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Archive for the ‘Only in New York’ Category

You scream, we all scream ice cream!  Clearly one of my favorite childhood rhymes and knowing my passion for ice cream, I must be a case of arrested development. 

In case you’re wondering I do know how to spell fatty, however  this particular ice cream treat reminded me of the past few years fad-obsession with bacon and this year’s fad – it’s got to be salted to be good (read sea salted dark chocolate, salted caramel everything including Starbucks!).

So what we have here is:  A waffle cup with sampler trio (whiskey fudge rebellion, drunk and salty caramel, and maple bacon) sprinkled with candied pecans.

OMG

OMG

Luca & Bosco is an ice cream and dessert company based in NYC. They strive to make people happy through food – my kind of people!   Their ice cream has integrity, and is made from all natural ingredients, organic whenever possible, less sweet and packed with flavor – one taste and you will know the difference. They’re seriously talking about a deliciousness to make your eyes roll back because it tastes so good. 

Run by co-founders Catherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky, Luca & Bosco’s mission is to bring deliciousness to people’s lives one scoop at a time.

Catherine is the mom of Luca, a 5 pound, white Maltese. Ruthie is the mom of Bosco, a chocolate Lab. They are the inspiration for the name and the reason we make ice cream cone shaped dog biscuits. We don’t want our canine friends to be left out of the ice cream fun.

Wow!! I have to take a trip down to the Lower East Side to stop in for a taste of some of the unusual and distinct ice cream flavors offered at Luca & Bosco.  Although today’s feature is the waffle cup sampler with a trio of fantabulous ice creams, Luca & Bosco have such exotic flavors as:  Carmelized Banana, Chocolate Brownie Chunk, Goat Cheese, Milky Tea, Rosemary Olive Oil, and Earl Grey with Chocolate Freckles.  On second thought maybe I shouldn’t even consider a visit.  I might go into sugar shock!

Luca & Bosco is located at 120 Essex St. New York, NY.

 

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It’s not every day that you get to meet a mysterious silent film star!  I was lucky enough to meet the beautiful and mysterious Belle De l’ombre.  Believe it or not she actually lives here in New York City in some very posh surroundings.  But of course that’s only fitting for such a raven beauty.  Her name is as beautiful as  she is and it translates to Beauty Of The Shadows!  She is a true movie star from the silent film era and as you can see from this photo she carries herself as the star she is.  With a little bit of luck and research I was able to obtain some footage from one of Belle’s many films.  Take a look for yourself and I’m sure you’ll agree this little Glamour Puss is as elegant and mysterious as her name implies.

http://kokovoko.net/bandw.html

Beauty of the Shadows

Beauty of the Shadows

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I grew up in a household where dessert was not a regular menu item.  Once in a while my mother would bake a cake or pie, however, on Sunday we were treated with ice cream as dessert after Sunday dinner which was around  one o’clock or two o’clock.  Right smack in the best part of the day.  I had already devoted the morning to a quick breakfast and going to Mass and now I wanted to spend the afternoon doing something fun with my friends.  Well at least we had ice cream!

Last week I was down in the West Village getting my hair cut and afterwards since it was such a glorious Fall-almost-still-summer afternoon I thought I’d wander around a bit and lo and behold I looked across the street and there was the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.  And that name rang a bell and I remembered that this summer I read an article about the 10 Best Ice Cream shops in New York City.  Well time for the taste test!

I went in and was surprised at how small it was but then again I guess most of the business is take out.  I couldn’t remember anything about the article or why this place was noted.  Looking around and up at the chalkboards, I searched for a list of flavors – there was none!  What kind of place is this.  One sign said Vanilla, Chocolate and Flavor of the Day which happened to be Dulce de Leche (not a fan).  There were signs for Shakes and some Specialties.  I tried to see what the people ahead of me were getting and it looked like it was soft serve ice cream.   Mmmm

I just ordered a twist of chocolate and vanilla, really not quite my usual BUT I was unsure about what the specialties actually were.  I have NEVER tasted soft serve ice cream that creamy and rich.  It was dense, the flavor ran deep, it was delicious! 

