I put the photo above on Flickr six weeks ago. Unrelated subject header of spam sent to me today: "Bin Laden Denounces Inclusion on Worst Dressed List" Unrelated: Why was this story news? Unrelated and impossibly charming:Björk explains how television sets work.
In honor of my neighborhood appearing on the map I thought it was time for a block update. From top to bottom:
1. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market - According to the Daily News, the Harlem Market is moving. The market was established during the Guiliani administration as a way to get street vendors off of 125th St. and give them training on how to run a business. 125th is still filled with vendors. The vast majority of business at the market appears to be from Quebec and Ontario bus tours. Anyway, the market is being downsized and moved to 125th and Park (I'll leave it to astute real estate observers to recall what vacant space exists there). Some vendors will be opening businesses along 116th. There was no word on what will be replacing the market.
2. 1405 Fifth Avenue - This has been an empty lot, actually three empty lots, for years. The lots are going to be replaced by an eight-story, 81-unit building for low- to middle-income residents. The building will front Fifth Avenue as well as 115th and 116th streets, and will include over 8000 square feet of retail space. Note: that link is wonky if you look at it via Firefox on a Mac.
3. The Kalahari - Still going up! The giant crane is bringing materials up to the ninth floor this week. The ninth floor is set back and has terraces. Sadly, the construction blog never really took off.
4. Malcolm Shabazz Court - Almost done. 37 studio- to 2-bedroom rental apartments for middle income tenants. Rents will range from $1045 to $1810. Amenities include a "Multi-purpose room with flat screen TV, game tables and billards". There will also be 1600 square feet of retail space. Deadline for applications has passed.
The card above arrived in the mail last week. I must admit to being intrigued by what appeared to be a suburban townhouse. It offered a lot more space, an extra 1.5 bathrooms, and a 2-car garage. If it were in Bergen or Rockland counties I might have to check it out.
The location wasn't exactly clear on the other side of the card. Euclid Ave. caught my eye on the tiny map. Cleveland? But this Euclid Ave. was running north-south and not running parallel to an unseen Lake Erie.
Then I saw the highway marked 805. This is in California. National City, a suburb of San Diego. Right here, at the triangle formed by Euclid, Division and Beta to be exact. That little area is being turned into 43 single-family detached residences, which, by the way, used to be known as houses, called Tremont Courts. The new houses will be about half the size of the houses on the Google map.
To qualify for the $20,000 in savings you have to buy by the end of the month. I wonder how many cards they sent to New York, and how many recipients of those cards flew out to San Diego and bought a new house?
The first batch of pancakes my mother would cook us when I was a kid would often turn out not-so-great. They would taste perfectly fine, but aesthetically they weren't up to her standards. As she hit her pancake-making groove on the second, third and fourth batches she would become excited. "Beauties," mom would say, "look at these beauties!"
Did you know that Tuesday was National Pie Day? The members of the American Pie Council want us to eat more pie, so they've designated January 23rd as a day "dedicated to the celebration of pie". I only found out about this great occasion Tuesday afternoon, which only left me a short time to make a pie.
I've been wanting to make an old-style pie using a recipe from one of my Amish or Shaker cookbooks for a while. Since I had made applesauce a few days ago, an applesauce pie seemed in order. The recipe below comes from "New Recipes from Quilt Country" by Marcia Adams. It is a really easy pie to make, especially if you use Pillsbury's roll-out pie dough.
By the way, the book appears to be out of print. Amazon has new and used copies for sale from individual sellers. The list price of the book is $30. Used copies are going for $36.69, while new copies start around $99. I wonder how much I could get for my autographed copy?
Pastry for a 1-crust 9-inch pie 2 eggs 1 c sugar (or, 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c boiled cider, see below) 2 TBS flour 1 tsp ground nutmeg 1 stick butter, melted 1 c unsweetened applesauce 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 TBS lemon juice (Optional, if applesauce is very sweet. I didn't use.)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry.
1a. The original recipe called for a cup of white sugar. I decided to go half-and-half with boiled cider for a more intense apple flavor. Boiled cider can be made ahead of time. Boil two cups of cider (not juice!) down to half a cup. Let cool.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar(s), flour and nutmeg. In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly until combined. Add sugar mixture to eggs and blend. Add melted butter, applesauce, vanilla and lemon juice (if using) and using a spoon gently combine until just mixed. Don't use a blender or food processor that will introduce a lot of air to the mixture.
3. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until top of pie is golden brown. Cool completely on a rack before serving.
Variation: Substituting light brown sugar for the white would make this like an apple-chess pie. Whipped cream or vanilla or maple-walnut ice creams would make excellent toppings.
The trilobite and tiny executives at the top was the center of the holiday display this year. The animals were arranged symmetrically from there until I ran out of space on the railings. There were dinosaurs, birds, frogs and turtles on the main railing. Another railing had mammals. The horrified B-movie victims were a Christmas gift from my sister and were added later.
I don't normally buy whole milk, but I couldn't pass up Cream-O-Land's milk from real cows. There's no indication on the package that the milk is organic, or the cows free of growth hormones. The quart only cost 93 cents, so I assume this is generic milk from factory farm cows.
Those bags of polyester fiber snow contain a lot of snow. I had barely used any of it on the winter scene so I decorated another table. After all the spiders were on it I thought, "that is one creepy decoration".
The little yellow things aren't spider egg sacs. They are orange-flavored sponge candies. They were also eggy and the texture was just wrong. I can't say I'll buy them again.