L’industrie Pizza

In my constant search of  “the best pizza in NYC,” I landed at L’industrie Pizza in Brooklyn. Ranked by all the food websites as one of the best slices in NYC, we decided to make the trek to Williamsburg to try it out (and by trek, it is really not that far — it is just the mental jump from one borough to the next). And sure enough, it was ever so delicious and worth going to.

 

We placed the order online ahead of time so that it could be there when we got to Brooklyn. (We knew ahead of time that there would be no seats for us, so we wanted to have a picnic in the car).

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Brooklyn Drive In Movie

I always claim that we are a Manhattan family that spends more time in Brooklyn. For whatever reason, there are so many different activities and adventures to go on there! Last Friday night, we went to the Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater, Skyline Drive In, and I cannot wait to go back again! It was a super fun adventure for everyone in the family (although I am a rookie at the drive in game, and need to step it up next time with what I learned). Skyline Drive Inn is located right on the East River in Greenpoint with killer views of Manhattan (if it is not foggy….) and plays two different movies on two screens — one current film and one old school film that changes daily.

 

Skyline Drive In.

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Natori x Kasama Rum

This past week, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday, my daughter’s 10th birthday, and the launch of Natori x Kasama rum. YEP, you read that correctly — RUM! Natori is doing a collaboration with Kasama, a rum company!

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Both Kasama and Natori are female-founded Filipino brands! They came together to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a partnership that gives back to the Philippines. Natori designed the beautiful limited-edition rum bottle, which you can buy on Kasama’s website.

Look at the gorgeous bottle!

My mother-in-law with my kids — wearing the same print as the bottle!

Even Stevie has a matching print Natori ouftit! And check out my mother-in-law’s tall heels in the background. I wouldn’t be able to stand in them.

The whole Natori family with the Kasama lady — another Filipina!

Ken with the Natori model.

Me and Tusia — unintentionally wearing a floral jacket — I had no idea!

 

Unique and fun collaboration — but love how two Filipino female brands came together to support one another!

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Rolo’s

After a personal recommendation AND reading about it in the NYTimes, we decided to trek to Ridgewood, a neighborhood in Queens, to try out the restaurant Rolo’s. Definitely a trains-plane-automobile situation to get there, but the food and adventure was worth it. The restaurant was started by 3 ex-Gramercy Tavern chefs (an old time favorite and Classic NYC restaurant) and every bite was delicious. If you are up for a different neighborhood and scene, definitely check it out!

 

And of course, on the 10 minute walk from the subway station, we came across a Biggie Smalls mural, which I love…because I love Biggie and most of all, 90s hip hop.

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Breathe Magazine

I have had a difficult 2022 where I have simply had to relearn how to breathe and stay still. It has not been an easy process but I am learning to try to stay in the present, breathe, and be kind to myself. As cheesy as it sounds, my mother sent me several issues of “Breathe” magazine, and I absolutely love reading them and having them remind me of these tools and meditations. I love to sit and read them (again and again and again) from cover to cover, or just a page here and there.

 

Three different issues, all with the same concepts and tools. It may be obvious and basic, but they are great reminders and terrific for anyone who needs and wants them.

Gratitude — so easy, yet so hard.

Breathe kindness.

Lots of tools to help with self growth and discovery.

Activities, essays, quotes — all great.

Love this.

 

So if you find yourself in need of activities, inspiration, a guide to wellness, self compassion, self care, I HIGHLY recommend these magazines full of ideas and care. Just little bits that help ever so slightly.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Jordan Nassar Exhibit

If you happen to be in NYC any time between now and May 7th, I highly suggest that you visit the artist Jordan Nassar‘s work shown at the James Cohan Gallery. And even if you DON’T make it to the gallery, I recommend becoming familiar with Jordan Nassar! Jordan Nassar is a 37 year old native New Yorker (The Collegiate School graduate) and his artwork is mainly hand embroidery.

 

I did a solo trek down to James Cohan’s gallery on Walker street in TriBeCa. As someone who needlepoints and has a mother AND a daughter that both love to embroider, I appreciate looking at other people’s creation. And Jordan Nassar is unbelievable — his creativity and colors blew me away.

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Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace

As a die hard roller skater, it made me so very happy that NYC opened up its first Roller Skating Rink, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, this past weekend. So sure enough, the kids and I ventured to skate and dance on opening day. It was such a great hour and I cannot wait to go back — pure simple family fun. Located in the heart of Manhattan at Rockefeller Center, it is a great place to people watch and soak up the energy of the city.

