Thursday, February 25, 2010


One of the biggest benefits to living in New York is the opportunity to see some great shows. What's even better is when legends like H2O come from NYC and come back to play a 15th anniversary show! And with a band like H2O you know you're not going to get killed on the ticket. What about $15 for the 15th Anniversary? Absolutely. They played at the Gramercy Theater which is a pretty small venue (where I also attend church) and we had a great spot to watch the show. Enjoy!

Like a prayer, I'll take you there

Top the evening off at your favorite diner with a pitcher of water and some cheese fries and its like I never left 2002.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Da Cloistas

For Valentines Day, I found a nice romantic spot for Windnie and me to spend our day, and in typical fashion, we didn't have to break the bank to do it!

Way up in the northern tip of Manhattan lies Fort Tryon Park. The first thing we noticed was the elevation. The park lies on a rocky hilltop with a great view of the city to the east and New Jersey to the west. But this isn't your momma's New Jersey...

The Jersey Shore

The G.W. Bridge

Looking east towards the city

The views made me feel like I was in Cincinnati and heading to the art museum, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Our first stop in Fort Tryon was the New Leaf Cafe. This is a cozy restaurant just inside the park, in what looked to be an old house. It was a homey place with a bit of style, definitely a good place to take a date. It isn't exactly what you'd call cheap, but that doesn't mean there isn't a deal to be found. For the special occasion we splurged a bit, BUT if you're interested in stopping by for brunch we'd recommend the basket of muffins. You get 4 muffins, a cinnamon roll and a scone for $9. All are delicious, homemade and unique. With the complimentary coffee I think they give everyone, you can have a nice breakfast for 2 for less than $5 each!

Next we made our way to our true destination: The Cloisters.

The Cloisters is an extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and accordingly also has a suggested donation admission. This means you can pay whatever your little heart desires to get in. The collection is entirely medieval art, this includes the building which is a composite of several French cloisters brought here to house the collection! I hear it's even more beautiful in the spring once the flowers bloom, but there was plenty of eye candy for us on a cold, snowy Valentine's Day...

The unicorn tapestries

Lots of dead Jesi and Marys

Some intense stained glass

Saints stabbing demons was a common theme

The courtyard was a bit intimidating in the weather

And you weren't anybody in medieval times without a dragon chalice with a hairy, wild man holding a club on top

And since it was Valentine's Day, we've got to include the amor pin:

On our way back home I attempted unsuccessfully to sled using thrown away cardboard and garbage can lids, but my mild concussion did little to hamper the lovely day :)

That night we met up with our good buddy Dave Brown (D Bizzle, Brizzley Bear, etc) for a little bit of free jazz in the east village. There was a one drink requirement per set, but I'm not sure if it was really enforced, they seemed pretty friendly. If you want to check it out, it was at Googies at The Living Room. Great vibe, great music, great company... Great day! How Lovely :)

Later days

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Best in Show, Hypothetically

Suppose you lived close to Madison Square Garden. Now suppose you had a day off of work and the Westminster Dog Show was in town. Now suppose you were walking by and noticed that a side door to MSG was open and you thought you'd investigate. Maybe the guy at the bottom of the stairs lets you walk on by, but maybe you'd get stopped by the guy at the top of the stairs. Hypothetically, you'd probably stutter and pat your pockets like you were looking for a ticket. Fortunately, hypothetical you had been walking with purpose so it looked like you belonged there. The ticket guy would probably assume you just stepped out and after a short lecture about remembering your ticket he'd probably let you in!

Then you'd be free to explore the dog show! If I ever went to the opening rounds of a dog show, it would probably be different than what I usually see on TV. Instead of a big open floor there would probably be 4, no 6! rings on the floor. Instead of a packed house, you could probably just wander around and sit wherever you please. Or even better you could walk down on the floor to get a good view of all the cute doggies (except of course the Chinese Crested...) On the floor you could hang out with the participants, both 2 and 4 legged varieties, and congratulate them with a nice head rub after they finished their show!

After watching the intense competition you could wander through the grooming area where the dogs are being prepped for action, complete with blow dryers, barrettes and all sorts of silly looking hair styles fashioned with rubber bands. Maybe you'd hypothetically stroll through the waiting area and pet a cute Norwegian Elkhound that wanted you to take him home or hang out with the best in breed Old English Sheep Dog.

Perhaps you'd also hypothetically realize that your camera phone is junk but since it was all hypothetical I guess you didn't miss any good photo opportunities anyway ;)

Of course, walking into an event like this without paying would be frowned upon so hypothetical it shall remain.

