summer

Summer Snapshots

How is it the last week of August?!

Hard to believe summer is already coming to an end. As always, it feels way too soon.

But what a summer it’s been! While I wouldn’t say it was relaxing and stress-free, it was definitely eventful and, overall, pretty amazing. Despite some major bumps.

Here’s a look:

I spent every possible minute outdoors, from a double header weekend Mets game in early June (they won both games!)…

CitiField | nycexpeditionist.com

CitiField | nycexpeditionist.com

…to many weekends at Mal and Peter’s.

Ping | nycexpeditionist.com

We were helping them pack up to move to a new apartment. I didn’t mind lending a hand to do that, because it meant grilling…

Grilling | nycexpeditionist.com

Grilling | nycexpeditionist.com

…and relaxing on their deck afterwards.

Hudson River | nycexpeditionist.com

And then, the beach!

Rockaway Beach | nycexpeditionist.com

Despite the two-hour ride each way to the Rockaways, I managed to go and meet up with friends every single weekend, for more than a month.

Rockaway Beach | nycexpeditionist.com

Sure, Rockaway isn’t the prettiest or cleanest of NYC-area beaches. But the people-watching is incredible, as is just escaping the city! And seriously, nothing beats Tacoway Beach and Rippers after hours of laying out.

Rockaway Taco | nycexpeditionist.com

I’m so glad I got in tons of beach time. Because a few weeks ago, this happened.

Foot in boot | nycexpeditionist.com

It started in July, during a routine ballet class. I was wearing a pair of pointe shoes that was almost dead, but I could barely get my right foot up and over the shoe. It felt like I was wearing an ill-fitting new shoe with an extra-hard shank, and not a very well broken-in pair from my favorite maker! I kept the shoes on for barre and noticed that I was having a hard time supporting myself on my right foot. I thought all that was weird, but chalked it up to dead shoes and a bad ballet day. (The lies we tell ourselves!!)

The next few classes were the same. I realized, that in addition to not being able to support myself en pointe on my right foot, I was also having trouble just pointing it. Plus, my whole ankle just felt off—weak and unable to move the way it usually did.

I stopped wearing pointe shoes and went down to two classes a week, hoping that more time off would help whatever was going on with my ankle. I increasingly believed I had Achilles tendinitis. But the weird thing was that when I wasn’t dancing, my foot and ankle felt 100% normal.

Finally, in early August, I was in yet another class, struggling to point my right foot and feeling like I could barely land my jumps. (I actually continued doing all the jump combinations in every class. Probably not the smartest move.) When I got home, I noticed that my foot and ankle were swollen.

That led me to go to urgent care the following day, and then to a podiatrist they referred me to, the next day. His diagnosis was not at all what I expected. It turns out that I have an extra bone in my ankle that I either broke or impinged from all the pointe work. That’s led the tendons around it to become inflamed from the constant rubbing against it.

The official name for this is os trigonum syndrome. Apparently, it’s fairly common among ballet dancers. By some miracle, the podiatrist I was referred to has worked with a lot of dancers and has been a primary podiatrist to several dance companies in the city. He knew almost immediately what the problem was.

So I’m in boot for several weeks!

Luckily, it didn’t get in the way of one of my biggest and most elaborate plans: An all-out party for Mal and Peter, who are expecting their first child next month! (I’m going to be an aunt!!!!!)

I decided that I wanted to throw a celebration that all their/our loved ones could attend—not just women. We booked the clubhouse at their new apartment complex and I spent several weeks planning and prepping. Thank god for my parents, who wholeheartedly went along for the ride and never once questioned if I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

I never thought of myself as craftsy, but this was the most DIY thing I’ve ever done.

My mom and I made all the props and background for a photo booth. (If you’re every interested in setting up your own, I highly recommend this tutorial and purchasing this lighting kit.)

We cooked and prepped almost all the food for the baby buffet—an array of bite-sized finger food for 40 people, spanning three tables.

On the menu: mini empanadas, mini mac and cheese cups, chicken sandwich sliders, spinach balls, guac and mango salsa chip cups, meatballs, deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, shrimp cocktail, cucumber salad, caprese salad, mini cupcakes (two types: chocolate and lemon), mini chocolate dipped macaroons, chocolate dipped strawberries. Whew! (Thank you to my mom, E, Marianna, Olga, Mal and Peter for their help and contributions!)

macaroons | nycexpeditionist.com

My one regret was not getting a photo of the full baby buffet table. That’s what happens when you’re having too much fun while mingling and trying to be a good host. (And, um, quaffing lots of white wine.)

Luckily, we got tons of great photo booth shots!

Photo booth | nyexpeditionist.com

Photo booth | nyexpeditionist.com

And I was thrilled that so many loved ones showed up to celebrate my two favorite people.

