Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Case You Missed It: September

While the rest of you were settling into Football season, I was just settling into September. The month started off as all autumns do, with one more awesome weekend at home with the family on the beach. I am seriously so lucky to have the best family and neighbors and friends in the world.

The New York Magazine crossword puzzle made an appearance in most of my weekends this month, mostly with Aubrey, but on the last Saturday of the season, also with the help of my sister and my dad. We weren't going to leave until we finished, even if it was dinner time:

We also had one more poolside barbeque in my favorite backyard with my favorite people, tons of giggles, and homemade chipwiches:

A few city gals from home and I had a fun night when we just wanted to act like jerks, dance like moms, and eat lots of peanuts:

Aubrey, Sean, and I went to Brooklyn Flea Market and took the $4 ferry back to midtown to enjoy the weather, the breeze, and the views:

I paused to admire the Freedom Tower on the beautiful morning of September 11th on my way to work. I have a view of the tower from my bosses' window and it has been growing each and every week:

I spent a lovely "Girls Night" at Beauty & Essex with the females of the Hobo Crew, which is a beautiful and swank-tastic restaurant that you have to walk through a pawn shop in order to get to, where I found this gem:

On one of our thousand dates this month, Aubrey and I got the cutest presentation of the check in the Nolita eatery of epistrophy (of course we wrapped up our cash in the same way):

I found a piano player in the streets of SoHo who is traveling across America with his piano and the wonderful message of "You owe it to yourself to do something remarkable with your life":

And I finally experienced the wonderful incredible amazing pizza of Numero 28 in the West Village which I'd been dying to try for about a year, but even moreso since May when Janna recommended it.

Still thinking about that pizza.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Treat Every Week like it's Shark Week

I sadly somehow haven’t seen my old roommate Nicole since we moved out of our old place in Hell’s Kitchen. I would have invited her to do her 28 Things suggestion with me, but I knew she wasn’t interested. She is not into having water from the Hudson River hit her in the face, but didn’t seem to mind suggesting it to me. 

#12 Take a ride on a speedboat around the city

So, because I’m not a liar, I will say that Nicole actually suggested that I take a ride on the Beast, not just any old speedboat. I made an executive decision to instead to take a ride on the Shark which looks exactly the same to me, because I found discounted tickets and this 28 Things project has not been light on my wallet. Both the Beast and the Shark are run by Circle Line.

I certainly love being out on the water, whether a row boat in the pond at Central Park, a kayak on the West Side, or the Staten Island Ferry, A few weekends ago, Aubrey and I went down to the South Street Seaport (have I mentioned how much I love the Seaport??) on an absolutely gorgeous day and hopped in line for the Shark. 

The ride was so much fun! It was basically a mobile nightclub but during the day and without any creepy guys. They played loud music through the speakers and gave shoutouts to the skyscrapers and islands we passed. People on the boat were dancing and wooing and had their arms up like they were on a rollercoaster. It was actually quite a thrill. We were going a lot faster than I thought we would, went over every wave, leaned to each side as if we were going to flip quite a few times, and did get hit with plenty of water, although the other side of the boat had it a lot worse than us. The boat also paused for a few minutes in front of the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

Holding on for dear life.


The waves and the city.

From a little further back.

The lady.

The Lady on one end, Freedom on the other.

Going back in time.

The Brooklyn Bridge and three of my favorite buildings.
We also got a special surprise because the President was coming into town and we saw his three helicopters fly in and land on the dock.

When this item was first put this on my list, I was thinking of it just as a fun ride to be honest, but really, the Shark is an amazing opportunity to see the city from a different viewpoint. That particular week was the 11th anniversary of September 11th and was the same week we went to the Empire State Building. It was really a perfect idea to see the city from two such different views than usual that particular week. It makes you appreciate your city even more than you thought you did.


{Some of these pics are courtesy of Aubs}

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Ain't a Beauty, But Hey, You're Alright

Bruce Springsteen is basically a member of my family. I can't listen to him without thinking of my dad, sister, or cousins, and we would be more than happy to have him at our Thanksgiving celebration (and it *is* a celebration) this year. If anyone can hook this up, let me know STAT. As I've mentioned before, I actually only became a Bruce fan a few years back. But since then, I've fulfilled my Jersey Duty of seeing him in concert three times, most recently at Metlife Stadium this past weekend, always in the incredible company of my family members.

October 2009 - An epic tailgate in the parking lot of Giants Stadium with Katie, Emily, & Christie:

Sitting in a trunk

Sharing a Tostito

Loving our lives

April 2012 - A Good Friday night concert at Madison Square Garden when our tickets were oddly in the press section, again with Katie, Emily, & Christie:

Confused in the press box

At least we have plenty of room to dance!

And we get to see everyone's booties!

September 2012 - MetLife Stadium with Katie, Emily, Christie PLUS Mike PLUS MY PARENTS for a concert that was postponed two hours due to lightning (wimps), but was also Bruce Springsteen's 63rd birthday party ("I think I just invited 55,000 people to my birthday!" "Hey! It's my birthday!"), and Bruce played LIKE A BOSS until 2 am:

3rd time together!

The three main pieces of my heart

So much framily love

My Bruce-piration


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sitting on Top of the World

The Empire State Building is clearly one of the top symbols people associate with New York, right up there with The Statue. I have been talking for years about how as a connoisseur of all things NYC, I’m embarrassed I haven’t been yet, but I’ve always thought since it is so quintessentially New York, it should be a special occasion of sorts. I thought of somehow forcing someone to propose to me up there or to use this as the last item on my 28 Things list, but instead, I decided it should be in celebration of my move to my first solo apartment in NYC. This was put on my list by my older sister, Katie.

