Monday, March 16, 2015

Myrtle Beach: Spring Break 2015

Just a quick photo update, but I had the most relaxing time in Myrtle Beach this past week with my mom. We stayed at the Crown Reef resort right on the ocean, and pretty much just laid around on the beach all week. It was perfect.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back in Michigan!

I've actually been back in Michigan for an entire week now, but between traveling back, furniture shopping, Year 2 orientation, unpacking, laundry, setting up house, and an entire first week of classes and all the bureaucracy that medical school brings, I've been absolutely swamped.

I'm getting the photos off of my "real" camera (instead of my phone), so I'll have some retrospective blogs on everything I did in NYC and beyond, as well as my final thoughts on the trip.

In the meantime, here is a photo of a sleeping dragon, who was just as exhausted by the move as I was.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Brooklyn and the Doctor Who Bar

Today I went into Brooklyn.

I was still pretty tired from last night, so I didn't get to do as much as I would have liked, but I had a great time.

I started out at the Prospect Park Zoo. It's a smaller midsize zoo - bigger than Central Park, but much smaller than the Bronx. I was able to see everything in less than two hours.

They did have some neat exhibits, and some that were put together in different ways. For example, they had some animals as part of an "art" display - either noticing the art that animals can make, or the art that they actually are, like with pretty scale patterns and whatnot.

I'm always a little amused when I see "mundane" exhibits like turkeys and domestic cows. Ooh, look, a wild turkey! Back in Michigan, we call that dinner ;)

They also had a bearded dragon exhibit, which amused me to no end, considering that I own one.

After that, I bought a salad and walked down to the Soldiers and Sailors Arch and park. The statues here are beautiful, and lots of people use the park. There were many people walking their dogs, and more than a couple of brides getting photos taken.

I walked around near the public library and  the art museum, which were both unfortunately closed. However, the outsides were very pretty, and it was fun just getting to sit and people watch.

The crowing jewel of my night was FINALLY getting to visit the WayStation, a Doctor Who/Steampunk themed bar.

Obviously, I loved it.

They do live music every night, and the three bands I got to listen to were very good. More importantly, the drinks were strong (I had the Rose Tyler and the 10th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver, of course), the decor was excellent (the TARDIS is the bathroom - made it very funny during some photos ops), and the people were awesome.

This is why I love steampunk and my fellow nerds. About an hour into my visit there, a group of Brooklyn steampunks arrived in full costume. Even though I was in muggle wear, as soon as I told them I was a Michigan Steampunk, we started swapping costuming ideas and they invited me to an event in September (which I unfortunately can't make).

Monday, July 29, 2013


I had to drive back to Michigan this weekend to move into my new apartment, so no real adventures this weekend, unless you count almost running out of gas and sleeping for a few hours at a Michigan rest stop because I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.....

My parents got me all moved into my new place, and I am SO EXCITED about it. My roommate A and I have very similar taste, aka Old Lady Chic, so I think our stuff is going to blend well together.

I'm not sure we have enough dishes though.....

I did take some cool photos while stopped in Pennsylvania. I love the mountains!

Now I'm back in Connecticut, and have just a few more weeks of my internship! This summer is just flying by!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

THe Intrepid and the Museum of Sex

In case you couldn't tell by the title, today I went to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum and the Museum of Sex. As with the other museums, I'll do a separate post with all of the photos from each.

The Intrepid so far is my favorite museum I've been to on this trip, if not my favorite museum of all time. It's a retired aircraft carrier that originally served in WWII, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War, and was part of the NASA space craft recovery program. The ship has a beautiful history, and the museum staff do her and her past crew great honor with the program they've created.

You can tour almost the entire ship, which as been preserved to almost the exact condition that it served in. Glass panels are the only thing that separate you from the crew's quarters, the galley, and the satellite equipment. The flight deck is covered in restored war planes, and there is a covered space pavilion that houses the Enterprise space shuttle. You can also tour a submarine and ride on several different flight simulators. There is a heavy focus on education, as well as honoring our veterans, which kept it from feeling too touristy or gimmicky.

The day that I went honored the Fire Department of NY, so they had some special extra exhibits going on featuring and honoring firefighters. They had all of the different emergency response vehicles, CPR training, and best of all, an all-firefighter battle of the bands.

I stopped for lunch/dinner at an amazing mac and cheese place called S'Mac. Literally all they serve is mac and cheese, albeit some daring and gourmet varieties. They also have a decent beer selection, although I opted for their draft root beer instead. There were simply too many good options, so I tried their sampler platter, which comes with a small scoop of 8 different kinds of mac and cheese. I couldn't even eat half of it, so I boxed up the rest and took it home with me.

I also happen to spy the Empire State building on my walk about.

I ended my day at the Museum of Sex. I was sort of sent here on a mission by a good friend of mine to track down a limited edition lipstick, but the museum was very well done. It was comically small after visiting the MET and the AMNH (it's only 2 floors, and more of a art gallery), but it was worth the price of admission. It's definitely not for prudes - lots of penises and vaginas and porn everywhere, albeit tastefully done.

I was successful in my hunt for lipstick, and I took home a delightfully useful but inappropriate souvenir for myself.

