Jan 31, 2012

Newest addition to the family

If you follow me elsewhere, you might have already seen my beloved new addition to the camera family. The Mamiya C330 is a pretty fantastic beast of a TLR, and it is my first 6x6 format camera - yippee! Now I've got all the bases covered with my Pentax 67, Contax 645, and this guy.

My initial impression was over how massive this camera was. I really love how big the viewfinder/focusing screen is though. I'm also still getting used to the fact that it's not quite 'what you see is what you get' (a disadvantage of TLRs). For far distances, the difference in what I see in the viewfinder and what I get is negligible, but as I like close-up detail type shots, I will have to reframe to compensate for the parallax error. J tells me I need to compensate for the exposure too with close-up shots because the lens is "slower" for those. Oy!

Anyway, haphazardly shot through a test roll (used some Fuji Pro 400H) around the apartment. As it was a test roll, I scanned these myself and was reminded why I pay so much to get a lab to scan. I had some serious color issues, not to mention dust galore, despite cleaning in between each scan. Pain in the ass.

Looking forward to taking this out next time!

Jan 30, 2012

Hello, pancake month

I have very fond memories of this recent shoot for Serious Eats. Eight different kinds of pancakes at Clinton Street Baking Co.? I can think of few greater things. :P Click through the slideshow in the link to see everything we tried.

Below are two of our (the writer and mine) favorites. Technically I don't need to try these at all, as I'm not writing about them... yet we ate almost half the poached pear stack - and that was only the second of eight.

This last guy was the Japanese Pumpkin Pancake - I really must return for these. I now regret only taking a small bite of this stack...

Jan 27, 2012

Like mini peonies

These ranunculi are by far the biggest I've seen this season (though I suppose in these shots, there's nothing around to show their relative size). It's also been so dark and grey this morning, I figured I might as well go with that mood.

Just this one has the ever so slightest blush tones in the petals. I love it.

A few of you were curious about the close-up filters I use. I believe I have this set here. I pop them on my 50mm and lo and behold, I have a ghetto macro lens. Think of them as reading glasses for your lens. I also have used them on my Contax 80mm lens (same filter size). The only slight annoyance is if you're shooting on the go and you suddenly want a far away shot, you have to remember to take off the close-up filter, as it restricts the maximum distance to which you can focus. In any case, I have found them surprisingly useful and will almost always pack them with me.

Jan 25, 2012

Our day with the giant balloon

On a mild day in December, Jen, Justin and I got together to have a little photo fun with Jen's idea to get a little crafty. See her little blurb on it here! I finally got my film scans back from that day and am happy to share these. The shots of me are taken by Jen. All Contax 645 + Portra 400.

Needless to say, we got tons of stares, and at least a dozen strangers took pictures of Jen and her giant balloon. SO FUN. I am looking for any excuse to get myself one of those balloons...

On an unrelated note, I am trying to move away from posting a giant collage as one photo, and instead posting each shot as its own for easier pinning... Not that I'm assuming you'll want to pin my photos, but in case you do, this makes it a lot more agreeable. (Thanks of course to J for showing me the code to get the spacing perfect between the shots. :P)

Jan 24, 2012

A peek inside fort reno provisions

Earlier today, Erin (Serious Eats national editor) and I headed to the new BBQ joint in Park Slope, Fort Reno Provisions. Naturally, I was enamored with the tchotchkes (and great light in there) and wanted to share a few shots before our official First Look post goes up.

Cool spaces like these remind me that I should seriously get out of Manhattan more often!

Jan 23, 2012

Happy chinese new year

Celebrated last night at a friend's place where the girls made dumplings (boiled and pan-fried) from scratch (and by girls, I mean the other girls), while the boys watched the football game. I don't know why, but that makes me feel like a REAL adult. I folded a few dumplings before throwing in the towel, because folding was never my strong point.

Sadly I don't have too many photos from the weekend to share - spent Saturday in Philadelphia where it was mostly too cold to pull out the camera. Time was best spent shuffling from one eatery to the other and pretty much munching non stop.

So below are some very old 35mm film shots (Portra 400 of course) from dim sum at Chinatown Brasserie.

