Thanksgiving Part One

In un-weather related news, this past weekend was family weekend in New Jersey! After work on Friday I took the train (which is now flooded and has a boat (?) on it) to Hawthorne where my mom, dad & nana had all drive up for thanksgiving dinner part one. I seem to have traveled home with the rest of Manhattan. Working and living in Brooklyn allows me to stay far away from the scary large masses of people that descend upon the World Trade PATH station. Yikes. This shot doesn’t even show the full extent of it.


Made it safe and sound to Hawthorne just in time for dinner. Super delicious food – mashed cauliflower, green beans, vegetarian stuffing, onion (casserole?) and the best cranberries I’ve ever had. Yum! I knew I loved this holiday. What better way than to celebrate it THREE times this year!


On Saturday we hung around for a bit before driving up to New Haven, Connecticut to see Cornell play volleyball against Yale! Pretty fall drive up north before all of the leaves were blown off.


Yale’s campus is absolutely gorgeous. We had lunch at a mexican restaurant and walked around briefly before we walked over to the game.


The game was great! We didn’t know what to expect since Yale was ranked number 1 in the ivy league for volleyball – but Cornell won the first set! They unfortunately lost the overall match (1-3) but it was really cool to see them play so well! It was a pretty sweet gym too – the outside of it looked like that medieval castle style shown above but the inside was this gym.



And last but not least, fit in some kitty snuggling before it was time to head back to Brooklyn! Great weekend with family, wish it didn’t have to be cut short by the storm but better that we were all safely tucked inside before it hit.

Storm Update #2

Feeling pretty fortunate to be inside my apartment that still has power, water and internet. It’s not on fire, no giant tree down the center of it, all the windows are intact, and there is not four feet of water around the base. All in all, Park Slope seems to be the place to be in a storm like this. Just before the storm, I ventured out for a last minute walk. Everyone was quite calm except for the one dad and his two sons who were running through the streets yelling “Frankenstorm 2012, run for your lives!” The people of Park Slope seem to prepare for storms by buying absolutely massive amounts of food and wine, lots of water and getting their nails done (?). Weird.

There are numerous trees and large branches down around my street. Although I have no gone outside yet to actually see anything – Twitter picture suit my needs for now. There is a wire precariously dangling from our roof but so far it looks okay.

In fact, much of last night looked like this:

So grateful to have not been home alone yesterday. My roommate and I hung out for much of last night. We reorganized the kitchen – so much counter space now! Baked tasty cookies, made tea and obsessively watched the news. When we had seen every loop of video footage that NY1 had to offer, we watched Adventureland on Netflix. Aside from the power flickering on and off a bunch of times, a few car alarms when branches would fall, loud clunking on the roof and heavy rain, we were fine. The giant trees in the front and backyards were somewhat concerning especially after seeing pictures of other giant trees uprooted around the city. But we weren’t under 4+ feet of water.

Millions of other people are still without power, water and internet – or with homes that are completely wiped out or burned down. I cannot even begin to imagine. The mayor declared this the “worst thing to happen to NYC since September, 11th, 2001”. Now, I have just moved here and haven’t experienced it all but I’d venture a guess after seeing everything that happened last night that it very well might be.

Fell asleep last night to the loud sounds of sirens and huge flashes of blue/green light a few blocks away of a power station exploding.


When I woke up this morning, there was a bright rainbow peeking through the clouds. Pretty crazy. It’s still very windy and was raining this morning when I got up. MTA services are down until further notice  (they said up to a week more) so I’m working from home until that point. The 4 mile walk to work through trees down doesn’t sound like the wisest idea right now.

Hope everyone made it through the storm okay!




I supposed that being shut inside for the foreseeable future makes this a perfect time to catch up on blogging.

I conveniently chose an apartment on top of a hill. Go me. You see, I just realized that Brooklyn is completely surrounded by water – I mean, duh. But they closed the tunnels going in or out so we’re all kind of out here floating around. Technically, aside from huge gusts of wind for now everything is fine and dandy in the slope. Word is that it’s supposed to get much worse by 8pm tonight though. With the amount of wind we’re getting now, I have a feeling that I’m going to be wrapping myself like a burrito and sticking my head between the pillows tonight.

Parts of Brooklyn are not so lucky and have already started majorly flooding despite the fact that the full hurricane hasn’t even hit! Yikes. Yesterday they shut down the MTA (subways) by 7pm and buses by 9pm. They order a mandatory evacuation of all of zone a (which is basically the entire waterfront of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. DUMBO – where I work – falls in that zone. Needless to say, work was closed for today. This morning they also shut down the tunnels into Manhattan & Jersey. Along with the bridges, I’m assuming? But not sure.

