Antiques Roadshow

Aug 25th 2014 01:10:15 pm

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On August 9th, Travis and I were lucky enough to get to attend the taping of Antiques Roadshow in NYC! We had both entered the ticket lottery for the event, but didn’t win. BUT then our friend Lawrence came through for us and somehow magically got us tickets! (I still don’t know how he did it, but I owe him lots of thanks.)

Antiques Roadshow might just be my favorite television show. Travis and I watch every new episode. Sure, it can be a little bit repetitive (lots of Tiffany lamps!) but I love seeing any of the art and jewelry appraisals. Plus, it is fascinating to see what people collect!

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If you don’t watch Antiques Roadshow, here is the basic idea: the producers and appraisers go to different cities and locals bring in their antiques to see if they are worth anything. The good stuff gets taped for the show. It has been running (originally on the BBC) since 1979, and it has gotten so popular in the US that they have to limit tickets to each taping event. The taping in NYC was held at the giant Javits Convention Center. Our tickets indicated the latest arrival time of 5 pm, so by the time we had arrived, the lines were apparently much shorter than what they had been earlier. But we still spent more than two hours in line for our first appraisal!!

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Each visitor to the taping MUST bring at least one antique, and can bring up to two. Travis and I brought: my great-grandmother’s diamond ring, my other great-grandmother’s locket, Travis’ great-grandfather’s retirement watch, and our original first generation iPod.

We went in knowing that our antiques were not spectacular, and they ended up appraising for about what we expected… not much. The “collectibles” appraiser thought the iPod was funny, but didn’t have any idea of what it was worth. He said to check eBay. Ha. The one surprise was that they said the diamond ring could not have been from the 20s… it was made no earlier than 1938, they said. Hmmmmmm. So maybe it was not my great-grandmother’s original engagement ring?

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The thrill of the day was when I got to meet the twin furniture appraisers known as the Keno Brothers (seen above) and the show host, Mark Walberg (seen below).

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They were all really friendly. I was impressed that they were as chatty and accommodating as they were since it was the end of a very long day for them. I suppressed my embarrassment and asked for each of their autographs! Travis and I had a plan to show off my autographed ticket in the “feedback booth” and say we were bringing it back for Antiques Roadshow 2050… but we chickened out when we saw the line for the booth… too much line standing for one day!

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Overall, it was a really fun experience. Lots of standing in line, but it was fascinating to get a peek at what other attendees had brought for appraisal. There were a lot of watches, jewelry, and prints.

I am really excited to see the final episode when it airs in the fall! Travis and I most likely will NOT be on tv, but we *might* be in the background of a painting appraisal… watch for us!!

No Comments » Categories: New York, Television

currently // june 2014

Jun 24th 2014 09:27:08 am

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using… Dior Nail Glow. This is the best nail polish in the world. It is basically clear, but it has some magical property that makes the pinks of your nails become pinker and the whites become whiter. It also has a super-hard finish and lasts forever. Plus, you can just layer on another coat if it does start to chip. I seriously think this polish makes my nails look way better than any manicure and it is a lot easier and cheaper!

eating…. Tons of organic, local fruits & veggies. Travis and I joined the Local Roots CSA through his office, which means we get a random assortment of fruits and veggies each week, and meat and bread every other week. We’ve tried a lot of new things, like sorrel, quelites, tat soi, bok choy, and garlic scapes, plus the usual stuff like strawberries, apples, carrots, and beets. We’ve really enjoyed cooking a lot of healthy, tasty meals at home.

wishing for… this metal shelving unit from Room & Board. I need to drastically purge and organize my office, and this set of shelves will fit into a small space.

watching… Star Trek: Voyager. I’ve been working my way through the series whenever I have down time. (Usually, when Travis isn’t around. He doesn’t seem to love it as much as I do.) I watched it when it originally aired, but not religiously and not the final few seasons. At first it was too cheesy and I thought I wouldn’t finish it, but the series gets better and better. I am in Season 6 right now and will be sad when it is over! I love Tuvok. He reminds me of Travis.

working on… Swap-bot! Travis and I have been doing a LOT of work on the ‘bot to catch up from when we were away in Europe. Travis has been upgrading the backend infrastructure of the site and I just announced our new Ambassador program. I am excited about it and thrilled that we have so many excellent and enthusiastic members!

