Author Archives: Laurie Junkins

David Burke: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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The first time I ever heard of David Burke (because I’m from Seattle and not a food person) was from my chiropractor who, along with his talent for sorting out my skeletal anomalies, is a discerning foodie, and recommended his restaurant Townhouse for a special birthday dinner in New York City.  We followed his suggestion, and it was absolutely charming, luxurious, and the food was impeccably delicious. We returned to Townhouse six months later for my husband’s birthday and David Burke himself was not only in the house, but bought the eight of us a round of celebratory champagne. The appetizers, dinner, and desserts were, once again, absolutely first rate. David Burke’s Townhouse remains one of my top 5 favorite restaurants in NYC.

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A NYC Evening With the Cast of Golden Boy on Broadway

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I have to admit, I’m a sucker for a boxing drama. I have trained in kickboxing, so it appeals from a knowledge of what it’s like to face down another in a direct physical contest, but also because there’s something about boxing that evokes the original American spirit, especially in New York City’s industrial age. So, discovering that playwright Clifford Odets’s 1937 boxing drama Golden Boy has been revived by Lincoln Center Theater and director Bartlett Sher was a moment of great anticipation. Imagine my glee when I was invited to a VIP pre-show party with several of the cast members. (Hint: it was an epic level of glee.)

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Bonding Over Beauty with Benefit Cosmetics in SOHO

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I will admit that I feel very, very lucky to have a daughter. Of course, I adore my two nearly-grown sons, but raising boys and girls are very different endeavors, and my girl and I have a bond that is, in many ways, more intense than my bond with my sons. Part of this is her age. She’s nine, a full on ‘tween, and looks to me to advise her through the ups and downs of negotiating the growing-up process. She’s very much a tomboy, but as she approaches adolescence and middle school, she’s becoming increasingly interested in the trappings of older girlhood—including makeup. So, when I asked her if she wanted to spend a day with me in the city, including an event for moms and daughters at Benefit Cosmetics, she was all over it.

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Black Violin at the New Victory Theater

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Let me begin by saying this: if there is any way you can make it to see Black Violin at The New Victory Theater, you are in for a huge treat. I admit that I am prone to hyperbole, but there isn’t enough of it in the world to exaggerate how great this show is. The performance was, in the words of my 17-year-old son, “sick.” Translation: one of the coolest things he’s ever seen. We all agreed.

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Untying Love: An End-of-Life Play

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Death can be an uncomfortable subject. It’s scary, awkward, and painful—even more so if you know someone who is dying or has a loved one who is near death. This was the case for me going to see the end-of-life play Untying Love last week. The play, written by Peggy Willins and directed by Emma Berry, explores the process of letting go of a loved one in hospice—an experience I’ve been going through with my own mother, who is at the end of a long illness. For this reason, I suspected the play would have special resonance for me, and it did. But it also is a story that applies to all of us.

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Family Fun on 42nd Street, An Urban Review

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As a busy, working mother of three, my kids always appreciate getting some one-on-one time with me, especially my 9-year-old daughter who, unlike her teenage brothers, hasn’t yet outgrown being my BFF. So, when I told her we were heading into the city for an epic mom/kid evening out, she reacted as if it was her birthday. And, as it turns out, we had that much fun.

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Fitness Travel: Interview with Leslee Schenk Trzcinski of Tune Yoga at Finger Lakes, NY

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When Carol took me with her to the Finger Lakes last month for a girlfriend weekend get-away, one of the things we wanted to emphasize was being physically active while we were there. I am an avid gym rat and personal trainer in-training, and Carol and I have shared workouts on many occasions. Our Finger Lakes host, AJ, came through big time by arranging hiking, kayaking, cycling, and what was the absolute fitness high point of the weekend: lakeside yoga taught by Tune Yoga owner Leslee Schenk Trzcinski. I’ve been practicing yoga for over 15 years, and this was one of the best yoga experiences I have ever had. Leslee herself has a very interesting story and is the go-to person for Finger Lakes yoga and cycling, both. I decided to interview her about her fitness philosophy and what she has to offer Finger Lakes visitors, and here’s what she had to say:

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A Romantic Weekend Getaway at Mohegan Sun in CT

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My husband and I have been married for nearly 21 years, and are still as madly in love as ever, but we rarely get to indulge in actual romance. We have two teenagers and a 9-year-old, and we both work. Not only that, but he travels constantly—so constantly that he just hit the million-miles-flown mark on United Airlines. I spend a lot of time solo parenting.

So, when Carol asked me if I would be willing to visit the Mohegan Sun with my husband for a romantic weekend, I was all over it. It’s located near Uncasville, CT, which is about a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from New York City, depending on traffic. Our GPS routed us up the Merritt Parkway because of traffic on I-95, and it was a stunning drive along the tree-lined National Scenic Byway.

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