Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's the little things

It makes me unreasonably happy when I see a Subaru parked on the streets of New York.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Drinkability... check.

Photo credit to charliebay

Went to the Brookyn Brewery recently. Awesome place. It's just what I want a local brewery to be: no-frills, all about the beer, with the evidence of the actual brewing process all over the place.

I tried a few beers: first, the Brooklyn Blast Pale Ale, which is quite strong and very tasty. I love double pale ales - thank you to Steamworks Brewing Company's Conductor Imperial IPA for showing me the way. The Blast had kind of a piney taste to it. If you're looking for more specific information on the maltiness and the nose and whatnot I'm not really qualified to help you out - even though we had a "beer focus" at the beginning of every shift at Steamworks, I'm not nearly enough of a beer connoisseur yet to give an expert opinion. I've been broke enough throughout my twenties that I still consider PBR to be a champagne of beers. There are only a few questions I ask when I try a new beer. Is it drinkable? Yes. Does it give you a bang for your buck? With the Blast, at 8.00% ABV, the answer is yes, indeed it does.

It was my friend's birthday and the bartender was a sweetheart and gave her a free six-pack of their pumpkin ale. Of the various pumpkin-flavored beers I've tried, this might actually be one of my favorites. It has a nice spicy taste - cloves and cinnamon and nutmeg - but isn't overwhelmingly pumpkiny. Which brings me to the question - why isn't pumpkin-flavored beer available year-round? It's so good.

The brewery is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6pm, and they give tours at 1, 2, 3 and 4pm.

Fun fact: the Brooklyn Brewery has been 100% wind-powered since 2003. You gotta love a green local company that's all about renewable energy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

71% Off Rock Climbing At Chelsea Piers

I was hoping for something like this when I signed up to receive NYC Groupons a little while ago. I was starting to wonder if they were going to offer me anything except discount tanning, and voila! 

I've heard good things about Chelsea Piers. I will definitely be taking advantage of this deal - $59 for a climbing lesson AND a week-long pass to the whole facility. Not too shabby. The thing is, Groupons works based on collective buying power - so at least fifty people need to take advantage of it for it to work. So come join me!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ode to Fall on the East Coast

There were two mornings last week when I woke up and was actually cold. After the miserable, hot, sticky nights we'd been having, I was positively giddy. I didn't know what to do with myself. It's warmed up again since, but that little tantalizing taste was enough to get me daydreaming about my favorite time of year.

Photo credit goes to Paul Keleher

Fall is the one season the east coast does better than Colorado. Summers in the west are cooler at night and drier. In the winter, the powder is phenomenal. In the spring, it doesn't get as rainy and muddy and the kayaking is at its best because of the snowmelt. And the fall? It's beautiful, don't get me wrong. The aspens turn a brilliant gold and the already spectacular views get even better.

But the thing is, out east, you get the full palette. I like some red and orange in the mix with my yellow. Then there's cranberry bogs, apple orchards, cider mills, pumpkin picking - and even though some of those things can be found out west, for me, the thrill of them will always be inextricably linked to that multicolored backdrop set against a pristine blue sky.

Chilly hands after bike rides through crisp air, goose-bumped knees and flushed cheeks after running through the woods... I can't wait. Leaves burning. Hot apple cider, haunted houses. Halloween. Bundling up in jeans and a soft sweater and a warm scarf. That smell in the air. And with luck, the Red Sox deep in the postseason.

(I know this is a New York blog, but I'm a Massachusetts girl by birth and I'll be damned if I pander to Yankees fans.)

A few crunchy things I have on the docket headed into the fall:

Free tai chi at Bryant Park
The Long Island Fall Festival
Free kayaking on the Hudson
Minor League baseball on Coney Island - give it up for the Brooklyn Cyclones!
Biking around Staten Island and Governor's Island
Running on Roosevelt Island
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Astoria Beer Garden (hey, it's a garden!)

I'm also working on making my room in Brooklyn feel less like an urban concrete cage and more like an earthy retreat, not an easy task seeing as the window is about 80% bricked over by another building and when I got here, the walls were a color I will dub "Mint Vomit." But I'm giving it my best shot.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vermont Is For Lovers

This is awesome. Ben and Jerry's has renamed its "Chubby Hubby" ice cream "Hubby Hubby" in celebration of  Vermont's first day of legal gay marriage.

What a great company. A delicious product made by people with a conscience. Fun fact: when Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield started the company, they created a three-part mission statement.

I love that. 

They're only selling "Hubby Hubby" in the great state of Vermont, so sadly we will be unable to get hold of it here in New York. We can, however, be on the lookout for another new product. Ben and Jerry's is looking into making a new ice cream that can be shipped and sold at room temperature to cut down on emissions.