funny story.

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home / new york city

bklyn3

 

this story is funny kind of like the way finding a hair in your soup is funny. it involves something that every new yorker loves to talk about: real estate.

it goes like this: couple finds apartment they want to buy and renovate. it’s decently priced in a brooklyn neighborhood that is about to experience skyrocketing rent and sale prices. they make an offer and it’s accepted! contracts are signed! hooray! couple waits as seller cancels the closing one two five seven times for mysterious reasons having to do with building code violations and fines.

but before all the canceled closings, couple puts almost all their belongings into storage and moves to furnished airbnb apartment in new neighborhood to more easily oversee renovation that surely is about to start any second. couple quickly realizes temporary apartment is a mouse and cockroach infested shit hole. even the dog is depressed. couple moves again four months later to second unfurnished temporary location which is actually lovely and HERE WE ARE.

are there worse problems out there? obviously. we have an apartment. it’s on a block with three community gardens. one of them has chickens. it’s close to the subway. i like living here very much.

basically i’m just anxious to get going… to start designing the new space, to get everything out of storage and unpacked and settled away. that’s all. i have pinterest and houzz folders that might explode because they are crammed full of ideas for lighting and flooring and faucets and plates. i have four versions of floor plans drawn for all three floors.

someday… it will happen someday.

anyone else have a buying-real-estate-in-nyc horror story? drop me a line in the comments, i’d love to hear about it.

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hello again/ on my radar…

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design / gifty / home / love it

hello again! i took such a long hiatus from the blog that i almost couldn’t remember how to sign in. there have been a lot of things i wanted to share over the last several months, but sitting down to create a post seemed just like too much work lately. which sounds crazy. so i’m snapping out of it!

in june i went to see my friend tammy of stella jams fame in bozeman, montana. she took me to the farmers market on a rainy saturday morning and introduced me to meredith rivers, the ceramist behind dishes with soul. i truly wanted to cram the whole collection into my carry-on and call it a day. instead i’ve procrastinated for four months. but i have my eye on so, so many of her pieces. i love the raw and undulating edges, and the way some bits fold over almost like a dumpling skin. for my line of work, the shallow bowls and platters are perfect for shooting salads, soups, roasted vegetables… oh pretty much anything.

i have a feeling this line is destined for the shelves of ABC carpet & home. (also known as heaven on earth). since i last looked at meredith’s site back in late june, it looks like she’s been nominated as 2014 finalist for martha stewart’s american made award. congratulations, meredith! i love your work.

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rug crush: tikau

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favorites / home

tikaui mean BIG TIME rug crush… enough to justify all caps.

in a post several months back, i moaned and groaned how after being in a new apartment for almost two years, we still had no rugs. except bathmats, which don’t count. truth is, i’m very picky about rugs and would rather have a naked floor than something that’s just… meh.

enter my favorite store in the world, tiina the store, with all it’s amazing finnish design. they had various rugs from tikau all over the store this summer, and as i love stripes (my facebook quote is “i like stripes”. or it was, anyway. i think they get rid of that.) i was unable to resist.

i digress. long story short, the unbleached wool, handwoven black & white striped rug seen in the upper left corner of the photo is now on my bedroom floor. and i LOVE IT. (more caps.) even my dog loves it. (proof here)

ps. since it’s a woven rug with no pile, i got the thickest rug pad available at abc carpet & home. the way to figure out what size you need? easy, you have them cut it 1″ less all the way around. extra ps: take a cab home.

(photo)

 

farmers market finds

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country / eatin' & drinkin' / summer fun

gherkinsuntil this summer, i had never seen these before – don’t they look like teey tiny watermelons? during the last couple weeks of august, i kept seeing them out at Balsam Farms in Amagansett. the farm stand had them labeled as “gherkins… or mini sour cucumbers from mexico”.

well, when i see the word gherkin, i think of pickles which i hate so i totally ignored these the first time around. the following weekend they were still there and my curiosity got the better of me. as it turns out, they taste just like a super-crunchy cucumber… delicious. i’ve been throwing them in tomato & mozzarella salads and eating them plain.

some very quick internet research yielded this: they grow on a vine called melothria scabra, and are sometimes also called mouse melon. isn’t that cute?

