May and a Trip to Manhattan

slimpaley roses

Aaand we’re into another month already.


I mean

Happy May Day!!

Here in Santa Barbara, where temperatures soared to over 90 this week, my roses are starting to develop a slight Blanche DuBois desperation about them. The poor things are simply not accustomed to this kind of heat, and let’s call a spade a spade, they’d sell their thorns and let a few petals slip for a long, lusty drink right about now.

leigh_london_streetcar named Desire

Unfortunately, we remain on drought alert until the next rain comes (hint hint…HINT) and I must say, we’ve become quite inventive in our water saving strategies. Even left over tea kettle water goes into the flower boxes. Still no baths for this Blanche.

Meanwhile intense flooding, heavy winds and much worse in other parts of the country drives home the realisation  that we’re still very blessed to live here in California, water rationing and all.

Not to mention this happened;


We came back from 0-3 losing streak against the San Jose Sharks to win last night and make the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I’m fully cogniscent I’m breaking some cardinal rule of blogging by combining roses & hockey in one post, but that’s how I roll.

The finals are just too exciting! My husband maintains I am the worst hockey cheerer ever-that my rooting is far too specific (like I’m directing the placing of a sofa or painting or something) Whatever. I admit I don’t have all the terminology quite down, despite growing up in Canada and having a goalie brother-but I’m invested in the game, and that’s what counts right?!


In other news, I spent most of the week in NY visiting my older son. <3

Where it started out like this

Springtime NY slimpaley.comand ended like this

rain slimpaleyI hadn’t been to NY for several months but have a long standing joke with HabituallyChic that every time I visit Manhattan it rains…you win Heather!

Actually, my trip started out like this; on the TV in the cab I took into the city

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 4.46.26 PM

Who could ask for a crazier news crawl upon arrival in NY?!

(fyi-the woman had a swollen eye but was ok)


As usual, much walking was done.

A very good thing considering there was also a lot of this done as well;

sardines Lafayette restaurant NYC slimpaleySardines & creme fraiche on toast at “Lafayette”

duck & foie gras slimpaleyDuck & foie gras ‘boats’ at Japanese restaurant “Neta” on 6th Ave.

Santa Barbara sea urchin salad slimpaleySanta Barbara sea urchin salad, also at “Neta”

moules et frites slimpaleyMoules bathing in a buttery broth and extra crispy frites make for a cozy lunch at “Felix” in Soho

The Bowery Hotel, NYC slimpaleyThe entrance to the bar in the lobby of The Bowery Hotel, NYC

I stayed at The Bowery Hotel this time as I wanted to immerse myself in the ‘downtown experience’. Despite a couple of bad weather days it was fun exploring neighbourhoods I wasn’t overly familiar with-so many great little shops and restaurants. Dare I admit I never even went uptown at all my entire stay.

slim paley

I’d book The Bowery again. It definitely has a certain, shall we say “patina” that uptown hotels either never possessed or have scoured off. Some travellers might not be looking for that, but I say it’s a fair trade for the buzzy atmosphere downstairs (great people watching in the bar), nice staff and a central location. The mini bar is stacked for Armageddon and the bathroom accoutrements are from ‘Bigelow’s’ Pharmacy. Lighting in the rooms is a little on the dim side but give me Edison bulbs a million times over the hideous spiral bulbs that are being used in most hotels now. My big tip would be to specify your room not be on a lower floor or facing the Bowery. The windows are still old building windows, if you get my drift. The architecture of the building staggers back as it rises so you not only get higher but deeper away from the street noise as you ascend.


The weather report in the lift at The Bowery

My favourite restaurant was almost right across the street at 5 Bleecker (between Bowery & Elizabeth)

So good we went there twice.

So good in fact, I’m almost afraid to share it, but that’s how much I love you!

slim paley


is a tiny little Italian, inexpensive, no reservations, busy and noisy-really noisy- but omg-is the food delicious. These outrageous pillows of fried dough smeared with Stracchino cheese-fuggedaboudit. Did I mention we went twice?! The seafood pasta is divine.

