Coffee with a Mission

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Last last Sunday was the soft opening of the Long Island City-based COFFEED in Chelsea, Manhattan. Coffee nowadays has been the trend with shops popping up everywhere (even in random clothing stores!). But what made Coffeed so different for me was the inviting experience during the first 45 minutes of its opening, and their mission purpose.

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10 Things To Do During Lunar (Chinese) New Year

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To those who celebrate, Happy Lunar New Year! Wishing you lots of happiness, good health, and good fortune in this year of the ram / sheep / goat (yes, all 3 animals represent the zodiac for this year). Chinese New Year, more referred to as Lunar New Year since multiple cultures celebrate it, is the first day of a secular year whose months are coordinated by the cycles of the moon. This important holiday is celebrated all over the world in many ways and thanks to this new law, even NYC schools will be closed on this day every year!

Yesterday was the first day of the 15-day celebration and my husband and I just couldn’t wait to get outside despite the single digit weather! He has been celebrating this holiday in the streets since he was a kid and I had been learning the traditions from inside my home since my baby days in Miami. It is definitely a huge part of our lives! (Can you tell from the excitement of my husband’s face in this flashback photo?)

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Japanese BBQ- Grilled to your Liking

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Just last month, I got together with my colleagues and friends to try a restaurant that I had heard about in November. I have always been a fan of Korean and Japanese barbecue because of its individual pacing and the flavors in the marinades. Similar to the interaction of “hot potting,“ it is another great way of getting together with your friends and family to cook your own foods. This time, you cook marinated bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables on gridirons for a couple of minutes and take them to your own plate for sauce dipping and eating.

This restaurant I’m referring to is the only Japanese barbecue restaurant in New York City that I’ve been to, and it’s worth sharing about because I loved the service.

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AUTUMN

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I can name so many reasons why it’s on the top of my list. Besides my birthday falling on Autumn and me being free from allergies, it also has one of the most beautiful opportunities to capture color on camera. On Saturday, I finally had the time to go upstate to see foliage. Though prime season was really two weekends ago, I caught a couple of areas with some trees that were still colorful. It was simply breathtaking!  My friends and I drove up to Bear Mountain State Park where Oktoberfest was actually taking place in its last weekend of festivities.  We didn’t really attend the festivities but instead took the time to do some photography and hiking. The pictures speaks volumes about what you might find there. We only went to the lake area for this trip, but I’m sure there are plenty of other areas with great views.  Got a suggestion? Send it right over! 

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Carnegie Fabrics Origami Event

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Last Wednesday, I was invited to a special origami event held by Carnegie Fabrics. Carnegie is a business that designs and manufactures textile. It’s pretty exciting to be in one of these beautiful offices as I don’t get that opportunity much while working as a teacher. I loved the feel as soon as I walked in – who wouldn’t be inspired by the creativity of the staff and the incredible pin boards surrounding the desks? By looking at their Pinterest page, I also discovered that some of their fabrics were inspired by origami, hence the special theme!

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See you at Central Perk Cafe!

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It’s finally here! Central Perk Cafe opened last week at 199 Lafayette Street in Soho, NYC. Probably one of the longest lines I had ever seen, but it was worth the wait just to experience the set of my favorite shows. Central Perk was the coffeehouse on the sitcom, Friends, where the 6 friends gathered on almost every episode. It’s also where Rachel served as a waitress for a while, where Phoebe performed her Smelly Cat debut, and where the socially awkward Gunther served coffee and had a crush on Rachel. 🙂

While you wait on line to get inside, you can smell the strong aroma of the free cups of coffee they serve. Without giving away TOO much of what’s offered, here are a couple glimpses into the cafe – hopefully, souvenirs won’t be sold out on the day you visit! 

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The 88th Annual Feast of San Gennaro is here!

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Every year, Little Italy hosts its annual San Gennaro festival where people all over the world come to participate in its festivities and feasts. The feast originally began in 1926 when newly arrived immigrants from Naples gathered on Mulberry Street to celebrate San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples. I didn’t really know nor appreciate it enough till I took the time to slowly explore and walk through it the last few years (and thank goodness I did!). Though quite pricey as fairs can be, it can be fun to go with friends or family and be a part of the celebration. So many restaurants put tents for you to enjoy their food and drinks, stores offer discounted items, and vendors serve traditional fair food such as funnel cakes, zeppoles, emonades, and Italian sausages.

Located along Mulberry Street in Little Italy, the feast continues until Sunday September 21st. Get your funnel cakes and cannolis now! 🙂

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Don’t miss your last chance!

This Saturday, August 16th, is the last day of Summer Streets!  With 7 miles blocked off exclusively for YOU from City Hall to 72nd Street, you can bike, walk, run, and make rest stops at different booths and vendors.  I have to say that for New York City to do this is huuuuuuuge!  We’re such a packed city, yet everyone is encouraged to get up and get moving!  So, during the first Summer Streets, I decided to wake up and check it out.  It’s quite fun if you go with someone!

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Bike & Roll  offers 50 free bikes at each of the 5 rest stops for riders to use. You just have to fill out some paperwork, put down a deposit, and you get one hour free to ride! 

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Foodies love Hudson Eats!

Are you a foodie? A foodie is someone who seeks new experiences rather than eating out of convenience or hunger. It’s hard to resist temptations of places with an appealing ambiance, a creative menu, or award plagues all over its tiny 200 square feet space. When you live in a city of incredible restaurants from hole-in-the-walls to fancy high-end restaurants, you can be torn with decisions of where to go.

Hence, my love for venues that have them all in ONE. 🙂  Smorgasburg, Plaza Hotel Food Hall, and Broadway Eats are great spots to try different food (beware: some are pop up for only a few months). This entry’s dedicated to the new, inspiring Hudson Eats over at Battery Park. With 14 award-winning eateries in one spot, something’s bound to call your name!

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A Night At the Museum… LIVE!

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(Photo Credit: Museum of Natural History website)

Champagne? 3 course meal? Sleeping bags under the huge whale?? If you have $375, sure, why not?  Sounds like a blast! The American Museum of Natural History will be hosting their first ADULT sleepover on August 1st. Sorry, Ben Stiller won’t be there this time BUT… there will be special presentations, adventures, music, and showings. You’ll even wake up to a nice breakfast snack!

Oh and don’t worry, it’s not a real camp for all you tech people.  Charging stations complimentary! 🙂  Sign up HERE.

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