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What are you up to this summer?

3 Comments » Categories: Currently, Food, Home, Make-up & Beauty, Swap-bot, Television

currently // march 2014

Mar 28th 2014 09:13:10 am

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The calendar says it is spring, but the weather doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. I’ve been spending a lot of time indoors these days. Here is some of what’s been keeping me busy…

reading… The Serpent and the Rainbow. I actually just finished this nonfiction book by ethnobotanist, Wade Davis, and I loved it. My parents took me to see an Egypt exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago in the 80s. That, combined with Indiana Jones, ignited an interest in all things related to history and culture. The Indian Jones style of archeology and anthropology (white man “discovering” “primitive” cultures) has rightfully fallen out of favor, but I think the idea of discovering new things will always be exciting and romantic. Davis’ book describes his experience in Haiti searching for the secret recipe for zombie powders — ooo spooky! — but it is much more than an adventure story. It is the story of the incredible history of the Haitian people, the vodoun religion, and the amazingly diverse ways different cultures view and interpret the world and their societies. (I plan to read Passage of Darkness next. Thanks, Dad!)

watching… True Detective. We bought HBO just so I could watch this creepy, suspenseful show. We blew through all eight episodes in about four days. It is sad and scary, but very smart. It will stay with you. (Matthew McConaughey forever!)

playing… World of Warcraft… again. I know, I know. I really don’t have the time. But I love the battle pets! And I am determined to get to level 90… someday…

hosting… Rachel’s Easy Travel Postcard Swap on Swap-bot. Travis and I are taking a crazy-big trip in April, and Swap-bot will be coming with us. I’m hosting this easy snail mail swap so that other travelers like me can keep swapping during their trips.

planning… that crazy-big trip mentioned above. Travis and I are going to Europe! Wow. We have been talking about this trip for years. Recently all of the pieces sort of fell into place in such a way that we felt we HAD to do it now. We will be traveling through six countries – The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and France — I am really excited, but also nervous. My plan is to keep a little travel journal here on the blog… maybe a short post each day about our experiences. Stay tuned!

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What have you been doing lately?

4 Comments » Categories: Books, Currently, Online Life, Swap-bot, Television, Travel

currently // november 2013

Nov 13th 2013 04:46:52 pm

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watching… Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This new comedy is my current favorite. It is really funny. And sweet. And it actually addresses some important and relevant topics, like the changing dynamics of NYC and LGTBQ and women’s equality in the workplace. Plus, it is based in my neighborhood!

eating… Blueberry Scones – yum! I added a brown butter glaze to Martha’s classic recipe for a little more sweetness.

playing… Tiny Thief, a super-adorable puzzle game for the iPhone. It costs $2.99, but I think it is worth it. Cute and clever!

feeling… proud and happy that Bill deBlasio is our new Mayor of NYC!

listening… to songs that will motivate me through my marathon on Sunday. My current favorites are Cruise by Florida Georgia Line (the remix version feat. my favorite STL rapper, Nelly, of course) and Timber by Pitbull and Ke$ha. What other fun songs should I add to my playlist?

loving… my new Patagonia puffy vest. I wear it running and as perfect fall layer any time. Totally classic and comfy. (Wouldn’t it look cute with this colorful hat?!)

organizing… another great Holiday Gift Donation Drive with the Swap-bot community. We are collecting gifts for The Partnership for the Homeless to distribute at their Children’s Holiday Party here in Brooklyn. Join us?

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What are you currently into?

