Posts Tagged ‘Long Island’



Last night I went with a friend and some of her friends to see The Dave Matthews Band at the Jones Beach theater. Some thoughts:

I am not a Dave fan, I know his music from the radio, I’ve known many people who are obsessed with him, but it’s just never been my thing. I had heard that he puts on a really good show so I was excited to see it. I wasn’t blown away by the show. I guess I expected something bigger? Or more exciting? My friend, who’s been to a few of his shows, told me today that she thinks people really like him live because he does the songs in different ways from the albums and really makes the live experience unique. Perhaps that is true. I will say I was super impressed with the violinist and trumpeter. They had a lot of solos and they were great. Otherwise, IMO, all the songs sounded exactly the same.

I guess I should say that the tickets were free. I had dinner plans last night with my friend Amy. On Tuesday her friend Allie had gotten six DMB tickets from her boss who couldn’t use his tickets. Allie invited Amy, Amy invited me. Which was super nice. And none of them are huge DMB fans either, although they did know the songs better than I did.

This seems like a good time to say that holy hell these tickets were expensive! We were in the first row of the nosebleeds and our tickets were $75! Plus a $14.90 “convenience” charge. Good for people who want to pay that but no way in hell would I pay that. And how much were the people in the front sections paying? Insane.

Getting to Jones Beach from NYC is surprisingly easy. I’ve been to the Jones Beach Theater many times, but I always drove from my parents’ house. We took the Long Island Railroad and then a bus. There was some traffic getting into the theater’s parking lot but otherwise it was super easy. Except for when a woman going up the escalator next to where we were going down the stairs got stuck in the escalator and people who looked over from the stairs had looks on their faces like she was dying. Allie’s friend jumped over the stairs and escalator barrier to help her and someone at the bottom finally (it took them forever) pushed the emergency stop button. It turns out she wasn’t stuck, she had just fallen. To me that seems like a rather strange reaction. Someone had initially said her hair was stuck, which would have been terrifying and warranted screaming bloody murder and the horrified looks on the people’s faces.

The bathroom lines once we got in were INSANE! I never remember that from years past. But once we made it in they were clean.

Jesus Christ I think I still have a second-hand smoke high. I don’t smoke pot (or cigarettes) but I make no judgement about you if you do. But last night I was really wishing for just a few seconds of fresh air. When we went down to the bathroom towards the end of the concert I took many deep breaths. The air in the bathroom was better than the air by our seats.


If you’ve never been to/heard about Jones Beach it’s a really cool venue. It’s on a barrier island and the theater’s seats face the ocean. You can kind of see it in the first picture above. Unfortunately it was a rainy, crappy night so you couldn’t see much (and my feet were soaked), but normally there’s a nice sunset. There was still a nice sunset at the back of the theater.


I had a pulled pork sandwich for dinner. I got mine without the coleslaw and pickles. It was surprisingly really good. You might be wondering how I ate it? Well, I couldn’t pick the whole thing up so I took of the top bun and kind of dipped it into the pork and then carefully picked up the bottom bum and ate it as an open-topped sandwich. And it was only $9, I thought that was a great deal. I was happy Amy suggested it.


This was actually my view of the concert. Since we were in the front row of the section we had the safety bar right in front of us. At 5’4 if I sat up and looked straight ahead this is what I saw. So I spent most of the concert slouching down. This is what almost $100 buys you, people! FWIW, Amy is like 5’7 and had the same view, as did her friend who’s 5’10-ish.

There was a security guard I really liked. He was young and kind of a meat head, but he was so into dancing and singing along with Dave. It was cracking us up.

The trip home was really easy. Before 11pm or so you can change at a station in Queens to a train that goes right to Brooklyn, but unfortunately we didn’t get there until around midnight. So I had to take the train into NYC and then go back to Brooklyn. But I got a subway immediately and I was home at about 1:05. Not too bad considering I left the concert around 11 and we left the train station on Long Island at 11:42. We didn’t stay through the encore. We listened to the encore as we were walking to the buses, which was great because we were the first bus out and didn’t have to sit in any traffic.

It was a fun night. Would have been better if there had been nice weather and I connected more with the band, but we can’t have it all.


