Wednesday, May 29, 2013

LIVE from the NYPL and National Geographic's "Risker Takers" - It was FASCINATING!

Recently, I attended the sold out presentation and discussion entitled "Risk Takers" presented by LIVE at the New York Public Library in NYC! Wow, was it fascinating!


The event was held in honor of National Geographic celebrating their 125 anniversary. They are celebrating all year long using the theme, "the new age of exploration." This definitely coincides with my #dontsithome mantra!

The event at the New York Public Library located near Bryant Park started with fantastic presentations by two National Geographic explorers, Dr. Zoltan Takas and Enric Sala. Takas travels the world studying the most venomous creatures and Sala lead's National Geographic's Pristine Seas project and discussed the risks associated with ocean exploring. 

Dr. Zoltan Takas
Enric Sala
They brought intelligence, humor, and their great personalities into their presentations of their fascinating work! It was not only educational, but truly enjoyable.
National Geographic Magazine Editor in Chief, Chris Johns
After a short speech from National Geographic Magazine's Editor in Chief, Chris Jones, journalist and TV personality, Ann Curry, curated a conversation with photographers James Nachtwey and Lynsey Addario.

Left to Right: James Nachtwey, Ann Curry & Lynsey Addario
They discussed the risks of war photography and all that goes into the photos that you see in the newspapers, online, on TV, etc.. Not everyone has a realistic perspective of the preparation, dangers, risk and effects that go along with images brought to you from war and conflict. I can guarantee many of the audience members will not look at images of war the same way again.

Stories were told of the physical harm one can experience being captured, the emotional toll photographers can experience, the issues around women photographers in conflict, how to quickly capture amazing photos in such intense/fast pace situations, and much more. 

This was a great event and I'm so happy I attended! When similar events pop up and pique your interest, even in the slightest, jump at the chance! If they are a once in a lifetime event, why not go and check it out? #dontishome! Some chances you will never have again.

To find out more information about National geographic's 125 anniversary and to see a fascinating timeline, photos, stories and more, check out their website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/125/the-new-age-of-exploration/



Walked through the wonderful Bryant Park
on the way back to the train.
 For more information about my #dontsithome adventures, follow Don't Sit Home on social media!

Monday, May 13, 2013

#dontsithome Brunch at The Spotted Pig in NYC!


Saturday I went to The Spotted Pig located in NYC. One word...AMAZING!
The food was delish and my tasty Bloody Mary definitely hit the spot.

They don't take reservations and I couldn't wait to try the food because of their reputation, so when we arrived at this funky West Village spot, my friend and I headed straight upstairs to their second floor. We grabbed two seats at the bar to get our feast going!

First thing on the agenda, a Bloody Mary! 


These were made perfectly with tasty marinated garnishes. Nothing says brunch like a great Bloody Mary and these definitely were the right choice for this Saturday morning.

We started off our foodie experience with this fried bowl of awesomeness.


I love anything fried and am a sucker for cheese, so the combination of the two just made for a little bowl of heaven. My taste buds were happy!

I chose the cheese burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries as my entree. 


Yes, it was as good as it looks! I heard their burgers were awesome and I'm so happy it did not disappoint!

My friend went with their pork cheek and egg special. 


This was also delicious! Anyone who knows me knows that if we are going out for a meal together, there is a 99.9% chance I will be trying their meal too lol. My friends are good sports and I'm so happy I was able to taste this. As I said, it was a special, but I would definitely love to see it on their regular brunch menu!

There are so many delicious sounding choices on their menu, so I will be back to sample more! I was eyeing up someone's Dutch Baby with house smoked bacon and maple syrup while we were there. The guy who was enjoying it at the other end of the bar said it was great. I also just saw they have braised lamb shank on their dinner menu. Um, yes please!

If you are going for a meal, or even just cocktails, The Spotted Pig is definitely a great spot with so much character. They are decorated with, yes you guessed it, pigs! #dontsithome and go to see the creative decor for yourself :). 



The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th Street
New York, NY 100014
(212)620-0393

 For more information about my #dontsithome adventures, follow Don't Sit Home on social media!





May Bucket List - I have definitely lived up to my #dontsithome motto already!

May has already been an awesome month! Here's my #dontsithome May Bucket List. I've done so much already and there is so much more to do! 

May 2 - Checked out the Inside Out Project in Times Square! They had a photo booth truck and were actually gluing people's self portraits to the ground. So awesome!




May 3 - Dinner at Court Street Restaurant & Bar in Hoboken, NJ


Avocado stuff with lobster..um, yum!
May 4 - Enjoyed a delicious croissant from Choc O Pain bakery in Hoboken, attended the New York Bike Expo, and wandered around the lower east side! It was a "Me" day and I loved it!





