Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Photoshootin’ on the Brooklyn Bridge


My very talented housemate and friend took some amazing photos on the Brooklyn Bridge last Sunday.  We frolicked under a looming thunderstorm, hopping like frogs, whirling like dervishes – it couldn’t have been any more fun.  Or that’s what I thought, until we finished it all off with some slammin’ empanadas from Empanada Mama in the LES.  Nothing like a day of creativity and for that I’m grateful!

Check out www.stephanyyantorn.com for more amazing photos like the ones featured below!

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Wanna know more about the Brooklyn Bridge, its history and significance?  Check out this in-depth biopic on the History Channel!

The Brooklyn Bridge looms majestically over New York City’s East River, linking the two boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Since 1883, its granite towers and steel cables have offered a safe and scenic passage to millions of commuters and tourists, trains and bicycles, pushcarts and cars. The bridge’s construction took 14 years, involved 600 workers and cost $15 million (more than $320 million in today’s dollars). At least two dozen people died in the process, including its original designer. Now more than 125 years old, this iconic feature of the New York City skyline still carries roughly 150,000 vehicles and pedestrians every day.



Celebrate Brooklyn!

Fabulous free music?  Surrounded by trees and big open sky?  Just two blocks from my house, you say?  Now *that* is a sweet way to bring in the summer (and say goodbye to New York)!

Celebrate Brooklyn! is one of New York City’s longest running, free, outdoor performing arts festivals. Launched in 1979 as a catalyst for a Brooklyn performing arts scene and to bring people back into Prospect Park after years of neglect, Celebrate Brooklyn! was an early anchor in the park’s revitalization and has become one of the city’s foremost summer cultural attractions. Over its history, the Festival has presented over 2,000 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough’s diversity, ranging from internationally acclaimed performers to emerging, cutting-edge artists. All Celebrate Brooklyn! performances are free! The festival attracts upwards of 250,000 attendees from across New York City to the Prospect Park Bandshell each summer. Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn! membership benefits include express entry, reserved seating, pre-concert receptions and more. (from the official site)

Last Friday I hit up an Irish band at the Prospect Park Bandshell with two good friends and a few cold brewskies – a jovial recipe indeed.  And though I did not join my audience brethren in their adorable American homage to the Riverdance, we did bust a move for the band’s final encore, a rockin’ rendition of an old folk classic, featuring a violinist who would have no trouble sharing a stage with the likes of AC/DC.

Calexico, Mavis Staples, Wynton Marsalis, Blackalicious, and Cody Chestnutt have already played this year, all for the suggested donation price of $3.  There are still quite a few more performances to go, so hit it up while there’s still time!  (I can’t believe I’m missing Jamie Lidell and Beck!)


Robert Plant

Benefit Concert: Robert Plant presents The Sensational Space Shifters

July 27, 2013 · 7:00 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

$80 Reserved / $50 GA

Barenaked Ladies

Benefit Concert: Barenaked Ladies/Ben Folds Five/Guster

July 30, 2013 · 6:30 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

$55 Reserved / $49.50 GA lawn

Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal

August 1, 2013 · 8:00 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Free/$3 (suggested)

Jamie Lidell

Jamie Lidell / Dan Deacon / The Stepkids

August 2, 2013 · 7:30 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Free/$3 (suggested)

Eddie Palmieri

Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra / Banda Magda

August 3, 2013 · 7:30 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Free/$3 (suggested)


Beck Benefit Concert at Celebrate Brooklyn!

