It’s become somewhat of a tradition for me to post photos from the Sakura Matsuri festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens one year late. Maybe this will be the year that I post photos in a timely manner! Last year, Andrew and I started our day at Sundaes and Cones which has amazing ice cream. I had gotten scoops of black sesame and lavender in a cone and I donned one of my favorite ModCloth dresses to match the cherry blossoms. Overall, it was a lovely day!
I’ve been so ready for spring to hit after enduring the extra snowy winter in NYC this year. My favorite part of spring is enjoying all of the gorgeous cherry blossom trees lining the streets. The cotton candy pink petals against the clear blue sky is my favorite color combination in nature. I’ve been daydreaming about being able to attend Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden again this year and since I never posted my photos from last year I thought now would be a good time to admire them until the weather outside matches the weather in these photos! (Sidenote, I can’t wait until my hair is that long again!)
For those that don’t know, Sakura Matsuri is the national cherry blossom festival which takes place in DC and commemorates when Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted Japanese cherry trees to the United States in 1912. The first festival was held in 1935 in Washington DC and now there are several different states which host their own version of Sakura Matsuri. The Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn has been occurring since 1981.
Last weekend in DUMBO (Brooklyn), the first New York Festival of Light was held. The event was only supposed to last three days, but I heard that on Saturday night, they were forced to close at 6pm, just one hour after they opened, because there were far too many people. Luckily, Andrew and I went on Friday night, but it was still rather crowded. The light installations were really pretty. I liked how the side of the building was lit up with the letters nyfol for New York Festival of Light, with other lights scattered around it which looked like snow. When you walked to the corner of Pearl and Water Streets where the exhibit was being held, you were greeted by two large inflatable palm tree-like objects, a tent with tops that lit up different colors when you touched it, and a man in a silver suit that looked it was made out of coins dancing on a raised platform and reflecting light into the night sky. As you walked a little deeper, there was a giant tunnel with flashing lights that is what I imagine a rave would be like. Inside the tunnel there was a black board that said “What in NYC Makes Me Smile,” which attendees were carving their responses into and revealing a rainbow lighting design beneath the black surface. One of the obvious answers was pizza. Overall, the lights were pretty but it was almost too crowded to be truly enjoyable. (I’m talking more crowded that NYCC in a tinier space). Part of the problem was that a beer and wine station was set up smack dab in the middle of the tunnel which created a stationary line and didn’t allow traffic to flow through. Andrew and I actually went into the tunnel, came back out the same side, and walked around the block to enter at other end so we could see what was there.
A few weeks ago, Andrew and I met Melissa, Kal and my roommate Taylor at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn for their new art show honoring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The show was named “Turtles in Time: Celebrating 30 Years of Turtle Power.” The event was different than their usual shows in several ways. For one, it was sponsored by Nickelodeon! As soon as we arrived, we were able to choose one toy from a big pile set up on the table near the entrance. Andrew and I both choose Kidrobot blind boxes. I got a foot soldier and Andrew was lucky enough to open Raphael. Another difference is that the Bottleneck usually serves wine at their shows, but for this event, they aptly opted for pizza instead. They had an old TMNT arcade game set up in the corner for attendees to play, there were several cosplayers, a display of Hikari Funko Turtles, and of course, the artwork was stunning. It was quite the full house so please excuse some of the wonky off-centered photos!
This past week has felt like a breath of fresh air as my social life took a turn for the best. It all started on Monday night when Andrew, Taylor and I gathered in the living room to watch the premiere of Gotham. We’re all usually so busy that it can become hard to coordinate at times, so I really revel in the moments I get to spend with my best friends and boyfriend. Even though we all had other obligations – Taylor has been busy as a bee spending just about every minute in our apartment working on cosplay for NYCC, Andrew has been hard at work creating this beautiful print series of Elsa (Frozen), Spike (Cowboy Bebop) and Link (Legend of Zelda), and I am forever with a laptop in front of me and tea in hand blogging for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink and SuperSpaceChick – we managed to come together for the hour. I only wish I had had the time to make these Batman chips. I’m planning on baking them for the finale instead. Another blogger friend Travis made some for his premiere party along with Joker Juice which looked super fun! I really enjoyed the first episode and I can’t wait to see what direction Gotham is going to take. My only issue with it was that there were so many villains and characters crammed into the first episode, but since it’s a pilot, I think FOX deserves some slack for that. I would rather see a more in depth look at several characters than short bits of too many. For instance, give us more Montoya!
