Happy Freak Week!

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It’s my favorite time of year for a lot of reasons, but one of the coolest (and tastiest) is Coney Island Brewery’s 3rd annual Freak Week. The brewery creates some strange and unusual concoctions in small exclusive to this event, and then tours them around with city with some tap takeovers. So not only do I get to try weird new beers, but I’m motivated to check out new neighborhoods and bars! Last night I went back to my old neighborhood and had a great time at Five Mile Stone – a spot I never would have found if not for Freak Week.

Freak Week is anchored by the annual release of Freaktoberfest, one of my favorite fall beers up there with Brooklyn’s Post Road Ale, Southern Tier’s Pumking and Abita’s Pecan Ale. What sets Freaktoberfest apart for me is the espresso flavor. It takes the pumpkin to a darker place that reminds me of moonless October nights, wind whipping the last few leaves off the trees and a sense or anticipation for the unknown.

This year’s exclusive beers are:

* Super Freak – 9.1%
Brewed with pumpkin, lemon peel, nutmeg and allspice, this beer offers a citrusy twist on traditional fall flavors

I had this one last year and it never disappoints. However, the two truly new beers kept in line with CIB’s seemingly cereal-themed year. In spring, they launched a Cinnamon Toast Kolsch with a fun brunch party. For Freak Week, we get two childhood throwbacks.

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* Blueberry Boo-Liner – 5.5%
Kettle-soured Berliner Weisse brewed with marshmallow creme and lactose and aged on blueberry puree

In a close decision, this one is my favorite. I’ve been really into sours this year so the mild blueberry pucker makes it really enjoyable. Blueberry has never been a flavor I enjoyed, but it’s not overwhelming in this beer and has more of a general dark berry flavor.

* Count Flocula – 5.5%
Kölsch brewed with marshmallow creme and lactose and aged on Cocoa Nibs

Chocolatey beers are usually stouts or novelty. This light, crisp kolsch nailed the perfect aftertaste of Cocoa Krispies milk – sweet, slightly stale, and soft. It was nice not be hit over the head with the chocolate flavor.

Fun times. Freaky beers. Fall vibes.

What’s your favorite fall beer?

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Putting It Into the Universe

It’s looking like we’ll be able to move into a new place next year, so I’m working hard to manifest the perfect apartment.

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Here’s what I want to make HAPPEN:

East Village – I really want to stay in my neighborhood.
Doorman – So my deliveries no longer go missing
Closer to trains – We’re equidistant from 5 lines as it stands, but I’d like to be closer to Astor.
Yes dogs – Because Muldoon goes where I go!
Dishwasher – please please please!
Outdoor space – Whether it’s a tiny balcony or a finished rooftop, I want to be able to get outside.
Decent view – This means being high enough in a building.

NYC Summer Goals!

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Summer in the city means sundresses, rooftops, sidewalk cafes, turning hydrants into sprinklers and, of course The Great Flip Flop Debate (as an island girl, I refuse to give up my flip flops). I’m not a huge fan of the heat, but I’m determined to put down the controller and brave the sun more. So I’ve put together a list of fun summer outings I want to accomplish before September.

Sister Tattoos – Scheduled!

Ride the Thunderbolt

Find the most wild ice cream concoction

Sip fancy cocktails on a rooftop

Pack a picnic and head to a park

Rent kayaks

Explore a new neighborhood on a Citi Bike

Go to an outdoor concert

What’s on your adventure list?

MoviePass is a Massive Scam

I’m not a generally a complainer, but over the last couple of months I’ve had such a horrible experience with MoviePass I feel morally obligated to warn my fellow humans.

I signed up for the service in early February. And I honestly loved it. MoviePass gave me the freedom to see even the shitty movies guilt-free. Making fun of crappy movies at the theater with my friends was actually one of my favorite things to do for the first half of 2018. When I reserved a movie too early one day and had an issue getting my ticket at the theater, MoviePass customer service responded immediately through their in-app chat system and sorted out my problem in time for me to catch the film.

I enjoyed my experience so much that I gifted Ryan a MoviePass for Valentine’s Day so we could have an easy date night whenever. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, MoviePass doesn’t have an easy way to gift a membership, so I just signed up for a second account with a different email address, my same payment method and surprised Ryan.

In April, I needed to cancel the account I made for him. He had never activated the card, downloaded the app or used the service. I thought this would be easy. I contacted customer service through my app, sure they would be as fast and helpful as they were when I had a ticket problem.

I was wrong.

My question went unanswered for DAYS. I checked in on my app every couple hours for two days and then had more important things to do. I had notifications turned on, so I just waited for the notification. Or an email. Or ANY form of communication. After 5 days, I checked on the app again. I never got a push notification alerting me to a response, but MoviePass had finally responded… and 5 hours later, closed my case because I hadn’t seen it and responded so they “assumed everything was good.”

I should note that their response before closing my case directed me to their website to cancel the account. There is nowhere on their website to access your account, so the website directs you back to the app where they don’t answer either.

After repeating this cycle – messaging them, opening a new case, getting the same response, no notification, case closed before I could provide more information – THREE TIMES, I finally got a new answer on the 4th attempt. They told me I needed the card in my possession and they needed the number to close the account. It took me 2 months and a lot of pain and suffering to finally get the unused card from him. At which point, I contacted customer support yet AGAIN with the card number. This time, they told me that it didn’t matter if I had the card. Because the account was under his name, HE would need to contact them to close the account.

