Friday, November 18, 2022

The Beauty of Prospect Park

 

Stepping off the subway at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, my husband and I ascended the steps into the sun. It was a warm day, and the still air surrounded us as we walked toward the historic Soldiers and Sailors Arch built near the entrance to Prospect Park. Built from 1889 to 1892, the arch is a monument for the Union soldiers and sailors who fought in the American Civil War. Reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, it stands as the entrance to the wide expanse of one of the most beautiful parks in New York.

Strolling lazily through the arch, we took in the green expanse of the Northern entrance to Prospect Park. 526 acres of pristine grass, trees and rambling paths opened up before us. We chose the path to the right as it scrolled out before us like a ribbon into the trees. Benches, placed strategically along the walkway offered a respite when the sun turned warm. It was a beautiful afternoon for a walk in the park, and we smiled and nodded to joggers taking advantage of the weather. Stopped for a moment by a sweet couple, we offered to hold their jackets and snap pictures of them tucked into the trees. Laughing and enjoying the moment, we embraced this special time in the park. 

Designed by two architects who also worked on Central Park, there are many elements that have a similar feel as that great Manhattan icon. Prospect Park includes a zoo and Audubon Center. It is also surrounded by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Museum of Art. With so many options to choose from for an outing, a repeat visit to the park is certainly in our future! See more about Prospect Park by visiting the website: Home - Prospect Park Alliance

Saturday, November 12, 2022

 Hi Everyone!

As I was researching for my article about Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, I came across a great travel magazine called GoNomad.com. In it, I discovered an informative article about Brooklyn that you will enjoy. Check it out and be sure to scroll through all of the GoNomad articles!

Brooklyn Heights: NYC's First Suburb (gonomad.com)

Also check out this photo - a beautiful shot of South Congregational Church I took while strolling through Brooklyn a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood!


Friday, November 4, 2022

A Brooklyn Pub Crawl

The sun hovered delicately above ornate brick buildings, hanging for a moment until plunging the sky into darkness. I and my husband sauntered up the street, breathing the cold air that arrives in Brooklyn, New York in late OctoberOur goal was to haunt the many fabulous pubs and cafés dotting the Carroll Gardens district of Brooklyn, and as Halloween weekend approached witches, cats and ghosts brushed past us darting in and out of open doorways to enjoy drinks and appetizers. A Pub Crawl through Brooklyn is no small task, and as it turned out our adventure lasted several nights. 

Carroll Gardens is a beautiful neighborhood with 200 years of history. Parks bursting with lush, green trees and streets filled with towering brownstone apartments, families and single individuals alike call this area home. Evenings are alive with authentic pubs and cafés reimagined in historic buildings.

Swinging above the sidewalk, a brown sign announced Bar San Miguel. The wooden door was propped open, welcoming patrons as breezes blew through the bar. A smiling face greeted us and bade us to wait as servers cleared a table. Fare was varied and delicious authentic Mexican food. A skillet of queso passed by, carried to a neighboring table as spicy odors tickled my nose. Noshing on enchiladas with margaritas to chase them down wrapped up the perfect first night of our signature Pub Crawl. 

As the sun slipped behind the buildings on day two, drinks at Gowanus Yacht Club beckoned. The outdoor beer garden, not to be confused with, well, a yacht club was tucked into a corner by the Carroll Street Subway stop. Surrounded by a brick and iron fence, we entered the garden as rumbling sounds of trains filtered up through a grate in the pavementThe cash only establishment offered draft beers, ciders and canned offerings, along with grilled pub food. Old wooden chairs and stools propped up patrons seated at damp picnic tables and swiping my hand across a chair, I plopped down to sip on my White Claw. It was the perfect way to start the evening. 


