Friday, May 4, 2012

Other-borough April

By limiting what I wrote last month to just Queens occurrences, I felt like I did stifle the exciting things going on in other boroughs. After all, I wasn't quarantined on this side of the river all month, and I'll admit Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx do have some things going for them, too. (I can't comment on Staten Island; however, because I didn't go there once all of April. Or once in all of 2011 for that matter. There's hope yet for 2012 though). As such, I thought I'd mention a happening in each of the other non-Queens boroughs that I visited this past April.


Brooklyn Kolache Company

All readers from Texas should already know what kolaches are, but for the rest, feel free to learn. Ever since a friend showed me a woman was raising money on Kickstarter to bring kolaches to New York City, I have been waiting for Brooklyn Kolache Company to open. Before that, I'd gone to such lengths to get kolaches as having a friend bring them on a plane from Austin and even making (or failing at making) them myself. I consider myself an accomplished baker, but I seldom make breads, and I never could get the consistency quite right. 

The week after they opened, I had a friend who lives down the block from them bring me one. Even after three hours in her bag, it was already better than the only other kolache I'd had in New York (from the now defunct Kolache Mama near Grand Central). On a Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make a pilgrimage to Bed Stuy to try them fresh. I decided to work from the kolache place for the first half of the day after realizing they had free wi-fi. It was a 40-minute trip from Astoria, but well worth it. I tried their chorizo, egg, and cheese kolache (something that certainly would need to be purchased hot and fresh) and a blueberry and sweet cheese one. It hardly feels like work when you have a kolache by your side. I plan to make Brooklyn Kolache Company an occasional work at "home" pilgrimage. Especially because I stupidly "liked" them on facebook and now I'm bombarded with the delicious photos they post every morning. 


I went with a couple of friends to see Porgy and Bess on Broadway (before it was apparently nominated for ten Tony awards!). I have never seen the opera, so I can't really comment on purists' concerns that it is too truncated from the original to be good. I thought two hours was actually plenty. But then I'm not one for long operas. If it's a weeknight, it's after 10:30, and we're on the second thirty minute intermission, there's a good chance I'm leaving the Met (so apologies to Renee Fleming's Rusalka in 2009). But I digress. 

Going into Porgy and Bess, I knew nothing about it plot-wise except that it was a love story. The themes of love and redemption are very simple, but overarching. It also had a higher body count than I expected, although perhaps I should have, as it is based on an opera. The cast was amazing, and while I didn't have the same top-tapping good feeling of when I walk out of the more comic musicals I usually attend, I certainly credit it with being an excellent performance. Whenever I see a Broadway show, I wonder why I don't see more of them. Then I remember I work in publishing. 

The Bronx:

When my friend asked if I wanted to run a 5K with her, I agreed only because the 5K route was through the Bronx Zoo. Well, and because it was to raise money for lions (thanks to everyone who donated!). Running a 5K (or really any race) has never been one of my ambitions. I like to run okay, but I don't ever measure the distance, and I certainly don't run in huge groups of people dodging each other to get to a starting line. My friend assured me her group was very laid back (they went by the moniker "The Lazy Lions"), so I figured, why not? Turns out running 5Ks are actually really fun. Or actually, I can't speak to that generally, but I can say: running 5Ks through the zoo are really fun.

I hadn't trained at all (other than just my usual morning runs) and didn't really know if I normally run 3.2 miles or not, so I was wary of my performance. However, running (or really, who am I kidding? jogging) is much easier and less painful when you get to look at animals along the way. Some of the animals (namely the hyena and a small heard of antelopes) even got in on the excitement and ran with us for a little bit (on the other side of the enclosures, that is). There was also a new baby giraffe that was just born in March. Many runners stopped to gawk at him, although part of that might have been because it was around the two mile point, and they wanted an excuse for a break. 

After the race, and walking around the zoo for another few hours, I felt like this little lemur. 

After the race, they gave us bagels and yogurt, and we got to explore the zoo more. I hadn't been since I was 4 or 5 (and don't remember going then). Not a bad zoo at all, although I don't think it's right that you have to pay more to see the gorillas. Gorillas should come standard. 


  1. So glad you are posting again! Do something fun this weekend and report back soon. Kentucky Derby?

  2. I've got $10 on Hansen to win!