Wednesday, February 1, 2017

{Waiting on Wednesday} All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastri

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a super meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

"You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed...because it wasn’t necessary."

Super excited to read this book because I am OBSESSED with alternate/parallel universes and time travel and the like. Seems like a good one!

What are you waiting on??

I already went to the Cookie Dough place.

And omg.

So, if you were my IRL friend around the year 2000, you might know that I developed an addiction to the (only available in movie theaters at the time) boxed candy, Cookie Dough Bites. It was a real problem.

I wrote the Cookie Dough Bites company emails and everything...suggesting the numerous flavors they could do, begging them to sell the candy outside of the theater, telling them I love them...things like that.

17 years later - there's an entire shoppe (decked out in bright colors!) devoted to Cookie Dough lovers like you and me!

It's called DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections and it's in the West Village on LaGuardia Place.

I had about a zillion things to do on Saturday but a friend of mine posted this place on my FB wall and I immediately carved the time out to check it out, you know, for research purposes. I got there right before the line got pretty insane - although let's be honest, I would've stood in that line for an hour for Raw Cookie Dough in a cone.

Once inside, the place was super cute - a neon light that said "Dreams Do Come True", cute plants and colorful tea kettles on shelves, everyone in aprons and hats, I felt like I was in a quaint town that has really specific shoppes like this one. You could even see them making the dough in the back through a glass window. How cute!

There were a ton of people inside pouring over the menu so it was hard to get the full effect. 30 years from now when things clear up in there, I might be able to take a good look at everything.

So, how was it? OMG it was everything I hoped and dreamed! I stayed very safe and got the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in a cup. And no, there isn't a picture because I just couldn't not wait. And this wasn't a photo op trip, this was a "clearly this store is meant for La Toya because obviously" trip.

Tomorrow I will get the sugar cookie dough on a cone, on the next day I will get the cookie dough ice cream sandwich, on the following day...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

{Book Review} A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness, Inspired by an idea from Sioban Dowd
Illustrated by Jim Kay

Publisher: Walker Books
Format: Hardcover, 211 pages
Genre: Low Fantasy
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The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. 

 But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Run, don't walk to your nearest book retailer and read this book right now.

Then go to the movies and watch the movie. I'm not kidding.

“Don't think you haven't lived long enough to have a story to tell.” 

My thoughts:
This was the first Patrick Ness book that I had read and this is somehow the most hauntingly beautiful, inspiring, thought provoking, and devastating book I have ever read. No exaggeration.

A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested this book to me and I believe it was one of the first books I read in one sitting. A book that stayed with me for days and days after I finished read it. I read a ton of books and rarely do I find one that knocks me over like this one did. 

Anyway - the main character is Conor who is dealing with way more than any kid should at home. At 12:07am each morning, he's visited by a Monster. The Monster tells him that he will tell him three stories on three separate nights, and on the fourth night, the Monster wants Conor to tell him his story...

As far as fantasies go, this is a great one. It's a good starter for if you haven't read much fantasy and have a hard time suspending disbelief. Ness is a master of making you care about every single character you come across and you don't even notice that there is a literal Monster in the book. In fact, he's the dopest character IMO.

"If you speak the truth, the monster whispered in his ear, you will be able to face whatever comes." 
The Movie: 
Years later, I got to see this movie during the preview weekend. I'm so glad I went alone because there are parts when you're just crying. Just sometimes for a reason, sometimes for no good reason at all. I knew how it would all end and maybe that was why - but I surely did not care. Reason number one to see the movie: Liam Neeson is The Monster.

Check out the trailer here:

My only teeny tiny issue is that this seems like it's for young children and teens, but by gum it sure is DARK. So proceed with caution if you're taking a little one with you. 

But what a masterpiece, for real. Don't miss this one guys. Literally. 

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Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Goals (also, hi - I'm blogging again)


I can't believe it's 2017 already. I mean, I'm glad, because 2016 was bizarre. But still...

Figured I would start the welcome back of my blog by listing some of my goals here (so you know, now I have to actually do them).

Blog (way, way) More.
That was easy. Last year I wrote maybe 2 posts compared to the 290 posts I wrote in 2011. So I would say, anything between 2 and 270 this year will be a super duper win for me. Including:

  • Books I like, and books that are sort of not great
  • My top picks for NYC restaurants and wherever else I've been
  • In depth reviews on hotels I've been to and other such travel related oddities
  • Like, whatever else.

Read More.
OMG I literally used to read around 100 books per year. I'm not kidding! Sure I didn't have a full time job when I was doing that but I can try to get to maybe 40 or 50 books this year. More of the following:

  • Fantasy (Epic, High, Low, Magical Realism)
  • Sci-Fi (Cyberpunk, Soft Sci-Fi, Steampunk)
  • Plays
  • Dystopia
  • Ok never mind there are too many genres to list

Travel More.
I take around 4 vacations per year and it's usually to the same places: LA, Orlando, Miami (more on these later) I also tend to do all my travel at the tail end of the year. This year I would love to do some sort of travel throughout. Including but not limited to:
  • Weekend Warrior trips (Lake houses, ski resorts, Bed and Breakfasts Upstate NY etc.)
  • International trips (UAE, Caribbean, Europe)
  • Repeat Visits / Unfinished business visits (ie. New Orleans omg omg omg I need to go back)
Thanks and welcome back to my blog!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Employees Only {Spoilers included}

Something I like to do is pre-birthday hangouts with people who can't make the entire festivities. My friend Mac and I had been thinking of going to Employees Only, the secret bar/restaurant for years and years. What better time than now!

Spoilers on a Secret Restaurant ahead!

As you all know by now, NYC was taken over by all these fancy secret bars in the past half decade. Some of them are so popular that you might not even realize it's supposed to be a secret. Beauty and Essex is definitely one such place.

I digress.

Employees Only is on a stretch of land called Hudson Ave. which was always too far west for me to care about or venture to. So imagine my surprise when I discovered the restaurant was hidden there. 

Mac and I knew that there would be a bouncer denying entry if you either didn't look the part (hello, tourists in white sneakers and fannypacks) or if you didn't have some sort of reservation. They're also pretty strict on seating, you must be ordering dinner if you book a table. 

When we finally walked in it was a bit of a let down, there's a psychic table immediately in front of you to keep up with the idea that they place is only a Psychic business. Then immediately to your right, you want into what looks like it could've been a tiny clothing store at one point but was now a dimly lit (not very impressive) bar. 

It was also really confusing to figure out who we speak to once we walk in to be seated. There were several people waiting for a seat and the hostess was on her phone or something who knows. All I know is that we were two seconds from walking out when she finally got to us.

I had made a reservation with the full knowledge that we'd have to eat dinner - she tried to sit us in a tiny corner but we preferred to sit you know - where all the other dinner guests were.

After we were seated, the server came over to us...eventually. I was really in a sour mood. Not to mention the couples to our left and to our right. One was on their first date - so that conversation was obnoxious. The other table had these really loud seemingly teenagers talking at the top of their voices.

Then the food arrived and ok, fine, it was probably the most delicious handmade pasta I've had in a very long time. And isn't that the point really? That the food is good?

I left knowing I will never go back or recommend the place to anyone, bu
t I had a great time catching up with an old friend and some wildly delicious pasta.

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