Brown-Bag Lady

Legs were feeling decent after Tuesday morning’s 8-miler and I stretched them out even more by taking a little walk to Central Park on my lunch break. My brown-bag lunch was enjoyed on a park bench: apple, 2 peices of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with peanut butter, honey, and banana slices. Mmm, I could eat this sandwich every day!

lunch on a bench

Later in the afternoon I had a cappuccino that gave me the jitters. Must.cut.back.on.caffeine.asap!


Snacks were multiple handfuls of the following: Salt & Pepper pistachios and chocolate-covered cranberries. This morning’s mileage made me a very hungry lady.

pistachios and chocolate covered cranberries

After work, I returned home ready to tackle my to-do list! First up: dinner using Nature’s Pride bread. I was sent two free loaves to sample as part of the FoodBuzz tastemaker program. I checked out the stats on this bread and was pleased to see that whole wheat flour was the number one ingredient.

Nature's Pride Bread

I toasted up a slice of the 12-grain bread and topped it with a Morningstar farms black bean burger, laughing cow cheese, and sprouts. On the side I sliced up some green bell pepper and plated some Stacy’s pita chips with chipotle hummus. This brand of chips is SO delicious, better than any other kind I’ve tried. Stacy – how do you do it??

Black bean burger

And then…I did laundry and vacuumed the floors! Not my favorite things to do, but quite necessary. Felt much better to get these chores over and done with. Night ended with a cup of Yogi detox tea

7.5 hours later, I started the morning with another cup of tea (green tea this time). If you know me/read this blog often, you’ll realize that I never, ever start my morning without coffee. However, I’ve been feeling kind of crappy lately and was wondering if too much caffeine had anything to do with it. I’m a little nervous about experiencing coffee withdrawl symptoms, so we’ll see how this goes…

With my cuppa, I enjoyed a mini lemon zest lara bar and then set out on a morning run in Central Park. My right hamstring/butt was giving me a bit of trouble, so I gave it a good stretch when I returned from my 6-miler (52  minutes, ~8:43/mile pace). The good news: faster paces are getting easier, the bad news: faster paces bother my hamstring. Hmmm.

luna bar

Inspired by Holly’s drool-worthy oatmeal concoctions, I attempted to have a little fun with my breakfast.

I prepped some overnight oats by combining the following in a tupperware:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 6 oz Stonyfield Farm low-fat plain yogurt
  • splash of 1% milk
  • sliced banana
  • dried cherries
  • Tbs PB2
  • peanut butter chips/chocolate chips

overnight oats

Mmmm, ’twas perfect after sitting in the fridge overnight and made a lovely post-run breakfast!

Heart oatmeal

Continuing on my quest to stop spending $30 in the office cafeteria every week, I packed another homemade lunch:

Lunch from home

  • Two slices of Nature’s Pride 12-grain bread (love the nutty taste!) topped with chipotle hummus, sprouts, and mozzarella cheese.
  • Sliced green bell pepper and the last of the hummus on the side.

I have plans to meet up with a blog reader who works near my office – so excited! I bet that will make my lunch hour a little more fun.

Speaking of exciting food, I have some VERY cool dinner plans. Hint: Reservations at one of the city’s best vegetarian restaurants. Stay tuned for a recap!

From the NY Times: How Marathon Running Affects the Heart

Birthday cake cannoli? Pumpkin pie cannoli? PB & J cannoli? Yes, if you live in the NYC area, check out the new artisan cannoli shop that just opened up on the LES.

Question: What is your favorite fall food? Pumpkin is delicious, but I think apples are my true Autumnal love…


Another one bites the dust

Have you ever seen that episode of Sex & the City where Carrie’s computer dies and she freaks out? Yep, that was me on Sunday night. My 2.25 yr old Apple Mac Book was running a little bit slower than usual, but other than that everything was A-OK. Then in the middle of writing an email I got the “spinning color wheel of death” and was unable to force quit. I shut down, but only saw a scary blinking file folder/question mark upon restart. After 2 frustrating hours of trying to re-install the operating system software, run disk utilities, and re-setting the PRAM I still had no result.

