village halloween parade

we did our best to hit up the village halloween parade but it turned out to be madness and impossible to get to. but we should have known. it's hard to determine when millions of new yorkers will flock to a certain area on a certain night.
tonight was that night.

but we got to see a lot of the remnants of the parade. like the mario brothers and super heros eating at a sidewalk cafe. just as an example.

and then we went grocery shopping. so really,
our halloween



i'm the little mouse/rodent/cat? ...
shayna is the wannabe (and possibly politically incorrect) asian lady

happy halloween.


the beauty of crying in public

after i read this article about crying in public in new york, i felt really moved by it---

not only do i love the way it is written, but the subject matter is something that has been on my mind for the past few weeks.
being alone. privacy. how to handle it all in new york city.

melissa febos starts by saying "I’ve done it on the subway and at the Museum of Modern Art, in Prospect Park, Tompkins Square Park and leaning against the locked gate of Gramercy Park."

she then says, "If you live in New York, you’re bound to end up crying in public eventually; there just aren’t enough private places."

and i thought this was a little funny... ha, i'd never cry in public. but i kept seeing people crying everywhere on the street, in the subway, et cetera ---
and thought it was strange.

and the thought of crying in public was still funny until the other day--- and then again the other other day i found myself, crying in public.

first was at the abc home store near union square when my friend was late to meet me (like 45 minutes late) and when she finally arrived, she came over to hug me and started crying. so of course, i started to cry. she had had the worst day which greatly contributed to her tardiness--- and there we were: hugging and crying in the middle of the hippest homestore on the planet (while her toddler wandered off).

second was in the subway station at 42nd street/times square, late on a friday night with ben -when my tears caught me by surprise- as they sometimes do when i talk about feeling undervalued by the world (that silly, cruel world).

before we even moved here i observed that the BEST and WORST thing about new york is you are so surrounded and enveloped by people all the time, but on the other hand you are so very alone and isolated.

BUT you grow accustomed to this.

those two times i was crying in public? it was if i was alone with my friend, or alone with ben - and not at a homestore surrounded by fancy people or in a crowded, noisy subway station.

it's as if you are always at home in the city- and so you are always at liberty to show your true emotions.
the article says, "public criers ask nothing; they don't need anyone to take care of them."
just like sometimes when you cry at home or in private.

i loved the article. read it. it's not just about crying :)

p.s. photo is of the "hopes and dreams" wall at the times square visitors center.
p.p.s. my mom said the first time she visited the museum of modern art (moma)--- she cried because it was so beautiful. ... i love that.


i took my boo to boo at the zoo

every weekend in october, the bronx zoo hosts boo at the zoo.

so people can come dressed up in their halloween costumes to the zoo. and there are a bunch of halloween activities and fun going on.

we took the quick trek to the zoo. and saw the pretty animals. and the cute costumes (like the green lantern with a captain america shield? confusing).

i like zoos. even though we are like adults we still enjoy "kids' stuff" --- we're not ashamed.

i mean, who doesn't appreciate a gorgeous peacock, up close and personal?

p.s. and it was also nice to see so many kids in one place. you can go weeks without seeing small kids in manhattan. no joke.


christmas card giveaway by amanda jane

hi. i really want to win this. so much so that i am posting it on the blog. big deal y'all.


red rooster

red rooster is one of the hottest restaurants in manhattan right now and it's in our neighborhood! it's super close to us so that's rad. rad rad rad.

it's soul food. which is appropriate for harlem- but it's like soul food fancy/swanky style.

we knew we had to get a table there--- because everything after 5:30 is booked until the end of the year (and i'm not kidding).
so as soon as there was something available for after 6:30 (i checked open table diligently)... we took it. even though it's been a busy week for both of us, we decided we just had to go.

and i'm glad we did. not only because ben's ny strip steak and my mac 'n' greens (macncheese with collard greens) were incredible and i'd totally go back right now to have seconds- but it was great because it was a date on tuesday night...
probably when we both needed it the most.

we talked about my work and ben's school and it was like we were on another shiny new date when everything is fresh and comfortable and all we care about is being together with a side of incredible dinner.

we had the apple caramel sundae for dessert--- apple sorbet, caramel and cinnamon cream. holy canoli--- it was amazing. i kind of want to get that dessert to go... every night? it was amazing. did i mention it was amazing?
and free (but that was because it took forever to come out and our server was nice and wise enough to comp it).

get the corn bread for an appetizer, mac 'n' greens or ny strip steak for entree and the apple caramel sundae for dessert.
it's a little more spendy that a lot of the whole-in-the-wall places we usually go to
we thought
we'd celebrate my job, ben's smarts
and celebrate

i love us. and harlem. and food. and new york city.