On Thursday night, after what had felt like forever (but was probably about a month) of dying to see The Boxtrolls, Andrew and I satisfied my desire. We would see The Boxtrolls movie poster advertisement in literally every subway station in NYC. It felt like torture! So when the night finally arrived, I could not have been more excited. Before the movies, I went to the grocery store to pick up some Halloween candy to snack on, and I happened upon those Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s I’ve been eager to try! So here are my brief reviews of each: 1) The Boxtrolls – The movie was adorable and well worth the wait. I loved the animation style and the story was so charming. I hadn’t realized that so many actors I love voiced the characters (despite seeing the poster every day, good job Kristin), but Ben Kingsely, Richard Ayode, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were all wonderful choices. The Boxtrolls are the cutest creatures and Andrew and I have been imitating some of their motions ever since we saw it. If you’re interested in animation, you’ll especially enjoy the ending that’s played while the credits are rolling, but that’s all I’ll say about that, and 2) The Oreos – Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s are like autumn in your mouth. It might just be me, but I felt like the cookie part tasted more like a graham cracker and sandwiched in between was a glorious pumpkin spice cream. They’re just the right amount of sweet and pumpkin. They’re now officially my second favorite Oreo flavor thus far, the first being Cookie Dough and the third being Birthday Cake.
Friday night, Andrew and I met up with Marlene for a catch up dinner at Beecher’s. Beecher’s is a delicious grilled cheese place in the Flatiron District and I’d only ever been there once before. It was the perfect evening. We sat around our table and each of us recounted our tales of the times we met Neil Gaiman. We also chatted about tumblr, (Marlene works there, how cool is that?!), I made each of them promise to read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss because it’s been recommended to me for ages and ever since I picked it up I’ve been captivated with Kvothe’s story, and just internet silliness in general. After dinner, Andrew and I went back to my apartment (where Taylor was still working on cosplay) and my brother Bob and Andrew’s co-worker Ben came over for a board game night and all the pumpkin flavored desserts you can imagine. We played a new game I had just gotten called Cosmic Encounter and it was SO much fun. It was recommended to me by Josh Houchin and I am so glad I listened to his suggestion. The game initially seemed really complicated (poor Andrew read us about 11 pages of instructions for 1.5 hours before we could actually play), but once the game started it was much simpler and way more quick paced than we though it would be. Basically, you pick an alien race, and then spend the rest of the game trying to be the first person to colonize 5 planets. Your pieces are spaceships which you use to attack other players with along with attack cards after choosing a Destiny card. Alliances are formed, and there are plenty of other cards which keep the game interesting. I definitely suggest playing if you have the chance! Oh, and my Peter Pan teapot came in the mail!
Saturday was probably the most relaxing day of my week. I woke up late (board games had kept us up well past 4 AM) and spent the morning/early afternoon baking Bee & Puppycat cupcakes. I also spent a good portion of the day watching Birds of Prey with Andrew and Taylor (again, while all three of us worked on blogging, art, and cosplay respectively). I hadn’t ever watched the Birds of Prey series while it was on television but I really loved what I saw. Keeping in mind it was made in the early 2000’s and the soundtrack, clothing, and filming style were VERY reminiscent of the time. For instance, there was some Michelle Branch music and it didn’t feel dissimilar to watching an episode of Dawson’s Creek except our protagonists had super powers and fought crime. Oh, and Aunt Becky from Full House played Dinah Lance’s mother, the OG Black Canary. My favorite part of the Birds of Prey DVDs were the animated shorts of the webseries Gotham Girls featuring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman and Batgirl. They were super cute. Later I took so more photos for my next Outfit of the Day post on Wednesday which I’m pretty excited to share! Then Andrew and I headed to my brother’s apartment to celebrate his birthday. We spent hours chatting and drinking before heading to a bar in Williamsburg that my brother claimed was right off the L train (lies), but nonetheless, it was a lovely evening that turned into another really late night.
