Category Archives: North America

The Fall ’14: 14 Things to do in NYC this Autumn

It’s my favorite time of year in New York: the moment between summer-weekends away and the Holiday season.

If you blink, you might miss it.

Here are my 14 top things to do and places to go, eat, and drink for Autumn 2014 in NYC.  (A broad @ home)

Am I missing anything? let me know in the comments

NY-Autumn-9

Do

1.  New Yorker festival  (October 10-12)  In its 15th year, covering a range of topics, with some of the most notable people.  I’m thinking Lena Dunham or Mindy Kaling — any takers?

2. DONE! Barry’s Bootcamp  – I’d always been too intimidated to try this workout, but thanks to a few fit friends (ahem, AD), I now worship at the altar of the Barry’s Bootcamps.  Layla Luciano’s 12:45 pm Saturday workout is, hands down, the best workout I’ve ever had.

3.  DONE! Jeff Koons Retrospective at the Whitney (until October 19th)   “Jeff Koons is widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of the postwar era…This exhibition will be the artist’s first major museum presentation in New York”  How I didn’t make it this summer is beyond me

One of the best-curated exhibits I’ve been to in a long time. Do not forget to use the free “ipod-touch”-esque guide given out in the Lobby to hear Koons’ own thoughts on the different exhibits and pieces.  Do not miss!

4.  DONE! The Moth – This open-mic-put-your-name-in-a-hat-and-get-called-up-to-tell-a-story-in-front-of-hundreds-of-strangers-event was one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time.  Cannot wait to go back. – True Stories. Told Live.  H/t to CK for the suggestion.  (October 6 StorySlam, Theme: Hunger)

5.  Celebrate Oktoberfest  Ok, so it’s not quite the same as going to Germany, but in the spirit of A broad at Home, I want to check out some of the newer beer gardens that will be celebrating Bavarian brews & pretzels.  Particularly this one at Zum Schneider (October 3-12). 

6.  DONE! Jay Z @ Global Citizen Festival, (September 27 ): If you want some snark, ask me what I thought of this event.  Luckily, it was a beautiful day spent in Central Park w one of my favorite people.

7.  Upstate Escape: Daytrip to Cold Spring.  Thanks, Sosh, for the inspiration. 

8.  Greenwood Cemetery.  I’m having a total Baader Meinhof moment with the Greenwood Cemetery.  I’d never heard of it and now it seems to be everywhere.  478 acres of p ublic green space from a time before New York had public parks.  Apparently, it is filled with famous residents and has a ton of wild parrots that live over one of the gates. Seems like a good adventure around Halloween while the weather is still nice.  

9. DONE! Matisse Cut-Outs Exhibit at the MoMA.  Totally joyous, beautiful exhibit of Matisse’s ahead-of-his-time “drawing with scissors.”  Didn’t hurt that it was free with my CUID. (Oct 12-Feb 8)

Eat & Drink

10. DONE!  Ivan Ramen  My obsession with ramen only increased after my 2013 trip to Japan and this sraight-from Tokyo LES notable newcomer has a vegetarian-broth base on the menu that will make it one of my first stops this fall 

11.  Barcade  $0.25 arcade games  (Ninja Turtles!) + tator tots + 20+ microbrews… in my neighborhood?  Sign me up.  The Williamsburg bar just opened up an outpost in Chelsea. As long as my brothers aren’t hogging the NES console, pretty much sounds like my happy place.    

12.   DONE!  Dear Irving  this cocktail parlor on Irving Place is the newest creation from the team behind Raines Law Room.  Rumored to be inspired by Midnight in Paris, I’m just having trouble deciding whether to start with The Godfather Part 2 or the Whiskey Business  — 

Possibly the best new date spot in the city — reservations are highly recommended.  Oh, and all of the whiskey-based drinks are awesome.  A particular favorite is their pear-infused take on the Gold Rush.

13. Attaboy  The crisp air makes it easy to trade in rooftop summer nights for cozying up in one of NYC’s many, many speakeasies.  Nope, that’s right, we here in Manhattan are still not over the cocktail + speakeasy craze.  Attaboy is in the original Milk & Honey LES space (brought to us by that very same team!), with the same knock-and-buzz entrance and mixologists-extraoirdinaire.   

14.  Miss Favela – now that I live downtown & venturing to brooklyn is no longer such a schlep, it’s time to visit Miss Favela, the Brazilian comfort food spot in Williamsburg, known for its caipirinhas as much as live Samba music on Saturdays  

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Filed under North America, Travel (General)

A Revolutionary Trip to Cuba

On December 11th, 15 of us from Columbia Business School traveled (legally) to Cuba for what ended up as one of my all-time favorite trips.

Prior to starting graduate school, I had read that travel to Cuba was legal for American graduate school students provided they travel under a specific university license and jump through a number of other administrative hoops.  And just like that, I decided that my pre-graduation bucket list needed to include “visit Cuba.”

Getting the license, however, was not quite that easy.  My friend Hilary and I recruited an advising professor, created a course syllabus, obtained university approval, brought together a group of students, worked with the government and the school…and FINALLY, after 7.5 months of work, we obtained the final approval to proceed with our course studying the political economy of Cuba and, most importantly, spend a week 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

It was an adventure I will never forget, simultaneously like so many places I have been and unlike anyplace I have ever been.

Represented in photographs, here are the highlights:

Arriving in Havana, Cuba!

