Monday, November 1, 2010


Ah, Halloween: my favorite time of year. As usual, we celebrated throughout the month of October. For 10/31 itself, we found ourselves downtown again for the annual Village Halloween Parade.
This year, I dressed up as Tippi Hedren from the Hitchcock movie The Birds.
Burke was Kenneth the NBC page, from "30 Rock." (Originally he was going to be Alfred Hitchcock, but he wasn't crazy about wearing a bald cap.)
Our friends Ruby and Jeff were a vampire and comic-book character Y: The Last Man.
We saw all sorts of crazy stuff at the parade...
... including a big scary bird that wanted to attack me!
Finally, here are a couple of the pumpkins we carved at Saturday night's pumpkin carving.

Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010


We adopted a kitten in July! His name is Sterling, and he's velvety soft and really affectionate. If you meet him, be forewarned: he will head-butt your face and purr.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My new niece Hailey

My brother Luke and his wife Melisa had a daughter on May 7th: Hailey Ann O'Shields. I would like to thank them for being kind enough to finally give me a niece.
But seriously, Hailey is really sweet, and I look forward to my role as "the cool aunt." ;)
We visited her in June, and I took these pics with my Canon Rebel.
Here's Hailey with my mom, now a grandmother.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Back in April, my aunt Peggy and cousins Meridith and Jarrod came to NYC!
We did lots of awesome things while they were in town, including eating at the famous Gramercy Tavern! This restaurant has been featured on the Martha Stewart show and is absolutely delicious. I will definitely be going back.
To our surprise, they gave us a delicious array of tiny little chocolate desserts ... for free! YUM.
Here's the gang inside the lobby of the Empire State Building.We also saw two musicals that weekend: Mary Poppins and Promises, Promises. Both were really great! Mary Poppins had amazing special effects, and Promises, Promises was hilarious (and it starred the actor who plays Jack in Will and Grace).
One night, we dined at the famous Carnegie Deli. Look at the size of those matzo balls! They're almost as big as Meridith's head.
Here are some shots from our visit to the Cloisters museum, up in my neighborhood.

Jarrod was our "special guest" this time. It was his first visit to New York City! He's normally a pretty straight-and-narrow guy, so imagine my delight when he posed for these goofier pictures!! Enjoy.

-Jarrod in the Big Apple: a Photo Retrospective-
Um, that's for decoration, not for tossing salad!

Step away from the ancient fountain, sir. I repeat: step away.

Jarrod was oddly compelled by the alien window display.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Uncle Jerry

My uncle, Gerard Coutu, who was married to my mother's sister Janis, passed away today after having a heart attack and then being in a coma for two weeks. Uncle Jerry was an incredibly intelligent, generous, light-hearted, kind person. I still fondly remember him teaching me card tricks when I was a little girl, and over the last two years he and I had been exchanging e-mails frequently with each other. He held a PhD in mathematics and taught electrical engineering for over ten years. I admired him and was inspired by his accomplishments and character.
Jerry, it was an honor to be your niece. You will always be a wonderful reminder of how good people can be. Rest in peace.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Little Red Lighthouse

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge is a beloved and well-known (at least up here in the Northeast) children's book by Hildegarde Swift (1942). It tells the story of a little red lighthouse that warned ships of the dangerous rocks nearby. The lighthouse felt very important and proud of its job until one day a huge gray bridge, complete with a warning light of its own, was built right above it. Suddenly the lighthouse felt worthless--until one night, when a ship crashed on the rocks because it couldn't see the warning light high up on top of the bridge. Then the lighthouse, though now aware of its small size, finally felt needed again!
The book was based on this little lighthouse beneath the George Washington Bridge.

We recently walked across the entire bridge, over the Hudson River to New Jersey, and back. The bridge has a pedestrian/bike path along it and is about 2-3 miles long. It was a nice, long walk, and it offered some beautiful views of the city. We took these pictures underneath the bridge.

And finally, I just have to share this picture too because it's so darn cute. When we were down by the water, we saw a squirrel sticking its head out of a tree!

Stone Ridge, NY

For Valentine's Day, Burke and I took a trip to Stone Ridge, a historic little town in the mountains, about 90 minutes north of Manhattan. We stayed in a family-owned bed and breakfast, pictured below.
We decided to go to Stone Ridge partially because of how old the town is. Many of the houses were built in the 1700s, including this one, where George Washington spent the night.
The town was also full of neat old churches--one of which was for sale as a house! I wish we could buy it.
Stone Ridge is also known for its amazing restaurants, due to the town's proximity to New York State's Culinary Institute. Man, we had some delicious meals! We also saw a movie on Main Street, at the Rosendale Theatre. And we found some elevated railroad tracks that you can walk on, which offered a great view of the valley.

Thanks for a very romantic Valentine's Day trip, sweetheart!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Snow Days

As you may already know, it was a long, snowy winter here in NYC. Since New Year's, we've had several big snow storms, and for two days school and work even closed down! Yep, even tough-as-nails Manhattan shut down as a result of the white stuff. Both days, I took my camera straight down to Fort Tryon Park.
I saw over ten snowmen that had been made by fellow snow-worshippers. I saw children (and adults) on sleighs, rocketing down hills. I even saw a guy on cross-country skis!

Everything was covered by inches of snow! What if this were our car? (Luckily, it's not.)
Anyone up for a game of tennis?