Alex and Andrew Parsegian first session JUNE 2015 BK, NYC

Another reason to love Greenhouse Holistic BK

I met this wonderful human being in Yoga class!

Great things will happen!

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6am JetLag life, lessons learnt + little random verse that fell

Long time no speak!

Being extremely wrapped up in NYC Life, I completely disregarded poor little sunsetsoulsister. My musical alter came along (Alexandra Blue) and stole all my attention away!

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Although this means that no writing has been done in the blog sense, I have been writing lyrics and poetry… so all was not lost.

This stay in NY was extremely different from the first time around. Less focus was on fun and playtime ( in the standard sense of drinking and partying)  and most of my time was spent in my room writing lyrics and melodies ( my new kind of playtime 😀 ) or on the subway to jam nights, writing sessions or singing lessons. Harlem was where you could find me most of the time!

I got to play a few shows both supporting established acts as a Background artist and I performed a track I wrote with Namaste Humble at a random gig. What encouraged the most growth was vibin on stage at random jams and seeing what my improvisation chops were saying!

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If any singers or musicians are reading this with an idea of going to NY to pursue music the best bit of advice I could give you as someone who is just finding their way is – Do not be afraid of Craigslist and Jam nights! Speak to everyone and be as open as possible. Also, know your limits and skill level. I went in thinking I was going to be miles behind everyone (I was behind most, obv, but not ALL) but because NY is so big and there are so many ‘scenes’ there is no need to be intimidated. There is always going to be someone behind you in their journey, and help them along just as you would appreciate a peer further on their path giving you a little nod in the right direction.

I did manage to get a couple of trips upstate in (hello winetasting!) , and of course went to some blinding gigs (Derrick Hodge and The Weeknd and loads of local bands) but my highlights have to be attending jam nights like The Lesson @ Arlene’s Grocery and Village Undergrounds jam/open mic on a monday. These are places that really are about nurturing and experimenting with your gift in a safe and fun. Other nights I really wanted to get to but didn’t manage were Tuesday nights @ Zinc and Wednesdays @ Williamsburg music centre. Hear nothing but great things about these 2 nights.

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Halloween I semi experienced, (went out the night before, had my own crazy vibes that ended on a very hungover Halloween official day), I stayed on the couch with my housemate. We talked about life and watched Les Mis haha. The night following Halloween was Subway Management’s Mansion party so I, of course, turnt that place up until the Jello shots turned me down. I dressed as a Peace Warrior, basically I utilised the most prominent part of my wardrobe, camo print and face paint.

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I got to take part in Thanksgiving (which was amazing, and FULL OF FOOD). Previously to that it dawned on me that Firework night in the UK may be my favourite non holiday. I really missed it this year, and was very disappointed there were no fireworks at the supposed British bonfire night celebrations!

in summary. NYC Part 2 was a great success!

 

What I Eat in NYC …1

In light of my determination to post on here more I am trying out different styles of posting. So in this little experiment I am going to list a few of the places I have eaten at and give a little mini review, as oppose to a post for each establishment.

See, my NYC Brain really is in full effect now, alongside my normal attitude of working smarter, not harder I am now adopting speed on top of that. So hopefully my natural sloth like self can keep up.

Oh, I am going to start with the only place I can think of off the top of my head, but unfortunately not for great reasons. Ah well, gotta get the ball rolling somehow…

Ridgewood Eats, BK – All I have eaten from here, is a burger, sweet fries and some cake. The cake was bloody good – First time I tried red velvet and I have to say I don’t really know what all the hype is about, unless it was bad cake? It was a good texture and the flavours were all there but I guess I am just a chocolate fudge girl deep down. The Burger and fries were wet… Even after letting it air out for a while after opening the container. Imagine my dismay, I rarely eat a burger, especially from a takeout place! Service was good however, and for the cake being of a nice consistency and quality I will give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Bushwick’s Living Room, BK. – After my first session at my new Yoga Studio (LOOM) I stumbled upon this place on my way home. I had poached eggs with lots of salad and whole-wheat toast. It was LOVELY! So nice. My coffee cup was refilled without me even noticing and the server at the bar was so nice and friendly. I am learning that in New York/Brooklyn you have to take all of the great cheery service you can get, as not everyone feels that smiles are freely to be given. 5/5 for sure.