I’m all bundled up on my couch with coffee, blankets, books & work to do! Working from home really isn’t a bad thing 🙂 Got all stocked up on food last night too so I made some squash. There might be some christmas music involved.

More updates on the past few days to come (hoping I still have power for a while – the wind is really picking up!) My parents have already lost power 😦

Remember this? It’s the Long Island City waterfront near church.

Well, it look like this now:


And I’ll leave you with this:

I love twitter during storms.



After Work

One of the great things about living in a ginormous city is that there is never a shortage of things to do after work. In fact, most of the time I have trouble fitting everything in – I suppose that is not a bad problem to have.

Across the street from work there are not one but two neat bookstores. Fun to poke around there for a bit instead of heading straight home. I came across a book that describes the history of Park Slope (where I’m living). Pretty cool to see all sorts of photos of the streets I’m living and walking on each day – except hundreds of years earlier and filled with horses!

Once a month a guy from church has movie nights at his apartment – like this past Friday when we watched Ghostbusters & ate too many m&m’s and spiced apple cider.

This Monday was the 2nd Carrot girls night that I’ve been around for. We all stayed late in the office to eat dinner together and watch Hocus Pocus. It’s quite convenient that there is a TV, couch and giant bean bag right in the office so we could all pile in there and watch the movie.

Monday nights are also the start of the community group that I joined at church (clearly didn’t go this week). It meets in Long Island City so I have to quick leave from work to make it there on time – luckily weekdays don’t seem to be a problem for trains!

This Wednesday is the 2nd set of welcome drinks at Carrot that I’ve been there for. They’re really big on the culture at Carrot and always make sure to welcome in the newest group of people. Last time there were 4 of us who had just started and now we have two more! Pretty crazy that I’m not the newbie anymore.

The 3rd Thursday of every month (this week) is Digital DUMBO which is held in a building close to work. It’s basically a lot of designers and developers getting together to hang out. Carrot is actually partners/sponsors of it so they have a ton of connections.

Once a week Casey and I try to get together for a “venti date” which basically involves us meeting at a coffeeshop and talking for hours 🙂 Love having familiar friends in the city.

And then there all of the unplanned events that pop up (spontaneous date nights, friends visiting NYC, late nights at work, grocery runs, etc). Keeps me busy!

Finding Fall in Brooklyn

Finished up with work Friday night, grabbed a quick dinner at DUMBO Kitchen with Jon and then headed to Sunnyside for a movie night with some friends. The halloween themed movie night included Ghostbusters and Psycho.

Saturday morning I took care of some laundry. Except this time I used all of the waiting time to explore my neighborhood. It was one of those fantastic fall mornings- cool air, yellow & orange leaves. I ended up walking for over an hour and a half. Isn’t the lighting amazing? So many cool streets close to my apartment to explore. I even made it into Prospect Park for a bit.


Made it home with clean (dry!) clothes, got some coffee and got ready to head into Manhattan. For some time now Eric’s performance at City Center has been on my calendar and it’s finally here! Can’t believe how fast that time passed. Jon and I met up in Central Park to walk around for a bit before heading to the theater to meet Barb & Joe. The performance was actually three different parts with very different choreography. Really interesting to see ABT do some more contemporary things after I had only ever seen them perform during Met season or the Nutcracker which tend to be more traditional. Really enjoyed it – especially the last part which was Rodeo. After that we headed around the corner to a Mediterranean restaurant called Molyvos. Tasty food & fun to get to sit around and chat for a while. Unfortunately, Eric ended up having to work that night but it was nice to see him for a bit. Thanks for a great night Aunt Barb & Uncle Joe!

Sunday morning I had yet another hour and a half commute to church which is slightly less than fun. Wandered around after the service down by the water which is becoming my new Sunday morning tradition.


After Jon was finished tearing down (he works in tech on Sunday mornings at church) we made our way to the East River Ferry which we took down to DUMBO to check out Smorgasbord. Tasty food for a very late lunch – tofu taco & toasted coconut doughnut. Hung around there & then back at my apartment  (checked out my fire escape for the first time!) for a while before making dinner – grilled cheese (cinnamon raisin bread with apple butter & two kinds of cheese!) and “homemade” tomato soup which really just involves adding a real tomato to a can of (NOT Campbell’s) tomato soup along with fresh herbs. Watched another episode of Sherlock & called it a night.

My cozy room makes me excited for bedtime every night. Is that weird? I basically sleep in a closet with Christmas lights. I happen to love it.

