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 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.

BrightonBeachGoodies

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.

russian film club

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 34: White Winter, Jenga, & Jenny!

[January 5th – 11th]

01.08: I am cold. I thought I was cold several times before this, I was wrong. Now, I’m cold. The temp this morning reads 14F and the convenient ‘Feels Like’ is -2. WHOA. Walking home from the subway last night I discovered that my forehead could hurt from the cold. WHO KNEW!? I held my glove to my face the entire walk home. I’m definitely going to need a new hat. My giant scarves are not cutting it anymore.

The end of the holiday season has always signified the end of winter for me… the beginning of January was always just the weird limbo season where folks kept their christmas lights up, but ‘winter’ had said its’ goodbye while I said hello to the beach. Things have changed. January has officially marked the beginning of winter for me. Snow and temperatures have fallen. The numerous christmas trees hanging out on the edge of the sidewalks is the only sign that the holiday season has come and gone. The poor trees look so sad.

On another note, my new job is amazing. I get to play with a site that has the most epic greeting cards around. What more could I possibly ask for? If you haven’t already checked out the site, do it now: Postable.com. Send me a card, while you’re at it… let me know you care that I’m freezing my ass off.

Today was Jess’s (my roomie) birthday so me and Mary Alice (other roomie) made dinner. A green pasta dish (linguini, avocado sauce, duck/chicken/pork sausage, browned onions, and garlic, garnished with crispy roasted cayenne chick peas) with homemade cheesy garlic bread. Needless to say my belly is FULL. We also had peanut butter brownies with Tahitian vanilla ice cream for desert. I’m ready to pop. I’m also beginning to understand why nobody leaves their house during the winter. BRRRR.

1.10: Jenny is visiting me again! After some coffee this morning we ventured out to Prospect Park with Miss Chelsea to look at all the pretty snow-ey scenery. There wasn’t nearly as much snow as I had hoped would have piled up by now, but it’s getting there. Definitely still a winter wonderland… minus a few inches of snow. The weather temp read 21F (feels like 10F), but at first it didn’t really feel that cold… until about 45 minutes into our walk. By the time we walked through the park my thighs were painfully numb, my nose had long lost feeling, and my forehead hurt again (I keep forgetting to cover the damn thing).

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Park1

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I’m super stoked for the day that we get like 3 feet of snow so that I can go sledding!!! I remember getting to sled in Russia (just a very faint memory) and must do it again. There were a few kids with sleds, but without their dad’s pulling them along the 2 inches on the ground, they would get nowhere.

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Jess’s birthday celebrations continued tonight at Royal Palms (a shuffle board venue). Saturday night means the shuffle board court was packed so playing giant Jenga had to be the next best thing (we did eventually make it to the shuffle boarding at the end of the night).

me&jennyjenga

A night of red wine and Jenga left us hungry. To the diner we went…

diner1jenny

Nothing like some greasy food to finish off the night. Those Mozz sticks went great with the bowl of Ranch I requested… I promise my eating habits are normally exponentially healthier.


1.11: Food. SO much food. After a short stroll through the East Village Jenny and I met up with Jess and Jenny’s sister for some lunch. I’ve had this place on my go to list for some time… Oda House (Georgian cuisine). I haven’t really ever had or even thought about having Georgian food until my brother strongly urged me to try some. This placed Oda House on my radar. Anyway, he wasn’t joking… the food was AMAZING. I kind of wish I had taken some photos of the dishes, but if you’re in the NYC area and want to try something unique… this is your spot.

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I finished my week off with a Russian flick with a pair of great friends in their East village home. Sometimes I catch myself wondering if I’m dreaming and take extra care not to startle myself just in case.

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The temp read 27F today. It was actually pretty nice out after all the layers came on. My forehead was warm too. Happy Sunday, have a great week!

Week 27: Operation Survive My First Winter & 17 Things I Didn’t Know Before Moving to NYC.

11. 17: I’m going back to my roots and starting to write something here every day. Let’s see how that goes.

Today was hot. Yes, hot!!! You would never know it judging by all the coats and scarves folks are sporting outside, but boy oh boy did I enjoy my cold shower when I got home from work today. Everywhere BUT the outside is toasty, it’s making me feel like I have a fever. I don’t. The home gets super toasty at night time. So much so, that I’m having to not only keep the windows open, but turn on my fan. It’s 38F outside. Something is wrong with this picture. Then there’s the subway. Steamy subway. The minute I walk down the stairs I can feel that first droplet of sweat run down my back. I never thought I’d be complaining about the heat when its in the 30s.

