Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today Show Plaza

I've been a big fan of the Today Show since high school.  Since we were staying in Midtown, there way no reason not to get over to stand in the Plaza for a Meet and Greet.  It was fun to get a glimpse of the behind the scenes set up, and see the Today Show Hosts in person.
It was a relatively quiet morning in February, so there wasn't a lot of people there, which was rare. 
Unfortunately, Matt Lauer was gone for the day, but Carl Quintanilla from CNBC was filling in with Ann Curry.  Ann's always a favorite since was was a former Oregon Duck, having graduated from The University of Oregon.  Carl gives a good interview on his morning show, 'Squawk on the Street.'
After their segments, the hosts were generous with their time, and mingled with the crowd.  I was surprised at how tiny Ann was, and how high her heels were!
Nice to scratch that off the Bucket List.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Brooklyn New York

I have a thing for bridges, maybe because living in Portland, we have a lot of them!  It was a real treat to take the subway to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and find myself between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. It's an interesting place, one that is undergoing a renaissance of new development. 
It was a clear, windy day, and I can upon this cute couple having their wedding photos taken.  I remember when I was a wedding photographer having other people shoot my shots, so it was fun to be on the other side.  Their waiting Limo was festooned in red for good luck!
  I always remember this area being the favorite location of crime scenes in shows from the 70's, so it was nice to see that it's an area that's being redeveloped into shops, galleries and fun restaurants.  I still think it's a popular destination to film movies and commericals though, after reading about complaint from neighbors who are sick of their lives being disrupted.
I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this hot pink girly bike!
Where Seattle and Portland have Coffee shops, New York seems to have an abundance of good bakeries!

We stumbled upon this colorful bakery called One Girl Cookies, where they have miniature cookies that are a work of art! We bought 5 for $10 and I'd like to say that I took a photo, but we enjoyed them on our way back to midtown. It was such a windy day, I felt like I was going to be blown into the East River!  
Interesting decor
Since I knew ETSY was located in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn, I thought it would be fun to try and find them. They weren't easy to find with no signage on the brick building that showed their address.  We saw a small sign in the lobby and signs leading to doors upstairs!  I had hoped to find a reception area of some kind with a story of what they are about, perhaps some art work.  I did run into an employee in the hall, who was very gracious, and who thanked me for being a vendor.  He even offered to give us a tour, but since it was a holiday weekend, they were short staffed and nobody was available.  If you live in the area, they do have open to the public Craft Nights, so check the ETSY site.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lobby Clock in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel

 I was fascinated by the clock in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria.  It's nine feet tall and was made for the Chicago World's fair in 1938. Around the base of it, are likenesses of several US Presidents and Queen Victoria. It's so amazing, with tiny bears and bulls, and flowers included in it's ornate filigree.

There's so many interesting things to see in the lobby of this great hotel. it was worth the $30 sandwich to have lunch there!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wine Tasting and Chocolate on a Sunday Afternoon

What better way to spend a gloomy Portland Sunday afternoon wine tasting and chocolate treats! After church and a delicious brunch at Manzanas, we drove to Newburg to Natalie Estates Winery for their Wine and Chocolate event. It's such a beautiful drive, no matter what time of year.  Lovely dark and milk chocolate treats awaited, paired with Pinot, and Zinfandel wines (among others).
These little tartlets were amazing!
It must be no accident that red is the color for February, when you need a major pick me up!  Red tulips and heather are such a great combination!
Dear daughter took a break for studying to join us. She's starting to write for a Lifestyles Blog that incorporates food and wine, so it was perfect! 
On our way to check out , we found ourselves behind this crazy rooster.  He insited on being right in front of the car.  Everytime he walked to the side of the road, and we tried to pass, he came right back to the middle of the road.  We all had a good laugh!
At the Torii Mor Winery, we found this unusual display of wine barrels, and some great reds.
The views are so spectacular.  They reminded me of Ireland.
Wine ageing in oak barrels.
What more chocolate?  We couldn't resist buying some homemade vanilla, toffee, and ...
 of course, Truffles to go with the wonderful Port we found here!

Oregon is the major producer of Hazelnuts, also known as Filberts.  There's many orchards like this nestled among the grapevines in Yamhill County.