What Do You Read on the Subway?

The other day, I came across the awesome blog Underground New York Public Library, via Gothamist. Photographer Ourit Ben-Haim goes around NYC capturing subway riders who are deeply engrossed in their books. Her shots are gorgeous and really capture the individual little bubbles we all inhabit when we’re on the train. Plus, it’s cool to see what other New Yorkers are reading–and it’s inspiring me to add to my reading list.

Here are some of my favorite shots; see more here:

What do you read on the subway?В (I’m usually paging through the latest issue ofВ NY MagВ or listening to an audiobook. Though as of late, I’ve also been doing some reading about happiness/mindfulness during my morning commute, which, I’ve found, is a nice way to start the day.)

(All images via the Underground New York Public Library’s Facebook page)

Ready for Some Relaxation (In a Few Days…)

heather and mal

I’m feeling a bit fried, so I’m looking forward to my upcoming weekend at the beach. The other day, I realized that’s probably one of the biggest reasons I love traveling, even if it’s just quick weekend trips: I can’t really unplug and relax unless I’m out of NYC.

I don’t think it’s bad to be wired that way. I actually love having my days full from the moment I wake up until my head hits the pillow at night. In the hours between, I’m generally doing things that make me happy and fulfilled: ballet; running; going to dinner, drinks or brunch with friends or family; writing this blog ;); editing photos from trips–even working, both at my full-time job and on freelance projects. (Hey, gotta make a living somehow!) But those activities (minus work) are also how I relax, even though they’re pretty active. I can’t just zone out in front of the TV. I feel like if I have free time, I should be doing one of the above activities–or mundane to-dos like grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry (the bane of my existence).

But sometimes (like now, after a hectic few weeks that included finishing some projects), I feel the need to really unwind and recharge. I’ve found that the best way to do so is by getting a change of scenery. Just being out of NYC is refreshing. When I’m on lying the beach or hiking or exploring a new city, it’s easy to shed the constraints of daily life. I’m not thinking about getting from place to place on time or adding items to my to-do list. And–probably most importantly–I’m less apt to check my phone every few minutes (when I have service, in the first place). I’m free to enjoy exactly what I’m doing, even if it’s just sitting on the sand and watching the waves.

…and after a few days of that, I’m reenergized and ready to get back to NYC.

What’s your surefire way to relax? Do you need to get out of town, too?

It’s an NYC Weekend (for Father’s Day)

Father's Day 2011

Father’s Day at CitiField, 2011

No summer share this weekend. I’m here in NYC, hunkered down with a project that’s going to occupy most of my spare hours. But, on the upside, I’m also squeezing in some time with the fam. Mal and Peter are in townВ (yay!) and we’ll be having a celebratory Father’s Day brunch for our stepdad on Sunday. (That’s us, last year, at CitiField.) Happy Father’s Day, E–I love!

And here are some of my favorite links from the week:

India by boat! (I am so jealous of my fellow wanderluster/talented photog friend Tania)

A time-lapse video of Manhattan

Too cool: Researchers have discovered a lost city in HondurasВ (Speaking of ancient civilizations that have gone missing–I’m also in the middle of The Lost City of Z and highly recommend it!)

Picture Perfect Patmos

Dance photos from the Vanity Fair archives

How are you spending Father’s Day?

Maryland Bucket List

Ocean City Boardwalk

While I’m on the subject of bucket lists: This weekend, Mal and I were also talking about what we still want to do in Maryland before she and Peter move back to New York. Coming up with an NYC bucket list was hard. But I had an easier time conceiving a short list of things I wanted to do during my last few visits to the eastern shore:

  • Eat a slice of Smith Island cake, Maryland’s official dessert. How could you NOT want to attack a cake with 8 to 15 thin layers?! (I’d actually like to check out Smith Island, too, a tiny speck in the Chesapeake, but I’m not sure we’ll have time. That would have to be a trip in and of itself. And until we do that, I’ll settle for sampling its eponymous cake.)
  • Walk the length of the Ocean City boardwalk. We always go to the quieter beaches north of Ocean City, so I’ve only been there once–and didn’t see much of it. When I read an article a friend had recently written, I was surprised to learn that the OC boardwalk has a historic carousel. I had no idea!
  • Get drinks at Seacrets again.В Maybe one day I’ll grow up and not want to go to ridiculous spring break-esque bars. But until that day comes, I’m happy to sit and drink beer while bobbing in the water on giant, multi-person inflatable floats.
  • Pig out on all-you-can-eat blue crabs and hush puppies at Blue Crab, our favorite joint, every weekend I’m in MD.В Seriously.
  • See the wild ponies at Assateague…if there aren’t too many mosquitoes this time of year!

