Archive for the ‘play!’ Category

New York Adventure Day: Red Hook!

May 21, 2010

It’s Spring, people! But with this weather we’ve been having in New York (oy the heat!), you could easily trick me into believing it’s summer. Regardless. It’s warm. It’s lighter later. Let’s get on our bikes and find some ice cold beverages.

Welcome to one of my favorite new neighborhoods: Red Hook!

I feel like I’m telling the world about a great secret whenever I talk about Red Hook. Although many have explored and enjoyed the neighborhood before lil’ ol’ me came along, it still feels like uncharted territory. It has a small community feel and a very beachy vibe. And as a California girl, it really felt like home. It’s the type of place that makes me wanna listen to Jack Johnson and take a long nap. And maybe bring along a sketch book.

The first time I visited, I remember thinking, “This type of place exists in New York? And it’s a mere 20 minute bike ride from my apartment??”

I tell ya, it’s worth the trip.

Not only is Red Hook home to the only Ikea in New York, and the 2nd location of the huge amazing market, Fairway. But it also hosts a number of delightful small businesses (which is the more appealing aspect of Red Hook to me personally). You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a delicious bakery, or a homegrown nursery or flower shop, or a fresh lobster place. They have everything!

With a free Saturday and a loose gameplan, my boyfriend and I set out to do some Red Hook exploring last weekend. Here are the highlights.

Calexico. Holy moly. This is some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in New York. I felt like I was transported to San Francisco. They’ve been getting some crazy press (they used to be just a food cart, and now they have this store front! YAY Calexico!), so I was eager to see what all the buzz was about.

This food was outrageously good. It was the perfect fuel to keep us going for our bike ride. The atmosphere is not pretentious at all and the food is such good quality. Calexico gets an “A+” in my book. And David was very pleased as well.

Please allow me to recommend the Carne Asada Quesadillas. Promise me that you’ll get this when you go there. It was a recommendation from my friend Jessica, who said to me: “I know, I know, quesadilla?  What are you, 11?  I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed because it comes with the crackiest of crack sauces I’ve had in a long time”. She was right. The Crack Sauce. Mmm! Don’t even get me started. Here’s their website.

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Free kayaking! WHAT!? Yes. Red Hook is, apparently, just that cool.

As a totally unplanned unexpected bonus, David and I happened upon this amazing program sponsored by the volunteer organization called the Redhook Boaters. The kind and good-hearted people of Redhook Boaters set up shop at Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park (phew, what a mouthful!). And in exchange for helping them clean up the waterfront, they provide free kayaks to take out on the river. With gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty and the satisfaction of knowing that the Red Hook waterfront has a few less cigarette butts and bottle caps as a direct result of your help, an afternoon spent at the Pier is a win win!

It was a blast. And a pleasant little work out! When we got there, it wasn’t super crowded and we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes for a kayak. But I would recommend checking it out soon before word gets out that this is the best deal in the city. They’ll be at the Pier every Sunday, and during July and August they’ll be adding evening kayaking on Thursdays from 6-8pm! Checkemout.

Say hello to Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies. If you’re a key lime pie person (which, why shouldn’t you be?), then fuggedaboutit. Yer done. This is all you need. These little treats are off the hook.

David and I kept things classic with their 4-Inch Key Lime Tart. But if you’re lookin’ to get crazy, try their Swingle: a key lime tart, on a stick, dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. I have yet to sample one myself, but I hear good things.

I heart Red Hook. It’s so quiet and charming…in an abandoned-warehouse-beach-town-sorta-way. There are a few other wonderful little places that I love, but didn’t mention in this post.  They are definitely worth a visit:

*Baked – their Sweet & Salty Brownies make me weak. And check out Jen’s delicious blog post about her first time at Baked!

*Fort Defiance – order their Muffuletta and Ginger Soda, and you’re looking at a perfect lunch.

*Saipua – a flower and soap shoppe, this is the best-smelling storefront in Red Hook. The gorgeous bouquets that they post on their blog cheer me up daily. (Click here to check out my amateur, but beautiful, bouquet I assembled there!)

Holy Hiatus

May 3, 2010

Remember when I started an exciting new fulltime job back in September? You don’t? Oh. That’s okay. Here’s a refresher.

