Brooklyn Bridge

I’ve been hiding underneath a rock for some time now and I’m finally resurfacing. Had such a great weekend with friends and family. Saturday, I braved the tourists and walked the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn and back. This is the second time I’ve walked the bridge and I got to say it’s totally  worth it. The sights, the sounds,  and the company, I encourage all my fellow New Yorkers to do it at least once.
  

5th Anniversary @ Maze

Andrew and I recently celebrated our fifth anniversary at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Maze, at The London hotel in the city. Andrew and I are big foodies and are a big fan of his British show, The F Word, so it seemed like a good place for us to check out.

The space was amazing with beautiful chandeliers at the bar and blue seating everywhere. I also loved the bathroom area, which is basically a corridor of  individual bathrooms that include your own personal sink with a great selection of lotions.

The food was also amazing. Yes it was small portions and it was expensive but I knew that going in. I truly enjoyed everything I ate and the portions were good enough for us to share. We got the foie gras, spicy shrimp toast and scallops for appetizers. The foie gras was a bit messy to eat and the shrimp toast wasn’t really spicy but we didn’t mind one bit, they were all delicious. Andrew got the NY strip steak and I got the branzino. We also tried the brussel sprouts and the wild mushroom sides. If I could’ve licked the brussel sprout plate, I probably would have. To top it off we got complimentary dessert because they had to move us to another table to accommodate another party. It wasn’t really a big deal since our plates were already cleared when they asked but I gladly ordered and finished the apple tart and the chocolate mouse.

We spent easily around $250 but I’m worth it =). I would absolutely go back and maybe hang out at the bar before enjoying my meal next time.

Figuring out what to get

Figuring out what to get

scallops, the foie gras and the shrimp toast

scallops, the foie gras and the shrimp toast

very excited for my branzino and brussel sprouts...

very excited for my branzino and brussel sprouts…

wine and dessert

wine and dessert

Taping of America’s Got Talent

I’m actually more of an X-Factor girl myself but when I heard about the opportunity to attend an audition for America’s Got Talent in Newark I couldn’t pass it up. I’ve been on shows before in college, I was on Total Request Live once and went to The Daily Show but never anything talent/contest related.

So the taping was at a performance art center in Newark and I was a little bit worried about transportation, turns out it was a piece of cake. Two $5 NJ Transit tickets to Newark at Penn Station and a 20 minute train ride later, boom Adrienne and I are in Newark. Adrienne’s friend Aileen picked us up from there but the center was pretty close to the NJ Transit station.

I must say getting in was pretty smooth, we were barely online for five minutes. We got our tickets, showed our bags and then headed to our seats. We unfortunately were in the third ring and probably won’t get any TV coverage but it was still fun. They had an Audience Manager/Producer that was pretty on point and kept everyone lively  practicing how to clap and cheer. One thing that I actually was pretty surprised about was how many kids were at the taping. The audience was definitely mixed but it just so happened the area that I was located in had a ton of kids, at least everyone was well behaved.

I had a great time with the girls even though there was a lot of waiting time but I must say no one really wowed me. They had about five singers, two comedians, three dancers, a psychic act and a magic show act. I really wanted to see a dog/dance act but that didn’t happen. Only a few got through to the next round….so there may or may not be a cool magician act or weird dance act going to the next round but those were my favorite ones =).

Here are some shots…

Adrienne, Me and Aileen talking a selfie

Adrienne, Me and Aileen taking a selfie

Waiting to be entertained

Waiting to be entertained

Enjoying the Golden Girls

Growing up I loved watching the Golden Girls. I mean I wasn’t the obvious target audience, being a kid and all, but I enjoyed it never the less. Blanche was my favorite, with Sophia being a close second. The friendship these women had and the story lines were heartfelt. Even as a kid I related to some aspect of it. For instance the relationship between Dorothy and Sophia reminded me of my relationship with my mother. Being that I’m an only child and my parents are separated, I always wondered how it would look like taking care of my parents and we bickered constantly. Also the crazy relationship with Dorothy and Stanley resembled my parents at times.

Anywho, I decided to go with my friend Adrienne to ‘The Unofficial Golden Girls Musical’ in early February. The plot was  absolutely ridiculous -Ricky Martin became their new neighbor and had crazy sex parties that the girls found disturbing- and the actors were in drag but it was hilarious.

Since it’s the ‘unofficial’ musical, all the names were changed. Blanche became Blanchet, Dorothy became Dorothea, Rose to Roz and Sophia to Sophie. Again the plot was absurd but they made all important ‘Golden Girl’ references and I applaud how these men got the mannerisms of these ladies down to a tee. They added a special sub plot about ‘Dorthea’ that I didn’t really enjoy but it was still fun.

The show itself was only $20 but you had to spend a minimum of $15 on drinks or food; which I didn’t mind. We sat closer to the stage and could see everything the only negative part was that I was right under their A/C system and was freezing. Don’t know why air conditioning was on in February but I had to cover myself with my coat.

Don’t have a picture to share and wouldn’t go again but it was a funny night of sh*t and giggles with Adrienne.

Off to the ballet…

I recently got the chance to enjoy a beautiful ballet at Lincoln Center.

