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controversial yoga in the park?

25 Oct

Yesterday I did my first Yoga Echo Park session (through meetup.com). The founder, Steve Arcos, teaches a 70 minute yoga class at Echo Park Lake free of charge (he asks for a $5 suggested minimum donation).

not taken at 9 am, but another cool view of EP lake

not taken at 9 am, but a cool view of EP lake

I have been on the hunt for a great yoga class. I like YAS DTLA, but it’s a little pricey and if fewer than 3 people are there for a class it is cancelled, which is a massive bummer. When I lived in West Hollywood, I tried to make it to outdoor, donation-based yoga at Runyon Canyon as often as possible.

I enjoyed the class and will be back.  There were about 6 of us taking the class and despite the loud noise of traffic rushing by the park, it was so nice to be outside. I had to jet off a few minutes before the end to avoid a parking ticket (street sweeping apparently…typical LA). My only other criticism was that the grass was pretty wet so my mat got slippery, but I could always get a thicker mat.

source: Facebook Yoga Echo Park -- YEP

source: Facebook Yoga Echo Park — YEP

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Echo Park Lake

The thing that struck me as weird, though, is the amount of controversy that has sprung up about the fact that yoga is being offered in a public space, for a “charge” [for people who do yoga, $5 is pretty nominal] and without a permit. The comments on this article in The Eastsider LA are crazy to me — if outdoor yoga isn’t your thing, wait the 70 minutes for the class to end and then do whatever you want on the small portion of the lawn the class takes up.

It makes me sad that something positive for the community is being seen in a negative light.  I doubt the founder is getting rich off of 3 classes a week in the park. His intentions are admirable:

“Having grown up around Echo Park, I remember when the park was frequented by gang members and derelicts.  I wanted to make sure that the park never returned to this so I came up with this class.

I am not sure what the rules are from a legal standpoint in terms of permits, but from a moral point of view I think Steve should continue to offer the yoga classes. If the park isn’t okay with it — they’ll seek him out and let him know. Isn’t the whole point of parks to allow outdoor recreation? How is this much different from runners or walkers utilizing the walking path?

I was happy to see HuffPost have a more postive spin on it this morning.

What do you think? Are your for or against yoga in the park? Give your two cents in the comments! 

Favorite place to do yoga in LA? 

a weekend in nyc.

26 Sep

Last weekend, I flew to NYC to spend a long weekend.  I spent Thursday morning through Sunday exploring Manhattan and Brooklyn with three of my best friends from my sorority, and I also got to visit my aunt!

It all started late Wednesday night when I took the red eye from LAX to JFK. Red eyes are scary-sounding, but I actually totally recommend flying that way. I slept almost the entire way, and felt energized when I landed! (I couldn’t have done it without my neck pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs though, let’s be real).

My aunt Cheri picked me up at JFK – we got a little bit lost en route to her apartment, but a little while later we made it to Brooklyn. Our first order of business (no joke) was to watch the previous night’s episode of Real World/Road Rules: The Challenge (Rivals 2).  My aunt and I have shared this obsession for years, so before we got the day started I routed for my favs, Emily and Paula and Jordan and Marlon. Once we were all ready, my aunt Cheri, her wife Janet, and I headed out to explore their borough.

I consulted the Brooklyn guide of one of my favorite blogs, C’est Christine, and found a couple of places I wanted to check off the list. First on the list was the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I loved strolling the walkway and getting glimpses of Manhattan:

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Next, we cruised by One Girl Cookies in Cobble Hill (also a rec from C’est Christine). The place was so cute and hit the spot big time. My aunt said she loved “small foods” and “sugar” so she was game to try them out. I loved how the cookie shop had girls’ names for each cookie. I can’t remember which one was my favorite – they were all delicious.

IMG_4611Before I took the subway across the river to meet my friends in the East Village/Lower East side part of town, my aunt, Janet, and I did a couple of margaritas at a local taco place they like.  I sent my mom a photo (I still maintain that my eyes were red-eyes and not drunk-eyes) because she loved the margaritas on her last visit.  It was the perfect Brooklyn send-off!

