Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crif Doggy Dog!

This afternoon we went to see what the new Crif Dogs was like.

A wee while a go I posted about the sign up near Bedford Avenue saying that the new hot dog heaven would be opening soon - and now, it's here, it's just a couple of stops away on the subway and it's just as tasty as the original in Manhattan...

We just got a light snack for lunch, a BLT (with a fried egg) a couple of Spicy Rednecks (chili and coleslaw) and a Garden State (sausage wrapped in ham with cheese and some pickley little peppers)... it was all delicious!

The place itself is just as cool as the Manhattan Crif Dogs, with skateboards on the walls and old arcarde games as tables, but what I really loved was all the Star Wars figures they have on display - they have LOADS, some really old ones, some newer ones, ones I'd never seen before. I was going to take photos of them, but a certain someone deemed it to be a wee bit too geeky! Oh well - next time.

This Crif Dogs may not have a secret bar behind a telephone booth, but they do open at 7am, so I think sometime soon we'll be making a breakfast time visit!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

King of the Swingers...

These fantastic musicians were playing in Union Square Station yesterday evening...

video

I LOVE how you can have a bit of a frantic day (as frantic as colouring can get!) and then on your way home you mood is completely lifted by hearing something fantastic and fun like this!

(I think Mops and Pops would have done a better job at the dancing though!)

Me & Lucy

Lucy's been helping me with my work this week - she's taken Ben's role as Design Director while he's away...

... she's joined in some of our meetings...

... and she kept an eye on the neighbours for us too.

It's been lovely having Lucy visit the studio this week, I think Abi and I might kidnap her for the weekend - I'm sure Laura wouldn't mind.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ta Ta Tom & Fay...

(Sorry this is a late post - it's been a bit of a busy week!)

We had such a lovely time with you both, I hope you both had a fantastic holiday and I hope you had a brilliant Birthday Tom. You made it feel like we were all on holiday, Abi and I had such a great time with you - so thank you!

Isn't it just typical that it snowed the day after you went home?!
It didn't hang around for long though, it had all thawed by the next morning.

A Bit of Bowling...


After lunch and after admiring the views from the waterfront, we went and hit the lanes at Brooklyn Bowl!

Unbeknownts to us, it was family day at the bowling alley, so there were a LOT of children running around, some of them were smaller than the bowling balls themselves and some of them were completely oblivious to the heavy balls being hurled down the lanes at great speed. It's quite honestly a miracle that no-one was hurt!

In the lane next to us was a birthday party of tiny tots, all with names like Pablo and Vero and Dahli - some of the names could be forgiven as they all seemed to be Italian, but some of them were just weird!

Despite all the obsticles and distractions, we ALL managed to get at least one strike! I was going to brag and boast about how I won and scored 147 points in both games, a total of 294 points, but I thought that would just be big headed!

Brooklyn Bowl is such a fantastic place at any time of the day, and although having the little ones running around was a little nerve-racking (mainly because I had visions of accidentally clobbering little Pablo as I was just about to bowl), it was lovely to see them all having so much fun and it was funny seeing all the Brooklyn Hipster parents.

It was a great way to end our day in Brooklyn... well, almost - we had one more place to visit. The Brewery! We popped in after bowling for a cheeky half pint... Yum!

85 Wythe Avenue...

I love these big paintings on the walls on Wythe Avenue.

The Williamsburg Waterfront...

On Sunday, after being treated, by Tom and Fay to a delicious lunch at Sea (crunchy seafood salad's all round) we went for a mooch around the artists and flea market in Williamsburg. The flea market has recently moved location, it's not much closer to the river - very close to the Waterfront Park...


Abi and I had only ever been to the Waterfront to see Band of Horses play in the summer, I'd actually completely forgotten about the park there - so I was incredibly happy that the four of us stumbled across it.

The park has got amazing views of Manhattan, and you can walk right down to the water's edge - there's even a little beach (ish!) there.

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(Sorry about the noisy wind!)

I really hope that we'll go back to the Williamsburg Waterfront very soon, it feels like a perfect place to go on a sunny Sunday afternoon for a peaceful ponder.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

5 Pointz...

On a BEAUTIFULLY sunny but blummin' chilly Sunday morning Tom and I got the G Train to Queens to look at the 5 Pointz Building...

It was great to go back and see the new graffiti all over the building, it's a constantly changing art installation with people constantly adding their creations to any square inch of the building that they can...

