Lens on August 2019

I’m finally catching up on the last bits of summer, now that it’s getting cold. August was the final hurrah before the rush of September and colder temperatures: enjoying being outside, summer concerts and performances, and eating tasty treats.


Some new favorites in Manhattan.

Pappardella (Upper West Side) – met a friend here for a tasty Italian meal. Great service and a family meal feeling.

Delicious cheese fries and shakes!

Harlem Shake (Harlem) – This has been my summer go-to place in central Harlem, good food with a fun vibe. I had a chocolate shake plus cheese fries – what more could you want???

Vanderbilt Hall (Midtown) – a new food hall near Grand Central. This was the second time I ate here, got a Shrimp Po’ Boy from one of the stalls.

Bonjour Crepes and Wine (Upper East Side) – Delicious crepes served at a cozy corner location on Lexington Avenue. Amazing menu selection. Gluten free crepes available!

So many good things at Santiagos!

Santiago’s Beer Garden (East Harlem) – a new beer garden that opened up within the past year, serving traditional Dominican cuisine that’s some of the best we’ve had in the neighborhood! And the beautiful outdoor patio space is perfectly lovely.

The patio at Santiago’s.

Nocciola (East Harlem) – I’ve been walking by this place for 3 years and finally had dinner there. Service is good, food is delicious and they make the pasta there! The also have (packaged) gluten free pasta available.

Wild (West Village) – A completely gluten free restaurant downtown with sidewalk seating. The truffle pasta was incredible! Unfortunately, another time I went, they were out of their specialty pasta, didn’t tell us, and then tried to serve some im-pasta substitute which was AWFUL and we had to send it back. I’m not sure if I’ll go back given that experience.


Just squeezing out the last bit of summer!

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival – a great Summerstage weekend production. It was a full house when we went on Friday night – we saw Mwenso and the Shakes who put on a party show. Looking forward to next year!

A car-free stroll down Park Avenue.

Summer Streets – each summer, DOT closes off Park Avenue and makes it completely Car Free!! My husband and I walked from the Upper East Side down to Union Square.

Hudson River Park – my husband and I spent a nice afternoon relaxing here and people watching, while enjoying the river breezes.

Jetskis off Pier 13 in Hoboken.

Pier 13 Hoboken – my husband and I took a day trip out to New Jersey to go jetskiing on the hudson and eat some vittles on Pier 13, where there is a rotating cast of food trucks. We got tacos and lobster rolls and banana ice cream. Our jetskiing adventure was mixed – the next day we were both pretty sore from the rough waters, but the views around the harbor are really incredible.

Coriolanus – I got tickets to see the Public Theater’s production of Coriolanus in Central Park. Not a favorite production I’ve seen there and I was not familiar with the play so didn’t get too much out of it.

Cape Cod – my husband and I rounded out August with a fun long weekend trip to the Cape, learn more about what to do in Cape Cod in my previous post!


Self-aware Queer Eye! GOSH I love this show so much. Not so many tear-jerking scenes like in the first seasons, but our loves are still serving up heaps of advice, real talk and life tips (while Bobby does his thang renovating ENTIRE HOUSES???) So good. Ready for Season 5, folks!

I’ve been enjoying 99% Invisible, one of my interns this summer recommended it and it’s really informative, interesting and well produced. Highly recommended!


To make up for all the books I didn’t read in July, I crammed it in during August with 5 books!

This is Marketing, Seth Godin – Always interesting to get some new idea nuggets from Seth Godin. His latest book will be relevant for those in the marketing field or for entrepreneurs! For those without cash to spare, I suggest checking out his blog where you can pick up many ideas and musings as well.

Feast Your Eyes, Myla Goldberg – This book was surprisingly good! It was a little confusing to start but it all wrapped together at the end and I was invested in the characters. A photographer’s daughter reflects on her mother’s life and their complicated relationship through program notes at the mother’s posthumous photography show. The format started to bother me after a while, but it was an effective way to tell the story. The characters felt real in a predictable way and I loved the “vintage” NYC scenes. I also appreciated how Goldberg was able to describe photographs (that don’t exist) in a way you can understand them and move a story forward! 

Chloe Benjanim’s The Anatomy of Dreams

The Anatomy of Dreams, Chloe Benjamin – About a year ago I read Benjamin’s “The Immortalists” and loved it, so had been excited to read her first book! She mixed science, reality, and dreams all together, jumping back and forth through time as the story unfolded. The main character Sylvie falls in love with Gabe at their boarding high school and eventually start working in their headmaster’s lab. As they become increasingly involved in the research of lucid dreams, Sylvie’s own dreams become more real and the boundary between sleep and waking blurs, until she makes a startling discovery. The book was a foggy slow burn, culminating in her discovery, and in this day and age I had a lot of questions about consent in many forms. Definitely an interesting and can be a quick read. I liked the Immortalists better, so I really can’t wait to read more of this authors’ work!!!

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, Samantha Irby – a hilarious read through Irby’s life. Whoever told me to read this, thank you.Unexpected, laugh out loud, and completely awkward, I really connected with her in ways I wouldn’t have expected. A great lens into her life. Her relationship with her pet cat was so up and down but it really was a good metaphor for the way she looked at life and was able to make the best of it, and really to care for this hideous cat who made her life miserable.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Maurene Goo – a fun, cute, light read. Desi is prepping for senior success-college dreams, good grades-but also getting a boyfriend! She looks to her Korean dramas to hatch a plan to snag the boy of her dreams. If you are a fan of K Drama and/or liked To All The Boys I Loved Before, this is for you. Downsides: very similar to the aforementioned To All The Boys I Loved Before, it’s quite predictable, and definitely for the YA audience. But a fun escape from adult life.

Low Buy Update

Happily finished off some full-size items this month!

As I mentioned in the July update, my Low Buy is pretty dead but I am still going to provide updates through the end of the year. Who’s excited for my mega photo of all my beauty trash collected over 12 months?! I finished up a few full size items last month, and brought in mostly Bath and Body Works products. I also gave away a few items to some friends, so overall I think I came out ahead.

So many new things from my favorite store!!!

On to the next month! Who’s ready for fall?

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