Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bicycles in NYC for Pink Saturday's Second Anniversary!

With all its traffic and pedestrians it can be hard to believe that one of New York City resident's favorite modes of transportation is the bicycle!  The city has many designated bicycle paths, bike lanes and greenways ...just click on this link to look at a map showing them in the five boroughs of New York City.  I think you will be surprised! 

New York’s "Five Boro Bike Tour," sponsored by Bike New York, is the largest recreational cycling event in the United States!  Every year on the first Sunday of May, over 30,000 riders participate in the 42 mile ride around New York City. The route, closed to automobile traffic, takes riders through all five boroughs of New York City, across five major bridges, and finally across New York Harbor on the Staten Island Ferry.

Being a Brooklyn resident I am particularly fond of this video of a bicycle ride across the Brooklyn Bridge! If you have a chance to do it, a walk or bicycle ride across the bridge, is a memorable things to do when you visit NYC.  There are many establishments that rent bicycles this link which states it is NYC's official bicycle rental company.

Another wonderful place for a tourist or visitor to Manhattan to rent and ride a bicycle is in Central Park.

This New Yorker was trusting enough to leave books in their bicycle basket.

This bicycle in Greenwich Village was decoratively adorned to advocate for an NYC based environmental group that encourages bicycling to help cut down on fossil fuel use for a more sustainable and less toxic city.

The latest annual estimate of the number of bicyclists in New York City by Transportation Alternatives, found roughly 236,000 New Yorkers riding each day in 2009, up 28 percent from 185,000 daily riders the year before.

I saw this pretty pink bicycle outside a store in the East Village recently.  It reminds me of the bicycle I had as a child.  I think I practically lived on my bicycle when I was young!  I continued to ride up until my second child was born and I could no longer fit two children in bike seat, and then stopped.  Hmmmm... I still have my bicycle in the garage and I should really stop procrastinating, dust it off and get back to riding it.  Do you ride a bicycle for health, enjoyment or for environmental reasons? 

A pink bicycle is perfect for Pink Saturday and today Beverly is celebrating a very special two year anniversary of Pink Saturday events on her blog How Sweet The Sound! Did you know that at some point in time over 700 different bloggers have participated in Pink Saturday? Pretty amazing!

Make sure to visit Beverly today and wish her a happy anniversary. She is also having a give away in honor of the event.  You'll also find many links to other Pink Saturday participants on her blog today.

Happy Pink Saturday Anniversary, Beverly! It has been a fun event and you have certainly made me keep my eye open for the color pink in New York City!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA.and my Give Away Winner!

What do you think of when you think of Beverly Hills California? I know the place I wanted to see when I recently visited Los Angeles was the famous shopping street called Rodeo Drive.  Spanning only three blocks, it is the epicenter of luxury and contains over 100 world-renowned boutiques and hotels.  

(All photos can be enlarged for easier viewing by clicking on them and then clicking once more.  Use your browser's "back" arrow to return to the post)

I certainly had a good time strolling up and down Rodeo Drive, admiring the beautiful fashions and accessories on display in all the stores. 

What would luxury be without fabulous glittery jewelry stores?  No surprise, there was a Rolls Royce parked outside one of them.

Of course, I couldn't resist taking some photos of the luxury cars on the street, and the K-9 police dog unit who were on guard.

Located at the famous intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard stands the landmark Beverly Wilshire, and Four Seasons Hotel.  The Beverly Wilshire was one of the filming locations for the 1990 movie "Pretty Woman,"   A long list of celebrities, artists, musicians, and heads of state have stayed in its elegant rooms.

The Beverly Wilshire website states: "In the heart of Beverly Hills – steps from renowned Rodeo Drive shops – this historic hotel buzzes with vitality from dramatic renovations, blending tradition and trend. See-and-be-seen dining and glamorous events are balanced by quiet, personal comfort in the spa, the pool, and luxury guest rooms."

The Rodeo Collection Shopping Mall is located in the epicenter of Rodeo Drive and is an eclectic mix of fashion houses, restaurants, health and beauty providers, and not surprisingly many offices cosmetic surgeons, and cosmetic medical centers.  Its pretty courtyard was full of lush greenery and scarlet pink bougainvillea.

