Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend Wanderings: It's Fall!

I really, really love autumn.  It's easily my favorite season, and I could not be happier that temperatures have been dipping here lately.  While I've been jealously gazing at photos from friends who are in New England, hiking through vibrant orange foliage or drinking perfectly steamy coffee in front of chilly lakes (no doubt they are wrapped in wool blankets and sitting on Adirondack chairs), this weekend turned out to be lovely, even if the leaves here are still green.  On Friday night, after an incredible reading put on by Kundiman at NYU, Roger and I met up with our friends Sarah and Matt for an Oktoberfest feast at Blaue Gans, an Austrian restaurant in Tribeca.  While I one day hope to be in Germany for Oktoberfest, this was a fun alternative, and it was great to see the now happily married couple (a recap of their wedding, and our west coast trip, to come soon, I promise).

Fall feast!

On Saturday, after another total body conditioning class, I spent most of the day running errands (and doing an enormous amount of laundry!) and cooking for a little fall-themed dinner party we had for Rob's birthday.  Our main dish was this incredible cous cous butternut squash salad from The Kitchn, which Zan recommended, and which was easy and delicious.  I also made two wonderful pumpkin dishes, which I'll share later this week.  It was so nice to spend this weekend among friends.  We really all need to get together more often.

Short long-run.

Sunday was a workaday.  I had a lovely run in the morning, and after Roger made a big brunch, it was time to settle in for a day's worth of work on some projects I have coming up.  Hopefully I can share some of the news with you guys soon, once everything is in place.

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Weekday Wanderings: The ABC of It

Four-year-old Kristin has never been happier.

Yesterday evening, I met up with my friend Katie and went to an excellent exhibit at the NYPL, called The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter.  Ask almost anyone my age where in publishing they want to work, and they'll say children's books (at least if they work with me).  I've long thought this is because the first books we read stay with us.  It's easier to fall into books as children, and most of us writers, editors and literati grow up inside of them.  It makes sense that a deep love for them stays with us throughout our lives.

One of the many magical displays

The exhibit was wonderful - it combined interesting facts and insightful theories on children's literature with beautiful displays of the books and artwork surrounding them.  The NYPL never ceases to amaze me with their exhibits, and this one was no exception.  My favorite nook, of course, was the lifesize diorama of Goodnight, Moon, my very first favorite book.  A close second, though, was the section on banned books, which looked quite a lot like exhibits I saw in at the Holocaust Museum in DC, with the offending books set into the display so that children couldn't accidentally see them.  It sent a truly poignant message about the power of books, particularly those aimed at children.

Pretty much everything CS has ever said makes me tear up.

If you have a chance to visit the library before the exhibit closes on March 23rd, please do.  I'm even planning to head back again so I can really read all of the display labels.  It's really an exquisite exhibition and if you loved books as a child, I'm sure it will stir you as deeply as it did me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Wanderings: Working It Out

It was a really gorgeous weekend in New York - perfectly sunny but still a hint of autumn chill in the air.  I took advantage of the good weather with a workout everyday, and seeing friends in between.  On Friday, I took a pilates class at the gym near my office during lunch, and was really pleased to find it wasn't nearly as difficult as when I took it a few weeks ago - my core strength seems to be improving, slowly but surely.  That evening, I met up with one of my roommates from college for drinks and appetizers at Buceo 95, which was lovely.  The wine we ordered was sweeter than I normally like, but it was delicious and more complex than I was expecting, and I really enjoyed the appetizers we ordered as well.

On Saturday, after sleep for almost eleven (11!) hours, I woke up and headed out for my long run, 6.5 miles.  I haven't run that much since early July, so I was a little disappointed to see how slowly I was going, but it felt great to get back to the loop in Central Park, which I hadn't run since last summer.  It's such a great path and although I could do without the crowding that inevitably happens as you get further south, I'm always happy to be running it.  The half I'm training for is actually two loops of the park, so hopefully it will feel familiar come December!  After that, we went grocery shopping and discovered that the barbecue shop in the back of our grocery store is actually delicious!  We split a platter for a late lunch, and then headed out to an opening at Art In General.  The opening was fun, but I wasn't really moved by any of the art, which felt like that very special brand of contemporary art that is all about money and not at all about passion.  We headed to Home Sweet Home for drinks, and took in the 50s and 60s hits and taxidermy before calling it a night.  I'd never been there, but had a really wonderful time.  After hearing that Happy Ending Lounge recently closed, it's nice to know of another bar I really like in that area.

