Tag Archives: Tara

New York, I Love You

New York City. How could it get any better than this? Two videos hit YouTube this week, and both serve to remind the 19.4 million people who live here why they don’t leave.

How spectacular is a city that can have such schizophrenic tastes? Discussing highbrow publications in one moment, and in the next, riding the subway without pants?

See the magic yourself in these two quickies:

They say you have to live here for 10 years before you can call yourself a New Yorker, but the truth is, this place will become your instant home the moment you realize you’re a weirdo just like the rest of us.


Give Blood, Eat Dessert

Check out our guest post!

Our friends at Sip N Sizzle, a new NYC food & reviews blog, reached out to us for a guest post. Inspired by the 30 flyers the New York Blood Center sent me in the last 2 months, I explain my three favorite places (and desserts) to refuel after giving blood. One catch: No cupcakes allowed! We all know where to get those…

Check it out here: Top Places to Get Sugar After Giving Blood in NYC


Hog Heaven: The Big Apple BBQ Block Party

You know you’ve been spoiled when you have to shower twice before the smell of barbecue smoke begins to subside.

Madison Square Park turned into a literal pork steam bath this weekend for the 9th annual Big Apple BBQ Block Party. New York institutions like Blue Smoke, Pappy’s and Hill Country had crowds lined up to suck on four ribs or a pulled pork sandwich for $8.

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Everywhere, people were eating. They slurp down ribs on stairways, brisket while leaning against walls, pork sandwiches sitting in the park, and whole hog standing in lines for more whole hog. Picnic tables and impromptu beer gardens line the Madison Avenue side of the park, and bluegrass bands rotate playing sets. [Below, a favorite: The Crooners.]

What makes the Big Apple BBQ unique is its attendance. All ages, backgrounds and personalities make their way here. Unlike some festivals, where everyone seems to have the same interests, the only thing bringing this crowd together is a love for meat. …But I’m sure the 75-degree weather didn’t hurt.


The Six Month Itch

We are born nomads.

From our hunter-gatherer days, we’ve chosen our homes based on where the resources are that can support our lifestyles, and we’ve moved on after taking all we could. Through all stages of evolution, this much has not changed. But the traveling breed requires something beyond water, heat, food and shelter. We are doers, and we need stimulation.

Every six months I find myself restless. Not because I don’t love wherever I am (how could I not? I moved there, after all) but because I realize I’ve stopped appreciating the place to the fullest. My DNA reminds me its time to refresh my surroundings and seek out new diversions, and I find myself in a self-induced (and sometimes winter-induced) rut.

What can you do? How can you avoid treating your city like a working adult and more like a kid on a playground again? Your inner 8-year-old’s thrill in taking a train to work has become a daily commute. You finally met your neighbors; they are not famous fashion editors, starving artists and Nobel Prize-winning rocket scientists, but contractors and low-level businessmen with five kids and pets that are smellier than they are lovable.

In the real world, we can’t just pack our bags and find something new and fun when the place we’ve romanticized turns from a fairy tale into a more permanent home (your roots). I’ve been in NYC for more than nine months now and I’m sorry to say I’ve let it stale. As much as I’d like to jet off to London and pretend to write a novel for the next year, it’s not a possibility when you know you’ll be restless again six months later. Like in any other relationship, you have to stop, take a breath and find a solution both you and your city can agree on. It’s time to bring back that honeymoon feeling and get out of the rut!

The goal is to feel uncomfortable in your own city. You know that rush of excitement when you step out of that taxi/bus/gondola/rental/RV and take a first look around you, amazed you have so much to explore in the coming hours/days/weeks/months? To grasp that feeling whenever and wherever I want to have it, I need a plan.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be testing all my own strategies and taking requests. Anchors away!


Shot of the Week

Soweto, Johannesburg, South AfricaThree men work on a car in the outskirts of Soweto, a township in the southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, in December 2006.


Shot of the Week

Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu hostelThe view from an open-air hostel in Aguas Calientes, Peru, overlooked an apartment complex and a steep incline up the nearby mountain.

Click to read more on the train to Aguas Calientes from Cusco, or learn about the climb up Machu Picchu.


Shot of the Week

Mardi Gras 2011 Thoth parade route

Beads thrown from the floats get caught in trees off the parade routes. You can still find them dangling there all year long.

Thanks for reading all our Mardi Gras 2011 coverage this week! Let us know if you’re going next year…

Tara for TKGO