Just because I seemingly never talk about my office job on this blog, doesn’t mean that it’s not a huge part of my everyday life. In fact, it is actually the one commitment that is currently taking up the vast majority of my time.

That’s about to change.

In 2 weeks, I’m a free agent. I get a summer vacation. Like a teacher! The reason being: my job is seasonal. Working on a TV show is apparently not a year-long commitment. So this summer I will be experiencing my first official “hiatus”.

When I started this job back in September, the Summer Hiatus that my boss spoke of couldn’t have seemed farther away. But all of a sudden, it’s a mere 2 weeks from now, and I still have very little idea what I plan to actually do with my time off! I recognize that this is a pretty cushy problem to have. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not crying over the fact that a summer vacation is essentially built into my work schedule. I’m just trying to wrap my head around the fact that very soon, I won’t be responsible for reporting somewhere 5 mornings a week.

My day-to-day schedule will have no structure. Wait, I take that back. My day-to-day schedule will have whatever structure I choose. This thought is both empowering and intimidating.

When I’ve lamented about this recent fear of free time (new blog title?), a friend who also works in casting reassured me: “Trust me, you’ll find things to do. You’ll meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. You’ll sleep in. You’ll go to yoga. You’ll be fine.” In the words of Buckwheat: Oootay.

I have a basic idea of things I could willingly spend my time doing. Like focusing more attention on the bakery, and performing with Harvard Sailing Team, and taking that occasional yoga class. And I’m hoping to be able to squeeze an *actual* vacation in there too! David and I were toying with the idea of Greece, but now I’m thinking maybe Costa Rica? Without any flights booked or hotel rooms reserved, it’s all still a bit of a dream. But if I can manage to get in some pool time in a foreign place, sipping tropical cocktails, and taking long summer evening walks, I’d consider it a hiatus well spent.

With all of these prospective summer options laid out in front of me, I realize how lucky I am to even have this opportunity to take a break from the 9-5 lifestyle. Which makes these months off feel even more precious! I must remember to get off my own back about Making The Most Of Every Second Of My Hiatus, and instead focus on How Do I Choose To Spend My Day Today.

Maybe I’ll just take up an instrument. Like the accordion. Ooh sexy.

Or maybe, as soon as May 20th actually gets here, you’ll find me taking long naps under that heavenly magnolia tree in Prospect Park.

Happy Quichester!

April 7, 2010
homemade quiche and pie, made by MacKenzie

homemade quiche and pie by MacKenzie

french toast stuffed with ricotta

beautiful birthday girl

Who’s a Jew that loves Easter and has two thumbs?

>Points thumbs enthusiastically at self<

This guy.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from a mild case of Goy Holiday-envy. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I play my “Holiday playlist” nonstop, and I don’t retire it until a few weeks after new years. I’ve never had a christmas tree, I’ve always yearned for my own stocking over the mantle, and I didn’t even fully understand what a Cadbury egg was (it’s a chocolate shell but the inside is filled with white and yellow goo?) until just a few years ago.

This past Sunday was a heavenly delight. One of my best friends’ birthday’s coincided with Easter this year. So like any good shiksa would, she planned an Easter brunch. And we called it an Easter slash Birthday brunch. And it was at my apartment. And I couldn’t wait. Not only was I co-hosting an Easter brunch, but I also got to participate in my FIRST EVER EASTER EGG HUNT! I heard that, apparently, traditional easter egg hunts take place outside, preferably in someone’s yard.  But due to limitations of my Brooklyn apartment (mainly the fact that I don’t have a yard to speak of), we did an urban version: eggs were hidden in my bathroom and living room.  Hey, good enough for me!

The whole experience was just as I had imagined: exhilarating, hilarious, and drunk. And delicious. There were Rolos and Hershey Kisses inside!

Enjoy the photos, and Happy birthday, Natalie!

Festival of Lights

December 15, 2009

Happy hanukkah, everybody!  My roomies and I hosted a hanukkah party on Sunday that was a smash hit!  What’s great about Hanukkah, from a busy person’s perspective, is that it’s 8 nights long.  So there’s a lot of leeway in terms of potential party dates.  And the 3rd day is just as important as the other 7 days, so…come light the menorah. Let’s have a party. We’ll all dance the hora.

