If somebody were to ask what the three most important things about me are they’d be (in no order of importance): 1. I love to workout 2. My friends and family are the most important thing in my life and 3. I LOVE surprises, both being surprised and surprising other people.
Long story short, I bought myself a plane ticket to NY to surprise my old roommate, Erin, for her birthday, celebrate Galentines Day with Phebe, and see Dave play some volleyball. It was a whirlwind of trip, but a much-needed trip back to frigid temperatures to see my closest friends.
Here’s some quick highlights of my long weekend in the city that never sleeps:
Saturday: landed at JFK and headed straight to Phebe’s in the East Village. After indulging ourselves with See’s Candies, we headed over to my old apartment to surprise Erin. SURPRISE Erin! Cue lots of hugs and “Is this real life?” a la David After Dentist. Head back to Phebe’s place and get ready to go to Hair of the Dog on the LES.
Sunday: Wake up and engage in our old “habits”. We head to Coles to workout and watch the men’s basketball game, then I head to Hoboken see Dave.
Monday: Brunch with Erin at Cafe Gitane followed by a workout at Coles with Phebe. Cafe Gitane is a cute French Moroccan place that is most known for its Avocado Toast. It is absolutely divine – a must try on my list.
Tuesday: Erin’s Birthday! Lunch with my former marketing professor, Ted Philipakos, at local Greek restaurant, Ovelia, in Queens to catch up.
Wednesday: Head to Hoboken to hang with Dave. Grab lunch at my favorite Italian Deli, Vito’s (I ordered the Vito). Watch Dave and the rest of his team destroy SUNY New Paltz in three straight sets with Phebe.
Thursday: Breakfast with Phebe and Etan at Hoboken Gourmet Company. Head back to California. Cue tears and nostalgia.
It was a quick trip, but I’m so glad I was able to see my friends and surprise Erin! Hopefully I’ll be back before graduation!
Happy Easter peeps! I hope all of you had as wonderful of a day as I did. Phebe’s friend, Reid, was in town for the weekend and we decided to venture across the Brooklyn Bridge for some fun. Side note: Reid sails at Harvard and has known Phebe since birth – they were born a day apart! People often ask if their twins (I know – how cool right?) Anyways, we took the train down to Chamber Street, began the crowded trek across the bridge and were rewarded with the most breathtaking views of Manhattan and beyond. We had a few hours to explore before Reid had to board his bus so we walked below the bridge, around DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass for all you non-New Yorkers). We were greeted with even more beautiful views, smells of delicious foods and people everywhere. We chowed down on a cleat disguised as a bench on the pier overlooking lower Manhattan. There was a slight breeze in the air, the sun was shining down on us and all was perfect in the world. We wanted to try Grimaldi’s world-famous pizza, but they were closed for Easter, so we opted in for some seafood at Luke’s Lobster. I grabbed the lobster roll, Reid had the crab roll – both were simply divine!
Before we finished our amazing lunch, we spotted the Brooklyn Ice Cream store a few steps away. Since I gave up ice cream for lent, it was only an obvious choice to grab some before heading back to Manhattan. We opted to split a Butter Pecan and Chocolate Chip Chunk ice cream filled cup since we only had a few dollars on hand between the both of us. (Side note: Bring cash with you when exploring – some places still operate on a cash-only basis)
Twas a wonderful day spent with friends exploring the most wonderful city in the world. I can only hope that everybody had even just a fraction of the fun I did today!
Sometimes there are just days that slip by and I find myself completely immersed in my own world. The past few days have embodied that free-flowing and adventurous spirit I have come to call, “the Megventure“. Usually characterized by a series of rash events and unpredictable story lines, these “Megventure’s” are typically filled with close friends, spontaneity, and of course, an unmatched sense of wanderlust.
My Megventure began on Thursday night at a small Italian restaurant, tucked in the far confines of the East Village. Surrounded by some of my newest and closest friends, as well as two professors from the Tisch Center, I indulged in a delicious Insalate de Spinaci (Baby spinach, roasted almonds, ricotta salata, strawberries and balsamic reduction) and Fettucine al ragu di Salsiccia (Buckwheat tagliatelle with broccoli rabe puree, Italian sausage ragu and pecorino) at Paprika – t’was delicious! The best part of the night, however, was not the food, but the company. I was introduced to people within the department I would not otherwise would have had the opportunity to interact with, and also strengthened my relationship with one of my favorite professors, David Hollander. Sitting in such an intimate setting with only ten other people gave us the opportunity to open up, in a way that is not normally afforded in a classroom. I am so lucky to have had this amazing opportunity to get to know my classmates and professors on a much deeper level.
