Thursday, June 27, 2013

summer: playlist

It's hot here in New York.

Very hot.

But there are a few things that are getting me through this heat wave. A super powerful fan I bought two summers ago from Target. Air conditioned rehearsal halls. Frozen Thin Mints (my rule is that when you buy them in the spring they go right into the freezer and are not to be touched until June). And a rockin' summer playlist to accompany me from smelly subway car to crowded city streets and back again. Below is my list (made with the awesome A Beautiful Mess app!) of songs that are basically a requirement for jamming out this summer. Some are new songs, some are old (we should probably just give the Best Song Ever Award to "Ignition (Remix)" and call it a day), some are Top40 hits and some are local bands, but all are available on iTunes and pretty darn rad.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The miniest of micro vacations

Every once in a while, I get the luxury of going on a real vacation. I'm talking plane ride to exotic location, hotel shampoos, drinks with colorful straws for days on end. Unfortunately, scenarios like that don't happen very often for me. Maybe it's because I'm an American and we can't just seem to get this paid vacation thing figured out, but my days off are few and far between.

As a result, I've learned to find joy and renewal in what I like to call a micro vacation. Shorter than a mini vacay, a micro vacation is measured in hours, not days - but still has the requirements of a full vacation: travel to a new location, turn off your phone, and don't forget the sunscreen. The key to taking a micro vacation, though, is to know when to spot it. Planning in advance is fruitless - you'll end up spending more time figuring out what to do than you will on the actual vacation. Instead, a micro vacation shows itself, and it is your job to recognize and grasp the opportunity.

That happened to me today. I was chatting with some girlfriends over our morning coffee when some facts suddenly became clear: I and one of my friends both had the afternoon off AND we had access to a car. Two very rare occasions for people who live in New York City. First we considered spending the hot summer day at a nearby pool. Then we decided to go big - we were going to the beach.

In what seemed like only minutes later, she and I were clad in our finest bathing suits and heading straight for Rockaway Beach. If it was good enough for the Ramones, it would be good enough for us. Soon enough, we were sprawled out on our towels and soaking up the sun, Cheryl Crow-style (how many music references can I fit into one paragraph?). My inbox took an immediate backseat to running into the ocean, and even though I knew that I had to go to work later that day, I turned my brain off for the two hours that we were at the beach.

And you know what? It turns out that the world didn't end just because I waited to respond to an email. On the contrary, I was refreshed and rejuvenated when I arrived at work. I wasn't cranky on the phone with my boyfriend. I was actually excited when he told me we were having dinner with his parents this weekend. And that's all because I jumped at the chance to immerse myself in a micro vacation. The whole thing took less than four hours of my time - but added a week's worth of energy to my day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

365/Photo-a-day - June part 1

 daisies - 18th & b'way - singing for marriage equality - fluffy clouds - strawberries
sunset - rockefeller center statues - sunday brunch - teeny tiny cat - happy opening
more flowers - yoga - b'way stop - quiet saturday morning - found the before I die wall!

You guys. June is here! And it's pretty rad. (I've also been incorporating the word "rad" into the majority of my conversations). Finding explosions of color and fresh fruit in the union square green market, hanging with some giant stone statues at Rockefeller Center, enjoying long coffees with loved ones, and making friends with the tiniest kitten I've ever seen (don't worry mom, it was a co-workers, not mine) has made the past two weeks sooo necessarily relaxing and out-of-doors. And as I've come to not just realize, but fully understand, finding the inspiration to take a daily photograph is so much easier when the light is right, the weather is nice and I'm surrounded by delightfully exciting people

Summer of yes, y'all. Summer of yes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer of Yes

The beginning of summer always brings excited anticipation. Hopes of beach days, plans for road trips, dreams of outdoor BBQ's...but for some reason, this year I'm more excited than I usually am when looking down the barrel of a season full of smelly subway trains and un-airconditioned evenings. Maybe it's because I and most of my friends are staying in the city this summer (it's usually a headache-inducing battle of the schedules just to find a day when half of us are not out performing in some summer stock or another), maybe it's because I've actually taken the time to read the last few issues of Time Out and put some of the more awesome events into my calendar, or maybe it's just because I'm 29 and I'm determined to hold on to every last shred of my wild youth.

