photo dump

photo dump: world photography day

Your eyes are not deceiving you, I’m actually posting on a Saturday! It’s a special Saturday because it’s also World Photography Day. Being that I am a true professional*, I would love to share some of my favorites to the masses**

*totally not a professional

**all 5 of you

I’ve posted most (all, probably) of these in previous posts but let me have this.

Obviously, some are more edited than others, some are straighter than others, some are overall better than others, but they all make me feel good. I could tell you a story about each one. I have, if you look hard enough, but I’m not going to do that right now. I haven’t been out with my camera probably since I was in California and I miss it. I have to get back on the horse and as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to inundate these pages with photo dumps. lucky ducks.

 

commemorating thirty

how does someone who was pretty much mentally ready to turn 30, but still feels not adult enough to be 30, celebrate the event?

with a photo shoot, duh.

as we all know, a little less than a month ago, i turned 30. i pretty much had gotten over the whole “wahhh i’m not married, i don’t have kids, i’m single as a dollar bill, i hate my job(s), I’M NOT READY FOR THIS nonsense a while ago. However, i felt like I needed to do something frivolous and fun for myself to officially leave my twenties behind.

i searched all over the internet for a photographer who does session photography that wouldn’t cost me my first born. who knew that would be such a debacle? i must have looked at 100 photographer’s websites, facebook pages, and instagrams and the bottom line was unless you were getting married, newly engaged or becoming a parent, it was going to be very hard to find someone without emailing for pricing. i’m not against shooting off a quick email, i just didn’t want to waste anyone’s time.

just when I was about to give up, i  was talking to my cousin’s wife and she was telling me that she has a friend that does all of their family photo shoots. i asked if she thought her friend would be interested in doing something like this and made sure i wouldn’t look like a creep if i sent her a facebook message. once she assured me that i wouldn’t look like a creep (which was my bigger concern over if she would be willing to even do this.), off to facebook i went.

i had a definite vision for this shoot because my mind is a pinterest board. i knew i wanted to incorporate balloons, glitter, confetti, and the brooklyn promenade. i wanted it to be fun and flirty. actually, what i told stephanie was i wanted it to be very sex and the city minus carrie because, quite frankly, she was annoying and i am not a fan. thankfully, stephanie was totally on board.

i wanted to have fun props to work with because i think they make these things fun. i found big, chunky glitter and a confetti popper at target. my inner martha stewart came out and i put together a “thirty for beginners” book. well, book cover.

20170629_18324420170629_183235

i went to target and found the binder, which was the perfect shade of pink. i headed over to the craft section and found the letters and hoped that they would fit. they did, thank martha.

deh_10

i met stephanie on the promenade and we immediately got started. she brought some great props as well so i was even more excited. i warned her that i suffer from resting bitch face and my nose gets a little hook-like and my feet stick out so just warn me and ill fix myself. i love being in front of the camera as much as i love being behind it, but this was totally out of my comfort zone. i had no idea what to do with my arms, how to smile, or more importantly, how to smeyes. i feel like i fell into the groove pretty quickly. once i got my face down pat, and the balloons started to cooperate, i started to worry less and less what i looked like and more about having fun.

after a few shots, we decided to incorporate the balloons so that we didn’t have to worry about the wind. admittedly, they were a pain in the neck but, to me, so worth it. i love balloons, especially in photo shoots. they’re fun and add an element of whimsy.

i thought i’d use my blue light blocking glasses to make myself more studious because i need to know all i can about being in my thirties. it’s a whole new decade! even though that’s an empty binder and i don’t really wear glasses. it’s all about the aesthetic.

next we tried with the glitter. i have always wanted to do a glitter photo shoot. throwing it, blowing it, whatever. the first few attempts were ok, but stay tuned for some really good glitter action.

we moved off the promenade to the surrounding brownstones. the brownstones were what i truly loved about going to school in that area. they are beautiful in every season, they have charm and tons of history. then there’s me loitering, blowing glitter all over them. #norespect.

we happened to spot a taxi cab waiting for a pick up a little ways down the block. i loooove taxis so when stephanie asked if i wanted to use it, i was so game. the driver was so nice and let us take a few shots near and in the car. the cab was from new jersey and i told him i need to stay on this side of the state line.

we found another stoop to sprinkle a little 30 dust on. i don’t think you’re ready for this magic.

we took a few more shots, including using the confetti popper and then called it a day.

if we could do this every week, i would. i had so much fun and i LOVED the outcome.

I’M READY FOR YOU, THIRTY. (even though, i’ve been thirty for almost a month already.)

*if you live in Brooklyn, or close enough, and need a photographer, go to stephanie’s instagram and send her a message!

