Forgotten Places: Ebbets Field

I came across this the other day.  At first I thought it was just a gimmick, but then I noticed the watchtower just inside the wall and that’s really not necessary for an apartment building.  So I snapped a photo, and when I got home, had Wikipedia confirm that this really was what was left of the old stomping ground of the Dodgers, where Jackie Robinson made his legend.  And now it’s just an odd-looking remnant in a quiet neighborhood.

Brooklyn remains of Ebbets Field crop

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Memorial Day

I love three-day weekends. They allow me to get close to 100% of the things I plan to do done vs. my usual 50%, so I always feel like I accomplished something. This weekend I planned on a mega cleanout of the duplex: wiping down all surfaces, mopping (well Swiffer-ing) the floors, vacuuming, doing 2 loads of laundry, and washing the litter mat and litter box. I also was able to restock on cat food (and people food), visit the library and, most importantly, catch up on sleep. I even got myself some flowers.

The one wrinkle is that the kitty managed to slip out the door without his leash Sunday evening and I had to chase him all over creation. He managed to climb two trees at one point, causing me to get all scraped up climbing after him.

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I did catch the naughty creature, but still was not happy with him for his general lack of sympathy to my cursing and blood loss. So yesterday I made him dress up for our fallen soldiers in retaliation. I keep telling Mango if he will just accept how cute he looks in a tie I can’t use it against him anymore, but he doesn’t listen…

With Spring comes the Shedding

I have a soft, rather squishy spot for cats. Among many many other things, I like the fuzz. I will deal with the vacuuming and the lint rolling and everything else as long as I can skritch the little kitty faces and occasionally bury my face in their belly floof.

(justtwomorethings, who is unfortunately allergic, will often look at me in horror. so do the kitties, but they run the rest of my life so just allow me the floof, ok?)

But with spring comes warmer weather and the shedding. Mango is a shorthaired kitty, thank god, because this is what I pulled off of him yesterday.

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And that was one brushing!

April Showers bring May Flowers

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Literally, as there was a ton of flooding last month and this month is bursting with blooms. I love spring here, it almost makes up for the slog of the winter months. In my backyard there are two (two!) huge lilacs, one purple and one white, as well as several patches of lovely violets and assorted other wildflowers. Pity the kitty is color-blind and can’t see all that I can…

Trip: New Orleans Jazz Fest, Part IV (The Fest)

Day One (Friday): Really disjointed.  I’ve never been to an outdoor music festival before, although I’ve been to outdoor festivals.  I guess the major difference is, music fans are way, way more rabid, and therefore ready to invade your personal space, than people who go to state fairs or renfairs or art fairs or food fairs.  Also, it had been raining for several days and only let up Friday afternoon, and Jazz Fest was in a horse-racing track.  So, horse-shit smelling mud that could suck you in up to the knee if you weren’t careful, and of course, the closer you were to the stage, the deeper it was.  I came prepared to ditch my sneakers afterward, but I wasn’t expecting that I would have to throw them out only after the first day.

More from a slightly shell-shocked first-timer

Trip: New Orleans Jazz Fest, Part III (Food)

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Food!  Food!  Foodfoodfoodfood, oh, God, I’m still having indigestion.  But it was worth it.

Pictured:

Muriel’s: Blackened redfish with crawfish tails, double-cut pork chops that were incredibly juicy and tender and salty-savory (more like a good ham than a chop), and a purple sunrise cocktail (not pictured, on the fruity side but well-balanced).  Found out later it’s haunted, but did not see a thing when we were there.

Café du Monde: Beignets and frozen café au lait.  Beignets, hot, crisp exteriors with airy interiors, just a magical kind of fried happiness, are my strongest memory of my first visit to this city.  Still so good.  The café au lait was really blended fine, ice particles that melted before you could crunch with your teeth.  Also, conveniently close to the French Market where we did some quick souvenir shopping (or Bourbon Street, which we walked through, quickly, just so we could say we went there, because it is still icky tourist).

Willie Mae’s Scotch House: Amazing fried chicken.  The breast meat was dripping juice.  The good, lick-your-chin kind of greasy.  And a breading that went crunchsaltcrunch that you dream about for hours later.  Also, the homemade lemonade is real, legit homemade, tangy instead of over-sugared, and the sweet peas are really good, too.  Fried okra (not pictured) was a bit of a let-down.  It was fried fine, just nothing special flavor-wise.

Cochon: Spicy oysters roasted over a wood fire, popping briny and warm and delicious in your mouth.  Fried boudin balls were less good, the spice level keeping me from assessing the other flavors in the mix, but those pickled peppers were awesome.  Gumbo was fine, nothing standout, and the fried alligator was like every other alligator I’ve tried: stringy and tough.  Stick with the oysters.

Roosevelt Hotel: Sazerac tasted like a Sazerac should taste.  I’ve had more exciting twists on it, but you go here for the standard and that’s what you get.  The shrimp and grits paired plump, spicy shrimp with smooth, cream-cheesy grits, while the cochon benedict suffered somewhat from really dry pulled pork.

Not pictured (either because it was too dark for the camera, or I was too busy drinking to bother snapping photos):

Trip: New Orleans Jazz Fest, Part II (Non-Fest Doings)

We hit up some of the historical landmarks in town, including the old Ursuline Convent, the Cabildo and Arsenal (not pictured, and sadly, since the Arsenal had a really cool exhibit on early proto rock ‘n roll acts in New Orléans, and their somewhat forgotten part in creating rock music), and most of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 before we got rained out.  Also, a couple more cool local details, like horse-headed iron street posts and sidewalk tiles spelling out street names (not limited to the French Quarter).  Lastly, we wanted a taste of the local music scene, and as the Jazz Fest itself ends oddly early for an outdoor festival, with the last acts finishing around 7 PM, we hit up Frenchmen Street Friday night.  It was buzzy and jumping, with an alleyway crafts market over there, a brass band busking on the corner here, and music pouring out of every club.  We caught the end of the TBC Brass Band‘s act in some club that I can’t remember except that it was one of the few that didn’t charge cover, and I wish we’d happened on it earlier [Edit: Vaso’s!  I did remember to note it in my phone’s memo app.  Bless smartphones].  I would’ve happily paid to see the whole thing–a little rough and ready, but with true verve.