Friday night was an adventure in itself. I ventured out to Brooklyn for the second time (ever) with a few other classmates (all guys of course) to cheer on the Nets as they battled against the Detroit Pistons. So maybe “battled” might not be the best word, because the Nets blew them out, but it was a hell of a time if I may so myself. It was my first ever professional basketball game, and I am so glad I was able to experience it at Barclay’s. There is an ineffable vibe that certainly draws in the young people to the game – it was a sporting experience unlike any other. Though I am not a huge fan of professional basketball and the game was less than entertaining, I had such a great night at Barclay’s.
Saturday morning started with brunch at Veselka – days that start with brunch are usually ones worth remembering. And Saturday was no exception. I’m not one to complain, but after the horrendous winter that we had the past six months, it was so wonderful to finally break out the sandals and explore the city I have only begun to scratch the surface of. Saturday morning was the beginning of a day-long adventure throughout the city – one that resulted in a number of firsts. Following brunch with my best friends, Phebe and Ryan,and their two friends, we decided to go to the High Line in the West Village. For those of you who don’t know me very well, the High Line is a sanctuary of sorts of me, and one of my favorite places to take people when they visit the city.
Tori, Ryan, Phebe, and Graeme
We walked, talked, and wandered down the mile and half path before deciding to venture up to Times Square to expose Ryan’s girlfriend to the circus that is New York City. Phebe, Ryan, and I immediately decided to escape the mayhem and wander into yet another sanctuary – Central Park. Our tired legs yearned to rest, so we found some boulders and relaxed among their nooks and crannies. In the middle of relaxing, Ryan had an epiphany that we should go to the American Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs. My inner five-year-old self was excited beyond words – I had never been to a museum in NY and dinosaurs are so cool – what’s not to love?The AMNH was amazing (and crowded) but so worth it! Though we wandered aimlessly through the dinosaur exhibits and probably didn’t learn as much as we could have, it was the perfect end to a perfect day spent with friends. My favorite dinosaur, besides the T-Rex (Duh!) was the Megaloceros (for obvious reasons). The museum pulled at my child-like heart-strings and inspired me to get out and see more of my amazing city.
The rest of Saturday was a blur, as I prepared myself for an early wakeup the next day. Sunday was warranted by a soccer session at Gaelic Park and a less than exciting evening filled with homework. Little did I know that my sense of adventure would get the best of me and I would be once again on the road with my roommate, Erin and her friend, Alyson, to a wonderful restaurant in Chelsea. Don’t let the pictures of Co Pizza below deceive you – the restaurant was AMAZING. The wooden walls, dimmed lighting, and candles on the table made it feel like we were away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We all ordered one pizza and split the three flavors between us. I ordered the Cuattro Cipolla (4 Onion) and it was divine. The Straciatella and the Popeye were also lovely – I felt like I could just nom on them forever!
On the way home from Co, we encountered an abandoned subway car. I know what you’re thinking – DON’T ENTER, IT’S A TRAP! Don’t worry, we were fine (no creepy guys, no bad smells, you get the picture). My inner-child awoke and before I knew it, I began to swing from pole to pole until the train began it’s journey along 14th street.Though the weekend seemed to pass by in a single instant, I am so incredibly fortunate to have spent my Megventure of a weekend with my closest friends.
The past two weeks have been CRAZY, but that good sort of crazy that makes you want to smile from ear to ear, despite the lack of sleep and blisters on the bottom of your feet. I’ve been so lucky to have spent some time exploring my city with my cousins, Molly and Kate, and good friend, Kayla. It’s amazing how much I truly don’t know about the neighborhood that I reside in – so much history surrounds me. This post is a quick recap of my weekend spent with my cousins.
Cousins in Time Square
Molly and Kate trekked out from Seattle to see the city for a few days, what ensued was a reunion after years of not seeing each other. Arriving just after New Years, the three of us set out to grab dinner with their Uncle Tim and Aunt Freddi down at Morton’s by the WTC (Thanks Uncle Tim!). I hadn’t seen Tim or Freddi since the 2nd grade, so it was great to finally reconnect and listen to old family stories. I absolutely adore both of them and feel so lucky that I was able to spend a lot of quality time with them over the course of the weekend. All five of us spent the next day shopping down 5th Avenue and in SoHo, making several stops at Barney’s, Bloomingdales, Bendel’s, and Massimo Dutti. Freddi is a shopping queen and has the cutest style – it was so great to go shopping with her and learn from a pro. That afternoon we walked through the slush to a cute little bakery, Sweet Revenge on Carmine Street. It’s an adorable Cupcake Shop that pairs the sweet treats with wines and beers – how cool is that!? We all were pretty shopped out so we decided to head back home for a nap and then meet up again for dinner at Vic and Anthony’s (on 19th and Park). We once again had a fantastic dinner and after hours of chatting (that’s the way dinner should be!), we parted ways. Molly, Kate and I ventured down back to Dempsey’s where we encountered a BudLight party – who would’ve thought? The next morning we grabbed Brunch at Philip Marie’s in the West Village. It was more than I could ask for – great Eggs Benedict and a cozy place to escape from the less than pleasant weather outside. Unfortunately we had to say our goodbyes to both Tim and Freddi that morning, as they needed to return to D.C. for work.