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Check out a blast from the past:

currently november 2012 // currently november 2011

No Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Clothes, Currently, Food, New York, politics, Television

currently // July 2013

Jul 23rd 2013 10:48:13 am

making… the best ever chocolate chip cookies. No Crisco and they still turn out fluffy and soft. Don’t over-cook them. They get eaten really fast!

practicing… Swimming! My swim lesson came to an end, but I’ve started going to lap swim at the local public pool. I have a goal to swim 25 miles by the end of summer… that is a lot.

watching… Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. We actually already finished the full series. It is funny and poignant and complicated and weird. All of the actresses are amazing, but I especially love Kate Mulgrew (previously known as Captain Janeway).

listening to… Emeli Sandé.

looking forward to… camping this weekend! And volunteering at the Lake Placid IronMan. My friends and I are manning a water table during the run portion of the event. I’m excited! (I had such a great experience volunteering at the NYC IronMan last year.)

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Summer is half over and I am already mourning its passing. I’ve been packing this hot season too full of fun and fitness! What have you been enjoying?

3 Comments » Categories: Currently, Exercise, Food, music, Television, Travel

currently // february 2013

Feb 27th 2013 11:06:57 am

I love my birthday month, but this February seems to be dragging on. So cold and rainy and grey. I have lost my enthusiasm for a lot of things… except this stuff:

watching… X-Files! Oh, how I love Mulder & Scully! I am working my way through the series. I just finished season three (Queequeg just got eaten by an alligator) and started season four (my favorite). Such a thoughtful, mysterious show! Definitely one of my all-time favorites.

enjoying… spring pastels. Like this handbag, this rug, and this scarf.

eating… grapefruit and pistachios. My two current healthy favorites. I believe that I eat pretty healthy in general — fruits & veggies, whole grain, low-fat dairy, etc — but I am on a renewed health kick since I read this article about junk food engineering.

wishing that… my new iMac would arrive. It is back-ordered until March. My current desktop is broken — it crashes every 10 minutes — and it is difficult to do serious work on my tiny travel laptop.

hosting… the Sweet Spring Time Matchbox Swap on Swap-bot. I am really looking forward to spring and thought I’d host one of my signature craft swaps to hurry it along. Join us!

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what are you up to?

1 Comment » Categories: Currently, Food, Swap-bot, Television, Work

currently // january 2013

Jan 4th 2013 11:56:01 am

We are only four days into 2013 and I already feel like it is going by too fast. What is occupying my time and thoughts as this new year starts? This stuff…

obsessing over… my new iphone app, Lumiè. It allows you to add bokeh light effects to your photos and share them via social media.

watching… Homeland! Just finished the first season. It is a lot more about mental illness and EMOTIONS than I was expecting, but it is interesting.

eating… South Brooklyn Pizza. With onions, mushrooms, and pepperoni.

exercising with… the Brazil Butt Lift workout videos. My friend Brian got me the videos (at my request) for Christmas. They are basically aerobics workouts with a lot of lunges.

getting pumped for… the Goofy Challenge in one week!!! And the Bermuda Challenge the week after that!! Wish me luck!

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What are you doing right now? What do you have planned for 2013?

No Comments » Categories: Currently, Exercise, Food, Photos, running, Television

currently :: october 2012

Oct 10th 2012 09:21:49 am

getting pumped for… The Nike Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday! Travis and I are traveling to San Francisco on Friday with Team in Training where we will meet up with Chelsea. Chelsea is running her first full marathon. Travis is cheering. And I am planning to just enjoy the half marathon course and receive my Tiffany necklace at the finish line! Yes!

eating… wood fired brick oven pizza from Toby’s Public House. (I actually just visited this South Slope restaurant for the first time last night, but it was delicious and casual and cool. Must go back soon.)

watching… an obscene amount of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I am working my way through the series and am already on Season 3. I sort of hate it. Too many Cardassians and Ferengi. But I press on.

wishing for… new fall shoes! So many great styles, so few affordable prices!

still processing… The Grey. So much less wolf punching and so much more traumatic death and sadness than I was expecting.

thinking about… the next steps… in running, Swap-bot, life…

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What are you up to as fall descends?