Fall Foods

Fall is my most favorite season. Hands down. Pumpkins, squash, cool temperatures and crisp air, colored leaves, sweaters and scarves. Love it all.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love it more, I discovered pumpkin greek yogurt and CSA’s! You see, I already thought I worked at a pretty great company but they just started a new initiative with local farmers that made it even better! Once a week we can order fruits/veggies/coffee/bread/dairy/meat from a place called Farmigo. They then deliver it to the office on Tuesday afternoons and we get to take it home. This week I ordered apples, apple cider & squash! And they’re subsidizing part of the costs. Pretty fantastic.


I’m loving dumping loads of veggies into a pot and sautéing them & calling it dinner. Tonight was eggplant, mushrooms, peas, onions & fresh herbs! I also made a side of homemade apple sauce which was super delicious. And served in a cute teacup with a cinnamon stick makes it even better.

Now I just need to find time in my busy schedule to fit in another trip to Trader Joe’s for more of that pumpkin yogurt…


Weekend Recap

Before the week gets away from me, let’s finish up the weekend recap.

I finally got over being sick (yay!) except for coughing (sorry fellow subway commuters). Saturday morning was spent cleaning, running some errands, and exploring a bit of Fort Greene. Met up with Jon in the afternoon for lunch & some work on his resume before heading out to Battery Park in Manhattan. We’ve decided that lots of exploring makes the weekends feel so much longer so that’s exactly what we planned to do. First walked along Prospect Park in Brooklyn and checked out the Grand Army Plaza farmers market (doesn’t even begin to compete with Rochester). Took the subway to lower Manhattan and then walked all along the lower west side in the park. It’s super nice down there! I didn’t realize what a large park it is – apparently extends over 10 miles along the water <– spoiler alert: we didn’t make it the whole way.

It was super chilly outside on Saturday -almost needed some gloves. We found ourselves in the World Financial buildings for a little bit – there is a really sweet one with huge stairs and palm trees in the building. Walked up even further and stumbled upon the Irish famine memorial which was shockingly interesting. It’s basically a giant mound of grass and rock walls that look like Ireland – just imagine that center part of the London Olympics during the opening ceremony.


Walked around there until we got hungry and headed up to Houston Street in search of some dinner. We ended up doing quite a bit of walking around here as well to find some food – it was absolutely jam packed with little shops & cute restaurants. Only problem is said restaurants were a wee bit out of our price range. Ended up settling on a mexican place called Caliente and had tasty guacamole made table side – yum! Walked around a bit more before heading back to Brooklyn. I’m slowly but surely checking out NYC neighborhoods – at this rate it’s going to take me years. Definitely fun to just walk around and explore though with no set agenda. Other than food. If Jon and I have learned nothing else in a year and a half of dating – it’s that food is mandatory or we get angry 🙂

Sunday morning was quite the hike to church in Long Island City. Trains on the weekends never run quite the same so it was, yet again, a long commute. After church was a stop at a tea place nearby called Communitea – best loose leaf mint tea ever – and then lunch which we cooked back at Jon’s apartment. Made burrito/wrap type things with naan and sauteed mushrooms, tofu & green beans with soy sauce & some other asiany type things. Quite tasty.


After lunch we headed BACK down to Long Island City and proceeded to walk across the Pulaski bridge into Greenpoint (Brooklyn). I’d never explored Greenpoint or Williamsburg despite all of my train travel directly through them. Super cool views of Manhattan (like always) and it was a nice sunny day. Walked through Greenpoint and some of the neighborhood streets there to Transmitter Park along the East River. It’s a new park that went in a month or so ago and I read about on NYTimes so I wanted to check it out. Continued walking through Williamsburg, some warehouse district, the Brooklyn Flea market & another park and finally to the Metropolitan subway stop where we took it back to Park Slope. Quite the long walk!


Finished up the weekend by cooking some dinner – Salad with avocado, pomegranate seeds and edamame. And pizza made on naan with sun-dried tomato pesto, sauteed mushrooms, avocado, garlic, cheese and fresh herbs! [And an apparently blurry photograph :(]

Basically we walked A LOT this weekend [somewhere close to 12 miles].

And ate a lot of avocados.


Quick Update

Busy and good weekend. Finally (almost) finished with this silly sick thing.

Weekend included lots of time outdoors, LOTS of walking, new neighborhoods & new things checked off my to-do list.

