One Awkward Charity Mingle

It has now been 45 days since the 45th POTUS took office and, as you may recall from my post-inauguration, post-women's march manifesto, I have taken the occasion of his election to work towards a few goals: to incite fear of outsiders in the hearts of the American people, play plenty of golf, and go on wildly accusatory rants via my popular Twitter feed. 

And wooooo, doggie have I been successful!!!! 

Oh, wait, sorry I'm mixing things up here. Those are, apparently, the goals of the man now holding the nuclear codes and wow I'm sure glad he's in charge here. As for me, it's a little more like this: don't go insane, access even a small pinch of understanding for "good people" who still voted for The Donald, and become a better citizen. 

And how am I doing? No bueno, no bueno, and... getting there???

I'm still tiptoeing into the bigger political arena. I've been calling my senators (but real talk: not every single day...it's still so daunting and time consuming, excuses, excuses), signing petitions, and I even attended a progressive activism panel hosted by a local district council member! Look at me go!

Just kidding, so, so much room for growth.

But outside of the immediate Trumpian Resistance, my main area of focus on this good citizenry journey has been to become more engaged with my community and use my time and talents to serve and support my neighbors.

As for how that's going, well, if we consider being wildly socially awkward my main talent then it is going just SO GREAT!!

An anecdote:

In the past few months I have found myself moved by the work of a group called CAMBA which has a truly inspiring comprehensive approach to bolstering strong communities here in Brooklyn. They recognize the interconnected nature of issues facing those most in need and their services are holistic: housing, education, addiction counselling, refugee services, job training and more all under one umbrella. They also offer eviction counselling, which you know is my new jam thanks to January's HottRead, so I've been looking to become more involved with them on the ground level. 

I actually first discovered CAMBA through my work, who occasionally partners with them on some corporate responsibility programs. Last year we raised funds for CAMBA through a company-wide walk, and earlier this winter there was an opportunity to go to a CAMBA location for a corporate day of volunteering which I did not, and I can not stress this enough, DID NOT ATTEND. 

~Foreshadowing! ~ 

Somehow or other I ended up on their mailing list and snagged myself an invite to to a swanky informational cocktail reception. After doing several double-takes, checking that the e-vite was, in fact, addressed to me and not some wealthy, cocktail party-attending fancyperson, I enthusiastically clicked "yes!"

A friend was planing to join, but had to bow out to take care of her daughter, which is just like, so unfair. I mean, this kid is almost two I'm pretty sure she can fend for herself for a few hours, but meanwhile I really should not be left to my own devices in public. 

I decided to still attend solo, because I am an adult now, and spent the entire day panicking about how to act normal, even dedicating my full hour of therapy for the week to mature mingling strategies. One of my main sources of anxiety (for the event, duh, there's not enough room on this or any other blog to list allll of my sources of anxiety) was the guilt and shame I have for not being a regularly active community citizen, and I imagined every person in the room listing all of the charity work they do, all the boards they serve on, all the good they've achieved, while I just chugged wine in a corner. We discussed that, when asked about my relationship to CAMBA and presence at the party, it would be best to avoid launching into the full answer of "well, I heard about them through work and then Donald Trump happened and I used to be such a good person and now I never help anyone except myself and I'm constantly abusing my privilege and the guilt is eating me alive and I actually have no idea why or how I ended up at this party I'm such a mess!!!", and instead just keep it simple: "I've been drawn to CAMBA's mission and am excited to hear more."

The evening of the party arrived and, to my surprise, I was feeling generally pretty confident. 'Twas one of those freakishly warm winter days, so I didn't have to worry about a giant coat and was able to wear my favorite big-girl outfit, this really chic navy blue wrap dress that evokes Kate Middleton's engagement look (you know...minus the title, the flowing locks, perfect face, giant sapphire, etc), and the gods had blessed me with a lifetime top ten, maybe even top five hair day so I was pretty much bringing it, on the outside at least. I tried to channel my outer hotness into inner poise as I entered the party venue, a stately brownstone in one of Brooklyn's most chi-chi neighborhoods. 

Things started fine.

I gave my name at the door and was given a little name tag. No issues!

I hung up my coat and purse on the designated coat rack, relieving me of the "wtf will I do with this giant tote bag worries." A win, tbh! 

