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April 21, 2012

These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New; Big Lights Will Inspire You

{Travel Links Located at Bottom of the Post}

I have a complex relationship with New York City.  During my very short year on Long Island I remember getting sick to my stomach every time I arrived back "home" at the Newark airport.  I hated everything about New York: I thought it was dirty, I thought people were mean, I didn't understand the mystique of it all.  I unjustifiably blamed New York for all my troubles, and therefore I associate the City with some pretty bad memories.

On the other hand, the City itself was my salvation.  On weekends, when I couldn't take studying anymore, I would ride the LIRR into the City and just walk, for miles, with no destination.  To just feel the hum of the energy and remind myself why I took such a leap of faith in the first place.

Its been about five years since I left New York City and I was apprehensive about the return.  Dan and I had planned to meet up some of our friends for a mini vacation and I wondered what would happen upon our landing in Newark. Would it be what I remembered?  Oddly, the first thing I noticed is that the airport looked remarkably cleaner.  I know now that this is not because it actually was cleaner, but because I was always at that airport in fit of depression that certainly clouded my ability to see things clearly.

We got to stay at a pretty incredible apartment in Manhattan and for the first time in a long time I saw the City as a tourist; not as an overwhelmed, overworked, and probably clinically depressed 1L law student.

We started the morning at the 911 Memorial.  When I left New York, it was six years after 9/11 and the memorial was still a big hole in the ground.  Therefore, I was really looking forward to going back and seeing what has been in the works for a very long time.

The memorial was stunning, extremely touching, and simply: so well done.


{the new towers}

{us at the memorial}

{Dan and I at the Memorial}

After the memorial, we decided to hit up Century 21 so the girls could do some shopping. The boys moaned and bitched about having to wait, but after about an hour we met back up and I was shocked to find Dan with a cart overflowing with shirts and ties.  Yes ladies, this store is mecca not just for woman, but for men as well.  It offers name brand clothes at a hell of a deal, and we probably came out of there with $300 worth of merchandise for around $130. 

That night was truly one of my favorites nights in the history of vacations.  We had scored some pretty incredible tickets to the Book of Mormon, a show Dan and I had been wanting to see forever.  Really, the whole point of the trip was to see this play.  So we got dressed up...

...enjoyed a quick cocktail on our private rooftop deck... know, one of the TWO private rooftop decks...

...and we headed on over to the theatre.

Because of the world's most awesome hook-up, we scored some incredible seats.  So incredible that Cameron Diaz, who was also at the show, but was sitting behind us. Sorry Cam!

I cannot say enough good things about this play.  I love musicals, and this was hands down the best one I have ever seen.  At intermission I went to the bathroom and literally had mascara running down my cheeks from crying from laughing so hard.  The whole audience was in an uproar, and I cannot remember the last time I had a smile on my face for that long.  If you get the opportunity to go to this play, you must.  Its an experience not to be missed. (I will note, however, its can be pretty vulgar, so you have been warned). 

Most mornings we spent attempting to track down the perfect New York style diner breakfast:

 As you can see, I think we found it. 

On a separate food note, we got reservations at the most amazing New York City restaurant ever.  Its called La Carbonara and it is located at 202 West 14th Street (linked below).  Its exactly what you want a NYC Italian restaurant to be.  We were greeted at the door by the owner, had amazing service, the food was delicious, and at the end the owner gave us a free round of drinks.  How incredible is that?

 We did the obligatory Brooklyn Bridge walk, which I personally love.  I am all about touristy things and the BB offers the best views of the City.

It also provided some much needed exercise after lunch.

{obligatory Brooklyn Bridge pose with significant other}

But honestly, the majority of our trip was pretty low key.  

I woke up to views of this (above), which made me feel like a real New Yorker

We walked down to the new(ish) High Line Park which was awesome.  The park was is a long, elevated walking path/park built on an old freight line.  You could still see the tracks in the path, and it offered some great views.

We enjoyed some of New York's off beat humor (what does this even mean?)

On one day I forced everybody to walk down to Magnolia Bakery to get the famous cupcakes.

Years later, the line still stretches around the block.  But honestly? They were not as good as I remember them.  I think Sprinkles has spoiled me. I don't really know much of anything that tastes better then a Sprinkles cupcake.

Most nights we spent staying up way too late playing cards on the deck overlooking the view of the City.  When you have access to such a cool place, why not? 

The trip was epic, one of our best ever.  We will be talking about it for years to come and I could not have asked for a better vacation. 

