Can you believe it’s March already?? February was super short and snowy, but I did enjoy some great food thanks to NYC Restaurant week and my latest coffee obsession. So, sometime between the end of January and beginning of February I decided to take full advantage of restaurant week with some friends and family. I went to Ai Fiori (one of my favorite Italian restaurants) with Mom, then I had lunch at Rouge Tomate, lunch at Quality Meats, and dinner at Park Avenue Winter. I’m a lucky gal. I love sharing food with people I care about. Here’s a glimpse at some treats from my latest outings:
Benefit Cosmetics/Oscars launch party
On February 19, Mary and I attended a cool Gilt City event at the Yotel. It was a Benefit Cosmetics/Oscars launch party sponsored by Bailey’s. There were great cocktails, gift bags, makeovers and eyebrow waxes by Benefit. Sweet! We had to buy the ticket, but it included a $40 make-up certificate credit to purchase products at Benefit, so it was worth it. The hors d’ouvres were also to die for. They had chocolate ganache tartlets, caramel flan, sliders, empanadas and more. We had a blast.
Did I mention that I have a mild obsession with coffee? I actually used to dislike coffee, and only drank it during marathon study sessions in college, at night. I rarely drank coffee to “wake up,” as I actually preferred tea. I also never drank coffee black, it always had to be a latte. So what changed? Well, two years ago I dated someone who loved “good” coffee. He took me to some great coffeehouses and taught me that there’s more to coffee than Starbucks. He introduced me to cold-brew coffee at Joe. That was a pretty awesome turning point.
So now, I am somewhat of a coffee snob. I still have a lot to learn, but I appreciate good coffee and I drink it maybe 2-3 times a week. (You thought I was going to say “per day,” did you?) My favorite places are Stumptown Coffee at the Ace Hotel, Joe (Chelsea or Grand Central), Baked (Red Hook) and now, Gorilla Coffee. Yes, I even bought their thermos.
Gorilla coffee was awesome, because when I bought their $30 Klean Kanteen thermos, I asked the guy whether I would get a discount on the coffee. I didn’t exactly sweet talk him, but…he ended up giving me and my friend a free coffee each. Sweet! It’s the little things that make my day. Thanks, barista!
New Orleans sneak preview (2/23-2/25)
In a few days, I will write a full-fledged blog entry about how awesome the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half-marathon was. I just wanted to put in some teaser photos though. I flew down there because Team Refuel sponsored my race bib, for the food, and to see my friends. What more could I ask for? I also got to meet some elite athletes (aka my running idols). Stay tuned…
Coogan’s Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K, 3/3/13
The day of Coogan’s 5K was all-around awesome. The day before was great too. I carbo-loaded with lobster vindaloo at Junoon for brunch:
It was every bit as delicious as it looks. Junoon was a beautiful restaurant too–I was a fan of the decor.
So I woke up at 6:30am so I could get to Washington Heights on time. It was an hour and 15 minutes away by train, but luckily I got there 30 minutes before the 9:00am start. I couldn’t warm up because it was 29F out! I huddled in a mass with the other runners at the start. It was my very first Coogan’s race in my 10 years of running NYRR races! I’m usually out of town or doing some other race that weekend. I was excited but nervous about the hilly course. I was wearing my Dashing Whippets jersey so I didn’t want to turn in a bad performance!
It was my first 5K race (distance-wise) in a long time, so I didn’t know what to expect. The course was hilly as promised, with an out-and-back starting at the New Balance Track and Field Center (The Armory), looping around Fort Tryon Park with stunning views of the Hudson river, and then looping back towards the start. I ran my little heart out. Even though it wasn’t super fast, I tried my best and I was hunched over at the finish line–my watch read 25:40, or 8:17 minutes/mile pace.
Placing: 137th in age group/573
Another race in the books. I’m happy.
I reunited with some Whippets at the finish line, when suddenly I hear someone calling “Lisa!” I turn around and whaddaya know, it’s Dan P. from the Stuy track team! I ran track and cross country at Stuyvesant H.S., and the girls’ and guys’ teams were friendly with each other. We end up catching up over brunch at Coogan’s post-race, and then we say hello to Coach Mendes (the very same coach Dan had in H.S.) inside the Armory, since a track meet was going on at the same time, and then we also said hi to Laura, whose last name happens to be Coogan (no relation to the sports bar). I was teammates with Laura, and it was cool to bump into her as well.
The brunch at Coogan’s consisted of scrambled eggs, pastrami on rye, shepherd’s pie, and 100% Colombian Coffee. The coffee was surprisingly good.
As if running a 5K wasn’t enough, Dan and I then went rock climbing on a whim at Brooklyn Boulders. I love that place, and I never seem to have enough time to go. I bouldered for about 45 minutes. My legs were somewhat weak after the race, but I am getting a bit better at climbing the more I go.
In fact, I just bought a 5-pack of day passes at Brooklyn Boulders so I can work on my core strength and have more fun climbing. Cross training, here I come!