July 11 at 8:24pm

Tomorrow and Saturday you will be able to experience a beautiful natural masterpiece in the skyline of Manhattan: Manhattanhenge. As the sun sets, it will align perfectly with the gridded streets of the city.

Happening only twice a year, this popular photo opt is compared to the rising of the sun at Stonehenge in England (hence the name).

Will you be waiting in the streets to snap a photo?

Here is a tip for catching the view.

Summer Concert Series (Governors Ball)

This summer I’ve been taking advantage of concerts in the city. New York offers many free outdoor concerts through multiple organizations.

Summer also makes way for festival season. Speaking of which I went to Governor’s Ball for the first time. This three-day concert takes place on Randall’s Island in the beginning of summer. My friend and I decided on picking one day out of the three (too old to hang like that for three days straight).

IMG_6204

It was such a fun day. Beautiful weather, a nice setup of stages, awesome music (Jack White, The Strokes, Naked & Famous, Broken Bells to name a few) and great company. I was actually most surprised by how zen the very diverse crowd of drunk people were. Guess that’s festival music lovers for ya :)

IMG_6226 IMG_6210

My friend was dog-sitting over in Astoria for the weekend so we conveniently were able to walk over the bridge onto the island, which was a fun adventure (except on the way home after a long day  of fun in the sun….ugh).

IMG_6197 IMG_6253

 

Recovery the next day was delicious. I think I like Astoria :)

IMG_6255

Growing up and out of the Fairy Tale

I used to believe in the fairy tale magic of true love. That we all had that one prince charming we were destined to be with. We would, no doubt, eventually find this person based on the circumstances of life and we would know (because of an undeniable feeling) that it was the right match.

Then I grew up, dated a bunch, had my heart broken on more than one occasion and began to reevaluate. There was a time in college when that reevaluation was extremely cynical. I’ve grown up past that and cynicism is not what this is about. Love is beautiful and it surrounds us everyday in many forms. I believe in it and I am glad for those who have found it in a life long husband/wife. But here I am in my mid to late twenties, single and wondering where that spark of a man could possibly be and if I let him pass by already.

Have my friends who are happily in a relationship just worked harder at finding the matches to light the fire while I was waiting for the fireworks display to begin on its own? And what about the sparks for the wrong people? Was that just gas? ;)

Being knee-deep in wedding and engagement season is most likely the reason for such contemplation on my part. You really can begin to feel like the water of opportunity (and potential suitors) is being drained around you with each announcement or invitation and soon you will be left as the dead fish on the dried up sea floor. That coupled (pun-intended) with the fact that I just watched P.S. I Love You, which is arguably one of the most gut wrenching movies about passionate love.

“I’ve been dating since I was fifteen! I’m exhausted!Where is he?”

“Who, the White Knight? That only happens in fairy tales.”

Wacky Wine Wednesday

Rosé has been in my glass these days. This past weekend we had the first real burst of sun and warmth. Windows have been left open in the apartment and we each purchased a little orchid plant*. To top it off, we went to Bin14, Hoboken’s cherished wine bar, and enjoyed a rosé wine flight.

Three wines were presented and the winner was a floral, fruity combo from Jean-Luc Colombo.

photo-1

This little night out gave me a hankering for rosé so this week I opened up a wacky pink hued wine to share with my clients.

Vicentin Blanc de Malbec is a 100% Malbec that sees no skin maceration. The grapes are gently pressed to extract the juice, not color. This is a common practice in Champagne, but quite unconventional when making Malbec from Argentina. I must say that I am quite happy with the resulting light pink wine. It is juicy, tart, refreshing and pretty. The perfect pour for a picnic, which I plan to have in the near future.

IMG_4274 IMG_4277

CHEERS!

 

*No, but seriously we did each purchase an orchid without knowing it. Guess we were all feeling the spring fever.

Spaghetti….but not really.

Last night I experimented with Spaghetti Squash for dinner. I read that you can cook the squash one of two ways: whole or cut in half. I decided to cut it in half. One upside-down and the other right side up (just to experiment) . I put a little bit of water in the deep pan and put a tiny bit of oil inside the half that was right side up.*

When done cooking,  I paired the “spaghetti” with sautéed red kale, onions and tomatoes.

Delicious. Easy. Fresh.

photo 1 photo 2

 

photo 4

*Results of a soft squash ready to scrape out of the skin are quicker with squash upside down.

 

Finding an apartment in Paris

If I ever was to “become French” and actually move back to the country I dream about, this little site would be my best friend.

Apartment searching in Paris is expensive, time-consuming and exhausting. Much like finding an apartment in a city like New York. So this site works like a dating site, in that you create a profile as a buyer or seller and explain what you are looking for. When you are matched with a seller (or prospective buyer), you are contacted and able to set up an appointment.

Less waiting in lines at open houses, less headache for everyone and hopefully more luck finding a new home.

Disclaimer: video is en Française. 

Sweet and Swedish Saturday

I have an intense sweet tooth. It was triggered during my time in France. I mean seriously, who can resist the tartes and cakes at every corner patisserie?