I had no idea there were so many "rules" for good luck on Chinese New Year. Apparently I'm not supposed to wash my hair, do laundry, use scissors, take out the trash, wear black or white, etc. I've got red pants on though!

Jan 20, 2012

Bowery coffee

Hope you guys aren't sick of coffee shops on here yet, because this one is yet another real gem. Over the past few weeks I have found myself adjusting my routes so I could pass by Bowery Coffee - and actually, I go for their Bergamot Sage tea more so than the coffee drinks (but obviously I enjoy those too as you'll see in these iPhone shots!). Stepping into this little cafe is like entering a different era. The tarnished finishes, the vintage lamps, and the color of the walls are undeniably appealing. And can we talk about how fantastic these stools are?

And what's even more awesome is that they serve doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant! New Yorkers, you should be galloping there right this moment.

Above: iPhone snaps. Below: naturally it was a feast for the Contax too. Some day, if counter space ever allows, I would love a beautiful espresso machine like so...

Jan 19, 2012

Sunshine yellow

Just a little fun with my +4 close-up filter and these tiny yellow ranunculi. Crazy how even in the second shot, at f11, how shallow the depth of field is.

Jan 18, 2012

Lunch at the modern

Back in May of last year, I had a post titled "Dinner at the modern." Here's a follow up with lunch! Any meal at The Modern is as much of a feast for the eyes as it is for our palates. We stopped in here rather spontaneously on Monday (of the long weekend), and they were able to accommodate us in the dining room - the bar room was much busier and we have yet to eat there.

Lunch came with canapés and an amuse bouche AND petits fours. So our "four-course" lunch ended up being a bit larger than our stomachs could happily contain. There was not a single dud in our order. We chose a foie gras and squab croustillant (meant for two) as our main dish, and it knocked me off my chair a bit. Imagine a sandwich of squab with foie gras in between, then wrapped in cabbage and then a perfect flaky dough/crust, finished with caramelized ginger jus. I mean, come on. I am salivating remembering it. Another incredibly rich dish I had was a cauliflower risotto topped with uni and salmon belly. Unreal.

All images taken on the Fuji x100.

Oh, the dishware and flatware here are beautiful, as you'd expect. Even though I don't take milk in my coffee, I want that creamer + saucer.

Jan 16, 2012

Another beautiful space

I've always been a fan of La Colombe, having spent my college years in Philadelphia (where I believe it got started) - their ornate signature cups and saucers are a familiar and welcome sight for me. I think La Colombe might have been my first brush with serious and good coffee. I was guzzling down 24oz cups of hazelnut coffee from Wawa at the time, but I finally got to see what was out there in the coffee word. Anyway, I definitely have a soft spot for it. As soon as I saw the newest location (on Lafayette and East 4th ish), I knew I had to go in with a camera (specifically the Canon 1V with Portra 400 here).

Not pictured are lovely terrarium bowls on some of the bigger tables. See a tiny snippet here. The hammered metal spoons (see link) are insanely lovely, but a little bird told me La Colombe had bought every last one of them from Fish's Eddy! So none left for us sadly.

The chic girl in the cloche you see is my coffee date, Kathy. I had been following her blog for years (literally since 2006 - it was in fact one of the first food blogs I had ever come across), and we finally met through Serious Eats. Ah worlds collide. :)

Jan 15, 2012

Ashley part 2347874234 (pretty much)

In early December, Ashley was over in the city for a shoot so we both took advantage of the opportunity to blow through some film on each other. I can't even count how many times she has appeared on the blog, hence this title. We also realized we didn't have a single good picture together so this first frame here is courtesy of J. (I mighta killed him if it were out of focus.)

See some of the shots she took of me here.

This last one (converted to b/w from Portra 400) might be my fave. :) J joked that my favorite b/w film is Portra 400. Heh heh.

Jan 13, 2012

Little home goods

Pretty smitten with my new goods from terrain, which include this boulder mug which is sitting on top of this reclaimed wood tray. I imagine you'll see much more of these two to come.

