Sunday, December 28, 2014

New it up in 2015!

WOW this blog had gotten dusty! Though I haven't touched it in an embarrassing two years, I have been keeping up with new thing-doing, and embracing life and seeking out new experiences and all that loveliness. I'm updating now mostly because this blog, like probably any goal-oriented blog or new-thing blog, gets a lot of hits around New Year's. I've recently had a huge uptick from the Czech Republic(ahoj!), thanks to a message board based there and dedicated to all things new and exciting. If you've found me through the Google and are wondering how to get started and what do do and what not to do and how to do it, I say to you: YAY! This is an incredibly exciting undertaking, whether you commit to doing something new every day, every week, or if you just want suggestions and ideas for little accomplishments that will take you out of your comfort zone.

While this isn't a complete list, here are a few more of the New York New Things I've accomplished since my last update:
Performed as a clown in the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Attended the Jazz-Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island
Saw Husband play sax in the Village Halloween Parade
Made sandwiches for Superstorm Sandy rescue workers
Sang in Avery Fisher Hall
Went to a surprise wedding
Performed at Madison Square Garden
Saw an outdoor movie on the Hudson River
Went to the Pumpkin Flotilla at Harlem Meers
Ice-skated on Wollman Rink
Hit a double in softball
Went to a same-sex wedding
Roasted marshmallows on NYC's only flame-o-phone
Ate bi bim bap in Korea Town
Went to New Yankee Stadium
Escorted the cast of On the Town in the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Made and ate dumplings from scratch
Went to a traditional Chinese wedding
Sang in Welsh at John Jay College
Saw Matilda the Musical on Broadway
Saw Alan Cumming star in Cabaret on Broadway
Saw The Country House on Broadway
Saw You Can't Take it With You on Broadway
Saw A Night With Janis Joplin on Broadway
Played Team Trivia in a bar (and won!)
Dressed in grayscale for Halloween (this will get its own post soon for people wanting to try this completely fabulous costume idea. Teaser photo below)
Saw actual Shakespeare in Shakespeare in the Park (twice!)

Best of luck to all the New Year's Resolvers out there who are looking to fill 2015 with newness! For support and ideas, please feel free to contact me at 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

In the New YORK: #10-14

In the New YORK: The Summer Round-Up Part 1!
So this whole "I'm doin' it for ME" element of this version of the project has accidentally resulted in secret new things: I'm doing them, but nobody knows! Turns out a lot of them had to do with theater. In fact, this installment of catch-up posts is only about theater, and future posts will be about something else. Hopefully things like cop ride-alongs, long walks along the subway tracks and sewer rat adoption. But seriously, when you're a Californian theater-nerd NYC transplant, The Great White Way is one of the city's biggest draws. So this new year-long project gave me an excuse to experience as much of it as possible.

#10: Saw Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. This is probably my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, and I hadn't heard some of the music in almost 20 years.
#11: Saw the limited-run play Magic/Bird on Broadway. An unlikely Broadway entry, it's about the friendship of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. I, and the disproportionate number of father/son pairs in the audience, actually really liked it.
#12: Saw Newsies: The Musical. Oddly enough, on Broadway! Cousin Cat and I had each been obsessed with the movie as tweens, and the stage version, with all its dancing, crazy talented men and new songs, did not disappoint.
#13: Saw Harvey on Broadway. Another play! This classic from the 1950s starred The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons as Elwood P. Down, whose best friend is a 6'4" imaginary rabbit, and Jessica "seriously, give this woman a Tony" Hecht as his nutty sister. I saw it with my husband and my BFF Joe the Giant Ostrich.
#14: Finally, finally finally got to see some Shakespeare in the Park! This summer's offerings were As You Like It and Into the Woods. Husband and I saw the latter, which is, yes, Sondheim and not Shakespeare, in the outdoor amphitheater, complete with a trees-and-castle backdrop in the middle of Central Park.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In the New YORK #9: Art of Dining

I often write/talk/blog/post/tweet about my love for museums, especially the amazing museums that are right in my NYC backyard (one even closer than others). By the end of this phase of my New Things journey, I want to hit at least 10 new museums. And I will, but there's no reason I can't enjoy some new features of the ones I've already been to. For that reason, and also because I was hungry, I went on a mini museum food tour. Cousin Cat has the inside track on tons of great NYC restaurants, including Untitled at The Whitney and The Modern at MoMA, both of which we hit in one day. Neither meal had much to do with fine art, which is perfectly acceptable. The incredible food speaks for itself, and too many reminders that we're actually in a museum would make the place seem thematic or cheesy. A few days after the Whitney/MoMA double whammy, Husband and I hit the Met Museum for a members-only showing of the Steins Collection, after which we hit the Petire Court cafe for breakfast with a view of Central Park to the west and the skylit entrance to the American Wing to the east. Out of all of these places, The Met was the only place we saw any art, which only means I have a reason to go back to the Whitney and the Moma! For the purposes of this blog, I will likely be wearing roller skates or riding a horse. So stay tuned.

