May 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I was incredibly fortunate to attend Seth Godin‘s lecture at last Friday’s Creative Mornings. The free tickets sold out in 45 seconds! And for good reason. Seth is an awesome speaker who has amazing ideas and great conversation starters about all kinds of professional topics.
Although this talk sounds like its aimed at designers, the lessons can really be applied to almost any profession (especially the music industry, industry friends!). Watch the 20 minute talk above. I promise it is well worth your time.
May 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Part of Arrested Development’s debut on Netflix streaming includes clever marketing events like this Frozen Banana Stand that is traveling across the country. The stand was giving away free chocolate-covered frozen bananas and supposedly the actors from the show were supposed to be hanging around.
Unfortunately, when Annie and I got there at 3:00, we waited in an enormous line for about 25 minutes then they ran out of bananas.
Womp womp. But that’s okay – all I really wanted was a photo with the stand and to check out the scene…
…It was also easy to cheer ourselves up with a visit to the Magnolia Bakery across the street.
February 28, 2013 § Leave a Comment
During my second year of college, I got into Conor Oberst‘s mostly solo, emo-masterpiece Bright Eyes BIG TIME. When he joined social commentary rock band Desaparecidos and released “Read Music/Speak Spanish”, I loved having a punk alternative to his soulful sad songs.
I have seen Bright Eyes live many times. When I was 20, I saw him play the Horseshoe in Toronto then drove with four friends to Montreal the very next day to see him again. (I also got up the nerve to introduce myself to him and tell him I loved the new record before that show. On stage, he told a story about a Canadian girl who offered to marry him so he could live in our country instead of America. All of my guy friends thought that was me, and I never corrected them – until now.)
Although Desaparecidos did tour briefly, I don’t think they ever came to Canada so I never saw them. I was so happy to finally get the chance to see them live last night at New York’s Webster Hall. They were great! Lively and passionate and spot on with every song. Not to mention, they played all their old songs, with just a few that I believe to be new and a cover of opening band/their best touring friends Joyce Manor.
Sorry for the vertical video – I was holding my phone out over the balcony and didn’t feel comfortable holding it sideways! Also the floor was actually bouncing with people rocking out. What a great show!
P.S. I was standing a few feet away from Conor before they played in the VIP area and, yes ladies, he is still a cutie pie.
February 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Last weekend, our friends Julia and Jay came to visit! And you know what? We didn’t go into Manhattan ONCE!
Instead, we hung out in three different Brooklyn neighbourhoods, beginning of course, with Greenpoint for each of our brunches. We also took the East River Ferry to DUMBO, where Julia was very excited to get some treats from Jacques Torres.
Those cookies were SO GOOD!
We also spoiled ourselves with soaps and toiletries from West Elm Market before heading back North for dinner at Lokal. That night, all of us being very happily married thirty-somethings, we decided to stay in to watch a movie.
On Sunday, despite the chilly wind and freezing temperatures, we bundled up and went to Fort Greene to check out the indoor Brooklyn Flea.
It was a complete madhouse, but Nick and I found a few prints for our living room! We also enjoyed some treats in the basement food court, and you can’t help but appreciate the architecture of this old building.
Later that afternoon, I took Julia to my favourite store, Dalaga, where we both wanted the same bracelet. Obviously we had to have them and declare them “friendship bracelets”.
Before long it was time for them to leave again, but not without promises of another visit soon. Thanks for coming and enjoying a relaxing, yet productive, Brooklyn weekend with us, guys! xoxo
January 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
2012 was “The Year Of Yes” for Nick and I. We wanted to make it the best possible, doing what we wanted when we wanted, within reason, of course. This attitude led to some pretty great moments and incredible experiences. I also fell even more in love with yoga, specifically Ashtanga, and turbocharged my practice into a 4-5 times a week affair which led me into new poses I never expected to be able to do. There were sad moments this year too, especially in February, but overall, 2012 was the best one I’ve had in years.
- On Friday the 13th, Nick & I went to see/experience the incredible Sleep No More.
- That same morning, I danced my heart out before 10am at Creative Mornings with Girl Walk All Day.
- Filed for an LLC and made my business official. No more freelancing for me!
- The beginning of the month, my family faced a tragedy. Jenn’s nearly full-term baby suddenly passed away a week before her due date. We’ll always remember Everett, even though we didn’t get to meet him.
- Nick and I met my parents in Jamaica for a sunny vacation.
- I flew to Canada for a week-long visit, where I stayed with Jenn and her family. This included lots of playing with their new puppy, Biscuit.
