A Travellerspoint blog

May 2009

Times Square: The Pedestrian Walkway?

Are they kidding?

This is a well-intentioned, but badly executed plan. A pedestrian walk-way in the middle of Manhattan is a noble idea. Cutting down on traffic, greenhouse gases, noise, pollution...no one would argue that these are honorable pursuits.

I visited New York last week, immediately after the new pedestrian Times Square was launched. Who's kidding who?

Anyone who has ever visited a European city where there are true pedestrian plazas (Rome, Barcelona, and Siena are cities that come quickly to mind) will laugh out loud at this pretense.

First of all. let's be clear. There is still traffic through Times Square. Less of it, to be sure, but it's there. The entire picture is absurd and somewhat hard to describe without sounding as though I'm making it up. One thick lane down the middle of the street is closed to traffic. There is a narrow lane of traffic going north and going south on either side of the "pedestrian walk-way." Here is the truly bizarre part. Lounge chairs and cafe chairs have been set up in this middle lane and there are people, dozens of people, lounging. Traffic to the right of them, traffic to the left of them; there they are lounging. Some are reading books. It's dark. It's loud. It's dirty. It's the middle of Manhattan and there they are. You should go. This is something like the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China that has to been seen to be fully appreciated. Hurry up. It's a "pilot project" for the next few months. I, for one, doubt it will last.
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Posted by teethetrav 11:48 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Bryant Park After Work NYC

New Singer-Songwriter Series

Crowded, crazy, surprising, invigorating and well, it's Manhattan in Springtime and anything is possible! Bryant Park is festive and alive with people sitting in French cafe chairs, reading, talking, people-watching, or just taking in the views. On Wednesdays during May and June you can join the party from 6 to 7:30 at the free series called Bryant Park After Work. These free concerts feature new singers and songwriters. On a recent Wednesday, I joined the fun and listened to Benyaro followed by Anne Heaton. It was a warm and lovely Spring evening and there was quite a crowd enjoying the music and each other.
Check out more about Bryant Park which is right across the street from the New York Public Library and my favorite two lion statues named Patience and Fortitude.
www.bryantpark.org
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Posted by teethetrav 07:35 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Happy Memorial Day!

Celebrate Freedom

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Celebrate freedom and practice gratitude for all that you have!
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Posted by teethetrav 11:41 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

PERFECT MEMORIAL DAY MENU: EASY DINNER

All American Jersey Shore Menu

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Here is a typical Sunday dinner summer menu. Easy to make and great for company!
THE MENU:

Bruschetta
Devilled eggs
Pasta salad
Baby back ribs
Grilled asparagus
Sand

This is a terrific menu for a laid back Sunday. It will easily feed six adult appetites and if you throw some burgers and dogs on the grill for the kids, it will satisfy everyone. Kids and adults will love the dessert: Sand. Almost everything can be at least one day ahead. I would assemble the devilled eggs just before serving. They are hard to store. Boil the eggs the day before. The bruschetta takes a few minutes and I’d make that last. Here are the recipes:

Appetizers:

Bruschetta
French baguette works best because they are long and narrow, but any crusty bread will be fine
olive oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 medium tomato

Grill or broil the bread until crisp. Cut the garlic clove open and rub on the bread lightly. Cut the tomato in half and rub on the toasted bread. Drizzle the juice from the tomato on the bread. Drizzle with olive oil, slice and serve.

Devilled Eggs
Boil six eggs (for six people, each person will get two eggs—double if you want more) for twenty minutes. Run under cold water. Let cool completely.
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (low fat is fine)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Paprika

Cut each egg in half and gently slide out the yolk. Put all the yolks in a bowl and mash them with a potato masher. A fork will work if you don’t have a masher. Add about a tablespoon of mayo. Be conservative. You can add more, but you can’t remove it! Stir until you have a spreadable consistency, kind of like mashed potatoes. Add a teaspoon of dried mustard. More to taste.

Using a teaspoon, drop a teaspoonful on each of your egg whites. If you really wanted to be fancy, you could pipe this with a plastic bag, but people love these no matter how they look, so I don’t bother. Put a sprinkle of paprika on top of each egg and serve with a toothpick in each one. Fingers work fine, too.

Pasta Salad
There are a hundred different pasta salads. This one is a crowd pleaser.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni, boiled al dante slightly firm
2 celery stalks finely diced
1 can garbanzo beans
1 small or ½ large red onion chopped finely (optional to taste)
fresh basil 8-10 leaves-tear in pieces
fresh parsley
1 bottle of your favorite Italian dressing such as Paul Newman’s Own Family Recipe. Ranch dressing also works.

Add all dry ingredients except parsley to the pasta and toss. Add ½ cup dressing and toss again. Serve at room temperature. Garnish with parsley.

Baby Back Ribs
4 lbs (unless you’re serving hot dogs and/or burgers then you make half as much)
1 jar of BBQ sauce-either Cajun Power Bar-B-Q Basting Sauce (order online from www.cajunpowersauce.com) Or buy Jack Daniels Original No. 7 Regular.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slather the ribs in sauce. Bake for 85 to 90 minutes until bubbly and brown. Serve warm or hot. *You could finish these off for the last ten minutes on the grill for extra flavor!

Grilled Asparagus
1 lb. of asparagus for 6 servings
sea salt
olive oil

Brush the asparagus with the oil. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from grill. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Sand
1 box vanilla wafers
1 small tub Cool Whip
1 box instant vanilla pudding

Make the pudding. Put all the cookies in a plastic bag and smash them with a hammer. (Fun and gets rid of your stress!)
Mix the whole mess together with the cool whip and pudding. Serve in plastic pail with a shovel. Enjoy!!!

Posted by teethetrav 13:34 Archived in USA Tagged food Comments (1)

Glass Blowing and Dale Chihuly

Genius from Seattle

0822061401.jpgDale Chihuly is a genius and my favorite living artist. He designs the most extraordinary sculptures, objects, and chandeliers out of glass in colors that look like the inside of a kaleidoscope.

I discovered him on a PBS special several years ago. He had gone to Venice to work with the Venetian glass blowers. At the end of the experience, he hung pieces over the canal and finally, sent colored glass bubbles floating along the Grand Canal while trying not to get caught by the local water police. I was hooked.
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I saw his work for the first time in the middle of the casino at Atlantis in the Bahamas. I stopped dead in my tracks and knew it was a Chihuly, but needed confirmation. While everyone around me was searching for the perfect slot machine, I went searching for a concierge to confirm my suspicion. When I found one, I asked him if the gigantic orange glass marvel was, in fact, a Chihuly. He smiled knowingly and nodded yes. Now, I was REALLY hooked.
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How this one-eyed genius shapes hot liquid into the shapes he creates is simply mystical. The colors he imbues into the creations are unique, dazzling, and ever-changing as they catch the light.
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Whenever I travel to a new city, I do my research to see if he has work displayed there. I saw some wonderful pieces in New Orleans. I’ve been to several of his shows in New York City, including the in situ creation at the Bronx Botanical Gardens (there is one currently in Phoenix, Arizona). Here, he created pieces that fit the landscape. They floated in the pond; they sprouted up from the earth. They danced like birds and flowers in the garden. Gorgeous. Genius.
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His home and studio are in Seattle. His studio is closed to the public, but there are installations nearby. Needless to say, that is on my travel destination list of places I still need to visit. Learn more about Chihuly and glass blowing at www.chihuly.com.
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His influence can be seen throughout the Seattle area especially at the Museum of Glass where his Bridge of Glass is supposed to be a marvel to witness. Go to: www.museumofglass.org to see more.

Posted by teethetrav 18:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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