I was happily taking photos and I turn my back for one second and this happened...

Thomas David Langridge - tsk tsk tsk!
Defacing a New York lamp-post... whatever next!

Butter wouldn't melt... but Thomas is now a hardened criminal!
We had to scarper pretty soon after Thomas' misbehaving, just in case the police came and caught him in the act...

It'll be great to go back in another couple of months and have a look at what new styles of graffiti are up., and if they've managed to cover even more of the building in paint.

I have a feeling this won't be the last post about 5 Pointz.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New York City Skyline...

It always amazes me how it looks like Manhattan is just floating on a super thin, flat piece of paper...

In The Gift Shop...

New fangled way of reading books...

Lady Liberty's Crown...

Tom had booked us all tickets to go up into the Statue of Liberty's crown a couple of months ago, so on Saturday morning (after a bacon and egg sandwich), we made our way to Battery Park and got on the ferry to Liberty Island.

It was a cold and blustery morning (there was even some snow in the air!) but the sun was shining and the views from the boat were magnificent...

They were selling souvenirs on the ferry, so we all made a little purchase to mark the special occasion, some fetching Statue of Liberty hats and glasses were purchased...

(the hats make an appearance a little later)

It was a wee bit blowy on the back of the boat - somehow Abi's hair stayed looking lovely!

The little ferry ride to the island was lovely, and there were far less seagulls than last time, there was no dive-bombing, no pooing, just a smooth ride with fantastic views...

When we got onto the island, it was time for a little photo-shoot with those hats...

Tourists? Who, us?

After our little photo shoot, we got our golden wrist bands and headed into the statue. We were pre-warned about the steps up the statue, there were about 360 steps all the way up, but we hadn't realised how much they narrowed as we got higher and higher.

By the time we were just about in the crown, the stairs had become incredibly narrow (I had to turn sideways slightly) and very steep and spirally, but once we got up there, it was all worth it...

It was far smaller than any of us had imagined, and with another full family up there it felt pretty cramped. It was amazing seeing the hair details of the statue from the inside, and then finding out how thin the copper is - it was something like 3/8ths of an inch thick (or thin!).

The man with the beard was a Liberty Island Ranger who gave a little talk when we were all in the crown. He said that technically speaking the Statue of Liberty was one of the worlds first skyscrapers, and at one point the statue was the third tallest man-made structure in the world - after the Pyramids (and something else)!

It was really windy outside, to the statue was swaying a bit and you could hear the wind through the little windows, and the Ranger was saying that in the summer it becomes unbearably (and dangerously) hot. The whole statue's made out of copper, and copper retains heat - so I can imagine it'd be like an oven up there during the New York summers.

The views from the windows were fantastic, looking down to the left you could see Lady Liberty's tablet...

And up to the right, you could see the points of her crown and the torch...

It was fantastic and quite surreal to be up there and be inside the head of the Statue of Liberty - it was definitely another New York Bucket-List thing to tick off, thanks to Tom for booking up the tickets and thinking of it!

The way down from the crown was even more claustrophobic than the way up, ducking down, turning sideways, being squished in the hips and getting pretty dizzy from the staircase spiraling down, except this time there was the added bonus of a bit of vertigo because you could look down and see the bottom! At least the journey down didn't take as long as the way up!

We stepped out onto the stone base of statue, underneath Lady Liberty's feet and took some more photos...

It was still pretty windy outside, so Tom took cover to take his photos...

After our boat trip back we headed to South Street Seaport for a spot of lunch at Heartland Brewery, some Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Onion Straw were in order for us windswept seadogs. Then we had mooch round the shops, stopped off in Abercrombie & Fitch, aged 3 years in the queue and then headed back to the apartment.

We were all a bit worn out after our big adventure, so we had a quite night in and watched Cloverfield - a fitting film to watch as the Statue of Liberty ends up getting decapitated by an alien in it!

It was such a fantastic day - I don't think any us will ever forget it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nice Weather We're Having...

"You'd better bring your thermals Tom, it's blummin' freeeezing in New York at the moment. Bring your big coats and scarves too"...

How wrong I was.

It was 16 degrees today and beautifully sunny, and tomorrow looks to be more of the same. Forget Spring, I think Summer's on the way!

A Little Birthday Hotdog...

That's 30 inches of hot dog right there - one for every year of Tom's life (and one for luck!).