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Janet and me. Ignore the haggardness, I was still in my red-eye clothes.

On the way to the subway, my aunt pointed of the Barclay Center where the VMAs were held earlier this year. You know, #WeCan’tStop? My inner (outer?) MTV nerd was stoked.

I took the subway into the East Village and met my friends at the rental we had secured through Air BnB.  I have used VRBO before but this was my first venture into Air BnB. Our place had a good location, but it definitely just felt like two guys decided to vacate their apartment for the weekend.  There were no guest amenities and their fridge was stocked…with their stuff.  The place was perfectly fine, it just wasn’t nice.

I was meeting my friends Michelle, Kathleen, and Kate — three of my closest friends from my sorority daze. They all live in SF, and while we see each other when we can, it is still not enough!

The first order of business was dinner in the West Village with their friend, Michael, at a place called Tortilla Flats. The guacamole and margaritas were incredible, and Michael was funny, friendly, and super generous!

IMG_4619We also hit up a couple of other local bars — Upright Brew House (loved) and a super swanky place aptly titled “Employees Only.” (I have already instructed my friend Ryan, lover of all things bougie, to go there on his next NYC trip).

michelle, kate, a very washed out me, and kathleen ready to get our beer drinking on.

michelle, kate, a very washed out me, and kathleen ready to get our beer drinking on.

On Friday morning, Michelle and I had a very important #SoulDate at the Union Square Soul Cycle. We loved our class with Anthony F., and I may have incorporated his closing track (Kaskade – Atmosphere) into my latest spin playlist. It was a great way to the start the day, and not TOO touristy.

IMG_4630Later, Michelle and I stumbled upon a fabulous brunch spot — Friend of a Farmer — for some post-spin fuel. We then met up with Kathleen and had a couple of drinks in Bryant Park. The weather was GORGEOUS.

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day drinking in Bryant Park. Doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.

Kate had to work (the plight of the Googler), but we met up with her that night for a trip to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yanks crush the SF Giants. Our seats were out in the boonies, but we saw A-Rod beat Lou Gherig’s grand slam record, scored a Nathan’s hot dog, and soaked up the fun Yankees Stadium atmosphere. That place is incredible.

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#1 Reason Yankee Stadium > Wrigley Field. They let you put ketchup on your stinkin’ hot dogs!

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I have officially checked off 10 MLB parks  off my bucket list. (if you count both old and new Yankee stadiums as separate…I do). I have been to all 5 in CA, Safeco Field (Mariners), Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and both the old and new Yankee stadiums. I am not sure what #11 will be. Any suggestions? 

love these girls!

love these girls!

On the subway ride out of the Bronx, I got into it with a Giants fan who overheard me talking about the Dodgers. I was recounting a meme I had seen where Brian Wilson (now a Dodger) was accidentally rooting for the Giants, and was laughing about his confusion.

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This woman got all offended that I wasn’t respecting Wilson and that I should be happy to have him. I insisted I was, and also explained that her little organization didn’t want him anymore. Giants fans…god.

Saturday morning started for me and my fellow fittie, Michelle, with a low-key 4-miler along the East River. It was a little humid but a fabulous way to start the morning. Thanks for being my running bud, Michelle!

IMG_4649IMG_4644We hustled to get ready for brunch in Chelsea at Crema Restaurante. We met up with Amy, who was in town from Beijing (!), as well as Kiira, Trisha, and Kelly, friends from our sorority who live in NYC. It was great catching up with them over mimosas and delicious Mexican-inspired, family style brunch fare.

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Amy, me, Kate, and Kathleen brunching it up.

IMG_4650I was obsessed with the french toast dish, but all of it was delicious!

After brunch, Kate and I headed out for a few hours. We explored Chelsea Market, walked the High Line, and stopped for a beer at the beer garden at The Standard. Such a fun afternoon!

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view from the High Line.

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it was super windy.

beer garden time with Kate :)

beer garden time with Kate 🙂

Later that night, I went out with Kathleen to a super legit beer garden in Brooklyn. We ordered kas spaetlze and it brought me right back to Vienna. And it was delicious. We got hit with a little bit of rain on Saturday, but it was all cleared up by Sunday.

