Tag Archives: New York City

Come See Me At the Seed This Weekend

15 May

TheSeedAnnouncement

If you are in the New York City area this weekend, be sure to check out the Seed Expo.  I’ll be speaking!

The Seed is a huge vegan event being held from May 18th and 19th here in NYC at 82 Mercer. There will be lots of delicious vegan food, products, services, world-renowned speakers, films, and more. Best part about the Seed is it’s designed around a more “veg-curious” crowd, meaning if you are not currently vegan but are interested in the lifestyle, it’s a great place to come on out and see what it’s all about.

To my surprise, the organizers of the event have invited me to be a featured speaker! I’m on at 4:15 on Saturday, and will be talking about how to successfully transition to a cruelty-free wardrobe.

Will you be attending the Seed? If so I’d love to meet you so let me know!

Inside Out in Times Square

7 May

JR Times Square
WHAT I’M WEARING // YASO Faux Leather Jacket // H&M Blouse // MAVI Jeans (Old) // CHINESE LAUNDRY Leopard Loafers (old, via Delia’s) // HURLEY Backpack // JUSTFAB Sunglasses

Last Friday, Jim and I took our friends Gina and Mark to MOMA and then headed slightly cross-town to Times Square.  The street artist JR currently has the Inside Out Project set up there and we wanted to check it out and hopefully get to participate.

JR is best known for his portraits, so as part of this project he’s taking portraits of New Yorkers throughout the 5 boroughs and installing them in areas around the city.  To make the process crazy efficient, they have a fully outfitted photography studio truck, so they’ve been moving the truck from neighborhood to neighborhood.  If you visit their Facebook Page, the portraits done around the Rockaways and other Sandy stricken areas are so powerful it makes me well up.  I highly recommend checking it out.

We had heard the photo truck was in Times Square so we took a quick walk over to see if we could participate.  Sadly, they weren’t there due to a 10k race being set up for the weekend.  But we still had a great time enjoying the incredible weather and checking out all the portraits pasted to the sidewalks.

Gina and I also wanted to take the opportunity to take our own portraits amongst the portraits.  How meta, right?

JR Times Square

JR Times Square

JR Times Square

JR Times Square

JR Times Square

The Inside Out Project is supposed to be in Times Square through May 10th. Jim and I are still hoping to make it there one day after work to get ours done. If you participate you have the option to either have it pasted at the site, or to take it home with you. We’d love to have the portraits for our apartment, so fingers crossed we’ll be able to make it happen!

My Weekend According to Instagram

6 May

This past weekend Jim and I enjoyed an extended one, getting to show my college bestie Gina and her boyfriend Mark around town. We covered a lot of ground in three days, and I’m still getting through the few hundred photos I took over the course of the weekend.  Next time I need to learn to stick to one camera and not three!

Here’s some of my favorites I managed to snap on my iPhone and post to Instagram as we were out in about.

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We enjoyed coffee from Caffe Capri EVERY morning.  They seriously have the BEST coffee in Brooklyn // Stopped for brunch at Champs Diner

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We did some serious art gawking, especially at MOMA // Spotted this book at Poseman’s Books in the Chelsea Market and am convinced I need a vegan version of this Mondrian inspired cake for my upcoming birthday this July

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Enjoyed beyond fantastic weather this entire weekend, especially during our visit to the High Line, where I spotted this fantastic mural // There were some new installations along the park that weren’t there during my last visit.  This one in particular was stunning, the mirrored glass made the side of the building blend into the sky

Are you on Instagram?  Hit me up!  My Instagram handle is @BrooklynBliss.

Three Day Weekend

3 May

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After the insane work week I’ve had, I’m super stoked to have a three day weekend effective immediately. One of my best friends from college is passing through NYC with her boyfriend, so Jim and I get to play host and show them around our amazing city.

So far we’re keeping our plans pretty casual, but know for sure we’ll being doing a museum hop and shopping. Based on the forecast, we should have perfect weather.

Have a great weekend!

The Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

22 Apr

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may be aware that on April 6th I woke up ridiculously early to head over to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in NYC to participate in the Civilian Military Combine.

