5 Ways to Cure the Winter Blues

I love living in the Northeast. I would never give up the changing of the seasons. However, I’ve always had a strange romance with winter – I think the cold builds character, encourages introspectiveness and fosters a sense of anticipation and appreciation for what’s to come with warmer days. But it also… well, it also can kinda suck. As someone who is often strongly influenced by her surroundings, the weather plays a big role in my life. I may not fully suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but too many consecutive gray days and I definitely start getting weird. And I don’t think I’m alone, here.

Luckily, this whole “shitty weather = shitty mood” phenomenon is a known thing and there’s a lot of research on it. Below, I’ve taken a few tried and true methodologies and turned them into specific tips on how to legitimately cure those winter blues!

Have some tricks of your own? Share them in the comments below! 

1.       Get Silly

I was recently walking down the street and saw this little kid jamming the f-ck out.  I mean, his mother had him by one hand, sure – but the rest of his body was like an out-of-tune-yet-somehow-rhythmic machine. Best of all, you could tell he was nothing short of ecstatic about it. Do you remember what that was like? Just being totally PSYCHED over the smallest thing and immediately expressing it? It was awesome. Weird, yes. But also awesome. So while I obviously can’t recommend you go full-child in public, I do recommend you do a little dancing every day. Doing the dishes? Why not work in a little ‘robot’? Can’t get out of bed in the morning? Audible to the worm. Just lighten up, work a little silliness into your everyday, and get movin’! 

2.       Let there be light!

You know what’s a bummer? Darkness. And in the winter, we tend to get a surplus of it. Unfortunately, many of us spend most of our waking, daylight hours behind a computer screen, away from any semblance of the sun. However, simply rolling up your bedroom blinds can be an easy way to bring a little happiness into your day, first thing. Allowing as much natural light into our space as possible has also proven to help us sleep more in tune with our circadian rhythms, thus maximizing our energy. If you’re still down in the dumps, look into light box therapy, which the NIH recommends for those affected by SAD. 

3.       Take a break, go for a stroll…

Countless studies have shown that intermittent exercise breaks from work improve mood. Personally, I would advise everyone workout in some capacity at least 3-4 times a week. But even if you don’t hit the gym daily, just going for a simple 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break can improve your mood. Now, I KNOW you’ve seen this tip on other “how to not be miserable” lists, but have you actually tried it? Or, more likely, do you just sit at your computer and google something innocuous to pass the time in between doing actual work? That’s what I thought. If you genuinely try giving this a shot, I guarantee you’ll reap some benefits.

4.       CALL YA MOTHA

This woman gifted you with LIFE… so you should probably give her a ring every now and then. But really, talking with anyone who is a close family member or friend is a natural way to raise dopamine and serotonin levels. Hearing the voice of a loved one, if only briefly, can pull us out of our own heads for just enough time to provide some much needed perspective.

5.       Go ahead, have a drink…

But with someone. Even though hibernating for 48 hours every weekend in the winter seems like the right thing to do, being (selectively) social is still important. So, go out for a drink with friends! And newsflash: said drink doesn’t have to be alcohol-based. I'll defer to Tasting Table's divine list of Dryuary Mocktails to steer you in the right direction. Mocktails like the carefully crafted French Lemonade from Narcissa or Grace Street's sweet-potato take on the traditional Hot Toddy will have you sipping and satisfied, sans any of the booze. Of course, there's always hot chocolate as well!

Source: http://wallpaperswide.com/winter_morning_l...

Riding the Subway: DOs and DONTs

Oh the New York City subway...

DON’T get on the empty cart when every other cart is full. It’s not a gift. It’s a trap.

DO hold your breath and shut your mouth if you happen to be on the smelly cart. Everyone knows it’s rough on there and no one needs to hear you complain about it.  Switch at the next stop and be grateful that you have a shower to go home to.

DON’T pre-walk. There’s always somebody on a packed train who feels the need to alert everyone that she’s “getting off at this stop and so please if you could excuse me I’d like to annoyingly wiggle my way to the door while the train is still moving, thank you.” Look, lady, have you ever seen someone get stuck on the train? I didn’t think so. Wait your turn.

DO help tourists get to where they’re going. We were all city first-timers at some point.

DON’T be the reason the doors keep opening. Squeezing onto a sardine-packed happy hour train so poorly that your butt/bag is blocking the doorway is not only uncomfortable but totally unnecessary. This is New York, not D.C.. Another train will be here within 5 minutes.

