Welcome Back to Rochester

A week or so after graduating, I began the whirlwind tour of trips home, moving out to Chicago, interviewing in NYC, moving to NYC and starting a job. Somehow it didn’t seem like that much time passed but holy cow 2 years later and I realized I hadn’t made a single trip back to Rochester.

I was lucky enough to be asked by work to represent the company and interview new potential designers! It was for Industry Day at RIT which is the exact place I met people at Carrot for the first time two years ago. Kind of crazy to be on the reverse side.

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The only minor hiccup in the trip was that the night before we left, it snowed 18 inches in Rochester. Yikes.

I had neglected to get any kind of real snow boot this year so I set out to DSW the night before in search of something… anything. Turns out all of NYC seemed to have a snow boot shortage this year but these worked just fine.

Soon enough, we were headed off (at 4:45am).

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Left somewhat sunny and warm (ish) NYC for the frozen tundra that is Rochester.

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Upon landing my coworker and I grabbed our bags and walked out to the parking lot to get the rental car that we had for the weekend. As luck would have it, it was the only car in the entire (covered) parking garage that was absolutely covered and surrounded by snow. Go figure.

Welcome back to Rochester.

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In typical Rochester fashion though, the snow didn’t seem to phase anyone. Within a few hours of our plane landing the roads were already starting to clear up + sidewalks were shoveled.

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After a lunch at Lovin’ Cup, we headed on campus to the Field House to set up everything. SO crazy and weird to be back.

Ours is the crazy looking table ūüôā

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I won’t go into too many details but the day was long!! We spent 5 hours interviewing people. 4 of those we did without a single break to stand up. There were so many students! It felt weird but good to be on the reverse side of the table. Hopefully we provided helpful feedback for everyone involved. Helps to be just a few years out so I remember clearly what I wanted/needed to hear at that time.

After interviews we headed down the street to MacGregors for dinner and drinks. Almost everyone who we had interviewed that day was there and it was a good chance to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in forever!

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Completely passed out that night and couldn’t even take advantage of this being my first ever hotel room to myself (big kid!!). I did thoroughly enjoy the king sized bed though. The place was 3 times the size of my apartment.

The next morning we woke up super early again and headed back on campus for MORE interviews. It was totally fun though – these were half hour¬†long interviews so we actually got a chance to chat with everyone a bit more. And it was held in Java Wally’s, my absolute favorite coffee shop on campus.

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The new HUGE hockey rink int he distance! Can’t wait to go back sometime for a game.

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Friday night after we wrapped up interviews we were officially done with work for the weekend so it was time to enjoy Rochester!! One of my roommates from college was nice enough to let me crash with her for the weekend so we got a chance to catch up on 2 whole years of life! Saturday was a mix of time spent on campus, meeting up with a friend for coffee at a fantastic coffee place downtown, a trip with Devan to the public market for a breakfast sandwich and a walk around.

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Apparently I didn’t take very many pictures though! Saturday night Devan and I met up with my friend Anna and her boyfriend for dinner at Lovin Cup (round 2). Sadly Sunday morning seemed to come super quick and it was time to head back.

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Not without a trip to Jay’s Diner for breakfast!

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And another quick stop by Wegmans and Dibella’s sandwiches to pick up one for the trip home (most genius plan ever).

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Soon enough we were leaving the snowy views of Rochester and landing among the concrete mess of buildings. As much as it was great to be back and visit Rochester, I was happy to land back in NYC. Funny how each chapter of life can fit perfectly and then it’s time for another. Waiting 2 whole years to go back and visit definitely had a greater impact on making me realize just how far I’ve come since then. Similar to when I left for college and went back to visit high school, I guess.

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Blueberry Motivation

Sometime the only way to reward yourself up the mountain is blueberries.

Last night after work I stuck around for some rooftop yoga! They offered a free trial class but it might become a weekly thing if 10 coworkers can all commit to it. Pretty amazing views to have while doing yoga! Aside from a subway line directly to the right of us, it was fantastically relaxing. I did an assisted handstand too which was horribly frightening but I think that’s just my fear of the rest of me being on top of my head.

The only problem with after work yoga is that means I don’t get home to eat dinner until well after 9pm and I had to run and errand first before coming home. So I proceeded, with a yoga mat on my back, big bag on my side, and two grocery bags hanging from my arms, to eat blueberries. While walking up hill. And not dropping anything.

There are certain times here when you realize just how ridiculous you might look and you don’t care. This was one of them. In fact, I got quite a few smiles or laughs from people passing by. Plus it was delicious so totally worth it.

