Category: Family

Jersey Shore — part 1

Saturday, July 14th, 2007 | All Things, Family, Travel

A belated birthday weekend outing to the Jersey Shore.  We started out at The Borgata (thanks, ML and LL!) where Mom won $18 on her first pull of the slot machine, and true to her word, quit while she was ahead.

Eventually, we made our way to the Boardwalk, which was (for better or worse) significantly more populated than the last time we were here.

Check out the full flickr set here.

Atlantic City pedicabs

Atlantic City boardwalk

Atlantic City ring toss

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FDR fireworks

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 | All Things, Family

It was J and J’s first Independence Day on the Upper East Side, and we decided to take full advantage of their new strategic location to view the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks.

We made our climb up the stairs stealthily so as not to draw the attention of the other residents, who would no doubt be competing with us for standing room atop the building.  When we emerged on the roof, we were surprised to find it empty of all but one other couple – no doubt due to the chilly rain, which had just begun to fall shortly before 9PM.

Staff House view

Or maybe because you can’t actually see the fireworks from this vantage point.  D’oh! We made this realization after huddling under our umbrellas for about ten minutes, as the sounds (but not the sights) of the pyrotechnic show began somewhere south and east of us.

Plan B: to the streets, where thousands of other would-be spectators were converging along the East River.  A few blocks north, we joined a small crowd gathered on the cul-de-sac by The Belaire from which we could almost – almost — make out the fireworks being shot off beyond the Queensboro Bridge.

FDR fireworks

Plan C:  We were going to have to cross that bridge over the FDR.

FDR overpass

Which we did, catching the tail-end of the spectacular half-hour show.

FDR fireworks

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Food, friends, family

Sunday, June 24th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Events, Family, Friends

I was intrigued from the moment I first learned of the “Big Pig Gig” at Daisy May’s BBQ USA – let it be noted: many months before the “Fat, Glorious Fat” piece appeared in The New York Times. J and J’s return to the city the week of my birthday suggested a synchronicity that created a perfect excuse for a gathering of my nearest and dearest over copious amounts of food.

The days leading up to Sunday’s dinner was a flurry of planning – much of which, as it happens, went on behind the scenes (spearheaded by SYB) to my blissful ignorance. To SC’s disappointment, we opted not for the whole pig, in favor of the more manageable pork butt. Much has been written about this particular feast, which Daisy May’s began offering in 2005, and although personally I was not bothered by the prospect of a full pig-out, I feared the more sensitive among us would not well endure the sight of a 30 to 35-pound pig propped on the table.

Daisy May BBQ

Daisy May reviews

My attempts to spare my friends came to naught when the group at the adjacent table ended up ordering the half pig feast – which in some ways, was more disturbing than the whole. Think: two hooves, half a head, half a snout, one ear… that last which somehow made its way to our table into SC’s clutches.

Our pork butts arrived as twin piles of shredded meat, accompanied by a bowl of gravy. The rack of lamb made a somewhat more elegant presentation. (Both were wildly delicious.) Recovering vegetarian J, who has a two leg limit on the animals she consumes, had the “Tennessee whisky beer can style” chicken. To supplement all this meat: “Texas Toast” (which, from what I could tell, was just buttered toast — but bigger), Creamy Cole Slaw, Black Beans with Burnt Ends, Rustic Creamy Corn with New York State Cheddar, Mashed Potatoes with Red Eye Gravy, Cajun Dirty Rice and Beans, Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Peaches. And to wash it all down, cold beer and mason jars of sweet — intensely sweet — iced tea.

Texas Toast

Pork Butt

The 14 of us – me in my Gay Pride lei, compliments of MLF — ate until we could eat no more. When we were done, there was food enough left for another feast. Which we had, back at the surprise gathering at S & J’s new home. (Very tricksy, my friends!)

The long- coveted and precious (definitions 1, 2 and 3) Lady M Mille Crêpes cake, with its 22-23 dazzling layers of crepes and cream. (The wooden piggy was a bonus.):

Lady M Mille Crepes

(I hear they make a fine cheesecake, too.)

…and as if this were not bounty enough: the generous gift of music — which thanks to B, I did not abandon in the cab on the way home.

Mille mercis!

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