Books

What Are You Reading?

May 20, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I’ve been trying to read more this month, and my main focus has been on the NetGalley books that I’ve acquired but haven’t got around to reading. My review percentage on there is pretty low so I really have to catch up and make myself appear like a responsible reviewer! Here are two books that are both from NetGalley.

Just Fall is a book that seemed incredibly intriguing before I picked it up. Right now I’m sort of getting into the swing of things and I feel like there is way too much going on and I don’t really know what’s up. Every new chapter either jumps back in time, is in the present, introduces a new character, or is from a random person’s point of view. I’m all for different points of view, but I don’t like it when things jump around so much that I can’t figure a book out. At this point I’m planning on toughing it out and finishing it up.

Some Possible Solutions seems like a fun collection of short stories. I’ve been loving the short stories this year and I’m planning to continue on with that. This book takes some strange ideas and takes them way too far, which is great because I like books that are so out there. It’s too early for me to give my verdict but I can’t wait to read more.

What are you reading right now?

Life, New York City

What I’ve Learned In NYC So Far

May 17, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

I won’t mention any groundbreaking stuff here, and it’s definitely not scientific, but I feel like after living here for a few weeks (almost a month) I began noticing some things that I haven’t noticed before. If you haven’t been to NYC before maybe this will be helpful if/when you do visit :)

Subways

kramer-subway-o

The GIF above is from Seinfeld, the episode is called Subway because all of the characters have a questionable subway experience. However, it’s a pretty accurate depiction of subway rides here. I think the biggest thing when it comes to subways is not to mix up whether you’re planning to go uptown or downtown because that’s essential. You always have to look on the sign at the subway entrance to make sure you’re going to go in the right direction.

Also, I’ve had a couple of “sardine” experiences when the  subway was so packed that I didn’t have anything to hold onto, which was not fun. But people here will try to squeeze onto the subway no matter how packed it is.

Walking

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This is a biggie because walking is such a huge part of living here. I’m not gonna lie, I’m slowly but surely getting more and more impatient with people on the streets who don’t use common sense when strolling along. I think the most important thing is to always keep walking and if you need to stop you have to stand off to the side to not block the way for everyone else.

Often times someone will be walking and then they will stop in their tracks causing the person being them to slam into them, that’s no fun. Also, day dreaming at a busy crosswalk when the light turns green is not cool either. People here are notorious for crossing the streets when the light is red, which I now do too because it’s super easy on one way streets ( which there are a lot of). Some people do it on busy streets too but I’m not that adventurous yet!

Dining

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Reservations are key, is what I’ve learned after only living here a short while. Some place even require reservations weeks in advance, and we’re not talking about super fancy joints either. In other cases you just have to wait around between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Because of this we’ve grown accustomed to casual dining (like pizza slices, deli sandwiches, and tacos) all of which are pretty tasty if you ask me. Street food game is also great here, and it helps that there are constantly food fests going on where you can get some delicious grub.

Delivery is another big thing, but it’s kind of new for us because we never really had food delivered to our home before. We did get takeout but being here we want to go out more than we want to stay in. One of these days we will for sure crack under pressure and unitize Seamless which is super popular.

So I guess that’s it for now, I feel like I’ve shared enough wisdom with you! Please let me know if you’ve planning a trip to NYC any time soon, I’d love to hear about it.

Have you noticed any of these things when you were in NYC? 

Life

Living The Green Life

May 10, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Don’t let the title of this post fool you, the only reason why I’m living “green” is because having a car in the city is a total pain in the butt. But I’ve always liked biking and since we now live in a city where biking is super popular I figured that it was only right that I rekindled my childhood flame – biking.

There are a lot of different bike shops to choose from, and pretty much everyone and their mother rides Citi Bikes, so when we first got there I knew that it was just a matter of time before I got a little bike of my own. Alex already had a bike so we brought it with us, so we were only one bike away from being able to take glorious rides on the Greenway.

At one bike shop there was a little blue beauty that caught my eye, and after a test ride I knew that it was a match made in bicycle heaven. It was an adventure getting it back home on the subway, but we succeeded! Later on that evening we decided to take our bikes out for a spin, and I provide photo evidence.