I was lucky enough to snag a 1pm appointment with the Apple genius bar in SoHo the next day (usually you have to wait a few days for an appt), but the Mac tech had some bad news for me: “Your hard-drive failed and we can’t recover the data”. Uggggh. I could have replaced the hard-drive for a couple hundred dollars, but I put a lot of wear and tear on my laptop these past few years and I was worried that I’d have to buy a new machine in a few months anyway.

Soooo….I bit the bullet and left the store with a brand new Mac Book Pro (plus 3 years of Apple care extended warranty!). This was a pretty hefty investment and my bank account is NOT happy right now, but a laptop is essential to my life  and I know I’ll get my money’s worth. However, I’m going to be watching my budget veryyyy carefully over the next few monthes. It’s a good thing I like pb&j!

Photo courtesy of my cell phone camera. Can’t believe I just bought a new laptop.  Ahhhh!

Mac Book Pro

Anyway, here’s hoping Tuesday will be a better (and less expensive day)! I started the morning off with my usual cup of coffee and a mini lemon zest luna bar. I love the little snack size bars!

luna bar

About 7:30am, Alma and I headed out for a run in Central Park. The weather was a bit chilly, but once we started to sweat the breeze felt nice. My legs felt pretty stiff (between Saturday and Sunday I ran 17 miles…), but otherwise I felt OK. We finished our 8 mile run in 1 hour, 13 minutes (a bit over 9:00/mile pace).

After a bit of foam rolling and the quickest shower ever, it was off to work!

Gulped lots of water on the subway and then threw together a quick breakfast at my desk: a container of Stonyfield plain yogurt, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 banana, and a cup or so of Kashi cinnamon Heart-2-Heart.

Yogurt and Heart-2-Heart

Plus, an adora calcium supplement! I don’t always mention it, but I usually have two of these 500mg calcium + vitamin D + vitamin K supplements per day. Tastes just like chocolate :-)

Adora calcium disks

A visit from Mr. Softee – A miraculous milkshake?

From the NY Times: Probiotics, Health or Hype?

Attention New Yorker readers: Would you be interested in meeting up on Saturday evening?? Assuming I survive the 1/2 marathon that morning, I have a little event planned for the evening hours:-)

Send me an email:

Jesse Cooks: Portabello Burgers and Squash-Sundried Tomato Soup

Hello readers and happy Monday! I’m having some computer problems (ugh), so I might be MIA from blogging for a few days. Luckily, Jesse sent me a very timely guest post. His portabello mushroom burgers look amazing – enjoy!

To go along with Megan’s Meat-Free Month, I thought I’d cook up portabello mushroom burgers to pair with my favorite squash soup recipe.  I wanted to treat myself to some really good food for my birthday (Megan says: Happy Birthday Jesse!!), so I went over the farmer’s market and came home with a great selection.  This dinner turned out to be a very interesting mix of Summer and Fall dishes, quite fitting for this time of year!  The squash soup is a variation of a recipe from the cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon which has tons of great recipes inspired by traditional cuisines from around the world and I found the portabello burger recipe online at Unfortunately it turned into a rainy day, so I couldn’t actually use the grill to make the burgers, so I just roasted and broiled the veggies and mushrooms instead.

I started earlier in the day by making the Squash-Sundried Tomato Soup (I added a few extra ingredients because I had them on hand).

1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
2 medium carrots
2 medium onions
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 quart vegetable stock (plus a little water)
Olive oil
1 Tbsn Dried Basil
Red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper


The first step is to peel, seed, cut up, and roast the squash and sweet potato with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 until tender, about 30 – 40 minutes.  While the squash and sweet potato are roasting, chop up the carrots and onions.  When the squash and sweet potato are done roasting, saute the onions in olive oil in a large soup pot for a few minutes then add the red pepper flakes, carrots, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Continue to saute for a few more minutes until things are getting nice and tender.  Pour in the stock and let it come to a boil before adding the roasted squash and potato.


Season with a bit of salt and pepper and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently so the soup doesn’t stick to the bottom.  One final step is to puree the soup and sprinkle in the basil.  If you happen to have a hand-held blender that would be a good option, but you could also use a blender or food processor to puree the soup.  It comes out creamy and delicious.  This soup is great either hot or chilled.