Friday, May 18, 2012

In the New YORK #8: Fresh Faced

In what has been by far my girliest new thing (definitely in this round, but not necessarily including the original project), the fabulous Cat and I went to a Trish McEvoy makeup event at Bloomingdale's. First we sat through a charming mini-lecture, in which Trish herself demonstrated some little-known techniques (the "triangle of light" blew my mind) with the help of two assistants. Apparently I've been doing my makeup wrong all my life, but that stopped here! After the demo, the group was escorted into Trish's in-store studio, where a trained TM makeup goddess applied product to half the client's face, while the client had to try to re-create the look on the other half. Cat and I were sharing a makeup goddess, so makeup goddess couldn't pay as much attention to us individually. I think I did okay. I mean, I'm no makeup guru, and yeah, I have been using the same techniques since 7th grade (luckily the same cannot be said for my once sky-high bangs). But as a novice, using high-end products and tools for the first time, I think I did okay!

Full. What?

Friday, May 11, 2012

In the New YORK #7: Plane and Tall

 I totally did not, except when I was allowed to. You're welcome.

I can now officially say that I have experienced the first-class cabin on the Concorde, and except for the thing where it never left the ground and I saved $8,000, I'm pretty sure it was an authentic experience. Along with husband and my in-laws, I went to the Intrepid Museum. Even the pre-space shuttle Intrepid (the Enterprise arrives later this summer) is well worth the trip. The history of the place is pretty fantastic, and who doesn't love a bunch of old-timey planes? And yes, I recommend the Concorde tour, which includes seats in the first-class cabin, a frightening-for-tall people trip into the cockpit and a glimpse of  a typical menu, which puts even some 4-star Manhattan restaurants to shame. After that it was back to the flight deck to (distantly) inspect some well-preserved planes dating as far back as the 19teens, and inside the carrier for some interactive cool nerdy science exhibits.Then we donned our jetpacks and zoomed over Manhattan, because there really is no other way to leave an aircraft carrier.
Two San Diegans, one bigger than the other.

Friday, May 4, 2012

In the New YORK #6: MAD Woman

If Broadway is my favorite cultural thing about New York, museums are a close second, if not tied for first. I've hit many of them here, but not nearly enough of them. Last Sunday, husband and I went to the Museum of Art and Design. Located conveniently and inconspicuously at Columbus Circle, it's 5ish floors of modern design, each floor with a different theme. We started out on Necklace Floor, where we caught a glimpse of jewelry made out of oddities like gun triggers, safety pins, ceramic and pig intestine. From there we saw the Dirt floor, with a ballroom made of dust, a "dirts of New York" mosaic and a dude made of mud; Glass floor with innovative blown designs including a collection of wine glasses that each had the ashes of a burned book in the stem; and a floor whose theme I can't remember but which was decorated with flocks of creepily realistic birds among other things. I highly recommend this quiet, uncrowded little oasis (though the "uncrowded" part is a little bittersweet. Fill this awesome place up, people!) as a MoMA companion, or perhaps as an alternative on crazy days. Go MAD!

Mud man. He had a dog. The dog is not in this picture.

 Mud man. He had a dog. The dog is not in this picture.

Friday, April 27, 2012

In the New YORK #5: 1% Wonder

I told a small handful of New Yorker friends that I had never done this week's thing, and the common response was a wide-eyed "really?!" followed by a casual shrug. Because other New Yorkers understand that one can't do everything here, and everyone has that one Thing Other People Do All The Time that they happen to have never done. Today I went to Saks Fifth Avenue, where I tried on something silly. This store is beyond intimidating, even for someone who's used to other people's attempts to impress them with displays of expensive sophistication ("Now I have Tory Burch flats in six colors," announced a coworker in the elevator the other day). Well-lit, tall and fragrant, Saks is the epitome of luxury. Really Important Brands leap out from every corner, and presentation of the merchandise goes far beyond Stuff on a Rack. There are legions of svelte mannequins in hip poses lounging in every aisle, draped in of-the-minute finery, their motionless mouths seeming to whisper, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. I slipped into a dressing room anyway, with an Alice + Olivia outfit made for someone far more trendy than I and worth nearly $600.

 The top. Not too bad. At a different price point, I would totally wear it.

The pants. Oh good gravy the pants. Too bad I'm not 6'4" with
$400 to spend on 90210-inspired modifed Hammer pants.