The Saturday Report – 3 Things NYC

Hello Hello – I know it’s almost already the weekend again, but it’s just been a whirlwind here.  I was in NYC for 6 days then rushed home to California for another 6 days of family time to tend to an emergency. It’s looking like all will be ok in due time, so I finally have a minute to recap some of my NYC highlights in this week’s Saturday Report.

VISIT – MOMA PS1

Seeing as that I have now made several trips to NYC and am becoming more familiar with the city, I am enjoying exploring more and getting out of the traditional visitor zones. I made a trip up to MOMA PS1 in Queens, which is a MOMA museum in a converted school builing. They are typically only open until 6pm on Saturdays, but on July 22 they hosted an event from 12pm-9pm with a series of DJ’s, food and drink stands in the open courtyard area. It was a little more rave-y than my usual (non-existent) dance scene, but it was great people watching and fun to walk around the museum under a different pretense. The museum itself was cool, definitely worth a visit, kind of edgy and a unique vibe.

EAT – Nha Minh

Obviously most of my trips to NYC revolve around where I’m going to eat and how much I’m going to walk to burn it off. This trip was no exception and the best thing I had to eat were sandwiches and Vietnamese iced coffee from Nha Minh. It’s a well designed hole in the wall, down a super industrial street, just two minutes from my friends house. My first reaction upon looking at the menu was “Is it weird that the smoked trout sandwich sounds really good?”. Answer: no, not weird at all, because it was delicious!!! I shared that and the Vietnamese sandwich with a friend and they were both great. Totally different flavor profiles and if I had to choose, smoked trout was the surprise winner. Like I said the space is well done, there’s rotating art and I liked what I saw on my visit, so if you find yourself out that way swing by!

WALK – NYC

One of my greatest pleasures while in the city is just walking around. Yes, there are some weird smells; yes, there are lots of people; but it really is the best way to see the city. It’s only by being on foot that you can see the small neighborhood changes from block to block; really appreciate the diversity of people, food, languages; pick up on trends as you make your way through the throngs of people; and in general, just absorb all that is NYC. Here are a few of my favorites – new and old:

  • Williamsburg Brooklyn – New to me this time. I walked down Bedford, then out to the water and almost got on a ferry! I’d long heard this neighborhood, but until I walked it, I realized I hadn’t really been. It’s growing and changing a lot, but is oh so trendy and will make you feel like you landed in a hipster heaven.
  • West Village – Not new, but still my favorite. This time I had brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda on Carmine and walked Bleeker all the way to The High Line. Just such nice tree-lined streets with brick townhouses and cute shops. I almost forgot it was 90 degrees and 50% humidity.
  • Central Park – I didn’t make it up this far this time, but I love the park. It’s so classic and has such a calm that is always welcome when in New York. It’s fun to go to the Met (their rooftop view of the park is great too) before or grab treats at Dean & Deluca and then walk around the park, people watch, stop and listen to buskers, take your time and maybe picnic.
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The Saturday Report – boating, hiking and lawn games

The Saturday Report is back! Now that I got my full month of new stuff under my belt, I’m back to doing normal, fun (and still new) things. I spent this past weekend up in the mountains for a friends’ birthday and discovered a few things that are definitely worth checking out!


DO Boating on Lake Dillon

Since moving to CO I have realized I’m a water person, rather than a mountain person, which was further affirmed while boating on Lake Dillon this weekend. I’ve kayaked on the reservoir before, but taking a speed boat out on the water was a whole new experience, which I loved! You don’t need a boating license, and are able to bring out snacks and drinks onto the water (PSA: Don’t drink and drive!!! Even if it’s a boat!). The rental is for two hours, so we sped, floated, sped and floated again. It’s just so spectacular to see this large body of water surrounded by some of the tallest peaks in the world.


