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.

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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 48: I survived my 1st winter. Just Barely.

April 12th – 19th

Holy shit. I had no idea what people meant by weather affecting your mood/state of mind. I was uber freaked out about being cold so I prepared [and prepared some more] for all the physical beatings the weather would bring this winter, but boy did I have it coming! I was so concerned my feet might get wet, that I completely ignored the weather’s ability to make me question things. Like why in the fucking world I chose to do this to myself. Needless to say, all my sweaters and boots could not prepare me for what was to come.

Before I release a dreary tale, I’d like to say that I am now enjoying an afternoon in a coffee shop with the door wide open. I’m wearing a t-shirt. Life is good once more.

Things I learned from the winter:

1. Leave the city (some place with sunshine, and lots of it) in March. 

I was doing pretty well in regards to mental capacity all through January and February, but then came March. A time that I normally associate with sunshine, brought one disappointment after another. When the first 40s appeared, I thought I MADE IT! I skipped on the streets, pre-maturely put away wool sweaters, and opened my mind to new (and warm) beginnings. Too bad for me, winter was not even close to being over. Mid-March proved to be my breaking point. A beautiful person had passed away well before her time and the sky literally lost the sunlight. I thought I was doing ok, but by late March I found myself whirling into something I hope to avoid next year. I don’t think it’s entirely due to the weather, but I’m 100% certain that it played a huge role. I found myself dreaming (and daydreaming) of sunlight… I even missed the Florida weather.

I don’t know if I’ll be quite as down next year, but to be certain I’m already planning on leaving for the sunshine in early March.

2. Buy a sun-lamp. 

WTF is a sun lamp? I’m not even sure I’m referring to it correctly, but essentially it’s a lamp that produces similar effects as sunlight. I’m getting one for next year’s doom season for my room.

3. Be Prepared. Mentally. 

I had no idea what seasons felt like before now. My understanding of how the change would [and could] affect me was non-existent. Now that I’ve been up the mountain and back, I can at the very least understand what’s happening and prepare myself mentally. Meditation and many trips to the sauna will be good practice to keep myself balanced.

There are plenty of folks who will have zero clue what I’m talking about. Even friends here were unaffected by the dreary days and complete lack of sun. I guess it’s a personal thing. I learned something new about myself… that’s a plus.


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Spring. For the past several months the city has felt like a dark and dreary place that was almost always silent. As if permanently on mute. This week someone finally turned up the tunes. I hear laughter coming from outside my window instead of shouting and honking (although that might just be select hearing on my part). Folks are flocking to the streets. Tourists are snapping their photos and staring blankly on google maps – right-in-the-middle-of-the-street. Groups of people are celebrating the blooming flowers with wine and cheese, wine and veggie sticks, wine and fill in the blank on stoops all over my neighborhood. It’s like they’re celebrating the victory of a long and dreadful war. All is well again.


4.11.15- My first celebrity sighting.

I got my hair done today. Zosia Mamet was sitting right next to me the entire time getting her hair did too. I didn’t realize who she was for like the first 20 minutes as I kept staring at her and thinking “Where do know this girl from? Do we have mutual friends or something?” I’m not sure if she noticed, although I don’t think I was hiding it very well. Anyway, it eventually came to me. I was skeptical of my ability to properly identify celebrities so I went to Google for help. Zosia has distinct hand tattoos. That was my confirmation. I didn’t want to intrude on her ‘me’ time, but she seemed nice to her stylist and was reading Agatha Christi part of the time. She also wore a bunch of rings.


I haven’t posted in a while, so here are some photos from the past couple of weeks:

karaoke1Karaoke in an East Village bar for my birthday. My roommates killed it.

Karaoke2I am so grateful for this lady.

liftingI started lifting weights in order to keep myself sane. In 2 weeks I start Muay Thai. I may be a little obsessed… but I figure this is a good type of addiction.

museumI went to the met. I was tired and slightly hungover before going inside…I left still tired and hungover, but uber satisfied.

pillowfightThere was that pillow fight in Washington Square Park. I was hoping that it would take over the entire park, but due to what I can only imagine to be safety laws, that was impossible. The whole fight was contained to the center of the park which made for little space to really make a good swing. Nevertheless, it was glorious. 

