One day I was traveling back from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., when I came across this beauty:
I don’t know who owns said car, but whoever you are, let’s be best friends forever.
In Night Watch by Linda Fairstein, series protagonist Alexandra Cooper makes her heroic return — this time, a little weary, but none the worse for wear.
The novel follows Alexandra, a New York City police officer who spends much of her life advocating for victims of sexual and domestic crimes. But, after bearing witness to some of the most heinous acts of violence time and time again, Alexandra, after some hesitation, leaves the city that never sleeps.
She departs for France – a place of romance – to take a break from the horrors observed in her professional life. The only problem is, no matter where she goes trouble always follows.
In France, her lover, Luc Rouget, a renowned restaurateur, joins Alexandra. While Luc is tending to the unveiling of his newest restaurant, Alexandra obtains the relaxation she so desperately needs. Unfortunately for her, only two days into her romantic vacation, her days of rest and relaxation come to a halt.
The town is buzzing with news of a young woman’s body being found in the village where Alexandra is vacationing. At first, the death is speculated to be the result of suicide or simple accident. However, Alexandra’s instincts tell another story, prompting her to implore further. She soon realizes that her intuition never falters – the woman was murdered.
Immediately into her investigation, she discovers something too personal. A particular piece of evidence found on the woman’s body points to Luc. Alexandra’s feelings for Luc begin to grow from passionate to suspicious. Meanwhile, back in New York City, a series of crimes have left Alexandra’s colleagues puzzled. Her department requests that she return home posthaste.
The events that shortly unfold, though seemingly unconnected, converge at the end of the novel. While readers can expect a carry-over of certain thematic elements, including Alexandra’s complicated relationships, the conclusion will surprise you.
Throughout the story, readers trust Alexandra – an aspect that may have to do with Fairstein’s vast knowledge as a former prosecutor within the sex crimes unit in New York City. Fairstein’s expertise lends itself to the series greatly, not only about crime, but also locale.
For a series that has lasted more than 15 years, Fairstein is certainly doing many things right. Her attention to detail in the novel is commendable, especially her description of locations. Fairstein has done a great deal of research regarding Alexandra’s haunts throughout New York City, and this in turn, makes the novel come alive. Readers complete the book embracing not only the unforgettable characters, but also the vivid locations.
[Published: The Weekender, 17 October 2012]
Unless otherwise noted, all photography is copyright © Kacy Muir.
Organic fruit is the best. As a person whose diet is primarily composed of fruit, I cannot seem to get enough. Unfortunately, when you receive an excess of fruit, the idea of consuming them before they sour makes you eat those words.
Last weekend, I spent time with the in-laws. My secondary mother, in being the generous person that she is, never allows us to leave without filling a bag of foodstuffs. When we left, we did so with a bag, brimful of succulent au naturel peaches.
When we arrived back home, I went through the bag and inspected each peach for serious damage and/or insects. Only two were discarded in a bushel of 25. Now, at 23 peaches, I divided the peaches into two categories: weekly work peaches, and other.
The other category instilled the most glee. Baking time!
I consulted my recipes–a collection that has been passed down to me from generations of family members who emigrated to America from Ireland and Italy. Now, these recipes are feeding family members throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The recipe I chose is actually for apple cobbler. However, almost any fruit can be substituted, so I have since converted the recipe to a Peach Harvest Cobbler. I made the cobbler on Wednesday. It was easy and fast. After the cobbler was complete, I shared the dish with my number one man and my favorite coworkers.
Every single one of them loved it, and hopefully you will, too. From my family to yours–happy baking!
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups raw sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ tablespoon of salt
1 cup vanilla soymilk or nonfat milk
5 cups fresh peach slices
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1. Preheat over to 375°.
2. Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
3. Combine flour, (1) cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add (1) cup of milk and whisk together until dry ingredients are well combined.
5. Pour the contents over butter without stirring.
6. Bring the remaining (1) cup sugar and peach slices to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly for (7-10) minutes.
7. Pour the peaches over the batter, again without stirring.
8. Sprinkle the top of the cobbler with cinnamon. (Optional)
9. Bake for (35-40) minutes or until crust becomes golden.
10. Let cool, then serve warm or cold.
All text and photography is copyright © Kacy Muir.
* “Peaches” by Presidents of The United States of America.
Tonight concludes the Red Hook Flicks series until next summer.
If you happen to live in the New York City/Metro area or feel the need to take a spontaneous drive to Brooklyn tonight, Red Hook is the place to be.
For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius…
The beloved film series has certainly saved the best for last. Tonight, they will be showing Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, and Marty Feldman.
Young Frankenstein will go on around 8:30 pm at the Valentino Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Be sure to bring blankets and popcorn. And, if you have a sweet tooth, save some room for dessert with Steve’s famous key-lime pies.
While I cannot be there physically, I will be in spirit. Until we meet again, I wish all of you Flickers the best of nights.
I was nervous about leaving New York City. After all, I lived, worked, and shared many memories with this city of dreams. Leaving New York City meant saying goodbye to all of that.
When I started Songs of Sirens, I had lived in Brooklyn for only a few months. Now, looking back, so many stories have been inspired by those I have met, both friends and strangers who will forever remain here as a cement footprint of where I’ve been, and pointing toward where I’m going.
Or should I say, where I’ve gone–to the city of love–Philadelphia.
In less than a month, I have managed to settle in without so much as a complaint. My neighborhood resembles something of a fairytale–birds chirp, people smile, and young women in dresses ride by on bicycles with flowery baskets. Minus whistling dwarves, I wake up feeling like Snow White, walk outside and pass dozens of trees flourishing before me. In only a matter of weeks, these trees will change colors and the leaves will crinkle and fall into a new season just as I settle into a new time in my life.
So far, my time spent in Pennsylvania has been inspiring. I find myself writing more, smiling more, and opening up to new adventures. Along the way, I have gained a new family member, made some excellent new friends, and even learned the techniques of growler drinking.
Please excuse my brief pause from writing. On Saturday, my life in Brooklyn came to a close as a new chapter opened. While the past few days have been pure mania, I am excited for the many changes that are in store.
What can I say about my lovely new abode? Well, it is always sunny in Philadelphia. And, so far, the people I have met here share that same disposition.
Tomorrow, I will be sure to post about my last adventures in New York City before embarking on new stories of the life I am building in Ardmore–a charming suburb of Philadelphia.
Here is to tall trees; to the sound of crickets soothing me to sleep; and to preparing for the special new addition to my family…
This weekend I finally crossed off another major to-do in New York City before my departure to Philadelphia…
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge!
To join me along for the walk included my main squeeze and one of my closest friends. We spent the day slowly making our way across the Bridge from Brooklyn and Manhattan. Slowly, because none of us wanted to rush a single minute of it.
Once we arrived in Manhattan, we walked to the South Street Pier Seaport. After taking in the views, we concluded our day at The Sea-Horse–an AH-mazing little restaurant on the corner of Front Street with delectable grub for a decent price.
In the next coming days, most of my time will be utilized with packing and preparing for my move. But, you better believe that any free time I have will be spent enjoying the city. Be sure to check back with some more adventures in store.
Here’s to a wonderful week for you, and for me.
*This post is part of a series, The Last Days on the Bay, which chronicles my adventures in New York City before my move to Philadelphia.
All images and content is copyright © Kacy Muir.