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Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

I’m going to start this post by saying anyone who knows me knows that I hate the following things: the heat, people, crowds of people, people encroaching on my own personal space, waiting, and port-a-potties. This didn’t make me feel particularly optimistic about attending The Great Googa Mooga today. I knew a few people that went yesterday and they all left after about half an hour because it was so crowded and awful.

Well, my experience couldn’t have been more different. I seriously loved every single minute of it.

First, this is what Googa Mooga is:

“Approximately 75 food vendors, 35 brewers, 30 winemakers and 20 live music performances will be on hand to help us relish some of life’s greatest pleasures—gathering with friends and neighbors to eat, drink, talk, laugh, dance, linger and just . . . be together.

We envision a place where the best chefs and purveyors can serve their food and bring about instant elation. Where everyday food lovers can discover and share amazing new tastes, and where the right slice of pizza can be as treasured/praiseworthy as four-star fois-gras.”

It was a free event, you just had to quickly get tickets online before they were snatched up. I missed them the first time but managed to get them the second time. You could also buy $250 tickets which included food, drink, and a access to a few extra things.

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I met my friend at about 11:30 and we walked up to Prospect Park. We probably got there around noon, there was no line to show our tickets (you had to show them twice) and no line for security.

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Our first stop was the ID check and beverage tent. My friends who went yesterday said this was the worst part since you had to wait on one line to get a bracelet saying you’re over 21 and a separate line to actually buy the alcohol. I’d say we waited less than five minutes for our bracelets and there was no line for the actual booze.

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At this point there weren’t a ton of people there, which I think definitely made the experience more pleasant.

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We checked out all the food stands and I decided I wanted a burger from The Spotted Pig (which was in the “Hamburger Experience,” could there be anything better?). The line was pretty long, maybe 20 people ahead of me, but we waited 10 minutes tops. It was supposed to be $12 for a burger with roquefort and fries, but they weren’t making fries so just the burger was $10, which I thought was a great deal.

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They had these narrow tables where you could stand so we picked a spot by the stage and settled in to eat.

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I thought my burger was good, I wasn’t blown away, I’ve certainly had much better burgers. The bun was delicious though, very buttery.

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I also got an Empire IPA, which I didn’t love. It kind of had a coffee taste to it, which isn’t my thing.

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I liked the recycled tables.

The whole reason I got Sunday tickets (the event was Saturday and Sunday and there were separate tickets for each day) was because I wanted to hear Charles Bradley. I LOVE him and I was so happy I got to see him. Plus he opened with my favorite song (above)!

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After we ate we settled down on my blanket to listen to the rest of Charles Bradley’s set.

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Once Charles Bradley finished we decided to do some more exploring. This was the chandelier in the craft beer tent which I really liked.

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I got a sample of the Blind Faith IPA from Magic Hat, again, it was kind of coffee-tasting. Also, the way you got beer and wine was one of my few dislikes about the event. The sample was $3, but you had to pay $2 to get the glass, that you then reused. I guess if you were drinking a lot it would be worth it, but it was just a cheap, plastic glass.

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Cheap plastic glass

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This was the wine tent, it was much less crowded than the beer tent.

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They built their counters with old wine crates, which I thought was cool.

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More exploring then happened, this was Hamageddon. I loved him.

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Fruit sculpture

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I LOVE Wooly’s Ice and I was so excited to see them here. I had their ice at the Vendy’s last year for the first time and I’m kind of obsessed.

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It’s an Hawaiian (and another country, I can’t remember) shaved ice. I got the OG, which was the original ice, leche sauce (pretty much condensed milk), strawberries, and brownies.

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It was damn good.

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We then picked a spot on the grass, put our blanket down, and stayed there the rest of the afternoon.

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My friend went to get us soda from Brooklyn Soda Works and she got me the apple ginger. I was a little like WTF? But it grew on me. It was actually really refreshing and not sweet at all.

We listed to Escort and then Fitz and the Tantrums. I thought they were both great, really energetic and I liked their music (which I wasn’t familiar with).

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Around 4:30 I decided to do some exploring. I went to use the bathroom, my I walked away from the main arrangement of port-a-potties to a more remote location and didn’t have to wait and mine was clean and stocked with toilet paper and anti-bacterial stuff.

Then I went over to Dirty Bird to get some fried chicken.

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I got the 3 chicken fingers with BBQ sauce, they were very, very good. I don’t remember the last time I had chicken fingers.

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I also got a watermelon lemonade which was so refreshing.

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Then we waited for Hall and Oates to come on! As you can tell it was getting more crowded, but I never felt overwhelmed or nervous. It was a very happy, relaxed crowd.

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I took another walk around while we were waiting for Hall and Oates. This was the General Store where you could buy Googa Mooga merch. I didn’t look that closely.

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Finally it was time for Hall and Oates. It didn’t get as crowded as I expected, I thought we might be forced to stand or at least have a bigger crowd around our blanket.

They opened with Maneater, played about a million songs I’d never heard, played She’s Gone which I couldn’t even recognize, and then were done. For the encore they played Rich Girl (finally!) and the song above, which obviously I know but I’m not sure of the name. Then we left, as we were leaving they introduced some key people who organized the event, and then played Your Kiss. Maybe they played another song, but we were out of hearing range by then. I was disappointed with Hall and Oates, I thought the three other performers were much better.