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prospectparkProspect Park on a lovely 66F day. The place was packed with picnic goers and volleyball players… I practiced yoga. Without having to wear a sweater! 

prospectpark2Post yoga walk through the trails.

whatIworeI am so glad that the winter is finally over, but it was quite the learning experience. Now that it’s over I can definitely appreciate the hardships (first world hardships) that came with snow, sludge, and complete lack of sunlight.

whatiwore2Happy Spring everyone!

Week 44: Hats Off to Turning 25 & Hearing Voices.

Birthday’s are the time of the year that I like to really take a step back and appreciate all that surrounds me in my life. Sure, I try to be grateful everyday, but the anniversary of my coming to existence is an extraordinarily important time to take a second and dissect. I’m not even remotely close to where I thought I’d be at 25, but for a while now I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way even my imagination is wild enough to concoct what the combination life + my determination is actually capable of producing. I was trying to figure out what I’m really glad I ‘have’ (other than the obvious family, friends etc.) and concluded it’s all in my head.

I’m the biggest pessimist I’ve ever met. That little voice in my head that is constantly telling me something isn’t realistic or I’m not capable of achieving this or that is my biggest driver. I love putting that voice down. I could give a shit what the rest of the world thinks of my endeavors, I am always fighting to shut myself up first and foremost.

(Please, before you go saying ‘That poor girl!” Don’t.)

I kind of sound a little crazy. Literally. Yes, I hear voices in my head… if you’re thinking you can’t relate, I’d suggest you dig deep. If you’re not a pessimist like me, perhaps it’ll just be a friendly voice to keep you company when everyone else sucks. You might look [and sound] a little nuts walking along the street talking to yourself, but it’s only the boring folks who’ll think anything of it anyway.

I used to take my driving time to reflect and chat with my other half. When I moved to this world of public transit, I used to get slightly red faced as people looked at me funny, but it didn’t take long for me to stop caring. Maybe I’ll be the focus of their conversations when they get back home to Kansas… “Honey, it was so interesting… we saw this strange lady on the train with giant hair (she must not own a hair brush) who kept mouthing words to herself. She must partake in that Obama Cult pastor Harry keeps telling us about. They’re turning all our people kookoo; damn bastards!”

{I never know where my reflections will take me.}

Other than reflecting, my parents came to town to visit! Much fun was had. On my birthday, we went hat shopping… my favorite kind. Naturally a photo shoot followed:

hats2 hats3 hats1 hatselfie hatselfie2

Being a tourist and getting to see the city with fresh sets of eyes for 6 days was really fun and exhausting. Next week won’t be nearly as exciting.

hatshopping meandmom russandd washparkCheers.

Week 43: Russian Pop Songs from Hell, Escargot, & Abigail.

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 Just another Monday ride to work:

A Russian pop song starts to play at the opposite end of the train car. The old Russian man rolls a shitty speaker sitting in a mini-bed on wheels. At first, it’s just loud instruments, but wait… there’s more. The old Russian man starts to sing into a muffled microphone with little idea of the key. Every now and then on the belty parts, you can hear the song’s original singer lightly edited out. He walks back and forth with the music and mic blasting through the entire train car, which as if on purpose continues to stall in between stations. Sweet victory comes after the ending of the 2nd song… he quits his musical endeavor and peace has returned.

Just another Friday night:

The echo of the saxophone vibrates through the station as I sit reminiscing on my life. The dude sitting next to me licks his fingers as he eats from his whole foods paper bag. There’s chatter everywhere… it’s only 10pm on a Friday. I’m cold… I feel a chill to the bone. A stylish duo pass by wearing floor length leather jackets and matching Jimmy Chu booties. The sax is still roaring. I can feel it’s soul passing through the vibrations of my purse. I’ve had too much pork. And gin. Thank goodness the F is finally here.


