Lens on October 2018

The fall seems to be a busy time for me at work – by the time I come home, I don’t want to get back on the computer to work on writing a blog post, hence this post about October midway through November! But this morning, I’m up early and here I am, writing away.

The month of October both flew by and went very slowly, I don’t know how to explain. The weather is considerably colder, I’m drinking much more tea and when I’m home, I’m wearing my fuzzy socks. With no scheduled trips, I’m getting the sense of hunkering down for the cold weather, and that I’ll be enjoying the holidays with family.

One great disappointment in October was that the 5K I signed up for was canceled due to inclement weather! While I’m glad I didn’t have to run in a storm, I had been ready for it – it would have been my first 5K! I am investigating other 5Ks to run instead, but given the colder weather I may have to wait until the spring.

Restaurants

This month I mostly went to Asian restaurants, and lots of eating at home. I accidentally ordered a Blue Apron box (I thought I had skipped the whole month) so that provided me lots of tasty meals for a week.  I felt like we had eaten out a lot in September, so it was nice to take a little break, although looking at this list it is still quite a lot!

Great NY Noodletown (Chinatown) – Great Noodletown is back in action! It had been closed earlier this year due to health concerns, but the Saturday we went it was packed with a line out the door. My husband enjoyed his duck, but I ordered some crunchy noodle dish that I didn’t like. Oh well…

Naruto Ramen (multiple locations) – One cold afternoon we went to the Upper West Side location and ordered steaming bowls of soup. I liked that you could customize the order – so I was able to get a veggie broth with all the toppings I wanted.

Rin Thai (Chelsea)  – We saw a production in Chelsea and afterwards went for dinner at Rin Thai, where we shared a salad and fried rice, and my husband had some kind of meat skewer.

 

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Tasty soft serve! Best eaten on a warm day…

Chloe’s Soft Serve (Union Square) – this dessert spot right off Union Square Park has vegan treats made with just fruit and sugar. My husband and I shared a cup of half chocolate and half banana soft serve with white chocolate chips.

Rangoli (Upper East Side) – A nice weekday dinner at Rangoli, a decent Indian restaurant with the standard fare, that is steps from the new 72nd Street Q stop.

Panda Bubble Tea (Upper East Side) – My friend and I met for a casual dinner at this bubble tea place (formerly Chatime) where we shared a delicious grilled cheese sandwich and peanut butter and banana crepe.

Lexington Social (East Harlem) – Since the 5K race I had planned for was canceled, hubs and I sprung for a dinner out at this local tapas place. I used to go here every once in a while when I worked in East Harlem and had fond memories. It’s right near the subway and while it fills up in the evenings, we got a low-key spot by the window. We shared the beet salad and truffle fries, and my husband ordered the meatballs and I ordered the croquettes. We left quite full.

Parks

Maybe it was the weather but I didn’t get to too many new parks this month!

Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Facility (Staten Island) –  On a field trip to Staten Island I went to one of NYC Parks’ newest facilities – Ocean Breeze, which has an indoor track and beautiful recreation center facility. It’s also right across from the beach!

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A rainbow of flowers for sale at the Union Square Greenmarket

Union Square Greenmarket (Manhattan) – I’ve stopped by this park and farmer’s market many times, but rarely have I come on a Saturday – it was PACKED and there were tons of vendors with beautiful produce and baked goods. At least with the colder weather comes tasty food! A trip to the Union Square Farmer’s Market meant a delicious meal of eggplant, squash, and also snacks for later!

Events

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Florist display at the Event Planner Expo

Event Planner Expo – a friend and I scored free admission to the annual Event Planner Expo where we enjoyed a night of giveaways, tasty treats from caterers and learned about different event venues throughout the city, vendors, and other fun elements of events (an illusionist, anyone?)

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Pumpkins and colorful corn available at Silverman’s Farm.

Fall Festival at Silverman’s Farm – a day trip to Connecticut landed us at Silverman’s where they were having a huge festival. Although there were no more apples to pick, you could still take a hay ride. There were food vendors, pumpkins for sale, and lots of tasty treats in the farm store. We bought some tasty spiced peaches, a bag of apples, some fig jam and cider donuts.

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Turrell’s The Meeting where we shared a few moments of silence and reflection with the tour group.

