Who can stop the rain at MoMA? You can.

Who can stop the rain at MoMA? You can.

There really is no better time to be in NYC than the springtime, even if it has been a little chillier than normal. With the sun shining, birds chirping and the flowers blooming in every park and window box, it really makes a stroll to do just about anything that much more pleasant. (And — always look on the bright side — the chillier spring has given me a chance to wear more spring jackets!) Anyway it has given me the chance to get out and do a bunch of fun things around the city.

If it’s a really nice day out, head to Madison Square Park to see the Orly Genger sculptures in the park. She dyes fishing nets and molds them into interesting large shapes. This installation is red, yellow and blue, and the curves are oddly hypnotic and definitely cheery. You can grab lunch at the Shake Shack if the line isn’t too long, or head across the street to Eataly for some tasty takeout to eat in the park.

The punk exhibit at The Met is worth a look, if only for the way they use a/v to create a full sensory overload. My favorite room is the one showcasing high fashion made from mundane objects. It’s amazing what can be done with a plain ‘ol plastic bag. Go early to avoid the crowds — we were there at 10am on a Sunday morning and we sailed through. Check out the gift shop at the end of the show, if only to browse the safety pin rings and the Radarte t-shirt that Rodarte designed for the show. (I liked it but had a hard time justifying the $115 price tag, so I skipped it.) The main Met gift shop has a really good selection of note cards if you’re in the need, as well as an interesting kids section.

MoMA has the rain — literally. The Rain Room lets you feel what it would be like if you could stop the rain. Located in the lot adjacent to the museum, there is water falling and it stops whenever it detects a human. The effect is rather breathtaking and definitely worth a wait in line, as the exhibit only accommodates ten people at a time. If you’re a MoMA member, you get priority access at all times, or, one of the better developments in recent MoMA history, every day only members get access to the museum between 9:30 and 10:30am. Between that and the discount at the store, membership is a no-brainer.

La La Liberace

I saw a preview copy of HBO’s Behind the Candelabra and I will say it is one of the more gutsy performances — from both Michael Douglas and Matt Damon — that I have seen in a while, and yet another example of the quality of content being produced for television. I’m too young to really remember Liberace, except as a punchline for over the top excess, but you don’t really need to remember him to get into the film. The story focuses on the showman and his boyfriend of several years, Scott Thorson, and all of the trials and tribulations of a very flamboyant performer who was in the closet and spending tons of money on cars, furs, jewelry and drugs. At its heart it’s a love story, and it goes there. If Matt Damon doesn’t win an Emmy for coming out of the pool in a rhinestone encrusted thong, then just call the whole thing off. And don’t miss a truly freaky turn by Rob Lowe as a creepy plastic surgeon. (Premieres May 26 on HBO.)

In Case of Emergency

My son has Little League all spring and many weekends just my daughter and me have headed to our house outside of the city. I never like to eat all of our meals out at restaurants — it feels like too much food and you can’t control how everything is cooked. But preparing dinner for just the 2 of us can be a little tricky. My daughter is a good and semi-adventurous eater, so I’m good with a green salad, pierogies (Mrs. T’s frozen ones are the best) and some sort of protein. I’m tired and rarely have time for a massive production, so I keep this Ken’s Steak House Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce on hand. I take salmon or chicken breasts, throw it into a glass bowl, cover it in the sauce, put a lid on it and put it in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or so. When I’m ready I take it out, put it into a glass square pan sprayed with some Pam, and cook it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The results are juicy, and tonight my daughter told me, “This is the best chicken I ever had.” High praise! Best of all even if I use a little of it, I can leave the rest in the bottle for the next time.

Etc.

I was hoping it would be sunnier today. We headed out for a walk and it started raining, so we had to turn back, not knowing if it would turn into a full on downpour (it didn’t)…When the sun started to go down I needed to put the heat on and start a fire! I’m hoping I get a good night’s sleep tonight. My allergies have been acting up something fierce and I think it has been affecting my slumber. I need the beauty sleep!

imperial-palace-cherry-blossom_13295_600x450I am hopeful that spring has finally sprung, people. And that calls for some changes in the routine. Some suggestions:

Breakfast: Get out of your cereal rut! Berries are back, more local, sweeter and at better prices. Get yourself some Greek yogurt (the nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s is tasty), top it with some raspberries and either wheat germ or granola and you have yourself a fresh and healthy way to start the day. Still hungry? If you have a favorite a bakery, buy some muffins, a few at a time, cut them in half and then freeze them. In the morning, pull out a half, throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds and voila! You have a delicious treat, with half the calories and at half the price than if you ate the whole dang thing at your desk.

Makeup: Lighten up! Banish the darker colors to the back of your drawer, or mix them with some good lip balm (Kiehl’s makes one of the best; Korres makes a nice natural one) and then put it on your lips with a lip brush or your fingers. That will soften your lips with a hint of color, and take you out of looking like Broomhilda.

Style: This sort of inbetween weather can pose a challenge when getting ready in the morning. I like a nice short-sleeved sweater with pants. That way you’re not sporting bare legs if the chilly morning doesn’t give way to a warmer afternoon, and the short sleeved sweater keeps it professional without seeming over dressed for the weather. (I work in a somewhat casual office and I reserve the sleeveless tank tops and gauzy dresses for the true dog days of summer — when it’s near 100 and no one can argue with the fact that you’ve got next to nothing on…) For guys, a cotton button down shirt in a spring color — turquoise gingham check? — keeps it awesome.

Food & Drink: More salads make sense — particularly for dinner. Arugula from the farmer’s market is the best. (Zesty!) And I figure if you’re saving a few calories, you have some left over to head out for some frozen yogurt for dessert…and pass the bottle of rose! It’s definitely my drink of choice when the weather gets warmer.

Plans: Get your butt outside! In most places, this is really the most glorious weather of the year, so do yourself a favor and plan some outdoor activities. Even if you plan to walk a few places instead of taking the car. Take a walk or a bike ride to Dunkin’ Donuts, where any size iced tea is only 99 cents! That’s a deal. We went to see the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and just that and the magnolia trees were worth the price of admission! (Go early to avoid the crowds.)

Etc.

I can’t decide if I’m liking Mad Men this season. But I am sticking with it, given that there’s only one more season after this!

I was send an advance copy of the new HBO Liberace movie starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas, so I’ll let you know how it is…

Why are you still reading this? Get outside already!!