Yet, one of the games we played while in New York was "if you had this apartment, would you want to live in New York? 


Not really.  New York City is definitely not for me, but it was nice to go back.  It was kind of like making up with a friend after a terrible fight.  You might not ever be best friends again, but you can learn to love and respect them for who they are and the potential they encompass.  I can honestly say that after this trip, New York and I are friends again. 

New York Trip Links 
911 Memorial (reserve tickets in advance)

April 11, 2012

March Movies

January Movies 
February Movies

Time for my monthly movie recap!

Morning Glory
Despite the fact that I have a girl crush on Rachel McAdams, I just could not get into the movie.   Although I will say, it was refreshing to see a romantic comedy where a girl was in love with her job as opposed to a boy. 

Everybody said this movie sucked, and guess what?  It sucked. I was beyond shocked that they were able to get this many A-list stars to sign onto this movie.  The ending was so lackluster and boring.  Outbreaks ugly stepsister.

Tower Heist 
Speaking of ugly stepsister movies, Tower Heist is the ugly stepsister of Ocean's 11.  Cute premise, decent cast, but overall just...dumb.

Crazy Stupid Love
*I watched this movie while flying back from Denver, so Dan didn't watch it with me.  I LOVED this movie, LOVED! Emma Stone is my new favorite actress, and Ryan Gosling and Steve Carrell were a perfect pair.  Great date night movie!

The Hunger Games
Who didn't see the Hunger Games this month?  I really enjoyed this movie, but if I was to be hypercritical, I think the cinematography was really bad considering the massive budget the film must have been on.  Also, I was not a fan of all the shaky screen shots.  I am happy that the director quit and will not be doing Catching Fire, but overall it was my favorite movie of the month.

Melissa's March Rankings
(1)Hunger Games
(2) Crazy, Stupid, Love*
(3) Morning Glory
(4) Tower Heist
(5) Contagion

Dan's March Rankings
(1) Hunger Games
(2) Tower Heist
(3) Morning Glory
(4) Contagion

Any suggestions for April movies?


April 7, 2012

Cures for a Rotton Week

I had a rough week. Here are some thing that made this week a little less terrible: 

1. Texts From Hillary

Not since Suri's Burn Book have a found a tumblr feed so enjoyable.

2. Watching Tiger Woods Fail

3.  Pentatonix singing "Somebody That I Used to Know"

Not only is this my new favorite song, but my favorite acapella group re-did it and killed it.

4. My new favorite dress

I bought this dress at Target a couple weeks ago and it is amazing.  Perfect cut, great material, and red.  I am going to buy it in a couple more colors.

5.  Reading This Book in One Sitting

While not my favorite book in the world, it was nice to finally read a book that captivated my attention so that I didn't want to put it down. 


April 4, 2012

Welcome April!

So, do you remember that time I took part in the photo-a-day challenge? Remember when I made the decision to clog everybody's google readers with my uploaded photos on my blog since my phone  isn't compatible with instagram?  Do you also remember when THE DAY AFTER I FINISHED instagram became available for those of us with Android phones?

Sigh. So lame.

It was all probably for the best anyways.  March was a busy month and I didn't really have time for substantive blog posts anyways.

It started off with some great basketball, and while my boys only made it through to the second round I was really happy with how well they played and have super high hopes for next year!

The introduction to my twenty eighth year was equally great, especially because it started out with this (in bed, mind you):

and ended with this:

Additionally, Dan surprised me with getting all my degrees framed for my office! Finally I feel like I am a real lawyer (not to mention I can check that to-do off the 2012 to-do list):

THEN! I went to Denver for a mini reunion with some of my college besties!  It was so nice to see mountains again and it was also nice to catch-up with these girls. 

While the majority of the time was spent on the couch watching Downton Abbey and/or playing draw something and/or gossiping, we did manage to leave the house to check out the Coors Brewery tour up in Goldon, Colorado.  So fun.  The brewery served you beer samples throughout the tour and at the end you got THREE FREE GLASSES OF BEER.  Seriously?  Who says you can't get anything for free anymore...

I also completed my third month of weight watchers with a total of 20 pounds lost.  I'm at the weight I feel "myself" at, and I am getting a bit sick of tracking all the time so I might take a break.  But what a great program, I'm sure I'll revisit.

This month is going to be busy.  I am currently trying to get caught up at work so I can enjoy a fun vacation to the Big Apple in the coming weeks.  This month's goal is also to organize my recipes and complete a secret project I have been working on the sly (announcement coming soon).



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