Amazing Aerial Beach Photos

On any given day, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on a beach.

That’s why Gray Malin‘s A La Plage photo series makes me so happy.В Malin shot each photo while cruising over beaches in doorless helicopters.

The result: Incredible aerial photos of happy people in gorgeous, sunny settings. LikeВ Australia’s Manly Beach

Manly Beach, by Gray Malin

to Brazil

Brazil's Blue Beach, by Gray Malin

…to St. Tropez

St. Tropez Tahiti Club, by Gray Malin

…and even Coney Island!

Coney Island, by Gray Malin

Just stunning.

I’ll be keeping up with Malin’s photos—and his cool blog—long after summer ends.

(Images by Gray Malin; found via

So Ready for a Beach Weekend!

Large Wall Art Large Scale Photography Coney Island Beach II Archival Art Print 30x30"

Happy Friday! For the first time in ages, it’s the weekend and I have absolutely nothing planned. But since the weather forecast is looking pretty good, Evan and I are thinking maybe two beach days in a row—or sneaking away for a night at a nearby beach town. Ahh, summer weekends…

Hope you have a relaxing few days planned, as well. Until next week, a few of my favorite travel-themed links from around the web:

Gorgeous beach photos, including the one above, of Coney Island, by NYC-based photographer Mina Teslaru.

Books that feature flying. Have you read any of them? I’ve been wanting to check out The Skies Belong to Us .

Photo #28. Talk about the coolest World Cup-viewing party!

Amazing photos of floating markets.

A few of NYC’s coolest park benches.

How powerful is your passport?

A bike pizza slicer!

Where’s my jetpack rental?!

(Image via Minagraphy)

World Cup Fans in NYC

While I haven’t been watching much of the World Cup, I do appreciate the effect it has on the city. I love walking by fansВ clad in their nationalВ colors, spilling out of bars or huddling around TVs in shop windows.

It makes me feel like I’m in another country—pretty much any other country than here, where this kind of communal viewing is common.

Today I stumbled upon an amazing site, Global Soccer, Global NYC , that wonderfully illustrates this phenomenon. Its founders,В Braden Ruddy, Owen Dodd and Rob Navarro, depict NYC soccer fans watching matches in gathering places (usually bars and restaurants) relevant to their home countries. The photos and accompanying text give a nice snapshot of the countries, their teams and NYC’s immigrant communities:

Ghana vs. Germany, Papaye Restaurant, The Bronx

Ghana vs. Germany at Papaye Restaurant, The Bronx

Argentina vs. Iran at Boca Juniors Steakhouse, Elmhurst

Argentina vs. Iran at Boca Juniors Steakhouse, Elmhurst

Croatia vs. Cameroon at Veslo in Astoria

Croatia vs. Cameroon at Veslo, Astoria

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica at La Gran Uruguaya Bakery, Jackson Heights

Uruguay vs. Costa Rica at La Gran Uruguaya Bakery, Jackson Heights

I’m definitely going to be keeping up withВ Global Soccer, Global NYC(And checking out some of those bars and restaurants!)

(Images viaВ Global Soccer, Global NYC )

Ever Dream of Owning a Country Inn?

The Graham and Co.

Have you ever dreamed about being an innkeeper? I’ll admit that I have, and on many occasions.

For years, Mal, Peter and I have said that one day, the three of us will open up aВ B&B, here in the city. (“The NYC BNB” has a pretty nice ring to it, doesn’t it?)

And whenever Evan and I stay at a B&B outside of Manhattan, I get romantic ideas about opening one of our own, on a farm, somewhere. (Kind of like that newlywed couple who’d recently acquired the B&B we stayed at in New Hope!)

I think I have these B&B daydreams for a few reasons. One, is that it’s so different from my life right now—i.e. living in Manhattan and working for a huge company. The other is that travel is such an important part of my life. If I could create a travel experience that brings people great joy, via an inn or B&B I owned, I think that would be incredibly rewarding.

Of course, my idealized notions don’t take into account the crazy amount of work owning an inn requires. I imagine that the work-life balance is challenging, if you’re an innkeeper who lives on or near the premises. And you’re always working when people want to get away—i.e. weekends, holidays.

While I won’t be leaving NYC anytime soon, it’s still nice to fantasize about what life would be like if I did. That’s why I enjoyed reading this NYT piece, about New Yorkers who moved to small towns and opened (very style-centric) inns. I’d actually considered a few of the places—like The Graham and Co. and The Roundhouse—when looking for quick weekend escapes, and may need to check out some of the others.