DO feel okay about picking up your phone for a quick “hey I’m underground – call you right back.” Less than 5 seconds on the phone = no harm, no foul.

DON’T feel okay beginning a full conversation and then yelling “Hello!? Hello are you there? Oh shit, I lost him” into the phone when you inevitably lose service. No sympathy.

DO give up your seat for the elderly, pregnant women and people traveling with small children. Even if you aren’t sure they’d want it, it’s never wrong to at least offer.

DON’T put your purse or belongings on the seat next to you when the train is crowded. If they can’t fit on your lap and you’re grossed out by the floor, welp, you should’ve got an uber, bitch.

DO keep the conversation to a minimum volume. It's great that you don't mind sharing every juicy moment from the night before with your friends, but everyone and their mother (or, in many cases, their child) do not need to be made privy to such details.

DON’T put your make-up on. Everyone is getting second-hand anxiety waiting for you to poke your eye out when the train inevitably stops short. Spackle at home, ladies.

DO use HopStop for navigation, because duh.

DON’T count on it for precise timing, though.

And finally...

DO slide your subway card swiftly through the turnstile. C'mon. We know you can do it.


5 Tips for Small Kitchen Cooking

As any New Yorker knows, a large and well-equipped kitchen is hard to come by, especially when you’re 20-something and half-broke. Not to worry, though, with a little bit of planning and a healthy dose of resourcefulness, you can happily cook and clean in (almost) any space. I've learned this since moving into my micro-studio this past year and wanted to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks!



1. Choose Your Kitchen Tools Wisely

Basically, bring the crockpot, but nix the juicer. Where space is limited, prioritization is key. When I first moved into the city, I brought my massive Breville Juicer with me, hence this 3-day juice cleanse I embarked on. I only ever used it that one time, though. Why? Because you can buy a fresh-pressed juice in NYC on every other block for around five bucks. So, after year 1, I took that baby home to Mom & Dad because it simply wasn’t worth all the space it took up. The crockpot, on the other hand, is the perfect NYC cooking machine. It contains 3 pieces which makes for easy cooking and quick clean-up. If you’re pressed for space, just compare. Like, do you really need that ice-cream maker or would that shelf space perhaps better serve a toaster oven?

Anddd just a few of the many, fancy appliances I do NOT have.

Anddd just a few of the many, fancy appliances I do NOT have.

2. Always Make Semi-homemade Dishes

This is actually a great tip for anyone, small kitchen or not. When you cook semi-homemade, there’s simply less prep to worry about and it usually ends up being easier on your budget, too. For instance, I love sautéing a hefty portion of Trader Joe’s fresh pre-cut/washed kale and sliced mushrooms in a pan with some fresh garlic and oil and then adding a bag of TJ’s frozen mushroom risotto on top of it all. If I’m extra hungry, I’ll get a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken as well (nomz). This all takes maybe 15 minutes to prep, cook and plate and it tastes incredibly delicious and refreshing because of the fresh vegetables. Best of all, at the end of the meal, I only have one pan, a stirrer, and a cutting board to clean up. Why break out 5 different measuring cups and a fire up a slew of burners when you can do it all quicker and cheaper?

       3. Add Counter Space Creatively

I was floored when I walked into my current studio for the first time. The kitchen was comprised of a sink and cabinetry, a real refrigerator with a microwave on top, a (working) oven and a gas-burning stove! Who knew a micro studio could fit so much!? It may sound ridiculous, but studio kitchens in NYC often lack at least one of the aforementioned appliances. Needless to say, I was as happy as could be. After I moved in and the enamor wore off, though, I realized that, DUH, I didn’t have a single bit of counter space. Since I spend too much time watching HGTV, I knew I could manage an affordable solution, no illegal renovations necessary. As with most obstacles in life, a little creativity goes a long way! See below's before & after:

4. Invest in Rubber Gloves & Paper Products

If you live in Manhattan in a walk-up, there’s a strong chance you don’t have a dishwasher. Newsflash: this is O.K. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cook, it just means you should act like an adult and clean up after yourself.  I know, I know; it’s a novel idea. But rubber gloves will help! Wearing rubber gloves while cleaning dishes means you don’t have to touch any mushy food in the sink (that always grosses me out) and your hands won’t smell like said sink afterward. Most importantly, you can clean your dishes properly since you can wash with scalding hot water without burning yourself. Of course, having paper plates & cups on hand is also helpful for those times when you’re in a rush, having a snack or just trying to veg out and avoid any cleaning whatsoever. 

