I just got back from a lovely staycation… my parents, Ti and Kevin, came to visit my brother Michael and me in New York City. I planned quite a trip, I am a professional tour guide after all, but the thing I was most looking forward to was our day trip to North Fork, Long Island for wine tasting. Did you know New York State is the third largest wine producer in the United States?!? Second is my home state Washington, so I thought it would be an awesome adventure for my wine loving parents.
We rented a car from Hertz, which has many pick up locations around the city and after a couple snafus getting out of the city (it was my first time navigating the city’s bridges and tunnels) it was smooth sailing to the wine country by the sea.
We started the afternoon at Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse owned by David Page and Barbara Shinn, former owners of Home Restaurant in Greenwich Village. I have been talking about Home Restaurant and Shinn Estate wines for years on my tour so stopping by was a must! If you every want to stay the weekend in the area they have a bed and breakfast that came highly recommended when I was doing my research.
Another thing to know, Shinn Estate wines are very commonly found in wine shops in the city as well as at Home Restaurant. In the past I have enjoyed the Coalescence, Rosé, Red Blend and the Wild Boar Doe.
Our next stop was Jamesport Vineyards, which was recommended by Home Restaurant’s manager Rachel. Jamesport won the prize for our favorite wine of the day the Melage de Trois a blend of Bordeaux: Cabernet sauvignon 49%, Merlot 25%, and Cabernet Franc 26%.
We made our trip on a Monday which was great because we avoided the weekend crowds, although Jamesport has live music and an oyster bar and wood fired pizza on the weekends which I would love to check out in the future.
Then it was time for lunch. I wanted to try The Lunch Truck at the North Fork Table & Inn, but I didn’t realize it closed at 3:30 and we didn’t want to rush our wine tasting so we took Jake, the manager of Jamesport Vineyards’ suggestion and went to Love Lane Kitchen, which was an honorable second choice.
Most days the wineries close at around 5pm, so we only had time for one more winery, we chose Croteaux Vineyards which was recommended by Jake at Jamesport and a friend of mine here in the city. Croteaux makes only rosé wine. The tasting includes six different varieties, the most of the wineries we tried, plus we got one extra because Jake at Jamesport gave us wine corks which can be used at different wineries in exchange for an additional tasting (FYI).
It was cool to try six rosé wines and experience how different one can be from the next. We purchased the 2012 Merlot 181 Rosé and the 2012 ‘Jolie’ Cabernet Franc Rosé, which we enjoyed on the beach.
The beaches on north side are rocky but have great views of the sunset. A little too early for sunset, we headed to the sandy south side. All you have to do is take a right or a left off the main road and there you are at the water. Easy as that!
All in all, it was an awesome day and I can’t wait to go again. Next time I’d like to go in the Fall because in the Spring was the vines are bare. I also hope to get up to New York’s other wine country the Finger Lakes in the future. Day trips definitely make the world go round!
What are your favorite New York area day trips?!? Share in the comment section below.
I just spent a jam packed ten days volunteering as a key crew member for the Tribeca Film Festival Screenings Department. 6 shifts of 6 hours each, plus work and improv made me quite a busy lady. Still it was an awesome experience and despite being busy, I did get to see a fair amount of movies and I wanted to share what I got to see with you.
I saw the encore screening of this last night and I can’t stop thinking about it. This film was so heartbreaking, truthful and thought provoking. It won Best Screenplay for Carl Joos and Felix van Groeningen and Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film for Veerle Baetens. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to see it.
I saw this online one night, which was awesome to still be plugged into the festival at home. I am totally impressed by these two young filmmakers and definitely hope to meet them in the future.
This film was hilarious! Comedy at it’s best, equally charming and twisted. Watch out for Cody Blue Snider, son of Dee Snider (who plays a small role in the movie) he is going to be everywhere!
I really loved George Northy’s voice in this film, plus it was his very first screenplay. The film uses the teen comedy genre to make an important statement on an attitude our society has towards homosexuals. Playing to a younger audience that we can all hope will make the change we need. And you gotta love Megan Mullally!
Two things I LOVED about this film, it’s perfect stereotypical depiction of Park Slope parents and that director David Shane pulled actors he worked with on commercials over the years to make this film. I definitely appreciate collaborations like this!