The rest of the weekend the cousins explored New York via Times Square, Central Park, the East and West Village. I don’t think I have ever walked so much in my life – we were averaging 20,000 steps a day according to my brand new Nike Fuelband SE.
Kate and I finding our Irish roots at McSorleys
One Sunday evening, we ventured over to Brooklyn to meet up with one of Molly’s friends from UW and found Momofuku Milk Bar on the way; crossing off an item on Kate’s “To See” list. On our last day we also were lucky enough to get tickets (Thanks Tim!) to see the WTC memorial. Talk about a thought-provoking and inspiring place to visit.
It was so sad to see both Molly and Kate leave for Boston, but I’m so glad I got to hang with them. Hopefully they’ll be back sooner than later.
Wow I cannot believe it’s been my last summer as a teenager. (Gahh! I feel so old typing that!) I only have few soccer filled days of summer left, but I promise to live it up before its over. Granted I’ve had an amazing childhood living around the world, traveling, experiencing new things and of course playing sports, but there are some things that I’ve yet to accomplish. I always hear people saying, “I wish I could have done this or that but I didn’t”. Well the time has come to just do it (thank you Nike for that beautiful motto).
Heres’ my list of 20 things I’ve yet to do that I want to finish before my birthday in February! Let me know if you want to join in on any or all of the challenges!
Run a Half Marathon – I think for as much as I’ve run over the years in soccer, I think it’s finally time to prove it with a medal or two. On the last day of winter break, there is the Carlsbad Half which I’d love to train for. Come on, how hard could it really be?
Learn to Cook (Well) – Food is sort of a basic requirement of living and if it weren’t for some of my teammates and my parents I don’t think I’d still be living today (probably from food poisoning or from just lack of food!) Anyways, I’d love to learn how to cook a gourmet meal (maybe not gourmet but you get the idea) and have some friends over!Completed Fall 2012
Go on a juice cleanse for a week – I just watched a really cool documentary called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead which opened my eyes to the types of foods I put into my body. I’d love to try this and although I could not do a full juice cleanse because I wouldn’t be getting the proper amount of calories and proteins through juicing, I think one week is manageable and would test my will power.
Go to a college football game – Seeing as I’m working for the Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust which recognizes the best college football player each year and NYU doesn’t have a football team I think it’d be fitting to go to another college football game. Who’s down for the Yale Colombia game on 10/27?
I think I Could Handle the Pigskin
Donate Blood – In between getting over my fear of needles and helping others in need, I think this would be a great thing to do before I’m twenty. (Plus you get a pretty cool sticker for doing it!)
Go to a Broadway Show – Seeing as I’ve lived in NYC a year and have visited a half dozen other times I don’t know why I still haven’t seen a broadway show. Any suggestions? Completed Dec. 12, 2012
Watch Every Episode of Friends – This is one of those classic TV shows that people are still talking about ten years down the road. Seeing as I live in Manhattan, have a friend named Phebe and have Rachel’s spending habits, I think this would be one show worth watching from the pilot episode to the series finale. Central Perk anybody?
Go to All Five Boroughs in One Day – Sure I can name all of ’em but I haven’t even been to all of them, let alone more than two in the same day, but I’d love to say that I’ve done this. Here’s my plan of attack!
Go To Mexico – My favorite foods includes chips and salsa, I lives less than 30 miles from the border and speak Spanish. Have I been to the border? NOPE! I know it’s dangerous but I literally just want to cross over and just say I’ve been there (and maybe have a burrito too!) Oh and watch this cool video about the border and sports!
Just wanna go to the other side of the fence
Start a Revolution – My roommate Cami showed me a video from TED we watched in preseason last year about starting a revolution and seeing as I live in a city full of people, I don’t think it’s going to be terribly difficult to start one. The only problem may be thinking of something – any ideas?
Submit a piece or photograph to a major publication and get it published – New York City is the home to hundreds, if not thousands, of budding young artists and journalists trying to make it big. I think it’d be an incredible accomplishment to get published or recognized for any piece of work I do now. Maybe a possible career in the making? Who knows?