I fluffed my hair, straightened my dress, took a deeeep breath and entered the main room, whereupon I was immediately greeted by two very friendly CAMBA staffers, one of whom struck up a polite introductory conversation: 

Her: "Hello!"

Me: "Hello!"

Her: "So how are you affiliated with CAMBA?"

Me, confidently: "I've been drawn to CAMBA's mission and am excited to hear more..."

END SCENE, flawless execution, you did it Liz, you're a champ. JUST KIDDING, there's more...

Me, rambling: "...my company did a walk to raise funds and also did a day of corporate volunteering...which I attended." 

Her, delighted: "Oh that's wonderful! I remember that day, which branch did you attend?"

Me, flailing: "Um....the one in Flatbush...?" (a neighborhood in Brooklyn) 

Her, confused: "Hmm, we don't have a branch in Flatbush, do you mean Kensington?" 

Me, dying inside: "Oh {manic laughter} yes, obviously, I always get those two neighborhoods confused but yes, Kensington, of course, is the branch at which I volunteered." 

Her, seeming skeptical: "Oh, I was the event leader at that branch that day, I don't remember meeting you..."

Me: {runs to window, throws self out}

WHAT in the everliving fuck is wrong with me??? WHYYY did I just lie to this woman's face? I was so confident! I had that dress on, I had a plan...and I couldn't even make it four minutes without choking! No one even asked about volunteering. No one mentioned the corporate day of giving. There was literally no reason for that to have even been a topic of discussion until I started to word vomit, incriminating no one but myself. My greatest fear was that I would be outed as a fraud and instead I just doubled down and frauded all over the room.

Ugh. Ugh. UGHHH.

Blessedly, Her Heavenly Mother Queen Beyonce sent down a miracle at the moment I most needed it in the form of another group of party guests who arrived right in the nick of time, interrupting our conversation before I dug myself even further into a hole. I stayed on at the party for another hour or so, mainly because now I felt like I had to re-prove my normalcy, I didn't want them to be at the office the next day like "did you see that chick who came, lied to us, and then ran out the door?" Instead they could say "did you see that chick who came, lied to us, and then still hung around and ate all of our cheese?" 

Win! 

Sooooo yes, Operation Become A Good Citizen is off to a spectacular start, A++, I'm basically going to have my face on a postage stamp by 2019 at the rate I'm going.

In related news, does anyone know of any caves deep in the middle of the forest with a flexible lease until the end of time? Asking for a friend! 

(The friend is me.) 

xoxo Liz Hott 

 

Brooklyn Summer '16

Well hot damn, it's been about the far side of forever since I last showed my face around these parts and in the interim, summer arrived in Brooklyn in a big way. With barely a warning it's 80 and humid and I think I might just love it. I'm typing this on my veranda, aka our fire escape, surrounded by Brian's plants. This is the summer I'm determined to make the fire escape patio happen. Watch me.

brooklyn summer fire escape

Brian's extra cute during gardening season, every morning he pokes his head out here to check on his lil' guys, reporting on their progress, worrying over buds that just won't bloom. I like to tease that I know he'll be a good dad some day, just by how tender he is to his basil plants.

How's that baby fever going? Whyever would you ask??

Quite honestly, it's a relief that summer came upon us so quickly. I've been in a busy spell with work and life and have let my laundry situation get the best of me. So praise the l-a-w-d it's warm enough for dresses, I am literally out of clean pants. I found myself wearing jeans mid-week a few days ago, which is a move I try not to pull except when absolutely necessary. I did feel a bit sloppish about it but I must say I learned a fun and interesting sartorial lesson which is to tuck in your top.

tuck it in hottsauce blog photo funny awkward

A) It really snazzes up the whole look. 

B) It's a handy storage unit for when you drop blueberries down your decolletage. Untucked, they fall right on through to the floor but tucked? Reach down, pluck 'em out and they're still good to eat. Wearable tupperware!

(Important Notice: this outfit was significantly cuter in person. This lighting is unflattering and there was a whole wedge sandal situation happening out of frame and just...trust me, I was slaying.) 

