Sunday, July 31, 2011

THEATER: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

I've seen a lot of plays in my day, but I have to say How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying has moved to the top of my list as one of my all time favorites. Having been in the play in high school and being a huge Harry Potter fan, the play was pure joy. The moment Daniel Radcliffe was lifted into the air in a window washer uniform I couldn't stop grinning. The retro clothes and colors, catchy tunes, and Daniel's contagious smile made for one excellent play.

One of the most famous songs from the play is "A Secretary is Not a Toy," that while trying to prove that secretaries are assets to the working of the office, simply plays upon the fact that they are sex objects. I remember when I was in the play that although I greatly enjoyed the dance number I was somewhat offended by the lyrics of the song. While women are respected more today in the office, there is now the hit TV show Mad Men which also objectifies women. Don't get me wrong, I love Mad Men for the drama and clothes, but I have had many conversations about men's view of women after watching Mad Men. One friend confessed to me that her boyfriend will repeat lines from the TV show that completely insult her as a strong, independent women. Women have made it so far from the 60s when our role was to basically do whatever men told us. But now, these period pieces could be threatening our future. Mobs of teenage girls who flock to How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying to be arms reach from Daniel Radcliffe might not notice the strong undertone of the play. I'm not trying to bash on How to Succeed or Mad Men because I adore them both. I just urge both men and women to take a step back and enjoy them for what they are, and to not get any ideas.


PLACES: Loreley Biergarten in Brooklyn

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at a biergarten in Brooklyn! After exploring the Brooklyn flea market we all met up at Loreley Biergarten to have a last adventure before the beginning of our work week. 

We had to try the pretzels and the currywurst mit pomme frites (bratwurst with curry/tomato sauce and fries), the German biergarten staples. Aislinn, the vegetarian of the group, also ordered a cheese and bread plate to enjoy while Claire and I munched on the bratwurst. 

When it came to ordering beer, as much as we wanted to sound like we were experienced beer drinkers, we couldn't quite fool the waitress. Aislinn, who spent last summer in Germany, recommended we order a Radler, which is a mixture of beer with a Sprite like soda. It was really hot out and a Radler sounded like it would hit the spot so the waitress suggested we get a Radeberger Pilsner beer in the radler and Claire and I were sold. Aislinn opted for a Hofbräu Summer, a refreshing summer beer. 


Thanks for the great pictures Claire! I'm obviously meant to be one of those biergarten girls - I just need one of the cute dresses and I'll be set. Next on our agenda, the Standard Hotel biergarten.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

STYLE: Harry Potter Opening Night

Vintage American Shirt Dress, Vintage tie, Forever 21 belt, Bloch flats, and stylish 3D HP glasses

Gryffindor shirt I knew would be of use some day, J.Crew skirt from Jeremy's, Primark flats, Marc by Marc necklace, OCMA tote

PLACES: Housing Works Warehouse Sale

Long red skirt, pleated white skirt, navy blazer, Ralph Lauren scarf, straw bag, two neckties, two brown belts, visor, and a canvas backpack - sounds like a shopping spree right? Well, would you believe I scored the whole loot for less than $20?! Quite the thrifting success!

Some would be too intimidated to wait outside for 2 hours in a New York heat-wave or to dig through piles of items while climbing over a foot deep of clothes, but not I! My friends and I awoke early Saturday morning to attack The Housing Works Warehouse Sale in Queens. We had no idea what to expect, we only knew a bag of clothes costs $25 and we all liked the sound of that.

When we finally entered the warehouse we were greeted by sweltering heat even hotter than outside, which happened to be one of the hottest days in NY this summer. Men and women were digging and sorting through clothes and I expected any minute for fights to break out for sacred items. Although I was literally dripping in sweat within minutes, I loved the place! With no worry of the price of each item, I joyfully placed every appealing good into my brown paper bag. We didn't even last a full hour at the sale, but we all left with great items. And strategically we crammed our clothes into two bags so none of us had to pay the full $25. The warehouse sale is not for the faint of heart, but now I feel like I can take on any shopping encounter.

Not the prettiest picture of us, but it clearly represents the extremity of the situation. 

Shopping is a sport.


FOOD: Katz Deli

Pastrami, rye bread, pickles, oh my! Every time I come to New York, Katz Deli is a must for me. I finally got the chance to go this summer and it was as delicious as I remembered. I ordered one sandwich for myself and was so stuffed after just half the sandwich, but the other half made an excellent dinner the next day. You really haven't tasted pastrami until you've been to Katz, home of the film When Harry Met Sally.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

PLACES: Georgetown

Two weekends ago, we ventured to Arlington, Virginia to spend a weekend in DC. Only a $29 bus ride from NYC, the weekend was so, so worth it! My favorite part was definitely Georgetown--a bustling yet quaint area that reminded me of Old Town Pasadena... only better.

