I’ll Have What She’s Having

When it comes down to it, people are more apt to connect with to a movie or television show when they recognize the setting or are able to visit afterwards. If it isn’t famous before Hollywood swoops in, it’s quite possible that it will be famous afterwards.

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Fenton’s Creamery in the last scene of Up

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Sideways brought in oodles of revenue for Santa Barbara and surrounding areas – people searching for the most authentic wineries and soaking up the perfect California sun

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Shows like Friends and Seinfeld were both based in the Big Apple.

My friend Laura and I have actually been watching the series from the start and there is oh so much more that I understand.  Sure it helps to be a bit older – most of the jokes and commentary went over my 7th grade self, but the fact that I’m navigating my adult years in such a mixed up city, also helps me relate to the characters at times. (On a random note…anyone want to indulge in a banana split with me?)

So, I’ve been on a hunt to find all the best spots in the city, making sure I’ve conquered all that NYC has to offer.  I’ve created my own big city bucket list, gathering tips from family, from Time Out New York and even the morning’s AM New York to find some hidden gems.  Not exactly the best for the world’s top stories, but it’s easy to read and fun to pass the time on my morning commute.

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So back to this funky little title – “I’ll Have What She’s Having”.  If you are all cultured in art of Hollywood, you would know exactly what I am talking about.  No?  Check out this clip (not exactly “G” just a warning)

The movie “When Harry Met Sally” and the part where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal argue about something that really doesn’t need to be included in this blog at the moment. Anyways, the movie itself is based in New York and this lovely scene occurs right in the heart of Manhattan in Katz’s Delicatessen.

IMG_4658For those of you who aren’t so familiar with Katz, it’s a kosher style deli located in the Lower East Side (LES).  Back when New York was just getting started, the LES was the central hub for hundreds of immigrants, all of whom brought their classic family recipes to the city for a new beginning.  It’s been satisfying locals and tourists alike since 1888 (yep, that long ago) with its pastrami and hot dogs.  Apparently they turn out 10,000 pounds of pastrami, 5,000 pounds of corned beef, 2,000 pounds of salami, and 12,000 hog dogs…PER WEEK.  Judging by the amount of meat they placed on our sandwich, I could very well believe these figures.

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I love the classic feeling this building has, the homey feeling you get when you walk in.  My friend Laura makes fun of me because every time I see such a building (namely diners), I’m bouncing about, dying to go in and eat.

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Their system is pretty simple – each person is handed a ticket when they enter and there is the option to seat yourself or wait to be seated.   The ticket serves as your food pass and you walk up to various counters to order the sandwiches, sides, and drinks.

IMG_4664Prices appear to be a bit on the steep side, so don’t assume because it’s old-fashioned, you’ll be walking out with a $5 sub.  No sir.  However, they are very generous with their portions.  Laura and I ended up splitting a sandwich and fries and still weren’t able to consume it all.  That’s saying something since we runners can pack it in.

IMG_4662 The interior reminded me of Philippe’s, a classic joint known for the French dip sandwich in Los Angeles – Not too uppity, plenty of space, photos adorning the walls, and old-fashioned advertisements.  I’m pretty sure I feel more comfortable in an environment like this than I do in a high-scale steak restaurant.  No judgement, just good food.

IMG_4663We opted for the seat-yourself option and wandered around the counters eyeing our options.  At first we weren’t sure what we wanted to order.  It’s known for its pastrami, but roast beef, and brisket were also viable options.  The guy behind the counter was a gem and sliced off a piece of each so we could take the flavors for a spin.  He also dished out some tips on the place and recommended with go with the pastrami.  After savoring each of the flavors, I had to agree.

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The sandwich was sliced up right in front of us and handed over on a cafeteria tray.  Not only were we presented with a heaping pile of meat, but also a few cucumbers and salty pickles.  It was almost as good as the jumbo pickle you can pick up at Disneyland.

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We used our ticket to check off the food items ordered and used it to pay when we exited the restaurant.  Of course it’s a cash only joint, so make sure to stop by an ATM on the way.  No worries if you forget because like many other NYC restaurants, there’s one located in the back.

IMG_4669Yes, we even managed to snag a spot at the famous location.  Ok, not sure if that is something to brag about but it made it oh so much more fun.

I was pretty surprised the place wasn’t more crowded for a Friday night.  Then again, it has been around since 1888 and “When Harry Met Sally” came out a solid number of years ago.  I’m sure the locals known when to arrive and when to stay away.  Plus, 9pm on a Friday would be prime bar-hopping hours rather than pastrami-eating hours.  Who cares, I like to go against the flow.