Soho Tiffin Junction, NYC (NYU area) – THIS IS MY FAVOURITE PLACE I HAVE DISCOVERED THUS FAR. OhMyDays I love it. Not super cheap for a lunch, but it did last me until the evening and gave me a nice part 2 later on. I am not really sure what I had, as I can’t remember the names and stuff but I would highly recommend anyone in the Greenwich/soho/nyu W4 area to go here. Then go again. I met the manager/owner of the place and he was so helpful and asked me what kinds of stuff I like and then built my food for me around that. Great service, excellent food and lots of people watching to be done around that area. 5/5 (but really, 10/5)

So I got a bit philosophical on Friday and this is what happened…

As I sit here in McCarren Park I can’t help but ponder life.

I am struggling with balancing ambition and my incessant need for new experiences with being in the here and now and present in the moment.

For instance today, it is a beautiful day and my plan was to go to yoga, then grocery shopping and then start some new work that a friend has introduced me to. So I walk the 30 minute walk to my new yoga studio (loom in Bushwick – review and yoga journal up soon!) and get there a bit early. For most people I would imagine that this is their ideal. For me being early always can put whatever I am early for in the ‘optional’ box in my head. Especially if the sun is shining and its mid September. Yoga is something I enjoy immensely, and at the moment it is important that I go as much as possible – My back is out of wack from a summer of dancing and adventures.

All this being said, and knowing how important it is long term for me to go, why did I not go? Why did I choose to sit in the sunshine for a few hours instead?

This is a consistent theme of my life and as I am reaching mid 20s (yes Tony, REACHING MID 20S. I am NOT nearly 30) I am trying to figure out where my priorities are at these days. I thought Yoga was a big priority, but it turns out that even that is subject to change depending on the weather?

I think it is because I am British, and when the sun is out in Brighton, UK you would think it is city of The Unemployed! Everyone flocks to the beach and the drinks flow until way past sunset – Mid week!

So anyway, back to how my day has rolled out (It is still only 1.30pm – My NYC Brain is in full effect, clearly). I’m in McCarren Park with the idea that I am going to go and be all Yogi in the Park and concentrate on being in the here and now, and all I have done is thought about things I would like to do in the future or aims I have for my time over here.

This is all very in line with my Piscean profile, I spend a lot of time in my own head idealizing life and pondering how great XYZ would be blah blah. So it is all positive thoughts and ideas and planning etc but how do I achieve any of these things if when it gets to it, the sun is out or my fickle fish self flows on by whatever I had planned.

Am I really doing things I want to do, or are they just things I have convinced myself that I want to do over my 24years?! OR Do I just have no discipline and follow through? OR am I ruled by my own expectations? I think that might be it.

The book I am reading at the moment is called The Power of Now and it’s by Eckhart Tole. I am so trying to practice with the thoughts in this book, and also building on the Tao of Pooh that I listened to as an audiobook sometime last year.

I suppose this is more of a shout out to anyone feeling philosophical at this changeover of season time for any advice.

Any ideas on how to get shit done whilst in keeping with being happy and present just the way everything is in the now?

My first idea would be to get a solid meditation routine in, but what if I do not feel like it one morning? Do I force it because I know it is good for me long-term OR go with my flow of that moment?

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Week 1 rundown of Brooklyn Life

Sunsetsoulsister is back in the BK just in time for summer to kick in. haha!

My summer was stellar and I could not be more grateful for all the amazing things the last few years has churned up, but now let’s get Fall happening, US Style! It looks as though it is going to be interesting!

So I am back in Bushwick with the BK fam and loving it. It was touch and go if I was even going to return for a while! I had China knocking at my door with an opportunity to sing over there, but for one reason or another that didn’t pan out so, lucky I had a Plan B in BK.