August 4, 2013 · 7:00 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell


Beasts of the Southern Wild

Live score to BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD by Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin, & The Wordless Music Orchestra / Slavic Soul Party

August 8, 2013 · 8:00 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Free/$3 (suggested)


Shaggy / TK Wonder

August 9, 2013 · 7:30 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Free/$3 (suggested)

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants / Moon Hooch

August 10, 2013 · 7:30 PM
CELEBRATE BROOKLYN! @ Prospect Park Bandshell

Free/$3 (suggested)

The NYC Return

It’s getting to be that time, New York.  I have exactly one more week to go before moving back home to Hawaii, and since returning from Paris, I’ve had oodles to be grateful for.  Here’s the breakdown:

Friday, July 12th

The convenient – though sometimes hideous – MTA.  Alright, the paint is peeling off the walls and cat-sized rats scurry not far from the platforms.  But all in all, New York’s public transport gets you where you need to go.  After landing at JFK I took trains all the way back to Park Slope in time to shower and repack for my next trip that day.  I’m especially grateful for the public transport here in NY since I’m remember how tough it is to get around Oahu without a car.  I’m soaking up this train/bus action while I can!

Saturday, July 13th

The first official day of the Third Root collective owners’ retreat in the Poconos.  Today I’m grateful for catharsis.  Not the kind of anger-fuelled punching bag catharsis that’s now been proven to make matters much worse.  Rather, the kind of mindful catharsis that can cleanse the soul, paint a clearer picture of the past, dark shades and all, a catharsis that brings us to understanding.

DSC07018Sunday, July 14th

Lake fun!  It was a long morning and afternoon, sitting inside and sorting through heavy important to-dos . . . uber grateful to have had a jaunt to the lake for swimming, tanning and a whole lotta craic.

Monday, July 15th

One of my dear friends from the Abu Dhabi days came to visit and there are so many moments of gratitude here, it’s mighty hard to choose.  The fountain at Washington Square park, so calming in 100 degree weather?  The joy of having a good friend in town?  The decliciousness at Thewala?  I’ll go ahead and highlight Greenwich Village Comedy Club, where just about all the performers were on point, making us giggle and guffaw the whole evening through.  And as a few bonus cherries on top, we scored a bunch of free tickets for future fun and made a few friends from out of town.  The impromptu sesh went on at the Bowery Hotel – equal parts hunting lodge and bad trip.  I highly recommend a visit if you’re in town!

DSC07030Tuesday, July 16th

Despite the 106 degree weather, like the pros we are, Nat and set out on a full day of explorations: cwoffee from a no-nonsense Brooklyn dinah – black, to go!  Onward bound to the New York Aquarium and Coney Island boardwalk, complete with beachy rendezvous with a few yoga sisters on a picnic day.  Hungry and determined to try some of the best pizza in Brooklyn we hit up Totonno’s – only to find it closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Boo!  But you know what, it was worth the walk, because one of owners popped her lovely head out the door and chatted with us, apologizing for not being open, and blowing us “sweethearts” a kiss before asking God for our blessing.  Now *that’s* some Brooklyn hospitality I hadn’t been before!

DSC07039After a shower and a costume change, we nibbled on sushi (delicious and affordable, at some spot on 2nd ave and 8th street – such a good find if you can find it!) before checking out some rare peace and greenery in Manhattan at the Highline.  On the flip side of NY kindness, when we rocked up to the Standard Hotel for a rooftop tipple, we were rudely turned away (despite our reservations) and told to sit in the snazzy bar a floor below.  Thankfully there was a four piece swingtime jazz band bopping away to welcome us!  We met up with another mate and checked out the Jane Hotel, a slightly more disco version of The Bowery, before finding our way to a hooka joint.  Today’s source of gratitude: STAMINA, BABY!

Wednesday, July 17th

biggayiceNat’s last day in the citay 😦  We decided to make it a food tour day and set straight out for the best bagels in Brooklyn at The Bagel Hole.  An everything bagel and veggie cream cheese, does it every time!  Two blocks up the road and we took a stroll through Prospect Park on our way up to catch a Q train to Chinatown (for a taro puff, of course!) and Little Italy – home of hardcore espresso and delectable tiramisu.  Apparently, the Italian American Museum is open by appointment only on weekdays, but we made the most of our steamy – and very brief – stroll through the ‘hood.  Next up: the East Village for some BIG GAY ICE CREAM!  Honestly, I was more impressed with the unicorns and She-ra decorations, but the Salty Pimp (a dulce de lece vanilla ice cream cone, dipped in chocolate and rolled in pretzels) was no doubt delightful.  Overpriced.  But delightful.

