This past weekend I worked on a crafty assignment with some friends (which will be blogged about soon) and it involved a stop at one of my favorite stores: Paper Source. While we were there I took a photo of this fun colorful crane mobile. I could totally see making this out of left over scraps of fun printed papers. Cranes are also one of the easiest animals to make as origami. Did you know I was in origami club in college? (Nerd alert!) #RISD #ArtDork
After Christmas was behind us, my sister and I went into NYC to spend 2 days exploring the city and catching up with old friends. My sister had shows to see and even booked a room at The Larchmont Hotel in the West Village (aka, it’s a fancy hostel, with a good price in an amazing location). My good friend Lily was kind enough to let me crash on her couch, but not before I exhausted myself and NYC. But let me begin at the begining…
When coming in to Grand Central I HIGHLY recommend skipping the public restrooms and instead heading over to to the Grand Hyatt that is adjacent to the train station. They have a key pad on their bathrooms, but don’t be fooled because they aren’t locked and even non-patrons can use these stalls. They are extremely clean and since they’ve been remodeled, each stall is it’s own little room. Trust me, never use the Grand Central stalls… head straight to the Hyatt. The lobby was also redone and now has a modern Japanese esthetic. You can see from my photo above they have a lovely sculpture and waterfall.
From there my sister and I seperated. I was waiting for my old college roommate and good friend Lily to come back into the city and decided to do some post-holiday shopping on fifth avenue… big mistake. I forgot how much I hated crowds. I was elbow to elbow, check to check (if you get my drift) with TONS of people. Thankfully it wasn’t too long before I had my fill and Lily was back in the city. This picture above is of the Rockafeller Center Tree.
I met up with Lily, her boyfriend Joe and bother Dave at their apartment in Brooklyn. We went out to a delicious lunch nearby (Mexican food) and once sundown came, we lit the menorah with birthday candles (fun fun!). As I am not Jewish, it was fun to partake in the lighting which was a treat for me.
After the candles were lit, Joe Lily and Dave had to get ready for a concert and I had to head back into Manhattan for my biannual RISD interior Architecture reunion. Dot, Diana, and Sally all met me in the meatpacking district for a lovely diner at Fig + Olive. I’ve eaten there for restaurant week in the past with Lily and it was equally as tasty now. It was so great seeing the girls, if only for a meal.
From there I took the subway back to Brooklyn to visit The Bell House, which was where Lily’s concert was. Thankfully it ended just before I arrived and we got to chill on the bar side of the venue for a little while and chat. Seeing as they never really got dinner, we moved on to another bar in Brooklyn, closer to their apartment, where they could get some warm food.
The next morning, after a breakfast prepared by Lily and Joe, Lily and I headed on a walk to Prospect Park. It was a really nice walk and good to be able to chat with Lily. Girl talk is very important.
We stopped in this cute cafe, Joyce Bakeshop, where we sipped coffee and chatted some more. Unfortunately, the rain began to start while we were in there and dashed back to their apartment with our scarves wrapped around our heads. It was a sight.
After coffee, I packed up my gear and headed into the city with Lily to meet up with one of my childhood friends (and friend of the blog) Carrie. She, and a RISD friend Marsha, met me and Lily at the New Museum in the Bowery. I’ve been to this museum before and I love it. It was especially crowded because of the holidays, which meant lots of lines… specifically for the many wavers we needed to sign to partake in the exhibits. We began by signing over our credit cards incase anything happened to the goggles we needed to wear to experience the show ($1500 per pair!). EEk. You can bet we were EXTREMELY careful with them. They were fun to wear in the mushroom-room. The museum was transformed to mess with your senses.
There was a slide that went from the fourth floor to the second. Unfortunately, it was a long wait to ride the slide and we also couldn’t wear the goggles. I had some logistical trouble with the exhibit as a whole, but really enjoyed experiencing the museum. I recommend the current exhibit, although I would get there early to avoid lines.
A smaller part of the exhibit had a fish tank that you can put your head into, without getting wet of course. Here is Carrie testing it out. They also had large white pills falling from the ceiling next to a water cooler. A sign read “Please take only one pill”, how Alice and Wonderland of them.
As we left the museum and rain was falling steadily, I said my goodbyes to Marsha and Lily. Carrie and I continued uptown to Times Square area to meet my sister for dinner. Times Square on the day after Christmas is a nightmare. In the rain, it was murder. I’m learning I’m not as patient as once was. After elbowing many people, as well as taking a nasty spill in the subway, we met up with my sister and jumped into the closest dry place we could find: The Delta Grill. This cajun style restaurant is where I had my first fired oyster po’boy (it didn’t sit well, as you can imagine).
After dinner my sister went to see another show and Carrie and I hopped into The Gaf West, which was a cute little pub bar across the street from where we had dinner. We really needed anything to get us out of the rain. I tried a new beer, a Blue Point Toasted Lager, and we chatted until around 9:30p. My sisters play let out and we stopped at Shake Shack for a custard for the train ride home. When I say custard, I mean a super-creamy ice cream. It was delicious (and also a bad choice, given the fried oysters I tried early in the night. Hind sight is 20/20). We made it to the train on time, and ended our NYC adventure.
Time for my weekend wrap up, aka my weekend Boston getaway. It all began with me leaving work around 6p (and driving through some rough neighborhoods to avoid traffic) and parking my car at AirPark LAX (the cheapest place I know of to park at LAX). I made it there with plenty of time, grabbed a Starbucks mint hot chocolate, and hopped on my Virgin red-eye (9:30p) flight to Boston.