DO Hike Lilly Pad Lake

I did a 14er last November and promptly decided that I never needed to do one again. I just didn’t find that much pleasure in hiking above tree line and killing myself for a view of yet more mountains. I’m more of a hike in the woods kind of girl. We capped off the weekend with a lovely little hike to Lilly Pad Lake. 3.3 miles total, with TWO cute lakes to rest at and view at the end, as well as a plethora of diverse foliage along the way. You cross a number of creeks with more water bound plants, and then weave in and out of groves of pines. Absolutely charming the whole way, and just enough to feel like you actually got out and did something with your morning.

Kubb

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PLAY Kubb

Spoiler alert: you win this game by bending over and throwing a stick between your legs! You want to play now, don’t you? Even though I just made big jenga, I must say that I was a little jealous of this game my friends brought to the mountains (maybe I should have made Kubb instead!!). It’s kind of like lawn bowling, meets croquet… Good for a group and complicated enough to keep you on your toes, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a blast. The Swede’s did a good job with this one.

The Saturday Report: Pretzels and Comics

BAKE Pretzel Rolls. I got it in my head this weekend that I wanted a good burger. But now that Lou’s is gone (my down the street go-to for a take away burger and fries on nights in need), I decided to go all out. I thought and thought and thought and landed on buffalo burgers, on homemade pretzel rolls, with homemade herb aioli (obvs herbs from my garden) and grilled onions. They turned out great. I’m always amazed how bread really isn’t all that hard. You need more extra time than effort for most part, and just let yeast do it’s thing. Give these a try, there’s an extra step with the baking soda wash, but still nothing crazy.

 

READ New York Stories. This week’s New York Times Magazine was filled with stories. Stories about New York. Stories of all different genres. Stories recent and old. Stories all illustrated as mini graphic novels! It was so interesting. I’m not the graphic novel type, but it was so cool to see to the varying types of illustrations and how each format helped set the scene for the story it was telling. It’s pretty cool. You can check out the whole thing here.

 

new in june

DO New Things! It’s New in June, y’all! This is the sixth year in a row that I’m doing 30 new things in June. It’s kind of fun because it started in a year where I was gone most weekends in May, which inspired me to explore my city more and uncover hidden gems, and I was gone most of this May, so I’ve circled back to the same set up this June. It’s a great re-set each year for making sure that I’m not becoming too complacent and am getting the most out of wherever I am. I’m excited about the things I’ll uncover this year! Follow along on Instagram @emsbonappetit and check out past years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

The Saturday Report: Aspen, Fried Eggs and The Open Road

I’m back! It was another whirlwind week(end), but I am finally home and sticking around for a while. Last week was pretty uneventful, as I mostly rested up between weekend trips, but cue Memorial Day weekend where the fun continued!

VISIT Aspen. I’m so happy to have finally been to Aspen. I’ll write a post eventually, but for now a few highlights. Half the weekend was kind of bad weather, so there was a lot of eating and drinking involved, but we were able to end the weekend with a little walk in the woods and some natural wonder. Eat/Drink: The Monarch (sit at the bar) my favorite meal experience of the weekend; The White House Tavern, owned by the Hillstone group and just as good as the rest; Meat & Cheese, easy, tasty, plentiful, definitely worth it; J Bar, bar at the Jerome Hotel, nice, high end, old timey feel with great cocktails. Hike: Maroon Bells. It’s the main one to do and is worth it. There’s a relatively easy hike from one lake to the next, that offers some spectacular reflections and scenes. GO EARLY. See: Aspen Art Museum. I didn’t actually love the art here, but the building is awesome, the exhibits rotate pretty frequently and it’s free, so it’s worth a quick tour.

COOK Parmesan Fried Eggs. This is my current favorite thing to eat. I’ve made it twice now and it could not be more simple. I read about it in Martha Stewart Living and after watching a quick tutorial was ready to go. My new non-stick pan made it so easy, and serving a salad along side helps balance out the creamy saltiness of the egg and cheese. I thought I would miss toast, but I haven’t. It’s got all the textures and the flavors, you have to try it.

