Tag Archives: activities

I Love LA: Day Five

27 May














I Love LA: Day Four

26 May

I have to admit, I didn’t do much on Day Four of my LA adventure. Honestly, my feet were still recovering from the self-imposed death march down to Venice Beach so, instead, I decided to chill by the pool with a trashy celeb mag and a diet Dr. Pepper. Pure class.

Later that night, Carter and I met his friend Adam at the Santa Monica mainstay, Father’s Office. Apparently this bar has the best burgers in all of LA. I have to admit, when paired with the sweet potato fries, Father’s Office was definitely in the running.

After Adam left us, we stopped into Renee’s Courtyard Cafe on the way home. The influential late-nineties film Deep Blue Sea was on. You know, the one about the killer sharks. Cinematic genius. We were mesmerized for a good 15 minutes.

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I Love LA: Day Three

25 May

Blisters, headaches, and suntans – I still love LA but, boy, am I tired.

I walked all the way from Wilshire and Ocean in Santa Monica to Winward and Pacific in Venice. That’s just over 2.5 miles… in wedges. Ooofa. No wonder I have dime-sized blisters on the bottoms of my feet. On the bright side, it’s like walking on really painful bubble-wrap.

In other news, I think I found the site of my first tattoo, however, I couldn’t be certain of the location or layout. I think I may have been a bit disoriented by all the resident freaks wandering around like crackhead zombies. New York City weirdos have nothing on the vagabonds of Los Angeles. Where do these people come from?

The journey begins…

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Eleanor Friedberger @ Frank

28 Apr



Strawberry Fields Forever

22 Apr

This weekend Carter, Bella, and I took a trip out to Marble Falls.

It had been years since I’d been out to those parts and, I’ve got to admit, I was a little disappointed. For starters, there were no “Falls” to speak of – the Pedernales River was as a dry as a bone; the ghosts of boat docks wobbled in high grass. There was, however, a ton of marble and granite. Everywhere I looked – marble, this, granite, that – enough already with the marble, we get it!

Barren rivers and masonry aside, the real reason we ventured to Marble Falls is because of Sweetberry Farm, otherwise known as the best spot for strawberry-picking in Central Texas. Strawberry’s ain’t your thang? Sweetberry also has onions, potatoes, bouncey dome, a tracto-pull, blackberries (when in season), goats, and donkeys.

The latter, of which, made me a little sad.

Oh, Texas...

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Field Trip!

20 Apr

Ever accompanied 200+ children on a field trip? It was a little intense.

On Friday, I joined Bella’s kindergarten class to Crowe’s Nest Farm Animal Life Center. The grounds, which houses rescued animals, is not only a sanctuary but also a working dairy and produce farm. Pretty fun, pretty loud.


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Austin, Officially

13 Apr

I am now, officially, a resident of Austin, Texas!

Thanks to Carter, I was able to pack up most of my worldly possessions into four oversized suitcases and drag them to my new home. I’m so excited that I could almost burst!

Here’s to a fresh start in the Lone Star State!

Momma I'm coming home.

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Easter in Connecticut

8 Apr

Alissa and baby Zariana.

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ET the Extraterrestrial

4 Apr

If Day #1 of my last week in NYC was all about Williamsburg, then Day #2 was largely Lower East Side… and a one-off trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

First order of business was the Tenement Museum, where my roommate Sanaz and I jumped on a 4pm tour called “Hard Times” At this point, it was around 11:30am, so we had some time to kill. Sanaz wanted bubble tea and, after I mentioned a good dumpling place I’d visited a couple of years ago, she was suddenly very hungry. Then we were off, on a mission to find these Chinatown culinary all-stars, zig-zagging through cramped streets and past tiny stores with funny names (ahem, Mei Dick).

After we’d accomplished everything we came for around the Canal/Mott Street area, Sanaz and I made a split-second decision to hop on an Uptown train and spend a couple hours at the Met. What a great idea – especially considering that the museum recently updated its Art of the Arab Lands collection. It might help to know that Sanaz is from Iran and quite knowledgeable regarding the traditional regional designs of Persia.

By 4pm, we were back in the LES and on our tenement tour. By 5pm, we were at Essex Street Market buying produce for the night. By 6pm, we were (literally) limping home. Not sure how I’m going to run and go to the NY Botanical Gardens tomorrow.

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Dine in BK

16 Mar

Dine in BK poster 2012

A Walk Around North Brooklyn

10 Mar
Phil Collins Street Art

Phil Collins Street Art at the Greenpoint Ave. stop in Greenpoint. Photo credit: Shannon McGarvey 2012

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Eyebrow Treading

7 Mar


Gutter Balls

4 Mar

It’s been two years and I haven’t bowled with the Bohls once. That is, until Saturday.

There’s something you’ve gotta understand about Adam and Sara Bohl – they love to bowl. Sure, it sounds like a joke but it’s totally true! These Indiana siblings are straight out of an episode of Roseanne and they’ve got the flannel to prove it, too. They’ve also got the bowling scores. I, unfortunately, do not.

