Governor’s Island

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New Yorkers: you only have until the end of the month to head out to Governor’s Island and find out what the hype is all about.

Governor’s Island, located 8 minutes by ferry from the southern tip of Manhattan, has been going through major transformation. The island, which in the past has been everything from a wartime fortress (successful in warding off British attack in 1812), a coast guard headquarter station, and a prison, is now a destination for fun and relaxation.

With some 30 acres of parks, bike paths and even a hammock grove (seriously the best things ever!), the island is a popular weekend destination. When I went for the first time last weekend I was blown away by the amount of activities available. When first walking off the ferry, many people flocked to the beach inspired bar area where there is apparently an outdoor concert area. Events and concerts are scheduled here throughout the summer and last weekend was no exception as I overheard a Sublime cover band while in line for my ferry back to Manhattan.

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Bikes seem to be the preferred mode of transportation on the island. Many visitors rented tandems and surrey cycles directly off the island while others brought their bikes on the ferry with them from Manhattan and Brooklyn (no extra charge from the $2 round trip fare). The island is larger than I expected so a bike will definitely be included on my future excursions.

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A short walk from the ferry will put you directly in front of a castle. Castle Williams to be exact. This fortress was where I spent my time…I know, I know. I’m such a nerd. I signed up for a free tour (available every hour) which takes you through the four levels and up onto the roof for an awesome view (the first picture in this post is from the roof).

Castle Williams was built in the 1800s to protect Manhattan from invasions by the British. The invasion never happened, and maybe it was due to the threat posed by this sandstone structure which had 13 casements that could each hold 26 cannons. That’s pretty intense and not something I would want to sail past as the British (not to mention this was only one fort out of the defense system in place around Manhattan.)

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After this cultural enlightenment, I wandered toward the hammocks and plopped myself down for over an hour of reading and snoozing. Seriously, I need to speak to the person involved in deciding to put hammocks on Governor’s Island. It is pure genius.

If you’re in the New York area between May and September, I suggest packing a picnic (or some cash for the food trucks) and buy a ferry ticket for an afternoon on Governor’s Island.

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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.

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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.

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Stop by the store and try it yourself:

89 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014

MDCV

I am excited for a weekend of not-much-to-do!  I work tomorrow night (productive move) and will spend the rest of the weekend on me (essential move)!  I plan on lounging, reading, cleaning and maybe making some yummy food.  To kick off the weekend, tonight I’m going to go to Central Park for an outdoor screening of the French film OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES.  This is the fifth year that the French Embassy and NYC Parks have come together to put on this event.  There will be five total screenings throughout June and July and ce soir is the kick-off.  J’ai hâte de les regarder!

This weekend I might even make time to decorate my room; something I’ve been putting off.  I love this collage idea for my bare walls. I did a similar design when I redecorated my room at my parents’ house post-France.  The photos were from my travels abroad.  When I moved to NYC, I decided to start fresh so I guess I should get to step 1 and decide what to hang.

Of course besides my rendez-vous au parc, these weekend activities are all indoors.  With the nice weather we have (of course it may rain this weekend), I will need to take a stroll around with my camera.  Love snapping photos in the city.  I do sort of wish I was at the beach again this weekend (I’m such a beach bum).   Bike riding in beach towns on a lazy weekend..that woudl be ideal!  Soon I guess I could find myself joy riding around Manhattan with the rent-a-bike system.  Speaking of bikes (why do I continue to do this?) I found some fun for fellow biking enthusiasts.  You must check out these fun accessories.  From Nantucket style baskets to wine holders and wooden handlebars, there may be no limit for your bike!

I leave you with a beautiful song from some young talent.

Bon weekend mes amis!

