Things I Love Thursday, September 16th

Today is Thursday, September 16th, and it’s FINALLY starting to cool down. Oh yeah, and it’s Things I Love Thursday! This week, we focus on new bags, great deals, cars, New York City, exciting new restaurants, and everything else you know and love.

As I’m sure you are all lovingly getting used to, Thursday means Things I Love Thursday, and this week is no different! This has been an extremely busy week, with a few out-of-town guests, and lots of adventures around New York City! So sit back, relax, and get ready for some Things I Love Thursday. For your health.

Black Chrome BagMy New Chrome Bag: Since getting my bike back last week, I’ve decided to start actually riding my bike! Which means I needed to get all the essentials (helmet, bike lock, bike pump, etc) and the one splurge I allowed myself was a nice biking messenger bag. I decided to go with a Chrome brand bag, and learned that they just opened up a store about three blocks away from where I work! I headed over and had the guy working there give me the whole rundown. He explained why the bag was great, how it was designed, the materials, where it was made, pros and cons, etc. He was super helpful. I tried the bag on, and immediately fell in love. I decided to go with the black bag with the black buckle (rather than a silver buckle). It’s sharp. And I must say, I’ve had my fair share of bags in my day (I have a bit of a bag fetish), but I’ve never had a love affair with a bag quite like I do with my Chrome bag. Every time I see it, I just smile. I put it on, and it feels like it was meant to be there. The store where I got my bag even does on-the-spot repairs if my bag ever starts falling apart (which I highly doubt I’ll need). It’s covered for life. I’m smitten.

GrouponDeal-A-Day Websites: I am currently signed up for Groupon, BuyWithMe, and LivingSocial, all of which are deal-a-day websites. Every morning, when I wake up, I’m able to roll over, grab my phone, and my email inbox will be full of great deals for fun activities around the city. Even though I rarely actually purchase the deal that day, it really does make me feel more connected to the city where I live. It’s fun reading about cool restaurants I never knew about, fun classes I never even thought about looking into, and great deals on services I was thinking about buying anyway. As of right now, I’ve actually purchased two deals, both through Groupon. The first was a 20 page Shutterbug photobook (which I ended up getting for free due to coupon I had) and the second was $75 worth of wine for $25. The best (worst?) part about Groupon specifically is the iPhone app. It makes purchasing a deal the easiest thing in the entire world. Too easy. If you’re just getting into deal-a-day websites and have even the smallest amount of disposable income, be careful!

Being In A Car: It’s been almost a year since I sold my car. While it’s nice not having to make car payments, insurance payments, buy gas, or observe alternate side parking laws, not a day goes by that I don’t miss having a car. The ease, the convenience, the freedom. So, when I get to ride in a car, or drive a car, it really is a special experience for me. This week, I had the pleasure or riding around in my friend Cere’s car. We started in Manhattan (God, I miss driving in Manhattan) then headed over to Queens where we parked and walked through a random street fair, then headed over to Brooklyn to walk a dog. Both the fair in Queens and the spot in Brooklyn were places I probably never would have been without the aid of a car. I never would have eaten that deep friend oreo or watched a Hasidic Jew pull his car over to the side of the road to get out and pee. Those experiences would have never happened. I love cars. They enrich lives.

New York City Rooftop Bar ViewNew York City: I’ve lived in New York State for a little over six years now, and in New York City for around half that time. I still have moments, walking down the street, where I just stop and think, “I live in New York City. Seriously, New York City.” Even after all this time, it’s still surreal to me. I still glance out the window of my train as it’s crossing the Manhattan bridge so I can gaze at the Statue of Liberty. I still get overly excited when I stand on my roof to see the Empire State Building in the distance. I watch shows that are based in New York City or read books or stories based in New York City and relate to them on a whole different level. Hell, I read that recent Onion article and could relate to everything that it said. And it completely boggles my mind. I try to imagine myself living anywhere else and it just doesn’t work. I live in a city where I have access to almost anyone or anything I could ever want. I live in a city that constantly and consistently surprises or impresses me. I absolutely love the city where I live.

Trying New Restaurants: It’s no secret that New York City has an extremely large variety of cuisines to choose from. If there is a culture that makes a certain type of food, you can find it here. I have previously been pretty lax on going out and exploring all these new and exiting restaurants (a combination of lack of money and/or lack of someone with a similar schedule to go restaurant hopping with). But this week saw two out of town friends (Marissa and Chez) which meant going out to eat at new and exciting restaurants! I was able to try Ethiopian food for the first time at Awash and got to finally eat at Ninja. Both were absolutely amazing experiences! The dining experience at Ninja was especially outstanding, and was more of an experience than just a meal. We were there a good two and a half hours, food just kept coming, and many of the dishes were interactive. It blows my mind to think of all the other amazing restaurants that exist in this city that I haven’t been to yet.

Espresso Coffee SodaThe Rest: Espresso Coffee Soda from Rosa’s, super friendly bikers, buying all my bike gear and being all set to have adventures, Karma Hookah bar, people watching, “The Stepfather” by Chris Adrian, having people I’ve messaged respond to me, Chez stopping by the shop to hang out before she left, biking over the Manhattan Bridge, Yelp, being selected for a BuyWithMe focus group, Todd Birthday IcecreamTodd’s birthday cake, Indian food at Milan, beets, random cocktails from my roommate at 3pm on a Tuesday, Angry Birds, Shirley the Sherlock, HBO’s Bored to Death, Kryptonite, coffee, lots of Red Bull, rooftop bars in New York City, faking confidence, wearing a hoodie, Maimonides, Jack Daniels, door curtains, peanut butter Oreos dipped in milk, going clothing shopping with friends, when people comment on things I write.

Manhattan Bridge by Bike

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