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!

Monday, March 24, 2008

16: Greenwich Village 2

Friends - as many of you may know - I am lazy. We actually did this walk 2 Saturdays ago, and I am just now getting around to posting. April resolution: Be a more efficient poster. Anyhow - this was a very pleasant little walk through Greenwich Village, which is becoming one of my fave NYC spots.

Our walk commenced with a blast from the past. Several walks ago (post 12) - we became curious about this lovely tower. Jill referred to it as the "Tower of Power" a la The Backyardagins. This walk did not cure our curiosity as we still have no idea what this tower is.

In 1970 - a bomb exploded right here on 11th Street destroying the old building. That is why this little townhouse looks different from every other one on the street. The bomb was built by the Weather Underground which Wikipedia informed me was a radical group of leftists trying to overthrow the US government. More importantly - Jill looks ridiculous.

Once again we tried to capture the super cute ambiance of this great neighborhood, and once again we fail. It has a very "Cosby Show" feel to it. I like.

Why do I wait so long to post!!?!?! Because I have absolutely no memory of what inspired me to take this picture, I will just have to let you enjoy my "What you talkin' about Willis?" face.

As we have mentioned before (and mention twice again in this post) New Yorker's think their dogs are the cat's pajamas. This sign warns passersby that the fierce terrier Lola is on guard. We thought that you also needed warning.

How fantastic is this?! A dusty blue building with rod iron window things = excellent. We are suckers for cute NY apartments - seeing as the entry way of Jill's building sometimes smells like garbage and my bedroom window provides a lovely view of my kitchen.

This apartment has a crazy unique shape to it that had to be photographed. It might smell strange or I might be ready to sneeze or I might just make weird faces sometimes.

Cool old church that the card failed to mention.

Our weekly beebopping is really tweaking Jill's photography skillz. For no particular reason - I kind of love this shot.

We love New Yorkers' devotion to their dogs AND we love yarn crafts. Our hearts are full.

Many of the cute townhomes in the village are covered in lovely vines. This building had it all wrong; this is a tangled knot of nastiness. It looks like something from a dead portion of the rainforest.

Look at this mess!!! It sticks out like 4 feet from the building - and it is untamed to the max. I was fascinated.

Please compare the size of the dog to the size of the car. This canine is HUGE. I do not know how this dog fits inside of any New York apartment. Nor do I know how this dog lover abstained from barfing as he caught, in his bagged hand, poo coming out of this giant pooch's bum. Vile. And we witnessed it.

Now that is how you do vines.

This darling little cobblestoned lane is a row of converted carriage houses that used to service the townhouses overlooking Washington Square. It was quite the hidden little gem.

We had to capture this somewhat hideous feline door-knocker in memory of Jill's cat-cat-cat socks that were laid to rest several weeks ago.

Undoubtedly the most famous sight on our walk this week: the arch in Washington Square Park. The arch was built in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of George Washington's inauguration. Designed by Stanford White - the arch stands 77 feet tall. It is also featured in the not-really-good-at-all movie "August Rush."

As we approached the arch, we saw an open gate, and we felt compelled to explore. The path led to this statue of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. Despite my love of The Man of La Mancha and the song "The Impossible Dream," this was a somewhat disappointing exploration.

We must celebrate NYU wherever possible, as Jill's husband is completing his last semester of law school. Whoop Whoop, Jared! p.s. NYU is the biggest landowner in the village.

Weird hugging monkies - done and done.

Following our morning beebop - Jill and I headed straight home and got to work with Easter preparations for the following day. For those unaware, Jill is the ultimate crafter (see: her other blog). We had too much fun going ridiculously overboard. We were especially proud of our Easter cookies.

Each member of our Easter dinner party had a lovely personalized cookie marking their spot at the table. Jill would not allow me to put the names on for fear that my unsteady hand would ruin Easter. Please note the cookie in the bottom right corner: even Jill and Jared's pet rabbit, Buns, got her very own cookie.

Several months ago, I convinced Jill to purchase a Statue of Liberty cookie cutter, and I took this opportunity to use it. Not to boast, but they turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Good old Lady Lib - covered in sugary, green goodness. mmmmmmm

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

15: Chelsea

We love Chelsea. It is just a charming neighborhood. We were kind of on the south side of Chelsea, away from the many, many art galleries, so we may have to catch that scene on another walk.

We did come across some delightful little restaurants like Sauce:

And this place, right next door. Megan took one look at the building and said "Swirly, Swirly, Swirly!"

You can imagine her delight when she saw that the name of the restaurant was Klee Klee Klee. :)

We love the re-occuring themes around here. Like funny store names - HA HA Fresh market, for example (remember Wing On Wo & Co in Chinatown?).

Megan was especially charmed by all the beautiful apartment buildings. We both agree that this would be a nice part of town to live in.

Here we are at Clement Clarke Moore Park, named after Clement Clarke Moore, the man who wrote "The Night Before Christmas." And that is me, being Santa Claus, obviously.

Apparently, the residents of Chelsea gather in Clement Clarke Moore Park each Christmas Eve for a reading. We love this!

Another cute street.

Megan LOVES her shiny new rain boots - a must have in NYC. What we don't love is the nasty paper and trash slush that accumulates in the streets and sidewalks when it rains.