Have you ever thought about running your own B&B or inn? Or have you actually made the leap to do so?

(Photo of The Graham & Co. via their website)

Let Summer Begin!


It’s finally here: the weekend that officially marks the start of summer! (At least, in my book.)

Anyone who knows me—or occasionally checks in on me, here—knows that I’m a total summer girl. I live for long, sunny days; beach weekends; steamy weather; and as much time in the sunshineВ as I can possibly manage.

I’m having a very-NYC Memorial Day weekend: going to a friend’s BBQ in Brooklyn, tomorrow, and to the beach (Rockaway) on Monday—as long as the weather holds out.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! And until next week, some interesting links from around the web:

The photo above is from an awesome-looking exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York: In the early 1960s, Aaron Rose photographed Coney Island beachgoers. His intimate portraits have a romantic, nostalgic feel. (The very effects that we’re always tryingВ to create on our snapshots with Instagram and other photo programs!)

This even earlier shot of Coney Island, from 1947—can you believe the crowd?!

Speaking of Rockaway—have you seen this proposal to bring a glampground there?

Um, this has to be one of the craziest ballet photos I’ve seen!

For those of us superstitious about 8s and 4s—this made me laugh.

(Image via by Aaron Rose, via the Museum of the City of New York)

Why I Stay in NYC

Traffic on 42nd Street with setting sun

At the end of last week, I came across an interesting question from WNYC: Why do you stay in NYC?

As they put it:

In one of the first episodes of our new show,В Death, Sex & Money, we talked to aВ freelance documentary producer whoВ came to New York in the 80s, but isВ now finding herself priced out, feeling broke and tired. And if you read the comments left by our listeners, you’ll find that many people can relate.

A recentВ Gallup pollВ found that 41 percent of New York residents would move to a different state if they could, and 16 percent are planning to move in the next 12 months. Do you want to leave? If not, why do you stay?

It’s definitely a thought-provoking question—and one I’ve actually asked myself, recently.

As a native New Yorker, I always believed that I’d live in the city forever. Most likely, in Manhattan.

But during the past few years, many dear friends have left the city—including my best friend, who departed to London, with no plans of returning.

For most of my twenties, I was fine living on what felt like the edge of poverty. (My Washington Heights studio eating up more than half a month’s take-home pay? No problem!) But lately I’ve been wondering whether it might be nice to have a larger—much larger—place one day. With outdoor space and multiple rooms and ample areas for entertaining. (Sure, some of those exist in the city, but they’re likely out of my price range!)

And there have been occasions when I returned home from a trip and felt like my wanderlust hadn’t been satiated. Each time, I thought about how easy it would be to just put my stuff in storage and travel for months—no kids, spouse, mortgage or car to worry about. But each time, I stayed.

I don’t regret it, at all. Because when it comes down to it, it’s really been no contest, for me. I have many reasons that make NYC the place where I want to be, more than anywhere else, right now. Among the stronger:

The food. That sounds cliche, I know. But when your cravings come from all over the world, it’s nice to know that you can find a place that cooks that cuisine authentically and affordably. (In the past few days, alone, I’ve eaten Filipino, Bolivian, Colombian, Sichuanese, Jamaican…)

Ballet. Sure, you can dance anywhere in the world. But I’d argue that in NYC, we have some of the best teachers and accompanists, and can take their classes every day of the week. Plus, I’ve worked really hard to get back into ballet shape after several years off. I really didn’t want all that work to go to waste, again. Plus, many of the top ballet companies make their way through the city, and it’s awesome to have access to theirВ performances.

The 24-hour lifestyle. When I lived in Boston, right out of college, I hated that the bars closed at 2 a.m. Now, a decade later, I don’t go out drinking that late. But I really do appreciate being ableВ to grab the subway or a good meal at any hour.

My parents, who also live in Manhattan.

meme and e at the met

These two, who live just north of the city.

mal and peter

This dude—who was also born and raised in the boroughs, and has all his loved ones there.

heather and evan

Knowing that I’ll always have opportunities to see my good friends who don’t live in the city—because at some point, everyone has a reason to come to NYC.

That’s what’s keeping me here, now. But as more friends get married, have kids and buy houses—real houses with lots of rooms and outdoor space!—outside the city, I’m wondering if any of those factors will outweigh those above.

(Top photo from Getty Images, via Pinterest)