Merry Leap Day, Everyone!

If you haven’t seen the full episode, you should watch it here to celebrate this day that only comes around once every 4 years!

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Newt Crossing!

On a recent hike near the Marin Reservoir, I came across a newt crossing sign made by Mrs. Honda’s 3rd class in support of the creatures. One must be aware of these little guys since they are highly camouflaged and slow moving. Such sweet drawings!

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Kisses Sweeter than Wine.

Jimmie Rodgers the folk/pop musician holds a place in my musical heart. He’s very pop in a special way.  Although he’s not related to the great country musician Jimmie Rodgers who died the same year the pop singer was born, they share a name. I found his songs through a friend and they bring smiles to my face. I hope they do the same for you!

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Amor y Amargo… aka bitters bar.

We ventured to this East Village gem twice but could not physically fit in this tiny sardine can of a bar. Luckily, the third time was the charm. We even got a seat at the bar (there are maybe 10 seats). I had heard about this place the last time I was in New York after a short stint at their punch bar upstairs. This place was more my scene (when not crowded). They specialize in riffs on classic cocktails that incorporate many Italian digestivi and a plethora of different bitters. As we sat down and shed our winter coats, the couple next to us tried to order a margarita. This is not that kind of place. The bartender politely said, “we can not make a margarita for multiple reasons. We don’t have shakers, we only stir, and we don’t use any fruit juice…. but I can make you a tequila based cocktail.” It was very reminiscent of this…

However, it was awesome! Not obnoxious. You can taste all of the bitters to your liking and there are plenty. I’ve been wanting to make my own bitters for a while now but the process is of course somewhat daunting and it takes some patience. Apparently, before prohibition there were a plethora of different types of bitters in the U.S. some used for medicinal or digestive use. Today, the most wide spread is Angostura but it seems other bitters are becoming more readily available like Peychauds. I got an Autumn in Manhattan and it might just be the best cocktail I’ve ever had. The ice cubes were especially amazing 🙂

Salute!

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The High Line.

The High Line is one of the best public works projects I’ve seen put into action. It’s quite a feeling to walk on an elevated railway amongst the skyscrapers to the east and the Hudson River to the west. It’s a breathe of fresh air, literally, with many plants and vegetation along the way that give such a concrete/steel city a taste of nature.

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The Village Vanguard.

While in Manhattan we made sure to see a show at the Village Vanguard, the famous jazz haven that has been there since 1935. Many of the jazz greats have recorded while playing there and their faces cover the walls that house memories in every crack and crevice. It’s a triangular basement room which is probably why it sounds so sweet. We went to see the Fred Hirsch Trio who paid tribute to their predecessors through their music. It really was a magical evening. Here are a few recordings we have from back in the day at the Village Vanguard.

John Coltrane. A hero.

Again! John Coltrane with the soon to be Mrs. Coltrane… Alice.

Bill Evans and his piano hands. I found this on the street near Civic Center amoungst other vinyl treasures. Thus, began my love for Bill Evans.

 My first in person hello to this great musical landmark. It was a memorable exchange.

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Our Anniversary.

9 years. Almost a decade. Somehow it doesn’t feel that long. Looking forward to adventures ahead! This song is about an anniversary. Not this one. But I love it so.

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City Love.

It was a whirlwind trip but my time in New York left me with rosy cheeks, more infatuated than before. A sleepless date with a special place! It treated me well. We rode the subway everywhere (heart! some people don’t get as excited about efficient public transit as i do). Saw some personal landmarks like the Chelsea Hotel immortalized by so many musicians and poets like L. Cohen himself. Walked along the highline. I had the best bagel and the best Manhattan (they call it drink) thus far in my life. Went to the Village Vanguard with my sweetheart. It was a dream come true. Still floating on air….

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To you and your sweetheart.

It’s endless fun going through vintage valentines. The illustrations are sweet, the puns are abundant, with a hint of cheeky and a pinch of sass! Some current favorites…

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