I think they call this "Kitchen chic."

I think they call this "Kitchen chic."

5. Grocery Shop Frequently

There are a few reasons I suggest this. First, if you have roommates, you don’t want to be hogging the fridge and freezer with all your bulk items. That’s just rude. Even if you live alone, though, it’s still probably best to shop once a week. Assuming you have a healthy diet (or at least want to have one), you will be buying lots of fresh fruit and veggies and you don’t want them hanging around too long and going bad. Even bread and sandwich meats don’t have a very long shelf life. And, who hasn’t “forgotten” about that half-eaten pad thai in the back of the fridge before since it was hidden from sight? Too much uneaten food equates to wasted money and a stinky fridge. And when you live in a small space, a stinky fridge can mean a stinky apartment. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Hope this helps! Have more ideas to add? Comment below!

The Local Tourist: Radio City

The Local Tourist is a series that will focus on balancing a typical tourist's outing with a local's secret, tip or recommendation on the area.

As an Asian-American and a fond photographer of food, I won't lie: I pretty much always look like a tourist and I'm totally okay with it. Scoping out this great big grid's nooks and crannies for its hidden gems is certainly my forte; yet, I still like to take advantage of all that the city has to offer. And sometimes that involves doing something touristy. Most recently, it meant an evening at Radio City Music Hall.

I haven't been to Radio City since I saw the Rockettes as a child. While I've worked across the street from the famed building for the past two years, I've never taken the time to scope out seeing a show there. Not only is it a bit too close to work for comfort, but during the holiday season, the area is a madhouse. On top of it - this is New York! There's always something to do and somewhere to go, with new places opening left and right. So, some of the city's more famous mainstays haven't really been on the top of my list

Regardless, when a coworker slid over two free tickets to America's Got Talent semi-finals with Maroon 5 opening the show, I figured it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of. I mean, have I EVER watched America's Got Talent? Not a chance. But was I just going to sit back and let a free ticket, including an Adam Levine sighting, slip from my hands? Of course not. My strain of FOMO is too severe for all that.

The Tourist: Radio City

- Best For: a show, duh. However, there are a lot more shows here than the staple Christmas Spectacular. Think: Train, Bastille and Eric Prydz. And, of course, semi-finals for TV shows like America's Got Talent are often filmed here. Like I've said, I don't follow the show. However, it's pretty cool to take part in a TV show as its filmed and learn about all the logistics involved. Plus, again, free Adam Levine. 

For the full calendar of events, click here.

- Atmosphere: It's just north enough to be out of craziness that is Times Square and is easily accessible by subway, making Radio City the perfect place for a date or a family outing. Having never been to Radio City in recent memory, I was surprised at how updated and modern it was.  Phenomenal sound and lighting, pleasant and helpful staff and ultra comfy seats. To sum it up:  old-school opera meets luxury movie theatre.

 - You'll Spend: Though lines were fairly long (as expected in any theatre pre-show), cocktails came in at a fairly reasonable $12 a piece. Having had a $20 glass of the house red at MSG before, I have no complaints about this, especially considering they put a tad bit more effort into actually listing a few spotlight cocktails. 

The Local: Carnegie Club



After seeing your show of choice, skip out on the hyped-up restaurants in the immediate area and stroll up a few blocks toward Carnegie Club for a cocktail with your date. Past the New York Health & Racquet and just before an industrial parking garage, you'll find an incredibly-easy-to-miss entryway to Carnegie Club.

Upon entering, you'll find a buzzing cigar bar that seemingly brings the past to life. Between the live jazz and the smoky, cathedral-like ambiance, the place manages to embody the storied glamour of Central Park South in the era of Madmen. Order a martini or champagne, cozy up on the glamorously worn furniture and sip away amongst rows and rows of old books and good conversation.

Note: I'm not a smoker but I've always enjoyed the smell of a cigar for whatever reason. If this doesn't sound like you, though, I would obviously. not. come. here. You WILL smell of cigar smoke for the rest of the evening.

