Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Extravaganza and Changing Leaves

This past weekend we continued our fall festivities with some spooks at the annual Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. Before the start of the evening, we took Lillie for a long fall walk in her Halloween costume (Thanks, Mom).

We love walking along Riverside could see hints of the leaves starting to change. (This was before the snowstorm...haha)
Me with Lils in her pumpkin costume.
I love this picture!! So cute. Lils was a little more cooperative for Austin..
Then we headed down to the Upper West Side for the evenings festivities, and walked around Columbia University's campus, which is so old and academic looking. Brick buildings and pillars, cobblestone walkways. We had coffee and cupcakes to go with the events; Austin got dark chocolate and I got Mr Frankenstein.

Halloween decor on the Upper West Side
Frankenstein cupcake!
Then we headed over to the church...

(via Momma Hewitt on their NYC trip)
Pretty impressive to say the least...the largest Gothic church in North America. You could fit the Statue of Liberty inside! On this night...the huge arching ceilings and dark corners provided an incredibly eerie atmosphere. We waited outside on the huge concrete steps, and once invited in were greeted by our first ghoul playing the cello, which echoed through the huge cathedral.

At 10 pm, the traditional silent movie began. They play a different movie each year; this year's was a screening of the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera. Live organ music accompanied the movie, and added to its spookiness.

The screen before the start of the movie. 
After the movie, as the time approached midnight, the infamous procession of the ghouls officially began. Out of the smoke, the ghouls one by one began to appear....

A huge skeleton was suspended in the back of the cathedral. The organ music began to escalate...
The ghouls came out of this goblin's mouth.
Each ghoul was unique, and their costumes were elaborate. Each ghoul was in character, and would interact with the audience as they made their way through the procession.
Some were creepy, some were funny.
The bishop directed the ceremonies.
It was most definitely an epic way to end the night...
Seriously so much fun! One of those things that makes you say "Only in New York..." :) Afterwards we were heading back to the subway, and decided to duck into a random diner, which just so happened to be...

Tom's Restaurant! Seinfeld, anyone? No big salads a la Elaine, but Austin had some pancakes and I had a delicious chocolate milkshake. That's one of the random things we love about New York...we pop into a diner and the next thing you know a huge picture of Kramer is staring us down. 

It was a perfect New York night. We were a bit worried about going home on the 1 train so late since you have to go up an elevator to get to ground level, but laughed a bit at ourselves upon realizing that this is truly the city that never sleeps. At 2 am, our train was just as packed as it was when we got on at 8 pm. Just a few more Halloween characters this time :)

After the snow storm and our epic day of chili making on Saturday, we decided to venture out on Sunday to survey the damage. We went to Central Park, and were greeted by evidence of both seasons.

Snow and changing leaves.
We walked up to the Harlem Mirror, and all the way down by the pool and to the reservoir. Kids were dressed in snowsuits and trying to make snowmen (rather muddy snowmen), and others were taking pictures of the vivid leaves randomly popping up in different areas of the park. It was a fun contrast to take in.

The Harlem Mirror
Beautiful colors at The Pool
And again...
Taking advantage of the first snow...even if it makes for dirty snowmen. (It was so cute, he was working so hard!)
The Reservoir
Another view...

The city sure looks beautiful in her changing seasons...what a wonderful, spooky, spontaneous weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Autumn in New York: Pumpkin Palooza, Halloween Extravaganza, and Falling Leaves

So, chapter 2 and part III...whatever the heck we were at, has been a little bit delayed, obviously. Sunday night I had to call it quits so I could get some sleep before a 12 hr work day, and then I have been sick this week. Still sick, but am to the point where I can't sleep any more so I am trying to be productive. I've been on Pinterest wayyy too long today (Which is like the most addicting thing ever if you haven't been roped in yet...I'm up to 25 boards and 1778 pins since the end of June. Today's favorite discovery...turn the toaster sideways to make grilled cheese...utter brilliance/why did I not think of this? moment. Will be testing asap) and have watched wayyy too many episodes of Felicity (Which kind of makes me want to wear sweaters all day every day and be back in college studying away. Well kind of, without the stress anyway. Is that weird? It's also one of those TV shows that now makes me go...wait I actually live in New York, weird.) So now I am cuddled up with Lillie in my lap and a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (I caved in my delirius sickness ;)...and because we didn't have milk to make our own. They're just. so. good.) and am going to update until the cows come home. Or until I fall asleep. So sit back, relax, and get ready for a blog post for the record books.