**i’m trying out the whole not worrying about capitalizing thing. i’m not sure how i feel about it yet. my grammarly sure hates it though.

signature-script.jpg

san fran…ciscooooo [photo dump days three & four]

Welcome back for days 3 & 4 of Martina’s San Franciscan adventure. I’ve decided to lump Saturday and Sunday together because although we did things, I feel like I didn’t take enough pictures for two separate blog posts.

Anyway…

Saturday was a rough day for me. Being in the cold, wet air the night before and not feeling well to begin with was not ideal. Add on to that having to search for a backpack to replace mine that broke, I was not a happy camper. Our hotel was on the borderline of the Tenderloin neighborhood and Nob Hill. The Tenderloin is known for their homeless population. According to what we heard, it’s gotten better, but still not the nicest of areas. Nob Hill, on the other hand, is home to shopping. High end, luxury, I don’t even think we have one of those stores in New York shopping. We passed Yves Saint Laurent, a Tesla dealership, and Burberry on our way to the first H&M.  They, of course, had no backpacks but told us to try the one in the mall. I wasn’t thrilled to be spending my precious tourist time in a mall, but necessity calls. We walked over to the mall and saw that they also had a Kate Spade, so things were brightening up. We found H&M and walked in, confident that I would find a simple backpack. Wasting no time, I strode up to the salesgirl and asked: “Do you have any backpacks?” To which I was greeted with a blank stare. “Ok, maybe ‘backpack’ is a regional word, like sneakers vs. tennis shoes. Let’s try again.” “you know”, I continued, “a bookbag?” *hand motions of God knows what, putting books in a bag, maybe?* “Oh, no, we don’t. Try the other store across the street.

Defeated, we walked out, trying to plan our next move. Again, I was done and ready for a nap. I cope well in all situations, obvs. Totes grounded and not at all dramatic. We walked around the mall for a bit and found a Kate Spade store. She had tons of cute things but nothing that I wanted needed to bring home. Finally, we ended up in Nordstrom Rack, where thankfully, I found something that would work and my mood brightened a bit.

Our plan for the day was taking a tour in an authentic VW bus. I was stoked (oh, look at me using the California lingo!). I felt very much like a hippie in my gauzy shirt with the little tassels on the sleeves. I bought a flower crown at Claire’s, I was ready to go. Except that a gauzy shirt paired with denim shorts is not the outfit you wear in 59 degree weather. So, again, I’m underdressed. And before anyone wonders why I didn’t just shut up and buy a sweatshirt – I totally misjudged on shopping. There were places I thought I would have time to get back to, even if I went by myself, but I didn’t. Bitching and moaning got me through, always does.

Back to the tour

20170624_134204a

20170624_135246a

looks like a hot summer day. nope. 

20170624_142407_1499387765255a

 

The buses were painted with famous San Francisco landmarks or people who lived there, like Robin Williams, Maya Angelou (who used to be a trolley driver! at 13!), Jimi Hendrix, to name a few. They also had shag carpeting and a manual transmission. It was so cool. They played 60’s music the whole ride and the tour guide was really knowledgeable about each neighborhood we drove through. My only complaint was that our tour left late (bus issues, no biggie) and because of that we didn’t/weren’t able to get out and take pictures or see things up close. When I booked the tour, I was under the impression that we were going to stop at to see the Golden Gate Bridge (the fog wasn’t so bad that day) and in the Haight-Ashbury, but we didn’t and I was a little bummed. I already wrote a review on TripAdvisor, as the tour guide asked, so don’t think I’m using my blog to bash them. The tour was excellent otherwise.

My favorite area was probably the Haight. That’s where the Summer of Love originated. It’s the 50th anniversary of that summer and I wish I was there now to see it being celebrated. I never thought of myself as a hippie or like I would have fit in better in the 60’s, but man, the Haight made me want to braid my hair, throw on some beads and bell bottoms, hop in a DeLorean and see what it was all about.

DSC_1258a

20170624_152136_1499387792192a

Jimi Hendrix lived on top of what eventually became a smoke shop

DSC_1263a

DSC_1266a

Janis Joplin used to live here. Not the best neighbor, apparently.

DSC_1267a

The Greatful Dead’s former living space.

DSC_1268a

The Hell’s Angels used to reside in this house.

DSC_1273a

The biggest PRIDE flag in the country, some say the world.

DSC_1274a

The Castro is filled with murals. There were alleyways filled with them. Again, we weren’t able to get out and I missed a lot of good ones, but I tried.

DSC_1283DSC_1282DSC_1281

Living in San Francisco proper is extremely expensive. I don’t even mean $10 for two 20oz bottles of Diet Coke. I mean over $3,000 a month rent in some places for a one bedroom studio. A ONE BEDROOM STUDIO! One bedroom and no walls. At least in New York, $3,000 would get you a two bedroom in a building with an elevator. Maybe. In the suburbs, it’s a mortgage payment on a pretty big house (I think. I still live with my roommates parents.)