DRIVE  Leisurely. It’s been so long since I was able to take a road trip or travel somewhere without a real agenda. On both legs of the trip we took our time and didn’t have to be any where at a certain time. This allowed us to stop and take pictures, check out random restaurants and bars that we wouldn’t have otherwise sought out, and to really admire the views. If you haven’t done it lately, summer is the perfect time to crank up the radio, roll the windows down and treat yourself to a little wandering. Favorite stops: K’s in Buena Vista, Twin Lakes, Independence Pass over the Continental Divide, Bread Bar in Silver Plume

The Saturday Report: a view, a non-profit, and an artist

I touched down after my trip to SF and have been pretty much go go go since then. I just wrapped up another weekend away for some family stuff, but in addition to the travel, I managed to squeeze in some fun stuff this week too!

VIEW It’s no surprise that there’s a lot going on in Denver right now. From a growing food scene, to new residential and commercial structures, there is a ton of development in the works. A nice combo of this is El Five, a new restaurant in the highlands. The fifth floor location in the highlands has absolutely stunning views of the city and the mountains. It’s the newest property from the Edible Beats group (think Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s – some of my favorites in Denver), so the scene was fun and drinks tasty. The food was ok, I went in week 2 so I have full confidence that they will soon work out the kinks, but you have to go for the VIEW. Grab a drink, sit on the patio for sunset. The buildings reflect the sundown and downtown is quite the sight at night.

SUPPORT Comal Heritage Food Incubator. I went to a Slow Food Denver micro-grant dinner at Coperta (one of my favorite new spots), which was a lively, tasty and educational affair. The dinner was a chance to hear from three local non-profits, which were eligible for different levels of micro-grants. I voted for Comal and they won the biggest prize! Their mission reminds me a lot of La Cocina in San Francisco, and I can not wait to try it. It’s already on my New in June list. From their website: Comal Kitchen is a heritage food incubator in partnership with Focus Points, a non-profit that serves families in the Globeville and Elyira-Swansea neighborhoods. Its goal is to provide skills in culinary arts and business to a cohort of women- many originating from Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru- to maintain and celebrate their traditions through entrepreneurial ventures.

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Photo from Clyfford Still Museum

KNOW ABOUT Mark Bradford. I joined the Denver Art Museum’s young professional group last year after my trip to New York, and have loved the exhibit previews and curator walk throughs. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t make it to the Mark Bradford/Clyfford Still exhibit event, but I just didn’t know all I would be missing. The exhibit is STILL on my list, but I have been amazed at how timely it is, since he is representing The United States at the Venice Biennalle, which has driven some top coverage. He was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Arts section, as well as the cover of the LA Time Design Magazine, which I saw this weekend. It’s just amazing to me how you can not know about something and as soon as you are aware it pops up everywhere. I can’t wait to check out the Denver exhibit. He’s also in Denver next week and speaking at the DAM.

 

The Saturday Report: SF, wine country and Joni

You guys, I just had the most epic weekend in San Francisco. This could easily become a post of just that, but I will indulge you with a couple of other highlights too!

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VISIT San Francisco. It’s still home. Still comfortable. And on this trip, the wooing was quite strong, a fogless and cloudless city were only the start of a wonderful weekend. I was able to see several friends and wine and dine myself through the city, which was just what I needed. A quick recap of my favorite stops: Pastries from b. patisserie; the patio (and brunch on it) at The Tipsy Pig; Kokkari an SF institution I feel like is often not talked about, but worth every bite; drinks at Trick Dog (LOVED this atmosphere); dinner at Tartine Manufactory, this has been on my radar for a while, very good food and an awesome space; Butter, not for the faint of heart, a dive bar at it’s best with bacon shots, jello shots, and usually a good DJ.