My last day in NYC started with a delicious NY bagel, coffee, and a stroll through Central Park with Kathleen.

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We stumbled upon a cute little Farmers Market in the Upper West — the $2 piece of pizza I had was perfect.  We mozied back to our AirBnB place, finished packing, and I grabbed a shuttle with Michelle back to JFK for our respective flights. The shuttle took FOREVER and was sort of uncomfortably hot and quiet — are all Super Shuttle experiences like that? This was my first.

I made it to my gate with only 15 minutes or so to spare.  I enjoyed the 5.5 hour flight back to LAX — I listened to some music and finally got back in the law school grind.

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always gunning.

My friend Aviva was super generous and picked me up (who needs Super Shuttle when you have nice friends?). And with that, my whirlwind of a weekend came to a close!

I had a fabulous weekend in NYC with some awesome people, but I was so excited to wake up in my own bed on Monday morning and to go on a run through DTLA 🙂

What is your favorite thing about NYC? 

hidden [hollywood] gem.

10 Aug

Last night I discovered a hidden gem in East Hollywood – a geographic region of LA I didn’t even really know existed.  It’s just south of Los Feliz, and pretty much the stretch of Hollywood Blvd. known as “Thai Town.”  Anyway, my friend Eric invited me to check out the Friday Night Wine Tasting at Barnsdall Art Park.  It was awesome.

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We bought tickets online for $25, which came with a pretty cool wine glass, and the opportunity to taste four different wines from Silver Lake Wines. I am not the biggest wine-o (hello, IPAs, remember?) but the event was great.  There was a DJ mixing pop hits in a sort of laid-back/mellow way, and there were incredible views of Griffith and Hollywood.

The pours were also hefty.  I bee-lined for the line with the server wearing a cross-fit T-shirt, because I just recently took my first cross-fit class.  I think the guy felt like I was a member of the tribe or something because he hooked it up with the pours.

I took a screenshot of Barnsdall Park’s instagram to remember the wine we tried:

credit: Barnsdall Park Instagram

source: Barnsdall Park Instagram

My favorite ended up being the rosé which surprised me.  The chardonnay was “un-oaked” – I definitely prefer the oaked variety.  The reds were…red? Again, #BeerGirl.

The event was awesome and I’d definitely like to go back – this occurs every Friday through the end of the summer. There’s also a Frank Lloyd Wright house there that I’d love to tour at some point!

Barnsdall Park also brought in food trucks.  I hit up the Patty Wagon for a couple of sliders (the classic + the “mood indigo” which had bleu cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms on a ciabatta roll) as well as their deliciously thin rosemary and garlic fries.

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I had seen on twitter that the Cool Haus truck was going to be there as well.  I enjoyed every bite of my ice cream sammy: snack food cookies with a scoop of chocovivo ice cream.

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Well I guess that pretty much rounds out my uber-LA evening . . . or day for that matter. (I saw a celebrity trainer while I was at cross-fit earlier. I now realize I have become a complete cliché). Back soon with some fitness updates 🙂

Important question: Wine or Beer? 

tripping [chicago].

3 Aug

After the wedding on Sunday, my parents and I had until Thursday to sight-see and take in the city.  First on the agenda was a guided boat cruise of Chicago architecture with everyone who was still in town for the wedding – including the bride and groom!

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It was a great tour – Chicago’s architecture is truly the most captivating of any city I’ve been to, at least in the U.S.  We snapped photos and learned about modernism’s “austerity” vs. post-modernism’s “contextualism.”  Cue a new obsession forming for me…I looooove me some post-modernism.

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one day married!

After the cruise, a bunch of us went to lunch along the river.  I had a Revolution Anti-Hero IPA.  No, waiter, I will not shy away when you warn me that it’s “pretty hoppy.”  It was excellent.

That evening, my family, Ryan’s family, and Justin’s family headed out to Wrigleyville to watch the lackluster Cubs take on the equally uninspiring Brewers. It was awesome catching  a game in Wrigley – although I do prefer Dodger stadium’s feel.  I had an Old Style and a hot dog, which apparently you’re not supposed to eat with ketchup.  I guess I learned that one the hard way.