I first heard about the experience through Urban Girl Squad, a social networking group for women, they had tickets to Swan Lake this past September. I took the opportunity to go since not everyone is into ballet and I was able to meet new people flying solo. I had such a great experience that once I saw another ballet opportunity they had planned, I signed up immediately. This time around I got to view three pieces choreographed by George Balanchine: Concerto Barocco, Kammermusik No. 2 and Who Cares?

The experience included a backstage tour, a Q&A with a dancer and seats to the show. I ran late so I missed the backstage tour but I didn’t feel so bad since I already got the backstage treatment when I saw Swan Lake. There really isn’t much to see, sure it was kinda cool to see the dancers warming up, but the best part was to walk the stage. I studied ballet up to high school so it was a powerful feeling being up on that stage, it made me miss performing.

I arrived in time to take part in the Q&A session with a dancer named Troy. He did a great job talking about the three pieces we were going to see and how different they each were. He also gave us tips on what to look out for (mostly formations, which happens to be great to see at my location, third ring) and answered all our questions. The big whammy everybody wanted to know was how he got into ballet. I think stories like that are especially interesting when you don’t expect people to do what they do and I was always fascinated on how men got into the industry. He apparently started on the path due to a love of tap.

After Q&A we were given binoculars as a parting gift and an option to purchase food for intermission in advance. The sweet bonus was we also got a coupon for a discount on food and drinks but guess who forgot to bring cash. Would you believe it, vendors only take cash and there is NO ATM in the building. Seriously WTF is up with that! I was starving and thirsty but couldn’t do anything because I had less than 5 minutes to get to my seat and the ATM was apparently blocks away. It’s totally my fault though, the squad warned me about the cash situation but I didn’t read the confirmation email properly.

I got to my seat and quickly made fast friends with the women sitting next to me. I used to be really scared of going places alone and starting conversations and talking to people but I think with age and experience I got over it. The performances were absolutely beautiful. I would describe Conceto Barocco as a traditional ballet piece but what made it special was how the dancers wove in and out of each other. There were also so many lovely formations that were made. I was glad to be up in third ring, I totally would have missed it if I had orchestra level seats. Kammermusik No. 2 was def. a bit modern. What I found very interesting with this one was that the dancers made very abrupt movements and used their heels. I’m sure it was choreographed this way but at times it felt like the dancers were off from one another. Troy mentioned that this particular piece was also heavy in percussion but I felt it was heavy on flute. I am not a musician so I have no idea. Who Cares? was very interesting. What I loved about it was that it was very whimsical. The dance was choreographed to be very Broadwayish and it def. was, including all the glitter. It was fun to see the movements the dancers made. My only criticism for the last piece, it was way to long. There were 16 songs and you can only take glitter for so long, other than that I thought it was fun.

Overall I had an amazing time. I’m proud that I went by myself and enjoyed myself. Although I did end up talking to my neighbor, I could have easily been by myself and I would have been fine. It has taken me awhile to be that comfortable though.

I obviously didn’t take any pictures of the performances but here are some pics of the night:

Private Q&A session with a dancer with my group

My view during the private group Q&A session with a dancer. Isn’t it haunting empty??

Troy giving us details on what we are going to see.

Troy giving us details on what we are going to see.

Me by a statue...sadly my photographer didn't know how to get it in the picture.

Me by a statue…sadly my photographer didn’t know how to get it in the picture LOL.

Street Artist JR did an amazing installation of the dancers on the lobby floor.

Street artist, JR did an amazing installation of the dancers on the lobby floor. How cool is that??  I totally would have laid down for a pic but I was in a dress.

In total I spent approx. $68 that night ($48 for the ticket and $20 for a cab), not bad for a ballet!

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

I first heard about the show through my boyfriend, Andrew. I got tickets to see Sleep No More in October and he mentioned a couple of interactive shows he heard of that would be great to attend, this show being one of them. I finally got tickets to see it with him and two of my friends, Adrienne and Christine, on a Friday night.

The show is actually inside a pop-up space with the best outdoor bathroom trailer I’ve been to so far :). The atmosphere is very dark, clubbish, with old school paintings everywhere to set the mood and show timeline of Russia in the 1800s. Seating is a combination of bar stools, tables and lounge tables. I paid for bar stools but once we got there, we were given a table, BONUS.

The show is based on the novel War and Peace, which I never read but overall I enjoyed my experience. It was very interactive, the performers dance and sing all around you. Due to our location, we always had a performer near us and  we also had a few sit at our table as part of the show. The performers and wait staff also do there best to try to get you to understand who is who.  I also like how they modernize the music and how they give you some what of a small summary to follow if you want via the program. It might have been too whimsical for Andrew but the ladies and I enjoyed it.

Here are some pictures:

Program...you'll need it

Program…you’ll need it

Atmospherics

Atmospherics

The Ladies

The Ladies

Ghostly painting

Ghostly paintings

Pricey food snacks

Pricey food snacks

I spent about $134 per ticket. We received some snacks (perogies, bread and pieces of vegetables and olives) but we bought a cheese and charcuterie plate, shrimp cocktail and plenty of drinks. Andrew, I believe, spent around $200 on us ladies.  I don’t regret my night trip to Moscow, it was quite entertaining,  but I’ll pass on the food and drinks next time.