Let’s take a step back right quick… to Thursday. My roomies and I went out for drinks and dinner in the west village to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Mary Alice chose the spot. Amelie wine bar. The place was packed solid. The host must have recognized MA and sat us at the bar without a reservation. BOOM. Every single staff member from the bar tender to the host and runners had French accents… the wine had to be good, right? We got a bottle of champagne instead. Cheese, duck pate, and beef tartare, and escargot was had… it was a first of many new foods for me. All incredibly delicious.

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That’s a Martini Francais behind the gooey Maringe (sp?). To avoid sounding too douche… I’d like to add I have zero clue what’s in it, but it was YUMMY.

So grateful to have these lovely ladies as my roommates.


I ended my beautiful week with a brief photo shoot with one of my incredibly talented friends Abigail. She sculpts for a living and a passion and although we only had 30 minutes together on Sunday I left so incredibly inspired. I’m going to make a full post with all the photos, but for now here are just a few.

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abigailtulis.com

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. ❤

 

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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.
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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.

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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.

Week 37: Homework, the Home, & Becoming a Turtle.

01.26: It’s snowing. A lot. The mayor was on the news yesterday telling people that the snow Armageddon is preparing to hit NYC. Maybe he didn’t say that exactly, but something like it. We were planning on working from home today anyway, so that worked out. The blizzard started mid-day today and will go until late Tuesday so I’ll be working from home tomorrow as well.

I’ve been working in the living room all day with the view of the falling snow right next to me… so beautiful (unless you’re outside). One of my neighbors has been plowing the sidewalk all day. Literally. I’ve been up since about 9:30am working and can still hear him plowing away (its 5:49pm). I think I heard him stop for like 30 minutes at some point. I’m not sure I understand this. Why would you plow the sidewalk if you KNOW the snow is just going to keep on coming?

 

snow day work day

What I wore today… hehe  (yes, it’s been 5 months and we still haven’t hung that shelf)

01.27: The storm wasn’t much of a storm at all… I’m not exactly sure the inches on the ground, but it looks fun more so than scary outside. Working at home today (seriously, the best) I could hear the cheering of children as they walked up my block towards the park with their sleds and parents dragging along by their side. Many sang songs. Talk about cheerful workday.

My dearest friend Chelsea had sent me several awesome photos from her snow day at the park.

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1.31: I can’t believe the first month of 2015 is over. Only 11 months left until 2016 and only 3.5 months left until I’ve made it a year in NYC. WHOA.

Today was unreasonably cold. 17F with a punch in your face ‘feels like’ 3F. It’s no Siberia, but it sure as hell felt like it. I went grocery shopping anyway. Trooper award (totally worthy).  The day is flying, as with most Saturdays, but after making food and doing a few chores I’ve started a couple new courses online with Lynda.com and I’m kind of in love. I know there are a bunch of free tutorials online (and this doesn’t include coding), but a lot of it is shit. Seeing as how I’m looking for solid information, it’s difficult to wade through all the bs online. This way I have everything I need (not really EVERYTHING, but a lot) in one place with legit information (and materials).

whatiwore

Last night I ventured out to Williamsburg for a launch party for a new app. It was really cold and windy out – I was still half de-thawed in this picture.

2.01:  It’s really chilly out, but you’d never know it by looking out the window. It’s so cozy inside. I haven’t really shot the apartment in a while so I took a few photos.

apartment4Our plant home base.  

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The frame with the green mat and red head has a quote from Lenin (in Russian) printed on it translating to something along the lines: “If I know, that which I know little, I will achieve so that I know more.” Or something like that. It’s one side of my mom’s school report card from the 70’s.

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Our reading nook is really coming along… now for more pillows. 

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That’s my dad playing soccer in Russia.
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 Don’t you love my manly wool white socks? Also, that’s not dirt on my mirror… it’s a covering that vintage mirrors have on them (idk what it’s called. Anyone?)

I spent my entire weekend at home (with the exception of going to the gym and buying groceries). I always thought living in NYC meant I’d be out living the fabulous life I’d seen on tv, but to be honest that life isn’t really my style. I like being home and reading or binge watching Friends on Netflix (although I think that’s finally getting boring). It’s also pretty expensive to always be going out. There are a ton of free events in the city, but somehow I always manage to spend money if I’m out and about… if there’s a free show, there’s often a 1 drink minimum. Or I gotta eat dinner at some point… going home and then going out just isn’t feasible so I end up buying food.

