Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Baaack!

Don't fret my friends! I have returned! I am oh-so sorry that you had to spend the past three days lamenting my absolute lack of presence in the blogosphere, but please know that I appreciate your faith that I would indeed return!

Okay, enough. Thank you for indulging my delusions of grandeur. Rest assured, I had a wonderful Christmas holiday with my family, and was even able to squeeze a couple of local friends in for hang-outs during my extended trip. 2 flight cancellations and overcoming a couple of mild panics regarding the work I was to be missing, and I was actually able to enjoy my extra 3 days of forced vacation. I now feel refreshed, and am eager to hopefully witness another storm since now I've missed what is allegedly something like the 6th worst storm New York City's experienced. Now it's warming up quite nicely so I'm sure soon there will be lakes-a-plenty to be faced at every street corner, the fact which my trust New York coworkers are now lamenting.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here's a glimpse of what met me at the airport last night. In the first photo, what looks like a barrier behind the gray, slushy snow, is actually a snow bank. My first real winter!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Hi friends,

I am writing this blog post from sunny California, as all my flights home to New York were cancelled yesterday and I have been informed that the first available flight out won't be until Wednesday afternoon. That's right, there's a blizzard warning in effect for the New York metropolitan area, JFK was closed yesterday and as such, New Yorkers are apparently instructed to stay inside their homes, and the rest of us who went home for Christmas are not completely unable to return to our New York apartments. It's a sad state of affairs, namely because even with said blizzard warning in effect my good ol' office in Manhattan is still open and ready for business, which I am not unable to take part in. Buh-bye vacation days. Le sigh.

Regardless, I guess we can now say I'm taking one more step towards becoming a real New Yorker. I have my very own first cross-country holiday travel horror story! 20 inches in snow in Central Park last night, according to The Guardian. And all this after musings going on by coworkers that since last winter was so cold, I may have a mild winter for my first in the city.

Forgive me if postings are few and far between until Thursday, this may be a forced use of scarce vacation days for me, but I may as well run some West Coast errands and take walks by the beach, I figure. Stay warm East Coast friends! I hope to be back among you soon!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Travelling Triumph!

My trip to Harrisburg was easily one of the most relaxing times I've had since moving to Manhattan. Staying with good friends always makes for an incredible time, but there is something about the homey-ness of someone else's family home - without the stress and constant frenzy of it being your own home, with its specific obligations, family members to see, and conversations to keep up - that makes visiting friends' parents homes my new ideal.

Add this to the fact that the home in which I was staying was newly-built and fabulously open and airy, and I had a Wednesday that felt as relaxed as an entire weekend in the country. I took the train out of and back into New York City and within 3 hours I was in the countryside, in the company of great friends. We spent the day on Wednesday touring the Gettysburg battlefields and receiving incredibly informative lessons that finally, for the first time in my life, made the Civil War start to come alive for me. Looking at the actual hills and spaces in which Union and Confederate troops clashed was truly eye-opening. Brought history out of the pages of the books, if you will. It's a shame that it took until I was 27 for me to have enough interest to find so much joy in this knowledge.

Nevertheless, with these pictures below I bid you adieu as I return to California early tomorrow morning to celebrate Christmas with my family, and squeeze a couple of friend-reunions in to boot. Returning to California is becoming consistently exhausting, mostly because I can't fly in under cover of night and not tell social contacts of my return to the west coast, since holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are sort of givens for transplants' returns to their nests. Nevertheless, I'm sure I will have a wonderful weekend, and I wish you all joy and cheer if you celebrate Christmas this weekend as well!
 {What we looked out upon while making a breakfast of pancakes and bacon}
 {They have a pond on their property! With binoculars you could see little footprints traipsing back and forth in the snow on the iced over water}
{You can hardly see them at all, but there were wild turkeys that ran about and would stop to feast on what used to be an old soy bean field, before running off again}
 {These trees, just outside one of the living room windows, looked sort of elegantly creepy with their branches so bare and clawing towards the sky}
{As the afternoon continued on, the clouds continued to make beautiful streaks across the sky}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Excursion Excitement

I leave tomorrow for my Harrisburg rendezvous with two dear friends and their parents. I am incredibly excited, presumably because this will be my first time getting out of New York since I moved here, coupled with the fact that I am always excited to get to spend time with this particular family.

