My New York City Love Affair ❤ : Central Park

Monday, September 30, 2013

If there's one thing that you need to know about me, it's that I live New York City. I'll often refer to Manhattan as the city or New York proper - not because I think the other boroughs are not "proper" or anything but simply because I can't help it. I'm on of those city girls that never wants to leave it and can't imagine why anyone else would. I was born and raised in various places in New York (although always within 15 minutes of Manhattan), yet spent a great amount of time right here in the Big Apple. Some of my favorite memories include: creme brulee at Chez Josephine's (still easily the best in town), trampsing through the levels at the gigantic Barnes & Nobles and the AMC Loews Cinema movie theater in Lincoln Square, Phantom of the Opera nearly every year (and being quite scared), jazz concerts at Birdland with my dad, Saturday dinners at amazing restaurants where my parents and I were regulars, playing in the women's section of Paul Stuart while my dad shopped upstairs in the men's department, trips to the skate park in Riverside Park, filet mignon at Ruth Christie's, weekly hair and nail appointments, roaming through the Upper West Side at 12 and feeling like a true grown-up because I got to do it alone.

Because of all the wonderful memories I have and the spectacular ones I look to create, I've developed  a sort of love affair with the city. This series is inspired by Carrie Bradshaw and the Sex And The City season five opener. A single Carrie decides that she going to indulge in the pleasure of her great love - the unpredictable yet countlessly entertaining New York City. At the end of the episode Carrie's voiceover says "If Louis was right, and you only get one great love, New York may just be mine. And I can't have nobody talking s#!t about my boyfriend."

This is my way of bringing little bits of the city I love so dearly to you through my eyes. And so ensues the first "My New York City Love Affair ❤" post.

If there's one place you simply must go in Manhattan, it's Central Park. Located in the heart of Manhattan, it spans 3 avenues and 50 city blocks, which makes it frustrating to maneuver around by car (you can only drive through at designated spots) but amazing to visit. There are countless things to do and see as the Park features a zoo, a carousel, boat rides, multiple bodies of water, a skating rink, many playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts as well as baseball diamonds and other famous landmarks. I truly think the Central Park is just one of those places you must visit at least once in your lifetime.

One of the most romantic things to do is rowboat on the Central Park Lake. Not only are the views absolutely beautiful, but sitting on a little boat with the man you love, watching him row you out across the water really tugs on the heart strings. I swear I nearly cried watching C seated in front of me with his shirt sleeves rolled up determined to get us moving. As sappy as it sounds, I think I learned to love him more that day.

Beauty Queen

Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it & why it's special.

A tiara fit for a princess, and a crown made for a queen.

My nanny was born in 1932. She was always very beautiful and very popular, and sometime in 1940, her beauty and her grace won her the title of "Queen" at her prom. I was born in 1988. I was her first grandbaby and the most beautiful baby she'd ever seen, so she said, and at first sight, my cherub cheeks and joyful giggles won her heart. Before we lost her, she gave me her prom queen crown. I was helping her clean through a few of her dresser drawers and she found the crown sitting in one of them. She stared at it for quite sometime, and then turned to me. Securing it in place, she said "for my beauty queen" and kissed my forehead.

This was one of my nanny's most treasured possessions, and she gave it to me. At 18, she was a beauty queen, and at 66, she was my beauty queen as I was hers. In each others eyes, we were perfect, we could do no wrong. On days when I'm feeling particularly down, I like to see myself through my nanny's eyes, with a crown fit for queen atop my head.

In 2006, I attended my senior prom in a gorgeous floor-length dress and my very first pair of Jimmy Choo strappy heels. I didn't win prom queen that night, far from it. But I had brought my most prized possession, my own crown (and with it my nana's presence), that night and felt like a beauty queen anyway. And if I ever get married, this crown will be my something old, because I could never embark on something new without it.
Thank you all so much for reading along for this month of Blogtember. It's been wonderful giving you bits and pieces of myself daily and getting to know some of you through your posts. I hope you stick around a bit longer - I've still got plenty more to say :)

Monday Morning Motivation

Friday Favorites & Obsessions

Friday, September 27, 2013

 Yet, another Friday Favorites and Obsessions post.

I like to think of my Salted Caramel Mocha in all it's glory
when I'm sipping it from my cardboard cup.

Starbucks Fall Drinks. 
Salted Caramel Mocha, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Chocolate Chai Tea Latte, I love you. The thought of you wakes me up in a happier mood than usual. I rise out of bed with a zest for life. There's some pep in this step of mine. I workout harder in the gym with the intent of devouring a larger size later. You motivate me, dears. You make me a better me.

If only I had a closet like Carrie Bradshaw.

Organizing. This week's project has been getting my closet together. It's been a terribly long process, but I've actually enjoyed it. When you live in a shoe box apartment in NYC, careful organization becomes the only way to avoid an absolute mess. It's ongoing as I have yet to actually finish organizing anything to my satisfaction, but it's kind of therapeutic to go through possessions, storing some for safe keeping and (reluctantly) tossing others. It's like purging the soul and learning to let go. Yeah, yeah, Kari. It's all fun and games until you've gotta find a way to organize your shoes and purses. Ah, touché.

And this would be my dream closet. Can you believe that this entire thing was just Carrie's side of the closet in hers & Big's apartment? Swoon!

Justin Nozuka ❤ His voice is gorgeously smooth like velvet or rustling of silk sheets. "Gone" and "After Tonight" are a few of his beautiful songs. Specifically, I've had "Mr. Therapy Man", although 6 years old, on replay for most of the week. Take a listen!

