Monday, September 26, 2011

Farmers Market

One of my favorite things about living in downtown Grand Rapids is being within walking distance of so many great things. One being the Fulton Street Farmers Market. It's open all throughout the week allowing even us city-dwellers to enjoy in-season, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Awesome flowers that all our friends were convinced were fake!

My handsome roommate :)

I can't help but feel like every city needs markets like this. We are lucky enough to have two in just a few miles from each other! And trust me, the zucchini I bought this day lead to some of the best bread I've ever made.

ps. Can't wait to go pick up some pumpkins for carving this week!

Renegade Chicago

Upon returning from Phoenix I found myself overwhelmed with the amount I had learned and what great conversations were had. It was an amazing experience just as I hoped it would be and I definitely have a lot I'd like to share on here. But before I do, I have a few posts I'd like to catch up on from the weeks previous.

First up: The Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago!

My fellow crafty friends Jen and Collyn were all for joining my in a one-day road trip over to Chicago to check out the Renegade Craft Fair.

Home-made vanilla lattes for the drive.

Little prints, gumball machine style.

Gorgeous yarn (and awesome logo as well!)

First apple cider of the season.


Gelato for all!

Beer sampler at Bangers and Lace.
Great food too, if you're ever in the area be sure to check it out.

My first ever Chicago-style hot dog, with all the fixin's!

We ended up having a blast, it was definitely worth the trip. I ended up buying an awesome type t-shirt from Bison Bookbinding and Letterpress all the way from Bellingham, WA. Also, two little charms I now wear as a necklace, one little E and one Ampersand.

The day ended with a trip to a small bakery right on the same street as the fair where I purchased cupcakes as a little gift for my roommate before heading on back to Grand Rapids. It felt like the perfect Sunday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Goodbye New York!

After a long but very busy and fun weekend, our little vacation had ended and on Monday we were headed back to the airport. We did have until around 3 pm before we had to head to LaGuardia though so Jen and I took the opportunity to head over to her uncle's office to visit with him and get a chance to see a different part of the city. We had all of our bags with us and he was so nice to let us stash our stuff in his office while we walked around and had lunch.

And! He works right next to the AIGA Headquarters. Unfortunately they were re-doing the gallery space so we didn't get a chance to check out the inside but it was cool getting to be there.

AIGA: The best organization around.

And if AIGA weren't enough, we also passed Pentagram! Jen spotted it out of the corner of her eye and we had to go up and peer inside. Oh hey Michael Beruit! Paula Scher! Ah to be in the presence of design heroes.

Pentagram building, 5th Ave.

After exploring a bit, we had a great lunch, crab cake sandwich and Strawberry Daiquiris for Jen and I. Then Brian took us to Lomography ! This store was awesome and I have been craving a Diana camera, now that I know how awesome they really are (and inexpensive!) I am definitely needing to get one soon. Jen already has a Holga which she used on our trip so she was able to get some fun little accessories for it while we were there.

Soon it was time to say our goodbyes. He sent us off in a cab and we headed back to the airport. It was such a wonderful couple of days and I know we were both feeling nostalgic as we drove away from the city. It was just so wonderful to spend so much time with Mike after not seeing him for so long and even after a few hours we missed him already. With hundreds of photos taken, blisters on our feet, and a lot of new memories made we left feeling inspired but happy to get back to our (quite tiny in comparison) little Grand Rapids.

Can you believe this was the only cab we took?

You were a doll New York! Hopefully we'll be back soon!

PS. Our trip back to Michigan did not go nearly as smooth as our trip to New York. Our flight was actually so delayed we missed our connecting flight and spent the night in Wisconsin. A huge thank you to my wonderful Mother who put us up in a hotel for the night. We at least got a chance to get some sleep and eat some truly awesome pizza before heading back to the airport the next morning.
Ah, what an adventure it was.

New York, New York (pt. 3)

Our last full day in NYC started out with a little drama and a LOT of rain. Luckily the crisis was mainly averted and Mike, Jen and I headed out to brunch! This was one of the little things I was most excited for, delicious food with mimosas included. I'm in. On top of that, it was extra special because Mike's family and his best friend Lizz were here for a visit! There was so much love at our breakfast table.

Mike and Lizz

Jen and I plus breakfast mimosas. Mmm

So after we enjoyed breakfast Jen and I decided to spend the rainy day at the MoMA while Mike and his gang went off for their own adventures for the day.

Andy Warhol.

Typography exhibit!

Van Gosh's Starry Night.
Just as beautiful, but much smaller, than I had imagined.


Monet's Water Lillies.

After walking around the MoMA (and running on very little sleep) we were getting quite tired and the pouring rain outside didn't make it much better. So we decided to do a little shopping and grab a pretzel...which was probably the most disappointing thing we experienced in New York haha. But! We did have a lot of laughs trying to eat and hold our umbrellas and take photos at Rockefeller Center.

After checking out NBC Studios and Rockefeller Plaza we decided to get some dinner and happened upon the most authentic little Italian restaurant. I'm pretty sure everyone that came in that place was related to one another and the food definitely had that home-cooked meal appeal, perfect for a rainy Sunday evening. Afterwards we headed to Magnolia Bakery for some dessert. It was such a perfect way to end the night.

Vanilla with vanilla frosting.

Red velvet with buttercream.

We couldn't help but joke that we matched our cupcakes.

Even the packaging was lovely.

Our walk back to the subway to head to Mike's Brooklyn apartment lead us through Times Square one last time. Even through the drizzle the lights were breathtaking and I was glad we got to see it at night again before we left.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York, New York (pt. 2)

Miss Liberty in all her glory.

Saturday was definitely our most packed day here in New York. Mike didn't have to work which was great because he could spend the entire day with us! We decided to head down to the South Street Seaport for the day and it was such a good decision, us mid-westerners couldn't help but compare it to the Chicago Pier though!

South Street Seaport

They got the memo about the nautical theme.

Harbored ships

We decided to grab lunch at a brewery right on the street. I love local craft brews and a simple burger sounded great. I've got to hand it to you Heartland Brewery, we were not disappointed.

Summertime Apricot Ale.

Farmer Jon's Oatmeal Stout.

Turkey burger and fries.

From there we decided to walk along the water to get to the Staten Island ferry. Because Jen and I were only there a short amount of time we weren't able to get tickets to head over to Ellis Island and this was a simple (and free!) way to get as close to the Statue of Liberty as possible.

Governor's Island Ferry entry.

The Statue of Liberty
Just as inspirational as ever.

Our last part of the journey took us to Ground Zero and the new 9/11 tribute museum. This was something we knew we wanted to stop and see, despite the construction and there not being a whole lot to look at. I was actually in New York just a few months after 9/11 occurred and was able to see the walls and walls of flowers, photos, and everything memorial-wise that you can imagine. I know I was quite young but it was a very emotional visit and it being back there again definitely stirred up some feelings for me.

The current memorial installed.

Thank you to all those who risked their lives that day. God Bless.

From their we headed to SoHo (didn't I say it was a long day!) for window-shopping and dinner before heading back to Mike's apt. and getting ready for a night on the town. I don't think I have laughed that hard in a long long time. Let's just say there was a lot of dancing, running in the rain, 4 a.m. pizza, and as the four of us crawled into bed as the sun was rising we all agreed we had a great night.

Two days down, two to go!