The Importance of Date Day

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I know…I cringe too when I hear couples say, “I can’t, it’s date night,” or they tag photos on Instagram with the hashtag #DateNight or #OutWithMyBae. And then I remember, I am also a lovey-dubby offender. During the weekdays, quality time with my husband is limited. Hell, quality time with my dogs is limited and I do look forward to those Friday night dinners I so lovingly plan at home or those days spent doing something fun, something new together. Beginning in February, Matt and I naturally started to plan mini adventures in New York City on Saturdays. A routine started to form, something we hadn’t done in our seven years together and you know what, “it wasn’t boring.” We call Saturdays our date-day. With the limited time we have together during the week, date-day gives us an opportunity to reconnect. After a warrior class at Soul Cycle, we head to our favorite coffee shop in Williamsburg and every week, Matt and I alternate in planning date-day. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be thoughtful.

Here are some activities you can consider for a date-day, datenight, time alone, #OutWithMyBae, or with friends.

#1: Record shopping at A1 Records

So we just bought a turntable back in January and are taking our time with building a record collection. While the staff at A1 Records loves vinyl, they are not pretentious. They love answering questions and helping you filter through their vast inventory.

#2: Steak Dinner at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

This was Matt’s idea for one night. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. The building itself has some significance to us, as it was designed by the same architect that designed the space where we were married. The food and the service are impeccable.

#3: A 9pm Show at UCB

Another one of Matt’s ideas. He had never seen a show at the Chelsea location, while in college, I basically lived there. Nevertheless, it was inspiring to watch such a talented cast build an entertaining show on the fly.

#4: Mani/Pedi

Fact: men love pedicures. Fact: most men won’t plan to get one on their own. Getting a mani/pedi is relatively inexpensive in New York and a nice way to feel pampered. Matt won’t paint his nails, although one day I may get him to wear some black polish.

#5: Brunch at Butcher’s Daughter

Try one of the juices or toasts. A guilt free brunch after a workout always makes me feel like I’ve beat the system.

#6: Wine Shopping/Browsing/Tasting at Astor Wines

I love the selection here and how knowledgeable the staff is. Plus they always have my favorite Long Island rose in stock.

#7: Taking in Some Sports at Linen Hall

Or any sports bars. We both share a love of basketball and watching March Madness has been a great way to bond.

#8: Chocolate Tasting at Mast Brothers 

You can smell the chocolate from about a block away. We picked up a couple of bars to have on hand when needing to indulge a chocolate craving.

For Savers and Spenders in NYC

Last night after succumbing to my husband’s need to binge watch the third season of Walking Dead, I craved non-gory visuals to ease me into my pre Monday sleep. I decided to watch Suze Orman’s 92nd Street Y talk which was being presented on NYC TV. While we need to take celebrity consultant advice with a grain of salt and diversify where we are getting our information from, Orman does an amazing job of making financial terms comprehendible by a general mass audience.  After hearing her thoughts on Roth IRAs versus Traditional IRAs and student loan debt, I decided to purchase two of her books. Once they come in, I will give a full review. Until then, check out the talk she gave four years ago at Google.

On Eavesdropping.

Eavesdropping is generally considered unethical and just plain rude, but in a city like New York it’s difficult to not let it become your favorite pastime. When working remotely, I find myself alternating between Spotify’s “Deep Focus” playlist and the ambient sound that comes from learning more about strangers. Millennial men discussing the future of advertising; a freshman in my university’s cafe sharing her adoption story with new friends; an elderly woman trying to make another stranger’s baby, laugh. It’s impossible to overhear without becoming emotionally vested and while I know that eavesdropping on our closet friends and family will most likely lead to hearing something you wouldn’t want to, listening to strangers inspires creativity and forges new perspectives.

Style Icon: Jenna Lyons

With this seriesI’d like to feature my many inspirations for style. Often, my students, friends or colleagues ask what drives my personal style. Not sure why, as I don’t think of myself as being avant-garde, but I do appreciate an opportunity to talk through what informs my style purchase decisions.

Let’s start with the icon for millennial women in New York City: Jenna Lyons.

Jenna has been influencing J. Crew’s designs since 1990. She is unafraid to pair menswear with a red lip, her signature thick- framed tortoiseshell glasses and a boss attitude. To learn more about Jenna and see some of her favorite finds, click the links below:

A day in the life featured in Harper’s Bazaar.

Why Jenna is the boss we should all strive to be.

How to roll the sleeves of your shirt like Jenna.

“There’s sexiness in not trying to be  sexy. 

Jenna’s beauty routine. 

 

On Never Forgetting.

It is quite incredible how the brain stores episodic memories. The beautiful three pound mass that lives in our skulls, uses the medial temporal lobe to record not only the setting and time of a particular scene, but also the emotions we were feeling. Typically the more extraordinary the memory, the more details we remember.

Thirteen years have passed since I witnessed the tragic events that took place on September 11th and I can still vividly recall the events before, after and during with great clarity. The evening before the day that we would all soon refer to as 9/11, my godmother came over. We had a lovely dinner and then she invited me to spend the night. I loved sleepover parties with my godmother, where I would stay up past midnight petting her cats, and peering out her Upper East Side window, watching the men in the piano bar beneath her building. We watched late night television and I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I ventured to my Hell’s Kitchen high school, thinking that although I was only fifteen, I did not look that much different than the young professionals sharing the six train with me. I wondered to what illustrious careers they were headed to. I wonder if any of those faces did not make it back home that night. It was an unusually calm morning. I was not walking the brisk pace I was used to. My fellow New Yorkers looked happy, appreciative of one of the last few summer days before fall officially would set in. I arrived to my homeroom at 8:05 am where Bronx students were talking about the Yankees field being flooded, our teacher was lamenting about her celiac disease to a colleague and I chatted about my upcoming 16th birthday.

By 9:15am, I was in my history class, which because of overcrowding was held in the principle’s conference room. It was a treat being in that room. We sat on leather chairs that spun, and had a panoramic view of lower Manhattan. The twenty of us in the classroom were obviously distracted. We knew there were two planes jutting out of the sides of the Twin Towers. We knew it was not an accident. While our teacher knew as well, he went on about Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Right before the seconds counted down to the 10am bell, I saw the crumbling of a structure that I was just in the week prior for an audition. I remember everything that happened next, but the rest of those memories do not solely belong to me. They belong to my friends that lost family members that day. And they belong to my city, that lost it’s highest guiding point but nevertheless remained resilient.

Labor Day Weekend in NYC

IMG_0223A photo from Labor Day Weekend 2011 right after Matt asked me to marry him.

While it would be awesome to get away to Shelter Island or the Catskills this weekend, we’ve traveled quite a bit this summer and have decided to stay-cation in our hometown of New York City. Here are some things I/we plan on doing this weekend.

Finally seeing the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney Museum.

Biking to Oysters at Mars and then taking in some multimedia culture at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Watching the Georgia vs Clemson game at this bar.

Having a late night dinner at Commerce as a reward for watching the complete football game.

Lobster Rolls, beers and sun at Rockaway Beach.