50 Shades of LOL

If you needed to find a single lady friend of yours yesterday, chances are she was seeing 50 Shades of Grey. I read the first of the three books, and while yes I had no expectations of a Pulitzer Prize-winning piece of literature, it was a steamy little story that was fun to read. So naturally when I heard it was being turned into a movie, I made a note to pre-order tickets on Fandango. I’d never object to watching a hot, semi-nude Irish lad on the big screen.

But before I go on to write what everyone else has already written about this movie–the cringe-worthy acting and implausibly cheesy one-liners–I have to start with the atmosphere in which my friends and I saw this movie. There’s only one other flick I’ve seen where serious scenes prompted wild laughter from the audience, and that was Twilight, and I was one of the people laughing. Seeing 50 Shades was a hysterical experience; people in every corner of that theatre were cracking up, which then made everyone else laugh even harder. The commentary from the women in back of us was probably better than the on-screen dialogue. If anything, we can all credit 50 Shades for laugh-induced six packs.

And then there was the orchestra of wine bottles clinking; the movie’s true soundtrack. My friends and I had brought our own stash of wine in the form of plastic airplane bottles, but I was not expecting everyone else to be packing–and regular glass bottles, no less! After a while, all you heard was the sound of multiple wine bottles clattering on the floor from every direction. (This was an alcohol-fueled crowd, for sure.) At one point our plastic bottles even tumbled to our feet, but that was just embarrassing.

As far as the movie itself goes, Jamie Dornan was mighty fine eye candy even if his his acting was stiff. Too bad Christian Grey’s character didn’t have an Irish brogue; what a missed opportunity. Dakota Johnson (often confused with Dakota Fanning by this author, lol) was OK as an awkward good girl, but her doe-eyed stares and exaggerated moans made us all want to punch someone. There should have been a little lot more of Dornan’s skin and a lot less of Johnson being turned on by a simple forearm graze. Let’s be real, people.

The real kicker, however, was that Lindsey and I decided to make a bathroom run right as the movie was ending. That’s how anticlimactic the ending was, we didn’t even know it happened until the ladies room started flooding with people leaving the 4:30 showing! Oops.

Bottom line: 50 Shades was really silly, but very fun to watch. An entire theater filled with people laughing as its absurdity combined with a symphony of wine bottles clattering on the floor was well worth the $16.

We Are The Recess Renegades

I recently started playing kickball through ZogSports with my friend Nicole, and it has turned out to be crazy fun. We decided to sign up as a way to meet new people and do something different with our Sunday afternoons.  I have since learned that I play a mean 2nd base, haha.

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We play every Sunday at McLaughlin Park in DUMBO and then go for out for drinks afterwards, which is really why everyone signed up in the first place, right? I kid, I kid. We actually have a really great team, and are tied for 3rd place in the league. In other words, I see a kickball championship in the Recess Renegades’ future.

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I know kickball may not seem like the most badass sport out there, but let me just tell you – it gets REAL out on the field. Just last week, one of my teammates had to get stitches in her eyebrow after a turbulent collision at home plate with a guy from the opposite team. Kickball is not for the faint of heart.

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We still have another month’s worth of games ahead of us, so I’ll be sure to update you all with our final stats.

If you’ve ever thought about joining an intramural sport, do it. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet really nice people from your hood. Just make sure you have medical insurance in the event things take a turn for the worse, and you need to make a trip to the emergency room. It’s no big deal, really.

Moonstruck in Brooklyn Heights

Everyone has that movie they’ve seen a hundred times; the movie they can recite every line and stage direction of, thereby annoying anyone watching in the same room. For me (and my mom) that movie is Moonstruck. Yes, the Moonstruck of 1987 with Cher and Nic Cage. I don’t care how many jokes Nic Cage is (rightly) the butt of, you have to love him in this movie! Short synopsis – Loretta Castorini (Cher) is a widow who’s engaged to marry a man named Johnny Cammareri, but falls in love with his more handsome, yet maimed, brother Ronny (Nic Cage). It’s become a ritual that every time I come home to my parents house, my mom and I have to watch. There’s just something comforting about watching that family. And can you say quotable?