 

Smack dap in the middle of the city! So much fun.

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Papier Journals

Check out this beautiful paper company, Papier, that makes customizable journals and notebooks with beautiful backgrounds! I love them all so much that I had difficulty choosing which ones I wanted. So many options — lined, plain, dotted, and hard or soft cover, and what to personalize them with! AHHHHH the choices!

 

My gratitude notebook and my journal.

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Currently Loving March 2022

And just like that….April here we come! Here is what I am loving at the end of March

 

1. iphone Case with cardholder

 

A friend recently had this Australian Company phone case that stores 3 credit cards, and I am DYING for one….problem is that they dont have one for the current model of my phone…but I am obsessed and want to get a new phone just for the case!

 

2. Seaglass hunting

 

I AM IN LOVE WITH LOOKING FOR SEAGLASS. Another one of my COVID hobbies (that, obviously, only works when and if you are on a beach). We had great luck when we were in Mexico, less luck in Florida. We have beautiful jars of it at home that store so many great memories of us walking and collecting. There is nothing like the simple joy of spotting a piece of seaglass on the sand and in the water.

 

3. Little Twig Detangler Leave In Conditoner

 

A friend who knows everything about non-tocic beauty products, swears by this for her children. It is mild, effective, safe, and actually works (one of my greatest pet peeves is brushing my daughter’s hair that is basically a dread lock most of the time)….

 

4. MJ The Musical

 

In March, I was able to see three different broadway shows — hands down, my favorite was MJ The Musical. My kids didn’t like it as much as I did, but I found it fun with incredible dancing and acting. Highly recommend (especially if you are my age and not my kids’ age)…

 

5. Eminem Killer Remix

 

As an hip-hop lover AND an Eminem lover, I am obsessed with this song. It is great song to run to.

 

6. Friends from College — Season 2

 

I know that this series is old (2017-2019) but I recently binged the second season in two evenings and laughed out loud hysterically at every episode. I didn’t love the first season (I didn’t even finish it), but some reason, the second season was hysterical. I am very upset that the show has been canceled and will not have a third season….

 

7. American Idol Season 20

 

Back in my Stanford days, I religiously watched American Idol every week with our best friends. Then, when I moved to NYC, I continued to watch religiously. But in the past 12 years, I have never turned it on….until now. And I LOVE IT. LOVE. A great family TV show and I love the judges (who are new to me) and the positivity, optimism and talent it brings. SO. MUCH. JOY.

 

8. Scotch & Soda Sweatshirt

 

My favorite new hoodie is my son’s Scotch and Soda (given to him by his fashionable grandmother). I love the embroidery on it — can’t wait to try to embroider on a plain sweatshirt and copy this!)

 

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That is what I am loving right now — well, that and love and care. Hope you are having a great week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil

Recommended to me by a friend who is the connoiusseur of everything and anything, McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil, is THE olive oil to use. She says it is the best of the best, and because I trust her with my life, I just placed a huge order of olive oil for my kitchen (and we go through a ton of olive oil, so I can’t wait for this order!) This olive oil is “Rooted in Italian craftsmanship with a bold Californian approach,” — and Italians and Californians, they know their EVOO!

 

A mixture of all the different olive oils.

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James Turrell

Only a couple days left of the James Turrell exhibition at Pace Gallery in NYC — definitely worth visiting if you happen to be in the city before it closes on March 19th! I had the opportunity to visit last week with a college friend (who happens to be in the Art world) and absolutely loved my five minutes of sitting in a dark room and looking at the light installation.  My college friend reminded me that James Turrell not only attend our college (Pomona College), but also spoke at our 2001 college graduation (!!!!) I don’t remember any of his speech or the fact that he spoke at our graduation, but knowing this information, made me even more intrigued in this art display.

 

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Nothing Really Matters NYC Bar

A new hidden bar, Nothing Really Matters, in NYC has arrived — in a subway entrance! It is located between the entrance and the turnstile in the downtown-bound 1 train station at 50th Street and Broadway. Normally, I would not know of such a bar or have a reason to go to it, but recently a friend took me there and I fell in love with the randomness and beauty of the bar. I cannot wait to go back — so unique and different. And you will definitely NOT run in to anyone you know there….

 

Literally downstairs in the subway. Yes, gross and full of trash and rats.