really though, i love it here.

p.s. read this article in the nytimes about how "fancy" red rooster is.


working girl

i officially a working girl (and have been for a bit).

minus the blister on my big toe, i am totally used to wearing heels and wearing fancy clothes everyday. i am used to nine hour work days and catered lunches. i am used to overly crowded rush hour subway trains... but not happy about it. at least my place of work is only three subway stops away (gotta love that express).

i am not used to waking up early, however...


overheards in new york city

you hear a lot of funny things on the street here in new york city.

some are not to be repeated, but some are funny to most audiences and should be repeated...

a lady to her young son, near rockefeller plaza:
"you don't walk against traffic! it's new york city!!"

lady on her cell at the metropolitan museum of art (the met), clearly flustered:
"the moma IS the metropolitan museum of art!!"
ben and i under our breath:
"no, it isn't."
(the moma is the museum of modern art)

at the book of mormon musical lottery -this one is for the mormons out there:
"if we win we have to shout out, 'moroni!' because he's like the angel that brought the golden plates to joseph smith or something."
"i watched every episode of big love and i never heard about moroni!"

in line at a broadway theater box office:
a girl behind us was explaining to her friend that each broadway show has its own theater. and somehow her friend was surprised.


the bully project

subject matter is not happy or positive, but very real. and needs changing.

i'm not sure if the city of saint george, utah is still running this ridiculous program... but when i was in sixth grade, st george had schools only for sixth graders. somehow, whoever "they" were decided this sixth grade center would help sixth graders transition better into middle school. but for me, the sixth grade center was hell.

not only was it a time for a lot of change, where my body was doing strange things due to puberty, but i somehow chose a group of friends who bullied me on a frequent basis.

i was told i was annoying and my friends hated me. comments like these were made everyday.
being as the school was so small, there was little room for making other friends or resorting to other groups of people.

i would call my mom many days out of the week to come get me from school because i felt "sick."

i think my mom caught on (ha, of course she did) and my parents and i decided i should change schools.

so i switched to a new sixth grade center. and let's be honest. the friends i made were not "good" friends. meaning they were not a good influence on me. but... they were FRIENDS.
such a paradox.

all and all we know i turned out ok, but

recently i was talking to a friend about a documentary (coming to theaters early next year) called the bully project.
bullying is a huge problem. yes, ok- we know that.
but raising awareness about it may help to lessen the problem. at least i hope so.
please check out the website and watch the documentary trailer.

i believe bullying starts small, in the home for example. bullying not only happens in schools (for me, in sixth grade, and now at twenty-five years old, i still remember), it happens at home (like i said), happens in the workplace, happens everywhere.

want to know the best part of my story? a year later when i was faced with the same people in middle school, the main culprit approached me laughingly and said, "we were so mean to you last year! haha. i'm so sorry! hehehe hahaha."
can you believe that?

let's stop bullying altogether, ok?

photo is of me when i was about 4 or 5.

the central perk

i love central park north. what i mean is, central park above 105th street to 110th street where the park ends.
not only is it beautiful -beyond beautiful- (with the harlem meer [lake] and discovery center building) but not many tourists venture up to the north end of the park.
not that there is anything wrong with tourists, but central park north is a little more... untouched.

and it feels like a little secret (not a secret anymore).

i like secrets in the city.

and i love how the water looks so solid green. it feels like i could skate across it.
but not really. that would be gross water to fall into.


more of parental visit.

more photos from my parents' visit.

p.s. i look so serious when i tell stories?


my cute parents

as soon as ben and i planted our feet in new york, my parents said they were going to come visit. and so they did this last weekend.
it sure was a grand adventure tour-guiding my cute parents around the big city.

we've had a lot of great fun...
attending pay as you like museums
free friday night at the moma (thank you, target)

and my parents saw not 1 but 4 musicals. pretty sure my parents live for musicals.
---i'm glad ben and i got to see 2 of the 4 broadway shows with them. i must admit i sort of live for musicals, too.
(we got to see anything goes and spiderman. anything goes is so incredible for story and talent -sutton foster, the lead, is phenomenal-. and spiderman... well it's a comic book plot, obviously, but the set... the set?! amazing. uh-maze-ing. i also thought most of the actors were super talented and loved the bono and the edge -from u2- music.) i heart seeing shows.


autumn teaser trailer

autumn in new york has been a little tease lately. it was rainy and autumny, then warm and sunny... and i am hoping this week autumn will be here to stay.

i've been gathering up pumpkin cookie recipes, anticipating more pumpkin cheesecake (for thanksgiving?) and looking forward to all kinds of squash dinners.
ben is pretty luke-warm about squash most of the time, but i'm sure i'm going to get him to LOVE it this year. i just know it.

