Sunday, May 25, 2008

St. Pete Saturday Farmer's Market

St. Pete has a Saturday Farmer's Market from November (I think) to end of May. It's located on Central Ave. Great food, good produce, plants, crafts, music...a great time. We especially like all the dogs like this pooch that was being pushed around in a pink pup stroller (Outward Hound was the make).

The pineapple and melon were ripe and sweet. Fresh squeezed orange juice was just what the hot morning needed. We bought a teeshirt made out of bamboo!!! And didn't pass up our favorite turnover stand (apple and cherry) yum!

Tampa RAys

On Saturday we went to the TRopicana Dome in St. Pete to watch the Tampa Rays (formerly the Devil Rays...another PC edit i suppose) trounce the Baltimore Orioles.
t This hit in the photo turned out to be a 3 run homer. It was a fun evening in an air conditioned dome (it was very hot and humid outside). And they had draft civilized!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Savannah in St. Petersburg, Florida

Had lunch at Savannah’s on Central in St. pete. . “down home” cookin’ (yep…grits and cheese grits on the menu). I had a soup (chicken and andouille sausage) that was filling but not too heavy, flavorful without being too spicy. They had great sweet potato fries with a blue cheese dressing that had something in it for a little kick. Jerry had a veggie and parmesan plate along with macaroni and cheese that had bell peppers in it…yumm

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


On our way to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy sheets for the apartment we saw a place called Mazzaro's coffee roaster and italian market stuck in an area filled with carpet and tile warehouses. We, of course, had to stop and glad we did. The place is huge - with huge coffee roaster, bar, and sale, a great looking butcher, cheese cave, wine store, bakery (bread cannoli, cookies, cakes). gourmet products (great olive oil). Homemade pastas. Deli sandwiches, nothing fancy, but very comfortable...clearly at one time a has grown apparently as the ideas took them...into many directions and nooks and crannies. How exciting. And only 10 minutes from the house!!!! check out

Mockingbirds and Memories

Flew down to Tampa/St. Pete yesterday. Have rented a teeny apartment about 10 short blocks from our St. Pete us a place to stay when down here to check on progress (????) on renovations and remodeling. This morning when i walked out of the apartment into the lushly landscaped center courtyard, the air was filled with the sound of mockingbirds. And whoosh, just like that I was transported back to my youth growing up in So California. Isn't it interesting, what sounds and smells can transport someone back to another place and time. Mockingbirds, house sparrows, gardenias...are all things that bring back wonderful memories of Call Street in Pico Rivera...long summers (although not nearly as humid as this morning in St. Pete!!!)...laying in bed on a Saturday morning listening to industrious sparrows in the guava bush outside my window...the smell of gardenias coming into the kitchen window from the row of gardenia bushes planted along our neighbors house. I wonder what sounds and smells I will miss from 510 Northwick?

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Special Treat on Broadway

Colleen and I spent the afternoon with Peg at Macy's (you haven't lived until you've seen Peg's eyes light up when she enters the "pretty" shoe department on Floor 5 at Macy's. ) Honest...when we asked for directions to shoes the Macy's employee asked if we were interested in the comfortable shoes or pretty shoes!!!!

Then after a much needed nap (tuckered out from our adventures in the subway, exploring St. John the Divine, and elbowing our way through a Macy's shoe sale) we set off with Jerry for dinner and a Broadway show. Dinner was at a very good Thai restaurant, Wondee Siam at 792 9th Ave. It is a small "cash only" restuarant (seats only 20). The food was very good and the menu was varied and although it had many of the "staples" of a Thai restaurant it also had a number of less traditional items. Service was very efficient and friendly. It's a if you want a beer with your spicy noodles...better bring it with you.

After dinner we walked to the newly renovated Longacre Theatre on 48th Street (between 8th and 7th) to see Boeing, Boeing starring Christine Baranski, Bradley Whitford, Mary McCormack,
Mark Rylance, and Gina Gershon. It was a very funny, VERY funny play. Loved it and was very happy to be able to score some last minute tickets. (Thanks David for telling us about it).

More in Manhattan (Day Three Continued)

Did you know that the largest cathedral in the world is in Manhattan? (Although, oddly, it's only the 4th largest church...guess there are some larger churches that aren't cathedrals). The Cathedral of St. john the Divine is located at amsterdam and 110th in Morningside Heights . It's cornerstone was set in 1892 and it's been underconstruction in fits and starts since (except for a 35 year period starting in 1941). Currently a portion of the cathedral is undergoing reconstruction and repair from a fire in 2001 that damaged a portion of the structure.

It is a beautiful church with a primarily Byzantine-Romanesque Style exterior design by Heins and LaFarge. It is monumental in size and proportion. The center dome (which was intended to only be temporary but was completed in 1909) could fit the statue of liberty underneath it!!! The cathedral is almost 2 football fields in length with the longest Gothic nave in the world at 230 feet. The columns that support the roof over the choir and chapels are each 55 feet in height and massive in circumference. There are 7 chapels dedicated to the many different ethnic groups that were pouring into New York in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Towers remain to be finished, in theory the center dome would be replaced with a permanent one, repairs have yet to be completed but as Mayor Ed Koch said in 1979,,Some of the great cathedrals took over 500 years to build. We are only in our first hundred years.

