Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Five: Welcome back, Summer

Today is officially the first day of Summer and there is so much to celebrate - longer days, no more school and plenty of outdoor activities. I plan on spending the entire weekend outdoors with hunny and CJ. I hope you enjoy the gorgeous weather in store for the New York area. Here are my five favorite things for this week. 

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream: This is truly my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. How could it not be? There are fairies, lovers tricked by fairies and an Amazonian Queen in love with a donkey. It is brilliant and very funny. This play is the perfect way to honor the summer solstice. If you do not have time to read it this evening or even watch a decent movie version (it is harder than you think to find a "decent" version), check out Midsummer Night's Dreaming ,  a digital theater project from the the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

James Cagney as "Bottom" in the 1935 movie adaptation

2. Smorgasburg: Every Saturday and Sunday during the summer, Brooklyn Flea hosts an open air food market featuring vendors from New York City and the greater New York region. Saturday's location is on the Williamsburg waterfront and Sunday's is at the Tobacco warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge park. From doughnuts to Thai food, Smorgasburg is a foodie's dream. Not only are the offerings delicious, but everything is created by locally and purchases support the regional economy! This weekend, Smorgasburg welcomes Kelso Barrel aged wheat beer. 

Kelso Beer

3. 2013 Mermaid Parade: Saturday is the 31st Coney Island Mermaid Parade. This annual parade marks the beginning of summer and always features colorful and adventurous parade goers, floats and costumes. The event is rain or shine, but tomorrow's weather calls for warmth and sunshine. This year's King Neptune is comedian Judah Friedlander. The Queen Mermaid is Carole Radziwill - princess, author, and Real Housewives of New York City cast member. This is an all age event, but be prepared for some risqué costumes. 
photo courtesy of

4.  Haagen-Dazs Gelato: If you have not already tasted this, run to your local supermarket an get a pint of Haagen-Dazs sea salt caramel gelato. It is amazing. There are seven flavors of gelato, but to be honest, I liked this one so much I did not try any others. This is not going to take the place of home made gelato, but it is not so easy to find an actual gelateria.  For those of you on diets, just remember, gelato has less fat than ice cream!

5. Monster's University: After 12 years, fans finally have the long awaited prequel to the beloved Pixar film Monster's Inc. This film takes place while the monsters are in college before Mike and Sully became friends. Even though there is no Boo in this one, I am still excited to see the monsters learn to scare!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Five: Summer Summer Summertime

Even though today is a terribly gloomy one in NYC, there is a bright side : Summer is in full swing. There is so much to do in NYC and most of it is free. Here are my top five events for some fun in the (hopefully) sun.

1. Figment NYC- From June 8 - 9, Governor's Island is turned into a large-scale collaborative art exhibit for the entire family. This free event features every medium of art and encourages visitor participation. This year, exhibits include an audience hoop dance, where you can learn the dance in advance and the Carl Wagan Bookmobile. The bookmobile is a mobile gallery and classroom where Carl teaches workshops in printmaking, writing and bookbinding - all in a VW camper. For Game of Thrones fans, Kostume Kult brings its iron shopping cart throne to the island for some costumed interaction. Figment NYC is a rain or shine event and definitely worth braving a little bad weather. 

Kostume Kult's Iron Throne Experience

2. Museum Mile Festival - Tuesday, June 11 is "New York's Biggest Block Party." One day a year, ten of New York's museums on Fifth Avenue open their doors for free to all visitors for a mile-long block party and celebration. The  stretch of Fifth Avenue from 105th street down to 82nd street is closed to traffic and the street becomes a party zone, providing activities such as music, dancing and crafts. 

From the Museum Mile Website

3. MoMA Nights - Every Thursday in July and August, the Museum of Modern Art provides a free concert experience for all of their visitors. These concerts relate to the museums exhibits and take place in the beautiful outdoor sculpture garden. In case of rain, the concerts are moved indoors to one of the museum's theaters. The museum offers a wide array of snacks and beverages, making this the perfect setting for a night out with friends or a date. While you are at the museum check out the rain room - you will not be disappointed. 

4. Bastille Day - I am sort of obsessed with Paris and all things French - macarons, poodles, crepes, croissants, Degas (I could go on, but I will spare you my list). Since I have yet to go to the actual country, I make sure to go to the 60th Street Bastille Day Festival every year to get my fix. I am never disappointed. Although it can get a little bit crowded, there is so much to do and see. There are activities for every age, such as wine tasting for adults and crafting for children. There is live entertainment including a mime and several live musicians. Of course, my favorite part is the food. Cheese, crepes and pastries always make for a good time. This year the festival takes place July 12.

5. Hester Street Fair - There are tons of street fairs happening every weekend in NYC, but Hester Street happens every Saturday and in my opinion has the best vendors.  Artisanal foods, jewelry, vintage clothing, jewelry and more can be found here. While you are there, make sure to try a treat from  "It's a Cuppie" - a cupcake with a cookie baked inside. Brilliant!

Strawberry Shortcake Cuppie