Tree Timmed

tree, beforetree, afterThe Urban Arborist came in today and took out part of the maple in the back yard. It was getting really gloomy back there and I think the shade has contributed to the steady decline of the grass. It took three guys four hours to setup, cut, clear and chip what appears to be about half the tree. It’s already noticeably brighter and the air circulation is better.

Patio Update

IMG_1285.JPGI took up half of the pavers on the patio this afternoon to level it out. Some of the stones had shifted a bit over the winter. “Level” is not a word I would use to describe it, but “better” is.

Lawn Update (again)

grassLawn update! It’s one step forward and two steps back with the lawn this summer. It was doing well and then we had a couple of big events so the lawn got totally trampled. Add all the shade we get from the tree and it doesn’t stand a chance. We’ve got an arborist coming in to thin the tree a little so hopefully that will help. I planted new seed today. Keep your fingers crossed.

Richard Thompson in Prospect Park

CIMG0675.JPGM and I went to see Richard Thompson Thursday night. Ollabelle opened. There were a couple of heavy squalls, but the show was great and Thompson (and the band) sounded incredible. I think I heard somewhere that Bob Boilen from All Songs Considered would be recording this show… I’ll let you know if I can find a link. Update: Turns out that NPR’s show was recorded the next night at the 9:30 Club in D.C., not at Prospect Park on Thursday (too bad… it sounded better out in the open). Visit NPR’s music site to hear a recording of the D.C. concert.

Cinema Al Fresco

We held our first “Cinema al Fresco” movie night at 484 this weekend. The movie was Rififi, which was cutting edge in 1955, but a little meh in 2007. A rainstorm appeared in the last minute, but we were able to ride it out under the umbrella.

Progressive Pain

Progressive is living up to their name. The insurance company hasn’t assessed liability after a week, so I went down to the 78th precinct today and got a copy of the police report, which I scanned and emailed to one of the representatives. Since there were several cars involved in the accident, there are three reps and each of them is pointing his/her finger at another colleague — it’s impossible to know who’s responsible for dealing with my claim. What a pain.

Accident (update)

Car damage update… I found out from Costi yesterday that the rack was “cracked”. No wonder it was steering funny. Well this is a problem because it’s impossible to get new racks… they’ll get a reman from VW or something. The saga continues.

Grass Update (again)

IMG_1077.JPGIt’s been a while since you’ve had a lawn update, so here you go! There are patches that are beginning to fade, but overall it seems to be faring pretty well. It seems like it’s still very fragile (e.g. when I rake it, clumps come out)… I’m not sure when it becomes “hearty”. Next year?

A Great Dinner

IMG_1015.JPGLast night we had a slow food feast to celebrate V’s last days in America. While cooking we snacked on some romano and membrillo (quince paste). For an appetizer, M made sea scallops with beurre blanc sauce and red pepper shrimp served on mango and avocado slices. This was followed by V’s saffron risotto (made with Jiloca saffron and marrow instead of butter). Following the risotto, we had pork tenderloin made by C, which was brined for one day and coated in a dry rub for another. It was grilled and served with a wedge of iceberg and a blue cheese dressing. The wine, Selvapiana Fornace, was made by J. The veal, chicken, onions and carrots in V’s risotto stock were used to make a bollito. For dessert we had preserved figs served with a generous slice of pecorino romano. You’ll notice that none of these dishes has been adorned with any adjectives — had I started using them I would have run out of superlatives. My contribution? I lit the grill, took pictures, and ate.