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!

Week 22: Two Broads & a Renoir.

The only interesting thing that happened to me all week – besides the usual [ crammed subways, unpredictable weather, & beautiful fall foliage] – was a conversation that I happened to eaves drop on at the Met. I’m kind of broke (and by kind of I mean really)… brunch and fancy speakeasies are freaking expensive. Going out on the town (or brunching it) will run you more than a couple pretty pennies. With that said, I was a little frivolous with my budget in the first part of the month (something I’m usually really good with managing) and am now having to tone it down.

The most exciting thing that happened to me all week was when I sat on a bench in the middle of the Renoir room in the impressionist section of the Met for 20 minutes. When visiting the Met I like choosing one painting that tickles my fancy at that moment, finding a nearby seat, & soaking in the art while observing others [observing]. Normally, I experience a period of incredible fulfillment followed by a strange sense of hostility; watching others pass by some of my favorite  pieces without so much as a heartbeat. Once I’ve gotten over my dumb ego I experience a period of boredom… this is usually where my inner monologue really picks up. Anyway, it’s not normally a note worthy outing. This time, however, I got extremely lucky. I sat right next to a couple of elderly ladies who chose the same bench to perform their gossip hour… the conversation was obnoxiously entertaining. The lady closest to me (maybe a foot and a half) was as prim and proper as they come with a lovely lilac silk bow wraped about her gray-ish golden hair. At age 75 (?) her posture was better than mine. The other not-so-prim-or-proper lady was very clear about the fact that she had the only right opinion in the most brilliant Brooklyn accent I’ve heard yet. I don’t think she intended on being quite as loud as she was, but I could hear her in the room over. I’m guessing her hearing aid wasn’t working. The two broads paid no mind about the curly haired lady sitting next to them and carried on with their focus on Gilbert and Mary’s newest grandbaby and Sue’s poor decision making skills – all as if they were sitting alone on the stoop of their Brooklyn brownstone. I especially enjoyed their remarks on gay marraige – I was preparing myself for a series of outdated and ugly statements, but was rather surprised when Marge (I named the red head) said ‘What the hell are they waiting for? Marty and Ben have been lovers since the day they met, even Ma didn’t try to argue those two.’ Marty & Ben must have sparked Marge’s memory because that took her on a rant I’m not sure I was able to follow. I waivered in and out of their conversation as I followed (visually) folks walking past one of history’s greatest gifts as though it was the latest movie poster.

All in all those 20 minutes fed me more than the rest of the week’s lunches and dinners combined. I’ve slowly found myself slumping into a funk [and not the groovy kind] lately… my trip to the Met was exactly what the groove master order (by ‘groove master’ I mean me). I did some other fun things this weekend… pickle day (3 blocks of ALL things pickled… I ate my weight in salt and loved every single second), Central Park, & a Halloween inspired ladies evening (Hocus Pocus was just as perfect as I remember).

I’ll try to make my next post a little more interesting. Here are some pictures from this week… all taken with my iPhone… I’m too lazy to caption, just use your imagination.

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Happy Fall 🙂