Let the summer fun begin!

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Summer is unquestionably my favorite season. Although I could do without the 90+ degree days, there is something almost magical about this time of year. Everyone seems freer, more adventurous, and there seems to be so much more to discover.

During the fall and winter, all I want to do is get home as soon as possible after work. But now, it feels like the list of things to do and places to go is endless. And of course, there are always the usual suspects: picnics in Central Park, movies under the stars, trips to the beach.

One thing that has quickly become a summer ritual for me is Smorgasburg, the artisanal food market in Williamsburg and DUMBO.

I’ve already gone three times since it opened in April, and at least once every summer for the last three years.

Entering the crowded lot, packed from corner to corner with more than 75 colorful stands is a little like dying and going to foodie heaven. There are all kinds of food — Asian, Caribbean, African, seafood, barbeque, noodles, and everything from appetizers to desserts.

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Some days, I know exactly what I want, but most times my strategy is just to work my way from one end to the other in a circle to see what’s new. We stopped by yesterday and indulged far too much (as our bursting bellies could attest to), and had the hands-down best popsicles I’ve ever taste in my entire life. See the raspberry sweet tea pop at the top of the page.

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These are the kind of things that make me love summer. The excitement of it all, the room we give ourselves to let loose for a bit and take everything in. And I love the way the city puts its best self on display.

This summer, I’m looking forward to, yes, a few more trips to Smorgasburg, but also creating new rituals with old friends.

What are you excited about this summer?

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Travel Inspiration: Thailand

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Travel is always on my mind, and my latest obsession is Thailand. I first saw someone vlog about their recent vacation there on YouTube and was struck by its similarities to the Caribbean. Except Thailand seems even more exotic somehow.

While I’m not planning to go there anytime soon (the State Department just issued a travel alert for Thailand “due to ongoing political and social unrest”),  I’m taking inspiration from these amazing photos.

I don’t know if it’s just a product of fancy cameras and Photoshop, but I love how colorful everything seems.

There are the beautiful gilded temples and giant statues of Buddha..

Photo by Praveen | CC BY-NC 2.0

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And nature makes its presence abundant, in the form of captivating waterfalls and crystal clear lakes amid lush jungles of the most vivid green …

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#Inspired By: Humans of New York

I know this has been around for a long time now, but I just had to write about Humans of New York because, even years after its creation, it honestly never fails to inspire me. Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind this now famous blog, is a master at capturing people’s emotions with just an image and a few words.

It’s easy to be cynical in this city, and far too often, we let people fade into the background, or worse, see them only as a source of frustration. (This, for example, comes to mind.) But Stanton’s photos show us that everyone has a story.

By getting people to open up about their fears, insecurities, hopes and memories, he reminds us that despite our differences and eccentricities, we all share the human spirit.

He’s photographed people in locations all over the world (his Iran photos are so touching), but the  subjects who give the blog its name are so quintessentially New York, with their bold personalities and sometimes grumpy demeanor. Looking at the photos  always reminds me why I love this city!

Most importantly, it reminds me to stay curious about people and to look first for the positive in everyone I meet.

With that said, here are a few of my favorite photos from the blog:

“I’m wearing really plain looking underwear.”

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One Word For 2014

“Perseverance is the ability to keep going in the face of continuous challenges. It is the ability to disregard distractions and to stay focused. – ” Catherine Pulsifer

We’re two weeks into January, but weirdly, it’s only just started feeling like a new year to me.

That’s probably partially because I never did anything big to celebrate. No parties, no champagne, no church (it’s a Caribbean thing..), nothing. January 1 just rolled in quietly during the middle of the night without any fanfare. Then it was two days of work and a snowstorm before I jetted off to Mexico.

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Scenes of Sunday [Photos]

This weekend was as good as it gets — lots of relaxing, time alone and amazing weather.

I’m a firm believer that sometimes you need to just step away from everyone and everything and let yourself recharge. For me at least, there are only really a few people who legitimately add something to your life (and vice versa). And while there’s something to be said about having a large network of connections, more often that not, I find I can only keep up with a few at a time.

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