When I got home I read the article and found out the shop is famous for a concoction known as a Salty Pimp ! Turns out it is a delectable chocolate-dip covered  vanilla ice cream cone combined with Dulce de Leche and Sea Salt.  I may not be fan of Dulce de Leche ice cream but the thought of it on top of vanilla ice cream and under a chocolate shell…Wellllll

In retrospect it was a mistake not to order the Salty Pimp ONLY because the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is too far away for me to just stop by.  However, I will definitely be looking forward to my next haircut!

The Salty Pimp

The Salty Pimp

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WTF?

WTF?

I don’t know whether to pick up the last couple of days of Ice Cream week at Pbenjay OR tell you where I’ve been and why!

Well, promises made are promises to be kept and I said I would explain why I just disappeared for a couple of days.  I was all set to post Thursday’s Top Ten list of ice cream flavors but didn’t get to write it before we left for the Shore.  I figured I could write it when we got there.  Never assume! 

Getting everything out of the apt, onto the cart and into the car is not fun thing it’s cracked up to be and Thursday was a WTF day!  I wheeled the cart out to the curb and took one look at the car and GULPED! The right rear fender has a huge dent in it. Oh shit! That was the mildest of the curse words that flew out of my mouth! I mean really, I am rebuilding this car fender by fender and bumper by bumper as it seems to be magnet for the most careless, rude, mean-spirited people that have hit my car and NOT ONE HAS EVER LEFT A NOTE ! There’s a real F U hit and run attitude prevalent in New York City.  I was just sick over this latest offense and thinking about yet another $250 deductible.  Naturally I asked Peter about it and he related the story of how he went to get the car from where it had been parked on another street and as he approached the car, a young man who was tinkering with his bike asked if this was his car because he thought it had been hit by a truck that had tried to park behind it and couldn’t fit and drove off.  Yeah he couldn’t fit – guess he knew that when he bashed in my rear fender!  This was not auspicious beginning of the trip or weekend.

We left New York a little after 3pm AND that was a mistake AND not the first time we’ve done such dumb thing and as a due reward for our stupidity it took us an hour to go from the UES to the Lincoln Tunnel.  I’m going to blame the late afternoon Starbucks for my very uncomfortable  situation;  we moved along excruciatingly slow and I wondered if I would make it to the service area about 2 miles outside the tunnel on the New Jersey side.  Ay yi yi…. I don’t need to fill in the blanks.

We were carrying things into the cottage and I remark to Peter that there must have been some rain here because there was a pile of mud and debris in our walkway (this always happens when it rains).  All of sudden Peter says, “hey there’s no power on”!  “WTF”!  I quickly open and close the freezer and my worst fears are confirmed.  Everything is defrosted, still a little chilled but definitely the frozen fruit is soup.  I call my friend Jane who owns a hotel in town and ask her if the power went out in town and she says no, not that I’m aware of.  I cross the street to speak to my neighbor and ask if he has power? Yes he does. BUT then goes on to explain that severe thunder and lightning storms along with 5 1/2 ” of rain fell on Monday and Tuesday AND the house 2 doors down from mine got hit with lightning.  Mmmmm – Peter goes to the basement, flips all the circuit breakers and nothing happens. I am so panicked about all the food in the freezer, we contemplate packing up a bag and taking it to the hotel but then we realize our neighbor’s house is empty because work is being done so we scoot over there to see if her refrigerator is on and empty.  We relay pass the food from our house to the neighbors over the fence.  I am stacking my soggy food in layers in her freezer with some freezer packs.

We call Jersey CL&P and tell them it’s an emergency, and we wait, and we wait.  Finally, a burly man with a big truck shows up.  Five minutes later he leaves…after he flips the MASTER CIRCUIT BREAKER switch.  REALLY??!! Really? In all fairness (and this part is hard), that switch stops halfway and in order to reset it, you have to push it past that point and pull it back.