If you like pink be sure to visit Beverly's blog today and see a long list of blogs participating with their own beautiful pinks posts!  Beverly will be celebrating the second anniversary of Pink Saturday next week and invites everyone to contribute a pink post and join in her anniversary party!


Now on to announce my giveaway winner.....

While I was in Beverly Hills I was lucky enough to meet celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito and he autographed a copy of his new cookbook  " Now Eat This" for a lucky winner on my blog. 

 Number 63 was picked by the Random Number Generator....and the winner with that number is...

The Quintessential Magpie!  Congratulations, Sheila, I know you will enjoy this cookbook. Please send me your full name and address and the cookbook will be on its way to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered the give away.  I'll be giving away another author-signed book in the near future, of someone I've been a "friend" of for a very long time!

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meeting Rocco DiSpirito, and the End of a Culinary Day Into the Heart of L.A.

What is celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito signing, and how did I come to meet him recently in California at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills? 
To find out, please come over to my blog's review back page by clicking here.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Into the Heart of L.A. Culinary Tour -- Part Two

Part two of my whirlwind culinary adventure in Los Angeles, where we visited the Twittered location of some of the popular gourmet food trucks, can be read on my new review page " Mille Fiori Favoriti - My Back Page," please click here to view the rest of the story.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Into the Heart of L.A." Culinary Tour -- Part One

I'd like to show more details about the wonderful culinary day experience in the heart of Los Angeles, California, that I recently won in a contest, so please visit my review page "Mille Fiori Favoriti - My Back Page" where this post has been moved.  Click here to view.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back From L.A "Now Eat This" Give Away!

I'm back from a fantastic, whirlwind culinary tour of Los Angeles that I won through a contest on Claudia's blog Journey Of An Italian Cook, and I'm offering an autographed cookbook I purchased as a give away -- to see this post, now moved to my review page "Mille Fiori Favoriti - My Back Page," please click here.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Blogger's Cup Really Runneth Over!

I have some exciting news to share, but this post has been moved on my review page on "Mille Fiori Favoriti -My Back Page" --  click here to view  Thanks!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Artful Blogging in the West Village

This weekend I took the subway from my home in Brooklyn to the West Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

The weather in New York City has been absolutely lovely the past week and many people were out strolling around and eating at the outdoor tables in the corner cafes.

Many windows were open to welcome the breeze!

I walked past Saint Vincent's Hospital with tears in my eyes, as it closed recently due to financial constraints. It had been a Greenwich Village institution for over 160 years, and was New York City's third oldest hospital.
I had my first job in Saint Vincent's Hospital  as a "Vincenteen" when I was in high school. The hospital gave Vincenteens the opportunity to train to work part time as nurse's aides in an effort to encourage young women and men to consider nursing as a career choice.  I worked weekends and during the summer months and enjoyed both the work and the opportunity to be part of the Greenwich Village scene.  The Village was always an interesting, and chic, place to visit!

The poet Edna St.Vincent Millay was named after the hospital, as you can read in the sign above. It is very sad that the hospital closed, and now a whole neighborhood is left without available emergency care and a full service hospital in close proximity.

I continued to walk along West 12 Street towards Eight Avenue and passed many beautiful brownstone homes such as these.

This house partially obstructed by scaffolding on a building next door that was undergoing repair caught my eye as it had an informational plaque on it. I always stop and take a look at these as there is so much history in the Greenwich Village neighborhood.

So fascinating!

I finally reach my destination!  The Ink Pad is located at 22 Eighth Avenue.  It advertises itself as "New York's Only Rubber Stamp Art Shop."  Let's go inside.

It is a long and narrow store but it is filled to the brim with rubber art stamps and papers, embellishments, inks, crafting tools, magazines and books from hundreds of vendors.

There were all types and themes of rubber stamps for sale, but I was there to purchase a magazine which I knew they would carry, and whose summer issue was released on May 1, and put on the shelves for sale.

It was the 2010 summer issue of Artful Blogging Magazine!  I was very excited to see it as a photograph from my blog was published in this issue in an article about the Pink Saturday event held every week by Beverly of the blog "How Sweet The Sound."

