Monday, August 25, 2014

The Cloisters


On Sunday, we visited The Cloisters, a branch of the Met in northern Manhattan which showcases medieval art (and is just a short subway ride from us!). Both the art and the setting were lovely. The museum itself was made to look like medieval architecture. Some parts are new, while others were reconstructed from pieces of old cloisters shipped over from Europe. The property contains several gardens and a beautiful view of the Hudson River! The museum has a suggested donation, but is pay as you wish. 

More photos after the jump...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Parenting across the Globe

My sister and I (circa 1996).
I saw this fascinating NPR article the other day and had to share! It's about parenting techniques and traditions around the world and how they vary. I had previously read about babies in Denmark being left outside shops or restaurants in their strollers to nap but I hadn't heard about a few other things listed. Babies out of diapers at 9 months old? 4 year olds taking the subway alone? It's so interesting to read about what the norm is in other countries and what is considered safe, dangerous, good, bad, etc. I don't think I would've been able to find my way on the subway as a small child, but maybe if I had been taught how to ride it at a young age, I would've been able to figure it out. What do you think about all of this? I'm trying to decide what surprising or shocking parenting thing the U.S. would be known for. Maybe kids going to bed really early? Or children eating a lot of fast food? I'd be interested to hear people from other countries weigh in on this!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Boyhood

I finally got around to seeing Boyhood and it was such a fantastic film! I'd highly recommend it... 

Still from Boyhood (Richard Linklater, IFC Films 2014)

I think one of the things I liked most about it was that it was so easy to relate to and felt like nostalgia to watch. If you enjoyed Richard Linklater's other films, particularly the Before Sunrise series, you'll probably love this one as well! It's similar in that it's more about people than events. Just as the "Before" series feels like watching real human interaction and conversation, Boyhood feels like a realistic representation of what it's like to grow up. I think you'll have an extra appreciation for the movie if you grew up during the early 2000's, as you'll be able to pick out little things like music, t.v. shows, toys, etc. from your childhood. Although, you certainly don't have to have grow up in this time period because anyone from any generation can relate to what it feels like to be a kid (which is whats so great about this movie!) The dialogue also struck me as incredibly realistic. As I was watching, I kept thinking about the fact that either myself or someone I knew had said almost the exact same thing before. This in combination with the fact that the same actors and actresses were used over a 12 year period almost makes the you forget you're not watching a documentary. I can't help but think what a labor of love this movie must have been for everyone involved in making it, since they had the dedication to come back year after year and continue filming. I definitely think it was one of the best movies of the year! 

Have you seen it? I'd love to hear more opinions! 

Also, check out this awesome infographic about the cast and crew!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Smorgasburg


On Saturday we ventured to Brooklyn to check out Smorgasburg (Where different vendors set up stands in Williamsburg every Saturday to sell food. Like a food truck rodeo but without the trucks).  A few tips if you're planning on going:


1. If you're as indecisive as I am, particularly when it comes to food, check out the website in advance to get a general idea of what you might want to try. I didn't do this and ended up wandering around in circles for quite a while, overwhelmed by the number of choices. 
2. Bring water with you. It's summer, it's usually hot, and if you forget to refill your water bottle you may end up purchasing 2 or more lemonades which are delicious but not necessary. And which sometimes come with a donut for only $1 extra.  
3. If your food-related interests include trying a ramen burger, fries, or ice cream sandwiches, be prepared to wait in line. The lines for those 3 things were crazy. 
4. It will be annoyingly crowded. Be prepared for the usual crowded-spot-in-the-city frustrations. The good news: once you move away from the food stands, there's plenty of room to sit and eat!

We ate enough for 2 meals and everything was great! I do feel like if I had researched in advance, I would have had a better idea of what the best food available was. 

Ramen burger from here,  fries with lemon garlic aioli from here.


Mexican sandwich from here.

Besides eating yummy food, this spot is also perfect for taking in a beautiful view of Manhattan. Complete with some fairly ugly construction signs/fences and tall lamp posts (which are solar-powered, so that's kind of cool). I love a good slightly-obstructed view of the city skyline:


Anyway, I think it is worth battling the crowds because food is always worth it. I'd recommend going (on an empty stomach)!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Stargazing on the High Line


Last Tuesday night we decided to head over to the High Line to check out the free stargazing put on by the Amateur Astronomers Association and Friends of the High Line. For those who don't know, the High Line is a beautiful park re-purposed from an old railroad in lower Manhattan. Every Tuesday night (from April to October) members of the Amateur Astronomers Association set up telescopes for the public to use beneath the Standard Hotel. Keep in mind that this is NYC and is not particularly ideal for stargazing, so you won't get to see much. It's still fun to get a better look at the craters on the moon, though. We were told that after it got a bit darker some stars could be seen as well. 








One of the best parts of the event was actually just experiencing the High Line at night. I'd never visited in the evening and I loved seeing the moon, the city skyline, and all of the flowers lit up (photos below). The weather was also perfect- warm with a nice breeze coming off the river. I'd highly recommend making an evening trip, even if it's not for stargazing.







Afterwards, we stopped by Chelsea Market (just a few blocks away) for a bite to eat. We grabbed tacos from Los Tacos No. 1 and our favorite gelato from L'Arte del Gelato. We ended up getting a pint with two flavors because there's no such thing as too much gelato. We tried pistachio and mascarpone and while both were great, the mascarpone was the clear winner.





Have you visited the High Line at night? More importantly, anyone ever seen stars in NYC?  


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ankle Boots: Summer to Fall

Although everyone's wardrobe is seasonal to some extent, it's nice to have some pieces that you can wear year-round. With that in mind, here are 4 pairs of ankle boots that transition perfectly from summer to fall!




1. I love the subtle western look of these boots from Forever 21. ($37)

2. These perforated boots from Old Navy would look great with so many outfits: a sundress in the summer and skinny jeans + a sweater in the fall! ($37)

3. The fringe detail and studs on the back of these boots from Target adds a nice touch. ($35)

4. I like the unique buckle on these faux leather boots from Asos. ($74)


Monday, July 28, 2014

Travelogue: County Kerry, Ireland


I've been looking through old photos and thought it would be fun to share a few travelogues from previous trips! First up, a few photos from County Kerry, Ireland. In 2012, I studied abroad for a semester in Cork, Ireland. These photos are from a hiking trip with the UCC Mountaineering Club. This was the only hike I went on with the club and it was quite strenuous (at least for me, maybe not for a real mountaineer). The views were 100% worth it though, I would've liked to have tried another hike but I was either exhausted or traveling most weekends during my study abroad. The "hill" we climbed was called Boughil (I would've considered it a small mountain, at least, but everyone referred to it as a hill) 

We took a bus to County Kerry from Cork, parked on the side of the road and walked along the road to the bottom of Boughil.

Then, we began our hike up and over the mountain. 

The incline was steep and there was no path to follow.

 When we finally reached the top it was foggy.

...But the view was still spectacular!

 
We were even treated to a (faint) rainbow in the valley below


This photo serves as a reminder to wear your hair in a ponytail when hiking mountains in windy, rainy, foggy, and otherwise terrible weather conditions.


After lunch we began our descent, which included hopping streams and walking through brush higher than my waist. 100% of people fell down at least once.


...And, there were sheep!


We ended the day cold, tired, and covered in mud. It was such a beautiful experience, though, and I would definitely do it again (although maybe get in better shape beforehand). There are other ways to tour this gorgeous area of Ireland if hiking isn't possible or just isn't your style. Many people drive themselves or take a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry. There are also plenty of cute Bed & Breakfasts to stay in along the way!