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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dining at The Wayfarer

One of my favorite hotels, The Quin, has one of my most favorite restaurants, The Wayfarer. I am hoping that The Wayfarer stays as one of my faves, but the last few visits were not stellar. 
How can you not love the artwork in the lobby of The Quin hotel? 

This was a vegetable frittata which was okay but not one of my faves on the menu. I added a side of avocado which was grilled. 

The restaurant is very large, and lots of room which I like. I did enjoy Easter Brunch here this year and all the ladies from the Milliner's Guild said their food was excellent. 
I tried their avocado toast, first time, with 2 poached eggs. I never make poached at home, so I like to order when eating out. The portion was very large. 
Perfect poached egg here and it was very tasty. 
This egg looked more hard boiled than poached so I was a bit disappointed. 
My most recent visit a few weeks ago I enjoyed the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. The server told me to be very careful because the plate was very hot. Problem was, the food was not. 
I think I will be giving this place a bit of a break, and try them again next year to see if they get their act together. I do like to try different places when I eat in the city, but it is nice to go back to some that you know and enjoy as well. Let's hope The Wayfarer can get back to perfection soon. 

The Wayfarer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Monday, September 17, 2018

The Closing of Henri Bendel

The news over the weekend that Henri Bendel is closing did not really come as a total shock to me. The iconic store on 5th Avenue, was one of my favorite places to shop. They used to have artisans at various tables to show their work, and you could purchase some very unique items. Their candles are one of the best, and fabulous to give as a gift. When they changed their format in 2014, I was really disappointed in the lack of selection of items. I popped in, and own a few of their handbags, but it just wasn't the same. I am sad to see a store that is 123 years old close, but how many items can I own with their name on it? I think if they stayed to their original format, it would have worked better. So many brick and mortar stores are closing these days, and I know many blame online shopping, but I feel if they do not provide the customer service and selection, they will not last. 

Here is some history on the store: 

History and influence. Henri Willis Bendel was born in Louisiana in 1868 and moved to New York to work as a milliner. He opened his first shop, in Greenwich Village, in 1895. In 1907, he began branding the brown-and-white striped boxes that are still identified with the company. In 1913, Henri Bendel was the first retailer to sell Coco Chanel designs in the U.S. After Bendel’s death in 1936, his nephew became the store’s president and served until his retirement in 1954. Bendel's nephew, who later founded Belgian Shoes, died in 1997. Beginning in 2008, the brand expanded beyond the New York store to become a national chain with 28 stores (in addition to the NYC flagship) across the U.S. In 2009, Henri Bendel stopped selling apparel. In 2014, the New York flagship store and website began selling only Henri Bendel-branded handbags, jewelry, fashion accessories and home fragrances, following the model set at its other stores. 

The current Fifth Avenue flagship is located in two landmark buildings, the Rizzoli building and Coty building, as well as a new five-story building.[14] During renovation of the Coty building, 276 “masterwork” panes of glass commissioned from Rene Lalique in 1912 were restored. The glass fills three large windows that comprise the front of the second, third and fourth floors of the Henri Bendel flagship. Upon the store’s opening in 1991, it received landmark status from the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission. 

The store in King of Prussia mall which I rarely saw folks purchasing items  
I will miss their holiday windows as this one was really cool with the Statue of Liberty.  
Another wonderful set of holiday windows that I just loved!  

Awesome vintage ad from 1938 for soaps and perfumes  

Thank goodness the building is landmarked so it will not be changing at all. Should be interesting to see who takes over the space after January 2019.

What are your thoughts about the closing? Do tell .....

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Throwback Thursday "Flatiron Building"

What a great photo this is! Taken in 1902, during the construction of the famous Flatiron Building, which was called the Fuller Building. Upon completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city at 20 floors high, and one of only two skyscrapers north of 14th Street – the other being the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, one block east. The building sits on a triangular block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street, with 23rd Street grazing the triangle's northern (uptown) peak. As with numerous other wedge-shaped buildings, the name "Flatiron" derives from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron.

The building, which has been called "one of the world's most iconic skyscrapers, and a quintessential symbol of New York City", anchors the south (downtown) end of Madison Square and the north (uptown) end of the Ladies' Mile Historic District. 

This building, no matter how many times I see it, I have to stare, admire and photograph it! 

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The 10 Best FREE Activities in NYC

NYC is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. The hotel prices are some of the top in the world you will come across. For all the expensive options, what I love is that there are tons of FREE options as well. I personally do not like to skimp on my hotel, especially if I am staying a few days. The hotel should be clean and safe, and the location should be close to activities/public transport. It is pretty easy to do activities in NYC with no charge, and enjoy yourself a great deal. You probably will even learn something along the way! Here is my personal list, not the whole list of course, for top activities that are FREE in NYC. I hope it helps you plan your trip to visit this most wonderful city we are so lucky to have to savor! 