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Eventually made it home to make a real dinner. Settled on a vegan mexican pile of things: soy veggie crumbles, sauteed peppers and onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, guacamole and salsa. Yum! Good Monday night.

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Recent Eats + A Monday Morning

I got the pictures together for this blog post a few weeks ago but then never proceeded to do anything with them. Today presented just the story to accompany the food!

As luck would have it, our fridge broke this morning and I spent the morning tossing out food (thanks Aunt Barb for the voice in my head saying ITS WARM TOSS IT OUT! good thing I didn’t have quite as much effort put into any of the food I lost though). After throwing out almost everything, I loaded up the few things that could be saved into a bag and brought them to work with me. Nothing like carrying 2 heavy bags (of watermelon,¬†blueberries, tomatoes¬†and zucchini) on the subway to make you feel like a pack mule.

Not to mention the grocery bag handle with the bad food broke on the way down to the trash. And it was rainy today so I had to figure out how to maneuver with the heavy bags, umbrella and subway card mix. Oh, and a laptop on my back. Yay NYC.

I sat down on the train and was feeling super frustrated and annoyed with the way my Monday morning was starting off only to sit next to a guy and his 1.5ish year old kid. Said kid (although quite cute) started screaming bloody murder for the next 5 stops. And the train stayed extra long in one of the stations just so my ear drums got to experience it fully. The guy refused to pick up his kid, soothe him in any way or even really acknowledge that he was screaming. The rest of the train and I exchanged some looks. Thanks, Monday.

But then…

I saw this woman approach where we were sitting (the man, myself and screaming child). She stood close by for a bit just looking at the two of them and I could tell she was really trying to hold back something. A few seconds later she walked up and knelt down next to the kid and proceeded to talk to the guy. It was seriously the sweetest thing, although took a huge amount of courage because the guy could have been really rude back. She kept telling him, please just pick your child up, hold him and love him and he’ll be comforted. The guy refused (although rather nicely) and said it was inconvenient because he was getting off in a few stops and said that his kid always did this (yeah… kid’s cry). The woman stayed with him for a while longer and found out that apparently the guy was a single dad and was struggling. Right before he got off the train she leaned in and said, just promise me that you’ll hold him and show him love. At that moment the kid stopped crying.

Gah. Humanity. It’s amazing.

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In less touching news, here are a few things I’ve been making recently. Pasta with homemade weird kale/spinach/cashew pesto. It’s weird, I don’t really recommend it.

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It made for a pretty dinner though. Sautéed some onions, roasted some asparagus and voila, weeknight dinner.

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Some even I went to a while back gave me a free chobani sample at their SoHo location. I was out grabbing something for Jon’s birthday present in the area and thought I’d stop in. I got a chocolate and¬†pistachio¬†mix. Seriously so good! I have a feeling I’m going to be making quite a few trips there.

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Also in food news, each Wednesday we donate food to the NYC Food Bank (From Carrot & Farmigo). The committee that I co-chair is actually heading up the donations so we get to lug around 50 lb bags of potatoes every Wednesday. Sometimes we recruit guys to help – that’s the UX intern for the summer.

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Of course there have been many more undocumented things in the middle but summer food mostly consists of pita, hummus and salad. And my recently discovered obsession with Bubble Tea.

Also, in case you missed it I’m slowly catching up on June and just posted the blog for my Penn State/Central PA Trip. Still working on a few more – these were those posts that I promised last week, oops!

 

Filling the Days

Saturday morning was a super relaxed start to the day – after a long work week last week I was more than happy to wake up to an overcast rainy morning and clean up my apartment a bit. Eventually made plans to meet up with Jon in the west village but stopped in DUMBO first to pick up an umbrella I had left at work. They were shooting Spiderman there all last week and this weekend so the streets were packed with the crew trucks. Didn’t get a¬†glimpse¬†of Spiderman unfortunately but some of my coworkers did.

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Walked from West 4th Street down through Broadway and¬†Layette¬†(with a pit stop at Warby Parker, a store that sells glasses) and finally down to Chinatown. One of my coworkers has given me a list of 21 of her favorite places in Chinatown to go which is hugely helpful because I couldn’t even begin to decide where to go otherwise. Settled on Vanessa’s Dumplings which turned out to be a great pick when both Jon and I got lunch for $12 total – and I had leftovers!

