Little Girl & the Big Apple


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Entertaining in the Empire City: Jess’ go-to Guide

Happy Friday! It’s the last day of the workweek and my the last post for the Entertaining in the Empire City series. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 excited about both!

Today’s recommendations come from my best friend and roommate, Jess. Background info: I met Jess over a decade ago – participating in a variety show for our hometown theater. I became true friends with Jess when we were hired by Retail-Giant-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to deep clean their store with steel wool and a variety of semi-toxic cleaning products. I stayed friends with her for too many reasons to list. Top of my mind reasons include: Jess can hold a conversation with anyone, she’s never afraid to ask for what she wants, and her Instagram is a carefully curated work of art. She has the voice of Beyoncé, the face of Taylor Swift ;) and she always knows what she wants for dinner. The fact that she selflessly offers sound advice and unconditional support when you need it is just added bonus. (I really just keep her around for her Instagramming abilities).

So last but not least, in her words, here is Jess’ list of her favorite New York spots to show to out-of-town visitors.

Housing Works Bookstore, Soho: This place makes you feel like a hipster Belle in a bookstore paradise with spiral staircases and hundreds of rare, new, and used books. Pair that with a non-fat latte and decent record collection for browsing. Who needs a prince anyway?

UCB Cagematch, Chelsea: It goes without saying that Amy Poehler knows what’s up. Basically everything she touches turns to genius so it’s no surprise her underground improv den is sweaty, rowdy, and a whole lot of fun. I took my dad here for a midnight Cagematch show. He came for the PBRs, but stayed for the impressive fart jokes.

Le Cheile, Washington Heights: This one is just me being selfish. This adorable Irish bar is 2 blocks from my apartment. With its local art, subway tile decor, and locally sourced brews this place gives Brooklyn a run for its money. Oh, and the GIANT grilled cheese is kind of out of this world.

Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights: If you want to blow a tourist’s mind take them to this park. It feels like you’ve been dropped inside a mythical fairy land complete with beautiful flower gardens, tangles of tree branches overhead, and castles filled to the brim with medieval art. Oh, and somehow you’re still in Manhattan.

PUNDERDOME 3000, Gowanus, Brooklyn: Alright, I’ll hand it to Brooklyn for this one. PUNDERDOME is a weirdly wonderful evening once a month where pun aficionados convene in a battle royal of wits. Don’t question it, just go. It’s a pun of fun (get it?!).

 

And that’s a wrap on Entertaining in the Empire City, folks! Anything we missed? Anything you’re dying to check out?


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Entertaining in the Empire City: According to Mike

Here is part deux of the series I made up introduced yesterday – Entertaining in the Empire City.

The question: “When you have visitors in NYC, what are the five places (restaurants, bars, etc.) you MUST take them?

The answerer: my pal Mike, who currently resides in LA. I had the good fortune of befriending Mike a few years ago in between folding heaps of Joe’s Jeans, color-coding sock walls and opening fitting room doors for cheap men price-conscious shoppers at a former job. Simply put, Mike’s the best. I trust his fashion sense tenfold over my own. His sarcasm and wit are constantly on point, and he’s one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Also, I think that it’s a universally accepted truth that you haven’t lived until Mike’s called you a bitch. He uses that word better than anyone I know and it’s hilarious and honest (and warranted) every single time.

Mike’s answers: I should note that he mentioned, “I had a hard time sticking to 5 places.” Here’s what made the cut:

  • The Room, Soho: Chillest bar ever.
  • The Heights Bar & Grill,  Morningside Heights: Cannot miss the happy hour on their rooftop.
  • The Sixth Ward, Lower East Side: $20 for brunch with unlimited mimosas.
  • Raines Law Room, Union Square: Really cool speakeasy. Visitors die over this place because they feel like they’re part of some exclusive New York lifestyle. *eye roll*
  • Veselka, East Village: Pierogi all day every day. OMG AND MINDY KALING LOVES IT TOO.*
  • Koronet Pizza, Morningside Heights: I don’t care what anyone says; this is the best NYC pizza place.
  • Spice (Multiple Locations): Delicious Thai food, and they’re all over Manhattan.
  • Obviously Shake Shack (Multiple locations): I love taking west coasters here.  They’ll never admit it’s better than In-N-Out, but they’ll know it’s true. Just like they won’t admit Disney World is better than Disneyland. “You just can’t compare the two,” they say.  YEAH, BECAUSE DISNEY WORLD IS THAT MUCH BETTER.

