Romantic New York City, take THREE

Here’s the thing about romance—it doesn’t really matter what you do. It matters who you do it with; and so, really, anything can be romantic if you’re with the right person. That being said, I suppose there are things which, with the right person, are more or less romantic. And I suppose there are things that EVEN if you’re with the wrong person, you can see how it’s possible that it COULD be romantic. (Jesus, there I go again.)

Meanwhile, I’ve FINALLY moved into my apartment in Spanish Harlem which is pretty sweet (I mean, considering the fact that my room is the size of an ice box and it’s got fake walls) and I started my temp stint as a paralegal. They’ve been working me pretty hard, (like sometimes til midnight—is that allowed?), but I’ve still found time to explore the great New York, New York.

More romantic ideas:

6. Orchard Beach, in Bronx, NY, is the only beach in the Bronx, located on the Long Island Sound, comes complete with volleyball courts, a boardwalk, and a band shell. Just so happens that the NY Times just came out with an article about Orchard Beach memories—Orchard Beach Journal; Slice of the Riviera, With a Familiar Bronx Twist.
7. Orient Beach State Park, in Orient, NY, is on Gardiner’s Bay where you can go swimming, fishing and kayaking. Nearby there’s hiking and biking along forest trails. It’s a few hours from New York City, but makes for a fantastic day trip.
8. American Museum of Natural History, in New York, NY, is one of my most favorite places on Earth. I love all the animal exhibits. Right now they have an exhibit on horses which is just breathtaking.
9. Hayden Planetarium – while you’re at the American Museum of Natural History, make sure you experience some romance under the stars at the Hayden Planetarium. I think this is one of those things where even if you’re not with the right person, you can sense the romance in the air. Beautiful shows.

Ok, gotta get some sleep. I hope you get a chance to experience romantic New York City!
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Romantic New York City, part II

I figure I should start with this: New York is a romantic city. And I’m not just talking about the Marriott Marquis and the Empire State Building. Here are some more creative, romantic ideas:

  1. Besides for the above, I recommend taking the MTA #7 Train. It travels out of Manhattan and through Queens through different ethnic neighborhoods. Go hungry and get on and off the train, sampling different cuisines as you go. It’s a fun, romantic excursion, giving you a chance to spend quality time together as well as distractions around you (if you need to fall back on them during your date).
  2. The Chelsea Market is another unique date place, and with the smells of fresh baked cookies and gourmet foods all around, you’ll never want to leave. The National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) was established in this area in the 1890s and the Oreo cookie factory is now a block-sized market with food, flowers, art, and shows. We went the other day and sampled some delicious samosas and had fresh squeezed OJ. yum yum.
  3. Another unique hot spot is the Jazz Museum in Harlem. There’s something about Jazz history that I find romantic. The Harlem Renaissance, Duke Ellington, African American culture—I find it all beautiful. And Matthew’s grandfather played with Willie Smith and Matthew grew up in the Afro American music scene, so he’s particularly passionate about this museum and the whole subject in general.
  4. Coney Island Boardwalk, Brighton Beach, and the New York Aquarium. Matthew planned those other days, but this one was on me. My dad grew up in Brooklyn so I know these places by heart. We spent the whole day (a Sunday, since believe it or not, Matthew actually works) walking around, eating cotton candy, and relaxing on the beach.
  5. Top of the Rock – Rockefeller Center Observation Deck. Ok, so maybe it’s just as cheesy as the Empire State Building, but it’s a little more unique. Also, once you’re in Rockefeller Center you can also do the NBC Studio Tour. (Go 30Rock!) Put all those things together and you’ve got yourself a romantic outing!

So there you have it. I can be happy and in love and I can give practical advice! Who would’ve thought!

P.S. For a great list of free things going on in NYC, check this out


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Romantic New York City

Where did I last leave you? I feel like I haven’t written in ages, and in that time, so much has happened! I’m back in New Jersey for just another week, but somehow it’s really not so bad—especially since I’ve spent most of my days (and nights 🙂 ) up in the Bronx (much to my parents’ chagrin). We went to the Guggenheim Museum, which was pretty funky, and then to the Central Park Zoo because I love zoos and it was so GORGEOUS outside and romantic. I love New York and can’t wait to have this park be my back yard! I’ll be in Spanish Harlem which seems like an awesome neighborhood—I’m moving into an apartment with two acquaintances—I was told maybe it wasn’t so smart to live with best friends, but it just so happens that 2 of my best friends live on my same street but cross town, so it’s an easy walk or bus ride. I’ve been studying maps and trying to learn more about the geography of NYC.

