Saturday, 31 December 2011

Katz, the king of sandwiches and the LES

Started off the day with a hat dilemma. As in, which one should I wear, Yankees, Phillies or old faithful. Thought it might be a bit colder so settled on old faithful. Now that the hat situation was sorted I was ready to rock.

We decided to head out to the lower east side to try out some Katz sandwiches ( for supposedly the best sandwiches in NYC. For $17, they would want to be. And they were, but more on that soon. We waited outside for nearly twenty minutes in line before the security guard let us in. When we finally did get in we were shoved towards the twenty metre long counter by a swarm of other people inside, all the while being yelled at by other security guards to keep moving towards the centre. Place was insane. We luckily scored a table, so we all sat while the warden went and organised the sandwiches. One counter for sandwiches, another counter for drinks and another one for hotdogs. Just a crazy setup inside to get your food but the locals seemed to know what to do. Once I took the first bite of my brisket of beef sandwich though, I knew that it was all worth it. Thing was over two inches thick in the middle. Meat sweats started coming on after only half, but with my ever expanding waistline, this was no challenge for me. Well maybe a small one. M opted for the pastrami Reuben which she also had trouble putting away. A hundred dollars well spent on sandwiches later, and we are ready to explore the lower east side a bit.

First stop is the The Tenement museum to learn about some of the immigration history of NY. Unfortunately the tours were all booked out but we will have to make some time to get back there. Had a good look around in the gift shop where we stumbled on some bacon flavoured toothpaste. Just had to get some. Now I can start every day, bacon fresh.

Next stop was Babycakes Bakery where M had been wanting to go. Cupcakes looked delicious and the taste... well they looked delicious. Was the most disgusting treat I can ever remember having. Only had a couple of bites and realised something was wrong. Stupid hippies with their stupid hippy cupcakes using cactus syrup instead of sugar as a sweetener. Yuk.

We finished the day, playing in a small park where the kids made some new friends. We may have even found a baby sitter. Bring on the child less fun.

Also included some pictures of the girls hair adventures from yesterday.

Currently listening to: Slaine - A World With No Skies 2.0
Currently drinking: Crystal Head Vodka. Smoooooooth.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Straight illin' with B and Z in Downtown Brooklyn

Due to such a massive day yesterday, we thought we would have a quiet one today. M and L needed hair stuff done so me, B and Z headed into Downtown Brooklyn for the morning. Z was also pretty keen for a 59 Fifty Yankees hookup and I was happy to oblige.

It's about a twenty minute walk downtown and it was definitely nice to stretch the legs out a bit after wearing those skates for so long yesterday. The other day I had noticed that there was another 2 Bros Pizza on the way, so we popped in for a cheeky slice for breakfast. Only a dollar, but damn if they don't make the best pizza pie in NY. I haven't tried as many as I would have liked, but these guys will be tough to beat.

Was so cold this morning when we left, (-4 apparently) that all the puddles had frozen everywhere. We had great fun stomping on them trying to smash the ice. No snow here yet, but today was the first time I have felt really cold. Like the kind of cold you just can't warm up from if you're not appropriately dressed. Which I wasn't. Hence my new jacket purchase downtown. Hooked the boy up with his cap and got my self another. This time a red Philadelphia Phillies one. Badass. Now that we were set, hat wise, we started the journey back to St James Place.

A quick stop for lunch, Burger King was not my choice, but certainly acceptable and we were good to go. One more stop at a toy store for B and Z to get their kid on and we were home. Got a random email from a hair dresser saying that the girls were going to be late. We decided to go and try a new park while we were waiting, and pick up a few groceries (beer) for dinner.

Currently listening to: Jaysaun on YouTube. If you like hip hop, YouTube this. Awesome MC.
Currently drinking: Brooklyn Winter Ale (so far my favourite beer from Brooklyn Brewery)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bagels, The Dakota, Strawberry Fields and Ice Skating. All this and more at Central Park.

