Fitness, Reviews

Fitness Review: Post-Christmas Pulse at Exhale Barre

Today I met a friend at Exhale Barre (Flatiron) for the first time, for a post-Christmas workout. The studio is pristine and conveniently located near the flatiron building, madison square park and several east and west subway lines, so I was excited to discover a new workout that rivals Physique 57 (my favorite!) in a Physique-location-desert.

Overall: Attentive staff, clean studio, tough workout: I give it 8/10

Pros:
– Bonus points for friendliness, from the front-desk staff to our instructor, Rachael, everyone at Exhale was kind, warm, and energetic
– The studio was super clean; while I brought a change of clothes and was heading home afterwards, I would have been totally comfortable in their locker rooms and showers
– The barre studio has a beautiful hard wood floor instead of a worn carpet (why don’t more studios do this?!)
– Equipment was in great shape (especially appreciated the high quality foam/rubber mats

Lows:
– Class was only 45 minutes, which was enough for a workout but would have been even better for a bit longer
– This location didn’t have an Exhale spa
…guess we’ll have to go back!

Learn more and sign up for classes here: https://www.exhalespa.com/locations/new-york/flatiron

Events, New Media, Reviews, Uncategorized

See: To Kill a Mockingbird

I have always been impartial to musical theater, though a series of more serious plays have caught my attention from time to time (in recent years – The Curious Incident, Hand to God, The Cripple of Inishmaan) so when my husband scored preview tickets to see Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird, it was a no brainer.

We all read Harper Lee’s novel in high school, but Sorkin’s version featuring Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch brings new life to the story you thought you knew, in an age when we have all been forced to rethink the storyline’s important undertones about racism, abuse, sexual assault and standing up for what’s right. 

PLAYBILL SYNOPSIS: Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.”

It’s a must see, and a refresher on the nobility and importance of bringing access to justice equally to all people. As a daughter/sister/granddaughter/niece of lawyers, my family never understood my lack of desire to attend law school, and leaving the Schubert after Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird is the closest I’ve come to wanting to take the LSAT in my life. 

For Tickets: http://www.playbill.com/production/to-kill-a-mockingbird-2018-2019

Reviews

Holiday Spirit: Nutella Cafe

Today we checked out the less than a month old Nutella Cafe which had a line down the block — no surprise since according to Eater Over 100 People Reportedly Lined Up for the recent grand opening hoping for a taste, “including bloggers and influencers” (oh hey).

Fortunately, my suave and sharp husband found a way to surpass the line and I’m here to share so you too can enjoy without the wait.

Long story short, it’s worth checking out (especially if you skip the line) and a great destination to take visiting family during the holiday season.

Three tips to make the most of your visit:

  • Don’t jump in line! Approach the front door like you own it, and you’ll be directed inside to sample anything from the same menu of those who jumped in line and never bothered to inquire.
  • What can you expect? Everything you imagined made from nutella (crepes, croissants, and ice cream) and many items you didn’t but wish you had (popsicles, pastries, french toast).
  • Get your items to go. The cafe is nothing special to look at and the sooner you leave with your gelato, the better (it’s the best).
  • Hit the Union Square market while you’re nearby. You’ll find everything you need – from last-minute gifts for them to “self-care” gifts for you.
  • The kicker… Spend $35 and you get a free jar of nutella.

Dorkestry, Events, Reviews

What is ‘The Moth’?

One of the most beautiful things about living in New York is the close proximity of diverse strangers… for any the people-watchers among us, it’s always fun to imagine someone’s “story” as they pass by you in the street. The Moth, I found, was a poignant reminder and perfect exhibition of these people-stories.

On Tuesday night I attended a Moth “slam” at HousingWorks Bookstore and Cafe in SoHo, NYC. In recruiting friends to attend my first ‘slam,’ I found that most either friends either a) got super excited/defensive “You’ve never been before?! How is this possible? I love the Moth!” to b) very confused “Is it a movie? Is it comedy? Is it real?” The best five-second-summary I can give you is to say that it is a series of 5 minute “improv stories” from members of the audience/people like us.

Here’s how it works:

-Each “slam” has a theme (Tuesday’s was “chemistry”) and when you arrive, if you have a story you’d like to tell, you are welcome to drop your name in a hat.

-Doors opened at 7pm (which was really more like 7:30) and the line was already down the block by the time I arrived at 6pm. It sold out, and many people were standing, So get there early.

-A host (ours was the funny/spunky Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR’s ” Ask Me Another”) warms up the crowd and introduces each of the 10 storytellers (whose names are pulled from a hat).

-After each speaker, 3 panels of judges vote (scores are on a generous 7-10 scale) to ultimately decide the winner and “best story” of the evening.

