September Life of Late

Day in, day out and here we are with another work week complete.  I’m currently off to explore Washington D.C. with my grandma and possibly run into some of my buddies along the way.  Sure, there’s way too much to accomplish in only three days, so I already have hopes of traveling out a couple more times.  Between friends studying abroad and friends out of town and oh this little thing called November Project – D.C. chapter.

So, while I’m exploring, here’s some more recaps of late summer and early fall in the beautiful New York City.

IMG_5861Waking up for a sunrise and a bit of teamwork with the local November Project chapter. Possibly one of my favorite photos taken by the DC chapter’s CanofSpaghetti.  Check out his epic snapshots of their tribe members working out across the city.

IMG_5868More work perks.  One of the campaigns that I run is the advertising for Redd’s Apple Ale on Funny Or Die.  Their mega campaign is currently surrounding the Oddball Comedy Festival and we had the opportunity to attend the kickoff show out in New Jersey.  Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K. were definitely a couple of my favorites!

Eataly with AshfordsWho can pass up Italian food?  I usually am not one to gravitate towards pasta and pizza but oh yes please.  Their dough and cheese combination is to die for.

IMG_5936Yoga in Bryant Park

IMG_5888Brunching at the Bluebell Cafe ~ Noteworthy Brioche French Toast with Berry Compote and Lemon Curd ($10)

Bluebell Cafe
293 Third Avenue (between 22nd and 23rd Streets)  •  New York, NY 10010
*Like any popular brunch spot, it’s best to arrive early and with all your party members :)

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Checking out the Yankees and watching Jeter play in his last season.  Although the people-watching was almost as good (if not better) than the game itself. Yankees were tanking…

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My boss happened to be giving away a pair of tickets for a random weeknight game.  Who could pass up free field-level tickets??

IMG_5802Back to my running days around Central Park.  It’s one of my favorite places in the city and I sure am at my happiest when I’m all healthy and running around with that view.  For the time, New York has stolen my heart.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Some Perks of Work

We may not have endless massages or gourmet food on every corner, but I like to think my job has its perks.  There’s the occasional yoga, kickboxing, and pilates class.  We happen to work right outside Central Park (who could argue with this view?).  Oh, and there are tons of lunch and learns and other activities put on through our parent company, which means learning yes, but free food = better.  With the amount of money from my paycheck that goes to my rent, I live for the free, and often gourmet, lunches.

Williams Sonoma Kitchen - Test

One of my recent favorites was a end of summer grilling tutorial at Williams-Sonoma.  I still stand by the fact that summer is not over until September 28th! So, let the grilling and fruit festivities continue in full force.

When we first arrived, we were greeted with a small cup of mint-limeade granita and a slice of festive flatbread (w/ burrata & figs)

Fig Flatbread

Next up was a tutorial on how to de-backbone a chicken and use a cooking stone.  One could use a stone or brick (cleaned and covered in foil of course) or even the backside of a cast iron skillet.

Williams Sonoma CookHere we have our head chef teaching us how to take the backbone out of the chicken.  Looks fun, right?

While we were listening and learning, we were handed plates of pre-prepared chicken and roasted vegetables to munch on.  Then, a meal would not be complete without some dessert.

Williams Sonoma FoodOn the right was a mighty fine piece of lavender pound cake, topped with berries and vanilla ice cream.  I love how she brushed the cake with some olive oil and threw it on the grew for extra crunch (and flare).

After leaving with a full belly (and ever so ready for a nap…too bad we don’t have napping cubes like Google) I was inspired to check out other cooking classes offered in the city, especially if it comes with a meal as tasty as this :)

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients” – Julia Child

Travel Tuesday – Seattle

When I told people that I was traveling to Seattle for Labor Day, most of them asked “why?”  Well, why not?  This girl doesn’t need a reason to travel :)  Seattle has been on my bucket list, even though I had been there a couple different times with my grandparents.   This was more of an adult trip and focused more on the city itself, rather than Washington and the greater Seattle area.

Oh if I shared all the pictures from the trip, this post may go on for far too long.  So I’ll keep it concise and share some of my favorite collages from the first couple days.

~ Day 1 ~
Pike Place Market, The Crumpet Store, The Original Starbucks 

IMG_6013Starting off the day with the typical touristy photo.  I managed to make my trip a friend’s reunion with a college friend (Alexis) and high school friend (Laura).  Mixing friends doesn’t always work out but lucky for me, it did.  Or at least they didn’t tell me otherwise ;)

crumpet shopLaura had one mega request and that was to go to the crumpet shop.  From preserves to green eggs and ham, there’s no wrong way to savor your buttery bread.  If you are in the market for a beverage to pair with your meal, the chai latte is highly recommended.  But off to the market where the food will bring you to your knees.