For those of you who live here, you might be thinking to yourselves, "It didn't rain here last weekend!" (but I assume most of you don't care). In fact, it was a beautiful, warm, sunny, almost spring-like day. We visited Chelsea two weeks ago, after our Nolita walk. Megan was in CT this weekend. And I am just too lazy to post on time.

One of my favorite stops on the Chelsea walk - The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. The grounds were HUGE and looked gorgeous, but were unfortunately closed.

We took a couple of good peaks through the gates. It looked beautiful - I want to go back when it is warmer.

Have you ever wondered where New Yorkers park their cars? Most of the garages are normal, parking garage-style, but my favorite kind are these metal quadruple-deckers. It seems like it would be a real pain to get the top cars down.

I'm not sure what this building is, but I just thought it looked really cool. We spotted it on our way to Chelsea Piers.

This was Megan's first visit to the piers - we thought this old one looked like a pier graveyard. I love Chelsea Piers - It has a golf range, bowling ally, ice rink, gym, spa, lots of indoor fields, a sun deck ... and lots more. It is crazy big. Of course, it is also a place to park your yacht.

Here I am demonstrating my best swing. See the the big netted area in the background? That is the Chelsea Piers driving range. The stalls are stacked 3 or 4 levels high, just like you see in the movies. :)

We ended the morning by stopping into the Chelsea Market - it has an amazing selection of delicious foods (although beware of the seafood market, it is potent). We had lunch at the Ronnybrook Milk Bar, which just might be my new favorite lunch spot in the city. Ronnybrook Farms is a local dairy farm in NY, and this restaurant features their delicious milk products. I don't know of a lot of other places that offer cookies and milk on the menu. And the potato soup is to die for!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

14: Nolita

Welcome to Nolita, a.k.a. the neighborhood North of Little Italy. This week we enjoyed a short walk though a small neighborhood.

First stop is ... wait for it .... this is very exciting ... a Gas Station!! This was so not on the card but it has been a long time since I have had a delicious cup of gas station hot chocolate, complete with the yummy creamers, so we stopped in. Here is Meg, looking angry on my behalf that the hot chocolate machine was out of order.

Lest you think we are pulling your leg, here is another photo. :) This gas station may not be interesting to our suburban readers, but you don't often come across them on foot in the city. I've lived here for almost 3 years and this is my first visit to a gas station here! It is not everyday that you see a gas station and a subway station side by side. Ok - moving on.

Here I am in front of the Puck Building, which proclaims itself "One of New York's Most Celebrated Landmarks." Apparently, it is the happening place to throw your next wedding, social function or corporate event. I mostly just liked the little gold guy in the doorway.

Meg was especially pleased when we came across Otto Tootsi Plohound. She has a friend who adores this clothing store. Great name, Otto Tootsi Plohound!

Sometimes our tour card lies. This week's card directed us to the Firestation and promised us a "Fire and Police Store." We were so pumped about the store and were sad to find the Nolita location no longer exists. There is one in the Village, so we may head there for all our FDNY t-shirt and mug needs on a later walk.

Store or no store, the firemen were friendly.

This is Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, the first cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York. You can read more about it on the plaque below.

The best part of the cathedral was the pretty brick wall.

Megan peeked through the gate...

and found a neat old cemetary. The grounds were locked. Foiled again!

Here is a view around the other side of the gate. We wrote down the name from a particularly impressive grave, thinking you might have to be pretty important to be buried here. My most trusted research tool, Google search, shed very little light on Charles C. Cashman, though it appears an elementary school in Massachusetts was named after him.

This is Elizabeth Street Gallery, by far the most interesting thing we came across in Nolita. It is so rare to see a large amount of open space in the city, let alone one filled with a variety of sculptures. You should check out this guy's flickr set of the inside of the gallery. It looks amazing!

Curse you, Saturday mornings! Nothing is ever open.

Nolita is also home to the Eastern United States Taosist Association. Megan is looking very Napoleon Dynamite in this photo (in a good way).

This is where we let the crazy out a little bit. I had been having wardrobe malfunctions all throughout this walk - my sock kept sliding off my foot and down into my rainboot. So annoying! I was about to stop into the nearest Duane Reade to buy a new pair when Meg whips out a pair of spare socks from her purse. Because she's prepared like that. I am not as prepared, but have excellent balance.

It was really hard for me to admit that my Cat Cat Cat socks were past their prime, but we (I) bid them a fond farewell. Want a backstory on the Cat Cat Cat socks? Believe it or not, my beloved cat, Ciao, (may he rest in peace) actually mailed me these socks as a Halloween gift in 2001. I was a freshman at BYU, it was the first time we had ever been apart, and he missed me. Here is the card to prove it:
The back of the card says:

Meow! Just wanted to say Happy Halloween! It's kind of spooky here without you! Love, Ciao

I don't know what I love most - the fact that my mom sent me packages from my cat, the fact that I still have this card, or the fact that over 6 years later, I was still wearing the socks! (I really liked them!) Meg, hater of all cats and cat related items, was really happy to see them go.

We went the only place that could cheer me up - The Doughnut Plant. It is, after all, the most delicious way to end a walk.

See you next week, when I promise to do my best to post on time.