October 2, 2013 § 1 Comment
“If I’m walking by, it just looks like a headless horseman.”
When we last left our heroes, they were fiercely tasting, comparing, and enjoying two of their favorite pumpkin ales only to discover that the one they least expected to prevail, in fact, did!
Now…they’re at it again! Except this time, the pumpkin beer tasting hit close to home with a midwestern brewery battle: Milwaukee’s Lakefront Pumpkin Lager vs New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale from Holland, MI. The details? You want ‘em? We got ‘em:
Lakefront Pumpkin Lager
Brewed in Milwaukee, WI;
“Lakefront Brewery’s Pumpkin Lager is the only pumpkin lager available in the world”
With our Chicago Shakespeare Theater note paper in hand and Gaelic Storm’s Drink the Night Away playing in the background, we were off and tasting through the pumpkin patch again.
NOTE: While this tasting was between two breweries in the Midwest, they were two different styles of beer. Lager and Ale. When it comes to pumpkin, everything is Ale…except Lakefront’s Lager. Also, being that I’m from Milwaukee, both of us have been on an infamous Lakefront tour (if you ever find yourself in Milwaukee, it’s definitely a must-do, trust me!), and the lager is brewed with real pumpkin and spices from Milwaukee’s acclaimed Spice House (yeah, you Milwaukee folk know what I’m talking about!), we both were coming into this with an incredible bias.
On to the results! While neither beer particularly blew us away, the Lakefront Pumpkin Lager was the clear winner. The Ichabod New Holland pumpkin flavors were barely distinguishable to us (I think we’re used to not only a stronger ale, but also a deeper pumpkin flavor) and while it tasted fine, had we not known it was pumpkin, it would have been difficult to decipher. The Lakefront Pumpkin Lager has a refreshing pumpkin smell and taste (very similar to the Southern Tier Pumking actually) with a light finish.
Compared to last week’s tasting, we whipped through this one in less than 10 minutes. But it all really boils down to this: “Lakefront just proves once again that, when it comes to brewing beer, Milwaukee does it best.” And that’s a fact.
September 26, 2013 § 1 Comment
“Alright, is your palate clean?”
Tonight, The Boy and I finally decided to go for it: conduct a completely impromptu pumpkin beer tasting with our two favorites, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Southern Tier Imperial Pumking Ale. We’ve been Weyerbacher snobs for quite some time now, but this past weekend at a frequent NYC haunt (for amazing pickle backs, ironically) we discovered Southern Tier and figured that it was time to compare the two side-by-side. How each beer fared surprised even us. But first, time to hallow out the pumpkin with the down and dirty details:
Southern Tier Imperial Pumking
Brewed in Lakewood, NY;
“Bewitched & brewed with pagan spirit” Ale brewed with pumpkins
Our scoring metrics were straightforward: color, nose, taste, finish, bottle design, and (gotta get a little technical here) pumpkiness on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest. Note: we did not share our scores with one another until the very end. Not only were we eerily similar in our overall scoring, we were also surprised that we both came to the same conclusion. The Boy accurately summed it up: “I’m shocked. Thought I’d be Weyerbacher through and through…I surrender to the Pumking!”
Here’s the thing about the Pumking: the pumpkin smell, flavor, and taste was absolutely pumpkin to the core. The Weyerbacher (previously touted as our #1 pumpkin beer) masked the pumpkin behind the spices a bit giving Southern Tier the edge. The category I had the most trouble with was bottle design (shocker).
While I prefer Pumking because of the style and the little story/text on the side, I let my Weyerbacher bias creep in (seeing as we’ve been to the brewery, took a tour, and generally prefer it to most craft beers…yeah, we’re ridiculously bias) and called it a tie. Yeah, we did this on Chicago Shakespeare Theater note paper (#noshame). Let’s cut to the cards:
After a long, wacky day at the theater, generous handfuls of hint of lime Tostitos, and this wonderfully impromptu beer tasting, we played a much-needed (and delightfully entertaining, I might add) game of Super Smash Brothers and enjoyed the remaining Pumking…which happened to be in a Weyerbacher cuvee glass. #nojudgement
September 18, 2013 § Leave a Comment
That was a late night (and pretty lame, I might add) attempt at a clever title, riffing on “back in the saddle”…Uber. Fail.
In other news, I went for a run tonight for the first time in—checks watch—probably two months. It was a lovely fall evening in Princeton (it’s currently a chilly 47 degrees) and an easy little run was exactly what I needed: the moon lit up the sky, the air was chilly, my head was clear, and I was kicking it old school (Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz “Get Low” and “Toxic” by the one and only Miss Britney Spears, anyone?). Not that I thought I’d have extreme difficulty getting back into running, but it’s always refreshing when the first time back goes incredibly well. It’s always about taking that first, and ever important step, right?
