Saturday, June 28, 2014

first day of summer in New York City

Appreciating some street art on the way to our destination.

Soaking up the sun.

Stopped by Smorgasburg - a Brooklyn Flea Food Market.

Grabbed some fresh kick ass coconut.

And for the moment felt like I'm actually in Miami :P

Discovered this place with a great view. Northern Territory.

Enjoyed a dessert (those who know me are not surprised) at Cafe Riviera in Greenpoint.

And came back to the place we found before to have some drinks and laughs.

Can I place an order for more days like this one?
Thank you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

First day of summer.

New York City. Great company. Beautiful weather. Amazing views. How could I ask for more???

Special thanks to my beautiful friend Beata, who made my visit in New York City possible and with whom I had a pleasure of spending the best first day of summer!

 Here's to hoping for many more! 

Can't wait to be back!!! (10 more days)

Friday, June 20, 2014


Today another post on one of my favorite experiences in Florida. It is something I get to do each time I'm visiting my dear friend Gary down there and he is the one that makes it all happen. I'm talking about motorcycling. It is a huge part of his life and I was lucky enough to tag along on some of the adventures with him. Before I met him, I drove on the scooter maybe once in my life, which is a totally different experience anyway. That being said, I didn't exactly know what to expect, but I was excited. I still remember my first ride and I always tell my friends all about it. I like to think I was not scared, but really I was holding on for my dear life. Soon after I got more comfortable and was able to sit there all relaxed and without holding on to anything (or anybody). In fact,  I got so used to it that one time in Miami you could find me sitting on a motorcycle in a dress with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in another. Taking pictures. Yeah, not really responsible of me, but I survived. And I have pictures to prove it.

On the left: right after I put on my full gear for a our trip back in 2012. It was my first time on a motorcycle and as you can see in the picture, none of those clothes were mine. I did not come prepared for what was supposed to happen at all (hours on the road coming from Tampa, through Everglades and then towards Miami). I actually wanted to wear flip flops and shorts without taking into consideration going on a motorcycle somewhere between 70 and 80 (maybe even more) miles per hour on highways... I guess it's safe to say that I didn't really think this through.

On the right: picture from my latest trip to Florida. That time my friend was generous and let me wear leggings instead of pants. We did last around 7 hours on that particular motorcycle trip, but I felt comfortable and weather conditions didn't bother me at all.
The Dali Museum, Saint Petersburg, FL
Spending hours on a motorcycle is also quite a workout! It seems funny when I say it, but believe me when I do. At first, you want to look cool, so you arch your back as hard as you can. All of that while basically leaning and holding on to another person. After a while, you realize you need to relax, so you let go and forget about arching and just begin to sit like a normal person. Then comes stretching your legs, hunching over, trying to stand up for a moment to release that pain in your a$$. Overall you look like you have ants in your pants, cause you're just trying to find a comfortable position. Anyways, I did not mean to make it sound horrible, because that happens only on longer rides and even if it does, the whole experience is still too enjoyable to be bothered by the sitting arrangements.
Me and my therapist Gary
When I go back to the time I had to put on a moto gear I've never worn before for the first time, it felt weird. I did not feel comfortable wearing a heavy, (too) big and thick clothes, but I understood it's all for safety. Within time, I got used to it and actually learn to appreciate it, as for those few moments I got to hide under the helmet and all that gear and become almost another person. Nobody really knew or could see who's under all those layers of clothing.
Whenever I need to unwind and I happen to be in Florida, my friend always takes me on a ride. We like to call it a motorcycle therapy, because it really works like a charm. For the time being you get into to so called zen mode and it is something special that the car won't give you. You feel the speed on your body trying to fight the wind that pushes you away and you experience the ride on a whole different level, because all of your senses are involved. You smell the air, you feel the power of the wind, you hear the lively city and somehow, you feel so powerful that you can get to places the car simply couldn't take you.
Yes, that was an ultimate experience wearing my faux leather pants and pretending I'm a rockstar.
I love the thrill of the motorcycle ride and I'm not scared of spending hours on it. The only time I get anxious is when we go over rail tracks so fast that it makes me jump... yeah, not my favorite thing.
Getting around and parking situation is always best when you're on a motorcycle.
I'd say I had my best times on a motorcycle at night. The views, the atmosphere, it's simply magic.