Unfortunately, I’m totally exhausted right now. Look for updates either tomorrow or Tuesday! Until then, here are some pictures to tide you over. All from this weekend – I guess I did even more than I thought…

1. Grand Army Plaza, about 10 blocks from my apartment

2.View from Greenpoint in Brooklyn near the flea market

3. View of Manhattan from Transmitter Park in Brooklyn

4. View of Battery Park in lower Manhattan

Weekly Recap


Between being sick since Wednesday and finally breaking down and subscribing to Netflix, blog posts have been few and far between this week 🙂 So let’s recap.

Monday almost everyone from the office tried The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan food truck, that is new in DUMBO. Super tasty and delicious – I got a creole grilled tofu sandwich. Surprisingly there are only 3 vegetarians in the office. Lunch included subtle (and not so subtle) jabs at vegetarians and vegans. I think the fact that there were doughnuts made without butter and they were still delicious blew everyone’s minds.


Tuesday was the 1st Annual Carrot Corn Hole Tournament. One of the apps that they were working on (before I got there) finally launched and made it’s way into the Apple App store. Look for links within the next week. It’s pretty sweet! To commemorate it, they got two carrot corn hole boards made and we all stayed after work for pizza, wings, and a big tournament. I learned that I’m not very good at this game. Below are the 5 of us in the office that are all from RIT! And in the second picture, you get a decent view at the place I work everyday (this is the main/only room) as well as the office dog, Jonas.


Wednesday I woke up not feeling very well at all so I ended up staying home. We all share the one room at work so it ends up being more like a kindergarden when it comes to germs – they pass around quickly! The day included much sleeping and reading (I finished 2 of my 3 books from the library in 4 days). Jon was super sweet and came over after work with some soup! 🙂 Unfortunately the cold is still around but I’m hoping by Monday it’ll be gone.


Thursday after work I had to go into midtown to pick up my keys from Jon. I have 2 different keys, one for my room & one for my kitchen so apparently the night before when he came over with dinner, he somehow forgot to give them back. Oops! Let’s just say that navigating through tourists in Time Square while sick is just about the last thing I would want to do. Swirling vortex of people and cameras. No I’m not sorry if I accidentally plow you down 🙂

Then finally Friday! Last night after work, Jon & I made a last minute decision to go see his roommate’s last performance in NY before they head back to Italy. They were performing at the Alvin Ailey Theater and I had just enough time to get up there after work for  7:30 show. We did even make it for a brief dinner at my new favorite place called Hale and Hearty – it’s actually a franchised soup place around NYC but they carry the soup in my local grocery store and I’m thinking it’s going to become a regular this winter. The performance itself was great! There were about 12 different dances throughout the night – various groups from NYC, Houston and abroad. [You can read more details about it here.] Between the dance festival two weekends ago, last night & Eric’s performance at City Center next week, we’re becoming quite cultured. Maybe we’ll become dance critics for the NY times or something 🙂

Headed back early last night and fell asleep immediately. Not sure what the plans are for today, think Jon & I will meet up at some point for some adventuring around the city. Speaking of adventuring – it’s so cold! 40 some degrees last night. How did we survive in Rochester?! Wandering around the streets aimlessly is starting to already sound like not sure a good plan.


Ordinary Things

A two hour commute to a place that normally only takes 35 minutes can get old quickly. Trains don’t run on the weekends. Trains are late. Places are packed. It rains.

I’ve learned, so far, that living in a city means that you have to be okay with adapting. Change in the sense of making split second decisions to hop on a train you might not otherwise have thought to take. Or walking down a different street if something is blocked off. Or spending an hour in a grocery store eating raisins and reading because it’s pouring out and you don’t have anywhere else to be.


It took me almost 2 hours on Sunday to get to church. Three of the trains that I needed to take were down without much warning. Needless to say, I was late. I realized halfway through that there was no possible way for me to make it on time and so I stopped worrying. Three transfers and a bus later, I got there.

Volunteered in the nursery for the first time after the first service.

After church I went wandering through the streets of Queens waiting for Jon to get back from dropping his bike off at home. Ran across some sweet street art. That’s the thing I love about relying on public transportation. It can be slow at times but being forced to walk makes you see things that you might not have otherwise run across. It started raining pretty hard though so I found a grocery store and bought raisins (so I felt justified in hanging out there) and read my book to pass time.

Sunday afternoon was quiet. Jon and I went to the 3rd year anniversary party of the church before heading back to Brooklyn to hang out. It was one of those rainy gray Sundays where watching some movies sounded perfect. Made tomato soup (the best I’ve ever had!) for dinner and called it a weekend. Two real home-cooked dinners in one weekend, I’d call it successful.