Tag Archives: New York City

Long live “The King”

Didn’t get to celebrate “The King’s” passing like we normally do yesterday, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Elvis Presley was not in our thoughts. And then, we saw this super cool billboard in Times Square and we knew that it was a sign, um, you know, like a spiritual sign…from beyond and everything.

Anyway, it made Greta and I smile. Long live “The King”! Oh yeah, and if you’re interested in reading SAHD-centric, semi-real time updates of our adventures in NYC this week, click here.

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The Elvis Sandwich @ Peanut Butter & Co., NYC

Last Saturday would have been Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday, and though we didn’t get to celebrate his big day like we usually do, we did ring in Elvis’ 75th birthday in high style last year. So, let’s just consider this post my 2011 birthday tribute to the King. Happy birthday, dude!

Last January 8th, Christine, Greta and I had just arrived in New York City for a friend’s wedding. There was snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air, but, it was Elvis’ birthday and we were determined to try the Elvis sandwich at Greenwich Village’s legendary Peanut Butter & Co..

I mean, sure, we’d had peanut butter and banana sandwiches before (at Graceland no less!) but the fine folks at Peanut Butter and Co. add two key ingredients which really set that freaking sandwich on fire: honey and bacon. It sounds kinda weird, I know, but, trust me when I tell you that this tasty-ass sandwich is a thing of rare beauty, amigos. Incredible!

Washing the whole thing down with a truly decadent Fluffernutter Shake — which consisted of peanut butter, milk and Marshmallow Fluff! — we scooped up a few jars of dark chocolate and honey-infused peanut butter to go, wished the King a happy birthday and set about touring Manhattan.

And when it came time for our last meal in NYC a few days later, guess where we headed? You guessed it, right back down the street to Peanut Butter & Co. for more of their savory/sweet Elvis-y goodness.

Now, if book-ending your first big family trip to New York City with Elvis sandwiches doesn’t spell true fan devotion, well, I don’t know what does.

Happy birthday, EP. We love you!

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Blake Edwards (1922-2010)

I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but, it’s raining cats and dogs here and on a day like today I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the late, great Blake Edwards, than snuggling up with the ones you love and watching his classic film version of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Edwards directed dozens of awesome films — I lived for the original “Pink Panther” movies when I was a kid and “Victor/Victoria”, “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Experiment in Terror” were all instant classics — but for me, his most memorable flick will always be the perfect little gem of a movie that it “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

Great cast, lushly-beautiful locations — both the real-life and backlot NYC locales look gorgeous! — and that swinging Henry Mancini score…wow…watching “Tiffany’s” is like eating giant strawberries dipped in really great chocolate. Mmmm…sheer cinematic yumminess all around.

Ironically enough, I just recently sat Greta down and made her watch “Tiffany’s” in all its widescreen DVD glory (she loved the music and any scenes with “Cat” the best!) and lemme tell ya, it holds up beautifully.

So, rest in peace, Mr. Blake Edwards. Thanks to you, I have an instant, tried-and-true cure for the “mean reds” for years to come…

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Strawberry Fields, NYC

Had he not been so suddenly and violently taken from us at the age of 40, the late, great John Lennon would have turned seventy years old last month. That’s right, seven-zero. Crazy, huh?

In honor of John’s 70th, Christine and I wanted to post some pics we took last summer during our visit to Strawberry Fields, the Lennon memorial in New York City’s Central Park. Located on 2.5 acres of sprawling parkland just across the street from the legendary Dakota apartment building where Lennon lived, and died, Strawberry Fields can only be described as peaceful.

I’m not saying the rest of the park isn’t peaceful, because…wow…Central Park in August is all kinds of breathtakingly peaceful, but, Strawberry Fields just felt almost magical in its stillness.

A designated quiet zone — Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono still lives in the Dakota and apparently grew weary of the singing of the fans in the park — Strawberry Fields has a serenity that truly sets it apart from the rest of the park.

Sure, there were tons of fans milling about, and the crowd taking pictures around the stunning “Imagine” mosaic that serves as the areas centerpiece was pretty intense, but, despite the sheer volume of people there, Strawberry Fields was a very chill place to spend the afternoon.

