Scenes from the E train

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One of most frequent questions I get about this blog is “Who is the Holly and who is the Folly?” It is usually accompanied with a little smile because everyone seems to assume that I’m the folly. Humph.  That’s not necessarily true. However considering the inspiration that Danielle’s latest post, SCENES FROM MAISON KAYSER, provided seems to point in that direction.

Last Friday I met up with some old coworkers. We had a really fun time. I tried to finally forgive them for moving on and getting fun new jobs and also making me come to east side. Wine helped with the forgiveness process.  Happy hour was long over by the time we left the bar but that was when the real adventure began.

It all started on the E train around 1ish AM. The first encounter was with a middle aged woman, who was definitely on something hopefully wine, trying very unsuccessfully to make it down the escalator alone. To her defense it was an unusually long and steep escalator. My coworkers were a little scared. The normal protocol for drunk strangers is a solid ten foot radius but in the spirit of we’ve all been there I offered her my help, linked arms and somehow made it down the stairs.  When she started to ask for help getting to NJ that was when I started to get scared.  I had to point her in the right direction and hope for the best, the escalator was all the help I was willing to offer.

Once I split from my friends I was on the platform waiting patiently when I started to eavesdrop on the couple next to me.  NYC is the best city to people watch hands down.  One of my favorite people watching game is trying to decide whether it is a first date or not.  Major flirting was happening but no touching. I was choosing between first and second date when out of nowhere she dropped the boyfriend line in the middle of the conversation.  Another we’ve all been there moment.  Poor kid.

The train finally came and I realized how amused I was and started thinking about everything that I’ve seen on the subway in the past years.  Once I saw a girl faint and completely face plant on the platform, I saw a guy with a huge tree branch that he refused to take off a seat, a kind stranger informed me of a “medical incident” and told me that I might want to pick another seat, baby carriages filled with everything but a baby.   It was only three quick stops to Hell’s Kitchen.  I put on my headphones and power walked home to the new Fitz and the Tantrum’s “Hand Clap”.   All in all Friday was a quiet NYC subway ride.

&t

The Kings Theater with the royalty of Motown

 

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Saturday I had  the pleasure of celebrating my mother’s sixty-second birthday. There is always something special about my Mom’s birthday. For one thing it is on St. Patrick’s day so everyone around us is celebrating too. It also kicks off our family’s consecutive monthly birthday procession. This year we decided to celebrate by going to a concert.  Now my parents have always loved music and dancing. I never had to wonder where I got it from. So when I saw a show for the Temptations and the Four Tops at the newly renovated King’s Theater in Brooklyn, I knew it would be the perfect night. It did not disappoint.

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This theater is beautiful. There is really no other way to describe it. It was opened in 1929 and has all the detailed decadence of that era. Apparently is was a big player in the music scene in the 70s and I even heard a reference to it in Vinyl! It has been closed for years but the restoration was done perfectly and I couldn’t even tell that it sat empty for the past three decades.  A few practical benefits is that there are a million stalls in the ladies room.  Mom and I went during intermission along with the entire rest of the theater and the line was crazy quick.  Also the drinks are the cheapest I’ve seen at a concert in forever. Love it.  The one downfall is that it is far out in BK.  Its not convenient to public transportation and I wouldn’t want to walk alone at night for twenty minute to get to a train.  But we Uber’ed there (is that the right term?) from D’s apartment and it worked out seamlessly.

 

The music was the only thing that could have outshone the theater.   I don’t think I realized how much I loved this music.  I knew that I knew the hits, My Girl and Aint too Proud to Beg, but I didn’t realize how many songs I would be singing my heart out too.  It was so much fun.  The crowd was diverse in age and ethnicity but we were all having the greatest time.   You should have seen my mom, it was the funniest thing.  I have to give a shout out to the older lady in the second row who refused to sit down and was hands down having the best time in the entire place.  My Dad has seen both of these bands multiple times so for him it was a bit bittersweet to see them without so many of the original members.  But for me, it was a special night.

 

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After Saturday I’ve decided on a couple of things.  I need to go see these bands again, my mom just got bumped up to my favorite concert partner and as for the theater my plan is to become a regular.  Also I cannot get Just My Imagination out of my head.  Someone help.

 

&t

The Five Things I’ve Learned This Week

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This week I have been battling a pretty nasty cough/cold. It has made my productivity pretty low this week but has enlightened me on the few points below.