I saw the encore screening of this film yesterday as well. Like a genius I exchanged my vouchers earlier in the week for both The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Heineken Audience Award not expecting it to be the same film. Oops! No harm no foul, and the film was truly extraordinary and very deserving of both awards. The young star Sitthiphon Disamoe won Best Actor in A Narrative Feature Film.
I really enjoyed this film, it was very clever and unpredictable and a great performance by Elijah Wood, who I actually saw on day one, just to add to the excitement!
Who: Jill Bresnahan, Marcus Brunt, Thomas Dunlap, Guy Fletcher, Jessica Gordon, Jessica Hunt, Erin Krom, Steven Ling, Amanda Meyer, Tobin Mollett, Jacob Mondry, Sarah Nisbett, Heather Refvem, Lee Rosenberg and Peter Zimmermann. Director: Michael Martin, Musical Director: Frank Spitznagel
What: We’ll take a 1-word suggestion from an audience member and with an accompanying pianist, sing, act, and move rhythmically while adhering to proper song structure, narrative plots, and often rhyme.
When: Saturday, May 4th at 9:00pm
WHERE: Magnet Studio Theatre 259 W. 30th Street, 2nd floor (between 7th and 8th Avenue)
WHY: Because we’re going places… come witness the adventure!
I am working on the coolest project for work right now! I am going around to each restaurant or food shop that we visit on all of the tours and interviewing the chef, owner or manager about their favorite things to eat in their own restaurant. Sometimes the “go to” meal for the person in charge is the most unexpected thing!
I feel so lucky to be getting this one on one access to people in the foodie world. As a tour guide, it is awesome getting to know our partners better and this project is inspiring me and making me feel even more connected to what we do at Foods of New York Tours. Oh… and getting to indulge in AMAZING food it’s that bad either! Just another tough day at the office
We are featuring the interviews on our blog. It seems I may be our regular blog contributor from now on, so if you want to keep a closer eye on what I’m eating and what’s going on in the New York City food world, stay tuned HERE.
Check out my work from the first eight weeks of this project. More to come…
What looks good to you?!?
This month, I am volunteering for the annual High Line Spring Cutback!
Unlike other public gardens, “The High Line‘s plants are not trimmed back at the onset of cold weather in the fall. Instead they are left intact to provide structure, beauty, and habitat throughout the winter. That means when spring arrives, we work quickly to cut back the High Line’s more than 100,000 plants make way for fresh green growth.” And that is where people like me come in!
I first heard about the Spring Cutback last year while doing research for work. The High Line is included on Foods of New York’s Chelsea Market/ Meatpacking District Tour. I thought it would be a great way to give back since we show visitors the park. Last year, it was too late to join the team, so I kept the idea in the back of my mind for this year.
I have never been known for having a green thumb, which is making the experience even more rewarding! It is giving me the opportunity to stretch myself and allowing a welcomed change from my normal routine. It is amazing how much we achieve as a group in just a couple hours of work and I can’t wait to visit The High Line as the year rolls on knowing I helped out.
The High Line has other public programs that I am looking forward to! Stargazing on Tuesday evenings starting in April, walking tours starting in May, and if you didn’t already know, during the warmer months you can sit back with a glass of wine or beer on The Porch at 15th Street.
Let me know if you want to join me when the weather warms up!
I’m having a BLAST taking Musical Improv at the Magnet Theater Training Center and I would LOVE to invite you to our class show!
WHO: Starring: Brad Benson, Jill Bresnahan, Jeff Cumberlin, Jessica Gordon, Jessica Hunt, Jennie Kitaychik, Erin Krom, Amanda Meyer, Stacey Miller, Bella Miller, Tobin Mollett, Nikki Nasto, Sarah Nisbett, Heather Refvem and Lee Rosenberg. Director: Michael Lutton, Musical Director: Joel Esher
WHAT: We’ll take a 1-word suggestion from an audience member and with an accompanying pianist, sing, act, and move rhythmically while adhering to proper song structure, narrative plots, and often rhyme.
WHEN: Friday, March 8th at 7:30pm
WHERE: Magnet Studio Theatre 259 W. 30th Street, 2nd floor (between 7th and 8th Avenue)
WHY: Because it’s SO MUCH FUN!!!
Understandably, my job as an outdoor walking tour guide is a little slow in the winter, so we (Foods of New York Tours) take the opportunity to expand on our tour guide education during the slow months. This year, I am in charge of planning a series of field trips! Our first outing was a Literary Pub Crawl, as there is always more to learn about Greenwich Village’s literary tradition. And we gotta hand it to them from one tour company to another, we were very impressed and I cannot recommend it enough!