The next morning it was much more difficult to wake up but I was too excited to attend my first Medieval Festival to skip it in favor of Arrow and Parks & Recreation (because the last season is finally on Netflix!) Under different circumstances, I think the Medieval Festival would’ve been a lot of fun. I say this because according to our calendars it is officially autumn, but the sun decided to radiate heat at 81 degrees yesterday as if it were reverting back to summer. On top of that, the event was held at Fort Tyron Park by the Cloisters on 190th street and it was not the easiest location to get to. We went on a Hobbit style journey down several blocks and climbed about 150 steps and walked some more before finally hitting our destination. Combine all that with the fact that we were probably still dehydrated from the night before and quite honestly, it was not the best of conditions. Although, it was really interesting to see men jousting, women playing instruments, and a man welding metal. I would love to attend a Ren Faire in the near future when it’s cooler and I’m fully hydrated. Then Andrew and I went back to his apartment and spent the better part of the day eating pizza, French fries, pumpkin macarons, and pumpkin cheesecake, and drinking chai tea. We did get to watch more Arrow and Parks & Rec, but we spent a good deal of the evening playing Donkey Kong Country 3. I’m 94% completed with the game (after having beat it numerous times in my childhood), and I had been trying to get this one darn bonus coin so I could unlock the next level in the secret world for more time than my mind could handle.
Lastly, I’ll be recapping some blog things! Two of the most exhilarating things I did blogwise this week were publishing my first Outfit of the Day post, and announcing 5 Fandom Fridays With SuperSpaceChick & The Nerdy Girlie. We received such a warm reception via Twitter from other bloggers within the network and we were just so pleased with the positive reaction. I’ve already written a few of my 5 Fandom Friday posts because I can hardly wait to share them with the world! And here are a few of my favorite things I wrote for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink:
Living in NYC is both a blessing and curse in the sense that there’s ALWAYS something fun to do at any given time on any given day, but unfortunately most of those things cost an abundance of money. There are a ton of exciting events going on right now that I’d love to attend but I doubt I’ll be able to do them all. I’ve narrowed my list down to my top five, but I’m guessing I’ll have to narrow it down even further, especially now that I’ll be paying rent and living in my new apartment! If you could do anything regardless of the price, what would top your list?
HEATHERS THE MUSICAL – “the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized ass… but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.“
THEN SHE FELL – “a fully immersive, multi-sensory experience in which only 15 audience members per performance explore a dreamscape where every alcove, corner, and corridor has been transformed into lushly designed world. Inspired by the life and writings of Lewis Carroll, it offers an Alice-like experience for audience members as they explore the rooms, often by themselves, in order to discover hidden scenes; encounter performers one-on-one; unearth clues that illuminate a shrouded history; use skeleton keys to gain access to guarded secrets; and imbibe elixirs custom designed by one of NYC’s foremost mixologists.“
QUEEN OF THE NIGHT – “Drink, dine, and be dangerously delighted by this fusion of theater, cuisine, magic, fashion, and nightlife.“
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH – “2014 Tony Award® Winner Neil Patrick Harris stars on Broadway in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s landmark American musical, directed by Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening). Heartbreaking and wickedly funny, this raucously entertaining show has inspired a generation.”
THE ROOF GARDEN COMMISSION AT THE MET – “This installation by Dan Graham (born 1942, Urbana, Illinois) is the second in a new series of site-specific commissions for the Museum’s Roof Garden. Comprising curves of steel and two-way mirrored glass set between ivy hedgerows, Graham’s structure is part garden maze, part modernist skyscraper facade. Viewers who enter the work are transformed into performers; in glimpsing their own reflections, they are also made acutely aware of the act of looking.”