MDCV

This post will be brief. Brief because my work day is brief. Brief because this week was too long to add to it a long post. Brief because the holiday weekend (the one that rings in the summer) awaits us all. Let’s begin…

Love checking out this site to see what people are making out of their passions. INSPIRED

I think I need white sneakers this summer. INVESTMENT

This is my idea of greatness! YUMMY

Answer this. It will make your day brighter. HAPPY

I don’t know where this is but I want to sit there, turn off my brain and read a book that makes me laugh.  DESIRE

I’m off to the beach. Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone.

PS-I took this photo in Italy. Isn’t she sassy!? I am in the process of uploading my photography to Flickr. Make sure to check it out 🙂

MDCV

How is it Friday again?  I cannot believe I am saying this but it feels like just yesterday I was writing last week’s TGIF post!  I have been a busy bee…so busy that I have a few half-written posts about last weekend’s adventures that need to be shared! Désolé mes amis. Good things are worth the wait 🙂

Here are the tidbits from my week of interviewing, working multiple jobs and getting little sleep.  Even if blog stalking was on a back burner, I still have some things to share as you begin a beautiful weekend. PS- weather.com is just as pumped for weekends as Becoming French; they have a countdown on their page.  J’adore!

 

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“Every Friday Lindsey from Lost in Cheeseland writes about a francophile.  She asks consistent questions but the answers are always interesting because she finds such different candidates to share.  This week things really got creative because Texas and Paris have converged on her site.  Enjoy reading about this Parisian cowgirl (I didn’t even know that was possible). 
Before I leave this subject, I have to quote the post because what Ellise says is one of the many things I enjoy most about France (read it and say AMEN with me),

“It’s still hard to understand how the city’s most famous ice cream maker, Berthillon, closes for the month of August, the biggest tourist month of the year. As an American you think, how is this possible? They could make so much money! This would never happen in the U.S. – and it probably wouldn’t. But this tells you everything a foreigner needs to know about French culture: business and making money aren’t the most important things in life.”

“Last night I watched HBO’s new show, “Girls”.  I am still trying to figure out how I feel about it.  In the beginning (when it aired) I was a bit anti but last night I very haphazardly gave it a try.  I am not sure I really want to spend any amount of time watching people have awkward sexual encounters (check out my friend’s blog for more on that topic), as this seems to be a bulk of the show.  Despite this, I found myself laughing out loud and sadly relating to the “broke girl in NYC” parts.  So do I give it a chance?  Is this going to become my guilty pleasure? Only time will tell.

“Simple enough: I’m craving this.  After a week of chocolate cravings to the max, I am ready for the fruity yet tangy bite that rhubarb gives.  This fruit/veggie (it is confused, much like a tomato) was first introduced to me as I indulged with a homemade tarte in France last year.  I was hooked!

“Love Reed Krakoff. Adore Garance Doré.  So when they collaborated on this project I knew I would love it! I think you will too.

“I’m dreaming this week of Cannes, France where the annual film festival began Wednesday.  This event is like a fairytale (most film events have this impression on me).  Celebrity, French Riviera, yachts, movies, fancy fashion, cocktail parties… Unfortunately, last year when living in France, I dropped the ball on making the dream of attending a reality.  Guess that just means I have something to look forward to (I want to go when I have the money to spend on such lavish living anyways).  This year the event kicked off with “Moonrise Kingdom.”  I am curious to see how the featured films are received by the press and public.  Last year’s event launched “The Artist” all the way to the Oscar podium.  Will this year bode such results?

“I’m so pumped because one of my favorite blogs is BACK!  I was wondering where she had been hiding and am happy to see the blog taking new design and inspiration.  Change is good!

OK ENOUGH! Go outside and enjoy the weather. Get off your computer! My best friend is in town and I cannot wait to explore the city with her.  She gets off the train in about 2 hours and I plan to meet her halfway (my office is super close).  Meeting halfway, coming off of the train, luggage in hand, on the streets of NYC; I am thinking it will be like a 1920’s film.  We may just have to run into each others arms… I told you I get carried away when I think of movies 🙂

Fra0238-small by lucbus
Fra0238-small, a photo by lucbus on Flickr.