What to do in NYC when freezing

It was VERY, VERY, VERY cold over the weekend in NYC. It was hard to do much of anything because of the frigid air. Here is what I suggest doing if you are in NYC when it is very cold outside.

 

The Met Museum

 

I went the other weekend to celebrate the Chinese New Year and see a special dance performance. It was fun to be in the museum (the actual performance was so so), but I love how beautiful the structure of the Met is and how you can get lost in it for days.

Made me laugh — a bubble butt I want as my tush has started to sag in my old age….

 

American Dream Mall in NJ

 

It was our first time going to this mega mall in NJ this past weekend — and holy cow. There is so much to do: a water park, an amusement park, mini golf, a ferris wheel, a ski resort (!!!), and a bazillion stores. It was the perfect plan on a cold day.

The amusement park.

We went on the ferris wheel versus the amusement park — next time, we will go to it, but our timing was slightly off.

 

The Guggenheim: Nick Cave

 

The Guggenheim is located 2 blocks away from my daughter’s school so I have gone to the most recent Alex Katz exhibit 3 times in the pas 2 weeks (I went twice last week, totally randomly!). I loved the Alex Katz exhibit, but really really loved the Nick Cave exhibition.

Look at the embroidery!

So creative.

Incredibly beautiful and unique.

Loved all the colors.

 

Fotografiska: Hip Hop Exhibit

 

I had never been to the Fotografiska Museum before: a museum dedicated to photography. But I decided I needed to go because the exhibit the opened last week is on hip hop, and I love love love hip hop. I HIGHLY recommend seeing this exhibit if you are a lover of hip hop — if not, probably not your thing.

A great space — with a listening studio up on the roof.

I loved seeing all the hip hop stars over the years (and georgraphically) in beautiful photographs.

Photos everywhere.

Dr. Dre.

Tribe Called Quest.

Adidas.

Notorious BIG

 

Fancy Brunch

 

Another thing we did this weekend when it was too cold to do anything else, was eat. We had a lovely brunch with my mother in law and loved all our food.

With a beautiful view, too.

Toosh.

____

So there you have it– my suggestions on what to do when it is so cold in NYC. I of course also ran (yes in 5 degree weather), watched movies, read books, and snuggled up with the kids and dog……but also loved doing these cultural things, as well. Please send me any other suggestions you might have!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Natori Beyond Brief

In my constant search for the best undies (always through Natori), I have found one of my new favorites: Beyond Brief. Yes, my everyday go to undies will always and forever be the Feathers undies, but it is always good to switch it up, too. And I am loving these Beyond Briefs. Very similar style (aka not a thong) but different. Same same but different.

 

Look at the cute tush.

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Banana Egg Pancake

I posted this breakfast hack several years ago, but it is so good that I think it is important I tell you AGAIN just in case you missed it the first time. TWO ingredient pancakes. They are beyond easy and so delicious that everyone in the family will like. The two ingredients: banana and egg. Et voila,  2 ingredient pancakes.

 

You take 1 banana and 2 eggs (or 1/2 banana and 1 egg) and smash it together. yes, if you use a blender, it is smoother and nicer (but that also means more of a mess to clean up). So I am A OK with clumps, and just smash it and mix together in one bowl.

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Currently Loving January 2023 Part 2

Is this month over????? Always SOOOOOOO long. Luckily it has not been THAT cold in NYC this past month. I mean, definitely hat and jacket weather, but not my big BIG coat. Here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. Feel Better Live More Podcast

 

Super insightful and love all of his shows. A must listen to.

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Gjelina NY

My absolute favorite restaurant in the United States is now in NYC! Gjelina is an LA based restaurant and by far the best dining experience I have ever encountered — scrumptious food, great service, easy and laid back vibe — all perfection. When I read that it opened up in NYC for breakfast and lunch two weeks ago, I knew that I needed to go. And sure enough, I went not once but twice this past weekend. It is SOOOOOO good. Everything. The date cake is my absolute favorite, and not yet on the NY menu, but I still love it regardless.

