Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bronx Botanical Gardens

I recently headed to the Bronx Botanical Gardens to check out the Orchid Show, which was held from March 2-April 22, 2013. The orchids are found in the greenhouse, which covers a variety of climates (such as desert and rain forest). The greenhouse is always a highlight of the Botanical Gardens, but during the Orchid Show the entire house is alive with the most breathtaking orchid displays.

In the theater below the library they had really lovely music shows from the "world of orchids." The day I was there they happened to have a traditional Brazilian group performing. It a really nice touch, though a bit far from the actual greenhouse. Another time I was at the Botanical Garden I saw a concert at the same theater performing traditional Chinese music. I like this nice touch-- gardens and flowers stimulate the eyes and nose, but the touch of music help to stimulate the ears! Also, in a way, the variety of plants from around the globe help you to learn about the ecology of foreign countries; therefore, this touch of foreign music makes a lot of sense.

During some evenings they had Orchid Evenings where you could get a cocktail, listen to music, and enjoy the flowers. I didn't get to do this, but I wish I had! The American Museum of Natural history has something similar once a month or so, where they have a DJ come to the Museum and perform (more details here). I love this concept of museums and exhibits doing new activities to bring new life and excitement into the field, which usually is associated with old people, academics, and little kids and definitley not associated with fun parties and young people.

Here are some photos I took at the show:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Best Job in the World: Chief Funster

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have applied for the Best Job in the World! It is a worldwide contest hosted by Tourism Australia. This is actually the second time Tourism Australia is hosting the event. Back in 2009, the event was hosted for the first time ever to promote tourism to the Great Barrier Reef. Brit Ben Southall won and his video isn't the highest quality, but it is definitely the most fun:

Ben actually did a really awesome job. So awesome, in fact, that Tourism Australia kept him on after his contract to be a "Tourism Ambassador" and he traveled all over Australia to promote the amazing travel opportunities there.

Funny thing is, I'm actually (sort of) connected to the 2009 Best Job in the World. In the fall of 2009, I took an internship in Paris with a small price comparison website Let's Buy It. They held a contest called the Second Best Job in the World, which would actually be the best job if you are a city slicker and hate the outdoors (especially since the Australian Best Job was on a remote island and you were expected to be outdoors all of the time!). The Second Best Job had one grand prize winner travel to 7 cities around the world in one month to test out the shopping waters and blog about it. You can check out the website here:

So, now Australia has round two. But this time it's event bigger and better: not one, but SIX job opportunities. The jobs are: Chief Funster, Outback Adventurer, Park Ranger, Wildlife Caretaker, Lifestyle Photographer, and Taste Master. While I know I am wayyyy more than qualified for Taste Master (this blog is evidence to the fact that I literally eat my way through cities), I decided to apply for Chief Funster. There isn't much in the job description, but I got the gist of it. A Chief Funster is actually an event blogger in Sydney; you will be expected to blog, tweet, and post about the VIP shows, concerts, and festivals that Tourism Australia sends you to. And since I already have experience with the other blog I co-own (Sensible Reason) in covering shows and festivals as well as artist relations, I figured Chief Funster would be a good fit:

So applicants had to submit a 30 second video by yesterday and on April 24, 2013 we will be notified of the top 25 applicants for each job. Just so you know, 40,000 people from around the globe applied! Whew! I have no clue how they plan to sort through that many videos and narrow it down to 25 in about 2 weeks. Definitely glad that is not a part of my job description-- haha!

If you like my video and have a Twitter account, please consider tweeting: @Tourismaus: Pick @kristengrennan #NYsChiefFunster for Sydney's #ChiefFunster #BestJobs

I will definitely keep you posted! I don't really think I'll win, but the contest is so fun! And the "job" is pretty epic as well!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

East Coast Florida!

I recently headed to the East Coast of Florida for spring break and thought I would share with you the secret spots I visited. And you know how much I LOVE food, so they are naturally surrounding food.

If you would like to read about my music adventure in Miami, click here to read my post on Sensible Reason!