My friends and I have declared this the Summer of Yes. It's a a loose derivative of another friend's Week of Yes, in which she did not allow herself to turn down any social request for seven days (in hopes she'd land the man of her dreams, or something to that effect). Our Summer of Yes is much less restrictive. In fact, we haven't ventured too far beyond screaming it's name and raising our arms à la Steve Holt! every time we do something delightfully fun - but just putting a name to our experiences leaves us feeling hopeful, connected, and excited for the months to come.

This sumer, I eagerly await the chance to...

*Finally visit the Botanical Gardens
*See some friends shake their thang at Broadway Bares
*Don a swanky hat for the Jazz Age Lawn Party
*Barter for indie goods at the Brooklyn Flea
*Embrace the challenge of combining two apartments into (a) one (bedroom) with John
*Get back to baking
*And make some delicious summer pasta salads
*Watch this blog continue to grown and change into what I need it to be
*Relax at a lake house below the Mason-Dixon line
*Dip my feet into the ocean (and stimulate that economy!) at the Jersey Shore
*Save my pennies
*But window shop with complete abandon both on Amazon and on 5th Ave.
*Maybe actually buy something fun
*Or maybe not
*Work my way through my summer reading list (new Dan Brown, anyone??)
*Eat bagels. And more bagels.
*Sleep in when I can
*And embrace the quiet time I get when I wake up early
*Put on lipstick, in the middle of the day, for no good reason at all, just because I can.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

365/photo-a-day - May Wrap-Up

mmm coffee - signs of spring - citi field - memorial day love - the highline - sunny day popsicle public art - 59th street - green market veggies- urban shadows - omelet - flatiron building 
memorial day street fair - green market flowers - citi field - derby juleps - central park (x2)
soho graffiti - mckittrick hotel - levain bakery - fresh chamomile - go mets - so many flowers
dinnertime - rainy day - rainy night - more graffiti - monday yoga - delicious bagel 

Well. This month.


You probably thought I'd hung up my apron and given up blogging for good. Hell, even I thought for a minute there that work had completely taken over my life and I'd never get another post written. This site would lie there in the Internet graveyard, next to Friendster, Prodigy, and the You've Got Mail voiceover, never to be seen or read again.

In the past 30 days, I logged more hours at work than I have in a very. long. time. Day after day spent in a cold and dark theater, working the same transition over and over agin until every perfectionist in the house was satisfied, fixing a musical number until I heard it in my sleep, opening and closing curtains until I could do it blindfold. I grew very, very tired.

However, it wasn't all bad (and I'm not really complaining, gainful employment is never a bad thing!). In the precious moments I was able escape the theater and acknowledge the outside world, I had some pretty great times. Walking the High Line with an old friend. A Mets-Reds game. Spending time in a huge art installation in a public park. A most wonderful Memorial Day that started with yoga in the park and ended with backyard beers with friends as the sun went down. Remembering to literally stop and smell the flowers in the green market I get to pass on my way to work.

I strayed a bit from my photo-a-day rule during this time. Some days, there was just no opportunity to take a photo that I would be proud to show. I even tried once to take a picture of an interesting-looking doorknob that adorns one of the set pieces, but theater lighting is just not conducive to Instagram. So I instead used the times I made it out of doors to take multiple photos and then spread those out over the month. It doesn't quite hold up to my rules, but as I've been learning over this past half a year, it's ok to break your own rules.

May by the numbers:
Photos of the sky: 6
Photos of flowers: 6
Food photos: 6
Photos of my feet: only 1! (it was a light yoga month)
Photos with people: 3 (I'm getting better. It's not great, but better!)

365/Photo-a-day is a personal undertaking to capture one photograph per day in 2013. All photos were taken by me and processed with Instagram, Snapseed, and/or PhotoToaster. The images were compiled using Picture Collage Maker Lite. What to see my pics as they happen? Follow me - @maspad on Instagram!