Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloons

Despite it being my fourth November in good ‘ol New York, I’ve yet to make it to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. As a compromise to me jetting off to Kansas every year for the annual holiday, I finally made the trek up to 79th and Columbus to watch the epic public inflation of a few select balloons. It was a mad house, full of parents trying to bully their way in front of me with strollers, but it was worth it see Snoopy and Woodstock up close!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with b5 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Chicago

As the Uglysuits once sang, “Into a world of many, windy dreams…my mind, it took me to Chicago.”

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

My plane landed around 8AM and with just a backpack and freshly baked loaf of bread, I boarded the “L” at Midway and journeyed to the South Loop. From there, I met Callie and we were non stop! From Garfield Park Conservatory and Millennium Park (Lurie Garden FTW!) to The Art Institute of Chicago and the 96th floor of the Hancock Tower, Saturday was a day well spent.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

And of course for dinner we wolfed down an entire Giordano’s pizza!

Sunday came too soon, and I briefly walked along Lakeshore Drive before enjoying Chez Wohletz’s (aka Callie and Jerry) freshly crafted frittata and butternut squash and apple soup!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Till next time Chicago…

Poppyseed Lemon Cake

Deb Perelman never disappoints. My latest foray into her kitchen awesomeness involved Nadia and me recreating this Poppyseed Lemon cake. Emphasis on the poppy.

LemonPoppy-5 LemonPoppy-8 LemonPoppy-6 LemonPoppy-4 LemonPoppy-3 LemonPoppy-1 LemonPoppy-2

In the end our cake turned out a little crispy (I shook my fist at the oven) but next time around I think I’d add more zest!

Camera Shy

As my friend Georger told me this weekend when she spied my Canon slung about my neck, “Good to see you with your camera again. Otherwise: waste of money.” While I love how discreet I can be with my iPhone, taking photos of interesting people I see around town, I need to branch out a bit with my DSLR. I have yet to work up the nerve to ask someone to take their photograph – save perhaps during New York Fashion Week earlier this year – so instead, I snapped what I could…

SaturdayXie-1 SaturdayXie-2 SaturdayXie-3 SaturdayXie-4 SaturdayXie-12

Oh July…

I can’t believe we’re already well into August. Just next month it’ll be fall – FINALLY!

Oh July, what I could do without your insufferable heat ;D Let’s see…well, I finally ready my first Nick Hornby book (Funny Girl), and tackled Yates’ Revolutionary Road (love!) and laughed sleepless nights away with Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Also, someone new on the block has a totally badass motorcycle that I swoon over every morning and every evening as I walk home.

Elsewhere, Krista, Alissa and I ventured out to Governor’s Island for a spell and I took to Brooklyn Bridge Park for some fireworks mishaps. I discovered that Little Cupcake Bakeshop is a nice stroll away (worth enduring summer sun for their Brooklyn Blackout Cake!) and I somehow managed not to melt during a weekend family getaway in New Orleans. The beignets were lovely.

And despite my usual attempts at street photography I somehow found myself at two OkCupid events back to back, standing on a Manhattan hotel rooftop as the sun set over the UWS and again in the rare books section of The Strand Bookstore as awkward men and women tried to impress one another…

Here’s to more adventures in August! Perhaps I’ll finally bring out my DSLR again. We shall see…

Fireworks in Brooklyn

I’ve always had a soft spot for the 4th of July. Nothing to do with Americana or patriotism, but rather the thrill of fireworks. I love feeling the quick boom of thunder rattle through my whole being, the mix of smoke and glitter filling the otherwise black sky, and the illumination of peoples faces around me, faces raised in awe…

But ever since moving to New York it has been quite difficult to replicate such an experience. Gone are the days where I can head out west and lay on a blanket in a sparsely populated field to take in the local fireworks display. Now I’m crammed, shoulder to shoulder with the city of New York, all of us hoping for a glimpse of the spectacular displays.

I took a bus to Brooklyn Bridge park and spent nine hours camped out in what I believed to the be the perfect spot. I weathered the gloomy skies, cold winds, and the petulant indecisive rain. Eventually the sun crept out between the clouds and the warmth of the summer day brought locals and tourists alike by the hordes. I preferred my quiet spot of grass in the rain over the crammed bodies that the summer sun provided. But what is one to do? Jess showed too, bringing a nice can of cool beer with her. I finished Revolutionary Road, she colored Abbi Jacobson’s book, and waiting for the display to begin we engaged in a game of Marry.Fuck.Kill. There was a particularly hard round that involved Bill Self, The Morris Twins and LeBron James ;D

And much to my dismay (but I didn’t dwell on it) the fireworks began out of sight. We heard them. We felt them. But initially we couldn’t see them and that is when we discovered I had picked the absolutely worst spot. The gaseous and fiery display of light exploded over the dense tree tops instead of over the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh wells. I still craned my neck to catch what I could I relished in each thunderous escape of the next one. Too, when I looked around I loved the expression etched on everyone’s faces – that childlike wonder and awe.

Establishing

Before the crowds came...
Before the crowds came…

Nature

JessColor

ColorBook

Mia

This couple was so adorable.
This couple was so adorable.

Fireworks

 

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes + Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Nadia, Rachel, and I have been trying to have once a month “Bake Day.” The first one was held at my apartment and we tackled the deliciously rich Guinness Brownies. Our latest venture was held at Nadia’s in Queens. The photos were terrible – poor lighting – but watching Nadia expertly prep the cherries cross legged on the floor was something else.

_Nadia

In the end the cupcakes turned out great and now it’s Rachel’s turn to host and choose our next baking adventure!