Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Special, Just for You

New York is famous for its bagels.  They're delicious and hard to resist...especially when they are shoved in your face by way of street vendors.  There is a street vendor immediately outside of the subway stop directly across from my work building and I began to give in to this delectable temptation about once a week.  Sometimes twice.

The first or second time I got a bagel (plain with cream cheese), the vendor held up a packet of jelly and said "Special, just for you" and tossed it into my bag.  This made me giggle...(who puts jelly on bagels anyway?) but I appreciated the gesture.  So from then on, he'd give me grape jelly, special, just for me.  After a while, he stopped saying anything.  He would just hold up the jelly so that I saw it, and toss it into the bag.  I wanted to be like "Hey Bagelman, am I not special anymore?"

One day I showed up and before I could even speak, he just nodded, and reached for a plain bagel with cream cheese.  That's when I knew that I had been eating too many bagels.  Sadly, a new vendor showed up shortly after that and it has been several months since I have seen my grape-jelly-giving friend.  I hope he is still somewhere in the city selling bagels and making people's mornings simply by saying "special, just for you."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prospect Park/Farmer's Market

Well the cold finally went away, and then came the rain.  It rained for six days...straight.  It finally stopped raining friday morning, but picked back up tonight.  Now, I love a good thunderstorm. But there's no two ways about it...rain in New York is just miserable.  From the dirty water being splashed everywhere, to wet subways, to trying to figure out what height to hold your umbrella so you don't hit the umbrellas on either side of you as you walk down the street with millions of other miserable New Yorkers...and tourists...bleh.

BUT!  The rain gave us enough of a break for our Saturday morning outing.  We live about two blocks from Prospect Park.  Prospect Park is the Central Park of Brooklyn.  They were both designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and while Central Park is 843 acres, Prospect Park is 585 acres.  So it's not quite as big as CP, but still a whoppin big park.

Every Saturday there is a farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza at the top of the park.  We live on the southwest side of the park, so it's about a mile and a half walk through the park to the farmer's market.  It's a really nice walk this time of year, and it was really cute to see little kids playing baseball.  The park is one of the things that really made me love this neighborhood when we first moved here.  Then when the weather got cold, I almost forgot that we lived right next to it.  I'm so glad to be able to enjoy it again.  And I look forward to going to the farmer's market every week!  This morning we were able to pick up some fresh rosemary, potatoes, and spinach.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Street Shopping

One of the great things about living in New York is that you don't have to go into a store to find great deals...they're right on the street.  I'm not talking about the people trying to sell you fake Rolexes and Louis Vuitton purses (don't even get me started on Chinatown).  I'm talking about stoop sales.

Instead of yard sales, people in my neighborhood of Windsor Terrace and the adjacent neighborhood Park Slope will have stoop sales.  It's so fun to go walking on a Saturday morning and see all of the different items for sale.  Weekends are also a great time to go perusing for items that people have just decided that they no longer want and have put on the street.  Often times you can find used furniture that is free and up for grabs.  I have seen many a nasty couch.  However, I've also seen some pretty quality items.

On the way back from our gelato outing last week, we encountered a desk and dresser on the street next to ours.  We sure could use some extra drawer space...

So we got a small 3-door dresser in good condition for absolutely free!  Hooray!  Today I spent several hours switching my winter clothes with my summer clothes and rearranging them into the new dresser.   I have never been so happy to put away my winter clothes!!!  Yay for spring in New York!