After having a drink in the bar at the veeeery nice Westin Hotel, we all went to the Brooklyn Diner for some birthday tea. Tom and I earned out little medals for managing to finish our 15 bite hotdogs (although we didn't quite finish the bun, the fried onions and the fries though).

Abi and Fay were far more lady-like and went for the salad and burger option, so no medals for them!

Birthday Boy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

Tom and Fay arrived safe and sound last night (after what sounds like a hellishly long wait at passport control), so the birthday celebrations have begun over here in the Big Apple!

We're off out for a birthday tea at the Brooklyn Diner tonight before Tom and Fay go to Africa and sing-a-long with Timone and Pumba... Hakunamatata!

Also, a big Happy Birthday to Mr. Frank Turner of Grantham - many happy returns Frank!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines Day in New York...

Yesterday was a beautifully sunny and surprisingly mild day in New York, the perfect weather for spending Valentines Day in the city.

After a bit of a breakfast mishap (burned bacon, and then no pancakes!) we headed up to Central Park and made our way to the Ice Rink.

The park looked beautiful in the sun, and there was a surprising amount of snow on the ground, so it felt like we were on holiday in Canada or something.

It was so lovely to stroll through the park, with saxophone music playing, with the snow making everything feel quieter, and without many people about - it was incredibly peaceful.

It was incredible to see the lake where all the boats are usually bobbing on, had completely frozen over...

There was even a boat frozen in the middle of the lake - with a Christmas tree in it!

Luckily, the ice rink we were heading too didn't have a lake underneath it, I think when we were having the really cold weather a couple of weeks ago the ice must have been thick enough to skate on the lake though.

The proper ice pretty busy - but not too busy, so we got our skates on, and carefully made our way onto the ice, trying not to fall over or knock any children over in the process.

(The reason there's a bit of distance between us in this photo was because we weren't exactly super stable on our feet, so we're both clinging onto the side as we're taking the photo!)

We were told we weren't electronics on the ice - but luckily that telling off came after I was able to capture Miss Abi Tuner's debut solo lap around Donald Trump's Ice Rink in Central Park - prepare yourself for a thrilling video!

video

I can proudly say that Abi and I managed to stay upright for the entire time, and by the end of our adventure on ice were were able to do two and a half laps without needing to stop (or being able to stop!)... We're now considering going Pro.

We had so much fun, and it was such a perfect thing to do on Valentines Day, it really felt like a Bucket List sort of thing to do... Ice Skating in Central Park - Done.

We spent the rest of the day walking around the shops and walked down to Times Square, feeling very lucky to be in New York, and even luckier to be in New York together.

It was a bloody brilliant day.

Buddakan Birthday...

On Sunday night we went out for a special birthday meal at Buddakan in the Meatpacking District.

Buddakan is a bit of a posh bar and restaurant and was in the Sex & The City film, and a certain someone happens to be a Sex & The City fan, so it seemed fitting to celebrate that certain someone's birthday there.

From the outside it looks very quite, a black building and a dark door, but then you go in and it's all super swish and lovely. There was a blacked out SUV parked outside, so we're pretty sure there must have been someone famous eating there that night - someone nearly as famous as us that is.

In the middle of Buddakan is a great big dining hall, where they hold big parties - this was where the party was on Sex & The City...

We got to look down from the top of the stairs at a party that was going on that night.

We were sitting in the more cozier area of the restaurant though, it was fantastic - all dark browns and deep reds and massive vases around the place, it was like something out of the films...

(Obviously there were actual people in the restaurant on Sunday! These photos are just off t'interweb)

The food was absolutely AMAZING! It was all delicious chinese food, like fancy dim sum and noodles and stuff. It was impossible to choose just one starter, so we went for the Bo Bo Platter which gave us a taste of 5 different starters, tuna spring rolls, chicken spring rolls, boneless ribs, these incredible little vegetable dumplings shaped like a carrot and then the most delicious, most amazing, most perfect shrimp toast I've EVER eaten! The Shrimp toast was in little dumplings with a whole prawn sticking out like a handle, so you could dip it in the sauces... They were delicious and my mouth's watering just thinking about them and it's breakfast time right now!

Then for the main course I had some tasty sweet and sour crispy pork with stir fried vegetables and Abi had one of the tastiest, most tender steaks we'd ever had - it just melted in your mouth and tasted amazing...

Then came pudding... little Chinese donuts with dipping sauces and a gooey chocolate pudding!

So in all, I suppose you could say the food was OK and it was an alright kind of night. I think the birthday girl thought it was OKish too.