Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Insanity

My world's been a bit on the insane, oh my goodness, o so busy side of things. Very exciting stuff... but in about a week, I should be able to sit down and reflect.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Atlantic Antics

On Sunday, I joined my fellow CERT members at our booth at Atlantic Antic. It is a street fair in Brooklyn. We spent the morning talking about how to get prepared for emergencies including creating a go bag, making a disaster plan, and assembling an emergency kit. It was a fun morning with the ladies:

Olga showed off some of the literature we have about getting prepared for emergencies that effect the city:

Ann discussed how to get the whole family ready, including children with this lady:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Restroom Break

Sometimes going to a public restroom can be a little inspiring:

Monday, September 27, 2010


I could barely believe it. Of course, at 5:30 it started raining. First, it was light, and shortly thereafter it was harder. I was glad that I had decided to take the subway in that morning. I wasn't feeling very well, and heard there might be rain during the ride time home. I thought best not to risk getting any sicker. My plan was to stop at the grocery en route home and pick up the necessary sicky items: emergency, tea, tomato soup, and grill cheese makings. And at 5:30 it started raining. Of course.

But then... the rain turned to hail, and I received a message from Notify New York for a tornado warning in Brooklyn for the next half hour. I figure it would be best to wait until the warning past, and avoid the tornado. Especially since the hail was getting bigger. Suddenly... the sky went BLACK. And then it went WHITE. And then the rain stopped. Upon exiting my work building, the trees in the courtyard were down:

After stopping for sicky supplies, I couldn't help but notice that there were fallen trees all the way home:

Just around the block from me, someone's roof was blown off:

Even my poor little trees didn't stand a chance against the wind:

Our courtyard was flooded:

And our rooftop was a mess:

For someone studying emergency management, it was such a trill to see all the effects of a tornado. I have never experienced one. I really cannot wait until I'm part of a team that works to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from these types of events.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thank You Gentlemen

It was a perfect New York evening. Ahem, a perfect Brooklyn evening. My day at the office had been a bit wonky, and mid-morning I was talking to Brett who mentioned that he might be going to Modest Mouse that evening with the boys. I was excited, but hesitant. The Modest Mouse shows I had seen in the past were awful. They were too drunk or too high to play anything. But on this evening, they were perfect. The weather was perfect. Just a slight breeze, and only a need for a light sweater. The beer was perfect. Brewed in Brooklyn, and just cold enough to savor against the dying of summer. The tacos were perfect. Juicy and spicy and enough chips and salsa for sharing. The company was perfect:

At this point, Brett is really annoyed that I have made him pose for about 20 photos, but that's the joy of the digital camera, you can know if its a good shot. Plus it was funny to have Luis trying to get in the middle:

Finally, the ride home was perfect.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Brett and I celebrated our three year anniversary!! This is quite the moment for both of us. Three years of putting up with one another. Three years of "figuring it out." Three years of happiness!

We went camping last year, and decided to give it another go this year. So, we looked up the Metro North lines, and found a campsite near the Cold Spring stop. We packed up our bikes with the necessary supplies (tent, sleeping bags, box o wine) and rode up to Grand Central to catch the train.

We opted to stay at the campsite eight miles away from the train station believing there would be less traffic. What we didn't look at was the terrain, and upon arrival realized that it was eight miles straight up. Well, I'll be gosh darned if we were going to be deterred. After all, we had some amazing veggie burgers to eat for dinner, plus the box o wine. So up we went. And up. And up some more. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done physically. We would bike until we couldn't pedal anymore because of the steepness of the hill and push our loads up. Brett took some pictures of this, so hopefully I can share those later.

We biked. We pushed. We biked. We sat. We drank water. We biked. We pushed. Continue on repeat. It was one of those moments where I was truly grateful. He knew how to support me, and more importantly, I was able to let him be my support. My type-A personality pushed me on, but I really needed his help mentally. His words of encouragement made me know that I could get to the top, even if it took all day and night.