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Katz’s Delicatessen
205 East Houston StreetManhattan,New York City, 10002

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We Run the City in Spring

Being a California girl pretty much means I live for spring and summer weather.  It’s pure bliss with the sun shining, the hint of warmer weather, and flowers everywhere.  The past few days were perfect examples of this and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

Friday night I met up with Laura and we walked our way down to the Lower East Side to watch a comedy show put on by some mutual friends.  The show was pretty decent but am always surprised how much comedians have to focus on gender and sexual content to get laughs out of people.

After catching up with her friends, we made our way to the famous Katz’s Deli and feasted on some classic pastrami.  Now how’s that for a carbo-load meal?

IMG_4077The week had taken a toll on the both of us, so it was off to bed.  Ok, I may have watched a few things on Hulu but that’s because I’m in the middle of binge-watching Nashville and am hooked.

Saturday 

What better way to start Saturday than with a track workout? (Said no one ever…)  Just kidding – I absolutely loved it and honestly didn’t realize we had run almost 10 miles because it was so much fun running with my friends (or shall I say coaches?).  The people I hang out with ran cross country and track in college so running through Central Park or around a track has become a weekly no-brainer.

photo (8)With a mile to and from the track, a 1/2 mile warmup and cool down, 10x800s with a lap recovery in between, we conquered close to 10 miles.  Not bad and definitely motivation for me to work towards a half marathon PR.

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First stop after our track workout was Juicy Lucy – a smoothie/juice shop that our friend Carmen told us about.  I’m all about green juices and had been craving something citrusy to recover from the run.  I’ve read that pineapple is helpful combating inflammation and helping aid muscle recovery, so it was added into the mix. Make sure not to mix it up with Juicy Lucy – the burger bar and grill – and complete opposite health wise.

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I don’t know about you but the more I workout, the more ravenous I become.  That’s probably pretty obvious, but yes, I become a snack monster.  A smoothie was not enough to satisfy me for the rest of the day, so we checked out the ever so popular Tompkin’s Square Bagels.

IMG_4112A cash only shop by Tompkin’s Square (if that wasn’t obvious), it’s known for it’s excellent bagels, variety of spreads, and delectable bagel sandwiches.  I opted for my new favorite – whole wheat everything – and topped it with chocolate chip cream cheese – because adding chocolate makes the world better.  Although, I really should have gone for the “Kaitlyn” just because it was named after me.

IMG_4096Yes, this is still part of my recovery meal because I had missed out on my daily dose of coffee and felt a frozen dirty chai from The Bean would be worthwhile.  Yes, indeed, it was a worthy choice 🙂

After filling up on sufficient snacks, it was time to veg out and recover from the morning’s run.  A few episodes of Nashville later, Laura and James came over to study procrastinate and we made huevos rancheros for dinner.  I left them at the apartment and went off with a few coworkers to attend a birthday party in Brooklyn.  Oh the stories that happen after 10pm. 😉  I’ll leave it with three D’s – drinks, dancing, and diners.

Sunday Funday

Getting home at 3:30am didn’t exactly bode well for my sleep patterns, but at least I’ve got some time to sleep in later this week.  I wanted to take a spin class by a fellow blogger but when I saw the sub-instructor mounting the bike, I made a bee-line for the door and found myself picking up Stumptown cold brew and a bagel instead.  Both were consumed in the beauty of a spring morning in Madison Square Park, one of my favorite places in the city.

IMG_4105In the early afternoon I caught up with my Claremont running buddies for a long run up to and around Central Park where we had to push past plenty of tourists and finished with close to 10 miles.  Boy, I’ve surprised myself with how I’ve managed the past couple days but I think my legs will not be so pleased in the next couple days to come.  I’ll have to make sure to stretch, ice, and foam roll to prevent shin splints or other fun aches and pains.  But I wouldn’t have changed anything because running with my friends absolutely made my weekend.

On another note, my friend Mia ran her first marathon today and finished in 3:31, subsequently qualifying for Boston 2015!  I’m so proud of her!

“Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti

 

TGIF – NYC Weekend Plans

I swear, I’m getting my act together for some fun posts.  For now, real life has zapped my brain power and creativity so thank goodness it’s Friday.  🙂  IMG_3929For now, I’m beyond excited for spring weather, the warmth of the sun, the opportunity to eat outside during the work day, and even spend extra hours in Central Park, my nature escape.  I’ve added to my NYC bucket list and can say that every week I’ve been able to check a few things off.

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I’m getting more inspired each day to run another half and hopefully a full marathon sometime in the future.  As I’ve mentioned before, working out makes me feel confident and as strange as it seems, a purpose or schedule.