Arriving in Havana, Cuba!

The best mojitos (Hotel Nacional)

The best mojitos (Hotel Nacional)

Havana club rum

Havana club rum

Loving the old cars, downtown Havana

Loving the old cars, downtown Havana

Sunset on the Malecon (waterfront esplanade)

Sunset on the Malecon (waterfront esplanade)

Rooftop Drinks at one of Havana's best Paladars, Atelier

Rooftop Drinks at one of Havana’s best Paladars, Atelier

The Havana coastline and the Hotel Nacional in the forefront

The Havana coastline and the Hotel Nacional in the forefront

Aerial shot of Havana

Aerial shot of Havana

So many Cohibas

So many Cohibas

Cigar rolling station

Cigar rolling station

This man holds  the Guinness World Record for longest cigar

This man holds the Guinness World Record for longest cigar

Liz & I stop for a photo in Revolution Square with Che Guevara in the background

Liz & I stop for a photo in Revolution Square with Che Guevara in the background

The 1950s cars, like stepping out of a time warp

The 1950s cars, like stepping out of a time warp

Pride/Propaganda?

Pride/Propaganda?

Exploring old town Havana

Exploring old town Havana

The entire group in old town Havana

The entire group in old town Havana

One of the old town buildings under restoration

One of the old town buildings under restoration

Cafe in old town Havana

Cafe in old town Havana

Old town Havana (restored)

Old town Havana (restored)

The group enjoying an amazing dinner at the private restaurant (paladar) La Guarida

The group enjoying an amazing dinner at the private restaurant (paladar) La Guarida

Incredible live music at Casa de la music

Incredible live music at Casa de la music

Taylor & me enjoying the nightlife at Casa de la Musica

Taylor & me enjoying the nightlife at Casa de la Musica

The Industriales baseball field reminded us very much of our beloved Fenway

The Industriales baseball field reminded us very much of our beloved Fenway

At the Industriales baseball game

At the Industriales baseball game

Uno! Dos! Tres! Industriales!

Uno! Dos! Tres! Industriales!

Day trip to Vinales, Pinar del Rio (group photo!)

Day trip to Vinales, Pinar del Rio (group photo!)

Win & I are ready for our cave walk!

Win & I are ready for our cave walk!

Stalagmites and Stalagtites

Stalagmites and Stalagtites

A tobacco farmer rolling Cigars

A tobacco farmer rolling Cigars

Tobacco

Tobacco

Tobacco farm in Vinales, Pinar del Rio

Tobacco farm in Vinales, Pinar del Rio

Happy Hanukkah from the bathroom of the Hotel Presidente

Happy Hanukkah from the bathroom of the Hotel Presidente

Live Jazz

Live Jazz

Beth Shalom Synagogue in Havana

Beth Shalom Synagogue in Havana

Inside Beth Shalom Synagogue in Havana

Inside Beth Shalom Synagogue in Havana

Happy Hanukkah!  Feliz Januka!

Happy Hanukkah! Feliz Januka!

Letter to the Jewish community from Stephen Spielberg

Letter to the Jewish community from Steven Spielberg

Visiting the Havana Club Rum museum

Visiting the Havana Club Rum museum

Cuban flag in the old town

Cuban flag in the old town

So much Havana club rum

So much Havana club rum

On the water in Havana

On the water in Havana

What is a trip to Havana without going to the Tropicana?

What is a trip to Havana without going to the Tropicana?

Bringing school supplies to a local elementary school

Bringing school supplies to a local elementary school

The most poised 3rd grader explains his art on the life of Jose Marti

The most poised 3rd grader explains his art on the life of Jose Marti

Cigars rolled in front of us...$1 each!

Cigars rolled in front of us…$1 each!

Mariana & I visit the best/worst communist ice cream parlor in Havana

Mariana & I visit the best/worst communist ice cream parlor in Havana

The best/worst communist ice cream I've ever had (wishing Chavez a speedy recovery)

The best/worst communist ice cream I’ve ever had (wishing Chavez a speedy recovery)

Winning = convinced immigration to stamp my passport!

Winning = convinced immigration to stamp my passport!

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Cuba, finally!

We’re finally off to Cuba tomorrow!  We have 15 Columbia Business School students traveling  to Havana and Vinales (Pinar del Rio) to meet with The National Jurists Union, the Cuban Society of Labor Rights and Social Security,  the Cuban Society of Merchants’ Rights, and the Cuban Society of Economic and Financial rights.

Things I’m most excited for:  going to a Cuban baseball game, touring the La Cueva Del Indio tobacco farm and cigar factory, and visiting Havana Club Rum museum.

After 8 months of planning (and not easy planning, at that), we’re ready to go!

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Filed under Cuba, North America

New Website & Winter Break 2012-2013 Travel

A Broad Abroad is now hosted at the side  http://www.abroadabroadtravel.com  – pretty exciting!

Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button if you’d like to be the first to see new photos, travel stories, and recommendations.

I’ll be going back to old posts to start updating with hotel & restaurant recommendations.  Where should I start?  Let me know!

I’ve just booked my travel plans for Winter Break, this is the lineup:

December 11-18:  Cuba

December 19-27: NYC & Southampton, NY & Pittsfield, MA

December 28-January 2: Freeport, Bahamas

January 13-January 19: Tunis, Tunisia

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Filed under Africa, Bahamas, Cuba, North America, Travel (General), Tunisia