Okay we have power, the food I think may be salvageable is next door and we still have to eat.  I start dinner and turn on the TV which for some reason I can’t seem to sync with the cable box.  Peter tries and he can’t do it either.  I think I’ll call Verizon but the phones are dead – I assume they are recharging – NEVER ASSUME.  And there’s no internet access.  So I call Verizon on my cell phone and for the next 30 minutes the technician tries to talk Peter through many steps to reboot everything only to discover ultimately that the big main box that was behind the wine rack, behind the cookbooks and behind the cake tin housing lots of tools is dead.  And that was only found out after trying to follow a cord out that box which ran behind the bookcase that held a ton of videos and its top shelf had several framed photos that kept falling as we tried to move the bookcase and then follow the cord behind the radiator which does not move!

Finally the techie and Peter realize making a service appointment is our only option. It’s now after 9:00 pm on Thursday night and the first appointment we can have is between 8am-noon on Saturday – WTF!  We have a house guest arriving tomorrow, we have no phone, no internet, no cable TV.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. We are up and ready by 8am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Verizon repair man. At 8:15 am my cell phone rings and a cheery voice greets me with the news that although our appointment was to be between 8am-12pm, he wouldn’t be able to get there until between 1pm-2pm.  I tell him that is totally unacceptable and rattle off the reasons why and tell him to call his dispatcher and call me back.  He doesn’t so I call Verizon and the poor customer service who picked up the phone got an earful from me.  He kept repeating how they were over-booked and I kept repeating my litany of how long I have been a Verizon customer, how this house has been without all Verizon services for almost a week. Ok he’ll call the dispatcher and call me back.  He calls back and gives me this song and dance about how he spoke to the dispatcher but there are 5 jobs to be done blah blah blah.  My response is that I don’t care that there are 5 jobs just me in a time slot that is before noon.  I remind him that I have a text confirming that appointment.  He tells me that we don’t know how long the appointments will take to which I say that’s not true since every appointment was made for a specific task.  Finally after about 10 minutes, I ask him to connect me to a supervisor because I don’t need to yell at him and I realize there’s nothing he can do. OK he’ll get a supervisor.  At this point I hand the phone to Peter because if you can catch more bees with honey rather than vinegar it’s time to give the phone to Peter since I’m really worked up.

Twenty minutes later, Peter is trying his best to convince the supervisor who is handing him the standard party line which we are not buying.  I motion to Peter NOT to give in because at this point, it’s like a game as to who will say “uncle” first.  We’re holding firm!  Finally Verizon says he’ll call one of the service men and see if he re-route him. 

Now it’s time for breakfast al fresco!  We eat and wait.

Yay he’s here!  He actually showed up at 10 minutes to 11am.  He said he had been instructed to come to us after he completed the job he had been on.  In less than 10 minutes he replaced the battery pack and we were back in business.  Before he left we checked all three components of service and all are working. 

The moral of the story is if you make enough noise, if you hold firm, you will be a loud wall BUT you just might get what you need!  So now that I have computer access, I’ve been typing for about an hour relating this tale of electronic deprivation and now maybe I’ll be able to finish my ice cream week.  And for the record I had the best dish of sea salt caramel vanilla ice cream tonight!!!

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Some of my readers know all about my Magical Mystery Tours because they have been included on them.  However, for those of you who are thinking “Whoa there, is this about LSD or shroom tea”, the answer is no, nothing of the sort.  A Magical Mystery Tour is an adventure,  a trip to a place you never knew about and it could practically be in your back yard.  An MMT is guaranteed to be a surprise to those invited along and sure to please.

