Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Birdsnest

If you are looking for a nice little escape from NYC, somewhere you can just hop in the car and drive to, completely decompress from city living and get a feel for small town life, all while still making it back to the City in a couple hours, Hancock, NY is your place. A teeny, tiny town along the Delaware River, this hamlet boasts only one of everything you need. A bank, a video store, a library, a church and a bakery. The Bakery, as it is so aptly named, bakes the best bagels outside of Brooklyn.

You'll want to stay the night in this little village and you're in luck, because the perfect little place to rest is perched right on top of the bakery. It's called The Birdhouse and is as delightfully cozy and quirky as it sounds.

You enter and head up to the lofty space by way of these steps.

At the top you will be greeted by this welcoming hand, with a blessing for all who grace the entrance.

And then you will be come upon a light-filled hallway with doors to each suite.

My favorite is the Birdsnest. 

I love the compact cook's kitchen. 

The pristine bathroom, especially the tub.

And the sunny master bedroom.

The living room is such a bright, cozy place to sit and relax. 

And all the furnishings are salvaged antiques, a space decorated with an eye for sustainable, eco-friendly design.

When you are finally forced to leave in order to return to the hustle and bustle of the city, you will nevertheless, walk out refreshed and revitalized by your tranquil stay in these cozy quarters. Until, next time...

Organic Bath

There is nothing like taking a hot steamy bath, filled with herbs and floral oils, when it's a snowy 22 degrees outside. Bath time is so luxurious and a daily must for a life well-lived. Get in there, you must, and linger in a spacious tub, soaking up all the delicious bath treats added to the water. Lay back as the divine elixir envelopes you in its warmth and sensual aroma. Steep like a tea bag in all the herbs, dried flowers and salts dissolving about you.

Light a fire, too.

A very special bath treat is, EO Bath Salts, made with tangerine, coconut and vanilla essential oils and Himalayan sea salt to help alkalize the water.

Pour in some organic milk or add Storybook Farm's Soothing Soak potion with oatmeal, powdered milk, hops and lavender. The hops will make you feel so relaxed, as if you, too, are dissolving into the warm soapy water. Look for it at the lovely Stockton Market in NJ.

For lots of bubbles, use a delicious bubble bath like deep steep Tangerine Melon Honey Bubble Bath. The scent is so delightful and the creamy texture, so wonderful!

And last, but not least, pour in some Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap for the most amazingly refreshing fragrance of minty goodness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The New Brooklyn

When is was seven years old, my family moved to Brooklyn from Chesapeake, VA. We were to spend a few years there while my father pastored at a local Baptist church. I cried for almost two months straight every night as I lay in my brooklyn bed trying to fall asleep but instead drenched in a dizzying melancholy for the lost evenings of southern living, the sounds of crickets and still country air replaced by the din of sirens and choking exhaust fumes. Contrary to the popular slogan, I hated New York. Particularly, the Crown Heights Brooklyn neighborhood, we now called home. Luckily, by the end of  our first year in the big apple, I was pretty well settled in and actually came to love the walks with my brother to the corner pizzeria for a fat slice and an Italian ice. After all those years, I can't believe I choose to come and live in Brooklyn and also how much the city has changed.

My siblings and I went to school at the old Brooklyn Armory, which was then the independent African school, Uhuru Sasa. The area surrounding Flatbush is fast becoming gentrified and filling up with trendy shops and restaurants. One of my favorite spots to grace the BK is Habana Outpost. Only open during the warmer months, this pavilion of local artists, musicians and foods is a true gem.

Another Fort Greene charm is The Greene Grape. I love the Olive Bread here and the fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is a so rich with performances, exhibits and shows.

Walking along Flatbush Avenue towards the Brooklyn Public Library provides a grand tour of the chic restaurant invasion. Not long ago, this strip was home to many a mom and pop caribbean joint. Not so much now.

Don't misunderstand. I am not being a hater. I love all the choices that abound. Even though the merits of a good chana roti can never be denied. Now we have Thai.



Local and Organic.

And Fair Trade.

The gates of Prospect Park have never felt so, well...full of prospect.

With the Botanical Gardens just up the road and all the wonder inside its expanse.

This library, the one I frequented so many days with my family as a little girl, still packs a huge punch of welcoming glory.

Coming back to an historic Brooklyn brownstone after a day out on the streets is always a treat. Add to that a fresh salad with the local greens scored today and you have a perfect day in the new Brooklyn, sans tears.


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