Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Has Sprung

Guys. Unofficially, summer is here. It may not seem like it at this exact second I'm writing this because it looks disgusting out and I did get splashed with tons of what I imagine to be sewage water from an excessively large puddle on Canal Street while commuting home, but Memorial Day has come and gone. Even if just three nights ago we were bar-hopping in ankle boots and faux leather jackets, on Sunday (or "second Saturday" per Kat), I wore short sleeves all day, and on Monday, I was able to actually wear a dress. These warm days still seem to come and go but they'll be more prevalent in the upcoming weeks if I have anything to say about it. I'm looking forward to many outdoor activities this year and I've gotten quite the slow start.

Outdoor Activity #1 - Hanging out on balconies with some favorites

But, thanks to the sun on second Saturday, Kat, Kristyn, and I were able to spend a fun day at South Street Seaport, one of my favorite city gems, and I was able to visit two of the places on my summer list. First up was breakfast (at 2 pm...) at Smorgasbar, an extension of the popular weekend food festival Smorgasburg, which made an appearance on my 28 Things list. Gourmet food booths were serving up food all day and into the night - we spent quite a few hours there and ended up splitting chanchito (pork) tacos from Fonda, a Connecticut Style lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound, a Milk Truck classic grilled cheese sandwich with sauteed onions, & a pepperoni Pizza Moto, fresh from a portable brick oven that a lumberjack (?) was chopping wood for right in front of us. There were four or five additional food vendors and then of course, a beer booth, where they were selling a few of Brooklyn's finest brews and Kelvin's Natural Slush mixed with liquor.

The second item on the summer list was the new establishment Watermark Bar down the pier a little more where we made a successful transition from day- to night-drinking. There is an indoor and outdoor part of the bar, but at least on Sunday, all the outdoor tables were covered, under the overhang. It would be nicer if you could sit out in the sunshine with a beer, but there are other places at the Seaport for that. It would also be nice if the place had a bathroom and you didn't have to sprint (I run when I drink) halfway down the pier and wait in line with the general public. Watermark could use a bathroom, but it's still a good option for when you want a beer at the Seaport but don't have the energy for Beekman Beer Garden (especially if Beekman is hosting a weird Red Bull party).

I will definitely be spending lots of time down at the Seaport this summer and into the fall. I encourage you to as well, a lot of the businesses down there suffered quite a bit from Hurricane Sandy and we should help them out as much as we can. And if we can do that while enjoying amazing food, views, and beer, then that makes it even better.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why I Haven't Been Writing & Why My Excuses Are All BS

I've been finished with my 28 Things project for 24 days now and all I can do is make excuses for why I don't need to write. Not only have I not been working on this here blog, but I have also forgone my other life projects. I need to stop making the below excuses to myself.
  • "I'm too tired" - Um, you are TWENTY EIGHT not EIGHTY EIGHT. You've always thrived on little sleep and sometimes, yea, it catches up to you, but you're generally okay. You can sleep when you retire at age 35 when you sell your 'N Sync website from your teenage years for $1.1 billion to Yahoo or when you meet Prince Harry at a bar the next time he comes to NYC.
  • "I haven't had time to do anything fun" - Um, you have actually had *too* much fun this month, young lady. Maybe if you spent less time combining day-drinking with night-drinking, celebrating holidays with tequila, and making happy hours last past midnight, you would have time to do some things you can write about.
  • "I've been on jury duty" - Um, your days of jury duty were basically the easiest you've had in the last six years. All you have to do is sit there and wait, nobody wants to talk to anyone, and they have wifi at the courthouse. You could have easily written a Twilight-quality novel in this time. 
  • "I should be planning my trip to Italy" - Um, you have done squatola in terms of making any decisions for the trip except for choosing to fly Delta and putting the hotel rooms on your credit card to earn more SkyMiles. You have rejected your cousin's long, thought-out email about Rome with a response of "This is too long, I'm not reading it" and you have replied to all your sister's and parents' emails with "Yea, sounds good" instead of anything of merit.
  • "It's springtime, who wants to be inside and write?" - Um, the weather went from too cold for spring to too hot for spring way too quickly. It's been much nicer the last few weeks to sit Native-American style on your couch in either your zebra-print snuggie or in front of the open window with a fan and a bowl of ice cream, depending on the extreme weather situation of the day.
  • "Nobody reads my writing anyway" - Um, who the heck cares if they do or not?! You started this blog with no intentions that anyone would read it and just as a way to chronicle your time here on this damn planet. If nothing else, your future children cats will read it when you are old and realize that you were once fun before they messed up came into your life.
I promise to return to my projects in the not-so-distant future. I have some ideas for fun touristy things to do this weekend when the city is supposed to empty out a little bit. If not for me, I should at least do it for my future cats.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Get More NYC | Greg Holden - "She's Got Something"

