Monday, July 18, 2011

The Week in Review

Here's a photo review of the week for your viewing pleasure!
Veniero's in Manhattan. A few years ago Justin and I
did a taste-test of cannolis throughout NYC
and we determined that this one is the best :)
Justin and our friend Emily at a Metropolitan Opera
concert/picnic in Central Park
Justin and our friend Mike enjoying an ENORMOUS quantity
of bbq and fixin's at Blue Smoke (Justin and my first date
was in their jazz club downstairs!)
View of NYC from the Empire State Building
The Cloisters - one of our favorite museums, in upper Manhattan
One last goodbye with the adorable Sandy, our foster dog.
She and her new parents are doing wonderfully!
In 9 hours, Justin and I are flying to Vietnam for 12 days, followed by Bangkok for 3 days (going to a friends' wedding there), and then to Scotland for 4 days (visiting my sister-in-law and her husband for a wedding celebration across the pond). I can't promise that I'll be able to blog during the trip but I will post a full trip update once we get back to NYC!

Not all fun and games

I realized that most of my recent blog posts have shown Justin and me flitting about NYC with no cares in the world. While that has definitely been a big theme in our last few weeks, it hasn’t just been fun and games – I’ve also been doing some great work as a pro bono Marketing Manager for Cool Culture, and I wanted to tell you about it.

Cool Culture is truly an awesome organization that provides low-income families throughout New York City with free access to over 90 cultural institutions in all 5 boroughs, including some of the biggest museums (the Met, MoMA, Guggenheim, Brooklyn Museum), nature spots (New York and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Central Park Zoo), history (Museum of Natural History, Intrepid Museum), science/technology (New York Hall of Science, Museum of the Moving Image), and many, many other institutions through the city. Even beyond access, they provide families with the means and tools to act as their child’s first educator, as they recognize that early childhood education is key to getting these kids greater opportunities and opening doors for future educational development.

Photos from the Cool Culture website showcasing some of their programs
I have been working with Cool Culture on a brand strategy/key messages project through the Taproot Foundation, which mobilizes professionals to volunteer pro bono work for organizations with a need, and I’ve truly been inspired by the organization and what they have been able to achieve in a very short time and with very little money. If you’re interested in reading more about them, check out their website here!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Catching up on the week

I had grand plans to post entries throughout each day's NYC adventures, but our long days being touristy were pretty exhausting! So instead, you get a recap of our daily adventures. Hope you enjoy :)

The Weekend
Relaxing in the Catskills with Justin's parents, and doing a bit of exploring
Opus 40, in Saugerties, NY
Packing... and packing... and packing

Queens Day! Explored the amazing 5Pointz in Long Island City, then some of our old Astoria stomping grounds from when we lived there - Sweet Afton (awesome bar), MexiQ (great restaurant), then Bingo night at Blackbird's Bar with our friends Brian and Jen.
5Pointz... I left people in the shot so you could see the scale of this place!
Met one of Justin's old college professors for coffee, then marathon shopping for things needed for the Peace Corps, then dinner at Char No. 4 in Brooklyn (great restaurant) with our friend Caroline. It was po-boy night with Zapps and Abita beer!

Girls' day with my wonderful friend Meredith, while Justin met his friend Ray for lunch, visited people in his law school (Fordham), then we both met up at the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria to celebrate our friend Mike's birthday.
Exploring Pennsylvania!
Whirlwind Manhattan day! A morning tour at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, followed by lunch at Katz's Delicatessen (matzoh ball soup and a half pastrami sandwich of course). Visiting the National Museum of the American Indian at the tip of Manhattan (we had never been), then a roundtrip ride on Manhattan's best free transportation - the Staten Island Ferry! Then a stealthy trip to the Old City Hall subway station (not in use anymore but if you stay on the 6 train after the last stop in Manhattan, it loops around to go back uptown and you can see it). Last stop was the Brandy Library, one of our favorite bars.
View of Lady Liberty from our seats on the ferry
MoMA and the International Center of Photography with our friend Tyler, cart food near Rockefeller Center (where Justin used to work and the cart guys know his order!), then cooking an Asian themed dinner for our friends Siri and Aaron. The menu: chicken satay with peanut sauce, pork lettuce wraps, beef massaman curry with coconut ginger rice, Thai cucumber salad, and green tea fried ice cream. Didn't take any pictures but take my word for it that they were GOOD.

Another whirlwind packing day but happy to have taken a break from it to blog!

Here's what's on the agenda for next week - If anyone is in NYC and wants to join on these, let me know. Still open to last-minute suggestions too!
- Monday: Metropolitan Opera concert and picnic at Central Park (part of Summerstage) with our friend Emily
- Tuesday: Lunch at Di Fara pizza in Brooklyn and dinner with our friends Mani and Asra
- Wednesday: Brooklyn Bridge, then a Rebirth Brass Band concert in Lower Manhattan
- Thursday: Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, the Cloisters, then dinner at Dinosaur BBQ
- Friday: Empire State Building, the Highline, then dinner with our friends Liza and Josh
- Saturday: Governor's Island, then dinner with our friends Matt and Jill
- Sunday: Giving blood, then Brighton Beach with our friends Nick and Mike (Nick knows Russian so he gives us some cred). Maybe a baseball game in the evening.
- Monday: Marathon packing for our Vietnam/Thailand/Scotland trip because we leave at 1 AM Tuesday morning!