Sunday, July 30, 2006

birthday boy

birthday boy

today was noah's 4th birthday. we lit 4 candles and stuck them in half of a veggie hotdog for him.

we slip closer and closer to becoming crazy dog people.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

last day in new york

sadly, saturday was our last day in new york. although we got a bit of a late start (see the drunken picture in the last post), we still made the most of the day.

we started with a lovely lunch in bryant park. i had the yummiest sandwich: chopped chickpeas, kalamata olives, fresh parsley, and preserved lemon on thick slices of bread. delish!
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i have to share some photos we took of bryant park and maybe you'll get a little idea of why we fell in love with this place. i swear it was like an enchanted forest in the middle of the city!!
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after lunch we walked over to the biggest public library i've ever seen in my life. it's actually located right behind bryant park. we got sidetracked on our way there when we saw some amazing breakdancers performing on the sidewalk. they were so much fun!!
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look closely, one of them is actually flipping over the 3 that are bent over.
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then on to the library. if you have been reading my blog for awhile you might know about my love affair with libraries. hence, my reaction when i saw this one:
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inside was even more beautiful!
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from there, we walked over to h&m. my cousin, michele lives in l.a. and for some strange reason they still don't have this store out there. so while she shopped, i headed over to kinokuniya, a japanese bookstore i found after stopping a man on the street who was carrying a bag from there. i was absolutely overwhelmed with the crafty books and i almost had a bit of a melt-down, unable to decide on which one to get. i finally chose a fashion book that i think will be great inspiration and eye-candy. here i am after the victorious purchase!
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now you may recall me saying our only mission for new york city was to eat our way through it. so of course for our last night there, we wanted to do up dinner in style. we subwayed it over to greenwich village with the intention to eat at vegetarian paradise. (it was closed due to a gas leak so we went a few doors down to red bamboo). little did we know we would be waiting for 2 hours to get a table there!!! while we were in the neighbourhood we.....

spotted a cute dog outside the grey dog cafe
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drooled over baked goods
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snapped a quick picture in front of sarah jessica's house
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finally got a table at red bamboo and had a fake meat extravaganza! best of all were the cajun "shrimp".
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just like every other night, we walked around the city for hours taking everything in. i had a happy/sad moment when i finally found magnolia bakery (made famous in "sex and the city"). happy because i had no idea where it was and couldn't believe my luck for stumbling on it. sad because even though it was midnight there were at least 40 people lined up around the corner to get in. (i didn't have the patience to wait in line....)
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after we got back to the hotel, we all collapsed into our beds. 4 days of walking about 10 hours a day finally caught up with us.

the next morning, we took a taxi to the airport and blew a kiss to manhattan as we crossed the bridge. :(

words cannot describe how incredible this vacation was. i think it had special significance for me because i'm not much of a traveller. to actually get my butt on a plane (huge step!!!) and be able to explore the city with my cousin, her husband and paul was wonderful! so many great moments and "forever memories".

new york, you haven't seen the last of me! :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

nyc

on to our friday in new york...

well, we began by having breakfast in the most beautiful park (and probably my most favourite place we visited), bryant park. we were so lucky that it was only a 2 minute walk from our hotel. i'll have to do a post just about this place. we took so many photos.
there are little kiosks in the park where you can buy food. i had the most delicious oatmeal with cinnamon butter, almonds, and dried fruit.
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after breakky, we set off to explore the city with only one plan: to visit the m.o.m.a.

on the way there we saw.....

wonderful photography exhibits by atta kim and weegee

street vendors
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rockerfeller centre
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the nbc building (what a gem...amazing art deco interior!)
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water fountains that looked like dandilions
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the famous "love" sculpture
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and some pretty cool window displays
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we arrived at the m.o.m.a. and realized there was more than we could possibly see in a couple of hours. to ensure everyone saw what they wanted, michele and deutsch went their way and paul and i went ours. we saw some incredible art!
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after a little rest in central park, we headed out to brooklyn to eat dinner at foodswings. the legend of faux buffalo wings was all the incentive we needed. and let me tell you, they did not disappoint!!
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just looking at that picture, i can almost taste them again.

after dinner we walked around williamsburg. michele and i were lured into the mini minimarket where we found great jewellery, clothing, cards, and bric a brac by indie businesses. so sad that we got there just as they were closing and only had a few quick minutes to browse around. (probably good news for my wallet....) while we were in the shop, paul and deutsch found a bar a few doors down and stopped in for a beer. michele and i met up with them afterwards and we all ended up staying there well into the a.m. i think this photo pretty much says it all, folks. hee hee
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needless to say, we didn't get to bed until 3am and got a bit of a late start the next day.