Everyone around me seems positively flummoxed as to why I would travel "all the way" to Harrisburg for a single day via train. Please. This is a 3-hour train ride. I used to travel that far, driving myself, to visit friends in Los Angeles for a day. I'm going to be able to sit in my train seat, ideally look out of a window, and read my book, all the while anticipating a lovely weekend spent in a lovely home with lovely conversationalists and that comforting, home-y feeling that only comes with people you have known for years. I can't help but think that this will be a perfect way to finally get my head into the "holiday" space and I'm very excited.

As such, however, I will be taking the day off tomorrow and I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Oh, and these shots have really nothing to do with anything save that they are Christmas tree ornaments, and I like sparkly things. Ciao, ciao!

Monday, December 20, 2010


My lobby, bless its heart, has gone all out for the holidays. I snapped a few shots to get everyone in the mood this week-o-Christmas. I must admit, it seems like Christmas comes faster and faster, with less and less anticipation and fanfare every year for me lately. I sort of miss the sweeping anticipation that used to accompany this holiday. Still, decorations like these help to make the season bright no matter what my excitement level may be.

I can't believe on Friday I'll be flying back to California to celebrate Christmas with my family! Life does indeed move pretty fast Ferris. It does indeed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Party 2010: Success!

I am pleased to report to you that my company's holiday party was a success last night. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. This is easily the "youngest" company with any actual business acumen that I've ever worked for, and it showed at this fiesta - the dance floor filled up as soon as people walked in the doors. Add to this the fact that the venue was absolutely beautiful, and I experienced the first holiday party that I thoroughly enjoyed attending. I even hit up the after-party for a good few minutes, although my aching feet couldn't handle too much more. By 11:30 I had put myself into a cab back home, and crawling into bed that night, the arches of my feet had never been happier at being bare.

One downside of the night? I lost my driver's license somewhere between the after-party and waking up this morning. Being as I scoured my room, my coat pockets, and the bathroom, I can only assume it's on the floor of the bar, or the floor of the cab. Feels like a Saturday night and yet, it was a Thursday... Either way, I guess I won't be going out this weekend after all, and will be getting a NY ID!
{The Capitale, site of Holiday Party 2010}

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I was fully intending to regale you with a review of the second half of the play festival mentioned in yesterday's post. However, I switched bags last night and left the program in my other satchel, so now I have no clue of names, titles, etc. As such, you shall have to be satisfied with the fact that tonight is my company's holiday party! Here's hoping no one makes a complete fool of themselves. The last corporate holiday party I went to, resulted in a next-day-lay-off of one employee who got a little too provocative in her dancing. And no, it wasn't me. Geez you guys.

Anyway, here's to whatever shenanigans may or may not happen tonight! Happy Thursday to the rest of you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We The Corporate Personhood 10 Minute Play Fesival; Series A

Quite by chance I stumbled across an Internet smattering of affordable theater outings in New York City - embarrassingly I've since lost the various websites. The only event for which I managed to make a reservation was a production by collaboration between the Horse Trade Theater Group and the Subjective Theater Company, and presented in two different series. Part A was last night and it was a very satisfying theater tasting.

"Seward, Kansas", written by Matthew-Lee Erlbach and directed by David F. Chapman starred Josh Bywater and Annie Newhall in a well-crafted post-apocalyptic tale. Perhaps a little light in the face of such adaptations as McCormac's "The Road" for the big screen, these two actors lit up the stage, even while I wish each character could have been fleshed out considerably.

"Light Sweet Crude", written by Melisa Tein and directed by Nicole A. Watson starred Kathleen Choe, Khris Lewin, Ajay Saptute and Cotton Wright and was a clever take on the Deep Water oil spill that devastated the Gulf Coast so recently. A little heavy-handed on the corporate greed vs. working man struggle, it struck me that the oil spill was perhaps more a conveniently rage-inducing disaster than a well-plotted intent. Still, Khris Lewin seemed to take the most steps towards an arc for his character.

"The Thrilling Comedy of the True Beneficiaries of the 14th Amendment". written by Julia Holleman and directed by Steve Gillenwater, and starring Erin McCarson, Brian Whisenant and Toby Levin, is self-descriptive in its titling and was a very clever take on a seemingly never-ending political struggle. I felt Erin McCarson shined the brightest in this performance, creating a refreshingly stereotyped character which still possessed soul and drive.

The final play of the night, "They Think Our Favorite Color is Green", written by Patricia Ione Lloyd and directed by Pat Golden was truly a wonderful choice as grand finale for the night. Starring James Holloway, Anthony Gaskins and Franck M. Juste, this story touched on race relations, male bonding, culture, and friendship in an easy, casual way. Honest and simple, I felt that this play fit beautifully into the tight time constraints this festival placed on itself, the relationships felt real, the characters were embraceable in their own presentation, and the friendships were incredibly believable.