 

make it/ illustrated: lemon ricotta stuffed squash blossoms

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eatin' & drinkin' / make it

squas recipe

stuffed squash blossoms… ever try them? they seem really complicated but there’s not much to it. and they’re all over the farmer’s market at the moment. illustrator erin mcgill shows us how with another fab illustrated recipe…squash blossoms

 

explore: paris, part one

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eatin' & drinkin' / summer fun / travel

bkp_paris_1

so finally… some paris photos! i love taking photos, i just hate dealing with them once they’re uploaded. this part always takes me a while.

in june i spent three glorious days in paris before heading south to cannes for one week. it was my first trip to france since 1999, and so much was different. last time, i was about a year out of school. i stayed with my sister, who was there as a student and had way too many roommates in a strange apartment filled with inflatable furniture. it was still great, but… this time i was with mk, we stayed in the marais (here; see photos from the neighborhood above) and my goal was simply to eat eat eat, shop a bit, and relax.

well, we were super successful at eating. (and the other stuff!) but mostly at the eating. i’m talking gold medal. (translation: i made myself borderline ill.) it was totally worth it.

i’m not super at-ease, though, taking photos with my big camera in restaurants. it seems so obtrusive to me…plus there is the small fact that i’m really a hobbyist when it comes to photography, not a professional. i like to experiment and learn about my camera outside, where i’m not bothering anybody, but inside… i know i don’t have the right equipment and i’m guessing at the settings more often than not. so i stick to my iphone and instagram for those moments in a restaurant when i just absolutely have to get a photo, and have re-capped some of the food centric pics below. (and you can always follow me on instagram for more…)

as for where we ate? i’m really proud of what we fit into three days… it started with a stunning lunch at Le 6 Paul Bert, (chosen after reading this) after which i decided i really needed to get four eclair from L’Eclair de Genie. not one, to just savor and enjoy. four. a sampling, if you will. i took a bite of each back at the hotel room, decided i might die, and took a nap.

later we found ourselves at the wine bar of Frenchie, drinking a great white wine and holding out for a table, which we finally got! (at the wine bar, not at the restaurant itself – another time.) tip: get there around 7pm, and you might only wait around 90 minutes for a table. but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable wait! our table ended up having a view into the kitchen, and the food was excellent.

another day, another lunch… at Le Meurice, located within the very fancy Hotel Meurice. this was a three-star Michelin meal, and in a word, superb. the kind of meal that makes all subsequent meals suck. this three-hour affair involved duck, foie gras, pasta, octopus, a fried oyster…. and a lot more. needless to say, dinner at the very lovely Spring restaurant underwhelmed – but simply because it followed Le Meurice! judged on it’s own merits, it’s excellent. i believe this day also involved a chocolate pistachio croissant from Du Pains et Des Idees, the best cappiccino of the trip at Ten Belles, and ice cream from Amorino. i also believe this is the day i started to feel like i might be overdoing it. no wonder i could barely eat by the time we got to spring…

i don’t want to make this post too long so i’ll save shopping bits for another time. i also, for the first time ever, created a google map specifically for the trip. i’m obsessed with making maps now, and might post it here if anyone is interested…? there’s a lot of stuff on there i didn’t have time for, so it’s kind of a wishlist in a way, but i love looking at it.

paris_food_IGrow 1: the meal and the scene at Le 6 Paul bert

row 2: snippits from Le Meurice… how amazing is that “apple” dessert?

row 3: inside L’Eclair de Genie, the Frenchie bar menu, and a huge line of people outside a falafel shop in the marais. i was tempted.

row 4: snaps from the newly redone food hall at Le Bon Marche

row 5: pistachio chocolate croissant, the best cappuccino, and great packaging at one of the many sweet shops i poked into.

 

(all photos by laura kinsey for bklynprairie.com)

 

sandwiches

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eatin' & drinkin' / make it

RTL_pretzelsandRTL_grilledcheeseRTH_chickensalad_0607i worked on these images with my friend Alex, who moved to SF last week. i’m excited for him but will miss collaborating… it was always such a good time. these are from at least a year ago, but it’s fun to go back and critique. what would i keep/ edit/ fix/ redo, that kind of thing.

also, these are giving me some serious ideas for lunch this week.

make it/ illustrated: strawberry lassi

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eatin' & drinkin'

strawberry recipeif i can still get my hands on some farmers market strawberries this week, i’m going to make this strawberry lassi with coconut milk. it’s light, frothy, and even borderline healthy. looks totally perfect for this hot weather we’ve been having!

strawberry stilllife

illustrations by erin mcgill. recipe from last month’s issue of ba (see here)

happy 4th…!

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country / holiday / summer fun

fireworks_3

fireworks_1

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i took these during last year’s fourth of july celebration. the highlight, aside from good friends around the chimenea, was lighting the sprinklers and watching them go!

coming up next week: some bits from my trip to france. enjoy the long weekend!

(photos by laura kinsey for bklyn prairie)