The Crumpet Shop
1503 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Mon-Sun 7:30-3:30 (go early as they run out quickly!)

pikes place market

From fruit stands to flowers, honey and samples galore.  The Ellenos samples were absolutely delicious but seeing as I had already eaten two breakfasts, I didn’t need a third.  I could have and probably should have wandered back and forth through these aisles all morning long.  To bad I was on a mission to see all of Seattle and kept us moving right along.  But, we did catch the famous throwing fish folks and of course fulfilled our duty of seeing the original Starbucks.

starbucks seattle

My coffee habits have certainly evolved from my first sip in Barcelona almost three years ago, but it is a classic location and one must pay homage to the store that pretty much started it all. (Maybe not coffee itself, but rather creating a dedicated and obsessed following of caffeine junkies)

Now that we had satisfied our hunger and thirst, it was time to learn a little or maybe just soak in the sunshine and sights.

seattle sightsAn underground tour, a trip to the top of the Space Needle, adventures through the Pacific Science Center, or even a music museum.  Don’t forget to show a student ID for some sweet discounts!

IMG_5886Snacks packed from Laura’s SF kitchen to tide us over.  So kind of her to share :)

~ DAY 2 ~
University of Washington, Chinatown, Bainbridge Island

Because we happened to be staying near the University of Washington (Go DAWGS!) and seeing as both my grandparents graduated from the U of W, I thought it would be fun to take a trip around the campus.  The last time I visited, I didn’t fully appreciate the grandeur of such a large campus and really only cared about the next gift store and meal location.  Typical child behavior, right?

university of washingtonThis time I actually got to appreciate the grounds and while we didn’t make it all the way around, we did walk along Greek Row so that I could check out the Theta house!  Fun fact – my grandmother is a Theta and so we are theoretically “sisters” (cue tease from mother and real sister…I already hear you two) ;)

All the walking made three girls ready for some lunch and soon we found ourselves in Chinatown.  Our use of Uber (my first time using the service actually) helped to speed up our travel time as people were about to get hangry.

seattle chinatown

While Laura fought the brunch goers at the local dim sum restaurant, I found myself with a fresh black milk tea boba.  A drink that used to gross me out completely, tapioca pearls are now one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Bainbridge Island

Just a hop, skip, and a swim away from the main city is the lovely island of Bainbridge.  Between shopping for perfume to sweet, sweet ice cream scoops (did I hear blackberry and waffle cones??), a ferry ride and small town walk made for the perfect afternoon.

But of course there is more because after all, it was a three (or four) day weekend.  More to come soon …

“Appreciate life as it happens. Moments will soon pass and you will wish you had treasured them more” – unknown

Marvelous Manhattan – September Edition

While my family is suffering back in California with temperatures over 100F, we’ve been lucky with some cooler temperatures.  Even Sunday morning brought some fall-like weather, catching us off-guard with a chill in the air.  Sure, the weather did warm up in the afternoon, but it was nice to catch a glimpse of what’s to come in the next few months.

Not too much has been on the books the past few weeks, some brunching, hiking, dodgeball, and oh yeah that thing called work that helps me pay the bills.  But since work isn’t the most exciting thing to discuss here, let’s move onto some of my favorites of late.

IMG_6034Brunching or lunching at the Waldorf Astoria.  Here we have THE Waldorf Salad (fresh apples, caramelized walnuts, grapes, celeriac) for $16.  Quite delicious for the experience.

The Waldorf Astoria
301 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022

IMG_6060 Finding your new scent for 30% off.  Yes please!  I had spotted this time after time at Anthropologie but never had the courage to drop $68 on a perfume that may or may not work.  Well, with a such a discount, it was time to make a purchase.

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 What do you know, there’s now a Birchbox store in SOHO!  This is your stop for all those beautiful body, hair, and nail products.  I swear, it’s like the grown-up version of a candy store with rows and rows of goodies.

Birchbox
433 W Broadway – New York, NY 10012
(W Broadway + Prince St.)

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I’ve been lucky enough to receive a few Birchboxes and there are a few products I absolutely adore.  There’s one sunscreen that you put on underneath or instead of foundation and it is possibly the smoothest feeling lotion I have ever encountered. The entire store is a goldmine of beauty products, perfumes, and much much more.  But don’t take my word for it…check it out!