11.18: Scratch what I said about yesterday. Today, I was cold. It’s been a long day filled with a Doctor’s appointment in the morning and a shift ending at 11pm. The 25F (‘feels like’ 12F) was not warmly welcomed. I walked to the subway this morning trying to eat a mochi bean pouch, but instead I looked like I was playing hot potato. I don’t have gloves so, in order to keep my hands warm (unsuccessfully) I passed my mochi breakfast between my hands every two seconds. As one hand grasped onto the chewy dough, the other quickly jumped into a pocket. This went on the whole way to the subway. I should have just waited to eat it there. I literally just shoved half of it in my mouth and decided it was best that I swallow it whole rather than try to hold it with my bare hands. Brr.

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My walk to the subway -from- work tonight was pretty miserable, but at least my hands were snuggly placed in my pockets the whole time. When I got to the station, I discovered my train wasn’t running. By that point (after 11pm) I was kind of over all of NY’s shenanigans for the day… i was pissed. I cursed. Outloud. And everything. Until I heard a bagpiper waling some tunes at the other end of the station. When I walked by him, I felt the instrument’s vibration. The lady announcer voice came over the intercom to relay the latest delay. I’m not sure what it was, but suddenly the day’s aggravation and inconvenience just melted. In fact I thought it was funny. I even laughed. Outloud.

11.19: Before moving here (and after) I’ve read many ‘list’ articles associated with NYC. Most of them themed along the lines of… NYC is not what it appears OR Don’t Move Here Unless…. OR You get the point. Well exactly 6 months [today] after living in NYC I’ve decided to make a list of my own.

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1. You will get a job. It will not be your dream job. But you’ll get an income.

2. You will not get paid more just because living expenses here are exponentially higher.

3. You will find your dream apartment. It is possible. It is also the hardest thing you will ever do. The process will likely cause you to loose some hair.

4. You will miss home.

5. You stop wanting to walk [everywhere] eventually. You don’t have time for that. It’s also cold.

6. You will spend half of your day going to buy something in specific. Need socks? Better plan the better half of Saturday.

7. You will find people who will help you. Don’t take those folks for granted; there’s not many.

8. You don’t know what rush hour is until you’ve been smushed between the man with poor mouth hygiene, the lady who enjoys dumping her cheap perfume all over her body, and the dumbass tourist who didn’t take off his backpack which keeps smashing into you every bumpy second.

9. You will no longer be the only foreign kid. Foreign kids are everywhere.

10. You will eventually find yourself getting super annoyed with people. Although at the end of day, you’ll still appreciate them.

11. You will not enjoy grocery shopping nearly as much when you have to push and shove to grab that last broccoli, stand in line for at LEAST 15 minutes, & carry the items several blocks from the bus stop while the wind plummets your face and slowly frostbites your fingers. [Having fresh groceries at home is kind of like having a trophy for the Grocery Olympics.]

12. You will not get used to the noise for a couple months. Sleep will come eventually.

13. You will fall so hopelessly in love with the city that you’ll wonder if you’re dreaming. Every. Single. Day.

14. You will gain some weight. No, walking everywhere does not help. The proportion of drool-worthy food to blocks-to-walk is 100:1.

15. You will find most of your friends have online dating profiles. Apparently, unless you jump onboard that train your love life is hopeless. Oh well.

16. You will loose track of time. The time is always running away from you. You have to run faster.

17. You will loose hope that you’ll make it. Just keep going.

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11.20: One thing I’m not loving about New York? How quickly the time flies. I’m desperately trying to fill my schedule with more awesome to-do’s but I’m finding it incredibly difficult.

11.21: Today I bought socks. And snow boots. I am officially [less] scared of the upcoming winter. I also bought a hat and some gloves. Perhaps my fingers will stop feeling like icicles every time I leave my home.

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Everyone I’ve spoken to seems to have their own secrets to surviving winter. I think I’ll just have to wait and find out my own methods. Something tells me the sauna, ice-cream, & Sex & The City re-runs will be key (along with those snow boots).

11.22: No pictures this week. I keep intending to do it, but somehow time just slips by me. I have several personal projects that need my attention, and somehow photos have gotten pushed towards the end of the line. Which should not be the case. I’m working on this.

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[Quick iPhone shot on my way to work.]

Aside from getting to see my parents for a short while (layover at JFK), my day was spent nursing and re-nursing a hangover. Thanking the internet gods for seamless.