Seasame pancake with veggies in between – super tasty, I’d get that again. Like an inside out chinese pizza. And whole wheat vegetable dumplings – which made for a terrific leftover lunch on Monday. We sat in a rather concrete filled park under a tree to enjoy lunch ūüôā

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Made our way slowly back towards Broadway Lafayette in search of a coffeeshop when we realized it was about to absolutely downpour and thunder. The only place nearby was Nespresso so we hopped inside just before the rain. Jon might have learned my fear of thunderstorms. Oops.

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Sunday morning had an early start to get laundry started. Talked to Mom to wish her a happy mothers day while that was in the washer and walked all over the neighborhood. Laundry is such a good way to get weights & walking in. Made a quick breakfast before dashing off to church – and talked to Grandma on the way. Clearly multitasking is the way to go! Luckily church is only a 15 minute walk away so I was able to make it there on time. Stopped by the farmers market briefly on the way out to pick up a surprise supply of pickles for Jon before heading up to Queens to meet him in time for lunch.

Decided that some cooking was in order for Sunday afternoon relaxation so Jon had picked out a tomato & roasted garlic soup recipe to try along with a salad and some asparagus I brought from Farmigo at work.

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We even made parmesan crisps to go on top! It had kind of melted into the soup by this point though.

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Tried to head back to Brooklyn early on Sunday night because I had a 5:25 wake up call on Monday morning!¬†Busy week so far but I was able to meet up with Jon last night after work for an oh so romantic grocery shopping date ūüôā Tonight after work I stayed a little later and went running 2.5 miles along the Brooklyn Bridge Park with 2 coworkers – there are 19 of us from work running in a race in 2 weeks so we have to prepare! It’s still a little tough but I haven’t gotten out running as much as I hoped. Still amazing views to run along side and friends to run with!

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Daily Adventures

I’m growing arugula. I can’t bring myself to thin it, even though I should.

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I’ve been eating mass quantities of vegetables and last week got ramps through the CSA to make homemade ramp pizza. It was alright. I didn’t think to make or buy dough before hand so I got frozen dough at the Italian place down the street and proceeded to wrap it in warm blankets. Needless to say, I ate at 11pm.

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Some nights I just chop up veggies and roast them in tinfoil. Those nights I feel a bit smarter. And less hungry.

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One night last week I met up with Jon after work but he was slightly late so I hung out in Bryant Park for the first time all season. Lots of trees with christmas lights underneath them, a rather ominous looking sky and little park benches to sit on.

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Our purpose for the trip was to see the Target Dream House that they had built life size in the middle of Grand Central Station. We got there just as they were starting to tear it down. Perfect timing.

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Last Thursday morning a coworker found an article about “Cronuts”, a crossiant donut hybrid that a baker had invented and was releasing to the public for the first time on Friday morning. We happened to have already made plans to go to Creative Mornings, the monthly design lecture that is put on by Swiss Miss. This month’s talk was near Union Square. This bakert was near Union Square. So we set our alarms early and ventured there for the opening at 8am. Good thing because they sold out that day. Not far after we were there. We managed to snag 5 cronuts and brought them back to work to share with coworkers.

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But first we had to carry the 5 cronuts to a lecture by Seth Godin (!). It was amazing. Add this to reasons I love NYC. We got to sit around and drink coffee and listen to someone who I’ve followed on blogs and through their books for a few years now. And it was free.

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The minute we got to the office, we were descended on by vultures.

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It was delicious. And so worth that early alarm.

Easter & Springtime In Brooklyn

Started off Easter morning with a four mile loop around prospect park. Loving the warm (or relatively warm) spring weather lately.

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Headed off for Easter Sunday at the park slope church a few blocks away. It’s actually only my second time there despite having attended the life group with some girls from there for a few weeks now. Definitely like meeting more people who live in my immediate area. Went out to brunch afterwards with some friends around Atlantic ave which rounded out the walking for the day to 8 miles. Yikes! My feet were more than ready for a break when I got back.

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Jon got back from North Carolina on Monday so I headed to queens on Monday night to see him! (& his roommates cat max)

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Other events this week have included freelance design work, enjoying sunny walks home from work, after work welcome drinks for new coworkers, and cooking delicious and random dinners (big kid spaghetti with canned tomatoes, homegrown basil & goat cheese).

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Seriously cannot believe that tomorrow is Friday. Keeping pretty busy at work which makes the days fly by. I’ve been working on one big project for the past month or so, can’t wait to finally release more information about it sometime soon!

Apologies for the updates that have been few and far between. Still finding the balance between work, freelance, exploring NYC and staying sane!

What I’ve Been Up To: Recap

I’m rather behind in posting so, in an effort to catch up without boring you, here’s a rundown of what I’ve been up to:

We have new office space! I came in on Sunday a few weekends ago to help paint the walls of the new office – bright green. Pretty sweet space! Amazing views of the bridge and Brooklyn.

