Flowers in Central Park

Blog, New York Cityon May 9th, 20111 Comment

I had a really productive weekend that involved finishing up another manuscript and doing some major spring cleaning, but in the middle, I took a few hours to wander around Central Park’s Conservatory Garden with my roommates (and Chicken) and look at all the flowers. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, but I was able to snap some pretty photos with my phone.

See more pictures behind the jump.

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Fox News’ Osama Breaking-News Fails

Blog, Digital Wall of Shameon May 2nd, 20112 Comments

In a time of breaking news and stressed-out journalists, I feel a bit bad for making fun of the extreme typos that I’ve seen coming from Fox News, but I couldn’t avoid posting these two gems. “OBAMA BIN LADEN DEAD”? Really?

The bottom photo just reads, as my friend Krysten pointed out, as if someone’s cat walked across the keyboard.

(Top photo from Kyle Hudgins; bottom photo via Gawker)

Wow.

Blogon May 1st, 20111 Comment

Osama bin Laden is dead

Perfect Spring Day in New York City

Blogon April 30th, 20112 Comments

It’s a gorgeous spring day in Manhattan today. The sun is shining, the trees are heavy with blossoms, and the air smells fresh. I went for a run in Central Park this morning, where I took the photo at left.

Now, unfortunately, I have to turn my attentions to wrapping up another large editing project, so I’m sitting in the lounge of the top floor of my building. My table looks out at Harlem and the East River, which is also a beautiful sight.

On days like today, I feel lucky to live in New York.

‘Eat the Rich’ Tag on MSU Campus

Blogon April 29th, 2011No Comments

Eat the Rich graffiti

In honor of certain irritating events that have captured the world’s attention, I give you a funny piece of graffiti I found on the Michigan State campus. This, appropriately, was located on large columns that list the names of major donors to the university.

I must offer the disclaimer, however, that it’s pretty immature to put graffiti on columns that honor people who have donated to education. Still, it’s a bit funny, especially since the columns are really ugly.

A Drink for Your Wednesday

Blogon April 27th, 20111 Comment

Michigan drinksWednesdays are close days at the magazine, and they’re always hectic and a bit stressful. For anyone else who isn’t a big fan of “hump day,” take a long, cool swig from this: two Michigan drinks, Bell’s Oberon and a Long Island iced tea from the Peanut Barrel in East Lansing.

(I swear; I’ll stop posting pictures of Michigan soon. I just took so many that I wanted to share!)

Embroidered Penguin Covers by Jillian Tamaki

Blogon April 27th, 20113 Comments

Penguin Books commissioned illustrator Jillian Tamaki to create embroidered covers of some of their classic books, like this one for Emma. The editions will be available in October 2011, and I’ll definitely be snapping up a few of the titles.

My sister is a fantastic embroiderer, and until now, I’ve never really had an urge to learn, but this makes it look really fun. I think my favorite part is Emma’s hair and the hand-stitched letters.

Brunch at the Whitney

Blogon April 26th, 2011No Comments

Whitney brunch

Part of my Michigan adventure included going with Benita and Josh for brunch at the Whitney, a gorgeous mansion turned restaurant in Detroit. While it was a bit pricey, especially for Detroit, the unlimited mimosas, delicious food and attentive wait staff made it worth the money. Plus, we got to snoop around the restaurant after brunch, where we saw the following:

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‘Dead’ in the Woods

Blogon April 26th, 2011No Comments

DeadNothing is more reassuring than encountering a Dead End sign riddled with bullets in the middle of the woods. (Seen near Onaway, Michigan.)

I’m Not a Runner; I Just Run

Blogon April 25th, 20115 Comments

I ran my first race on Saturday, a 4-mile run through Central Park — in a torrential downpour. I’ve wanted to run a race for years, but I kept chickening out. I’m not a runner. I don’t have the fancy running belts or coordinated running outfits, and I certainly don’t have the endurance. I get really, really bored after a mile and really, really tired after 2 miles.

Until Saturday, I hadn’t attempted to run 4 miles at once. But I’d always wanted to be a runner, so I decided to do it.

The race went well. I ran a lot faster than I’d anticipated, and I only stopped to walk at the water stations marking each mile. I finished the race exhilarated, tired and soaked, and I promptly signed up for another race.

I can’t wait to do it again — as soon as my shoes dry off.

Homemade Sushi

Blogon April 25th, 20112 Comments

Homemade sushi
My dad, my uncle Hans and I made homemade sushi when I was back in Michigan. My dad had somehow acquired a very fancy, very expensive tuna steak as a retirement gift, and he’d been saving it in the freezer since last summer. Almost a year later, we finally got around to making the sushi, and I was really impressed with how delicious it was.

While a few of us were already sushi lovers, others in the group had never eaten it before. Before we ate, I spent a few minutes teaching my uncle Al how to use chopsticks. I then explained the different sauces and condiments that were spread out on the table. As he watched, I expertly piled my roll with ginger, dipped it in soy sauce, and added a generous helping of wasabi.