3 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, Currently, Movies, running, Shoes, Television

The Wendy Williams Show

Apr 3rd 2012 10:57:56 am

So… you know that I have an ongoing list of things I hope to do each year, right? Well, on my “31 while 31″ list, I have: attend a taping of The Wendy Williams Show. Thanks to my friend, Brian, I can now check that item off my list!

I’m not obsessed with tv. Really. But I had a lot of fun attending a few tapings of the Martha Stewart Show, and The Wendy Williams Show just looked like a party for the audience.

My assumptions were correct! Despite having to get up really early last Tuesday and go into the city to wait in line in the cold — Brian got tickets online, but you still have to arrive early to get in the audience line — it was a wild and totally fun experience. Alison, Casey, Brian and I had a great time. (Sadly, Travis was at work and couldn’t come with us… but I have a feeling that Wendy Williams may not be his scene.)

We spent a long while in the green room area before entering the set. I was interviewed by a producer who wanted me to ask Wendy a question on air. (In every episode of the show Wendy answers an advice question from the audience.) I was willing to do it, but nervous. I am terribly awkward on camera and glad that I didn’t ultimately get picked. Whew!

Once we entered the set, the fun started! The warm-up guy for the show was excellent. Very funny and energetic and cute. All of the ladies loved him. There was also a dj playing music to pump us up. They wanted the audience to be really excited and loud when Wendy entered the set. It was definitely a little more rowdy than the Martha Stewart Show! At one point in between segments, there was an audience member dance contest. It was crazy and hilarious and embarrassing. Don’t worry, I did not participate.

We didn’t receive any free items like I did at the Martha Stewart Show, but that is totally ok with me. We spent the two hours laughing, which I think is even better. The show guests were an actor from CSI:NY, a gospel group, Run from Run:DMC, and Beverly Johnson, an ex-supermodel with a new reality show. I enjoyed it all and am even tempted to watch Beverly Johnson’s show… maybe.

Wendy Williams is the real deal. On screen she looks like a giant, but she is much more normally-sized in person. (Although, the three giant body guards that she had around her at all times helped to put her height in perspective.) And she is beautiful. She was very sweet to the audience, and funny, and a total pro. She only had to re-take a few lines when she was taping the promo segments. I was impressed. You could easily dismiss her show as unserious fluff, but I actually think she is very talented. She is honest and matter-of-fact with her guests, not afraid to ask tough questions. I actually think she has a long, successful career in front of her.

Anyway, I recommend attending a taping of The Wendy Williams Show if you can. You can request tickets here.

Which television show taping (in NY) should I attend next??

Check out more photos from our Wendy visit on Flickr.

9 Comments » Categories: Friends, New York, Television

currently 2012…

Jan 4th 2012 05:12:41 pm

reading: The Girl Who Played with Fire. I actually haven’t started it yet, but I just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I enjoyed it. It didn’t 100% live up to my admittedly overly high expectations — so many otherwise strong female characters fell in love with the dashing male protagonist that it started to feel like the author’s fantasy — but it was an enthralling mystery. I will definitely finish the series.

playing: Tiny Tower. Travis introduced me to this cute iPhone game. You build a tiny tower community floor by floor. I have 17 floors so far…

watching: Portlandia. Travis and I watched the full first season over the weekend. It is a weird show, but as a past Oregonian, I often laughed out loud. In the first episode there is a line about how people in Portland ride unicycles and double-decker bikes… which is funny because it is completely true.

getting pumped for: The TinkerBell Half Marathon. In just 22 days, Chelsea and I will be running 13 miles through Disney Land! I can’t wait to visit family and ride Space Mountain!

What are you up to at the start of this fresh, new year?

3 Comments » Categories: Books, Currently, running, Television

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Hello.

I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.

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