Morning walk to vote

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Crypt Sessions

It has been a minute… ok more like a few minutes since I have submerged myself into a NY moment.  Life has taken a few amazing major turns for me which has prevented me from experiencing a little big thing in NYC, however this event, was one that I had to experience and see for myself.

I had the pleasure of attending a Crypt Session last month. After reading about it in the NY Times, I thought, this is something I HAVE TO see.  An intimate concert of about 30 or so person audience, in the crypt of a church in Washington Heights, is a very different way to enjoy live music.  I don’t think I have ever been in a crypt before, so that in itself was an experience.  It isn’t creepy or cold, it is actually beautiful and warm and inviting.

The evening started off with some finger foods and wine in the activity room of the church. Feeling at first a bit like a high school dance on folding chairs sprawled along the perimeter of the room, this quickly feeling transformed into something magical once you descend upon the stairs into this beautiful “church basement”.


The event itself is something to experience. However, the success of this event is due to the talent that Andrew Ousley, curator and Unison Media President, meticulously chooses to collaborate with.  The talent that I was lucky to enjoy that evening was Lara St. John.  One word to describe her – inspirational. She will inspire you to follow your passions, inspire you to travel and inspire you to never give up on your dreams – and maybe inspire you to learn another language.

Confession alert: I am not crazy about Classical. I don’t hate it but it isn’t very often that I will attend a Classical concert.  The eagerness to attend a Crypt Session was a) to attend a NYC #littlebigthing and b) because my husband loves Classical and the piano.

Lara’s scores were a wonderful way to enjoy Classical music.  A slight variation from the classic Classical Music, they were formed from her travels in Eastern Europe and her learnings and experiences while she was there. She had connected with the composers who ultimately composed versions for her to play with pianist Matt Herskowitz. Lara is brilliant to watch. Her talent, her persona and her charisma draws you in as you forget where you are and instead feel like you are traveling with her on her journeys.  She has memorized all of her pieces and doesn’t use any sheet music. You can even catch her dancing to ‘her own tune”.   Her sweetness and her love for the culture and the music seeped through as we listened to her talk about the genesis of her relationship with her songs.  I had so many questions I would have loved to ask her about her adventures and her journeys.



For now, I am honored to have been invited to sit in the audience of a Crypt Session and look forward to seeing the other talent that Andrew has brought on.  This concert series is a welcome addition to my list of Little Big Things in NYC and a must see!

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finding beauty on the subway platform

Of all the years that I’ve frequented this subway station, I had no idea nor did I even notice the chimes in the 34th street N, Q, R platform until very recently.  I SO wish that I could recall what publication that “learned me” about these interactive chimes or flutes as they deserve a tremendous amount of kudos.

What I’m referring to is a short installation of motion detection sensors along the platform above the tracks that apparently have been there since 1995.  When you wave your hand in  front of any 8 of the laser sensors, a bell or chime sounds off with a certain pitch.  For those of us that take this subway often can really learn the order and eventually create a song or tune as we do with piano or a flute.

The sounds are quite soft and soothing. The next time you’re waiting for the train, look up, you never know what you’ll find to keep yourself occupied and maybe even bring a smile to your face among the grueling rush hour.


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sofar sounds

You don’t have to go “so far” to hear some sounds yet you don’t know exactly where you’re going to hear those sounds until the day before nor do you know what you’re going to hear until you’re there.  This is the magic and the allure behind Sofar Sounds.

Having started in London back in 2006, and now in over 200 cities around the globe, Sofar Sounds brings a new excitement to listening to live music.  They showcase small, amazing talented artists, that have tremendous potential to make it big.  Sofar has created a community around the artists AND the spectators in the form of intimate events (around 50 audience members) located in unique spaces (possibly somebody’s apartment or distillery).

I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in 2 events “so far” – one in someone’s cool Bushwick loft apartment, where it was BYOB ….


and the other in a small intimate bar / lounge in Prospect Heights called Ode to Babel, which for obvious reasons wasn’t a BYOB but did offer descent food and (my fav) Rose on tap….

Back to the music… which is really the reason I can’t wait to attend another event.  I’m not one of those people that tends to dissect a movie immediately walking out of the theater after seeing it.  I usually have to sit with it and digest the story for a few days.  However, after seeing the Sofar shows I’m so moved by the talent and the passion and the originality that I find it difficult to not ask my guest which artist he/she liked most.  And 2 out of the 2 times that I’ve asked the question, the answer has not been easy to answer. The artists are, just as I mentioned – original – the genre, the sound, the passion, their story.

A show is a must see, and I promise, whichever show you choose to attend, you won’t be disappointed.  The only drawback, which is also my word of advice, is that you have to plan ahead, that you can’t roll up into a show the same night.  So be sure to get your ticket(s) in advance…  Happy Sofar-ing!




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union square wines

Thirsty?  Want to get a good buzz on for free?  I am by no means telling you to get out there and get your drink on.  And this post is not written to encourage drinking.  However, IF you’re in the Union Square area and looking to grab a drink – why not try out 20 different wines {samples} for free!?

Most Saturdays from 2 – 5p Union Square Wines highlights a particular region or grape with tastings of 20 – 30 bottles.  Pours are tasting sizes and representatives are there to describe what your sampling.  They are always open for discussions and feedback on all things wine.

I’ve been a few times.  It gets busy and crowded so my advise is go early. Admission is free and reservations are not needed – just show up!

Below is from my last visit – ROSE! and is a selection of only 1 of 4 stations to sample from!

