This past weekend, we were in the city with no plans on Saturday night. Although I love nothing more than a night in, we decided to go on a field trip to Long Island City, where I had not been in years. And HOLY COW — it is SOOOOOOOOOOO different and a city in itself (hence the name). It was super easy to get to in the car (just over the 59th street bridge) and fun to explore a new part of our backyard. I can’t wait to go back there and eat at different restaurants, see the sights, and experience a different part of our eclectic city.
Trip over the bridge with the iconic sign “Silver Cup”
Yes, it happened. I went to a Taylor Swift concert. And it was better than I ever imagined — and I can NOT wait to go again sometime soon (world tour 2024, here I come!). I went in excited but not knowing much, and came out a total Swiftie. I am 100% more obsessed than I thought would be possible. Taylor Swift is incredible — talented, musical, beautiful, genuine, authentic, and a total rockstar. I love her so much — a new love!
We were incredibly fortunate to have been given access to tickets last minute through a friend of Ken’s (who happens to be the founder of the record company TS is under). They were incredible seats and we feel very very fortunate. All that said, we decided to drive up instead of fly. What should have been a 5 hour drive ended up being 6.5 hours. NOT FUN. But we did see a lot of other cars that were driving to the concert….
As many people have, I too, have become totally enthralled and obsessed with the story of Flaco the Owl. For those of you who do not know Flaco, Flaco is an owl that escaped a month ago from Central Park Zoo. After eluding many different rescue attempts, Flaco now lives in Central Park freely and most likely will continue to live a free life away from the zoo. Flaco escaped the zoo on February 2nd, once its enclosure was vandalized. Flaco has lived in captivity at the zoo since 2010, and everyone has been worried if Flaco would be able to survive alone in the wild. But sure enough, Flaco is not only surviving, but thriving in the city. There was an incredible story in the NYTimes “Everyone Loves Flaco the Escaped Owl. But Why, Exactly?” and I highly suggest reading it — maybe you, too, will become interested in finding and spotting Flaco!
This past weekend, we went searching for Flaco — almost the whole day Sunday.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you happen to be in NYC and want an adventure, I highly recommend going to Mister Dips, an all-American restaurant that serves (supposedly great hamburgers) and ridiculous soft serve ice cream downtown on South Street Seaport.
We decided to make it an adventure — so we took the East River Ferry that loads at 34th Street (and the East River) and then got off at Wall Street. It was an extremely hot and humid day in the city, so the 15 minutes on the boat felt marvelous. Highly recommend doing just the boat trip!
After Spain, we traveled to Provence where we spent two HOT but glorious weeks. We just returned this past weekend to the States and I am already missing Europe so much. It was a wonderful trip and I am already planning next year’s summers’ adventures. We didn’t do much, but it was all simple and easy, and I loved it all. Here is a look at what we did.
The view from my window. We were located in the village and had access to everything right there. We could go to the gelato store in 1 minute and 30 seconds, and same with the bakery. Which of course, what we did twice a day….
I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Southern Spain with my parents, daughter, and Ken (for a week) where we relaxed and explored together. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to leave the US and get fresh air and tastes of a different culture. Here are the highlights:
Every morning, I ran. Over the two weeks, I ran 98 miles. Up hills, down hills, and NEVER on flat surfaces. It was the hardest place I have EVER EVER RUN in my entire life, and I hope that it makes me a stronger (and faster) runner. Each morning, I would dread my run, but I loved it so much afterwards. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explore my surroundings and really have a feel for the area.
One of my favorite places in NYC is Governors Island, a 172 acre island that is 800 yards from Manhattan (a 7 minute ferry ride!). It is the perfect place to spend a day wandering and feels like a vacation, when it is only minutes away from home (well depending on the traffic….). And even better — you can spend the night there! It is an upscale camping experience and is a memorable and truly perfect way to spend the night. Recently, I took my daughter “glamping” on Governors Island mid week and it was the highlight of our Spring.
This is Tusia on Governors Island in 2017. Since then, the green space has turned in to the property for the glamping, Collective Retreats.
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.
In celebration of my 5th grade son’s last day of school, we went to Governors Island with some of his besties and their moms. Governors Island has always been one of my favorite places — an easy afternoon IN the city, but OUT of the city. It is an 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, located only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan. In recent years, we have visited dozens of times but have only been there for a couple of hours each time. Basically, there is not much to do but walk, scoot, look, eat, and hang out (but what else do you really need?) This time around, I thought ahead and booked us for an overnight stay, glamping at Collective Retreats.
