Beans Don’t Burn In The Kitchen

Dear kids,

Saturday, after 13 months and two different sublets, Uncle B and I moved into a new place. A place with our name on the lease, which is actually kind of an accomplishment in this city. We made it to a neighborhood that is safe, that is vibrant, vital, diverse, affordable, and absolutely lovely. Astoria is an adorable hood situated on the East River side of Queens. We worked HARD to get here. To make it in New York. After 13 months I think it is safe to say that .
Astoria Map

The new hood

Movin on up!

Movin on up!

This past year was one of the most challenging of my life. It was full of confusion and anxiety, but I have emerged renewed with the realization that it was also one of the most rewarding years, maybe even the most yet. Being in a very stratified environment of judgey 1%ers has forced me to deal with my personal disdain of bourgieness, which in turn offered a really good lesson about tolerance. Without it you will go insane. Bitterness toward everything around you is a poison that kills only you. Everyone is different, and even if you find their lifestyle disgusting you still have to coexist. To paraphrase a dear friend and wise mentor I’ve made since I moved here, it’s not bothering them – why let it bother you? Some of the soundest advice I’ve ever received. Furthermore, I’ve really had to face my own insecurities about myself. I’m learning to stop measuring myself against others. Everyone has their struggles and strengths, so I’m just trying to focus on my own instead evaluating myself in comparison to others. All of this is a process. I’m not all perky all positive all the time, but I am regaining a renewed confidence, stronger than ever.

Our new coffee spot. $1.25/cup baby

Our new coffee spot. $1.25/cup baby

#nomnom

#nomnom

Instead of going to Dubai, Dubai came to us!

Instead of going to Dubai, Dubai came to us!

With the help of my closest friends who’ve stood the test of time, and most of all with the help of my partner, my best friend, my Brenden. I don’t think I could’ve stuck it out here without him. I’m a pretty independent woman. I was raised to not need a man and I don’t. But I got one – a great one – and our friendship and relationship has taught me more about the power of Love and Faith than all the rest. I hope for the same for each of you one day.
Love always,
Aunt Cat(ie)
Panorama of the work in progress. This is the view from right by the front door.

Panorama of the work in progress. This is the view from right by the front door. Once again my board makes a cameo!

Do The Rockaway

Dear kids,

Last weekend Brenden and I got an epic deal on some bus tickets to the beach, so we went to Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways, which is in Queens. Beaches are the last thing that I associated with NYC before I moved here, but then it hit me as the weather started warming that we’re more or less ON the ocean. In slightly under an hour I can be from my front door to the sands of the ocean. Beaches here don’t get the best rap, but this particular one in the Rockaways got great reviews and, being the water babies we are, we were desperate for some ocean love.

Old school postcard: Surf Bathing At Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway Beach Long Island, NY

Old school postcard: Surf Bathing At Jacob Riis Park, Rockaway Beach Long Island, NY

Recently I was hard at work surfing the web last week when I came across an article about the NYCBeachBus. For $12 a person, a bus will come fetch you and take you to one of two beaches in The Rockaways,** let you stay to a designated time, and then take you home. But wait! There’s more! The $12 includes beer!! It was supposed to be two beers, but we only got one because the moron running the trip on the way home “didn’t have time” but that’s something I’ll take up with Yelp, not this blog. The beer we did get was good beer, too. Not that Miller Lite crap that your fathers drink. All in all it was a great deal that led us to the holy Mecca that is THE OCEAN.

[**FYI: Rockaway (aka The Rockaways) is a peninsula in Queens. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and Jamaica Bay to the north.]

Jacob Riis Park is approx 1hr total from our front door

The beach was beautiful and the water was crisp. Definitely too cold to swim in, but the weather was perfect. We spent the day basking in the sun. At one point we noticed a bunch of half-naked people walking around and realized we’d accidentally stumbled upon a nude beach. Fortunately we saw no saggy old men.

jacobriisbeach

After getting some good chill time in we went to this place, The Wharf, for lunch. It’s a waterfront dive-type place on the bay side of the peninsula, with great views of Manhattan. Plus we were so close to JFK airport that we got some great plane watching in. For food we got the crab cake appetizer, Brenden got fish tacos, and I got the coconut shrimp basket.

The Wharf Bar & Grill

The Wharf Bar & Grill

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Brenden post tacos

All in all it was a lovely day! By the time we got home we were so pooped, but the good kind. The kind that lets you know your day was a success. 🙂

Until next time, and all my love.

Cat