Happy Easter!

In the midst of all of this month’s craziness, I almost forgot that Easter is this weekend. Luckily, my family didn’t, so we’re getting together this afternoon for an early dinner. We’ll also be dyeing eggs for place settings—I’m excited for keeping that tradition and eating the eggs after!

And speaking of, check out these gorgeous, gold leaf eggs from Sugar and Charm. Love the brilliant map design!

golden easter egg

Happy Easter!

(Image from Sugar and Charm via Sadie and Dasie)

A Ballet Weekend

I still want to be a ballet dancer when I grow up, but, at 30, I kinda know that it’s not happening. That’s why I’m incredibly grateful that I still have opportunities to perform. This weekend, I’m participating in another showcase at Ailey—three sold out shows yesterday and today! We’re dancing the Act 1 coda from Raymonda. Check out the Paris Opera Ballet performing it below, at the 12:05 mark. You wouldn’t guess it from their expressions and ease of movement, but all those little jumps and arabesques are super-tiring!

Hope your weekend has you dancing with joy!

A Weekend in Boston: Old and New Favorites

Two weekends ago, I spent a whirlwind few days in Boston. Every trip up, I feel like I never have enough time there. Nevertheless,В I managed to catch up with a few friends and check out my dad’s booth at the New England Flower Show. I also went to a few places that were new to me, as well as some old favorites from when I lived there. The highlights:

Area 4

Area 4_coffeehouse

Area 4 pizzas
Kind of crazy to say, but I wish we had more places like this in NYC. For whatever reason, NYC has a lack of good cafes/restaurants/communal spaces to do work, in my opinion—and I say that as a blogger and former freelance writer! That’s why I was wishing I could somehow transport Area 4В from Cambridge to Manhattan. This bakery/coffeehouse/bar is located in tech-centric Kendall Square and looks the part. It’s bright, glassy and airy and has a sweet front area for laptoppers—I could see myself happily pecking away at my keyboard for hours there. It also has a back area for sit-down diners. We went for a late lunch and split a few of their delicious wood-fired pizzas. (I was especially excited about topping off our Carbonara pie with an extra egg—my fave pizza topping!)

Legal Sea Foods Harborside

Legal_Harborside_From_Water_Landing_Page_Hero

Legal_Harborside_Floor_1_Dining_Room1

Sure, it’s cliche to go to Legals. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! I’ve ended up at various Legals during the years I lived in Boston, and the ones after, and enjoyed every experience. In fact, I look forward to eating there, each trip! This time around, we had dinner at Legal Harborside, which is right on the South Boston waterfront (conveniently close to the flower show). The restaurant has a great view of the city skyline, which, I’m sure, is even nicer in summer, when you can eat outside. And my lobster was pretty awesome.

Boston Ballet

boston ballet school

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the ”All KyliГЎn” programВ I’d hoped to see. I did manage to take a class at the Boston Ballet School, though. Back when I lived in Boston, I attended a few classes there. At the time, I thought the studios were the prettiest I’d ever seen, but the classes intimidated me! Even the advanced beginning level was daunting. But on trips back, over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed taking the open classes. I still find the studios gorgeous—they’re sunny and spacious and it’s a luxury to be in the space. The instructor, Arthur Leeth, is good—I especially like his lengthy adagios. And now that I’m no longer scared of the classes, it’s fun to just go there and dance. (Which helps offset all the eating I do in Boston!)

Brookline Booksmith

brookline booksmith

brookline booksmith

I spent my first few post-college years in Brookline for one main reason: I wanted to be close to the big Trader Joe’s in Coolidge Corner. Since I could barely afford to eat, that was the only place where I could get a week’s worth of groceries for $25. (For ALL meals—with my entry level newspaper salary, my budget didn’t allow me to eat out or order in!) Luckily, the neighborhood also had a few good restaurants, bars and shops.

During this trip, I met up with my all-time favorite dance buddy, Jackie, who still lives in the ‘hood. We had a nice brunch at Hops N Scotch, one of many places that had opened up since I’d lived there. (The breakfast biscuit sandwich was exactly what I was craving!) Before and after, I went to the Brookline Booksmith, right around the corner. I’d forgotten how much I loved that place. And how great it is to have an awesome book store nearby. The Booksmith has it all going on. It draws fabulous authors for talks and signings; displays new and recommended books in a way that encourages browsing for hours; has a rainbow-ordered wall of Moleskines (!!!); offers amazingly curated tables of.gif"area 4 fb" href="http://www.facebook.com/areafourcambridge/" target="_blank">Area 4’s Facebook page, Legal Sea Foods, Boston Ballet School’s Facebook pageВ and the Brookline Booksmith’s Facebook page)

Adrian Tomine’s NYC Illustrations

My all-time favorite New Yorker cover is Adrian Tomine‘s “Missed Connection.” It ran on the November 8, 2004 issue, which I purchased more for that illustration than the stories inside. At the time, I was living and working in Boston (albeit, at a pretty great job) but dreaming of being back in NYC. I felt a bit like the girl in the illustration: so close to reaching something that would bring me great happiness, but not quite there. That cover hung above my desk for the next few years, until I made it back to NYC.