Matthew knows so much about NYC, what’s free, when and where, but also all of the newest bars and clubs and somehow he gets himself (and me) in. Seriously, I’m pulling clothes from my freshman and sophomore years of college when I used to dress up to party (I kinda chilled as parties got repetitive) –thank god I still fit in them. But I’m just having so much fun.

Yesterday we went to Zabars and then sat in Central Park for hours and hours with yummy food and blankets and books. I was wearing a silly looking floppy hat and huge sunglasses and ….am I boring you? I feel like I’m transmitting useful info about my whereabouts, but maybe it’s coming off as puppy love babble to you. I’ll write more later when I’ve organized my thoughts.


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I feel pretty! Oh, so pretty!

Matthew (I always thought that was a sexy, solid name) and I spent like every second of every day together for the last week while I was in Miami. He even drove with me to Fort Myers Beach for 2 days so I could spend some time with Julie. I actually hadn’t even realized my luck – the family that Julie was nannying for had gone away for the week (to Amelia Island which is near my grandmother’s Jacksonville home, so I’ve been there a bunch of times, but that’s unrelated) leaving Julie (and us and like 4 other really cool people) their awesome beach front house and a kitchen stocked with food. (I wouldn’t ever ever ever want to be a nanny, but putting the day job aside, Julie’s got in made.) So Fort Myers was fun, needless to say—I felt like it was spring break all over again.

So don’t laugh at me, but I’ve been walking around in a blissful daze all week. I introduced Matthew to my grandmother immediately which is not something I EVER do. I think the last time my family knew one of my boyfriends (!) I was in like 7th grade.

The best part about this is that when I sit down to write about this, it all comes gushing out like a babbling brook, but in reality, I’ve been pretty breezy about this.

The remaining days were spent shopping at Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall (a monster of a mall that’s shaped like a crocodile) and hanging out on Hollywood Beach. I have such a gorgeous tan and I am so ready to head back up north (I leave tomorrow morning) and move to NYC. It’s really soon! Just one more month to kill…

Matthew and I already said goodbye so I can spend the evening with Granny, and he’s still down here for one more week. Apparently he had two conferences (in physical therapy) in Miami two weeks apart from each other so decided to make a vacation of it. But then he’ll be back in NYC and we’ve already made plans to go to the Guggenheim Museum (he was shocked that I’d never been there and said we had to fix that right away).


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Miami and Matthew

I’m in love. I know all my friends who are reading this are gagging and rolling their eyes, but seriously! Oh my god, I LOVE SOUTH BEACH! Let me start at the beginning.

So my grandmother is cool, I’m sure you’ve caught onto that. She’s pretty young for a grandmother and is hip and pretty with it, which is one reason why I love visiting her so much. But in one way she really is an old lady (sorry, granny) – she goes to sleep freakin’ early, like 8:00 and wakes up at like 2 in the morning, which just doesn’t make any sense to me. And since I came to Miami so that I wouldn’t sit around and waste the day and night away in front of the TV, I decided after a day of shopping at Aventura Mall and walking around the Miami Seaquarium, that I would not call it a night, but rather climb out of my little box and go a little wild.

I drove down to South Beach and sat myself down at a gorgeous art deco outdoor café (see how wild I can get?) on the promenade with a stack of magazines that I was going to pretend to read – you don’t want to pretend to read a book b/c then people might think you’re too engrossed in what you’re doing and don’t want to be interrupted. So, I was sitting, sipping my latte, scanning my literature, and looking, I might add, particularly hot. See and be seen, right?

I know I sound like a babbling fairy tale, but this seriously happened to me! A gorgeous man came up to me and asked if I was waiting for someone. I thought he just wanted to take the chair so I said, “no, go ahead,” motioning to the chair, and he said, “thanks, I’d love to,” and sat down.