Yours truly standing outside the Bike Expo.
Awesome views on the lower east side!
I saw The Old Traditional Polish Cuisine food truck while I was walking around
and I decided to enjoy some delicious pierogis along the lower east side waterfront!
May 5 - NYC Five Boro Bike Tour - 40 mile bike ride!
3rd year in a row riding with my Dad :)
Riding across the Brooklyn Bridge after the tour
May 7 - Dinner and cocktail tasting at the new bar and restaurant, The Stewed Cow in Hoboken, NJ! So good. I will be back to ride their mechanical bull and to enjoy another delicious meal :).


A Mule Kicker Cocktail & Bourbon Braised Short Ribs!
May 8 - Saw an interview with Martha Stewart at the NYU Skirball Center and then enjoyed some Insomnia Cookies in NYC.


Washington Square Park is across the street from the Skirball Center
Martha herself!
My ticket came with a copy of her new book
Ended the night with these bad boys...tasty
May 9 - Celebrated my best friend's birthday at one of my favorite Hoboken, NJ restaurants, Amanda's!



May 10 - A night of beers and hockey playoffs at the Village Pourhouse in Hoboken, NJ.

May 11 - Brunch at The Spotted Pig in NYC!



I had been craving one of my all time favorite desserts, banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery...it's seriously to die for. 


Me chowing down
The Pulse Art Far at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC


My friend Laura & I in the Nohra Haime Gallery booth
Dinner at Market Table



Miami Vice from Caliente Cab Co. in NYC



May 12 - Spent Mother's Day flower shopping and gardening at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ!


One of the entrances to Duke Farms!
Flower Shopping with Mom
The Duke Farms Community Garden.
My parents have done this three years in a row :)
Drive back to Hoboken, from Hillsborough, NJ
May 14 - Live from the New York Public Library - "Risk Takers: National Geographic and the New Age of Exploration with Lynsey Addario, James Nachtwey, Dr. Enric Sala, Dr. Zoltan Takacs, and Ann Curry"

http://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2013/05/14/risky-business-national-geographic-and-new-age-exploration-lynsey-addario?nref=56896

May 16 - Checking out the final completed section of The High Line! They are offering guided walking tours and I was able to reserve my two free tickets for the opening day! Unfortunately, reservations for the walks are full, but they will be offering additional dates later in the summer. I will be sure to post on Don't Sit Home when they are available again!

"High Line Art presents Caterpillar by artist Carol Bove, a HIGH LINE COMMISSION featuring seven sculptures that punctuate the wild landscape on the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the High Line. On view for one year beginning Thursday, May 16, 2013, Bove’s commission is the last opportunity to see this section of the elevated railway in its natural state before it opens as public parkland in 2014."

http://www.thehighline.org/news/2013/04/26/reserve-tickets-for-carol-bove%E2%80%99s-caterpillar-at-the-rail-yards

May 18 - Great GoogaMooga Food, Drink & Music Festival in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and then having dinner at The Little Owl! #cantwait

May 19 - Cashing in my Groupon deal for a golf lesson at The Gold Club at Chelsea Piers in NYC!

They are running the deal on Groupon right now:  http://www.groupon.com/deals/golf-club-at-chelsea-piers-13?pt=aUYlBxDAAAAC7TAbPP0TxcHva2sxRkO1E

May 21 - Blogger event hosted by The Bloginista and Healthy Hoboken Girl at Luxe Face and Body in Hoboken, NJ! 

Other fun things that I want to do/will be doing are:

 - A NYCxDESIGN event - There are so many to choose from around NYC until May 21st. Check out their website for more information: http://nycxdesign.com/


- Playing coed softball and kickball games every week.

- Join a yoga studio.

- Get a personal trainer?

- Check out a new museum.

- Try a new restaurant.

- Spend a day in Princeton, NJ. 

- and with the warmer weather, I will definitely be spending more time outside!

For more photos of my #dontsithome adventures or more information about fun things to do/places to go, follow Don't Sit Home's social media accounts! 





Sunday, April 28, 2013

#dontsithome & Go To Cali!

What a great trip to sunny California I just had!


My walk to my gate at Newark Airport
I took a trip to Texas back in March (Blog Post: http://bit.ly/16hVvmA), and not even 24 hours after touching down in Newark Airport on March 25th, did I have a ticket booked out to Los Angeles, California to visit a friend!  It doesn't matter if I am away from home for two days or two weeks, travel of any length always gives me the travel bug and inspires me to plan another #dontsithome adventure!

Day 1 - Thursday:

My friend picked me up from LAX and we headed straight to Venice Beach for some good old people watching and some lunch to help me unwind after the 5+ hour flight.  I could not have asked for a more perfect arrival day.  The weather was beautiful and instantly I was in heaven after coming from the not so warm east coast.  As we walked around, you saw ALL kinds of people!  I have driven through Venice Beach before, but have never really had the full experience of walking around and taking in the wide variety of people and things to see. 