Moving further up the street, the night air chilled my nose as an old, unassuming wooden doorway greeted us. Barely Disfigured was built on the site of a short-lived “house of ill repute,” and with the assurance that no prostitutes lingered we opened the door. A curved marble bar and dim lighting surrounded the room, part 1920s speakeasy married to modern Brooklyn. Unusual cocktails, elevated charcuterie platters and cheese trays graced the menu, along with a robust raw bar tempting the palate. Warm ambiance suited the bar like an old leather glove, and the crisp “George Washington’s Night Out” slid down my throat with a sharp tang.  A Charcuterie Board, like a work of art slid onto the bar before us, and my throat hummed in appreciation.


Our adventure continued a few blocks away. Wide glass entryways beckoned at Abilene – a sports pub complete with outdoor seating at wrought iron tables. Closing my eyes, I sipped a Cosmopolitan and snuggled into my wool jacket. The crisp night was perfect for enjoying the weather and snacking on wings with the accompanying accoutrements. With a sigh of appreciation, we strolled back down the street. Subsequent evenings brought additional adventures so to read more, check out my article at Brooklyn Pub Crawl - Follow Cheryl's visit to Brooklyn bars! (adventuress-travel-magazine.com)



Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Savannah With Friends

 

Hopping in the car on a muggy August morning, I looked forward to the four-hour drive to Savannah, Georgia. The tires rumbled on the highway as I and my husband made our way to the historic city. Excited to spend a few days with friends, we rolled into town at lunchtime, just in time for reservations at the historic Pirates House restaurant. Opened in 1753 as an inn for sailors traveling up and down the east coast, the house soon became a meeting place for wayfarers and pirates alike. 

Walking up to the building, I tilted my head to see the gray plank siding as it soared into the bright sky. Plenty of pirate memorabilia greeted us upon entry, and we wound our way to the table on wide plank floors. With a sumptuous menu and plenty of history, lunch was quite satisfying.

Nearby the restaurant, the Trustee's Garden beckoned. The site of our Airbnb, we walked to the courtyard surrounded with lush green bushes and trees. Two-story brick townhouses rose before us and crossing the patio we entered our what would be our home for the weekend. Warm polished wood floors and trim embraced creamy walls, definitely a lovely historic home.

Stepping into my tennis shoes that evening, we met friends to take in a walking tour complete with ghost stories, a historic cemetery and a few drinks! Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in the country and as the sun set, shadows closed in. Clustered in groups, fog swirled around and the humid air thickened as we walked over cobblestone streets under moss-laden trees. Each haunted pub had a story to share and a drink to enjoy.

In the morning, we strolled through the warm air and arrived at the first of many squares that makes up Savannah. Arranged around each square, brick and marble homes stood like sentries as a testament to the history embracing the town. The Davenport House Museum beckoned, and we stopped for a tour. A lovely two-story house, with accompanying carriage house made up the property and presented a historic look at the past and the plight of enslaved persons in the region.

No trip to Savannah is complete without experiencing Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos bar. Arriving on the riverfront just as the bar opened, we snagged seats near the front. Nestled down the left side of the open concept space stretched a full bar, stacks of bottles rising to the ceiling. Directly in front perched two pianos, emblazoned with stickers, seated proudly on the stage. The party got started as patrons dropped slips of paper and tips on the pianos. The crowd rollicked and sang along with the entertainers, pianos pounding with classic and modern popular music. Several hours later we grabbed cabs back to our house with smiles on our faces and the joy of music in our hearts.

Our final day dawned clear and warm, and we made our way to the waterfront. Cobblestone streets stretched before us, brightly colored shops and terraced restaurants stretched over the water. Wandering up the street, we darted in and out of shops, settling on the terrace of a cafe to enjoy lunch before heading home. Saturated with history, abundant with ghosts along with a robust night life, Savannah is not to be missed and thrives on tourists. For more information be sure to check out Visit Savannah | The Official Guide to Savannah, GA. For Dueling Pianos bar, check out Savannah Smiles Dueling Pianos, and see more about the Davenport House Museum here Tours — Davenport House Museum.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Third Culture Kitchen


With fingers flying over the screen of my phone, I searched for a new culinary experience. Determined to reach past our usual haunts, I and my husband searched for the unusual. While the Space Coast of Florida is well known for rocket launches and launch parties, what is not commonly known is that Titusville has a burgeoning food scene with many restaurants offering locally sourced fare and imaginative cuisine. 