#11 Go to the top of the Empire State Building

When I started talking about how much I wanted to do this item on my list, I couldn't believe how many people had never been up to the top, including people at work who have lived here for decades. And the people who had been had mostly only been as kids. I was lucky to accomplish this task with four of my good friends, Kat, Kater, Aubrey, and Emily, each of whom I've done tons of stuff with in the city and on this blog. I'm going to try and convince you that even if you've lived in the city forever and feel like you are too cool to do touristy things, that you need to take your own journey to the top.

You can basically bypass the lines because you are VIP. If you live in NYC, you should just go on a whim on a nice weeknight. The city never sleeps so the elevators go up to the top until 1 am and a lot fewer people will be there later at night during the week. You can also buy your tickets online ahead of time, just in case. And just avoid bringing corkscrews in your bag (ahem) and you should get through security quickly too. Save some dolla bills because you know better since you live in town (and you know better because I’m telling you). The ESB has two decks, the main one on the 86th floor and the top deck on the 102nd. The top deck ticket is an additional $17 for a not-so-different view that’s not even outside. And don’t buy the express tickets since you’ll be going at night on a weekday and aren’t going to encounter these lines they tell you about. Just stick with the standard $25 ticket.

Going to the ESB as a tourist is a great view BUT going as a resident / frequent visitor to NYC has to be even better. It was so fun to walk around the observation deck and actually be able to identify different areas of town - the Washington Square Park arch, my new ‘hood in Gramercy, the Flatiron building, Bryant Park, Chelsea Piers, the Brooklyn Bridge, and areas in New Jersey where I used to run along the waterfront. If I had gone to the top when I first moved to New York, I probably would have only been able to identify the Freedom Tower and Central Park. And going with four other friends obsessed with NYC was great because they pointed out more than I could see at first (including things that I pretended to see even though they called me out that I couldn’t actually see them – they know me too well - and made me stand there for another four minutes until I proved that I could finally see them).

One cool thing about the ESB is that your self confidence will go through the roof at the same time you do. Maybe it's in their contracts or they're just so giddy from breathing all that high-altitude air, but the people who work at the Empire State Building will most definitely hit on you and make you feel like a million bucks.
  • "Will you write your phone number on the back of your ticket for me? I get off work in two hours..."
  • "I'm a little flustered...usually there's only one beautiful girl in a group, not five!"
  •  "Oh, you girls are from around here? I can't use my pickup line on you then...that I'll buy you the Statue of Liberty for your's worked three times."
Look how much fun we had:

Maybe one of these pictures will end up on the ESB celebrity wall one day. Who am I kidding, I'll probably need to get new photos when that day comes.


{Some of these pics are courtesy of Aubs}

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One Day You're In, And the Next Day You're Out

It is currently NY Fashion Week, which is why Fashion’s Night Out was Thursday. This event happens twice a year, in September, to showcase designers’ upcoming Spring collections, and in February, to showcase the upcoming Fall collections. CK (aka Empire Stilettos) challenged me to go to a NY Fashion Week Show as part of my 28 Things, and she had specified that it couldn’t be part of Fashion’s Night Out and had to be a real show.

#10 Go to a Fashion Show

I wasn’t really sure how to go about doing this challenge, since from what I had heard, only fashion insiders could get tickets to these things. I am certainly far from a fashion insider, although my nine-year-old self was pretty fashion forward as seen in this post. I looked to see if I could get tickets from my AmEx card and there were VIP packages available, but they were all sold out and pretty expensive anyway. I decided to check out Craigslist and came across someone who used to be in the industry who was selling some of her invitations. I picked out a show on Friday night so that I wouldn’t have to miss work and chose a lesser known designer so I didn’t have to shell out $200. I hadn’t heard of the designer, Parkchoonmoo, but I did look up a bit of her work and was very curious as to what she would present at Fashion Week.

I didn’t think that I was going to fit in with the crowd, especially being by myself, it was kind of like if I were going to a Giants game alone. (Which makes me wonder, if I wouldn’t fit in to either of those events at opposite sides of the spectrum, where *would* I fit in?) I didn't know what to wear so I just grabbed the most expensive thing in my closet which was a black strapless dress I had worn to a wedding last year. I dressed it down with my accessories and was on my way to Lincoln Center, where there were people hanging out around the fountain and a huge screen showing the fashion shows from the week. 

I wasn’t completely sure that I would get into the show because the woman who I purchased the ticket from had a distinctly Asian name and I thought someone might ask me for ID or call me out because I look Irish and Polish. But I also figured that these invites got passed around quite often and the people organizing the show wouldn’t want an empty audience. I got in without a problem and saw my ticket said “Studio Priority Standing” so I didn’t try to find a seat, although some empty seats were filled by the standers right before the show started.

The show itself was pretty short, maybe about 10-15 minutes. The lights were bright, the models were thin, the music was dramatic, just as you've seen on TV. The clothing in this particular show was boxy and industrial for the most part, although there were a few outfits that were a mix of industrial and feminine. Nothing stood out too much except in the middle of the show when a few models walked out with the netting around their faces from the invite. The colors were mostly white and black with just a few pops of color mixed in. After the show, the designer walked out and bowed, and everyone clapped and left.

This event was definitely something that I wouldn’t have thought to do on my own without the list, so I was happy for the suggestion and that it worked out. I probably wouldn’t go again unless I got free tickets somehow and was able to go with someone, but I don’t think that’s very likely anytime soon. Of course, when my acting and/or singing career takes off, the designers will be BEGGING me to sit in the front row.

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