Brooklyn Fever

Well, its back. Matt and I have Brooklyn fever again. And all it took was one trip to Williamsburg, brunch at Two Door Tavern and some oysters and Smorgasburg. Damn, we are suckers.

Yummy maple lemonade from Vermont.
Yummy maple lemonade from Vermont.
Two of our favorite things, Brooklyn and oysters!
Two of our favorite things, Brooklyn and oysters!
It is an oyster party!
It is an oyster party!
I'm not sure if this is Matt's tough guy face, or his "I just sucked down an oyster" face
I’m not sure if this is Matt’s tough guy face, or his “I just sucked down an oyster” face
Just relaxing at the beach
Just relaxing at the beach
Manhattan in the background
Manhattan in the background

Our lease is up in August… is it too soon to look for an apartment in Williamsburg?

House Hunters Goes to Brooklyn

Matt and I have been watching a lot of House Hunters recently. Not only is this show entertaining but I consider it research. I’ve learned about curb appeal, the difference between Tudor and a modern contemporary style and that everyone wants an open concept floor plan. And its all been leading to this moment.

Now, let’s not get excited — we are not looking to buy a house. But we are ready to do what most newly married couples do when they live in New York…

Move to Brooklyn!

Matt and I have been talking about this for a while and both agree that this makes sense. And don’t worry — we will actually be closer to our favorite 3rd wheel, Kinsella, after the move. So after watching House Hunters nearly every night for a month, we figured we were ready. I spent a few hours on Craigslist, made a few appointments and took the subway over to Williamsburg.

Unfortunately, after looking at a couple places, the reality of the challenge set before us has set in. We’ve only seen a couple placing, but they are depressing. They are small. They are expensive. And we didn’t experience that magical feeling that overcomes the people on House Hunters every single episode.  I mean, you never see an episode where they hate all three options.

Maybe Matt and I need to apply to be on the show…. What do you think? Would we be entertaining enough for the HGTV audience? The good news is that once we do find a place, thanks to Design Star, I will certainly know how to decorate it!

If anyone has any apartment hunting advice – please let me know!

Girls

Does everyone else there agree with me that the new HBO show, Girls is 100% awesome? I honestly can’t get enough of this show.From the fact that it is set in New York City to the incredibly accurate portrayal of the early 20-something year old female – I love every angle of this show.

It is like a realistic  version of Sex and the City. The girls don’t wear manolo blahniks – not because they aren’t fashionable but because they are in their early 20s and can’t afford a pair of shoes that cost over 500 dollars (I am still trying to figure out how Carrie could afford so many pairs on her writer’s salary). And they don’t live in enormous apartments like Rachel and Monica on Friends, but in small apartments in Brooklyn.

I salut you Leah Dunham. It is like you have tapped into the voice in my head and made it into an incredible tv series. Let’s grab a drink and talk about some of the ideas I have for season 2.

CrossFit and Bloodies, The Perfect Combo

Matt and I have started to settle into a 2012 weekend routine. And I like it.

Since I started participated in CrossFit with Matt, we now make a weekend activity out of it. We go to one of the morning workouts on either Saturday or Sunday and then enjoy a delicious brunch at one of the local restaurants n Williamsburg. This tradition is something that I now look forward too – especially if it involves a bloody mary!

This weekend, after our workout, we went to a new restaurant, Diner. I heard about this place from a co-worker (I think their cousin may own it, but I am not really sure) and after researching it a little more on Yelp, I decided this would be a good post-workout spot. Well, let me tell you, we were not disappointed.

Williamsburg is known as being a popular location with hispters, and The Diner certainly appeals to that character type. From the red, shack-like appearance, to the menu scribbled on a piece of paper, to our waiter who looked like he was a 70s gym teacher – it was amazing. We split a stick bun (diet, what diet?), and I got eggs and toast while Matt indulged himself with the country breakfast. The bloody mary was good, but it didn’t live up to the bloodies at Daddy-O’s, we favorite spot in the West Village. All in all it was a great experience.

We also spent some time this weekend celebrating some of our favorite friends. Saturday night started off with an engagement party for one of our favorite couples Jen and Nate. We are so thrilled for them and can not wait to hear more about the wedding planning process. I was particularly excited because I clued Jen into the wonderful world of pinterest – I hope she will spending hours on their looking for inspiration!

Afterwards, we met up with a lot of our friends to celebrate Mike Smeets’ birthday. It was quite a night filled with dancing, cupcakes, and a bar the promised “more fun” – Thanks for including us in the festivities!

The Great Brooklyn Debate

So Matt and I are thinking about moving to Brooklyn. We like the idea of having a bit more space, an actual neighborhood and hopefully an outdoor area where we can set up a sick grill. And while our lease isn’t up until next July, we decided to start scoping out neighborhoods since we don’t know much about Brooklyn.