PEOPLE HATE SICK PEOPLE    I feel like I have always known this, me myself being a person who gives the side eye to the person coughing on the subway. But since I haven’t been a sick person for about four years I found that I didn’t know how to act. I tried to just suck it up and go on with my daily routine which did not turn out well.  In the future I will call out sick, stay home, watch tv and go to bed at 9:30. No exceptions. I will not care if that big project is due on Tuesday or if my friends birthday party is two blocks away and just pop in for an hour. No. Noone wants you at work/subway/bar anywhere. Stay home and go to sleep. End rant.

S’WELL BOTTLES ARE THE BEST    I know that I’ve sung the praises of this bottle before, but it saved me by keeping my hot water hot for hours! Seriously when I refused to stay home this water bottle keep my tea almost too hot.

ZAC EFRON saved my life this Monday.  When I couldn’t call out sick from work but needed a mental break every now and then, I could just stop and count Zac Efron’s abs.  Click the link and you will too understand.

FOLLOW TRAVEL BLOGGERS ON SNAPCHAT    These people have better lives than we do, we might as well take advantage of them documenting it.  It was actually a lot of fun to watch their stories when I was a zombie on the couch.

JUST A KIND REMINDER    Popup Dinner Brooklyn 2016 tickets are coming out tomorrow people.  They usually sell out and its a really fun time.  This will be my second year and all you have to bring is your dinner and your wine and wear white 🙂

&t

 

A Tale of Social Sports- Finding Your Inner Flamingo

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Last week someone asked me what my spirit animal. Is it weird that it wasn’t the first time someone has asked me that? Well I love that question because it is unequivocally a flamingo. When I think about why that it is, it doesn’t even really have to do with the animal its self but the team it represents. I’ve been part of a social volleyball team for the past five years, the Drink Flamingos.


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Let me start by saying that I’m pretty terrible at volleyball.  I was never into sports, I was in dance.  Why people feel the need to throw balls at each other’s heads I will never know.  But when one of my best girlfriends wanted to join New York Social Sports Club volleyball team, I thought why not?  I was getting over a breakup, half the pictures were about the bar scene after the game, and I’m definitely tall enough.   We ended up being placed with some mutual friends and a whole group from Kansas.  Who knew there were so many Kansans in NY but believe me they are EVERYWHERE!  So strange.  This first volleyball group has lead to countless seasons, parties, float trips, concerts, and one weird experimental art show that we still don’t really get.

 

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What I love about NYC Social is the community.  If you are new to a city or just looking for new friends, it is the perfect place to find that.  I’ve played volleyball, bowling, scavenger hunts and kickball.  Between the refs and the other teams there are so many people to connect with, and everyone is there for the same reason, to have fun and meet people.  My other favorite part is definitely the bar afterwards.  After all bar champs is on the line.  Honestly, being 25 at the bar is a little different from 30.  I used to somehow manage to talk to everyone at the bar and stay out until 2AM on a Wednesday playing flip cup (at

559001_10151042179706169_1281649934_n which we are champions).  Thursday mornings were not always a lot of fun.  Now its more catching up with my friends over a beer and ordering dinner.  That’s how you know you’re getting old, you order dinner at the bar!

 

 

 

 

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Anyway a new season starting in a couple weeks.  Beach volleyball in April can get cold, but there is nothing like these sunsets.  And if anything can possibly be a recommendation, I think five years of experience is.

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&t

ps- did you know that a group of flamingos is called a flamboyance?

pps- special thanks to other flamingos because i totally stole their photos, especially a Mr. Morgan who created that lovely collage a few years back

 

Preparing to poach

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My new years resolution this year is to do something I’ve never done each month. January was oil painting. I realized yesterday that I haven’t done my February yet. Now I only have three days to think of something and do it. That is why this morning when I woke up, a little too early for Saturday in my opinion, I decided to try poaching eggs for the first time.

I’ve always been afraid to try it.  Not sure why.  Danielle does it all the time.  So I pull up Pinterest and watch some videos.  The technique is basic.  Simmer some water with white vinegar, swirl the water and the dump in the egg.  The warnings are clear on every post, the temperature of the water has to be just right and the egg has to be really fresh.  Well those things just probably are not going to happen.  Also all I have in the apartment is apple cider vinegar.  Well lets do this.  I brought the water up to a boil and then down to a simmer. My first egg I kept in there for five minutes and it was definitely over done.  But honestly the whole thing was really simple.  With a little more confidence and only four minutes this time, my second egg came out perfectly! I love it.   Toast, a little salt pepper and hot sauce.  I only wish I had some avocado to go with it.

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Honestly the whole thing felt too easy to count as my February activity.  But I still have three days and a perfect weekend.