The tour was supposed to take us down Lombard Street, which is the curviest street in America. California. The world. It’s really curvy and well known. Unfortunately, when we got there, it was closed off to vehicle traffic, which happens often. The residents want to close it off to any and all kinds of traffic eventually, which is problematic because how would they be able to access their homes? and two, who would enforce it? I can see their point though and if asked, I’d probably sign the petition.

Since we weren’t able to drive down the block, and that was the main reason I wanted to go on this tour, I made it my mission to get back. When the tour ended, it left us right next to the trolley turnaround. We hopped on the back of the line since one of the trolley’s stops was Lombard Street. About an hour later, we got on the trolley and started up the hill.

When the trolleys get to the turnaround, they stop on this jumbo sized lazy Susan and the workers manually spin it. Here’s a video.

Lombard Street was about five blocks up so we weren’t on the trolley for long. It was cold and windy so no one really minded. We got off when they announced the stop only to find out that the street was now open to vehicular traffic. I swear I almost called the tour company to come and pick us up. Since the street was open with cars on it, we walked on what would be the sidewalk but was really a shallow, long set of stairs. We got to the bottom and, of course, I was trying to channel Ansel Adams and get the perfect shot, but after about 10, I had to just give up.

We walked from the base of Lombard Street to Fisherman’s Wharf. If the streets were flat, it wouldn’t be bad, but the walk was about 6 long, steep blocks of hill. It was kind of scary because after a while my legs were like Jello. It felt like they were ready to give out at any minute. But was it worth it? TOTALLY. So authentic.

We went to the Wharf because we wanted to have a nice, seafood dinner that night and we needed to pick a place. We decided on Alioto’s, a place that’s been there forever and had white tablecloths. #fancy. We quickly Uber-ed back to the hotel to freshen up but Saturday was the coldest day and I felt like absolute crap so I didn’t do much with myself. Needless to say, no pictures were taken.

Sunday

Sunday we didn’t have much planned except for brunch, the PRIDE parade, Ghiradelli Square and a ghost tour at night. Ok, maybe that’s alot. We had brunch at Sweet Maple. I’m dreaming of my french toast. I rarely eat sweet things like pancakes or french toast for breakfast but I could eat this one at least 2 times a week.

20170625_103646

cornflake encrusted french toast.. come to mama

After brunch, we made our way over to see the parade. It was a few blocks from our hotel and where we were watching, it wasn’t too crowded. When I got home, my father told me he heard that the San Francisco parade had over a million people in attendance but the NYC one had about 500,000. I was surprised because, in New York, a million people feels like two million. It definitely didn’t feel like a million people in San Francisco. take note, NYC.

DSC_1307a

CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Andrea Navedo from Orange is the New Black (and Jane the Virgin) on the Netflix float!

DSC_1309a

CELEBRITY SIGHTING: Dascha Polanco and Samira Wiley on the back of the Netflix float!

DSC_1338a

kind of in love with this picture. is it too late to spam it to every instagram in san francisco, hoping someone will repost it?

DSC_1337

his sign said “my safeword is impeach”

DSC_1346DSC_1349

After the parade, we went over to Ghiradelli Square because I was dying for a hot fudge sundae. I never got one, but I enjoyed looking around at all of the cute shops in the square. It also reminded me of many of my childhood vacations. Quaint. Chocolatey.

We kind of floated through until it was time to decide on dinner. Nicole was given a recommendation for a restaurant in Chinatown. House of Nanking is famous for their sesame chicken, so of course, I ordered noodles. Nicole got the chicken and both were delish.

 

20170625_183958

chinatown building, across from the house of nanking

 

When we were finished with dinner, we had time to kill so we walked to Union Square to meet up with our tour guide for the haunted tour. This tour and Saturday’s VW bus tour were the two I was most looking forward to. We met our guide, Momo, and immediately I wanted to take him home with me. His voice was so soothing, he was funny and also, in his spare time, a drag queen. He didn’t come dressed but I did notice lots of random glitter.

Momo took us to some notoriously haunted or really creepy places in the Union Square area. Since San Francisco is a relatively young city, it’s history wasn’t so much of a stretch. The only picture I took was of the lobby of the Westin Hotel, where Fatty Arbuckle may or may not have tried to molest a woman (definitely did) and ended up killing (smothering) her accidentally.

20170625_204524a

Nicole was a little wary of this tour so imagine mine and Jessica’s delight when Momo led us right into our hotel. It turns out that in that very spot, a very entrepreneurial (is that a word?) woman opened up a brothel. Our hotel was also right across the street from the spot where the Zodiac Killer picked up his last victim before he disappeared (Momo’s storytelling and dramatics scared the stuffing out of me with this one.) We were a few blocks away from where Jim Jones thought up and recruited people for Jonestown. And my personal favorite, the Pinecrest Diner murder.

