Cloud City at the Met


The weather has been wonderful here the past few nights, prompting us to go take in the evening skyline and see the new rooftop exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year, the exhibit is Tomás Saraceno’s “Cloud City,” made of up stacking and interlocking geometric shapes. As always, the people-watching was half the fun–especially watching the people watch themselves in the mirrored surfaces. (I have to admit, we snapped a few self-portraits from time to time, too.) And you can climb up into the piece with a ticket for a timed-entry. The photos of the installation process are pretty wild.

As always, the roof of the Met is a must for anyone visiting the city during the summer!


Summer Streets
Big Bambú
ACE Hotel
Il Buco Alimentari &...

American Folk Art Museum


Often I’ll take a bunch of photos on an outing with the intention of posting them, and then just forget. (Other times I decide the experience is one not worth your time: Hello this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.) Then, by the time I return to them, the season has changed and it is too late. And now there’s Hudson–who is growing into a boy with changes by the hour–to add to the anachronism. But I’m just going to have to ask you to ignore the big, puffy winter coats in these few photos of a visit to the American Folk Art Museum.

A very small museum with a turbulent history of relocation and funding struggles, the American Folk Art Museum now sits across from Lincoln Center and is free to visit (though a donation would be much appreciated). I had been wanting to visit for a while, having meant to go over the summer for a quilt exhibit. Now I’d like to go back and linger in the gift shop. There were so many beautiful books and interesting accessories.

However we left instead with a cate & levi handpuppet. Not so much because each is handmade and unique (though that’s pretty cool), but because it made Hudson laugh. This was early in the “Hudson laughs!” excitement (it had maybe happened a handful of times), and moments after hearing him laugh Aron was at the cash register. Only then did we learn it was $32. Yowza! But oh that sweet sound.

California fix
Guest Quarters
The Tunnel
Six Months Old

Hither & Thither turns four


Another milestone we like to celebrate: the anniversary of the blog. Aron wrote the first post for Hither & Thither after a freezing walk to work on a bitter January morning, four years ago (technically, four years ago yesterday, but a certain six-month-old got some vaccines on the eve and we were all a bit zonked).

Ever since that first post, the site has managed to surprise us. We are surprised by all the pleasure that it gives us, by the friendships it has led us to and the community it has introduced us to. We are also surprised by how time-consuming it can be and, frankly, that we still enjoy writing it as much as we do! Sometimes we find ourselves doing something in the city because we know it might lead to a good post, but more often than not we’re glad to be nudged–it has led us to see many things and many places with different eyes; I think we’re better for it. And I’m especially grateful for that motivation now that our pace and our comings-and-goings are changing so much again with the addition of Hudson.

Thank you so much for reading along and motivating us to continue with your nice comments and your emails these past three years! It really does mean a lot to us.

Here are some of our favorite blog highlights from the past year:

In January, I snuck out for a long lunch and took photos of Central Park after a snow storm; we made an appearance in Rue magazine; and we made a delicious upside-down pear and cardamom cake.

In February, we celebrated the Year of the Rabbit; went on a cruise to the Caribbean (and tacked on a visit to San Juan); finished our travelogue about our trip to India; and announced we were anticipating our most exciting collaboration–a baby!

In March, we posted photos of a favorite stop in Old San Juan; I started writing Baby Mine (where I posted weekly pregnancy photos and shared things like our registry checklist, “what it’s like to travel while pregnant” and some thoughts on having a baby in the city); we shared how we told my parents they would soon be grandparents; and I I did my best to decoupage like Derian.

April brought amazing life-size images of whales; a wanderlust itinerary for a trip to Vietnam; spring blossoms; and a recipe for a delicious strawberry salad. (I can’t wait until it’s berry season again!) We also traveled to California for baby showers and made time for a romantic side-trip to Napa.

In May, we took a short trip to D.C. for a Urology conference (and celebrated our anniversary there) and I was promoted to Editor at my publishing house. I also wrote a breakfast column for Serious Eats, and shared some of my finds. We sampled fresh donuts; snacked at Madison Square Eats; and greeted spring at the greenmarket while counting down to my due date. And we shared photos of the beautiful phenomenon called Manhattanhenge.

In June, we checked out the newly opened extension of the High Line; watched spring turn to summer at the greenmarket; and welcomed the return of the New Amsterdam market. We shared a travelogue from our last pre-baby hurrah in Cape Cod; wrote a love letter to New York; rode on a bicycle-built-for-two; and sought out cool breezes along the Hudson on hot summer nights.

