Monday, October 4, 2010

New York City and What I Wore

My last post was about sewing up a brown knit twist top dress for our upcoming visit to NYC.  We'll, I thought I'd share what else I wore over the weekend since I still have to write two PR reviews for these items.  Friday it poured rain on us all afternoon as we made our way to the TKTs booth near the South Seaport Center so I don't have pics for that day.  But the skies cleared in the evening as we got back for a pre-theater drink and time to change for the theater.  I wore a Burda skirt #8213  that I made a year ago when I wanted to do something ala Betsey Johnson.  I'm pretty darn happy with how the bottom embellishment came out.  I wasn't happy that the brown 2 inch heel b.o.c by Born boots hadn't arrived by the time we left town so I'm in flats.  Oh well, not too bad for a wonderful walk to the theater.
We saw "The Pitmen Pictures" which has just opened on Broadway after being a hit in London.  It's the true story of coal miners in the north of England who take an art appreciation course and end up becomng painters themselves.  There's so much about creativity, art, desire and camraderie.  Those of us who sew for ourselves sometimes see "high fashion" as being remote from our lives much as these miners saw "art" as something foreign to theirs.  Yet when given the chance, the tools and the encouragement to create, each one of them was able to produce personal and meaningful work.
Saturday the skies were bright blue so we walked all over lower Manhatten while I did some snoop shopping in Soho, Greenwich Village and Chelsea.  Since I live in SW Florida for 7 month of the year, I enjoy just being around young, hip adults for a change although I must admit that most of the fashions don't work for my style.  No leggings on me anymore, large tops just make me look sloppy but I do think there are ways to adapt trends into more wearable versions for myself.  I wore my Simplicity #2858 jacket that I made for last year's PR lined jacket contest and a scarf that I made when I took Shannon Gifford's stitch and flip jacket class a few years ago.  Shannon was the most wonderful teacher, so thorough and thoughtful.  She encouraged us to try the technique on scraps first so I ended up making this scarf.

For the theater that evening we scored two half price orchestra tickets to see "A Little Night Music" with Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch.  I had read the New York Times article this summer saying that sometimes, contrary to popular opinion, replacements in Broadway shows were actually better than the originals and that was the case for this show.  I love Steven Sondheim musicals but had never seen this one so was thrilled with our luck.  Hardly a breath in the audience, but many a tear when Bernadette Peters sang "Send in the Clowns."  On a fashion note, however, my husband just rolled his eyes at how people were dressed.  Yes there were Saturday night date night outfits but they were far outnumbered by casual mall wear or at home watching video wear.  Ok, so I don't go to society galas or late night clubbing, when else am I going to get "dressed up?"

Friday afternnon we visited the FIT Museum and saw the two exhibits,  Eco-Fashion: Going Green and Japan Fashion Now.  Now, I'm as "green" as the average American....or maybe a little Lake Woebegone above average.  Have my own water bottle, bring my own bags into stores, grow organically and support my local CSA.  I never really thought much about the environmental impact of fabric production but the first show focused on much of that.  It's a big question for all of us, our footprint on the planet.  I don't have answers but it was a thoughtful show with a variety of garments, from indigo dyed fabrics to pleather, heirloom clothing remade to disposable garments of recent years.

I was going to keep to my fabric diet (at least while Mr. Lucky was around) but we walked up 39th Street on Friday afternoon and I ducked into one of the open shops.  I don't even know the name, I just saw instinctively the knits for $2.99 yard and bought two pieces.  Wish I had gotten three yards of the black and blue heart border but it will just challenge me to be more creative.

Last part of this post is a recipe so you can stop reading if you don't bake.  Sam the basenji is not the sweetest dog on the planet to strangers so we take edible bribes to the kennel staff when he gets boarded.  Last week I took him up to PA where we picked a 1/2 bushel of apples at our favorite orchard.  Here's the delicious apple snack cake that I make for the autumn bribe.  It's my version of America's Test Kitchen's Easy Apple Snack Cake from their Family Cookbook.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons of Penzey's Baking Spice Mix
(or their version, 1 t cinnamon, 1/4  t ginger, 1/2 t allspice)
1/4 t salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup applesauce
1 t Penzey's dried lemon rind
(or their version, 1 t grated lemon zest)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced medium (2 cups)  I used the local Mutsu apple variety which is similar
(optional 1/2 cup raisins)  not in my recipe

Heat oven to 325.  Lightly coat an 8 inch cake pan with vegetable oil spray.  Whisk the flour and dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

Beat the brown sugar and butter in a mixer on medium for 3-6 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Beat an egg in one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.  Beat in applesauce and lemon.

Mix the flour mixture gently into the egg mixture until no streaks remain.  Stir in the apples (and raisins if using.)

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Back until a wooden skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for at least 2 hours.

Can be kept for three days at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.

I made two of these, one for the kennel staff and one for us.  Yummm.

Here are the Penzeys spices I used.  Great website and terrific free catalog with recipes as well as retail stores in major cities.

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