If you’ve never been to the Intrepid, it’s pretty cool.  It’s a museum on a retired aircraft carrier.  I remembered visiting it as a kid and loving it.  So when my friend Lindsay from my Crossfit gym asked me if I’d be interested in participating in the event and that it came with free tickets to the museum, I was sold.  I joined Team Down Bottom Position (named after a popular phrase one of our coaches often uses) and signed up for the event.  Lindsay and our teammate Kristi even made us some great shirts to rock during the event.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

The Civilian Military Combine is a competition that puts civilians against military personnel in a test of fitness.  It starts off with a Crossfit style “WOD” strength component, and then you move onto a 1/2 mile long obstacle course.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

The PIT element consisted of as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes of

  • 7 45 pound push presses
  • 7 26 pound kettlebell swings
  • 7 20″ burpee box jumps

So the goal is to get as many reps as you can in the 7 minutes.  I completed around 89 reps, mostly because I’m slow (or so my coaches tell me).  I’ve been working pretty hard to try to get faster during these types of workouts.  It really makes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

After the PIT, you were immediately sent over to the half a mile long obstacle course.  It consisted of a weighted sled push…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Carrying an insanely heavy sandbag up three flights of stairs and back down…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Monkey bars…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Rope wall climbs…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Scaling numerous walls…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Ladder type walls….

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Carrying large buckets filled with water through a maze…

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

And this lovely obstacle at the end.  It was basically two rope meshes, one on top and one on the bottom.  You had to roll your way through it and pull yourself out the other end.  Holy ab workout.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

We all finished and had a fantastic time!

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Immediately after we finished, we got to explore the Intrepid Museum.  Although it was pretty cold out (it was in the 40’s!), we still had a crystal-clear perfect day to check out all the planes.

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Intrepid Civilian Military Combine

Have you ever visited the Intrepid or completed a CMC Event?  If so I’d love to hear about it!

*Special thanks to Chris for getting all these photos the day of the event.

I’m Speaking at the Seed!

12 Apr

TheSeedAnnouncement

I am so excited to finally get to announce this!

The Seed is a huge vegan event being held from May 18th and 19th here in NYC at 82 Mercer.  There will be lots of delicious vegan food, products, services, world-renowned speakers, films, and more.  Best part about the Seed is it’s designed around a more “veg-curious” crowd, meaning if you are not currently vegan but are interested in the lifestyle, it’s a great place to come on out and see what it’s all about.

To my surprise, the organizers of the event  have invited me to be a featured speaker!  I’m not exactly sure which date I’ll be speaking just yet, but will be sure to let everyone know once it’s been announced.  I’ll be talking about how to best represent the vegan cause through what you wear and how to transition your wardrobe to a cruelty-free one.

I’m honored to be included with a huge variety of renowned speakers in the vegan community, all of which you can see here.  I had a near freak out seeing my name directly next to Brendan Brazier.  His Thrive Sports Nutrition Diet and Vega Sport Performance Protein is keeping me on track with my Crossfit goals so he’s been a huge inspiration for me!

Will you be attending the Seed?  If so I’d love to meet you so let me know!

Cleaning House

4 Feb

Camera Roll-2012

As part of both Jim and my goals for 2013, we really want to purge our entire apartment top to bottom.  Living in NYC, you don’t have a whole lot of room for stuff, and all in all we’re not as bad as most people.  But considering we’re both kinda OCD, our stuff is at this point negatively impacting our psyche and we’re never relaxed around the apartment.

So we’re making it a point, little by little over the course of the next several weeks to get rid of our crap.  I know that’s a strong word, but that’s what it is.

We both kind of came to the sudden realization we’re minimalists.  If we don’t absolutely need it, or absolutely love it, it’s going.

We want our home to be a place where we are surrounded only by things we really, really love and enjoy.  That goes for our furniture, books, art, keepsakes, etc.  Considering our apartment is only around 650 square feet, it shouldn’t take us too long to do what we’re setting out to do.

We’re trying to tackle max one to two rooms at a time, so our focus to start is our kitchen and office.  Both at the start of the year were horribly cluttered.  As we’ve been moving through the process, here’s a few things we’ve learned along the way.

We Were Going to Need a Storage Space

I’ve never been a proponent of storage spaces.  Paying extra each month for an additional “closet” to store your extra stuff you are too afraid to get rid of for fear of needing it at a later date never sat well with me.

