NYC Celebrates 100 Years Of Frank Sinatra

unnamed-16Our town. That’s what Frank Sinatra called New York. Combine that pure city love, soulful voice, and the bluest of blue eyes, and you have yourself THE American icon, who can be celebrated right here in NYC.  The NYPL for the Performing Arts is commemorating the Frank Sinatra Centennial with a beautifully curated free exhibit through September 4th, showcasing 100 years of Frankie’s legacy.

The exhibit has never-before-seen photos, family mementos, artwork, outfits, video interviews, and of course, music galore.  You’ll learn a host of new things (Frankie was a painter! Frankie was a film star! Frankie was the original “The Voice”!)

I particularly liked the interactive nature of the exhibit–there was one station where you could actually mix Frankie’s music yourself, a large jukebox where you could choose any and every Sinatra song ever made to play throughout the room, a huge wall filled with TV’s showing Sinatra in concert, and my personal favorite–a karaoke-like booth where you can record your voice singing New York, New York along with Sinatra’s.  Swoon!

In addition to the exhibit, you can also stroll the streets of NYC and Hoboken, NJ, (Frankie’s birth place), checking out all his favorite haunts with this free walking tour.  I, for one, can’t wait to check out Patsy’s for some of that legendary Italian food he loved!

unnamed-17 unnamed-21 unnamed-19 unnamed-18 unnamed-22 unnamed-24 unnamed-23In celebration of the centennial, there’s a host of free public programs also celebrating Ol’ Blue Eyes, from films to concerts to sing-a-longs, New York is paying tribute to the one who made popular our very own theme song, New York, New York. And for that, we thank you, Frankie.





Art In Bloom At Macy’s Herald Square

unnamed-4While the temperatures still have us questioning whether spring has, in fact, sprung, there’s certainly do doubt when you walk into Macy’s.  Strappy sandals, bikinis, and most importantly, blooms galore!

For the past 41 years, Macy’s in Herald Square welcomes spring by showcasing gorgeous gardens and beautiful arrangements in what they call a “celebration of imagination and creativity.” I really love how each arrangement is made to embody a specific form of art—from Pop to Abstract to Surrealist and beyond—truly making art accessible to the public.

It’s quite pretty, isn’t it?

unnamed-5 unnamed-8 unnamed-13 unnamed-9 unnamed-12 unnamed-11 unnamed-10 unnamed-14 unnamed-15The show goes through April 4th and is completely free, so do stop by—it makes for a wonderful indoor lunch break stroll!

Would love to know…how have you used your city this week?




Learning A New Language: Month 3

Welcome to learning a new language with Jess!  Today I’m updating you on my third month of progress.  As a quick recap: my 2015 resolution is to learn Bosnian so I can speak it with my hubs and his family.  I’ve tried and failed at this quite a few times (1/2 lack of follow through on my part, and 1/2 language acquisition is a super tough skill for me and I was struggling to find a method that worked.)

9us3e2But!  2015 is going to be the year:-)

And, so far, March was the best month yet.  Here’s why.

I teamed up with an accountability partner, i.e. a paid tutor.  I found a very skilled teacher through the website iTalki, and we have standing lessons twice a week at the same time via Skype.  Consistency!  Plus, I know that if I flake out and am a no show, I’m still responsible for paying for the lessons–which is extra motivation!  I also really like that he gives me specific homework each time, which takes the guess work out of me trying to figure out what to study from week to week.  As the habit guru Gretchen Rubin says in her book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives:

“Accountability means that we face consequences for what we’re doing–even if that consequence is merely the fact that someone else is monitoring us…On the flip side, when we don’t feel accountable, we behave worse.”

Have you guys tried having an “accountability partner” for any of the habits/resolutions you’re mastering in 2015?  Share below!

p.s. here’s month 2 and month 1 updates.




Great Nights In Gotham City

Fans of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series will be aware that, unlike its two predecessors, The Dark Knight Rises was filmed in New York City in addition to having scenes shot in locations as varied as India, Italy, and the UK. But what can Bat-crazed visitors to New York get up to when they’ve seen the locations where the Dark Knight rose? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Games and Gambling

New York is full of fantastic casinos, so take the opportunity to visit them and play some games. One of the most famous is the Resorts World Casino on Rockaway Boulevard. You can enjoy everything from slots to roulette, and the casino has over 2,200 machines to choose from. Take your friends for dinner, drinks, and some games for a truly memorable night.

ResortsWorldCasinoChoose between the Times Square and Fifth Avenue casino floors.

If you haven’t packed a suit however, you can always stay in your hotel room, logon at Mr Smith Casino and play The Dark Knight Rises online. Order some drinks and food, kick back and have some late night fun, Gotham style.

Gotham Comedy Club

Have a few drinks and a lot of laughs.

imageNot only does it have a perfect name, the Gotham Comedy Club is a legendary venue that has hosted some true comedy greats. It was initially formed in 1996 and located on West 22nd Street before a 2006 move to West 23rd. Superstars like Louis C.K., Nick Cannon, and Dave Chappelle perform at the club, and it has hosted TV and movie cameras more than once. If you recognize the interior from your TV, it could be because Live at Gotham is shot here by Comedy Central. Cult hit Curb Your Enthusiasm started out here: its pilot was filmed in the club.

There are a few rooms to choose from, including the Vintage Lounge and the Metropolitan Room, so book a table today and enjoy a night of luxury and laughter. The Joker would be proud!

Take Me Out NYC Tour

Board the party bus!

Four female friends toasting with wine in nightclubVisiting New York is always a fantastic experience, but the sheer amount of entertainment on offer can be a little daunting. Luckily, the Take Me Out NYC tour company is here to help. They provide a range of tours to suit everybody, from the Girls Night Out package to the Mixology Tour. You can ask in advance about visiting locations for The Dark Knight Rises, or maybe seeing where the stars relaxed during their time off.

Every tour includes a limousine with a fully-stocked bar and an expert guide. The only exception to the limousine rule is the Party Bus Tour, which features a nightclub on a bus instead!

Whatever you do in New York, it’s sure to be memorable, so make the most of it!

By: Miia Karttunen

||Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3||




Tubing Beats Skiing In Mountain Creek, New Jersey

unnamedOkay, let’s talk openly for a minute: what is your thing that you just don’t enjoy, that you feel like most everyone in the world is totally into?  My mom absolutely detests graduation ceremonies (too bad she had 4 kids!), my husband practically breaks out in hives if I suggest going to an Irish pub, and my girlfriend Michelle hates any and all sweets (seriously, who hates sweets?!)

And me?  My thing is skiing.  Now–I’ve tried skiing a handful of times over my life, and as much as I think I should like it (it’s a lifetime hobby! such good exercise! great for winter getaways!), none of these reasons are enough to convince me that I do, and at 32, I have accepted that I don’t–probably never will–and that’s totally okay.

Besides being all self-accepting, it’s also okay because there’s an alternative winter “sport” that I do enjoy: tubing!  So when the fam got together last weekend for a quickie day trip to the mountain, I hiked up my boots and got ready to tube!  Here’s a little video.  You guys proud of my ability to multi-task?;-)

unnamed-1While it may be too late in the season to enjoy much slope time/tubing this year, make sure to clear some weekends for the 2015/2016 season!

unnamed-2 unnamed-3Mountain Creek, New Jersey, is an hour north of NYC, easily accessible by car, or also Snow Buses right from the city!  Seriously perfect for a day trip.  Another bonus: at $25 for a 2 hour session, tubing is decidedly cheaper than skiing, too.  Just saying;-)

Have you taken any seasonal getaways lately?  Share below (as well as the thing you hate that everyone else loves!;-)