We heard Georgetown Cupcakes was a must-try, but the line outside (see below) pushed us to try a new and even cuter-looking place, baked & wired. Hence the name, half of the place is a bakery and half of it is a coffee shop. Considering that I kept asking Aislinn for some of her iced coffee while eating my strawberry cupcake (see below).. a genius idea! This cupcake shop underdog DEF turned out to be an a-maaaa-zing gift to our tastebuds.

My strawberry cupcake. May be in the lead for best cupcake I've ever had.


Miraya's Ginger Snap Sandwich Cookie with a cream cheese filling. YUM

Georgetown Cupcake may look legit....

But not that legit.

Not to mention, this place will meet all your shopping needs with everything from a Barneys COOP, shopping mall, Anthro, Intermix, Dean & Deluca, Madewell, etc etc

Sigh, if I could live here, I would.


Monday, July 18, 2011

PLACES: Harry Potter the Exhibition

A few weeks before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out I was already feeling the HP craze. When I saw there was a Harry Potter exhibition at the Discovery Center in Times Square, I knew I had to check it out. So when my cousin Skyler was visiting New York for the weekend we went to Harry Potter the Exhibition.

We quickly learned seeing authentic props from all the Harry Potter movies isn't a cheap activity, but decided it was worth it. I was even sucked into buying the audio tour to hear exclusive commentary. The exhibition is traveling and will only be in New York for a short while longer before going out of the country.

The tour began with the sorting hat sorting a few of the people in our group into houses. Then the rest of the exhibit is self-guided, so Skyler and I wandered around with the audio device resting between our heads. We saw costumes from the movies, life size house elves that they used when digitizing the characters, wands, the sorcerer's stone, and all sorts of props. I loved seeing the costumes most because the height difference between Harry, Ron, and Hermione is quite hilarious - Daniel Radcliffe is only a little taller than me. We saw Professor Umbridge's pink office with cats everywhere and the beds from the Gryffindor dormitory. It was pretty awesome and increased my HP love!


FOOD: Luzzo's Pizza

I think a New York necessity is pizza and finding the best pizza. John and I listened to the over 400 positive Yelp reviews for Luzzo's and gave it a shot. It's in the East Village, just a few blocks from my dorm, so I already liked it for its convenience. John and I split a 12 inch Tartufata pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, truffle, pâté, basil) for $18. The crust was very thin causing the cheese and oils to ooze and blend. Just thinking about it I remember the flavor that heavenly melted in my mouth. I can't say it was the best pizza I've ever had in my life, but it was definitely up there.


PLACES: Jazz Age Lawn Party

The day after watching Midnight in Paris and deeply wishing I lived in the 1920s, I went to Governor's Island to the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party. After a short ferry ride I was transported into a retro heaven. Women were dressed in flapper outfits, vintage bathing suits, and pearls and men were decked in bowties and white suits. Basically, I was in love.

My friends and I brought a picnic and enjoyed bread and cheese with St. Germain cocktails. There was music and dancing, tug of war, and vintage clothing sold in booths around the lawn.

It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon - and totally reminded me that I must find a flapper dress!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

FOOD: Would YOU like some chicken with your waffles?

Two weeks ago I went with Timothy to Sylvia's: The Queen of Soul Food in Harlem, and it was everything I hoped for and more.  As a first-timer, I wasn't sure about the whole fried chicken + waffle + maple syrup combo... but it tasted. like. a miracle. Both the fried chicken and waffle were especially fluffy, so my tastebuds were very pleased indeed.

And you know a restaurant is legitimate when there is a red-roped line out front.

AND they serve complimentary corn bread baskets. Such a flippin yummy #win!


PLACES: Art is alive

Two weeks ago, Ashley Hsu and I went to the Metropolitan Opera House to see American Ballet Theatre's production, Cinderella, with Julie Kent (ballerina in Center Stage!) as the principal dancer. Although it was amazing to see a forty-year-old dancer perform so beautifully, I am not ashamed to say that my exploration of the Lincoln Center prior to the performance was better than the ballet itself.  I mean... how much better is this than Times Square? (Answer: 10 million times better!)

Art is everywhere!

After Sheep's Meadow in Central Park, this is probably my second favorite place in New York City.  I don't know if I've ever seen performance art so large and alive.