We decided last night that we would get up early today to visit Central Park. This was before I was woken up at about 3am this morning by some cops outside our bedroom window. From what I could tell, they were searching for a gun. They were crawling under cars, checking our rubbish (and our neighbours) and pulling cars over as they drove past. The street and suburb we are in is actually really nice, but in Brooklyn, shit gets real sometimes. So after I dragged myself out of bed this morning, argued with L (who doesn't like her scarf anymore), we got on the subway to Manhattan. Only took about twenty mins and we were there. Stopped at a small cafe for some fresh bagels (with a shmear of course), and then made the trek up to the Dakota Building.

Was amazing to see where John Lennon lived (and died) and where Yoko still lives. A beautiful old building facing Central Park West. We went into the park from this entrance as this is where the memorial to John is and where his ashes are scattered. Strawberry Fields. Would be a beautiful place to come and reflect if it wasn't for all the tourists. In case you're wondering, I do see the irony in that statement, but I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for all the Beatles but especially Lennon. Not everyone else there did.

Central Park is huge. We only covered a small section but still managed to get lost a number of times. Was a beautiful place and I can just imagine how amazing it would be in all the different seasons. After some help from a local we finally found the ice skating rink. Was expensive but we definitely got our moneys worth after staying there most of the day. Surprise of the day, was how good Z was on the ice. This boy has Suomalainen veri. We all had such a fun time, but I can already feel that this is going to be sore tomorrow.

Currently listening to - Adele (is there anywhere in the world not playing this over and over and over and over)
Currently drinking: Crown Royal Reserve whiskey

Murder avenue, turkey leftovers and Downtown Brooklyn. We be representing.

Yesterday was a bit of a cold and miserable day, and M had already been down a few times, so I decided to check out Myrtle Avenue (nicknamed murder avenue by Brooklynites). Its only about four blocks from our apartment so I should be safe. Right? M didn't tell me but she has been heading up and turning left. I turned right. And that's when the adventure began.

I noticed quite a lot of cop cars and ambulances so figured there must have been an accident. Continued to make my way down. As the street got into some shadier territory, I crossed over and started to walk back. After a few minutes I came to a street that was cordoned off with police tape. I also noticed that there was some red splattered all over the sidewalk. I picked up my pace and as I walked I noticed that the trail of red, led to where I was going. It was still wet and I'm pretty sure it was blood. If I was a tweeter, I would have tweeted, "Blood everywhere #Brooklynistherealdeal" I came straight home after that and the warden went back to murder avenue to get her nails done. Bigger balls than me. Thai for dinner. Musaman curry. Boom.

Today was even colder and more miserable. We decided to try and get some tickets to a matinee show so while the warden stayed home to clean the house, B and I headed to Downtown Brooklyn to see what was what. Rained most of the time but we did have time to squeeze in a couple of triple stackers from Burger King. We didn't get any tickets as all the good shows were sold out but we did pick up a couple of NY 59 Fifties fitted caps. Representing.

Also, we have been eating turkey leftovers, since Xmas. It was a lot of Turkey. Luckily I like it.

Currently listening to: NIN - The Fragile
Currently drinking: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Monday, 26 December 2011

Xmas in NYC. Almost the same as in Australia, but colder and turkier

Well today was Xmas day in NY. Z woke up at 2am and then every ten minutes for the rest of the night/morning. Because its still so dark here we don't get out of bed until about 8am. Minus outside this morning, but no snow. Boo. Started off with giving out each others gifts. The kids did pretty well considering how desperate they were to open theirs up. After playing with all our new stuff for a bit we had a quick breakfast and then headed out.

I took the kids to play in Underwood park for a couple of hours while the warden stayed home to baste the turkey. We had no foil, but she had read that you can use bacon instead of foil. Gold! My favourite food wrapped around my fourth favourite food. We had a fun afternoon, chasing each other around the park with light sabres and guns. I definitely got a few strange looks from passers by when it was my turn to wear the storm trooper helmet. The turkey took over three hours to cook but was well worth it. Stuffed my belly full of and I was ready for a nap. Although with three kids, in one apartment, there was no way this was going to happen. Oh well. Beer time.

