How to Get to Sesame Street

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A couple weeks ago, I did something I almost never do. I went to an exhibition… alone. Matt’s sister told me about an amazing exhibit that The New York Public Library was putting on all about Sesame Street. We both share a deep love for this show, its characters and the incredible amount of good that it has done for so many young kids and parents. So I knew this was definitely up my alley.

So after work, I made my way up to Lincoln Center and was immediately transported back to my childhood. The exhibit is full of interesting stories about the show, the performers and the incredible thought that goes into producing it. And of course, there were many muppets on display, including all of the big names: Elmo, Oscar, Bert, Ernie, Snuffy, Super Grover, Zoe, The Count, and Hoots the Owl. I walked around in awe, staring at the characters of my youth, amazed with how large the muppets were in person and how they looked just as they should.

After taking in the exhibit for a little, I made my way to the auditorium for a two hour program entitled “Making Learning a Funny Affair”. The panel featured an impressive line up of Sesame Street’s top individuals including the Executive Producer, a writer and the Senior Vice President of Global Educational Content. However, the two who stole the show were the two muppet performers.

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As they walked on stage, one with Grover the other with Murray, the entire audience was transported back to age 5. I literally couldn’t stop myself from smiling and I even teared up a bit (let’s blame the baby for that display of emotions).


For the next 2 hours, SNL performer and Sesame Street die-hard fan, Bobby Moynihan moderated an interesting, and funny, discussion about the creative genius that is Sesame Street. After 60 minutes or so, Bert even made an appearance and engaged with a muppet that a young fan brought. It was amazing to see the spirit of Jim Henson live on through the performers and their willingness to support a young dreamer.


It was a truly great night – something that only the city of New York could deliver. The exhibit runs through January 31st so I definitely suggest you make a trip over at some point.

A Fall Tradition

A couple of weekends ago, Matt and I made our annual trip out to the apple capital of the world, Warwick, NY (read about our other trips here and here).

This year we invited our friends Lucy and Smeets along for the adventure. Lucy grew up in Massachusetts, and as such, it is apple picking pro. I was shocked/mortified to hear that Smeets, who grew up in Westchester, NY had never been apple picking. Talk about a deprived childhood. So, we all piled into our car on Sunday morning and drove out to the country to partake in one of fall’s greatest traditions.

We decided to go to Och’s Farm again, followed up with a stop at the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. – why mess with a good thing. The weather was picture perfect and there were plenty of apples to choose from. I always love hanging out with Lucy and Smeets, not only are they fun people who are up for anything, but they have a really nice camera and get into taking pictures. So our apple picking trip turned into a mini photo session – perfect for the blog!

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The day was a success, capped off with some laughs when Smeets read this article to us on our drive home…

O Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

After surviving hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, Matt and I immediately switched into Christmas mode. On Saturday we went out and bought our first real Christmas tree together. This was always a magical experience for me as a child. About a week after Thanksgiving, my family would drive over to Clark’s Farm and walk through the maze of Christmas trees searching for the best one. Christmas music would be playing over the speakers, Christmas lights were strung around the farm and more often than not, there would be snow on the ground. Once we picked out the tree, we would strap it to the top of the car and drive it home. My dad would string on old fashioned colored lights before we went to town adding ornaments, each of which held special significance to us. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. So, when Matt and I decided to ditch our fake tree for a real one, I wanted to recreate my childhood experience.

Although Hoboken is a lot less intense than NYC, it is still pretty urban. There aren’t farms to buy your tree and sadly, there is no snow. We went to Home Depot to get some lights and Matt convinced me to look at their trees. We walked over to the trees, which were located on the second level of a parking garage, not quite the magical experience I was looking for. The trees were all bundled up so it was hard to tell which one was “the best” but after a few tries, we picked out one that we thought would be good.

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As we waited in line, I began to question our purchase. Standing in the cement parking garage, with a tree that I couldn’t fully see, I came to conclusion that I just couldn’t do it. I told Matt to put the tree back and we left. I know– sort of a bratty move. But this was going to be our first tree and I wanted the experience to be more memorable. I mean, really… we were in a parking garage!

We drove up the street to a local nursery that had a hand painted sign out front that said “Fresh Christmas Trees for your Home.” I knew we would provide a good home for a tree so in we pulled. Immediately I knew I made the right decision. There were lights strung up, Christmas music playing and the trees were all unwrapped so you could get a good look at them. The man helping us made sure we got a great tree — he wouldn’t let us take home something we didn’t love. It was a great experience — well worth the increased price we had to pay as compared to Home Depot (right Matt?)! We even got to take photos of ourselves as elves before we paid!

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Matt lugged the tree into our apartment, definitely a sight to see since our tree is probably 11 feet tall!

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And, just like his father, he couldnt’ wait to start vacuuming up the needles once the tree was standing!

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Since our ceilings are 15′ high, we knew we wanted a big tree – I just had no idea how fat it was until we got it inside!

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Getting the lights on the tree proved to be a challenging task, especially for someone with a slight obsessiveness. Matt finally made me stop fidgeting with the lights and poured me a glass of eggnog to enjoy in front of the tree.

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We still need to add some ornaments and a tree skirt but the tree is looking good and our apartment smells wonderful. Here’s to the magic of Christmas!