*see Mindy Kaling’s Instagram for further information.


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What my personality and The Lion King have in common

Blog-tember Day 9 Prompt: Let’s talk personality types. Introverted? Extroverted? Unsure-troverted? ;) If you know your Myers-Briggs type, tell us about it! If not, you can take this similar test and share your results.

I’d go into further detail, but I think this image pretty much says it all:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.21.17 AMGuess I’m with Mufasa and Jesus.

Also, this is a fun (and maybe more reliable?) source. Looks like I’m cut out to be an Ad Exec or Sales Manager. Works for me.

Happy Tuesday, all!

 


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When I Grow Up

Blog-tember Day 3 prompt: “When I grow up I want to be….” Feel free to answer as your 5-year-old self or as of now. This is a pretty generous guessing game, but what follows is the basic gist of me answering that question, mostly in relation to my career, as best as I can remember, in each year of my life. Enjoy.

Anchorman2

  • 5 – 8 years old: An artist
  • 9 – 13 years old: A dancer
  • 14 years old: The first female Pope
  • 15 years old: Mmm I don’t know, but Rachel from Friends seems like she has it all figured out. So maybe her?
  • 16 years old: A Journalist, like Angelina Jolie’s character in Life or Something Like It
  • 17 years old: Broadcast Journalist who choreographs Show Choirs on the side
  • 18 years old: Show Choir choreographer who dabbles in Journalism on the side
  • 18.5 years old: When I grow up, I wanna be famous, I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies
  • 19 years old: Something to do with Business, I guess?
  • 20 years old: Something to do with Business that’s creative. But not Sales. Definitely not Sales.
  • 21 years old: Do I have any other options than Retail? Okay, so Retail.
  • 22 years old: Anything but Retail.
  • 23 years old: Someone who can wear jeans to work.
  • 24 years old: A Writer/Lawyer/Journalist/Marketing Prodigy/Sales Guru/Television Enthusiast/Photographer/Cat-mom/Professional Sleeping Person
  • 25 years old: Happy. Challenged professionally and satisfied personally — but mostly, I think I just want to enjoy the ride.

And on the note of growing up and careers, here’s one of my favorite Nora Ephron quotes, from her 1996 commencement speech at Wellesley College. This about sums up where my head’s at right now.

 “This is the season when a clutch of successful women — who have it all — give speeches to women like you and say, to be perfectly honest, you can’t have it all. Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”

I think when I grow up, I want to continue embracing the mess. Cheers to that!


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The Blog-tember Challenge

Hello, there! How’s your summer been? I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte today, and while the weather definitely wasn’t on it’s fall game, I’m very excited to be slowly segueing into my favorite season. The tail-end of last summer was when I really hopped back on the regularly-blogging bandwagon. I had every intention to do the same this year,  but must acknowledge that jumping back into a routine is just not the easiest thing to do… thus, enter the #BlogtemberChallenge!

blog-tember

Bailey Jean from Brave Love thoughtfully crafted daily prompts for the entire month of September — designed to ease the struggle of coming up with something worthwhile to write about while uniting the blogging community in posting habits. She enforces a strict no-rule policy, and encourages bloggers to write as many times as they can throughout the month (and if it’s not everyday, still cool). I’m very excited that I found out about this in the nick of time and am excited for the adventure ahead. My only promise is to write more (which won’t be hard to do considering my past few months of absolutely nothing) and to read/connect more with other blogging participants. Good news all around.

