My new living situation has made it possible for me to take adorable domestic photos like Nikki's. I have always enjoyed seeing life through her lens.
These strawberries were actually on the vine when I bought them!
May I point out that the bowl is landlady's but the mini fork is mine, and they kind of match. The art nouveau mirror was the first thing I bought when I moved to Bay Ridge, optimistically anticipating more atmosphere than I had, really.
Landlady left the pretty flower arrangements in my room. I think the roses are my favorite.
I took a photo of a house on sale. Do you like this one?
Or should we pool our pocket money and get this one instead?
Having run out of houses for sale on the street I walk to the metro station, I finally snapped a shot of the cutest yellow house with its yellow Bug parked in front. And check out the giant fir tree. It's on a fairly busy corner, but not so busy that nobody will notice me...I'm always self-conscious about photographing houses...
This is an exciting place to live. I've got everything I need within walking distance but in case I need to travel further afield I'm only a short metro ride away from some new shopping developments.
Where I am, though, there are so many amazing luxury stores that I will never need - Dior, Gucci, Tiffany, Van Cleef and Arpels, et al. are literally sitting in a row. Practically across the street corners from one another are Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus. Obviously Macy's just wasn't good enough to join in.
The Mazza Gallerie has Ann Taylor, Williams Sonoma, and some other specialty stores I don't need, Neimans being the anchor for this development. Across the road, the Chevy Chase Plaza next to the Embassy Suites was a surprise waiting to be found, and I did discover it finally yesterday. There's Ann Taylor Loft (more my line, where I buy my suits and better classic casuals), Pottery Barn, the Cheesecake Factory, J. Crew and Banana Republic (both more old-school preppy than Ann Taylor Loft), and my favorite, World Market, where I found some long-needed spice mixes, exquisite spicy snacks, and talked myself out of buying the Digestive biscuits even though I miss them, because I'm used to buying them for pennies, and would rather have gourmet cookies for that price.
People I've encountered have been very chatty, friendly, helpful, and complimentary - without me reaching out first. Many people smile if you make eye contact, even accidentally, and my response to this is not as automatic as it was when I lived in Texas, but maybe it will come back. Once upon a time I used to smile so much more than I do now. You can't smile at Londoners, they think you're a) loopy, b) high, or c) going to mug them. There were random New Yorkers who used to tell me to smile as I walked down the street, but then they're not incidental smilers themselves!
Oh! I nearly forgot to tell you about the dinner I had with C, the lovely lady who hosted me when I visited last month. She took me to a place near all those swanky shops I told you about. It's a brasserie-bar called Clyde's, and apparently a Washington institution starting with the smaller original in Georgetown, where all the good old boys and other political types congregate. No two Clyde's are the same; depending on the location, some are country casual, some are antique classics; the one near me is large and spacious as befits the neighborhood, with cushy little booths and for once I didn't feel far away from the table, or too low behind it. Very wood-panelled with potted palms, the free walls are covered with art deco murals from the Golden Age of travel. Scale model replicas of classic planes hang from the ceiling, and racing cars sit on the counters. Next time I go I promise I will take photos. In the meantime you can see some at the link above.
We ordered a starter of creamy crab and artichoke dip with baguette.
On Tuesdays most bottles of wine are half price, and we ordered a crisp Chardonnay which came in a silver ice bucket on a stand.
We split our main courses of:
1) Two fresh large-chunk crab cakes with aioli, green beans, and two little stacks of sweet potato slices pan fried to crispiness on the edges. I am no lover of sweet potato but this was a winner and I ate it all.
2) Rainbow trout in a delicious and hearty parmesan crust with green beans and roasted new potatoes.
We were way too full for dessert. I love the classy yet laid-back vibe there (perfect after a hard day at work) and hope to return not too long from now. It certainly wasn't cheap, but definitely not as pricey as it sounds, and way less than the dinner on Park Avenue last week.
There will be more adventure this weekend as Chris is driving to town from NYC for a snazzy dinner party and a visit to a museum so stay tuned.