I have BIG PLANS for this summer, aside from just making this fire escape happen. I'm going to finish the Neapolitan novels (holy shit, so good), go back to Coney Island, drink on as many patios as possible, dust off my bike and take her for a few spins, possibly purchase and wear a jumpsuit (????), perfect home-made cold brew, attend a weekend-long music festival, stay calm and cool and collected whilst attending a weekend-long music festival, eat a lot of tomato sandwiches, sleep with the windows wide open, try not to panic about the Zika Virus, lay in the park, get uninentional and weird sunburns, figure out once and for all what the hype is over rose, plan a trip to California, ask my boss for days off to travel to California, travel to California, write postcards, forget to mail them, write essays, muster the courage to pitch them, eat fresh basil, fresh mint, fresh everything, shuck corn, bake corn, freeze corn for the dead of winter when I'm missing these lazy, hazy days and need a bright POP! of color to bring me back to life. 

I'm going to soak it all in to the last sunlit drop. 

hottsauce fire escape summer blog humor funny wine

And right now I'm going to duck in the kitchen window, pour myself another glass of wine and snuggle up on that cute husband of mine because if there's one thing that blossoms through all seasons, it is our love.

BAHAHA gross, JUST KIDDING the one thing that blossoms through all seasons is mint (srsly, it like, never dies!) and also me being really embarrassingly corny on the internet.

Happy summer, guys! We made it! 

Remembering This: Winter Storm Jonas (Brothers)

Over the summer I shared that I've been making a point to slow down and savor the now, to actively capture special moments that I want to hang onto. Little everyday things I hope will bring a smile to my face when they pop back into my head ten, twenty, fifty years into the future. 

This past weekend was one for the record books - both in terms of memories and in terms of nature, with Winter Storm Jonas (Brothers) dropping a whopping 26.8 inches of snow on New York City (just .01 short of the all-time high, aww, so close!). I wanted to jot down a few moments in an attempt to hang onto the goodness, for reasons of both sentimentality and pure psychological self-preservation. I know that by week's end, the snow will be pushed into dirty piles on the curbs and I'll be grouchily tramping to the office, grousing about the cold and it'll do me well to have a few fond snowy memories tucked away to get me through the rest of this godawful season.

I mean, this beautiful season! Oh it's happening already.

I don't think anyone really believed this storm would amount to anything, at least among my social circle. We've been burned in the past - notably last year when the city went on full lock-down only to get a light dusting - and didn't want to get our hopes up. Such jaded, cynical New Yorkers are we! So what a complete delight to wake up Saturday morning to a, and I'm really sorry, I know this phrase is absurd but I'm unashamedly going for it, winter wonderland. 

IMG_7092.JPG

The best thing about a snow day is how it takes a totally regular day and makes it into a holiday. Productivity be damned. To do lists, shredded. It's snowing! We'll have bloody marys at 10 am and read in our pajamas all morning and make a huge breakfast feast of cheesy eggs, bacon and french fries. 

breaking wild snowday hottsauce

Snow calories don't count.

After a lazy morning of treats and snoozin', snoozin' and treats, Brian and I bundled to the gills and set out into the storm on a probably ill-advised quest to meet our friends for beers.

hottsauce snowday jonas winter blog fun

The walk was surreal. The governor had issued a ban on non-essential vehicles so the roads were entirely clear of cars. We walked right down the middle of Seventh Avenue, one of the main streets in the neighborhood. Around us a few other brave (stupid?) souls trekked along, and kids had turned the side streets into blocks-long sledding trails. It was so windy, we couldn't see 100 feet ahead of us, though we couldn't see anything really, the pelting snowflakes forced us to squint our eyes tiny or sometimes walk backwards and hope for the best. Utterly ridiculous to be out and about but it was worth the pain as we burst into the warm bar and shed our wet layers, pulling on dry socks and sweaters that Brian had packed for us and hauled down in his backpack.

Pro tip: marry an Eagle Scout.

sharlenes hottsauce brooklyn blog

The bar was packed! One of the only places open in the neighborhood, it became a home away from home for locals with cabing fever - the old time regulars who I'm pretty sure might actually live there, parents with little babies strapped to their chests, loud groups of 30-somethings, everyone sporting ridiculous layers on layers of all the warmest clothes they own, fashion schmashion. We cuddled up in a back booth and guzzled IPAs and one friend found a nearby restaurant that was also open and brought in wings and fries and onion rings and another procured a set of Cards Against Humanity and we spent our afternoon getting drunk with Midgets Shitting into Buckets and Vigilante Justice and Former President George W. Bush and Oprah Sobbing Alone into a Lean Cuisine. Best overall round: Stuff White People Like (Morgan Freeman's Voice, Sassy Black Ladies, Pretending to Care About Third World Countries, The Oscars, Selfies.) 

