Catch It: Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life

Wandamoorepix2Every time I pick up Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life by Mary Schmich, I have a smile on my face. Ms. Schmich’s lovely book is a treasure trove of wisdom, and fun anecdotes for living in a hectic world in the 21st century.

What a joyful book to share with a loved one on Valentine’s Day.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Catch It: Gotham 2018: Meredith’s Astoria

One afternoon, as I was on my way to Kaufman Studios in Astoria, Queens, my head was filled with the beat of Duke’s Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder”. While strolling the streets of Astoria, I peered at trendy restaurants and old-fashioned shops blending with new tall buildings. I remembered I knew someone who lived in Astoria: Ms. Meredith.

A runner who often speeds throughout her vibrant neighborhood, Ms. Meredith epitomizes the radiance of the community. So here is my interview with the very nice lady, Ms. Meredith.

What are you favorite restaurants in Astoria?

VIA TRENTA – Amazing Italian and a lovely staff. Great feelathome type of place. Great food, a warm welcoming environment. Yummy brunch and outdoor seating in the summer. They have the type of staff who knows their regulars and shows their excitement when you enter the restaurant. www.viatrenta.com

LUNERA – It is newer restaurant in the neighborhood. Amazing Mexican, also great service and specials. www.lunerany.com

WATAWASUSHI It has that city lounging vibe and the sushi is excellent. www.watawasushi.com

TAVERNA KYCLADES – Greek and delicious seafood. www.tavernakyclades.com

JUJUBE TREE – Vegan and healthy treats. jujubetree.eat24hour.com

ANTIKA – Italian and the pizzas are sumptuous. www.antikapizzeria.com

SUGAR FREAK (Louisiana) – It’s our comfort-food, Southern-style restaurant. www.sugarfreak.com

What do you like about living in Astoria?

After working all day in Manhattan, there is a sense of calm once I am get off at the subway station and walk to my home. Though I’m active and on the go, I feel as if I slow down in Astoria.

The food and entertainment options are great and evolving. Even with the changes, the locals are loyal to the small businesses, and the neighborhood feeling has been preserved.

Astoria is very accessible and it operates pretty much 24 hours/day. The passion in the owners and their employees behind the local businesses is why there is a strong culture here.

Thank you, Ms. Meredith.

The weather in New York may get cold, but there is light and warmth in the unexpected joy of discovering something new while strolling in and around the city.

 

 

Posted in American Comfort Food, Cafes, Gotham 2018, Italian Cuisine, Juice Bar, Queens, Restaurants, Sushi, Vegan, Vegan Cafe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catch It: Salumeria Rosi

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”—words by Tennessee Williams. With this holiday season upon us, I recall the fondest times at my family’s Thanksgiving dinners in Atlanta, Georgia.

And last Saturday, I was connected to that place and time through the enchanting ambiance at Salumeria Rosi on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I instantly felt like I was home at my Mom’s kitchen table—down south.

 

Catch it if you can at www.salumeriarosinyc.com

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Catch It: Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

A weekly celebration for me is a chocolate treat at Kruether Handcrafted Chocolate. Kreuther is a chocolate bar where I take pleasure in exquisite pieces of chocolate confections and drink a cup of rich coffee while gazing at Bryant Park.

I came upon Kreuther, located at the Grace Building, 43 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036, as I was walking to the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan. Since then, whenever I have been writing in the Rose Room, I stroll to Kreuther afterwards.

What fun there is in knowing Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolates are near.

Happy Halloween!

P.S. You can also shop online.

Catch it if you can at www.kreutherchocolate.com

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Catch It: Till & Sprocket

Last Thursday, I met with my friend Michelle for a late lunch at Till & Sprocket, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. We both ordered the same: Beet Caprese (sliced red beets, fresh mozzarella and pistachio pesto) with Salmon. It was superb. The salmon was grilled to perfection, the beets were sweet and hearty. The special part was seeing my dear friend, sharing pictures of her family in North Carolina and my family in Georgia. We were two contented Southern girls enjoying the sun with a marvelous meal at Till & Sprocket.

Catch it if you can at www.tillandsprocket.com

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Catch It: The Grapes of Wrath

I remember reading The Grapes of Wrath in college. This week I started it again. John Steinbeck’s lyrical novel of the motion of the winds, the rain and the unsettling of the sun brought me close to Harvey…with the devastation of the hurricane in Houston, Texas. While reading The Grapes of Wrath, I was reminded that the dust does fly away and the sunlight breaks through again.

Chapter One

“When June was half gone, the big clouds moved up out of Texas and the Gulf, high heavy clouds, rain-heads. The men in the fields looked up at the clouds and sniffed at them and held wet fingers up to sense the wind. And the horses were nervous while the clouds were up. The rain-heads dropped a little spattering and hurried on to some other country. Behind them the sky was pale again and the sun flared. In the dust there were drop craters where the rain had fallen, and there were clean splashes on the corn, and that was all.

A gentle wind followed the rain clouds, driving them on northward, a wind that softly clashed the drying corn. A day went by and the wind increased, steady, unbroken by gusts. The dust from the roads fluffed up and spread out and fell on the weeds beside the fields, and fell into the fields a little way. Now the wind grew strong and hard and it worked at the rain crust in the corn fields. Little by little the sky was darkened by mixing dust, and the wind felt over the earth, loosened the dust, and carried it away. The wind grew stronger. The rain crust broke and the dust lifted up out of the fields and drove gray plumes into the air like sluggish smoke. The corn threshed the wind and made a dry, rushing sound. The finest dust did not settle back to earth now, but disappeared into the darkening sky.

The wind grew stronger, whisked under stones, carried up straws and old leaves, and even little clods, marking its course as it sailed across the fields. The air and the sky darkened and through them the sun shone redly, and there was a raw sting in the air. During a night the wind raced faster over the land, dug cunningly among the rootlets of the corn, and the corn fought the wind with its weakened leaves until the roots were freed by the prying wind and then each stalk settled wearily sideways toward the earth and pointed the direction of the wind.”

—John Steinbeck

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Catch It: Café Dada

Her laughter was unforgettable, her smile was sunshine, and her crab cakes were to live for. That’s how I remember my Aunt Vivie. When I would visit her at her home in the quaint seaside town of Cape May, New Jersey, summer days meant running on the beach, returning to her comfy yellow house and sitting at the kitchen table for scrambled eggs, buttery biscuits and scrumptious crab cakes for breakfast. Although Aunt Vivie passed away years ago, her exuberance for life still remains with me.

These memories were evoked recently on a beautiful spring day. Walking in Park Slope, I came upon Café Dada at 57 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. I decided I would have an iced coffee and write. And while there, I looked at the menu, and saw Crab Cakes served with purple cabbage slaw. I instantly thought of my sweet Aunt Vivie and the breezy days of Cape May.

I was not disappointed. My Crab Cakes were light, fluffy and exquisite. I enjoyed my meal. I heard children playing outside, and one was a little girl. Her melodious voice brought nostalgia mixed with nature’s present joy.

Catch it if you can at www.cafedadany.com

Posted in American Comfort Food, Brooklyn, Cafes, Cape May, Crab Cakes, French-Hungarian, Park Slope Restaurants, Wine Bar | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment