Governor’s Island Picnic and Paris Festival

Last Saturday, I was determined to put the picnic basket I got for Christmas a few years ago to good use. I’ve carried that picnic basket from apartment to apartment, but  I’ve never actually packed food in it and taken it to the park. We decided to go to Governor’s Island, an island off the southern tip of Manhattan that used to be an army base. There are huge, beautiful old houses, tons of trees and lots of grass to roam around on. Governor’s Island is just a short ferry ride away, so we packed our picnic basket and set off. IMG_6429

It was raining when we got there, so we set up at a picnic table under a large tree, which shielded us from [most of] the rain. We had an impressive sandwich from Faicco’s Italian Specialties, which is right around the corner from our apartment. We also packed some Magnolia Bakery banana pudding [the absolute best] and some potato salad. Delicious. IMG_6435 IMG_6437 IMG_6438 IMG_6440 IMG_6445

Luckily, the skies cleared just as we were finishing lunch. We consulted a map and walked around the island to the Paris Festival that’s running on the Island all summer long. IMG_6450 IMG_6453

There were beautiful carousels and old time-y carnival games all around. It was the perfect thing to get us excited for our honeymoon trip to Prague and Paris next week.IMG_6457 IMG_6460 IMG_6463 IMG_6472 IMG_6482

We finished up the day with a few hours of reading books under a tree in a beautiful field. I didn’t even feel like I was in New York City anymore, which was just what I needed that afternoon.IMG_6502 IMG_6506 IMG_6514 IMG_6516


Morning Train Reads: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

where-d-you-goOne of the many great things about living in NYC is the leisure reading time that’s built in to my day. For one hour of every week day, I’m on the subway commuting to and from Manhattan with no phone or internet access. It’s really cool to see how many New Yorkers use this time to get some reading done–there’s even a neat blog dedicated to this phenomenon, called Underground New York Public Library. In the time I would have normally spent driving to work in N.C., or watching Netflix in my free time, I’ve read 18 books since moving here in May.

Today, I finished the best book of all 18–Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I’m so, so sad that it’s over. It was such a unique story about a zany woman named Bernadette, her family in Seattle, and a trip to Antartica.  I loved the Seattle story elements, because I’ve been there a few times to visit my dear friend Hannah. It was fun to recognize many of the places mentioned throughout the story. Also, the characters were each interesting and lovable in their own unique ways. Please go get this book and read it immediately!

Just for documentation purposes, here are the other books I’ve read in NYC, in the order that I read them [I bolded my favorites]:

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida
A Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Heft by Liz Moore
Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
The Words of Every Song by Liz Moore
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl (obviously!)

As always, I choose many of the books I read from 52 Books, which has been one of my favorite blogs for several years.

Cubicle Bunting Project & New York Update

It’s been a long while since I last posted, but I’ve decided to resurrect this blog from the dead. I’ll dust it off with a quick update: since my last post, Alex and I packed up our lives in North Carolina, got on a Greyhound bus, and moved to Brooklyn. I sort of wish I had documented that process and the months that followed, because it was a super exciting time in our lives. We’ve been here almost a year, and I really love it. Brooklyn has become my home, and I get paid to write blog posts about cats every day. Who knew?

I haven’t been as crafty since we moved here, mostly because the only Michael’s in Manhattan is super far north from where I usually find myself when I’m in the city. My mom actually went to Michael’s last week and mailed me paper from N.C. so I could create my first project in a long while: bunting for my little cubicle at work. My New Year’s Resolution, if you can call it that, was to decorate my workspace and make it feel a little more personal and homey. I think I achieved that with the bunting, some Instagram pics, and various other animal-themed artwork (including foxes, of course, because I’m more than a little bit obsessed with them) — pictures below!

Stay tuned for more craft/book/food/Brooklyn-related posts as I try to keep up with this blog much better than I have over the past