I am more of a chocolate and ice cream person, however, recently I ate some amazing gummies from Sweden. Sockerbit was first introduced to me when my roommate brought home a white bag of treats. I tried them out and was impressed. Then the other weekend, on a lazy weekend stroll while waiting for brunch at Buvette (more on that later), I stumbled across the stark white candy store in the West Village.

IMG_3985IMG_3987 IMG_3988

The smågodis at Sockerbit are all GMO free, trans fat free and colored from nature. But all of that aside, they are delicious and fun. My bag was quickly filled with shapes, colors and flavors. My favorite so far has been the salted licorice candy. Yes, salt on my gummy. It sounds freakish, but seriously, these Scandinavians are on to something here.

IMG_3989 IMG_3991

Stop by the store and try it yourself:

89 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014

Parcin’ it in Philly

I recently made my way back to the city of brotherly love for a weekend with friends.  Phialdelphia is where I grew up and the city I knew before all others, but at this point in my life it is no longer home. So for this trip I made a point to get a few suggestions for bars and restaurants in the area.  I tend to go to the same few places since college and I was ready for something new.

IMG_5410

Lucky for me, my friend lives off of Rittenhouse Square so we were right in the thick of things. The first night, we got cocktails at a few places including Twenty Manning and The Pub & Kitchen. Both bars served up decent cocktails amid a fun ambiance, but Pub & Kitchen took home the pie. Mostly because I was hungry and the kitchen was closed during our stop at Twenty Manning, but also because the DJ knew the way to my heart: Notorious B.I.G. (I did mention I was from Philly, right?!).

IMG_5420

A smart man once said that Saturdays are meant for drinking and eating heavily before 5pm (I’m sure someone has said this….), so the next day we did just that. A long and lazy brunch was had at Steven Starr’s Parc Restaurant on the corner of the park. We left this French inspired hot-spot full and a bit tipsy, so I dare say it was a successful morning/afternoon.

IMG_5416

That evening, we joined forces with even more friends and traveled across the city to the “Brooklynesque” Northern Liberies area. This is a neat, up and coming area of Phialdelphia that I enjoyed experiencing a bit this past summer. This weekend we went for mexican dinner at Cantina Dos Segundos. Many spicy margaritas and tortilla chips later, we reconnected with old friends back in center city at Black Sheep Pub. A crowded bar that smelled of beer was the perfect spot to reminisce about high school memories.

A solid weekend that left me exhausted and thirsty for more Philly.

IMG_5426

Mornings

unnamed

I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently about getting up earlier than normal to seize the day.

Oddly enough, my New York Magazine was also featuring notes about early risers and things to do and experience in the early hours of NYC. It was a great article and inspired me to use my day to the fullest, even if it means getting out of bed earlier. I’m actually thinking that it may be the best time for me to write.

For most of my life, my days started very early. I was a competitive swimmer, which meant jumping into cold waters at 5am most mornings. So you might assume getting out of bed is a piece of cake, but let me assure you that it is not. I am not and never have been (even as a swimmer) a “morning person.”

All of that being said, there is something special, productive and peaceful about an early morning run, read or cup of jo. So this year I’ll try to capture more of the early to experience more of the peace.

Do you get up early to get certain tasks accomplished? Do you get up early for exercise? What about a simple pleasure or time alone?

wacky wine on wednesday

We went from below freezing temperatures last week to a rainy, humid 50 degree Monday. What gives?

Wacky weather is getting me thinking about wacky wines.

{wacky} slightly odd and peculiar.

lacrima

Velenosi Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. This is possibly one of my favorite wines as of late. It, to me, is the definition of a peculiar wine. For one, if you were to smell it blind-folded you might think you were presented with a Gewürztraminer. Gewürztraminer is a white wine; Lacrima, a red wine. Can you get where I am coming from with the wacky part now?

Velenosi’s Lacrima has been described as a bouquet of violet flowers (this floral aromatic is the reason for the confusion with Gewürztraminer). If this scares you away from the wine I understand. Personally, I love the florals of this wine paired with soft tannins (meaning the wine does not “grip” onto the sides of your mouth). So I urge you to be daring and try Lacrima if you can get your hands on a bottle (use www.wine-searcher.com for a retail location near you).

The wine’s peculiarity doesn’t end with it’s characteristics. The wackiest part is that not many people know about this wine. I even presented it to one of my very knowledgeable wine buyers and they did not believe me that Lacrima was the varietal (the grape). This is mostly because Lacrima is exclusively produced in an area of Italy called Morro d’Alba and not all producers export their wine. There is not much marketing or promotion of this wine and you will not see it on most shelves. Morro d’Alba is located in Le Marche, a region on Italy’s central eastern coast. So this is one of Le Marche’s hidden gems and Velenosi Vini is a producer dedicated to sharing the region’s treasures with us in the States.  I am lucky enough to work with this wine as a sales professional in the U.S. and I hope that you all can have a sip of it in the near future. You won’t be let down.