Let’s Explore NY: Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the Brooklyn Museum

Let’s go to Park Slope and have a picnic in Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and then visit the Brooklyn Museum. You can take the 2, 3 at Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum.
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Let’s Explore NY: Old Tbilisi Garden and Terra Blues

Let’s go to the NYU area and have dinner at Old Tbilisi Garden (174 Bleecker St) and listen to some blues at Terra Blues (149 Bleecker St., 2nd fl). You can get here by taking the A,B,C,D,E,F,M to W 4th St.
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Rock Scrambles (and Shooting) In New Hampshire

New Hampshire is an interesting place. Its motto is “Live Free or Die”, which means that you can pretty much do anything there. I like to go to New Hampshire for the hiking. It’s the the closest place with legitimate mountains and I especially enjoy mountains with rock scrambles. Here are my three favorites in order of ascending difficulty; all peaks are above 4000 feet.
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Let’s Explore NY: Prospect and BAM

Let’s head to Brooklyn: have dinner at Prospect (773 Fulton St, Brooklyn) and catch a play or some music at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (651 Fulton St, Brooklyn). You can take the 2,3,4,5,N,Q,R,B,D to Atlantic Terminal to get there.
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24 Hours in Austin: Best Day Ever!

After a long week, I was really excited to spend a day in Austin. We booked through AirBnB and lucked out with a great place that was uber convenient to all the delicious food and shops on S. 1st St and S. Congress Ave. Here’s a rundown of our whirlwind 24 hours in Austin.
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Head South in San Antonio!

San Antonio is famous for the Alamo and the Riverwalk, which are both admittedly pretty cool. My favorite places to go, however, were toward Southtown, where there’s great food and great bars. It’s also within walking distance of the Riverwalk so it’s easily accessible if you are staying along the Riverwalk. Here are some of the best things I found down south this week.
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Let’s Explore NY: Meme Mediterranean and the Barrow Street Theatre

Let’s explore the West Village: have dinner or lunch at Meme Mediterranean (581 Hudson St) and then catch a show at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow St). Both of these places are located in the West Village and you can get there by taking the 1 to Christopher St or the A,C,E to 14th St.
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Let’s Rodeo, San Antonio

I’m in Texas for the week and luckily got to see the San Antonio Rodeo Finals on Saturday night. The San Antonio Rodeo is one of the largest rodeos in the country and if you are in San Antonio anytime at the end of February, I highly recommend a visit.
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24 Hours in Cambridge

I was in Cambridge for the day and was really excited to visit my favorite places. Here’s a rundown of my day going through some of the best that Cambridge has to offer.
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Let’s Explore NY: Lasker Rink and Zoma

Let’s head uptown to Lasker Rink (north side of Central Park) and Zoma (2084 Frederick Douglass Boulevard). Both are these places are located in South Harlem and can be easily reached by taking the 2,3 to 110th and Lenox Ave or the B,C to 110th and Central Park.
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Learning Science from the Best in NYC

I love learning about random things. But more than that, I love learning about random things from people who have devoted their lives to it. These people always bring with their explanations a passion and a sparkle that restore my faith in academic research and inspire me to learn more. Thankfully, New York is a fantastic place to come into contact with academics; here are the places I go to when I want to learn something (also everything is free!):
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Chinese New Year in NYC

Chinese New Year is one of my favorite holidays. I get to spend time with family, eat delicious food, and make homemade dumplings! New York City is a great place to be during Chinese New Year because there are lots of fun events to attend and many restaurants will have specials featuring some of the dishes that are integral to any Chinese New Year’s feast (see the Grub Street list here!).
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A Weekend on Highway 1 North of San Francisco

There are a wealth of really beautiful places along Highway 1 north of San Francisco. I love just driving on the highway and stopping at any place that sounds interesting. Here’s a summary of some of the cool stuff that you can see and do along this stretch of road; it’s roughly ordered by location along Highway 1 as you go north.
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Fave Eats in Berkeley

My boyfriend is going to spend a week in Berkeley so I gave him a list of my favorite places to eat there; I’ll share that list here too. Berkeley is awesome because the combination of hippies and students results in lots of restaurants serving local and organic food for pretty cheap prices. One of my favorite places (Cafe Intermezzo) served HUGE, fresh salads (like weighing multiple pounds) with really tasty dressings (I liked poppy seed dressing best) for like $5. Sadly, it no longer exists (though there are plans for it to come back soon!) but a bunch of other really awesome places are still there. Here are my faves: Continue reading “Fave Eats in Berkeley”

Let’s Explore NY: Leo’s Latticini and the New York Hall of Science

New York City is one of the best places in the world with many many neighborhoods to explore. This is the start of a series exploring each neighborhood. I’ll note one activity and one meal that I love in the neighborhood to start and hopefully, you’ll discover more!
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Weekend Trip to Lake Placid

I hate being cold but one good thing about winter is skiing! Lake Placid is a great ski resort that’s perfect for a weekend trip (that you decide on at the last minute); it’s only about 5 hours drive from NYC. Lake Placid was home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic games so there are many winter activities that one can do there.
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Finding my favorite book in NYC

Call me old-fashioned but I still love going to bookstores and browsing the shelves to discover new titles. A friend once said that if she could choose a superpower, it would be to put her hand on the spine of a book and instantly read its contents. Even without this superpower, there’s something magical about running your hand over rows of books. Here are some of the best places in NYC to find a good book:
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Skiing and Physics in Aspen

Aspen is well-known for its skiing but it’s also home to the Aspen School of Physics. The Aspen School of Physics holds conferences that physicists always try to go to in both the winter and the summer. It’s easy to see why, you get to stay at the awesome Aspen Meadows Resort (which has a great on-site restaurant and also a heated saltwater lap pool and hot tub) and the talks are scheduled around midday skiing in the winter and midday hiking in the summer. As part of these conferences, there are free public talks given by leading physicists each Wednesday at 5:30pm, which I highly encourage attending if you’re at all interested in learning about how the world works. Plus physicists really like to use amusing graphics in their talks so at least the slides will be entertaining! There’s also a physics cafe beforehand at 4:30, where you can ask a physicist anything (literally, anything!). So if you want to get in a bit of learning after a day of skiing, you can consult the Winter Schedule here.