But 3 1/2 hours later...

WE ARRIVED!!!! After endless up, we got a downhill, and it let out into a beautiful view of a lake. We made it! We had camp set up before the sunset. And those veggie burgers were incredible!

The next day we picnicked at a nearby pond:

Sorry, I couldn't help it. It was only of my induglences for the food on our trip, and I thought it was rather perfect to have the "natural" chips in the truly natural setting.

The pond was created by the damming an old mine shaft.

It was so beautiful, and peaceful. We hiked around the pond. This picture reminds me of puzzles where you have the added challenge of two juxtaposed images:

Brett is quite the outdoors man, and walked around barefoot. Were it up to him, we would have hiked for miles and miles, but I really wanted a nice relaxing vacation.

However, the next day, we went on an eight mile hike up to Beaver Pond. There was no one at the pond when we arrived. Unfortunately, all I could think about was Piranha 3D, which I had seen the night before we left and imagined us as the opening couple that gets eaten by piranhas.

Brett loves fire. Not as much as I love fire. So together, we are fire lovers. On our final night, after Brett cooked our pasta on the campfire, we made it ginormous. A wonderfully perfect end to a relaxing, hike-filled weekend.

What was great throughout our climbing of the mountain, was that we would have the opportunity to ride down it. Now, the last time I rode down a mountain, on my 11th birthday, I broke my hip. So, I was not a big fan of the whole riding down the mountain very fast with a bike filled with gear. But.... it was fun!

I'm glad we went on this journey. I surprised myself with my ability to ride a bike up a mountain, and more importantly, to ride it down. I think the true feat is that I rode up the mountain without complaining. This is why I'm head over heels for this guy. He pushes me, and helps me, and loves me.

Socrates Sculpture Park

A couple of weekend ago, I helped Brett work on a sculpture at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. I like to think that my standing around and looking pretty was enough, but Brett kept putting tools in my hands.

A quick background: Brett's co-worker Scott received an emerging artist fellowship from the Socrates Sculpture Park. He wanted to work with wood palettes, the type that many products are shipped on. Unfortunately, Scott was in a terrible car accident. He was riding his bike and was hit by a car en route to work. Brett and his co-workers stepped in and helped bring Scott's vision to life.

On Sunday, we attended the opening for the show, and despite the rain, it was beautiful. The sculpture is a bar with chairs and a table. The front is covered in window frames:

Inside, Brett and Jeph hang out at the bar:

I know from my first attempt to bike to work, where I took a right nasty fall on the Manhattan bridge, that the biking community is really there for other bikers. It was really nice to hear Brett talk about the commitment his work family, and the rest of Scott's friends showed when he needed some help.

The sculpture is really beautiful.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Formal Movie Night: The Expendables

What can I say? I love movies, and I love dressing up. Formal movie night began as a reason to wear all those fancy clothes that just sit in my closet waiting for a special occasion. Well, gosh darn it, I've found one! Formal Movie Night! Brett requested The Expendables. He's not usually a movie-going fan, but I'll go to just about anything if "Formal" is in the title.

Final verdict: I think the lack of Jean-Clause Van Damme and Steven Seagal made it hard to believe the throwback B-movie hero storyline.

The Office

So, this is how my Thursday went:

I came into the office focused on texting Brett when I looked over to see two of my co-workers staring at me. After asking "What?" a couple times, I sat down and began my day. Until out of no where, I faced my desk and saw my cubicle all decorated!!!

I wore the crown all day, including at meetings and enjoyed the compliments about my aging gracefully, and the new-found ability to drink *wink*wink*.

I seem to miss all the obvious "we're celebrating your birthday signs" because when I finished a meeting in my boss' office, I completely missed that everyone was gone from the area. I thought I was going to another impromptu meeting, when goodness me! Everyone was in the conference room with brownies!!! It was really wonderful to feel incredibly special, especially with the people I spend most of my weekdays with. I jumped up and down and squealed with delight!