The Portabello Burgers turned out to be quite involved, but the result was definitely worth the effort!

Here’s what I put on the burgers:

Roasted portabello caps
Roasted summer squash
Roasted red pepper (pureed and mixed with a bit of mayo and garlic)
Fresh Basil
All on toasted ciabatta rolls!


Start by roasting the red pepper.  Broil until it starts to turn black and blister on all sides, turning frequently!  Toss the pepper in a paper bag to cool slightly then peel off the blackened skin, cut it open, remove the seeds.  Cool the and blend with a little bit of mayo, garlic, salt and pepper. 

The squash should be sliced thinly lengthwise. Spread the slices in a pan, sprinkle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper over them and roast at 400 degrees until cooked and starting to brown a little (about 5-6 minutes on each side).  Use the same method for the mushrooms, except they might need a bit longer. Try broiling them for the last few minutes to brown it up.  Meanwhile toast the rolls.  Here’s the spread before we assembled the burgers:


We spread the red pepper mayo on the bottom roll, then the mushroom, squash, basil, and spread the brie on the top.


Jen and I loved the different flavors of these burgers: the red-pepper mayo with balsamic mushroom and squash, and basil and brie were two particularly delicious combinations we noticed!  Portabellos have such a rich meaty flavor that makes them a perfect vegetarian substitute for meat burgers. Paired with the soup this was a vegetable packed meal that was very satisfying (if complicated and a bit time consuming to cook!)  One last photo of me chowing down!


This is probably a once-in-a-long-while kind of meal, but I think it was definitely worth the effort.  Enjoy!!

Megan says: I am so jealous.

Central Park Track Club

Yesterday’s attempt at a nap = FAIL, so instead I made some popcorn on the stove top. I put a Tbs of canola oil in a big pot and turned the heat to medium-high. After a minute or so of pre-heating, I added a 1/4 cup of pop corn kernels and shook the pot to make sure they got coated with the oil. I placed the lid back on the pot and waited until the kernels popped. I poured the popcorn in a big bowl and liberally sprinkled it with salt and chili powder. Yum!

Chili Popcorn

Later in the evening it was time to head to the annual Central Park Track Club benefit/fund-raising dinner. Ironically, the event was held at the New York Athletic Club – our biggest rival! I guess they were feeling sportsman-like and gave us a deal on the event space ;-)

NYACAll dressed up!


And the open bar + dinner spread was pretty yum:

CPTC Benefit Dinner

I was very pleased with all of the vegetarian options – salad with balsamic vinaigrette, Caprese salad, mixed veggies, and vegetable lasagna (with extra parmesan cheese!).

And white chocolate-macademia cookies for dessert – our table split this plate. Although I’m pretty sure I could have eaten most by myself…


After hearing the guest speaker (legendary coach Frank Gagliano), I checked out the CPTC gear that was for sale.

For Sale

Even though I already have a team uniform and a fair amount of gear, I couldn’t resist a new t-shirt and team sports bra.


As we left the event we received sweet goodie bags: magazines, books, luna bars, sports drink powder, gels, gym guest passes, etc. The benefit committee did a really great job soliciting donations!

Goodie Bag!

Before bed my stomach started to grumble a bit. I felt like I was a little low on protein today, so I had a promax bar and a cup of tea before bed. These bars taste delish, but all the fake ingredients kind of sketch me out. I don’t think I’m going to buy them anymore.


I agreed to run a few miles with some CPTC girls early this morning, so I set my alarm for 5:50am (ugh). Felt kind of yucky at first (wine last night + not much sleep), but once I had some coffee and started running I felt better. Don’t I look excited to be awake??

Megan is excited to be awake at 6am

I ran 6 easy miles in Central Park, lots of rain. I felt pretty good when I finished, but my IT band was a little sore (forgot to wear the pre-wrap today).

As soon as I got back home, I hopped in the shower. It was pouring rain and I looked like a wet dog, hehe.

Breakfast #1: banana and peanut butter (plus some more pb straight outta the jar).