Featured Image by Eamonn O Muiri

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A Day in New Haven

For this post, I thought I would try something new and plan a fun day in New Haven starting from breakfast until well past dinner time.

Morning

Wake up and get your morning coffee and pastry at Blue State (84 Wall St or 276 York St). They not only have good coffee but also excellent hot chocolate and pastries. Get a scone or an almond croissant; both are delicious. Next make your way to the Yale University Art Gallery (corner of York St and Chapel St) to see a huge collection of ancient art and modern art including works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Kandinsky for free!  Continue reading “A Day in New Haven”

Favorite Food Trucks in New Haven

New Haven is a huge food truck town and as far as I can tell, it’s been this way since way before food trucks became trendy. I think it might be because, for a long time, the options for food in New Haven were very limited and the food trucks provided a great lunch for a good price. In this post, I’ll go through some of my favorite food trucks in New Haven. All meals cost ~$6 unless otherwise noted.

Mecha Uma serves really tasty Japanese dishes in the skating rink parking lot at the corner of Prospect St and Sachem St during lunch hours on weekdays. You can choose a base of noodles or rice and get proteins that range from tempura to tonkatsu to tofu. In the winter, I love to get the udon noodles with Shrimp Tempura (you can get the noodles with the traditional soy broth or a pork ramen broth). In the summer, they have a cold noodle base, which is served with your choice of protein and lettuce and tomato salad. The people here also have amazing memories; after the 5th time here I no longer needed to give my order.

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Yummy Food Stores in NYC

New York is well-known for its shopping but the shops that I find myself frequenting the most are the food shops in NYC. I love that you can find a shop that specializes in pretty much anything you feel like eating. Here are some of the best:

Pickle Guys (49 Essex St) – this place has been around since I was a little kid. I loved running around the corner and picking a freshly pickled pickle from one of the giant vats. They have salty or garlicky or spicy and the owners are so friendly!

The Pickle Guys
photo by Jay Mandel

Murray’s Cheese Shop (254 Bleecker St) – so much cheese and they have their famous cave for aging the cheeses. You can get soft cheese, bleu cheese, French cheese, Spanish cheese, all kinds of cheese! Continue reading “Yummy Food Stores in NYC”

Cheap Ways to Experience World Class Culture in New York (Part 2)

This is the second post detailing how to experience world class culture in NYC. In this post I’ll list my favorite museums and galleries, which are either free or have a suggested donation as well as museums that have cheap nights.

Free/Recommended Admission (I recommend paying this if you can afford it but just know that you don’t have to):

The Met (1000 5th Ave) is one of the best art museums in the world. I especially love the sculpture gallery at the Met. It is just astonishing how realistic and emotive a piece of marble can be. 

The American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West and 79th St) is one of my favorite museums. I remember coming here on many school trips and being amazed by the life-like exhibits. The best thing about this place remains the giant full-size blue whale that hangs above the main gallery.

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Cheap Ways to Experience World Class Culture in New York (Part 1)

New York has some of the best cultural institutions in the world but they can be very expensive. But did you know that many of these institutions have programs that allow you to buy great tickets cheaply? Many museums are donation-based and pretty much all concerts and shows have either rush tickets or cheap tickets for young people. In this post, I’ll go through the many ways to get tickets to performances on the cheap. The next post will be about going to museums and galleries cheaply.

The New York Philharmonic offers students rush tickets up to 10 days in advance online, which is an awesome deal. My favorite program, however, is the 35 under 35 program. This program allows you to buy as many $35 tickets as you like for 3 or more concerts (you have to attend at least 3 concerts) as long as you prove that you are under 35 years old. The tickets can be in any section (hello Orchestra and First Tier!) and you can choose from almost any concert at the Philharmonic. I’ve been able to see Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and will be going to a Yo-Yo Ma concert in the spring.

The Met Opera offers rush tickets for $25 for anyone Monday – Saturday at noon and 4 hours before the performance for Matinees. You can buy two tickets and the seats are in the Orchestra or First Tier. You have to buy them online via the Met website Continue reading “Cheap Ways to Experience World Class Culture in New York (Part 1)”

Favorite Food Mainstays in New York

I grew up in New York and it’s always held a special place in my heart so I thought it might be fun to do a small series of NYC posts. One of my favorite things about NYC is how easy it is to find delicious food. I’ve seen a lot of places come and go but here are some of my favorite places that have been around for a while. The service in all of these places is really warm and makes you feel extremely comfortable. If you get the chance to visit any of these places, you’ll immediately see why they’ve been around for so long.  Continue reading “Favorite Food Mainstays in New York”

Summer in Connecticut

Summer is a good time to visit Connecticut because the weather is warm and there are lots of fun festivals to go to. Here are some of my favorite things to do during the summer in Connecticut:

Fruit-Picking: You can go and pick peaches and strawberries and raspberries and blueberries in almost any part of Connecticut. There are plethora of farms; I like Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, CT for its vicinity to New Haven and the added bonus of apple cider donuts at the farm market.

Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT: They grow a giant sunflower field for charity, which blooms at the end of July. I get really happy just walking through the farm being surrounded by sunflowers. They also make sunflower ice cream, which is pretty delicious.

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