Tip: There's generally live jazz at Carnegie Club which makes it feel as if you're at a private show. Usually there is no cover, either, which makes the $15-ish cocktail prices very much worth it. I have heard that there are $40 seatings on Saturdays, though, so best to call ahead if you're going on a weekend.


Is NYC Restaurant Week Worth it? Top 10 Picks for 20-somethings

As a 20-something living in Manhattan, I must admit: Restaurant Week is a little confusing. On the one hand, NYC is a foodie’s paradise and Restaurant Week – or, month, rather – is wonderful in that it takes some of the city’s finest culinary jewels and places them within reach of our own, otherwise-poor palates. On the other hand, though, it’s still an expense. For instance, I’ve only been out to lunch a handful of times during my 3 years in the city and not once have I spent $25 on it (Note: Restaurant Week’s 3-course Lunch is set at $25 while the 3-course dinner seating is $38).

Of course, my own experience isn’t reason to invalidate another’s. However, I think it’s safe to say that most New Yorkers between the ages of 20 and 30 would prefer to shell out $38 for a nice dinner with friends, rather than pay $25 for a lunch they never would have gone out for to begin with. Going out for dinner is simply more of a full  experience and – let’s also not forget – most of us have jobs Monday through Friday that act as a sort of obstacle in the way of enjoying that fine-dining luncheon, anyway.

So, while both Zagat and CBS have crafted their own recommendations, I wanted to create a separate list with recommendations catered specifically to the 20-something looking for that little bit extra bang-for-your-buck during restaurant week.

The Top-10 Restaurant Week Picks for 20-somethings is based off of the following criteria:

1)     The Restaurant Must Serve Dinner (3 courses - $38)

This knocked out a slew of favorites from other lists. It’s wonderful that Nobu is participating in restaurant week, but with only the lunch option available, it gets a swift kick off the list by little bro Nobu Next Door that does serve dinner.

2)     The Cuisine Must Be “Worth it”*

 French, Steak/Seafood, Upscale American New/Classic, Japanese

*Allow me to explain the exclusivity. I grew up in a part-Chinese household and spent a summer in China eating the most delectable, hand-crafted dim sum and $1 noodles you’ve ever tasted. So, while I am sure Midtown’s Hakkasan is delicious, it’s difficult for me to justify spending too much money on basic, over-priced ingredients for a cuisine that is meant to be enjoyed family-style on the cheap. Same goes for Mexican fare and soul food. Don’t get me wrong, here. I understand that fusion restaurants are all the rage and that the quality and innovative nature of these cuisines is absolutely growing. However, to me, the beauty of these foods lies in their historic comfort, simplicity and casual enjoyment while the beauty of restaurant week is to enjoy something a little more special.

For this reason, other restaurants, we had to chop you.

3)     The Ratings & Atmosphere Must Be Just Right

All 10 restaurants on the list have something unique about them. Whether the perfect setting for a corporate celebration or a romantic speakeasy from the 1920s, each restaurant encapsulates a uniquely New York atmosphere and has been tried and tested by the pros. While anything over a 20 on Zagat is a solid score, I aimed strictly for 23+ food ratings and then personally took pulse on the ambiance.

 Top 10 Restaurant Week Recommendations for 20-somethings

Bar Boulud – French – 24 Zagat – Upper West Side – Sophisticated Casual

Lure Fishbar – Seafood – 23 Zagat – SoHo – Classic/Nautical

Le Cirque – French – 25 Zagat – Midtown - Posh

21 Club – Classic American – 23 Zagat – Midtown – Historic Speakeasy

Nobu Next Door – Japanese Peruvian – 27 Zagat – Tribeca - Iconic

Perry Street,– New American – 26 Zagat – West Village – Chic/Modern

Po –New American 25 Zagat – West Village – Charming/Cozy Romantic

The Sea Grill – Seafood -23 Zagat– Rock Center – Special Occasion

Perilla – New American – 26 Zagat – West Village – Polished/Intimate

The Capital Grille – Steakhouse – 24 Zagat – Multiple Locations – Corporate/Celebratory

Bonus Recs:

Butter – Seafood/Steak American – Not Yet Rated – Midtown – Stylish/Romantic

Fig & Olive – Mediterranean – 21 Zagat – Multiple Locations – Chic/Trendy

How I moved in Manhattan for $250

(Scroll to bottom for move details/pricing)

Let’s get one thing straight, here. If you have friends and you want to keep them, you will absolutely not ask them to help you move within the city. It is a completely irrational request and reserved strictly for those moving into the city for the very first time.

