Florida in February: Part 1 - Yeah, so, about the beach.

I’ve only been to Florida once. I was in my early teens and we took a family road trip from Mississippi to Pensacola, in Forida’s panhandle. Fake Florida, really. Might as well still be in Mississippi or Alabama. I don’t remember the water being pretty or the beach looking particularly nice, but I do recall playing in the water with my brothers for a long time. Too long, actually, without reapplying sunscreen. It was bad. I had scabbed burns all down my arm and back. I was in constant pain, I couldn’t sleep in any position, and no amount of aloe would help. I didn’t care much for beaching after that.

I didn’t return to the beach until I moved to New York. Here, the beaches are only good as an escape from the city, not as a stand-alone attraction. The sand is coarse and unpleasant, the water is a gross brown color and frigid. The nicest beach I’ve been to nearby is in Cape May, which unsurprisingly is the furthest south out of the local options. I really enjoyed going to Wildwood in 2015 with Regina just prior to that Cape May visit, but the fun there is in its quintessential New Jersey-ness of the sprawling boardwalk, not the beach itself.

Wildwoods & Cape May NJ

So, I still wasn't complete sold on the idea of going to the beach. What’s different now?

If I had to guess, I’d go with:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- All the travel photos I’ve seen of the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Thailand’s gorgeous beaches and colorful waters
- Snazzy sailing yatchs. So classy.
- My affinity for rum and tiki cocktails.
- My fairly recent discovery of Tommy Bahama’s incredibly comfortable warm weather clothing, which now dominates my closet.

Oh Boy, Tiki Cocktails:

While I still don’t love the beaches here in the north, the idea of warm summer weather and vibes has really grown on me, and I’ve always wanted to travel to far flung tropical places. This trip was my first step in that direction.

Next week: Florida Part 2, Our first day in Florida, a gorgeous restaurant, and cruising in a convertible. What a life.
 

Kermit Westergaard Apartment

I've photographed a great many rental apartments in Brooklyn over the past few years, mostly of my own listings when I was an active agent, and then for several months for Nooklyn until we hired a second photographer. In all that time, the best apartments for the rental market that I've seen have come from one man - Designer Kermit Westergaard. Here's his latest project, which I photographed on Wednesday.

 

 

Smitten Ice Cream

Smitten uses their own magical liquid nitrogen ice cream machine, called "Brrr"  (masters of comedy, no?). It allows them to make ultra smooth ice cream to order in seconds, which is a marvel. I tend to get sundaes, and I wasn't blown away by the "Dough My Goodness" or "Berry Crisp" sundaes on offer that day, but they certainly were as smooth as promised. I'll go back to see if their more inventive flavors can earn that last star.

Smitten Ice Cream
Hayes Valley - San Franscisco
$
★★★★☆

Zazie

Zazie
Cole Valley, San Francisco
$$
★★★★★

Brunch places can be a dime a dozen, and still lines will be out the door. I was pleasantly surprised with the amazing quality of the food at Zazie. Though the line is often an hour long, there's a helpful little guide by the door to let you know very accurately what your wait will be. You can also grab one of the first-come-first-served tables out front, but I prefer the garden in the back. Get there early to get the Miracle (ricotta) pancakes before they sell out. Also try the Poached Eggs La Mer (dungeness crab eggs benedict, basically). Fun Fact - Zazie pays its staff full wages and benefits, so tipping is not required. More restaurants should follow suit.

Mission Workshop

Mission Workshop
Mission District, San Fransisco
Retail Store - Accessories & Clothing
★★★★★

Mission Workshop's retail space is beautiful. It's dark and bright at the same time. Lots of exposed natural wood, and those skylights. It blew my mind how many places all over SF have skylights. New York talks about wanting natural light - but SF actually has it. I love it. MW sells lots of great modular and adaptable bags, and a collection of rugged clothing. They even have a little coffee setup in the corner from Bicycle Coffee.

Hello San Francisco!

I spent the last two weeks in San Francisco photographing for Nooklyn, working on these three objectives:

1. Update SF Neighborhood Card Images - How do you define a neighborhood in a single image? I try to avoid photos of rows of houses, since that is very typical. Having a landmark in the neighborhood helps.

2. Add content to our SF neighborhood guides - For me, this means restaurants, which is my primary interest when exploring. We're all foodies at Nooklyn, and that comes through in the content on our website and Instagram, which brings us to:

3. Instagram - Fortunately, a lot of Instagram content can be sourced from the photos I take for the guides. 

Look forward to some posts on the specific places I visited!