Banana & PB

Breakfast #2: Baked apple-pecan french toast casserole!

Baked French Toast

I based my recipe on a ridiculous Paul Deen concoction, but made it a little healthier :-)


  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup/brown sugar mixture
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • apple, thinly sliced
  • handful of chopped pecans


  • Coat a 8″ x 8″ pan with cooking spray
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon
  • Place bread slices in pan (they will overlap)
  • Sandwich the apple slices and pecans in between the overlapping bread slices (don’t worry too much about this – if some apple slices are on top, that’s fine)
  • Pour egg mixture over bread slices, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for a few hours in the fridge (overnight is best)
  • Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes
  • Enjoy warm with extra maple syrup and cinnamon!

Makes 2-3 servings

I’m planning on a much needed yoga class later this afternoon. I’ll be foam rolling my IT band and cozying up with a good book until then.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Prepping for a Long Run

Slowly, slowly, slowly I am starting to feel like my old self again. It’s been nearly 9 months since I injured my right hamstring and there were definitely times this year when I thought I might never get to do a long run or race again without pain again. Things still aren’t perfect – my right hamstring still aches sometimes and it resists a bit when I try to push the pace. BUT, it’s a million times better than it was in the Spring. In June I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without having serious pain. So it’s been a long road, but I think things are finally starting to turn around. Even though I’m signed up for the NYC Marathon on November 1st, I’m going to defer until next year. As much as I’d love to be running through the crowds near First Avenue and Tavern on the Green, I’m not ready to tackle another marathon yet. But next year? I’ll be there.


Ok, enough reflection! On to the food! I had plans for a long run on Saturday morning, so I whipped up a yummy pre-run meal Friday night. A few days ago NoMeatAthlete featured a wonderful pesto recipe on his blog. As soon as I saw all of that fresh basil, I knew I had to make some of my own!

Pesto ingredients

Megan’s Version – Homemade Pesto


  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmigianno-reggiano
  • salt to taste


  • Place basil, pecans, and garlic clove in food processor, process until a thick paste forms
  • Run processor on low speed and stream in the olive oil
  • Add cheese and salt and process just until combined

I mixed about 1/2 of my homemade pesto with 1/2 lb of penne pasta and a pint of cherry tomatoes. Makes about 3 servings. You can refrigerate the leftover pesto for up to a week. Mix it with some light mayo and use as a sandwich spread. Yum!

Pesto pasta

Pesto- Cherry Tomato Pasta with Grated Parmigianno-Reggiano:

Pesto, penne, and tomatoes

And for dessert – the last two oatmeal-pb-chocolate chip cookies with a dollop of nocciolla (hazelnut) gelato. Heaven.

Cookies and gelato

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning – around 6:30am (who am I???). After some coffee, I dug into my pre-run breakfast: a piece of whole wheat toast with sliced banana, peanut butter, and honey. Plus some more spoonfuls of pb straight out of the jar. When it comes to peanut butter before long runs, my brain usually asks “Is that really a smart idea?”, but my tastebuds always say “YES!”

Toast, Banana, PB

Luckily all of that peanut butter fueled me for a fabulous run! The weather was perfect (sunny and 60 degrees) and I was pleasantly surprised by my pace. I was a little tight for the first few miles, but after about 25 minutes everything loosened up quite nicely. I was feelin’ so good that around mile 6 I threw in a faster mile (7:45) and my hamstring didn’t give me much trouble at all. I ended up running 11 miles in 1 hour and 34 minutes (8:35 pace). Yahoo!

After chugging some water, I put my feet up against the wall for about 10 minutes (this reduces soreness and improves circulation).

Putting my feet up

And then I had some eats! I mixed some powdered sports drink into a glass of water, sliced up a HUGE honey crisp apple (seriously…the size was almost ridiculous), and had a lemon yogurt on the side.

Apple and yogurt

After a much-needed shower (lots of salty sweat today), I had a bowl of Kashi cinnamon Heart-to-Heart with pecans. And then another bowl :-)

Kashi H2H

Now I’m off to attempt a nap – I’m headed to a benefit dinner tonight. I need some rest if I want to stay awake past 10pm :-)

Have a great weekend!

