Alas, we meet again.

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Ok, so I needed a break. Sue me. It took me 13 blogs before I created one that actually stuck; for over a year! Alas, I grew tired of writing about the same old drudgery that became my life in NYC. With the Honeymoon phase over, I needed a real break from constantly admiring my surroundings and give myself time to really hate this place. You know, like a real New Yorker. Not that, by any means, do I consider myself one. Continue reading “Alas, we meet again.”

Guest POst: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring what you are willing to part with)

BRING WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO PART WITH

Your traveling pack is your only truly inseparable companion on the road. Be morally and emotionally prepared, nevertheless, that it too can uncouple from you. Airports, for example, are notorious for losing bags, so carry essentials ‘on’ you. Theft, especially in crime-stricken areas and high-flow hostels, is not to be underestimated. When adventure calls, water and forest obstacles can also cause severe damage to your luggage, sometimes beyond repair. Sometimes, even the smallest dysfunctions in your luggage can be an extreme inconvenience, which will either force you to halt the adventure or abandon the baggage.

StJohnIslandCliffView Continue reading “Guest POst: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring what you are willing to part with)”

GUEST POST: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring no more than want to carry)

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BRING NO MORE THAN WANT TO CARRY

It is easy to over-pack; it can be overwhelming to grab everything you deem essential. The fine line between bringing too many (unnecessary) items and omitting to bring certain essentials is a personal decision. You can always re-up or lessen on supplies, buying or shedding articles along the way. It is optimal, however, to bring the bare minimum of what you’ll need – no more no less. Continue reading “GUEST POST: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring no more than want to carry)”

My Daily Commute on the NYC Subway: The Investigators.

subway_selfieI’m on the B train on my morning commute to work, it’s somewhere around 9:45am. Normally, I don’t like to sit on the ride to and from work seeing as how I’ll either have the whole day to sit at a desk or I’ve come from a long day of sitting, but this time was different. For the first time in a while, my morning commute involved a crowded train (not having to commute during rush hour is a saving grace). I’m not complaining, piling into a packed train has it’s perks — I often feel a tiny thrill while shuffling into the train with playback flashes of NYC movies romanticizing the shoving and jamming of people into tiny spaces (it pays to be small in this city). On this particular day, the train wasn’t spectacularly packed or anything, but enough folks kept bumping into me that I snagged the first seat I could find . [On a side note, if you’re in NYC please check around before grabbing that sought after seat in case someone else may actually need it first. Yes, I do this. Always.] Continue reading “My Daily Commute on the NYC Subway: The Investigators.”

GUEST POST: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Leave the contraband)

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LEAVE THE CONTRABAND

It is uber-helpful to remember the exact positioning of each item in your luggage, to save vital time in drenching moments. It is an even more important, complimentary wont, to know the exact contents of the bag. This is crucial, for fast packing/unpacking, for example, not to leave things accidentally in hostels. If the habit of keeping track of possessions is not developed, it is also quite easy to bring prohibited items in the carry-on into the airport.

Continue reading “GUEST POST: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Leave the contraband)”

Guest POst: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring the saving grace)

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TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING

Boy Scouts’ slogan got it right!  With a small adjustment: be prepared for the unknown. What do you need to bring on the trip? Really, there are only two musts: make sure your brain is working and positive attitude is turned on. All else is for extra comfort, since you will likely be roughing it without a bagful of personal belongings. Careful packing is a crucial way to anticipate and smoothly overcome possible hurdles on a badass journey. Play the trip out to yourself over and over again, visualizing the euphoria and the challenges. Think of the material necessities that should accompany those abstracts. This way, you will mitigate the stress of the unknown.