According to their program, the Subjective Theater Company "is dedicated to presenting socio-political theater at no cost to" audiences. As such, the fact that the show consisted of 4 short plays presented in quick succession made it perfectly reasonable. Add to this the fact that these 4 plays were good, engaging productions with strong, if quick, storylines, and you have a theater festival I would recommend to all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby's First Snow!

Okay, I am not referencing anything more than a stereotype for the excitement I'm feeling being akin to that which new parents surely feel at all their child's firsts. This is not a reference to "Dirty Dancing" or to any existence of a baby of my own. I am the baby in that title. And it is not actually my first snow. But it is my first snow as a New Yorker. And mambo-jambo, did I ever love walking to work through it. Upon getting to work, mind you, I was jadedly reminded by coworkers that "That's not snow. Wait til your first blizzard." Chya, I can't wait!

Anyway, this snow was most thrilling to me because the temperature dropped so drastically between Sunday and today. Sunday brought with it rains that were torrential but air that was in the 50's all day. Turn around two days later and there's snow flurries and finally actual snowfall overnight, and today it's 20 degrees with a windchill factor putting us in 9 degree weather. That's right! This Southern California girl walked to work, ostensibly, in 9 degree weather! Oh, you are too kind, please, please, hold the applause, it's getting embarrassing.
 {Lazy, rainy Sunday}
 {What I woke up to this morning!}

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fifth Avenue Walkabout

I've always heard wondrous things about New York City at Christmastime, and I must admit that I love experiencing all the holiday cheer for myself. One of the pinnacle occurrences for which tourists seem to visit New York this time of year, are the high-end store windows. So, to get into the spirit of the season, a friend and I took a wander down Fifth Avenue last weekend, to brave the crowds and glimpse what we could see of all the lovely scenery. Here's a pitiful few snapshots for your enjoyment!

And yes, there are more shots, but they are trapped on my camera and as such the actual windows are not on display here. What can I say? For a blogger I'm embarrassingly technologically challenged.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New York Lights

A-ha, finally! Technology has not completely bested me. I can now show you my blurry, slightly out-of-focus, but taken with full excitement and presented with love, photos of my walk home in the hopes of filling all of you with the holiday spirit.

One of my favorite things about being able to walk to work is the fact that I can mix up my commute. Generally speaking, I keep winding my way towards my apartment (or the office, depending on the time of day) so that I never have to wait at a corner for a light to change. As such, I am able to see quite a lot of the New York that exists in the 20 or so blocks between my apartment and my office building. Here are some photos of the lights that have greeted me over the past couple weeks during black, windy evenings.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A comment from yesterday's late-afternoon post, by the ever-talented Meg - with whose blog I'm obsessed, by the way - made me very happy. Because she spoke the truth regarding buying local. If we all buy local, demand goes up, making prices go down, and it's no longer so much of a struggle to encourage going local. It would just be the way things are.

Which, to some of us, is how we grew up (Hi Mom and Dad!), making things suddenly fall into place when you see that as an adult you, too, have an option between buying your foods locally for the week or going out to dinner in a restaurant that night. Maybe you (like me) just can't afford to do both, yet the former makes you feel empowered, nourished and strong throughout the day, and the latter makes you (or is it just me?) feel somehow unsatisfied, puffy and poor. And to some, it's a new, eye-opening experience to learn just how much cost there is to the environment, and the destruction of local community, to get an apple from the orchard in which it was grown, to your table.

Yes, everyday we make choices, and I do think Americans are becoming more aware of the purchasing power we hold. However, we could do so much if we harnessed that purchasing power en masse, all buying local, all buying organic, thus giving those local farmers who grow organic produce more power, making it only fiscally sensible for grocery stores to get their produce from these same farmers because they can no longer sell the produce they get shipped in from across the country.

Companies will change when it will earn them money to do so. (The same goes for clothing manufacturers, shoe producers, and so forth as well as produce production of course, but that's a story for another day. A small step is certainly a worthy-enough start.) If we were to all stop purchasing produce from grocery stores, and only buy them from local markets, grocery stores would have no choice but to follow our lead. This creates community at the local level ("We did this!", pats on the back and so forth, along with the fact that Farmer Joe, who you see at dentist from time to time, who farms on the outskirts of town grew the tomato you cut up for your dinner salad), as well as a much stronger ecosystem on the whole. Never mind the fact that we'll all come away with plumper, juicier pomegranates, more fruit for our money, and a feeling of pride that we're truly helping the rest of our community, simply by doing our weekly grocery shopping.Small steps make a big difference when we all take a couple, so when you can, buy a local orange, and know you have my thanks, at the very least.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Buy Local!