HMP | nycexpeditionist.com

Somewhere during the summer, I also found out that my landlord was selling my beloved apartment and that I needed to move. After months of searching for something affordable, I finally found the perfect place…the apartment right upstairs from me. I will hopefully be moving into a carbon copy of my existing apartment in early October.

Another miracle. Somehow, things are working out.

And I have one more exciting summer plan.

Tomorrow, I’m flying to London (boot and all) to spend a few days with Shirin. And then, we’re off to Morocco!

So much craziness, but so much good stuff. Hope your summer was every bit as wild and wonderful, as well!

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Whimsical Summer Plates

Speaking of summer—have you seen these new plates from Anthropologie?

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw them, because they depict my favorite season and all the related activities that make me so happy.

Like crab boils

F34964338_069_b

…and music and dance that remind me of my Latin America trips

F34964338_095_b

…and spending time on the water.

F34964338_041_b

Now if only I had beach house where I could use them at a summer dinner party…

F34964338_069_b15

(Images via Anthropologie)

Hello, Summer!

Sunny Isles, Fla. | nycexpeditionist.com

Oh, yes. It’s here, again—my favorite weekend when the best time of year officially begins.

Hello, summer!

I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like to, in the past several months. Life has been a bit crazy in all areas: work, ballet, personal. Though I haven’t shared details here, it’s actually been a very trying time with lots of ups and downs.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t usher in my favorite season—because I’ve so been looking forward to every bit of it: long, hot days; weekends at the beach; quick shore getaways; bbqs; summer Fridays (!!!); a likely vacation at the end of August. Plus, some very exciting ballet and family stuff going on.

Will keep you posted on all that. But in the meantime, here’s to sunny days!

(Photo of Sunny Isles, Fla. via Mallory Eng Burger)

Waterslide Fun

Over the weekend, I came across a photo series that embodies much of what I love about summer: Krista Long’s photos of people being shot out of a water slide. The looks of surprise and excitement on everyone’s face are priceless!

I Love Summer, by Krista Long

I Love Summer, by Krista Long

I Love Summer, by Krista Long

Appropriately, the series is titled, I Love Summer. See all the images and check out her awesome diving board series, as well.

(Images by Krista Long; found via Laughing Squid)

So Ready for a Busy Summer Weekend!

Fort Tilden, by Samantha Casolari

Happy Friday! I don’t know why, but even though I’ve been super-busy, this week seemed to drag on forever! I have a packed weekend ahead, but I’m glad it’s here, nevertheless.

One of my best friends is getting married on Sunday evening, and I’m excited to celebrate those two. (Congrats, Duh and Lou!)

Of course, I’m planning a bit of beach time, as well. I’ll likely be headed to Rockaway tomorrow, on a quiet, solo beach trip.

Rockaway is also where the photo above was taken. It’s from Brooklyn-based photographer Samantha Casolari‘s series for Rockaway Summer, a new, free publication about the area. I picked up a copy of it at Rockaway Taco, two weeks ago, and it’s gorgeous—mostly due to Casolari’s dreamlike images. See more of them here.

Until next week, some links from around the web:

 Aerial photos that starkly display the wealth disparity in Mexico City.

More amazing aerials: India, by drone.

9 Characteristics of a culture that determine happiness, longevity and quality of life…I think we’ve got a ways to go, here in the US.

A ballet-inspired clock.

What really hot days look like in NYC.

The fabulous travel illustration blog Drawn the Road Again just celebrated its first anniversary.

A free, gorgeous cookbook with a great social mission: Helping people make delicious, simple, healthy meals on $4 a day.

And finally: What cat would use this?!

Thanks to Mal for the clock and cat links! Have a good one!

(Photo by Samantha Casolari via T magazine)

A Genius Beach Bag

I’m a total beach girl, but I’ll admit that once I’ve left for the day, I don’t want it following me home. I’m not a fan of stepping on sand that’s made its way into my apartment. (Which is woefully not anywhere near a beach.)

The other day, I stumbled upon this genius Quirky beach bag.

Quirky's Shake Bag 1

It looks like a typical beach bag, made from water-repellant canvas, with a few pockets for stashing your stuff.

Quirky's Shake Bag

But if you undo a panel on the side…

Quirky's Shake Bag

…it reveals a mesh bottom with a little pull-handle you can shake to get all the sand out.

Quirky Shake Bag

Pretty brilliant! It’s amazing all beach bags aren’t built this way.

Quirky, if you’re not familiar with it, is an awesome company where anyone can submit their product idea. People can vote on what ideas they’d like to see come to life, and each week, the Quirky team decides which products they’ll produce. Eventually, they’re brought to market, and people can purchase those items from the Quirky shop.

I love the Everlane tote I’ve used as a beach bag for the past two years, but maybe it’s time for an upgrade?

(Images via Quirky)