Catching up via Instagram: 5/15/2016

This past month has been a roller-coaster. I’ve realized that my moods largely depend on the weather (duh, I know), and we had spring weather with blossoms, followed by eight straight days of rain (and yes, I was counting), followed by the sun’s triumphant return and greens replacing the pinks. Personally, I celebrated my birthday (how was that less than a month ago?!), fell into a depressive funk, and then got happier but stayed super lazy as it started to warm up outside (again…). Here’s a little glimpse of the drama.

New York City Freedom Tower from TribecaTulips in Washington Square, New York City

I spent a morning frolicking around Tribeca with friends (how good is the view?!) and an afternoon frolicking around Washington Square (my fave) during the early days of spring.

Bareburger, Greenwich Village, New York City

My friend Dani came to visit from San Diego, and we decided to celebrate with the first al fresco meal of the season: healthy burgers at Bareburger! Unfortunately, it got chilly as soon as the sun went down. We may have been overly optimistic…

Cherry blossoms in Washington Square, New York CityBirthday strawberry shortcakeBirthday girl

It was miraculously 70 degrees on my birthday and I wore a dress for the first time this season! My roommate made me that beautiful strawberry shortcake (because I don’t like frosting – so thoughtful!) and Emmie came over after work (and dinner!) to sit with me while I opened presents from my family. It was a most excellent day!

Sun shining through the trees in Union Square, New York CityNational Pretzel Day

National Pretzel Day was a highlight, of course. I don’t need an excuse to indulge – I frequently stop at street carts for pretzels, and the new Wetzel’s in the Fulton Center is a hazard to my health – but I spoiled myself by picking up some spicy mustard for the occasion.

Cherry Blossoms in Greenwich Village, New York CityEmpire State Building, New York CityColorful tulips at Brooklyn Heights PromenadeNew York City skyline from Brooklyn Heights Promenade

I’m glad I took advantage of the weather and got so many photos before it got dreary out!

Rainy day in Union Square, New York CityRainy Day on Avenue of the Americas, New York City

It’s very, very hard to capture good imagery in the rain. The only highlight (metaphorical, unfortunately) in that week was an afternoon with my friend Molly. For our birthdays every year (they’re six months apart!) we splurge on Thai food (Republic, above, is a favorite) and then browse our favorite bookstores.

Chika Mexicana, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City

When the sun finally did emerge, I already had plans to be super lazy with takeout and Netflix (and Emmie, lest you think I’m super anti-social). Still, it was nice to see the rays streaming into Chika while I waited for my burrito bowl.

Sun shining through the trees at Union Square, New York CitySun shining, open lawn at Bryant Park

Naturally I spent the last week outside as much as humanly possible! I popped by Bryant Park on a day off and it happened to be the first day the lawn was open for the season – the joy was palpable!

Havilah Cunnington speaking at Liberty Sisterhood

On Friday night, my church had a Sisterhood event – always a highlight for me! Havilah Cunnington was able to join us and preach an amazing message, and I was super lucky to have a front-row seat. So excited to hear her speak again at She Is Free in the fall!

Follow me on Instagram here for real-time updates.

A visit to the New York Botanical Garden

I keep a running list of things I want to do and see here in New York, and the New York Botanical Garden has been on that list for approximately forever. Located in the Bronx, the Garden actually has 28 gardens, including a conservatory, and I can now confirm that you could stay there for days and not see everything. But boy did we try! Emmie, her roommate Rachael, and I all had last Friday off and we took that opportunity to venture to the Bronx (let’s just say it took an hour and a half on one express train). Thanks to the day of the week, the clouds, and the chill in the air, we felt like we had the place to ourselves!

Tulips at the New York Botanical Garden

Tulips are my absolute favorite, and as such I was thrilled to find them blooming all around the visitor center.

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical GardenInside the conservatory at the New York Botanical GardenFlower at the New York Botanical Garden

We splurged on tickets that included entrance to the conservatory, and boy are we glad we did! The rainforest rooms were a great place to warm up (seriously it was so cold outside), and you know how much I love a desert environment (remember when we went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden?!)

House at the New York Botanical GardenWaterfall on the Bronx RiverBridge over the Bronx RiverWaterfall on the Bronx RiverThe Bronx River

After a while, we hopped on a tram and rode it halfway around the garden. We hopped off to look at some lilacs, but I was soon distracted by a sign indicating a nearby waterfall. We ventured off to explore and to our surprise, the Bronx River runs right through! We admired the waterfall from up close, then climbed to the bridge that stretches over the river. I think if we had been properly prepared, this would be a great spot for some light hiking!

Flower at the New York Botanical GardenFlower at the New York Botanical GardenFlower at the New York Botanical GardenCherry blossoms at the New York Botanical Garden

Of course, it wouldn’t be a garden visit this time of year without some colorful blooms!

If you want to go: Take the 4, B or D subway trains (thankfully all express!) to Bedford Park, then it’s about a 20 minute walk OR you can take the Bx26 bus the rest of the way. You can also take Metro North from Grand Central, which will drop you right near the entrance. See here for hours and pricing, which vary by day. And plan to spend the whole day there! We were there about four hours and it wasn’t nearly enough.