Probably the only thing that bothers me when riding on a motorcycle is a messy helmet hair situation. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to end up like this. I guess I should just embrace that and hope everybody else thinks that it is exactly how it's supposed to be.

Don't be afraid of trying new things. Just do it!

Enjoy your weekend ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday: CHICAGO, IL

Today a few things about Chicago. Yes, it's Thursday, which gives me even better opportunity to go back in time and reminisce about that one time I visited this beautiful city. Also, it's been exactly a year since my last visit and less than a month (!) until I board the plane and rush my dear friend to take a seat, so we can take off and fly toward Chicago. Oh, time sure does fly.

Now on to the report on our stay in the beautiful Chicago:

a view from our hostel 
We stayed at IHSP hostel located on 1616 North Damen Avenue. We loved the unique and lively Wicker Park neighborhood, so I would highly recommend considering checking it out (especially if you're traveling on the budget). The stay did not only include a free breakfast, but also a roof deck with amazing views. On top of the hospitality we were lucky to encounter, they also refunded a shuttle from the airport to their hostel (more info about that HERE). For us girls, any occasion we could save a few dollars when traveling was a WIN WIN situation.

DAY                            &                      NIGHT

I love this photo for one particular reason. There's something very similar to the nightlife in Cracow, Poland - the city I had a pleasure of living in for a couple year, when I was studying American studies. If anybody that lives in Cracow is reading it, I hope they will see in this picture Karmelicka street just how I do now.

Wicker Park was just around the corner, so obviously we could not pass the opportunity of checking it out. Being me, a movie freak, finding a new location when the movie I love was once being shot....I could not hide just how elated I was (yes I dragged my girls over there). If you don't know what movie I'm talking about, read about it  HERE, and then watch it, because Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger were definitely a hot movie couple.
Damen Station

When inside of the Willis Towers... standing in lines to get to the top can be cruel sometimes (or just boring), but you can find a lot of attractions and information along the way that can distract you from waiting in line for hours.

 I don't know about you, but views like that get me every time...


What could I possibly see up there?

 ...just my friend sneaking up on me.


ultimate selfie

Million pictures with the bean later we headed back to where we were staying to prepare for the night festivities.
my travel companions - girls from Germany

Because our visit in Chicago lasted only one weekend, we limited our sightseeing to only few places. The first day it was Wicker Park, Willis Towers and the Skydeck experience plus Millenium Park with the Bean. The second and last day we headed to the NAVY PIER.

 I love the ghost town like background in these pictures

Two finish our visit in Chicago in a proper manner, we went to the Polish restaurant. For those of you who don't know (although I'm sure everybody is well informed - especially my fellow Polish readers) Chicago is a home to over one million Polish people, which makes Poles the largest ethnic group in this metropolitan, as well as Polish being the third largest speaking language in Chicago after English and Spanish.
I have to say that being Polish and having an opportunity of visiting the city I definitely noticed the Polish influence here and there and was surprised at first how often I got to hear people around me speaking my native language.

For dinner we picked Podhalanka restaurant located on 1549 Division Street. Because my friends were German and have never tried Polish food before, the owner decided to give them a taste of everything he had to offer. We had Pierogi (so well known by Americans - TIP - forget the S at the end when you say that word ;)), nalesniki (polish equivalence of pancakes or French crepes), kielbase, golabki (cabbage rolls) and placki ziemniaczane.

Each of us also ordered a bowl of soup. I got a cucumber one, my friend got to try zurek and barszcz. In fact, the soup was the first thing we ate and that is typical in Polish culture. Any time we have dinner, soup is served (every day or at least most of the days) as one of the courses, not the main one. That is one of the differences I experienced once I moved to America.
 Yes, after trying a little bit of everything we did not feel so great anymore, moving from one place to another was that much harder, but we didn't mind, since the next thing scheduled was just catching a flight back home.

In less then a month I'm coming back to Chicago. This time I'm taking my dear Polish friend and we will be hosted by amazingly generous people that decided to take us in for a few days. I can hardly wait to do it all once again and more!

Hope you enjoyed this throwback as much as I loved going back to those times.

Have a great Thursday!

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