My first Magical Mystery Tour was to take my husband on a trip to Journal Square in Jersey City.  I told him to meet me at Macy’s on 34th St.  Then I led him down a side street and into a large building that housed (of all things) The Manhattan Mall. That was his first shock because he had never heard of this place sitting around the corner from Herald Square. It was merely a decoy trip – we went up an escalator, walked past some stores that you couldn’t imagine being there and then down another escalator to the first floor and down again!  The second escalator down brought us into a subway station.  I led him over to the PATH train section and we bought ticket to board a train to New Jersey.  At this point he was getting nervous;  after all, it was night time and I was taking him to New Jersey!  We got off the train at Journal Square and the station looked large and unfamiliar – not like the subway stations we were used to in Manhattan.  I led him out of the station, across a large open  space where all the stores were closed (it was a little off-putting) and then across a wide main street.  He still didn’t “see” where we were headed until we were almost on top of it.  There, in all its faded glory stood a Loew’s Movie Palace.  We paid a mere $6.00 each and entered in a world of glory days gone by.  I had never been in a movie palace before, they didn’t exist where I grew up.  It was magnificent even in its state of disheveled rehabilitation.  Peter marveled that this treasure still existed and that it was slowly and painstakingly being brought  back to its former glory.

Lowe's Jersey Movie Palace

Lowe’s Jersey Movie Palace

We repeated that trip a few times, bringing unsuspecting friends on their own MMT and relishing their surprise and joy at discovering this treasure.  Since then over the years I’ve taken Peter on other Magical Mystery Tours and we just returned home  from the latest;

Today we went to a secret bookshop in Manhattan!  And it was in our neighborhood and who knew?  Well actually I knew  about it because Gail, my own secret sourcer-er, sent me an article about a secret bookshop about a year ago.  She even suggested that it would make a great Magical Mystery Tour. A man was running a bookshop out of an apartment.  It was on the Upper East Side and not exactly legal.  It was his own apartment at one time, that is until the books began to overrun the place;  he had owned a book store down the street but lost the lease and moved his inventory into his home.  He also continued to indulge in one of his passions – buying books!  Eventually the apartment became a warehouse for his books and his continued purchases.

I did research and finally found out his name but not his address.  I looked up a couple of articles written about him but they  always omitted his name and whereabouts WHICH is exactly what I’m going to do!  I found a phone number and periodically called and left messages to no avail – I never got a return call.  I tracked down the author of one of the articles and she gave me his email address, so of course I wrote, but never got a reply.  A month or so ago, Gail found out that he was on FB and I should look up his page and “LIKE” it and maybe send him a message there.  I did and WOWIE – after a month I received a reply.  I was shocked and thrilled!  He gave me his hours, his address and his cell phone number!  Oh boy, I was in business now!

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

I made an appointment for this afternoon and marked our calendar with MMT so Peter would keep the afternoon free!  Well, walking over there and not knowing exactly what to expect was a little scary.  But I rang the bell with unmarked (yes) name and we were buzzed in.  This is what we saw!  We were warmly greeted by _______ and welcomed to his idiosyncratic bookshop.  Books, books, books and more books!  Books on shelves, books in bookcases, books piled on tables, books piled on the floor, books on top of books – it was a melange of mysteries, a passel of paperbacks, a bounty of biographies, and chock full of fiction!  A literary paradise, a candy store for bibliophiles. 

We spent over an hour just gazing at shelves and grazing through the titles.  We didn’t buy anything today but will certainly return, perhaps even to participate in one of his “salons”.  There’s no need for advertising, this place is strictly WOM.

I’m sure you’re intrigued and are dying to know where this secret place is but I have to tell you, my lips are sealed!

MORE BOOKS

MORE BOOKS

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The Action of New York City

The Action of New York City (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

One of my most popular and consistently viewed blog posts is the one I did on the Top Ten Things To Do in New York City during Christmas.   If you haven’t read it, here’s the link to that one: https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4694&action=edit.