OH! And they also made sure to respond after midnight and close the case before 7am for non-response. It’s not like I need to sleep.

It’s the end of June at this point so let’s recap: I have been paying for this subscription for three months while getting the run around about canceling the account. The account is linked to MY email address, MY bank account and I have the card IN MY POSSESSION. But now they need HIM to contact them to cancel? Bullshit. I am the owner of his account and my account. It’s clear at this point that MoviePass is going to do everything in their power to prevent me from closing the account.

So fuck them. Now I want MY account canceled.

They never responded to this request. They also stopped responding to my Twitter DMs for help. Thankfully, I was able to cancel my account and delete the app. THEN re-download the app, log into the gift account with my OTHER email and finally cancel that one too. I filed a complaint with the BBB (where their reviews are shockingly negative) and wanted to tell my story here as well so no one else gets dragged and charged for months.

I understand that MoviePass is struggling – especially with the recent launch of AMC’s A-list service – but is milking me for $10 a month so worth it to them that they’re willing to damage their reputation and customer perception? Clearly, MoviePass is just another greedy company willing to dick over the users they depend on just to make a buck.

Honestly, AMC’s program sounds MUCH better. And I’m sure Regal will introduce their own suite of options as well.

Have you ever used MoviePass?

Lessons New York Will Teach You

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An ongoing list of lessons this great city will eventually teach you…

If you wear a dress, expect your ass to go on display at least 3 times a day. Plan underthings accordingly.

If you accidentally sext your Super, your apartment problems will be solved much faster.

You cannot walk your dog after 10pm in the East Village. Drunk girls WILL mob your dog for pets and gush over how adorable he is. You can’t have a puppy in NYC at all. Same reasons.

Cohabitation seems like a good idea to save on rent and bills. It is not a good idea.

Electric blankets for winter. Ice packs in your pillow case for summer.

It’s expensive to live here, but not to live it up here. Rent includes your membership to the greatest city in the world and endless free/cheap food and entertainment.

Visiting Alternate Dimensions

Yesterday after work, my friend Maria and I were in need of an escape. From ourselves. From this planet. So we checked out VR World in midtown- a virtual reality arcade. It’s the largest on the planet, in their words.

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Checking into a Pixar-like animation about an old man who fixes broken dreams.

I’ve only slipped into VR a handful of times because I find it dangerously addictive and a little nauseating if I stay too long. This is definitely the future of gaming, entertainment and probably human living.

We walked in and were presented with three options, a 2 hour, all day and moveo access. A 2 hour pass was $40 so we went with that. Our wristbands allowed us to scan into the queue for games with our gamer tags. But we could only be in one queue at a time so if we scanned into one game and then went to another while we were waiting, it canceled out the first game. So it took some strategic planning on our part. Luckily, none of the lines were very long. Mostly we were able to scan right in and play.

VR World hosts over 50 experiences ranging from games to 360 movies and music videos. The “museum” on the mezzanine had several different experiences that allowed us to explore the planet or disappear into different stories from the comfort of swivel chairs so we didn’t risk wandering off down a flight a stairs.

We warmed up with a plank walking experience. It was freaky. We walked out onto a beam high above the city and then stepped off and fell to the sidewalk. My heart rate shot up to 84bpm from 60. Maria was also not a fan.

From there, we teamed up to take on some robots in a shooting game. It felt crazy. I screamed out loud when a robot snuck up behind me and I could SWEAR I felt one crawl over and grab my leg. I’m terrified of robots so that didn’t help, but I was astonishingly good at the game.

They also had Job Simulator, Rick and Morty Virtual Rickality, Zombie games, an archery game and so much more to explore. I’ll definitely go back next week to try out more experiences. It’s a great little escape in the middle of the realest city in the world.

 

 

Favorite Places – 📖 The Strand Book Store 📚

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Even before I lived in NYC, The Strand was a mandatory stop on every trip. Now I’m lucky enough to live and work close enough to make this place and its 18 miles of books a regular hangout. When work is slow, I like to walk the single avenue that separates us and spend an hour surrounded by the smell of books, flipping through poems and letting the winding aisles draw me further into the paperback fantasyland.

Aside from any book you can imagine, The Strand carries tons of badass little tchotchkes. I love perusing the wall of pins, stickers and socks (I got my famous velociraptor socks there!). When I need a birthday card or thank you note, I’ve stopped going the generic Hallmark route because the selection of adorable indie-made greeting cards makes for a much more unique and thoughtful sentiment. My bullet journal is full of funky stickers. And you’re not a New Yorker unless you have at least one of their iconic tote bags.

Unfortunately, I can’t go in without spending at least $50. There are Moleskines as far as the eye can see! New poetry! I almost always end up picking up a staff recommendation. There’s a center cube of shelves full of staff picks, each with a photo of the employee and a handwritten reason why they love the book. They’re always an irresistible sell.

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It’s a great spot for celebrity sightings. They almost always have brilliant speakers, signings and events. Since April is National Poetry Month, they created the Poet-a-day Project. They build a little booth and have a new poet, every day of April in a “micro-residency” to get inspiration from the stacks and maybe write poems for passersby. This is one of my life goals!

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Fortunately, you can also sell your books back for some lunch money. Since my love of books is huge and my physical space is limited, I have a rule that for every book I buy, I have to sell or give one away. AND since I live and work so close, this cycle is endless.

If you want a random book from my collection sent to you, leave a comment or shoot me a DM.