Exploring Brooklyn

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, April 8, 2013

I thought I had better update the blog before we head to Miami tomorrow; otherwise everything else will fade to a distant memory!

On Saturday 23, March Matt and I headed out to Sheapshead Bay near Coney Island for a ribs festival called "Grillin' on the Bay". The day started with big train delays and when one finally arrived it diverted half-way through the journey to a different destination leaving carriages full of confused passengers. Most weekends NY trains tend to be a frustrating experience…

When we finally arrived at our destination about an hour-and-a-half later we couldn’t find the festival! A couple approached us who were also looking for it so we realised we were in the right spot. We double checked the website but it was still supposed to be on. We tried ringing the organiser but later found a message on a festival sponsor’s website to say that it had been cancelled – grr! It was freezing so close to the beach and we were getting pretty hungry so we decided to try some Ukrainian food at Café Glechik since the area has a big Eastern European population. We ordered some pelmeni (dumplings) and goulash but it was a very underwhelming taste experience. After enduring more train delays we arrived home a bit grumpy...

After such a disappointing day Matt decided we should go to Recette – a restaurant he had heard good things about. It was also in the neighbourhood of Daisy’s (an old DJ friend of Matt’s) birthday drinks later that night. The food was delicious and I am still thinking of the scallops we had. We had a few tasting plates and they were all amazing. With round bellies we later headed to the bar for a few drinks before heading home.

On Sunday afternoon we decided to go and explore the Greenpoint/ Williamsburg area before heading to an art event. It was still pretty chilly and many of the galleries were shut but there are some cool streets with cafés and shops. It has a very grungy feel and there are some cool artisan and food markets in the area in spring and summer. We stopped for a bite to eat and to defrost a bit at Café Cubana before starting to make our way to The Active Space – an art studio/ space.

We were there to watch the "Bob Ross Brooklyn Painting Takedown". The idea was that 20 artist would create their interpretation of a Bob Ross painting whilst watching videos of his iconic TV show “For the love of painting”. I had no idea who he was before! At the end the paintings would be auctioned off with all proceeds going to a charity. You can read an article about the event here http://bushwickdaily.com/2013/03/bushwick-painting-takedown-bob-ross-style/. The event was supposed to run for three hours but we went from being very cold outside to being extremely hot inside… Maybe they were trying to get the paint to dry more quickly… We left after about an hour. It was a fun idea and cool to see all the different techniques but apart from one painting there wasn’t anything I would have hung on our walls.

The following Wednesday I went to a “Women in Art and Entertainment” Meet-up. Usually you get to talk and network with other artists but they had women singing to celebrate SWAN Day (Support Women in Art Now). Lots of people left because it wasn’t what they expected and they were getting told off for talking. I met Melinda, an Australian girl, there which was nice, but I’m not sure if I’ll go back to this one.

I finally had my USCIS appointment for my work permit on Thursday. They took my photo and fingerprint and that was it. The lady who took mine was slightly deranged. She kept talking to herself and was telling the lady before me off; mumbling about not telling her what to do unless she owned the building… She was also grumbling at me because my barcode wouldn’t scan and she had to enter it manually. At the end she didn’t even tell me I was done and when I asked she just yelled “yes” and then told me to fill in the yellow slip to rate their customer service. Hmmm… It’s supposed to take 3 months to get it and it’s already been more than three because of a mistake they made so not sure how long it will be from here on. Melinda said it took her six months to get hers…

We’ve discovered another little restaurant gem around the corner from us called Rose Water. It’s local, seasonal and sustainable American food but definitely not diner style! When Luke, Matt’s work friend, made the trek across to Brooklyn to catch up, we went there again. Two yummy dinners are always a good sign and a reason to return with future guests! Hint, hint…

Matt’s been battling a cold (which he blames on the ill-fated non-ribs festival trek) for a few weeks so we had a quiet Saturday. On Saturday night we stuffed ourselves with Italian as Matt had to have a small procedure on the Monday and wouldn’t be allowed to eat after Sunday breakfast. Of course I had to eat along with him and then felt really bad when I ate things on Sunday and he could only take a sniff…

I’ve been printing a fair bit while Matt’s been in Detroit and now have four editions that I need to hand-colour. Lots of streaming Triple J on the horizon… After watching “Hungry for Change “ I’ve made two batches of homemade muesli and a muesli-nut slice. Trying to get away from processed food with lots of additives. Not quite committed to not eating chocolate yet…

Suzy came over on Friday night for a light cheese and wine dinner. She’s going to be looking after our babies whilst we’re in Miami. It works out well because her husband Leigh has gone back to Oz for two weeks so she can cuddle Lulu instead. Unfortunately Tigger will have to wait for cuddles as she’s allergic to cats. Lulu’s going to LOVE being the favourite child… J)

On Saturday I bought a Kindle Fire HD with the excuse that I’ll need to buy lots of books for our Miami trip and beach/ pool sessions so it made sense to get one… I’ve downloaded about ten books and only paid for one so the excuse might actually be true! I always thought I’d prefer reading books but surprisingly it’s great not to turn from side to side especially when holding a thick paperback. On Saturday night we went to 200 5th Ave Sports Bar so Matt could watch the final four College basketball finals. There were 2 ex-college basketball players sitting next to us and I think Matt enjoyed being able to trade opinions on players and talk a bit of strategy with them… There’s also about 50 TV screens in the bar so he was in heaven!

On Sunday we went to the New York Spring Affordable Art Fair. We saw a few cool artworks but overall it was very disappointing. There was lots of crap there and we wondered if perhaps only the dregs were left as it was the last afternoon of the fair.

We can’t wait to go to Miami! Looking forward to the sun, surf and siestas! It looks like it’s finally starting to warm up in NY too. On Wednesday it’s going to be 23! Better stay warm when we get back…
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