Coolhaus Ice Cream Book
Not Your Typical Ice Cream Sandwich
With names like the Buck-mint-ster Fuller, Bananas Norman Foster, and the I.M. Pei-nut Butter, it’s pretty clear that the ice cream sandwiches featured in this beautiful new cookbook by Natasha Case and Freya Estreller, the duo behind beloved food truck Coolhaus, are something special. But the proof is in the pudding (or the ice cream), and these treats are as tasty as they are cleverly named. We plan to make our way through every recipe in the book this summer, and you should too.
Meat Hook Meat Book
Produced by our favorite Brooklyn butcher shop, this cookbook is a carnivore’s delight. It has everything you’ll need for an animal protein-packed summer. Recipe for Vinegar Hill House’s famous Red Wattle Country Pork Chop? Check. Top-secret grilling techniques? Yup! Photos of raw meat in space? Sure! Check it out.
The Inspired Home
Nests of Creatives
For those days when you’re too hot to even contemplate going outside, lose yourself in this beautiful book by Kim Ficaro and Todd Nickey—you’ll feel like you’ve gone on several mini-vacations into some of the most beautiful homes we’ve ever seen. Ditte Isager’s photography beautifully captures what it is that makes a house into a home: the whimsical touches and the personality and care of the owners that contribute to the creation of the perfect nest.
Now I See You
Blind in Brooklyn
Thanks to a degenerative, incurable retinal disease, Nicole C. Kear went from being a sighted teenager to a legally blind mother of three, a journey she traces in her memoir Now I See You, which St. Martin’s Press will publish in late June. We talked with her about what it’s like living in Brooklyn without being able to see the bikes whipping past.
What advantages do cities offer to the blind that suburbs and rural areas don’t?
Independence. As a visually impaired person who still retains a bunch of sight, it all boils down to the driving. A city that has a decent public transportation system allows people who can’t drive—and not just the blind folks—to get pretty much wherever they want to go, whenever they want to go there. I lived in Los Angeles for a few years in my 20s, and there was so much about California I loved, but I was dependent on my boyfriend and friends for a ride, and that drove me crazy, made me feel really trapped. When I moved back to New York, I felt this terrific, exhilarating sense of freedom again, like the whole world was opening up to me.
The grid system, too, is great for the blind and visually impaired; I know, with reliability, that after 47th Street will come 46th and then 45th, and it’ll keep on in that wonderfully predictable way (until I get too far downtown, at which point I’m screwed). There are other benefits of city living, too; conveniences like elevators and doormen and neighbors to borrow an egg from when you’re one egg short of a cookie recipe. Convenience is one of the first things you lose when you lose your sight, so it’s great to stumble upon little luxuries of convenience again.
Does Brooklyn have any unique advantages over, say, Manhattan?
I definitely wouldn’t settle down in the busiest parts of Manhattan if I could help it—every time I have to go to Herald Square or even SoHo on a Saturday afternoon, I need a stiff drink afterward. Those kinds of crowds are no fun when you have tunnel vision, and they get less fun the less vision you have. Though who are we kidding? Navigating Times Square isn’t fun for anyone who retains sanity. To be fair, though, Times Square, whose streets are as illuminated at midnight as they are at noon, was one of the rare places I felt really comfortable after dark, when night blindness was my biggest issue. So, I think it just really depends on which part of Manhattan you’re talking about and what your needs are exactly.
Are there ways the city could better accommodate the blind?
Yep. One of the banes of my existence is dodging cyclists who run red lights. It has totally made me into a crotchety old lady, shaking my head and grumbling to myself as I traverse an intersection. Thing is, unlike cars, bikes are silent, and small, making them harder to discern when you’re a few rods and cones short of a fully functional eyeball, and since they frequently blow through red lights (assuming that pedestrians can see them coming) it gets me into trouble.
In general, there are a ton of amazing accessibility features out there in the city that could be more widespread—stuff like those freaky talking elevators and intersections that announce when it’s safe to cross the street.
What neighborhood do you live in?
With the exception of my two years in LA, I’ve lived in Park Slope since 1998, when I graduated from college and moved back to my native New York. I don’t recall why my roommates and I—a bunch of 21-year-olds with hot nightlives and no money—decided to settle in the Slope, but the tree-lined streets were so damn beautiful and we liked the proximity to the city, and we found a really great railroad apartment on Seventh Avenue that was $500 apiece: not cheap, but affordable. It didn’t take long for me to get hooked, even as it got more expensive and the strollers got bigger and more ruthless. Now my kids and husband and I like to play the “If we won the Lotto, where we would live?” game, and the big question is: would we move to Manhattan, someplace like the West Village? In this fantasy scenario, my 9-year-old pushes for us to go bicoastal (a place in Manhattan and a place in Brooklyn), but, really, all of us agree, we’d stay exactly where we are. Well, not exactly. I’d get a house big enough that I could escape the sound of my kids’ arguing from time to time, maybe throw in an extra bathroom in there, an actual dining space, too… but still in the Slope, for sure. – Henry Stewart