VISIT Sonoma. There are so many wine country towns it can be hard to choose, but Sonoma is always a winner. I especially love Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Valley, but it’s 1.5 hrs away, which can really make the day feel long. Shaving off the 30 min to get to Sonoma makes it approachable and not an all day venture. We did a tasting on the patio at Gundlach Bundshu and actually enjoyed all the wines. We went to Bartholomew Park Winery after to picnic, wine not so good, but property is gorgeous and you can bring your own food. One of my favorite surprises of the day was coming across the original Williams-Sonoma store. As a former employee of the company I was sad to hear that Chuck Williams passed away a few years ago (at over 100 years old!), but was happy to have stumbled across this location so quaint and full of character. The Sonoma town square is charming and worth a walk around, and the surrounding streets between wineries are covered in trees, lined with beautiful homes and make a delightful day out of the city.

 

CALIFORNIA ~ joni mitchell

LISTEN Being in San Francisco and back in the lovely state of California made me think of the Joni Mitchell song. My mom really likes Joni, so I am familiar with some of her music, and I have always loved this one. It speaks to me as a native California with an affinity for European travel. I had just been thinking about this song while sitting in my SF guest room, when I heard it floating through the window from another apartment – what a delight. Having close neighbors isn’t all bad.

 

EAT il Posto. As if my list of SF to do’s didn’t have enough restaurants, here’s another stop – il Posto in Denver. They have a new location in Rino, and having not been to the other, I quite enjoyed it. I had a pasta with crab, leeks and asparagus, which was awesome. If you have not tried the pasta/leek/fish combo before, it really is a must. The space is striking as well, with several booths in the middle that feel like personal little cubbies due to their high upholstered walls. Can’t wait to go back and explore the menu a little more.

 

The Saturday Report: the mountains, carnitas and a dive bar

Hello Hello! I have been inspired and able to post a little more lately and while making some slight tweaks to the blog format recently (check out the new menu bar below the title), I reread the intention that I set for the blog in the about me section, which inspired this new series.

Each week I’ll be bringing you The Saturday Report – a recap on the things I did, what I cooked, and where I traveled on Saturday (or notable things from the days in between)! I want to hold myself accountable to truly not wasting any of my 52 weekends and to share the best with you. I don’t know that every single report will be chock full of amazing things, but I will sure try my hardest.

So here we go! The first report…


VISIT I have lived in Colorado for two and a half years now, yet am still very unfamiliar with the areas north of Denver, west of Vail or south of Colorado Springs, so it’s about time I got exploring. I took myself on a short day trip to Estes Park on Sunday. It’s a cute vintage town nestled at 7,500 feet, below Long’s Peak and just on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. I strolled the streets, had lunch at a very divey burger shop, treated myself to some salt water taffy, tasted some local booze with a view and visited The Stanley Hotel (famous for its role in The Shining). There is definitely more nature to be enjoyed once it’s warmer, but it was just nice to get out of down and enjoy some different and gorgeous scenery.

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COOK My friend hosted a Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday evening, which turned into a long fun night to margaritas and tasty food, including AMAZING carnitas that she made from scratch. I can’t wait for an excuse to feed a crowd so I can make them myself. Orange and cinnamon, along with a low and slow cook time make these easy and delicious. Recipe courtesy of Serious Eats and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, so you know you can’t go wrong. I’d also recommend following him on instagram for great tips and inspiration. <photo is from the recipe site>

NYT

READ Not from this past weekend, but worth noting – since starting to get The New York Times Sunday paper, I’ve taken up reading the wedding section. This is probably one of the most girly things I could do, but I mostly just like reading how people met. I particularly enjoyed this article about author Michael Ruhlman and his wife Ann Hood. I know of him from his book(s) about chefs/cooking and their story is a very cute one about never giving up and staying open because you never know where the road will take you.

DO On Friday night I made my second visit to 715 Club, a dive bar in 5 Points in Denver. I’ve only been there once before, but both times they played great music, and it just has a good vibe about it. 5 Points as a neighborhood has its own storied past and is currently gentrifying, which deserves it’s own post, but the recent restaurant additions and resurrections of places like The 715 are sure to help develop the current chapter.