And the rest is history, as they say—that applies to one day old history, too, right? We chatted all night, like really talked. We didn’t even move from that spot, except for a roundabout walk to my car, where he dropped me off and made me promise to answer my phone when he called me the next day, which he already has done.

Not to get too much into my personal life, but let’s just say that this is generally not the way I meet guys. Like in college (which was just like last week, so please don’t let me start talking as though it were thirty years ago) I’d go to a party, get drunk, and then end up making out with some random loser. This was so different, so…REAL. He seems like such a good guy.

And I haven’t even told you the best part yet. He actually lives in NYC, right around the corner from Wave Hill in the Bronx. That’s like 100 blocks from where I’ll be living in a month! Ahhh. So we’re going out tonight (after 8pm of course) to some place he knows on the Fort Lauderdale Beach.

I hope he doesn’t read this. Yikes.
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Verdict is up: NJ is NOT the armpit of America!

I’ve been traveling all over lately that if finally just feels good to stay at home for a bit. My paralegal job is in the city and I’ll be sharing an apartment (if you can even call it that!) in the city, so I guess I should try and appreciate my parents’ large sprawling home while I’ve still got it.

People call New Jersey the “armpit of the U.S.” but somehow, how do I put this…I guess when it’s your own armpit, it’s really not that bad. In fact, I’d say NJ is the forearm of America, or wrist even. Whatever, drop the analogy—my point is the NJ is not so bad!

Anyways, I’m going on the road again, but this time, on the road to the malls of New Jersey! Woohoo! I need to buy a TON of stuff to furnish my half of our apartment so I’m trading cars with my mom and taking her mini van all over the state to get the best deals. Not to brag or anything, but I happen to be a fantastic shopper… just one of my many talents! 

I already went to Monmouth Mall since it’s the one right by my house. I sometimes just stop there to pick up lunch because they’ve got a Salad Works and I’m trying to lose a little weight so I can move to NYC thin (is that pathetic?). Anyways, to encourage myself I bought something at Jessica McClintock that pulls just the tiniest bit too much (is that dumb?).

Tonight I’m going over to Freehold Raceway Mall with some friends, mainly to check out the collection at Kirkland’s Home Furnishings, but I’m sure we’ll also pop into Forever 21 and Dead Sea Cosmetics…hello?…i’m moving to NYC, I gotta look good!

Tomorrow my mom and I and said friend (hi Carly!) are all are going to go to Ocean County Mall in Toms River. We figured we’d make a day of it and drive down to Point Pleasant Beach and then stop at the mall on our way back. We’re going to go canoeing on the Manasquan River and eat cheese fries (not good for diet)—I’ll make up for by getting a salad for lunch…Ocean County Mall has an Everything Yogurt & Salad Café.

I guess it’s not such an extensive tour, but 3 malls are probably adequate since I don’t actually need so much (though I like to pretend that I do).

Wish me good weather tomorrow!

The Traveling House

I’ve heard this all before from my brother. “Where are you going to sleep?” “How are you going to eat?” “What if you run out of money?” His questions are valid, but not important. My pack is ready. It has all I need–computer, maps, clothes, travel guide, water purifier. I just have to go out the front door and on the road–just to start would be an accomplishment. The door seems so far away–across the room, the world. My brother’s voice is starting up again as I write this. “What about the house? We have to take care of it. How am I going to take care of?” Our parents died, leaving us the house. Our house is old; a mix of stone and wood on James St. right on the banks of the Walkill River in Rosendale, NY. I’m trying to think of something to say to my brother as a car on the street outside honks. “I’m taking the house with me,” I say.

“What?”

“It’s the traveling house. It traveling in me, bro.”

“What are you talking about?”

I’m getting up in a moment. I’m ready to leave. I am the house and the house is me. Its memories are my memories. Its life has been mine and now we are leaving. Going on the road–where I’ve always wanted to be. I know my brother will be okay. He has always been tough.

The door seems closer now, beckoning me, calling me. Outside the world is open and colorful with the changing leaves of the trees of the North Eastern Autumn. Reds, oranges, and browns are waiting for me to walk by, so what am I waiting for?