I've been taking this class my gym offers, Total Body Conditioning, recently, and took another one on Sunday morning.  It's always different, based on the instructor, but always incredibly hard.  It combines aerobic exercises with weight training, and so it helps build muscle and work on cardio simultaneously.  I really love it and I'm always totally wiped by the end of the class.  After that, Sunday was all about work.  I've been slammed this week, so I took extra work home to finish up.  It's never a fun way to spend the weekend, especially when it was so gorgeous out, but with all that I have to do this week, I know I'll be glad I got those loose ends tied up.  I finished up the weekend with a little reading - I just started MaddAddam, and really love it.  Margaret Atwood has been one of my favorite writers for almost ten years, and I credit her for really making me love poetry, so I was thrilled to pick it up, and I haven't been disappointed.  It's not quite as good at Oryx and Crake, but I definitely like it better than Year of the Flood.  It's so nice to be sucked into a book again!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Wanderings: Hack the Met & Yankees Stadium

After a summer of weekends spent away, it was nice to spend this past weekend firmly rooted at home.  It was a weekend of New York-y activities, starting with attending my first reading of the fall, by one of my favorite writers, Anne Carson, who was reading from her latest work, Red Doc>. I'm reading it now, and if you haven't picked it up yet, do - it's wonderful.

On Friday, we bought rush tickets for a Hack the Met tour.  Many thanks to Shaelyn, who let me know the tickets were for sale, and to Alisha and Emily who came with us.  Hack the Met is an underground company that gives tours of the Met unlike any you've seen before: more participatory, more secretive, more fun.  If you get the chance to go on one (follow their twitter for updates!), I'd definitely recommend it.  The evening was well-worth the price, and we had so much fun hopping from art work to art work, learning the interesting stories behind each one.  Some of the highlights for me included finding the "Mona Lisa" and a surprising musical instrument made from a narwhal horn.  Seriously - this was some really awesome stuff.  We had a great time, but I'd especially recommend it for anyone coming to the Met or New York for the first time (given that you plan your vacations further in advance than I do...) because it really was a fun and different thing that I think gives a great introduction to the museum.

Our tour guide, Mark.

Sunset at the Met!

We followed our tour up with a little after-party at the New York Palace, where Alisha's partner showed us the future of film, which turns out to be a lot like Demolition Man.  Sort of.

On Saturday, I joined my parents and my sister (who is visiting from Florida this weekend!) at Yankees Stadium to take our holiday photo on the field.  It's a little perk for season's pass holders, I guess, and while it was a little bizarre to don a Santa hat and listen to Christmas carols, it was a lot of fun to see my family and stand on the field for the first time.  We followed it up with some hot cocoa, apple cider, and egg nog in the Legends Lounge, where they also had gingerbread cookie decorating.  Again, a bit strange, but it was a crisp morning and I love the holidays, so it was a nice way to welcome autumn.

We headed to Times Square after, since Jill wanted to buy something at the Disney store for her coworkers (she's working at Disney right now), and we ate at the Buca di Beppo there, having a nice little afternoon.  The evening was mostly quiet, as was Sunday, as Roger did schoolwork and I worked on a small work project.  I'd meant to do a short long-run, but my legs were so sore from my total body conditioning class on Friday that doing laundry was about as much exercise as I could handle!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Advertisements II

Did you know that I love advertisements?  I do.  And, despite not watching TV, sometimes I get lucky and see a great one.  Thanks to BusinessInsider for tipping me off to this one, for Guinness, which really inverts the stupid stereotypes beer commercials usually play in.  Take a look at their analysis, too.