The initial period of this trip is very different to the last time. Last time I was with my brother, it was savage weather with snow and late blizzards and all that, and we did not know a soul. This time around it almost feels too easy!

In my first week back there have been dinners, many a hangout, beach trips and Karaoke, of course. It is so funny to me how much the Yanks love karaoke. In the UK it is like pulling teeth to get ANYONE to get excited about going to karaoke.

I used to work in a karaoke bar that just had private rooms and it was always so hilarious watching people come in who were absolutely dreading it – usually were in attendance by some sort of forceful office/Birthday/Hen+stag situation! By the end of the night 8/10 times these people would love it, and it always entertaining hearing all the stories upon their departure from the venue.

Basically my point is, when I get home in Dec UK people – Karaoke is HAPPENING!

Considering I spent the first 4/5days in a bit of a weird jet lag/ Super moon / summer hangover vibe it has been a very lovely and chilled chance for me to settle in.

I have visited Rockaways beach, Travelled upstate to The Catskills (I know UK peeps, I don’t get the name either…) and my local literally across the street from my new digs. Much fun has been had, and I am enjoying exploring all over again!

So I am going to try my best to keep on updating in between everything going on.

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#25HappyHealthyDaysinNYC – Days 17-24 PT- 2 – FINALE

Final days and words for my NYC Spring!

So following the monster of a party, where things got out of hand… as they always do in Borough mansion (and Id have it no other way – work hard, play hard!)

I woke up pretty bewildered at the state of my room, and also still pretty wobbly! So I was continuing the party mood into my fun Friday. I went to Manhattan, found my favourite shop (Scent Elate) bought the whole place, basically and then went on to explore the Lower East Side. I thought I had been to LES before, but upon arrival I knew for sure I hadn’t explored this part and man was a bummed that I only discovered such a cool hood as I was leaving! Lots and lots of cool cafes and boutiques, and will defo be exploring more of that end when I am back next time.

Then I got my nose pierced… I don’t know why I had been so set on having it done whilst in NY but it was D Day and I did it! It didn’t hurt (maybe it was the alcohol still in my system relaxing my nervous system or something haha) and the place I got it done could not have been more sanitary and helpful.

Venus body arts in LES, 5/5 across the board. Would highly recommend for any piercing needs or information.

Shortly after I got my nose pierced, the hangover set in and I started to die slowly. It was also ridiculously hot, and in my drunken state I decided to wear some crazy short shorts, which in the humid and hot light of day were not Manhattan appropriate. Nice one Alex!

But do not think that I could just go and die in my bed, oh no! This was also the day that Babeland were shooting their music video on a roof in Clinton hill. Yep, live singing and filming by sunset. The race was well and truly on.

The funny thing about this afternoon is how organized and on time I was, despite feeling a little worse for wear, and how disorganized the normally super organized member of the band was. She was not working to any kind of times this day, and didn’t even realize it! I was actually hurrying her along, and giving her assistance in her organization. Haha. I reveled in this one instance where I happened to be the organized one, I have to make the most of these situations because they are a rarity, that’s for sure!

It was definitely a bit manic and we were all worrying we weren’t going to get the shot, but we did in the end and with a little help from our friends we absolutely nailed it! I will 100% post the video and a more in depth post about it when it’s released.

To celebrate our excellent work, we went for dinner (eventually – after about 3 hours of ADD behavior mixed with excitement) and I had the best Fish and Chips of my life! Yes, in Brooklyn… I know! We went on a little walk to a restaurant called Mayfield. The food was brilliant, and it was pretty late too, don’t think we ate until midnight, but there was none of the end of day dregs @ Mayfield.

The next day was hot and sunny, and happened to be a Saturday so everyone play in Prospect Park! I love Prospect, and may even prefer it to Central Park. It seems greener, and more for the purpose of chilling over Central Park that I never found particularly chill friendly. Another added bonus was the little league teams having games all around the park. The little guys were so small it was ridiculously cute! The groups of mischievous 5year olds provided a world of entertainment for a few hours while the group of 20 something boys in our crew were happiest playing Frisbee and reminiscing on their own little league days. Bless ❤

Our Saturday rounded off with a party – Shock horror – to celebrate a housewarming in the group. We grilled, listened to Beyonce, Babeland sang a song for the attendees and I must have laughed for about 4 hours straight. Perfect Saturday!

