Damn You Doughnut Plant

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One day I will have to realize that just because I walk a lot does not mean that I have a bank full of calories to spend on whatever may cross my path. However, that day is not today and a wonderful friend of mine put the bug in my ear about Doughnut Plant a long time ago. So on my  way to pick up some sparkling green tea at Whole Foods (yes I see the irony), I popped in to pick up a treat. The shop has Doughnut decor from entrance to ordering and a nice selection of yeast, cake and filled doughnuts. I will always be a classic glaze girl at heart, so I decided vanilla yeast would be comparable and the only picture I could get was in the car, since it didn’t make it all the way home. The doughnut was a good companion for the midtown tunnel and unfortunately I will have to go back to try the cinnamon sugar. Damn you Doughnut Plant. Until next time.

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SoWe Food & Wine Festival

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What’s a Summer without a festival to sample cuisines from various vendors? I have been slacking on my festivals for the summer so The South Westchester Food & Wine Festival will have to serve as my first and last of the Summer. Four tents housed a variety of vendors with every genre of food covered. I had the pleasure of sharing tickets and laughs with a friend from college and indulged in the below treats, first starting with dessert.

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Pumpkin Ice Cream by Penny Lick Ice Cream Company

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel by Chocolations

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Oyster Shooter with Tuna Tartar Miginette, Pickled Peach Chaser  by 8 North Broadway Restaurant

Some one ounce samples of wine from around the world helped produce more laughs, and then out of nowhere arrived my newest addiction of Sparkling Green Tea, which is now stocked in my fridge. I either immediately fell for the propaganda or there is something really rejuvenating about the liquid. I almost felt like I could run a marathon, almost, no half marathon, no actually I felt like I could almost run a 5k. Just want to be accurate.

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So I can say I expanded my horizons outside of NYC, tried some new food and most importantly found a new source of energy for walking the streets and avenues of the city that never sleeps. Until next time.

For the Train

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Since I am on the train at least three to four times a week, there have been some things that I regard as essential for my voyage in and out of the city.

A Book – Whatever title you chose, a book is an easy source of entertainment. Don’t forget you may be judged on the book title, since there aren’t single rider premium trains. Someone is bound to notice if you are on the second book of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, attributing the selection to an outpouring of your over sexuality. I hate being labeled so I stick to anything motivational, mysterious or extremely intellectual. My target look is usually adjunct professor.

A Phone/Music Source – I have heard a number of monologues on the train over the past month and I have to admit that I am not always in the mood for Shakespeare on the train, so I think it is important to have something to turn up in case you need to avoid taking part. If you can hear someone speaking, you can fall victim to the donation.

Hand Sanitizer – Approximately 86,000 riders board the train everyday. Somebody is going to have something on their hands.

Hand Mirror – My rides on the train can vary between 30 and 60 minutes each time and anything is bound to happen to my appearance.  A quick glance at my mirror ensures I am always ready to be discovered or to take a selfie, excuse me usie, with a celebrity.

Nude Lipstick – Because you just never know when the next Mr. Right Now will get on.

Notebook and Pen – Some of the greatest ideas are conjured up on the rails. You must have something to write down your brilliance, which can include blog post titles, a things to do list, grocery notes or song lyrics. Haha, never song lyrics.

Metrocard – How the hell else do you plan on getting on?

Chapstick – This is simple. I am just addicted. I take Chapstick everywhere.

Granola Bar or Snack – After a few drinks and a Sunday train schedule, you could get hungry.  A granola bar, some Scooby Doo Snacks or carrots are necessary to have on stand by.

Battery Source – Lets face it, we are on our phones constantly and I am no different. I use my phone for work a lot and I need to have something to juice up on when things are looking low. Charger/flashlight for my phone, Grande Skim Iced Caramel Macchicato for me.

Nail File – I would never survive a full day with a nail snagging on everything I touch. You must have a nail file for such emergencies. Buy one with a trendy design, this is New York City.

Gum – There are some close encounters on the train with other riders, and most of the time they don’t even introduce themselves, but having some gum enhances everyone’s rush hour train ride.

Sunglasses – You are no one in this city if you can’t act like you are somebody. Keeping on glasses takes your importance factor up by at least ten points. And sometime you just need to avoid eye contact.

Body Spray – You just never know when a work day can turn into happy hour, which may turn into marriage. Keeping some body spray enhances the mood and reassures confidence.

I also like to carry wet naps, lotion, a monogrammed day planner, small wallet and water source. I like to be prepared, but I don’t want to look like I am backpacking through Europe and there is a fine line. The one thing I can never leave  home without is a bag full of confidence. You  have to act like you own the town, so you don’t have a bullseye of innocence on your back. New Yorkers can smell it on you from miles away. Try to never look lost, download an app for directions and most importantly and I can not stress this enough, wear some shoes that are comfortable enough to conquer the avenues and streets of New York City. Until next time.

Bodega Bouquet

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“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” – William Morris

New York City is a place overflowing with details, easy to pass by, but even easier to indulge in. On the best corners in the city, a sign will greet you reading “Two Dozen Roses, $10.” Last Friday, I took a moment to confirm the price and make the easiest decision of the day, which color I would let illuminate my studio apartment. The best part of this bouquet isn’t the price, but what it represents. It’s the joy in getting more for less and I know I am getting more from this city and its menu full of details.