What’s on your summer bucket list?

NYC Bucket List

No need to do a double take. I’m not leaving NYC. I’m never leaving NYC–you should know that by now! But my best friend is. She’s also a born and bred New Yorker, but she’s moving to London at the end of the summer. For good. She swears she won’t adopt a British accent, but I’m not so sure about that. 😉

During our past few hobby nights*, we’ve been talking about her NYC bucket list–and crossing off a few items. Yesterday we had drinks and a fabulous dinner at Gramercy Tavern. The Tuesday before, we got cocktails at PDT. Not surprisingly, most of her bucket list items revolve around food. As a kid growing up in NYC, as she put it, she did most of the touristy stuff and saw more Broadway shows than she can remember. So her list consists of restaurants she still wants to try, as well as other random activities. Among them: an afternoon at Smorgasburg;В dinners at Peter Luger, Minetta Tavern, the 21 Club; a ride on the Roosevelt Island tram–and as many brunches and final trips to favorite bars and restaurants as she can squeeze in.

Talking to her about her bucket list made me wonder what I’d put on mine, if I were also leaving NYC. Like her, I’ve done tons of classic NYC stuff over the course of my life: went to the top of the Empire State Building;В saw the Macy’s July 4 fireworks live (they were in Battery Park City, at the time); circumnavigated Manhattan on the Circle Line;В walked over the Brooklyn Bridge; had my bones rattled on the Cyclone; saw the Mets at Shea Stadium and Citi Field; watched the Knicks at MSG; walked the High Line; rode the Staten Island Ferry; took in City Ballet at Lincoln Center (not to mention attended other dance shows at BAM, the Joyce and smaller venues); attended outdoor concerts and movies; visited all the big museums, parks, beaches, botanical gardens, zoos and the aquarium.

And, of course, I’ve eaten at more restaurants than I could list in one post.

When I think about the typical NYC things I still haven’t done, I’m not exactly dying to experience them. I’ve never gone to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. I used to run by lines of tourists waiting to board boats to take them there–and that didn’t motivate me to join them!

But I was able to scrounge up a few items to create a small NYC bucket list:

But since I have no plans to leave NYC, I might as well get on this, no?

What would be on your NYC bucket list? Or your list of must-dos if you just had a limited time in NYC?

(Photo via Streets of London)

*Hobby night = Tuesday happy hour

Travel Prints

The other day, I was going down the Etsy rabbit hole and came across these travel-themed prints from 3 Lambs Illustrations. I love the sentiment of the quotes–I’m definitely of this mindset, these days.

And, of course, I loved this one. (Non-New Yorkers, no worries–there are similar prints for London, Paris and Boston.)

Check out even more prints at 3 Lambs Graphics’ Etsy shop.

Off to the Beach!

fenwick island

I’m headed to Maryland tomorrow for another weekend at myВ summer share sister’s place. (Have to take advantage of her final weeks by the shore!) Our friend, V, is making the trip, too, and we’re thrilled that she’ll be beach bumming and crab eating with us. I’m also happy that the forecast is hot and cloudless–this week was so cold and rainy in NYC. At this point in the year, I fully expect to be wearing light dresses and sipping fruity cocktails, not schlepping around in a raincoat!

Here’s to a sunny and relaxing weekend! And to top it off, a few wanderlust links:

Gorgeous photos of Hawaii’s waves

Yum! Sandwiches from each state

What songs remind you of your travels? (One of mine is Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy”–in Spanish)

Pizza at Manco & Manco (formerly Mack & Manco) on the Jersey Shore–brings back memories of my childhood!

How are you spending this weekend?