly, they make much better backyards than our fire escapes.

One of these gardens—the Laguardia Corner Gardens—is just a short walk east on Bleecker Street. The garden has been open since 1981 on the corner of Bleecker Street and Laguardia Place, just steps from NYU.

Their website has really great vintage photos of the construction and first plantings—they’re worth checking out.

The garden, which is adjacent to a Morton Williams grocery store, is an anomaly for the neighborhood, which is mostly known for the gargantuan Silver Towers complex and rows of tenement apartment buildings.

Despite its somewhat drab surroundings, the garden is truly a haven for beauty. At the moment, it’s full of daffodils, tulips, irises, peonies, roses, gigantic clusters of mint and other herbs (chives or rosemary, anyone?), as well as a few fruit trees. We even found some earrings:

It is a pleasure to discover these little urban oases—another favorite is St. Lukes Garden—in a city packed with concrete and steel.

– Ryan

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Spring on the High Line

The weather in the city has been gloomy for the past four days, with no signs of letting up, much less improving. Even though rain is still a reprieve from the 20-inch high snowbanks we had just a few months ago, it’s still made me fondly remember some of the charming spring weather we have had thus far.

There is no prettier place to watch spring bloom than along the High Line. These photos are from a walk that Ryan and I took back in early April, just as blooms were escaping their winter cocoons and people were once again flocking to the great outdoors.

We’ve been back to the High Line many times since and have watched as even more flora has emerged along with the warming weather. We can’t wait until the next addition opens in June!

– Laura

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Greenmarket Delights

Now that spring has officially sprung here in the city, not only do we get to spend more time outside, but we also get all of our wonderful greenmarket vendors back! Since there is a such a variety of tremendously good produce available right now, I’ve taken to ordering only dry goods from FreshDirect and buying the rest at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday mornings.

It’s such a feast (both for eyes and stomach) that I can’t resist photographing, tasting and touching everything in sight. Ryan already makes fun of me for reaching out and touching anything and everything that attracts my interest (whether we’re at a bookstore, Barneys, or the grocery store), so I’m kind of glad that he’s typically not going to be around on Saturday mornings to witness my full-on love fest with the greenmarket.

I planned our menu for the week, mostly centering it around what I knew would be available—truly seasonal eating. This weeks menu features lots of spring greens (tatsoi, mustard greens, lamb’s-quarters and baby arugula), Swiss chard, asparagus, and ramps.

Oh, ramps. They’re an obsessive thing for most chefs, since their season is so short and they can be tough to find, but I find the obsession to be entirely justified. Just a few weeks ago, while at The Spotted Pig, we were treated to sauteed ramps with a farm-fresh egg on top. The pure simplicity and freshness of the dish reminded me that spring really is here and also motivated me to get some ramps as soon as possible.

The greenmarket is also the spot to find any certifiably weird ingredients that you may not be able to find anywhere else. Pineapple mint? Shiso leaf? Lavender-calendula tea? Goat meat? It’s all there.

It thrills me to no end that a) I can find this stuff and, most importantly, b) that I can support real agriculture in the middle of Manhattan. (And that I can touch everything ’til my heart’s content!)

– Laura

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