In going into this project, the kitchen in particular I really needed to take point on being it’s more or less my domain.  I do all the cooking in our household.  I’ve literally procrastinated for months in getting it done.  Coming into this year and deciding with Jim it needed to be a priority, I took some time to analyze why I had been putting it off.  What exactly was making me so uncomfortable with the project that I didn’t want to start it?

The vast majority of the kitchen goods are all brand new and actually worth some money.  So they realistically needed to be sold and not donated.  In the end I realized I was afraid of having even more clutter around our already small place with all the boxes holding our stuff to be sold.

To solve the issue, we found and got a storage space in our neighborhood with the understanding it will only be used to store items we are selling, and will only be rented for three months.  This way we’re photographing, posting to Craigslist, boxing and immediately bringing the stuff over there.  It’s out of sight, protected, still easy to access, and makes an immediate difference in our space having the stuff gone.  It’s also been nice having potential buyers come to the storage area instead of our apartment for privacy reasons.

We Needed to Streamline Our Possessions to Our Lifestyle

Most of our kitchen clutter was wedding registry gifts from when we got married.  I registered like we live in the suburbs.  We unfortunately don’t.  I also realize now 5 years later that we don’t live a suburban lifestyle at all.  I’ve entertained 2-3 times for Thanksgiving and have never, ever busted out my fine china or crystal.  I’d much rather find it a home where someone will enjoy and use it, than sit out the rest of its days clogging up my cabinets or in a storage area.

We Needed to Re-Think Our Existing Storage Solutions

Back several years ago when we first re-designed our apartment, we purchased a large cabinet with a glass front on it to display all of our wedding china and crystal.  Due to the sheer amount of stuff I had registered for, instead of the cabinet being a beautiful display, it was the eyesore of the kitchen.  So much so that Jim hated the cabinet and really wanted to get rid of it as part of this purge.

After we re-considered what we wanted to keep and cleared the cabinet out, we were left with almost nothing in it aside from some stemless glassware and serving platters.  The cabinet looked fantastic while minimally curated, so we decided to re-purpose it as a bar.  Jim’s always wanted a bar in the apartment, so we turned a piece that was previously an eyesore that we wanted to get rid of into a functional, beautiful storage solution.

We Needed to Identify Systems That Weren’t Working for Us and Fix Them

I love David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) system.  I’ve been using it for years and attribute it to how I can remain so productive while being relatively stress free.  While Allen’s system works well for me as far as task management goes (which I use digitally via my devices and the Toodledoo app), his paper system hasn’t worked well for our household at all.  We have this massive filing cabinet in our office filled to the gills and it was so bad Jim and I both would avoid dealing with the mail because we didn’t know where to put anything.

Most of our bills are received digitally, and I scan most important but disposable documentation into Evernote, so it didn’t take me too long to identify I needed a different filing system that would self purge only the important stuff we absolutely must keep originals on.  Luckily I stumbled across the Unclutter’s blog where she mentioned the Freedom Filersystem.  I purchased one, set it up in part of an afternoon and ever since our mail and filing is no longer an issue.  It’s so easy to use, Jim and I both can now easily go through the mail and process our paperwork within 5 minutes.

So far, this is only around two weekends of work put in on the project and already we’ve had tremendous gains.

I’ll continue to post as we progress, and if anyone has any suggestions of things that have worked for you in taming kitchen and office clutter, I’d love to hear it!  Please share in the comments.

 

Robertas Pizza

9 Nov

Roberta's

Last Saturday, Jim and I dropped off a load of Sandy Relief donations at Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick. We had never eaten there, and figured we’d stay for lunch. That’s not to say we haven’t tried to eat there before. Last time we tried it was closed down due to these folks eating there.

If you’re unfamiliar with Roberta’s, the restaurant somewhat pioneered the Brooklyn food scene and has given Brooklyn a rep for having restaurants just as good as Manhattan, if not better. In fact, the New York Times awarded them a two star review.  I don’t know they’re entire history and story but do know that they actually grow a lot of the produce they use on site.

Roberta's

There was of course a wait when we arrived.  They have an additional bar outdoors in a heated tent, so we sat out there for a bit while we waited for our table.

Roberta's

Roberta's

Roberta's

All the seating is pretty much shared.  So we were sat with another couple on one side and a family of four on the other, all at the same table.

