tbsp (Spoon) – New York

In the spring we met with a broker to find our new home in New York. He had a line up of places and a driver. After a hectic few hours in Chelsea the driver dropped us off and our broker said ‘coffee’? I’d tried to drop hints throughout the morning that I was coffee snob and we’d been plopped at 6th and 23rd and I had no idea what was around there – his suggestion, ‘Spoon’. Apparently good.

Tbsp Cafe

It looked like a little New York deli-cafe, I was a bit suspicious. Don’t judge a spoon by it’s cover! It was a typical salad/sandwich place with people lining up for plastic boxes of take out, but they had Stumptown beans so some hope … declined somewhat as we got closer to the register and I couldn’t see any 8oz cups and once we’d ordered and moved down nearer the machine, this rather alarming sign on the bean hopper …

Tbsp Cafe

… shouldn’t that say ‘Refill at start of day’?

However, despite the beans possibly sitting around for a day and the giant 12oz cappuccino with a bit to much air on top it was a surprisingly good temperature and flavor – I definitely drank most of it. The ginger snap cookie accompaniment was not too gingery, and was nice and moist. Something to remember if desperate and in that area and probably quite a good spot for lunch in the end.

Tbsp Cafe

Tbsp Cafe

Spoon & tbsp, 17 West 20th street (between 5th and 6th avenues) @Spoonfednyc

Visited: April 2013

Shuttle piggy back!

I was super-excited to actually lay eyes on the shuttle riding on the back of it’s 747 as we were arriving at JFK on Sunday. You have to look hard at the photo, under the road sign but you can see it – I’m impressed The Mister managed to capture it out the back of the crazy cab window!!


One in a million

Spotted this little tag on a tree in New York last weekend – there’s a project to plant one million trees. They’re almost at 600,000.


Planting a million trees in NYC

Orange girls

Girls showed New York a bit of orange last Sunday – Nichole wore some orange to keep me company! Had brunch and a wander and came upon a cool looking orange bike at a random store in Tribeca.

Orange girls

Orange bike

Also got to see proof that Triburbia as Tribeca is often colloquially referred to because it’s one suburb on Manhattan that attracts families is true! All these strollers parked outside a Tribeca cafe at brunch time!


I saw Nathan Fillion!

Very exiting moment for me after a tall man stepped around my luggage at JFK this evening – I noted his luggage was the same brand as mine and that he was being escorted somewhere by someone in a slightly flasher United Airlines uniform than the people at the departure podium so I kept watch. He was taken through the barrier and by then I began to realize it must be someone important – side profile and bingo, I recognized him. Tugging on The Mister’s sleeve I whispered “it’s Nathan Fillion!!” – to which The Mister gawped, not sure to believe me until he realized I was right! We didn’t get to see much more of him. He let a United staffer take a photo of him in the gangway before he was off and boarding the neighboring flight to Los Angeles. I felt quite star-struck! For those who don’t know the significance, he’s the actor who plays Richard Castle, one of our favorite shows.

Screen Shot 2012-05-13 at 11.36.20 AM


Dog tired

Was SO excited to see this lovely puss sound asleep in the warm window of a doggie accessory shop on the Upper East Side today. Kneeled in front of the window for quite a while but he didn’t show any signs of waking up and I wasn’t willing to tap on the glass and give him a fright.

Sleepy kitty


Had some fun with the Camera+ app that we’ve both downloaded to our phones recently while we were in New York over the weekend. The Mister quite likes the minimize feature (which pops the middle and blurs the edges) and I use the clarity feature a lot which just makes everything sharper. Here are a few photos from Sunday.


Tribeca/Canal Street

Bryant Park

Bryant Park Hotel

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Times Square

Times Square

A crisp March day in New York

Enjoying the start of a long weekend in New York – temperature only about 6 degrees C at its warmest today but that wasn’t going to stop us visiting a few old favs and finding some new spots – Tribeca, Chelsea, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge, downtown.

A day in pictures:

Tribeca fishbowl


Chelsea Market

Ninth Street Espresso

Ninth Street Espresso

Ninth Street Espresso

New York out & about


Toby's Estate Coffee

Toby's Estate Coffee

Toby's Estate Coffee


Brooklyn Bridge walk

Brooklyn Bridge walk

Brooklyn Bridge walk



Friday night we went out to Brooklyn with Cousin Grant to a new restaurant just opened, Kiwiana. By it’s name you’ll guess it’s a New Zealand-themed place. Someone had tweeted about it a month or so ago so I emailed Cousin Grant and suggested we try it if it was open by the time of our visit. It was further into Brooklyn than we’d been before and when we got there the place was jam packed. When we walked in I expected to be overwhelmed by Kiwi accents but I only heard it once or twice as we were shown to our table at the back nearest the kitchen.

I’d seen the menu before we went but wasn’t sure what to have – all I knew was I needed to save room for a lamington! We had an American waitress who figured out we were all from New Zealand pretty quickly so she didn’t need to explain to us what milo or lamingtons were! I chose the vegetable pie and it was DIVINE! Lovely light pastry with a filling of slightly minted peas, zucchini and potato. Yum. The boys had a kiwi burger and ribs – both reported excellence. The only dampner at the point of ordering was that they didn’t have their liquor license yet so The Mister had to run to a wine shop down the street to get a bottle – while we understood the situation, it would’ve been nice to be told that when we rung to make the reservation so we could’ve brought something with us.

After our dinner the waitress brought someone over to meet us – Mark Simmons the chef. Felt famous like we were back at Capitol in Wellington when the chef sometimes stopped by our table! After hi’s and names and compliments on the food were given, The Mister surprised me by saying to Mark “Where do I know you from? Have you been on television?” After Mark saying “mabye” The Mister did that wagging/pointing finger thing he does and said “Yes! You were on Top Chef!” Mark seemed surprised it had aired in New Zealand. The Mister impressed him even further “Yes yes – you made that deep dish and used marmite.” I remembered that but how he did right in that instant I don’t know! Anyway Mark seemed pretty impressed.

Then it was time for dessert – of course I was way too full because the lamingtons came served in threes. However, Cousin Grant came to my rescue and volunteered to eat what I couldn’t manage. Yaaaaay! The waitress seemed bemused by my excitement. My god they were good. It’s been years since I’ve had a lamington and they were lovely and soft which I was quite surprised by – I’d seen them bringing cake boxes out of a pantry from time to time and assumed the sponges were made offsite and if made by Americans using American ingredients I thought they might be a little more solid. I managed to eat one.

When it came time to pay the bill we realised how reasonably priced the meals were – not New York prices at all! And my lamingtons were free seeing as I’d been so excited to have them 🙂


Photo from Kiwiana’s Facebook page. And more pictures on the Here’s Park Slope website including one of the shelf at the back of the resaurant with all sorts of New Zealand items on it including a set of collector tea spoons, a jar of marmite and a tin of Edmond’s Baking Powder.

Snow on the way to work

Woke up this morning to a photo sent by Cousin Grant of what had  greeted him out the front door of his New York morning – look at all that snow! How do you post a letter on a snowy day? The mail boxes are covered!