I walked away from Gutter with a measly score of 84. Total fail.

Friends on stairs

Shannon and Sara outside of Gutter Bowl

Bowling shoes
My haunted bowling shoes.
Girl bowling
Sara bowling.
Man glowing red

Adam glowing red.

Turkish Coffee Grounds

2 Mar

When my roommate offered me a cup of Turkish coffee, I had no idea that she’d want to read my grinds.

In fact, I’d completely forgotten about the fortune telling tradition of reading one’s coffee grinds at the end of a cup. Honestly, we were hacks: flipping our chipped mugs atop dessert plates and trying to decipher the symbols. My grounds appeared to show the image of a camel and the shape of a robed figure, both of which my roommate said were good signs. She remembered that the symbol of camel meant that I would be relocating soon. The symbol of a robed figure? Who knows.

Maybe you can make out something decipherable…




Central Perks

27 Feb

My “Maine Squeeze” Carter came to visit last weekend and we made a pilgrimage to the American Museum of Natural History.

If you recall, I also embarked on an adventure to the museum – though, alone – recently. I’ll concede that our time at the museum was much more eventful than my own – after all, we did have an en route picnic in Central Park while meandering crosstown.

I also got to scratch a “to-do” off my long list of items when we stopped at the Hayden Planetarium for “Journey to the Stars.”

Way cool.

Man Mask
Carter at the American Museum of Natural History


Man and Woman Smiling
Shannon and Carter
Man at 81st StreetCarter in the 81st Street Station

Awesome Air-Drumming Gone Way Too Long

26 Feb

Notice the sweat accumulate as Carter toils over ‘Sweet Emotion.’

President’s Day

21 Feb

In honor of the presidents, I made a pilgrimage to the windswept fields of TJ Maxx in search of the perfect pillow (and some other things I swear that I needed).

It was a comparatively cold day for New York City, who has endured unseasonably warm weather throughout the now dwindling winter. The store was awash with midday shoppers, the likes of whom I am utterly unfamiliar – Hasidic mothers and mother in-laws, Jersey housewives in sweatpants, a woman in a faux fur vest casually mentioning her nanny. Who were these people? Who was I?

I was a woman on the hunt for a bargain and a bargain I found. I’ll have you know that I walked away from TJ Maxx with two pillows, two shams, two silver frames, a new pair of “designer” shades, a muffin pan, a French press, and a new pair of headphones – all for $100.

Bargain Babe, Merchandise Maven, Low-Price Lucy – take your pick – you can call me what you like.


Painting Valerie’s

20 Feb

It has been said that only your true friends will help you move for free. I think this adage applies to the painting of one’s Bushwick apartment, as well.

Valerie and I did just that over the course of two days this past weekend. It was like Hurricane Irene all over again!

The fun started at my house on Friday night and then moved to Valerie’s on Saturday and Sunday. By the end of it all – Whitney Houston’s funeral, two rooms and all that crown molding – we were nasty.

Let’s just say we could’ve fried some chicken with the grease off our heads. It was gross, ya’ll.


Let the games begin!


My knuckles, swollen like a blow fish.

Real New Yorkers

7 Feb

Why are so many New Yorkers obsessed with being “real New Yorkers?”

This thought entered my mind while watching a promo for the NY1 “Real New Yorker” campaign yesterday. A narrator speaks over photos of different New York street scenes while asking the viewer certain questions: (I’m paraphrasing) “why do you look into oncoming traffic instead of the traffic light before stepping into the crosswalk?”; “how do you know the street vendor umbrellas are garbage?”; “how do you know which subway car will drop you off closest to the exit?” – “you’re a REAL NEW YORKER.”

I understand the angle. NY1 is at once attempting to illustrate it’s longevity while also giving viewers the “secret handshake.” New Yorkers wear this city like a badge and rightfully so. The longer I’ve lived here, however, the more I’ve come to see New York as I would any other city: just a city.

Before I moved to New York I got a lot of chatter about how expensive it is, how hard it is to “make it,” how everyone is rude, how New York is the loneliest city in the world, how it’s a dog-eat-dog world and New York City has the sharpest teeth – the list goes on. What I’ve found? Well, there’s truth in every trite adage but only a little.

As with any megalopolis, New York is going to have slightly stiffer competition than other cities, more expensive options, more people thus more of the ruder variety, and, yes, it can be very lonely. My point is, when I stopped glorifying New York City and saw it stripped naked standing in front of me, I realized that we’re not so different from everybody else – we’re just more concentrated.

Sure, New York is different in the details: I walk everywhere; I look like a pack mule coming home from the grocery store; I have a personal relationship with my cobbler. In many ways, I feel like New Yorkers are closer, more in touch, with their residence just because of simple interaction. There is an energy to this place but there is no magic.

So why are New Yorkers so obsessed with being “real?” Maybe it’s because we know how special this city is. We know how, perhaps, we once glorified the skyscrapers and bustle; how we felt when we first visited; how envious we were of our friends that had already made the leap. We also know the dirty, often stressful realities of living here.

