Friday, October 31

Halloween Colors

I saw a bunch of good costumes on people (and dogs) this morning, too, but I find plants to be much better photographic subjects.

Take a walk with me through the Union Square farmer's market. It was dazzling.

The scary Ghost Cabbage I should have bought, but was afraid of carrying all the way back to Brooklyn (it looked like it clocked in at about 12 pounds):

And the scariest thing of all? A tormented soul, rendered in icing.

Looking Up

We had a biting, icing rain (and even a little snow) here on Wednesday.

But then the sun came out, and it didn't seem so bad.

Thursday, October 30


one day i was waiting for the bus in front of what looked like an urban pumpkin patch, complete with authentic-looking bales of hay and silly scarecrow. soon, a dark-colored bird appeared. it would have been perfect if it had been a crow or a raven, but this is a city, so a pigeon would have to do. (my coauthor is an equal avian opportunist, so i'm sure she won't mind.)

a short while later, the first beak's friend appeared...

seems as though there was good eats for les pigeons amid the hay and between the orange gourds.

...until it was time to go!

Flight Lessons

It's fascinating to see birds in such a public setting, as I have been in the park the past few weeks. They're all migrating, and hungry, and I suppose they see all the pigeons and sparrows sitting right next to giant, crumb-dropping humans so they figure it's fine to do the same.

It certainly makes for effortless bird watching. This one is a white-throated sparrow (note the chic racing stripes on his little kep).

I took close to 200 pictures of this little other beak below, willing it to come closer and stay still whenever I had my camera in hand (which of course it didn't). It's hard to make out, but it has a darling matte-black mask over its eyes, and a stomach of almost florescent yellow.

It's a common yellowthroat, but it looks anything but common to me.

Wednesday, October 29

marina at dusk.

perhaps what i love most about seattle is that it's a port city.

the other day while waiting for a friend (who drives a tugboat!) to return to the marina, the sun was setting and the sounds of the boats were constant, quiet and calming.

How to Create a Mood

Speaking of roses, I saw this man sit down in the park the other day and strew his table with bright red rose petals. He then pulled out a book and just started to read.

I couldn't see if it was anything romantic.

Tuesday, October 28

42nd St. and 5th Ave.

Even the symmetry in Midtown can be beautiful.

the rose.

the name of this delectable beverage is the rose. i was lucky to imbibe and enjoy recently at the invitation of a friend proud to open up a new mocha martini bar.

her creation involves my new favorite black cherry vodka, champagne and, of course, an edible flower. mmmmmm....and yes, if you must know, i did have more than one!

Monday, October 27


we have been experiencing some of the best autumn light, colors and weather i've ever known these past few days.
i don't want it to end. but that's the thing about this season. the magnificent colors of those leaves on the trees will only be up there for so long. i saw a guy raking up a pretty pile yesterday...

Saturday, October 25

Tuesday, October 21

About to Turn

In the fall, the ginko trees in my neighborhood turn such an amazingly vibrant yellow- within a few weeks, this one will look like a highlighter.

Monday, October 20

the deliciousness we know as cheese.

on my most recent trip back east, i joined my coauthor on some errands. selecting cheeses for our first course that evening was one of many highlights of our brooklyn excursion.

there they were, the cheeses. all lined up, looking their best, waiting to be chosen. and how to choose...i wanted them all.

well, maybe not this one, but it is quite obvious, that cheese does make me smile!

the resulting cheese plate was a tasty soft arrangement of some to-die-for humboldt fog and a delectable truffle-y brie, accompanied by dried cherries and a mix of flatbreads. mmmmmm...

(the cheeseless pizza looks delish...but sometimes, read: basically all the time, you just gotta have the fromage.)

My Morning

Sunday, October 19

Divine Providence

These slices from heaven were delivered to me as a hostess gift by an old friend who grew up outside Providence, R.I. She was up visiting family while spending some time in New York, and she brought me back possibly the best present you can give me: regional pizza.

It comes from the storied DiPalmieri's, and is called bakery pizza or party pizza by the locals. I call it pure deliciousness- golden, olive-oil soaked crust topped with thick dollops of tomato sauce. There's no cheese, but it doesn't even need it.

And if I'm saying that, you know it's true.

Saturday, October 18


Another reason to love October. Orange really is its signature color.

I didn't buy any of these, but I did get plenty of other deliciousness (tomatoes, jalapenos, broccoli and mushrooms- vegetables in a Thai coconut-milk curry is on the menu for tomorrow).

Friday, October 17

masterful composition.

as promised, i thought i'd share a little bit about how good my coauthor is with ingredients. take these gorgeous-looking and yummy-tasting heirloom tomatoes, for example. once hated, now adored, she arranged these beautifully prepped (by yours truly of course) slices into a delicious caprese-like tart!

with bufala, fresh pesto and everything. not only visually breathtaking to admire, but scrumptious to enjoy. i know i did.

(notice the pears poaching in the background. dessert was just as tasty!)

Thursday, October 16


This is a plant I took for granted growing up, thanks to a decades-old box of them that somehow lasted year after year, summering on the porch and wintering inside.

I had to start growing them myself to appreciate their bright, weird little flowers and fuzzy leaves. Geraniums are actual native to southern Africa; it's funny how they ended up in the Northern Hemisphere as such typical window-box fodder.

They come in amazing scented-leaf varieties, like chocolate, orange and rose, but mine is just an ordinary, $4 garden geranium. It doesn't take away from my appreciation for every bloom it gives, though.

Wednesday, October 15


A recent and welcome addition.

What makes these so amazing, even though they're inedible? Is it a fractal thing?

to market, to market.

my coauthor is a gifted cook (and baker!). a major contribution to her seemingly innate talent is her knowledge of and admiration for raw materials. fresh ingredients and her selection thereof are a major part of the process. she certainly knows her way around a farmers market. (more on her ability to construct a perfect menu coming soon.)

a couple of weeks ago, i found myself at the ballard sunday market. i couldn't help but admire the produce, the people, the colors and the weather. it inspired me and made me want to invest in some cookbooks and get down to creating some fall delicacies.

i haven't started just yet, but some yams right from the oven the other night, with just a little butter, salt and pepper...and maybe a generous heap of fresh parmesan, were a good start!

Tuesday, October 14

Feathers and Tulle

The images for the next few days are all little things from my bedroom; they're small, but they contain much beauty.

ceiling, the morgan library

without the fear of looking like a tourist in new york, it's clear my coauthor and i like to look up. while admiring drawings of little elephants recently, i noticed the masterful iron work above.

Monday, October 13

Chandelier, St. Regis Hotel

This is the room that's my new favorite hideaway in the city. It's like going back in time and going back in money.

Sunday, October 12

Saturday, October 11

Thursday, October 9

Cape May Days

I grew up by the beach, and one fairly geographically close to Cape May, N.J., which is where I spent the last few days.

But Cape May's shoreline is very distinct and new to me. It was such a pleasure to uncover, especially in the warm October light. The ocean is everywhere down there; I couldn't stop seeing, listening, smelling it even if I wanted to.

Most spots were blissfully empty- the only crowds of the trip were found on the raptor observation platform near the lighthouse and on the 7:30 a.m. bird walk at Higbee Beach, both guided by knowledgeable volunteers from the Cape May Bird Observatory. And it was the good kind of crowd, one that sighed with a collective, unabashed delight when a bald eagle suddenly appeared cruising above us.

I realize the absence of avian photos is conspicuous, but I was too busy adjusting my binoculars and trying to will the circulation back into my fingers to pull the camera out- I saved it for walks on the beach and around town.