Private boat to Collective Retreats (The company / hotel where we glamped). The complimentary water taxi runs from 430 pm to 10 pm, which is crucial since the public ferry stops service at 6 pm. The water taxi only holds up to 6 people, so it was just us on the ride. They made it a scenic ride and took us to the Statue of Liberty and other spectacular views of the city.
Last Thursday, May 6th, 2021, three friends and I set out to run the Rim to Rim to Rim – a trail run in the Grand Canyon from one side of the canyon (South Rim) to the other (North Rim) and back again. It was over 42 miles and a huge obstacle to undertake. After months of training and planning, we successfully completed the journey. It was a one of a kind experience and I am still in disbelief that we actually did it! Unlike other marathons, this was a self assisted ultramarathon, meaning it was only us on the trail (although we ran in to two groups of 2 guys doing the same thing that we were doing). It was also more risky than a marathon, not just because of the heat and the longer distance, but because once you go in to the canyon, you cannot be rescued. Our half way point – the North Kaibab trailhead is closed in Winter months – which means that once we got there, the only way back was to do the full 21 miles all over again.
A map of the Grand Canyon. The route that we took was from South Kaibab Trailhead to the North Kaibab and back the same route. Other people opt to go down or up the Bright Angel Trail as it is more gradual, shady, and has more water sources — but it is also 4 miles longer.
This past weekend, we decided to drive to the Bronx to the world famous, Arthur Avenue. Arthur Avenue is considered the “Little Italy of NY,” yet if you talk to any New Yorker about Arthur Avenue in the Bronx either people have no idea what you are talking about or have passionate feelings about this neighborhood famous for all the Italian cuisine. Truth is, that most New Yorkers have not been to it, including my native New Yorker husband. But with nothing to do over the weekend (thank you, COVID, thank you Winter weather), we decided to take an adventure up to the Bronx to try out some food. We are so glad we did this and CANNOT wait to return — it had so much energy, kind locals, and ridiculously tasty food.
Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
Planes, trains and automobiles — or in Oregon, hikes, bikes, and more hikes! Although I have only been in Eugene for a handful of weeks (what month are we in? Where are we? Who am I?), we have done countless miles of hikes, dozens of bike rides, and even more hikes. With the kids not in any type of camp or activity, hiking and biking throughout Oregon is our daily plan. Sometimes, I think “what’s the difference between the first 4 waterfalls and do I really have to see 3 more?” and sometimes I love just looking at nature and being in awe of it’s rawness and organic beauty. I hope, in the end, all these nature adventures make my kids stronger but, at some point they might revolt and start only liking fast food chains and hate exercise….Here are some pictures of our Oregonian beauty these last few weeks. And I am thankful for my father who has taken the role of camp director and guides us on all these adventures — without him, I would watch netflix all day.
Wildflowers on Mount June were absolutely INCREDIBLE. I want to go back and see more wildflowers.
This past weekend, we found ourselves with zero plans. We originally were scheduled to go up to Pound Ridge for a cozy and relaxed weekend, but after a change of orthodontist appointments on Saturday and Ken needing to go on a business trip on Sunday afternoon, we decided to stay put in the city. This gave us an opportunity to be a tourist in our own city — and I am so glad we explored! We discovered Ice Skating at Bryant Park which was a great family activity. Unlike other rinks in the city, admission is FREE (rentals cost money, but if you have your own skates, then it is FREE!) and it opens up at 8 am! We drove downtown for breakfast and on our way back uptown, parked right in front of the ice skating rink to do some laps!
Bryant Park Winter Wonder Land — lots of shops, food, people watching, ice skating — truly, a winter wonderland.
Marathon #14 in the books! Over the weekend, I completed (and set a personal best time) in the Chicago Marathon. It is one of my favorite weekends of the year, as I stay with a dear friend that I met in the Paris Marathon while running. For those of you who have read the blog for many years, this is a repetitive story, but it always reminds me that you can find a great friend in a stranger and to be kind, loving, and open to everyone. I feel incredibly fortunate to have Michelle in my life and to share this special weekend on a yearly basis with her. It was so great to just be with her and her family. And the race is just an excuse to visit them, and something to train for. One thing for sure, is I love the journey of training! Sign me up for the next one (actually, I am already signed up for LA Marathon March 8th).
Straight from the airport to the expo to get my number. The pants I am wearing are my favorite jeans but let me tell you — THEY ARE NOT PHOTOGENIC. They are so cool in person. But in a picture, they scream BIG THIGHS and MOM JEANS.
In all my free time in Oregon this summer, I have devoured tv shows, music albums, and books. These three are my top three thus far.
TV Series: Fleabag
Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote and stars in this two season series. She is BRILLIANT. Beautiful, funny, raw, and original.
