Category Archives: favorites

A sure sign of spring…

960x540Last weekend’s New York in Bloom flower show at the NYS museum is the ultimate harbinger of spring’s impending arrival. Click through for my Seen gallery on the TU site. As always, the museum and the exhibitor’s did us proud while raising funds for a worthy cause!

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Filed under Albany, favorites, Flowers, SEEN, Spring, Uncategorized

5 Things to love at Peck’s Arcade

  1. The delight of sitting at the kitchen bar (aka worshipping at the altar of Nick Ruscitto) next to my sweetie, perusing the menu.image
  2. These insane, buttery, crisp crab fritters.image
  3. The wonderful take on surf and turf we indulged in – beef short ribs and crab legs.  That chimichurri is so beyond what any pesto could ever hope to be.image
  4. The perfectly stimulating, yet satisfying dessert melange we enjoyed – so many flavors (chocolate, coconut, toffee, salted caramel) and textures (dense, chewy, airy)… What a treat to sample Greg’s talents!
  5. The unabashed enthusiasm of an owner who is able to indulge his inner DJ knowing that he (and his partner/wife) have assembled a professional staff who can keep the floor and kitchen consistently humming.

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    (photo snagged from Twitter)

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Filed under Eating, favorites, Food, Local, Restaurants, Troy, Wine

Like a virgin

imageI switched handbags this week. I’d been using a beautiful green one since early fall and it was time for a change. I peeked inside a couple of cloth bags until I came across a red bag that I hadn’t used for a while. It suited my mood and I lifted it off the shelf.

I began placing my items in the bag, filling the various pockets and compartments. In one of the inside pockets, I came across a concert ticket stub from 2008, Neil Young at the Garden. What a great time that had been and what a long time ago it was. Using a handbag for the first time in 7 years or so is almost the same as having a new bag. It’s almost like it became brand new again…

Which reminds me of a story I may have already told here. It doesn’t matter if I did because it’s one of my favorite stories and I’m telling it again because it’s my blog. Many years ago, my friend Mary Panza told me about a conversation she had with her grandmother, a woman I never met. Her advice, upon learning of the state of her granddaughter’s hymen, was simple: “If you don’t have sex again for seven years your hymen will grow back and maybe some man will want you.”

The take away? Putting something on the shelf for a few years can make it seem fresh and previously untouched. I’m loving this “new” bag.

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Filed under Fashion, favorites, Observations, Random

If you don’t run under a full moon in frigid temperatures, with your outdoors besties, you don’t…

Image: fitandfeminist.files.wordpress.com

  • You don’t have an hour to talk and listen
  • You don’t see the moon part the clouds in greeting
  • You don’t feel your body transition from cold and tight to warm and loose
  • You don’t have the benefit of your besties’ wisdom and advice
  • You don’t devote your attention to where you’re going on a sometimes icy path
  • You don’t get to take a steamy, hot post-run shower with the best minty soap ever.
  • You don’t get to high-five, after 5, and admire one another for being so badass as to run under a full moon in frigid temperatures.

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Filed under Exercise, favorites, friends, Observations, running, winter

Down a stud. Again.

imageFor my 18th birthday I received my first pair of diamond earrings. They were a gift from my boyfriend, (his father was a jeweler), and the .25 carat stones were considered “perfect.” I loved those earrings years longer than I loved that boyfriend.

4 or 5 years after I was given those studs, I lost one. I was in a hotel in the Soviet Union, maybe Moscow, and realized that one was missing from my ear. My (different) boyfriend and I crawled around on the communist quality carpeting looking in vain for the small earring. I grew impatient and gave up, consoling myself with the thought of the housekeeper finding it and somehow using it to improve her life day by buying goods which were only available to residents with “hard currency.”

Andy, who never was one to abandon hope, found the earring a few minutes later. I still have that pair of earrings.