And though I was a bit disappointed to discover that there were no actual strawberry plants in Strawberry Fields (I know, I’m lame, but, it would have been nice) I gotta tell ya, I haven’t been that moved by a memorial since our 2007 visit to Graceland.

It’s like John’s aura was all around you, and though there was none of his actual music playing anywhere (designated quiet zone, remember?) you didn’t need to hear it to know that it was there, in our hearts. I know that sounds hopelessly cheesy, but, it’s how we felt.

So, happy birthday, John. Seventy years on, you continue to rock the world…

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Mud – NYC’s Best Street Coffee

When our friends Mike and Patty returned from a recent trip back east, they came home with tons of cool pictures, mouth-watering tales of the finest sub sandwich in Jersey, and best of all…a pound of dark roast Mud Coffee as a belated birthday gift for me. Yeah!

Being a lifelong West Coaster, I had never heard the legend of the bright orange Mudtrucks of New York’s East Village, but after trying some of this rocking coffee…I can’t wait to check it out in person sometime!

And not only is the coffee the best earthy, hippie brew you ever had — Mud actually sells a Hippie Blend, but my pound was the darker roast, Mudtruck Blend — but the packaging is so cool you almost wanna frame it!

According to their super fly website, the Mudtruck’s journey began in 2001, when newlywed co-founders Nina Berott (a former ad exec) and Greg Northrop (a former musician) parked their first bright orange Mudtruck just a few feet from the 6 train stop in Astor.

Surrounded by green-logo-ed corporate coffee chains on all sides, the odds of this funky, converted lunch truck making it were slim, but the coffee was good, the tunes from the boombox rocked and the vibe was just right. So, almost overnight a caffeinated legend was born…

Seven years later, Mud coffee is sold in hipster haunts all over the city and as well as adding another Mudtruck to the fleet, there is also a bricks and mortar locale dubbed the Mudspot on East 9th Street between First and Second Avenue.

Mmm…something else to look forward to sampling when Christine and I finally make the trek out to NYC.

For now, I guess I’ll have take comfort in my last few cups of this delicious Mudtruck blend and hope that someday soon, those rocking orange Mudtrucks make their way to my neck of the woods…

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Blueberry Birthday Pie

Hey guys, Farmer’s Daughter Bean here again with a new post for our blog’s often neglected “Make” category. Enjoy…

Heat the blueberry filling! (March 2008)
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I should start by telling you that ever since Tom and I saw the movie “Waitress”, we have been obsessing over fresh-baked pie. And though The House of Pies in Los Feliz comes pretty close, we have yet to find the perfect slice in Los Angeles — though Tom is inexplicably fond of the banana cream pie at the nasty Marie Calender’s by our house, which I will never understand.

So a few months back, I bought a pie cookbook from my store, “Killer Pies: Delicious Recipes from North America’s Favorite Restaurants” by Stephanie Anderson. And although I have looked through it many times, I was still a little hesitant to take the pie-making plunge.

Finish the filling, remove from heat! (March 2008)
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I love to bake, but pie crust seemed very daunting for some reason. So when Tom requested a pie for his birthday instead of a cake, I decided to give it a go. He picked out his favorite pies and gave me the top three: Banana Cream (stop with that already!), Lemon Merinque and Wild Blueberry Pie.

Fortunately, I was able to talk him into a “seasonal” fruit pie, so he settled on the delicious sounding Wild Blueberry Pie recipe from a restaurant called Westville in Manhattan’s West Village.

Preparing the crust! (March 2008)
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Molding the crust for the filling! (March 2008)
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Even before I bought the ingredients, I was worried about the crust (this was my first solo pie venture, remember) and called my mom to get her expert opinion. She was very helpful and patient (thanks, mom!) especially when I was trying to describe the consistency of the crust over the phone!

And although I was sweating it the whole time, Tom and the rest of our guests thought the pie came out great. The crust was flakey and the filling, which consisted of half fresh berries, half frozen and some lemon juice and zest, had a wonderful tartness that kept it from being too sweet. Overall I’d say it was a pretty decent first pie. So, happy Birthday, Tom!

The finished Birthday Pie! (March 2008)
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Next on my pie making list…the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from The Ham Shoppe in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. This one’s all for me though…no occasion necessary!

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