After watching the Boston Marathon at work, reading my friend’s recap from the Nike Marathon a few years ago (which qualified her for Boston this year), and finding yet another inspiration online, I’m ready to get down to business. Maybe it’s the dream or the inspiration I need to focus my life.  I know it’s a long journey to finish these races, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and thrive off of the lifestyle and runner’s high. So in the words of Nike, I’m going to Just Do It.

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Some of the weekend plans (thus far) include:

* Shopping for a fun cocktail dress and shoes 

* Comedy Show

* Running around Manhattan or agreeing to run a track workout (I never thought I would do that to myself again after high school but if I want a PR, it’s got to happen)

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* Roaming NYC’s hotspot coffee shops (since I obviously can’t pull myself away from caffeine…#javajunky)

What is on tap for your weekend?

Travel Tuesdays – Brooklyn’s Botanical Gardens

There was this one time where we read that the cherry blossoms would be blooming and blossoming all over Brooklyn’s Botanical Gardens.  Seeing as my friend Laura and I were looking for a way to explore the outdoors and possibly escape the city for some time, we took a trip off the island to check it out.

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Well, let’s just say the magazines and newspapers didn’t really take into account our fabulous weather this winter.  The cherry blossoms were far and few but we did stumble upon some beautiful plants.  IMG_4588Where the blossoms should have been …

IMG_4583I spy a few buds!

IMG_4594A little spring surprise from the cold grounds of New York

We even found ourselves amidst a hipster wedding with men dressed in bow ties and the women adorning various colored dresses.  It was quite a site and even managed to show up on the Humans of New York Facebook page.

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What I did enjoy was roaming around the gardens, watching the people lay out in the sun and dream of the days to come.  I may not be in sunny California, but I’ve managed to find some ways to replicate my time outside in the foliage.  Ok, I still haven’t spotted any palm trees, but maybe that just means I need to plant one. 

IMG_4595Like I said, I managed to find at least one tree in full bloom.  It made me realize how gorgeous of a season spring actually is and the fact that having seasons enables us to see this beauty and appreciate it (especially after such a long winter!)

IMG_4600 Thanks to technology and innovation over hundreds of years, these greenhouses did provide us with a look and feel of some of our hometown plants.  It was almost as if I had clicked my heels and I was transported to the Huntington Gardens or Arcadia’s Arboretum.

IMG_4603Whatever it may have been, getting to explore a new area of the city, especially one that was outdoors, was the highlight of my weekend. I highly recommend taking a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  There are plenty of areas to sit, read a book, or take a walk.  One forgets how cramped and crowded and overwhelming a city can be until you explore the outer areas and find yourself breathing in (relatively) fresh air.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden
1000 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

Marveling in the Easter Weekend

The best way to beat the Sunday night blues and even Monday blues is to look back at some good memories, right?  That and then plan ahead for the next fun adventure.

IMG_4033 Spent the weekend with this guy.  Would have looked adorable (and probably annoyed) dressed as a bunny or lamb, don’t you think?

IMG_4036First time eating key lime pie and boy I’m hooked. A nice recovery meal from my hot yoga 😉

IMG_4039 Spring flowers.  Enough Said.

IMG_4015 Got to love me some water ice.  I first tested out the east coast trend when they opened a Rita’s in my home town.  While I wasn’t exactly a fan of the custard at first, I soon found its appeal and couldn’t wait to test out this branch in Jersey.  Black cherry + vanilla custard = mmmmm goodness.

IMG_4649Strangely enough, the lights of the city are kind of welcoming.  The Empire State building acts as a lighthouse, welcoming me, and whoever else calls this concrete island, home.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”  – Steve Jobs

Breaking the Rules

Have you ever fallen into the comparison trap?  Body image, fashion sense, book smarts, corporate (or non-corporate) success?  In some form or another, we’ve all started to compare ourselves to others in hopes of going with the flow or falling in with the trend.  Ok, generally the goal is to be true to yourself, especially if that means thriving in your different lifestyle or sharing your different personality.  But I’m sure there’s a small piece of you dying to be in the know.  Guilty as charged on too many accounts.

Recently I’ve found myself frustrated with blogging, mostly because of the pressure (put on by myself) to conform to that of other’s blogs.  Like I said, the pressure is all me – thinking that if I post multiple times about certain subjects, link up with different blogs, create recipes from scratch, and have impeccable photography, I’ll be successful.  This creates stress, anxiety, and just frustration that doesn’t need to be present in my life.

After reading an article about breaking the blogging rules here, I realized I’m perfectly happy with my blog.  I don’t have as large of a social media presence.  I don’t have a self-hosted blog (yet…that needs to happen so I can upload oodles of pictures).  I don’t know what workout to do and I don’t have the most inspirational or healthy recipes.  But when it’s all said and done, this little gem of a journal is my form of expression.