Birch Juice Blog

Birch Juice Blog

I’m super nervous about biking in the city with all of the traffic, but going to parks and areas with bike lanes is hopefully going to help me get used to city riding. So if you have any city biking tips please let me know!

Do you have a  bike? How often do you go riding?

Books

April 2016 Book Wrap Up

May 6, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

3 books is all that I was able to read, but something is better than nothing! This is a mixed bag of books, some good, some meh, and some bad.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – 3/5  Before reading this book I thought it would be scary, at the very least creepy. Apart from the odd photos sprinkled throughout the book I wasn’t creeped out at all. Even worse than that, I didn’t really have my heart in this story. The main character, Jacob, was kind of meh which is never a good thing to be. At the time when I finished this book I wasn’t at all interested in reading the next two books. I still haven’t changed my mind, so I don’t I’ll be finishing up these series.

Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch – 4/5 I like books with shady protagonists, this one definitely delivers. When summer vacation with new acquaintances turns very problematic and some interesting facts begin to emerge. No one knows who the “bad guy” is up until the end. If you’re new to this author I recommend reading The Dinner which is a page turner.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – 2/5 I wish I could unread it. I don’t really know what initially attracted me to this book, apart from the cover, and I wish I had listened to all of the mediocre reviews. Both the husband and the wife in this book are very uninteresting. I didn’t care about their past, or any of the “bad” stuff that they’ve done along the way. I know some revelations in the book were supposed to be shocking but it didn’t really surprise me. Overall I was disappointed and had to struggle to finish this book.

What are you reading right now?

Life

Tinder For Friends

May 3, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Making friends is tough, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Especially if you move somewhere new and don’t know anybody there. Just the other night Alex and I were strolling along and I said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was Tinder for making friends?”. So we went home that night and I looked up my brilliant idea. Turns out someone had already thought of it.

Enter the app called Vina, or technically Hey! Vina. It’s an app that you connect to your Facebook profile and then you fill out some information about yourself, such as your interests, guilty pleasures, and 5 emojis to describe yourself. It’s all location based and works exactly like Tinder (though I’ve never actually used it before lol). Vina is strictly for women so chances are high that you’ll be able to stumble on your new friend somewhere along the way.

Since I live in a pretty big city there are a lot of potential pals for me to choose from on this app. The whole process is simple enough, you can read the lady’s profile, and either swipe left if you’re not interested or right if you’d like to get better acquainted. When both gals swipe right you get an automated message letting you know that you found each other interesting. Then it’s up to either person to send the first message.

So far I’ve had a bunch of matches, which is reassuring, but a few times neither one of us decided to get in touch. However, a couple of people that I’ve chatted with have suggested to meet up for a coffee (because I’m too shy to suggest meeting up first) and I’ve even made concrete plans to meet up with someone this week. It’s too early to say if the whole process works, but I feel like for me this is a better option than meeting people through Meet Up. I will have to report back and let you guys know how it goes!

Have you heard of Vina before? Would you ever consider using it?

Books

What Are You Reading?

April 29, 2016
Birch Juice Blog

Reading has been a giant fail for me lately, thanks to the hassle of settling into a new place. Maybe I’ll have to write a post about how that’s going? We shall see! So in the month of April I barely read any books which is shameful since I want to read and there are so many books on my TBR, but being lazy doesn’t help.

Right now I’m getting back into the swing of things so I’ve been reading more! And my current books are:

Summer House With Swimming Pool which is the second book that I’ve read by Herman Koch (first one is The Dinner which is excellent). He has a dark writing style and the books tend to have a lot of grey areas. This book seems entertaining enough, and I can tell that there is a whole lot of drama that is going to happen. A perfect vacation where it seems like nothing could possibly go wrong, and in the end everything does? Sign me up!

Fates and Furies is a book that I’ve heard a lot about. I’ve seen all sorts of mixed reviews and I think it’s about time for me to have my own opinions about it. I’ve head that the married couple in question, aka the main characters, are very unlikeable. Sometimes I like books where main characters suck, so I feel like I could either love it or hate it. It also seems that the wife is hiding some dark/shocking stuff, so I think I could definitely get on board with that.

Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading?