Week 1: Sprints, Headgear, & a Gelato Tasting.

Click here to vote Regina for Fan FavoriteIMG_1257Sunday thoughts (August 7th)

This weekend was filled with intense training sessions. Definitely far more than I’ve been doing up until now. 10 – 3 minute rounds (with 30 second rest) was definitely the biggest physical challenge I’ve ever had until the next day with 30/40 minutes of conditioning drills. After each round I kept thinking “Ok, that must be the end… it couldn’t possibly keep going” and yet it did. I couldn’t help, but laugh through most of it (when I wasn’t desperately trying to gasp for air- my breathing could stand some work). I’m not complaining by the way. I’m no huge fan of sprints or anything (a giant understatement), but take my word for it… Sprints will become my favorite activity before this is all over.  Continue reading “Week 1: Sprints, Headgear, & a Gelato Tasting.”

My First Fight | The Countdown Begins

IMG_1088Ok ok… I’m getting a little dramatic with the title, I know. But c’mon! I’m going to fight someone. Like in a ring and everything. I am so excited to zone out (but totally stay zoned in because that would be bad) and pretend I’m battling some rogue Russian spy in an epic episode of Alias. Continue reading “My First Fight | The Countdown Begins”

How to Move to NYC Without a Job: 5 Steps to Prepare

You want to move to New York, but you don’t have a ready-to-go job. You’re scared, nervous, and filled with an overwhelming amount of self-doubt. Good. Grab onto that fear and doubt and hold on tight because you’re going to want to have it nearby when you tell it to go shove it.

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I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I made the move… so here it is. Before I dig in, please understand that my experience is not everyone’s experience. My background may not match your background, but many of the things I deem necessary [I think] will come in handy for anyone in preparation for moving here. I’ll do another post (maybe) on what to do when you actually get here.

This is what I did in preparation for moving to NYC without a job.

DSC_4669Going on my first job interview in NYC in July 2014

Continue reading “How to Move to NYC Without a Job: 5 Steps to Prepare”

Reggie’s Guide to NYC: Coney Island

Ok. So I’ve survived a full year in New York City and my weekly updates have come and gone. I’m starting a couple new series on here (cue suspenseful tunes) that will surely knock your socks off 🙂

To start, I’m going to be posting a weekly ‘Reggie’s Guide to NYC’… not to be mistaken for another guide list. I am not an expert on nyc. I’m also not an expert on where to go in nyc. This guide is a work in progress… as I visit a place/series of places I’ll post about them with a first hand experience take. Sometimes it’ll be my first time there… sometimes not.

When I visit other cities, I prefer activities that revolve around doing something other than browsing the latest tourist attraction. Hopefully my series of posts will give folks (that’s y’all) an idea of what -else- you can do in the city other than trek to Time Square and stare at the pretty lights (although I can see how that can be appealing). I normally take a bunch of advice from locals myself and then act on them, think of the Reggie Guide as a 2nd filter to all the bullshit that could potentially waste your precious time in this beautiful city.

I’m still working out the kinks and structure.

My first Reggie Guide features Coney Island. Not your typical carnival/fair/theme park…. mainly because it’s something of all those three put together on a permanent (sort of) basis; located on the shore of Brooklyn. Did I mention it’s 95th birthday is Memorial Day 2015?

Best people watching experience I’ve had so far. 

Family-friendly, but be weary… it’s not disney. 

The boardwalk is nothing short of a cultural firework display… so many colors and shapes and sizes… and so many sounds. Walking about a 7 minute stretch, we ran into a latin band playing along side giant speakers, a guitar player with soul, karaoke, a hip hop DJ (there was a full blown dance sesh in the middle of the boardwalk) — all intermingled with the sounds of screams echoing from within the imaginary walls of the park.

coney3This is definitely no Disney… walking up to the gates of the park various versions of ‘Get Low’ could be heard booming from somewhere within.
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coney1 coney10There’s no shortage of shops and food hubs, but it all feels so authentic. I have a distaste for theme parks mainly because nothing feels real… but at Coney Island, even with the sparkly new rides, there’s an aura of historical authenticity in the air. You can feel the presence of the last 95 years.

I think the quote “… perfection is the antithesis of authenticity” is perfectly suited for Coney Island. 
coney6When visiting Coney Island, you might as well plan to go to the beach. It would be a damn shame not to. The beach here gets packed so carry light (I wouldn’t bring a tent unless it’s off season). All the food, drinks, ice-cream, and alcohol you’ll ever want is just steps behind you. If you feel the extra couple of feet is too much to bear, simply wait 10-15 minutes and surely, some lovely gentleman will walk briskly by with hushed offerings like “beer” and “water”. [IF you walk down to Brighton Beach, every so often your friendly drink seller (a dude who just got back from the nearby store) will also carry offerings of the “Vodka” varieties.

coney11Don’t expect the beach here to be your perfect nature getaway (it’s more like a nature got away). You’ll be surrounded, as I mentioned before, so the attraction here has more to do with the beautiful array of folks and not so much the pristine nature. 
coney7 coney8The way tickets are dealt with here is a complete mess. I kind of feel like they keep their crazy irrational methods the same to maintain the historical integrity (or that’s what I keep telling myself). Each ride costs a different amount of ‘credits’ and you buy ‘credits’ at the ticket booth. I’d suggest looking over the rules before heading out so you know exactly what to expect. The folks working the park try their best to explain, but it’s not their fault the system was made by someone who had a personal vendetta against rational thinking.

coney2 coney9 coney12Cyclone: one of two original rides still active in the park (Luna Park). Built in 1927 & declared a NYC landmark in 1988.

