Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WEDNESDAY WANDERINGS..... Brooklyn Flea Market.

an antique toy plane, photo courtsey brooklynflea.com


A bright Wednesday morning here and it seems that the winter is already bidding us goodbye!
The freak snow that I wrote about here over the weekend is all gone...melted away in the rain on Monday.
And now even the icy puddles, which were frozen so hard over the last month, that my sons used to jump on them, have all disintegrated into slushy, muddy puddles...ewww (in my little one's tone!)
I am missing winter already!
What i loved about this first winter in New York-apart from the glitz and the lights and celebrations were the superb holiday markets that had mushroomed everywhere...
They were such a delight!
if i didnt have the kids along with me all the time-i am telling you there would not be any part of the NYC that i at least would not have tried to see...its all soooo amazing and varied...
each part of New York has something new and unique to offer you- and especially if you are artistically inclined...its heaven!
But during the Winters we also had the opportunity to visit one of the iconic Flea Markets of NYC.
the Brooklyn Flea Market!
During the summers (which i also mean to check out) its held out in the open with an beautiful view of the New York skyline.
but its venue in the winters is no less impressive!
The Flea Market is held annually in the winters in an old historical bank-the Williamsburg Savings Bank, and that building itself with its gorgeous interiors is worth a visit!
 More than a 100 vendors and collectors line the former teller windows on the ground floor, then there are some vendors in the secret rooms on the upstairs mezzanine, and also in the original bank vault on the lower level, which also features an eclectic food court and a seating area!
These vendors are selling anything from old antique- pins, jewellry, button badges of an era gone by, old baseball cards,old refurbished furniture, old hollywood and street posters, photographs, frames and sunglasses that remind you of our 70's stars,collectibles and vintage clothing, hats, purses...
And mind you if you are so inclined and the vendor has the time-there is some fantastic story behind each object that they are selling!
 Then there are people selling pottery, blown glass wares, painted tiles, painted scarves, hand printed unique kitchen linen and also painted and printed pop art!
there was even one vendor who was selling jewellery and bracelets made out of old records, another selling miniature gardens in closed containers (terrarium) with tiny figures in them as though part of the scenery!!
the whole experience left me feeling so overwhelmed and humbled...there was so much talent and vision and dedication that it made me feel inadequate...
you think you are talented? i dont think i could hold a candle to what these people have accomplished and are doing.... thier vision and focus is beyond compare...
maybe if i was living here a little longer than two years i could have hoped to have a stall there to sell my little artistic offerings...but i dont think i am prepared enough
These people have dedicated their entire lives to their craft and it shows!!

Here are some photographs to share with you...some are taken by me and some are from thier original site!

view from the top mezzanine (the sniper's hole) photo courtsey: brooklynflea.com

an antique statue from dunno where!  photo courtsey: brooklynflea.com

the beautifully painted original ceiling

the lovely chandeliers!

stained glass windows with each panel having a different design!


way to the bottom to have some amazing eats!





hand painted n printed pop art!

a close up!


screen printed canvases showing the sights of  NYC

unique memorablia


one of a kind stone necklaces

trying out the whacky antique glasses!


there was even a selection of kiddie stuff!

hand printed kitchen linen and cards etc


the guys with the recycled records
amazing pottery!

tiny plants growing on stones and rocks!

Monday, January 23, 2012

some comfort food to warm you up!


Its a bright winter morning here in New York and the highlight of the morning is the pristine white snow piled up on my balcony... :-)
Yesss!! it snowed yesterday finally after such a long wait and after all of us had given up hope of seeing any snow this winter.
The fluke snowstorm in October that I had written about in the earlier post, here was so much fun that we all couldnt wait for our New York winter to finally become white....!
The only thing to warm ourselves in the freezing cold and celebrate the arrival of the snow was throw a party and have lotsa comfort food....
 here are a few pictures and some easy recipes that I made for all of you to enjoy and hopefully like them enough to try for yourself-and remember to tell me about them!


spinach and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms
 SPINACH STUFFED MUSHROOMS

if making an entree use 4 large portobello mushrooms
if making hors d'oeuvres (starters) use 15 medium button mushrooms.
10 oz spinach-rinsed but not dried
1 large egg
1/3 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
2 tbsp seasoned dried bread crumbs
2 tbsp plian fat free yoghurt
2 tbsp fresh dill-chopped finely(in India use soya(of the soya methi duo)
1/4 teaspoon salt
a pinch of pepper

1-preheat oven to 400 degrees. spray medium baking dish with olive oil.
2-saute spinach over medium heat till wilted. Cool and chop spinach.
transfer it to a large bowl and stir in all the remaining ingredients except the mushrooms.
3- Put the mushrooms stem side down, in the prepared baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes.
 Turn the mushrooms over, fill evenly with the spinach mixture.
Bake until the filling is heated through-about 15 minutes.
Serve hot!



 


grilled salmon with sweet peas


 GRILLED SALMON WITH SWEET PEAS
24 oz Wild Salmon fillets(bone less and skinless)
2 lemons sliced in rounds.
2tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1-sprinkle the salmons with salt and pepper and the lemon zest.
2- spray grill rack  with non stick spray and preheat grill to medium or prepare medium fire using direct method.
3-arrange the salmons on slices of lemon on the grill rack and grill till just opaque in the center.
4- serve with either sauteed or steamed sweet peas (depend on how health conscious you are!!!)






roasted asparagus and red bell peppers.



