A walk through NYC

People-watching, eating, and walking – my favorite things to do when out in a new place. I got to part-take in all three activities on my first day visiting a friend in NYC.

We grabbed a delicious brunch at Barbounia in Manhattan.

Spinach omelet

Spinach omelet

Watched a game of street-polo and families with young children in local parks.

20150419_150134

Grabbed snacks in Chinatown.

20150419_151754

Almond milk bubble tea and red bean bun. Yum!

Saw some great architecture.

20150419_155843 20150419_160612

Traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, where I swear we passed Sandra Bullock and I ran into an old acquaintance who had moved into the city in the past year.

20150419_162448 20150419_163111

And grabbed a Mexican dinner in Brooklyn.

20150419_174903

Empanadas and a grilled avocado

Had we not been worn out by all the walking and if there had been better weather, we would have wandered deeper into Brooklyn to watch the sunset at Prospect Park. Even without that final adventure, we had quite an ambitious day of touring the city. On to more adventures tomorrow!

Advertisements

Race Day!

It finally came: the BAA 5K! I’d been anticipating this event since the summer when I started running on a regular basis. I fell off my routine in the fall semester, but picked it up again in January, determined to be able to run in the race. I had to take a few breaks from running while training, with twisting my ankle due to pure clumsiness in February and getting sick from the combination of stress and little sleep over spring break. Nonetheless I was able to get back on track in order to have the stamina for running 3.1 miles!

Us runners enjoyed perfect weather conditions, a great crowd, and beautiful Boston scenery. I loved and felt empowered by the energy and excitement of all the runners, as well as the diversity in ages and running experience. The 5K, was well as the Marathon a couple days later, unite the city as one and remind us of the resilience we showed two years ago in dealing with the marathon attacks. This city doesn’t stop going!

I’m so proud of myself and my friends for completing the race. Looks like commitment to training paid off! Now I have a benchmark time (30:39) for me to beat next time I run!

After the race my friends and I enjoyed breakfast at the chocolate restaurant Max Brenner’s. Soon as I got home I plopped into bed and took a 5 hour nap! All that energy wore me off!

image

Pre-race selfie with friends!

image

Running towards the Citgo sign

image

Crossing the marathon finish line

image

White chocolate pecan apple french toast. Yum!

Sidenote: The day kept going for me with some swing dancing in the evening. It was one of my best nights of dancing! There was excellent music by the Solomon Douglas Heptet and a great, crowd as always.

Baseball, food, and friends

image

Tonight I got to play hostess again by having a few friends over to watch the Red Sox-Yankees game. I enjoy having the opportunity to have guests. Serving snacks to fuel conversation and laughter is always one of my favorite parts of hosting, thanks to my background in Polish hospitality. Aside from the food pictured above, a friend and her boyfriend (whom I met for the first time) contributed some unique, sweet snacks, such as green tea-flavored Kit-Kats and a tough, dried fruit, as well as pork and shrimp dumplings from a local Asian mart. We also had some wings from down the street for the first time. We didn’t quite have the most typical food for watching a baseball game, aside from some peanuts, but it was all still delicious!

We weren’t tuned in too much into the game, except for the times when either team scored and noting the fact that the game was going into extra innings. There were some great stories shared, plenty of references about my hometown Chicago with my friend’s boyfriend making numerous jokes about the city after his visit there a few months back, and even thoughts about starting a meet-up group for baking enthusiasts in our area. Unfortunately the company didn’t stay for the length of the game, as it stretched out into extra innings (and is still going on into the 14th inning as I write this post!). Nonetheless, the night was a great end to the week and a much needed evening of rest before diving into the work I have to accomplish over the weekend.

Appreciation for mornings

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making an effort to wake up earlier in the morning. This has given me the chance to settle into the day by taking time for reflection and prayer, as well as for pacing myself in getting everything together for the day. I’ve liked sacrificing the extra half hour or so of sleep in order to allow myself to ease into the day rather than having to rush out the door.

Waking up early benefited me yesterday by giving me the chance to get a head start on a weekly assignment that I would usually procrastinate. In addition, I got to leave my apartment early for my first class. In having some time to spare before walking into the classroom building, I took the opportunity to take in the warmer winter day (warm for Boston!) and the view of the snow, which has started to look nonthreatening with smaller mounds.

20150225_08132820150225_08133620150225_08151220150225_081506

Lately I’ve been feeling that I’ve been on the go a lot with little time to enjoy myself. Having that quiet moment yesterday morning allowed me to recollect myself and to quiet my stress and thoughts in order to take on the day ahead. I hope to continue to take advantage of the quietness and stillness of mornings.

Challenge: Consider a time of day that you find most relaxing. Mornings? Mid-day? Before you get to bed? Try to take at least a half hour to yourself during those times.