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Instead of staying at the Hyatt again, my parents rented a brownstone in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood using VRBO.  It was cool to check out a different (adorable) neighborhood and to see the city from a different angle.

On Tuesday, I slept in and may have used the morning to catch up on The Bachelorette, after I had heard the internet exploded.  I have HATEEEED this season.  Des is the least interesting Bachelorette, ever, but reading Reality Steve’s spoilers have kept in mildly interesting.  Once my pop-culture prowess was restored, we set off for more Chicago tourist jaunts.  First up on the list was another deep-dish place, Uno.  Delicioussss. IMG_4289I took my parents by “the bean” and Jay Pritzker Pavilion, my new favorite Frank Gehry piece.  If you haven’t gathered by now, I am FG obsesssssed.  He designed my law school, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Bilbao’s Guggenheim, and a building in Prague I loved (the Fred and Ginger House).  He’s super funky and whimsical, and now when I go to a new city I Google “Frank Gehry” there to make sure I stop by and see whatever it is he’s designed. [Note: I get quite a bit of flack for this, a lot of people think Gehry is “weird.” Nope, I love him].  I am bummed I didn’t make it to an outdoor concert here.  I guess there’s always next time!

IMG_4240Also on Tuesday, we headed to Chicago’s Art Institute.  They had a lot of great pieces, but I was especially drawn to the Van Goghs and Monets.

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Monet – Wheat stacks

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Monet – Water lilies

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Van Gogh – The Drinkers

It was also really great seeing American Gothic and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte in person as well.

That evening, my parents and I had a couple of drinks on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building.  Although it’s not quite as high as the observation deck on the Willis (formerly known as Sears) Tower, I’d heard the views were far superior.  The views of the city from the Signature Lounge at the John Hancock could truly not be beat. Tip: If you go, make SURE you check out the restrooms.  Some of the best views are in there!

IMG_4309We also hopped around Navy Pier and walked around the city a lot.

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On Wednesday, I went on a run to Lincoln Park and then did a little exploring back over by the bean.  One of my law school friends, Greg, gave me a whole list of recommendations (more on that later) so I was determined to check a few of his suggestions off my list.  Later, I met back up with my parents for some more eating + drinks by the river.  My parents ordered a bottle of wine and ended up giving the rest of it to the people at the table next to us, who had *just* finished taking the Illinois bar.  I explained that that will be me in a year and one responded “Oh god, California is THREE DAYS.”  Yupppp.

On Thursday, we left the Brownstone, headed out to one last foodie pit-stop in the West Loop, and made our way to Midway.

It was a fantastic trip, and we tasted some delicious food.  Here’s a quick break-down of my fav eats:

IMG_43421. Revolution Anti-Hero IPA (Chicago, Illinois).  Nice and hoppy. Read: Loooooove.

2. Uno’s Pizza. I later learned this is my friend AK’s favorite pizza place in Chicago.  I asked a few locals what their favorite pizza joint was, and this was always at the top of the list.  It did not disappoint.

3. Raspberry Guacamole at Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill.  This was one of my very favorite things.  It was essentially guac with added raspberries.  It sounded weird at first (my dad was a little shifty-eyed when I suggested it) but the flavors blended together perfectly.  I need to recreate this.  We also tried an out-of-this-world mole tamale and the ceviche was perfect.

4. Intelligentsia Coffee.  This was high up on Greg’s list of recommendations.  Intelligentsia is all over LA, but I had no idea it  originated in Chicago.  In my mind, it’s LA’s answer to SF’s Blue Bottle or Portland’s Stumptown Coffee roasters.  I got a “Summer Solstice” blend to take with me to Millennium Park.  Along with my coffee, I took another of Greg’s suggestions and hit up Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine Bar for a sandwich.  I asked the guy behind the counter what their signature sandwich is and promptly ordered the “Blue Pig ‘n’ Fig” which consisted of serrano ham, figs, arugula, and blue cheese. So good.