When Momo was done giving us the chills we went back to the hotel, where I packed and finished my noodles in bed.

Sorry this is so long, my friends! Stay tuned for just a quick (maybe) recap of what I wish I got to do/see, what I recommend, etc.

Catch up on day one and day two!

See you soon!

signature-script.jpg

my heart in [san francisco photo dump day 2]

Day 2 and we’re on a roll. For the record, my ears had pretty much fixed themselves after a good night’s sleep. thank heaven for little miracles. 

Our second day was chock full of tourist things. I love being a tourist and really taking in my surroundings. So this was the day I was most excited for. So excited, in fact, I was thisclose to buying a fanny pack. A neon, see through fanny pack. living my best life.

We started the day early with a $13 egg mcmuffin and coffee that is still making hair grow on my back from the market in the hotel. It was a blessing and a curse that little store. After breakfast, we all Uber-ed to the pier so that Jess and I could hop on the ferry to Alcatraz.

DSC_1072aDSC_1076aDSC_1078a

Nicole doesn’t do boats so instead, she went to the Walt Disney Family Museum, which she loved. It was mostly how Disney started, where Walt got funding, etc.

Alcatraz was interesting. We decided to walk all the way up to the top of “The Rock” and get the headphones for the guided tour. I usually hate those tours, but this one was well done and nothing was really marked so it was nice to know what I was looking at.

i didn’t edit all of the pictures from Alcatraz but I wanted to share them so here’s a quick collage.

The last photo of the collage is Al Capone’s cell. Slightly underwhelming, frankly. His cell at Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania is all decorated as he had it when he was a resident there. Oh well. I love hearing stories of the Mob and old school gangsters and I thought that Alcatraz would be full of them, but not so much. Still a must see location. Go early though, it gets crowded.

DSC_1101aDSC_1102aDSC_1104aDSC_1105aDSC_1126aDSC_1128a

After Alcatraz, we met back up with Nicole and made our way over to meet our next tour, which was of the Muir Woods. Getting there meant we had to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and let me tell you, I was like a kid in a candy store. Karl, the fog, had been hiding the bridge since we had gotten there. Apparently, though, the bridge is more visible from the other side. So when it’s foggy, you have to cross it to see it. The driver gave us 10 minutes to explore and then we were on our way. I took advantage of those 10 minutes and pushed my way to a good vantage point, found someone who spoke English, and had them take our picture. LIKE A GOOD TOURIST.

I was obsessed with finding the bridge because #iconic, but also because I feel like coming from a city with a few famous bridges, it would be a disservice if I missed out on seeing/visiting another famous bridge. Kind of like a diplomatic mission.

DSC_1157aDSC_1158aDSC_1161a

I was so excited to finally see the giant redwoods. Are they really that big? Um. yes, probably bigger. They are gorgeous and I could have stayed there all day. It smelled like a zoo, minus the animals. Very woodsy (duh.)

DSC_1173aDSC_1186a

DSC_1199a

this was soo illegal. well, against park rules. we hopped the fence to get a picture but there’s a reason why the fences are there. apparently, the roots are very shallow and if they’re stepped on and damaged, the tree could die. also, i assume they don’t want people falling over the roots. we decided to be badasses and then we were able to high-tail it out of there before the park ranger showed up. i feel bad because i don’t want anything to happen to 8,000 year old trees because I needed a photo, but #photoopps. 

DSC_1201aDSC_1211aDSC_1171aDSC_1181DSC_1183

 

After dodging the park ranger (see caption a few photos up), we started to head back to the bus. The tour was making a quick stop in Sausalito, which I have no pictures of. It is a very quaint town on the water. It reminded of almost every place I used to vacation in when I was younger. It was beachy, without the beach. Think pastel colored collared shirts and khaki/tan shorts, maybe a visor, Sperrys. Very money – not in a Guy Fieri way.

We had little time after we got back to the hotel to get ready and summon yet another Uber to take us to the Mets vs. Giants game. Jess is a huge Mets fan so she begged and we agreed to go. The fact that there were cookie ice cream sandwiches at the ballpark really sweetened the deal (pun kind of intended). Being real team players and supportive friends, Nicole and I surprised Jessica by buying and wearing San Francisco Giants shirts. Hey, we’ll go, but we aren’t going to go quietly.

20170623_201029a20170623_20104120170623_201044

Remember how I said I wasn’t feeling well? Yea, that was still a thing and my throat was killing me by this point. The ballpark is right on the water and the nighttime fog was rolling in, bringing with it spritzes of rain. I was grossly underdressed (which I will talk about it a later post), so after the game, I was ready to hit the sack.

Day Three coming soon!