After a few hours of building liquid corage, we packed up and trekked back home. The mile or so walk from the bar to our apartment was magical, and I mean that in the most earnest and sincere way. It was still snowing, but the wind had died down, so it gently fell in fat flakes around us. The city was absolutely silent and glowing in the streetlights.

hottsauce snowy day

We ran in the middle of the road and jumped into waist-high piles on the sidewalks and occaisionally passed other walkers but for many blocks we were the only two souls around. 

out in the snow at night

Back home we draped our wet hats and gloves on the radiator to dry, ate macaroni and cheese in our PJs. 

The snow stopped at some point while we were sleeping and when we woke this morning, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the sun bouncing off of the drifts. We made eggs and french fries for breakfast (again!), pulled back on our layers, grabbed our sled and headed for the park.

hottsauce sledding snow brooklyn blog

A memory in a memory: a few years ago, when we were first living together on the other side of the park, there was another big weekend blizzard and while walking in the park after the snowfall stopped, Brian and I became jealous of the local youth whizzing by us on their sleds and decided we hadto join them. We searched the premesis for abandoned sleds (not technically stealing if some kid just left it there!) (Right?) but came up empty so we sprinted to the local hardware store and snagged the very last sled they had, a lime green plastic saucer, and sprinted back and spent the rest of the afternoon shredding the hills. It was the funnest. 

Another pro tip: marry someone who brings out your child-like enthusiasm for adventure. 

We hung onto that stupid sled and moved it with us from that apartment, which had not one but TWO spare bedrooms for us to stash our junk, to our current home which has one tiny closet to house our random nonsense, including the sled, and also a baseball bat, skateboard, old box fan, Christmas tree stand, two tool boxes, some curtains I'm never ever going to hang, four frisbees, etc. 

But I digress. 

The park was bumpin', with essentially every Brooklyn resident shaking out the wiggles after a day stuck inside. Brian steered us to a hill he'd discoved while running, a long steep slope winding through a wooded area off the main road, just wide enough for one person to sled at a time.

 (LLimbs flailing, always.) 

(LLimbs flailing, always.) 

Alas, we weren't the only fans of this hill. A line had backed up at the top of the hill seven people deep, everyone waiting their turn on the slope, some more patiently than others.

"Why do we have to wait in line?? This isn't SCHOOL!" a kid in front of me griped.

Preach, sisterfriend.

We moved onto bigger and better, a favorite hill from our last sled outing, not as long but steeper and wider, allowing many sledders to go down at once. It was a wild mess. Everyone smashing into one another, sleds breaking, tweens stunting out by standing on their sleds or piling five bodies atop one another or holding hands and whipping one another down the hill. Brian and I took turns doing run after run and our friend Jeff, out for a jog, joined us for a few. Brian kept finding himself stuck in a divot at the bottom of the hill. Me, I kept crashing into small children. Every single run, without fail, I'd play it cautious at the top, wait until it seemed like I wouldn't crash into anyone and push off only to see out of the corner of my eye, a little kid scooting just ahead of me and I'd try to stop in time and fail and smash into the child, knocking them flat. And it was always a cute little one!! Never one of the nightmare twelve-year-olds doing backflips off his sno-tube, oh no. Always a tiny four-year-old who probably spent an hour gathering the courage to go on the big kids hill only to be crushed to death by a 31-year-old woman. 

Whoops?

A mom did tell me she thought it was "so fun" that Brian and I were "enjoying ourselves even though we don't have children." She SEEMED sincere but upon further reflection that feels a little bit back-handed.

 (can you spot BriGuy?!)

(can you spot BriGuy?!)

Blessedly she missed the moment where Jeff literally took out a child at the knees. To be fair, it was totally her fault! She broke the cardial sledding rule, which is that one does not walk horizontally across the middle of the hill whilst others are sledding. However, it's hard to keep rules in mind when a 6-foot-plus man in his 30's crashes into a child's legs and sends her flipping into the snow.

jeff sledding

My only regret of the weekend is that I don't have this moment on tape.

