Lens on September 2019

September was a whirlwind of a month. With two major events at work to prepare for, plus a number of personal commitments, I had little time to realize that the month was flying by.


Stuck mostly to the East Side this month!

The 128 Bar and Bistro (Upper East Side) – I had the pleasure of having lunch at the cafe in Society of Illustrators building. The cafe is open to the public and it’s reasonably priced, good food with great service. I shared a sandwich and beet salad, yum!

Supply House (Upper East Side) – bar/restaurant with industrial decor and what was a pretty odd playlist. The waitress recommended the fish tacos, but they were underwhelming. With so many other options in the neighborhood I likely wouldn’t go back to try my luck with other dishes.

Appetizer platter from Bedford Falls which included potato skins (we asked for no bacon), mozzerella sticks, onion rings, calamari and wings.

Bedford Falls (Upper East Side) – standard pub with plenty of different seating areas – bar, private rooms, back patio etc. My friends and I shared an appetizer platter and stuffed ourselves with greasy goodness.

Yura’s Blue Plate (East Harlem) – a favorite spot of East Harlem locals in a neighborhood that doesn’t have many sit down spots specifically for breakfast/lunch. Many restaurants cater more to the lunch/dinner crowd. This one has your options of omelettes, pancakes and other breakfast foods. We waited a while to be seated, and then another long while to get the food, so I wouldn’t come back in a rush but the food was incredible.

Gluten free and dairy free pastry, coffee, and donut at La Barrista.

La Barrista (East Harlem) – There’s a new coffee shop in East Harlem that is so new I can’t even find a website for it. It’s on 3rd Avenue between 117th and 118th Street, with the standard coffee fair plus a great selection of treats – with dairy free and gluten free options. Highly recommend, plus plenty of seating room in the back.

Vegetarian spicy ramen at Kuma Ani.

Kuma Ani (Albany) – on our way up to Vermont, my husband and I stopped for lunch in Albany at a ramen place. I mistakenly ordered it too spicy but was still satiated. I’d definitely go back if we were in the area again.

Rustic Roots (Shelburne, Vermont) – my husband and I shared a delicious breakfast here during our weekend in Vermont. Nice fresh tasting food, definitely what you’d consider a hearty country meal.


I can’t believe I did so much this month even with a busy work schedule.

Hercules – a winner from the Public Theater! Their Public Works performances are always amazing. This time they did a staged musical version of the Disney Hercules movie, the acting, singing and props were all larger than life (think immense giant puppets and sequined gods!)

A large four-pound owl at Raptor Fest.

Raptor Fest – NYC Parks hosted their annual birds of prey expo with a flight show, birds on display, and plenty of information from the Urban Park Rangers! It was very cool to see these large birds up close!

Chess in Central Park on an overcast day.

Chess-in-the-Park Rapid Open – Central Park is always bustling with events, since this was taking place the same day as Raptor Fest, my husband and I hopped on the downtown bus and checked out this well-organized festival with hundreds of people all playing chess. It was quite incredible to see everyone focused on their matches in such a beautiful setting.

Ran a 5K – I’ve been talking about this for a year, and although I had registered for three races, they were all canceled. I FINALLY registered for a race that went on as scheduled. I ran a little bit of it, mostly walked, but I finished!!! I was very proud of myself for having done it and for working towards this goal.

A cute sheepie at Shelburne Farm!

Weekend in Vermont – a family friend got married in Vermont near Burlington, so my husband and I made the trek to attend her wedding in a barn. The drive up there was BEAUTIFUL!!! We visited some farms while we were there including the picturesque Shelburne Farm which had livestock, a bakery, a cheese making area, and farm market store.


Surviving the Extremes, Kenneth Kamler, MD – this book was published in 2004 but was written as if Dr. Kamler had a 1960s mindset towards other cultures. I was fascinated by the medical knowledge he possessed and his experiences, but he fixated too much on the “other” people he met – whether he was spending time with indigenous people in a rainforest wide-eyed or using outdated terms for groups of African peoples, I had a hard time fully respecting him (or his editor???). He definitely is adaptable in terms of physical conditions but I didn’t see him fully adapting or respecting other cultures. I’m not an adventurous person myself in terms of extreme travel or trying to push any physical limits, and this definitely confirmed that. This was definitely a shock-you read and although problematic at times, I may pass it along to a friend who might enjoy (albeit with a warning!)

Gingerbread, Helen Oyeyemi – I really wanted to like this book, but I was super confused and it really dragged through with convoluted plots and undeterminable characters. UGH. I usually like ‘modern retellings of classics’, see below, but this one fell more into the magical realism with a hint of fairy tale and was not my scene. PASS!

Ayesha at Last, Uzma Jalaluddin – by far one of my favorite books this year! Defnitely a romantic Shakespeare Comedy / Jane Austen novel of mistaken identity, love interests, family obligations and betrayals… a fun and engaging read set in Canada between modern Muslim families.


I re-watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and it was still good the second time around. Marie Kondo is so calming and each family’s transformation is stunning!

I went to the movie theater for the first time in over a year to see the Downton Abbey movie. It’s a must for fans of the show, but I wouldn’t recommend it for newcomers. It’s mostly just snark for 2 hours – but much appreciated snark!

I’ve also been listening to African Giant by Burna Boy – start with On the Low, watch more and if you’re getting real into it try Anybody, one of his newer singles – but this version with a live orchestra to get a feel for his talent. If there’s been something stuck in my head chances it’s one of these tracks.

Low Buy Update

This month I did pretty well in terms of not buying beauty/cosmetics but I ordered a lot of clothes online during Labor Day weekend, and am pretty happy with my purchases – demonstrated by the fact that I have been wearing them!

I used up a few products this month, as I attempted a #sampleseptember and used up some of my stash of products in foil packets.

I didn’t buy much (yay!) and I was gifted a number of hotel toiletries from my mom, which I’ll definitely use up during any upcoming travels.

Here’s to a slightly more relaxing month in October! Hopefully will be getting into all things fall.

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