Monday, July 14, 2008

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

The city of blinding light

Yeah, so, let's catch up. After brunch on Sunday, we went across the street to sunbathe in possibly the best park ever. Brooklyn Bridge Park. I believe I have gone on, and on.. and indeed on, about how much I love the Brooklyn Bridge before.  But I feel these things can never be said enough. I LOVE BROOKLYN BRIDGE. Lovelovelove.

Heaven looks at you from the Brooklyn Bridge

And Brooklyn Bridge Park, is just spectacular. It's sandwiched between Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, with this stunning view of the city. In summer, it is one of many places in the city you can catch a free outdoor movie (one of the many reasons I frigging adore NY in the summer). I did this on Thursday night, sobbing my wee little heart out. The reasons for this being threefold: a) the movie was 'Stand By Me', which never fails to get me crying, b) the view was just so so beautiful, through the sunset and then when all the buildings lit up and c) I had forgotten to bring my GODDAMN CAMERA! If that's not a reason to cry like a bambino I don't know what is.  

But don't worry, I'll go see the next good film there and bring that camera if I have to physically staple it to my forehead. Then you'll get to see what I mean.

Inspired by our movie outing, my friend Bex and I felt compelled to come back, on a sunny Sunday afternoon and drink in all the park had to offer. The sun, the view, the atmosphere.

Quenching a thirst

If you're wondering what all that water is coming out of the side of the bridge, don't worry.  It's part of some crazy-ass art thing, man-made artificial waterfalls. I think, at the moment, there's six of those bad-boys at various points up the East River. *Shrugs* I don't think I get it, but GOSH-DARN it's exciting!

Bex in the city

Sunday was so perfect for sun-bathing. I had my iPod in, there was a regular breeze to take the edge off the heat, and all I had to do was turn my head to the left to feel super happy.

And to feel at home. 


The Brunchfast Club: Bubby's, Brooklyn

DUMBO - Bridge-tastic - and not an elephant in sight

It's been a while since I went for brunch.  No, actually, scratch that.  It's been a while since I went to brunch and remembered to bring my camera.

Therefore, my new (ir)regular feature of The Brunchfast Club, has only had one post. And don't you worry, I'm ashamed.  I had to forgoe the nightly lashings a few weeks ago as people started to ask questions at work, but I've since been punishing myself on the INSIDE. Promise.

To rectify matters, I made a super special effort to pick up my camera today. Because today we were going to one of my most favorite of places.. the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn.

'DUMBO?!' I hear you cry. 'What the HEEZY?! Isn't that an elephant?!' Well, yes, and NO. DUMBO, in New York actually stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. No jokes.

And it's just lovely. But more about that in another post. (The very next one in fact).

We're here right now to discuss more important matters. Like brunch.

In DUMBO, there is a place called Bubby's.  

That baby loved Bubby's longtime

There's actually two branches of this eaterie - the other one being in Tribeca, Manhattan.  The one in Tribeca (which was where I saved celebrity lives) is always insanely busy, with a queue round the block to get a table.  The one in Brooklyn, the one with which I was to grace with my presence this very day, is not as busy.  For a start it's bigger, and so can cope with more people, and second, it's in Brooklyn. 

However, the important thing is the food is just the same.  And so is the coffee.

Ahh coffee, how I love thee

When we sat down, I was torn. I wanted so much. I wanted eggs, I wanted pancakes, and I wanted some form of meat goddammit! And what to drink? It was over 80 degrees outside, so I wanted water (obv), but then they had a special on their citrus juice presses, and looked just the thing to quench my thirst, but WHAT OF COFFEE?!?!? For the LOVE OF GOD, SOMEONE think of the COFFEE!!

Luckily for me and my gastronomically-confused brain Bubby's had the answer. The Griddle Special. This consisted of my choice of pancakes or french toast (pancakes, clearly), sausage or bacon (er, hello, pancakes and bacon is like peas and carrots... but much, much better), eggs however you like (I always say scrambled because I still don't know what things like 'sunny side up' or 'over easy' actually mean), and CRUCIALLY, your choice of coffee or tea (if you don't know what I chose then get out. Now. Seriously).

GENIUS! All my worries were solved, I had pancakes, I had eggs, I had BACON! And more coffee than you could shake a stick at all for the what-can-only-be-described-as SEXY price of $14. All I then had to do was order a lemon and lime citron press and I was laughing. Literally. (You know I meant literally.)

So there you have it.. BUB-TASTIC-TIMES! And don't worry, I have plenty more brunch places to show you through the medium of the bloggy-wog before my time here is up.  I will never forget my camera again.*

*Famous last words.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy Independence Day (or, How Too Much Sangria = Minimal Photos)

Happy Fourth of July!

So yes, this weekend, I believe it is common knowledge that it has been American Independence Day Weekend.

I also believe that it is common knowledge that I am in fact, British.

Nevertheless, my adoptive home for this year, could not have been happier to have me celebrate their national holiday with them. Which I did, in spades. And sangria. Lots and lots of sangria.

Apart from, apparently, you DO NOT sit on the American flag and use it as some sort of beach towel. That's what is known as desecration of said flag, and makes a lot of Americans very unhappy. Lesson learned!

So, where did all this merriment take place? WELL! I went to a party at Water Taxi Beach in Queens.  There was music, artificial sand, sangria (oh lord was there sangria), chicken, burgers and (my new favorite thing to eat) chili dogs. I mean, really, MEAT on top of MORE MEAT!?! If that's not the most genius thing you've ever heard, well, I just don't know what to say. 

However, before I drank my body-weight in sangria, I did think to take a picture of the amazing view we had from across the East River:

Mid-town skyline (check out the red white and blue Empire State)

Unfortunately, that's all you get from me on the photo front because, I then proceeded to drink sangria until 5.30am. Which seemed like a good idea at the time, but turns out, my stomach had other differing opinions on the subject.

Possibly never drinking sangria again...

Very possibly.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Escape to Fire Island

Anchors away..

By the last weekend of June, I was stressed. Work had been too busy for me to think straight, I had not left the office before 8pm for a long time. By the time I got home, I was so tired I went straight to sleep. I was tired, I was hungry, I was burning the candle at both ends.

In short, something had to give.

That Saturday, I got up early (against my bodies wishes), got a train, and then another train. And then yet another train. Two and a half hours later, I got a bus. And then a boat.

By 12pm I was on Ocean Beach, Fire Island. Exhausted but happy. I lay down on the warm sand, and felt the cool ocean spray on my face, and the breeze in my hair.

And then I promptly fell into much needed slumber. For four hours.

Awake after four hours sleep on the beach

Fire Island is a long thin barrier island off the southern coast of Long Island. It is 30-odd miles long, but only 0.25 miles across.  It has many villages and hamlets, each with their own atmosphere.  I went to Ocean Beach, which is the self-proclaimed 'heart' of Fire Island. 

Fun in the sun = elaborate beach-ball yoga. WHO KNEW?!

It has lovely shops, restaurants and bars. I ate fresh seafood, and delicious ice cream. 

I literally cannot remember the last time I felt that relaxed, and happy.

Main St, Ocean Beach

It was a much needed break, and I came back to NYC with all my aches in my shoulders, and all my worries, and all my stress melted away.

It had only been one day, but it felt like a week.

I will be back there!