Hudson arrived in July, bringing with him a burst of sunshine. (Literally. The temperatures soared to record highs that week–it was 105 when we first met with our pediatrician.) Nothing that month (or any) could match our excitement to introduce our beautiful son, but a few other things did happen before he came: we watched the sun set from atop the Met; swam in waters off Sandy Hook; ate watermelon salads in Battery City park; and I contributed to the inaugural issue of Kinfolk. Generous, wonderful guest posters stepped in to help us take a break to enjoy our new baby.

In August, we took refuge from Hurricane Irene with… dessert; strolled the length of Summer Streets; crossed the Brooklyn Bridge for a movie in the loveliest of settings; and continued to stock up on Sungold tomatoes and other summer favorites at the market.

September took us on our first flight with Hudson (California at two months)–a success! We shared our favorite spot for Fish & Chips; posted about going Dutch in the East Village; and reminisced about a ride out to the Little Red Lighthouse.

In October, we shared a travelogue from a family road trip to the Berkshires, as well as our failed attempts to procure a pumpkin during a daytrip along the North Fork of Long Island. The city looked beautiful when it suddenly snowed, in an odd preview of winter, but we were saddened to learn how many trees were destroyed by the early storm. Oh, and we hugged and kissed a shark!


November is always beautiful in New York–especially when the marathon comes through Central Park. We updated the site and gave it a new look (on WordPress), and I bid farewell to Baby Mine. I spent lots of time watching Netflix Instant with a sleeping baby on my lap and revisited freshman year of Felicity–and found I wasn’t the only one.

In December, I contributed to Manhattan Magazine. And we enjoyed the holidays: we took Hudson to meet Santa; trimmed the tree; and strolled Fifth Avenue with the crowds to see the holiday windows before flying to California for Christmas.

Thank you again for reading and for helping to make this a fantastic year. Enjoy the weekend!

[Favorites from last year, here]

New travelogue up! C...
Guest Post: Hannah o...
Bonita equals Beauti...
The City and the Sto...

Constellations visible from Manhattan


Ashley surprised me last week by bringing me out to the Hudson to look at constellations–but not those in the sky. We often walk out to the water, to escape the crazy crowds of summer so when she spotted word of this newest art installation on The Scout, she knew it would be prefect for us. Jon Morris has set up a control board linked to lights on an abandoned pier that mimic real constellations. We grabbed some dinner and watched passerbys try to regain the night sky.
Our window
Always something int...
Maelstrom at the Met...
La Churreria
Snacks and Suds

High atop the Met


One of the highlights of summer in New York is an evening at the Cantor Roof Garden at the Met. When we learned a good friend would be in town and that she had Friday afternoon plans to visit the Alexander McQueen exhibit, we knew a trip uptown was in order. We met up with her (and ended up running into other friends as well) before heading across the park to the uptown location of one of our favorite dinner spots, Fatty Crab. 
It was hard to compare Caro’s steel sculptures with the sheer scale and beauty of the past two years’ exhibitions (Maelstrom and the Starn brothers), but in truth the real show has always been the city and the surrounding sky. Just being up there above the tree line of Central Park is incredible.

Anthony Caro on the Roof
April 26, 2011–October 30, 2011 (weather permitting)
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

Hester and Essex
Thank you for three ...
Columbus Park
Central Park Zoo
Getaway in the Catsk...

Someone is listening to you


I wasn’t sure I liked it when it first went up, but after seeing Jaume Plensa’s bright, 40-feet-tall statue Echo again last week, when I went to meet Ashley at Madison Square Eats, I have to admit I really felt differently. Echo, with her long, elegant face seems to be both framed by and mirror the buildings around her–and I loved the way the people enjoying the park interact with her. She seems to reflect some of the peace that New Yorkers can find in our small respites from the city, like on the oval lawn at Madison Square Park. She will be listening to us through August 14 as part of the park’s Conservatory art program. (Remember these?)

If the crowds at Eataly’s beer garden are too much, you could do much worse than a picnic in the park–or taking in a beer and a Shack burger–with this as your scene.

As you shoot across ...
City sidewalks, busy...
Concord Grapes and C...
The joy of snow
Gasoline Alley

Field Trip App! (di Suvero at Governors Island)


Our friend Nora recently developed an App for Storm King Art Center’s new exhibit, Mark di Suvero on Governors Island! How cool is that!?
There are a number of di Suvero’s works on display around the 172-acre Governors Island–a great summer destination in itself! I can’t wait to check out the show, especially now that I’ll have a guide to accompany me through the exhibition. (The best visit I’ve ever had to MoMA was a hand-held tour with Nora while she was Assistant Curator there–and this was awesome, too!) It also doesn’t hurt that the audio guide (accessible within the app) features Mark di Suvero talking about his work
If you’re visiting or live in the area, download the the App “Storm King” for free from the iTunes store for your ipad/iphone/itouch (or read this for additional downloadable guides). The show runs through September 25th.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

[photo of “Will” (1994) by Jerry L. Thompson via]
California fix
Color Dance Bomb
Dance space
Le(a)d Zeppole
Under the Williamsbu...