- I tried an incredibly challenging Soulcycle class – right after Jake Gyllenhaal worked out in the same room.
- Mad Men season 5 premiered and I fell in love with the show all over again.
- Flew to London for a long weekend. We got to see Nick’s client Frank Turner headline his first arena show and Abbey Road!
- I helped set a record at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade RecordSetter Event.
- Finally bought a bike worth more than $100. What a difference!
- Spent a weekend in Ohio for Alex and Erin’s lovely barn wedding.
- Started a subscription to Lancaster Farm Fresh weekly vegetable share and farm fresh eggs. Best decision of 2012!
- Had a quick trip to Toronto to see Frank Turner and Baroness, along with some friends and family.
- Saw an amazing Radiohead show in Newark.
- My sister Jenn came for a weekend visit!
- The first Long Island beach visit of the year with Kate.
- Gave a sweaty-faced testimonial in a video for my favourite yoga studio.
- Went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island solo, but met up with many ex- & current TAG friends and my good Torontonian bud, Travis Bradley!
- Took a weekend road trip to Baltimore with Kate and Bryan. Survived the worst thunderstorm driving conditions on the way there so that we could see fish in their aquarium, go to a baseball game, and eat at a Brazilian steak house.
- Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with Nick by getting massages. So goooood.
- Rewrote my NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, complete with different categories, to appease all the NYC visitors!
- Went to Massachusetts to visit Nick’s best friend Mike, but we also went WHALE WATCHING! I saw humpback whales for the first time and it was one of the coolest moments of my life.
- Finally upgraded from a Blackberry to an iPhone.
- Collected a ton of paperwork and “proof of relationship” to renew my green card and have the conditional status of my permanent residency removed. Filed it myself and felt very accomplished.
- Flew to Toronto for a 10-day visit that started with a Bachelorette Party Cottage Weekend for Julia! Was so incredibly happy to spend 4 days in a cottage with some of my best friends that I only get to see a few times a year.
- Julia and Jay got married! I was so happy to be able to celebrate with them and stand up for Julia as a bridesmaid. I was also pretty happy to partake in the best dance party in years at their reception.
- Finally succeeded in doing headstand in the middle of the room! I have still never fallen (knock on wood).
- Celebrated a great 31st birthday.
- Helped Nick celebrate his birthday and had our first joint birthday dinner ever with some of our best friends.
- Went to Chicago to see Smashing Pumpkins in their hometown!
- New York got hit by Hurricane Sandy. We hunkered down, but were very very lucky to not have any damage.
- My parents came to visit us for the first time since we got married!
- Went to a special Creative Mornings talk by George Lois at the Met.
- Kate and Bryan got married at city hall!!! They were engaged for over 3 years before finally tying the knot at Manhattan’s city hall and now they are pregnant!
- Saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse with Patti Smith at Brooklyn’s new venue, Barclay’s Center.
- Nick and I flew to Sweden for a long weekend to see his band Ghost. We were so happy about this opportunity, even though it was a whirlwind trip!
- After a few months of practicing, I was finally successful in doing a real Ashtanga back bend!
- Celebrated Christmas with my family in Oshawa and Fenelon Falls.
- Flew home from Canada on Boxing Day then flew to Paris less than 2 days later! Celebrated New Year’s Eve by adding a love lock to Pont de l’Archevêché. Romantic!
If you finished this post, I applaud you! How was your 2012?
December 9, 2012 § 3 Comments
After being engaged for over 3 years, two of my favourite New Yorkers finally tied the knot last month at City Hall!
It was a surprise wedding, so there was no talk of it before and even after for a few days. Kate told me about their plan to get hitched the Monday before the Friday they had both taken off work. I was very impressed by their secret-keeping abilities!
I felt so honoured to be one of only a few guests. Bryan’s Mom, Dad, and brother came, then also a few friends of Kate’s since her family lives in Kansas and Colorado. Of course, I offered my photography skills to them for their last minute wedding – just because you’re only spending $65 to get married doesn’t mean you can’t have photos to remember it!
We all met at City Hall around 2:00. Bryan’s brother was their witness.
The place was packed so we entertained ourselves for an hour. It was much busier than when Nick and I were married around noon on a Thursday. As always, it was so fun seeing all the other people getting married, especially what they all chose to wear. Check these guys out! I hope they were marrying each other in those suits.
Kate looked stunning.
The groom and his Dad didn’t look so bad either!
Finally, it was their turn.