I've been going to Manhattan for over 20 years now and never ventured up to see the Cathedral. It was worth the trip. It's fairly easy to get to by subway...take either the #1 or #9 subway to 110th and Broadway or the A train to the Cathedral stop. BUT don't take the A'll end up at 145th before you know it and will have to take a train back to Cathedral (yes we did that!).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Big Apple - Day Three

The Cafe Edison (or as we and New York regulars call it the Polish Tea room). This is a great New York diner located in the Edison Hotel on 47th street between Broadway and 8th. It is a bustling, formica-topped tabled, 3 meal a day diner that serves great corned beef, good tuna salad, fabulous breakfasts, and the BEST matzo ball soup. (apparently great gefilte fish too, if that is your pleasure)
(to the left...Jerry reading the morning paper at Cafe Edison)

The Cafe Edison was long the favorite haunt of Neil Simon (he apparently loved the matzoh ball soup too.) Supposedly its popular with Broadway celebrities but I guess we're always so intent on the food that we've never seen any there.! However, this is not a ritzy least not now. But over 70 years ago it was the hotel's grand ballroom and you can still see that "life" reflected in the ceilings, walls, and columns which are decorated like a wedding cake in white and pastels and with bas relief doodads. The chandeliers are still there too.

Service is brisk and efficient...we've had the same european accented talldrink of water waitress the past few days (she's almost as tall as the Coca Cola refrigerated cooler). The night time "cash register lady" is a good-humored straight talking woman (I like your purse, where did you get it? is it heavy? can I lift it? TJ maxx? really? here in Manhattan?) but really...try the matzoh ball soup!

New York, New York!! Day One and Two

I love New York. And I love being in New York with good friends and Jerry. We just have the best time!!!. Peg flew in from Ohio, Colleen from New Hampshire, Linda trained in from Princeton, Em and Sue drove in on Tuesday, Caryl, Mariadela, Marda, Linda V, Marcie, and Terry drove in on Wednesday for the day. Girlfriends from all over! (and guitar to follow once I'm home...I forgot my memory card reader).

Tuesday we went to the Kips Bay Design House at 66th and 2nd Ave on the Upper East side. 6 apartments turned over to Manhattan designers...some a bit bizarre(one appeared to have stucks thousands of bent pins into the ceiling for decorations)...many not very user friendly...but a few were interestingly lovely. One apartment turned out to be the apartment of Daniel Boulud...of manhattan restaurant fame (cafe Boulud, Daniel's, DB Bistro moderne). Appropriately it was almost just one big kitchen and dining area!. The man himself was there and perhaps not surprisingly for a successful manhattan chef and restauranteur...he had not parked his ego at the door. He even had a mural of himself in the entrance way .

Tuesday evening we ate at Artisanal on 32nd near Park Avenue. GREAT meal! Peg's mussels were the most tender I've ever tasted. The hanger steak and frites were perfect. Em's spring vegetable risotto was refreshing and not too heavy. The cheese plate for dessert (Artisanal is famous for it's cheeses) was perfect...we all agreed the Humboldt Fog goat cheese was fabulous. But the Tarte Tatin...was sublime...perfect after the cheese. Wine menu was extensive and had quite a few reasonably priced bottles...a nice surprise.

Thoughts of visiting our favorite bartender, Colin, at the Rainbow room vanished with our completely full stomachs and the results of all the wine. A cab ride was all we had the energy for!

Wednesday was Wawa day...when we all met for the Theatre and lunch (although one car load got stuck in a gigantic traffic jam trying to get through the Lincoln Tunnel). We had lunch at Ruby foo's one of our favorite places for Wawa lunchs (good food, easy location, and great large round table perfect for catching up on everyone's lives). For theatre we saw, Country Girl with morgan freeman, frances mcdourmand, and peter gallagher (yes, there is life after The OC). it's a revival of a Clifford Odett's play (made famous by GraceKelley, William Holden, and Bing Crosby as a movie). It was a very good play. A few thought the first act was a bit slow but not because of the acting which was first rate. Really good.

Then it was back to food again...drinks at the marriott marquis on Times Square where the Cosmo was 18 dollars????? I shudder to think of what drink prices have gone up to at the Rainbow Room. We at at Caramia on 9th (between 46th and 45th). Excellent homemade pastas, the chicken special was exactly that...special...not just another chicken dish. service was attentive and very pleasant. wine by the glass selection was good.

All in all a great day.

To the Left and Above: Some of us waiting to get into the theatre.
To the Left: Wawas at Caramia

Peg, Colleen, jerry and i are still in the city until tomorrow. so check back for continuing adventures in manhattan.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day at Morris Arboretum

I finally made it to the Morris Arboretum in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. It is a beautiful set of gardens and meadows. The azaleas, dogwoods, viburnum, and alium were really colorful today. Wild roses were just beginning to pop...the official rose garden is probably a month off. It was breezy but not cold. Hazy but still sunny. It was lovely walk.

According to the official website (

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania began in 1887 as "Compton," the summer home of John and Lydia Morris, brother and sister. The I.P. Morris Company, an iron-manufacturing firm founded by their father and later run by John Morris, was a source of family wealth.

Through the stewardship and vision of the Quaker family, Compton became the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in 1932. Listed on The National Register of Historic Places, it is an interdisciplinary resource center for the University, and is recognized as the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Costa Rica photos

i finally finished editing and organizing our photos from our January Costa Rica trip. Check them out on And don't worry I didn't post all 1800 photos that Jerry and I took. When you get to the on the "travel collection" and then on the "costa rica" set. have fun!