New York City is the capital of the world, a tourist magnet and the home to over 8 million residents which can sometimes make our streets and sidewalks very, very busy!  People from all over the world come here;  We invite them, you know – haven’t you ever seen the I Love New York ads on TV?  So you’re welcome to visit and see and experience this amazing place we call home BUT there are few things you sometimes (often) do while you’re here and they just annoy the s___ out of us!  Summertime is also a BIG time for tourists in the City (could be why so many residents head to the Hamptons) and if you don’t want to be a persona non grata, you will find this list helpful – and we will be grateful and welcome you back with open arms.  These are definite NO-NO’s

1. No need to avoid walking on the grates in the sidewalks when you are wearing sneakers (that’s how we know who is a visitor and who is a resident).  When you walk around the grate it forces others, who may be wearing heels, to walk over them.  Don’t be afraid of the grate;  What’s the worse that could happen?  It caves in and you drop 10 feet, maybe break your arm, just think of how much you can sue the City for!

2.  PLEASE do not walk holding hands;  You’re strolling, we’re walking behind you and we have to be somewhere soon!  Also trying to pass you is like trying to get around a tractor trailer and a solid white line.

3.  PLEASE do NOT stop in the middle of the sidewalk, the top of the escalator, just outside the revolving door!  I mean really, really?

4.  Renting a Citibike?  Don’t pull an Alec Baldwin and peddle down the wrong way on a one-way street.

5. Whispering on the subway, we can hear you!  

6. It’s not funny when you tawk with a fake New York accent!

7.  Acting like  we might hurt you!  This ain’t the 70’s anymore!

8. You drive your car into town and then complain about the traffic.

9. Asking for directions and not telling us where your ultimate destination is.  How can we help if we don’t know where you’re going.

10.  Umbrellas!  Yes the sidewalks are crowded so please remember you are not the only one with walking here and that thing is a weapon when you’re not careful.

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Recently, I wrote how stressed I’ve been over a few things!  Tia, who is actually Juanita, my sister-in-law arranged a special fun day this past Saturday for both of us.  It was guaranteed to be fun and stress-free!  We were going to spend the day at Sakura Matsuri or Cherry Blossom Festival viewing the beautiful cherry trees, drinking Sakura tea, watching some Japanese flower arranging and maybe catch a Tea Ceremony.  I would be Juanita’s guest as she belongs to BAM (Brooklyn Art Museum) which is adjacent to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and where there are over 200 cherry trees of different varieties! She brewed some sakura tea which we enjoyed in a shady spot mid-afternoon.

Real China Cups

Real China Cups

And how did my sister-in-law come to be such a fan of the cherry trees?  Well, to begin with, she informed that she’s sure she was Japanese in another lifetime and one can’t really argue with that!  Her son, (my nephew by marriage) lives and works in Japan and is fluent in the language (I am so impressed with that)!  Juanita goes to Japan once a year to visit Justin and tries to time her visit to see the cherry blossoms. She came home this year with a beautiful kimono which she wore while we were at the Gardens.

Tia's Cherry Blossom and Butterfly Kimono

Tia’s Cherry Blossom and Butterfly Kimono

Viewing the cherry blossoms in Japan is an amazing experience;  In Japan this annual celebration is about appreciating the temporal beauty of nature.  Friends and families gather under the cherry trees for a picnic or hanami for food and drink, songs and to enjoy the beauty of the sakura (cherry blossoms).  Celebrations begin in the day and often last into the night.  The viewing of the trees begins the buds bursting into bloom and ends with the colorful pink and white carpet of petals on the ground.

Bursting to Bloom

Bursting to Bloom

Pink, Pink and Pink

Pink, Pink and Pink

Typical of the American way of life, I walked around the 42+acres of trees, seeing them, enjoying  them but never sitting still long enough to really, really appreciating their beauty, their delicate color… No we were off to see the flower arranging and the library and the vintage kimonos.  Well, actually in all honesty, we only had a couple of hours, it was hot and we saw as much as we could.

The Art of Japanese Flower Arrangements

The Art of Japanese Flower Arrangements

The Botanical Gardens are not only splendid with Cherry Blossoms, there are gorgeous Magnolia trees all around the Library.

