Saturday, September 29, 2012

One day vacation

Back at the end of August Dave went to Hawaii for work and was texting me pictures of palm trees, sushi, beaches and pool-side cocktails all week while I sweltered in humid New York. 
(He'd probably want me to point out here that he was also working very hard on serious volcano business). 

Due to my my new American schedule (far fewer days off than seems possible to survive on!) I was unable to go with him and so as some consolation I was desperate to get a final day on the beach before the end of Summer.

We decided to minimise travel time and head out to Long Beach for the day which is only an hour from Penn Station. 
Obviously as it was a hot and sunny weekend we were not the only New Yorkers who had this clever idea...

Thankfully there was plenty of room on the sand for all of us. Including some very energetic frisbee and volleyball matches.

We swam in the sea, jumped in the waves, snoozed under our umbrella and ate ice-crem on the boardwalk. 

It's no Hawaii but just being out of the city and in the sea was lovely. 
A perfect end to our first summer here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Garden State pickings

On one of the hottest days of summer we drove out of the city to a pick-your-own farm in New Jersey to eat ripe peaches and enjoy some much needed fresh air.

After so long in Manhattan it was lovely to be in the countryside and the array of produce available for picking was brilliant. 

We had to be a little restrained as Dave was heading off to Washington for the week so we tried to pick only a couple of each thing and not go too crazy. But still we ended up with two boxes filled with blueberries, peaches, melons, squashes, courgettes, aubergine and lots more.

After an afternoon trekking round the farm in the absolutely baking sun we were rather tired and hot. So before heading back to the city we stretched out in the shade of the peach trees and gorged ourselves on as many perfectly ripe and delicious peaches as we could eat. 
And then topped it off with home made ice-cream from the farm shop!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day trip to Europe

A while back we got the subway up to the top of Manhattan to visit The Cloisters Museum and Gardens. It's part of The Met Museum and is a huge collection of medieval European architecture, art and artifacts. 

The walk there from the subway takes you through a lovely park overlooking the Hudson, with some great views of the George Washington Bridge. 

When you arrive it kind of does feel like you're suddenly in Italy. 
Pretty much everything in there, including the materials the actual museum is built from, was imported from Europe over a hundred years ago. 

It was a really hot and muggy day so after a brief explore of the exhibitions we mainly just enjoyed the cool courtyards and gorgeous medieval gardens (they smelt amazing too).

 And then on the way home we spotted what Dave assures me was a groundhog!

After all that it seemed only right to end the day with an incredibly American dinner - our first US-style BBQ meal at our local Dino-BBQ.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New York Produce

After nine months here the initial novelty of the endless choices and chaotic 24 hour nature of Manhattan grocery shopping has worn off a little. 
We are definitely missing European cheeses and breads. And mayonaise.

(I actually had a dream recently that M&S opened a branch in New York...) 

Anyway, one thing we do still love is buying our fruit and veg (or produce as they call it here) and other supplies at one of the many greenmarkets around the city.

There is a huge and famous greenmarket in Union Square which is great but there is also a lovely little one right at the end of our block at weekends.

Most of the produce is organic and locally grown. So far we've enjoyed cherry season, peach season and lots of heirloom tomato salads and right now we are loving the most delicious sweet corn.

 Any idea what this crazy vegetable is?

 I love the little green punnets the smaller fruits come in

 Now we're looking forward to an apple-filled Fall!