Years later, I was given a new pair of diamond solitaire earrings. These were a bit more sizable and I wore them all the time. They, as all diamonds do, went with everything and gave me an accessory that was timelessly beautiful. The day I reached up to my earlobe and found one of those earrings missing was a very dark day indeed. I felt really sad and somehow incomplete without the earrings that I believed gave me, in a weird way, status. Within a short period of time, the earring was replaced, with an improvement – screw backs.

Friday, on my way home from the golf course, it happened again. My hand went to my earlobe to absentmindedly spin the posts in my ears and there was one missing. I had again lost one of my diamond studs. My immediate response was physical – a sinking in my stomach and an increase in my heartrate. This sucked. I quickly tried to mentally replay my day and  speculate about when and where it may have gone missing. I came up with some possibilities which demanded exploration.

I started with the car. Nothing. At home, I undressed carefully hoping the earring was somehow attached to me. No. I crawled around my bedroom floor, feeling the rug with my hands in hopes of coming across the errant earring. No dice. Or ice. I felt myself growing upset over the loss but reeled it in pretty quickly. It was an earring, one which had been worn with enjoyment many, many times. In the big picture, it really wasn’t that important. Not everything we love is forever.

To feel that I’ve made a fair effort, there are a couple of additional spots I still want to look when I’m back at work, but, if it’s gone, it’s gone. I’m thinking maybe I’m just not supposed to have a pair of diamond stud earrings. Maybe I’m more a diamond solitaire necklace girl.

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Filed under beauty, birthdays, Fashion, favorites, musings

Want a good laugh? Yes Please

imageWas there a time in your life when receiving a book as a present would have prompted you to toss another log, along with the new book, on the fire? Well, trust me that will not be the response of any recipient of  Yes Please by Amy Poehler. If someone should be so doubly lucky to have both a blazing fire and this new memoir, all they’ll want to do is curl up in an easy chair and enjoy the ride through Amy’s life.

I knew I was going to read this surprisingly weighty (in ounces, not concepts) book quickly after I randomly opened to the chapter in which Amy relates her pregnancy experience with her oldest son. How can a reader not be immediately taken in and compelled to read about someone who claims to have the “Angelina Jolie of vaginas?” When she shares the unfortunate news that her ob-gyn, who apparently delivered Sophia Loren’s babies, died the very day before Amy’s due date, it is hilarious. At least from my never-having-another-baby-ever perspective, that is.

Additionally, Poehler offers sex advice for men and woman, a wonderful haiku collection about plastic surgery as well as other nuggets of her past, including personal photos. She talks about body image, education, marriage, relationships, SNL and charitable works in a very down-to-earth manner that made me want to be her friend. Her honesty is refreshing, particularly when discussing her own mistakes and experimentations. There is no photoshopping of her life.

Amy includes a frank discussion of her own experimentation with drugs (under the assumption that her children will never read her book because nothing is more boring to a child than their parent’s life) and offers this wisdom

“Teenage bodies should be filled with Vonnegut and meatball subs, not opiates that create glassy-eyed party monsters.”

Buy this book for someone you really like.

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Filed under Books, favorites, moms, Recommendations

Twelve ways to be popular – in 3 easy steps

1. Get yourself invited to a party.

2. Stop at Cheesecake Machismo and select 12 individual slices arranged into a Frankencake for $40.

3. Prepare to be the most popular party guest.

Image: cheesecake machismo.com

Image: cheesecake machismo.com

I love Cheesecake Machismo. I don’t get there too often because I have no self-control when it comes to their cheesecake. If you were at my brother’s house last weekend, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about. Seriously, I don’t like peanut butter stuff yet still went back for a second forkful of the slice of PB cheesecake.

Beginning last Friday, I ate cheesecake every day this week, except for Tuesday when my stomach was feeling a little off. I’m pretty sure my belly ache that evening was actually the result of withdrawal, kind of cheesecake dts.

Of the slices I sampled (11 out of 12), my favorite was the green tea and chocolate. Or the caramel pumpkin. Or, maybe, the cookies and creme. Who am I kidding – my favorite flavor is the one on my fork.

Time to eat that last slice.

 

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Filed under Albany, Eating, favorites, Food, Local, Recommendations, Restaurants, upstate New York