After we'd had our fill of sledding we parted ways with Jeff and hiked around the park for a while, making friendly small talk with cross country skiiers and families out for a stroll and at one point we passed a friend's husband and young son, who I have met maybe once but recognize from instagram and said to Brian "I know that little boy!" and that wasn't creepy even a little tiny bit. We tramped back home and had soup and tea and laid on the couch for hours. I vaguely considered grocery shopping or yoga or laundry but then remembered, it was still a snow day. Productivity continue to be damned! 

Now Brian's off at a buddy's house watching football and I'm tucked up under a blanket, eating a big bowl of cacio e pepe (snow day calories, remember?!), drinking red wine and listening to the Modern Love podcast. The streets are mostly plowed, but traffic is still sparse, the usual noise of busses and taxis and delivery trucks replaced by the occaisional slushy whoosh of a car driving slowly by. 

Tomorrow reality will set back in and the snow will start to melt and winter will return again to being the worst so for now I'm going to sit here and sip my wine and soak up the silence and try my very best to remember this. 

hottsinwinterstormjonas





Brooklyn Summer

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.” ~Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

summer hott sauce

A friend (ok, random mom blogger) shared this quote on instagram last week (which was, of course, the first week of August, in case you’re not picking up on that) and it’s been lingering in my brain ever since. Summer tends to bring out my worst tendencies towards panicking. I don’t know who to blame (Hallmark? Obama? Probably Obama.) but sometimes it feels like there’s a great marketing scheme in place run by some kind of Big Fun Corporation to remind you that summer is fleeting and, goddamn it, you will enjoy every second. Sure this was doable when you were like, seven, what else did you have to do, but adulthood is a year round situation, gang. That shit don’t let out on June 17th. It can be easy (for me, anyway!) (but we’ve already established that I’m nuts soooo) to get caught up in that mindset to worry that I’m not making the most of every second, to convince myself that everyone else is doing summer better than I am.  Every beautifully instagrammed coastal sunset becomes a reminder that someone is somewhere way prettier than I am and, oh, yeah, we’re another day closer to fall which is closer to winter which which is the WORST!

Anyone else ever feel like this?

You may recall from my Project 30 Q&A, which I’m sure you’ve all committed to memory by this point, I’m just so brilliant and wise, that I am making a concerted effort to s-l-o-w down and take every experience for what it is, to live in the moment instead of worrying about what’s to come or what’s already passed. Something about this quote spoke right to me, the image of summer hanging in mid-air became a reminder to pause and take in the scenery.

This summer has, in a lot of ways, been one of my hardest - work has been uncharacteristically stressful for the season and some behind the scenes family stuff (I do have some filter, you know! I am full of secrets!!) have been bringing a lot of pain and worry and heartache - but now that I’m pausing here and looking around, I’m realizing it’s also maybe been one of the best.

I may not be sipping rose on a dock in Nantucket but for what feels like the first time, and without really trying or stressing over it, I AM “making the most” of the season and all without leaving home. City folks like to say that we don’t need personal outdoor space, the city is our backyard!  And that’s mostly just bullshit to help us justify our life choices but I gotta say, I’m really digging my “backyard” these days.

A private patio might be nice but so are bloody marys and buffalo chicken sandwiches at a neighborhood haunt

bloody mary drinks hottsauce blogger i don't know how to do this

...and certainly a personal backyard couldn’t deliver views like this:

alta

(or the accompanying margaritas that come with it.)

You can take the train to boardwalk amusement parks….

(more on that here!)

...and beaches…

Rockaway baby

….and to minor league baseball games which are fun even if they get rained out. And hey, you get free hats!

free hats!!!

And just a few feet away from our front door is Prospect Park, where on Thursdays you can do outdoor yoga…

prospect park yoga blog brooklyn hottsauce

...and every other Wednesday there is a community 5K and if you’re really fast, you may even win a medal, which is great, but then your weird wife will make you awkwardly pose for a photo because she’s just so proud of you, but also so, so embarrassing…

so proud of this hottie!!!!!

… and on any other night of the week there might be an outdoor rock concert or a free screening of a hit film or even a symphony!

symphony space

Or you can just grab a bottle of wine and some snacks and grab a patch of grass amid all of the other city folk enjoying their backyard and catch the tail end of the pee-wee baseball matches as the sun goes down over the city.

beisbol

Or you can just stay home and sneak out the window and make your own little balcony there on the fire escape cum herb garden because city folk are a resourceful bunch and know how to make the most of every square inch of space.

fire escape stuff

(Also I’ve always really wanted to use “cum” in a sentence like that because LOLOLOLOL cum! Did you really think I could be sentimental and serious for this long and not even sneak in one childish sex joke?!)