&t

Nothing a little gold leaf can’t fix

After reading Danielle’s latest post about recommitting I have been feeling a little lazy. I mean it didn’t help that it was Monday night, just after eating good Chinese food and watching three hours of bad tv. Maybe I’ll blame it on full moon but at 10pm I became completely restless and decided that I needed to do something right then. To avoid the inevitable online shopping binge, I went over to my craft box and started to search. I needed something quick and easy and with no preparation at all involved.  Enter the gold leaf sheets

 

frame2These beautiful gold leaf sheets have been with me for years because I never deem a craft good enough for them.  Well thats just stupid.  I take out the sheets, tape, my left over green/teal paint from my Guess Who? board and a wood frame that I’ve been wanting to spruce up.   All I needed were those four things.  So I went to work.  I taped up the frame in the design that I wanted so my paint lines would be straight.  I used a foam brush to paint the frame and while the paint was wet, I put the little pieces of gold leaf on there.  Now gold leaf is a little hard to work with.  It kept ripping in my fingers and every time I would breath little pieces were flying everywhere.  Then I would laugh and create more of a mess.  But a little patience and holding my breath, twenty minutes later I was done!  And I hardly used any of my gold leaf.  Perfect.

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This morning I woke up to a beautiful frame.  I am deciding whether to leave the bottom half the natural wood or maybe play around with it, but I have time to figure that out.  An added bonus was remembering that I have chalk board paint!! Thats definitely going into the next craft.

&t

 

 

Girls Night! at DUSK

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I first heard of Daybreaker about two years ago. Its a huge dance party at 7AM. They usually have a yoga session first, you dance for two hours and then go to work.  They seem to have gotten really popular in the last year and now hold them in cities all across the country.   I immediately fell in love with the idea. What better way to start your day? Replace a work out session by dancing all morning. The only problem is that none of my friends will ever go with me. I don’t really blame them, 7AM is a hard sell.  Daybreaker usually throws an event monthly and every month I get turned down by my friends. Humph. Then I got an email about a new event that they are trying out, Dusk.  6:30-10:30, perfect.  1920 prohibition theme, amazing.  The location, secret.  And the one thing I’m sure of is that my friends are suckers for a theme party.

If there was one word to describe this evening it would have to be unexpected.  The secret location turned out to be a big beautiful synagogue on 65th and 5th.  We enter, me with my bright pink feather boa slight buzzed from pregaming, to a huge packed silent room in the middle of a mediation session.  A woman was on stage with a gong chanting.  It was beyond weird and I was completely confused.  Right before I was convinced that we all just got punked they brought out a brass band and got us all up and singing.  Belting out Valerie in a synagogue on the UES has to be one of the odder moments of my life.  Then following the band they moved us procession style downstairs to a huge dance party.  Everyone just went nuts.  It was so much fun.  The other twist in this evening was no alcohol.  And it was National Drink Wine day!  Instead of pinot they had pretzels and water and salad.  I did see a flask or two and I would have paid good money for a glass of wine but I like the idea of taking the alcohol and drugs out of the scene.  IMG_0253

 

 

We danced until about 10 and we were home by 11.  Which helped for waking up for work the next day.  For the $35 ticket it was worth every  penny and since we didn’t pay for drinks it was one of my cheaper nights out.  I don’t know how they are going to top the prohibition theme but I can’t wait to see them try.  Until next time!

&t

Prose and Hos(e)- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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We have a policy at P&H when picking a book; screw the book snobs and the Target moms alike. From Pulitzer Prize winners to Fifty Shades, we try to cover it all (even though I usually whine very loudly about the non fiction choices). This was our view when we selected Jodi’s latest choice Me Before You by Jojo Morales.

Our last meeting was last Tuesday. Katie was adorable and made it a special Galentine’s Day edition with candy hearts.  There was even a “Lets Read” one :).  With the Cabernet opened and the Chinese food ordered we dove into the book.

I will try hard not to give any spoilers.  Me Before You follows Louisa Clark.  Lou is a recently unemployed, still living at home, stuck in a boring relationship young twenty something year old woman.  Desperate for a job, she is placed as a secondary caretaker for a paraplegic man Will.  Will is a handsome and wealthy man and used to be wildly adventurous but was in an accident and now he can’t move most of his body and has very limited movement in his arms.  Will is understandably bitter and is a big ol’ jerk to Lou at first but her quirkiness brings out his humor and they start to build a friendship.  Lou soon finds out that this job is a temporary one because Will plans on killing himself in six months time.  Once she knows this fact she decides that she needs to do everything in her power to change his mind.