5. Churros con chocolate at Rick Bayless’ Xoco.  Next door to Frontera Grill is a smaller Rick Bayless place called Xoco – so obviously we had to go back for dessert.  My churros con chocolate were pretty delicious – but so were my mom’s dulce de leche enchilada and my dad’s ice cream. Nom.

6.  Lou Malnati’s Pizza.  We went back here a second time after the rehearsal dinner and ordered the “chicago classic” which had sausage, was super cheesy, and had a delicious sauce.  I’m not really sure which I liked better – Lou Malnati’s or Uno’s, but I think this dish might have won.

7. Little Goat Bread.  The last place I checked off Greg’s list was Little Goat Bread.  He’d reminded me Stephanie Izard, a past winner of Top Chef, has a James Bead-winning restaurant, The Girl and the Goat, in Chicago.  She also has a small diner (Little Goat Diner) and an even smaller sandwich place called Little Goat Bread.   I had an insanely delectable turkey sandwich, and then went back and grabbed a lemon and chocolate scone and a triple chocolate cookie for my parents.  All were amazing.  We ranked that meal the highlight of the trip.

I was sad to end such a great vacation – but enjoyed my travel classic of ginger ale on the airplane, and powered my way through a new book, aptly about Chicago. (I’m reading The Devil in the White City.)

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Alright…let me hear your favorite Chicago places!

ak and andrea’s wedding [chicago pt. I]

3 Aug

Oh hey, blog readers!  I realized I went AWOL for no reason this last month.  The good news is I’ve been busy and have lots of blog-worthy posts up my sleeve – so be on the look-out for posts in the near future about spinning, the end of my summer job, my favorite DTLA eats, among others.  One notable thing happened in my blog absence: That’s G turned 4!  I know this blog is pretty small, but I’ve really enjoyed writing it and sharing little glimpses into my (relatively boring) life with y’all. So thanks for hanging with me!

I figured the first post post-hiatus (if Grey’s Anatomy can take one, surely I can too, right? That’s how this works) should be about my recent trip to Chicago!

The purpose of the trip was to see my old friend A.K. (Andrew Kory) get married.  I have known AK for over 10 years.  We became friends freshman year of high school and have pretty much been friends since.  He’s one member of my motley crew of guy friends from high school (aka “my boys” or my “bruddahs”).  I distinctly remember grabbing coffee with AK in May of 2009 after my semester abroad in Barcelona.  I have always known him as AK and he gave his name to the barista as “Andrew.”  I scoffed and he said “I have a new girlfriend and she calls me Andrew, so that’s what I go by now.” That’s when I knew he meant business.

I got to know Andrea shortly after and we became friends as well — I admire her ability to hold her own in our rowdy group of crazies.  Going on three years ago AK and Andrea were my very first visitors when I lived in Madrid — a trip both they and I will always remember.

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Anyway, I love them and was so happy to see them tie the knot and travel to Chicago, where Andrea is from. I digress.  Back to Chicago.

I finished work on July 26 and after happy hour(s), I headed to my parents’ home so we could start the journey together.  My whole family was invited – my parents share some “trojan family” mumbo jumbo connection with AK and Andrea that I couldn’t begin to understand.  We set off early on Saturday the 27th and I ran into my friend Jeff and my friend Ryan’s parents, Pam and Brian, who were also headed to the wedding. Yay for an entourage!

That night, we headed to the rehearsal dinner in the Gold Coast region of Chicago at Lou Malnati’s – for some legendary deep dish.  Afterward, we all went out to a bar/lounge called Social 25.  We all had fun catching up and listening to the copious amount of Pitbull songs they played.  I noticed that the bars in Chicago were BIG – way more elbow room than in LA.  I guess the city’s nickname of the “city of big shoulders” has some truth to it. #endorse.

The next day was wedding Sunday!  I started the day off with a run through Millenium Park to Lake Michigan with my friend/fellow workout fiend Emily.  So glad she got me out of my laziness and moving!

standard bean running pic.

standard bean running pic.

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After our run, my mom and I headed to get our hair done at Blow by Blow (totally recommend if you’re looking for a Drybar equivalent in Chicago).  We got ready and headed to the ballroom at the hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, for the ceremony.

some of my friends groomsmen-ing.

some of my friends groomsmen-ing.