I’m not saying I want to be a human turtle that never leaves the house. Not at all… I’m just saying going out all the time (which I did pretty frequently when first moving here) quickly results in a trimmed down wallet and a not-so-trimmed down waist.  I seem to get into waves of habits… with either too much or too little on-goings.

It’s all about finding a good balance… which I’m well on my way to figuring out, but I’m thinking chilling at home for an entire weekend isn’t it.

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Have a great week!

[January 26th – February 1st]

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

[January 19th – 25th]

whatiwore1

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.

oysters

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.

williburgview2

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? 🙂 ]

williburgview

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 35: Tickled Chin, Personal Goals, & Perogies.

[January 12th – 18th]

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I forgot to wear a hat… can’t have another frozen forehead. 

01.12: Today my mind went spiraling into itself on the subway ride home. It’s rather normal for me to get into deep discussions with myself while on the subway (it’s my favorite place in the whole city to really think). Of course I keep these discussions to myself, not to worry. I was listening to Jay Z’s NEW YORK blaring from the headphones directly behind me while my chin was getting tickled by the faux fur hood just inches below me (the lady was shorter than me(!)) when something someone said the other day trickled into my mind…

‘People are so isolated in NY’.

I’ve definitely heard this remark about NYC numerous times. I’ve always thought it was quite an odd observation. Sure, everyone has their own thing going on (and boy do people LOVE telling you how busy they are), but at the end of the day (literally) we’re smack tab smushed right beside one another listening to each other’s music and getting tickled by the other’s coats. I’m not exactly sure how that’s supposed to be isolation.

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11pm on a Saturday night on the Q. This guy had the word ‘cool’ written all over him. 

01.17: Woke up today with complete intention to do all of my to-do list [gym, clean, groceries]. I’ve cleaned so far and half the day has come and gone. I normally really like going to the gym… actually this is only true when I’ve already started my gym routine. Being sick really through me off the whole gym routine and getting back into it is such a pain. Excuses excuses. I know. I honestly probably won’t go today. I will definitely go tomorrow (I feel like I’ve heard this before). My healthy habits have taken a back seat to my lazy-ness. UGH. It’s also hard to eat right when grocery shopping is the bane of my existence!!! I’ve written about this before so there’s nothing new to say other than I REALLY need to go buy food or I’ll be succumbed to use Seamless again and let’s be honest, I’m not going to order a salad to get delivered. Nobody makes a better salad than me anyway, why bother. I’ve also managed to surpass my eating out budget for the month already. I’m normally really good with money… This is a sure tell sign that grocery shopping is a PAIN.

Ok. I’m done blaming the world for my health-defying habits. It’s definitely a pain to go to TJs, but it’s not impossible. There’s also a KeyFood a couple blocks away… maybe I’ll try shopping there.

I’m also like the #1 cheerleader for homemade food. It’s not THAT hard, just takes a bit more effort here. I see people using blogs as accountability for something they’d like to achieve, well I’d like to get my shit together and stop wasting my money (and loosing my health).

Next week I’ll take a photo of all my meals. Taking accountability!! Woot. I’m also going to the gym if it freaking kills me.


In other news… this week has been generally great. Job is still A for Awesome.

– Unlimited Sangria & Meangirls trivia in the LES. It was so cold on my way home that I started jogging only to realize the wind felt worse that way, clearly I didn’t have enough Sangria.

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– Continued My obsession with Red Bean Cakes… seriously, I want to buy these bad boys in bulk from China town (the lady at my corner store is making a killing off of me with these things).

– Started using the term ‘bad boys’ to refer to anything with a multiple… I should stop.

– Went to a ‘house’ party in Alphabet city. It really is remarkable how many people can fit into NY apartments when they really try.

– Discovered my immediate need (want) for a polaroid camera at said party. SO GOOD.

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Side note… I brushed my teeth while wearing all outdoor gear. Not exactly ground breaking news. I know. I was already out the door when I decided I should brush my teeth… well getting allllll layered up again just wasn’t an option. Never done that before.