There is no ultimate way to prepare for what’s coming on the adventurous path — that’s the point.  It is possible, however, to make arrangements for imaginable encounters. Everyone has different wants, preferences, and pet peeves about what to bring on a trip and what to omit. Consider those nuanced details! If you thoughtfully prepare according to your likings, luck will likely follow; even if some object will be missing. Continue reading “Guest POst: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring the saving grace)”

Guest POst: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring small size nick-knacks)

things to bring on an adventure

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING

Boy Scouts’ slogan got it right!  With a small adjustment: be prepared for the unknown. What do you need to bring on the trip? Really, there are only two musts: make sure your brain is working and positive attitude is turned on. All else is for extra comfort, since you will likely be roughing it without a bagful of personal belongings. Careful packing is a crucial way to anticipate and smoothly overcome possible hurdles on a badass journey. Play the trip out to yourself over and over again, visualizing the euphoria and the challenges. Think of the material necessities that should accompany those abstracts. This way, you will mitigate the stress of the unknown. Continue reading “Guest POst: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ADVENTURE’S HAPPENING (Bring small size nick-knacks)”

New York City Senses

southern view from central parkThe photos in this post are not related to the text… just some photos I’ve been taking this week randomly.

I’ve been living in NYC long enough now that I’m starting to take my surroundings for granted. I get annoyed and flustered at the idiocy of others constantly surrounding me and the weather has been crap. Even summertime heat that I was so longing for during the treacherous winter months has worn me out (being completely drenched in sweat before my work day even begins is not great). This all makes me pretty sad. I love this city. I do, I really do. I love it for the exact reasons that are wearing me down. I love the people, the noise, the dirt, the inconvenience of it all. I wanted to do something to make me focus less on my discomfort and more on my surroundings so I started sitting down every chance I get to write about my what I see, smell, and hear. Every now and then my emotions find their way into these exercises too.  Continue reading “New York City Senses”

Week 36: Postablog, Ms. Lopez & Little Russia.

[January 19th – 25th]

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My week in food was a complete failure… I certainly didn’t eat out as much (just a couple times), but still more than I intended to. I had some plans that pretty much required I eat unhealthy (when lobster Mac n’ Cheese is on the menu, you don’t say no). Next week (I say this all too often) I’ll make a separate ‘My week in Food’ post and will hopefully make time to take pretty photos.

01.19: So I’ve mentioned how happy I am with my new job at Postable, right? Well, among many other things I get to write the blog… so go check it out blog.postable.com or just click HERE.

My gym update is pretty sad, but I guess I shouldn’t keep it to myself. I went yesterday. Today I am extremely sore. With plans to go tonight having been cancelled post a dinner that’s left me immobile, I’ve got my eye on Wednesday for my next workout sesh.

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Tuesday night trivia… but first, there was Happy Hour Oysters!

01.21: I’m having a really hard time leaving the house after making it indoors at night. The daylight is always so enticing that leaving the house is never an issue, but when the moon is shining there’s a whole new obstacle. When I’m on my way home from the subway, I feel like I’m escaping an evil force that’s trying to kill me… Making it inside is an epic achievement. Why would I ever want to go back outside after such an ordeal?! With this said, I’m pushing myself out of the door as we speak (sort of) so I can go workout.

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We worked from Williamsburg this Tuesday… not a terrible view. 

1.22: I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s resolution for a couple weeks now. I know, I’m kind of late. I went through the usual… stop eating like shit, go to the gym, blah blah. I want to change something in my life for the better this year instead of just plowing away at the usual personal hurdles. I was doing a facebook crawl (something I’ve successfully reduced from my daily life) today and came across a HONY post (Humans of New York). It was about Mott Hall Bridges Academy – a middle school located in a Brooklyn neighborhood with the highest crime rate in NYC. They are raising money on Indiegogo to help get these kids on a field trip to Harvard (showing them a world outside of theirs). I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever donated to a cause. Maybe once or twice for something environmental related, but I really can’t put my finger on any one time. I could not have felt more supportive and on board with what they’re trying to achieve and decided I’d donate next week’s brunch $. It’s not much, but it’s something.

That’s when I realized what one of my new year’s resolutions should be… donate to a cause once a month. Let’s be clear, I don’t have fountains of dough lounging around my apartment. I have to budget like a mad woman to be able to live this life in NYC. But if I can skip one of my brunches so that I can help [just a teeny tiny bit], that sounds way more appealing than a nasty afternoon hangover post an unlimited mimosa escapade. The principal at Mott Hall Bridges Academy sounds like Superwoman, I’m so glad HONY found her.

Their fundraising goal that started today was $100,000 (enough to send 3 years worth of 6th grade students on a trip to Harvard). When I just checked the site, the total is up to $311,091. That is remarkable. If you look on the side of the page, you can see what the amounts donated look like… most would just barely cover a bottomless Saturday Brunch, but together they’re helping change the lives of children.