And speaking of taking that first step, it’s time to get back in the blogging saddle too (Ah ha! Fail no more, that worked). Since the previous epic NYC adventure post, The Boy and I took a trip to Milwaukee (which was awesome beyond words), we’ve moved to a new apartment across town (when did we become adults living in a fancy place all of a sudden?), he’s started grad school at Columbia, and I’ve just begun to get into the nitty-gritty of my new position at work. Holy ton of changes, Batman. Bring it on, bring on fall time, and bring on the running. I’m ready! And the new Daft Punk song “Get Lucky” just came on Radio Milwaukee (I’m obsessed with this station)…time to dance it out and call it a night. Peace!
July 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Remember that time The Boy and I decided to intentionally miss the last train back to New Jersey from Penn Station on a Saturday night, wander around the city during the wee hours of the morning and then watch the sun rise from Coney Island? We do (though some of it’s a bit fuzzy). Thank goodness for photos, lots of water, Evernote, and enough sense and clarity to jot things down so we wouldn’t forget. It’s all about the strategery, my friends. And now, for your amusement, our epic NYC adventure of this past weekend:
3:34pm | arrived at Penn Station (thumbs up!)
#phraseoftheday ”Humor me” | Original objective: go to Uniqlo to look for a vest. We came, saw, and conquered without buying a thing. We walked out. “Humor me”…walked into Banana Republic and out 5 minutes later…”Humor me”…walked into Urban Outfitters, out in 10 minutes…didn’t buy a damn thing. “Humor me”…walked in and out of no less than 5 more stores over the course of an hour and a half…and didn’t buy one single thing. Except…
5:15pm | Went to buy minions from the NBC Universal Store at 30 Rock. Dave…and Dave (we got twins).
7:08pm | Sat down at Jacob’s Pickles on 84th and Amsterdam with two bourbon cocktails and pickles…and Dave. This place is ahhhhmazing. Definitely one of our favorites.
8:51pm | Took the minions to see Times Square and were reminded of how much we dislike that area and the people at any time of day.
9:14pm | Bowlmor Lanes at Union Square to cosmic bowl, foosball, play air hockey…with Dave (and Dave too). As luck would have it, I was testing out Instavideo and inadvertantly captured The Boy bowling a strike. #winning
11:04pm | Obligatory Starbucks trip: Two tall black coffees…ready? Set? Caffeine activate!!
11:19pm | Boarded the L train to Brooklyn. “I’m so excited to voluntarily go to Brooklyn!” (said no one ever)
11:45pm | Bought tickets for Spoons, Toons, and Booze After Dark at Nitehawk Cinema. #initforthelonghaul
12:10am | Grabbed cereal from the all-you-can-eat cereal bar, ordered a Sonny (a White Russian topped with Cocoa Puffs…highly recommend it!), and settled in for what would ultimately be a mildly disappointing trifecta of cartoons: Daria, Are You Afraid of the Dark (yes, we were all aware that was not a cartoon), and Spawn (Did anyone ever actually watch this show? Save yourself the time and don’t). Twas entertaining, but would most likely not do it again.
1:49am | Left the place where fun goes to die, aka Brooklyn (woo hoo!) #pasttheppointofnoreturn
2:22am | Attempted to go to Revisions in the East Village, but the music was too loud and the scene outside was delightfully sketchy, so we walked around for a bit. Ended up at The Belfry, treated ourselves to picklebacks (a shot of Jameson followed by a shot of pickle juice for all you newbies out there), and commandeered an outlet to charge our phones to a whopping 40% battery and then headed on our merry way.
4:11am | Hopped the L train heading west, and walked down to Christopher Street to grab pizza. The Boy put on his hipster fedora (bought specifically for the purpose of going into this jazz club) and we waltzed into Fat Cat but didn’t get carded cause it was after last call. An absolutely pitiful game of pool ensued and we then got kicked out because it was 4:55am #ourbad #lastonesout
5:04am | Swiftly strolled to the D train and headed toward Coney Island. We made it to 5am! [see picture to the left...we look pretty awake, no?]
5:52am | Arrive at Coney (gosh there’s a lot of trash thrown about on the streets). There was a thin layer of fog and clouds hiding the sun, but as we strolled along the boardwalk marveling at the surprising amount of people up so freaking early on a Sunday, it began to emerge. Final boardwalk thought: The Boy needs to write an album since we’ve already shot the album cover:
6:32am | Left the boardwalk, grabbed a coffee and chocolate donut from Dunkin’ and dragged ourselves up the stairs toward the Q train to head back to Manhattan.
7:40am | Trudged toward Penn Station and got a proper breakfast: egg white, avocado, and white cheddar sandwiches from Au Bon Pain. SHOCKER: no coffee appeared at this performance.
8:01am | Used a wall to prop ourselves up while we waited for the train and grazed on some egg white, cheddar, and avocado sandwiches and charged our iPhones (45% battery this time! #solid). We were in complete disbelief that we were still standing. “How do these kids do it?” #gettingold
8:14am | Train leaves Penn Station and we are en route back to Princeton, iPhone alarms strategically set to wake us up at 9:20…couldn’t have us completely asleep that we miss our stop and end up in Trenton.