Maybe that’s what they mean by “real.”

Republican Primaries

31 Jan

It seems as though Republicans are really pulling out all the stops.

I saw this beaut on the way to work this morning.

Just goes to show, no venue is too small – or dirty, for that. image

“Anybody but Obama in ’12′”

Out In the Streets

29 Jan

It’s no secret: Williamsburg is blowing up.

Development off the Bedford stop is booming. So much that the original gentry are now the ones being gentrified! In a strange although completely expected turn of events, “adventurous” Manhattanites are crossing the bridge to settle North Brooklyn side. What does it all mean?

Well, it definitely means a price hike. It also signifies the next phase in the evolution of Williamsburg. Such is New York.

Always changes, never sleeps.


Occupy art.


Still moving.


More Occupy art.

imageWeird door.

Greetings From Austin, TX!

16 Jan


Carter and Bella at Phil’s Ice House.

Follow Your Bliss

15 Jan

Some times, when you’re feeling really low, the last thing you wanna do is exactly what you need to do.

I’ve found that when I focus on the negative – things I don’t have, what I fear, worst case scenarios, etc. – it paralyzes me in the present. In other words, I stop moving forward. For a creative and driven person, this can feel like a death sentence. In moments like these, I often know exactly what I need and it’s probably the last thing that I really want. This means doing something (or a combination of things) that I really love. But why would I have to remind myself to do something that I  love?

Because bad feelings have a tendency to make us short-sighted. We can only focus on the negative present- what is wrong now, what is scaring us now, etc. – instead of thinking about what we want for the future (ie. what we need to do to get happy). For me, this means going for a run, eating well and creating something.

The hardest part of this process? Actually doing it.

Always follow your bliss.


A trip to Juiceland after a run.

imageLove is greater than fear.

Day at the Museum

8 Jan

I found myself in midtown today after leaving my phone charger at the office last night.

Because of this unlikely occurence, I decided to make a date with Manhattan and visit my favorite place on Central Park West: the American Museum of Natural History. Specifically, the IMAX presentation of Tornado Alley.

Of course, no trip to the AMNH would be complete without a stop in the hall of gemstones and at least one peak at a dinosaur. I also enjoyed the Hall of Biology, the meteor flick and the many, many gift shops.








An Austin Donder

3 Jan

I miss living in Austin. Especially on crisp, sunny days like today.


Carter and I in search of coffee and tacos.



Winter in Austin is like autumn in New York.


Carter and Maddie.


26 Dec

My holiday adventure continues with a week-long stay in Texas!

I got to Mom’s just in time to find this little guy all nestled up in my bed.


Goldie Locks, er, Chuy.

Christmas Cookies

21 Dec

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of frosted cookies but I do love frosting cookies. So much so that my right hand kind of aches now. That’s called dedication, people. It’s also called arthritis.

Merry Christmas!


imageA collection of goofy cookies.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

11 Dec

Believe it or not, winter is finally upon us and the good people of New York City are taking to the streets to celebrate.

In one of the most obvious and decidedly fratastic displays of holiday spirit, a small subsection of New Yorkers dressed up as “Christmas” and roved the streets drunkenly harassing passersby. It’s called SantaCon and, on Saturday, those Santa-themed pests infested every nook of Manhattan. It was like the bedbug debacle of August ’10 all over again. But with Santas. And slutty elves. And some barf.

Beyond the treachery and debauchery of these very bad Santas, there were also a bevy of healthy holiday celebrations on Saturday. Most notably, the hoards of Christmas tree-luggers, sidewalk holly, and the ever-overwhelming Union Square Holiday Market.

My favorite was the lady in the tri-corner hat standing beside the “Pot Talk” bike. Just classic.

imageSo New York.

imageNothing says Christmas like painting a street light.


imagePot Talk.

imageSidewalk holly.

Whole Lotta Love

4 Dec

It’s always nice when world’s harmoniously collide – especially when the respective worlds belong to your two favorite people!

This weekend, Carter and Valerie met on the site of many, many hallowed Williamsburg nights: Daddy’s. Keeping with our tradition, we hoarded $2 pints of Budweiser until 9pm at which time happy hour was over (beers increased to a whopping $4!)  and we promptly departed. What, you think we’d pay an extra $2 for a beer buzz? We are what you would call “high-class broads.”

I mean, clearly.

Photo credits: Valerie.

It’s A Mad House!

24 Nov

I’ve never actually been in New York City on Thanksgiving and though I won’t technically be eating turkey and dressing within the five boroughs, I still feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Grand Central Station was so jammed packed with people this morning, that some well-meaning (albeit annoying) guy offered to help passengers navigate the ticket machine in an effort to speed things along. This resulted in some very relieved grannies and some very insulted young men. I thought there was going to be a fight.

Once on the train, I was lucky to find my seat – even if I was sandwiched between a flatulent french bull dog and a luggage-loaded glamour puss.

At least I wasn’t standing!

imageThe well-meaning uppity guy.

imageStanding room only.


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