After our time in Venice Beach, we took the scenic route of the Pacific Coast Highway to drive to my friend's place in Ventura, California.  The views of the beach, ocean and mountains along the way are just stunning.  You can think of worse things than driving by beautiful Santa Monica and Malibu, right? :)



After arriving at his place and taking in the awesome view of the Channel Islands from their balcony, we headed out for a low key night at a local bar and restaurant called The Tavern.  If I was a local, I would definitely be a regular at this place...I loved the atmosphere!



I was hurting a little bit with the three hour time difference, so having a cocktail and some appetizers was the perfect relaxing start to my vacation!

Day 2 - Friday:

We started off the morning with some hoops.  I’m a former high school and AAU basketball player, and occasionally play in my work coed league.  When my friend asked if I wanted to start the morning by going to shoot around a little, I definitely agreed since the day before I left for California, I submitted my form for this summer’s work league.  This basketball showing was two words…fun and ugly lol.  I can take a break from some sports and it’s like riding a bike getting back into the grove. Unfortunately, basketball is definitely not fit in that category for me and I had a rough time.  It still was fun and I got in some exercise, but it definitely showed me I need to hit the court a few times before my work season begins!

We then went for a delicious breakfast.  As you can see from the picture below, I had a large pancake roll from Pete’s Breakfast House.



This restaurant was featured by Guy Fieri on his Food Network show, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.  After tasting my breakfast, I could tell why…it was awesome!

Before my friend and I headed to Santa Barbara to take in some sights and some wine tasting, he drove me up the hill right behind his place.  What a view!



We then continued to Santa Barbara for such a nice day.  We stopped by the mission of Santa Barbara, experienced some wine and beer tasting, and saw this awesome, gigantic fig tree!


Mission of Santa Barbara
Wine Tasting at Oreana Winery & Marketplace in Sana Barbara
Beer Tasting at Corks n' Crowns in Santa Barbara
Moreton Fit Tree - Santa Barbara
That night we headed to The Greek At The Harbor restaurant for some delicious food…yum!


Beef Moussaka #eatsomethingnew
Day 3 - Saturday:

I decided to go for a morning run up the hill where my friend had driven me up the previous day.  The views along this route would never get old to me.  It’s just so beautiful.



I saw the below random act of peace at the base of the giant cross at the top.  After the Newton, CT tragedy, hearing stories of the random acts of kindness done in the victims honor have truly warmed my heart, and seeing this note and flowers definitely brightened my morning. Thank you to whomever left this nice gesture :).



I am a big baseball fan, so I was excited to learn that my friend was already heading to see the World Series champs, the Detroit Tigers take on the Anaheim Angels at Angels Stadium during my scheduled visit!

Me & my friend Tyler who was my
awesome host/tour guide for my trip!
Angels Stadium
I have watched and attended many baseball games, but this one was definitely not the average game.  The Angels took a 9-0 lead in the first inning and the final score was 10-0. Yes you read that right…9-0 in 1 inning!  Considering most of the game’s action happened during the first inning, I am definitely happy we arrived in time for the first pitch!  I think its awesome checking out different venues for sports, music, etc. for an activity you enjoy, so this definitely made for a fun day for me!


Stopped by the Griffith Observatory on the way back to Ventura
View of LA from the Griffith Observatory
Day 4 - Sunday:

This was another morning of starting off the day with some exercise.   My ego was not completely destroyed from my previous, less than impressive performance, so we headed out to the park again.  I still didn’t break out Michael Jordan like skills, but a few more jump shots fell and it was just a fun morning.

The highlight of the day was going out on my friend and his buddy’s sailboat.  One of my favorite things to do in life is to be out on the water.  Whether it’s a ferry ride or a kayaking trip or sailing, being out on the water has a peaceful and calming effect that never gets old to me.



It was kind of ironic because up until we were scheduled to go sailing, the weather couldn't have been clearer.  Of course the fog rolled in before we were scheduled to sail, but it burned off a little when we were out on the water and it didn't take away from me having a great time!


Out sailing on my friend's boat
Day 5 - Monday:

Since I had an afternoon flight home, I spent my last day in California relaxing, shopping around Ventura, and having a great last meal before making the trip back to LAX. 

Some places you visit and you think it’s great for a visit, but you couldn’t live there. I could 100% live out in California.  The weather is beautiful, the people are awesome, and there is such a wide variety of things to do!  I was sad to leave, but I know that I will be back again soon.  My friend was a fantastic host and tour guide, and I couldn’t have asked for a better few days away from New Jersey. 

For more photos and information about my adventures,
follow Don't Sit Home on social media!