I LOVE NEW YORK

It’s taken me about 25 years to learn how to bend the rules and have a little fun.  I do like to have fun but typically it’s Type A and by the book.  I never ditched class (ok a couple of times senior year), never skipped a day when I didn’t have to, and followed all of my coach’s directions (except this one time we walked home from hill repeats and were then scolded…no hard feelings).  Anyways, now that I’m 25 and two weeks old, I’ve realized that life doesn’t have a rule book (though some people still tell me I’m a goody two-shoes).  As I’ve said (or written) before, life is what you make of it.  So, I decided that I was going to take a day off for my birthday and take a day off to explore the city with some friends.  The former was actually at the encouragement of my own boss, so that’s that.

But last Wednesday happened to be my good friend Jess’s 5th year anniversary in the city.  A few of us coordinated time off and a schedule to explore this island we now call home.

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The obvious plan was to start at November Project and of course we made it a double (5:30 + 6:30).  I opted in for the running of 5:30, part of 6:30 and then took to strength and stretching.  With Saturday’s impending half, I didn’t want to wear myself out.

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From there, we made our way downtown, picked up some java from a quaint little coffee shop by NYU, and onward to the Greenwich Avenue Equinox.  Oh my goodness so much fun since we actually took our time getting ready, enjoyed a bit of sauna time and didn’t have to battle our way for a shower.  Let it be known that normally around 7:45/8am it’s mad chaos and takes forever to actually get showered.

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Then it was breakfast (more like brunch) time.  We arranged our schedule to be by an avocado toast locale and Bluestone Lane just so happened to be right down the block.  Most of us went with the avocado toast + yogurt mix board – a perfectly portioned plate for sure.  Un-pictured was the banana bread split and devoured by the table.

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^^ Brunch at Bluestone Lane (mmmmm delish)

I definitely forgot to put sunscreen on and with about an hour in the sun at breakfast and additional walking during the day…it was not a pretty tan line.

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Once finished with breakfast, we walked out of the West Village and down towards the tip of the island towards Battery Park. Jessica (the girl of honor) had picked up “I LOVE NY” shirts for us to wear on our touristy adventure.  I swear, the amount of funny looks, pictures, comments, and even some cat calls, were hilarious.  We even got a few people saying “wow you really do must love New York”.  That or “where are you visiting from?”.  Our reply “the East Village”

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^^ Pretty good story behind this picture.  Obviously we would want something that matches our shirts but more about who took the photo.  We saw this man standing on the street writing in a notebook.  We asked him to take our picture and he did, but then asked us for help with his class assignment (to help him learn English).  The topic was art and he had to analyze what differentiated street art from graffiti.  We all gave him our opinions – emphasizing street art such as the one above helps improve the ambiance of the area rather than degrading it.  It was just one of those moments where you think “wow I live in such a unique city that I am surrounded by so many different people and places”.

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^^ what a bunch.  also noticing the tomato red burn on my arm…

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We did attempt to wait in line for burgers and milkshakes from Burger & Barrel but ever since it became the Instagram hot spot, it’s been a zoo.  We arrived around 2:30, thinking we would be able to just jet in.  Well, given that the line was wrapped around the street corner and we weren’t expected to even be seated together for the next hour or so, we ditched that plan and headed east to another bar for cocktails and burgers.  All of us were still full from breakfast and wanted to leave room for dinner (Pauly Gees pizza to come), so divide and conquer we did.  Two burgers split amongst the two of us and a few drinks to go around.

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Ending the day with a delicious round of pies and complimentary limoncello shots by Pauly himself.  Do note that this is a dine in only establishment – no pies to go, even though a picnic in the park would have been divine 🙂

One helluva way to celebrate an anniversary and here’s to many more adventures!

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“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” – Marthe Troly-Curtin

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April Weekend Shenanigans

This weekend started off pretty slow but was soon filled with a number of workouts and sweet city finds.  But let’s back it up a notch.  Wednesday’s workout was tough tough tough. My legs felt fresher since I hadn’t run intervals on Tuesday, but I still seem to be tired from my last race.  I guess I need to load up on those turmeric pills and beet juice.  Anyways, we ran around the park in a T formation, adding in some burpees and step-ups to the mix.

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On Thursday I took a spin class with a couple of pals from work at the local Equinox gym.  One of my friends – Jess – happens to be a spin instructor and so she is an expert at spin, but had never tried an Equinox class!  I’m a terrible friend and haven’t even been to one of her classes (yet).

IMG_6726 ^^ When your work family becomes your fit family.  It was fun to do something other than eat lunch together and hey, when work offers a free spin class, you definitely say yes!

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Then came Friday’s workout, which was located at Chelsea Piers.  The theme happened to be Coach John’s Last Single Man Workout and was quite a hoot.  I was glad that I had ran to the workout (even if it was only 2.5 miles away) since we had a bit of a late start and it was only 20 minutes long.  Here’s the thing, even if it doesn’t seem like a “good” workout, it’s all about the effort you put into it.