After spending a few days in Miami for Ultra Music Festival, I headed up to Jupiter, FL to relax. What I love about Jupiter is it's very residential, the beach is right near by, and my wonderful grandmother lives there (Don't be fool-- she jumped out of a plane for her 70th birthday and recently did a TRIATHLON! Amazing!!!). Anyway, Jupiter is about 30 minutes north of West Palm Beach, which has plenty of bars to scope out, so if you're looking to have some fun it's not so far away. However, I love that I get to have my down time in Jupiter. The surf is beautiful, there are loads of beach bums, and the beachy bars are my favorites.

Sunset at the Square Grouper

The Square Grouper in Jupiter is actually also called Castaways, after the marina that is attached to it. It's a beautiful spot, overlooking the Jupiter Lighthouse and the Intercoastal. This is a great bar that it's rumored Jimmy Buffet loves and will randomly do a surprise show at. I have a lot of great memories at Square Grouper and I suppose the whole town does as well: it's not really a "secret" spot-- everyone knows it's there! However, I always go on a week night when the crowds are thin enough that you can sit at a table and watch the sunset. They also have pretty cheap beers (More Beer Mondays, anyone?) when there's a drink special, so definitely hit it up on those "off" nights. I think, though, what draws people in is the "tiki bar" feel and the spectacular view; it's definitely got that beach bum feel, so if you're on vacation this is a spot you'll be happy to stop at!

Speaking of memories at the Square Grouper...
Me with my amazing "pops" at the Square Grouper several years ago!

Across from the Square Grouper is another great place called Guanabanas. This is a bar and restaurant that has a more tropical rainforest feel: lush greenery all around, waterfalls, and bamboo-esq chairs and tables. There are dining tables for sitdown lunch and dinner, as well as bar stools and tables for happy hour appetizers and beers. Oh, and if you're lucky, you can grab on of the half dozen patio chairs on the dock overlooking the mangroves. The food was absolutely fabulous-- and half price because we went at happy hour! We had the Sanibel Steamers (great!), Floridian Fritters (local shrimp and crab served with sweet jalipeno mustard sauce-- my favorite dish!!!), Smoked Fish Dip (I found this to be a little fishy for my taste, but my friend Mia loved it), Spicy Shrimp Bites (with a bang bang sauce- yum!), and finally the Avocado Bacon Mango Salad. For the salad, I have to say, at first I was surprised that they served it with whole mango slices because it made it a little awkward visually, however it showed that the mango was utterly fresh, not canned-- major props on that! If you're thinking, "Wow! That's a lot for 2 girls to eat!" you would be right, but it was totally worth it!! I was really impressed with the food as well as the atmosphere!
On the dock at Guanabanas

Of course, it wouldn't be a visit to Jupiter without the trip to the beach. Sadly, it was freezing. But if you know Jupiter, then you know that there is no way that the surfers and kitesurfers would miss a day (even a Tuesday!). By there pier there were still sunbathers (they must have been crazy! It was in the low 70s!) and surfers galore, as well as one brave skimboarder. In the distance, further north along the beach, I could catch the kitesurfers (kitesurfing is beyond popular in Jupiter). So, without further ado...
The beach!

I miss it already! I know it's a short post, but it really felt like such a whirlwind! Hopefully this gets you excited for the summer!!! Sorry I haven't posted in ages! As a life update, I started a new job at Touro Law Center in Islip, New York at their Assistant Director of Digital Media and Marketing. I really love the atmosphere there: my coworkers really seem to be interested in the work I do and if I feel comfortable at the office and the field of social media is so dynamic and new that I feel challenged everyday. I'm so happy. Oh, and I got this fabulous new car for the commute:
It's ok to be jealous! Haha! I'm so happy with my Ford Fusion 2013 in Ginger Ale with the technology package, I never need to date again or worry about having kids-- this car has it all! With voice command, I tell it what to do and it always listens! And with Sirius radio, I sometimes never want to get out of my car (seriously, NPR has me hooked!). It also keeps me out of trouble with a review camera. This is one of those moments when you can help but say: #Winning! :] Ok, whew, enough gloating...

Not to overwhelm you with writing, but if this post wasn't enough and you checked out my Ultra Music Festival Post (linked above), then check out this recent art gallery review I did on F.A.T. Gold, a fascinating modern art DIY exhibition in Manhattan that's completely free!