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It would be safe to say that I am not a Sports fanatic, but how could I conquer a NYC bucket list without heading to Yankees Stadium? The baseball gods provided perfect weather on Friday night for me to witness one of Derek Jeter’s last games from left field (Thank Goodness all the t-shirts in Sports Authority hinted toward the end of his era to let me know). Cracker Jacks, Beer, a hometown friend and an active 6 year old kept me entertained for about five innings and although I had a great run on a softball team this past summer, baseball may never have a true place in my heart. Sorry New York.

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The thing I won’t be apologizing for in this post in my love for the undefeated Buffalo Bills. If you know anything about The Bills, you know I have to take advantage of saying undefeated for as long as possible. I had a date with the team this past Sunday in a bar in Midtown West and watched them play to victory, of course accompanied by some Labatt Blue. Both a brew that is a Buffalo favorite and helps to keep my lights on. Enter Foreshadowing.  A local resident provided some fried bologna sandwiches and Gylan provided help with the bar tab.

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I have probably stopped at least five times in this past week to admire my surroundings. I almost have to pinch myself sometimes that I am in this new city, but this is real life and it won’t always be perfect. This is the first week I noticed a few things that I will need to work on getting used to. But beyond the hours in traffic, coughing on a crowded train and constant panhandling, I think I have a shot at making it as a resident. I’ve been giving out directions to inquiring parties (hope you all made it), I have read my first issue of The New York Post and I know how to make the joy from a Bodega Bouquet last for days. Until next time.

A City to Write From

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I have been stealing quiet moments with the city over the past week. A quiet moment may be hard to believe in a city that never sleeps, but amongst my daily hustle and bustle, it is almost as if the city some how slows down right around me and I find a cafe or a bench or most likely a Starbucks  (213 in Manhattan alone) and in those five to ten minutes, the only noise is sight. In some of these moments this past week, I was able to meet a new love (in the form of food) and create some future moments for friends and family.

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The caliber of bagels in New York City is no secret, but my introduction began last Tuesday, during one of my quiet moments and we got to know each other and unfortunately we have been dating consistently since. Don’t get me wrong, my hometown of Buffalo has some of the best food on the planet, (heavy on the bias scale I know), but the bagels of NYC are clouds of yeast delivered by storks from a little bakery I like to call Heaven. Plain bagels, cinnamon raisin bagels, bagel sandwiches, the options are endless and some how make the atmosphere appropriate on a warm Wednesday evening after work. I highly recommend a corner in Midtown at a bagel shop with a sandwich and side of day dreaming.

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My Mother is the most thoughtful person I know. From her love of words, poetry and friendships, I have learned the power of a small note, hand written letter or unexpected card. So when a sign for 20 postcards for a $1 caught my eye, I had to invest. I had a wonderful idea to send some notes to the people I love most. I decided to save them the bore of a miss you lots note, because I hope that is painfully obvious, (#friendwithdrawal), but instead I chose quotes that made me think of them or that could relate to their lives.

Most of the time, when I am thinking of scenarios, my imagination goes wild and I create a setting that I am hoping to play out. If we are talking about this situation and possible scenarios, I imagine that the letter is hand delivered by the post office at a perfect moment, whether it be right after a long day, during a burst of laughter or as they step onto their porch with a favorite beverage and after they see a scene from NYC on the front and picture the wind perfectly blowing my hair on a ferry between boroughs, they read the quote, release a smile and place the postcard on the fridge, anchored by their favorite magnet.

But I haven’t really thought about it.

When these post cards do actually arrive, I hope they can not only feel my hope and the endless possibilities I feel from living here, but most importantly a connection with the quote that I wrote in a quiet moment all around the city at a cafe, on a bench or most likely a Starbucks.

Until next time.

A Stop and A Story

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You will have to bear with me as I continue to deal with my fascination of the variety of people in this glorious city. Nothing will overcome my curiosity of which train stop will take who where. I know this has to stem from a one route train in Buffalo and predictable social schedule of each weekend. But here the trains are spread like a web and the schedules bountiful by borough.

Do you remember my excitement for in train entertainment? That dollar I threw into the cap of an aspiring artist? OVER IT. My most recent encounter of an in flight selection included a drum routine, less than a foot next to me. They obviously didn’t get the memo that I was going for a personal soul searching look through reading a Toni Morrison novel on the train. The train look is important, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Brooklyn seems to be a favorite place of mine lately and although the rent is high, you can find the entertainment for low, even Free! Thursday evenings, an inflatable screen goes up with the backdrop of Manhattan in Brooklyn Bridge Park featuring a flick for all who can find a plot of grass to watch. This past Thursday, the clear skies presented a perfect setting to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

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There is currently a battle between myself and the universe. The universe being the cold I received from recently swimming at a high altitude, but there is a list of adventures I have yet to tackle in this city and it must be done. After an unsuccessful attempt to tackle a flea market, the day turned successful with some moments by the water, Mexican food (When is that ever a bad idea?), some street art and a quick jaunt at the Afro Punk fest.