Roberta's

I informed the waitress I was vegan and asked what she recommended, and she was very accommodating. I was recommended the Delicata Salad minus the cheese, which was roasted delicata squash with pea shoots and what I’m guessing was a pumpkin seed dressing.  It was absolutely phenomenal.  After the first bite I understood why Roberta’s was awarded those two stars.

Roberta's

They also made their hash brown potatoes minus the pork hash for Jim.  It wasn’t vegan due to butter, so I couldn’t have it.  He ate the entire thing so I know it must have been delicious.

Roberta's

Can’t go to Roberta’s without trying the pizza.  The Rosso pie is on their standard menu and is  vegan.  It’s very simple with a flavorful garlic tomato sauce.  This pizza was by far the best pizza I’ve ever had in New York.  The crust was perfection, light and crunchy, not too heavy.  I wouldn’t even think of bastardizing this with a layer of daiya.  And I LOVE daiya.  It was that good without it.

The food is just too good not to go again and again.  I’m really looking forward to my next visit.

Roberta's

Roberta's

Surviving Sandy

5 Nov

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A dark, downtown Manhattan.

What a week.

Immediately following Sandy on Tuesday last week, I was pretty optimistic. My 7 mile drive to work was really quick, and aside from a few downed trees there was not much damage between my neighborhood of Williamsburg and where my office is in Canarsie. A few of our employees had no power or issues with trees falling through windows there were dealing with, but more the most part everyone was fine and made it to work okay. Despite having no power, my friends in downtown Manhattan all kept in touch via Facebook when they were able to charge their cellphones, and everything seemed on the up and up. Sure, it was going to take the city a bit to get mass transit back up and running, as well as the power, but that was to be expected.

So in my mind, I continued as if it was business as usual.

Jim and I don’t have live TV and tend to get most of our information on the internet. Since most of my friends are either in Williamsburg or downtown Manhattan, I knew besides not having power that everything for the most part was okay. It wasn’t until we had the news on during lunch at work on Wednesday that I really saw what was actually going on in in the city and the absolute devastation of the Rockaways, Coney Island, Red Hook and most memorably Breezy Point.

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The Rockaway boardwalk, misplaced by the floodwaters from the beach to the streets of the neighborhood.

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A firefighter comes home to his home in Breezy Point to find it burned to the ground.

After seeing the smoldering remains of that small community not minutes from where I go to the beach in the summer, I lost my shit. It took me every ounce of effort not to bawl my eyes out the rest of the day and make it through work and get home.

Starting around Thursday, things got progressively worse. Now there was (and still is) a gas shortage and it affects everyone in the New York City area, including Long Island. Thank goodness Jim topped off my tank Sunday night and my car is very gas efficient. Traffic getting anywhere was (and still is) horrendous. My ride home from work, which usually takes me 20 minutes took me over 90, and it was due to gas lines blocking intersections along with congestion at what few mass transit lines were running. I tweeted this frustration without batting an eye as a selfish means to make myself feel better about this slight inconvenience.

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Gas lines form as gas is rationed here.

Friday, I was a bit more optimistic. I took a different route to work which I sailed through easily, and immediately after work we met up with friends for drinks, which was extremely healing. Everyone, especially in our neighborhood has a certain sense of survivors guilt. Though we’re right on the East River, for the most part our neighborhood was untouched. Getting to talk with friends about what we were seeing around us and in the media made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this guilt.

Feeling somewhat better Saturday morning, I made the big mistake of Googling how my hometown survived the storm. I grew up in a town called Massapequa on the south shore of Long Island. My parents moved further east right after I finished High School, and though they live literally directly on the water, since their home was new construction they accounted for high-tides and built their home up high and their home was totally unscathed. They lost about 20 feet of their backyard, but that’s peanuts compared to what I then learned via Google, and coincidentally on Facebook that morning.

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What’s left of a house in my hometown, not far from the house I grew up in.

My hometown, specifically right where the house I grew up in is, was completely and utterly devastated. I finally broke down and unleashed a week’s worth of pent-up tears, and it didn’t help me feel any better. I suddenly felt horrendously guilty, especially about my tweet on Thursday bitching about the traffic. I at least had a house, and a car. How could I be so insensitive?