In essence this is a story about two people stuck and the journey they take to un-stick themselves.  Louisa is painfully indecisive and in the beginning I just couldn’t connect with her.  However that turned around quickly and she turns out to be quite lovable.  Obviously by the end I loved both Lou and Will.  The secondary characters were also very strong in the book.  Even the characters that you aren’t supposed to love.  Like Patrick, the boring boyfriend, wasn’t mean or someone that Louisa needed saving from.  Will’s mother was cold but as Danielle pointed out, it was obvious that she was just trying to keep her old life together.

All in all I will say that I loved the book.  I also cried a lot.  And even though I cry quite easily and often, this seems to be a universal reaction to the book.  Its an easy read and it goes at a slow steady pace but I did not want to put it down.  The thing I loved about this book besides the unconventional love story is the unconventional perspective.  It makes you question what you would do.  I’ve always had fleeting thoughts about how I would react if something happened similar to Will’s situation.  But what would I really do?   In these circumstances what is considered selfish or selfless?  This book just jumped to the top of the recommendation list because it can hit all the demographics.

Next books for P&H is Danielle’s nominee This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper.  Read along for next month’s meeting!

&t

Goodbye Forever (21)

NYC hates closets.  I know that this is a well known issue but it doesn’t make it any easier.  The fact that I have to somehow transport and store an entire season’s worth of clothes in my parents attic in Staten Island is enough to drive a girl a little crazy.  Then I recently overheard a solution- one in one out.  The idea is simple and effective, every time you bring home a new article or clothing you get rid of an old one .  But can I really do it?

I needed to start with clearing out my closet.  I realized very IMG_0230quickly that I am bordering on hoarder status.  I had things that I haven’t worn in years.  Things with the tags still on from who knows when.  Things that were bedazzled.  Listen I love my polyester neon I heart Ibiza tank that I’ve haven’t worn since I bought it in 2013 but its taking up very valuable drawer space.  My main offender- Forever 21 clothes.  The two biggest problems with F21 is that they are so incredibly cheap that I buy things that I do not need and only about 20 percent fit well.  I could return it but usually I’m lazy and it just sits in my drawer waiting for the time when I will somehow find a way to wear it (which NEVER comes).  Okay so for 2016 F21 is done.  This takes care of half of my problem.

 

The other half is what to do with clothes that I’ve decided to get rid of.  I am broke and some of these pieces in here are really nice but I haven’t paid it forward in a while, so I’m going donate them.  I happen to have a Housing works that accepts donations on 49th and 9th, a half a block away from me!  Here is a complete list of donation centers in NYC.

Now that my shopping is in check and my closet is nice and neat I can implement one in one out.  This could be the start of a much more functional relation with my closet and my wallet.  However it is only February.

&t

 

Girls Night! Brooklyn Navy Yard Edition

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Kellie provided the ticket hookup, Rooftop Reds provided the wine and the Brooklyn Navy yard provided the location for one of the most fun Saturdays I’ve had in a while.

The event was an Ice Wine Festival. Thrown by the brand new Rooftop Reds, they are vineyard that has recently taken up residency on the Navy yard’s rooftop.  I’d never heard of them but I’ve been dying to go to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for years so I jumped on this event as soon as Kellie invited us.  I mean a rooftop with wine is the only way I ever want to spend a Saturday, ever.

So to get there was a bit of a hassle but not a deal breaker.  It was a 10-15 minute walk from the subway and once we got inside the navy yard it took us a minute to figure out what building it was.  However once we got there it was amazing.  This place is soo Brooklyn.  The old school freight elevator, exposed brick, amazing views, its the perfect setting for a BK rr3rooftop vineyard.

I don’t fully understand how they can grow the grapes up here but it was because I was distracted by all the delicious wine.  Danielle is the one who really knows wine and I usually just drink what I like (whats available) but the wine was very good.  Even the Chardonnay which I usually do not like was very smooth and light.  My favorite was rr2Rooftop Reds Cabernet Franc (I now own a bottle) and Finger Lake‘s Riesling.  The wines paired with the finger foods and music and the raffle, it was just a great party.  One of the founders told us that they have a bunch of events that they will be hosting in the upcoming months.  Join the mailing list because this will be a venue that you need to go to.

 

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Now that I’ve done the rooftop vineyard at Brooklyn Navy Yard I’m determined to visit the Kings County Distillery which makes Bourbon and visit the museum somewhere in there as well.  And of course I’m bringing the girls 🙂

 

 

 

 

&t