(It's a mug, you bunch of pervs! A mug that says "Sex makes me thirsty", but just a mug)

All in all, a very fun weekend. Back to the grindstone tomorrow!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Preview: AMNH, the MET, Central Park, and Beer

I had an amazingly busy day today! It is still SUPER SUPER HOT in NYC, so decided I would take advantage of the air conditions in some of the museums. 

After sleeping in (I didn't get home until quite late because of Sleep No More), I headed back into NYC with three things in mind: the American Museum of Natural History, the MET, and Central Park. I'll be doing separate posts with all of my photos from the museums, but in the meantime here is a little sampler of my adventure!

First up was the American Museum of Natural History, or as I like to refer to it, the house of bones. They do have a lot of cool non-fossil/stuffed animal exhibits, but the main focus (and my favorite part) was the very, very large collection of bones, ranging from before dinosaurs up to today. They also have some special exhibits which you have to pay extra for. I was planning on going to see the Whale exhibit, but it was unfortunately sold out by the time I got there. 

Once I was done with the AMNH, I cut through Central Park and got to sneak a peek at the public shakespeare stage. They also have statues of some of the more famous plays.

I also caught a glimpse of the obelisk.

I then went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, commonly referred to as the Met. This is the largest museum I have ever been too. This picture doesn't do it it justice on how BIG this building is. I managed to see maybe about 1/3 of the exhibits in the 5 hours I was there. Granted, I got to see all of the exhibits I wanted to see so I wasn't disappointed, but you could spend an entire weekend in here and probably not see everything.

Cool fact about most of the museums: there is no set price for admission. There's a recommended amount to pay, but you technically can pay as little as you want and still get to see all of the exhibits.

The special costuming exhibit at the MET was called PUNK: chaos to couture. It was very well done, and was unfortunately a camera free zone so I have no photos of it. Thankfully I remember all the cool techniques I want to apply to my costuming.

When I was finally done (I stayed until close), I met up with a classmate of mine at Kinsale Irish Tavern on 3rd Ave. The drinks were cheap, the potato skins were delicious, and the music was excellent. I'll definitely be returning here. Pictured below is my drink of choice for the evening, a concoction called a Snakebite: half Harp, half hard cider. Very good, and very potent.

Tomorrow I plan on heading back into the city (still much cheaper to ride the train in every day than get a hotel room - we'll see what happens in the next few weekends though) and visiting the Intrepid Sea and Space Museum and the Museum of Sex.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Sleep No More

At my roommate's suggestion, I went and saw Sleep No More. It was FANTASTIC. 

If you're going to be in NYC any time soon, I highly recommend it. It's a show, but so much more than a show. 

Located in Chelsea, the building it's housed in is a bit unassuming. The only sign that something more lurks within is a small plaque designating the space "The McKittrick Hotel". 

When the bouncer finally opens the door, you're ushered inside and (for $3) must check any bags or purses you have with you. You're given a gothic playing card - your hotel key, and then must walk blindly in the dark up the stairs to the in-house bar. 

Try the absinthe punch; you won't be disappointed. The champagne is also excellent. 

You're called into the main part of the "hotel" by your cards - aces go first, at least the night I went. You're given a mask and very minimal instructions:
  1. Keep the mask on at all times. 
  2. Don't speak. Do not speak. DO NOT SPEAK. 
  3. Don't touch the actors, although the actors may touch you. 
  4. The people wearing black masks are here to help you, but not to guide you. 
  5. Fortune favors the bold. 
From there, the show unfolds itself into a 1920's murder-mystery scavenger-hunt choose-your-own-adventure ballet version of Macbeth. 

Characters act out a scene - usually in groups of two, but sometimes in larger groups and sometimes by themselves. They'll dance for a while, and then quickly break apart, running to opposite ends of the room. Choose one and follow, and get swept up in a different part of the show. 

The masks are ingenious - everyone truly is anonymous. You can get right in the actor's faces, get right behind them and witness as they writhe and dance and murder. And oh yes, there is murder. Perhaps the most effective part of the entire show is the silent commentary - here are people plotting and fucking and murdering each other, and we, a mob in white masks, stand by silent and approving. We want to see more. We touch the pillows the smothered a human being. We rifle through drawers, trying to find secret notes. Horrible, horrible things are happening, and we, the hungry audience, want more. 

When the show finally ends (and believe me, you'll know), you're welcomed back in the bar. Masks come off. People laugh and joke and drink too much champagne. A lounge singer serenades you with a low, sultry voice. The lights are back on. 

My tips:
  • Wear comfortable shoes. No, really. Wear the most comfortable shoes you own. It's dark, you'll be running, and you'll be too busy exploring to care what you wearing on your feet as long as they're comfortable. 
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. It can be very hot, and you'll be climbing up and down 5 flights of stairs. 
  • Go to the early check in time. It will give you close to an hour longer in the hotel with less people trying to see the same scene. 
  • Bring an open mind. Most of the scenes repeat themselves, so don't worry about missing out. Open jars. Have a drink. Sit down. Read a letter. Get in the way. Lurk in the shadows. 
  • If you do feel lost, hang out near one of the stairwells. Chances are a character will be running through the doorway very soon, and you can go along for the ride.
  • Have fun. If a scene is boring you, move on. Go bar the bar for a drink, and return when you feel comfortable. It truly is choose your own adventure, so take advantage of it.