***
stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

new york, new york!

at long last, here are some pictures from our amazing trip to new york. i can't even begin to tell you how much fun we had! it's like we squeezed in a week's worth of fun into 4 days. and we stayed true to our mission of eating our way through the city, one veggie restaurant at a time. hot damn!!

here i am at the beginning of our trip, trying to look happy about the fact that i'm about to get on an airplane. little did i know at the time that i'd soon be in the smallest airplane imaginable sitting on the runway for 2 hours because laguardia wasn't letting planes land due to bad weather.
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here's paul on our first night in the city. i think this is the coolest shot of him in times square. we passed through on our way to dinner at a veggie restaurant called zen palate. (the shepherd's pie croquettes were out of this world!!)
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thursday's adventures started with a trip to curly's vegetarian lunch for our first meal of the day. mmmm...faux crab cakes. so delish! (that's my cousin michele and her husband deutsch, who we vacationed with in the city.)
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after lunch we walked around and ended up at washington square park to see the doggies in the off-leash areas. we especially liked these guys in the "small dog area". eep, how cute!
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then on we walked through soho (went into my first anthropologie store ever but couldn't afford any of it...bah!) and then on to little italy. i can't even tell you how wonderful it was to just walk and take in the city. i especially loved the beautiful architecture. i was overwhelmed by how old and lovely all of the buildings are! seriously...every building is old and gorgeous! i totally expected it to look like toronto but it's actually very different.
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we walked over to the bowery and then to mooshoes...the mecca of sensible vegetarian shoes. ahhhhhh!
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even the kittycats like to hang out there (there must have been about 7 or 8 hanging out inside the store). here's one snoozing on the shelf.
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by this time we were all pretty much beat from all the walking (and walking, and walking....) and the stifling heat & humidity. luckily for us, teany was right around the corner from mooshoes so we stopped in to rest our feet and cool off with some iced tea and a cupcake (this one was coconut!)
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no sooner did we walk in and paul spotted sofia coppola having cake with a friend. paul and i were a bit star-struck but michele and deutsch were totally cool...they live in l.a. and see celebs all the time. we weren't big goofs or anything but we did pretend to take a picture of michele and deutsch so that we could sneak a photo of sofia without bothering her. aren't we sneaky?!
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after our little rest we were up again and on our way to chinatown to meet michelle, aaron, megan and her husband for dinner at vegetarian dim sum house. it was so nice to finally meet megan and to see michelle and aaron again. we had so much fun just sitting around and talking and laughing. (and eating and eating....) michelle and aaron are regulars there so they helped us pick out a bunch of great dim sum dishes to share including one with a mysterious name like "treasure balls with assorted flavour" or something equally cryptic. they were really yummy though...everything was! i could have happily eaten there every single night of our vacation but there were too many other restaurants we wanted to try.
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after dinner michele, deutsch, paul, and i took the subway back to the hotel and rested a bit. we caught a bit of a second wind so we ventured out to find a pub for a couple of drinks before calling it a day.

*****
more pictures & stories to follow. there's too much to include in one blog entry!

Monday, July 24, 2006

how my summer vacation began

oh my gosh, i've only been on summer vacation for a few weeks but it's already started out amazing!! at the beginning of july, michelle and aaron came to toronto for a few days. now maybe some people would be hesitant to invite people they knew solely from internetland to stay over at their home but not me...i could tell they were going to be fabulous people. (and i was right!) so stay at our home they did!

their first day was spent in kensington market eating a table full of yummy food from one of my favourite veggie restaurants, king's cafe. more blog-worlds collided as we met up with michelle and her boy david, and tania.
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after lunch we wandered around kensington, chinatown, and queen west. i love this picture of the michelles:
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the boys were super patient as we stopped to look in windows, browse in stores and take pictures.
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on tuesday we did a bit of thrifting at the local goodwill (and michelle scored two amazing dresses!) then explored little india. before heading home we got takeout thali from a vegetarian restaurant which we ate while sitting on the backyard deck. it was absolutely delicious.
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later that night we met up with michelle, carla, vania and joel for drinks at the drake. here's a blurry picture of the fun.
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wednesday was spent hanging out, taking noah to cherry beach, shopping for a mysterious spice in little india, and hanging out on the deck with michelle.
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outside

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michelle and aaron had to head back home on thursday :( but they caught a later bus so that we could still get out and enjoy the city before they left. we started at a used bookstore in the annex where we all found some treasures (and michelle and aaron bought me a richard scarry book that i had as a wee one. it makes me so happy to look at and read all over again.). then we headed over to the fancy new juice for life digs at bloor and spadina for lunch.
i love this picture of michelle and aaron at the restaurant.
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after lunch it was time to head to the bus station. we really wanted to check out the distillery before they had to go but traffic was bad and we ran out of time. click here for a picture of how we felt when we had to say goodbye.

it was the most amazing 4 days with michelle and aaron here but it went way too fast! there are so many things i wish we had had time to do. i miss them both a whole lot but hopefully they'll come back and visit all of their canadian friends again soon... (you will, right??)