What started out as an innocent idea to have a few people over for latkes and wine, quickly turned into a large potluck party with multiple rounds of Drunken Dreidle (my brother came up with it: a drinking version of the classic spinning top game from every Jew’s childhood) and dozens of delicious jelly doughnuts!

A fun time was had by all — even the goys were into it.  The latkes fried and the oil flowed.  For a first time Hanukkah party-thrower, I’d say it was a success.

A Very Voorheesville Thanksgiving

December 1, 2009

The friends and good times…

And then there was food…

Well, that just about sums it up.  A 3-day vacation with some of my besties was just what the doctor ordered.  New York City is a funny place – I love it dearly, but every few months I just need to get the hell out.  And the crisp air of upstate New York, amazing comfort food, and some serious 3 on 3 basketball games were a the perfect little rejuvenators.  It was nice to have all the space in the world to run around, and also to have the option of staying in pajamas till 5pm.

With December practically here (holy cow, what!?), I’m hoping to take some more time off, and go visit my family in California during the holidays.  But procrastination really got the best of me this time, and airline tickets are already in the $600-$700 range!  Eeep.  Not an option.  I’m praying for a miracle, or some mercy from Virgin America.  Otherwise, I might have to get creative and plan a train-able/zip car-able/hitchhike-able East coast adventure for myself!  Any ideas?

And now I’m back in the city.  Back to the daily grind.  Everyone at work today was moving just a bit slower than usual.  It seems I’m not the only one who wasn’t quite ready to return from vaycay.  Or the lethargy could also be attributed to everyone’s happy little lingering buddha bellies filled with mashed potatoes and pie.

Wait a Second, I LOVE This Time of Year!

October 29, 2009

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Okay, look.  I know I said that I was bumming out about my birthday fast approaching.  But truth is, that was last week.  And today’s another day.  And today?  I love the fact that it’s Fall, and the end of October, and holycowMyBirthday’sINTWODAYS!!  PARTY!  CANDY!  CAKE!

I’m quickly overcoming my case of the “Birthday Blues” and I’m now entering Phase II: “Birthdays Rule!”  Tonight I’m looking forward to getting drinks with the girls at this new neighborhood spot in Park Slope, and the celebrations continue on Saturday night with a big ol’ spooky birthday house party!  Word on the street is that the DJ has put together some ill tunes, appropriate for dancing allll night long.

And check out the seasonal fun I was having at this pumpkin carving party last weekend!  I was seriously looking forward to this event for weeks, and it didn’t dissappoint.  I have a few scars from all the stabbing and gutting, but who said pumpkin carving was cinchy?  Thanks to Mason, Selina, and her dad, Gregory, for generously hosting this fabulous party! (Stay tuned for pics of my pumpkin!)

No Dogs Allowed

October 13, 2009
my boyfriend, the dog

my boyfriend, the dog

awww!  signing autographs
awww! signing autographs

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This weekend I had the pleasure of watching my boyfriend, David, don a head-to-toe dog suit and run around barking and wagging his tail. 

He made me very proud.  His portrayel of El Exigente, the title role of the kids show now playing at the Atlantic Theater, No Dogs Allowed!, was incredibly energetic and adorable.  He told me that this was actually one of his most challenging roles: no lines, no songs, a lot of jumping up and down, a little bit of tango, and endless panting.   

His particular rendition of a dog was very rough’n’tumble, which in my opinion, is the best kind of pooch.  It reminded Shawna of her loving, stinky, and endearingly dumb doggie Jake, and brought back a flood of fond memories for her.  After the show, all the actors waited in the lobby to sign autographs (including the playwright, Sonia Manzano, MARIA FROM SESAME STREET!!).  All the kids ran up to David, hugging him and telling him their favorite part of the show.  It was pretty frickin’ cute.  

Our friend, Chloe also did an awesome job of playing “Shorty”, a clairvoyant and tough seven-year-old!  It was a great show — if you babysit in NYC, or have little cousins, or you’re just looking for something innocent and sweet to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning, check it out!  

Click here for tickets and more info.IMG00455

Hi-Ho, Silver!