Experience day one here!

signature-script.jpg

i left [san francisco photo dump day one]

You know what they say about good things, right? They come to those who wait. To reward you for your extreme patience I am coming to you today with the first part of my San Francisco photo dumps!

tenor (1)

So, I’ve decided to organize it by what we did/saw each day. That way 1) it’s not 56938 pictures all at once and 2) so it’s easier for me to give my opinions and tell anecdotes. fun.

Going to California was a big deal for me. This trip was to celebrate my, Jessica’s and Nicole’s 30th birthday, and our 25 years of friendship. It was also my first cross country flight and the first vacation that I took without my parents which may be kind of weird, given my age, but I was never one to want to sleep out and, frankly, I like having my vacations paid for by someone other than myself. Bottom line is that this trip was a long time coming and I was jazzed.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t feeling well when we left. I do NOT recommend going on vacation if you’re not feeling well. (duh.) We’ll come back to that though. The flight was thankfully uneventful. About 5 hours, one Anna Kendrick movie (Table 19 – definitely recommend), and a generous handful of Jersey Shore episodes later, WE ARRIVED.

20170622_125959a

This is over Colorado. I’ll give you 3 guesses as to what those white-capped turbulence makers in the middle of the photo are. If you guessed the Rockies, you’d be correct. If you guessed the Grand Canyon, you’d be Jessica. *sideeye emoji* For reference, they didn’t make a ton of turbulence, but from what I hear, they always make turbulence. Something about how the wind blows.

We landed at 3pm New York time. My ears were slightly clogged when we left, by now they were totally clogged. We made it to the hotel, waited in a forever line, only to be told they could only find my room reservation. And before you even ask, YES. I NEED MY OWN ROOM. Feeling myself unraveling quickly, I let Jessica take over. It was that or I would probably still be crying, draped dramatically over the front desk, like the Disney Princess that I am.

20170622_141123a

This was after they asked Jess to scoot over a few steps so that they can help the next person, to which she replied “Is this hotel fully booked? [Yes] Well, then I’m not moving.” Thank God for big suitcases.

Forty minutes later, we were on our way to our rooms. I was still fading fast. My ears were so clogged, I was tired from just the go, go, go of travel, drained from the stress of my friends not having a room, my carry on’s zipper had broken on the plane, and I was starving. All I wanted to do was collapse into bed and take a nap. Alas, there were things to do and places to see so I dropped off my bags, gathered myself and went back downstairs to find food. We were given the name of a cafe right across the street from the hotel so we decided before the hanger (hungry anger) overtook us all, off we went. I had a turkey club with avocado, which unfortunately would be the first and last time I had avocado in California. The fries were also delish.

We decided to do some of the smaller sights that night. First up was the house from Full House. There’s actually two. The one where they filmed the outside shots and the row of houses from the credits. Naturally, we did both.

20170622_172043DSC_1011a

We decided to walk to the next point of interest, which was the Mrs. Doubtfire house. I was super excited about this one because I loooove this movie. A little tip about San Francisco – almost everything is an 11-20 minute walk according to Google. Everything is also up or down steep hills. That being said, by the time we got to 2640 Steiner Street, I was ready to lie down. Maybe to die, maybe for a nap, I wasn’t too sure.

DSC_1017a

DSC_1018a

fans left messages to Robin Williams on the bricks and sidewalks. Most were taken down/painted over, but these were still here.

DSC_1023a

DSC_1019aDSC_1024

I had heard that the house was different in person than in the movie. It definitely was. First of all, in the movie, there was that nosey neighbor who called Miranda to rat Daniel out about the birthday party. IRL, that neighbor’s house isn’t even there. Second, in the movie, the front steps seem much higher. Like when Daniel is saying goodbye to the kids and his mother in law is watching from the top of the steps. She seemed further away from their conversation. Also, WHERE ARE MIRANDA’S BEGONIAS? Mrs. Doubtfire caught on fire while making dinner so she ordered food on the sneak. I could have sworn the delivery guy pulled into or in front of a driveway. I didn’t see one. Knowing myself though, the house is on the corner and I didn’t go around to the other side. Who knows what was over there.

After we were done with Mrs. D, we decided to Uber over to Alamo Square. The Uber took us almost on the exact same route we just walked which was fine by me because we didn’t have to do that death march again (San Francisco, I love you dearly, but those hills though, giiirl.)

Alamo Square is home to the houses in the opening credits of Full House. Also known as The Painted Ladies. Except the true definition of a Painted Lady is a Victorian style house painted with 3 or more colors. See also, a house Martina would like to own/live in.

DSC_1027a

whatever happened to predictability…

DSC_1030aDSC_1037a1DSC_1040aDSC_1050a

Our night plans were a little up in the air. By this time it was about 9pm in New York and we had been going all day. My ears were still an issue and I was just a little bit cranky. But I wasn’t going to let myself ruin this trip. No matter if I had to pull a Van Gogh and cut off my ear(s).