The reason I bring this up is because I was walking around Brooklyn Heights recently, turned down a side street and had a Moonstruck moment. The movie is set in Brooklyn Heights on a gorgeous tree-lined street, filled with federal-style brick row houses and a view of lower Manhattan. A street very similar to this…

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I snapped a few more pictures because, aside from the Moonstruck nostalgia, it’s also another one of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods that I just find captivating.

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And, tucked between the brownstone and brick are colonial gems like this…

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…and Art Deco ones like this.

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To sum it all up: add Brooklyn Heights to your list of must-see BK neighborhoods. Once you’re there, it’ll be hard to ‘snap out of it!‘ …I couldn’t resist.

Take Me To 11215, Please.

It has become my humble opinion that Brooklyn is the most beautiful of the New York City boroughs. Don’t get me wrong, a stroll around the West Village, along Park Avenue or through countless other neighborhoods will have you mentally prepping an Instagram filter, but Brooklyn really has it going on. Since its days as a Dutch settlement in the 1600s, it’s become the most populous NYC borough and I’m happy to be a recent transplant. The juxtaposition of old and new is apparent on almost every block you stroll down and that’s something I’ll always love about New York.

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Moving to Brooklyn has landed me in Park Slope, a neighborhood I’ve had a little crush on since college when a friend’s boyfriend lived in nearby Cobble Hill. Every time we took the train from 68th Street to Hoyt-Schermerhorn, I knew I had to live in or around there at some point in my life. Many moons later, here I am. I’m happy to report that it was a seamless transition and already feels like home. My dad and I spent a few days prepping and painting my room to give it a fresh, clean start and it’s become quite the cozy spot. A Moroccan-inspired curtain and an already-full bookshelf were the only additions needed to make my room complete. Total side note – over the past few years I’ve come to realize that I really, really like to clean and I really, really like to hang things on walls – both of which I’ve been doing a lot of post-move. There’s just something about a blank wall in need of decoration…

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^My across the street neighbor

Moving in April has to be the best month to move. For a few beautiful weeks, the trees are in bloom and the weather hints at warmth in the best way. While this spring did have a clinical case of multiple personality disorder, when it was warm, it was lovely. My apartment sits atop a restaurant and directly across from my window is a magnolia tree, which seemingly bloomed the night I moved in 😉

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^My downstairs neighbor

It’s been a pretty hectic two months but in the short while I’ve lived here, I’ve eaten at a handful of noteworthy restaurants, hung out in Prospect Park, roamed around Red Hook’s Ikea, walked up 6th Avenue and down 5th or 7th (again and again), bought books at a local bookstore, had drinks at Union Hall and, just last night, went to a ridiculously entertaining 1920’s-themed New Orleans jazz/burlesque party in Crown Heights. One thing I’ll have to get used to is having a room that faces the street. (My room in my old apartment faced a courtyard and was so quiet, sleeping at my parent’s house on Long Island seemed louder.) While my window lets in great light and the street is generally pretty quiet, every now and then and car idling at the stop light seriously makes me want to scream, “It’s 3am – turn down your $%@&*(#)@^&!*$# radio!!” out the window. Welcome to Brooklyn, fuggedaboutit.

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^Korean Bim Bop at Moim on 7th and Garfield (eat here!!)

IMG_1940^Shanghai Mermaid-hosted New Orleans night

I was a sucker for walking around the Upper East Side admiring buildings (and plotting my future as a brownstone owner) and I’ve found myself doing the same in Park Slope. While my daily commute takes me to 4th Avenue, which is pretty industrial and not much to look at, the avenues leading to the park are just breathtaking. While the “name streets” are known for being gorgeous, down here in South Slope there’s no shortage of impressive brownstones and swoon-worthy row houses.

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^I’ve noticed a lot of rose bushes in my neighborhood

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^Corner of 9th Street and 6th Avenue

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^Quite a few trees grow in Brooklyn

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^Children and adults playing in an open fire hydrant; iconic New York summer

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^Prospect Park, a life saver come summertime

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^Ok, so, this house isn’t even in Park Slope but I wanted to share it anyways: while I was looking for apartments, I discovered so many beautiful historic buildings, like this one in Fort Greene

Long story short, I think Brooklyn and I are going to become very good friends.