The Upright Citizens Brigade

I've mentioned I had family in town last week so let me tell you a little about my aunt Carla. Carla visits us here in NYC every 6 months. I kid you not. She first came up just a couple months after we moved here and since then she comes every spring and fall. Every time she visits, she has a list of places she wants to go, including tourist spots, restaurants, and half the time it's places JP and I have never even heard of. This time, I was able to take the entire week off from work, which gave us a ton of time to tackle her list.

Every time she comes, she plans a secret thing for us to do and doesn't tell us about it until she gets here. Once it was Accomplice, a walking tour/scavenger hunt/theatre show, though I can't tell you too much about it or I might get in trouble (for example, once you buy your tickets, you don't know where you're supposed to go until you get a voicemail telling you - and it ends by saying you must delete it immediately). Another time, it was taking a sailboat around Manhattan. So this time it was a night at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre!

We saw the show Death by Roo Roo: Your F'ed Up Family. For those who might not be familiar with this theatre, it's an improv and sketch comedy spot. It was started by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh in 1999 - it not only has shows, but it also has a training center for people who want to train in improv and sketch comedy. The show was saw had two parts - in the first half, they talked to someone in the audience to hear about their totally f'ed up family. Unfortunately, the volunteer we saw SUCKED. He was weird and none of his stories were f'ed up and the guys in the show just made fun of him to his face. Then the improv bit they did based on his family also just sort of made fun of the guy most of the time - they were hilarious! It was great to see that even with a crappy volunteer, they could put on a great show. The second half of the show was them making up an entire scene for 30 minutes based solely on a word given by an audience member. It was equally funny and we had a great time.

I highly recommend this and any of their other shows!


A Mug Addition for a Mug Addiction - Unicorn Tapestry

I recently visited The Cloisters where they have a Search for the Unicorn Exhibit. Anyone who knows me knows I love unicorns and I've always loved the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry - I have a print of it hanging in my apartment. I'd never been to see it in real life, however, and I must say it was very impressive. I'd never thought about how big it actually is and it was so neat to be able to see the silver gilded thread woven through it. I wish I could have it, but they refuse to sell it to me (maybe because I could only offer about $10 - they refuse to haggle like they do in Chinatown). I did, however, buy a mug depicting the unicorn from the tapestry, which I'm absolutely in love with, so the day was still a success!

Also, for the record, I got to see a narwhal horn up close at the same exhibit. Apparently, during the Middle Ages when hunts for unicorns were popular, they didn't know what a narwhal was, so if their horns washed up on shore, then everyone would assume it had belonged to a unicorn. Anyone who knows me knows that not only do I love unicorns, but I also love whales, and narwhals are the unicorns of the sea so...this exhibit was very exciting for me.

A real narwhal horn!
The Unicorn in Captivity tapestry


We're Moving!

Big announcement!

For the past 3 years we've lived in the little apartment we found in Queens. It's a little off the beaten path, which we liked at first, but as we got used to living in the city and realized just how long our commute to work is, our apartment became less and less ideal. We've loved the quiet neighborhood with its trees and courtyards, but we've hated the 14-block journey to the subway and the unreliable Q23 bus (seriously, it has to be one of the worst bus lines in the city). So last year we decided to try and find a place in the city. Or at the very least, a place in Queens or Brooklyn that was right next to a subway station. 

Well, we were having a hard time finding one that we could afford, but then my dear friend Harper told me her two roommates were moving out of her amazing prewar Harlem apartment and she would need roommates starting in August. For a lot of people, a married couple living with roommates is strange, but in NYC it's the norm. In fact, I know of some couples with babies who have roommates. It's just the affordable way to do things here and I'm so excited about it!

So stay tuned for more about our move and I'll also be blogging about all the places I visited around the city this past week - I had family in town so I took off from work and had a bit of a stay-cation. I can't wait to tell you all about it!


The Tony's and Fried Pickles

I've been a little busy (and also a little lazy) lately, but I've done a few things and been to a couple places I'd like to tell you about!

First of all, a couple of week ago I got to go to the press junket for all of the Tony nominees! My friend Suzy works for Backstage (a website for actors, specifically a place for them to find auditions) and she asked my friend Molly and I to come help her by running sound and camera and setting up lights. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet the super famous people like Tom Hanks, but I really loved getting to meet the famous Broadway people. Everyone was so nice and I had a blast.