ROASTED ASPARAGUS AND RED PEPPERS

1 pound of asparagus, trimmed and bottom third peeled.
1large red bell pepper, sliced in thick strips
juice of one big lemon
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1-preheat oven to 400 degrees. spray baking sheet with nonstick oil spray
2-put asparagus and bell peppers in a large mixing bowl and add lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper flakes and lemon zest-mix well to coat evenly!
3-spread vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking dish.
4- roast, stirring the pan occasionally, until tender for about 15 minutes.
transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl-they look delicious with the bight red and green contrasting colors, and serve hot!

Arent these dishes the easiest?? and with such yummy fresh flavour!

want some more recipes?? click on these pages-click here


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recovering from the Winter Break!!




The long winter break from my blog has kinda made me a little nervous to write again...
how should I start...where should I start... do I have anything to write about??
leave alone the fact that I have been itching to write the whole of last month...been thinking about my posts on and off...so many things happened-so many things to write about but no words to start with...
.......and then the moment passes and the excitement ends...and you realise you have no words now to describe everything!
To begin with, when its the holiday time and both your kids are home, and they are getting bored and hungry every half an hour, you are kind of in a tizzy as it is!
The day just whizzes past and at the end of it, you realise that you haven't done a single thing that "you" had wanted to do when the day started!

This is our first holiday season here in Amreekah and though all our friends were going elsewhere-skiing in the mountains and some were visiting the west coast or combing the beaches of Florida and Miami...




We just wanted to stay behind and enjoy the Christmas festivities of the Big Apple!





The New Year and Christmas celebrations of New York are legendary and we wanted to enjoy it in the first year itself...
Christmas was magical and though it was freezing cold, we did manage to brave the crowds and the cold, and really get into the spirit of things!
There was the Rockerfeller Centre Christmas tree which is huge tree illuminated by 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights on approximately five miles of wire, and crowned by a Swarovski crystal star.
It is put up in a ceremony called the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony towards the end of November where they hold a concert to mark the event and a lot of big names perform at the event!
The streets are jammed and cordoned off and because, I think its a free concert...people are waiting there for the event for like the whole day!!
The Americans do that-especially for free events the people actually wait for hours,sometimes the whole day and many a times when they have door buster events(first come first serve freebies) or some new product is being launched-they actually wait the whole night in the freezing cold to be the first ones in!!! unbelievable!!
..There was this one time when  was walking home after dropping my little one to school and a new store was being opened....sorry, I think I am digressing-I'll keep this topic for another post!!   :-)
back to the topic of Christmas in New York!!


image via photoframd

So the Rockerfeller centre also had an ice skating rink which is a quintessential New York Christmas image...ice skating looks kind of easy and fun and my son was super excited-but after countless falls and skids he finally gave up!
but being the super optimistic person I am-I know I will convince him to give it another shot-later when the crowds have thinned!




The New York experience is also viewing the awesome window displays that most of these big shops have-the Saks showroom on 5th Avenue was very creative with moving machines amidst exotic models and a story woven in...the Land of Bubble makers


photo by "me"

via photoframd


via photoframd




then there were elaborate and interactive window displays of Bloomingdale, Macy's and Tiffanys! And of course there were those gigantic Christmas lights on Times Square...


via photoframd




the kiddos in front of the giant christmas lights!

There were amazing craft Holiday Markets mushrooming up everywhere...
selling everything from hand blown exquisite glass ornaments to hand made wallets and bags and antique objects and lots of Indians selling apna Dilli haat stoles, pashmina shawls and beaded bags etc!! And as expected the Indian stalls were always crowded!!


Some Holiday Market offerings!
glass blown christmas tree ornaments!


 
can you guess what these are? glass blown chicken-cute!











santa in a glass ornament!

a view of the stalls

The whole holiday experience was all the more fun because we had our cousins staying with us and thier enthusiasm was infectious...we had a whale of a time trying out everything!
as compared to that the New Year was more of a hype and not much fun!
agreed that the Times Square New Year celebration is greatly anticipated-what with the crystal ball and the live concert and everything...
but the biting cold with two kids and the jostling crowds was not something I really looked forward to... but not to do it was also so not done!!
so we bundled the kids and ourselves and ventured out...with all the preparations of a long wait till midnight...
but as expected we came back much before that...the cold wind and the pushing of the crowd and the noise of Times Square proved too much for my little one...
eventually we celebrated our New Years in the warm cosy confines of our home with a big bowl of popcorn, a feel good comedy and kids fast asleep in the warm bed!
of course we did tune into the TV to see the famous Crystal Ball drop!!   :-)
of course, as we watched it on TV I turned to my husband and said that at least he should have stayed on in Times Square and at least seen and experienced what all the fuss was about... and he gives me those enigmatic smiles of his and says..."now you are telling me?"
hahaha....maybe next year I will tell him in time!

In retrospect, I think the New Year Celebrations back home in India are more child friendly and fun!!
but a Happy New Year everyone, even though its ten days too late!


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