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I hoped to have pictures of the beach to show you, but when I woke up it was overcast and chilly, so I decided I’d stay home. I don’t know, I want to go to the beach, but I often find myself relieved when I can’t go. I think it’s just a bit depressing to go alone. Plus the other people there can be so obnoxious and I often feel like I’m just spending time there to say I was there.

Anyway, I digress. Since I didn’t go to the beach I hung out in my parents’ backyard again. What started as a chilly day turned into a sunny and HOT day.


The iPhone went inside at that point. Also, what does “solo emergenze” mean? (Apparently it means “emergencies only,” damn, I wish I would have swiped it now, I wonder what would have happened?) Does my iPhone turn multi-lingual when it’s hot out?

The point of this post is to talk about being outside. I was never a kid who liked playing outside. I remember spending a lot of time as a young kid playing outdoors with neighborhood kids, but by the time I hit middle school I was done with being outside. It was hot, you got sweaty, you got dirty, and I always got sunburned.

I pretty much kept up that set of beliefs for a while. The beach was always different (although I get bored there after a few hours), but throughout college I always preferred being inside. And even living in NYC for the last four and a half years I’ve always preferred to hang out inside rather than sit in the park all day or something.

I think it boils down to wanting to be doing SOMETHING. I’m a do-er, I’m not someone who does well just sitting around. Everyday when I wake up I have a plan in mind. For example, my plan for today was wake up, eat English muffin with peanut butter, wash face, put on sunscreen, get dressed, go to the beach, read at the beach for 2-3 hours, come home, eat lunch, sit outside all afternoon, workout around 4pm, have a beer, eat dinner, sit outside reading more, come inside and blog and read blogs, eat fruit, watch Mad Men, eat dessert, wash face and brush teeth, go to bed.

So if I could plan a day where I’d be doing stuff and just happened to be outside that’s fine. But endless stretches of just sitting around terrify me.

(This post is all over the place.)

Lately though, my feelings about being outside have changed. I don’t know if living in the city with no outdoor space has started to wear thin, but now I want to be outside all the time. I’ve started taking walks at lunch, I go running/walking when I get home, and on weekends I want to just hang out and read in the park.

So that’s pretty much the point of this post.


I’ll end with the giant slug on my parents’ umbrella holder. (Looking back it seems so mean how we used to dump salt on them when I was a kid. I know they can be bad for gardens, but why not just pick them up (with a shovel or something) and move them elsewhere? I can’t imagine watching something suffer like that now.)


And the view of their backyard at sunset.

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Monday: The plan was to go running, but it was pouring so I did a whole heck of a lot of lunges inspired by Fitnessista’s 10 Ways to Lunge. I also did 3 minutes of a forearms and toes plank (10 seconds of holding the plank, 5 seconds relaxing).

Tuesday: I went for a 3 mile run (alternating 5 mins. running and 1 min. walking) and did another 3 minute plank. The best part about the run was that my Garmin magically started working. It stopped charging about a year ago so it just died. Granted I haven’t really tried to use it in a year, but the other day I randomly decided to see if it would charge…and it did!


I had been using RunKeeper and and I never felt like it was accurate (which I don’t necessarily blame on RunKeeper, the GPS on my phone isn’t the best). Compared to my Garmin RunKeeper was about .16 off (it was done faster than it should have been).

Wednesday: Plank day! I used another Fitnessista page as a guide. I did 10 seconds of holding a plank and 5 seconds off for the following planks: regular plank, hip twist plank, lifting right leg plank, lifting left leg plank, supermans. I did it once, then I did it again. I also did 50 leg lifts and 50 scissor lifts.

Thursday: All I wanted to do was go for a run. It was supposed to be sunny all day, but it ended up being overcast and rainy all day. It looked like it was clearing up when I left work, but when I got to Brooklyn it was lightly raining. I don’t mind running in light rain (I kind of like it) so I said I’d still go. Then it started down pouring, and kept down pouring until around 8pm. Bye, bye run.

Friday: Tons of walking, but no time for a real workout.

