Posts from — April 2010
What is it about cascading water on steep rocks that makes us so happy?
On Saturday, my friends and I took a break from the film festival to visit Kent Falls State Park, which was only a 5 minute drive up the road.
From the parking lot, you cross over a scenic little bridge to enter the park.
Now I knew there was going to be a waterfall here, but I didn’t quite expect it to be right out in the open once you entered the park. It was a pretty incredible view to be immediately hit with.
There is a beautiful sitting area built around the waterfall too. Below is a picture I snapped at the base of the waterfall looking out onto the park.
For those looking to get a nice hike in, there is a steep trail along the stream that takes you to various lookout points. We didn’t have that much time before we had to get back to the festival, so I only climbed about half-way up.
As fun as this short hike was, I enjoyed my time at the base of the waterfall the most.
I felt so relaxed and happy sitting at the base of the waterfall, and I think it was pretty clear that it had the same therapeutic effect on everyone else…
There is nothing cooler than getting to relax in the sunshine with a rushing waterfall as your soundtrack.
And just in case you missed the waterfall, there was this kid to point it out for you…
cute baby + scenic waterfall = sensory overload
After visiting Kent Falls, I became curious if “waterfall therapy” existed, so I googled it, but only came across a spa that offers a”waterfall therapy package,” where you drench yourself in a cold waterfall and then receive a deep tissue massage. I would much rather just save my money and enjoy the therapeutic view from a far.
I’m happy to report that I can now add “waterfalls” to my list of adventures that cost zero dollars.
April 28, 2010 1 Comment
At the Kent Film Festival, there was a short film, “Sebastian’s Voodoo,” which really moved me, so I wanted to share it with you here.
Watching this film also helped me to remember two other animated pieces that moved me in the past–”Doll Face” and “Kiwi.” Please take a few minutes to watch them below. They’re worth it!
To me these three shorts are more than just animated films. They are silent commentaries on humanity. From compassion to desire to self-sacrifice, there is a lesson to be learned from each, and what you take away from these films really depends on who you see when you look in the mirror. And I suppose that’s what makes them great films–that no matter who you are, you realize something about yourself when you watch them.
April 26, 2010 5 Comments
You know you’re going to have a good Saturday when it starts off with Starbucks and a Garmin.
At around 9:30 am my friend Mandy and I set off on our mini-road trip to Kent, CT to attend the Kent Film Festival.
I was extremely excited to attend the festival for a few reasons.
The first was because I love the idea behind independent film making, and how if you’re passionate enough, you can make a powerful film on any budget. And the second (and main reason) was because Michal had a film in the festival!
Mike (Actor), Noah (Director AND Writer), Michal (Cinematographer)
I was extremely proud of Michal, along with everyone else involved in the project, and I’m always amazed to see how much a person can light up when they’re in an area with hundreds of others who are equally as passionate about their dreams as they are.
My parents also drove up for the event, and absolutely loved it. Below is my mom showing off her cool new film festival tote which she purchased to “support the event,” but I just think she wanted to look more “indie.”
The film screenings took place in various buildings all over town, but Michal’s film played in the Kent Community House, which was a really beautiful venue.
After the screening, everyone was starving, so we all split up to grab some lunch at various places. Michal, Mandy, Jesse and I chose to get sandwiches at J.P. Gifford.
The town was packed, but we were able to score a nice table outside.
And the sandwiches were very tasty…
I had turkey with sun-dried tomatoes, topped with lots and lots of pesto. I was very happy that they were generous with the pesto, because that was the best part.
After lunch the four of us explored the town a bit, but be warned, you are about to experience cuteness overload….
These pictures don’t even really do the place justice. You just have to go there and experience Kent for yourself.
After lunch we met back up with the rest of our friends, and decided to all drive up to Kent Falls (about 5 minutes up the street). This adventure deserves it’s own entry, so I’m going to write about it later this week, but here is a preview….
If you enjoy art, Kent would make for a great day trip, especially since there is no charge to explore the galleries, and there are gorgeous sculptures displayed all over town. Below was one of my favorites.
Later on that night, they had an awards ceremony, which was held in the same art gallery that Mandy and I had explored earlier.
It seemed as though everyone (including myself) had some sort of camera in their hand, but around this same time my exhaustion started to take over, so the above photo was my last.
I guess I’ll end this entry then with one of the first pictures I took, so it will be as if this awesome day is just beginning….
April 25, 2010 2 Comments
On Sunday was New Haven’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Although there were no cherry blossoms (I guess they hadn’t bloomed yet?), every church-going woman over the age of 60 was there to dazzle you with cherry-themed knickknacks.
Everyone at the festival was so nice that it was hard not to make a donation or buy a little trinket at every table. At one point I almost adopted a bow-legged dog, but Michal stepped in, and suggested we take a “break” from the animal shelter booth until I stopped crying in front of all the happy kids with balloons.
So we took a breather and listened to some great steel drum music….
