Thursday, October 29, 2009

Serenity Restaurant- Zionsville, Indiana

Pumpkin Soup:

Fig and Walnut Salad:

Hobo Panini:

Even though we hadn't been there before, Mrs. WYA! felt confident choosing Serenity Restaurant as the place to treat her friend to lunch because we had enjoyed the owner's other restaurant, Serendipity, so much. There's no place like Zionsville on a brisk Autumn day and there's no place like Serenity to duck into and feel cozy. It is in a restored 1868 home so the atmosphere is historic and refined without being stuffy and we couldn't have enjoyed our lunches more. We can't speak highly enough about the pumpkin soup. It was thick and flavorful and is now on our "must have at least once in the soup season" list. We also enjoyed the Fig and Walnut Salad (which comes with one of their delicious scones) and the Hobo Panini. A lovely setting, an especially gracious hostess, and good food- we have really enjoyed both of our experiences at these Occasions Divine restaurants and are happy to see that they have 2 new locations in their plans (one in Fishers and one in Greenwood).

Serenity on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 26, 2009

IUPUI's Continuing Education Soy Candle Making Class

Mrs. WYA! and her gal pal took IUPUI's soy candle making class this past Saturday and highly recommend it. It will probably be offered again since it looked like the class was at capacity in its room at the Arthur Glick JCC facility. Marie Beckley, of Beckley's Best Blends, was the instructor and she did a great job. She had our materials organized on our tables and had the wax melting when we got there. Two cute glass jars were provided and she had measured the perfect amount of scented oil out for us. One candle was "Pumpkin Spice" scented and the other was a "Happy Holidays" scent. We stuck our wicks in the jars, added scent to the wax that she poured for us, used a cool little gadget to make sure our wicks were straight before the wax hardened, and then she even gave us cute little labels to stick on the jars. All the while, she was giving us tips and sources for buying materials. We have a bit of pride watching this candle burn and enjoy its scent even more having made it ourselves. One great thing about these fall/winter days of less daylight is that we get to enjoy candlelight more. Marie made it seem so easy to make these; hopefully, when we try it on our own, it is just as easy. If not, we'll gladly do some online shopping on her website.

(In the next IUPUI continuing education catalog, look for the class under "Green and Sustainability".)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Any time of year is a good time to take one of the Historic Indiana Ghost Walks and Tours but, if you're looking for an especially cool way to celebrate the spooky season next week, be sure to check out their schedule. We've taken the Chilling Chatham Arch- Lockerbie tour and we really enjoyed it. We hope to take some of their other tours soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Best is Yet to Come

We usually don't go for contemporary singers covering The Great American Songbook; we'd rather hear the classic artists singing them. However, this ad in Time Out New York featuring the gorgeous cover art of The Best is Yet to Come- The Songs of Cy Coleman caught our eye. Maybe we were more open minded to purchasing it because, aside from the title song, we weren't as familiar with Cy Coleman and his songs as we are to say a Gershwin, Cole Porter, or Hoagy Carmichael. The arrangements are lush and beautiful and we highly recommend downloading the entire CD. We hope that Fiona Apple continues her career as a torch singer; she does lovely renditions of I Walk A Little Faster and Why Try to Change Me Now. We embarrassed to say that we didn't really know Cy Coleman's name but, with this compilation, we are enjoying changing that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cool Indianapolis Neighborhoods... Lawton Loop

Someday, one of the residents in Lawton Loop will take pity on us swooning over their home and invite us in for tea. This is such a gorgeous neighborhood, particularly in Autumn.

We always like to gawk at the huge heron on this porch:

Wow, good taste in housing and Halloween fans- we love it!

This is the residents' front yard:

This is their backyard:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn in Indianapolis

We're going to look at these photos in the monochromatic days of winter to remind ourselves why we live in Indiana.

(all photos taken in and around Ft. Harrison State Park)

Not a lot of color here but a cute over-the-shoulder look from a deer:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn in New York- continued

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
We're ashamed to say that it took us our fifth trip to NYC to get inside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was as overwhelming and amazing as we thought it would be.
Here is a detail of the top of their building facing Fifth Avenue:
We don't know about you but, for us, sometimes we walk through various museums and view what is there knowing that it is perhaps very old and/or people with way more knowledge of such things has deemed it important so we try to appreciate it but it maybe isn't something that strikes us or hits our particular interests. However, for us anyway, there are moments when you come upon a piece that really resonates with you and you don't even have to read about its history or the artist to be moved by it. We appreciated the exhibits that we looked at first but when we ambled from the small room we were in into the expansive and bright American Wing Courtyard, we were overcome. In truth, Mrs. WYA! started to get a little teary. The space is so big and there are exquisite sculptures, a Louis H. Sullivan staircase, pieces by Tiffany, and a facade of the Branch Bank of the United States that was once on Wall Street. The great thing about art is that it is so subjective and different pieces will affect everyone differently but this was our favorite room at the Met. It turns out that we're lucky that we didn't come here until this visit because this area was renovated and just opened this spring.

This is detail from the top of a Vanderbilt fireplace so enormous that you can barely fathom a home big enough to hold it.

We also liked the Parisian rooms. These are the furnishings of a room from the Hotel de Crillon in Paris:

In the "well done curator" department, another breathtaking moment was when, from several rooms away, we could see Perseus with the Head of Medusa illuminated through the doorways.

Detail from Ugolino and His Sons:

Our only disappointment at the Met was that the entire Japanese art area was closed. We were especially surprised because a special exhibit of Japanese Mandalas in it runs through 11/29/09 so we certainly thought that we'd be able to see it. There also appeared to be some amazing Buddha statues in there and we were looking forward to seeing the Japanese Buddha altar that was pictured in our Museum Plan. When we asked an employee she said that the area was closed due to manpower. We're not sure if it was because it was Columbus Day or if they are just generally having employment issues. We were able to take this picture from the hallway:

Subway Tiles
We're sure that, if we lived here, riding the subways would just become routine and a grind but, as visitors, we love it. On one of our rides, we were talking about how nice it would be (and how much quicker) to take the subway from our house to the west side for dim sum. We also really like the tiles, some more ornate than others, that display the subway stops.

What we love about Manhattan is that the whole island is like a living museum. On the way to the subway station you can just pass by a building that Abraham Lincoln spoke at in 1860 (Cooper Union, pictured below).
We had to snap a pic of a newsstand because, with everyone on the subway carrying their various electronics, we have to wonder how much longer they can exist. Personally, we still prefer to get the paper version of The New York Post.

Another reason to love Greenwich Village, they really get into Halloween here. We liked this window display.
Ah, to be wealthy and live in the Village.

We had the uber-rare ride in an empty subway car since we caught it on its first trip after being cleaned (which was nice not only for picture posing and breathing room but also because the Duane Reade ad in the subway car reminded us that the poles have about a "gazillion" germs on them).
City dogs are so sophisticated.

We love the old-timey signage:

The Empire State Building looked a little Christmas-y one night:

The gorgeous top of Grand Central Station:

Mrs. WYA! loves the Chrysler Building and really wanted to channel Margaret Bourke-White and climb out on one of the gargoyles for a photo but Mr. WYA! and laws meant she had to be happy with street shots.

Murals at the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue: