Goodness, this week just ran away from me. Tell me, how on earth is it Thursday? I could swear that yesterday was Monday. Wait, that also means that today is...July?! Perhaps this is how commentary-style posts happen. Or, more likely, I get ideas for posts and when I sit down to write, I realize that what I have to say is a little more abbreviated than I first suspected. Or, it could be laziness (or the latest Stephenie Meyer book I've been reading - I'm not going to pretend she's some literary savant, but she knows how to write addictively; I think it has something do with main characters who serve as vessels for the readers).
First, Penny wants to make sure to communicate her thanks to all who voted in Arlington's Cutest Dog contest. You probably have guessed by now that she did not win, but we did have some fun, and our friend Dustin's comments on the contest link, baiting some of the dog crazies out there, were both hilarious and appreciated. I love my dog, but some people need to get some perspective. Penny provided that perspective this week when she had a little slip and fall. She injured her hip, but with treatment of anti-inflammatories, seems to be doing much better. That said, there is nothing as pathetically heart-wrenching as cries of pain from a puppy. Penny, like many Berners, hides her pain as to not upset her humans. So, we knew she must have been in some serious distress last weekend when she winced at almost every vertical movement. It was a rough few days, and frankly, I surprised C and I both by being the strong one. Everything seems fine now, but it was a reminder to cherish the ones we love, including our canines.
Ok, on to more lighthearted fare...
Have been exploring the neighborhood a little more recently, and discovering some uncharted territory. Grabbed lunch at Caribbean Breeze, which is literally steps from our door, but never beckoned us in before. Their Cuban sandwich was pleasant enough. I would have enjoyed a higher alcohol content in the Sangria, but it was tasty. Enough motivation for a repeat visit. Also tried Pupatella's new bricks and mortar location. The pie is as good as ever, though I was struck by just how delicious their cart offerings (prepared, basically, in a glorified toaster oven) can be when compared to this mortgage-worthy brick oven. Point being, the Pupatella folks can make a tasty pizza, no matter what kitchen they are using. One welcome addition - their risotto balls are crazy good. Their new pizza box is obviously worth pointing out as well. How adorable.
I guess I'm a little more mainstream than I thought. Media outlets covered the heck out the opening of Harry Potter Land (properly referred to as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter). But it was one of my favorites, IEatDC, and MSNBC that appropriately covered the amusement park cuisine (including, Butterbeer, the fantasy food I've been looking forward to most). This Muggle, for one, is really excited for her December trip to the park (the inlaws have agreed to accompany us to Orlando so babysitting services are available while mommy and daddy are kids at heart). Until then, C and I are putting down wagers on how long until Universal recognizes the potential lost profits in limiting sales of Butterbeer to the park.
At last, I tried myself a Rebel Heroes Banh Mi last week. Tasty, and with a nice kick, and in my uninformed opinion, authentic compared to its Eden Center competitors. But, for the wait (not sure why it takes quite so long for a sandwich not cooked to order) and convenience, I'm inclined to go with a Sauca. I really enjoyed their buffalo chicken, with a little dill sauce, this week.
For those who have been following my gardening adventure, I'm guessing you are starting to wonder where those sprouts are at this point. Well...It seems our sprinklers were reaching every part of our yard, but for my garden row (Our lovely neighbor fixed the system. We live amongst retired folks, not quite as exciting as these people, but they still have lots of time on their hands). Thus, the zucchini and peas have dried out. I just planted a new basil plant, and I'm planning to pick up a tomato plant to put in the ground as well. My silver-haired garden guru at work tells me that I still have time.
While perhaps not in my garden, elsewhere, it's that point in the season where produce really starts hitting it's summer stride. I love it. My Washington's Green Grocer bounty this week includes dandelion greens, blueberries, peaches, corn, and other good stuff - I'll have to try out their roasted beet and blueberry salad - looks soooo good. I made sauteed ocra with tomato sauce for dinner tonight while the carnivore is on a golf trip. It was yummy, but better with a baguette.
A portion of this week's produce haul will soon be baby food as well; likely apples, green beans, and brown rice cereal (following up on carrots, peaches, and oatmeal from last week). I kept hearing about stage one and two baby foods, and feeling like a bit of an incompetent mother because I did not know the difference. I also kept second guessing myself thinking that I was either nearly poisoning my kid (no, he did not turn blue after having spinach - I went organic, which is supposed to reduce the nitrates), or feeding him too much, or not giving him balanced nutrients. I'm pretty sure that half of motherhood is second guessing yourself. As it turns out, it was a good idea that I buy a book about baby nutrition - it's difficult to figure all of this out on our own; some guidance is helpful.
When did St. Louis get cool? Not when I lived there. (Ok, the microbrews were there at the time - Schafly: thumbs up; Boulevard: thumbs waaayyy down).
Evidently, having shut down ten blocks worth of left turns off of Pennsylvania Avenue six weeks ago, the bike lanes are finally officially open. While this may not be the most popular point of view out there, I'm not happy. With Independence Avenue and Ohio Drive closed to traffic, it's all but impossible to get west in a vehicle after 5 pm. With Metro unsustainable, if I believed that the lanes would actually increase bike ridership or prevent cyclists from attempting to be vehicles, I would throw my support behind the concept. However, I think this is just an attempt to make a program look like it's making a difference, rather than actually doing so. Once in a while (once in a greater while, now that I have daycare stops in my commute), I bike to work. I stick to trails and error on the side of sidewalks rather than competing with cars. That doesn't seem to be the general custom, and I don't think these lanes are going to help anything. Maybe I'm just being selfish, but I don't think I'm alone in this view.
The aforementioned commute will soon be taking me to a different building.We are supposedly moving into the building in which Buddha Bar is housed. Early reviews don't paint a happy picture for that particular prospect, but other foodie destinations (in the City Vista building) are within the block, including the much-talked-about Kushi, Taylor Gourmet, and Busboys and Poets. I went on a recon mission and was intrigued by the idea of $6 parking lots, Henry's Soul Cafe ("Home of the Sweet Potato Pie" - yes, please), and both CVS and Harris Teeter (that's a new food frontier, easy groceries and pharmacy pick-up at work). Unfortunately, also during my mission, I noticed that the men leering from vehicles quotient is particularly high in this block as well. Any other notes on my new professional hood?
Must point out the recent trend of aesthetically-pleasing Sams in the foodie world. Sadly, the Sam Adams brewers don't count.
Speaking of swoon, though not his recent wiki photo, this post was originally scheduled for Monday (the title also worked better when it was mind-numbingly hot), John Cusack's birthday. Well, I'm a little late, but happy birthday every nerdy late-twenties to thirties something girl's dream. What's your favorite of his films? I vote for his take on serial killer for hire Martin Blank in Grosse Pointe Blank.