Gallery Wall


We’ve been leaning our photos up against the wall for years–we actually really liked all the layers we could make. But conscious of forthcoming little hands (which could pull down these stacked photos) we decided to actually hang the images, and start a gallery wall.

We didn’t want to create an endless number of holes, so we grouped the frames on the floor first, and then used paper cut-outs to see how the assembly would look once hung. It wasn’t as much work as you might fear, and I think it turned out pretty well–with no extra holes!

Paper Pot
Sprout Home
Furniture past
Cloud City at the Me...
'Tis the season: hol...

Perpetual Produce


These beautiful block-printed produce calendars by Krank Press seem like such a great way to keep track of what’s in season–and to get inspired about eating seasonally and locally. We try to follow what’s turning up at the Greenmarket, but sometimes I worry I miss out on a short season.

The best bit? While the three images at top are specific to Southern California (June is a bit early for tomatoes out here), Krank makes regionally specific editions! New York may make an appearance in our kitchen soon. 

Valentine red
Happy Birthday, Manh...
Exploration (and som...
An 80-foot slide. In...

Scaffold-conspiracy theories and public art


The scaffolding situation in New York always baffles (and frustrates) me: “Are they really still working on that building?” and “Didn’t they finish water-blasting last summer?” It seriously has to be a racket. So I was particularly happy when, this past September, we stumbled upon this installation–orange construction mesh used to depict a street scene. I left thinking it would so nice if more scaffolds were repurposed, like this one.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only one with that idea: New York Magazine just reported that the scaffolding along 23rd street, near Ninth avenue will be canvased in nearly 2,000 feet of artwork. The ArtBridge project, “In Plain Sight,” will feature 25 emerging artists and will be revealed tomorrow.
The installation will stay up for at least a year–which I’m guessing is the bare minimum of amount time that any of the city’s scaffolding is up.
(“I Am Here” by Harumi Ori, spotted in the East Village during the FAB block party)
Le(a)d Zeppole
Alternate-who now?
Butterflies in Centr...
Hither & Thither...

Variation on the autumn leaves theme


It’s hard to believe this is even possible! I can’t imagine the patience carving a leaf must require. From the Nature’s Art site: “Natural leaf carving is actual manual cutting and removal of a leaf’s surface to produce an art work on a leaf. The process of carving is performed by artists using tools to carefully remove the surface without cutting or removing the veins.” Insane!
(Image by Nature’s Art via our friend Erin, who found them here)
Hold your breath
High atop the Met
Field Trip App! (di ...
Scaffold-conspiracy ...
Kitchen tools and on...

Kitchen tools and online crushes


Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these? I think the black one would look really nice against our “chocolate froth” walls. 
The charts will be made in multiple colors by Jenna Park, who writes Sweet Fine Day–one of my regular reads. One of these days I look forward to trying the delicious looking sweets that her husband bakes up for their shop, Whimsy and Spice. I always admire Jenna’s honesty and wit, and enjoy tremendously her reminiscences on growing up in New York. I look forward to seeing what city life brings next for a (stylish, beautiful) young family in Brooklyn, on the verge of (maybe) opening up a new store. Entrepreneurism can be so inspiring, can’t it?
Oh, and seriously: her girls are gorgeous. The photos she takes of them are stunning!
(Image by Jenna Park from here)
Making cookies with ...
A Christmas Traditio...
Summer Bounty at the...

Like papier-maché


When Aron first showed me these images, I recall thinking that they were the product of paper–like the flowers artists craft out of coffee filters. At the time I was working on a potential title on the art of paper quilling and may have been a bit entrenched–I was shocked to discover their origin!

Scientists recently discovered, in Turkey and Iran, a solitary bee that makes a small (around one-inch long) home for her egg out of flower petals. She layers bits of the petals to form a cocoon, layers it thinly with mud, and then adds another layer of petals before filling it with pollen and nectar and a single egg, and sealing the flower–a peanut-sized husk.
Nature can be so stunning!

(images by Jerome Rozen/American Museum of Natural History; 
from NPR, first seen on Prone to Wander)

WorldWide Carpets
From above
Gallery Wall
Variation on the aut...