*All news that’s “fit” to print! I love Instagram. Maybe finding this indicates that I’ve spent too much time scrolling this week? Hmmm….
* I was happy that I wrote the NYC/Brooklyn recap in a timely manner! #newyearnewme?
* I finished a non-fiction book in January so I’m pretty happy that I’m trying to mix up my reading. But, in all honesty, I should aim more for informational non-fiction rather than memoir/productivity if I want to really expand my horizons.
* I’m running a race this Sunday and, although I have been working out, I really only started running training….this.week. I feel pretty good though. After a Fall of minor leg tweaks (left knee, left big toe- weird I know), I feel pretty intact. I think all of the credit goes to my month of yoga in January.
SMS and I had an extended weekend in NYC! It was fantastic! We arrived into EWR very late on Friday and took a ride share over to Brooklyn. We stayed at an Aloft that was on the edge of the DUMBO district. The hotel had a few mixed reviews, mainly regarding the paper thin walls (true) and the too-tiny size (not really true but this is very subjective). Importantly, it was clean, on the inexpensive side, and a place to sleep. Since we usually travel to do things rather than hang out at the hotel, I would recommend the Aloft. The only reason I wouldn’t stay again is that I would likely want to explore a different neighborhood rather than repeat an experience.
It wasn’t the most über-cool part of Brooklyn, but enough that there was an awesome food hall nearby. We ate at the DeKalb Market Hall three times during the trip. We had thin Spanish-style churros (awesome), arepas (really disappointing), pierogis (delicious), and coffee (necessary). The building also has an Alamo Drafthouse and Flying Tiger so it’s definitely worth checking out.
We were in town to celebrate my college friend’s birthday. I still owe her for the amazing time she showed me on my 21st birthday (heavy sarcasm). In all seriousness, I wanted to be there for my amazing friend for her landmark birthday so SMS and I made it happen! Saturday was the main day so after sleeping in (we stayed on West Coast time the whole trip) and eating at DeKalb, we headed over to Citi Field for a private tour!
Overall, Google Maps is a lifesaver for figuring out how to take public transport in a new city but there are definitely some gaps in the system. We found a big one on our way to the tour since we took the subway to the LIRR with the plan to go two stops to Mets-Willets Park. We were cheerfully oblivious that this would not work since the train does not stop there on game days. Fortunately, a very nice conductor saw our tickets and told us this before we reached Woodside, so we hopped off and took a Lyft. So, not the most efficient and we didn’t have time for a pre-tour drink at Mikkeller, but at least we weren’t late for the tour itself.
The tour was awesome! We went to the press room, different box seat levels, the rotunda, the club house, the dugout, and the field. I think the highlight for me is knowing that beer cooler #1, the Grand Central Station of all the non-craft beer to different vendors around the stadium, is directly opposite the Clubhouse. It was nice to meet some of Karen’s friends before the group grew for a delicious Thai dinner at SriPraPhai.
Dinner was delicious. SMS and I shared a green curry and pad see-ew. After that, we headed back to Brooklyn with Laddie, Dave, Hillary, and Jason. Laddie, Hillary, SMS, and I grabbed an after-dinner drink at Svendale Brewing Co. Tasting Room, which was a really cute place with a nice bartender. All the beers were served in wine glasses, which angers one of Karen’s friends on principle but fortunately, he wasn’t there.
On Sunday, SMS and I slept in again and then headed to DeKalb. We headed to the NY Transit Museum, which was pretty interesting. It’s not a must-do but it is cool to learn more about the vast, iconic subway system and what went into making it and the maintenance and upgrades over the years.
Then, we went to the Other Half brewing company where we had a few taster beers with Karen and, a little later on, Stephen. The beers were delicious and it was fun to try a lot of different small pours. Then, we went to Laddie and Dave’s house for the Super Bowl with a brief stop in the most ridiculous, gourmet grocer on the way, Court St Grocer. It’s less ridiculous if you just accept it as a slightly mis-named fancy sandwich shop.
Laddie had an ad in the Super Bowl line-up, which was fun to see. The game was an exciting, fast-paced one with a comeback ending. And that’s about the depth of my analysis and caring.
