Category Archives: My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things – The Organized Chaos That Is New York

Be it daytime…

Signs in Midtown


Signs in Little Italy

Or Evening…

TSQ Brasserie

This is my kind of chaos!

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Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, New York, photography

My Favorite Things – Love, Hearts and All Things Cupid in the Big Apple

It’s cold and wintry in New York City, but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, things just might start to heat up!

hearts in the snow bank

At the Hudson Cafe you and your sweetie can grab a romantic table for two…

Hudson Cafe

Or head south of the border for some Mexican food at Móle!

Mole restaurant in the Village

Curious sweets are on sale here…

Curious window

And you’ll find lots of curiosities here!

Valentines window Upper West Side

Caliente?  The equation couldn’t be simpler!

Muy Caliente

(♥ + 2)

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My Favorite Things – A Behind the Scenes Look at the Elite World that is New York City Ballet

This past Monday – a very icy and frigidly cold night – my husband and I trekked across town to attend the movie premier of Ballet 422, a documentary featuring the creation of a new ballet by New York City Ballet’s resident choreographer and corp dancer Justin Peck.  The movie is officially opening in theaters on February 6th and you can watch the trailer here:

As a long term substitute musician at the ballet, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know more and more of the dancers and staff in the company.  At the premier, I was sitting between my husband (yes, that’s him conducting the orchestra in the trailer above) and Ballet Master, Albert Evans.  Albert, who seems pretty beloved by the dancers, is a sweetheart; he also happens to have some of the funniest lines in the film.

The enthusiasm, hard work and passion that the dancers display day in and out is quite infectious.  And it’s always a delight to see the ways in which they evolve and mature on stage.

(By the way, if you’re curious to see more of Justin Peck’s work, you’re in luck.  His newest ballet – to the music of Aaron Copland’s Rodeo, Four Dance Episodes – premiers tonight.  You can purchase tickets here.)

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Filed under art, motivation, My Favorite Things, New York

After the Snow (The 2015 Blizzard That Wasn’t)

Yes, New York City (fortunately) escaped the worst of the recent blizzard.  

And so, there’s been lots of grumbling from more than a few folk about the precautionary measures the Mayor took.

sad snowman

Central Park snowman 2015

Today it’s back to work for everyone…

broken sled

lost boots

I, for one, enjoyed my mini-break.  Toodle-oo!

Funny snow tree man

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My Favorite Things – Shabby Chic Meets Retro Glam

I’m in a bit of a retro mood these days…or, maybe I’m just looking for excuses to glam things up a bit.  Witness my latest purchase – an antique crystal flower pin which I bought in Ohio for a mere ten dollars.

retro pin

And just where does one wear baubles like this?  I wasn’t sure at first, until I picked up a black wool cloche hat from a street vendor on Columbus Avenue yesterday.

Et voila!

Joana in cloche hat

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Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, New York

My Favorite Things – In My Mom’s Kitchen

Because being home with my mom is always a good thing!

A paper lantern glows against house plants (my mom has a very green thumb) on the kitchen table…

Architectural watercolors lantern with flowers

While homemade cinnamon buns for tomorrow morning are rising on the stove…

cinnamon rolls rising

And my dad (in a much younger incarnation) joins us from his perch on the window sill.

cancelled train ticket with brick a brac


Filed under My Favorite Things, photography, travel

My Favorite Things – An Afternoon Break for Christmas Cookies

I’ve been doing a lot of baking recently, but (to my husband’s great disappointment) most of the cookies have gone immediately from the oven into the freezer.  However, now that I’ve given away the designated batches, I’m declaring it “open season” on the remaining cookies.  And today I actually made two more batches to augment what was beginning to look like meager leftovers.

Ooey, gooey, chocolate-y and melt-in-your- sweet, Honey Nut Yummies are a perennial staple on my Christmas cookie list…

Honey Nut Yummies

And here’s the recipe:


1 cup shortening

1/2 cup honey

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup  chopped nuts

Cream honey and shortening.  Add in flour and salt and mix well. Add vanilla, chopped nuts and chocolate chips to dough mixture.  Drop dough in rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake in moderate oven (350°) for 10 minutes.  While still warm, roll in confectioner’s sugar.


Filed under education, My Favorite Things