Category Archives: Beverages

Summer Isn’t Over Yet!

The passing of Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer.  And though that means that most of us will have to wait until 2015 for our next day at the beach, picnic in the park, or weekend away at the lake, the news is not all bad.  The farmers markets are still filled with summer fruits and vegetables, and it only takes a knife and a blender to turn tomatillos into salsa and cantaloupe into juice.  With flavors and colors like those, summer isn’t over yet!

Summer Isn't Over Yet


A Thrilling Local Beer

Like a lot of cities, New York is home to many local craft breweries.  But only New York is home to the original Coney Island, a residential neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, which is known worldwide for its amusement parks dating back to the 1880s. 

For those fearless souls who find thrills in going higher and higher, faster and faster, and arounder and arounder, there are more rides than you can shake a sick stomach at.  The Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel, the Electro Spin, the Sling Shot, and the brand new Thunderbolt roller coaster are just a few.

For the rest of us, who prefer to simply walk the boardwalk, take in the views, and listen to the screams that somehow encompass both glee and terror, Coney Island offers its own craft beer, refreshingly named, Coney Island Beer.  And you can’t get more local than that.  Just looking at the colorful labels of Coney Island Brewing Company’s various brews helps brings to life the nineteenth century carnival atmosphere that’s still alive today.

Maybe I’ll buy you one this Fourth of July if I run into you on the midway . . . unless, that is, you’re one of those people high above the ground screaming.

Coney Island Brewing Co

Jam Juice

“Waste not, want not,” my Gramps told me, as he scraped the last of the jam from the jar, filled the jar with tap water, and shook it up.

“What are you going to do with that?” I asked him, wide-eyed and spellbound.

“It’s jam juice!” he declared before pouring half the vaguely pinkish water into a small glass for me, and drinking the rest down straight from the jar. 

I followed his lead, noting that the liquid no longer tasted exactly like water, nor did it taste anything like juice.  In fact, I wasn’t really sure I liked it.  But I smiled widely and drank it all anyway, because I loved my Gramps, and that was good enough for me.

Jam Juice

A Flower in my Coffee

I took a walk up to MOMA this week to see the Gauguin exhibit.  To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite exhibit.  But that didn’t take away from the enjoyment I experienced getting there and back.  Along the way, I passed the Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park, the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, and Rockefeller Center.  I also found a new coffee shop — perfect for me because it also sells books!  And to make it even more special, the barista put a flower in my macchiato.  Life is good . . .

A Flower in My Coffee

Spiced Hot Cocoa

In some circles, I’m infamous for my view that chocolate milk should not be served in schools.  With 3 teaspoons, on average, of added sugar per 8-ounce carton, it’s pretty clear that the nearly 5 pounds of added sugar that a child consumes in a single school year simply by drinking 1 carton a day — on school days only — will do anything BUT keep the doctor away.

Having said that, I do believe that chocolate milk makes a great treat on a special occasion.  With that in mind, Kay brought me to Le Pain Quotidien on my birthday earlier this month for a steaming mug of spiced hot cocoa.  Made with milk steeped in star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, and cayenne, it was indeed a special and happy way to celebrate a special and happy day.  I’m already looking forward to my next birthday.

Spiced Hot Cocoa

Tap Water

It was refreshing — in more ways than one — to find bottled water on the tables in a local restaurant recently.  But this wasn’t just any bottled water.  This was New York City tap water.  And the custom-made label on the bottle said, “Pure Tap Water: Drink Your Town’s Tap Water from the Faucet.”  I couldn’t agree more . . .

Pure Tap Water

It’s Our Pleasure

One of the simple pleasures of life for me and Kay is stopping in any of the myriad independent coffee shops in New York City.  Though each shop is otherwise unique, chances are good that a cup of coffee “to go” will come in an iconic blue and white Greek paper cup.  The cups, ubiquitous in New York City but practically unknown anywhere else, are a comforting reminder that I am home, where I belong, in the city I love.

Our Pleasure


My friends will tell you that I don’t like a lot of “things” out on display in my living space.  I prefer cleans lines and blank spaces to tchotchkes, collectibles, and trinkets.  The one obvious exception is printed books, which still line the shelves of our apartment even in this age of ebooks.  The second exception is the coffee paraphernalia perpetually housed on the back of the stove.   It’s in use so often that it would make little sense to store it anywhere other than right in the open, where access is convenient and immediate.  So, when you’re in my neighborhood, stop by for a cup of espresso.  It won’t take long.