October 6, 2009

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Hello again.  Thank you for allowing me to take a little hiatus from blogging.  Rest assured (mom, Jen, and Marina — my faithful followers), I’m back now.  It seemed that my heart, body, and mind were asking for a little break from the blogging and the internetting lately, so I granted myself most of August, all of September, and a touch of October to be free from this blog and “virtual reality” as much as possible.  As a result, so much has gone on in my “physical reality”, that I’m just bursting to share all the new news.  To my old readers, welcome back!  To my new readers, welcome now! 

In true Faryn fashion, I could talk about this stuff for hours.  But I hope not to over-blog you too much with this first post.  So to bring you up to speed, here are the major points (and links) of interest, and I’m sure the rest of the details will be sprinkled throughout the coming posts.

  • Jen quit her job! (YAY big time!)
  • I bought myself a bike (her name is Pizza Party and she’s pictured above and below)
  • Harvard Sailing Team finished filming our summer video series project, and now we’re in post production.  (Sorry.  To those in the biz, “post”).   We performed in front of hundreds of students at the NYU Tisch freshman orientation.  And now we’re 1 month into performing our ALL NEW Saturday night sketch show!
  • Our little bakery, Fanny & Jane, has kept nice ‘n’ busy.  In addition to our usual here’n’there orders, we’ve done sweets for our friend Dan Klein’s birthday/open mic/Brooklyn loft party, provided the delectable edibles for hot new designer Susan Woo’s Fashion Week presentation event at NYC’s Hudson Hotel (pics of the yummy sweets here, pics of gorgeous event here), and most recently, we made trios of our shortbread jam thumbprints for a bridal shower party favors!
  • Had a true Labor Day.  “True Labor Day” = an overnighter in Connecticut with friends and the boyfriend, complete with poolside exhilaration, a hot tub, delicious food, a bonfire, and a joy ride in MGs from the 80s, 60s, and 40s (!).  All was made possible by the generosity of Tim and his family.  Fortunately, Jen and Marina were there to photo document. 🙂
  • After a completely unexpected turn of events, I quit my part-time job as an office administrator for a handbag and accessories company (GASP!)
  • After a completely unexpected turn of events, I now have a new full-time job working in casting for a popular television show (DOUBLE GASP!)
  • In lieu of a missed trip to Burning Man this year, “the crew” and I went on a camping trip in Taconic State Park.
  • Mad Men is my new religion. 

Ah.  Feels good to be back.

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Birthday Boy(friend)

August 5, 2009

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He’s looking rather devious here.  This was from last year’s birthday’s breakfast in bed (I’m big on that).  I’m big on birthdays in general.  Some people like to really play down their birthday and others like to make a big stink.  Not surprisingly, I fall into the second category – I prefer a fan fair.  Not just when it comes to celebrating my own birthday, but I also like to make a big production out of the birthdays of the people I love.  I just can’t believe that everyone wouldn’t want their birthday to be a big grand hoopla!  But I suppose that’s my own issue.

Now, not to toot my own horn, but I gotta say it will be difficult for me to top what I did for my boyfriend’s birthday last year.  It was a day full of surprises.  You’re dying to know what we did?  Okay.  I’ll tell you!  🙂

First I made him b-fast in bed (standard.  a classic).  Then we went for a couples massage (our first time!).  Then we took an elevated gondola to Roosevelt Island to have a quiet and eerie picnic (back in the day, the island used to house the city’s main prison, a smallpox hospital, a disease research laboratory, an insane asylum, a fort and a lighthouse!).  After noshing on grapes and salami and baguette, we came back to the east village for a surprise party with a ton of his friends.

This year I don’t have an entire day planned, but I do have something exciting up my sleeve.  We are going out to celebrate tonight (his actual birthday is on Friday), but since tonight’s activity is a surprise, I can’t reveal any details here yet – sorry, David!  Looking forward to our special date tonight.

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**Jen has generously given me the night off from Fanny & Jane tonight, but if you have a hankering for your Wednesday-night sweets, she will be selling our red velvet cake bites and other delectible edibles at the PIT tonight!

We Gave Her a Big Tip

July 22, 2009

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Great food.  Great service.  Greatest name.