Friday, May 29, 2009

Two easy summer drinks for hot nights

Sumac, originally uploaded by Melsky.

Wine coolers - three cans of grapefruit soda and one bottle of cheap chardonnay. Mix. That's it! I used to really like bottled wine coolers when they came out - and this one tastes like a California Cooler. Sadly wine coolers in bottles stopped being wine coolers and started being malt beverages! I don't like malt beverages, they give me a headache.

Vodsicle - take a popsickle, the ones with natural fruit juices are the best in my opinion, and put it in a pint glass. Pour one quarter cup vodka over it, and wait until it's melted enough to easily remove the stick. Mash it up and fill the rest of the pint glass with soda. I made these with a tropical fruit popsicle that had chunks of mango in it and used diet lemon lime soda. It was lovely.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The first poppy of the season

It's just beautiful.

One of the things I like about living in a place with such distinct seasons is that the flowers all follow a schedule. Early in the spring you get these first tiny bulbs which come up, I think they are snowdrops. Then it's the daffodils and tulips, then the forsythia is the first flowering shrub. Then it's lilac season in early May, they all seem to bloom at once and it's lovely. Late May/June you get poppies. We just took a walk yesterday and many people had planted their spring gardens.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How to eat at Coleman's

Right when we moved to Syracuse, several people told us not to eat at Coleman's. Have a drink there, but don't eat anything, the food is awful, they said. We didn't listen, and had lunch there. It was a mixed bag - the fish and chips was great, my husband's chicken was dry as the Mohave desert and nearly burnt. The Irish Soda Bread was stale. We should probably have sent them back but my husband hates to make a fuss. I'm not much of a fusser either, even when it's warranted. The drinks were good though, and reasonably priced. I could see why people told us not to eat there though, and we didn't for a long time.

The second time we went back was when we were house hunting. I decided to get my tried and true fish and chips. They were very overcooked! at the edges the fish had the texture of dry chicken, very chewy. The coating managed to be dry and greasy at the same time. My husband got a shephard's pie and it was alright. But the drinks were still good.

Then we moved to Tipp Hill, and live only two blocks away from Coleman's. So it's tempting to go there for a few drinks. Occasionally the drinks turn to dinner. And surprisingly, we have had a few good dinners there. The first time, my husband ordered the Sea Bass special, though I told him it was probably going to be horrible. Actually it was exquisite and I wished I had ordered it. I got a steak and it was good, but not as good as the sea bass. Husband refused to trade.

We went the other night and had a steak from the specials menu, it was very good. My husband got the fried haddock special, and it was also very good. There I go again, very good. I should find some better adjectives or descriptions. The steak was tender and had a sort of garlic/herb butter on top that was very tasty. The colecannon potatoes I got as a side dish have cabbage in them and probably a lot of butter and cream because they were extra delicous and went very well with the steak.

The fried haddock was well prepared, moist and tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside without being too greasy. My husband enjoyed it.

So, I think that it is possible to have good food at Coleman's. But I only eat there during mealtimes, like right at lunch or for an early dinner. And at dinner, we have had a lot of luck ordering off the specials menu. I think these things are what the chef really wants to make and it shows.

Our bad experiences were both eating there in the mid-afternoon, not at a meal hour and I think they must have had someone inexperienced in the kitchen. So if you have to eat there at an off time, try getting so drunk that you can't taste how overcooked everything is, or order the Guiness Stew which I've heard is very good and probably hard to screw up.

The first one is the front of the building. It's a nice old building, very well kept up inside and out. Inside has lots of photos on the walls, a tin ceiling, and lots of interesting stuff and nick nacks. But you'll have to take my word for it as I didn't take any pictures of the inside decor.

The second photo is my husband's appetizer of Chicken Fingers. I didn't write about them in the main part of the review. He liked them. I'm not a big fan of chicken fingers, and these had black pepper in the batter which I don't like. I did eat most of the fries though. They are round fries, and sometimes a little thick. I like thinner fries. These were fine though.

Third photo is our table, with fresh flowers. Bonus points for fresh flowers!

