Tag Archives: spring

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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Friday Night At Madison Square Eats

Tonight, we walked over to Madison Square Park to explore the plethora of good food that has temporarily landed in General Worth Square. Madison Square Eats has brought nearly 30 food carts and restaurants to the tiny square for the remainder of May and into early June.

There’s an overwhelming amount of delicious food in such a small area, so we started by making a few laps around to size up our options. While we were deciding what we wanted to sample, we started with a homemade soda from P&H Soda Co.

P&H is Brooklyn-based and makes all of their soda syrups from fresh, all-natural ingredients. Our hibiscus lime rickey was just the right balance of sweetness, without being cloying.

Next, we wandered across Spices And Tease. The Spices And Tease booth was awash with the aroma of, well, spices and teas, and the colors and textures of the various spices and teas made for some fun photos.

They don’t yet have a permanent storefront, but their selection included some really rare things that I’ve actually never seen in the city before—dried long peppers, Ras el Hanout, and juniper berries, to name a few. They also had their own proprietary blends of rubs and teas.

Our next stop was the tent for Roberta’s. We love Roberta’s, but we don’t get to make it over to Bushwick as often as we would like, so getting the chance to have a Roberta’s pizza close to home was a treat.

We went for the Bee Sting—tomato sauce, mozzarella, and spicy soppressata, finished with a drizzle of honey. The soppressata had a nice kick, but just as the spice began to take hold, the smooth sweetness of the honey drowned it out. It was an interestingly simple combination, but certainly one that I would try again.

The Hong Kong Street Cart had a Beijing Ya bun that I wanted to try, so we got that and then headed over to former Vendy Award winner Calexico‘s cart. My duck bun didn’t disappoint, and I don’t think Ryan’s gringo ground beef taco did either.

By this point, we were pretty full so we settled in at Resto‘s comfy bar (in the middle of the Square) and shared a glass of Allagash White Ale. (By the way, we didn’t try it, but Resto apparently has a pig’s head Cuban sandwich that is so good that they keep selling out. Maybe if you get there early enough, you’ll get to see for yourself.)

The evening wasn’t complete without one last treat though—a hand-shaved ice with rhubarb syrup.

Madison Square Eats runs through June 3 and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Enjoy!

– Laura

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Morning Tea At Bosie

Recently, while out walking Iggy, we noticed that the butcher paper had come down from a previously empty Morton Street strorefront. To our surprise and delight, the new tenant is Bosie, a tea parlor with a charming French influence.

The shop itself is very small, with a few tables in the front and a couple of cozier chairs towards the back. The space is perfect for settling in for an hour or so with a pot of their perfectly brewed tea—all from their in-house line, l’Âge de Thé. Edison bulbs and dark wood tables contrast nicely with the white pressed tin ceiling, and rows of apothecary-style copper tea canisters line the shelves along the exposed brick wall.

The pastries are all made in-house by Damien Herrgott, who worked previously at Ladurée in Paris and the now-defunct Bouley Bakery here in the city. Macaroons, scones (with clotted cream and jam!), tea cakes and cookies are just some of the amazing things Damien makes for your morning (or afternoon) tea. The tea-flavored macaroons are made from the same loose leaf they sell in the shop.

So far we’ve only been in for pots of tea and pastries, but we’re dying to come in for the deluxe tea service for two, which includes savory tea sandwiches in addition to the sweet selections.

-Ryan

Have you ever seen a choking sign this charming?

Bosie Tea Parlor on Urbanspoon

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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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