20160514_150159 (1)

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my new backyard

boat basin  rail lines

I know its been a minute since I contributed to this blog.  I recently moved to the Upper West Side and was showcasing the riverside to a friend.  My motive for this post isn’t to highlight the 79th street boat basin or the elevated tracks, although, for those of you that don’t know about it, it’s a must to pop in a for a drink as there aren’t too many places in NYC that you can drink riverside in a relaxing environment for a reasonable price.

My admiration for this neighborhood  and the gorgeous Spring sunset, inspired me to revisit my passion – sharing my findings of this amazing city.  The architecture long expresses the city’s history that fails to lose its beauty.  It engulfs you, challenging you to imagine another time, long ago where farmers and horses and buggies roamed the streets… oh wait! they still do! in Midtown West!


As usually NYC, you always seem to stop me in my tracks! xo

Thank you, my friend, for your fantastic photos that beautifully capture my new hood.  It would be a sin to take credit for them.



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losing our ferris wheel

A tourist doesn’t come to New York and not make his or her way to Times Square.  Sometimes you find a tourist looking up or taking a picture of something that makes you look to see what they are discovering. Once in a while you’ll see something you would never have seen otherwise. The other night, I heard a tourist say “the sky is so black”.  He wasn’t kidding, the sky was really black!  But I never would have looked up and noticed if I didn’t hear him comment on it.

Times Square the crossroad of the world; it’s known for its grandeur, its excitement and its outrageous.  One example of this is the Toys R Us in Times Square along Broadway.  This store is more like an experience than a store, and as it should be given its location. Most NYers, avoiding this neighborhood at all costs, probably don’t know about the full size ferris wheel inside of the store.

The ferris wheel is a sight and an experience, and for sure something you don’t see in just any city.  Unfortunately, this city has insurmountable rising rents, so high that the 2nd most well known toy store can’t afford the rent and is closing at the end of December (the 1st already closed!).

My nephew had his 3rd birthday party there and of course we couldn’t walk out of the store without riding it a few times.  I’m glad this happened because I am proud to say that I have ridden it and it is always the #1 thing on my list of “rare and unknown” “places to see” if you’re in the area.

ferris wheel

Yes, ok, this post is very last minute but better late than never.

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palisades hiking

palisades park mapMy initial thought was that this post was a little late in the season. My second thought was, yeah but so is the leaf peeping season – its a few weeks delayed.  The nice thing about this post is that it can cross seasons and has a shelf life of most of the year!

Early in the spring / summer season, my friends and I (@stella_joyce @mamajudy75) decided rather than spending a “girls night ” of eating and drinking we would get out of the glitz of the city and spend a “girls day” clearing our lungs and our hearts to do some real bonding and a little soul searching in the “country” of the Palisades, NJ.

There are so many great places to hike if you want to take full day trips to make (I will follow up with another post).  However, this location is great for a half day trip.  It’s a quick 30 min drive from NYC via my 2 favorite roads – the Henry Hudson Parkway and the Palisades Parkway / Route 9N.  Gorgeous narrow tree-lined highways with a good blend of metropolitan and greenery.


There are a few loops / routes that you can do, however, to note, we were always confused as to which one we were on.  There were markings but they all seemed to blend into the same one.  I believe the one we planned to do is called the Stateline Lookout loop, which does exactly that – gives you swooping views of the Hudson River and NY State.

palisades hike map

My best advice is to go to the site to get a sense of where to park your car and your starting point and then don’t be afraid to ask someone along the way.  A friend (@mslopes) hiked this based on my recommendation and was grateful for sharing it with her.  The “hike” is easy for most anybody that isn’t handicapped and between the ages of 12 and 70.  There are some steep hills to climb that are lined with rocks to step on and have a railing to keep you away from the edge.  However, a warning to the faint at heart – gorgeous views comes with great heights.


The trek down (and back up!) was worth while.

me 2

It was a fabulous day.  Stripping ourselves of our cell service (its spotty) and our children, nature allowed us to be bared of our shielding routine, revealing our fears, our worries and our absolute joy for each other.  When depleted of our apprehensions and our negative energy, we replenished our soul and bellies with a delicious lunch in Piermont NY, a nearby town on the water.


Happy Hiking!

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dumbo 1st thursday gallery walk

On the first Thursday of every month, DUMBO hosts their FREE gallery walk.  Print out their listing and the map of the galleries / events and take a stroll through DUMBO Brooklyn.

Here are a few snapshots from my walk last month

art archway drinks and music just say yes digital reader

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the evolving new york(er)

This week, I “became” a New Yorker, as defined by some people.  10 years ago, I began my journey to the big city to live out my dreams set for myself at 4 years old.

12 years ago or so, on my one of my weekend “visits” to the city, my friend brought me down to the most northern pier of BPC as it was sort of new to her as well and she wanted to share her exploration.  At the time, I didn’t get it, it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, so far South and so far West (despite her living on the East side at the time).

I thought the new SeaGlass Carousel in The Battery is a perfect depiction for this time in my life and my 10 year newyorkiversary.   The idea that a carousel goes around and around depicts the continued evolving of NYC and just like in life, it has its cycles of ups and downs.  Fish are symbols of fertility, representing the growth of downtown and myself.


Like The Battery, I am fairly new to the city and I have evolved over the years.  Not only did I live there for 3 years, I got engaged there, my wedding home base was there and just like The Battery and BPC, I lost myself there.  Unless you work on Wall Street or are visiting the Statue of Liberty, that area isn’t thought of very often and its a mystery to some people as to exactly where it is (one response when I told someone that I lived in BPC was “where is that? Queens?”) and don’t know to get there.  Because of my time spent at this somewhat historic tip of Manhattan, I know of and value the treasures that it offers us.  I hope you can enjoy them as well.


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