A Couple of Couples

I’m happy to report that this weekend, I officially checked something off of my Fall To Do List.

On Saturday afternoon, Matt and I hoped in our car and drove out to Warwick, NY for our annual apple picking trip. Some of you more loyal followers may remember that we went out there two years ago and had a great time. Well after doing a decent amount of research to find a great orchard, I settled upon Ochs Orchard. It wasn’t until we were driving up the scenic road that leads to the farm that I realized it was the exact same place we went two years ago. Guess that research really paid off.

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This year we were joined by two of my favorite people, Lindsay and Mike.

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I used to work with Lindsay and they are SUPER fun to hang out with. Let’s be serious though… the bar was pretty low since the bulk of our free time is spent with Kinsella and Brent, two of Matt’s boyfriends who mostly enjoy bars, Notre Dame football and talking about finance. No offense boys, but it wasn’t my dream to get married and live the single boys life.

We picked a giant bag full of apples and a pumpkin that is sitting on our counter, just waiting to be carved. Afterward we headed over to the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. We arrived at 5pm, just an hour before closing. I was definitely bummed that we didn’t come earlier (they have apple picking there too) but it worked out well since the place was packed, but since we arrived late, people were leaving and we had no problem finding a table.

It was a great day, capped off with dinner with another favorite couple, Noelle and Justin. On the drive home, Matt jokingly said “All we do it hang out with your friends.” My response… “At least my friends have cool boyfriends/husbands for you… you’re friend just have other single boyfriends.”

Touché.

Here’s to couple friends, fall and a week full of apple recipe posts!

 

Urban Jungle

New York City is often referred to as an Urban Jungle; however, this weekend we had the opportunity to visit the real Urban Jungle, the Bronx Zoo!

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For Christmas this past year, Matt and I gave his younger sister a trip to NYC. At the time it was probably a let down. I mean, I would definitely rather get some new clothes than I lame book filled with IOUs. But hopefully, after a weekend jammed packed with fun (Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Burgers at Shake Shack, the zoo, etc) the wait seemed worth it.

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The Bronx Zoo was definitely the highlight of the weekend for me. Seeing all of the animals up close was truly magical. Of course seeing the giraffes was my favorite, but I think that seeing the gorillas was a very close second.

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I am sure there are people out there who will argue that zoos are inhuman and what not. I’m not knowledgable enough to fight that fight. So I will leave that to PETA.

Governor’s Muddy Ball

Over the weekend Matt and I went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island in NYC. Despite the rain on Friday that created a 4-6 inch deep mud field the remainder of the weekend, it was a lot of fun.

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I tried to embrace the ever popular boho-hippie-chic look, although I have to admit I didn’t try very hard. I took a sparky running headband and instead of wearing it push my hair back, I wore it across my forehead – hippie style. I quickly realized that this wasn’t the smartest decision since it left an indent across my forehead. And, I looked a little silly.

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Thankfully, I have two more weeks until this music festival. Hopefully that will give me enough time to perfect my look ;)

Citi Bikes!

Well, it didn’t take much, but Matt and I are officially drinking the controversial Citi Bike kool-aid. This weekend we took the bikes out for a spin and ended up signing up for annual memberships.

On Saturday, after running down to Cold Process Coffee and getting injected with caffeine, we didn’t really feel like running home. Instead, we decided to test out the city’s new bike share program. After dipping our credit card and agreeing to follow the traffic laws, we were given codes to unlock our bikes.

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The bikes are definitely A LOT clunkier and slower than a regular road bike but it didn’t bother me much. They are perfect for commuting and I am confident that they will be able to stand up NYC’s weather and grime.

 

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We jumped on the bikes and road home on the path that runs along the Hudson. In about 15 minutes we were home. We had some difficulty locking our bikes into the station at 59th and West End, but luckily there was another station around the corner that accepted our bikes just fine.

Since we purchased a 24-hour membership, we had access to the bikes again on Sunday. This time we rode the bikes from 59th and Amsterdam down to brunch at 44st and 9th. While we could walk this distance, it is nearly a mile and the bikes got us there in approximately 7 minutes. After a delicious brunch at Marseille, we grabbed two more bikes from the rack and rode up to Columbus Circle. The first station we went to (57th and Broadway) was full, so we ended up riding two blocks down to 55th and Broadway – no big deal.

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The bikes definitely make commuting around the city a bit more enjoyable and the recently added bike lanes make it pretty easy. I love biking, so I knew this program was probably going to be something that I enjoyed. However, the thing that I liked the most was taking control of my commute. While I do think NYC’s subway system is amazing, you are never quite sure how long you will have to wait for a train or when there might be delays. And with the traffic in the city – taxis are a shot in the dark. However, if you are up for it, Citibikes allow you as the commuter to take control. You can decide which route to take and, for the most part, you are able to zip through areas with heavy traffic (of course, following the traffic laws!). That being said – like most things in NYC, it all depends on whether or not tourists try to take part.  Right now it is mostly enthusiastic New Yorkers participating in the program. When the newbies start hitting the streets,things might get worse. But hopefully, the fact that they have bike share programs in other cities around the world bodes well.

So while I know not everyone agrees, I say “Long Live City Bikes!”