I said this, too, in my Q&A (a really interesting literary technique is just to quote yourself a whole bunch) but every now and then I have these fleeting random moments where I’m sort of overwhelmed with gratitude for wherever I might be and I just think “remember this, remember this! This is your real life.”

I had one of those moments on Sunday night - I’d spent the day at Rockaway Beach, in Queens, with a few friends and Brian and we took the train home, tired and sunburnt and sandy and stopped on the way home to pick up clams and mussels for a seafood feast - to hang onto that beachy feeling. Before dinner we poured glasses of wine and climbed out onto our fire escape which Brian has cultivated into the most charming herb garden and it was breezy and dusk was falling and I thought to myself “This. This. This. Remember this!”

Bri guy on balcony, with wine

This summer has been hard, yes, but it’s also been pretty beautiful, too. I want to remember that. So here I am, pausing, remembering it.

Beers, Bras, Bucket Lists: A Coney Island Travelogue

Summer is upon us and with that comes the Summer Bucket List. The Summer Bucket List is like a real Bucket List except that instead of being a list of things to do before you die, inspired by a Morgan Freeman movie, it is a list of things to do before Autumn comes, to make you feel really stressed and anxious about each passing day and convince yourself that sweating your teats off waiting on a nine hour line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets is a rational idea because, SUMMER!

On my SBL: oyster happy hour, outdoor movie in the park, acquire a tan. On my bff Kathleen's list: an evening in the seaside haven of Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Coney Island is one of the strangest microcosms on earth, at once quintissentially summer and quintissentially New York. You've got a beach, a boardwalk, an amusement park, the subway, housing projects, a convergence of overpriced foodtrucks known as Smorgasburg ("The single greatest thing I've ever seen gastronimically in New York City" - Mario Batali) , a franchise of the Wahlburger chain of restaurants owned by the Hollywood Walburgs, ladies wearing fur coats in mid-July, the works. It's crowded, diverse, incongruous and so. much. fun. 

I will admit - ok I'll admit!! - that when Kathleen floated out this idea I was not fully convinced as to the wonders of Coney Island but I went along with it because I like her and I like friends and I heard they sold funnel cakes. I was in for a great surprise, then, because Coney Island is the funnest! 

I hearwith recommend that ALL New Yorkers add it immediately to their summer bucket lists and all non New Yorkers add it as a sub-category under the Visit NYC bullet on their list. And yes OBVI I assume all non New Yorkers have "Visit NYC" like, top spot on their bucket lists. It's the greatest fuckin' place on earth. And no we're so not snobs about it..who said that?! 

Anyway, to entice and delight you, I've put together a little list of tips to help you make the most of your trip to America's Boardwalk Paradise. 

That's not what anyone calls it but now I do so...let's go! 

DO: Bring your camera. This joint is an instagrammer's paradise.

Coney Island Hott Sauce Beach Fun Boardwalk
coney island is cute!
buddies at Coney Island yay!

DON'T: stare. No matter how weird someone looks because trust me, there's someone even freakydeakier like 3 feet behind them. Women in pleather bikinis cracking whips? Check. Men carrying live 80 foot (approx) boa constrictors? Cha-heckkkkk. DOZENS of people in minion costumes, one of whom appears to be touching himself inappropriately? Check, checkty dozens of checks. Coney Island is like the county fair meets Times Square meets the Jersey Shore boardwalk with a dash of the G train at 3 AM. Delightfully repulsive. Charmingly horrific. 

DO: However, soak up all the good diversity of this mishmash of humanity. Unlike the county fairs where I grew up, where I actually literally was once handed a pamphlet on being kind to Jewish people, Coney Island (like the city that calls it home) is full of people of every caste, color and creed. The night we were there was the start of Eid and the place was teeming with Muslim families all celebrating the end of Ramadan, women draped in gorgeous colorful, festive hijab. I kept thinking how lucky I am to be surrounded by this variety of cultures on a daily basis. 

Well, JK mostly I kept thinking how I hoped I wouldn't be trampled to death by hoardes of sugared up children and their exhausted parents but upon reflection, I'm lucky and happy I get to soak this all in. 

DON'T: Wear clothest that can't withstand breeze and movement.

