Friday, August 28, 2015

US Open Tennis 2015 at Corona Park

Can you tell me where August went? If you know, please leave a comment below! I can't believe how fast this month has flown by, and it's time for the US Open tennis tournament this Monday! I have been attending the tournament since 1994, and it has grown so much since that time. Seeing tennis live in person is much more exciting than on the television, and of course, being in New York City, is even better! It is one of "the" places to be the last few weeks of summer, and Labor Day weekend in New York City. I am so thrilled ESPN is taking over the television coverage, as NBC did a terrible job all those years. I really miss when USA network covered it, they did a fabulous job each year. 

Here is some information from the US Open website about new things going on for this year's tournament, along with my original photos in between. 

Free Grounds Admission on Thursday, Sept. 10: For the first time at the US Open, complimentary grounds admission will be offered to all fans who come during the day on the tournament’s second Thursday, Sept. 10. The day’s play will be filled with doubles, including the men’s and women’s doubles semifinals, as well as action in the Champions Invitational, American Collegiate Invitational, US Open Junior Championships and US Open Wheelchair Tennis Competition. Click here for more information.

Return to a Traditional Grand Slam Schedule: For 2015, the US Open returns to a traditional 14-day Grand Slam tournament schedule, with the men’s first round being completed over two days rather than three. The new schedule calls for the women’s singles semifinals to be played the evening of Thursday, Sept. 10, and the men’s singles semifinals to be played on Friday, Sept. 11. Finals Weekend begins with the women’s singles championship on Saturday, Sept. 12, & concludes with the men’s singles championship on Sunday, Sept. 13.Click here for more.

Full TV Coverage on ESPN: For the first time, ESPN will be the exclusive live domestic media partner of the US Open. Over the course of the 2015 US Open, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air more than 130 hours of live match play, with more than 1,100 hours of coverage to be seen on ESPN3, which also will be available on and through the US Open app – providing a “digital grounds pass” for tennis fans.

Also, in an expansion of its prior US Open coverage, ESPN will feature play from 11 courts (up from seven last year). New TV courts this year include courts 4, 6, 7 and 10, which will be available for viewing over the first five days of the tournament. Click here for more.

US Open Live Shows: Fans can tune in to every morning at 10:45 a.m. ET to watch “Inside the Baseline” presented by IBM for a look ahead to all the day’s matches, and return each evening at 7 p.m., to “Beyond the Baseline” presented by Westin Hotels & Resorts for an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes at the US Open. Fans in attendance at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center can stop by the Baseline Stage each morning and evening for the live taping of these shows.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess: For the 20th consecutive year, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess kicks off the US Open on Saturday, Aug. 29, airing for the first time on the ESPN network on Sunday, Aug. 30 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. This year’s celebration of tennis and entertainment will be hosted by fitness guru Shaun T and features US Open champions Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic and Rafael Nadal as well as musical acts Bea Miller, Kalin and Myles, Jacob Whitesides, Natalie La Rose and American Authors.
Opening Night Celebration: Internationally renowned singer-songwriter Josh Groban will perform at the Opening Night Ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium prior to the evening session on Monday, Aug. 31. Groban will perform a medley from his recent release, “Stages.” Following Groban’s performance, noted actress and performer Vanessa Williams will sing the national anthem. Her performance will be accompanied by honor guards representing the NYPD and FDNY
Nightly Light Show: The new roof superstructure over Arthur Ashe Stadium will also star in a nightly light show that will highlight the steel truss and catwalk system. The light show will take place between the two evening matches in concert with the performance of “America the Beautiful” by the US Open Casting Call winners.
Original Nine Celebration: USTA President and US Open Chairwoman Katrina Adams will celebrate the “Original Nine,” the nine women responsible for helping to form the original professional women’s tennis tour, which ultimately evolved into the WTA. The celebration will include a special video tribute as well as on-court recognition of these sports pioneers.
US Open American Express Fan Experience: Now in its fifth year, the US Open American Express Fan Experience has been completely overhauled with new technological features. One of the new offerings is “You vs. Sharapova,” where virtual reality technology and computer-generated images filmed with Sharapova allow fans to play a pro at the top of her game. Also, with “Epic Matchup,” fans will be able to star in their very own shareable video simulating a rally from the baseline in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Charging Stations presented by Chase: To help fans stay connected throughout the day, Chase will be providing complimentary charging stations for phones and tablets throughout the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds. The stations will be located in a dedicated Chase booth near the Food Village, in the South Plaza, and on the Club Level of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
 Open Access: Open Access is a new fan enhancement available for all US Open patrons, allowing fans to register to participate in activities throughout the grounds – ranging from customized photo opportunities to interactive games. Fans will receive a QR code to scan at each location; subsequently, you will receive an email with access to your own personal webpage that will showcase your US Open experience. Fans who sign up for Open Access are entered to win tickets to the 2016 US Open men’s or women’s finals – and the more you scan your QR code on-site, the more chances there are to win a US Open Ultimate Fan Pack.
Twitter Mirror: For the first time, US Open fans can enjoy behind-the-scenes photos and GIFs from a new, mobile version of the Twitter Mirror. Numerous versions of the product – from handheld Mirrors to a stationary stand – will capture exclusive content of players and celebrities on-site throughout the tournament.
US Open Streak Challenge: Fans can play along with the US Open Streak Challenge presented by Esurance and test their US Open tennis knowledge with two questions every day about players, matches and tournament stats. Keep answering correctly and you’ll add to your streak and move up the leaderboard.
New Food Offerings: Lavazza coffee, Jacob’s Creek wines and Juice Press cold-pressed juices join the US Open for 2015. All will be available on-site to US Open guests.
One of my favorite photos from the 2010 Arthur Ashe Kids Day which I attended with Tennis Panorama site as press. You can check out my full post HERE and HERE of the fun day, and for all tennis news and updates, Tennis Panorama is a fantastic website! 