No one wants to spend one of their precious weekend days lugging someone else’s stupid 50-pound coffee table halfway across Manhattan.

No, not even if it’s from Crate & Barrel – I promise you.

And so, enter the delightfully vague world of movers. I could pretend as if I did a whole bunch of research that led me to a making an educated decision on which mover to choose, but truth be told, I just went with some sketchy Chinatown moving company run by a guy and his cell-phone that a coworker recommended. 

This is what showed up.

Every now and then, I take a walk on the wild side.

But the risk turned out to be not so much of a risk at all. After a quick Google search, I learned that the company, Sanho, even had Yelp page.

Ipso Facto, they’re legit.

And, they turned out to be legit. Well, for the most part. They were 2 hours late and while the movers were very sweet and swift (the entire process took 2.5 hours once it actually started), the driver was kind of a d-bag.

All-in-all, it was a tad bit G-hetto.

I also think it was illegal that they transported me across Manhattan in the front seat between them, sans a seatbelt, but let’s not get our feathers ruffled over spilt milk. Or whatever.



Point is: New York is a massive place with more resources and options than you could ever compare. Sometimes going for the lesser-known name or off of a recommendation from a trusted friend is the best option out there.

But in case you were reading this in hopes of more beneficial information (and, honestly, whose fault is that?), I’ve listed some more insightful resources below:

How to choose your company:


To Review the company you choose:


How to negotiate pricing: http://brickunderground.com/blog/2012/10/negotiating_your_way_to_a_better_price_for_moving

Full Disclosure: I ended up paying $250 all-inclusive (even tip!) to move from Murray Hill to the Upper West Side (30 blocks up & a miserable 9 avenues over). The move was from a door man building with an elevator to a walk-up in a brownstone and included a bed & frame, 6 boxes, an ottoman, 2 small dressers, a bedside table, a light lamp and a suitcase.


Best Summer '14 Tunes!

It must be said that nothing can encompass summertime quite like music can. There is always that one song, or often collection of songs, that can immediately transport you to a certain summer with a certain someone or something that you just couldn't get enough of - music is special that way. It deepens the imprints of our most poignant memories and plays them to a personalized soundtrack. 

Below are a few of my favorite songs of this summer, along with a few recommendations from my buddy and music twin, Tyler, who has always had an eye and an ear for what's wonderful. 

Vacationer - "The Wild Life"

There's a reason the band's name is Vacationer. Listening to this song makes you feel like it's the first day of summer every time... Perfect to kick off a care-free roadtrip to the beach.

Vance Joy - "Riptide"

I SWOON for James Keogh's voice and sentimental-yet-upbeat melodies. It gives me the feeling of having nostalgia for the present, which I once wrote about here. Especially fitting for late night beers around a fire pit with friends and family.

Bleachers - "I Wanna Get Better"

This song is pure fun wrapped up in some solid lyrics. PLUS, a decent music video for once! Very refreshing.

Cherub - "Doses & Mimosas"

A whimsical sound that lies somewhere between Blood Orange and Twin Shadow and may just be the most wonderful day-drinking-with-your-best-friends-from-college-song.

A-Trak and Cam'ron - "Dipsh*t"

Because, duh. Sounds like something I would have listened to school sophomore year (perhaps Nelly's Heart of the Champion?) whilst speeding out of the high school parking lot after school. And I fucking dig it.

Kiesza - "Hideaway"

Finally, a new-age Janet Jackson meets Tegan & Sara in this phenomenal song that I've strangely only heard on Canadian radio so far even though the entire music takes place in what I assume to be Brooklyn. It's like the 90s grunge scene meets 80s house meets some serious choreography. 

Spoon - "Do You"

'cause you can't go wrong ending it with a Spoon Song.

The Weekend Getaway: Montauk, NY

(Scroll for galleries & recommendations)

Ditch Plains, Montauk, NY

Ditch Plains, Montauk, NY

And so it began: my very first trip to the Long Island coastline.

The roads were a deepening dark. Shadows loomed around every bend, and with the tank nearing empty at a quickening pace, I was scared, anxious… and alone.

LOLLL, JK!  It was 11AM on a gorgeous day and I was with my boyfriend.  And his family.  And, like, 28 of their closest friends.  Just keeping you on your toes.

