Feeding My Obsessions: New York’s Best Bookstores

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It’s the last weekend of Christmas shopping and I’ve basically checked out of consumer culture.

Don’t expect much from me this holiday season, unless of course, it’s wine. Or books. From, y’know, the bookstore, not that Internet-commerce hydra, Amazon.

Because, try as you might to deny it, bookstores are cool, bro. Cliche, I know, loving bookstores, but! Their smells! And the quiet rustling sounds of spines cracking! Pages fluttering! Other readers breathing!

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My Cup Runneth Over

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This last month has been quite the doozy and frankly, I’ve been bad at Internet as a result of it. It’s hard to keep up with the blog when there’s so much to do IRL, but let’s give it the whole college try, eh?

November was a big month for work: lots of projects, lots of learning. But it was also a fun month of events and press trips. A cruise out to sea—I billed it as the world’s fanciest U-turn—kept me away from the office, while Virginia’s Eastern Shore treated me to waterway adventures in and around Chesapeake Bay, whereupon I ate all the oysters and clams. All o’ dem.

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For Public Consumption | Racing Thoughts

LJIZlzHgQ7WPSh5KVTCB_TypewriterEveryday around 5 PM, I can hear the trains rolling through Mt. Kisco from my desk.

The aggressive horn starts off in the distance, and I can’t help but look at my desk clock. The sound comes closer, and I pack my bag. The doppler’d noise goes off into the distance, and I’m getting into a cab, eagerly waiting for my own train to whisk me back to the city.

It’s a process that I neither hate nor love, but helps me mark the time nonetheless.

This week’s been a doozy, what with rain, ebola scares and terrible commutes, it’s all a guy can do to hold out until Friday. Since Monday, I’ve been expecting that train to remind me to go home, perking up to the sound, only to be roundly disappointed because I remembered yet another thing I had to do once I got back to the city. Another event, another friend to hang out with.

But now it’s Friday. Though I’ll be bartending tomorrow, I also have a relaxing weekend of adventures planned. I’m looking forward to head up to Beacon for art and Doctor Who-themed eating on Sunday, and then of course, Saturday is gonna be cray: I’M JUDGING A PUPPY COSTUME CONTEST. Let that sink in.

As I wait for the train to sound off and tell me to go home, I’m gonna practice for my role of a lifetime with a trip down the Buzzfeed hole. Have a great weekend! Continue reading

Photo Essay: Tasting Southold Farm + Cellar | North Fork, Long Island

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Sundays have become my day of adventure, apparently.

Bored with brunch and general city going-ons, Ian and I have taken to exploring the greater New York-area and its environs, in-depth. Sometimes, it’s as close as the Upper West Side, or Brooklyn. Other times, it’s gallivanting off to rural Pennsylvania for a lumberjack festival. This week, though, we took to Long Island to spend time with friends in the North Fork.

Naturally, there was plenty of wine. Continue reading

Brooklyn Victory Garden: All of the Cheese, Please

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A few weeks ago, on one of those fall Sundays that slap you in the face with fire-y leaves and clear skies, Ian took me on an adventure through the Upper West Side. Stately brownstones and single-family homes lined the shaded, narrow streets, while the sun peeked through the canopy of trees and cast an emerald-filtered shadow over the ground.  Continue reading

Rainy Autumn Playlist: Color | Drain

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By the time I got off the L in Bushwick this evening, the sky—which had threatened rain all day—released its wet freight.

Underground a mere minutes before I butted heads with meteorology, I had already decided to take the long route home, if only to be outside for a short while. I even wanted to go on a run, imagine that. Instead, I was stuck with a drizzly 12 minute door-to-subway-door jaunt. Sigh.

Then again, if the worst thing in the world during a light autumn rain is having to take off one’s glasses, well, there’s not really much to complain about.

Plus, over the course of my drizzle-stroll, I was able to decide three things: Continue reading

Visiting Gay Graves at Green-Wood Cemetery | Brooklyn

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“Anyone here know Bethesda Fountain?” Phil asks the gathered group of men (and one woman). “The statue is known as the Angel of the Waters, and its sculptor happens to be our first lesbian artist on the tour.”

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For Public Consumption | Seasonal Shift | End of Day Links

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Summer bums me out. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, everything smells and can I please just take a goddamn nap already? Everyone gets SAD during the winter, but between May and September, I’m pretty much the worst.

On an intellectual level, I understand why people love summer. The sun comes out en force and the world has shaken off spring allergies and any of its lingering greyness. Everything is so shiny! Carpe diem and stuff. Well, not for me.

Fall, though. Let’s talk about fall.

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My New Iced Coffee Fix

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On Saturday, I was stumbling around a gray Brooklyn, running around conducting errands. Just my luck, the skies decided to open up right as I exited the subway in Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill.

Mind you, I have about 20 umbrellas at home (just a rough count). Naturally, I didn’t bring one with me.

Sigh.

I decided I needed to feed my sweet tooth with chocolate, and luckily, I was across the street from Greene Grape, a well-known specialty grocer. I ducked into the shop for an impromptu mood-lifter and as I perused the shelves, came across this bottle of Grady’s Cold Brew, a “coffee concentrate.” Look at how pretty!

Woefully under-caffeinated and wet, with a shift at the bar an hour away, I bought a bottle and went back into the rain.

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Mixing It Up: Bartending

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“I like bars just after they open for the evening. When the air inside is still cool and clean and everything is shiny and the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if his tie is straight and his hair is smooth. I like the neat bottles on the bar back and the lovely shining glasses and the anticipation. I like to watch the man mix the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. I like to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar—that’s wonderful.”

—Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

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