The highlight, though, was a trip across the river to PS1. This is prime evidence that SMS is a saint because once I realized the James Turrell Meeting was located there and that it wasn’t in the middle of Long Island (I don’t know why I thought this), I wanted to go so badly. And SMS gamely agreed to two art museums in a day!
PS1 was so cool! It’s located in an old public elementary school and is such a throwback, evocative building that the setting itself is one of the best elements about the visit. It reminds me of St. James Catholic School in Red Bank, NJ.
We saw Meeting (yay!) and a few other pieces. SMS thought the coolest thing was the old coal furnace in the basement. It was huge and very elaborate! We grabbed a coffee in the little cafe and then headed to Williamsburg for pulled noodles at Xi’an’s Famous Foods, which were delicious!
We walked around Williamsburg, including McCarren Park. Then we headed to the water and took the East River Ferry from North Williamsburg down to Dumbo, which was a gorgeous thing to do at sunset. We walked through Dumbo and settled on Colonie for drinks and a light dinner. I loved that bar and, since we came upon it rather than researching it, were lucky that we found the perfect fit for what we were looking for!
After dinner, we headed to the hotel and watched two episodes of Cheer. It’s a good series and it let us stay up so we were still on West Coast time. One more episode to go! Will they win?!?! I think the answer is yes but I’m waiting to watch with SMS!
Our last day, we went to Bluestone Lane for breakfast after testing the wheels on my MUJI roll-aboard. Still holding strong! Strong recommend- both the cafe and the suitcase!
Then, we went to the 9/11 memorial since SMS had never been. It is so amazingly powerful. It doesn’t even feel like history since I can so vividly remember the day and it still has such wide ramifications on our current time.
Afterwards, we went to Eataly and grabbed a coffee while discussing a super cool company, Cesta Collective with the two founders. It was really exciting to talk about a promising, mission-based business that these two women believe in so strongly.
Then, it was time to go. We took the PATH train from WTC to Newark-Penn Station. Then, we took the 62 bus, which was really easy and came every 10 minutes. Even an Uber wouldn’t have been that much faster and it was nice to use public transportation. Basically, getting to EWR is a bit of hassle no matter which way we would go but hey, the flights are the cheapest!
We had cheesesteaks before our flights because we like to choose the healthy option. Then, it was back to the West Coast for an abbreviated work week.
Another weekend in San Diego and I’m starting to feel a bit boring with these, “I’m in Paradise, 65 degrees in the Winter, send help, just kidding!” updates. This will change with this upcoming weekend where SMS and I will take a four day extended weekend to an exciting out-of-town destination. Clickbait, clickbait!
So, we were in San Diego this weekend since I was on call. It was quiet but I still have to be around. On Friday, my work day ended early after I went to the Del and supported the NMCSD residents in the quiz bowl where they did really well. I read during the afternoon and picked up SMS in the evening.
The next day, we lazed around and went out to the Henry for breakfast. Later, we went to Point Loma Seafoods for a late lunch preceded by some errands. Since I’m still on my no fun diet, I would like to go back to both of these places. Holsem had some delicious breakfast options that were still quite healthy while at Point Loma Seafoods, I would like to get the less healthy fried halibut sandwich with tarter sauce. It is excellent but I have not had one since coming back to SD.
For dinner, I made a scallops dinner that was quite delicious. For sides, I made mashed sweet potatoes and kale salad.
Sunday was a little more active. I did some yoga in the morning, followed by a coffee stop at Holsem in North Park. Afterwards, we went to Mesa Rim for a couple hours of climbing. I felt a little short on endurance but I felt like I did a good job. Dinner was pan-seared halibut (2 min each side) followed by 3 minutes in a 450 degree oven. The fish was perfectly cooked, although slightly over-salted. Always room for improvement!
On Monday, I went to work while SMS stayed home and teleworked. The birds were excited and buzzed his head a few times. After work, we went for a walk and saw a gorgeous sunset, which was fleeting- the sun sinks so quickly! Then we went to Leroy’s for an early dinner followed by a trip to the airport for SMS to return to the Bay Area.