Currently: May 2016

View of the Empire State Building from Fifth Avenue

It’s been a very New York month

Reading: I’m partway through Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson (my first of his books, believe it or not!) I also went on a bit of an ebook-buying spree this week so I have lots of options for the month ahead!

Wearing: Pink sweatpants, pink sweatshirt, polkadot fuzzy socks. Cute, I know. It’s Saturday and I’m in full-on lazy mode.

Buying: I made it through April without any major purchases – sometimes I just need to remind myself that it IS possible to live in this city and save money at the same time. In May I’m looking to buy prescription sunglasses (Warby Parker here I come!) and plane tickets to Texas for the end of summer!

Listening to: Nothing at the moment! Just the hum of my fan.

Eating: I cooked a big breakfast this morning of spicy jalapeno chicken sausage, fried eggs and cinnamon toast. Usually I’m up super early and don’t have the energy for anything fancier than cereal, so I like to take advantage of the weekends!

Watching: Look out for a post later in the month about my current favorite shows because the list is finally growing! Most recently, I watched the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and my current binges of choice are Happy Endings and Gilmore Girls (which I’ve seen in full multiple times, but I can’t resist the media frenzy surrounding the revival!) 

Planning: I’m hoping to make a solo trip to Philadelphia happen this month, or early June at the latest. I can’t believe I’ve never been! I also have an exciting day trip in the works for a couple weekends from now, but I’m leaving my friends in charge of the actual planning for that one.

Excited for: There is SO MUCH happening this month! Team bonding sessions and engagement parties and more friends moving to Crown Heights. Still just loving spring in New York City!

Hoping: for continued good weather – last week felt a little too much like winter for my liking, but today seems to be sunny and warm! (I’ll fully admit to not having been outside yet).

Books read: 16/52, just one behind! I’m so excited this is going well

Trips taken: 5/12 – I didn’t leave NYC in April, but that was intentional, and I’m still ahead on this goal!

How last month’s challenge went: I ate a vegetable every day in April except one, but I had a migraine and didn’t eat anything at all, so I’m calling it a win! I even crave vegetables now sometimes, and have expanded my horizons to include things like broccoli. Yay!

This month’s challenge: Reading my Bible every day. I KNOW I KNOW. I should be doing this automatically. But I’m not, so let’s try to fix it.

And how is YOUR May going?

Catching up via Instagram: 4/17/16

Subtitle: Let us rejoice, for it is finally SPRING!

Spring in New York CitySpring in Brooklyn, New YorkNew York City on a sunny daySpring in New York CityDowntown ManhattanBrooklyn BridgeCity of Dreams mural, New York CitySpring in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New YorkWashington Square Park, New York, on a rainy dayProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetGrand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

Not much necessary in the way of captions for these. I’ve been in New York City for the past three weeks, having made the conscious decision to stay put in April and cherish my favorite month. We’ve had very classically spring weather: Sometimes it’s 70 and sunny, sometimes it’s 40 and rainy. I’m just very, very glad we haven’t had any April snow this year. The city is alive and gorgeous and I am loving every minute!

At the Transit Museum, Brooklyn, New YorkCheering on Syracuse at Houston Hall, New York City

Staying in town on the weekends this month has meant some New York weekend adventures I’ve been putting off: Emmie and I visited the Transit Museum (something we’ve been wanting to do for months) and then watched her alma mater, Syracuse, play in the Final Four!

Sleep No More

This week I joined my friend Amanda at Sleep No More. It’s a totally immersive, interactive theatre experience where the audience dons masks and moves through the (enormous) set at their own pace as the action takes place around them. I had the BEST time and am already itching to go back to see more of the set and piece together more of the story!

Avocado toast

I got fancy with my breakfasts last week when I had mornings off. Nothing special here, but I was proud regardless!

Reading My Paris Dream by Kate Betts

The best part about the above photo? The book’s author, Katherine Betts, re-posted it to her own Instagram and Twitter accounts! You’ll read about it in my April roundup, but I highly recommend My Paris Dream.

Follow me on Instagram here.

Views from the High Line

I can’t believe I’ve never done a full post about the High Line before – it’s one of my favorite outdoor spaces in New York City! Built on an out-of-use elevated train track, this park runs along the west side of Manhattan from Gansevoort Street in the West Village to 34th Street in Midtown. Last weekend, when the sun popped out for a couple hours between April showers, I ventured out to the High Line for the first time in months.

View from the High Line, New York City

Can you spot the Statue of Liberty  above?

View of the street from the High Line, New York CityView of the street from the High Line, New York CityView of the Empire State Building from the High Line, New York City

My favorite view!

The High Line, New York City

The High Line was smartly designed so you always know where you are, and where the nearest stairways to the street are.

The High Line, New York CityView of the street from the High Line, New York CitySpring Blooms from the High Line, New York CitySpring Blooms from the High Line, New York City

The flowers have been weird this year: A whole bunch bloomed in mid-March, when we had a rash of 70-degree days, and then there was a deep freeze that killed them all off. Now things seem to be re-blooming right on a usual schedule.

View of the street from the High Line, New York CityView of the Hudson River from the High Line, New York CityView of the Hudson River from the High Line, New York City

Which is your favorite picture from the High Line?