The ceremony at City Hall is about 2 minutes long. Just long enough to make it official with a bit of sentiment and about 10 seconds to tear up in happiness for the lovely couple.
Bonus: They were married by the same officiant as Nick and I!
It’s official, the Vastanos (or Vastanleys, as I like to call them) are finally married!
After the ceremony, our group walked around the neighbourhood to take some photos. Only in New York, will you get some wedding photo gems like this.
But also, this.
Kate is still Kate, even on her wedding day.
Lots of walking was done.
When we snapped enough photos, they decided it was time for one last surprise.
Bryan and Kate gave his parents a card with a sonogram in it.
They both agreed, it was one of the best days of their lives.
Congratulations, Kate and Bryan!
November 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
This weekend, for the first time since Nick and I were married, my parents came to visit us in Brooklyn!
And although they’ve come to visit us three times now, this was the first time they were able to be here with no agenda, no plans, and not have to even venture into Manhattan. It was so nice to show them our neighbourhood and give them an idea of how we live here.
They arrived Friday evening, so we made dinner at home and hung out on the couch, drinking a bottle of wine from my favourite neighbourhood wine shop, just talking. On Saturday, after a bagel breakfast, we walked to Williamsburg and had lunch at Smorgasburg. I took my Mom to Dalaga (my favourite!) where she got to buy a cute sweater and scarf. We had a tasty dinner at Habitat and spent another night in, chatting on our comfy couch that has convinced them they need a sectional for their cottage ;)
This morning, we had brunch at Brooklyn Label and walked around Greenpoint, then to McCarren Park and back. It was such a beautiful, warm Fall day!
Since I got my sense of humour from them, I knew they’d appreciate our “Live Chicken Laughter” sign.
They should be landing back home in Toronto right about now. Thanks for coming to visit, Mom & Dad! We hope you liked Greenpoint and that you come back again real soon.
November 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Yesterday marked one week since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. I spent that day preparing for a disaster, but hoping it would be unnecessary. Luckily, it was. One week ago today, Nick and I stepped out of our apartment building after being inside for 24 hours, wearing rain boots, since our windows face a courtyard, we were unsure of what exactly the situation was going to be. Surprisingly, our main street was packed with people going about their normal routines just like any other day, with the exception of some blown over construction walls, scaffolding left askew, and one building blocked off because pieces of brick were falling from it.
We knew from the nonstop coverage on TV that we were very lucky. The Rockaways, Jersey Shore, and Staten Island were absolutely pummeled and there was irreversible damage done to many houses, schools, and even waterfront landmarks.
Last week was definitely disorienting. I’m fortunate that I always work from home, but since the subway was almost completely shut down the entire week, Nick was forced to work from home as well. On Wednesday, he had a friend drive him and his two assistants to work in Midtown and it took 2 hours to get there. They walked home in 1.5 hours. Still, there are no subways running in Greenpoint and the buses are packed. It seems though that New York knows how fortunate it is and no one is complaining. We’re all happy just to be warm and safe.
This is the first time I’ve dealt with a natural disaster. It’s strange in so many ways. I’m relieved that Nick and I, and our friends, are fine, but it’s hard to relax knowing what the affected areas are going through. I want to help them, but because of the gas shortage and subway service, getting there is difficult. The best Nick and I can do so far is to have friends who lost power in the city over for hot showers, food, and phone charging. We’ve also made a sizable Red Cross donation. Still, I am so inspired to see so many business and individuals running drives to collect supplies for those areas. If you think New Yorkers are cold and heartless, you are wrong!
Photo: NBC News
October 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
All of this hurricane talk makes me want to watch The Simpsons, specifically Hurricane Neddy.
If only I had season 8! For now, I’ll continue to scour Twitter for info, watch the news, and keep Nick from eating all our food tonight.
How is it where you are?
October 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I have officially gone into survival mode now that the impending storm should be hitting within hours. Nick and I bought food and water yesterday, but this morning I woke up and started filling containers and pots with water. We’ve been charging our electronics and bought more batteries for the iPod dock we can charge our phones with. I’ve washed and cut up vegetables for us and bought even more cereal and crackers. Still at this point, we’ve been waiting for the storm to hit for almost a day and it’s hard to concentrate on anything else.
I appreciate everyone who has checked in on us. We will be staying in our apartment and waiting this out. Our area might flood, but will probably lose power which will mean we’ll lose internet. I just hope our cell phone service holds so I can let everyone know we are doing fine.
Take care everybody! xoxo