New York City: Roof Garden at the Met…
Posted in guest quarters February 22nd, 2012 by pia

All photographs and words in this guest post by Ashley & Aron Bruhn of Hither Thither

New York, like most great cities, is a place many seek to see from above: the views from the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock, looking south to Lady Liberty or north to the expanse of Central Park are legendary.

The roof of the Met brings you nowhere near as high–the view is nowhere near as dramatic–but the setting is magical! Never mind the fact that you must first pass through the Met and its gorgeous collections, but then you emerge onto the roof and find yourself smack-dab in the middle of the park, in the middle of the city.

The past two years’ rooftop exhibits (a new exhibit debuts each Spring and runs through the fall) have been particularly dramatic, filling the space so as to force interaction. Doug & Mike Starn’s Big Bambu–an evolving bamboo structure, lashed together with climbing rope, that seemed to glow in the afternoon sun–even invited visitors to climb up into the piece.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the Met stays open until 9pm (though access to the roof garden is generally cut off slightly earlier), and the space feels like a beautiful happy-hour. On those evenings, you can go late enough to watch the sky change colors and see buildings that fringe the park begin to light up for the night.

It’s one of those places that has been well publicized, yet still tends to be slightly off radar: it’s tops on our list of places to wow houseguests.

Ashley & Aron Bruhn, Hither & Thither

New York City: To Greenmarket We Go…
Posted in guest quarters February 7th, 2012 by pia

All photographs and words in this guest post by Ashley & Aron Bruhn of Hither Thither

One of the culinary scenes you will find in full force here in New York–and, thankfully, around the country–is the farm-to-table movement. At the heart of this is the city’s Greenmarket network, the largest outdoor urban farmer’s market network in the country.

We are particularly partial to our local Greenmarket, which also happens to be the city’s flagship market, in Union Square. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, it makes eating locally and seasonally a reasonable and exciting (if still expensive) part of our lives. And even when we aren’t stocking our fridge from the market’s stalls, it’s nice to know that many of the area’s restaurants are (we’ve even spotted some celebrity chefs trolling for goods).

It’s wonderful to watch the seasons changing from the vantage point of produce–and to sense excitement mounting for prizes like strawberries, ramps, or those very first concord grapes. There’s literally a celebration when asparagus arrives. And then one has to act fast and indulge plenty before the scene changes again. (We did our best to make sure we got our fill of crisp, almost sweet asparagus before it started to disappear: we had it almost every night for two weeks!)

A farmer’s market isn’t an obvious destination for a visitor to the city, for someone unlikely to have a kitchen or an occasion to cook, but the Greenmarket at Union Square is not only a beautiful sight (especially when the flowers start to appear in the spring) but a revealing look at how the city actually lives.

Ashley & Aron Bruhn, Hither & Thither