My search paused at Third Culture Kitchen. Celebrating the emerging unity of society, this unique kitchen offers fusion dishes and an eclectic menu appealing to many tastes. Combined with unusual cocktails, the experience was a flavor explosion. 

As we turned into the parking lot, we noted a steady crowd of locals. Stepping from the car, the mild Tuesday evening wrapped around us making the choice of outdoor seating a no brainer. Warm, dark wood and turquoise walls greeted us in an open, graciously appointed space. Once seated the server promptly approached to take our drink orders. Selecting from the specialty cocktails, I reached beyond the norm to order an "Apples to Apples." Yummy apple infused Haku Japanese Vodka mixed with pineapple, lemon and bitters swirled in my mouth. Food selections included Asian inspired tacos, handhelds and small plates with vegetarian and vegan options well represented. After choosing the flank steak with chimichurri sauce and summer salad, the unusual flavors warmed my stomach.

As stated on their website, "Third Culture Kitchen is the meeting place between the culture of our families, our homes, and the global community. There is no strain to find “authenticity” in our house, If it tastes good and feels right, it goes. Here, curiosity and combination are king." These words embraced our entire meal, and we left satisfied and hungry for more. See more at Third Culture Kitchen | Curry, Spring Rolls, Bao, Burritos, Poblano, Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten Free Food - Titusville, FL

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Golfing in the Rain

 

A day trip to Central Florida was in store. Dotted with golf courses, the area is rich in opportunity for those who enjoy a great game. 

Starting as a beautiful day, I breathed in crisp air as I stood on the first tee box. Golfing in Florida is always a risk this time of year; rain can blow in quickly with a deluge. Hoping to get in a round before the clouds gathered, I swung my club.

The lovely day turned into a stormy one on the fifteenth fairway. Laughing at the rain, I finished my round somewhat wet. Puddles like glass in the grass reflected the sky, and I squished through my last few holes.

It would have been easy to get angry, frustrated at the weather that interrupted my impromptu trip. Learning to laugh at the rain, take joy in the small things and be grateful is a choice. I pray that we all choose joy.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

A Trip to Valiant Air Command


 Following signs to the Space Coast Airport, I and my husband turned down a narrow, winding road. Squinting into the bright sunlight, wide warehouses appeared in the distance, resolving into multiple aircraft dotted around the tall, silver walls. We pulled into the parking lot to discover an amazing part of history.

Nestled in eastern Florida is what is commonly known as the "space coast." Home of Space Force, launch pads and NASA, Cocoa Beach and Titusville are towns that host a wide range of launch parties, museums and space events of all kinds. Just west of Kennedy Space Center, Valiant Air Command's Warbird Museum is packed with aviation history. 

Entering the museum, a wide gift shop greeted us. Fun memorabilia were available for purchase, all proceeds going to support the 501(c)3. Purchasing our tickets at the counter, we started the tour in the Memorabilia Hall. Mannequins dressed in all manner of historical uniforms marched in front of us. Special exhibits included a tribute to the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, the Flying Tigers and the Tuskegee Airmen.  

Moving into the main display hanger, dozens of carefully restored aircraft sat proudly before us. Rising above all was the flagship of the museum, a 1942 C-47A that dropped paratroopers in Europe on D-Day. The aircraft sits combat ready and flight worthy today. Strolling through the hanger, the atmosphere spoke to me with hints of patriotism and the heroes that flew these planes.

Wrapping up our tour in the Vietnam Memorial hanger, I was particularly moved. My father fought in Vietnam and instilled in me the love of country, and the appreciation of those who fought and died for our freedoms. I encourage all of you to take a moment and think about how blessed we are. 

For more information and to plan a trip, go to:  Home | Valiant Air Command 

The Beauty of Prospect Park

  Stepping off the subway at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, my husband and I ascended the steps into the sun. It was a warm day, and the stil...