The tour began at the White Horse Tavern, which opened in 1880 and is one of the oldest continuously operating bars in New York City. The bar was a favorite of poet Dylan Thomas. Legend says Dylan Thomas drank himself to death at the White Horse Tavern, which is not entirely true… he did in fact drink 17 whiskeys, but then left the bar, went back to the Chelsea Hotel where he had one more, then passed out, BUT… he woke up the next day, went back to the White Horse Tavern to nurse his hang over and passed out again as he was leaving the bar, then died in the hospital a few days later from an “insult to the brain.”
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night” (Dylan Thomas).
It was the coldest week of the year when we took the tour (which maybe is why I look like I might cry in this photo) so thankfully Eric, the tour guide, limited the number of outdoor stops we made when traveling from bar to bar. Here we are outside 106 Perry Street, a former speakeasy run by novelist Dawn Powell, who is sadly somewhat lost in history but was very influential. Eric recommended her novel The Wicked Pavilion.
Our second stop was Kettle of Fish, which is not in it’s original location from the 1960′s, it now occupies a space that too was a literary bar back in the day. Jack Kerouac was a regular of the original Kettle of Fish, here Eric read two excerpts from On the Road.
Our last stop was Marie’s Crisis, which opened in 1850 as a prostitutes den called “Marie’s.” “Crisis” came from The American Crisis by Thomas Paine who died in the space. The mural in the mirror behind the bar honors Thomas Paine’s work in both the American and French Revolution.
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated” (Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776).
One of the great things about filming an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories was receiving IMDB credit, a great milestone for any actor. I thought it was going to be my first credit but was surprised to find out I already had a page!
When I was 10 years old, soon after I started my acting career, I voiced a character for a children’s computer game called “Putt-Putt Saves The Zoo.” I haven’t thought about that project in years, but being reminded of it got me thinking about how fun the experience was and how cute the game is.
Here is my character “Sammy Seal” with “Putt-Putt.” In the game, Sammy is stuck and needs Putt-Putt’s help to open the dam so she can swim home.
I googled “Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo” and found it for sale as an iTunes App. I bought the game and it is just as cute as I remember! If you have small kids and/or would like to see me as a cartoon character (if you know me, it’s not hard to imagine) you can purchase the app HERE.
Happy New Year! I got back to New York a few days ago after spending a wonderful week at home in the Northwest. One of the most exciting things about coming back to New York is I brought my cat Penelope back with me!! I adopted Penelope in 2008 from the ASPCA and she has been my buddy ever since! Penelope is quite the jet-setter and has flown home with me a few times now when I go on vacation. When I am home, she stays with my grandparents and they have become very attached to her as well. The most recent stay was from August to January because I was moving to a new apartment and welcoming a new roommate, combined with airplane rides that were too close together, so I decided it was best for her to leave her in the care of my grandparents and bring her back to New York with me after the Holidays.
I am very happy to have my girl back and thought it a great time to introduce her to you. Penelope is six years old and is named after “Pepé Le Pew’s” girlfriend. I have never known a cat with more personality! Penelope likes to talk and her “meow” sounds more like a “peep.” She likes to “give kisses” i.e. lick your face, which I have never known a cat to do. She also likes “people food,” in particular kale, pizza, cupcakes and Peeps (I promise with the latter three I didn’t let her get very far, but she was very interested).
Wishing you a joyful Holiday Season and a New Year full of peace and happiness!
Wanna join the fun at the next YP event?
The Big Quiz Thing, New York’s greatest live trivia experience, partners with The Young Professionals of The Actors Fund for a special edition of its tremendous multimedia game show experience!
Featuring plenty of theatrical trivia content—and much more—the BQT presents six rounds of live game show action, with video and audio puzzles, the lightning round, the buzzertastic Three Way Finale, and the best live trivia anywhere. Plus, hope for dummies: Smart-Ass Points for wrong but funny answers! All for honor, glory, and fabulous prizes.
Monday, January 28, at Bar Nine (807 Ninth Ave between 53rd and 54th Sts). Drink specials begin at 7pm and the game starts at 7:30pm!
YP members come free (with RSVP), non-members $10. To join the Young Professionals click HERE!