I could not think of a better way to end the day than the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special with the kids. As you know I am somewhat of a fan, having dedicated half of my arm to a battle scene with my favourite fluffy undied friend. Such a good episode, even if Skeletor did turn good instead of evil for the day.

Currently listening to: Ill Bill - Howie Made Me Do It 2
Currently drinking: Rogue Dead Guy Ale (really good beer)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Very unmetal but extremely christmas... BAM & the ballet

So yesterday the warden braved the masses down at Atlantic Terminal to get all the Xmas presents sorted. Place is packed and pretty safe during the day, but not the sort of place you want to hang around at night. Unless you're looking for crack. Then it's perfect. We knew she was going to be a few hours so we made some more decorations for the tree. We also got ready a bit early so I could squeeze some mcnuggets in before the ballet started. Still five dollars for twenty nuggets. This is living.

M had bought tickets to see the Nutcracker at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). Now this might be surprising to some, but I have never been to the ballet before, so I wasn't to sure what to expect. Was actually a good frame of mind for me because it couldn't possibly be as bad as I was expecting it to be. However, I was completely blown away. A live orchestra played the entire thing underneath the stage while the dancers were on top. Was such a good show And the two hours flew by. I could have watched the dancers in the land of the sugar plum fairy all afternoon. Very unmetal of me.

Took the wiener patrol back to Atlantic to pick up a few small gifts for each other while the warden wrapped the stuff she had bought earlier. Forty five minute wait at the checkout and we are done. Cajun steak for dinner (good call B), and the kids are in bed while we start to watch a show we have been hanging out for a while. Parks and Recreation. So good.

This morning I headed back out to Atlantic to do my shopping. Hopefully everyone is happy with what I got them. I'm handing out my gifts tonight, as it is xmas eve and that is my tradition. Being Finnish and all. Santa and the warden deliver on xmas morning. Had a quick, but rad Skype with the Smalleys and now the girls are watching TV, Z is in the bath and M is in the kitchen. Baking my Ham. Lets get it on. Somebody bring me my buffet eating pants.

Currently listening to: La Coka Nostra - Malverde Market (can't wait for this album to drop next year)
Currently drinking: Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Friday, 23 December 2011

A horrible morning followed by some Manhattan magic

Started the day like most days. With a screaming session from L but as an added bonus, got punched for an hour while M took the other two away from the situation. Have run out of ideas on how to deal with this so just trying to live with it until we get home and can get help to sort it out. Some people don't need routines and others can't live without them.

After the extra hour and a half of wasted day, we headed underground to catch the subway into Manhattan, as the warden slept through it last week. Started off with a NY hotdog from a street vendor. Verdict - pretty average and over priced. Next we headed over to Times Square, M&M World and Hersheys. Tasty. We walked around Times Square for a while before heading up to "30 Rock" to see the giant Xmas tree.

We stumbled upon a little pizza place on the way called 2 Bros Pizza. The sign caught my eye as it was advertising one dollar slices of cheese pizza. We all opted for an extra topping so we had to pay a little extra. Five slices, a coke and a water for ten dollars. Wow. I tried a hotdog pizza, (which is just sausage). All I can say is wow. Was easily the best pizza I have had in NY and probably the trip. Crust was perfect, everything tasted fresh and there was heaps of topping. Will definitely have to hit them up again for some pepperoni.

We then made our way to the tree. What an amazing sight. Was actually much bigger than I expected. We stayed for a bit and watched people ice skating in Rockefeller Center. We all could have stayed there for ages but was super crowded and gets a bit rough when people try to get close for a photo. Had to be careful not to lose the kids... although could have made for a relaxing afternoon... Finished the evening by walking to Saks on Fifth Avenue and looking at all the window displays. Caught the subway back, a quick chicken sandwich stop, and we are all ready for bed. I heart NY. Just like the shirt says.

Currently listening to: Jedi Mind Tricks - new Design in Malice clip. YouTube it.
Currently drinking: River Horse Hop Hazard