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Another side note… remember my post Personal Wishlist? Of course not… nobody read it. Well, I found the list I made back in April in a purse pocket.

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01.18. Rainnnnn so much rain! If it wasn’t for my new rain boots begging me to play in some puddles, I would say the weather today SUCKED. But, I have new rain boots and a badass umbrella so I was set.

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I still needed a long coat (my thighs are following suit and beginning to hurt) so I headed to an epic thrift shop in the East Village called No Revelations. I always love walking through the East Village… even on rainy days.

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After hunting and capturing my new coat (epic find btw), I went to my Sunday Russian Film Club (formal name to come :). We ordered from the local Ukrainian restaurant and stuffed our faces with Perogies. It’s been like 4 hours and I’m still feeling the effects of my food coma. We watched My Perestroika.

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Not the healthiest of meals, but just on Sundays 🙂 That’s a piece of delicious Kelbasa a top the mountain of dumplings (perogies with ‘meat’, sauerkraut and mushroom, potatoes, and farmers cheese). I can now die happy.

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My 3am ride home on the subway… SO glad I woke up at my stop. 

So I’ll end on this note… The office building that I work in is called WeWork, which is it’s own organization. It’s pretty great. Our office is one of many on our floor and a few other folks bring their doggie best friends to work. The result? We get adorable pups strolling in and out of our office on a regular basis. This Friday we got a visit from TWO pups.

Happy Sunday, have a great week!

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Week 33: Theraflu, 2014, & A New Job.

[December 29nd – January 4th]

12.31: Oh Hey! I’m back. For good, I promise. Week 31 was mostly me laying in bed near a pool of tissues. Nothing to write home about except my uber exciting Ally Mcbeal marathons. Week 32 got me so excited at the prospect of breathing, I completely forgot I had a blog… By the time this week rolled around whatever hell my body didn’t introduce me with during the 31st week came rolling full force. Needless to say I’m all battled out in the realm of illnesses. I’ve been patiently building a moat of tissues around my bed for the past 4 days, chugging honey water, and thanking my lucky stars this only happens once in a blue moon. I should be feeling better in a couple of days [fingers crossed].

Being sick is not the end of the world, things could be much worse. Too bad it’s my favorite day of the year. Normally, I like to spend December 31st full of flashbacks – the good and the bad – from the year past. I’ll normally go through my photos and read through my journals to see how my inner thoughts have transitioned and hopefully grown. I like to say goodbye and welcome room for the prospect of the new.

Around this time last year (December 2013) I was devastated. For the first time in my college career I had failed to pass a course and unfortunately, it happened to be the last course I needed to get my degree. I got a C minus. The course was evolutionary biology and by far the most difficult I’ve ever taken. I had made plans to move to NYC in February, which were put on hold. I couldn’t believe it. I retook this class (with a different professor) in the Spring semester which pushed my move to May which made for a much smoother move. There was no slushy snow or bitter winds to aide my move. Instead the city welcomed me with sunshine.

It worked out for the best. I didn’t know it last December. I know it now. Things worked out for the better. This seems to be a repeating theme in my life. I can’t speak for anyone else, because we all know life is [no] fairy tale. But I’m one lucky lady.

2014

* Said goodbye to my own oasis in college park. I really loved that little home.

* Graduated with a BS.

* Got to spend time with relatives I haven’t seen since I was 11. It was really nice to have an extended family for a week.

* Celebrated my 24th year by singing my theme song at Big Daddy’s surrounded by great friends.

* Started an Etsy shop.

* Started the first blog I kept up with.

* Packed my life into a suitcase, hugged my parents goodbye, and hopped on a plane to NYC.

* Lived in Washington Heights for 3 months.

* Spent my first month in NYC falling hopelessly in love with the city – dumpling by dumpling.

* Got a job in customer service with a startup called Handy.

* Discovered my dream neighborhood – thinking there is no way I’d ever be able to live here.

* After 2.5 painstaking months of a stubborn search, I found a home in my dream neighborhood.

* Moved into my dream apartment… this process was far more stressful than I could ever imagine.

