The Latest Addition

to my previously naked walls:
Chilipics These are pictures of chili peppers that I took at the Greenmarket several years ago.  I had them blown up onto canvas.  Only two more new photos to be framed and hung!

Fingers Crossed

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't come down with the plague.  I got back home yesterday afternoon and the sore throat and sniffling began almost immediately.  It's like my body was waiting for me to get through all these trips and then gave up.  I'm also still waking up at 6 a.m. -- perhaps some leftover jetlag or something.  I'm going to bed by 10 tonight. 

Pictures are up from both the Tuscany trip (although this is Cinque Terre, not Tuscany):


and Nathan's museum debut:


(follow the links to the full galleries).

Ah . . . A Long Weekend

But filled with fun stuff, as usual!  Friday night I met up with the folks who handle the PR for the Modern Mexican restaurants and had some drinks and snacks at Pampano, then headed out to Brooklyn for dinner and catching up nwith the lovely Miss Katie, Kim, and Rachel.  Saturday morning I headed to Chinatown Brasserie to check out the fabled dim sum with my aunt Ellen, who was visiting from DC and my cousin Sara, who had recently returned from her Christmas break from college.  We then headed down to Soho for some shopping.  After some modest success, I returned home to relax for a while before hitting the gym.  Saturday night Roopa and I went to Ditch Plains for dinner, where we sat at the bar and were entertained by Rob, the bartender.  After dinner we headed to Otto for a glass of wine to finish off the evening.

Ahh . . .

Sunday I went to the gym first thing before making some brunch and then attempting to visit the Brooklyn Museum to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit with Rodez.  I say "attempting" because the line was ridiculous -- after waiting for about 20 minutes, they made an announcement that the wait would be well over an hour.  We gave up and headed to the Botanical Garden instead.  Certainly not the best weather for it, but fun nonetheless.  I then met up with Jenn, Carolyn, and some others for salsa lessons on Smith Street -- this woman gives lessons out of her father's barber shop -- it was a blast!  I managed to pick it up fairly quickly despite the fact that it was my first time.  When we were done shaking our groove thangs we met up with a crew on an Atlantic Avenue bar crawl.  We were so hungry from salsa-ing that we skipped some of the bars I really wanted to visit because I haven't yet been (Floyd and Last Exit), but it was probably a good decision.  We met up with the crew at the Brazen Head.  At this point Jon had joined us -- the Brazen Head was really loud (I swear, I'm turning into an old woman when it comes to noise level in bars -- my voice just doesn't carry in a loud bar, and it's frustrating), so I was very relieved when we went to our next stop, the Brooklyn Inn.  It's a gorgeous old bar on the corner of Hoyt and Bergen -- Jon and I liked it so much there (and could actually hear each other talk), so we stayed even after the bar crawl team left for the next stop.  We ultimately met up with them for a bit of music at Hank's to finish up the evening.

Luckily, it was a three-day weekend for me.  I was determined to make a vat of chili for the week, so I did some grocery shopping, and ran into Augie, Lauren and Rob on the way home.  They were headed to Pearl Oyster Bar, so I joined them for some lunch (how could I resist, really?).  I had a very domestic afternoon -- tidying up, making chili (I used a bit more chipotle than the recipe calls for), and doing laundry.  I wound up the weekend at a dinner party at my friend Matt's, which was quite fun and delicious -- Silvia, a business colleague of his, was visiting from Italy, so she cooked us an Italian feast of panzanella, risotto, and a roasted pork loin with dried fruit.  It was a great meal, but I got to bed a little later than I had planned. 

On a side note, the Food Network show that contains footage of the 2005 Vendy Awards (for which I was a judge) finally aired last night.  Some of my family saw it, but I'm DVR'ing it tonight, so I haven't seen it yet.  Be sure to tune in!

When the Lights Go Down in the City*

Lamp1 Lamp2

As I was walking through Washington Square Park last night, I noticed these gigantic lampshades placed atop of the lamps at each corner of the park.  I didn't have time to look closely, at the signs, but it appears to be some sort of art installation.  I love the effect, though.  From afar, they almost look like glowing mushrooms, but up close, each one has its own intricate design.  Does anyone have more information about them?

* Journey.  C'mon -- admit it.  You like them.