I can't seem to outgrow Halloween (nor do I really want to). From the first time my parents dressed my kiddie self as 80s-era Madonna to my years of Halloween galavanting here in New York, it has been one of my favorite annual events. With work and grad school corralling me in for the past year, however, I've had to tamp down on my partying. Thankfully, my friend Kathryn introduced me to a way of enjoying this yearly occurrence that doesn't result in a hangover: the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. It's pretty self-explanatory so I won't bore you with more words and just show you my favorite shots from the 2013 and 2014 parades. Trick or treat!
October 18, 2014
Fall in New York State can be such a magical time. From the punishing summer heat, temperatures simmer down to just the right level where the air is pleasantly fresh and crisp, and you can run around all day with a wisp of a sweater and never break a sweat. On one such gorgeous weekend, we escaped to the North Fork to enjoy New York in all its autumn glory.
We stayed over the weekend but if you only have a day, I recommend starting with a lovely brunch at the dollhouse-like Jedediah Hawkins Inn. Built in 1863 and painstakingly restored to its present charming state, the property includes a boutique hotel, a top-notch restaurant, and even a speakeasy. It would have been nice to have brunch in their pretty garden but there was an event when we arrived so we had to be content with dining inside, which was not a terrible compromise. We agreed that the dining area was reminiscent of the second floor of Ladurée on Champs-Élysées—elegant, a shade old-fashioned but somehow cozy at the same time. I couldn't resist indulging in the amaretto french toast, served with fresh whipped cream and baked in-season apples. So delightful!
The North Fork is known for its many wineries (see my extensive rundown over at Discoverue), but since I had a European on driving duty, we decided to limit our boozing to just one spot. We chose Shinn Estate Vineyards and had a nice time sitting outdoors and trying their different reds. My favorite was the reasonably priced and playfully named Wild Boar Doe (get it??). I've been to the North Fork at other times of the year but I have to say, it's at its most gorgeous in the fall when the vines are lush and grapes ripe for the picking.
For all my planning, the most memorable part of our weekend ended up being at a farm that we just happened to pass on the road: Bay View Farm Market. They have a large open air market with stacks of colorful produce and the scent of freshly grilled corn emanating from the back. I've stopped here before to walk through strawberry fields. This time, it was the stunning fields of blooming sunflowers that drew us. That sight alone was worth the trip.
Autumn in New York is a beautiful but all-too-fleeting time. If you haven't done so yet, get out there and enjoy New York at its loveliest!
filed under: oh the places you'll go!
September 21, 2014
I've spent the entire weekend immersed in feminist literature, digging into how masculinities and femininities influence influence war and conflict, as part of my graduate school work. Admittedly, I used to have a bit of a negative connotation of feminism, feeling defensive about fighting for women's rights in the midst of all the suffering in the world. It wasn't until I dug into the theory behind feminism that I understood its full breadth. My professor Dr. Sylvia Maier explained it best by saying that gender studies is about emancipation of men and women alike. It is not a divisive issue because we are all affected by it and this very basic inequality is where so many other types of inequality feed off. Another person who just beautifully explained it is Emma Watson, who launched the He for She campaign today at the United Nations as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. I encourage you to watch it and hope that you'll participate in the He for She campaign. For more information, visit www.heforshe.org.
September 14, 2014
Put a Disney Prince in a real-life setting and you realize just how ridiculous (and borderline creepy) these fairy tale ideals can be. This Buzzfeed video is so spot on, I was in tears from laughing while watching it. Click play to start your week off on a funny note!
September 7, 2014
Summer is supposedly over but you wouldn't know it from the still rising temperatures here in New York. I'm not complaining—I'd like to hold on to summer as long as possible! If, like me, you're intent on enjoying every last bit of the remaining warm weather in the city, here's a fun activity to try: hop on the North River Lobster Company boat for seafood, sun and sailing on the Hudson River.
We feasted on oysters, black tiger shrimps, Maine lobster, Mahi-Mahi fish tacos and shrimp po' boys as the boat sailed on the Hudson. There was no shortage of lovely New York views as we lunched and boozed. I would recommend getting there as early as possible if you'd like to dine outside, as the outdoor seating was full by 12:30pm on a Sunday. Also, if you have the tendency to get seasick, I would advise you to pop a pill as this is very much a moving restaurant. But if you love seafood and being "out at sea", an afternoon on the North River Lobster Company boat is a fun and unique use of what remains of this summer.
North River Lobster Company docks at Pier 81 near West 41st Street and 12th Avenue, New York, NY.