* Got so incredibly lucky with 2 amazing roomies.

* Landed a new job with Postable.com (Yup! More on this below).

My goodness, this year was amazing. 

I have been terrified, anxious, and stressed to such degrees I didn’t think were possible this year. I have also reached such intense highs that I thought for certain I was dreaming.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from 2014: If something scares me, it’s a sure tell sign I should be going for it. 


I end the year on a slightly less awesome note. Alone and sick. Shitty, yes. I have been thinking about the perspective I wanted this entry to have (with me being sick and alone on nye and all) and I had it spun all positively until just about 10 minutes from midnight.

This sucks. There’s really no other way to put it, but nevertheless I just welcomed 2015 with the most optimism I could muster and a toast (my hot cup of Theraflu) to new year. Cheers to the future!


01.02.15: It’s the second day of the year and I’m feeling better. Not quite at 100%, better nonetheless. Well enough to leave the house for the first time since last Saturday and brave the new year weather! It ‘feels’ like 30F outside… not bad. I have no groceries left in the house and I’ve surpassed the helpless state of being to justify ordering seamless every day. I think I’ve finally had too much Pho.

I like to buy groceries at Trader Joe’s. There are a couple small produce stores in my neighborhood including a Union Market, but these are way out of my budget. Plus, I love shopping at TJs… something about it just tickles my fancy. In order for me to get there, I have to take a bus (transportation within Brooklyn is pretty much limited to buses or cabs). I planned out my timing just right with the help of Hop Stop (an app I’ve come to rely on) so that I get to the stop 3 minutes from when the bus should be getting there. Seeing as how my luck has run dry this week, it wasn’t that surprising when I saw my bus zooming by as I was half a block away. It was 4 minutes early! GRRRRRRRRRR. The next bus wouldn’t come for another 20 minutes. I spent about 6 minutes having an inner-thought discussion on whether or not I [really] needed to buy food. Judging from the looks I was getting, my inner-thoughts were audible. I decided the 3 cans of black beans sitting lonely in my cupboard were just not going to cut it.

The same thing happened to me on the way back from TJs… only this time the sweat building up under my coat and the inability to breathe through my nose got to me. I took a cab home.

These next 3 days are the last days of my epic 3 week vacay… which turned out to be one week of awesome sandwiched between 2 weeks of nose blowing and body aching. I’ll take it. I’m going to take it easy — read a book, continue on my Netflix binge, and MAYBE sneak out of the house for some Brunch on Sunday (we’ll see). Since I haven’t really taken any photos this week, I’ve included a bunch of photos from the previous week below (all iPhone photos for now).

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View from Bryant Park in midtown

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Park Avenue on the Upper East Side.

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Carnegie Hill (Upper East Side).

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Astoria, Queens.

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1.03: It’s snowing. I’m still coughing. The good news? I only woke up once last night. I also discovered Friends on Netflix… by the time lunch time rolled around the snow turned into rain. Bummer. Today is gloomy.

1.04: I left the house today for Brunch with some lady friends in the West Village. A place called Yerba Buena. I decided to skip the brunch cocktails seeing as how I’m still getting better and don’t want to prohibit the getting well process. I really needed this outing… I’ve been stuck in bed for a week and the lack of social contact was getting really old. The meal was delicious (I got some sort of seafood soup) and the waiter was super cute, so all in all the outing was a success.

I’ve started to take more pictures of myself… mainly my outfits. This isn’t a fashion blog, and I don’t really intend on turning it into one, but I happen to adore fashion. One of my favorite parts of living in NYC is that I can finally wear whatever I want and nobody will give a shit. You can never be over dressed. SO, I’m going to catalog more of my outfits since it is such a big part of my living here.

I know I haven’t really kept up with the blog lately and I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention it previously, but I resigned from my previous job at Handy. WHAT?! I know. Hence my 3 week vacay! Come Monday I will be starting a new position as a Jill of All Trades (catchy, I know) with Postable.com. Check them out, you’ll see how perfect they are for me [and I for them]. I feel like I’m starting the first day of school on Monday and uber excited!!