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reception time w/ my brudahhhh Jeffrey.

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We all had a lot of fun at the reception.  The band was the BEST wedding entertainment I’ve seen.  The Ken Alren band had a few singers, so they sang a bunch of current (and older) favorites — and sounded just like the real thing.  Here’s my insta video of Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” OBSESSED.  I wish they were from LA so I could eventually hire them. But I guess I need to, you know, find a husband first.  Whatever.

We danced, ate, listened to our friend Ryan’s funny groomsman toast, and celebrated AK and Andrea.  More than anything, it was SO fun to have our group of (scattered) friends together for an entire weekend.  10 years ago I would have rolled my eyes and undoubtedly made some sort of derisive comment if you would have told me I’d still be friends with all of these guys — but now I realize I am BEYOND lucky to be the token girl in our group of friends.  I may have one bio-brother but I have more than a handful of others who are willing to make fun of me at just about every opportunity (but also offer the occasional compliment or words of “wisdom”).

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Anyway, I’ll be back shortly with the rest of my trip in Chicago! My parents and I decided that since we’d never been there before, we’d extend the trip. I OD’d on delicious food, found a new-to-me regional IPA, checked an MLB stadium off the list, and found a new post-modern building to obsess over.  Pretty much all of the makings of a solid vacation!

Congrats Andrew/a (can that be a thing?)!! Hope you’re enjoying Maui!

photo dump.

23 Jun

I’ve been a bad blogger.  In my defense, however, I’ve been busy – with work, social events, and my brother’s graduation last weekend in Santa Cruz! Here’s what I’ve been up to the last few weeks:

I’ve been spinning a lot lately.  Today I’ll be spinning for 3 hours at the YAS-A-Thon to raise money for ThinkCure! so I have been spinning a bunch to get in shape for that. I’m also going to get spin certified (next weekend!) so I want to be in the zone for that.  Post marathon, I have realized I don’t NEED to run so much, and I can incorporate more spin classes whenever I feel like it.

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I LOVE this statue/plaque outside of the Ernst & Young building downtown.  Gotta love big businesses who can laugh at their reputation!

IMG_3975I’ve been utilizing my apartment complex’s small gym for some morning weight work.  I am really digging the Tone It Up workouts – and I especially love how they’re beach themed.  The Costa Rica “Pura Vida” one is probably my fav so far.

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I’ve been really lucky to get to go to several awesome events with the firm I’m working for this summer.  Last week, I went to a silent auction and cocktail party put on by LAFLA – the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.  It was held at the Japanese American Cultural Center – who knew it was this cute?

IMG_3978At the auction, I won (read: bought) 4 tickets to two different Dodger games.  The first one was the following night, against the D-backs. I took my parents and my friend Armita.

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My dad and I being total tools:

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Last weekend I was in Santa Cruz to see my little bro graduate from college.  It was a fun trip – I’ll do a full post about it soon. Congrats, Reid!

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I changed offices at work on Monday.  Helloooo view of Dodger Stadium (way out there past the smog).

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I have been listening to Yeezus non-stop since I downloaded it last weekend. It is that good. (Caveat: I am Team Kanye. Anything he touches basically turns to gold, IMHO).  But surrriously, I thought I couldn’t like an album more than JT’s 20/20 Experience, and then Random Access Memories came out. And now Yeezus. (I’m also digging Bearly Legal, the new mash-up album from The White Panda).

On Friday, the firm I’m working for this summer had a golf tournament.  I am awful at golf, but thankfully the tournament was “best ball” style and my team of four only HAD to count three of my strokes – and luckily I was able to sink 3 putts.  We ended up finishing second in the tournament, at 3 under par, missing the championship by one stroke.  Totally fine with me…because, you know, I’d feel a little uncomfy taking home a plaque when I am literally awful at golf.  On the plus side, the partner on my team told me I “have a future in this game” and that “guys like girls who can play golf.”  So I’ll try to work on that.

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We played at Brookside Golf Course near the Rose Bowl. It was such a pretty day to be out there!