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IMG_6732 Oh yeah, this might have been part of the workout…

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(source by November Project – NYC)

Our office has been pretty slow lately (watch me jinx myself…) and since Friday was no different, a coworker and I decided to catch up over lunch at The Smith.

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^^ Goodness gracious me oh my.  That tuna poke above was diiiiivine and the avocado toast was maybe not as good as Bluestone Lane (what could be better than that?) but hit the spot.  If I had to give some tips to the chef, I would add some red pepper flakes or some extra sea salt.  Other than that, well done 😉

IMG_6747^^ When you get out of work and have time before happy hour, a cone from Chloe’s is obviously the right choice.  Their soft serve fruit is made with pure ingredients, doesn’t leave you with a sugar crash, and paired with a pretzel cone is the ULTIMATE sweet treat for a warm day.  I may have gotten a cone two days in a row.  But who is counting?  Anyways, I’m definitely digging this warmer-but-not-humid-yet weather and the ability to throw a dress in my backpack for work.  Makes my life oodles easier and no mom, I’m not wearing Birkenstocks to work.

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^^ Saturday morning came around and it was time for a long run.  I haven’t been feeling 100% on my runs lately and I know that means I should take some time off.  But with Brooklyn on the horizon and my inability to relax, I keep pushing on.  I started off towards the West Side Highway, headed south around the tip of the island towards Battery Park, and then back to the East River Track.  Once I ran under the Brooklyn Bridge, I ran into my friend Sam and we were able to jog and chat for the next three miles.  Both of us are feeling a bit off running at the moment and so it was so unbelievably helpful to run into a familiar face.  When will it ever become easy?  When can we just pound out the miles in an effortless (and maybe speedy) fashion?

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^^ The reason I ended at the East River Track was for Coach John’s Last Single Mile.  I guess it’s a tradition between him and his friends for the groom-to-be to organize one last mile race on the day of the wedding.  Well, we like to say #justshowup and that we did.  Hey, I even made Matt Power’s snapchat feed in my goofy old fashion.

Next up…BREAKFAST! I was able to find a place that could seat some hungry runners and luck would have it, the wait was short and the food was fabulous.  But really, Cafe Orlin was beyond what we were looking for.  I went for the Malawach (two eggs any style with Yemenite fried dough, fresh tomato sauce, olives and green salad)

Cafe Orlin
41 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003
b/t 1st Ave & 2nd Ave ~ East Village

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^^ We also ordered a set of pancakes for the table, which was a clutch move.  Then we could have our sweet and savory.   Hey, 10+ miles means breakfast earned, right?

Let’s just say I’m not very good with free time and so after brunch I decided that spontaneous spa trips were necessary – cue manicures, a cone from Chloe’s, and an impromptu hair cut.  I hadn’t planned to go out, but since I got my hair done, I guess I haaaad to go out.  Lindsay and I met up and went out to The Wren, an upscale pub on Bowery with a delicious set of cocktails.

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Sunday was a day of rest, although I still went to the gym for some treadmill walking and arms + abs.  I then met up with a friend for spray painting in preparation for next week’s race (um, I’m obsessed with spray painting now so send everything my way. please and thanks…and don’t worry, I won’t grafitti anything illegally), had a lovely afternoon in the sun with one of my new NP friends, a salad from Sweetgreen, and some nice food prep/movie marathons.  Here’s to another great week!

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

Two Hands are Better Than One

When my flight from Charlotte, NC to NYC got me back earlier than expected, I was left with plenty of time to clean the apartment, catch up on recent episodes of Downton Abbey and the Bachelor, and explore another restaurant on my city bucket list.  If you haven’t noticed in the foodie world, avocado toast is on the rage and while I could have easily made a trip to the beloved Bluestone Lane or even Le Pain, I was in the mood to try something new.

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Plus, since I was going solo, I was sure to get a table faster, right?  Well, turns out that’s not always the case but I was bound and determined to check Two Hands, another Aussie inspired and run cafe, off of my list.

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two hands
164 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

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^^ Flat white, an Australian creation, makes for a delightful meal.

IMG_5424Torn between sweet and savory, I stuck to the avocado toast and added an over-easy egg on top.  If there ends up being a next time, I would definitely persuade my buddies to tag along just so we could order a few more dishes and test them all out.

IMG_8361 IMG_8359 ^^ You know when I said that I ate alone?  Well I happened to be sitting next to another solo diner and may have snagged this shot when she wasn’t looking.  Hey, it’s all for the blog right?  I’m sure restaurants are probably sick and tired of people whipping out their phones or cameras as food arrives.

IMG_8358 IMG_8351 ^^ Of course, if you are just looking for coffee on the go, walk in and head straight to the back to submit your order and skip the wait.

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^^ Because who wouldn’t want s’more?  If you do happen to have a bit more room for dessert, this packed cookie or stuffed muffin might be well worth your while.  Maybe next go around…

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“Food for the body is not enough.  You need food for the soul”