Be forewarned-cash only and as I said, no reservations, but you can duck into the bar next door or across the street to the little gin joint and they will come get you when a table comes available.

Madam Geneva's NY slimpaleyMadam Geneva in Manhattan

gin & jam slimpaleyWhile there, why not try a gin & jam for old time’s sake?

Who needs breakfast when you can drink jam for dinner?!

Cheers and a Happy, Sunny month of May to All!

xox SP



  1. Love the Bowery Hotel, but did not know about the little Italian restaurant across the street. Thanks for the tip! Will definitely try next time. xox 🙂

  2. Merci, SP. As always, you leave me wanting to hop a plane and go to…wherever you have just been! 🙂
    How I miss my NYC…

  3. Hi Slim! I am now NY sick and ready to hop on a plane! You have outdone yourself. Even my husband lapped up every picture over coffee this morning and, trust me, I did not have to ask twice to book a room at The Bowery! WA-HOO! Sardines with creme fraiche, moules with crispy frites, and some of those fried pillows please!!! My pulse races just reading about it all! Thank you so much, what a treat this was! I’ll do a rain dance for y’all…On my way to the airport!

  4. Doing an east coast visit from Co. In D.C. Then up to NYC tomorrow to also visit my daughter at SLC. Thanks for making my food path while there so clearly mapped! Have though before to do a match making of our kids, knowing they are both in college there. Totally weird but your followers get feel like we sort of know you. But the reverse is not the same for you! BTW the sun is now out:)

  5. I’ve been to NYC a fair number of times and I have yet to see uptown! I’ve been to the Museums of course, but the actual neighbourhoods I am completely unfamiliar with. I’m a fan of the Village. There is a house (a whole one) that can be rented there – the owner is a frequently travelling journalist. The house is amazeballs, srsly (I am 54).
    Go Leafs Go from Toronto.

    • Hi Carol
      If you wouldn’t mind sharing (and maybe you do and that would be understandable!) you could give the info re the house for other readers that might be interested. I think that is a great idea-especially for an extended stay.
      Love Toronto. Srsly.

  6. Oh Missy, Missy, Missy, silly you…the Chicago Blackhawks are gonna win the Stanley Cup this year…again.
    Wish we could send you some of our rain and cool temps here in Chicago…one of the coldest May 1st temp
    in about 80 years. But the tulips and daffodils are loving it.

  7. Gin and jam – YES! and it’s only 6:30 a.m. Here in SD we have had the combo of high winds and high heat – think blowtorch. My plants are scorched and/or have their parts scattered all over my yard, but as you said, we are fortunate not to have bigger climate issues affecting us. So excited to go back through your blog and read all your posts tagged NY. My daughter will be going to school there in the fall, and it is so temping to pick up and follow her — not in a helicoptery way, mind you, but in an explorer/adventurer way … You believe me, right? Always so happy when you pop in to my inbox! Susan

  8. Oh Slim I love that you are a hockey fan. I grew up in Canada playing hockey and am an avid fan. I had all 3 of my children playing hockey (including my daughter) here in California. My boys went to the junior Olympics and have silver medals. YES there was a lot of driving and flying involved – but what fun it all was.
    Of course I get combining roses, hockey and a trip to NYC.
    I loved waking up to read you’re blog this morning. Now if you could just bring the rain back to California all will be well.

  9. I love your New York posts especially when you include food photos!

    I’ve jumped on the Kings bandwagon seeing as the Canucks failed miserably this season:(

  10. Slim,
    Wow, I wish we could get some of that NY rain. It’s not a good thing to be in the 90’s for 3 days in early May…what will August feel like?!
    I love your travel info. I always save it on the chance that I’ll visit some of these great destinations and actually know of some good places to stay and eat.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  11. NY <3! Did you see Vicki Archer while there? Lovely post, Slim! I just love the old school feel of the Bowery Hotel. Imagine the weather report on paper posted in the elevator? Only in NY. That Italian restaurant you went to reminds me of the one in 'Moonstruck'!