MoMA PS1 – I have been to the Manhattan MoMA so many times but had never made it to PS1! We went on a free day and caught up with a group tour to get the inside scoop on the artwork. I prefer the regular MoMA, but Turrell’s “The Meeting” makes it worth the trip. An room with the ceiling cut open to reveal an unobstructed view of the sky almost seems like an optical illusion, but it’s not? I would like to go back when there are more exhibits happening.

Sculpture Center – Not too far from MoMA PS1, the Sculpture Center contained a small gallery of more modern art. Don’t forget to venture down into the basement!

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The lobby at the Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image – This had been on my list for a while and FINALLY found myself in Long Island City one Friday evening (a admission free night!). The Jim Henson exhibit was very cool and we spent so much time checking it out that we didn’t get to see the rest of their permanent collection – which means we will be back!

American Museum of Natural History – my husband and I spent one cold afternoon on the Upper West Side, which resulted in a quick stop into the museum to warm up. Since most times I’ve been to the museum, I’ve gone to see the dinosaurs, we decided to check out the Mexico and Central America exhibit on the second floor. It reminded us just a tiny bit of the amazing museums we saw in Mexico City, although some of the larger items were just replicas. I’d like to go back to see more of that floor, especially the “Hall of Asian Peoples.” Maybe next fall when the Hall of Minerals and Gems is reopened!

Books

Dracula (audiobook), Bram Stoker – The book club I’m in always chooses a spooky book for Halloween and this year it was the classic, Dracula. Some of the book was downright scary but a lot of it made me wonder: Had Bram Stoker actually met or spoken with a real woman? I’m not so sure. I bet this was a real shocker for the time. I also watched both the English and Spanish versions of the 1931 movie, which did not do the book justice, totally mixed up all the characters and plot to the point where it was basically unknowable and the 1992 Coppola version which was truer to the plot but added so much more unnecessary scenes and elements. There are so many other versions – which one should I check out next?

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The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde

History of Bees, Maja Lunde – Lunde traces the past/present/future of beekeeping and the bees impact on the planet, which is incredible and should not be taken for granted. She then extrapolates what happens when the bees disappear, and its global effect. Meanwhile, the reader is transported between different times, countries, and cultures and the struggles of family, acceptance, hope, worth, love… definitely worth the accolades and worth picking up.

Severance, Ling Ma – I must be on some dystopian streak, as Severance and History of Bees as well as one of my favorites, Station Eleven, both imagine a future world where society has been utterly changed, whether by a flu, disappearance of a very important lifeform, or a fever. In Severence, Candace is one of the few survivors after “Shen Fever” tears across the planet. The book explores her relationships with her family, her struggles in her career and identity as an immigrant all in one! Classified as black humor, she decides to stay on at her publishing company, alone in NYC after most have passed away from Shen Fever. The ‘fevered’ don’t die but instead live, their bodies deteriorating as they continue to carry out repetitive tasks, like folding shirts at department stores, drinking rotting juice while reading a novel, driving a car, or typing away at their desk. She teams up with a band of survivors who are heading towards salvation in a distant city. This was a fun read and also makes you question everything!

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, Sarah Knight – a fun and good read. The premise of 4-Hour Work Week with less of the bullsh*t. She argues that you can only give so man f*cks and that you should prioritize what matters most to you and care greatly about those things.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson – similar to the above, but with less cursing. I’ve bene reading Manson’s blog for years, and his writing is like a big slap in the face for you to wake up and start thinking about life in real terms without the rose colored glasses. However this book was just like reading blog post after blog post, which is too much, so I probably should have read it slower. I do recommend this book, but I wouldn’t read this right after reading another similar book such as the above, so I suggest spacing them out.

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The Seas, by Samantha Hunt

The Seas, Samantha Hunt – to be honest I was first drawn to this book by the cover at the same bookstore I saw Severance, and then discovered it was a new edition of her debut novel first published in 2004. A girl lives in a small coastal town, waiting for her (dead?) father to return, while in love with Jude, a war veteran. Her story spirals as she is caught up in her own mind and within the infatuation she has with Jude. Highly praised but not for everyone. If you like ‘magical realism’ with a dose of heartbreak, check it out.

What did you enjoy last month? Feel free to leave book suggestions, tips on restaurants and more in the comments!

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