We must have had some dinner, although don’t ask me what or where. Then we decided to go to Twin Peaks. When we got back, Lisa asked me what the best part if the trip was and although I truly couldn’t choose just one thing, Twin Peaks was high on the list.

We summoned an Uber because it was wayyy too far from the hotel to walk, (we were realizing that Uber was going to be very useful for this vacation) and off we went. Abraham, our driver, was a gem. He took us up the winding roads that usually started or ended on a hill. GOD BLESS.

DSC_1057aDSC_1058aDSC_1059aDSC_1061aDSC_1062a

We got up there and he let us get out and spend however long we wanted up there. It was freezing so we took a few pictures and hopped back in the car. But man, what a view. The fog was a killer. The natives have named the fog Karl (supposedly) and boy, is he a pain.

After Twin Peaks, Abraham asked if we wanted to take a ride to Treasure Island. “Well, I didn’t expect to be on the news this early in the trip, but might as well get it over with.” I thought. Treasure Island is, from what I could tell, a military base and maybe a park that has views of San Francisco from behind.

 

DSC_1067a

#views

After Treasure Island, we had Abraham drop us back at our hotel. We had a long, busy day the next day and we were exhausted. Or, I was, at least. I stopped at the little (yea, right. They had hot food, alcohol, and various snacks) market that was in the hotel lobby and bought two 20oz bottles of soda for my room and almost passed out when the lady told me “That will be $9.45” Oh, California.

Day Two is coming soon! Stay tuned.

signature-script.jpg

 

screenshots, no chaser #4

Today is one of those days where I’m left to hold down the fort while my co-workers are at an event. Naturally, I am using my time productively to get some work done  pretend that I don’t have to share a computer clean out the screenshot folder on my phone. Some of these are really old, some you’ve probably seen floating around the internet before, all of them make me laugh. Or, inwardly smile, at least.

 

What have you been inwardly laughing at lately?

weekend update: burgers, shakes and statues

I don’t do weekend recap posts often, but when I do… they’ll be here. I actually did things this weekend and since I have some time to write about them, I figured, why not?

Lisa’s birthday is next week but being the busy adults we are, we penciled in plans for Saturday night. Jessica’s landlord is a producer on Saturday Night Live and as a birthday surprise, Jess was able to score tickets for her and Lisa to see the show. The host was Aziz Ansari, who we happened to see as a special guest at the Comedy Cellar. He used some of the same jokes in his monologue and I felt special because I heard them first. so ha! Nicole and I met them for dinner near the studio at Bill’s Bar and Burger, where I got the most delicious cookies and cream shake and an equally delicious burger complete with smoked mozzarella and some sort of BBQ bacon sauce.

It’s a big year for us. We’re turning 30, and as of September, we are celebrating 25 years of friendship. 25 years. Our friendship is a functioning adult. We aren’t, but our friendship is.

After we finished dinner, we left and unknowingly entered Gotham. The fog was so strong, it ate the top half of 30 Rock. I wanted to wait around and see if we could catch a glimpse of Batman, but I was concerned that the Ben Affleck version might show up so I carried on with my night.

After we dropped Lisa and Jessica off at SNL and after a failed vlogging attempt by yours truly, Nicole and I headed for the train since we both had to work the next morning. If you weren’t aware, the Women’s March was held on Saturday in cities all over the world. Naturally, I was looking for stragglers at 10pm, when the event ended at 4.That’s my middle name – day late, dollar short.

A quick word on what’s going on out there. First, I believe in marches like the ones held on Saturday. They were non-violent, people came out en masse, and the participants got their point across. I am so disappointed in myself that I didn’t give myself the opportunity to get out there. Second, the vile tweets, memes and posts that are connected to the women’s march hashtag are shameful. There are a handful of people on my Facebook feed that have made the most asinine comments about the women involved with the march, calling them ugly, stupid, fat, disgusting, etc. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?! Not only is it not true, but pretty, smart, skinny, desirable women don’t need/already have rights? (actually, i think i just found a topic for someone who organizes their thoughts better than me to write about. the privilege of the skinny, pretty girl.there’s just so much to be said.) All of this being said, I guess the bottom line is the problem with today is everyone thinks their opinion is the right one and the only one. Myself included i guess since here we are on my blog.

Moving on.

On our way to the train, Nicole and I passed the big LOVE statue on 6th Ave. On the ground around the statue were signs from the march. JACKPOT. If I wasn’t going to find a protest, this was the next best thing, in my opinion.

I threw my camera at Nicole and had a photo shoot with one of my favorite signs. I should have picked up a few of them but there were people waiting to take their own pictures in front of the statue. I didn’t want to be rude.

 

sign: Ok we get it. you won. now GROW UP.

That sign, for me, was directed less at Trump and more at Facebook. Well, those select few.