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Lost Stickers

In my walks and runs in NYC, I love to look at all the stickers posted everywhere — they are little signs full of joy, wisdom, hope, and mystery. My favorite current series is by Irish artist, Asbestos, who has created and posted street art everywhere since 2003. I love to see them as they are all in random places around the city — never making much sense but bringing a smile to my face.

 

Lost leek

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Needlepoint Chair

As you all know, in the past two years (thank you, pandemic hobby), I have become an avid needlepointer. I have made hundreds of coasters, pillows, sunglasses holders, and ornaments. I keep them or give them to friends and family. But this past week, I finally *SOLD* one of my creations and I am so happy. Yes, I  made about $2 per hour, but I love the process and the creation, so the money in the end isn’t the important part. I collaborated with upholster, Chairloom, to make a beautiful chair and I am so proud of the final creation that I had to share with you all — thank you for letting me share! We worked together to find the right vintage chair, perfect fabric to match, and then Chairloom put it all together. Take a look!

 

The chair! I did the BIG needlepoint and then teamed up with Chairloom. The chair is actually a tiny small chair — which we loved — BIGGIE SMALLS in a tiny kings chair.

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Wordle and Nerdle

For the few of you who don’t know about WORDLE, I feel like I need to tell you about it. It is a word game that gives players six chances to randomly guess a five-letter word. If your letter is in the right spot, it shows up as green, and if it is a correct letter but in the wrong spot, it shows up as yellow. So you figure out which letter is in the word and if it is in the correct spot. You have six chances.

 

The hardest part for me is to try to figure out which five letter word to use….In general, I am not very good at wordle, and am much better at the mini crossword and at Spelling Bee.

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Ippudo Ramen NYC

Over the weekend in one of my “best of New York” searches, we decided that the cold weather was perfect for Ramen. So in a quick search, I found out the Ippudo is ranked the best Ramen in NYC. So ten minutes later, we were in the car and on our way to Ippudo — and it did not disappoint. It was perfect in every way — full of flavor and depth, and oh so comforting.

 

Ippudo — three locations in NYC — East Village, UWS and Midtown. Great vibe with hip hop music, locals, and great food.

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Chinatown Foot Rub & Dumplings

Last Friday night, in dire need of a foot massage, Ken and I decided to venture to Chinatown for a couple of hours. It was a huge success and I cannot wait to go back. Not only did we get great (and cheap!) foot massages, but we also brought home super tasty dumplings.

 

After a lot of research on the world wide web, I decided that we would get our foot massages at Renew Spa. It had great recommendations online (and also had a website in English). I made appointments for us and although I thought it would be empty, it was actually very busy. But it was very safe and clean — and I had my own private room, which I loved.

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Poppie Press

The moment I saw a good friend’s photo albums in her home, I knew that I wanted to copy her exact arrangement. Started by this friend’s good friend, Poppie Press is a service that puts together your photos by year into gorgeous albums. As someone who takes thousands of photos per year, I have never been able to put together a photo album to save my life. I despise the process and I never get around to it. It gives me the worst headaches and point is, I don’t like doing it. So when I found out that Poppie Press had some availability for new clients, I rushed at the chance. And I couldn’t be happier.

 

Not my stack of books, but I can’t wait to soon have a stack like this!

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Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter and Banana

From “Vegan At Times,” I found this recipe that is easy, filling, and delicious. A sweet potato, peanut butter, and banana sandwich. It is definitely unique, but so good that I plan to have it in rotation as an easy breakfast, snack, or lunch!

 

Look at it — so colorful and delicious!

 

Ingredients:

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NYTimes Spelling Bee

Every morning for the past several years, the first thing I do is complete the mini NY Times crossword puzzle. I have a competition on who can do it fastest with my brother and father and send them my times when I am proud of them (anything under 40 seconds). I usually can tell how smart I am going to be that day based on my success on the mini crossword. I have it as an app on my phone, but you can also do it on the computer. It is fun, addictive, and not time consuming — which I love!

 

In the app, there is also the bigger crossword (thanks but no thanks) and Spelling Bee!

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Currently Loving January 2022

I know that the month has just begun (Omicron — go away already! Winter — go away, too!), but here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. The Sex Lives of College Girls

 

Hands down the most LOL show I have seen in a long time. It is so right on about liberal art colleges and I love the characters so much. A must watch! I am just sad I have no more episodes to watch — it is binge worthy (25 minutes each episode) and so fun, funny, and smart.

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