Sunday, June 26, 2011

Older. Wiser.

One more year, come and gone. To celebrate the start of a fresh 365-day rotation around the sun, Dominic planned a day for us enjoy what I love: playing in the sun and eating delicious food.

The Bronx is lovely, especially when you surround yourself with the NY Botanical Garden and - new to me this summer - Orchard Beach. One bus from Fordham Road, just past Co-Op City, this 'engineering marvel' offers a beach fit for honeymooners. Ok, maybe not that relaxing, but definitely suitable for an afternoon jog and a cool dip. The beach is clean and the metal detectorists are very friendly.

Fun fact: I have wanted to go to a hibachi grill since I was 21. Seriously. They cook the food right in front of you! They do tricks with their kitchen utensils. What could be better? If it's good enough for The Office it will work for my birthday dinner. As it turns out we sat at a table full of people from the Bronx. Sure, the general mood was grumpy at the beginning, but it turned out to be a fun group after the birthday ice cream was delivered.

Last year's Vancouver B.C. Birthday kite. A forbidden activity on Orchard Beach, this picture must have been snapped right before we were scolded by a park ranger.

If you want a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery for your birthday the time to go is 10:30 p.m. Otherwise, put on your comfy shoes because you'll be waiting in a line that wraps around the block. The verdict: totally worth it.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Beat the Heat

Summer has arrived. Not the kind of summer that prompts open windows and evening iced tea on the patio, I mean the kind of summer that hits you like a sauna when you walk out the door and forces evening showers just so you can sleep.

Showers would be nice, of course, if there was water pressure in the apartment building...

With temperatures at or above 90 degrees all week I've learned about a new Bronx solution to the heat wave: a johnny pump. Of course! Why didn't I think to uncap the fire hydrant in front of the building sending more than 1,000 gallons of emergency - fighting resource spraying into the street? Oh, because it's illegal.

Where I come from the opening of a fire hydrant, under the careful supervision of the local fire department, can be requested for block parties. In the Bronx, you do it yourself and have your own apartment party every day.

According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, "Opening a hydrant without a spray cap lowers water pressure and can hinder firefighting by reducing the flow of water to hoses and pumps. The reduction of water pressure resulting from illegally opened hydrants can also cause problems at hospitals and other medical facilities." It turns out the city takes this seriously, "Opening a hydrant illegally can result in fines of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 30 days or both." I wonder if anyone has gone to prison for this. I imagine they don't get much street credibility for this crime. Just look at how popular they are with the children:

And bus drivers,
And delivery trucks.
I, like this poor guy, am not a huge fan of testing my long jump every time I want to cross the street.

To be honest, I don't blame my neighbors at all though. If we hadn't received a generous window AC unit donation last winter I would probably be putting on my bathing suit to join them.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Goofing off with Guests

It's safe to say this blog has been neglected the past few months. Before you go pointing fingers, just remember that our preference will always be to live life offline and report on what we learn from the experiences here when we have a chance. Sometimes though, we're not learning we're just playing.

We've had quite the run of guests lately. NYC draws a crowd. Here they are in photos:

RPCVS: Easy to host. Will sleep on the floor without complaint.

Seattlites: Brought the weather with them. Fun foodies and inspired fashionista.


1. OH cousins from the 'nati: Arrived with a list, left with worn out tennis shoes.

2. The graduates: One last hurrah before Buckeye commencement.

3. CA cousin from law school: Likes Manhattan. (Drinking one with his pal Dom that is).

Obviously we don't worry about taking photos while out tour guiding. From the Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street to midtown and Times Square we have scaled the entire island by foot and these were the top photos we could retrieve from my phone.

Come see us this summer - there's still time and we're getting more metro savvy with every guest!