A Mardi Gras Tour of New Orleans

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Happy Mardi Gras! I'm celebrating Fat Tuesday in New York, but read on for a little about my Fat pre-Mardi Gras Week in the Big Easy: The sun hadn't yet risen last Saturday morning, but yet I found myself navigating the tunnels of JFK airport with one destination on my mind: New Orleans. A large latte, three hours and a cramped half-nap later, there I was. I was suddenly in a place that had until that point been completely foreign to me. It was warm, I could ...

Christmastime in the City

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There is something undeniably beautiful about Christmastime in New York City. It seems the whole city shifts from high gear to low, and its blinding neon glare slowly fades to cheery shimmers of red and green. From hurried businesspeople to families struggling to make end's meet, it's almost as if all of New York takes a moment out of climbing their life's ladder, and stops to appreciate just how far they've come. For even just a second, scarves and stocking hats become cozy, not a hassle. Sparkling window displays and ...

A Date or Two with Food and Fate

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"Promise yourself not to solve all of life's problems at once." The quoted glared at me from the November page of my calendar as I looked up at it this morning. It was the first time I'd really noticed the inspirational passage of the month, despite being 23 days in. I even felt compelled to peek at December's almost-materialistic, definitely cultural, slightly poetic quote, "Wrap it all in peace." But as I moved on to the brushing of my hair and the flossing of my teeth ...

A Departure, An Arrival, and Gluttony in Montauk

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The corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is not a quiet corner. It's a corner of commuters stepping off the trains at Penn Station and into the heart of the city, just blocks from the Empire State Building. Men and women in bright orange vests make forceful attempts to get their tabloid papers off their hands and into yours; heels click as business women pass through their offices' revolving doors. This is Penn Station, and morning in New York City has ...

All Philled Up

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A two-and-a-half day trip out of New York City is a short but entirely magical experience. The first five minutes of the coach bus ride to Philly were surreal -- what is this extra-wide, cushioned seat, and how did the skyscrapers magically transform into empty fields? The other 85 minutes of the ride were a sweet, sweet nap. I woke up in some sort of not-in-NYC zen state, and in the middle of Philadelphia. Over the next two days, my generous host and long-time friend transported ...

A Lesson on Wisconsin to That Guy at the Airport

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Most residents of New York City understand how good it feels --and how utterly essential it is-- to Get The Heck Out every now and then. But what they don't know is how perfect a place Wisconsin is to flee to. This post is, if nothing else, a lesson to the guy at the NYC airport who just couldn't understand why I'd travel from "a cold place to a colder place" for an entire week. This, Airport Guy, is why: Not only do Wisconsinites prefer real ...

What I Ate On My “Summer Vacation”

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While interning, I quickly learned that New Yorkers love their summer vacations. Families flee to the Jersey Shore every weekend; most companies honor "summer Fridays," which entails reduced or no work on Fridays in the summer; many local joints would struggle if not for the dependable patronage of tourists. In a city of over 8 million residents, I more than understand that sometimes all one can do to stay sane is GET OUT. And yet, I remained captive of my internship and of New York City for ...