... which by the way IS their official name so labeled to distinguish them from a baseball team of the same name back in the '20's.

Our friends Jerry and Michelle have season tickets and were gracious enough to invite us to the game on Sunday. We started out the day with some fun tailgating which got us totally into the football mode. We sat in the sun most of the game and it was a gorgeous day so we got quite warm but after the 3rd quarter we remembered that it was mid November and out came the hats and gloves.

Here are some pics and by the way--they won in OT! Yay! :)

Tailgating


The field


In action


Eli


Us after the game!

... today we had to pull them out again!! It was WARM and SUNNY --70 degrees!! Amazing! Honestly though, it doesn't surprise us here. When we first moved here and went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade it was 70 degrees. This area gets some wacky winter weather and we are ok with that--well, most of it--Hurricane Ida's remains sent some major flooding to the majority of counties in NJ and other coastal states, but further north where we are, we were spared except for some light rain. Our boat was ok too... but the sandy beaches that we just hung out on as recently as mid Oct near our boat are under major repair as the wild waves and rain did some damage.

With the weather so nice, Tom, the dogs and I went hiking. About 20 min from our house is Pyramid Park. While the elevation gain on "mountains" here may be laughable to our West Coast friends and family, this hike did have its challenging moments with lots of steep up hill scrambles. The elevation gain was only 220 ft though... so not too daunting.

At the top we had views of Manhattan. WOW. That is all I can say. Where else can you hike and then see the best city in the World just over the tree-tops? That was a cool moment.

After the view point we descended a bit to Tripod Rock. Tripod Rock is a natural "spiritual, energy vortex" that dates back at least two glacial cycles. According to legend, it has a great energy that is intensified on the summer solstice each year (of which draws hundreds of people to watch the sun set between the rocks).

Whether or not you buy into the spiritual aspect, it is pretty dang amazing to see these enormous rocks balanced on other smaller rocks. We were amazed.
We snapped some photos and then hiked back down -- total of 4 miles!



--Climbing to the top and then a skyline shot of Manhattan in the distance.




--the rocks



The dogs don't really like it when the laptop takes up the coveted "lap space" and they wait semi-patiently as I post. It is too much pressure! I can't work with them staring at me!!!! :)

... and that means getting caught up, hopefully in a good way, in the sights and sounds and BARGAINS to be found!

All the shops here, as I am sure where you are, are already bursting with holiday decorations and the towns and NYC have all the decorations either up or going up, probably as I write this.

Being in SOHO this past week (by the way, for those of you who are not from around here, SOHO stands for South of Houston Street. And Houston is pronounced HOUSE-TON) I saw so many great shops that had SUCH cute stuff--but a lot of it was way out of my price range--even after applying the cost per wear formula Marin taught me...

One boutique stood out to me. It was SO cute! It featured unique make-up products and accessories for women but it was SO expensive that I was only a window shopper. The mistake some of these boutiques make is that they don't carry cute affordable items along with the more pricier items. Maybe that is a bad business plan, but I think it would bring in a variety of more customers and in this economy--that is essential!

One item I had in mind for this boutique to carry was my friend Veronica's newest creation. You must check this out!! Its a very cute cosmetic and/or accessory bag that may become the LAST bag of its kind you will ever buy. EVER. She has invented replaceable liners for her bags (we all can relate to the grossness that is our make-up bags after really not that long--especially if we travel a lot) to just zip in and out when a new one is needed.

And one of the best things about Veronica's bags aside from them being affordable, is that they can be used for SO much more than a cosmetic bag.

Check out her website:

http://www.vemayca.com/index.php

You can't shop for them in the boutiques yet, so don't go out on a major shopping excursion. Its much easier than that---buy online!


Here is a blip from the website:


Vemayca cosmetic bags are designed to be multi-functional. They can be used not only as make-up bags, but also as accessory bags to organize a long list of personal items. Women love these bags to transport their electronics, pack delicate undergarments or carry hobby supplies. Because of the unique removable Soft Pearl Liner, the uses are endless. Used as a cosmetic bag, there is no need to spend time cleaning out bags with caked-on mascara or spilled nail polish. Simply replace the Soft Pearl Liner and, in a snap, you are good to go. It doesn’t matter if you are buying for your superstar wife, mod grandmother, your fashionable teenage daughter, your picky sister or your mother who has everything, there is room in everyone’s life to be beautifully organized.

In addition to the innovative removable Soft Pearl Liner, the Vemayca cosmetic bag features:

Generous central compartment for your favorite beauty and personal items
Two large zippered side pockets for additional storage and organization
Light-colored silver satin lining, making the contents highly visible
Custom metal zipper pulls that are easy to grip
Flat bottom so the Vemayca bag stays upright
Super soft and and lightweight
Size: measures approximately 9 inches wide, 6 inches high and 2 inches deep

My friend Marin from Seattle came to visit Tom and me recently for a long weekend.
No offense to any of my other friends, but Marin is by far, the most fashionable friend I have. Now, compared to me--most people are more fashionable, but Marin is like the shopping role model for me and most of my girlfriends at work (Marin works in the same building as I did in Seattle).