And smelled some amazing smells…
And then we each bought a cookie…
With camera in hand, I was able to document the four stages of cookie rapture:
4) SHARING (some people just repeat stages 2 and 3)
Since my cookie was a gift, I remained in the euphoric phase of anticipation for the rest of the festival.
After staring at so many anthropomorphic baked goods, I was feeling a lot more emotionally stable, so it was back to The Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter booth.
What an incredible organization. They basically direct all of their efforts to three fundamental areas: increasing adoptions/decreasing euthanasia, reducing pet overpopulation, and enhancing the quality of life for animals by providing medical care beyond the shelter’s ability and by socializing with the animals.
Michal and I were really impressed with their compassionate views on animal care in shelters, and after reading through a few of their brochures, I definitely want to attend their next volunteer group meeting to see how I can help out this summer.
Above is a photo of Piglet. She’s thought to be a cross between a pit bull and a chihuahua, and she has some pretty serious knee issues. The good news is that the organization just finished saving up the funds to get her the costly surgery she needs to have full mobility again, and after her surgery she’ll be fostered, and then put up for adoption. I spent some time interacting with her, and she was extremely loving, and really lit up around people.
If you know of any loving families who might be looking to adopt a dog, please pass along this information, or have them visit the website.
Definitely expect some animal-themed volunteer adventures in the upcoming months.
April 19, 2010 No Comments
B.good burger joint…
The best thing to happen to Boston since the Red Sox won the world series.
I’m confident that I’ve eaten at least 100 b.good burgers, especially since I went through a 3 month phase where all I ate for lunch was their blackbean veggie burger topped with avocado, cilantro, and Chipotle salsa. Let’s just say that working around the corner from their Dartmouth Street location and having no concept of money was a dangerous combination my first year after college.
As fate would have it, they just opened up a sixth location around the corner from where I was staying for the weekend.
I was downright giddy when we walked inside to place our orders, especially since I hadn’t enjoyed one of their burgers in over a year, and also because I have a profound respect for their philosophy on food (i.e. raising cattle right, and buying produce from local farmers!).
Everything, down to the potatoes, is grown locally and grown right. They even have bios hanging on the walls of the farmers they use for each ingredient. Love it!
I ordered my favorite (the”West-Side”), except I swapped out my usual veggie burger for a turkey burger.
Perfection = Avocado, cilantro, tomato, and homemade chipotle salsa.
Below is Michal’s order (the “Cousin Oliver”), which is lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, all atop a homemade veggie burger.
We wanted so badly to order the sweet potato fries, but after all the food we had consumed in the past 48 hours, we didn’t think our bodies could handle it, so we opted for the healthier option, and split a side of crisp veggies.
And now I must place my vanity to the side to show you what happened next:
Believe it or not, these were the “classiest” photos of the bunch. All the others were even more disturbing, and looked as though I was brutally attacking my burger with my mouth (apparently I like to inflict pain on my food and those who watch me eat).
On a final note, if you live in the Boston area, and haven’t yet tasted the mouthwatering wonders of b.good, then you’re missing out on what’s sure to be a Boston trademark in a few more years.
April 14, 2010 1 Comment
The Boston Public Library is one of those places that makes me happy for no reason. I could basically be in the worst mood ever, and the minute I pass through its doors, a sense of calm washes over me. The best part is, admission is free!
Now I know that all libraries are free, but the architecture of the BPL is so impressive, that you will feel like you should be paying someone to enter.
And how can you not be in awe of Bates Hall…
I spent many late nights here in college studying and writing papers–mostly because Bates Hall always made me feel smarter than I was.
And lastly, the courtyard. Although it’s not yet in full bloom, it’s still a site to behold, and on a warm day it’s probably the best place in all of Boston to enjoy a good book.
Tonight I discovered that the BPL has a twitter account, so I relish in the fact that my stalking can now progress from people to inanimate structures.
April 12, 2010 No Comments
When I woke up Sunday morning in Boston, all I could think about was oatmeal. After looking at a multitude of menus online, I came to the conclusion that no where in Backbay serves a proper bowl of oats.
After day-dreaming about the grand opening of my future upscale oatmeal cafe, I decided I would have to get creative if I wanted to enjoy my favorite breakfast cereal.
Being that Boston was a mini-vacation for me, the thought of cooking oatmeal seemed too labor intensive, so I stopped by the neighborhood Whole Foods to see what I could come up with.
I ended up making the following purchases:
Fresh ground almond butter, coconut flakes, and fresh fruit.
Sadly, they had no hot oatmeal, but as fate would have it, there was an Au Bon Pain across the street.
With their powers combined, I created this:
Coconut Almond Oatmeal with Mixed Berries
It’s quite easy to re-create this oatmeal. Just dump an obscene amount of almond butter over the top of your oatmeal, and then garnish it with coconut flakes and fruit.