In other news, I am finishing up a yoga challenge with Tim, my SoCal yoga buddy whom I don’t know but I like his teaching style. I fell behind two days but as of tonight, I’m caught up! Someday when I’m up in Newport, I’d like to go to one of his live classes. I’ve really enjoyed this month and feel a lot more mobile in my upper back, which had started to really tighten up. So, yes, definite benefits!
Feelin’ it Friday, furnishing edition! I decided that my apartment was missing a few pieces of wall flare, so I went to Ikea to buy a few frames. While I was there, I saw a mirror I really liked and thought it would look great over the couch. It looks awesome. My only pause is that I now have a lot of mismatched wood in the living room but I really like the light wood look so maybe over time I’ll transition to that. Besides, with all of the pieces having different colors, it actually looks better than if only one piece was out of place. Or so I tell myself.
So, here’s the Stockholm mirror. I really like it! I just read some reviews and just learned that some people consider the wider base as a shelf. Eh, I like it for its visual interest- for now, I’m going to leave it clear of objects. The picture on the left shows how it hangs on the room. The picture on the right is more visually interesting and courtesy of the talented SMS.
I had started a gallery wall a few months back, but there was a big gap while I waited to get SMS’ Coronado print from Menlo Park to this apartment. The wall looks fantastic and that print is the highlight. There was a small gap where I place a painting of Solana Beach. I didn’t really plan this wall out too well and I think it turned out better than I deserved. For an incredible article on how to plan out a gallery wall, check out Nothing But Bonfire’s.
This picture highlights that truly putrid color the kitchen is painted in. Yuck. I also hung a Brent Estabrook print up, a whimsical teddy bear. What I really want is a skull painting but SMS thinks it’s too morbid.
Finally, I bought an Ivan Roque print to go with my flamingo-themed bathroom, which was a necessary embrace of the pink tile with maroon trimming in the bath.
Ok, so that’s a wrap of Feelin’ It Friday, furnishings edition!
SMS came into town for the long weekend since our main social event was his Dad’s birthday party on Saturday!
On Saturday morning, we went to the Farmer’s Market to buy kale for the salad requested for dinner. The kale salad recipe I use is from Oh She Glows, a veg/vegan recipe blog. The only thing I leave out are the dried cranberries. It’s a great recipe although you’ll see it’s not low-fat, which is fine- just something to keep in mind.
We parked in Banker’s Hill to avoid Little Italy traffic/lack of parking and, on the way, stopped by an open house for a penthouse apartment with an incredible view of the San Diego airport because it was directly in the landing approach. We were out on the balcony and I think we could see the pilots’ eyeballs! It seems like a place that would be great to rent for a vacation but a little tough to live there full-time. Plus, the margin of error for having an airplane in the master bedroom seems a little too close for comfort. We wished we had taken some pictures because it was pretty incredible.
At The Farmer’s Market, we bought a crazy amount of kale and admired two bulldogs in a stroller. And if we ever felt like we didn’t belong in San Diego…
That evening was a fun celebration of Rip’s birthday! SMS got him a hat that looks great, although the perfect fit was obtained the next day when we exchanged it for a medium. Fashionable headwear with a side of sun protection!
On Sunday, SMS and I decided to go for a hike. We hiked South Fortuna and it was a lot of fun. I wore boots I bought at the REI garage sale a year ago and they worked out well until they didn’t. My left Achilles tendon got super-irritated. I’ll keep trying to break them in but maybe the high ankles don’t work? I don’t know. I feel like my left leg is the more fragile of the two. That’s the side where my knee will hurt, my big toe will hurt, whah, whah, whah.
Then, we went back to Rip and Linda’s for some yummy chicken chili that fits with the Whole 30 diet. It’s always nice to see them and a bonus to get fed. We hung out for a few hours and then headed home.
Another bonus from going to Linda and Rip’s was loading up on tropical plants. My balcony is going to look so green and inviting once I get the succulents potted!
Today, SMS has the day off but it was sort of late-breaking news. We’re going to Little Italy to walk and grab lunch before he leaves. All the later flights were sold out when we went to change his flight. After that, I’ll probably just hang out at home and read. I’m in the middle of How To Read the Air and it’s quite good.