Fourth photo is the tiny door at the entrance for leprechauns, and the fifth photo shows the tiny phone booth for leprechauns. I think they might be distracting the cooks during the off hours and burning the food.

Postcript - Coleman's gets very crowded. If you are eating dinner or seeing a band get there early.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

More Cats!

Mommy and Me, originally uploaded by Melsky.

Cats, Cats, Cats! I'm very busy between working and the kittens and trying to do stuff in my house. I told myself I could have the weekend off from work but I ended up showing some properties today and having a lease-signing. Then we walked to Coleman's this evening and had dinner, which I will be writing up as a review in this blog soon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gosh thanks!

Gosh thanks!, originally uploaded by Melsky.

Part of my job as a rental agent is going to apartments where people have just moved out to check on the condition. These people left a lot of mess, and the worst thing was they left food in the fridge that was obviously just dumped out of the container. They couldn't be bothered to throw it in the trash! They didn't give notice or tell us they were leaving either. If I hadn't happened to see them moving this would have sat in there for several weeks with the power off and the fridge would have been ruined.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Strand Theatre, Syracuse NY, 1915

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Imp in the Window

Imp in the Window, originally uploaded by Melsky.

This is one of my rescue kittens. I have three, Imp, Luna and Lump. Their mother is Mocha. Plus we have two other cats, Cousin Oliver and Mintyfresh. I'm not sure if we can keep all of them, six is a lot. But I really love the kittens!

Ideally we could find someone who wanted Mocha and one or two of the kittens. They are a great family and I hate to break them up. My other cats don't like Mocha, it's very sad.

Monday, May 18, 2009

One of the reasons Syracuse is a great place to live

Dining Room ceiling in new house, originally uploaded by Melsky.

You can buy a beautiful old house like this in good condition in a good area for 100K or so. Syracuse housing prices are much lower than other areas. This means that if you are a first time buyer and taking advantage of the 8 thousand dollar tax deduction for first time buyers, you are saving an even bigger chunk off your house.

You have to close on your house no later than NOVEMBER 31, 2009 to take advantage of this, so the time to get started looking is now.

You can call me at 315-317-2721 for more information and to find out how much of a loan you might qualify for. If you are thinking of putting your house on the market, it's a great time for this too with all those first time buyers out looking now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

In the closet

100_0297, originally uploaded by Melsky.

Most of our rental properties are very old houses that have been redone or "modernized" which frequently means taking all the cool old stuff out and replacing it with bland carpet and white paint. Many times they don't do the closet and it's the only place where you can see how cool it used to be. This is in the closet in a house in the Southside. Now the whole floor is that fake wood stuff and the walls are white.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brightly Colored Row Houses

Brightly Colored Row Houses, originally uploaded by Melsky.

This is in the Hawley Green neighborhood. These are old row houses that have been redone inside and out. I'd love to see the insides! My friend Restoman told me about these, he lives nearby and knows the guy who did them.

It makes me really happy to see old urban properties like this redone. These are close enough to downtown to walk.

The property management company I represent has a rental property that has just been remodeled around the corner from here. It's been really well done, new floors, walls, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. The only problem is the houses on either side are not that great as far as being run down and having tons of junk in the back yards. One of them has a bunch of Pitt Bulls. It's hard to show a property when you are worried about having a dog leap the fence and attack you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Big Chair

The Big Chair, originally uploaded by Melsky.

This is the world's largest Captain's chair. It's at Chinatowne Furniture in Solvay. It's called that because the building used to be a china factory. I bought a king size bed, big but not quite as big as the captain's chair.

Friday, May 8, 2009

108 Ash Street

Ash Street, originally uploaded by Melsky.

This is one of the buildings we just started managing. It's the nicest one we have, inside it's all re-done. One of the units is rented and the other three are 600-650. It's in Little Italy by St Joseph's hospital.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

All Syracuse is blooming

Flowering Trees in Syracuse, originally uploaded by Melsky.

I guess it is really spring and I can get my snow tires taken off.