It is pretty gosh darn cool to ride a coaster that old! I’m not going to lie, the rickety structure had me worried for a minute. 
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To Bring:

* small bag (or light Backpack)

There are lockers inside the park and a place to either store your bag while you ride. Either way, you don’t want to carry something heavy all daylong.

* water bottle (you don’t want to spend $2.50 on a water bottle that could have cost you nothing)

* Sunscreen (trust me, you don’t want to learn the hard way)

* light towel (for the beach)

* cash (in case you loose the feeling in your legs and you decide to buy a drink from a passerby)

TIPS:

* Nathans Famous Hotdogs (the original) is here… if you want to be all historical and all, make sure you go to the original location (corner of Stillwell ave & Surf ave)

[There’s a special express line for hot dogs, fries, & beer… use it. Otherwise be ready to wait in line for-EVER]

* Eating cotton candy while riding the ferris wheel (Wonder Wheel) is recommended… because duh?

* Check the weather before coming, specifically for Coney Island, and be prepared. This area has a pretty big breeze going (especially right on the beach)

coney14The D, F, N & Q all end at Coney Island… from Manhattan, expect to take about 1 – 1.5 getting here.

 Have you ever been to Coney Island? What did ya think?

Week 49: Umbrella Fiasco Part II, I’m Not Your Fucking Sweetie, & Rooftop Picnics

When I first moved here, I thought for sure I’d found my permanent home. Although I’ve had my doubts in the past month or so I’m certain that I was right. Knowing myself I think I’d like to try living in another place, if nothing else than for the sheer thrill of new things and change (because to be honest, I’m kind of an addict to change). When things are said and done, however, I know I’d rather be nowhere else but in this city. And there is something to be said about winter… as much as I struggled through the dreary days, it was ultimately my choice to do so. There is no particular need for me to live in NYC. I didn’t have to stay here. I did so because I wanted to.

I was walking to a bar in the West Village today from work and it started raining. Of course I had my computer with me in my backpack and due to good planning (I’m patting my own back here I know) I brought my giant umbrella. Everyone else’s umbrella’s went up and suddenly I was stuck between the forces of .5never moving miles per hour tourists and fashion gurus who just had to be more important than everyone else. I was in SOHO. At first I was super frustrated. For once, I thought, can the weather just stop making my life more difficult?! I did my best to shield my backpack from the rain, getting my face rather wet in the process and getting more and more annoyed with each tick of my umbrella as I weaved in and out of people walking too damn slow. For some reason I remembered my first weaving umbrella experience… It was so joyful. I remember feeling like James Bond, loosing my umbrella to the wind, and gleefully skipping and wading through people to catch up with it. I got soaked, but I could care less. In fact I was thrilled that I got soaked. I was thrilled that for once in my life the simple act of walking on a side walk was a challenge. A challenge I chose to take on… and to be honest this particular scenario is just a metaphor for every aspect of life in NYC. Everything is a freaking challenge… from grocery shopping to having to finding a place to live to getting from point A to point B without punching someone in the face. This is why I was in love with NYC to begin with and this is why I’m now realizing I’m still in love with NYC. I just needed some sunshine to give me some perspective. The dreary days of the winter were all part of that challenge… and perhaps I can do better kicking that challenge’s ass next year.

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A note to a stranger:

If you refer to me as ‘Sweetie’ ‘Honey’ ‘Beautiful’ ‘Sexy’ or any other derogatory (when used by a stranger, yes these are incredibly derogatory) term please note your inquiry will be met with my middle finger. /rant #imnotyourfuckingsweetie

I’m not normally a violent person. I’ve spent the majority of my life keeping a very balanced inner peace that I hope to have projected onto others, but as of late that peace has been turned upside down. Unfortunately the city has a lot to do with it. The fact and reality that I have to fear for my safety on a daily basis simply because I’m female is absurd. This idea has really brought some inner anger out in me this year and I have made it my personal goal to obtain some serious ass kicking skills. Besides the obvious health benefits, I want to feel safe. At the very least, as safe as my male friends.

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On another note, I went to the Cherry Blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens this weekend and although the greenery was kind of lackluster (with the exception of a few distinct locations) a great time was had. Most of the Cherry Blossoms looked like they either were already dead or have yet to really bloom, but the Daffodils, Lillies, and Magnolia trees were all around beautiful!

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After the gardens, we took to our roof (which has an insanely awesome view of the city and the Statue of Liberty) for a mini picnic. A great Sunday indeed.

roof2 roof

I tried Umami Burger (yum) this week and watched site specific (uber cool) theatre at Washington Square Park… overall this past week has been beautiful (I think I used this word a ton in this post)! I hope next week will be just as awesome. I’d like to start giving myself some weekly goals, so here it goes:

* Finish your book (Naked by David Sedaris)

* Include Yoga in your daily activities

* Disconnect from technology for 1 day

* Bring some more art in your life (museum, symphony, whatever.)