Missed Connection

Since the, I’ve been a huge fan of Tomine’s work, especially his NYC-related illustrations. He captures life in the city with amazing poignancy—especially the mundane, everyday details. Like inВ my second-favorite New Yorker cover, “Summer Getaway”В (which I’d posted on Tumblr back in 2010 when I used Tumblr!):

Summer Getaway

Or in the “AC” illustration below. (Though if that were my apartment, there’d be an open window and no AC! I actually love the thick, NYC summer heat.)

AC

The other day, I learned that you can buy signed Tomine prints from his website—including “Missed Connection” and “AC.” At $250 each, they’re a little out of my price range, but maybe one will eventually hang in my apartment. Tomine also has a new book, New York Drawings, of, well, I’m sure you can guess. I’ll be placing my order!

What’s your all-time favorite New Yorker cover?

(Images via Adrian-Tomine.com)

A Moment to Breathe

Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

Has this month been insane for you? I feel like March is speeding by faster than I can process it! On one hand, I’m thrilled—adiosВ Long Slog! But on the other, I feel like I’ve been going non-stop for several weeks—which, if I’m not careful, could lead to a little burnout. (In the past few days, alone, I’ve had super-late ballet rehearsals and flew to and from Orlando in one day for work meetings. Hence, the lack of recent posts!)

Throughout all the craziness, I’ve been reminding myself to take a few moments to slow down and breathe. I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to do so is to literally take a mental vacation. As in, recalling a moment from a specific trip when I felt completely wonderful and at ease. I usually envision my favorite beaches—those that are wild and green with lots of palm trees, clear water and brilliant, sunny skies. Often, I think about being on Big Corn Island, Nicaragua (pictured above), with my sister, or the southeastern part of Hawaii’s Big Island. Just thinking about those places makes me feel as relaxed and happy as when I was actually there. I can almost feel the warmth of the sunshine and hear waves crashing and wind rustling the palm fronds.

Happy Friday! Hope you have a chillaxin’ weekend. 😉

Off to Boston!

boston back bay

Even though it’s colder in Boston than it is in NYC, I’m excited to be heading there for the weekend. It’s nice to get away, this time of year, no matter where!

My father has a bonsai booth at the New England Flower Show, so Mal, Peter and I will be stopping by to see him, as well as catching up with friends. This is also the final few days ofВ Boston Ballet’s В “All KyliГЎn” program which, as its name states, features three works byВ JiЕ™Г­ KyliГЎn. I’d love to see it—especially since Ailey’s performance ofВ KyliГЎn’s “Petit Mort” В wowed me in December—but am not sure I’ll be able make the Saturday show. I am planning to take class at Boston Ballet, though—a good way to offset some of the eating I’m planning to do!

The image above is an illustration of the Back Bay, by artist Anna See. I love how she captured the historic buildings in one of Boston’s prettiest neighborhoods—where I was lucky enough to dorm, for a few years, as a BU student. Of course, once I had to rent my own apartment, the Back Bay was way out of my price range!

Happy Friday! How are you spending the weekend?

(Image via Anna See’s Etsy shop)

Spring 2013 Race: Long Branch Half Marathon Relay

nj marathon

Of all the weekend trips I took last year, one of my favorites was theВ Saint Michaels Running Festival, in Maryland. This was my first time making a mini-vacation out of a road race, but afterwards, I totally understood why people do. The running part was fun enough—I was proud of myself for running my first 10K in eight years, and thrilled to watch Mal and Peter cross the finish line after their first half marathons. And it was refreshing to celebrate all that in a new setting. Saint Michaels is a stately little town on the Chesapeake, and,В instead of booking hotel rooms, my family rentedВ an airy lake houseВ that served as our home base for the weekend. We chillaxed there after the race, and celebrated that evening with a dinner of crabs and beer.

So this spring, as we were slogging through the Long Slog, Mal and Peter found a road race for us to enter: The Long Branch Half MarathonВ at the Jersey Shore, on the first weekend in May. Well, Peter is running the half marathon. Mal and I are running the half marathon relay.

I haven’t run a relay before, so I’m super-excited to see how it goes. Plus, the fact that I’ll be on a team with my favorite person in the entire world makes it even more exciting!

I’ve also found that the 10K is the perfect distance for me. As lazy as it sounds, I don’t have to train a lot (just one or two runs a week), so I don’t have to give up any ballet classes for the gym. Because in all honesty, I like running, but I don’t love it. It’s refreshing to do once in a while, as long as it feels like a novelty. (Especially during the Long Slog, when I’m looking for anything to pass the time until summer!) A 10K is a long enough distance to be challenging, but not so lengthy that the training stops being fun and starts feeling like a chore.

I’m also looking forward to the race’s location. Parts of the course are along the beach—I’m hoping for a bright, sunny and not-too-hot May day!

PS – I’m updating my running playlist and could use some good suggestions! What songs always get you going when you work out?

(Photo via the New Jersey Marathon Facebook page)