To meet Bailey and check out her prompts for the months ahead, visit here. See y’all tomorrow, for post #1!


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On Saying Yes

There have been a number of instances over the past few months when I’ve really thought long and hard about throwing in the towel. Not on life, obviously, but very truthfully on New York. I’ve never been too shy or modest to say that this city will eat you up if you let it. And sometimes, even for the most enthusiastic of its fans (i.e. myself), surly New York can get pretty darn close to taking a big bite of your confidence. Her sharp, pearly whites are constantly chomping at the bit of your dreams. If you’re lucky, she’ll rip you up and spit you out. But preferably, she’ll swallow you whole…

But then you’re walking home from an after-work yoga class, and due to forgetting proper footwear, you have to do the 50 minute commute home in dressy boots, a long overcoat, short gym shorts and an oversized tee. You resemble what could only be described as an out-of-shape, disheveled, and just overall bad, masculine prostitute, when you run into someone on the street looking 11 shades worse, and who is very much rocking it on purpose.

Or you’re heading to a friend’s apartment after a long day to work on a project and you, like any annoying, yet serious-about-her-career New Yorker, need caffeine. You stop at the local coffee shop on the way to the E and the Barista says, “Hey, this one’s on me.” It was probably because you’re so sleep deprived you look like you could murder four puppies without blinking and he’s frightened, but you know, in a world of jerks, it’s a win.

And then you have a Monday — a figurative AND literal Monday at work — and due to a swirl of irony and happenstance, you make one of your favorite comedians laugh. A silly face, some dumb accent. It very well could have been a pity laugh, but if he felt compelled enough to fake it, at least you must have been true-to-form: awkward and hopefully, likable.

This city isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t for the half-assers, the get-embarassed-easilyers, or the try-it-once-but-then-I’m-done-ers either. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t even for the dreamers. It’s for the doers. The open-minded, hard-working, inadequate humans who fail SO much and HATE it — but aren’t afraid to keep failing. To keep improving. To keep trying. To keep saying yes. The kind of people who say “Yes” are not the kind of people who succeed in New York, but rather are the kind of people who survive here.

Maybe it’s not even specific to New York. In light of taking an improv workshop with Second City through my job and re-reading Tina Fey’ Bossypants, I feel enlightened and compelled to keep saying “Yes” to life. I haven’t finished meeting these insane and wonderful people harboring vast and unique experiences only New Yorkers can offer. I’m not over chasing my dreams. I’m not done with New York, and I don’t think New York is done with me. I have more to do here — more to experience, more to lean — and I’m excited and ready for whatever that may entail.

YES_NY

Have you said “Yes” today? Or walked by someone wearing fishnets, black spandex and a cowboy hat out in public? If so, where do you live? And why?


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Currently, this Monday Morning

RECAPPING: a nonsensical “Happy Passover” e-card from my father, a certain random Twitter follow from this weekend, macaroon Easter treats from a friend and cookie gifts from my manager because of having to work the holiday. I suppose people really aren’t that bad.

HOWEVER: This Buzzfeed quiz suggests otherwise. Favorite comment: “NYC made me this way.” Ugh. Sad but true.

REALIZING: I’ve fallen very behind in my 52 books in 52 weeks goal. Should audio books count? If so, where can I find audio books? And also, the time to listen to twelve of them in the next two weeks?

ACCEPTING: Audio book recommendations. Normal book recommendations would also suffice.

LISTENING TO: Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson’s Beauty and the Beast, on repeat. It’s a beautiful, inspiring song; don’t judge.

SIPPING: French vanilla coffee from Trader Joe’s.

CRAVING: Country music, windows down and an open road. I’m chalking it up to the onset of summer, but sooner rather than later, some things may deserve a revisit if this keeps up.

REMINDING MYSELF: I should not compare myself to anyone other than who I was yesterday.

And with that, I bid a very happy work-week to you, readers! Make it a good one. Spring’s in full swing and summer jusssst around the corner. You can do it!

Fort Tryon

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