Saturday was really the first chance many people had to start volunteering and putting together donations, and that’s when I started seeing messages from old friends from high school, asking for clothing, food, cleanup materials, and more for their themselves, family and friends who have completely lost their homes. I was also seeing posts from other friends in the city biking down to the Rockaways to help with the cleanup. All I wanted to do was get in my car and drive down there and do what I could to help make the situation better. However with the gas shortage, this wasn’t a possibility for me.

After bawling my eyes out and wasting so much time making myself feel even worse surfing the internet, I without thinking put down my iPad, ran to my cabinets and started pulling stuff out. Canned soup, soaps, bottled water, candles, pet food, tissues, pillows, blankets, coats, toiletries. Jim and I usually stock up at Costco, so we had a lot of stuff we could give to people who need it way more than we do.

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All the stuff we donated.

After putting together around 4 giant Ikea bags of donations, we looked up where we could drop them off and learned Roberta’s in Bushwick was taking donations. We drove on over (it was a super short ride, so we used barely any gas) and got there just as a volunteer was filling their car to drive down to the Rockaways. I really commend the volunteers making these delivery trips considering the gas shortage. I hope to be able to do the same thing once gas is easier to find. Having a car in NYC is a luxury and I want to help, but for now the best I could do was clean out my closets and give what I could. It’s starting to get really cold in NYC and I knew people needed those coats.

Jim and I stayed to have lunch at Roberta’s, and while we really enjoyed our meal it seemed so weird that we could easily enjoy this amazing meal while people not even 10 miles from us now are homeless. No matter how hard we’d try, the guilt kept coming back.

That night I made us a home-made comfort meal (my favorite soup, recipe here), and we tried to relax and watch movies. I chose Happy on Netflix, which seems kind of cheesy but seemed appropriate at the time considering I wasn’t very happy and wanted to change that. It actually helped tremendously. The documentary reminded me the path to happiness is not what we have, but how we handle and respond to issues, work as a community, and do what we love to do. This reminded me that I did do my part that morning, and I slept better that night knowing my old coats, pillows and blankets were keeping someone warm and allowing them to sleep comfortably that night.

As I write this now, I realize Sandy’s not going away any time soon. Life will not go back to the way it was before Sandy, ever. It’s going to take us a long time to rebuild, and I can be a part of that in the coming weeks. I can’t keep beating myself up over what I can’t do now. I can instead look and think of what I can do to help moving forward. Day by day, week by week.

Facebook has been pretty tough on me, because it’s a mix of crisis, disaster messages and photos mixed with a bunch of bullshit from friends in family in other parts of the country on them being pissed their team lost the game. Usually on Monday’s I usually try to do a fashion type tutorial post on this blog, but I felt it was more important to let everyone know things are not good over here. I’m not going to compare it to Katrina, because Katrina was worse but Sandy is not far behind it. New York and New Jersey need your help, and donating is the easiest way to do so.

I created a fundraising page to raise funds for the American Red Cross to aid Sandy victims.  Every little bit helps.  If you can find it in your heart and wallet to help and donate, it would mean the world to me.

And don’t you worry about me, I really have nothing to be upset about now. I’m safe, my family is safe, and that’s the most important thing. I’ll eventually get used to this new reality and it will probably happen sooner rather than later.

Image Credits: one | two | three | four | five |

MooShoes Fashion Night Out

12 Sep

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

Last week for Fashion Night Out I got to catch the very last hour of the MooShoes event.  I had a business dinner I couldn’t cancel, and I rushed like a madwoman to get there.  What’s amazing is I made it from Long Island to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in about 20 minutes.  It was pretty insane.

I’m so glad I was able to attend, because they had some fantastic vegan vendors there.  In addition to meeting some of the vendor owners, I also met some Brooklyn Bliss readers, which made my day like you have no idea.  When I wasn’t gabbing my face off, I was checking out the huge array of vegan shoes, handbags, accessories and books. That’s the reason I was there, right?

When it came to doing some shopping, I had been searching for a sleek iPad sleeve for a while, and found a perfect Matt & Natt version while there.  I also finally after years of wanting one put in a pre-order for a Vaute Couture Belden coat.  I can’t wait to get it!

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

MooShoes Fashion Night Out 2012

Were you at the MooShoes FNO event?  What were some of the shopping scores you went home with?

Also, speaking of vegan accessories, don’t forget to enter the GUNAS Milla Wallet giveaway.  It ends on Thursday so if you haven’t entered yet,  get your entry in today!