But if it did actually happen, this is probably what the crappy camera phone picture would look like, hypothetically:

Also, if you're wondering the hypothetical dogs have hypothetical stalls covered in hypothetical saw dust for the dogs to hypothetically relieve themselves on :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Going to the movies in New York City hearkens back to the golden days of the silver screen when a night out to the movies was a big event. "Why?" you might ask? Well, when regular admission is $12.50 plus any additional fees for 3D or IMAX and you factor in any trips to the snack bar, a night at the movies really makes a dent in your wallet like a true night out. I haven't even seen a student discount!

You, however, are in luck. We've got the scoop on some ways around these exorbitant fees.

AMC theaters offer a daily matinee! This includes the weekend! Movies are only $6 and as we found out when we went to see Avatar, they'll even cut you a small deal on the 3D surcharge: $3 instead of $4. You'll have to wake up early though... The matinee ends at noon.

The Sony Technology Theater is another great place to see (relatively) new movies for a great price: Free! The screenings happen every Saturday at 2PM and you have to call ahead to reserve your tickets. They pass out the remaining tickets 30 minutes before the screening but I wouldn't count on there being many left. The upcoming lineup of films doesn't look like my cup of tea (except Last Action Hero) but it's an overall solid list. We've yet to check this out but it is definitely on our radar. Check them out here:

Another thing to keep in mind is the film screenings at the MoMA. Every Friday from 4-8 movies are free (along with the rest of the museum)! But even on a regular day students pay only $8 (regular $10) and count towards your admission into the museum. So if you were planning on paying to go to the MoMA anyway, you might as well see a film as well. As expected, these are generally odd, foreign, fancy pants films but even if that's not your thing you can probably find something to watch. Right now they are playing all of Tim Burton's films and as you may remember we watched the Fantastic Mr. Fox and hung out with Wes Anderson there.

If you keep your ear to the ground you can also find plenty of movie screenings around town. Last week I planned on attending a showing of Leaving Las Vegas before getting stuck at work. Here is a list of upcoming screenings for Hot Tub Time Machine. I'd say there are enough options here to fit your busy schedule. However, as with all screenings be ready to show up early to ensure you get a seat!

And finally...the Regal Cinemas Blood Drive. Okay, I can't remember where I came across this but the New York Blood Center is having a blood drive at Regal Cinemas in Brooklyn on March 5th and I hearrrr that they are giving away movie tickets to the donors. I can't find anything to verify that but I can guarantee cookies and juice, so really you can't lose.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter by the Water

There seems to be less to do now that it's cold and miserable outside.  Luckily Brian's zoo membership provides constant "free" fun and entertainment for us all year long.  On Sunday Brian and I traveled all the way down to Coney Island to visit the New York Aquarium.  Brian took advantage of the long travel time by playing Toobz on my iphone and I... slept :)  I don't know about you but I find aquariums friiigggiinn amazing.  Highlights from this one include many friendly otters (no pictures)...

very large turtles

and jelly fish!

We also tried to catch all of the animal feedings to make the most of our visit buuuut we got really distracted and ended up missing most of them.  We did make it to the shark feeding though!

This guy decided to snatch away his feeding pole and swim around the tank with it.  Silly.

Then, Brian and I walked along the quiet boardwalk until we got to Brighton Beach.  It was nice to share the sand with just a few people and a lot of seagulls. 

We eventually stopped at this little Russian market for a snack.

We couldn't read the labels so we just kind of covered our eyes, pointed at something and hoped for the best.  What a delicious surprise!  They were these bread-like thingies... mine was filled with egg and Brian's was filled with beef...I think.  Who knows.  But it was good!  And at $1.25 a pop it was the perfect snack to keep our tummies happy for the long train ride back to the City.  Another successful day for B and me.  Peace out homies.

Brian playing Toobz

Jobs With Benefits

So if you're new to NY, like Brian and myself... chances are you're struggling to make up for all the money you didn't have but spent while living jobless in the City. That means even if you're getting paid... it is just never enough. One way to milk your job for all it's worth is to attend company functions... and leave with some souvenirs! Like leftover food, for example. Free dinner! Brian, being the smart and handsome boyfriend that he is, did just this on Thursday night. Conveniently, I hadn't eaten lunch that day and ended up staying at work til 10:30pm. To my rescue... Brian came and delivered me a pizza box full of goodies. This included an entire meat pie, hummus and pita, a side of pesto pasta, two slices of veggie pie, a chicken wing and a partridge in a pear tree!

Look! We even have leftover leftovers that we've been munching on since then! (Well... just Brian because there's only meat stuff left.)  But I mean more than being cheap we are really being anti-wasteful! So there you have it. Windnie and Brian making the most of things.  'Til next time...