Start a Tradition – I’m really great at starting things but am not so great at following through on them so I think by starting a tradition it could help me on my follow-through. I think making Foodie Friday a tradition would be great! In order for this to count we must do this a minimum of 10 times 🙂 Completed Fall 2012
Foodie Friday Day #1
Break a Record – I know this goal sounds pretty conceited but I think that etching my name into some sort of record book would be pretty awesome to do by the time I’m twenty. I know I am ranked third or fourth in some records in this but it’d be great to be number one!Completed October 28, 2012
Withhold Myself From Shopping (But For Only One Month) – I’m a shopaholic and proud but my bank account would probably say otherwise. I think it’d be a reasonable goal for me to not do any clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. shoppingfor one whole month. My roommate in PDA currently thinks I won’t be able to do it and she’s only known me for a week… Yikes!Completed October 15, 2012
Confessions of a Shopaholic?
Try Bananas, Mushrooms, or Yogurt (Or all three) – I’m typically not one of those people that is pegged as “picky” but when it comes to these three foods, I am pretty stringent. For some reason these are the three foods I refuse to consume until now. Maybe I’ll find out that I like bananas or yogurt by the Spring but I don’t know yet; only time will tell. Completed September 26, 2012
Fly – Although It’d be pretty awesome to just flap my wings and fly away, I think a more comparable goal would be to learn how to fly a plane. I come from a large family of aviators – my Dad was a pilot, my grandfather was a pilot, my grandmother was an airline stewardess and my other grandfather jumped out of planes. I think it’s an important part of who I am in a larger sense of my family. (Plus how many people can say they can fly?) – Completed December 23, 2012
Visit Ellis Island and Look For Any Relatives – I recently found out that my maternal great-great grandfather, Patrick Tannian, passed through Ellis Island and I think it’d be a pretty unique experience to try and find their names among the thousands that passed through those gates. After searching through some old documents and Ancestry.com, I think I can make this work.
Watch a live surgery – I’ve always had some sort of obsession and quirky passion for the human body and at one point in my life I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. I think it’d be cool to scrub in and see what it actually is like to be a doctor. Any bets on how fast I’ll pass out?
Get Scuba Qualified – One of my good friends Kaitlyn is PADI qual’d and I always have wanted to explore the sea. The World is 70% water, I can swim, the only thing missing is breathing underwater – let’s do this.
Doesn’t This Look So Cool?
Make an Impact – I feel that this one is pretty vague yet self-explanatory. In all that I do, I just want to have a positive impact on those around me and I think I can accomplish this one if I keep trying to be a selfless individual.
Let’s flash back a decade (Wow – typing that made me feel super old!), I was nine years old and loving the third grade. Our family was living on Gambrill Ct. in Northern Virginia and down the street lived the Krafts, some very good family friends. Looking back, it seemed we did everything together like one big family – we rode to school, went to football games, and played out in the back together.
You Could Say We’re Cool
Even though I was a girl scout by uniform, I was always more of a boy scout. I tended to go to the weekly meetings at their house in the cul-de-sac on a pretty regular basis, enough to the point where I could pitch a tent faster than you can say “Be Prepared”. But what I do remember of my glorious girl scout days is singing “Make New Friends, But Keep the Old…” in part of our meetings. It truly is important to stay in touch with old pals while constantly trying to make new friendships.
Hanging with The Boys
Just the other night I was once again reunited with the same childhood family friends in Coronado. The Kraft’s had recently flown in from Chesapeake, VA back to California where they had previously lived for a vacation. The once San Diego Padre family (now Washington National fans to my dismay) was sitting on all sides of me and it seemed like it was just yesterday on Gambrill Court. While at dinner we reminisced of the “good ole days” where my sister and I would try to hang with the boys – and damn right we did. We would play war out in the back and even dressed up in boys clothes because we had ruined everything else we had.
Yep – wearing boys clothes
And although years had past since our families had been together, everything took off right where we had left it. Anton was still the responsible one (currently in VA because he was responsibly working instead of hanging with us), Colton was still the quiet one in the corner cracking jokes, Lolita was the same loving and welcoming second mother and Andy, was still the same old rambunctious sports fanatic (minus being a Nats fan- still not cool).
Over 10 years ago…
Less than a couple of years ago my Dad and I had visited the Kraft’s and a few other family friends on one of my recruiting visits back East. It was amazing to see how close of bonds we still shared and how easy it was to pick up where we had left off when I had moved only a decade earlier (though I think FB has a lot to do with it). I think when you can stop by out of the blue and feel completely at home is when you’ve found some quality pals.
Part of the Kraft-Patten Crew circa 2009
Over the past week we’ve shared more laughs than I think I can handle, more Mexican food than is good for me, and met new friends for life. Here’s to many more years of friendship and many more memories to cherish – love you guys!