So, despite last weeks completely random blizzard, it has been a wonderful few weeks of autumn in New York. I have been looking forward to fall in New York since we decided we were officially moving out here. I couldn't wait to see Central Park's trees decked out in gorgeous fall colors, to take long walks on brisk fall days, and to enjoy all of the wonderful festivities fall brings. I adore fall. Austin always tells me I was made for fall; that my hair and face light up in this season. Do you ever associate certain people with certain seasons? I feel that some people were just made for summer shorts and days at the lake, others love the snow and look cute in hats and scarves, others look fabulous in spring pastels and are awakened by the budding of trees. While I love all of the seasons, fall holds a special place in my heart. Fall makes me feel alive like no other season can.

I really need to stop this, haha. But it just speaks to my life so much. Everything about this movie is so good and true.
Fall has been a long time coming here in New York, and I have been getting anxious. Since the start of October, every day my eyes have been peeled for changing leaves. Little by very little they have been coming. but even now, I still don't feel like it's full blown fall. I keep feeling like I'm going to be at work for a couple of days and miss it completely. I literally was yelling at the snow out our window this past weekend because I thought winter was going to overtake fall and we would miss the leaves all together. I realize now how ridiculous and childish I probably looked, but Austin gets me, and was the supportive husband he always is (Thus the aforementioned Devil's chili. It quelled my anger a bit.) It was pretty, don't get me wrong, but it's kind of like Christmas taking over Thanksgiving. I'm all about keeping holidays and seasons in their proper order, you know? Enjoy one before moving onto the other. We had two seasons at once for a bit (which was so random and spontaneous, and upon reflection, kind of appropriate for New York), but now the snow has melted and the leaves are finally changing. Yay! So here I bring you our fall happenings, and since I am so far behind they might be in somewhat random order. But it's all good stuff, I promise.

Happy Halloween? The aforementioned and pictured snow this weekend.  Pretty and spontaneous, but unwelcomed this early. Guess it's just a preview of what's too come. Glad it's all melted though!
The epic chili that simmered for 8 hours and made the day oh-so-much better. Warmed our souls.
But as I said, there's hope....check out my walk today!

I was speechless both literally and figuratively today. Thank you fall colors, no thank you asthma/allergies/whatever I have going on. 
Anyway, so two Saturdays ago now (After our day of awesomeness at the Museum of Natural History) we took in fall from the Greenmarket. It truly felt like the harvest had come in, as every booth was absolutely overflowing with beautiful fruits and veggies (and we didn't even get there until later in the day!). Our primary mission: to procure a pumpkin for Pumpkin Palooza 2011, as we dubbed the day.

Pumpkins galore!
Arriving late in the day (although not planned) seemed to work out perfectly, as vendors were discounting their pumpkins in order to sell them. Also, the professional pumpkin carvers that had been carving for 8 hours straight were finishing their pumpkin masterpieces....check these out!

King Kong! Very appropriate for New York.
Dino pumpkin! Also appropriate considering the previous days events :)

The pumpkin selection was pretty broad, with pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes, but we finally picked a lovely medium sized one that we thought was manageable to take back on the subway.

Fall, fall, fall
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
Once we had our pumpkin, we sipped on cider and listened to piano music by this guy who has spent the past 5 months traveling with his piano across America and playing in 31 major cities and 8 national parks; 15,000 miles.

Plus his cute little dog in a sweater!
Then, we perused the bounty, ate some samples, and procured some goods.

Oh, how I love mums. I wanted to take them all home with me.
Apples, apples everywhere!

Grapes are still in season...and so juicy and delicious!
Beautiful wreaths
Oats and wheats and barley grow.
Herbs...note to self, start herb garden in kitchen soon. Want to recreate this idea.
These guyz had some crazy hurz.
Pretty peppers.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Beautiful hand-dyed yarn I have been eyeing for weeks. One of these times I'm going to buy some for my knitting endeavors.
Ghandi even got in the spirit of the day. We left him our raspberry apple cider to celebrate with (unfortunately not on purpose :( ).
Afterwards, we walked over to Think Coffee, where our pumpkin was our tables' centerpiece.

So intellectual.
Then, we went home and made dinner with our purchases from the Greenmarket. Burgers with cilantro, jalepenos, and gorgonzola on homemade stout bread; homemade fries with mayo (Belgian style); and apple, colorabi, and carrot salad.

Our stout bread had a sternum.
Dinner...with a woodchuck to wash it down.
Then for Pumpkin Palooza! First we carved our pumpkin.

Pumpkin Palooza 2011
Pup and Pumpkin. Lils loved the Palooza.
Concentrating on pumpkin designs. And then there's Lils...ha.
Eventually Lils got in on the act...and decided she liked pumpkin. She kept trying to eat it...haha.
Next, pumpkin seeds!!

And pumpkin fritters via Aubrey, who sent me a lovely package recently filled with fall goodies.

And the finished product! Austin carved Indiana and I carved New York :)

Home is wherever I'm with you...
Indiana to...
New York!

I think that's a good place to end for tonight, need to get my sleep. Halloween Extravaganza and fall colors to come!! :)