 

Photo taken by the NYTimes. It is a two story restaurant, with a waiting room in the front, as no reservations are accepted.

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Smitten Kitchen Keepers Cookbook

I came across the cookbook Smitten Kitchen Keepers over the holidays, and since then, I have made dozens of recipes. It is HANDS DOWN my favorite cookbook. Everything I have made has been absolutely delicious (and there have been many repeats) and literally everything in the cookbook, I want to try and eat. So if you want to be inspired in the kitchen, get this cookbook! I AM IN LOVE.

 

I love absolutely everything about this cookbook — the recipes (most importantly), the photos, the writing, all great.

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Sunday in Brooklyn

In the past month, we have been going to Brooklyn for brunch. There is something and fun and different to get in our car, drive to a different borough, and eat where we are not going to know a single person. Recently, we ended up at Sunday in Brooklyn, on a SUNDAY in BROOKLYN (very meta). It was after I researched where “the best pancakes are served in NYC,” and this was at the top of every list I came across.

 

It takes reservations, but on the Sunday we went, there were not any available spots, so we walked in, and put our name on the waitlist and walked around Domino Park — which had beautiful views of Manhattan. Windy and cold, but still beautiful and picturesque.

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Graffiti Workshop

Last month to celebrate the end of school, I took Cruzzie and his friends to a graffiti workshop in Brooklyn. I thought it would be a fun and unique outing — something different — and sure enough it was. We were all a little skeptical (the teacher was late and the building that the class was in was a little unusual), that said, it was so fun and the boys had a great time and learned so much. I highly recommend — but if you do it, just know that there might be a couple kinks but it will all work out.

 

A quick background on the history of graffiti and then a lesson on how to do it.

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Currently Loving December 2022

Here we are — December! Cross that out — MID DECEMBER! Here is what I am loving!

 

1. The Old Man and The Pool

 

I went to this in early December and it was SOO funny. I loved the 75 minute one man show and highly recommend anything that Mike Birbiglia does. In this production, it was about aging, and it could not have been more relevant or in tune with life. LOVED it.

 

2. Rat Ornament

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Telestrations

Over Thanksgiving Break, we were introduced to Telestrations, and it is hands down, the most fun board game I have played in a long time. It is the perfect family game — fast moving, easy, enjoyable for every age, and so much fun.

 

Immediately after the first time we played this, I purchased one for our family. It is a game that the kids ASK and BEG to play — it is so fun for everyone in the family.

 

The game is exactly what it sounds like  — a combination of telephone and pictionary. You receive a word, you have to draw it, and then the next person guesses it, the next person draws it, etc….It is so fun and every time I play, we laugh SO much.

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Dim Sum NYC

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had a craving to go to dim sum in the city. After an extensive search online on what the best dim sum restaurant is, we ended up at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It was everything that I had hoped for, and I highly suggest going (and waiting) for a great dim sum meal if in the city.

 

Down a car free street. It was a cold morning and despite it opening up at 11 am (and us getting there then), we still had to wait for 45 minutes. That said, it was worth it.

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Thanksgiving 2022

Just got back from a whirlwind away on the west coast in the Bay Area. We decided to visit our best friends from Stanford for the holiday, and it was truly one of the best weekends yet. We laughed, ate, ate some more, ate even more, laughed some more, and just had great quality time together. Here is what we did (and great recommendations for anyone going to the Bay Area, too!)

 

MUIR WOODS

 

National Forest north of San Francisco in Marin. A beautiful, relaxing, and incredible sigh of redwood trees. Redwood trees are supposed to be healing, and just being in their presence felt magical. They are HUGE and ANCIENT.

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NYC Marathon 2022 Part 2

Almost 2 weeks have passed since the NYC Marathon, and although it feels like a lifetime ago, I still think about the run all the time. More than any other marathon due to the fact that I ran with Eddie, the blind athlete, and our unfortunate ending of the race. Eddie continues to be an inspiration to me — blind, and yet fully loving and appreciative of life. He does not let his disability define him and seeks challenges, joy, and happiness in everything he does. I hope to be more like Eddie in my daily life. This was our most recent exchange.