I brought the balloons home to enjoy for the rest of birthday month, and Ody discovered the joy of them as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tandem Bike Riding

On my birthday, Brett and I went to Governor's Island to enjoy a tandem bike ride. It was perfect! After a wonderful brunch, we biked over to the Brooklyn terminal and hop aboard a ferry to Governor's Island. Brunch, Bikes, Boats, and Brett... the four Bs! We rented a tandem bike and rode around the island for an hour. I'll admit, I'm not entirely cruiser ready, and my butt hurt after the ride, but what fun! Besides the yelling of "Tandem Bike Riding" every five seconds, and the occasional flash from my dress riding too high from the wind, I think Brett enjoyed it too! It was strange to have to pedal in conjunction with someone else. I did enjoy just being along for the ride. Brett rode in the front (both due to size, and lack of fear), and my one moment in the front terrified me. The whole leaning and directing a bike built for two was not in my bag of tricks. I'm glad to say, that I'm committed. I've even got Brett to promise that when we're old, we can have a tandem bike.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lovely Ladies

Certainly, one of the best things in life is good friendships. On the last day of my 27th year, my friends Kelly and Suzie met me for dinner. Many laughs, serious nods, veggie burgers and a bottle of champagne later, I came to enjoy all the great choices and awkward decisions that brought me to this moment with two lovely ladies celebrating life. After dinner I asked them to join me on a quest to find flowers, champagne, strawberries, and balloons. The things I believe every woman needs to properly celebrate a birthday. We succeeded on the first two, and failed on the last two. This is a moment from our scavenger hunt:

It's always amazing to close out another year on planet earth. It was a struggle, and a success. I'm really looking forward to 28.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Frederick Law Olmsted

Last week, Robert and I saw the premiere of a documentary on Frederick Law Olmsted. He and his partner designed Central Park and Prospect Park. This premiere was in Prospect Park, which is one of my favorite places in all of New York City. Olmsted considered Prospect Park to be his masterpiece, and I have to say I agree completely! It is a perfect calm in the midst of the insanity of the city. I didn't know that Olmsted was really an original mitigation planner, as he incorporated the needs of the environment into his designs. He would often take into account the rising water during tides or heavy rains, and the need for land mitigation. He designed over a 100 parks around the world, and that means that many of the great cities on this planet have a park that helps negate some of the natural disasters. Thanks Mr. Olmsted!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Workin' Day & Night

The last few weeks I have been traveling for work. It was nice to get away from the city, and have some time on my own (well, and working 12-16 hour days). It did mean that I was away from Ody, Brett, and the extreme heat of July in New York City. It wasn't all bad. Charell and I did manage to find a moment here and there to sit down.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Friday

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first Summer Friday. I get a series of Fridays off to enjoy the fun of the city. Brett and I took this Friday to have an impromptu bike tour of Red Hook.

I've never explored Red Hook via bike, and it was lovely. En route we took a bike greenway.

As you can tell from this photo, New York greenways are a little different than in other cities. You might end up riding next to a giant orange truck.

Red hook was really lovely. It's difficult to get to via public transportation, so it's a wonderful secluded artist community. We stopped in the Red Hook Bait and Tackle to watch the World Cup.

Afterward, we decided to have a bicycle picnic. We stopped at Fairway and got picnic supplies including a bunch of berries.

We had lunch overlooking the Statue of Liberty. It was so beautiful, and we managed to get quite a spread from Fairway.

Brett has been working in Red Hook since he moved to Brooklyn, but it's never really been in my neck of the borough. I really like the area, and the people. I got a flat en route, and a buddy of Brett's provided us with a patch kit and some water to find the hole. Of course this would happen the one day I don't bring my bike kit, and Brett has no patches.

Red Hook is such a beautiful place, and everyone is very friendly.

As the LGRAB Summer Games comes to a close today, I thought this post which fulfills three tasks: ride a greenway, explore a new part of town, and have a bicycle picnic would be a wonderful way to end my time in this event.