Have any of you attended the US Open? It is such a great end of summer tournament, and with even more improvements coming to the facility, it's going to continue to be a top notch event! 

US Open Tennis 
August 31 to September 13, 2015
Flushing Meadows
Corona Park Queens 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday "Vintage NYC Summer"

This photo made me think of this really hot summer we have been having. Many of us are so very spoiled (myself included) with air conditioning in our homes. These kids were living in the Lower East Side's tenement buildings, which were so small, creating unbearable heat conditions. I can't even imagine how hard it was for these people, but I imagine, the love of their family got them through it.

You can actually find out lots of information regarding the tenements by visiting the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street. They offer tours of the tenement itself, as well as walking tours of the Lower East Side.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fun Shopping at Piq in Grand Central

Grand Central Terminal has so many different areas, and I tend to be in the same one all the time. When I was recently in the city, I was in another area and found this very cool shop titled Piq . I laughed my whole way walking through the store. I love these kind of places, the kind that just make you happy from ear to ear. They do sell products online, and ship, so be warned if you go on their website. Let's take a peek inside: 
Loved this pillow, what a great gift it would make for someone! 
These cards just cracked me right up. I think the next time I am in the city, I need to get a few to frame and put around my house. Would cause laughter each time, which is so good for the soul! 

Everyone has been looking for a hamburger coin purse, right? 
I could not include this one!
Remember these guys? I was also happy that they did not mind me taking photos, but I did say I would be doing a blog post about their shop. It's so much easier when everyone plays nice! 
These bags are great as they fold up into that small pouch and you can carry in your purse for when needed. They hold quite a bit of stuff, up to 44lbs! 

If you are in the Grand Central Terminal, find this store! It is near the 42nd Street entrance, and their is also one in Rockefeller Center as well. We need more stores like this that make us laugh and just giggle the whole time we are there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ferrara Bakery in Little Italy

Ferrara Bakery and Cafe in Little Italy is really a place to not be missed. It is the ultimate Italian bakery and you will feel like you are in Italy! They opened on Grand Street in 1892 and the bakery/cafe is still owned by the fifth generation of the family. 
I love these ice cream cones over the sign as you walk in the cafe. They make their own Gelati and Sorbet. 

WARNING: This post is not for the faint of heart or the hungry. 