 

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Currently Loving Early November 2022

Yesterday, I wrote that the date was November 2021. I can’t believe that it is not 2021, and in fact, it is almost 2023! Here is what I am loving right now in Early November.

 

1.  Zara Marine Jeans (for kids)

 

These jeans are the cutest and I wish they had them in adults sizes. They are Tusia’s first jeans (ever) and she loves them just as much as I do (which is never the case).

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Mochinut Donuts

I love the food website, The Infatuation, that writes about all the new restaurants,bars, cafes, bakeries, in any and every city. Most of all, I love their random guides such as “Best pizza in NYC’ or “Best donuts in NYC“. And of course, not only do I love reading the articles slash lists, but I love trying all their random recommendations. For best donut in NYC, I decided to try something new and different, Mochinut Donuts. Mochinut is a chain with locations all over South Korean, Thailand, and most states in the United States (literally everywhere!). What makes these donuts unique is that they are made with rice flour.

 

Two locations in Manhattan — I went to the one on 38th and 6th. Super friendly, clean, and easy.

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LV 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition

This past Sunday, I visited the old Barneys building (RIP) as Louis Vuitton is hosting an exhibition there until December 31st. This exhibition is the fourth and final stop of this traveling show. Not only is it an exhibit, but Fred’s (the restaurant, SOB, RIP) is also temporarily opened while Louis Vuitton is in the building.  The exhibit is located on three of the floors, presenting 200 trunks that were created by 200 different artists.

The building. Entrance is free — you can reserve a ticket online, or just simply walk in, depending on the time of the day and how busy it is.

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Doorless Helicopter Tour of NYC

For Cruz’s 13th birthday last week, all he wanted was a doorless helicopter ride of the city. Since I had very few presents to give him, I thought that this gift would be extra special to him as it was an experience he could remember forever. Mind you, I hate heights, and don’t like to be on balconies of buildings, but in the end, it was worth it to see how happy Cruz was. I did a lot of research leading up to it and found that FlyNyon had the best reviews. Sure enough, the customer service was amazing and our experience unforgettable, and would definitely recommend this company to any one that is crazy enough to do it.

 

I didn’t make the reservations until the morning of. I couldn’t figure it out online (and I wanted a later time), so I called the number, and was greeted by the most HELPFUL person ever, Colleen.

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Beat the Bomb

Beat the Bomb – an immersive group experience! I have heard amazing reports about this interactive activity, which is a mixture of an escape room and a video game, so I signed up and took some kids to have some fun. Absolutely everyone had a blast and it was the perfect rainy indoor day activity. Located in DUMBO in Brooklyn, Beat the Bomb is a privately owned company that started five years ago. It was first built for adults, for group bonding activities and fun, but after the pandemic, they realized that kids were wizards at ipads. So now, it is 50% adults, and 50% kids.

 

When you get to the space, you have to put on a hazmat suit. Blurry photo, but gives you an idea of what the suit looks like.

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Pier 57

New York City’s newest largest rooftop park! This past weekend, we explored new outdoor space and loved seeing the city from a different perspective. Pier 57 is located on W 15 St. & Hudson River Park — a mixture of office space (Google), public park, and soon a Food Hall by James Beard Foundation (JBF).

 

It is hidden and a little more discreet to get to. It is located just north of Little Island, so you can hit them both up at the same time.

Walking along the pier to get to the entrance of the park.

Great views, even more you go to the roof.

The elevator to get to the park. YES, AN ELEVATOR!!! I found that part so amazing. And I love the colors in this photo — Ukraine Flag colors.

This made me laugh — a button for the park.

The rules — you *CAN* bring dogs, which I didn’t know, but they need to be nice dogs.

Great views of Little Island and southern Manhattan.

The city up high.

Grassy area.