The most frequent question I've gotten over the last two weeks has been "Are you going to do a 29 Things list?" The short answer is no, but the long answer is that I always have a few to-do lists running in my head anyway and I'd like to reduce the pressure I put on myself with time limits this upcoming year. Alternatively, I will be working on different projects, some for the blog, some for elsewhere in life. I will be rolling out a few new features here over the next few months, and I'd like to start to show more of NYC than just my personal experiences - the New York of music, movies, books, & television. Today I'd like to pick a song for you. I have an entire New York playlist that I listen to when I'm just walking around aimlessly trying to love on NYC as much as possible.

Greg Holden's "She's Got Something," was actually released in 2009 but I first heard it a few months back when it was featured in a Target commercial that I would always rewind on my DVR and listen to repeatedly before I made the wise decision to splurge for the song on iTunes. Fun fact, Greg Holden also wrote the Phillip Phillips amazing song, Home, which you will remember from the Olympics last year.

"Well it all started all out in a wonderful city we all know...get me back, get me back to New York..."

{YouTube link}


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling 28

So now that I've been 28 for a entire week, I feel as if I can finally reflect...

28 Things in NYC to do Before I Turn 28

When I created this project, I had no idea if I would actually finish it or if it would end up how my 25/26 lists did, where I did around twenty items but still felt good since I may not have done those otherwise. I loved the idea of keeping this list focused on New York so that I could write about the project here and also fall in love with this city even more.

I didn't know where this year of my life would go. I didn't expect that I would suddenly catch the travel bug and head off to Amsterdam, Belgium, Thailand, Hong Kong, or be planning a trip to Italy. I didn't know where the heck I was going to live or if I was even going to be able to afford my own place. I survived a hurricane, blizzards, breakups, severe hangovers, and a mouse in my apartment. I also held a tiger or two.

There was a lot of planning involved in this project as I knew I had to do certain items with certain people and some things I couldn't do alone. It was also a lot of pressure, mainly from myself (shocker), but also strangely from my subway station every morning, which never let me stop thinking about what I was supposed to be doing.

I did so many incredible things as part of this project which reminded me why I am so excited to live in this city. My final list was spread across all five boroughs, including one I'd never been to before (Staten Izzle) and also included parts of Manhattan where I'd never previously journeyed (Harlem, Broadway north of the 100s, Roosevelt Island).

Each time I went on a journey with friends, they treated me like I was a little kid on my birthday, making sure that I got to see and take photos of everything I needed, cleared my head enough to focus and succeed in my trapeze jumps, and got enough of a taste of my first stuffed artichoke on Arthur Ave. I don't know how I got so lucky.

The VIPs of my 28 Things (in alphabetical order):
Other IPs (in order of how long I've known them - just for kicks) for their suggestions and/or for joining me on some of my tasks:
  • Mom, Dad, Katie, Mike, Emily, Christie, Janna, Mendy, Allie, Tracy, Tyler, Nicole, Kyle, David, Dan, Brad, CK, Rohan, Carrie, Davesh, Dave, and Jessica. 
There were definitely some missteps in this project. Some items closed for the season before I got a chance to try them, but that just means they are on a separate lower pressure list for this summer. A friend and I neglected to get tickets beforehand for Dialog in the Dark and unfortunately it remains closed to this day due to Hurricane Sandy. I also got trapped alone in a subway car I stayed on hoping to see the secret 6 train stop and thought I was going to have to remain underground and become a mole person, but I made it out alive and well.

Despite the planning, the pressure, and the missteps, I am so glad I took this project on. And of course, beyond this project, I did some really cool things in New York and elsewhere and I have some amazing stories. I will definitely look back on this year as one of my best and I need to thank you all for this. You are all incredibly amazing and I only look forward to the upcoming years in this fantastic city even more.

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