May 31, 2012

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

While visiting my friend Diana who lives in Queens, we decided to take a drive to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I don't believe I had ever been here before. Years ago, it was not exactly a place you wanted to hang out. All that has changed. Very artsy, trendy and with that comes crazy housing prices.

For brunch, we went to Allswell, located at 124 Bedford between 10th and 11th Street.The food was pretty good but be warned. Refills of coffee and tea are not shall we say, free; you will be charged for each refill.

Here is the view from East River State Park of the east side of Manhattan.I have a feeling that during the summer, people may actually sunbath on this little stretch of sand.

There was a food festival taking place.Love supporting local businesses.This area has really been built up and is a nice spot for a walk.

The view of the Williamsburg Bridge. Just beyond, the Brooklyn Bridge.Hope you enjoyed this short tour of Williamsburg, BK.

May 29, 2012

Simple White Bean Caesar Salad

A few months ago, while watching an episode of one of Sandra Lee's cooking shows on The Food Network, I became intrigued by one of her recipes.

It is her Simple White Bean Caesar Salad.

Here is the recipe:

Simple White Bean Caesar Salad (adapted from Sandra Lee)
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 T grated parmesan cheese
1 T spicy brown mustard
1 t Worcestershire
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 15 ounce can of small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 head of romaine lettuceMix all ingredients except the beans and lettuce in a bowl. Add the beans and lettuce. Mix and viola!So easy. So tasty.

Adjustments I made to the recipe:
I used pecorino romano instead of parmesan.
I don't know where Sandra Lee gets her romaine lettuce but one head was not enough for me. I used all three that came in the package.
I added some croutons to my salad.

I love the citrus and spice. For some reason, this salad only tastes good with small white beans. No other bean will do in my opinion.

Perfect for summer!

Enjoy and let me know if you try this recipe.

May 27, 2012

May 25, 2012

Weekend Thoughts

Have a great start to the summer!!


May 22, 2012

Thank You Notes 101

Whenever I see pretty thank you notes, I purchase them. I just love paper products!

But, the real reason I purchase them is because I believe there is nothing as sweet as receiving a hand-written thank you note; not some email or text or tacky e-card.

Recently, while reading Franklin Covey's Get Organized blog, I found the following about thank you notes.

1. Greet the giver
2. Express your gratitude (Thank you so much for this laptop bag!)
3. Discuss how you'll use the gift (It has a space for my iPad, I’ll have an easier time carrying everything.)
4. Discuss past and future events (Thanks for coming to my graduation. I hope to see you at the family summer barbecue.)
5. Thank them again (Thanks again!)
6. Regards (Love, Tammy)Simple. Easy. Thoughtful.

Just do it.


May 10, 2012

Grand Hyatt New York Hotel Review

Here I am again in Manhattan on business and this time, staying at the Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Station.Wow! I had not been to this hotel since their recent $130 million remodel was completed in November of 2011 and what an improvement. The old Donald Trumpish gold has been replaced with a sleek, modern, up-to-date design. 1300 rooms in all.

What first struck me when I entered the lobby were Awilda and Chloe, two marble statues designed by the Spainish artist Jaume Plensa.There was something really compelling about these figures. When I looked at them from up above on the mezzanine level, they looked like holograms. They were inspired by the thousands of people who pass through Grand Central Station each day. I couldn't take my eyes off of them.

Here is a photo of a room similar to what I stayed in.Everything, from the lights to the a/c were controlled by touch pad throughout the room. Clean, good amenities but $12.95/day for wifi. That was the only issue I had. That and the doormen.

The staff were terrific but if you stay at this hotel and are looking for a cab, beware of the doormen. They will try to hail you a town car which is more expensive. They do this because they receive a kick-back from the drivers.

Make sure you get into a yellow cab. If you have to walk a few blocks to and hail your own cab, it is worth it because the doormen are rude and this practice needs to be stopped.

All in all, a great hotel. I would stay here again.


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May 8, 2012

St. Giles Hotel New York - The Court Review

I was recently in Manhattan for business. Since I live near the city, it is always fun to stay in Manhattan rather than just commute as I did for years.

My recent trip had me staying at the St. Giles Hotel The Court in Manhattan. Located in the Murray Hill section of the city and only 3 blocks from Grand Central, I was interested in seeing what this hotel had to offer.

Boy, was I disappointed.

While the hotel staff was young and hip, friendly and helpful, my hotel room was very disappointing.

When I walked into my room, I felt as if I had walked into an old folks home, no offense to old folks. No design astethic whatsoever. The lampshades were all askew. No personality. Nothing that said we were living in the 21st century.

Dark, dank, sad, old.

My room looked nothing like this.My bathroom sink drained ever so slowly. The bathtub drain was slow. The tiling and caulking in the bathtub was a mess. When I flushed the you-know-what, I had to close my ears and run out of the bathroom or else I would've gone deaf (if I wasn't already deaf from the loud a/c unit).

The best thing about the joint were the toiletries provided by Philosophy.I honestly felt like I was on one of those investigative shows like 20/20 or Nightline. You know the ones where the reporter goes into a hotel room with a blacklight and all the lights turned off only to see stains from I-don't-even-want-to-know-what, appearing everywhere.

Not my first or second or even third choice for a hotel in Manhattan.

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May 5, 2012

Weekend Thoughts - a day late

I've been traveling on business but wanted to shoot out a quick thought for the weekend . . . image
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