She had been to NY before a couple times, but never in the position she was now---totally able to shop 'til she dropped as she had nothing else on the agenda and believe me, I was a very willing participant!! We didn't hit the "regular" stores, but instead the designer boutiques and quaint shops that make up the areas of NY known as SOHO, NOHO and of course, Greenwich Village. We of course ventured out to 5th Ave as well as seeing many other cool "staple" sights such as Washington Square Park, Wall Street, St Patrick's and the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink.

We also spent one of the days in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). Williamsburg is one of my new favorite hangouts. The shops rival those of SOHO, but there doesn't seem to be a building taller than 5 stories and even at rush-hour its quiet and maneuverable; much different than Manhattan.

We had to refuel from all of our shopping so we dined at some hotspot restaurants including Butter, Spice Market and Nobu 57 (Tom drove out and he met us for dinner at Nobu as did Tom's brother Fred who was in town for work from Dallas) but also at some small neighborhood cocktail lounges where our drinks never seemed to make it onto the bill at the end of the night...

One of the highlights of the visit was the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade! You may recall that I went last year with my sister-in-law Kim and like last year, it was warm, about 70. BUT this year--- it POURED rain on us for about 20 min so we got all nice and soaked. It was still fun and what was more fun than the parade was just meandering through the Village afterwards seeing all the costumes and people. A very fun night. A very fun trip.

Here are some pictures:

Marin and Madonna and Madonna--in the Meatpacking District



Halloween decorating Brownstone style (in Chelsea)



View of Manhattan from our walk on the Brooklyn Bridge



Marin, me and friends we met just that night at the parade



Us getting our "party" on with a Zombie after the parade



Some Brooklyn shots. Note the whiteboard outside of this awesome bookstore. Advertising a reading with the friendly reminder-- "No Heckling".


Chef Dave

Our favorite Italian restaurant here, Il Giardino is FAMOUS. We loved it before it became famous, but we love it now even more since the head chef, Dave Levey, is the most recent winner of the cooking reality show Hell's Kitchen!!!



I honestly hadn't seen the show, only heard of it, but when our dear friends and neighbors Marc and Donna told us this fact---we were elated! Marc and Donna arranged for us to have a nice dinner shortly after Dave returned to Il Giardino before he heads to HIS new restaurant (the prize from the show)-- Araxi Restaurant-- in Whistler BC.

We met Dave and visited with him. Donna and I even got to see him in action in the kitchen and get pics (Tom and Marc weren't nearly as excited as Donna and I--but they thought it was cool)!!

Twice since, we have eaten there with friends and both times Dave has come out to our table to visit and meet our other friends.

Dave is a young guy with a bright future ahead and we can say we knew him when!! All my friends in Seattle and Canada--get over to Whistler this Winter and tell him I sent you! ;)

http://www.araxi.com/index.html


Here are pics of Donna and Dave in the kitchen and Dave sitting down for a glass of wine with us. The lighting is low in the restaurant and we just had camera phones, so pardon the quality of the photos...

real estate craziness

Every now and then I post a little something about the real estate market out east here. Now of course Manhattan and some of the surrounding boroughs are perhaps pricier than most areas in the country, but even so, the NY Times Real Estate section, each week caters to all levels of income generators in this great area who are looking for a new place to call home.

Today's "steal" for 250K or under is as follows:

A studio Co-op (note: vs a condo or apartment, a co-op by definition is a legal entity—usually a corporation—that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder (read: tenant) in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, sometimes subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. The occupancy agreement specifies the co-op's rules (side note: which often there are MANY and you have to usually be voted in before you can move in).

In a Pre-war building (note: as are TONS of buildings here. Pre-war means built prior to WW II and while many have been restored--some have not meaning no elevators and definitely no air conditioning or even dishwashers/garbage disposals).

Located on the Upper West Side (note: totally cool area, not too uppity but for sure a classy cool area... one I would LOVE to live in... but I digress. Sorry).

With an elevator in the building and a marble bathroom in the unit.

There is no doorman, which is a negative. Doormen add much more safety... but also much more $$.

No washer and dryer in the unit (note: this is common)
------------

All of this can be yours, for the price of $250K PLUS $425 a month maintenance.
Oh wait, I almost forgot----the size. its 200 SQ FT.
THE ENTIRE THING!!

Now that marble bath doesn't seem so fancy huh?

To give you a visual, the NY Times ran a piece last summer on small living areas and featured this place owned by Rose (posing in the picture on her Murphy bed). The only thing not visible is the toilet and small shower which are behind the door behind her head--otherwise, this is her entire living space and its 320 sq ft--- nearly double the size of the one I describe above.

still here

hey everyone-- I know its been an unacceptable amount of time since my last post but I came down with the flu (not quite swine, more like piglet) and then had a friend visit and we pretty much lived it up so I had zero energy to post. BUT--I have SO much to say and report on!! Here is a preview:

Hell's Kitchen's newest winner is the Chef at our fave restaurant
Soho and the Meatpacking District were completely worked over in a shopping frenzy
and
the Greenwich Village Halloween parade came and went... what a great night that was.

Pics and info to come... but I gotta go now to watch the Yankees win the World Series.


I apologize for the delay and I will NEVER let this much time pass again!
:)

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