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The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island

Yesterday morning, our usual Sunday slumber was interrupted by the buzz of an alarm clock.

At Ryan’s request, we woke up around 7 a.m. so that we could catch the very first ferry to Governors Island for this year’s Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic–an event we’ve been looking forward to for a couple of months now.

We arrived so early, in fact, that we actually got onto the press ferry, with several other die-hard polo fans who we befriended.

Our new friends had an impressive set-up for the day, complete with their own tents, tables, and even decorations, as you can see above.

The match didn’t begin until the early afternoon, so we enjoyed our self-packed picnic lunch while we waited, complete with cheeses from Murray’s, fresh strawberries with crème fraîche, and of course, a bottle of Veuve.

In the true spirit of polo, the day also brought about everyone’s sartorial best—women were outfitted in their finest hats, while men donned bowties of all shapes, sizes and colors.

The people watching was undoubtedly fantastic, but the polo match itself was too, as Nacho Figueras’ Blackwatch team beat the Veuve Clicquot team, 6-5.

Nacho, a Ralph Lauren model and the 2nd Most Handsome Man in the World, according to Vanity Fair, stole the show and was subsequently awarded the match’s MVP award.

(Ladies also relished the opportunity to have their photo taken with his life-sized cardboard cut-out as well.)

After the match ended, we stayed and chatted with our new friends, who invited us to join them for polo out in Bridgehampton later this summer.

The crowds slowly dispersed and once again, we lucked out and beat the lines for the ferry and made our way back to Manhattan, slightly sunburned and tired, but very happy.

– Laura and Ryan

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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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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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San Francisco: In Pictures

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Filed under Travel