A Run in Riverside

You know how I always say running sucks? Well, it’s still true: running sucks. It sucks even more in the freezing cold. It was hard to get out of bed on Saturday morning, but my boyfriend and I had signed up for the Hot Cocoa 5k a month or so ago and since it was starting just two blocks away from my apartment, so why not. But the morning of: he was not happy. To be quite honest, I’d have loved to stay in bed, too. 

The course was rough: lots of hills. But we did it. We both finished in 32 minutes. They were giving out free hot chocolate (hence the name) and bagels after at the race, but we didn’t want to wait on line, so I ordered hot chocolate at the local diner instead.

I’m glad we did it but eff running outside in the winter from now on. 

My Name is Jonas.

Fans were lined up outside of the Richard Rodgers today to get cancellation tickets to Hamilton, and now they must be pissed now that both the matinees and evening performances of every show are canceled. 

The above-ground subways are actually shutting down mid-afternoon, the buses are ceasing at 2:30pm, and the NYPD are literally threatening to arrest people if they’re found on the street. 

Call me crazy, but a storm this crazy is so fun. I awoke at 9:30am because I was sure my yoga studio would cancel classes (spoiler alert: they didn’t until 11:30am, oops) and put on my layers and went out for bagels. I walked around a few blocks and even saw some dude running on Broadway in SHORTS. He wins the Crazy Award.

Now I’m doing my laundry, my dude is doing work on his laptop, and we’re listening to the Danny Elfman Pandora station (Batman is currently playing). 

I wonder if being outside under my buildings awning would put me at risk for getting arrested? I may have to find out later. 

Enjoy the storm, my East Coast friends and Tumblrs! Stay safe!

City in the Snow

The East Coast is getting pummeled this weekend with a massive storm. Unfortunately the forecasts are only predicting 6 inches of snow for the New York City area this weekend, but 6 inches is better than nothing (that’s what she said?).  I love the snow. I have no idea why as I’m not a particularly outdoorsy person. I think it’s probably because everything is so peaceful and pretty when it snows. The calm after the storm after everyone is at home, and watching the snow fall. It’s almost meditative.

The benefits of storms in the city, especially when you live uptown, is that the power almost never goes out (now it probably will, but it hasn’t in the last 8 years I’ve lived uptown) and nothing closes. Maybe the neighborhood bar will close at midnight or 2am instead of 4am, but the corner market is always open, and the diner is always open. They don’t call this the city that never sleeps for nothing.

The subways never shut down either. So you know what’s happening if they’re wrong and the storm is massively bad? We’re putting on our boots, hopping on the train, and playing the lottery for Hamilton.  When tourists and people who live outside the city are unable to come in to do things like play lotteries, you hop on the subway and you make the most of it. Freezing snow and ice be damned.

Since 300 people will likely have the same idea, we will probably end up snowed in at my apartment drinking tea and coffee and hot chocolate, or braving the storm for a block and a half and grabbing a hot toddy at Amity Hall or The Hamilton.

Bring it on, snow. Bring it on.

The Hamilton: A Gushing Review

I’ve talked about The Hamilton a couple of times already around these parts. It’s the new whiskey bar that has replaced The ‘Dam on Amsterdam between 109th and 110th. It’s cozy and the bartenders are Scottish and amazingly friendly. Mike, the owner, is incredibly funny and welcoming. He named this spot The Hamilton because Alexander Hamilton was of Scottish descent and he attended Columbia University.

It’s also CHEAP. Especially for brunch. Nothing is over $15 and each dish comes with a drink. So far I’ve tried to the dutch pancake (left), the shakshuka (middle), the biscuits and gravy, and the bacon & cheese burger. My boyfriend once had the egg sandwich and said it was great, so there’s that, too.

As previously mentioned, all of the food was being photographed by the chef’s friend (right), hence how I was able to try the burger.

If a blizzard hits this weekend, and I need to get out of the house due to cabin fever, you will definitely be able to find me here.

(No, this isn’t a paid post. At all. You could say I received a free ¼ of a burger for it, but not really.)

And it’s beginning to snow.