IMG_4343.JPG

I scooped up this shirt, above, on one of my thrice weekly visits to my mothership, Old Gravy. This particular trip I was on a hunt for "fun tops" after realizing I basically only own grey and white v-neck t-shirts and like, professional work blouses. #thisis30. In case you can't tell, it's basically a regular crew neck in the front and then a glorified hospital gown in the back. Hot? When standing still it's totes adorbs and shows just the most amount of skin I feel OK flaunting. However, when you move or when anything more than the gentlest of breezes blows, it flaps wiiiide open. 

I decided Coney Island was the perfect occaision for this shirt's inaugural outing. Big mistake. Huge! It was reasonably breezy, windy, even, on the boardwalk and my shirt was flying open like curtains in a rainstorm, exposing my sensible nude bra to the world. I managed to solve that situation by tucking the tail ends of the open back into the butt pockets of my jeggings. 

Cute look. HOWEVER this makeshift fix was no match for such vigorous activities as Whack-a-Mole, which left me fully exposed. And I didn't even win! 

Not to mention for scratching my legs while walking, which sadly did was not captured on phtograph, as this multi-tasking led to me falling down on the sidewalk, the flaps of my tshirt falling wide open.

Per a friend who witnessed, I was "like, nakey."

LUCKILY as previously mentioned, there were so many freakydeaks strolling the premisis, my sensible nude bra was the least scandalous sight but still, guys. BUT STILL. 

DO: Eat fried clam strips even though you can't really be certain they're you know, fresh or fit for human consumption. You're on the boardwalk...YOLO. 

DON'T: Be so uptight! While we were downing our clam strips, a woman with came up to our table and said "hello! Do you have a moment I could speak to you about these oils I am selling" and we said "no thank you!" and she, boldly replied "don't just shut me down! Let me finish!" and prodeeded to randomly single in on our friend and lecture him, MUCH to our delight, on how he should stop being such a prude, investin in some of her sensual oils, and get way freakier in the bedroom. 

He did not take her up on the offer so, good luck with your boring sex life, friend. You know who you are! 

DO: Be alert for strollers passing on your right, lest you find yourself running head on into a father and child, losing a toenail and spilling your beer ON A BABY in the process. 

I repeat: Spilling your beer. ON A BABY. 

Hypothetically, of course.

DO: Ride the Cyclone, even if it seems rickety and terrifying.

cyclone!!!

It IS rickety and terrifying but it's an American icon! 

roller coaster of love

Can you spot us?! Wheee! 

DON'T: Allow FOMO to convince you to ride ANY other rides, such as this nightmare contraption:

NO THANKS!!!

Um. HARD PASS. It is perfectly acceptible to stand to the side, hold the bags and video tape like a suburban stage mom. Someone has to capture these memories! Might as well be you.

DO: Be wary of Dark Haired Strangers.

ZOLTAR!!!

My girl Jamie gave one whole American dollar to Zoltar the fortune teller and her fortune was SO TRUE! It said she loves art and people go to her with their problems and...lots of other good things that I now forget because they didn't directly involve me so who cares. But ALSO it said that a dark haired stranger was out to do her harm. 

Dun dun dun.

WELL! Jamie has this new-ish boyfriend and he SEEMS great but guess what: dark hair! So I'm not saying he's a serial killer but I'm also not saying he's NOT a serial killer, you know? 

Jamie, GURL, you know I love you and just want you to be happy and I am sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but, you're dating a serial killer.

DON'T: Listen to Zoltar. He's probably full of shit. 

DO: Stop at the original Nathans (now in its 99th year!) for some dawgs, fries and gigantic beers. And if anyone knows how many hotdogs Nathans sells per day...could ya let us know? We spent the whole night trying to find stats on the interwebs but couldn't find them anywhere!

DON'T: Miss the fireworks! Every Friday at 9:30 PM. I don't have any pictures but...you've seen fireworks, you get it. 

DO: Go with great friends. 

budz!

Friendships are the best ships! 

DON'T: Worry that's the last time I say something that cheesy everrrrrrr again. 

And now you are SET for your dream night in Coney Island. Enjoy!

YOHF-NDOSLSDGLLTTF!!!!! 

(You Only Have Forty-Nine Days Of Summer Left So Dear God Live Life To The Fullest!!!)

XOXO Liz Hott (Diggity Dawg!)