there is also something to be said about cardigans, blazers and lightweight scarfs. oh fall.

is it autumn where you are?

p.s. without fail, there is a huge snowstorm in northern utah in october every year. it makes me laugh every time. (sorry utahans)
p.p.s. polaroid taken in october of 2009 in vermont... at the most picturesque and ideal farmers' market on the planet (no foolin').


world trade center memorial

reflecting absence.

the world trade center memorial just now opened on september 11th, 2011. ben's parents, our great visitors, dave and linda went early the morning of to get tickets- so all of us could go.

the memorial is really beautiful. the two waterfall-pools are in the exact spots where the twin towers were and to scale of the original buildings' bases. i noticed how the pools gave me such an empty and hollow feeling even before i knew, the name of the memorial is: reflecting absence.

how to get tickets:
[all are free]
you can reserve tickets online. keep in mind you must do this far in advance.
OR you can wait in line, the morning you would like to attend the memorial. i would recommend arriving at least an hour before the box office opens (hours here).


more food and more faces [reviews]

on our stoopbest self-portrait ever? taken at alexander hamilton's home (newly reopened).

under the brooklyn bridge, in nyc's borough of brooklyn. it's perfect for the times you'd like to eat and then walk across the bridge or walk across the bridge and then eat. BUT the line is almost always an hour to two hours long (even in the winter months) so I recommend getting the pizza to go. you can sometimes call ahead or you can wait in the regular line and you will be called up for to-go.
what to get:
a large pizza is about $20. everyone must try just the regular margherita (mozz, tomato, basil).

lombardi's is on the soho/nolita/little italy border. it's one of my favorite areas of the city, mostly because i see a lot of vespas and celebrities (the vespas and celebs are not always found together). lombardi's is the oldest pizzeria in the u.s.a. (or at least claim to be).
what to get:
a large pizza is about $20.
and to be honest, i like lombardi's more than grimaldi's. and the wait isn't nearly as long.

katz's deli
for me, getting to the lower east side is a bit of a hassle. because from where ben and i live, you must transfer twice on the subway to get there. i am just spoiled like that--- so i'll get over it.
BUT we were planning to visit one my favorite museums, the tenement museum and the doughnut plant, both on the lower east side. and they are all within walking distance of each other. not to mention, essex street market with produce and food stands.
katz's has been around for quite sometime, is the famous deli from when harry met sally and is much better than the famous carnegie deli.
what we got:
the rueben. it is $16.55 but enough for two people- which comes with sauerkraut and cheese... i like cheese. you also get pickles with it. mmm, pickles. and i recommend getting some dr. brown's soda (black cherry or cream soda).

at essex street market on the lower east side (mentioned above).
what to get:
milk chocolate covered bacon "pig candy" for a few dollars. everyone has to try it once.

william greenberg desserts
wgd is an ideal place to visit when you are wandering on the uppereastside--- which usually means you are wandering through the metropolitan museum of art or the guggenheim or any of the other many many museums on museum mile (5th ave). wgd's location on madison avenue between 82nd and 83rd is essential for a museum break. there isn't any seating (except for a chair or two outside), but there are plenty of treats to choose from.
what to get:
i've only gotten the big black and white cookie and haven't felt the need to stray from that $3 cookie of wonder. it's more like eating the top of a moist cupcake (the best part) with the glaze-like black and white icing.

chez lucienne
i had to check and make sure we weren't in france (a couple times) while we were eating here. not only is the french food authentic and delicious, but there were at least two tables full of french-speaking people. and really, i was surprised we were in harlem, let alone new york city.
what we got:
french onion soup. and we went on monday and ordered off the promotional menu. we got steaks with the bearnaise sauce and pomme frites. not to mention, sauteed mushrooms that were to die for.
bonus: it's right here in harlem.
second bonus: monday night steak night (steaks are $12.95 each). thursday night seafood night.

we went to lombardi's, katz's and chez lucienne with ben's parents while they were visiting. all of which, ben and i had never tried! and they were all home-runs. that's what i love about nyc... a lot of home-run food. and great people to share it with.


the view from the top [the top of 30 rock]


the views from the top of rockefeller are definitely my favorite. i like being on top of the rock more than the top of the empire state building. perhaps because of the rock's close proximity to central park. we were even able to "spot" our apartment from way up high... or at least the clinton foundation building that is near (and dear?) to us.

i love a city from up high. especially this city. this cute little city i like to call my own. i'm going on two whole months living here, so i like so own this town.
(j/k, j/k)

p.s. we may have sneaked some of magnolia bakery's incredible banana pudding up to the top to enjoy it while we took in the view. i recommend it.