I’m actually pretty proud of this impromptu creation, and considering it fed Michal too, it ended up being a budget friendly breakfast. The real treat though is that I now have a lovely container of coconut flakes to add to my oatmeal at home.
After breakfast, we took a beautiful walk through the neighborhood I lived in my last year in Boston. Since I’m staying for the weekend in my old apartment, it’s literally like re-living the past…
Special thanks to Alice and Jason for letting me stay with them (again).
You guys rock.
April 12, 2010 1 Comment
This afternoon was crazy. I can’t believe how much ground I covered in Boston today. I guess I’m just so glad to be here, that I want to be moving towards some sort of destination at all times.
The afternoon started at the Trident Cafe, which probably ranks second to The Otherside for places I’ve eaten at the most.
I met some friends from college there…Kate and Drew…..
What pretty people! It was so nice to catch up with them, and I’m excited about hanging out with them again later on tonight.
After lunch, Michal and I headed to the Apple store, because he was dying to try out the new iPad.
It was very difficult to rip Michal away from the iPad station.
I on the other hand, was just excited about the idea of pulling up my own blog on the iPad, and then taking a picture of it to post here (so dorky, I know, but at the time it seemed so cool).
After the Apple store, we headed over to Marathon Sports, which is the best place I’ve ever found for purchasing running sneakers.
I went here for the first time as a senior in college, and they assessed my running stride, and matched me to an amazing pair of Brooks sneakers. I wore the sneakers into the ground, and never once got a shin splint. Once I moved away from Boston though, I sort of bought sneakers haphazardly at other stores, and have had problems ever since.
After assessing my running stride again, they hooked me up with a new pair of sneakers which felt incredible!
Coincidentally, they were Brooks again. I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
After Marathon Sports we decided to make one last stop at the Boston Public Gardens before heading back to my friends apartment.
How is it that the Boston Public Gardens NEVER get old?
After the gardens, we headed back, and got in at around 5:30 from being out the entire day. I was so tired that I actually got a coffee from Starbucks (haven’t drank coffee in maybe a year). This was followed by three advil.
Now I just need to figure out how to get my legs to move again.
April 10, 2010 No Comments
Oh Boston, how I’ve missed you…
I got into Boston pretty late last night, but I was way too excited to sleep in this morning, so I woke up at around 8am and decided to go for a run along my old route along the Charles River.
How can you not want to be a runner if you live near the Charles River…
Don’t let the sun and greenery fool you though. This mornings run was extremely windy and cold, but luckily I’m familiar with Boston weather, so I knew that bringing a fleece and running gloves is still a necessary precaution when visiting Boston in April.
I think my face in this picture is sort of saying “why did I ever leave.”
On the run back, I took a short detour to pass the apartment where I lived during my Junior and Senior year of college. Seeing this place brought back lots of fond memories…
I then took Michal for a loop around the block so we could eat a hearty breakfast at The Otherside Cafe.
I’ve probably eaten here more times than any other restaurant in my life. And it’s not even really because of the food. It’s more that this place was just always part of my neighborhood. Even when I moved apartments after college, I ended up moving just one street away.
Michal and I started with some tea, but sadly, these are the last pictures I have of our Otherside experience. We were so hungry, that when the food came we inhaled it, and completely forgot to take photos.
It was really good food though. There were lots of eggs, cheese, and potatoes involved–with oil being the main ingredient.
April 10, 2010 3 Comments
Bike shopping is hard work! Since this will be the first “real” bike I’ve ever purchased, I’m really taking the time to test-ride a wide variety of brands and models. At first I was going to purchase an entry level racing bike, but after this week, I’m now leaning more towards a high performance sports hybrid. I’m just glad my father volunteered to help me with my quest for a bike, because he really made things easier in every possibly way, from bringing me to the best bike shops to doing research for me online. With his help, I pretty much have it narrowed down to the following:
1) Iseo by Bianchi
2) Alyssa by Raleigh
3) Vita by Specialized
4) Camaleonte by Bianchi
5) Tricross by Specialized
I’m pretty sure it’s going to come down to either the Camaleonte or the Tricross (although the Iseo was the first bike I rode, and I sort of have this weird attachment to it now). I haven’t actually ridden the Tricross yet (they’re bringing my size in from the warehouse), but the Tricross is pretty much on a whole different level than all the other bikes. Not only is it double the price, but it’s basically a racing bike designed to go over any terrain (rather than a hybrid designed to sort of be like a racing bike). The practical side to paying more for the Tricross, is that if in a years time I decide I want to start racing competitively, I just have to switch out the tires.
I’ll be test-riding the Tricross and a few others next week, so I’ll keep you posted on what I decide.
Alright, I’m off to go finish packing for BOSTON! I leave directly after work tomorrow, and I’ll be there for the entire weekend, so I am EXTREMELY excited to see some college friends, eat at b.good burger, and try and squeeze in a nice run around the Charles. There may or may not also be a prohibition themed party somewhere in that mix.
April 8, 2010 1 Comment