I really can’t say enough nice stuff about Googa Mooga and the way it was organized. I’m so excited to go back next year and I’m sorry that my friends who went on Saturday had such a terrible time.

There are some things I could be improved: the line for beer/wine/soda/water was the same line. My friend just wanted water and had to wait in the long line with people who wanted beer and wine. There was no cell reception the entire time, I get that that can’t really be controlled, but still, it sucked. A place to refill your water bottle would also be nice, you could bring a bottle in and there was one water fountain (that’s normally in the park), but otherwise you were out of luck (and I imagine most people didn’t know the water fountain was there, it’s just part of my running route so I knew). And finally, the playing $2 for a cheap plastic glass to try beer and wine from the respective tents sucked.

But otherwise I really have no complaints. I think the fact that we got there early really helped (although my roommate showed up around 2pm and she also loved her experience). I also think you have to be smart about it, the Luke’s Lobster line was out of control, so if you don’t want to wait on line for an hour plus, just eat something else. Also, I wouldn’t go hungry. And if you’re from NYC, all the places that were there are based in NYC so you can go to them at any time, so don’t get all caught up in one thing. And remember, you’re outside at a food and music festival, do you really need to get back to your blanket/table that quickly? Relax! Have fun!

But I had a great time and I can’t wait to go again next year!

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Keith Haring

After brunch at Applewood, Amy and I went to the Brooklyn Museum today to see the Keith Haring exhibit. I was familiar with his work, but not that familiar. Whenever I see his work it always seems really comforting to me somehow. At the exhibit today I realized that’s because he did the cover of my favorite childhood Christmas album:

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(Image from here)

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I think this one was my favorite. That’s only the bottom piece, it was a long, narrow painting.

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These make me dizzy to look at, in person and in the photos.

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There was also another exhibit called Raw/Cooked that we checked out too.

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Once you signed a waiver they let you climb up this roof.

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It was very fun and different. And after the museum we went to Ample Hills!

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On Saturday my friend Laura and I went to Governors Island for the day (my second visit of the summer, check out the first). It was a perfect day, warm, but not too hot, sunny, but still some clouds so it didn’t feel like the sun was beating down on us all day.

Pics and some commentary:

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Laura and I love swings.

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There was a cool Volkswagon car show.

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Cincinnati! Where I’m going Wednesday!

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I think this one was my favorite.

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My future home (aka the admiral’s house).

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Laura in my future library.

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Sadly we missed this.

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I think this is my favorite shot from the day. Imagine, the people who were stationed in that fort would look across and see…nothing.

Actually, I think my favorite thing about the day was a banner that was a piece of art that goes along with a show at the New Museum. It was in Russian, but translated it said: “I do not complain about anything and I almost like it here, although I have never been here before and know nothing about this place.”

It faced the Statue of Liberty and I thought it was very meaningful.

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I was going to post last night, but I’m actually really glad I didn’t. You’ll have to read until the end to find out why.

Yesterday was an absolutely killer day. I woke up feeling happy, I had had a great weekend, but then I started thinking about everything I had to do at work and it all got to be overwhelming.

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A nice sweaty elliptical workout helped. Plus wearing one of my favorite dresses.

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But I was still feeling anxious. Unfortunately when I got to work things didn’t get any better, in fact they got worse. I had managed to tune things out in the morning, but by the afternoon I started to feel like everything was spiraling out of control.

Even a delicious spinach, walnut, beat, apple, red onion, wheatberry, and feta salad from Just Salad didn’t help.

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I wish I could say I felt I handled things well, but I don’t think I did. I let myself be really upset and even though I was productive and I didn’t do anything bad like eat one of the cupcakes at my coworker’s b-day celebration, I still think I could have handled things better. But that’s ok. And you’ll have to keep reading to find out why.

After work I had special preview tickets to see The Change Up.

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Even though this was from the director of the Hangover and the writer of Wedding Crashers (two movies I loved), I didn’t think it lived up to either. It was very funny and Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds did a very good job, but there was just too much gross out humor. Like really gross out humor. When the humor wasn’t gross out humor I thought the movie was really funny and I liked the take on a “dude” Freaky Friday. I don’t want to say this is a movie that’s better on DVD because I think it’s better to see comedies in a theater of laughing people, but I don’t think it’s worth the cost of admission either.

After the movie I felt much better about life, but I was still upset. So I came home and wrote out what happened to me today. And then I wrote some solutions and what I learned from the experience. And I was immensely happy with how I handled myself then and, at the end of the day, I feel happy with my attitude and plan for going forward.

Then, this morning, I went running in Prospect Park and about half way through my run I saw a collapsed biker. He was with a group of other bikers and they said they had already called for help so I didn’t stick around. When I passed by them for a second time a police officer was there.

Obviously all my thoughts are with the biker (and when I passed by the second time he was talking to the cop so he was conscience), but seeing something so scary really helped give me some perspective. And it also caused me to take an extra walking break since it was humid as hell this morning.

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It’s a beautiful day and we’re all going to be ok.

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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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Beautiful Brooklyn

Yesterday was a gorgeous day in NYC. Or it was after about 10am, when I left for the gym at 7:45am it was drizzling.

I met a friend in a neighboring neighborhood in the afternoon and since the weather was so nice I decided to walk. Thanks to Instagram I was able to take this very pretty picture of the Gowanus Canal (which is actually a Superfund Site and incredibly toxic). 

I couldn’t be more excited for spring to come and stick around.

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