Deep Pink Magnolias

Deep Pink Magnolias

Juanita suggested we return to Manhattan and board a bus to New Jersey where she would take me to a huge Japanese food market where we could have a late lunch and I would get to see a store full of exotic Japanese food products.  I love to go to ethnic markets, checking out items I never heard of and admiring the packaging and labeling.  I could have wandered around that store for hours.  We were ravenous and ordered A LOT; Most of it was gone by the time we decided to take a photo.

Ramen, Rice, Salmon and a Hard-Boiled Egg

Ramen, Rice, Salmon and a Hard-Boiled Egg

I had such a great time checking out the Saki, the Daikon, the various Teas and then best of all, it was time for sweets!  Tia bought a dish of Japanese soft ice cream in the exotic flavors of Black Sesame (which tasted like peanut butter), Matcha Green tea and Madagascar Vanilla.  If you are a follower of this blog, you know I was in bliss!  And then we had a big fat cream puff filled with Green Tea cream.  I brought home an Ichigo Daifuku for my husband who I had abandoned for the entire day.  This Japanese delicacy is a strawberry wrapped in red bean paste and mochi and he loved it.  I hate to admit this but at the check-out counter where impulse purchases are the same in every market, we bought yeast cakes, one filled with cream and one with red bean paste.  I thought I would not eat another morsel when I got home but sometime around 8:00pm I heard the yeast cake calling my name! 

Ichigo Daifuku

Ichigo Daifuku

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Did you know that there was an Easter Egg Hunt going on right now in New York City?  You didn’t?  Well where have you been?  Fabergé  is sponsoring this Big Egg Hunt.  Now you may think when I say BIG, I mean that there are lots of eggs and in fact there are LOTS!  In fact spread out through the 5 Boroughs there are 260 eggs.  But really, how could anyone find an egg in the middle of Manhattan, no matter how many there were?  Easily because….first of all these eggs are GINORMOUS and that’s what I meant by BIG.

The Fauxbergé Eggs have been created by the likes of Caroline Herrera, D*D*Face, Naeem Khan, and Ralph Lauren.  To quote: 

“The initiative will see over 260 large egg sculptures, each designed by globally renowned artists, designers, architects, photographers and brands placed throughout the five boroughs from April 1st to 17th, 2014. The Hunt will benefit conservation organization, Elephant Family and Studio in a School, a program that brings visual arts to New York City’s public schools.”

My dear friend, Gail who as you all know is the best Sourcerer I know, turned me onto the eggs.  And lucky Gail, there are three of those Eggs right in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum where she works.  Now I actually was at the Museum last week and did NOT see these Eggs; 

EGG MASTERPIECES

EGG MASTERPIECES

photo by Gail Kramer

Seriously you have to wonder what else I must have missed!

Of course there’s the great fun in just hunting them down and you have until April 17th to find them all AND to make the hunt really enticing,you can download an app which will map out the locations of the eggs and when you check in at each Egg location, your name will be entered into a sweepstakes and 3 lucky winners will receive an extraordinary gem-encrusted pendant created by Fabergé, as if you were a Russian Czar!

It was really difficult to pick out the Top Ten Easter Eggs but somebody had to do it so here are my subjective choices! And since I didn’t download the app I don’t really know where these particular Eggs are but I’m guess on a few.  And if you have seen them or have a good guess, send in your comment!

Follow The Signs to where?  Maybe Downtown!

Follow The Signs to where? Maybe Downtown!

I'm Still Thinking About This One

I’m Still Thinking About This One

Where's The Motherboard?

Where’s The Motherboard?

Most Likely To Be In Dumbo

Most Likely To Be In Dumbo

A Fabricge Egg? The Garment District?

A Fabricge Egg? The Garment District?

 

Brooks Brothers? Ralph Lauren?

Brooks Brothers? Ralph Lauren?

The Plaza?

The Ritz (of course)

Find the Clock, Find the Egg

Find the Clock, Find the Egg

It May Be Spring But It's Still Chilly-Dress Warm

It May Be Spring But It’s Still Chilly-Dress Warm

Looks Like Leather but where is it?

