Lens on July 2019

A very eventful summer is drawing to a close… here’s a bit belated recap of July!

Restaurants

Mostly good experiences upstate and in the city.

Garden Cafe (Woodstock) – had a tasty lunch here when upstate for the July 4 weekend. If I remember correctly I ordered something small and then tried everyone else’s food, and we still had some to take home with us.

Catskill Mountain Pizza (Woodstock) – surprisingly really good pizza for upstate New York! We ordered pizzas with lots of yummy toppings, as there was a lot to choose from.

A shopper at the Arthur Avenue market, which was cool at first glance but we didn’t find anything we wanted to buy.

Antonio’s Trattorio (Bronx) – My husband and I went to explore Arthur Avenue in search of fresh mozzarella and ate a delicious lunch at Antonio’s. We were greeted with singing at the door- the staff was in quite the good mood, and had a really wonderful meal!

Dear Mama Coffee (East Harlem) – one of the few ‘real’ coffee shops in East Harlem, offering hot and cold beverages, pastries, and sandwiches. There were plenty of people with their laptops doing work as well.

Panna 2 (East Village) – Cash only, BYOB Indian restaurant. New Yorkers may know it as the “one with the lights”. The walls and ceilings are covered in Christmas lights and that’s really where the fun stopped… The food was fine but since my party ordered mostly appetizers instead of full meals (read: smaller bill = smaller tip for servers) the staff was rushing us out, trying to take away plates with food still on it that we were clearly still eating. I definitely won’t be going back as it was not a fun experience, and would not recommend this place. It was memorable in the bad way!

Ginza (Upper East Side) – excellent Japanese restaurant. Fresh tasting food, good service, would return (and/or order takeout!) I ordered a tofu dish that was excellently prepared with vegetables on the side.

Events

Mostly getting out of town!!!

The Bacchae – this may be year 7 of my going to the Classical Theatre of Harlem‘s summer performances at Marcus Garvey Park, I’m a huge fan of this company, but I haven’t loved the past few years’ break from Shakespeare. I was not familiar with the Greek tragedy the Bacchae, and even after seeing their modern-rock-concert rendition of it, I can’t say I am now either. I wish they’d go back to Shakespeare plays!!! But that won’t stop me from attending next years’ performance, whatever it is.

A respite from the heat in the Catskills.

Trip to the Catskills – my family planned a July 4 weekend trip up near Woodstock and we had a lovely time relaxing at the rented house, hanging out by a river, and mostly cooking in the house. It was much needed!

Musee d’Orsay on one of the hottest days during my trip. Everyone was camped out in the air-conditioned halls.

France – I was in France for about 10 days during the July heatwave, I have so much to write about! So many beautiful sights, so many croissants, and sooo many miles walked.

Listening/Watching/Reading

Some media goodness in July.

I’ve been loving the Good Life Project podcast where Jonathan Fields interviews some of the great minds of today with really REAL conversations. This podcast has been on for a while and there are plenty of backlog episodes to get through.

With my trip to France in mind I watched two movies in French: Lady J, which at first seemed like a sappy love story but slowly became very engaging and had me laughing out loud at points. Madame de la Pommeraye seeks revenge on her former lover, the Marquis, by trying to make him fall in love with a beautifully graceful girl (who secretly was a sex worker). The cattiness and the ending made this movie absolutely worthwhile, as well as the beautiful costumes and scenery.

Second, I watched Je ne suis pas un homme facile (I Am Not An Easy Man), which had me laugh-crying. One of my favorite movies I’ve seen recently – Damian, a chauvinist finds himself in a society where all gender roles are reversed and tries to get by while seducing his equal, Alexandra, a popular writer. The ending was absolutely devastating!!! Wake up sheeple! I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie for weeks.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!

With al the my travels I read one measly book in July, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and also watched the movie. I recommend doing both as you get a better sense of the characters through the book, but the movie has such beautiful scenery and acting. It also had some of the great actresses from Downton Abbey! At first the correspondence format of the book threw me off, but it picked up the pace and kept me engaged through the end.

Low Buy Update

We can officially say my Low Buy is dead, but for the sake of consistency I would like to finish out the year with my updates. During my July trips I finished lots of minis, but I picked up way more goodies in France, including a shampoo bar from a zero waste shop. I had my eye on Yves Rocher products (and way more affordable Caudalie items), but was limited in liquids I could take back in my carry-on luggage. I also bought some tea and scarves abroad as additional souvenirs. And stateside, one Target beauty box, and a few summer-light ‘paperbag’ pants from H&M pre-travel which were perfect for hot-weather trips! And of course a Bath and Body Works mist I got during a $4.95 fragrance mist sale.

On to the next month! Did any of you get stuck in some heat waves? How was your summer so far?

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