If you click on each place, it will take you to their website with all the information 

1. Central Park 
2. The High Line 
3. Staten Island Ferry 
4. NY Public Library Stephen A Schwarzman Building 
5. The Federal Reserve Bank of NY
6. The Mermaid Parade 
7. Big Apple Greeter Tours 
8. Grand Central Partnership 90 minute tours every Friday at 12:30pm
9. Brooklyn Brewery free tours every Saturday between 1-5pm
10. The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership free walking tours year round every Sunday at 11am

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dirty Pages Beloved Recipes

I found an article titled "Dirty Pages" which was about the handwritten recipes we have from our family, and the stains that adorn them! I thought it was such a neat concept, and needed to know more. Here is some information from their website Dirty Pages:

Dirty pages. The cookbook pages ringed with coffee stains, the recipes smudged with chocolate or butter, dusted with flour,  a creased piece of paper or the back of an old envelope, pages wrinkled and folded, the faded careful script of a mother or grandmother. They're the recipes we refer to again and again. But beyond the dishes they help create, these pages hold stories.

This notion of dirty pages inspired an interactive exhibit featuring 20 Nashville women at the Nashville Farmers' Market in March-April 2015 and a series of public events at the market and in collaboration with Nashville's Conexión Américas. Part photography and part storytelling, Dirty Pages tells each woman's story by displaying her recipe along with a portrait, and a personal account describing the recipe and where it came from. The project aims to celebrate our shared food stories and give a glimpse of the abundant variety of Nashville’s food traditions and cultures.

At the Nashville Farmers' Market, an opening night dinner featured the talents of eight local chefs, honoring women in their lives who inspired their cooking. Tickets for the dinner helped cover the exhibit's costs, with other proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships directed to Conexión Américas and its Mesa Komal commercial kitchen.

Dirty Pages has been organized by food writers Erin Murray, Jennifer Justus and Cindy Wall, a trio of friends who eat enthusiastically, write passionately, and believe fully in the ways shared stories about food tie us together.

To say I have recipes in my house is an understatement! My Mom and I were big cookbook collectors, and my Mom loved getting recipes from family and friends. She worked in a children's boutique, and even got recipes from her customers. I had typed up a few like above, but it doesn't compare to having recipes in family's own handwriting. My Mom had organized all the recipes in 3 ring binders, and it took a long time to get that job done. Being Italian, food was a big part of our lives, and holidays were always magic. My Mom came from a large family, with 3 brothers & 3 sisters and I was told my Grandmother was an amazing cook. We even have recipes from my Dad's Mom as well, which is the Easter Pizza we would make every year. I shocked myself by making it this year all by myself, and it tasted just like Mom's. Guess it's in the blood!  
I am still getting over the loss of my Mom, but these recipes, in her handwriting, are so cherished by me. If I ever had a house fire, I would grab these, along with family photos and digital photos all in my arms. They mean more than any "thing" for sure. My Mom would always right on the recipe if she made the item, and if it was any good or not.  
I think the Delicious ones are probably the best. The dirty ones are here for a bit, my Mom was a pretty clean cook, but once in a while, you have some stains showing! It just gives so much character to the recipe, don't you think?  
This gem is an old, vintage cookbook from my Auntie Ann. She was a great pie maker in her day, she was born in 1912, and I always teased her she had something to do with the Titanic sinking! She didn't like that too much, not to mention she was born in December and the ship sank in April! Auntie Ann was pretty hip in her day, she lived on her own, and moved to Trenton, New Jersey. She lived there a long while before coming back home to Pennsylvania to live in the family homestead.  
The inside of the book is just too funny! She has writing all over, and even added MORE recipes to it! I love the piece of paper saying "Rosie's Crust", that is my Mom! These items to me have no value to them because they are just so priceless.  
My Aunt Lenny, or Matilda as was her real name, wrote this recipe on an index card. She was a great cook as well, and would always make our fish for Christmas Eve while my Mom worked. Everyone had some lovely handwriting, it's a shame it is going away. I hear now in the schools they don't even teach cursive writing anymore. Very sad indeed as it is unique to each person.  
My written recipe from my home economics class, which my Mom had to put a few notes at the bottom. I really didn't cook much until my Mom got sick, because she was such a hard act to follow. I always loved to bake, but cooking was not something I did often. But we did find out, I can cook and pretty well at that. Mom was quite shocked and pleased at the same time!  
Here is one more photo from that vintage cookbook from Aunite Ann. It is just too funny all the added recipes she has here, and notes galore! She loved French things, and married a French Canadian man, her last name changing to LeGough. I can't help wonder how she would have loved the French macarons I am obsessed with today! I even have her school yearbook, which says she was in the French club! I think I know where that obsession is coming from, Thanks Auntie Ann! 
For you to put a face with a name, my two wonderful Aunts, who I grew up with, and enjoyed so much of their love, Auntie Ann on the left, and Aunt Lenny on the right. I thank them for many of these recipes, and the wonderful memories they have given me.

Do you have Dirty Pages in your home? Isn't it great to have these pieces of nostalgia to enjoy? I really just treasure mine so much, and I may be trying a few of these recipes to see how they come out! I think this whole idea from these ladies in Nashville is just marvelous! 

You can check out their website HERE 
and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook 

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