Out of Dodge (Just Barely): City Island + Lambertville, NJ

The freedom of going through one weekend without a humongus, imminent deadline looming felt so good that you'd imagine Porter and I had lost our noses to the past six months of grindstone action. Don't get me wrong, we have been working harder than any time in our adult lives, but there has also been considerable jaunting (lots of that for decorating clients), wine consumption and television watching. But none of those things were just jaunting, wine consumption or TV watching. They were procrastinatatory (not a word, but should be), guilt and knot-in-the-tum-inducing hijinks. But for the last few days we had a tiny spate of calm -- and it was wonderful to just relax and go and not sneak away under a cloud of guilt. 

On Friday, Port and I popped up to City Island in the Bronx. Something magical happens up there. Once you turn off the highway, BOOM...smells like the ocean and you're in a wooded park. The New York Times said it's like Stephen King's version of the Cape. The New York Times is right. It's still simple, rough around the edges and filled with fisherman. We liked it so much in the dark, that we decided to pop back from breakfast on Sunday morn.

There's apparently a dress code on Orchard Beach, an odd Grecian temple-looking zone just a spoke of a traffic circle away from City Island. 

You can rent motorboats for $70 bucks a day on weekends at Jack's Bait & Tackle. They have a bunch, but get there at the crack of dawn if you want one - and bring your own pole. They have the bait - and tackle - AND a full line of Grundéns Swedish fishing gear if you expect the perfect storm to hit Eastchester Bay. While I have no plans to advance my fishing beyond bait and hooks like Grandpa Pete taught me as a kid, I do hate to carry umbrellas, so I got myself a rain jacket (see the pic above). 

This happened on the way back to town.

On Saturday, we headed South to Lambertville, NJ, a quaint little town of old inns and antiques shops along the Delaware River - hoping to find some great pieces for a client. We came up short, but did get to finally scope out the Boat House, a lovely little nautical pub at the end of an alley.

Where we came up short on the furniture front, we hit a bounty at Phoenix Books. I loved the simple fonts on this set of Proust.

And I bought almost all of their tomes on military uniforms (well, the ones with the good pictures).

We just couldn't get enough of driving with the windows down, blasting Dylan, Redbird and Dan Auerbach, so we popped to Philly for a very brief buzz through Fairmount Park where the monumental Smith Civil War Memorial stands - and Porter stood beneath the bust of Admiral David Dixon Porter.

...and gawked at the museum that requests the kiddies to "Please Touch."


  1. Thanks for sharing your exploits! I would like to vote to make "procrastinatatory" a word. I would use it quite liberally in my life.


  2. What a fun weekend! I love driving adventures and to place that have such great history

  3. sara says:

    Can you tell us where that dress is from? It's super cute.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    My parents took me to the Boathouse for my first legal drink, many moons ago. It is still a must-stop when I am in Lambertville.

  5. Sara - it's J.Crew from last spring...and Lizabeta - you've got some pretty awesome parents!

  6. How funny to visit two of my haunts, City Island and Philly, in one week!
    The Civil War memorial in Philly has "whispering arches", where you can sit at either end and whisper secrets to one another....
    And Orchard Beach is a Robert Moses' creation... he joined two islands together and poured 800 yards of sand to make a beach. It's fun to be king!

  7. Unknown says:

    Hi i looked your blog i like your title and also i like city island.It's a very nice to spend a time to enjoy with friends and relatives.Thank you!! Share more informations!!

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  8. Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from wahooart.com, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT7K6.

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