After a flight with minimal sleep, I arrived at 5:30am in Boston. I took a cab to meet up with my parents at the Park Plaza Hotel they coincidentally were staying at last weekend (for a medical conference). I arrived by 6am and chatted with my parents in their room until 8am when my mom had to head to the conference. My Dad and I decided to grab a quick protein-filled breakfast and then begin our speedy Boston adventure. We decided to cut across the Commons and explore Charles St. area. We stopped in a cute brunch place called The Paramount. This was exactly what we needed. This tiny modern diner has quick turnaround.
You start by getting in line and ordering your breakfast (I went with a tomato, basil, mozzarella omelette and fresh fruit cup) and then we look for a seat. The place was very busy, but had a quick turnover so that seats become available fast. It’s a great place for something filling and fresh, but not a good place to go if you plan to sit for awhile (like a catch-up brunch date). From here we kept walking along the adorable Charles St. We got on the T (their metro) and took the line to Harvard (Cambridge). From here we saw where students were “Occupying Harvard”. They had guards around the entrance to Harvard Yard to protect/fight the protesters? Their intentsions were unclear, but Harvard was pretty bare at 9:30am on Saturday except for these uniformed officers.
We continued on to Harvard’s Sackler Art Museum which didn’t open to the public until 10a. We waited in their vestibule just to get out of the cold. Eventually my Dad was able to score us 2 free tickets because he has a Massachusettes address (free to MA citizens on Saturday). This was a fun museum, although not very big. They had a large collection of maps/prints on their top level. This was a fun exhibit, seeing how people in the 1600’s+ perceived the globe. The first level had modern art with a range of impressionism up to now. The second and third floors had antiquities that Dad and I didn’t care to see, given our schedule.
We moved along to Harvard’s Natural History Museum. This museum was AWESOME. Plan time to really explore this place. They have a special deal for residents on Sunday, but as this was Saturday, we payed full price. From there we walked up to their third floor which houses most of this wandering museum. If you go to the right wing, you enter the room of geodes an continue on to rooms that focus on the earth and cultural impact on nature. If you enter the room across from the stairs, you will see a room filled with glass replications of plants. You won’t believe that these species are made of glass (for scientific purposes). Be sure to continue on to the left wing (this was my favorite!) to see their many rooms displaying stuffed life-sized animals and skeletons. They had hundreds of birds, mammals, insects.. so on and so on. Every room had something cooler than the room before. For artists, this is a great place to practice life drawing and examining animals that you could never get close to in person (let alone get them to strike a pose). This place was awesome and if you’re in town you must go. (Please pardon all my cell phone pics, I left my nice camera in the hotel.)
Eventually we had to be on our way to follow the schedule. We walked down to MIT to explore some Frank Gehry architecture (Stata Center) and see some smarties. After that we rushed across the Longfellow Bridge (while listening to my fathers complaints of exhaustion). We passed a cute paper shop back along Charles Street called Rugg Road Paper Company (which reminded me that I needed a wedding card for later that night). After purchasing a card my dad left to go see my mom on her lunch break from the conference while I met up with my good friend Dot you took the bus into Boston for the wedding. As we were tight on time, we grabbed a quick lunch with my dad and then we hit the road to get to Andover Mass. Kaliegh’s wedding was awesome. It was so lovely and personal and it screamed Kaleigh. For example the delicious cake was funfetti (Travis, the groom, insisted) and the icing was covered in hot pink sprinkles (had to be pink, Kaleighs favorite color). Catching up with my good RISD friends and getting to spend an entire night with them was so special.
The next morning, we attended the wedding breakfast and then said our goodbyes. Dot drove back to NYC with our friends Sally and Si, while I drove back into Boston to spend my last 4 hours on the East Coast with my parents. My mom had this day off, which meant the three of us could spend time together. We walked all over through the parks, down Charles St, up through the rolling hills of stately townhomes, anf by the Capitol. We grabbed a bite at 75 Chestnut. I had the pumpkin sage ravioli (yum!) and we enjoyed a great lunch together. They had live music and large mimosas.. now this is a girls brunch kind of place. I would happily go back.
After this, we said our goodbyes and I was off to Logan for my return flight. My weekend in Boston was over, but it was a packed, fun weekend. Now comes Thanksgiving… Denver anyone?
I met up with my good friend Amber and her boyfriend Adam around 9p at Mohawk Bend (see previous post about MB HERE), just up Sunset from the Echoplex. We enjoyed some craft beer and then around 9:30 walked down to the venue. The show was sold out and by the time we arrived and we missed seeing the Bleeding Knees Club, but caught the beginning of the Guards set.
The Guards were really fun and had a great sound. Many of their band members have really long hair, which made for a fun visual (very “Cousin IT”) with their heads down looking at their instruments. They also had videos projecting behind them which was cool. I had never heard of them but enjoyed it enough to keep listening HERE.
Once they finished, there was a 30 minute break and then Deer Tick came on. My history with Deer Tick stems back to my RISD days (they are a Providence based band) and while I never got to see them back in the day, my college roommate was always talking about them. Amber was the only one in our group who had heard their music before, but we all really enjoyed their music. I even purchased a tee-shirt! The only part of the show that was questionable was when the lead singer would ramble to the audience between songs. Maybe die hard fans knew what he was talking about, but as a newcomer it was a bit confusing. I would happily see them again and had great time at the show.
To get more info about all of the bands (probably written by someone musically inclined, unlike myself) check out THIS.