The last thing to talk about is my Farewell dinner, and the good old knees-up we had into the wee hours. We ate the most incredible dinner at CHIMU and I think that may have been my favourite food of my whole trip. My first taste of ceviche and I am hooked, since being back in the UK I have been on a mission to find some ceviche like this particular one, but have yet to find anywhere that trumps it as of yet!

My final words can only be

Thankyou to the Borough mansion crew and everyone at Subway Management for making my last 6 weeks in Brooklyn some of the best weeks of my life!

So much love, fun and happiness! You guys sent me back to the UK with a refreshed sense of positivity, and I cannot wait to see you all again in Sept!

xxxxx

#25happyhealthydaysinNYC – Days 17-24 PT.1

Final days and words for my NYC Spring Visit!

This week was mental.

Everyone knew I was leaving NY so we took ample opportunity to do as much as possible. This included Burlesque at Macao – I didn’t win musical chairs this time, but came second! This time was so funny because the guy I was up against was super into ‘letting me win’ until he was super into winning himself! Males just can’t help their competitive natures sometimes, but that was AOK because I still got a free drink anyways from my favourite bartender in China Town! 😀

We continued our mini traditions by attending Karaoke at Branded Saloon the following evening. It was rather a last minute decision as we were all pretty hangin from the night before at Burlesque, but we still gave a bloody good craic and, of course, The Spice Girls got queued up and everything after that was good times!

I tried Brisket for the first time too, and have to say I am not a massive fan of heavy meat so such a rich serving of it was a bit too much for me. Another first out of the way though, so good job, Branded!

Then came my day at Coney Island. This included stellar company, really great food, and a major fulfillment with being back by the sea. Being from Brighton, a traditional English seaside town, I realized how much I took having fresh air and open space for granted whilst living in Brooklyn. My skin has noticed the difference since being back in Brighton, gone are the random breakouts and patchy skin and back is the lovely sea air glow 😀

For my final Thursday in the states, it wouldn’t have been right if it weren’t ridiculously rushed and busy! Thursdays always seemed to be the day when I would be late for everything and rushing around like a blue arse fly, as my dad would say.

I had my final singing lesson with the ridiculously talented Angel Lea, and also my final Jazz class with the New York Jazz academy. Both of these lessons were incredibly insightful, and allowed me to leave NY with a refreshed sense of drive and determination. The first of the 2 lessons very much reminded me that you can never stop improving the foundations of singing, and the latter gave me a shock to the system in the form of theory based singing. It has been a while since I have worked out chord types, and clapped out rhythms. Back to the Music Theory drawing board for Alex then!

To relieve the stress of the day, the only thing to do was… have a party! So that evening was full of music, beer pong, dancing and madness the only way 74 Cornelia knows how! Another member of the crew was going back to Spain so this was his night. Bushwick really does know how to throw it down and shake it out!

In Part 2 of my last week I will be talking about the music video filming, getting my nose pierced, and my farewell weekend/dinner madness!

#25HappyHealthyDaysinNYC -Days 7/8 – Memorial Day weekend! Part 1

The calm before the Carnage!

My first experience of Memorial Day weekend was an absolute blast. What an awesome way to kick off the summer.

I thought I would bundle the days together as the weekend feels as though it was one party filled day!

Friday started super productive with a gym sesh, lots of writing (at my new favourite daytime haunt- Sky Town – Bushwick – Bangin teas and coffee and don’t even go there about the omelettes- dayum!) and catching up on things, so that was good vibes.

I also managed to sync up with my favourite Pisces sister and have an impromptu Facetime. It was one of those weird ‘right place right time’ moments as I only accidently called her but she called me right back and we both had time to have a good old natter.

