What is the deal with this?

Lets be honest. We are the truest kind of BFFs. We met at Girls' Camp 1996 in St. Lou, survived high school and 2 years as roommates at BYU. Now, we find ourselves BOTH in NYC, which rocks, and as we contemplated how we should spend quality BFF time together - the answer seemed obvious. We must beebop the boroughs in matching purple hats every Saturday morning. Holla!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

8: Lower East Side

This week, we explored the Lower East Side. Lets be honest -- our short little walk lasted 4 hours! We were extremely chatty (shock of shocks), and we found ourselves compelled to enter 348 little shops that we found along our way. We had an exceptional time, and while these pictures contain more animal statues than historic buildings, hopefully we have captured the flava of the LES.

Me at Seward Park. Why did this park appeal to us, you might ask? See: next photo.

Within Seward Park, there was an interesting gathering of Chinese people. There were men and women, young and old, and they were practicing some sort of Chi. It seemed like Tae Kwon Do or some form of Asian exercising. Anyway - we watched for several minutes - more entertaining than it now seems.

Whoops - our beloved Doughnut Plant just happens to be in the Lower East Side. We didn't even have to go out of our way to enjoy these FABULOUS doughnuts.

While ducks hanging in the window of Chinese restaurants are commonplace, fried squid is a sight that was new to the both of us. Jill ponders, "What might that taste like?"

No idea what this building is, or why I am raising the roof.

Jill enjoying a relaxing moment atop a frog in a local park.

This graffiti caused the song "Shiny, Happy People" to become stuck in my head for the rest of the walk. Seeing as I only know 4-ish lines from that song, Jill suffered greatly.

The dumplings sold here will bring you good fortune. (Keep this in mind....for later, you will see dumplings of another variety)

We were excited to capture a photo of this Chinese monk as he came outside a New York Buddhist Temple. Though I am twice his size - his presence made me kind of nervous.

The historic highlight of this walk was the Eldridge Street Synagogue. It was the first synagogue to be built by Eastern European Jews in the United States. It opened its doors in 1887. Before the settlement houses were built, poor immigrants could come to be fed, find out about jobs, and make arrangements to care for the sick and the dying. The architecture is intricate, and this building is just quite lovely.

The doors have many Stars of David.

Beautiful window.

I am somewhere in this picture - I think.

Not only is this stair-rail ornament dragon COOL, but Jill is FIERCE.

This "Wishing Garden" mosaic mural was on the wall outside of a school. Mostly - I like my facial expression in this photo. I also enjoy the fact that it looks as though the words are coming out of my mouth.

Crafty Jill LOVED the Wishing Garden wall.

Who knows.

Some of these pictures make it seem as if we are in Chinatown. The LES borders with ever-expanding Chinatown, so we were feeling the same way. At one of the many fish markets, we were impressed that these particular fish/eels/whatever nappy sea-life were SO long. Perhaps they weren't picture-worthy, but do you see how they extend outside the box by like 7 inches!!!!!!! Amazing.

We found ourselves inside of a Chinese drugstore-type place that had many fabulous finds. (including but not limited to: packages of buttons for $1 (we bought 2) and this great swoopy hat (fear not - we did not buy this ugly thing))

The duck trashcan may seem creepy - but my eyes are creepier.

Remember the Prosperity Dumplings that we encountered earlier on? The front runner dumpling in this picture is the antithesis of the prosperity dumpling.

This picture is a shout out to my sista. She refers to any off-brand as the "Bo Bo Brand." I guess this poultry is not Tyson's.

The LES was once among the most densely populated places in the world, as New York welcomed a bunch of immigrants to the US. We tried our hardest to focus on this historic-ness, BUT we were distracted by.......


The gelato shop next store to the Tenement Museum had many, many articles posted in the window raving about the excellence of the shop's cold treats. We needed it in our lives. Smooth mint. MMMMMMMM

While we ignored the historic museum, we could not ignore the museum gift shop.

Star of David soap. Gotta have it.

Another sister shout-out.

Whoops - we found another shop!

Bugged-eyed Jill is overwhelmed by the wall of chocolate!

I can barely hold all of the candy cigarettes that I am purchasing! (thank you LES for such a fabulous candy store!)

We couldn't resist a photo with this gnome art. A passerby mumbled something like, "Quite the photo opp." To which I replied, "Its not every day you see gnomes painted on the side of a building." The following comment: "If you live on this street, it is." Not that hilarious, but memorable.

BAGELS! Don't worry - we did not stop and eat any.

I don't even know.

Jill atop another frog. There is a theme among LES parks, I guess.

Katz Deli is a famous kosher deli down here in the LES. A scene from "When Harry Met Sally" was filmed inside.

I do not know why my typing is now underlined. Anyway - Pastrami sandwiches = delish.

Monday, January 7, 2008

7: Tribeca

Whoop whoop to Tribeca! This area of NY (TRIangle BElow CAnal) - is cute to boot. HOWEVER - we found that this quaint part of town was not really full of great photo opps. We had to get creative. AND - our little card had us excited, because it promised us sightings of blue-jean celebrities (lets just say - we were not disappointed).

I thought this building was excellent. It is of no real significance except that it is very, very non-tall. (some might say -- short)

The shelves of the local toystore have been cleared of GI Joe and Barbie. The residents of Tribeca prefer that their kids play with figurines of Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Harry Houdini, and Rosie the Riveter. Those kids are, I believe, far more nerdified than I was as a child. Whoop Whoop!

The wonders of Tribeca never cease!! This is a park. We thought it was noteworthy. It is typical of many NY parks for 2 reasons. 1) It is the size of a typical suburban driveway 2) Every inch of grass is fenced in so that it can only be admired from behind bars.

SNOW!! Apparently it snowed here in the city. Who knew? The Upper West Side hasn't seen snow in ages, so Jill and I were highly suspect of this heap, and its origin.

These very cute homes were tucked right in a side nook of Tribeca. Jill fell in love. Like the snow heap, they seemed quite out of place. The blurb below describes.

The Square Diner was listed on our trusty card as the must-eat burger in Tribeca. It smelled of greasy goodness.

This is the largest piece of empty land that either of us have ever seen in the city, aside from Central Park. Thank you Tribeca for another bit of wonderment.

This sign reminded Jill and I of my beloved sister. Back in the days of Girls' Camp 1996, Bonnie adopted the sometimes nickname Labonna. This sign obviously doesn't say "Labonna," but it kind of does.

Here is where we start having FUN!! As you noticed above - while cute, Tribeca was not the picture of exciting. Jill and I livened things up as we began to take note of the many dogs wearing stellar outfits. This is very typical NYC behavior. New Yorkers adore their dogs. You dress your kids, why wouldn't they dress their dogs?

This pooch accidentally left home this morning in his pajamas. How embarassing! (note the long fleece sleeves on those front legs) (Jill had to chase this guy for 3 blocks to catch a photo)

This hot, young thing was obviously headed to a lunch date. She was sporting a jacket and four shiny, pink shoes.

We caught this great shot of a sporty Maltese after I remembered that I am not shy and that instead of chasing down pups to steal a pic -- I can just ask the owner. He sure looks comfy in that sweatshirt.

This preppy terrier in his cable knit sweater was perfectly suited to brave the windy Tribeca morning.

And this poor doggie was humiliated. He was caught on Varick Street in his birthday suit.

You might be wondering about those "blue-jean" celebrities that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. So - we didn't actually see any celebrities. BUT keep in mind that these dogs were almost wearing jeans, and they totally should be famous.