  12. Getting my Gin and jam out NOW. Loved this, as always!!!
    I, too don’t like the fusili bulbs and the weird lighting….Halloweenish.

  13. I live in Manhattan and I know what you are talking about, Slim. Manhattan has some of the best restaurants ever! 🙂

  14. Stunning Post Slim. ,all of my fav. things. The roses are sooo beautiful, and the food shots amazing, Thanks for sharing . ox

  15. What a great post! I completely understand the concept of combining topics such as roses, hockey and New York. The Kings were absolutely amazing – I think there have only been 4 other teams that have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win their series. I’m such a big hockey fan that I was at my favourite pub a few nights ago simultaneously watching two hockey games on two different TVs! Even though I’m Canadian and should be cheering for Montreal, I’d love to see an underdog like the Wild win the cup this year.

  16. Best tip received to save a garden. Offered by my local nurseryman when NYC had a drought about a decade ago!
    Just place a bucket in the shower. No work needed on your part, just allow the run off to be used for all planters and flower beds as the soap residue will not hurt the plants . The more people in the household …..the healthier the roses!

  17. I really related to your post that I just finished reading. I also grow up in Canada & enjoy hockey. Last Christmas, I spend 2 weeks visiting my older son who lives in New York. We had such fun eating in so many amazing restaurants.

  18. Gin and Jam? Never heard of it but is sounds like a definite “need to try”. I haven’t been back to NYC for way too many years. Your pictures make me anxious to return and hungry to eat.
    Hockey night in Canada is required watching here in this half Canadian, half American household. I keep quiet because I can’t tell which player is on which team. Would help to put my glasses on I suppose. And just how do you stay so thin and fit with all your fabulous meals out? I’d be the size of a happy whale!

  19. Great photos! I’m considering going to Manhattan too, but I’m not sure if I can afford it 🙁 How would you compare the prices of food and hotel rates to other quarters of New York? I’ve always pictured it not really cheap and a quick look on shows that double rooms start from $250. Would you recommend the Lafayette? Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • No Marco, I’m afraid NOTHING in NY is cheap. Bianca was literally the least expensive, good restaurant I’ve been to in NY since I can remember. The Lafayette was very good, big, nice ambience but nothing really special.

      • Just rereading this while visiting Scottsdale…no connection really, except I’m eating sushi alone while husband is at conference and you’re a good dinner companion!….anyway, we’ve got to get you over to Brooklyn the next time you’re in NYC…….Al Di La is a great inexpensive restaurant in Park Slope….and there are many others……Brooklyn is where all the young chefs who’ve trained in Manhattan come to open their restaurants….your son will probably know places in Williamsburg, Green Point, too……you all come!

  20. Go Bruins! 😉 Thanks for your NYC recommendations! Putting them in my “Notes” on my phone for my next visit. And definitely trying gin & jam on my next sojourn! (sounds so much better than “gin & juice.”) Enjoy those roses!!

  21. Wow, loved this post and I so want a trip to New York! That Bowery looks so charming and I love the papers hung and the weather report! You don’t see those things anymore. Sounds like you found fab spots to eat and drink. And Madame Geneva! I so would try a gin with jam. Okay what up with those Kings? Our Sharks were winning and what the heck? Crazy!! Thanks for this trip to Manhattan. x Kim

  22. No hockey here , at least the ice kind, though have seen live games when in the NY blossoms can’t get a fruit blossom tree here either ..well maybe for a day or so then they just disappear

  23. Hi I am visiting New York in September from Australia with husband and my daughter and her partner. Have you any suggestions for something unique to celebrate my husbands birthday whilst we are there? Anything you would recommend would be appreciated.

Would love to hear from you!