Friday, August 18, 2017

Good Eats: Ruby’s, NYC


Ruby’s  219 Mulberry St., (212) 925-5755.  Daily 9am-10pm.  There is no better place to be for lunch on a warm summer day in SoHo.  That’s when this tiny Aussie-run spot opens up their entire wall to the elements, allowing happy sounds to fill the air, and it gets so overstuffed that there is always a wait.  I lucked onto the best item on the menu with a simple B.L.A.T., made extraordinary with a delicious meaty bacon.  My dining partners were also happy with their choices--a kale salad enhanced with pumpkin and sunflower seeds plus dried cranberries--and a portobello mushroom burger (it was more like a panini).  We couldn’t resist sides of the spectacular, super-flavorful Brussels sprouts and colorful, crunchy corncakes, but that was a lot of food for three people so we lugged away the leftovers to give to a street person, but wouldn’t you know that on this beautiful day in the neighborhood we didn’t find one?  So we finished them off at home.  

line at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
line at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
 
kitchen at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
kitchen at Ruby's restaurant in NYC


interior at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
interior at Ruby's restaurant in NYC

interior at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
interior at Ruby's restaurant in NYC


B.L.A.T. at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
B.L.A.T. at Ruby's restaurant in NYC

kale salad at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
kale salad at Ruby's restaurant in NYC

portobello mushroom burger at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
portobello mushroom burger at Ruby's restaurant in NYC

Brussels sprouts at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
Brussels sprouts at Ruby's restaurant in NYC

corncakes at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
corncakes at Ruby's restaurant in NYC
Ruby's Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sights to See: Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California


Palm Springs Art Museum  101 Museum Dr., (760) 322-4800.  Sun-M-Tu-Sat 10am-5pm, Thur-F 12-9pm.  $12, 62+ $10, students $5.  Free on 2nd Sun, & Thur 4-8pm.  This small museum is well worth a visit.  Galleries display local and Western art, Native American crafts and art, modern and contemporary art, and contemporary glass works.  Two outdoor sculpture gardens offer a restive retreat; one is part of The Muse Cafe and is a choice spot for a relaxing lunch.
These two sub-museums are also worth a visit:
Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center  300 S. Palm Canyon Dr., (760) 423-5260.  Free.  This sub-museum is worth a visit just to see the classic midcentury international-style building it is located.
Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert  72-567 Hwy. 111/El Paseo, in Palm Desert, (760) 346 5600.  Tu-Sun 10am-5pm.  Free.  Art exhibitions are presented within a Silver Leed-certified building.  The beautifully landscaped 4-acre Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden that surrounds it is always open.  

"100 Tear Drops" at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California
"100 Tear Drops" at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California


"The Hunter" at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California
"The Hunter" at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California


The Muse Cafe sculpture garden at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California
The Muse Cafe sculpture garden at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California


sculpture garden at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California
sculpture garden at Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Springs, California


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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Good Eats: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, NYC--Queens--Astoria


Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden  29-19 24th Ave./31st St., Astoria, (718) 274-4925.  17 M-F from 5pm, Sat-Sun from noon.  No reservations.  No pets.  New York’s oldest and biggest beer garden, this wildly popular spot has been in business more than 100 years.  When it originally opened in 1910, it was a place for Czech and Slovak immigrants to socialize. 
exterior of Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York
exterior of Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York


It took me a long time to finally get here, and I was delighted that it fills my beer garden fantasies.  With more than 100 picnic tables and plenty of sun-sheltering umbrellas, it can serve up to 1,600 people at a time.
overview of beer garden at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York
overview of beer garden at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York






Through the years the menu has changed.  Currently it offers the traditional--bratwurst, schnitzels, fried Muenster cheese--as well as the trendy--a veggie burger, vegan and gluten-free gazpacho, vegetarian crostini.  I personally favor the big pretzel, potato pancakes, and pierogis.  As you might expect, the beer selection is vast, but you can’t go wrong with Pilsner Urquell.  
menu selections at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York
menu selections at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York


Live music is scheduled regularly, and a raised dance floor encourages getting down.  
dance floor at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York
dance floor at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York


The adjacent Bohemian Hall offers interior space for use in inclement weather, but in good weather it is empty. 
interior at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York
interior at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, New York

Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



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images and video ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Things to Do: Nanxi River Area, Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China


NANXI RIVER AREA  
This day trip in Zhejiang Province is not far from Wenzhou.  And believe it or not!, you can do this entire itinerary in one day!

