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.

Never Forget

Each year on 9/11 we stop for a moment to take a breath not just to think about what happened in 2001, but all that has happened since then.  I am confident that we are living in a better country and a better world today. I will continue to believe in the American spirit and continue to honor the freedoms that so many people gave their lives to protect. Thank you to the men and women who serve our country and remind us that we are truly privileged to live in a country that values its people.

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“In all we do every day, in our attention to the micro as well as the macro, we strive to make New York City a better place. We work to help those who are without in our own city and, in so doing, serve as a model for what can be done elsewhere. In that way and in many other ways, each of us as individuals and collectively as Robin Hood, honor the memory of 9/11 and the spirit of what has been done since. This is a part of what it is to Be Robin Hood.”

– Emary Aronson, Managing Director, Robin Hood Relief Fund

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!”

 

Cold Process Coffee along the Hudson

Earlier this year I wrote about a coffee tasting that one of our friends hosted with a new line of gourmet coffee beans, Lamill. Well, I’m not going to say that my blog post gave our friend, Eric, the “press” and start he needed to take Lamill to a wider audience, but I will definitely let you think that if you want.

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Eric recently opened Cold Process Coffee & Tea as part of the redevelopment of Pier 57. Pier 57 is a 170,000 square-foot covered, open-air public market. Business are housed  in recycled and creatively refitted shipping containers. The market is New York’s first large-scale concentration of year-round, affordable work/sell space for artisans and other small businesses. Cold Process Coffee & Tea made their debut last month and have plans to be there through October. There are currently 4-5 other booths in the space with room to add more.

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Cold Process Coffee is a unique way of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. This lends well to an espresso based iced coffee with more flavor and certainly more caffeine than regular iced coffee.

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On Saturday, Matt and I decided to run down along the Hudson River to Eric’s new “office.” As you can see from the pictures, it is an incredible space (much too hip for Matt and me). The only suggestion I would make would be to add some delicious treats to the menu.  The counter space looked a little lonely and I bet a homemade chocolate chip cookie and would go great with the iced coffee… now I wonder who you could ask to make you some (wink, wink).

It was very inspirational to see our friend taking a passion and turning it into a business. We were psyched to support Eric and definitely encourage anyone to stop by and get your daily caffeine fix. And who know’s — you just might wait in line behind a celebrity!

OMG – We’re Adults!

"Heeeeey. Today is my Birthday"
“Heeeeey. Today is my Birthday!”

Today is Matt’s 30th Birthday! Not only is this exciting because it means we get to have cake and celebrate but it also means that Matt can stop reminding me at every change he gets that I am 30 and he is 29. Honestly, the 3 months between our Birthdays are the worst. To be honest, I don’t mind that I am a little older than Matt but I don’t need to be reminded of it all the time.

We kicked off the celebration a little early last night with a dinner party at our friends apartment. We have known Lucy and Smeets since our early days in Boston and have continued to remind friends over the years. They are lovely people with whom we’ve taken a few ski trips , gone to many dinners and shared more than a few glasses of wine! A couple week’s ago we celebrated Lucy’s birthday together with a dinner at Peels, one of my favorite NYC restaurants. That night we ordered some oysters for the table and got to talking about how Matt and I have recently gotten into oysters. It just so happens that Lucy’s uncle owns an oyster farm in Cape Code, Sweet Neck Farms, and knows a thing or two about the slippery delicacies. I mentioned that I really wanted to learn how to shuck them so Matt and I could enjoy them at home (and not have to pay the ridiculous price of $3 per oyster at a restaurant!) So I was pleasantly surprised when Lucy called me on Tuesday night to tell me that her uncle had shipped her some fresh oysters and invited Matt and I over for a shucking lesson and dinner party.

Now, this may shock you – but this was the FIRST real dinner party that Matt and I have ever been to. I know – weird. I think it is because NYC apartments are so small, that very few people have dinner tables so we always go out to dinner. It is sort of funny because the only person I can think of who has an actual table in their apartment, which chairs and adult things like that, is Kinsella – and his version of cooking is opening a can of soup (which IS pretty impressive). We’ve had many a football watching party at his place, but those normally involve Bleeker Street pizza and eating off our laps (please don’t mistake my tone for judging – Matt and I sit on the floor and eat off a coffee table at home).

It was nice to play house for a little with Smeets and Lucy and feel like real adults. Thanks for keeping us classy guys!

 

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Here is Smeets in the Kitchen - hoping that rubs off on Matt!
Here is Smeets in the kitchen – hoping that rubs off on Matt!

 

Fish Out of Water

This weekend, Matt and I decided to take a day trip out of the city. Living in New York can be particularly challenging in the winter. Unless you are a committed skier, you find yourself never leaving the city. And even though New York is a big city, let’s be serious, never leaving a 23 square mile island, filled with 1.6 million people, can make you a little stir crazy.

We tried to plan a weekend getaway to somewhere like the Catskills, the Berkshires or Lake Placid but our timing wasn’t great – with the combination of President’s Day Weekend and MA/NY school vacations, everything was booked. So instead, we rented a car for the day and drove out to NJ.

We drove out to High Point State Park for a little cross-country skiing. Although the north-east received a big storm only a week ago, a lot of the snow had melted so the coverage on the trails wasn’t great. However, it was well worth it – just to get out of the city. Oh yeah, and to see Matt on cross-country skis for the first time. That was fun too!

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