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-Between speakers, the host (in this case, Ophira, pictured above) makes jokes and reads from little q&a notecards the audience filled out while waiting for the slam to begin. Our notecard question read: Like oil and water, what two things in your life just don’t mix?” Funny responses included things like “Man Sandals” and “My husband and my boyfriend.” …Eep.

All in all, the moth is kind of a fun club of (I’m just gonna say it though I love you guys) nerdy curious people. In line and in the audience I met a slew of really interesting and diverse people who were either avid listeners or at their first event, from doctors to marketers to college students.

The speakers themselves ran the gamut:

-An articulately endearing prep schooler (who immediately alienated his hipster-y audience by declaring his allegiance to his prep school, Choate Rosemary Hall, expecting a warm reception/meeting crickets… I feel you bro) but eventually won them over with his tale of excruciating wrestling injury and anesthetic resistance (did you know about redheads and the MC1R gene? Me either.)

-A charming hipster who recalled re-introducing herself to people over and over, without being able to remember faces (haven’t we all been there?) only realizing after years of embarrassment, and listening to an episode of radiolab, that she had formal prosopagnosia, or “faceblindness.”

-An actual (immensely charming) staff member of the Moth who told his story about working as a weld inspector amidst oil spills in the gulf, whose life and professional awakening was eventually prompted by a silent brotherly understanding with a lost shark.

The moral of the moth, for me, is that people are fascinating, and fascinating people go to the moth. If you’ve found yourself doing a bit too much introverted ipod walking on the subway lately, for only $8, you too can be re-enchanted by humankind. Peep the schedule here. And let me know if you go, ’cause I’ll be there too.

Fitness, Reviews

Nike Run Club Part Deux… Brasil!

Last night’s Nike Run Club held a pleasant surprise (which hopefully we’ll continue to see from time to time…) Perks!

When we arrived at the store, all runners (it was a big turnout, despite the ominous clouds) were given Brasil shirts, flags, whistles, facepaint, and a raffle ticket to win two tickets to Saturday’s game. We were already psyched up by the gear and excited by the pack of blue shirts as we stretched together, punctuated by cheers and exclamations as (nike) cameras and videographers snapped shorts of the runners.

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(Above: the blue mob stretching, no idea what we’re in for)

This was my first “speed workout” with the club– 1/2 mile repeats with an option to run 4, 5, or 6 miles. We split into our respective groups, and the pacers encouraged us to run one group faster than normal, given that the “repeats” were only 1/2 mile, and then we would have another 1/2 mile to jog/recover before sprinting again. My usual pace is around 8:30 so I ran with the 8s, which turned out to be a zealous 7:45… and well… i’ll just tell you.

It was awesome! You can’t do an Indian run (when you run in a single file line, with the last person sprinting to the front) without a team, you probably wouldn’t keep your base pace at 7:45 without a front pacer, and you certainly wouldn’t have as much fun without all the Brasil hype and a(n extraordinarily talented) videographer skateboarding alongside you the entire way. I eeked out out 3 repeats which turned out to be about 5 miles (we ran to and from our “repeat” spot on the UES) and could practically feel myself adjusting to the faster base pace.

Sold! I’m into it.

*I’ll post the video footage if I can figure out where they’re using it…

Fitness, Reviews

Believe the Hype – Nike Run Club

I’ve heard mixed reviews of New York’s infamous Nike Run Club, and as someone who (especially when it comes to athletics) will try anything once, I jumped at the chance to join a friend who wanted to give it a shot.

We showed up to our first run ten minutes late (Tuesdays and Thursdays they meet at the nike store at 6:30 pm… it’s called work, people?!) and I wasn’t sure what to expect after reading the Yelp reviews about it being “cultish” which is exactly what I’d heard through friends. In fact, I experienced the opposite. There seemed to be a good mix of regulars and first timers, everyone was super friendly— before the run even started I’d struck up a conversation with a stranger.

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(Above: The view from atop the Queensboro Bridge.)

The running benefits have been measurable as well. My first run with the club was paced faster than I’ve been running in months— and since then the varied weekend routes (routes in the past few weeks have included up and around Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem and back and forth across the Queensboro Bridge— a snap from today’s run is pictured above) have progressively spurred my long-run mileage from 5k to 10k at race pace in just 2 weeks.

Not to mention, one of the pacers introduced me to the *FREE* Nike+GPS app for iphone and android, an incredible tool that maps your pace and time and will be a game changer for any runner with a competitive spirit (read: EVERYONE).

Overall, the club is a great drop-in motivator for those of us who like group running and are looking for a challenge but don’t want the commitment or expense of a full time club.