Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Going for an Art Stroll

On Sunday, 24 artists in Northern Manhattan opened up their studios (and apartments) to let people come by and get an intimate glimpse at their work, work space, and the all-around creative process.

The Uptown Arts Stroll went from 162nd up to 218th, which worked out well for me since my apartment is smack dab in the middle.

I went with my neighbor, who's a lovely and talented artist herself, and two of her friends. We strolled through the neighborhood and took a few park detours.

The art was awesome, seeing into other people's lives (and the scoping out other apartment buildings in the neighborhood) was just as cool.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces.

Ashli Sisk does some really interesting paintings of animals that I adored. And even better she had so many great stories about the research that she did before she started painting.

I found myself in awe of Sky Pape. She works predominantly with ink and water (or ice/snow) and handmade paper in order to develop these amazing pieces.

 This one was ink and glycerin--and she blew bubbles onto the paper.

This marble sculpture was truly incredible. The artist is David Aquino. 

Thor Wickstrom and Jaye Fox are a husband and wife team so it was interesting to hear their story. They take turns painting or watching the children so the other one can paint. This is a painting of Central Park.

After that, it was a nice leisurely walk home.

There I treated myself to a movie and dinner with the dogs. (I saw Pompeii, which was actually quite good, even if it felt similar--and okay not quite as good as Gladiator, but Kit Harrington was pretty awesome. As were his abs.) 

All in all, a good Sunday. (The dogs agree)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Little Mexico

This is not really a thing, but after seeing this post, I realized it had been a long time since I'd had really great Mexican food. And I'm a fan of really great Mexican food. (I sort of love it that The Londoner is helping me find great restaurants where I live.)

So the girls and I planned at Tacos in Nolita night and set out to find the Tacombi at Fonda Nolita garage.

It's as cute as she describes of course!

They got our table ready within 5 minutes of our arrival and we sat down to talk and joke and eat!

Before we left, we wrote a poem on their comment card. And by "we" I really mean "Jaida"--she's the creative one of the group. If you don't believe me, just remember how good her Paint Nite painting was.

Then we walked home the long way, to walk off all that food! (The menu says three tacos per person is their recommendation. Um, we totally could have each done with two. We were stuffed when we left).

It's another NYC restaurant win. I might have to drag the boyfriend there soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Best Massage Ever

I've been a fan of LUSH every since I wandered into the store and discovered what a bath bomb was.

I am also a fan of massages. I'm not sure if it's because of my history with swimming or all the slouching at the computer (I know, it's terrible) or if it's just my personality, but I tend to get terrible knots and aches in the back of my neck, and my back and shoulders. It's like all of my stress just sits right there and then gives me terrible tension headaches.

When a LUSH Spa opened up in NY I knew that I had to go and get a massage.

So did (apparently) a lot of other people. I had to make my appointment about a month in advance but let me tell you it was well worth it.

I opted to go during my lunch hour for the signature treatment: synaesthesia.
Synaesthesia is defined as: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.

I'd heard of this before when someone told me that they associated certain numbers with different colors, as if the number was lightly outlined in the color. 

The LUSH treatment is described as

Our signature Spa treatment, Synaesthesia is a complete merging of the senses into a fully choreographed massage. Simply choose how you want to feel from eleven different emotional states, and then your therapist will take you on an incredible journey into deep, complete relaxation.
Basically it's a way to pair ideas and emotions with certain sounds and scents. And it's incredible.

I arrived a few minutes early and browsed the store until the magical Alicia, my therapist, came down to greet me. She took me up to the kitchen are and waiting room, which she described as "your Grandmother's kitchen."

There we talked about the upcoming massage and what it would include (90 minutes!) and she asked me to look at the board and pick a word that described how I wanted to feel at the end of the massage.

 I chose ENERGISED since this massage was at 10 am and I had the rest of the day ahead of me.

Then she asked me to look at the little bottles and choose one based on anything from the bottle type or the color to the little word or phrase on the bottle's tag.

I wasn't allowed to smell them--or smell was lotion came with Energised, I just had to trust the process.

I waffled back and forth, trying to decide what to go with, but ultimately I chose Achieve since again it was the morning and I had a lot to do that day!

Then I relaxed in the waiting room while Alicia went and readied the room. 

She came to get me and escort me to the room when it was ready. It smelled amazing. The lights were low, the Achieve oil was steaming out of a few different corners of the room, and Alicia used the Energise lotion on my skin. An orchestra mixed with different bird calls specifically for this procedure played in the background.

It was 90 minutes of pure bliss.

So good that I immediate told my friends and family that a gift certificate to LUSH was what I wanted for the next birthday or holiday gift. That's it.

After it was over, I did actually feel awake and energized and ready for the day. Alicia met me back in Grandma's kitchen with some amazing tea and a bar of the Energise lotion and Energize bubble bath to take home. (Oh they've gotten some good use).

This was definitely a treat I hope to give myself again!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Booksmarks Bar

Summer Fridays have officially started.

With nice weather finally here and my affinity for a great view, a Friday afternoon rooftop bar is in order. Last Friday we went over to Bookmarks, a rooftop bar/lounge on top of The Library Hotel.

If I was ever going to grab a hotel in NYC this is where I would want to say. The rooms are themed around books. 

On the roof, it was sunny and wonderful. So much so that Jaida posed for me.

A few times...

So did Danielle and Sarah.

Jess gave me the side eye when I kept taking her picture.

We sat together outside, sipped on our drinks (I had the Bookmarks Fruit Punch), and looked around.

 The views were so great, I didn't snap any shots of our drinks.

I wasn't the only one taking pictures this time.

I did manage to snap a picture of Jaida's hand and the notes she wrote on it. They were completely unrelated but it still looked rather funny.

Bookmarks is one of my favorite rooftop bars in the city (though I am on a hunt to try out some more), and not just because of the name. It's not overly crowded. There's a cute inside area in case the weather turns--or you just need some shade, and the drinks are good. It's a fun place to get together.

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