I had put my sign down and was walking away when a man told me to pick it up again. “Me?” I said. “Yea, you”, he replied. And just like that there is someone in this city who I don’t know from a hole in the wall with my picture on his cellphone. Too bad he was old enough to be my father and I think he was with his husband so, there’s always next time.

We got home just in time to see the cold open for SNL. I stayed up to watch Weekend Update and then I was out like a light.

Sunday morning while I was at work (ugh.) I got a phone call from my cousin telling me that they would be in Brooklyn if I wanted to meet for dinner. Not one to say no to a good roast beef sandwich (Brennan and Carr, FTW), I accepted. There are no photos because I forgot and because sometimes the best foods aren’t the prettiest.

Now I’m relaxing, hoping this Nor’easter that we’re supposed to get tomorrow keeps the people away from the office. Sure, it makes the day drag, but I have a book to read.

What did you get up to this weekend? Did you march? Tell me all about it!

christmas 2016 photo dump

How can Christmas be over already? I ask that every year and every year it seems to be more and more unbelievable.

Anyway, for posterity’s sake and because I love those life lately photo posts, here are some scenes from Christmas and Christmas Eve 2016!

2016 has been an all around shit storm that I am looking forward to cutting ties with. This year I took a few minutes to try and step back from the festivities and appreciate the people in the room. As long as we have each other, I think we’ll be OK – no matter what 2017 (and beyond) throws at us.

Hope your holiday was great and filled with love, food and good people. I’ll probably see you before the new year, but if I don’t, may it be happy and healthy, always.

signature-script.jpg

mar & dar’s christmas train

Last week, my mom and I played my favorite game of tourist and took a ride into the big city to see the tree and the lights of midtown. It wouldn’t be Christmas around these parts if I didn’t have at least one post with pictures of crowds of people, lights, over the top decorations and probably a taxi or two. This time you aren’t getting any taxis, but I think I got everything else covered.

We wanted to hit Macy’s first and work our way up to Rockefeller, but for whatever reason we decided to forego 34th Street and go straight to the epicenter of Christmas. the tree, if you didn’t know.

Saks was the first stop on the Mar and Dar Christmas train and, without being too dramatic, I was in awe. Maybe it’s the kid in me, maybe I get distracted too easily by bright colors and sparkly things (true and true), whatever it is, Saks made me smile immediately.

No trip to 5th Avenue would be complete without a stop at Saint Pat’s so that’s where we headed next. They weren’t all Christmassed out yet but SPC is a beaut with or without poinsettias and greenery.

By the time we lit some candles and doused ourselves in holy water it was time to get a move on. The sky was a bit ominous and we weren’t prepared for rain. The tree was our next stop. Tourist central. We felt right at home.

The best thing about going so early in the season is that even though there are crowds, they’re not unbearable. Last year I was walking down 5th Ave with my mom, my aunt and my cousins. We got sucked into the crush between 47th and 50th Street. Behind me, in the throng, a woman say, to no one in particular, “This must thin out near the tree”. this poor tourist, I thought. I turned as much as the crowd would allow, chuckled and said, “um. try 52nd Street.” She gasped. I smiled. And another Christmas memory was made.

Our final stop was Bryant Park. I love Christmas in Bryant Park. There’s so much going on but it’s not crazy. The shopping, the eating, the skating- you can’t go wrong. Even if you’re like me and only eat and shop. I wanted to get to Bryant Park because I saw on Instagram that Melsy’s Illustrations was going to be there and I wanted to check out her stuff in person.

My mom and I walked around, checking out the other booths, trying to get some giftsipration and because try as we might, it’s been tough getting into the Christmas spirit this year. For me, it’s no other reason except it’s all going too fast. There’s only 16 days until Christmas, guys. 16 days. i can’t.

Finally, we found the Melsy’s Illustrations booth. I love her Instagram, but I loooove her stuff in person. It’s all so me. Anyway, her booth was busy and space is at a premium so my mom and I waited outside until it calmed down a bit. While we were waiting a woman came over to tell us that all of the available illustrations were in the binder near the door, if we wanted to look while we wait. We started talking and it turns out that nice lady was Jamel’s mom. She told us that this was her passion and she finally took the plunge, quit her 9-5 job and starting doing this full time. #goals. 

I seriously loved everything in her shop, but I finally decided on this one. I’m going to hang it over my computer for inspiration. blogspiration, if you will. follow my passionspiration, if you also will. 

Mine is a brunette, because after I eventually get my grays covered and highlights toned, so am I.

I also fell in love with this one because a bun is my go-to “I want to feel like a Kardashian” look. And my “get this mop off of my neck” look. It’s so versatile.