I returned to Eugene last night from Sonoma where we spent four days lounging and relaxing at our annual get together with three other families from Stanford. It is one of my absolute favorite weekends of the year and is guaranteed fun. We have been doing this get-together for the past five years and plan on always doing it (Thanks, Kimmers!). We eat, drink, run, hike, bike, cook, play tennis, swim, rollerskate, talk, make smores, and just enjoy each other’s company (and all of our kids). None of us live in the same city as each other (LA, SF, NYC, and Denver…) so it is fun to always know that we will get together every summer. This year, I was inspired to have a theme at our adult dinner out of the house (the rest of the time we cook at the house). For the longest time, I have wanted to have a get together where everyone wore sunset hues. I KNOW, sounds so weird, but I once saw that Mandy Moore (who I love so very much) did it, and I knew I just had to do it at some point. AND man, it was SO much fun. I know, getting dressed in colors is fun?!?!? YEP, it really is. It was *so* fun.
Sunset hues (minus Paul in the blue shirt — but he says that the sky is blue when the sun sets….)
Bonjour! My apologies for the slow posts these past two weeks — it was quite difficult to get on the internet to do any posts especially because I had a major computer issue a…..turns out, all is okay with my computer but the head of the charger died — who knew that that was a thing? In any case, I am now back in the USA *with* a working computer, so back to normal post schedules. I wanted to first share with you all some of the pictures and highlights of my time in Paris with the kids — we did go to the South of France for an amazing trip as well, and I will post those later. In the meantime, enjoy these photos!
In the Tuileries, one of our favorite activities is the trampoline park. It is an old school little hut with a man that got to know us because we went so often. Everyday when we would get there he would say hello and when we would leave, he would say “See you tomorrow.”
Greetings from France! I came with the kids and have loved every minute I have in this beautiful country. I love the light, food, fashion, language, art and culture. And now, I have my favorite event to add to the list: Pari Roller. Pari Roller is a weekly event in Paris full of roller skaters and roller bladers along specified routes in the city. Every Friday, all year long, starting at 9:30 pm, skaters have the opportunity to skate on closed down roads for 40 kilometers. Since roller skating has become a new passion and hobby, I was excited to try it out and be a part of this unique and special celebration. At the last minute, I convinced my friend Jean from NYC to come with me for a portion of the trip *IF* she roller skated with me that night. Always positive and enthusiastic, she said she had not been on skates for 35 years but was confident in her ability and thought it sounded fun. Jean is an incredibly upbeat, fashionable and creative friend, so it was no surprise that she picked out an outfit that corresponded with her skates.
Jean flew to Paris with her complete outfit (on the right). I thought it would be a great idea to match her, so the DAY OF, I went to Zara and lo and behold, found the silver pants. It was like I won the lottery I was so excited.
Our next door neighbors run fashion house, Oscar de la Renta, and so when they approached us to see if Tusia would like to shoot for their kids ad campaign, we couldn’t say no. Although I am not a fan of the modeling business (what kind of message does it send the child? Is beauty more important than school? etc….), I felt that this was a once in a lifetime experience that we couldn’t pass up — not many people can say that their first and only photo shoot was for Oscar de la Renta. Last Friday was definitely a learning experience for the two of us — surrounded by new things and processes… I am not sure I love any of it — regardless, I am so happy that we did it. And absolutely everyone involved in the photo shoot was kind, loving, and thoughtful. Take a look at the behind the scene pics — and as soon as we get the final photos (if she doesn’t get cut — you never know!), I will share!
First, we had a fitting two days before the shoot. During this fitting, it was also a try out for the other models. The other four models were professional and hired children models — a very dark and weird place (IMHO).
This past weekend, I was a true jetsetter and flew to Paris for a getaway with my mother-in-law. Yes, spoiled. Yes, privileged. Yes, extravagant. But oh so fun and wonderful. As I age (thank you, 40), I realize that time together with loved ones becomes more and more important. And even though we live in the same city, I rarely have the opportunity to sit down with my mother-in-law just to be together. We had a great time, simply walking around, shopping, eating, drinking champagne, conversing, and soaking up the beauty of Paris. Here are pictures. Enjoy!
I am a giant compared to my oh so glamorous MIL….
Last week, on a beautiful Spring day, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the new Basquiat exhibition at the newly opened branch of The Brant Foundation in the East Village. Tickets are free, but you must register beforehand, and unfortunately the exhibition is currently “sold out.” That said, if you are interested, put yourself on the waitlist, and chances are you will be able to get a ticket. Not only did I find the exhibit special, remarkable, beautiful, and different, but the building itself is incredible.
The exhibition starts on the 4th floor of the 16,000 square foot townhouse. The room itself is unbelievable, with a gigantic sky roof with water flowing on it to give beautiful waves and light.