Suzy and me
Molly the amazing camerawoman

Richard Kind
I have also discovered a great bar/restaurant that serves SWEET TEA and also fried pickles. Y'all, this is a big deal. This little southern girls loves to have sweet tea with dinner and it's an absolute travesty that only a handful of places here even know what it is. Anyway, the spot is called The Mason Jar (appropriate right?) and I highly recommend their chicken fingers, their buffalo chicken, their fried pickles, and of course, their sweet tea.
43 East 30th Street
New York, NY 10016

In the same vein, I recently went to a bar called Live Bait that also had amazing fried pickles and an excellent happy hour (the fried pickles were also part of happy hour so I was sold). It's super country looking and I loved it.

Live Bait
14 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010


Power Rangers

Growing up in the late 80s/early 90s, we played outside a lot. My mom would make us play outside a lot of days, which I sometimes hated, but I'm grateful for it now. In my family there are 7 kids and we often joke that the 4 of us who are older had a totally different childhood than the 3 younger ones. And it's true. The biggest gap in ages is between Brittany (number 4, born in December 1989) and Micah (number 5, born in May 1992), so for about 2.5 years it was just the 4 of us and then it was a while before the youngest 3 were old enough to play with us. When we played outside we used our imaginations A LOT.

One of the games we played was Power Rangers. We were a little obsessed with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (the original, we never watched any others after that) and we all had our favorites. Brandon always played Jason, the red ranger and the leader of the group. Kaley always played Billy, the blue ranger and the brains of the group...and yes, Kaley played a boy - she was very much a tomboy. I always played Kimberly, the pink ranger and obviously the most awesome of the group. And poor Brittany - she always wanted to be Kimberly, but we never let her and often issued an ultimatum: she could play Trini, the yellow ranger and the only other girl, or she could be "the monster" that we all had to fight and conquer. Most of the time she'd acquiesce to being Trini, but I remember her being mad and saying she wouldn't play at all, then she'd run off to play by herself and we'd pretend she was the monster and attack her anyway. Yeah, we were awesome.

How to pretend to be Power Rangers:

1. Know your rangers. Don't forget that Tommy (green ranger) and Kimberly are bf/gf so the only boy who can be Tommy is the boy you like who lives down the street.

2. A good fight mostly involves attempts at roundhouse kicks, karate chops complete with shouting "hi-yah!", and if you get knocked down you must roll a good 5 feet before getting back up.

3. You're mostly going to be fighting putties and you know you have to punch or kick them in the Z on their fronts.

4. Know your dinosaurs. At some point you're going to have to call on your Dinozord and you'd better know it. For example, Kimberly's was the pterodactyl and when it's time I had to stand with my legs apart, put my hands out as though I'm holding something resembling a belt buckle, and shout "Pterodactyl!"

5. It's ok to use the slide on your swingset to do a jump attack on someone, but if you land sloppily you have to roll a good 5 feet again.

6. You must create the Megazord before you can win a fight.


Star Trek

My husband and I recently went through the original Star Trek series on Netflix. I did very much enjoy it, but I must say...it's a little ridiculous at times. It's excusable though, since it was the 60s and their special effects and such weren't quite as good as they are now.

Just in case you have no interest in ever watching Star Trek, I want to share with you the most unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally at times) hilarious moments of Star Trek, the original series.

1. The theme song for the first season is very nice. It's catchy and fun to hum along to. Then in the second season, they kept the song but added a woman singing along and it was suddenly weird.

2. Almost every time Captain Kirk gets into a fight, his shirt rips so that at least one nipple shows.
3. In the episode The Enemy Within, they found a space dog, or as I like to call it: a unicorn insect dog.
4. In the episode What are Little Girls Made Of?, Kirk is chased through some caves and he grabs a piece of stalagmite to defend himself...and the stalagmite has a very...ahem...interesting shape...
5. In The Trouble with Tribbles...there are Tribbles. And they're ridiculous. Basically just furry pillows that are treated as though they're living beings.

6. In Arena, we're introduced to the Gorn, a race of aliens, when Kirk has to fight one. I give you the worst fight scene ever.

7. Oh and who can forget this guy from A Private Little War? I must confess that I was distracted during this episode and don't even know what he is or why he was there.

Like I said in the beginning, I love Star Trek. A lot. And I'm currently going through the New Generation. But you have to admit...this stuff is hilarious.