Saturday: I ran 3 miles at my parents’ house (again, 5 mins. running alternated with 1 min. walking). It’s so nice to run somewhere less hilly. But it was humid and I finished a sweaty mess.



What else I’ve been up to

I went to NJ for work on Wednesday.


The work part of my trip went really well and then I did some shopping.


New capris (yay or nay with the coral jacket?)



New wedges. Super comfy.



New espadrilles. I actually need to exchange them. I only tried on the right one in the store and when I got home and put the left one on the left one was smaller. I tried to exchange them Friday afternoon but the Michael Kors store by my office (which has super snooty employees, FWIW) didn’t have an 8.5. I’ll try some of their other stores next week.

I actually have these in gold from last year.


I LOVE them and wore them everywhere last summer. However, after a month the sole fell off, luckily it wasn’t anything crazy glue couldn’t solve.

Then, this year, the whole bottom started falling off.


Again, crazy glue is a miracle worker 🙂 Now I’m probably crazy for buying the same shoes that fell apart on me, but whatever, I love them, I don’t care.


I took the train out to my parents’ house yesterday afternoon. That picture shows the crush of people on the platform with the reflection of the train. The confusion pretty much sums up my trip.


I went to the bank to cash in all my change. When my parents came in for my wrist surgery I had them take the change back with them since it’s so heavy. My bank here has a change machine, but the one in the city doesn’t. The change is actually from the piggy bank I talked about in this old post. I had $61.03!

After the bank I went to Target and the beer distributor.

Then I came home and cooked.


Green Chili Chicken Turkey Burgers from How Sweet Eats.


Triple Double Chocolate Puppy Chow from Food, Fitness and Family (couldn’t find chocolate Chex)


Sweet Corn and Roasted Jalapeno Hummus from How Sweet Eats


I snacked on all my food sitting on my parents patio all afternoon. I also had an Ithaca Flower Power beer (I think it might be my favorite beer). I finished two books. I highly recommend them both.


And after dinner my mom made strawberry shortcake for dessert! And then my dad and I took the dogs for a walk.

Whew! That was a big brain dump. Busy week!

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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.


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?


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.


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



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.


After finishing our drinks we went to visit the goats.


And the mini goats


And the mini pigs


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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This morning I ran the Oyster Ponds 5K. This was my fourth 5K race, but the first race I ran since I ran a half marathon on April 3, 2010. I can’t believe it’s been more than a year!

My dad was the one who wanted to run, as I’ve mentioned I haven’t really been running a lot, so I can’t say I was too excited. But the gorgeous scenery driving out to Orient Point certainly helped.

Nice view driving out to the 5K

It was a very small, local race that was run out of the elementary school. I like when races have a real location because it means nicer bathrooms!

School where the race took place

Here I am before the race. Ready to run! It was very chilly, I kept my long-sleeve shirt on while we waited and even during the race.

Before the race

My dad stretching. He was in a much stranger pose when I first went to take the picture.

This guy with the megaphone was in charge. Overall I thought the race was really well-organized. Granted there weren’t a lot of people (maybe 100-150?), but it was easy to sign in, they had lots of shirt sizes, they were very clear about when and where the race started, they started on time, and the course had mile-markers throughout.

Plus, afterwards, there was plenty of cold water, orange slices, bananas, and bagels. Cream cheese would have been nice but that’s my only (very minor) complaint. 

And here’s me after the race. 

After the race

I finished in 32:48 which is the slowest 5K I’ve run since I started running again. I didn’t have high expectations going in, but I did expect to beat the times I’ve been running in Prospect Park since the park is pretty hilly and this race course was pretty flat. However, my legs were SO tight that it made the first 2 miles pretty unbearable. I even stopped to stretch during mile 2 they were so tight. By the time I got to 3 miles I felt pretty good. Which is the hard thing about running shorter distances. But I was happy. 

They did a really nice raffle and awards ceremony at the end. My dad (who finished in 25:12!!!) won 3rd place in the men’s 55-59 division. The old guys are always so fast!

I sat under this tree stretching for a while.

And then I won 2nd place (out of 2 people!) in the women’s 25-29 division!

Overall a really great race and a good experience. And it didn’t rain!

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