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When Gylan and I are together, a small photo shoot is bound to erupt. I can tell you for a fact that my reasoning stems no where from a place of self indulgence, but merely from a strong desire to take as many happy moments as possible and freeze them in time. I have not lived in the same city as my brother for at least four years, so you will have to excuse the gallery of Super Siblings , a self given name, now and probably forever.

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I don’t know if this will one day be classified as a lengthy post, but I can’t finish this without one more picture and one more thought. A wall under a bridge displayed one simple word, yes! I have to believe that there is a power in this word because saying yes to myself means saying yes to every high and low experience that is shaping this story of mine, but more importantly accepting it. So, I am saying yes to whatever this city has in store for me and yes to any story that may come from the stops I choose to get off at. Until next time.

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43.7° N, 79.4° W

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In what I hope will be a frequent occurrence, the wind blew me into a few different zip codes during the weekend. First starting off in Buffalo, NY for a wedding and Lil Jon concert, Saturday took me to the above coordinates, Toronto, Ontario. Only located about an hour and a half from Buffalo, NY it was time to celebrate one of my favorite people’s birthday, a close friend just turning 3o. In what is becoming a tradition, we stayed at the Thompson Hotel located on Wellington. Nothing short of glamorous, we enjoyed the roof top pool and all the built in scenery for a social media backdrop frenzy. Drinks are expensive, but the atmosphere is luxurious and worth it. Before we could enjoy $17 a glass wine, we enjoyed our Toronto tradition of street meat.  Cringe if you like, but this is a $2 joy ride in a bun!

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If the jeopardy question ever arises of how long it takes 4 women to get ready for a night out in one hotel room, the answer is 3 hours. After four Showers, three dresses, two curling wands, one bottle and a pencil skirt later, we were ready and took advantage of the black and white lobby and may or may not have planned the below outfits. The morning only included one thing, a deep breath of air in a pool facing the CNN tower.

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The Thompson was a gracious host, but I also had another agenda for Sunday afternoon, which included the backdrop of a full green meadow, family and food. Below are some of the moments I captured around my mother’s house during a walk down to the creek, after a game of kickball and before laughs around the campfire.

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When I previously lived out of town in North Carolina, it was really hard to say goodbye to my parents and friends. They have helped shape the person I have become and it was very hard to leave them, but this time was different. I was coming home to city full of possibilities. And while it helps that NYC is much closer to my hometown, it is also much closer to the possibility of all my dreams coming true. Until next time.

A Mile High Walk

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If there is one thing that I have learned from this city so far, it is that, there is not only something to always do, but doing those things by yourself is quite okay and that is recently just what I did. I took a Saturday Stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge and while diving in and out of bikers and other on lookers, got a eye full of Manhattan. And while most of my friends and family can attest to my over the top personality, I also enjoy quiet time for reflection and thats exactly what I received over sunset, 1.1 miles between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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Less than 24 hours later, I joined Gylan for a bike ride along the Hudson Bike Path, renting bicycles from Hudson Urban Bicycles on Charles street in Greenwich Village. Official introductions were made to the resident pups and for two hours we rode while I took in every culture and fresh face available along the river. $4 Margaritas followed and although the following may not be a huge deal to you, I officially survived my first weekend train re-route. Went uptown to go downtown, rode the F line that eventually turned back into the A line and minus the puzzled face I am sure I was wearing, I made it!

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Heading back to my hometown next weekend. Stay tuned for lots of pictures from an event packed weekend. I will leave you with a recent favorite quote of mine:

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In the Beginning, There was the A Train

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The best thing about relocating to New York is that I already have a built in network and he goes by the title of brother. Gylan has lived in New York City for three years now and who better to serve as my personal guide. Just two days after touching down, I jumped on the A train and took advantage of my new favorite APP, the New York City subway guide. After just a few stops, I experienced train performers and naively tipped (only after following the lead of fellow passengers). It may sound terribly dramatic, but something warmed my heart about seeing all the people on the train, not knowing their story and them not knowing mine, but knowing we were all in this city for some reason. After meeting up with my brother and grabbing some coffee in Brooklyn Heights, Lena Dunham of  Girls (hit tv show on HBO) strolls by with her dog, whom I  recognized from Instagram (please don’t judge me). I’m obviously convinced that was part of my Welcome to New York package.

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We roller skated at Pier 2 with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, grabbed some Shake Shack and I officially introduced myself to the city. I’ve found the nearest Target, I have loaded up my Metro Pass and as much as I love my hometown of Buffalo,NY, I have to include one of my favorite hashtags, that I am #happytobehere.

New City, New Chapter

Starting a blog may seem extremely cliché, but here we are. A phone call on a random day in May has landed me in a new city, the city, New York City. While it seems like a back story is usually required for personal blogs, I would rather focus on all the opportunities that lie ahead. This may only serve as a vehicle for friends and family to keep up with me and I am okay with that! I am most excited about capturing all the adventures found at 40.7127° N, 74.0059° W or as I like to call it forty74.