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Archive for May, 2011

Beaching It

I made it to the beach!

I really love being close to the water. I love the sand, I love the smell, I love the sound. And I consider myself incredibly lucky to have parents that live by the beach.

However, I do not love the people. Which is why I get to the beach early, when there’s no one around.

I never felt like it got too crowded today. A few big groups set up around me (really, if you see someone quietly sitting alone and there’s tons and tons of space, can you not set up next to the single person?), but it stayed pretty peaceful.

I stuck around for about 3 hours and then headed to my favorite after-beach place: 7-11.

A small Coke slurpee and half a 100 Grand bar. Heaven.

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Wine Tasting

My plan today was to write about the beach. And while it was warm and sunny when I woke up around 9am, about an hour or so later it was still warm, but overcast. The sun kept trying to burn through all day, but it never succeeded. I went to Target and grabbed lunch and planned on just hanging out at my parents’ house.

But then I checked Foursquare and saw that my friend Maria had checked into a vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island, about 25 minutes from my parents’ house. So I inquired and was invited to tag along with her and her boyfriend.

I (am ashamed to?) admit I’ve never actually been wine tasting at the LI vineyards even though I’ve lived so close to them my entire life, but when I had a lot of friends here I was under 21 and then everyone moved on and my parents don’t drink and people from the city rarely come out to visit and there we are.

But I was excited to give them a try.

First up was Jamesport Vineyards. There indoor area, where you can do tastings, was packed, so we went outside, paid a $10 admission fee, and got to sit at a table and listen to music with our complimentary glass of wine.

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It was very pretty and the jazz band was good, but it probably wasn’t the best deal.

Next we headed to Palmer Vineyards, which I think was my favorite. We each did a tasting flight and the pours were really generous. Plus, they give you all four tastings at once and you can take them outside to sit in the beautiful vineyards while you listen to the live band.

Definitely a pretty good deal. Who doesn’t want to look at this?

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The negative part was that our white wines got warm, but when you’re sitting in adirondack chairs with that gorgeous view, really, who cares?

After finishing off our tastings we went to Martha Clara Vineyards. This was definitely the largest of all of the all vineyards we went to. Their tasting room was huge.

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And the first things we saw driving up were these enormous animals.

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I think Martha Clara tries to cater to the whole family as there were a lot of children and dogs there.

I really liked my “summertime” tasting, but my friends didn’t like their “dry and sweet” tasting. But the guy behind the counter was really funny and friendly and ended giving us our tastings for free after we bought a glass of wine. Plus we got to keep the glasses!

After buying our glasses we took them outside to drink by the fountain.

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After finishing our drinks we went to visit the goats.

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And the mini goats

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And the mini pigs

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After visiting all the animals we headed to TGI Friday’s for dinner (pretty much the only place to eat on the way back to the Long Island Expressway).

It was a really nice, unexpected day, but I am so ready for the beach tomorrow.

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What I’m Listening To

 

 

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Betting Kind

One year, when I was in elementary school, my dad decided to have me and my brother try to pick the winning NFL teams each week. I don’t know why, I don’t know how we did, but he had this notebook he would keep track of our picks in.

My dad also used to take me to the horse racing track frequently where I could bet all day. And on a few sick days I remember him taking me to the special store that sold the racing forum and I would lie on the couch watching the ghetto horse racing channel.

Which brings me to my love of tennis. Which I’m sure will be elaborated on much, much more, but for now revolves around picking winners.

This year I’ve been participating in a fantasy tennis league (yep, they exist). I have to say that I think I’m doing pretty well. As of yesterday (they haven’t updated for today) I’m in 101st place out of almost 1000 people.

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For the Grand Slams I also participate in the Racket Bracket challenge on the Tennis Channel’s website.

I’m probably jinxing myself, but I think I’m rocking it so far. For the men I’m in the top 4%.

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And for the women I’m in the top 3%.

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I am a really competitive person by nature and a total tennis geek so I couldn’t be more excited.