The fundraiser is going until February 5th. If you’d like to trade today’s cappuccino bucks I’m sure every dollar is appreciated. You can click the link HERE.

Also, if you’d like to share any great causes down below please feel free!

On another note, today at WeWork (the building I work in)… we got free dumplings for downloading their app. Could I be any more in love with this place? [Did anyone get that Friends reference? 🙂 ]

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This was the other view from my workday in Williamsburg. 

01.23: My Friday night = a giant bowl of roasted dill carrots and hours on hours of Friends. I’ve got to get out more.

01:24: It’s so quiet this morning. Usually I hear random screaming and the occasional slue of conversational honking horns. I say ‘conversational’ because it’s usually two or three (or many times more) people involved in a jammed situation outside my window and instead of talking to one another, they choose to honk back and forth in what some might call a conversational manner.

I woke up early and journeyed out to the grocery store. It snowed a bunch last night and the snow left on the tree branches is really pretty to look at from my window. The minute I walked outside, however, what was beautiful from inside looking out turned into nasty slush below my feet. It’s not very cold today (well above freezing) so the snow is melting quickly… instead of crunchy white snow there were brown mushy puddles. Lovely. I kind of felt like I was walking through a silent battlefield. I had to choose where I stepped very carefully, making sure to avoid large puddles and potential ice pockets, keeping my hood up and my head down to avoid getting hit by the giant snow chunks falling from the branches above. My short walk to the bus was a success, minus the giant snow ball that landed on my forehead as I all-too-bravely decided to look up and admire what was left of the snow up above. Rookie mistake.

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I went to Brighton Beach today. I loved it! Instead of bringing my camera, I was able to pack my backpack with what felt like a ton of goodies. I forget how entertaining it is for me to visit there… it’s like a little island of it’s own. Nobody speaks any English, everything is written in Russian (even the Verizon store front), and there is no shortage of European and Russian food stores. Mmmmm.

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I’ve never seen snow and sand intermingled. 

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The highlights:

* There were a couple of kids sledding on the beach. Literally. They were giggling with each other and speaking half Russian (with their moms) and half English (with each other).

*  The tiny black Honda blasting Russian pop songs parked by the side of the street.

* The little old lady with the baked goodies stand, who refused to smile even though I said hello in the most cheerful Russian I could muster.

* Fur. SO much fur. You don’t see too many people wearing fur around the city, but now I know why. The Russians are hoarding it.

* Speaking of fur… I was on my way back to the train when I walked by one of the many fur stores. The most brilliantly blonde (more like yellow) older lady wearing a turquoise leopard velvet track suit and Gucci rimmed glasses was standing just inside a fur boutique looking around, presumably judging each passerby based on their fury attire. The most gaudy-licious display of their coats was right next to her. It was all too much. I wish I took a picture, but I’d hate for her to think I was judging her. Instead I jotted down what I saw and walked away, giggling the entire way to the train.

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All the goodies I got.

Chebooreki, a bunch of pelmeni, buckwheat, cow tongue, german strawberry preserves, and a bunch of Russian candy.

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I had so much fun reading all the labels and talking with the ladies who worked at the grocery stores. It still kills me (in the best way possible) how they just assume you speak Russian… I was standing in one line and paying all of my attention on reading whatever tag was nearest me (I’m not very good and the cursive handwriting on the sign was throwing me for a loop) when one of the ladies who worked there started trying to tell me to get in her line. It took her like 3 tries to finally get my attention, but not one time did she speak English.

01.25: My goodness today’s weather is beautiful. Too bad tomorrow there’s supposed to be a terrible blizzard. That should be fun.

Sunday night Russian Film Club was a success, as always. Film choice of the evening: Ivan Vasilievich Switches Professions (a Soviet comic science fiction comedy). This one had a lot of fun songs.

I made sure there was no shortage of Russian dumplings (Pelmeni) and Chebooreki (not Russian, but Ukrainian or Turkic- according to Wikipedia. I’m still not exactly sure what nationality this dish is related to exactly). There was also a small assortment of Russian candy that happily got devoured.

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The Pelmeni were pretty darn delicious, but still not quite as yummy as I remember them from Russia.

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Have a great week!