Question: When do you feel most like yourself? When you’re out with friends? When you’re running? When you’re home alone with a glass of wine and a good book?

Running in the Dark

For the past few weeks, I’ve been running in the morning. I feel like exercising before work allows me to have more flexibility later on in the day (impromptu happy hour, anyone?) and my motivation is highest as soon as I wake up. However, on Thursday, I decided to postpone my run until the evening.

I prepared by fueling up with a baggie of pretzels around 5pm (it was warm outside, needed that extra salt!).


I hopped on the subway after work and was back at my apartment by 6pm. At this point my motivation was pretty low. It had been a long day, I was tired, I didn’t want to run, blah, blah, blah. But I knew I’d probably feel better once I got on the roads, so I changed into my running shoes and off I went!

I ran to the Northern entrance of Central Park and started down the West side. I was a little stiff for the first few miles, but by the time I met up with Ani and her brother at mile 2.5 I was feeling better. I ended up running about 8.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes and still felt like I had a lot of energy left. My right upper hamstring/butt was giving me a bit of trouble whenever I tried to drop the pace, but I’m currently massaging it out with a tennis ball, so hopefully that will help.

I forgot how enjoyable a night run can be!  I was able to do my run without the time crunch that mornings usually bring and running in the dark (don’t worry, I stuck to well-lit paths!) was an interesting change.

After stretching, foam rolling, and some ab work it was time for dinner:

I toasted up a slice of whole wheat bread and topped it with a falafel sunshine burger, sprouts, mozzarella cheese, and chipotle hummus. Arugula, dried cherries, and walnuts drizzled with balsamic vinegar rounded out the meal. Yum!

Sunshine burger

Falafel burger and veggies

After a shower and some Gossip Girl (FINALLY caught up to season 3), I ended the night with a cup of tea and a leftover red velvet cupcake from Crumbs. Cupcakes + Gossip Girl = my favorite guilty pleasures :-)

Red velvet cupcake

We all know I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so I need to do everything I can to prevent cavities. A few weeks ago Waterpik asked if they could send me an sonic toothbrush to try out. I’ll admit it – my dental care can be a bit lacking at times. I try to convince myself that Orbit gum is just as good as a brushing. Um, no. It’s not. So this morning I plugged in the Waterpik and gave it a whirl! The toothbrush stays on for 2 minutes (the recommended teeth-brushing time), so I really had to focus on cleaning every nook and cranny. The toothbrush also buzzes at 30 second intervals to remind you to switch quadrants. Loved that! After my thorough brushing, my teeth and gums felt very clean. Recent studies have shown correlations between mouth health and heart disease risk, so I think oral hygiene is something we all need to pay attention to. Thanks Waterpik!


Question: What’s your favorite part of the day? I think I’m a morning girl!

TGIF  Links:

Stay in shape naturally – no gym required.

Headache? Stomachache? Running injury? Sometimes time is the best medicine.

Eat right for the rest of your life.

Check out this new Dessert Hummus – the maple walnut sounds like a great waffle or toast topper!

The 700 Calorie Breakfast

Since I started running again a few weeks ago I’ve been logging 20-35 miles per week (plus some yoga and cycling as cross-training). After 9 months of injury, my body definitely needs more TLC than it used to. I’m trying my best to get a good night’s sleep, use my foam roller vigilently, reduce my stress levels, and fuel myself properly.

The first thing my body wants when I wake up is really just water + coffee.  However, I realize the importance of a pre-run snack (especially if the runs are longer than 30 minutes). For the past 3 weeks I’ve been experimenting with bigger breakfasts and I think it’s really been helping my energy levels during my runs.

I don’t normally count calories, but just for kicks I tallied up yesterday’s morning meal. The total was over 700 calories and it worked out wonderfully. I normally shy away from talking about body weight and calories on the blog because I feel like these issues are very personal. What works for me or your friend or your husband or co-worker might not work for you. That being said, if you’re a runner, do not be afraid to fuel your body well.

