Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

Posts tagged ‘food’

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As a member of the Etsy New York Team, a group of local Etsy sellers, I contributed a post to the team blog about my pasta-making experience in Rome while I was on vacation in April. My parents and I planned the trip together and learning the secrets of creating fresh pasta was on the top of our list for our time in Italy. We had heard about Bonappetour.com as a way to find and reserve in-home cooking and dining experiences abroad and we booked an evening with Francesca through the site.

The evening was a fun and delicious way to get to know a local Roman as well as learn more about Italy’s most-beloved specialty: freshly made pasta. My post on the EtsyNY blog went up on Monday, you may read it here. 

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In this post, I’m sharing some fun activities and restaurants near Brooklyn Collective, a shop with a supercool variety of wares made by independent artists. I am lucky enough to have my artwork for sale there from July until the end of September. If you’re going to visit, then stick around the ‘hood and explore. Cobble Hill is a neighborhood with waterfront access, community gardens, elegant brownstones, destination eateries, old store fronts, tree-lined streets, modern architecture, and loads of charm.

My hand-drawn map will show you the way to spend a whole day exploring…. Take the ferry to Governor’s island in the afternoon, stop at the store on your return trip, then have dinner in the evening. Have lunch or brunch, learn a craft or an instrument, and pick up a birthday gift at the shop … there are so many more great businesses and restaurants that I couldn’t show all of them!

BC-map

Brooklyn Collective is located at 212 Columbia St., between Union and Sackett Sts. Their hours are: Thursday-Saturday, 12-7; Sundays 12-6. A tip for getting over to the store from the Carroll Street subway station is to stay on Union or Sackett, they are the closest streets that cross over the highway.

1. Carroll Park and Playground // Bordered by Smith, Carroll, President, and Court Streets
The park occupies an entire block and includes a playground, sprinklers, basketball and bocce courts, a baseball diamond, picnic tables, and public restrooms.

2. Ferry to Governor’s Island and Pier 6 // Western end of Flatbush Avenue
Governor’s Island has something for everyone: interactive art exhibits, bike rentals, picnic grounds, food vendors, music and dance events, historical sites, and great views of lower Manhattan, New York Harbor, and the Statue of Liberty. The Brooklyn ferry only runs on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day, and Labor Day from May 23 through September 27 (2015 season).
Pier 6 hosts Smorgasburg on Sundays, offers semi-permanent outposts for other food vendors, lawns for picnicking and relaxing, volleyball courts, a dog park, playgrounds, public restrooms, and a pathway that connects to the other piers along the Brooklyn waterfront.

3. Brooklyn Farmacy // 513 Henry Street
Check out this old school soda fountain housed in a former apothecary store. The “Strawberry Fields” ice cream soda is my personal favorite.

4. Lucali // 575 Henry Street
A candle-lit pizzeria serving up excellent thin-crust brick-oven pies; BYOB. They do not take reservations, so it’s best to get onto the guest list at the door early in the evening, before 6 p.m.

5. Ferdinando’s Focacceria // 151 Union Street
At Ferdinando’s you’ll find classic Sicilian pasta dishes and delicate arancina. Closed on Sundays.

6. Mazzola Bakery // 192 Union Street
There are many Italian bakeries nearby, but Mazzola is the neighborhood favorite. There are cookies, biscotti, pastries, cakes, and a variety of breads … which makes it difficult to decide what to bring home!

7. Brooklyn General Store // 128 Union Street
If you’ve been itching to knit, crochet, sew, or craft with fiber, this is the place for you. The store offers plenty of supplies, instructional books, and classes, as well as a selection of ready-made gifts and clothing.

8. Jalopy Theater and School of Music // 315 Columbia Street
Listen to music or learn to make it at this roots-music venue. Check their website for shows which are scheduled almost every night of the week and for more information about instrument classes for kids or adults.

9. Pok Pok // 117 Columbia Street
This Michelin-starred, authentic Southeast-Asian restaurant is a popular foodie destination originating from Portland, Oregon; reservations are recommended.

10. Freebird Books and Goods // 123 Columbia Street
At Freebird’s you’ll find used books, many specializing in New York history. Check their website for notice of readings, book clubs, and workshops. Open on weekends only.

11. Alma // 187 Columbia Street
Get a table on the roof-top patio with expansive views of the Manhattan skyline and dine on Mexican fare.

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foodietoos8-readSince the warm temperatures are with us once again, I’d like to remind everyone that sharing your love of food with one of my Foodietoos (temporary tattoos) is fun and entertaining! They are a conversation-starter at any barbeque or picnic. Just think: You could wear the Foodietoo equivalent of an ingredient in the salad or snack that you brought to the party! Wear “Lucky Kale” and bring a Kale Caesar Salad. Curate an artisinal cheese and charcuterie board with “Quel Fromage” on your arm. Procure laughs and paninis while displaying “Gluten Forever.” Foodietoos are the perfect summer accessory.

I have also expanded the line to include greeting cards which have Foodietoos attached as gifts for the recipients. There is a “Gluten Forever” love card (inside greeting: I love you more than carbs themselves.), and two birthday cards, one features “Quel Fromage” (inside greeting: Yep, it’s another birthday. But at least there’s cheese!) and the other, “Lucky Kale” (inside greeting: Wishing you lots of love, luck, and greens this year.”).

I created my line of Foodietoos during the summer months of 2014, and in mid-August they first became available to customers. Now I have been selling them for about 9 months via the The Nancydraws Shop, and at a few craft shows I’ve attended during that time. With this project I’ve been able to show my talent of combining words and images while sharing my sense of humor at the same time. It has been so enjoyable to hear laughter and positive comments at the craft shows or after I show them to people that I have met. These reactions are just as affirming, if not more so, as when someone makes a purchase!

So, check them out in The Nancydraws Shop! The tattoos are available individually or in a set of eight: Nuts-Seeds-Snacker, Lucky Kale, Love-Death-Yogurt, Gluten Forever, Honeycrisp Apple Cult, Love Links, Quel Fromage, and Quinoa Queen.

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A Brooklyn sunset.

A Brooklyn sunset.

My yoga teacher shared something with me before class on Wednesday that really made my week! First, let me explain that earlier this year I came up with an experiment to leave copies of my artwork in public for strangers to find as a nice surprise. I printed my email address and website on the back in hopes that they’d also send me a note to say a little something about themselves or maybe even take an interest in this blog or my Etsy shop.

(You can read more about where I left my art work at this post: “Free Art! Turban Lady Edition.”) I also left copies of my Colson Patisserie artwork with the owner to give to random customers one day.

I didn’t have the highest hopes of getting any return on my gestures since I began with the concept of “giving back” and seeing if anything happened. If not, I was OK with the belief that someone found one and liked it.

So, this week my yoga instructor, Grace, said that after reading my blog post about the afternoon I met up with my friends to find hiding places for the artwork, she was inspired to give back in her own way and is planning a free yoga class in exchange for a food or other donation to a local community pantry. I just love knowing that my actions in some way helped someone else think of their own way to give back. I think this kind of action and reaction happens regardless of whether or not we know about it and more frequently than we realize, but knowing definitely brings me hope and reassurance!

Would you like to give back? How would you like to do it?

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