Sunday – 11:58pm | Miraculously, we are still awake. Though too tired to actually finish the blog post…which we just finished now…on Thursday morning. Moral of the story: we’re glad we did it, but would not intentionally do it again…maybe. #jurysout
January 27, 2013 § Leave a Comment
On January 9, a friend of mine and I had a conversation that went a little something like this…
My friend: Are you busy MLK Day weekend?
My friend: …Want to go to Montréal?
And so we did…10 days later. Snow and cold temperatures be damned, we were going to Montréal. At what other time in your life could you drop everything and go to Canada completely on a whim than when you’re in your 20s? Good, glad you see my point.
Two city girls on a budget heading to Montréal for the weekend for the first time is the perfect recipe for all kinds of shenanigans. And snowy shenanigans at that. I smell a Top 5 list a comin’…yup, here it is:
With a steady snow gently falling since we arrived last Saturday, we ran (and partially sled) our way around Montréal’s lovely Ice Village, making a stop at the Ice Bar for some chocolat chaud avec Amarula. Dare I say it was epic? Yes, it was pretty epic.
2. Le Lab
We were fired up for this bar. Literally. The people here have turned cocktail making into a beautiful art form. From unique and fiery concoctions (such as the one I had above, holy flaming shot Batman!) to the attention to detail of the bartenders and their stellar drink mixing, if you ever go here you will leave with a newfound appreciation for a truly well made (and delicious) cocktail.
My friend is a French fry fanatic and I’m a cheesehead, so naturally we had to try poutine—a Québécois comfort food of French fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in gravy. The fries were great, the cheese squeaked (the sign of good cheese curds, dontcha know), and the gravy was, well, gravy. Poutine is definitely a ‘must-try’ for a first visit to Montréal…then it goes in the ‘one and done/never again’ pile.
4. Vieux Montréal
Wandering around Vieux Montréal was quite similar to wandering around certain arrondissements of Paris…only wickedly colder and much snowier. The cobblestone streets, quaint storefronts, and beautiful churches have such a European charm to them that you almost forget you’re actually in Canada, not Europe. We happened upon a lovely shop by the old port, Le Magasin Général du Vieux Montréal (where I had my big splurge of the trip: a leather cuff bracelet and mustard-colored scarf), drank whisky and wine at The Keg, took part in the city’s restaurant week at Taverne Gaspar, and then played in the snow and took dozens of wacky pictures in front of Basilique Notre Dame de Montréal (above) in the bitter night air.
5. The Language
January 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
First of all, three things:
1. I know it’s already January 5, but I needed time to ruminate
2. New Years resolutions aren’t my MO (that phrase has such a stigma…not a fan)
3. I forgot what this one should be…oops
I was reminiscing over what I wrote last year at this time (in case you’re mildly curious: 12 for 2012) to see what I’d actually accomplished. Out of the 12 things I set out to “work on” in 2012, I only saw eight through semi-successfully (over 50%, not too shabby I suppose). I ran a 5K, saw a lot of theater, traveled to many new places…my biggest über fails from last year were timeliness and not resuming work on the quilt I started making by hand a few years ago. It’s still tucked away safely in a box. Good place for it, no?
For 2013, I’m deciding to simplify. Literally. As I was going through photos for the WordPress ‘My 2012 in Photos’ Challenge last week, I came across this photo I took in New York City in early November that pretty much sums up the three areas of my life that I want to simplify this year.
To live, work, and create simply…that’s what I hope for in 2013. Something just clicked when I turned 27 last month and for whatever reason, I feel like more of an adult (Shit, how did this happen? I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up yet!) and just want to simplify. Everything. And I’m not wasting any time.
This weekend I have absolutely no plans (well, except to watch my Green Bay Packers pulverize the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field tonight…) and intend to purge the living hell out of my apartment. Do I really need that box filled with papers, scripts, and random stuff I packed up when I moved to Rhode Island in 2009 that I haven’t looked at in the last 2.5 years since I’ve been living in New Jersey? I think not. Or that pair of colorful Roos from my early character days with Disney in 2006 that are taking up precious space on my shoe rack? Seriously. No.
Putting your goals for the new year in writing for all to see makes you more accountable for them, no? There’s no going back now. About an hour ago I came across this article on the Huffington Post that was really the icing on the proverbial New Years resolutions cake:
“It’s not about stopping, giving up, and doing nothing.
It is about doing things differently”
– Kevin Cashman, A Year of Pause
I couldn’t agree more. And with that, happy 2013! May it be a year of transformation, making good choices, opening new doors and closing old ones that get you down, being your best self, and simplicity. Cheers.
December 31, 2012 § 1 Comment
A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
Well 2012, I happily bid thee adieu. It was quite a trying (yet mostly enjoyable?) year of difficult challenges, new friends and places, closing old doors and opening some unexpected ones, with much humor and debauchery along the way. Here’s a peek at the loveliness and madness of my crazy little world in 2012 through the lens…of my iPhone.