Can you guess which one of these wonderful photographs in the article is mine? (all photos can be enlarged by double clicking on them -- then use your browser's back arrow to return to this post)

This is it!  This photo was in this post: "Pink Saturday Christmas Chandelier."  It is a photograph of a 1,900-piece, Louis XV chandelier that once hung in the main banking hall of J. P. Morgan at 23 Wall Street. The two commercial properties have been converted into luxury condominium apartments and the chandelier was saved and put on permanent display as a design element.  When I walked by the building in December the chandelier's beauty made me do a double take and I went back to take a photo of it ... pure serendipity!

 Information  from the Artful Blogging Magazine website:
 "Welcome summer with the new issue of Artful Blogging. Sit back and prepare to be inspired by the most visually stunning blogs on the Internet. From photographers, to mixed-media artists, to authentic souls, we present a bounty of artists to be your guide as you journey through the world of blogs. Whether you have a blog of your own or just admire them, you will find no richer landscape to spark your own creative fires."
It was such a thrill to see one of my photographs in a magazine, along with so many other beautiful ones.
Thank you Beverly for hosting the Pink Saturday event each week and giving us all the opportunity to be published in this way. Part of the joy of blogging for me has been joining the challenge of weekly events and meeting so many wonderful new bloggers through them!

I am adding this post to the following weekly blog events: Susan's "Outdoor Wednesday,"  Jenny's "Alphabe Thursday" (the letter is "P" perfect for Pink Saturday and pink chandelier),  Claudia's "Friday Finding Beauty" and Beverly's "Pink Saturday."  Please visit these blogs on their respective event days and take part in all the fun!

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shakespeare Garden

A small charming area in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is located at 900 Washington Avenue, in Brooklyn, New York, is the Shakespeare Garden. Composed in an English cottage-garden style, it exhibits plants mentioned in the Bard's poems and plays.     

"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love,
remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts." ~  Hamlet

An informational placard in the garden .. all photos will enlarge for easier viewing when double clicked. Use the back arrow to return to the blog post.

More than 80 of the plants mentioned in the works of Shakespeare grow here. Common or Shakespearean names, the botanical name, references for relevant quotations and, in some cases, a graphic representation of the plant, are displayed on labels. Complete list of all the flowers and herbs that are in the Brooklyn Botanic Shakespeare Garden can be view here.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." ~ Romeo and Juliet

An oval brick path, lined on either side with flower beds, leads into the garden, and a teak bench and fountain help create the atmosphere of an English cottage garden of Elizabethan times.  It is a quiet place to stroll through or sit for a little while when you visit the large 52 acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Do you have a favorite Shakepearean quote that contains the name of a flower?  I've included a few of mine in this post!
“Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many—either to have it sterile with idleness or manured with industry—why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills.”
~ Othello

I'm linking with Mary for "Mosaic Monday" on her blog The Little Red House. Please visit Mary today to see her beautiful mosaic and links to many more!

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pink Saturday - Pink Trees

Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York,  has approximately 7,400 trees, and  has been described by an expert from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens as the greatest collection of mature trees in New York City.

After I finished my volunteer session with the cemetery's historic fund a few weekends ago I walked around the grounds to take some photos for Pink Saturday of the glorious pink cherry and crab apple trees that were in full bloom all over the cemetery's grounds.

I'm sure by now most of the blossoms have fallen, and have been replaced by green leaves, but their beautiful pink color has been preserved by my camera lens to share here for all to see.

The blossoms were large and fluffy, like sweet cotton candy.

This Angel of Spring welcomes them!

Let's sit for a few minutes, take a deep breath and enjoy their beauty, for they come only once a year and last for such a short time. Ah......beautiful Spring!

Happy Pink Saturday!

To see more beautiful Pink Saturday posts please visit Beverly of How Sweet The Sound today!

Beverly asks us to introduce a blog that we visited on Pink Saturday last week.  I'd like to recommend Riet's Photoblog. Riet blogs from the Netherlands, where she lives with her husband of 49 years. She displays a photo or two a day of her beautiful country and family. I am always fascinated when she shows windmills, canals and Delft china which her country is famous for. Glad to know you, Riet!

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