Saturday, July 07, 2007


Dear readers:
Please turn your attention to my other blog, Singing My Days, for the next month. Chris and I are in India, and that is where you can read all about it. Hopefully I'll post a picture of me riding an elephant soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Yes, I have been neglecting my little trio of blogs. May and June are my busiest time of year, between state exams and end of the year hoopla that I have a lot to do with as the senior advisor at my school. Graduation on Tuesday marks the end of all that. And even today, as I embark on a trip to my favorite place in Brooklyn, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps I'll take pictures, but I won't tell you how to get there. Some secrets are better left kept.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

rent our apartment, love our cat

As you may have read on my other blog, we are going to be in India from July 7th through August 5th. We would like to sublet our Prospect/Lefferts Gardens apartment to a cat lover with a green thumb while we're gone. It's a nice size one bedroom, perfect for one or two people. It's got all new appliances in an elevator building overlooking Prospect Park, steps away from the train and convenient to many of the fun activites I've described on this blog.

Picture yourself living right over the Q train (15 minutes to Chinatown!) looking out the window at Prospect Park (right across the street), shuffling down the block to the Prospect Park Zoo or the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, riding your bike or riding two stops on the train toward Manhattan to hit the Prospect Park Farmers Market, the Brooklyn Public Library or the Brooklyn Museum.

What can you eat in our neighborhood? What's not to eat? Have yummy Mexican at Enduro; have Chinese or Sushi delivered to your door. Gobble Jamaican beef patties or roti around the corner. Buy a fabulous curry at the drum circle (also right across the street) on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the Celebrate Brooklyn free concerts across the park. This year's line up has yet to be posted, but last year's performances included:
TV on the Radio
The Hidden Cameras
Ray Lamontange
Maceo Parker
Yo La Tengo
Queen Latifah
and even a surprise visit by Prince!

Specific dates: July 7th through August 5th.
Asking $950; less if you're willing to cat sit. Looking for a non-smoker.

Did I mention that it's a short train ride to Coney Island, a long bike ride to Jacob Riis/Fort Tilden and a hop, skip and a jump to Di Fara's Pizza - the pie that stole my heart away from Angelo D'Angelo?

And our cat, Eliza, is wonderful! If it's a deal-breaker, let us know!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

busy bee in PLG

The fact that spring has sprung is old news these days, but I still want to share some of the tell-tale signs around the neighborhood. The drum circle is in full force right across the street all day Sundays, and the woman who sells hot sauce and nuts is back in business out in front of the building. The other day I saw a guy on the train returning from Coney Island toting a fishing pole and a bucket with a sizable fish poking out of it. And let's not forget, the UniverSoul Circus is in town and blaring across the park like prayers from a minaret.

Here are shots of some local happenings I've witnessed of late, including the Hanami festival last weekend at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a darling little Earth Day parade I caught at the Prospect Park Boathouse a few weekends back and a a Sweet Sixteen procession I watched leave my building the other day. They've been practicing in the lobby for weeks.


The place was packed.

Wow! Manga!

Look, ma, no beard!

Going to Prospect Park on the weekend is really all about babies and dogs! At this little Earth Day parade it was about mice, alligators, horses and birds too.

I thought the trumpet serenade was for me, until I looked out the window and realized that the Sweet Sixteen rehearsal that's been occupying the lobby of our building had finally become a reality.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

how sweet it is

My sister, Caroline, and my nephews, Justin and Ricky, came to visit a few weekends ago. Hooray! We only had a cold Monday to sightsee, but we did our best. The night they arrived, Chris and I took them to Chinatown for soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai. Then we ate ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, which is what we always do with company. Monday, we started out with a quick drive to Coney Island. It was kind of cold, lonely and deserted, but I think I prefer the boardwalk that way. Then we went to the Bodies exhibit and to the top of Rockefeller Center. We wrapped up with burgers and some killer sweet potatoe fries at Great Jones Cafe, before we dragged ourselves back to Brooklyn. At the end of the day, as much fun as it all was, the best part was just getting a chance to be together.

So photogenic.

Hey, sis!

Jump, I'll catch you!

Please, no more walking!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

deep in the heart of brooklyn

This is a belated posting. A few weeks ago, Chris and I woke one Sunday morning with a sense of adventure in our hearts and a rumbling in our stomaches. It was the morning we decided to check out DiFara's Pizza and other points south. I'm mostly going to let the pictures do the talking here.
Our first stop was Vox Pop, a coffee place on Cortelyou Road I've wanted to check out, because I've noticed it on some neighborhood blogs. The coffee was great (Chris also had some foamy cider or something that he really liked). The atmosphere was like a little bit of Ithaca dropped in the middle of the borough.
From there we went to Di Fara Pizza on Ave. J after hearing countless recommendations and reading about it everywhere from Slice to Zagats.We arrived hungry from our journey (note Chris's "hungry" face), but it was worth it! Suffice to say, DiFara's is the BEST pizza I've had in my life. The burnt bubbles of dough and cheese, the ripe fresh tomatoes that stand out from the sauce. The line wasn't bad enough on the chilly day we were there to overshadow the experience, but for some (for example this bummer review) I have read that isn't the case.
Domenic De Marco -who makes each pizza himself, uses cheeses from his home village in Italy and cuts fresh basil from a green leafy bouquet onto the finished pies - has given my two Auburn, NY, hometown faves, Angelo D'Angelo of Angelo's Pizza and Wheel of Picarillo's, a run for their money.

Some background on Angelo - He finally sold his business, but in his heyday refused to make anything but pizza, even as pressure mounted to add wings or fries to his menu, or to at least get a liquor license. He also used to clean his oven with a mop. The oven was fully visible to the street through the large picture window at the front of his shop, so this was no secret. Local germophobes felt the practice was unsanitary, but Angelop generally responded to this criticism by sputtering some profanity and explaining that the mop was clean and the heat from the oven killed any germs anyway.

And Wheel? His storefront is a full Italian restaurant, checkercloth tables and candlelit ambiance in place, in which he NEVER serves anyone. Take out and delivery only / prices determined at whim. Go for the delivery, because I learned the hard way that a chance meeting with Wheel - who makes wonderful pizzas but takes very little interest in his personal toilet - may lead to loss of appetite.

Researching De Marco a little bit, I have learned that he makes each and every pie himself while his children man the back of the shop. He eats one meal at the end of each day and drinks one good bottle of wine. I have to ask, what is it with these eccentric pizza makers? I also have to wonder, De Marco has found his one thing, what is mine?

Di Fara
1424 Ave. J
Brooklyn, NY