It was, however, truly my first time “out east,” as they so fancily say and I did have just a tad bit of nervous excitement about it (but, you know, in a totally very casual and cool way, right?).


Having been raised on the beaches of Jersey, not once did I find it strange growing up that I had never been to other popular, North East shore towns. Ocean City, Maryland and Delaware’s Dewey and Bethany Beach seemed, quite frankly, unnecessary trips. And, Long Island? Well, that just seemed silly. If I could ride my bike to the beach, why would I ever get in a car for the same thing?

Nonetheless, despite all my former protests and reasoning, here I was, so as not to remain ‘ignant, driving out of the city on a Wednesday for an extended-weekend stay in Montauk.

Cruising through the Hampton towns, we passed a series of charming downtown areas, each one lined with a mélange of fancy, high-end stores mixed in with dainty mom n’ pop shops. We also, to matt’s delight, just missed the entrances to a few antique shops. I’m still reeling.  

In between towns I marveled at the wineries and large plots of appealing-yet-untouched land as commercial real estate grew fewer and farther between. Finally, after quite some time of shamelessly looking for celebrities while (also shamelessly) pretending I was auditioning for a role in The Great Gatsby, we arrived in Montauk. And, even the die-hard “Jersey Shore” girl in me has to admit, I loved it.

Of course, it likely helped that I was being shown around by a collection of 20+ year Montauk veterans. So check it out! 

Montauk Highlights: 

Where To Eat

Ditch Witch – Does Zagat rate food trucks? Because they should give Ditch Witch a 30. Serving up a variety of perfectly-pressed paninis, salads, quesadillas and smoothies, the Ditch Witch located at Ditch Plains beach was easily one of my favorite meals of the trip. I mean, who knew you could have freshly made mozz and local basil prepared on artisan bread at the beach? It's all about the paninis in bikinis.

John’s Drive-in – Located right in the downtown area, this classic drive-in spot has deliciously creamy hard ice-cream. I’m talking REAL GOOD, like stays-creamy-even-after-being-in-the-freezer-2-days and IDGAF-if-I’m-wearing-a-bikini-tomorrow-give-me-the-cake-batter-or-I-bite-your-hand-off good.

Montauk Golf Course – Apparently, this course is one of the top 10 hardest in the country, which is probably why they have a deliciously hearty breakfast to prep you for it. I lament to say, however, that the dog ate my clubs so I wasn’t able to participate this time and instead was resigned only to having breakfast overlooking the sprawling course. Ugh, FML.

Lobster Roll, aka LUNCH – To ease the sorrow of a vacation’s end, we decided to fill up on arguably the best lobster roll in the country on our way out of town. Award-winning and frequented by very big names, I once more shamelessly purveyed the scene in search of a famous face, and I think I may have seen Giuliana Rancic’s husband. Or I guess Bill Rancic? Whatever. He may not give the place any points, but the lobster, clam chowder and clams casino definitely do. 

And of course, at home! Beach life in Montauk is all about casual backyard grilling. Especially when you happen to be vacationing with a renowned NYC private chef. #amysamuel

What To do

Montauk Brewery – With a selection of deliciously smooth brews, you would never guess this place is only 2 years old and in its nascent brewery development. Go visit the brewery and sit down for a few samples with the ever-friendly Erin, pictured above.

Go fish! / Gosman’s – Montauk is widely known as the “fishing capital of the world” to many. Unfortunately, my vomition center (it’s a thing) doesn’t enjoy long spans of time on small boats in open seas, so I stayed on land. Conversely, the boyf digs fishing, so I still got to reap the benefits of his labor. My only regret is skipping out on the chance to sit at Gosman’s on the dock with some oysters and a cocktail as the boys came in from their trip. That, my friends, is my kind of fishing. It is also what repeat trips are for. :-)

The Beach – Duh.

Montauk Point Lighthouse - As a national historic landmark built in the 1700s and authorized by George Washington himself, it's worth the 5 minute drive. Plus, #selfienation.

Bonfires – Montauk allows bonfires on the beach at night which makes going to the bars vs. going back to the beach for drinks a very, very easy decision.  Reminiscent of late-nighting at Takanassee Beach in Long Branch, NJ as a kid, Ditch Plains had me feeling right at home.

And for some bonus shots!