Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It is also very hip among the celebrities according to the latest in the New York Times.
Think about it! You could even throw a picnic blanket over the ping-pong table and have it double as a picnic table.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Hollywood Forever was this summer's best and most frequented picnic spot for yours truly. Where else can you view a screening of Barbarella while sipping sweet summer wine and feasting on delicious caprese salad in the open air under the stars?
To maximize your Hollywood Forever movie picnic pleasure, I recommend the following:
Arrive early and secure a good spot - a spot directly between the two speakers and behind or in front of the slight dip in the middle of the lawn. It's best to be set up and eating before the sun sets and well before the movie begins.
Bring a plastic tarp to be placed under your picnic blanket. The ground can get a little cold and damp when the air temperature drops as evening sets in.
Serving platters and trays will help prevent the topples and spills that are likely to occur once the sun goes down.
Keep picnic items in containers with lids that can be easily sealed to make post-picnic clean-up in the dark much easier.
Bring some extra layers - it gets chilly out there in the graveyard!
Follow these simple tips and you too can have one of the years best picnics!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Having no shortage of friends begging to dine with us, we were of course curious about and moved by the plight of the solo diner. Considering our role as acknowledged experts on all things picnic, we took it on ourselves to answer our readers concerns. What follows is an experiment in solitude.
Trial #1: Fort Greene Park, a Thursday morning
So, attempting a solo picnic in Brooklyn's beautiful Fort Greene Park is a bit like cheating, because the park is actually teeming with ghosts eagerly waiting to be channeled by your unsuspecting mind. Deep inside this park's picturesque hill lies the crypt (or mass grave) of soldiers who died in captivity on prison ships during the American Revolutionary War. But what better place than a Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument to embark on an experiment that could very well prove deadly?
Moving on. For today's spread I stopped at a little French bistro near the park and picked up their "Parisian basket" consisting of baguette, croissant, muffin, and jam and butter. A little bread-heavy, but that's one of the advantages of solo picnicking--there's no one to tell you to lay off the baked goods. I also brought along a copy of one of my favorite comic book series, Cromartie High, which chronicles the exploits of a group of Japanese badasses who attend a super badass high school and hang out with a mysterious and hairy friend who bears a disturbing resemblance to the late great Freddie Mercury. I brought the book to stave off Loneliness, because it always makes me laugh out loud, much like the company of good friends. So far, so good!
Hold the phone! I've only got two hands! I can't butter and jam my baguette and read my book at the same time. But if I set down the book to prepare my meal, the American Revolutionary soldierghosts will surely possess my emptied mind and lead me to commit unspeakable acts of violence on the noisy teenagers who dance on their very grave. And if I become engrossed in my book to forestall such a disturbing fate, I won't eat my food at all, thereby disqualifying this excursion from picnichood completely. If only I had somebody to talk to, some charming conversation that could keep the ghosts at bay! Abort! Abort!
Trial #2: Central park, a Friday afternoon
Whoa, that was close. I can't believe I was so smug as to think I could just enjoy my simple meal all alone whilst perched on a crypt for fallen soldiers without channeling their wrath, which has undoubtedly festered these past two centuries into a murderous bloodlust. I'm going to have to be more careful this time. Ah, what could be more innocent and free of bad vibes than New York's playground for the masses, Central Park? I found a site near the 72nd Street and Central Park West entrance, not so very far from the John Lennon monument, Strawberry Fields. I know what you're thinking--not another site of murder and haunting!--but don't worry. Mr. Lennon came to me in a dream and said he'd love to have me for over for a picnic and there would be no funny business like demonic possession.
Still, I'm wary. And how carefully I chew.
But the picnic goes off without a hitch! I see cute dogs, eavesdrop on the cell phone conversations of passers-by, and toast to a warm glow in the summer sun.
I think the lesson learned here is that solo picnickers do need to be very careful. If the Loneliness doesn't drive you mad, the angry ghosts who inhabit the periphery of our mortal plane will! We have also learned that there is hope for the solo picnicker as long as he enlists the help of a friendly spirit from beyond the grave--a guardian angel, if you prefer--to simultaneously take the edge off the gnawing anguish of Loneliness and scare away marauding ghostly presences. Mr. Lennon was so kind as to accompany me that day (whispering encouragement and bits of lyric in my ear), but I'm sure he has many engagements on his social calendar; appearing in pot-induced trances, answering hippies' prayers, and the like. I think the prudent thing to do now is to pick a patron saint for the solo picnicker, someone who is preferably dead and just forgotten enough to have the free time to watch over those who dine alone. Any nominations?
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
All that walking sure made us hungry! Lucky for us, we brought a great spread, and I'm not talking about a Playboy centerfold, either!
As you can see, we've got a delicious array of edible goods, mostly purchased from the farmer's market. The colorful cups really kicked the picnic up a notch.
All in all, it was a great day, and we went home with our tummies full of delicious food and our heads full of precious memories...
...except that this guy got pink eye! And that's what I was talking about in the beginning; the thing that made the day a bit of a downer, looking back on it. Because then he passed it on to the other guy, and the two haven't spoken since. The lesson here is, careful where you put your hands--even when you're among friends--and remember that when you eat outdoors, you're also hosting a picnic for asshole germs and the main course is YOU.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Although it's still a little brisk to sit outside and eat a meal in the grand tradition of picnicking which we love so well, now is the perfect time to start scouting sites, building an arsenal of recipes, and stockpiling nuclear weapons. Whoops, I mean stockpiling portable dishwear and utensils.
I don't know about yous, but I'm getting paid on Friday, so here's a little rundown of the picnic accoutrements we at Eat Out More Often and millions of other picnic enthusiasts will be rushing out to buy:
1 badminon set: booyah! Almost everybody is good at badminton. You can get these for $20 or so at your local crappy mall or maybe even at a dollar store. Host a badminton tournament/picnic and then rig the scoring so that your team wins! And don't forget your sweatbands.
1 frisbee: doubles as a plate!
1 thermos: the Jerk had it right, a thermos makes a great gift! These come in handy when you want to mix up some mojitos for your picnic without getting busted, because thermi look as innocent as babies.
TP/napkins/anything that wipes: it's nice to have something handy (other than your hand) when your pants are down and there isn't a pinecone in sight.
1 used portable radio: crank up the power! I don't think I would recommend this for every picnic, because it's always better to make your own music if you're so inclined. But this can be a nice way to jazz up those day-long picnics at the beach, and a radio can also warn you if there's a tornado coming!
1 pair of binoculars: essential for scoping out babes, birds, and enemies who wait in ambush.
1 book of Family Circus cartoons: a great way to steer the conversation away from something unpleasant and get back to wholesome picnicking, especially if you ignore that fact that everybody in the family secretly hates Jeffy.
That's all I can think of for now, but there's bound to be more picnic-themed stuff you can blow your money on. Keep in mind, however, that fancy badminton sets and adult diapers don't make picnics great, people do. And food do, too.