Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Forward

Spring has sprung and so much has been happening since my last post in March! I fully intended to update this blog more, but it is so hard to find the time. I decided to give a snap shot of all the adventures that we have embarked on over the past month so that we could remember this amazing time. Warning* long post ahead.

Cooking Creations
Everything in NYC is expensive, but that is old news and we are over the shock. The price of everything was hard to adjust to at first, but now we hardly notice it. Prices of things in NYC come with the territory and if we wanted a bargain we would have moved to Detroit (jk); there is a cost to trying new things especially in one of the most popular cities in the world. One of the most noticable cost differences other than rent is the cost of food, so we have changed our eating habits a bit which has resulted in improving my cooking game and made us focus our attention to only the best restaurants (quality over quantity). The latest gem we have stumbled upon is Stiles Farmers Market, which is 4 blocks away from our house, and has amazing fresh produce, fresh ground coffee, herbs, eggs, and all of the basics of a healthy beautiful meal for a cost lower than most Texas grocery stores!! Below are a few of the best plates we have been whipping up this spring. 

Roasted Chicken and Onions

Homemade Baba Ganoush with Rosemary Bread

Vegan Blueberry Banana Loaf

Zucchini Cakes with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Calling all friends, acquaintances, family and friendly folks...we LOVE having visitors in NYC! We want to extend an open invitation to anyone we know to come on up and visit the city that never sleeps. Stuart and I do not plan on staying in NYC long term so this is the time you get to experience the city without the $200+ a night hotel bill, so please take us up on the offer, we would love to have you. Here is a snap shot of our most recent visitors along with a short list of all guests we have had in NYC.

My Mom (Janet Godsy) and her best friend Shawn Durrett- April 19-23
We had the MOST amazing past weekend with mom and Shawn!! Some of the highlights were: Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, dinner at the South Seaport Pier 17, biking through Central Park and up to Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (largest cathedral in the USA and some say the world), delicious italian dinner at UVA Wine Bar in the Upper East Side, Empire State Building visit and views, Chelsea Market, NY pizza party at home, sitting and people watching in Bryant Park at midnight, and Lorely Restaurant & Biergarten for an authentic German experience. I LOVED this weekend with my mom and it was such a treat to show Shawn around since she has never been to NYC.

Empire Views

Central Park Cruise

More Empire Views

Joel Thompson- April 12-15
Joel is one of Stuart's best friends and we were so excited to hear when he had officially booked a trip to visit NY. Joel was our neighbor in Dallas and him and Stu loved to spend time "fixing" things around the house (aka drink beer together, chat about sports, lay out by the pool, work on house projects, build things, game, etc.) so I know Stu has been missing Joel so much and he was very excited to have him here to visit. Some highlights of the trip were: Happy Hour with Deloitte, Dekalb Market Mimosas, Brooklyn Flea Market, stumbling across Soul Food in Brooklyn being sold beside a church, Brooklyn Brewery, brunching at Georgios

Deloitte Happy Hour

Night Stroll

Dekalb Fun

Absolute most cravable Soul Food we have ever experienced.

Master behind the food

Afternoon at Brooklyn Brewery 
Other notable guests from Dec., Jan., Feb.
I have already included posts for these other notable guests, but just wanted to give them a shout out since these include some of our most favorite people. :)
Dad and Maggie
Megan Godsy (best sister in the world)
Haley and Seth
Laura Hansen

Weekend Escapes
The title says it all, the cliche of New Yorkers escaping the city on the weekend is actually quite accurate and is not limited to those with summer homes. The city is amazing, happening, hopping, buzzing, and electric, but too much of a good thing can turn sour and that is what happens a lot to Manhattanites. We are surrounded and literally swimming our way through crowds of people everyday, honking and garbage truck growls wake up us up more than our alarm clocks, laying in the meadow or on a rock in Central Park means you have about a 20ft. x 20ft. area between yourself and the next person, the fastest way to get anywhere is by foot or subway so forget about Sunday drives, to take the dog out you must get completely dressed for the weather and be ready for a 20-30 min event, and if you want peace and quite you might need to resort to a spa trip because there is none of that here...all of this being said we are embracing this adventure, so grateful for the opportunity, and discovering that a weekend away is the best medicine. Here are highlights from recent getaways and a note on what's to come!

