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 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!

 

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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10 Pounds Later

Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE Panera. In high school I worked here for about 6 months and to this day, it was probably my favorite job. Unfortunately, when I moved to New York, the closest Panera was over 6 miles away, outside of the city. As a result, whenever I would leave the city of go home for a weekend, a trip to Panera was always on my list of things to do.

So when it was announced that Panera was coming to Manhattan – I freaked. The first store opened earlier this year at on 7th ave between 28th  and 29th. This is about 15 blocks north from my office and 3 avenues west (i.e not very close) but that didn’t stop me. On opening day, I trekked over to the store for lunch. I was so excited I could hardly contain it – well, the fact is, I didn’t. After ordering a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with a massive grin on my face, I announced to the cashier that “I used to be you! I worked at a Panera once. It was awesome.” I thought she would join in on my elated state however, she responded by saying “So does that mean, one day, I will get to be you?” Clearly she didn’t understand that I thought, by working at Panera, she was the lucky one.

While the experience of eating Panera that day was fantastic, I had to come to terms that it wasn’t going to become a daily experience. The store was just too far away.

But then, I saw they were opening another Panera in Union Square – a 2 minute walk from my work. Nearly every day for months, I would walk by the site and peer in the windows to see how far along the construction was coming. Sadly, with union protests the work was slowed. And I was denied my “fresh” bread, soups and sandwiches.

Last week, after returning to the office from a nice lunch out with some co-workers, another one of my colleagues asked me if I had been to Panera yet? I freaked out – not realizing that it was opened. I was so upset that I had already had lunch that day – for a second I thought about making myself throw up just so I could go and eat another lunch but then decided that wasn’t a good idea, not to mention gross.

The next morning, I happily left my apartment without breakfast so I could stop at Panera for a cinnamon crunch bagel and a caramel latte. I know, not the healthiest of choices, but boy did it make me happy. I practically skipped into work.

Needless to say, it was delicious and I can’t wait to go back. So in honor of the 10 pounds that I will inevitably gain from all of the food I will eat from Panera, I am running my very first Giveaway on my blog. Leave a comment with your favorite menu item at Panera and you will be entered to win a 15 dollar gift card to your local Panera! The winner will be announced on Monday.

Happy eating!

Pigging Out

On Saturday Matt and I went to Blue Smoke, a BBQ restaurant in NYC that I have been wanting to go to for a while. Although the food isn’t the healthiest, it was pretty tasty.

Matt had gone for a 92 mile bike ride earlier in the day and I had done an 8 mile run in the mid-morning heat. We didn’t eat a lot during the day, so when we showed up to the restaurant, we were both pretty much starving. Well, we knew how to fix that – by ordering a ton of food!

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While the food was good, I have to admit that I think the BBQ at Fette Sau in Brooklyn is far superior. And a lot less touristy!

Welcome to Summer

I love Memorial Day as it is the unofficial start to summer. Time for cookouts, white pants and eating as much ice cream as possible. I kicked off this season of sun and fun in a big way, but more to come on that later…

Today in New York it is hot. Summer is definitely here. As a way to celebrate, my work-twin and I walked to the lower east side for some mid-day BIG GAY ICE CREAM!

And boy was it delicious. We both had the salty pimp – yup, the name says it all!

I can not recommend this place enough, especially on a day when the “real feel” temperature is over 100 degrees. And if you aren’t near by, look out for their big gay ice cream truck, which is frequently parked in Union Square during the week and in Mid-town during the weekend. Or, for their exact location, just follow them on twitter @biggayicecream