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Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History

February 5, 2012



The Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History is just about the most fun thing to do to rid your winter blues. Thousands of different butterflies from all over the globe live in an 80°F glass conservatory within the museum for you to discover. The museum keeps the insects at all stages of their lives. You can see pupae shipped from butterfly farms in Florida, just hatched butterflies, and mature adult butterflies zinging around the plants. The volunteers are especially knowledgable and can tell you all about what you’re seeing from how butterflies have tiny velcro-like claws (this is how they “stick” to glass) to giving you a magnifying glass to see their proboscis tongue dip into a flower to get nectar. If you stand still for long enough and wear a brightly colored shirt they will certainly come to rest on your outstretched hand. Some people even had butterflies on their head!

The American Museum of Natural History is open daily, 10:00 am-5:45 pm. Admission to the conservatory is every 15 minutes and you can stay in their as long as you like (dress lightly because it’s very warm and humid in there!). Tickets are $25 for adults and $14.5o for children. You can buy tickets in advance online here.


Wave Hill Public Gardens, Bronx, NY

January 29, 2012

You would be surprised to discover what lies a short train ride outside of the city. WaveHill is a public garden and historic house (built in 1843 and host to Mark Twain and Teddy Roosevelt among others) in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. This public park is more than just a park with beautiful views, it is a breeding ground for unique plant specimens and host to an annual gala attended by Martha Steward and The Horticultural Society. The grounds contain a green house full of succulents and wild irises, an alpine house with the most curious bonsai, a lily pond aquatic garden, shade garden walk and a flower garden in the summer. Even in winter the garden is bursting with color: yellow and red holly bushes, orange berries dripping off trees like grapes, tiny yellow flowers on bushes…

The main house on the grounds has been closed for renovation for the past three years as they are completely updating the interior and creating a new cafe space. Glyndor Gallery is home to studios for working artists who draw inspiration from the grounds and views. On my visit I met with an artist creating beautiful paper cuts of flowers and a watercolor artist who painted fantastical impressions of the greenhouse.

WaveHill is perfect for a lazy afternoon. They have sunset Wednesdays in the summer when they keep the garden open late so you can pick up a burger and eat on the lawn and watch the sunset to the tune of live music. In the winter, it’s a good place to go for a walk and then get a hot chocolate from the food truck nearby.

Admission is $8 for non-members and includes full access to the grounds. Open Tuesday–Sunday, April 15–October 14: 9am–5:30pm; October 15–April 14: 9am–4:30pm. Visit their website for more information and directions. There is a free shuttle from the Metro North Riverdale station. 

La Duree opens in New York!

September 1, 2011

The line was one hour long...

Here I was thinking that the only way I’d ever get good macarons save going to Paris was to sneakily route all my flights through Charles de Gaulle so I could hit up the La Duree stand in the international terminal… No longer! La Duree is opening today on 71st and Madison and I couldn’t be more excited. While Financier was a reliable second place candidate with locations all over the city, La Duree is just so much more beautiful and who can resist their packaging? The macarons will be shipped directly from Paris and apparently they are opening a tea room some time in the near future!

The NYTimes has covered the store opening (it was supposed to open on August 26 but was delayed by the hurricane).

864 Madison Avenue (71st Street). Open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6.

Emergency macaron stop in Charles de Gaulle...

Rooftop Gardens

August 12, 2011

I can’t believe it has only been a few weeks since I first planted these baby lettuce on my roof. It seems the daily dose of sunshine, generous watering every other day and weekly fertilizer has been just what they needed! I was afraid when I first planted them that they wouldn’t do well since the soil is very old and the boxes were neglected and full of weeds so I’m really glad to see that they weren’t that picky. I found some great organic fertilizer, Neptune’s Harvest, that uses fish and seaweed to feed the microbes in the soil. They have the cutest instructional videoson their website. Now my only problem is how to use all this extra basil I have! You can see my first attempt beyond the typical pesto in my spicy noodles with cashews and basil.

Bespoke Bicycles

February 10, 2011

Bespoke Bicycles, 64-B Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

While wandering through Fort Greene the other weekend after attending the American Ballet Theater’s wonderful performance of The Nutcracker, I stumbled upon this beautiful bike shop. Now, I would hardly describe most bike shops as beautiful, but this one stands out. Their vintage logo, selection of pastel hued rides and vast assortment of saddle bags and accessories made me actually excited about the prospect of owning a bike. Although the store is tiny, they make up for it with their service and if yelp reviews are to be trusted, it is great service. Also, their “About Us” page on the owner and bike team is hilarious. Oh to be able to pick up groceries on this celery green ride…

Clockwise from top left: Pashley, Poppy, your classic princess bike; Civia, Loring, for groceries, about town and picnics!; Raleigh, Eva 2.0, a hard core functional, yet sweet mountain bike

A look back at 2010…

January 3, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 40 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 87 posts. There were 60 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 16mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 8th with 66 views. The most popular post that day was Recipes.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for century association, paris theater new york, the paris theatre new york, and otomi embroidery.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Recipes March 2009


Entrees April 2009
1 comment


About March 2009


The Gentlewoman May 2010


The Paris Theater May 2010

One of a Kind New York

November 16, 2010

One of a Kind New York is an annual craft show that hosts over 200 artists from all over the country for two weekends in New York to help you find your perfect holiday gifts. The show is highly selective in terms of the artists accepted and run by the trade show producer MMPI, which also manages the Architectural Digest Home Design Show (sadly, not fun for me when I visited two years ago so I’m hoping this is better) and Art Chicago (a contemporary art expo) among other things.

After viewing the floor plan, I am excited that Etsy will be there with a booth of some of their best gifts and there are so many other artists I have never heard about (including Gilded Lace, a beautiful jeweler  with pieces made from 20th century lace dipped in gold and Feel Handmade, a husband and wife design team that makes handmade leather goods). I am most excited about Rogue Confections, which probably wins the prize for most frivolous yet beautiful stocking stuffer for the year. They make handmade pure Belgian chocolate with prints of famous paintings (or even your own image). On top of getting all your gifts in one go, there are also wrapping and mailing stations to help you get them out to your family on time!

Some of the artists at One of a Kind New York (clockwise from top middle): Feel Handmade, Gilded Lace, Sarah Wood Scarves, Rogue Confections, Lois Aranow Porcelain, Anna Ruth Henriques Jewelry.

One of  Kind New York is located in Midtown at 7 W 34th Street at 5th Avenue (directly across from the Empire State Building). I missed last weekend but this weeks hours are:

Thursday, November 18 12 pm – 9 pm
Friday, November 19 11 am – 8 pm
Saturday, November 20 11 am – 7 pm
Sunday, November 21 11 am – 5 pm