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The rest of my weekend has been pretty chill – relaxing with friends, getting some work done, etc.  Last night, after dragging my feet all day to go exercise, I left my house around 7 for what I thought would be a 4 miler.  It turned out to be an awesome, relaxed 5.75er.  I made pitstops at Vista Hermosa Park (one of my favorite spots in LA) and Echo Park Lake. Not too shabby.

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Alright I’m out to spin my heart out! Happy Sunday!

Question: Yeezus…’Ye or Nay? 

 

vienna: sights

31 Mar

I returned from Vienna on Friday and have a bunch of posts lined up that I want to do. Between the jet-lag and getting caught up on school work, though, my roommate and I are dealing with deciding to move after the recent theft of our apartment. It is unsettling and will all be ok, but obviously neither of us prepared for this.

Anyway – on to a recap of all of the fun touristy things I did while in Vienna!

Walking Around the City

In many ways, Vienna is sort of a mix between Paris and Prague. It has Paris’ upscale, posh vibe, and some of Prague’s charm. However, it lacks the magical feeling that either city has. That being said, Vienna has some awesome sights that can be explored easily on a walk through the city. On our first walk, we saw a bunch of beautiful government buildings, museums, and cathedrals.

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Parliament.

Parliament.

Votive Church

Votive Church

St. Stephens

St. Stephens

Easter Market

I had been in Vienna almost 4 years exactly (the week before Easter 2009) and I remembered the cool Easter Markets. We found a couple in the city and loved that we could buy food (pretzels and mulled wine) as well as some gifty items.

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Schronbunn Palace

We all visited the summer place of the Hapsburgs. It just so happened we went on a super snowy day, so we walked around a bit and opted not to go inside. The palace grounds are beautiful. I’d also been before once previously during weather that actually felt like spring, and can say it’s also pretty then.

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Hundertwasser Haus

Soooo it’s no secret that I am obsessed with modern architecture (hellooooo Frank Gehry designed my law school and I specifically sought out the building he designed when I visited Prague). I also love Gaudí (duh). Luckily, one morning Rachael and I set out for a run and literally stumbled upon this amazing house designed by Hundertwasser. Rachael and I headed back there a few days later to check it out. So cool.

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Freud Museum

I am a huge psych nerd and was kicking myself for not making it to this museum when I visited Vienna 4 years ago. The museum itself is housed in Freud’s old apartment/office. We got to see the waiting room his patients would sit in, as well as the office he used to see patients. Unfortunately, the couch they would lie on his now housed in a museum in London. It was pretty cool to see some of his notes and writings.

waiting room.

waiting room.

oh you know, just some cocaine studies.

oh you know, just some cocaine studies.

Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace was a must – it houses Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss.” It was also home to the Hapsburgs during non-summer months. The museum was pretty impressive, and had some other Klimt pieces I found particularly impressive.

epic in person.

epic in person.

#love... Klimt - Avenue in Schloss Kammer Park

#love… Klimt – Avenue in Schloss Kammer Park

can't argue with a view like this.

can’t argue with a view like this.

The Kunsthorisches Museum (“The Koonst”)

This is essentially Vienna’s main art museum. Rachael and I headed here – and our first stop was lunch in the café – which was stunning in and of itself. We wandered around and checked out the massive art collection – including more Klimt as well as Velazquez and Vermeer.

The Koonst.

The Koonst.

view from the cafe.

view from the cafe.

Velazquez's Margarita Teresa (done at the same time as his Las Meninas)

Velazquez’s Margarita Teresa (done at the same time as his Las Meninas)

(Read about my ode to Las Meninas/Madrid obsession here).

Rachael and I both loved this painting:

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I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Koonst!

Other Vienna tips:

I’d also recommend visiting the Secession Hall to see the Klimt frieze that is there.

Visiting the huge open-air market known as the Nashmarkt. I had an incredible doner kebab there.

Other fun shopping opps include the department stores called Julius Meinl and the Bristol Farms equivalent at Hoher Markt.

I think that more or less covers all of the touristy things I did during my week in Vienna. I’d love to hear other recommendations people have or what their favorite thing about the city is! I’ll be back soon with a food post.