Berkshire Mountains- Western Massachusetts

Car Rental: Stu loves driving and misses it so much now that we do not have a car in NYC, so car rentals for weekend getaways have become extremely exciting! He couldn't wait to get behind the wheel in our black Hyundai; Stu smoozed the car rental guy and got us an upgrade. ;) And we're off to the Berkshires!

Oh yes, we rent cars for weekend getaways so that we can bring munchkin Nora. "Hi mom, I don't really fit on this seat"- Nora

On our drive out of New York we passed the new Yankees Stadium!

Enjoying the open road and rolling Berkshire foothills in Western Massachusetts.

We love getting lost... OK, I love getting lost, not sure if Stuart does. Either way, I always convince Stuart that getting lost is exciting because of how unpredictable it is and he agrees once we stumble across something amazing off the beaten path. This sign represents us getting a little lost in the Berkshires, and this road was perfectly named because it really felt like a Pumpkin Hollow Road and it was the perfect time of day to experience this winding path to beautifulness.
The Berkshires are known for the rich dairy and farm lands and here was a picture perfect red barn during the drive on Pumpkin Hollow Road. We passed Maple Syrup markets, farm stands with fresh produce, and fields filled with Oreo cows. :)

We arrive at our condo for the weekend~ we could have brought like 6 other people because the place was huge and had two bedrooms, couch bed, and more!

 We could barely relax once we get to the Berkshires because of our excitement to explore, so off we went again to the old main street to find a restaurant that came highly reccommended.

 We found it! Allium...a unique little restaurant with huge windows facing the adorable main street. The restaurant serves a varying seasonal menu focusing on local, farm-fresh ingredients.

The ambiance was serenely energetic and the menu offerings were creative; it was a perfect way to kick off the weekend!

A Pale Ale to remember.

We spent St. Patty's day this year shopping, relaxing on a patio with Smithwick's, enjoying the spring weather, driving through the mountains and exploring new things.

The last night we were there we were on the hunt for the best restaurant in the area, and oh boy did we find it! After a lot of research of the area we decided to head to the hills (literally) and find this little restaurant that was in the middle of no where called John Andrews. It was like a storybook. We drove for 30 minutes up a mountain road until we found the little farm house restaurant where the front door was framed with twinkling Christmas lights. The pictures do not do justice to show how quaint, warm and inviting this restaurant was!

The inside was chic and romantic and the smell was magical! This was the kind of place you want to savor and enjoy for hours over a nice bottle of vino. 

After our adventures in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts were done we took the long scenic route home so that we could hit the coast of Connecticut for some fresh seafood before returning to the city. 
We did a lot of other site seeing and exploring, but those pictures are on our big camera, so I will have to add a post and talk about the towns we visited. :)

Our other weekend getaway was to Mystic, CT, which we already blogged about! Our next trip is in May and we are trying to decide between Boston and Niagra Falls/Toronto Canada.

Spring Time in New York
Funny Fact: Stuart and I had never been to New York other than Fall or Winter before deciding to move here. So, when New York decided to get even more beautiful than we could have ever dreamed this Spring, we fell deeper in love with the city. Spring in New York reminds me of the summer I studied abroad in London because all of the spring/summer markets that have popped out of the wood works and this is what I have always loved about European cities. All of the restaurants have opened their "doors" and "walls" and expanded onto the sidewalks with outdoor seating for soaking up the warmer air and sunshine. Everyone has a little pep in their step walking to work in less layers and enjoying their lunches outside wherever they can find a flat place to sit. Stuart and I have even enjoyed our first picnic in Central Park now that the weather has turned. It is truly a happy time in New York! Here are some things on the "Spring Scene" that we have explored:

Sharing new Spring menu offerings such as creamy Barrata Caprese Salad

Experiencing the world's largest pillow fight in Washington Sq. Park!


Spent Easter with the most fashionable Lads and Ladies at the Annual Easter Hat Parade down 5th Ave.

Daily walks in the park with my two loves. 

Lunching with friends at outside eateries.

Star gazing (or light gazing since you can't really see too many stars) in Bryant Park.

Cheering on Central Park races each weekend!

Discovering a taco joint that could stand up to any establishment south of the border.

Stopping to smell the flowers blooming all over the city!

Weekend markets!

 I am going to continue to try and update the blog as much as possible, because everyday offers new adventure and we are having a blast exploring the city. We miss our friends, our family, and certain aspects of Texas but we are so incredibly thankful to be here, we wouldn't change it for the world right now.

Much love- E & S