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Shopping and walking around town will help you work up an appetite.  Inevitably that means searching for something on Yelp because I still don’t know my way about restaurants in SOHO.  Well, finding this spot off of Yelp was an absolute win.

Burger & Barrel
25 West Houston, New York, NY 10012
*Highly recommend the Bash Burger (award winning)

As many note, “Notable burgers, upscale pub eats & wine on tap in a high-energy setting with a trendy crowd”  So, with this delicious looking picture, I leave you for the day.

For more things marvelous and wonderful, continue on here :)

Tuesday Travels – San Francisco Summer

A couple weeks back I made a quick trip to San Francisco. It may have been a bit crazy on my part, only 24 hours in the foggy bay, but just enough time to explore my friend’s new (ish) digs and her neck of the woods.  Since I went to school near the bay, I had traveled to all the touristy spots, so no Pier 39 this time around.

Here’s a little look at our schedule and some neat spots to put on your next itinerary :)

IMG_5823Best way to start the day is a hike and some java.  Stop by one of the hipster spots or find yourself at Blue Bottle Coffee, a fresh take on the brew that happened to start in Oakland.  Their coffee has such a strong flavor and is perfect brewed into a latte or chilled into their popular cold brew.

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I recently learned that it’s best to drink your caffeine four afters after you work out so a little pre-hike java was just what the doctor ordered.

IMG_5863So, whether you like to drink your coffee right away or later in the day, I highly recommend taking a walk, hike, or jog along the city streets or local hills.

IMG_5953While I sure lucked out with the weather (note my desire to get use out of my summer gear…that doesn’t get used in the air-conditioned office), we couldn’t escape Mr. SF Fog (fun fact: named Karl the Frog).  You should be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background but it’s there.  Just take my word for it :)

IMG_5840See, I wasn’t pulling your leg.  There it is, out in the distance.  Now, if you happen to find yourself in the city on a clear day, take a walk on the bridge or beach and check out the true bold color. It’s absolutely breathtaking. 

IMG_5874_FotorIf only architecture everywhere was this gorgeous.  Don’t you just love the colors and design?  Maybe it’s just my love for the sea and blue palate that caught my eye. 

IMG_5828CHINATOWN

A San Francisco classic and oh so much fun during Chinese New Year.  There are tons of great places to eat and it’s even worth stopping by for fresh fortune cookies at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory.

Laura took me to the Eastern Bakery where we split a coconut bun with the most wonderful filling and still warm from the oven (for a whopping $0.75!  Sure can’t beat those prices).  If you really want to be one of the locals, ask for a moon cake and I’m sure you will be glad you did.

Eastern Bakery
720 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

SF - ChinatownAnd how about those hills? Sure, I was used to running these sorts of hills back in the day, but they are totally nonexistent in New York.  Hills + stairs make for the perfect lower body workout.

SF Scenery - Hiking

From COIT TOWER down the hill to the FERRY BUILDING

Ferry Building

A day is not complete without some ice cream.  Your best bets are Ghiradelli’s, Bi-Rite Creamery, or Humphry Slocombe’s Ice Cream.   Since I have been to the first two a few times, Humphry’s it was.

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
Named after two main characters from the British 1970’s sitcom “Are You Being Served”.  More importantly and interestingly, they make all their own ice cream, sorbets, and toppings with all the best ingredients.  Here’s to the best bold flavors for your pleasure!

SF Ice Cream Flavors“Secret Breakfast” – one of its more popular flavors (condensed milk, kosher salt, and vanilla beans, mixed with bourbon and crunchy cornflake cookies)

~ Limoncello ~ Tahitian Vanilla ~ Black Sesame ~Jesus Juice (red wine + cola) ~ Brown Sugar Fennel ~Vietnamese Coffee ~ POG Sorbet (one of my favorite!!)

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream 1

After sampling our fair share of the flavors, we selected the horchata and Harvey Milk & Honey Graham.  If you still are wavering between flavors, check out Serious-Eat’s take on the ice cream.  Our eyes may have been bigger than our stomachs but we finished the heaping two-scoop treat and were full for hours.

From hiking to eating to hiking, it was a perfect whirlwind of a trip.

IMG_5966One last look at the city in the bay and certainly a unique view at that. You can even spot the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, still covered by Karl the Fog.

“San Francisco is a world to explore. It is a place where the heart can go on a delightful adventure. It is a city in which the spirit can know refreshment every day.” – William Saroyan