Looks Like Leather but where is it?

All egg photos by Scott Lynch (The Gothamist)

Well there you have my Top Ten Easter Eggs and perhaps I’ll be inspired this year to go a bit beyond the two-tone Paas egg!

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English: The western ramp and pylon of Brookly...

 The western ramp and pylon of Brooklyn Bridge, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in a strange and wondrous place.  My City never sleeps which means should I get a craving for anything in the middle of the night, I can either go downstairs to the 24 hour Duane Reade (drugstore++) or across the street to the 24 hour diner and eat another dinner or breakfast.  I can go to the Opera, the Philarmonic or the theater any night of the week. I can eat any ethnic food any day and visit at least 10 museums anytime.  I can see wonderful, colorful parades on most Sundays in the Spring, and Summer and watch the world go by as Israelis, Pakistanis, Irish, Indians and more walk along Fifth Ave.  That’s just a tiny bit of what makes New York City a wonderful place to experience life. BUT there’s so many things about this city that I didn’t know and here are some of those strange and interesting facts.

  1. In 1857, toilet paper was invented by Joseph C. Gayetty in NYC.
  2. The Jewish population in NYC is the largest in the world outside of Israel.
  3. The city of New York will pay for a one-way plane ticket for any homeless person if they have a guaranteed place to stay.
  4. Pinball was banned in the city until 1978.  The NYPD even held “Prohibition-style” busts.
  5. Albert Einstein’s eyeballs are stored in a safe deposit box in the city.
  6. There’s a wind tunnel near the Flat Iron building that can raise women’s skirts.  Men used to gather outside the Flat Iron building to watch.
  7. New York City has more people than 39 of the 50 states in U.S.
  8. There is a birth in New York City every 4.4 minutes.
  9. There is a death in New York City every 9.1 minutes.
  10. PONY means Product of New York.
  11. The borough of Brooklyn on its own would be the fourth largest city in the United States. Queens would also rank fourth nationally.
  12. New York City has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia.
  13. It can cost over $289,000 for a one-year hot dog stand permit in Central Park.
  14. In 1920, a horse-drawn carriage filled with explosives was detonated on Wall Street killing 30 people. No one was ever caught, and it is considered to be one of the first acts of domestic terrorism.
  15. In nine years, Madison Square Garden’s lease will run out and it will have to move.
  16. Sixty percent of cigarettes sold in NYC are illegally smuggled from other states.
  17. Chernobyl is closer to New York than Fukushima is to L.A.
  18. The Empire State building has its own zip code.
  19. The East River is not a river, it’s a tidal estuary.
  20. There are 20,000 bodies buried in Washington Square Park alone.
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Mother Nature is two-faced, there’s no question about it. I’m still wearing winter coats and scarves on my way to work, I’m putting the heat on in the den at night. On Sunday, my friend Susan sent me a photo of the falling snow in her backyard and my friend Kim posted the all too familiar picture of the stabbed snowman because in upstate New York where she lives, they got almost a foot of snow.

Even though the temperature keeps fluctuating, there are other greater rituals in place. Regardless of snow or wind or ice, the daffodils send up their bright shoots, the crocuses blossom and many of the birds who wintered elsewhere come home. These photos were taken in Central Park this past weekend.

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

Behold the magnificent Blue Heron captured in flight!

Blue Heron

Blue Heron

There’s no more snow in the park BUT we do have Snow Drops!  Aren’t they pretty?

Spring Snow Drops

Spring Snow Drops

Even though Cardinals hang around all year, they are so beautiful and regal, how could I not include him in this array of seasonal color?

Regal Red Cardinal

Regal Red Cardinal

A splash of sunshine in your garden. 

A Bit of Sunshine

A Bit of Sunshine

I love it when I hear the first Red Wing Blackbird arrive at our feeder.  They have a very distinct and melodic trill.

Love His Epaulets

Love His Epaulets

The first purple crocus each year reminds me that Spring is truly on my doorstep.

Hello Spring!

Hello Spring!

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