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Enjoying some beautiful sunsets. This particular one was taken before heading home on a Friday. That particular Friday I was also headed home to Maryland! Went home last weekend to visit Sarah who was home on Spring Break (and recovering from rather painful arm surgery).

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Low key weekend spent catching up, eating delicious food (that I did not make) – thanks for all of the fresh baked Irish Soda bread, mom! and hanging around.

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Got to see our neighbors on Saturday followed by a St. Patricks Day dinner with Pattie, Dave & Ariel that included Pattie’s famous scones and homemade whipped cream and a new addition of celery root soup (for vegetarian st. patricks day fans).

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Had yet another Monday morning commute back to the city – this time was not as early as the one before. Still in love with traveling on Amtrak – apparently trains make me productive.

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Work has looked a lot like this lately: tea and sketching. Lots of new and interesting (also challenging) projects lately. Been keeping me busy!

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Had another Carrot girls night last Tuesday – at the Carrot Condo in DUMBO. Wine, cheese & amazing views of Manhattan from the roof. There are so many girls now! Also in company news: just hit the 50th employee. I think I’m # 35? Or something like that.

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Thursday was spent in Queens after work hanging out with Jon, his roommate and two of his old roommates who were back from Italy to visit (and perform – they’re dancers). No pictures.

Friday night Jon came to Brooklyn & we went to Beet (a Thai restaurant a few blocks away) for dinner. Watched Argo (well, Jon did – I fell asleep about 10 minutes in). Finished it the following night – great movie!

Saturday was an RIT event for accepted students. It was at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Time Square and involved a current student & alumni panel. Fun to talk to a few accepted students as well as catch up with RIT alum who live in the area. Hung out with everyone there for a bit after the main event before meeting up with Jon for some wandering. Ended up going to a tapas restaurant along the Hudson (I was starving after having missed lunch – and it was 6:30pm). Walked out to the water overlooking New Jersey & checked out some of the giant boats along the piers – including the Eclipse which is apparently some giant private yacht.

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Sunday morning was church in Queens, brunch at M.Wells in PS1 in Long Island City – super long wait to get in there but really amazing food, wish I had taken a picture. Actually went to brunch with Jon & 3 other friends from church which was fun. After brunch we all headed down to the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene – my first time there!

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Checked out everything there and ate some Dough donuts – a famous place in Brooklyn. The flea market is in an old bank which makes for pretty sweet architecture all around.

After that we all headed to No.7 a bar in Fort Greene to hang out and chat – for what became 3 hours. Great way to spend a Sunday.

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Last but not least: here’s a painting that Jon bought & gave to me last night. I was eyeing it at the Flea Market ūüôā

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Whirlwind wrap up of the past two weeks that hardly does some of the events justice. It’s felt pretty packed.

On top of work, exploring and hanging out with people, I’m in the middle of 2 freelance projects and reading library books at a furiously fast pace (thanks train time). Also have joined a small group through church with a bunch of girls who all live in the same neighborhood! We meet on Wednesday nights for dinner & bible study. I’m testing out this new church in Brooklyn as well – still will probably be switching back and forth for the time being but more on all of that another time!

Weekday Adventures

Donated blood on a truck today to the list of new life experiences. It went just fine aside from a slight argument as to which finger should be pricked (No lady, you may not mess up my only finger that controls a touch mouse in the middle of a busy work day) & my coworker who asked one of the people in charge if I was going to die (when she saw how much blood was coming out of me – good news, it was only the allotted pint).

Slightly weird to be on a truck looking into the back of a Kimchi food truck in the streets of DUMBO but it all seemed to work out. Plus apparently the lady really liked me – or heard what my coworker said – because she gave me about 8 packs of cookies & water.

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It’s super chilly here much like the rest of the country. Working a block from the water has its perks in the warmer months but it’s proving to be a rather brisk & painful walk to work for the time being. Having an office with a huge amount of skylights has a similar issue. Gorgeous views but my turtleneck, huge toasty sweater, blanket & coat wrapped around my back are highly necessary throughout the day.

Nothing too spectacular to note as of recently. I am working on a few neat projects at work which will hopefully be viewable to the public within the next 2-3 months!

The following video was perhaps one of the most random but awesome projects I’ve worked on yet – a project that is currently up and running. Can you believe we get to show up at work every day and dream up this kind of stuff?

Carrot Presents: CMT’s My Big Redneck Recliner from Carrot Creative on Vimeo.