Happy (long) weekend. :)

Jan 12, 2012

Little bits of buvette

While at Buvette yesterday waiting for our amazing vegetable spread for Serious Eats, I took these from where we sat. Buvette is such an adorable little gem in the West Village. I've had lunch there only once but it'd be like the perfect place to take a mom or have a really leisurely solo lunch/breakfast. Their menu is rooted in good old classic dishes.

That little blue book is their wine menu. Insanely cute right? And of course, the perfectly distressed wood tables... I guess it goes without saying that I am a FAN.

Jan 11, 2012

Back forty

I can't believe I've never blogged about Back Forty here - it's one of our usual haunts and I have recently been obsessing over one particular brunch dish (and want to eat it ALL THE TIME). It's a hearty quinoa with two poached eggs. Braised forest mushrooms and roasted butternut squash in the quinoa really make this one of my favorite brunch dishes of all time.

We were extra gluttonous the most recent time and got ourselves an order of three doughnuts. Why three? Well it's $2 for one or $5 for three. So we're suckers. Also they are usually super fresh and warm, and kinda a nice mix between cakey doughnut texture and yeasty doughnut textures.

Also pictured is J's order of fried squid sandwich, served with a nice spicy remoulade. So this quinoa dish may not be the most photogenic, but damn it really hits all the right spots for me in terms of what I want for brunch.

These two were taken from another weekend with the iPhone. Safe to say I'll be ordering this dish at least a third time, so long as they keep it on the menu!

Another great thing about Back Forty is that we've never had to wait for a seat during brunch. Knock on wood.

Jan 9, 2012

Katie + Tim

Back in October, the super talented Jennifer Sosa had me second shoot with her on this wedding at Mymoon in Brooklyn. This girl is damn good at what she does and she always brings out the fun in her clients. I feel very lucky to piggy back on some of that fun. When I shoot with her, I almost don't feel like I'm "working." Her post on the day is here. :)

Here are some of my shots from the day (picture-heavy ahead - haven't done one of these in a while!):

Jan 8, 2012

Sweetleaf coffee & tea | long island city

It's been way too long since I featured a new coffee shop on here! After seeing A Life Worth Eating's favorite espresso list of 2011, we knew a visit to Sweetleaf was in order. While it's not the stone's throw away that Abraco is, yesterday was the perfect day (at some 60 whopping degrees) to make a trip out to Long Island City.

The space is awesome in that rustic-chic kind of way, which obviously I love so much. J tried the espresso shot - Stumptown's single origin Ethiopian Mordecofe, while I got a cortado. Then we basked in the glorious afternoon light.

Next week, we're going to try to make it to #4 on that list - Kickshaw in Astoria.

Jan 5, 2012

Inside Joseph Leonard

Some snaps of the beautiful space of Joseph Leonard in the West Village (while on a shoot for Serious Eats):

I envy the job of the prop/antique collector for this place! I must return on a good light day and bring my photo geek friends here. Total dream to shoot. The tables, of course, have a great distressed look, and there is a jar of pickles on every one. I didn't even venture to the other side of the restaurant where there was a lovely antique mirror display among other cool things. I hear this place gets pretty crazily busy, so I shall return on the off-hour!

Jan 4, 2012


Well, it feels like it's been years since I baked something. Believe it or not, I used to do it pretty avidly (you know, before I could step out the apartment, walk like 500 feet, and get amazing cupcakes from Butterlane or walk like another 500 feet and get all sorts of good stuff from Abraço, and so on). The previous tenant had left some things in the oven that (just barely) resembled cookie sheets so I thought I'd finally end my baking draught with some good old chocolate chip cookies.

Here they are taken in the same spot, just from opposite sides of the table - that I dragged into the office because there's only good light there. I thought the French doors made for a fun background in the second shot.

Whoops, I just counted and I guess I added more to the stack in the second shot. I also really tend to like my subjects on the right side of the frame. Hmm.

Jan 3, 2012

Lunch at pulino's

Some 35mm film shots from lunch at Pulino's yesterday. I would have loved to shoot more of the interior but there were too many people and alas I was out of film. Just look at those carbs!

Taken on my dinky but trusty little Minolta x370s.