There is a popular women’s magazine website that contains a “daily calorie needs” calculator. I plugged in my stats and this is what I got:

To maintain a healthy weight of around XXX pounds and fuel your current “very active” activity level, you need to take in about 1994.32 calories a day.

Umm, this is ridiculous! It’s one thing to get that number if you’re a sendentary or moderately active adult, but I checked the “very active” box. My point is that online calculators, books, magazines, and the media perhaps intend well, but you must listen to your body. Experiment a bit! Eat a bigger breakfast. Break your lunch up into two parts. Have an earlier dinner. A later dinner. Find out what works for you. The important thing is to fuel your body and eat enough, regardless of what a nutritionist in a magazine or website tells you.

Ok, rant over! Onto the breakfast! Pre-run was coffee and 1/2 luna bar (100 calories).

After a few minutes for digestion, I headed out the door for a 5-miler. Luckily, my hamstring/IT band wasn’t giving me much trouble. However, I was tired from lack of sleep and my long walk the night before and my legs felt pretty stiff. I finished the run in about 46:00 (9:12 pace) and stretched myself out/foam rolled for a good 10 minutes. Wish I had time for more!

I sipped on a chocolate soy milk (150 cals) as I got ready for work.

Silk and Luna

Once I settled in at my desk I re-fueled with some Stonyfield strawberry yogurt (120 cals), big apple (100 cals), and a generous serving of pumpkin raisin crunch (250 cals). I felt pretty full immediately after eating, but was hungry for lunch at the normal time. I felt like this breakfast provided a good mix of whole grains, dairy, fruit, vitamins, and minerals.

Pumpkin Raisin Crunch

Lunch was a veggie-packed salad, eaten on a bench in Central Park. The sun even peeked out for a bit!

  • romaine, shredded carrots, red onion, mushrooms
  • scoop of basil, apple, walnut, goat cheese salad
  • scoop of israeli cous-cous
  • chickpeas and white beans
  • feta and whole grain croutons
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinaigrette

Salad in the park

Note: a lot of the heavy stuff (beans!) sunk to the bottom of the salad container.

Somethin’ Somethin’ for my sweet tooth :-)

Junior Mints

I was a bit stressed after work, so I treated myself to a pedicure. Ahh, so nice to have clean feet, pretty toes, and mini leg massage!

Later on it was time to meet up with a crew of Central Park track teammates at PopBurger in Midtown East.

Pop Burger

This place definitely fits in to the neighborhood (the Museum of Art and Design and the MoMA are both just blocks away!). The downstairs features a take-out counter, modern lighting, and Andy Warhol soup can art work.

Pop Burger

Our crew, however, headed to the upstairs lounge. We situated ourselves on the upholsterd sofas and perused a menu featuring burgers and cocktails. Luckily, the slider platter featured a vegetarian option – portobello burgers! These were delish – breaded portobello mushroom, lettuce, tomato, and cheese on a mini brioche bun. I had two of my mini burgers and shared the other one with Alma – perfect amount!

Mushroom Pop Burger

I also sampled a few of the onion rings – light and crispy! Mmm, fast food. Will it make us run fast?

Pop Burger Table

CPTC Girls


After dinner, we headed downstairs for a little birthday celebration. The group was celebrating a bunch of September birthdays and Ani procured a bounty of Crumbs cupcakes for us to share.


The cupcakes were cut into bite size peices  so that we could sample a bunch of flavors. I tried the Reese’s peanut butter cup, Cappuccino chocolate chip, and the Red Velvet. Soooo good. The peanut butter cup was definitely my favorite!

Crumbs Cupcakes!

It was a very fun night, but I didn’t get home until nearly 11pm. I can’t wait to spend a quiet night at home – so much I need to catch up on!

Question: What’s your favorite thing to do when you have a whole night to yourself? I love to watch cheesy TV shows and bake cookies!

Do you keep a running/cycling/exercise  log? I’ve been using Running2win for a few years now and I love it! Strands is another online log that’s gaining in popularity.

Amby Burfoot weighs in on the ideal weight for runners.

A 3-hour long yoga class benefiting breast cancer? A free tarot card reading? Martinis and golf? Take your pick, these fun events are all happening this weekend in the NYC area!