Just a Bit Flaky Here

When I got home after midnight Tuesday night from a quick trip to do a show in Los Angeles, I was already super-excited about the weather forecast, which called for increasingly large accumulations of snow beginning early Thursday morning.

Since I eagerly anticipate snow the way kids look forward to Christmas morning, I woke up at 4 a.m. on Thursday - just in time to see the huge snowflakes start falling fast and furious about 4:30 a.m.   After reading my usual pile of newspapers and watching a bit of news - we ventured down to our corner diner for coffee and eggs before coming back to the office and starting to work a bit later than usual.

Scott and I both work from home when not traveling, so weather doesn't really impact our work day all that much (no "snow days" here).  Still, l love that the streets of the Upper East Side fall pretty silent when we have large amounts of snow, except for the sounds of the occasional snow plow scraping by 15 floors below our windows. (Yes, you can hear street noise in this video - but that level registers as quiet for New York City).

On a normal day, in the upper left corner of the above photo (and at the :10 point in the video), you would see the Empire State Building.  Not in yesterday's snowy conditions, however.

We only ended up with about 10 inches of snow in the city, and as it tapered off, I bundled up and headed out mid-afternoon to check out the scene in the neighborhood.  

This leftover Christmas wreath must feel right at home today.

People got their sidewalks and steps cleared pretty early in the game.

This wasn't anywhere close to last January's "snow-mageddon" blizzard pictured below - but it still brought a wonderful quiet calm upon the city.

Today's it's just cold, and with temperatures expected to rise above freezing tomorrow, all of this will be gone by the end of the weekend - leaving me eagerly anticipating the next snowstorm.

Happy Friday!

Upper East Guide: Logos Book Store

When I travel, I always look for bookstores.  They are a much-needed place to walk around after hours in the air - although I confess it is usually a challenge to avoid buying a stack of new titles.


Barnes & Nobles are great, but smaller shops are heavenly.  After we moved to the Upper East Side a few years ago, I was excited to discover the Logos Book Store on York Avenue.


I immediately knew these were my peeps when I walked in and saw one of my all-time favorite books - Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" - on the table just inside the front door.


While this article in The New York Times focuses on their vast collections of Bibles and other religious-themed materials, they have a rather eclectic assortment.  New and used books, ranging from current bestsellers, classic fiction and travel - to a curiously large section of Curious George in the children's section.  There is also an entire section dedicated to "C.S. Lewis and Friends."


The shop hosts a regular calendar of events, from children's story times to reading groups for a variety of books. When I dropped by earlier this week, the booksellers were lamenting they had to cancel that evening's "Sacred Texts" reading group because of the expectation that the first Presidential debate would keep people away.


On this particular morning, I actually managed to get out of the store only buying one small paperback.

Logos Book Store,  1575 York Avenue (between 83rd and 84th Streets).

Please chime in and share your favorite book stores! 

Upper East Guide: Yorkafe

Scott and I frequently walk by Yorkafe, which sits just off York Avenue on 83rd Street, but had never popped in until recently.  On a chilly but sunny weekend, we stopped to warm up during an afternoon stroll. 

One step inside, and it was clear this place could become a habit.   A varied menu, colorful brick walls, vintage mirrors, and an eclectic soundtrack ranging from Spanish music to jazz tunes straight out of a Woody Allen movie. 

While the café is tiny, on a warm day you can linger over your coffee on the bright red bench out front, or snag a spot on the bench that wraps around this tree on the sidewalk.  These are also great spots for your dog to wait while you grab your coffee and food.  Scott snapped this photo while I was dreaming away in one of only six seats in the café. 

Adding to the afternoon's charm was an (adorable!) three year old in a princess dress who, accompanied by her mom, pulled up on her pink and purple scooter.  She gave an enthusiastic review of her chocolate cheesecake brownie - "that's a lot of chocolate!" she announced repeatedly.

To accompany your afternoon coffee, if you prefer a small sweet treat or pastry - instead of a muffin the size of a softball - this is the place.  From the aforementioned brownie to the cranberry or butter scones (my choice), several were perfectly sized for a snack.  Since the pastries are from Balthazar - from small sweets to the meal-sized muffins and flaky croissants - every option seems like a good one.

After perusing the small but varied menu, I stopped by a few days later for lunch.  An adorable café with amazing pastries and savory panini, Yorkafe is a great stop any time of day. 

Yorkafe, 501 East 83rd Street (between York Avenue and East End Avenue)