No trip to NYC would be complete without a romp through hipsterville, the infamous Williamsburg.  It’s home to the Mast Brother’s Chocolate shop, a gaggle of places to eat drink and be merry, and a center dedicated to “learning through making,” 3rd Ward.  We dined on the best dumplings ever to cross my palate, the spicy won tons (in heavenly peanut sauce) at Shanghai Bistro and Garden.  Seriously, they’re on another level.

What was I thankful for that day?  The company of a dear friend.  I might have blogged about that one before.  But I changed the wording around a little bit this time.  Friends deserve multiple blogs 🙂

Triple Whammy of Thanks

Springtastic as these last few weeks have been, the exuberance in the air also makes it far too easy for me to fall behind in gratitude blogging.  Flowers to smell, green pastures in which to frolic, beer gardens blasting jazz and reggae – temptations like these tickle the Irish hedonist in me with very little mercy!

Not that any of the 801 readers out there seem to be upset about my missing a day of blogging (yes, I’m talkin’ about you! :)).  But part of this project is cultivating the commitment and consistency airy librans like myself sometimes find lacking.  So . . . to catch us all up on what inspired thanks the last few days:

Friday: A discussion on chronic pain management in Health Psychology opened the doors to integration of my personal, academic and professional lives.  Nice.

Saturday was a day to be grateful for friends making the journey to Brooklyn!  A dear sweet homey of mine came all the way down from the Upper East Side to have the best coffee and munchies in NYC and a romp through Prospect Park, complete with yoga & volleyball!  We made our way over to the (now famous and slightly overpriced) flea market in Fort Greene where we munched the best Thai and Korean veggie hotdogs I’ve ever had (incidentally my first experience with fusion dogs like that, ever).  We wrapped it all up over a few German brews.  Now *that* is a proper Spring welcome.  Love you, TA!

Sunday: Grateful for prana power.  I wasn’t feeling particularly brown eyed and bushy tailed this fine Sunday morning (the previous night I was out celebrating at a Third Root fundraiser).  Regardless, I had three 90 minute yoga classes to teach in a row.  15 minutes of my own meditation, pranayam and asana later, and I barreled through the morning like I was fresh off a holiday.  Full prana power!  🙂  I even got a few compliments from students.  It’s always the days when you’re unsure of yourself the students set your mind at ease.

Prana” is known as life force in yogic philosophy, the equivalent is “mana” in Hawaiian, “chi” in Chinese, and “ki” in Japanese.  I like to call it “mojo,” sweet sweet mojo.

Hiking Yoga in Brooklyn, Back in Full Effect

It’s back, baby!

Hiking Yoga is back in Prospect Park and I am fully stoked.  So good to reconnect with hiking yogis, to hook myself up with the tastiest spelt poundcake and coffee in Brooklyn, and train a new teacher on the team.

Big gratitude hugs for Hiking Yoga – here’s to another season of joyful romping (and may the sun gods be a little more merciful in future! ;o))








Brooklyn Chocolate, Baby!

Yesterday’s supreme moment of gratitude (and this was another one of those days when sources of gratitude were plentiful): MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE in Billyburg.  If you’re a dark chocolate fan, and you appreciate supporting local bidness, it’s all about Mast Brothers.

They keep it simple, just seven choice flavors, and three limited edition tastes on rotation.  This week’s rare concoctions were Vanilla Smoke, Maple Syrup and something else I can’t remember.  They generously provide samples for a handful of choice bars (that last bar clearly had no samples!).

Curious about the benefits of chocolate eating (as though we even need them)?  Check out a previous choco blog here.