Yandang Mountain National Geological Park/Mt. Yandangshan Global Geo Park  The Yandang Mountains coastal range dominates the eastern part of Wenzhou.  Known for its natural beauty, the area features many vertical rock faces and pinnacles, mountain slopes with lush forests and bamboo groves, streams with clear water, waterfalls, and caves.  Also known as “Wild Goose Pond Mountain,” Yandang Mountain is a UNESCO World Geological Park.  It offers a rare combination of both scientific and aesthetic value and is ranked among the top 10 mountains in China, Yangdang was formed 12 million years ago and is one of the most complete Cretaceous rhyolitic ancient volcanic caldera.  It is called “the natural museum of volcano.”  Visit the beautiful Dalongqiu (“Big Dragon”) Waterfall and the Lingfeng scenic area, which is famous for its steep peaks and various shaped rocks.  In the Lingyan scenic area, you can see the “Flying Man” glide and perform acrobatics from one mountain peak to another using a harness.  The area also has many temples and shrines that are built inside caves or in the mouths of caves.  Visitors climb up 407 steps to reach the 9-level Guanyin Temple, a Buddhist temple built in 265 inside a hillside cave between two rock peaks leaning against each other.  The temple follows the natural rock structure, and a shrine is in the highest, most hidden part of the cave.

          Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot  With jagged Shiwei Rock/Shizhi Hill as the dramatic backdrop, this area of the park offers a relatively easy two-hour hike through varied terrain that includes bamboo forests and a rushing river.  Several stepping-stone bridges add some challenge.  Half-way through, a short boat ride on a still, scenic section of the river is an option to cut down on climbing.  After the ride, benches and some simple snacks are available at a resting spot.”

Shiwei Rock/Shizhi Hill in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
Shiwei Rock/Shizhi Hill in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

crossing river in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
crossing river in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China


taking photo in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
taking photo in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

hikers in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
hikers in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

tourist boat crossing river in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
tourist boat crossing river in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China





snack stand in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
snack stand in Shizhiyan Cliff Scenic Spot in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

LINGSHANG Renjia village  Fronted by a river, and built into the hills behind, this small 400-year-old Chinese mountain village is home to 47 families.  Because of its very fresh air, it is nicknamed “Natural Oxygen Bar.”  It is a full-on tourist destination, with restaurants, tea houses, and hotels operating within many of the old buildings, most of which have been renovated.

Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

suspension bridge in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
suspension bridge in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

stairway path in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
stairway path in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

outdoor kitchen in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
outdoor kitchen in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

villager in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
villager in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

villager in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
villager in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

Restaurants serve local specialties, including roasted baby goat, which is brought to the table whole and which diners don plastic gloves to eat.

restaurant chef in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
restaurant chef in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
 
roasted baby goat at restaurant in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
roasted baby goat at restaurant in Lingshang Renjia village in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China


CANGPO Ancient Village  In Yantou Town, Yongjia County.  15yuen.  Situated on the  Nanxi River, this ancient village dates to the 1100s and features traditional Chinese architecture.  The village’s walls, houses, paths, pavilions, temples, and pools retain their ancient style, and the village maintains its original layout.  Cangpo is a single-surname village, settled and developed by a population of which all claim the surname Li.  A garden with flowers, two lotus ponds, and ancient cypress trees remain, and a Chess Museum can be visited inside an ancient house.  An ancient wedding ceremony performance is included with admission, and a farmhouse dinner is an option.  Kunqu Opera of Yongjia County is a living fossil.  Southern China’s local classical opera is today performed professionally in only seven mainland Chinese cities, including Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province Kunqu Theatre).

scenic buildings at Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
scenic buildings at Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

field workers in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
field workers in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

scenic fields in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
scenic fields in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

Chess Museum in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
Chess Museum in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

ancient chess set at Chess Museum in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
ancient chess set at Chess Museum in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

villagers in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
villagers in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

temple art in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
temple art in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

Kunqu Opera in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
Kunqu Opera in Cangpo Ancient Village in Yantou Town in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China


Lishui Ancient Street  With a 400-year-history, this ancient curved commercial street stretches along a canal and is lined on one side with shops.  There is plenty of opportunity to mingle with locals here.

Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

river cleaner at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
river cleaner at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

game players at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
game players at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

villagers at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
villagers at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

villagers at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
villagers at Lishui Ancient Street in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China


Nanxi River bamboo rafting  Yongjia Town, Yongjia County.  The Nanxi River is a branch of the Ou River--the largest river in the Wenzhou area--and is famous for its 36 bends and 72 beaches.  More than 200 ancient villages dot the river, which also boasts beautiful mountain scenery and river banks lined with beech forests.  A quiet ride on the clear water of the Nanxi River aboard a bamboo raft is a must.  Sometimes cormorant fishing is demonstrated.  The Nanxi River and its Kun Qu (a type of local music) are a UNESCO Non-material Heritage of the world.

bamboo rafting on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
bamboo rafting on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

Kun Qu player entertains bamboo rafters on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
Kun Qu player entertains bamboo rafters on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

cormorant fishing is demonstrated for bamboo rafters on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
cormorant fishing is demonstrated for bamboo rafters on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

bamboo rafting on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
bamboo rafting on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China

bamboo rafting on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China
bamboo rafting on the Nanxi River in Yongjia Townt in Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou, China





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images and video ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers