Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Summer Evening in Santa Fe: Seeing the Santa Fuego*

We had the perfect summer evening this week. After work, we came home for a quick bite to eat and then we rode our bikes downtown to see our local professional (zero A's) baseball team, the Santa Fe Fuego, play the Alpine Cowboys.

We rode through our neighborhood, down the river trail, did a loop around the Plaza and headed to Fort Marcy, which is also the site of the burning of Zozobra. This was our first time attending a Fuego game, and it was definitely the most charming baseball game I have ever been to. 

We bought our six dollar tickets and cans of local beer and found a place on the cement bleachers. It wasn't very busy so finding a good seat was easy. We sat behind home plate, and since it is such a small venue, we could see all of the action. We also got to see this view of the mountains all night - not bad!

Those fans in the know had brought lawn chairs and blankets. We sat down next to a group of coworkers who were on a company outing. They had a dozen pizzas delivered to them in the stands!

The announcer told us to be on the look out for the team mascot, Furry. Furry is a black, red and orange dinosaur who is, you guessed it, really furry. Furry made his way through the stands posing with the kids and adults for photo shoots. After the fifth inning, he raced all the kids around the bases and in a surprising turn of events, he beat them all. What the heck, Furry?? As my friend Felicia says, Furry is a mess!

Two little girls in the front row chanted "let's go Fuegos!" and we all responded with five claps. And then an elderly man in back shouted, "Let's go..." and we responded "Fuego!!" We did this every time the Fuego were at bat, and sometimes when they needed some extra encouragement on the field.

There was a lot of action. The Fuego hit two home runs, the first baseman took a ball to the face and two of the opposing team's pitchers were struck by hits. I did a lot of cringing. I have never seen so many people get hit by baseballs.

Around the fourth inning, they asked for a volunteer to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame for the seventh inning stretch. The guy who volunteered didn't seem to know the words very well... I guess I should have volunteered after all.

When the Fuego won, they played Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash and we all sang along as we filed out of the stadium. We hopped on our bikes and zipped back home. I haven't been riding my road bike as much as I usually do, and it was a good reminder to get out riding more often. There's nothing quite like cruising down the bike path at dusk with the warm air rushing by your face. 

Ity was the perfect summer evening in Santa Fe. It was so much fun that we have plans to go to another game next week. It really was the perfect summer evening in Santa Fe. 

*The actual team name is the Santa Fe Fuego, but I think it's a missed opportunity not to call them the Santa Fuego!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Visit to Zabar's

Within the first week or so of meeting Andrew, he had already told me about his family's tradition of eating Zabar's dinners, which consist of various cheeses, charcuterie, bread and wine. In my family, these are the things we snack on, but Andrew's family makes a whole meal of it and it is glorious! One day several years ago, after I told my mother-in-law about the crème fraîche story, she told me with all seriousness that their family values include good cheese near the top of the list.

Zabar's dinners can be eaten as a picnic while camping or out on the back patio or around the fire in the winter. It's simple and delicious, and a real treat. This is not an every week occurrence, but we usually indulge every couple of months.

There are many amazing cheese shops in New York, but when Andrew was a baby his parents lived a few blocks from Zabar's. At that time, in the 1970s, the area was redlined and they couldn't even get a bank loan. It's hard to imagine now since it seems so fancy. When his parents left New York, and no longer had access to Zabar's, the tradition continued and the name has stuck all these years.

Since I had been hearing about Zabar's for years, a visit was a must-do for me on our trip to New York.

After spending the morning in the Natural History Museum, we strolled over to Andrew's old house.

And then we went around the corner to Zabar's to pick out cheeses for a picnic in the park. We picked some local cheeses that we couldn't buy at home and got some salami and crusty bread.

We had visited Eataly earlier in the week with its slick shelves filled with pricey olive oils and designer salts, and it was a real contrast. Zabar's clearly has just as good of a selection, if not better, but it felt like the kind of place that real people shop, a place with history and character. The kind of place that feels real. I think think this was my favorite day of the whole trip!

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Orleans

Just a few days after getting back from Zach's graduation, I left for a conference in New Orleans. This was my first time in the city, which I've always wanted to visit. It did not disappoint.

I've heard New Orleans described as a city that lives out loud, and from my short trip, I think that's pretty accurate. The friendly people, the music, the barges on the Mighty Mississip (so far from it's beginning near Lake Itasca), the street cars rattling down the middle of the road. The general hustle and bustle of the city. Even the buildings felt like they were speaking to me.

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