After an unsuccessful trip to the Pace University bookstore in the Financial District (they close at 4pm, wtf), I grabbed a drink some fried zucchini sticks at SoHo Park with an old co-worker (but first I raided the book closet and took those four books). It was so, so good to see her – as well as some of my other former colleagues that I ran into. She’s trying her damnedest to get out of the city ASAP and even though I’ll miss her like whoa, I know she’d be happier back in New England.

On Saturday morning, I went to my usual grueling vinyasa class and I’d like to say that my workout attire was called The Kim Davis, as it included as many clashing patterns and colors as possible. But damn was I warm. The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, going back down to FiDi to purchase my sweatshirt, and cooking cauliflower fried rice for my dude and me. We watched the movie Unfriended on HBOGo and it was BAD. Don’t do it. Bad acting, bad direction, bad photography direction, bad story, just bad.

I met up for a pre-birthday (his!) brunch with Ben on Sunday afternoon at The Hamilton and we ended up being invited to try a bunch of dishes because they were being photographed. The owner, Mike, was bartending and he is Scottish and insanely cool. He also owns Caldeonia Bar on the UES. The Hamilton will become a regular neighborhood spot of mine for sure. It snowed unexpectedly on Sunday night and after some quality gym time, my dude convinced me (it didn’t take a lot of convincing, honestly) to watch some football at Amity Hall (Uptown) – also a really solid new neighborhood spot.

I tortured both him and myself by watching the Democractic debates – and I figured out how to use my HDMI converter cable which I finally purchased – on Sunday night. I know pretty much everything they already said. I’m 100% over politics. #feelthebern

More snow this weekend! So stoked.

Half-Assed Pride

Last October my alma matter, Pace University, was named the #1 most underrated college in America. My mind can’t wrap itself around whether or not that’s a good thing, but people are saying it is. So I guess that’s a good thing. Pace has always been know for his business school (and I think it’s nursing program), and in recent years, since it’s acquisition of The Actor’s Studio MFA program, their theatre program (from which I graduated with a business minor) is getting pretty great accolades lately too. What can I say, I loved seeing American Idiot there. 

To say I was an uninvolved college student is an understatement. I went to school to move to the city, 100%. I went to Eugene Lang College (part of the New School) for my freshmen year and realized that I was not ready for a degree that had no structure. Their base curriculum, at the time, was two required writing classes and then WHEEEE have fun getting your degree in whatever! I could totally do it now, but when I was 18, it was not for me, so I transferred to Pace whose admission I’d previous declined. 

But all I did was go to class, do my work, work on a handful of productions in the department a year, and then worked and interned in theatre completely separate from school. Did I join any clubs? Puh-lease. Go to any student events? Nope. I wanted to get in and get out. Looking back would I do it differently? Possibly. At the very least I would’ve been exposed to more than the whiny bitches of the musical theatre department, constantly complaining about their English minor work and having to pass their remedial math courses. 

My dude is pretty full of pride for his alma matter and constantly wears the school’s sweatshirt that I gave him over the holidays so I began to get a little jealous. I looked up their bookstore online and went down to the store yesterday after my yoga class and found the perfect sweatshirt. It’s soft on the inside and reminds me of my KALE t-shirt. And it wasn’t $80. 

Living in a neighborhood that’s a sea of Columbia apparel, it’ll be nice to at least show half-assed pride for my own alma matter.

An Upper West Side Weekend

I spent all weekend in my ‘hood. I really like my ‘hood and I wasn’t seeing a show, so I didn’t have a real reason to leave. Additionally: this weekend was for being lazy. On Friday night I watched Gone Girl (for the millionth time) and colored a page in my “art therapy” coloring book. I basically just vegged. It was the nicest. After pouring myself into bed before 11pm, I woke up at the crack of 8am to head to my 9am yoga class. It’s an advanced class and is always hard but this was by far the hardest class my teacher has ever taught. I was dying and I also set a record for the most calories ever burn in one 90-minute yoga class (478 calories to be exact).

I spent the next couple of hours relaxing (and eventually showering) before Justin came over and we went to get coffee at the Hungarian Pastry Shop (somehow I was still exhausted) and he suggested watching John Adams. (Meh. It’s good, but sort of slow.) We headed out into a rather mild winter evening to The Ellington on 106th and Amsterdam for dinner with my folks. I like brunch at The Ellington better than dinner, but it was good anyways. After saying goodbye, we ended the night at new Amity Hall on 109th and Amsterdam (the location used to be another Pourhouse) to watch some football and have a drink. I fell asleep to another episode of John Adams later in the evening.