This weekend we crossed the river for a delicious brunch at The Roebling Tea Room. And while there were a lot (and by a lot oI mean, basically everyone in the restaurant except me and Matt) of hipsters, the food was awesome. I got the baked pancake, which was incredible while Matt got the baked eggs and grits. YUM!

 

After brunch we stopped by Blue Bottle, an amazing coffee shop that we originally visited during our trip to San Fran last year. We have been obsessed since (more with the trendiness of the brand than the actual coffee) so when we found out that there was a Blue Bottle shop located in Brooklyn we thought “yes, another reason to move to Brooklyn!”

Then we proceeded to walk around Williamsburg for a while, looking at apartment buildings that we could see ourselves living in. I took down addresses for about 10 places so that I could look them up later and hopefully by-pass any broker fees. Eventually we found a building where the rental office was open and they showed us three model units. The first two were nice, but even though they were two bedrooms, the living space was much smaller than our current apartment. But the last apartment they showed us was amazing. It was a duplex with two bedrooms, a lofted office space, two full bathrooms, a staircase and tons of storage. There was a balcony that had views of the river and a park right next door. I was in love!

 

I thought it might be a little out of our price range but not entirely out of the possibility. With new buildings you can often negotiate great concessions like a month or two free.  After the tour, we went back into the office, only to have our dreams shattered… these weren’t apartments available for rent; they were condos available for purchase – and the asking price of my lovely duplex was 1.7 million dollars. Just slightly out of our price range…

Sadly, we rode subway back to Manhattan with a little less bounce in our step. Who knew the outer boroughs could be so cruel. This whole apartment/neighborhood/new lifestyle search might be a little more difficult that we anticipated.

But hey, at least we got our Blue Bottle Coffee!

Leaving the Island

Growing up, I lived in a circle with a radius of approximately 5 miles. I rode the school bus 4.8 miles to middle school, rode 6.6 miles to the Mall of New Hampshire, rode my bike 4.6 miles to the Bedford Bluffs where I spent every day during the summer and walked .4 miles to visit my best friend (or .2 miles if I cut through the woods).

When I was in high school, the circle expanded to a radius of approximately 60 miles. I drove 6.6 miles east to school, 55.6 miles south-east to swim practice and 73.9 miles south to visit Matt. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in the car. During those days, I knew every song on the radio, perfected my ability to dance while sitting, and learned the location of every Dunkin Donuts along Route 3. I attribute my relationship with one of my best friends to the fact that we spent at least 2 hours in the car together every day, not to mention the fact that we shared a near death experience when I decided to shut my eyes for a quick second while driving to practice. We spent a lot of time chatting about school, swimming, and of course, boys.

My life is very different now that I live in New York. I traded my car in for a subway pass, my one hour commute to swim practice in for a 30 minute subway ride to Union Square, and the 3 miles drive to the grocery store to a 3 minute walk to Whole Foods down the block. While living in a city does make some things much more convenient, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss suburbia.

Now I live on an island.  An island that is 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide. A 23 square mile island with more than 1.6 million people. No longer do I live in a circle with a 60 mile radius. Now I live within a rectangle that is 10 square miles smaller than my hometown, yet has a population that is 80 times larger. I travel within a circle that has a two-mile radius and I never leave the island. That is, until today.

For my Birthday, Matt promised to take me to a cooking class. We have done this before, see prior post, and it was a lot of fun. However, instead of going back to the Institute of Culinary Education, Matt decided to try out The Brooklyn Kitchen, a smaller, “off the beaten path” location (follow their blog here). After reading through the course offerings, we decided on the Fresh Pasta Sunday course. So this afternoon, after a delicious breakfast of irish oatmeal and some time in the gym, Matt and I ventured off the island and into Brooklyn.

We arrived to tree-lined streets, buildings no taller than 5 stories and a strange, but enjoyable, quietness. We could easily walk down the sidewalks to the kitchen without having to dodge tourists and hundreds of people. I suddenly felt at home in Brooklyn.

Our class was amazing. We learned how to make the dough from scratch and worked with a pasta machine. As we put the pasta through the machine a few times, our dough grew into a long sheet. As we cranked the pasta through the machine it flattened out and grew in length. Working together to maneuver this large sheet of pasta, we were able to make angel hair pasta, fettuccine and butternut squash ravioli. At the end of class, we were able to taste the fruits of our labor and bring some of the uncooked pasta home. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to invite Matt into our kitchen at home more often. He is an amazing sous-chef!

I encourage you all to leave your island and expand your radius; you never know what you will find.