What have you been coveting this week?

Dear Women Who Talk S#!t About Their Men On Social Media,

Today's Blogtember prompt: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like (but no real names!).

Photo Credit

Dear Women Who Talk S#!t About Their Men on Social Media,

Stop. Seriously, just stop. It's embarrassing. Both for you and for me as a member of the female gender. I can't stand when I'm ranting about something and one of my guys friends is all like "don't go subliminal, emotional tweeting about me and s#!t." They expect this from women because quite frankly, that's what some of you do. You wanna throw a quote up there about how a woman deserves to be loved or some inspiring music lyric (think Maroon 5 "She Will Be Loved" or Maxwell's "Fortunate") ? Fine. But an entire status dedicated to how "men ain't s#!t"? Please, no. I can't stand this notion in general, anyways. I don't want to know that your no-good boyfriend forgot your anniversary or that the father of your child spent the rent money on a trip to Vegas. And you shouldn't want me or anyone else on FaceBook to know that either.

If you are wondering why you suddenly cannot see my profile, it's because I can no longer be a witness to you demeaning yourself. Really, what does this public bashing accomplish? Is it for people to comment on how messed up your guy is? I'm assuming that because you are in a relationship that you care about your guy (goodness I hope so!), so why would you put him out there like that? Because really, all I end up thinking is "wow, she's a dumb broad". I mean excuse my french, but it really just makes you look bad. I get that relationships are difficult to navigate, and that men surely don't make it easier sometimes. So call your girl up and ask for some advice. If we're friends, ask me out for a few drinks and some "girl" time. Don't put him on blast because it's putting you on blast too. I mean, you're still with him, right?  

And then you go on to talk about how you are an "independent woman" or a "single mom perfectly capable of raising her child on her own". I'm not going to be as bold as to doubt your qualities. For all I know, you are all of that and more. But how does your ratchet status support it? You're fine being a single mom so you've gotta let everyone know how bitter you are about your deadbeat baby-daddy? Umm yeah…

So go ahead, be independent, be capable, be beautiful, be smart, be all of the things - and please, be quiet.

A Woman With Good Intentions

*Please note: I don't intend to bash anyone in anyway. I'm not a woman-hating woman or anything. I just need us to do better. 

Throwing It Back to Oxford, England

Thursday, September 26, 2013

*Warning: This is a very picture-heavy post! But it's all so amazing, I promise!

Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you'd like!

I, of course, got my (almost) daily coffee, but I had to grab it and run, so I didn't actually sit in the coffee shop. But then again, the prompt says to "go" there and "order" and then "write", so technically, I'm abiding by the rules (ha, newly acquired legal skills at work!). 

Caramel Macchiato
I carried mine out in a recyclable cup, but that wouldn't be very pretty now would it?

Reminiscing about the "good ol' days" makes me happy. At least it makes me happy today. And considering that today is #ThrowbackThursday, I thought it fitting to talk about something that made me happy in the past. A little over a year ago, I visited Oxford with my law school for 10 days, which is entirely too short a visit. It was the first time out of the country in over 4 years, my first time flying totally by myself, and my first stamp in my new adult passport (at 15, I had a "minor" one) so I was excited that my first stamp would read: London Heathrow - even though I spent very little time in London.

From the airport, we took the Airline Bus to Oxford University, where we checked into our dorm rooms. I absolutely adored my bedroom window and the view from it. I wish I could have taken it home with me! My window faced High Street, which is a quaint street cluttered with cutesy little storefronts like a luxury chocolate shop.

Cue the angel singing! ♫♪

High Street

The view of High Street during the day and then at night.

I spent the first day puttering around Oxford because I felt like staying in the dorm would be wasting the valuable day away. The City of Oxford is quite beautiful and boasts of historical structures, many of them clad in precious metals like gold and bronze.

Standing in front of the Radcliffe Camera

A fair amount of time was spent eating and drinking. I spent many class sessions nibbling on little pastries and sipping tiny, yet very strong, cups of coffee. Evenings were filled with plenty of wine and both familiar and unfamiliar dishes (wish I could find the pictures of fish & chips!).


I went to dinner by myself that night, chatted up the bartender & made a few new friends. It's legitimately one of my proudest moments :) 

A trip to the Oxford Botanic Gardens was a lot more enjoyable than expected. Although I can't say that I enjoyed the sand and tiny peebles in my shoes. Yet, with exotic plants and lovely flowers surrounding you, how can one possibly be miserable about a bit of sand? And there was a castle!

Did you know that lily pads turn up like that?
I didn't!

Banana tree.


And we beat up the beat in the club near the Crown with some of the locals and a super hot bartender named Vasska whom I unfortunately do not have a photo of :) We were so spent Jersey Shorin' and what not that we needed dessert afterwards.

                     Oh, this little baby? Just a delicious brownie topped with liquor-infused icecream.
No Big deal!

I only got to spend one full day in London (and ½ of that was for visiting law firms). Many of the other students we able to extend there trips past the end of the program, relocating to London hotels for a few days and some eventually traveling to other countries like Paris and Amsterdam. I had to get back to New York quickly as I had to conduct an event for my law journal. I can't tell you how jealous I was that they got to fully experience London (and some of them even arrived early to attend the London Olympics!). I saw a few main attractions, but I truly need to return in experience London on it's own.

Close-up of Buckingham Palace.

Big Ben at a distance.
Iconic London telephone booths!

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