Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Old Neighborhood

Before we bought a house in Staten Island, we used to live in Brooklyn.  Yesterday, I went back to my old neighborhood to meet up with one of my best friends.  Her mother was in town and we had plans to meet for lunch and then her mom was going to teach us how to crochet.  Oooh, I've been wanting to learn for awhile now, and so I was beyond excited to learn! When I got off the subway, I noticed that they have installed a lot more bike racks for the "commuters".  In this part of town, there seems to be more people using bikes than cars.  At least, that's what I hope! 
We ate lunch at Cafe Royal. Cafe Royal is this adorable coffee shop in Greenpoint, owned by Chef Cody Utzman, that name might sound familar to you if you watch Chopped on Food Network. He's been on the show twice and won twice.  And yes, the food is good there.  This is what I ordered, a smoked salmon and cream cheese on a plain bagel.  They add a bit of a twist to this NY classic by adding a boiled egg, dill, green onion, tomatoes and capers on top.  Hello, my yummy friend.
What I don't miss about this neighborhood is the lack of parking.  When we lived here, we could never find a place to park, and a lot of times because of filming in the hood.  Oh how times have Not changed.  I saw this "No Parking" notice up on a street sign on my walk through the neighborhood yesterday, and it reminded me of the time I blogged about the same exact thing 2 years ago. They film the show "The Good Wife" in NY, even though the show is supposed to be set in Chicago.  I guess in TV land, NY and Chicago are interchangeable?
As I was walking to my friend's apartment, this yard stopped me dead in my tracks.  Isn't it just gorgeous? I love the bright yellow flowers of forsythia, and love the juxtaposition of it next to this grand magnolia tree.  This yard is right next door to my friend's apartment building.  Just gorgeous!
Here is Ruth and her mom showing me how to crochet.  She brought us books to look at and taught us how to use the hook needle. It was so nice of her mom to spend the afternoon with us.  I was surprised to learn that her mom had not crocheted since she was a teenager!  What?  I asked her how she remembered how to do it and she responded that once you know how to do it, it's hard to forget.  I guess it's like riding a bike.  LOL

I brought my crochet needles and yarn, but she also had plenty for us to use.  I love this color yarn.
This is what I learned how to make in one afternoon.  It's not perfect, I need to practice some more, but not bad for my first crochet try! I can't wait to make an afghan!!


  1. Good job, what a great start! I think you will really like all the things you will be able to make with this skill..Enjoy!

  2. Congrats on your first "ornament" LOL! Looks like a fun day, watch out, those hobbies are addictive :)

  3. That bagel looks divine!!! It's a whole meal on it's own! How creative!

  4. What a lovely post. I flicked back to the other one you wrote two years ago too. It must be both annoying and cool to have your neighborhood filmed for TV. I love The Good Wife. Knowing that they film it in NY has shattered some illusions though!

  5. I loved that picture of the blooming tree and forsythia! We have a 1-2 yr old forsythia, looking forward to its blooms.....It was nice to read about your old neighborhood and your crochet lessons! Makes me nostalgic:)

  6. Great post....felt like I spent the afternoon with ya! It's so cool all the different things you try and get up to. The crocheting is awesome.

  7. I like the bike picture. That one is nothing like what we have out west. Looks like the shop owner has a wall dedicated to graffiti.

    Out west, unless we have been to one or the other we really don't know the difference between NY, Chicago or Boston. Both seem to be all about traffic. But it is the same here. The Washington (state) tax code makes sure that if a story is set here (like Forks for the vampire movies or Seattle) the film makers have to go to Canada to save money. I think there is a stock shot of the Space Needle that everyone uses to give the setting before going to sunny Vancouver BC. Such is story telling.

    When you say "egg" you mean EGG. My mind saw chopped and sprinkled.

    Deb...who grew up in a place without a famous name and completely without character.

  8. Well you've got the beginnings of an afghan right there. Not too shabby for a first-timer! Crocheting has always baffled me. Beautiful shots of the "hood." The Good Wife is my favorite show but I'll have a little more sympathy for now for those affected by the outside filming. :)

  9. I learned when I was young and still pick up a needle every now and then.

  10. I could never figure out crochet - but your little crochet project is adorable :)


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