Do you have any weekly goals?

Week 42: Yoga & the Dude With the Beard.

Yes, I didn’t post anything last week. I was recuperating and now I feel like I have energy again. So much so that I did yoga for the first time since moving here. The best part? I got to do it in my beautiful living room.

tree_poseMy yoga sesh was facing outside. It was perfect.

I was astounded at my inability to do many of the poses to the extent I used to be able to do them. My form sucks and my posture is really bad not to mention all my frozen joints…. I’m excited to make yoga part of my weekly routine to fix this ish!

I’ve finally gotten myself into a good active routine at the gym. I love working out… it’s just easy for me to forget how much I love it when I don’t do it for a while. Glad that’s over. Zumba, Spin, Weights, and several high intensity workouts fill my week and now I’m thinking yoga will fit in nicely.

With that said, March is my birthday month and I’m going gift myself with some new workout attire AND shoes (have I mentioned my undying love of shoes?). My running shoes have seen their day and are beginning to do more harm than good. I just ordered a couple new digs from DSW & registered with Fabletics… I’m so excited!

 


Last week wasn’t all that eventful anyway just a run-in with the Chinese Mafia (mob?), tacos in soho, and fancy cosmos at the Bowery Hotel. Nothing exciting.

 


This week unfortunately was even less exciting. I signed up for Hulu… until the weather is nice enough for me to go out, I’m just going to be a hermit and catch up on all my favorite tv.

I did get to go see the Legend of Mulan by the Hong Kong Dance Company at the Lincoln Center which was pretty magical. And today (Sunday) I took another visit to Brighton Beach. This time, Chelsea & Sveta joined! It was a marvelous day to celebrate International Women’s day. In Russia this holiday is a HUGE deal so every lady was carrying a lovely bouquet of flowers and every store we visited we were wished a happy 8th of March. ❤

 

Russian_candy

SO much Russian candy to be had!

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Chess

Little Russia in it’s finest (two fellas playing chess at the local Starbucks). The guy with the beads in his beard wanted us to know he’s a decedent from a line of Ukrainians.

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Lunch on the boardwalk. Check.

Candy shopping overhaul. Check.
sveta_and_i subwaystation

subway2 subway_selfie

Today’s weather was 47F degrees. I haven’t been so happy in a long time. I cannot wait for warmer days so I can go outside more often.

Have a great week!

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Week 40: Stand Up, Haze, & Cuffed.

You know that feeling when you wake up really early in the morning and you have a really hard time opening your eyes or doing much of anything? That feeling normally lasts up until your 2nd cup of coffee. My entire week had this general aura, despite many cups of coffee. The crazy part? It took forever to actually fall asleep at night.


I’ve never been this emotionally drained. I’ve been planning to do stand up comedy today (Monday) and yesterday my heart broke. I needed something to distract me and facing my fear of stand up was it. I tried my best to rise above the lack in energy and it turned out alright. I invited friends and co-workers to laugh no matter how badly awkward it got. They did. It felt pretty good. I think I’m going to need a little time before I have any real energy to devote to getting better, but I’d like to start doing this 2-3x a week (stand up open mics).

stand upI was really scared, I planned on rehearsing [something] the day before, but didn’t end up getting a chance to do so…. I didn’t really prepare anything in result and I’m not funny naturally like some folks. I’m not going to lie though… getting in front of people and attempting to entertain them is my happy place. I didn’t know what I was doing. I stumbled on words and phrases… but at the end of my glorious 5 minutes I felt a high I haven’t felt in years. Boy, I needed it more than ever.


The rest of my week was mostly me trying to see through the haze. You know when  you try to clear a fogged up mirror after a hot shower it doesn’t really get clear at until the moisture leaves the room… That’s my shitty attempt to describe my week. I just kept trying to clear the view, but it wouldn’t get any clearer.

I found myself cursing at the subway machines and getting real annoyed with assholes on the subway who clearly live here and still have no respect for everyone else. It was also really cold. It’s not even funny anymore (it was funny like the first time I realized my face could hurt). I woke up on Friday with a ‘Feels Like’ temp of -17 F.

#ineedwarmth

Sunday actually warmed up. A bunch… I never thought walking in 35F degree weather would mean warmth. I haven’t celebrated Brunch in quite some time (or so it feels) so today I decided to enjoy the beloved weekly tradition with the lovely Chelsea.

brunch 1

slush

This is what snow looks like when the temperatures get well above freezing. #upper30s #WOOHOO


On another note, I mentioned in January that my new year’s resolution was to donate a portion of my brunch monthly budget to a cause/charity/organization/whatever once a month. This month I’m donating to a friend’s project called Cuffed?. According to their kickstarted page Cuffed? is: “A feature length documentary film exploring important questions about addiction, recovery, and life.

❤ Mia

If you’d like to contribute (I’m sure every dollar counts), their page: Cuffed? Kickstarter Page.