Yes, I know buying local can be more expensive than buying at the grocery store, and I am certainly no poster child for local living. However, I am aware that local is the best way to go - for ourselves as well as for everyone around us and for the earth itself - and when I have a little extra breathing room in the budget, I prefer to go to local Farmers' Markets and "treat" myself to truly locally grown foods. My most recent purchase was some local honey, from Brooklyn, although now that winter is approaching I'm not sure how Farmers Markets fair in this part of the country...

But I digress!

The point of this post was for you all to check out this photo (from "life according to celia"). The left pomegranate was purchased from a grocery store, the one on the right was purchased at her local Farmers' Market. Picture-perfect proof that you may just get more for your money going local!

Chanukah Party!

I went to a Chanukah party last night, which was truly one of the most fun nights I've had since moving to New York. A girlfriend I know from California hosted, and her friends proved to be truly wonderful conversationalists and easy laughers, which always comes together to make for the best first-time-meetings. We had a White Elephant gift exchange which turned out to be much more fruitful than these things normally are, homemade latkes were available in abundance and even scrumptious meatballs made a delicious appearance. Caprese skewers made an appearance, three delicious cheeses, and lots of wine and gelt were shared. It was an eat-a-thon! Couple the great attendees with such great food, and you had a celebratory night that truly made me feel the holiday spirit. However, as a shoddy blogger, I took no pictures to highlight the night, so instead you are left with what I could find to generically signify Chanukah. Apologies for the jealousy-inducing joy expressed above, as well as for the lack of personalized photos. Rest assured, however, that our food looked just as good (if not better) as those pictured below. Thanks for a great night Debra!
(Also, brava to you and yours if you noticed that I have indeed spelled Chanukah two different ways in this blog already. You will go far in life with you keen observational skills.)

 {All photos found by googling the representative photos' respective nouns}

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I am coming upon the unfortunate realization that I honestly may not do much once winter cold really hits...I had fully intended to go to the gym yesterday after work, and literally began the walk there, before I turned around and walked home. I just couldn't bear the thought of being anywhere except snuggled in a warm bed. I suppose this could be blamed on the fact that while it was 32 degrees last night, with wind chill it was 23 degrees, and that's cold. All the more cold if you are from the land exemplified in yesterday's pictures. So, in the spirit of entering a season of cold and more cold, here's some piccys of things that would make the whole winter just a little bit nicer.

{All pictures thanks to ACupofJo}

Monday, December 6, 2010

Switch It Up

I was going to post pictures of the cozy, twinkling, holiday lights that I myself see on my way to and from work each day. It was going to fill you with holiday cheer and all that. However, I seem unable to upload those pictures. So instead, I'm going to show you significantly higher-quality photos of the Land I Left Behind - fitting on a day when I walked to work in the first snow flurry of the season! Quite the juxtaposition with these pictures. Yes, you may question why I left the landscapes below (San Diego, CA) to come to the wintery north. Rest assured it was the right decision, for now at least. Enjoy!
 {Pacific Beach}
 {San Diego palm trees}
[All photos are from FashionToast.]

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fill 'Er Up!

Ah friends. We have made it to Friday. This week wasn't even long or exhausting for me, but it's just nice to know you get a little break. It's good for the soul. But no kick-off to the weekend can start off on the right foot without a healthy breakfast, right?! And so, I introduce to you my newest favorite breakfast. Greek yogurt with ground blueberry-infused flax seed and a dried berries granola combination. All purchased with love from Trader Joe's, and eaten with gusto every morning this week.

As my family knows, I grew up hating breakfast. I used to skip it entirely. I'm awful about making time to eat it before I leave for work (or used to leave for school) and while was in school it was impossible to eat in class, so I just skipped the meal. Now that work allows for noshing at one's desk, breakfast has been newly introduced to me. (Ha! See how I used word-choice to make it seem like eating at one's desk is a privilege rather than the slow sucking of any semblance of free time? Glass is always half-full, my friends)

I throw the yogurt into reusable Tupperware, toss the flax seed and granola into a reusable Ziploc baggie, and I'm good to go! And this meal, I love. I know it doesn't look appetizing -and Greek yogurt can take some getting used to - but I promise you the mix of flavors and textures in this breakfast will delight your senses! And with all these healthful, nourishing ingredients costing less than $13 and lasting me for a little over a weeks worth of breakfasts, what's not to love?! Now go to, and have a wonderful weekend!