Whilst I was having these good vibes I had the idea for a party for one of the housemates who’s moving out, so I put the word out and before I knew it a party was on our hands. Then, out of nowhere, my blues came and my vibes dropped so low that I wasn’t fun at all. Bummer! (Pretty sure it was my own fault for being such a coffee keeno that day in my productive state) Luckily it was a fairly low-key event with a few of the MVPs missing so I managed to duck fairly early. No muss no fuss as they say.

So Saturday I woke up refreshed and hungry! All I had eaten the day before was veggie stuff so I was feeling pretty reset in my body and wanted to continue the healthy vibes so I had some nuts for breakfast I think, and then went on to have a fresh green juice and sushi! Yum!Image

The problem with me is the earlier I eat the more calories I end up consuming throughout the day. Once I start eating I find it pretty hard to stop, Food is definitely an issue for me – but that is a post for another time for sure. That day I went on to eat too much cereal and ordered Indian food for dinner, with desserts AND rice (I never normally have rice – usually just have tandoori veg with the naan). Too much food for one person in one day.

Anyway, back to Saturday!

Mood wise I was ok, but not on top of the world, not sure why but I go through quite extreme ups and downs so I have learnt just to ride it out. It was probably the weather- it was pretty grey! Managed to chill on the porch and that always gets me back to feeling good. People watching on my block is always a trip. Such a diverse neighbourhood that there is always enough to keep me occupied being a nosy Rosie.

Luckily, life always gives you exactly what you need and upon my return from an unsuccessful trip to Staples in the pissing rain my housemate suggested a sunset session was in order. And not just any sunset session, we went on a rooftop! I was on a Rooftop, in Brooklyn, watching the sunset. YES! Defo something checked off my bucket list. The sky cleared up enough for the gorgeous sun to shine through onto the clouds and we saw some pretty interesting shapes and colours.

Although my trip to staples was unsuccessful I did manage to get pretty lost on my travels from Halsey st to Greenpoint and along the way I saw all the phat Graf around the Morgan Ave L stop. So all was not lost, at first I was pretty annoyed that I was so lost but then the rain stopped and I was surrounded by very cool artwork. Life is pretty amazing sometimes!

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#25HappyHealthyDaysinNYC Day 4

I started this day with healthiness at the forefront of my brain. Sunshine always encourages good habits for me so off I went to the gym. I had a good laugh at this sign on the way up to the cardio floor

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Seeing as it was such a lovely day, I was more than up for another walk after returning from the gym so I recruited my housemate and went to grab some juice from the fantastic Mr Kiwis. (Celery, Broccoli, pineapple and lemon – YUM). He also gave me a mini tour of the great bars that are around the myrtle av/bway area and hopefully I will get a chance to visit a couple of them in my last 3 weeks! Image

It seemed happiness was in the air, and when we returned to the mansion everyone was out on the porch ‘shootin shit and yammin’ and the topics of conversation ranged from Beyonce (Of course we speculated about the Solange sitch, as well as B’s new found strippergram path) to relationships to Long Island vinyards to our plans for Tuesday Karaoke that evening!

2 outfit changes later- (No idea why I changed so much! My indecisiveness is out of control since the last full moon) – Our ‘pre-gaming’ turned into a full blown backyard party with Beer pong (I lost), Flipcup (it was way too late in the day to be taught this game haha), experimental lighting and Destiny’s child! Needless to say we never made it to Karaoke, and although at first I was a little bummed, all it took was Bootylicious to come on the music system and karaoke was ancient history.

This evening really cemented how grateful I am for finding my way to the mansion, and for all the people I have met there. Everyone is so nice and chilled and mesh with my personality perfectly. I am one lucky lady! All this makes me a little sad to be coming back to the UK as I feel like I would have done fabulously finishing the summer up here, but I have plans for the rest of the year so hopefully now I know NYC/BK a bit better next year when I am hoping to return I can jump right in.

I will divulge my plans for the rest of the year at the end of my NYC stint but for now, I am trying to remember what I learnt reading ‘The tao of Pooh’ and staying in the moment.

Xxxxx

P.s I would recommend ‘The Tao of Pooh’ so highly that if I had my way it would be taught in schools!

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