It poured all day on Sunday. In the brief break we got in between downpours, I ran out to Absolute Bagel to pick up the freshest bagels ever and we made coffee and started to wake up. Multiple cups of coffee later, we made ourselves semi-presentable and took a long walk to Petco to look at adoptable cats. There was a really sweet one named Grace that seemed really calm. Shortly after, we tried another new bar near my apartment, The Hamilton, which used to be ‘The ‘Dam,’ until it closed suddenly and without notice. The bartender was Scottish with a heavy accent and he was really friendly. They’re still trying to find their way into the neighborhood but with their prices and selection of craft beer, I have no doubt they will. Both of our meals were delicious and our bill came out to $29.

After we finished eating, we took out the chess board that we’d ordered (him, rather – it was really him) and played. I’d never played Chess before and I had a lot of trouble remember which pieces could move which directions and how. I felt like a dope, but he showed me how to beat him and I tried not to let my ego get too down on itself.

Back at my apartment, I worked on something for work in my bedroom while more John Adams was watched in the living room. That show, while interesting, bored me to tears. While perusing Netflix after, we found the documentary “The Nightmare,” about 8 people who suffer from sleep paralysis. It freaked me out, for sure, while my dude just laughed.

It was a good Upper West Side weekend. New places, new experiences, and I definitely remembered to enjoy the day.

New Year’s Day

I never sleep in after drinking a lot and yesterday was no exception. I woke up at 8:30am and after deciding I couldn’t go back to sleep, I finished the last 60 pages of The One and Only (so cheesy; not Giffin’s best) and then threw on my coat and went out to Absolute Bagel (best bagels ever, they’re all fresh out of the oven) to pick up bagels for Justin and I, along with some Vitamin Water (me) and Diet Coke (him). We spent the day, first, in pain, but after the Advil kicked in and the coffee was made, we were feeling 100% better. Still tired and a bit hungover, but ready for a full day of relaxing.

We went for a walk to grab coffee, more carbs, and lastly to pick up some bread and cheese for the grilled cheese and tomato soup I was planning on making.

Another one of Rachael Ray’s recipes, the tomato soup was tasty but the diced tomatoes that I used never really broke up so it was more like tomato sauce. I’m going to blend the leftovers so that it’s more like tomato soup. I like putting apple and jam on my grilled cheese (try it, it’s so good), but he took his straight up.

As far as the tomato soup recipe: sautee onions and garlic until soft, add tomato paste and stir for one minute; then add two 28oz cans of diced tomatoes, 4 cups of chicken broth, and 1 tsp sugar, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes and: soup. 

Carbs + Homemade Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese = Best Hangover Cure

KonMari Method

So, like I mentioned the other day, I was reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I just finished it yesterday. I loved it. It was amazing. I spent a lot of last Friday evening going through my bureau and got rid of two bags worth of stuff and re-folded everything.

Marie says you have to be able to see everything when you open a drawer so piling stacks on top of each other just doesn’t work (because you can’t see things) so she suggests folding so you can stand items up next to each other. To my astonishment, it worked. I even have an extra drawer now! I’m working on my wardrobes and walk-in closet whenever I have time this weekend.

Above are three of those drawers. I didn’t think you had to see my sock drawer and the drawer where my tights are. I also used the “does this bring me joy?” method of discarding for my bookcases and I was able to re-arrange and clear out an entire bookcase (anyone want a bookcase?). 

Thank you to my clothes and books for bringing me joy whenever they did. Now it’s time for you to bring job to someone else when I donate you.

We ran an easy 2.3 miles yesterday before grabbing a croissant and coffee at The Hungarian Pastry Shop. We’ve started running along the Hudson in Riverside and it’s a nice change of pace.

The run would’ve been totally easy if I hadn’t gotten the route messed up and instead took us up Riverside Drive which has lots of hills. Whoops. 

Running outside is so much better than a treadmill, or even an elliptical. No matter what is on TV, it is always so boring.