When you walk in they have some tables set up for you to enjoy your pastry and a coffee 
Oh and then there is the counters filled with the pastry 
Wouldn't it be cool to say " I would like one of everything" ?? That would be amazing. You just need to have a UPS truck standing by to send all the items to your home!! 
Gelati is half the fat and calories of ice cream and it is so so creamy and tasty !! 
You can find Ferrara products at your local stores, their Torrone, made with egg whites, honey, almonds and sugar, is one of their best sellers. 
Have you ever had a lobster tail pastry? 
It is like pure heaven. The cream inside is so so good, not very sweet, and the crisp, thin shell is the perfect compliment. I can really go for one of these right now. 
Baba Ricotta ......anything that has the cannoli filling inside it with a rum soaked cake is my very best friend. 
These mini's are great, a fun way to try different pastries with a group of people, everyone gets to taste a little of each item. 
I have old photographs from my family which look just like the cover of this book. Italian weddings are always a big deal, and they had the most massive bouquets you have ever seen. Little Italy was much bigger many years ago than it is now, and I feel very sad for that fact. In 1910, Little Italy had almost 10,000 Italians, which was the peak of the communities population. I would love to go back in time and visit the area at it's peak of residents, wouldn't you ?
Mini cannoli are so good, look how thick that filling is 
Eclairs (decorated so darn pretty) and Napolean which is Bavarian cream filled Pan'di Spagna covered with icing
I would take everything on the top shelf here 
Could you imagine your wedding cake being made here? Mine would have to have cannoli filling, of course 
Everything is so pleasing to the eye 

Did I say you can get great cannoli here? You can also order on their website and they will ship the shells and filling to you. The filling is in a pastry bag, so when you are ready to eat the cannoli, you pipe it at that time so your shells do not get soft. 

Come visit us:
195 Grand Street
between Mulberry & Mott St.
(212) 226-6150
Hours of operation:
Open 7 days a week
Sunday-Friday 8am- Midnight
Saturdays 8am- 1am
Closed Christmas Day

Ferrara Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Jojoba Company Travel Pack Review

I was really excited to receive an email from the Jojoba Company to review their travel pack selections. We are always looking for great products we can take with us when we travel, your skin takes a beating with the different conditions it encounters. Jojoba is a plant extract that produces a waxy solution that holds the same properties as sebum – the item that keeps our skin’s health, keeping it looking healthy, moisturized and young.

Some of the wonderful benefits of Jojoba are: Moisturize Skin, Remove Makeup, Smooth Fine Lines and Wrinkles, Condition Hair and Lips, Soften Hands and Cuticles, Soothe Skin Irritations.

I would think many people would welcome a product that is very natural, with no pesticides used. The Jojoba Company does just that. Let's see what we get in their travel essentials pack:

Jojoba Bead Facial Cleanser 20ml: A deep penetrating balanced cleanser enriched with jojoba beads that release intensely nourishing esters and gently exfoliate. This cleanser worked so well for me, my skin felt very soft and actually glowed after use! I really enjoyed this product and will be getting some in the regular size for daily use.

Hydrating Day Cream 20ml: High performance anti-aging moisturiser enriched with green tea and olive leaf extracts, skin calming chamomile, beta glucan, Vitamins B & E and skin firming Siberian Ginseng to supplement the deep moisturizing properties of jojoba. The day cream was very nice as well, didn't feel greasy, but I wished it had some sunscreen protection.

Intense Overnight Renewal Cream 20ml: A restorative, luxurious cream with concentrated powerful natural active ingredients to encourage skin renewal. This overnight cream really made a big difference for me, my skin looked great the next morning. A little goes a long way, so this will last you quite a while, even with daily use.

Lemon & Coconut Hand Cream 20ml: Benefits: A non-greasy, Vitamin E enriched hand cream formulated with cocoa and mango butter, organic coconut oil and lemon essential oil to instantly re-hydrate and re-energize tired, dehydrated hands. I really liked this hand cream as the scent wasn't overpowering, and it really made my hands very soft and smooth.

Jojoba 15ml: Powerful natural moisturizer, wrinkle smoother, anti-aging, soothes the appearance of skin, hair, scalp, hand and cuticle conditioner. This would be another product I would buy in full size. I like the fact it can be used for so many different things, I have such issues with my cuticles, and it helped a great deal. There is no smell to this at all, so it won't mix with any perfumes you may be already wearing.

I really would say this travel essentials kit is a great way to try the line, and see what works for your skin. At $25.00, it is a good deal, and you can purchase full size of your favorites. The case it comes it is nice and roomy as well, and can fit more things for your travel needs.

Have any of you tried products from The Jojoba Company? What were your favorites? This company is based in New South Wales, Australia, and I am so glad I was able to try their products! I think when you use ingredients that are all natural, it makes such a difference! 

To keep up with their latest products, you can follow The Jojoba Company on social media 

Disclosure: I was provided the product above for this review by The Jojoba Company. My opinions are my own.

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