 

Her mom was so nice and had the best Boston accent. My mom mentioned my love of photography and, in true mom fashion, they started talking about us and how it’s great that we have things that we love to do and do well at.

click this photo to go over to the Melsy’s Illustrations Etsy page! she didn’t ask me to link it or anything, i just really like her stuff and wanted to share!

The booth traffic finally let up enough for me and my mom to go in and meet Jamel. She couldn’t have been nicer, seriously. I told her I follow her on Instagram and she was so appreciative. As we were leaving, they mentioned getting the truffle fries from the homefrite booth. Naturally, the Mar and Dar Christmas train had to make a pitstop. 

I told my mom I needed to incorporate these and the lemon garlic aioli into my everyday diet. She gave me THE LOOK, I rolled my eyes and another Christmas memory was made.

Our last stop was Lord and Taylor’s windows. These are usually my favorites but this year, I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t impressed. It was an enchanted forest theme (yass!), which when done right, could be amazing. I’m not sure if the windows weren’t totally done or what, but there were some things that were lacking. Mainly, they had “The Enchanted Forest” written on the bottom of each window, but on at least one of the windows, it looked like it was either coming off or it wasn’t put on correctly. Either way, they were really cute and Lord and Taylor still wins in my book. I’m sure they were super concerned about my opinion and couldn’t wait to get my verdict.

As much as I wanted to push my mom to either Uber down to Macy’s or up to Bergdorfs, I was ready to go home, get in my pajamas and finish the Gilmore Girls revival – which is exactly what we did.

weekend update: bridge views

Happy Monday! Except for me, it’s more like Wednesday since I’ve been working since Saturday.

giphy (27)

See what having a weekend job does to you? Or maybe it’s just me since tons of other people seem to cope much better than I do.

Anyway, I figured I would share what I did this weekend, even though it was technically Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday afternoon I got a text from Lisa asking if I wanted to go to the Promenade later that day. I’ve talked about the Promenade before. It’s in Brooklyn Heights, has excellent views of lower Manhattan and is where I spent most of my lunch breaks in college.

DSC_0648b

So, we’re walking and enjoying a nice summer night in Brooklyn Heights. the views! the brownstones! the yuppies! oh my! At the same time, we look up and see the Brooklyn Bridge. “We should walk over the bridge,” Lisa says. “Ehh, I don’t know, Lee. I haven’t eaten. I hear it’s a steep incline. We should do it eventually, though.” I reply. “Yeah, you’re right. What do you want to eat?”

P.S. We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.

After talking ourselves out of it, we figured, what the hell. After we got turned around looking for the footpath entrance, we were finally  on our way. Let me tell you, the entrance is like the long walk towards death. It starts to steadily incline and all of a sudden you’re walking over cars. Then, the bridge itself is wooden planks. I was terrified. There were people all over who DID NOT MOVE. On our right, we had the Tour de France passing on their bikes. Every time a bike sped passed, the boards moved, like a typical beach boardwalk. Except over cars and water. I think if I were able to calm down for a minute and catch my bearings, I would be OK, but in general, the whole walk was torture. I was mad at myself afterward because I feel like I missed out on a really great experience. I’d go again, but in the daytime and with a clearer head.

All of that being said, look at these views.
*i can’t figure out if these pictures are kind of blurry because i was shaking or if i was zoomed out too far and it was dark. just another reason to go over again.

Obviously, I’m obsessed with the Empire State Building. I almost forgot Brooklyn was on my side. Ok, I did forget that Brooklyn was on my side, but in my defense, when I looked that way, all I saw was cars under me and it freaked me out.

The Manhattan side of the bridge starts at City Hall park. Lisa and I took a rest and then were off to find food because I was starving to begin with, add to that my nerves, I was ravenous. And thirsty. SO THIRSTY. We wandered into the Financial District, which pretty much closes when the stock market closes. However, there were a lot more people milling around than I expected. We wound up hydrating at a Duane Reade and then getting on the train headed back to Brooklyn. All in all – something else to check off my bucket list.

Thursday I wanted to clean my room and I was so excited to do it. #adulting It turns out that I didn’t so much clean my room as I moved some things around and watched Kardashian reruns all afternoon. My legs were like jello for most of the day from my adventure the night before. That hill is no joke. Also, it’s my Saturday, after all. I went to dinner with my mom and that was basically it. There’s no photographic evidence but picture the two of us having really delicious salads, al fresco because, summer.

Friday it was back to the city for me and Lisa. We wanted to head to Central Park but we got a late start so we walked passed Lincoln Center and found Lady Gaga’s (parent’s) restaurant on the Upper West Side. It looks adorable and cozy and the menu sounds delicious. I didn’t bring my camera even though it was World Photography Day. I felt a little naked. So, again no photographic evidence, but I’ll leave you with the picture I posted on Instagram last year on World Photography Day.

meharry

#meanttobe #soulmates #notplanned

How was your weekend?

signature - script

 

%d bloggers like this: