marine park

weekend update: christmas shopping, light displays and historic houses

So, it’s Sunday night and I’m actually writing a weekend update post.


Friday I took the day off of work so that I could uphold the tradition (and necessary evil) of going Christmas shopping with my mom, aunt, and cousins. When I say necessary evil, it’s the crowds and the pressure of getting it all done that I hate, not the company. The mall we went to had a huge Christmas tree in the middle and if anyone thought they would get out of taking a selfie in front of it while I was around, they were sadly mistaken.


Saturday was tree day, where my mom picked out the best Christmas tree we’ve ever had. It’s tall and it’s fat. It’s like Rockefeller Center right there in my living room. The whole house smells like pine and I truly can’t understand how people can prefer fake ones. No judgment, it’s just once you go real, you know the deal. The decorating crew (my mom) hasn’t worked its magic yet but it will soon so keep checking my instagram to see it in all of its glory.

I also finally got my flu shot on Saturday because I think my father was convinced if I didn’t get it, the flu was coming for me and the strains are terrible this year, or so I’ve heard… repeatedly. It takes 2 weeks to take effect, but after that COME AT ME, FLU. I’M READY.

Saturday night, Nicole and I decided to brave the snow and take a ride over to Dyker Heights and see the lights. We couldn’t believe that there were actual tour buses parked just on the outskirts of the activity. I had heard the crowds were getting a little out of control, but I never expected designated tour bus parking areas. Anyway, we figured the snow might have kept people away, but obviously, that wasn’t the case. We did two blocks and decided to move on to another, lesser populated part of the neighborhood, whose lights are just as pretty.

I’ve shared pictures of the lights in Dyker Heights before but I’ve never gone in the snow, and I think it adds sort of a magical element. So if these look vaguely familiar, that’s why.



I love a good light display.

Our neighborhood is home to the Lott House, which was built in the 1700’s and was rumored to have been a rest stop for George Washington at some point during the war. It was also believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad. The house fell into disrepair somewhere in the 80’s when whoever was living there either moved or died. Finally, when I was in 7th or 8th grade, a historical society came in and started to clean up the place. That Christmas season, they did a tree lighting and invited the neighborhood into the house for a quick glimpse of a few rooms. I remember it being very dark because it was very early on into the restoration and they hadn’t done anything with the electricity yet. I remember they had set up some of the things they found in the house, like dolls and plates. I can’t confirm that they were from the time period that George Washington spent the night, but I like to think that they were.

For a while, they worked tirelessly to fix up the house and the land around it. In recent years, they’ve been holding events in the garden in the summer, they were selling tickets to see the inside of the house again during the Fall, and most recently, they had another tree lighting ceremony. I missed this one because 1) it was Friday and I was shopping and 2) I had a strong feeling that my crush from 7th grade wouldn’t be there, which was my main reason of going the first time. The magic was gone.

I took the opportunity of the snow, the dark and the absence of crowds to pass the house and get a picture of it with the tree.


I’ve been wanting for years to write a post about the Lott House because, even if George Washington never stayed there, I still think it’s pretty cool that right here, in the middle of little old Marine Park, there’s a 300ish-year-old house that’s still standing and on its original plot of land (or some of it, at least). I keep (kept) meaning to go over and take a few pictures and then sit down and research it so I don’t sound like a blithering idiot, but none of that ever happened so consider this that post. In case I’ve piqued your interest, here’s a small article from Untapped Cities complete with a video showing some of the inside of the house.

Circling back from that tangent, my Sunday was spent reading, napping, and watching Netflix. I finished The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. It’s a historical fiction about the Barbizon Hotel. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.

And that’s all, folks!


What did you do this weekend? See any great light displays?



Blogtober14 Day 4: Favorite Instagram posts



Day 4.. are you ready for more? *cricket noises*

Anywayyyy… day four wants me to share my favorite Instagram post. In true Martina fashion, I don’t have just one.

As usual with all of my lists this one is in no particular order. I mean, who has time to rate their own Instagram pictures?


The story behind this one is this: I hate the snow. However,  I wanted to take pictures of Central Park in the snow so I sucked it up. I snapped this shot and thought nothing of it. I was with Lisa when I took at and she loved it from the beginning. I still wasn’t convinced. One way or another more and more people started to see the photo and everyone who saw it loved it and bada bing, bada boom- I’ve sold it 4 times to 3 different people. It has grown to be one of my favorite pictures ever. You can read the whole story, because I’ve blogged all about it, right here.



Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, New Jersey.



I was having a rough week at work. I knew (and still know) that I deserve better than what I have there. It’s a work in progress. Anyway, I was at my wit’s end when I took a lunch break and when I unpacked the bag to start to eat, this fell out. It made me smile and feel like I could make it through the rest of the day.




Marine Park, Brooklyn, New York I went for a walk around the park with Nicole and Lisa. We were taking a break on a bench and I saw that there were no people in front of us so I seized the opportunity and took this picture. I should censor it because there’s some major cloud porn going on here.


Lastly, and it seems as though I am bending the rules again since this is a collage and not a single picture. I chose this one though, not because of the photo, but because of who liked it. That’s right. ANDREW JENKS. As in the guy from MTV and the maestro of the All American High School Film Festival. (<— click there to read about my experience last year)

This post isn’t 100% fair because all of the pictures I post on Instagram mean something to me or, like in the case of Throwback Thursdays, have a special place in my heart. I would invite you to come and follow me , but I made my page private due to some potentially prying eyes that have no business being on my page. Until I could figure out how to find them and block them, I have my feed on the left side of the blog and you’re more than welcome to browse there.

See you tomorrow!


new movie alert!

Remember when I tried to tell you the “abridged” story of how there was a movie starring Tom Hardy in my neighborhood and how I met him? Well, that movie is finally being released! It’s coming out on September 12th(so soon!) and it now has an official trailer. Want to see it? Look no further:

I said in my original post that the movie takes place in Boston but, I was wrong and it in fact does take place in Brooklyn. I totally should have offered him my linguistic accent services. Not that he needs it because he is just… TOM HARDY. Need I say more? I didn’t think so. Speaking of stellar performances, James Gandolfini’s doesn’t seem to disappoint. Not that I thought it would.

At first I thought I wouldn’t be interested in seeing this movie because it’s not exactly the feel good rom-com that I usually enjoy, but this one looks like it’s got just enough dark humor to make it not so bad. I just can’t sit through a movie that is all violence and blood and all of that for two hours.

I’m excited to see my neighborhood on the big screen and I am also excited to see the scene that we watched being filmed and how it came together. With my luck it got cut, but I’m going to be optimistic. I keep watching the trailer to see if there are any scenes with that hat and blue jacket he has on in my picture. I found the blue jacket but no hat. Sometimes I don’t believe it was him and just a really decent stunt double or something and that we were duped. Him or not, don’t burst my bubble; I need to believe I really met him.

September is shaping up to be a big month. All new television shows, a new season of The Mindy Project, and now this. I’m excited! Who’s coming with me?


that time I met Tom Hardy: #throwbackthursday

It’s that time of the week again! #throwbackthursday! I decided to post this one here because 1) it’s about damn time I got back to posting on here and 2) it’s too cool for just an instagram post. This week I’m not traveling too far back in my life. Actually, the event occurred only about a year ago. I’ll try to keep it short , but when I get excited I tend to ramble and this story makes me SUPER EXCITED.

Long story short – there was a movie being filmed mere blocks from my house. My partners in crime and I went to explore. There was some schmoozing involved. I may or may not have met someone who tried to kill Batman. And who wears a mask. And sounds like Sean Connery. But looks like Marlon Brando. Do you give up, or are you thirsty for more?

Drink up my friends:



If you couldn’t tell by those perfect lips that would be the one and only TOM HARDY. It’s unfortunate he didn’t flash his slightly jacked up but totally adorable teeth. And sure he looks exhausted and his costume leaves something to be desired but it’s fine because he was so down to earth which totally makes up for it.

If you would like to know the full (ok, slightly condensed) story of how this happened here it is.