I didn’t realize, however, that the wasabi you buy at Walmart in Alpena, Michigan, is the hottest kind I’d ever eaten. Moments after I’d demonstrated what a pro I was at sushi preparation, I began to gag. Then sweat. Finally, with tears streaming from my eyes, I was forced to spit my first sushi roll into a napkin. Al laughed, picked up his own roll — also covered with wasabi — and ate it, without even breaking a sweat. read more

Happy Easter

Blogon April 24th, 2011No Comments

Flower

Have a lovely day!

Sweet Tooth’s: Not the Best Branding Choice

Blogon April 20th, 2011No Comments

Sweet rotten tooth

Sweet Tooth’s used to be an ice cream and dessert place in Alpena. It’s closed now, and I just can’t imagine why; the rotten tooth on the sign sure makes me want to eat lots and lots of sugar.

Spring in New York, Winter Elsewhere

Blogon April 20th, 20112 Comments

Cherry blossom

While the East Coast weather has been fluctuating a lot, it’s nice to see real signs of spring in the city — unlike in Alpena, which had power outages and school closings as a result of a crazy overnight snowfall. (I’m feeling smug, I’ll admit.)

Back in New York

Blogon April 18th, 2011No Comments

I was in Michigan for the past 10 days, and I’m now back in New York. It was a fun visit, and I saw a lot of friends I haven’t seen in years. I’ll post some pictures in the next few days.

For now, here’s a photo of a snowstorm that hit Alpena on Sunday. Exactly one week before, the temperature in parts of Michigan reached as high as 85 degrees. Michigan can be counted on for one thing: erratic weather. Oh, and really good beer.

Thanks to all my friends and family who hosted me on my whirlwind tour of the mitten state!

The Freelancer’s Guide to NYC Caffeine

Blog, New York Cityon April 5th, 20115 Comments

I’ve been a freelancer in some capacity for years, and in that time, I’ve realized a few things. First, it’s impossible to be productive at home, especially since I live in New York. Between a tiny apartment and a ridiculously needy cat, I have to leave the apartment if I want to do any work at all. Second, editing — especially if it’s of the foreign-policy or science-intensive variety — can be tiring, so caffeine is a must. Both situations led me to become somewhat of an expert on Manhattan’s freelance-friendly coffee shops.

I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites, along with their locations, for anyone else looking for a caffeine fix while they work. Let me know if you think of anything I missed; I’m always looking for a new place to chill and work. read more

Central Park in the Spring

Blogon April 5th, 2011No Comments

Central Park

For all the times I might gripe about New York (Seriously, what IS that smell?), there’s nothing prettier than Central Park when the seasons change. I think spring is my favorite, because all the New Yorkers venture out of their tiny apartments and soulless office spaces and congregate on the park’s many lawns. They play Frisbee, run with their dogs, picnic with friends and generally defeat all the stereotypes of harried, angry New Yorkers.

The Wizard in His Castle

Blogon April 3rd, 20111 Comment

Wizard at Belvedere Castle

I spotted this wizard and his two dragons in Central Park and proceeded to stalk him for about 15 minutes until he ended up at Belvedere Castle. He’s amazing, albeit a bit frightening. His dragons, he informed an onlooker in a fake accent, are “genuine Scottish dragons.”

Mary Poppins on Broadway: Surprisingly Good

Blogon March 30th, 20112 Comments

Mary Poppins

For months, commercials for Broadway’s Mary Poppins have been running on a loop on the TVs in NYC cabs. They’re really annoying and feature audience members gushing about the show. “Even I, a jaded New Yorker, went, ‘How’d they do that?’” exclaims one woman over an irritating soundtrack clip. I immediately dismissed the play as Disney trying to make a buck by turning another great movie into a mediocre — at best — musical. I was wrong.

My parents and I saw the play on Saturday, and we loved it. I was surprised by the production value, special effects and general fun of the show. The cast is great, especially Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins, and the play’s additional plot points made the narrative more believable than in the movie: The relationship between the parents is fleshed out, and the play revises the movie’s weird bank-scandal story so it makes a lot more sense. Mary’s character is more interesting as well, and although I’ve never read the book, I suspect it’s more accurate to that character than the flawless Julie Andrews version. read more

The Empire State Building and Its Colors

Blog, New York Cityon March 29th, 2011No Comments

The best thing about what is arguably New York’s most famous building is that it is constantly rotating the color of its lights, which means the appearance of the building — and the New York skyline — is always changing. The color choices represent holidays, anniversaries or organizations, and I love to look up the meaning of the different combinations.

For example, the colors in the photo above are in honor of WNET, the Celebration of Teaching and Learning. On April 1, the lights will turn all blue in honor of autism awareness; then orange, orange and white on April 8-10, in honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month. On April 13, the lights will return to all blue in honor of the Blue Man Group’s 20th anniversary. They’ll be all green on April 22 in honor of Earth Day. So random, yet so fun.

Click here for a great site that shows the building’s current colors and what they mean.