[disrupt] at Story



As a typically angst-ridden, rebellious teenager living under the crushingly onerous, authoritarian regime of my strict, socially conservative parents, there was a particular allure to novelty shops such as the seedy, provocative Spencer’s Gifts and the subversive, iconoclastic Hot Topic.  Fortunately, one or the other could be found in virtually every mall in the American Midwest. And even though I rarely, if ever, purchased anything at these establishments, I fondly recall the hours surrendered perusing the shelves and racks filled with random, quirky objects, never knowing quite what it was I’d find on any given visit. But eventually I grew up, my sensibilities evolved and interest in such trivial things waned. Continue reading [disrupt] at Story

The Cloisters


“Could I get a knife and fork?”

“There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?”

“There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?”

Cable Guy, 1996

Everyone’s a fan of Arthurian legend, whether you fell in love with The Sword in the Stone as a child, or with Monty Python and the Holy Grail as an adult.  Your favorite Arthur might be Sean Connery, while your favorite Guinevere might be Ava Gardner.  You might’ve liked Steinbeck’s traditional retelling, or Mark Twain’s humorous alternative history version.  There’s just something about the warrior king, the code of chivalry, the mysticism, drama and romance of the time that intoxicates.  And it’s those same magical elements you’ll find at The Cloisters. (No dinner and jousting though, sorry.) Continue reading The Cloisters

Modern Pinball NYC



Before the phenomena of binge-watching episodes of that favorite guilty pleasure program du jour on video streaming services or staring down, slack-jawed, for hours at the now ubiquitous mobile device while perusing social networks, there was another place, anathema to parents and teachers alike, where one could go to rot one’s brain and shorten one’s attention span. It was simply known as an arcade — the earliest iteration of which had pinball machines — and it was glorious. Continue reading Modern Pinball NYC

Washington Heights Walking Tour



Every neighborhood in New York has a story, but only a neighborhood within a neighborhood has secrets. Unfortunately, the prerequisite for discovering these secrets is usually the possession of an address within its boundaries, with time and growing familiarity eventually earning the distinction of being accepted within the community as a “local”. Continue reading Washington Heights Walking Tour

The Frick Collection



I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite museum in New York City — it would be like naming a favorite child (if you have over a hundred of them).  But I can assure you that the Frick Collection would be hovering near the top of the list.  It’s such an intimate and warm space, and although many other residences have been converted into museums or galleries, this one still feels like a home. Continue reading The Frick Collection

K2 Friday Nights at the Rubin Museum



A friend of mine was visiting from London years ago, and had brought with her a big box of chocolates she’d picked up on a trip to Belgium. The group of us chatted as we sampled from it, when someone exclaimed, “I can only have one piece, it’s so rich!” Having probably devoured eight pieces by that point, I’ll admit that the notion of having too much of a good thing eluded me in that moment. Continue reading K2 Friday Nights at the Rubin Museum

Koneko Cat Cafe

It’s a sobering moment when, as an adult, you realize the magnitude of the sacrifice your parents made for you.  I used to think my father was unreasonably strict and purposefully withholding, but I realize now that he was, quite simply, a practical man trying to do what was best for his family.  He made us take piano lessons to teach us discipline.  He banned desserts in the house to help us maintain healthy diets.  And he prohibited pets because he knew the responsibilities of caring for them would eventually fall on my poor mother, who already had three children to chase after.  But my love for animals was inexplicably strong, so I would find different ways to scratch that itch.  I would fish my dad’s goldfish out of his pond and pet them, as if they were slimy, squirmy miniature dogs.  I would linger any time we found ourselves in the vicinity of a pet store.  And I would drop by my neighbor’s house four doors down, ring the doorbell, and ask if I could borrow a cat.  She would smile, grab one of her adorable little fur babies, and let me sit in her driveway with it.  I would spend hours playing with the loaned animal until it was time to hand it back and go home. So you see, I’m the OG cat café customer. Continue reading Koneko Cat Cafe

Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History

Like the children who came before and after me, I, too, went through a dinosaur phase — an obsession with toys, comic books, movies, novels and archaeological journals related to the clade of vertebrates Sir Richard Owen established as “Dinosauria” in 1842. Theirs was an entire alien world that could coexist simultaneously in the past and the present, the imagination and reality. And what better place to be immersed in the irrefutable, fossilized evidence of the Mesozoic Era than the cathedral of “Dinosauria” devotion, the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan? Continue reading Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History

Celluloid Heroes: Cinema Paradiso

Even New Yorkers with the most rugged, indomitable constitutions know when to shrug their shoulders and concede. Whether it’s a blizzard or a weekend where the MTA decides to re-route all the subway lines you actually use, there are just times when you need to say, “New York, right now, I’m just not that into you.”  For those evenings, weekends, weeks or months that you’d just rather spend holed up at home (we won’t judge), we’d like to introduce what we hope will be an ongoing segment called “Celluloid Heroes”, where we’ll pick a movie — preferably an old favorite — and pair it with something fun you can make at home. Continue reading Celluloid Heroes: Cinema Paradiso

Building Tour at New York Public Library



“Please, no…Wait! Wait! Wait!” I shouted at the top of my lungs, slapping the side of the bus with enough force that the bones in my hand would gradually stiffen and the skin of my palm would radiate a dull, throbbing ember of pain late into the evening. In New York City (or anywhere else, for that matter), bus drivers don’t have a reputation for being especially empathetic creatures. Maybe it’s the nature of the job: long hours, miserable passengers, impossible traffic and a lot of repetition. But the driver of this particular bus—the final one to depart from the gate at ten o’clock—must have won twenty bucks on a scratch-off or had the weekend off, because instead of tightening his sphincter and stomping on the accelerator, he applied pressure to the brakes. And so began the silver lining at the end of a brutal week of work that would extend from the long commute home and through the weekend to come. Continue reading Building Tour at New York Public Library