And, if you’re wondering, I have Nadal winning the men’s and Sharapova (I almost had a heart attack during her match today) winning the women’s.

Fingers crossed.

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Cupcakes

I’m not usually one to talk about work outside of Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, but I spent the past two afternoons in the Javits Center (which, outside of war zones and other terrible places, I believe to be one of the worst places on earth) attending Book Expo America.

Everything for work went well and my company did some cool things, but my favorite was the large pizza box full of mini cupcakes that we served this afternoon.

Cupcakes are from Baked By Melissa and if you happen to be in NYC I highly recommend paying her a visit. The chocolate chip pancake cupcake rules.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden

A few weeks ago I took a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden right around the time the cherry blossoms were blooming. I realized I never posted the pictures so here we are…

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All the pictures (good and bad) are here. This was my first time at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and I loved it. I definitely need to make it back again this summer.

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I had a pretty great weekend. It was busy, but relaxing, and I got to see a bunch of friends.

For lunch on Friday I had a burger from Westville.

Friday night I went with my friend Josy to her coworker’s photography exhibit at the Yes Gallery in Greenpoint. It was a very cool show featuring photography of carniverous plants, plus some of the actual plants.

Photography:

Actual plant:

I thought this one would make a cool wedding bouquet:

I thought the photos were really gorgeous, the art was reasonably priced (but still out of my price range), and the food (lobster rolls) and wine were delicious.

After the gallery we headed to dinner at Calexico.

While waiting for the G train I saw this lovely subway ad:

Notice anything different?

Saturday morning started bright and early with my Step and Sculpt class. In a white Mount Holyoke tee shirt in honor of the Laurel Parade. Then a bagel, then lots of catching up on TV shows.

In the late afternoon my friend Laura and I headed into the city to see Midnight in Paris.

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It was good. I think if you weren’t familiar with the writers and artists he meets in Paris it might not be as good, but I thought it was enjoyable.

I also finally figured out Four Square on my phone (it was doing this weird thing where it wouldn’t find any places).

After the movie we headed to Emack and Bolio’s for ice cream. Low-fat malted cookie dough. Delicious.

Then we headed to dinner at the Dram Shop. Veggie burger and fries. Fantastic as always.

Sunday morning started bright and early with a damp, depressing, really hard 3-mile run in Prospect Park.

After a quick trip back to my apartment it was back up to the park to meet my old roommate Amy and her boyfriend Mike to go to the Prospect Park food truck rally.

The lines were all very long but we decided to brave one of the longest lines and try out the Red Hook Lobster Pound. Once I got over the fact that I was paying $16 for something from a truck I really enjoyed my Connecticut lobster roll.

The bread was delicious and buttery and the lobster was so fresh and perfect. As much as it pains me to say it, this was worth the $16 and the 30 minute or so wait on line.

What comes after lobster? Ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus! I got the chocolate chip cookie with peanut butter ice cream. Very good. More than worth the $5.

After a quick walk around Grand Army Plaza it was time for me to hop on the 3 and head up to the Met to meet my friend Maria for the Alexander McQueen exhibit.

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I made it to the Upper East Side in record time, but unfortunately the line for the McQueen exhibit was insanely long. They said it was an hour and a half wait but I think we only waited for about 45 minutes. They moved us along quickly.

And once we got in it was totally worth it. Even though it was PACKED (like you could barely move) the pieces were so interesting. It’s definitely very avant garde, but the stuff was so detailed, so beautiful, and in many cases just freaky. I just wish there it hadn’t been so crowded so I could have spent more time studying the clothes in detail and reading about them, but oh well.

By the time we finished the McQueen exhibit the Met was closing so it was back on the subway to Williamsburg where we met Maria’s boyfriend Tim for drinks and a little food at Mugs. I had their delicious veggie burger which I highly recommend.

So if you’re keeping track that 2 lobster rolls and 3 burgers (1 beef, 2 veggie) this weekend. Kind of gross.

But a great weekend. That’s left me ready to pass out.

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