Views to the North.

A wedding was happening! A very small wedding, but we loved seeing the bride and groom.

You could rent this out for an event!

Then we crossed the street and went to Chelsea Market and had doughnuts and tacos for lunch.

 

Definitely worth doing on a beautiful Fall day — incredible views, great use of space, and something different!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Vegan Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread and pumpkin bread symbolize FALL like no other. Since I posted about my favorite pumpkin bread a couple years ago, I thought I should investigate zucchini breads. I fell upon this NYTimes Vegan recipe, and since my husband is not currently eating dairy, I thought it was a great one to try. And I love the outcome — so definitely recommend!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Good Eats

Through a friend, I was introduced to Good Eats, a program that feeds elementary school children, every weekend. Sadly, all over our country, there are children that eat all their meals at school through government subsidized programs. As a result, over the weekend when they are not in school, they do not eat. Good Eats comes in to schools where there is a need and gives students a package of food to put in their backpacks for the weekend. Often times these kids do not have can openers or fridges that work — so the food has to be nonperishable and have a shelf life. Yes, the goal is to change the world through KALE (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE KALE), but the reality, is that the food needs to be accessible and easy for the kids to eat. Basic hunger.

 

A distributor that is partnered with Good Eats, delivers the food to the school once a month. We were supposed to meet him at 830. He did not show up until past noon…..but grateful even more so.

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Currently Loving August 2022 Part 2

It is so true that January and February creep by — each day seems sooooo long, and then July and August just whizzzzzz by. So here we are, end of August, and here is what I am loving.

 

1. Good Quote

 

Seen on a hike, “Expect noting. Celebrate everything.” I love this quote and think about it often.

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Natori Summer Blues

Every summer, we go to our dear friends’ home in Sonoma to celebrate a weekend with many of our Stanford Business School friends. It has happened the past 8 summers and is always one of the best weekends of the year. We lounge, hike, eat, indulge, rollerskate, and laugh. OOOHHHH we laugh and it is so fun. It is also our second time we have picked a theme of an evening — in 2019 we did Sunset Hues.

 

Sunset Hues. That was our guideline — and everyone could dress how they wanted to.

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BeReal

I spent the past week with my teenage nephew and niece, and not only do I love the time together because I adore them, but I also love that they introduce me to what is hip / new / relevant in their life. Currently, what is hot in their social circle for social media is not instagram or tiktok, but rather BeReal (and Snapchat). I had never heard of BeReal so it was fascinating to learn more about it.

BeReal sends you a notification at different times each day and asks you to photograph in front and back of you in the 2 minute time limit. There is no way to track the number of friends you have and there are no “likes.”

 

BeReal is a French social media app that was released in 2020. After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it eventually gained popularity rapidly in mid-2022. More specifically, BeReal is a photo-sharing app that allows users to post one photo per day in real time.

An example of my BeReal. I was sitting at the pool with the kids — and it took a shot of what is in front and what I looked like.

You can look at both as the main photograph.

 

Currently, I have two friends (one is the sister of my ex boyfriend who is married to Amy Schumer, and one is my niece — my nephew does not want to be friends with me on this app….). So it is obviously not yet popular with my age group….

 

Another example….And it is important to note that you can only see other people’s daily BeReals if you post one that day yourself, and previous ones disappear from the feed.

And another.

 

Who knows if it will take off as a huge mainstream social media app, but I appreciate the authenticity and realness, and how it is different and unique…..To read more about BeReal, go here and here and here.

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Killer Burger

The friend who told me about Dave’s Hot Chicken, also told me about Killer Burger. A very different type of cuisine than I normally eat, but a huge hit for everyone in the family (including myself). Currently, Killer Burger is a Pacific Northwest Chain, but hopefully in the near future, it will become more mainstream and located nationally. If you happen to be in the PNW, you must try Killer Burger — home of the PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON BURGER. Yes, PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON. And I have to tell you — it is SO good. So good.

 

Killer Burger with the family.

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