Remember how a few posts ago I said that Lisa usually comes up with an idea and the rest of us usually just go along with it? Well, it was Lisa’s idea to walk over to the movie set and see if we could meet any celebrities. Nicole and I obliged. James Gandolfini is in this movie also so we really went to see if we could meet him. (sidenote: we said we were going to go back and we never did. hindsight is kicking my ass.) We found the trailers lined up in the church parking lot and within 10 minutes we were BFFs with the security guard. He showed us the cars that the actors would be shuttled back and forth to the set in. In my next life, I want to be a celebrity. The set was literally around the corner from the parking lot. Two or three beefy security guards would have been more than enough. Especially since Tom is totally unrecognizable in his costume. There was a small crowd growing and I was starting to get nervous because each one of the people had some Bane paraphernalia that just needed to be signed.  Umm, no. After a few more minutes there was movement in the car area so we decided to walk back to the movie set. We camped out near some equipment , but more importantly, important looking people. Growing a set of cajones none of us realized I had, I waltzed right over to someone and asked if it would be alright if we stood there and watched for a while. He said it was fine but to be quiet and stay behind him. He wasn’t really that nice but that dind’t stop me from pressing further. “What are my chances of meeting Tom Hardy?” I asked. With a smirk he replied, “There’s a chance” Not satisfied, I continued “Like, on a scale of 1-10, I’m at a…?” Still smirking I got, “There’s a chance.” Fine. We’ll see about that.

We waited until we heard someone yell cut and be hauled ass down the block where we found a better view and nicer crew members. Nicole had left at this point but Lisa and I felt like we were to close to quit now. Feeling comfortable with our new friends I struck up a conversation with a cute hipster-ish production assistant (?)

me: what are my chances of meeting tom hardy?

him: it’s possible.

me: so like, scale of 1-10?

him: depends on you.

me: true. so do you think he’ll get hungry and need something from kraft services anytime soon? pointing to the kraft service tent

him: we just got back from lunch

me: right. so how about thirsty?

him: we just got back from lunch. you know he’s got a stutter.

me: no he doesn’t! does he?

lisa: how does he do his job then?

me: he’s an actor. he acts through it.

me (to my new friend): does he wet the bed too? he does not have a stutter.

At this point he and his co-worker started to tell Lisa and I about the crazy fans that had stopped by. Including the thirteen year old that screamed that Tom could rub his beard all over her you know where. Stay classy, Marine Park. We were also getting dirty looks from some mean looking woman with a clipboard. A security guard also magically appeared who kept giving us the side eye. I was trying to listen to my new friends and listen to what was going on in the scene.

tom: there’s a dagg in your gahhbage can (the movie is set in boston, being filmed in brooklyn, acted by a british actor)

All of a sudden our new friends told us that if we were going to make a move to do it now. UMM. WHAT? Lisa being Lisa marched right over to him as he walked across the street. He was laughing with a few of the crew members and I was totally paralyzed.

me: this is why she’s been my friend since first grade.

Lisa told him that I was a big fan and would it be ok if we took a picture together. We took our pictures and Lisa made some small talk. She asked him if he liked Brooklyn so far. I stared and smiled. She asked him how much longer they would be filming. I stared and smiled. He asked if we lived close by. I nodded. He thanked us for “popping by” (ugh. so wonderfully British. also, he touched my elbow!). We were facing each other now. It was my chance to say something that would win him over. Dump his fiance and fall madly, passionately, deeply in love with me. What did I come up with? “Just so you know, I would have picked you if I were Reese Witherspoon in This Means War.” SERIOUSLY? FACE. FUCKING. PALM.  He chuckled and might have said thank you but really, what do you say to a comment like that? I guess it was better than my original idea. Before I figured out he was using a Bostonian accent I was going to tell him that I have the thickest Brooklyn accent out of anyone I know so if he needed help perfecting it I would be totally willing to help. Where do I come up with this stuff?

Our new friends were totally impressed with Lisa’s determination. They told her she was smooth as Skippy walking right up to him. They politely ignored my Reese Witherspoon comment, thankfully. Not knowing what else to do we said goodbye to our friends and headed home. Like I said before, we were going to go back for some more Tom Hardy action and to try to meet James Gandolfini but we never made it.

The movie is called “The Drop” and is supposedly coming out in September. Something tells me it’s going to be pretty dark and not what I would normally choose to watch, but from what I’ve heard the talk surrounding it is pretty good. And really, James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy? Come on. How can it not be?

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