VixReview Personal essays inspired by living in NYC Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:52:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Snapchat vs. Insta, and what’s Snap got to do with Terrestrial Radio Wed, 29 Jun 2016 23:45:55 +0000 I began to use Snapchat on a regular basis a few weeks ago. It’s great! No really, the filters are dope.. I love transforming myself into my spirit animal or insta-throwing on makeup or looking like a train wreck, all on demand for thrilling self-created assets. The geo filters are also extra swank when it comes to super customization. The amount of unique and fun factors feel just right. I am not overloaded with options, but I have enough to keep me coming back and curious. So how has my time spent across social channels changed? Well, although Snapchat is in the lead for growth and user time spent, I still find Instagram to be a primary social outlet and discovery tool. Like radio, Snapchat is more a frequency, to be tuned into.

For me, I would say my daily social time spent break down, is Instagram 50%, Snapchat 30%, Facebook 20%, approximately. On Instagram, I am not just aimlessly trolling images and wandering without cause. I am usually using Instagram as a compass and means to find things, to find communities, people and places that all speak to me. I am a floral designer, so I look for work of other inspiring designers to follow, learn from and perhaps to connect with offline somewhere down the road. I also discover new music through people posting awesome album art I like. Check out this song I discovered today, because I liked the flower art someone posted associated with this song. But I didn’t even know it was music, until my friend commented on my post, saying she just heard that song, so I went back a few steps, and discovered this tune. Instagram is the only tool I can use for this. Facebook is too dense and like a purge wall with superficial context, so I know I won’t get the authentic thing I am looking for when I go there. Instagram is truly a discovery tool, like twitter is, but in a visual format. Being a visual person, Instagram has always kept me interested longer than twitter, which I rarely now use.

Snapchat is pretty sweet. It’s changed how we communicate with each other. Or at least made the time we do tune into each other more interesting. I send my friends around the world cool video messages, or keep it fun with my husband who is on the road a lot. But at the moment, it’s a tool for communicating for today in a fun way. Because the moment is gone tomorrow, mimicking real life, you can’t reference any visual curation or narrative from the past. And you cannot discover anything new. You can simply tune in, like terrestrial radio… which stations do you tune to?

Hey, is anybody out there..????

Chilling Photos—Remembering the Most Severe Blizzards of Our Past Sat, 23 Jan 2016 23:10:38 +0000 While many of us are witnessing the most magnificent snow storm of our lives, some may remember the blizzards of our past. Specifically, those that even compare to what may be happening outside our windows right now are few but memorable. The most epic snow events in U.S. history, date back to over the past 120-130 years.

Biggest U.S. Blizzard Years To Remember:

1888, 1899, 1922, 1940, 1950, 1967, 1979, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2016 …

Math geeks, can you figure out the next predicted blizzard year after this one??

Some vintage pictures from the Great Storm of 1979 in Chicago:




EP-701319946 images-2





























CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 02: Cars sit in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive after accidents and drifting snow stranded the drivers during last night's blizzard February 2, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. As of late morning over 20 inches of snow had fallen, making this snowstorm the third largest recorded in the city. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Rebel, Rebel: Did You Leave Us for Life on Mars? Our Favorite Lyrics List Mon, 11 Jan 2016 15:54:25 +0000 Why do the good ones die young? Well some believe they burn so bright, that they simply can’t sustain shining for too long, like true stars. David Bowie, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, they all referred to genius. That word is used too frequently, but in this case it fits like a special white glove, made for one man, flying in on a tiger made of lightning.

A spirit who took the world by storm, creating electrical currents in music, fashion and culture, Bowie, left an indelible mark on the world as we know it. As if he wrote his own final quote, he often stated, “the difference between ordinary and extraordinary, is that little extra.” And so he was.


Some of our beloved anthemic lyrics included:

Though nothing, will keep us together
We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What’d you say?




Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?

(Life on Mars)

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
‘Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie


(Turn and face the strange)
Don’t want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strange)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time





You’ve got your mother in a whirl ’cause she’s
Not sure if you’re a boy or a girl…

Rebel Rebel, you’ve torn your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Hot tramp, I love you so!

(Rebel, Rebel)

Let’s dance,
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let’s dance,
To the song they’re playin’ on the radio
Let’s sway,
While color lights up your face
Let’s sway,
Sway through the crowd to an empty space

(Let’s Dance)

I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died alone, a long long time ago
Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the Man who Sold the World

(The Man Who Sold the World)

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today
For here Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

(Space Oddity)

R.I.P, Friend. Thank you for all the inspiration you have created for us to reference and consume. You were the world’s favorite misfit. We will gaze up and look for you among the stars, beloved Starman.


Film Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; A Balance of New and Old Sat, 09 Jan 2016 05:32:49 +0000  

[Warning: This story contains plot details from Star Wars: The Force Awakens that could be considered spoilers.]

The unenviable task of bringing to life the latest sequel of the most beloved film franchise in movie history, writer-director J.J. Abrams, reawakens the space saga using optimism, revealing new and old characters with a reverential nod to the original trilogy.

Critics have given Abrams a tough time, making remarks on how some aspects of the plot were given away too easily, like where Luke was all along, in the third act. But the overall excitement, the feeling of being a kid and going to the movies to see the most anticipated film of all time makes up for any part of the exposition that may have been handed over to the audiences, perhaps too casually.

The introduction of new leading characters—Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, a desert scavenger and skilled pilot and Fin, a trained slave-servant for the First Order that rebels and becomes a resistance fighter eventually together with Rey— both lead roles, female and black male, proved the most forward and refreshing aspects to the 2015 chapter.

Our loving old friends—Carrie Fisher’s Leia and Harrison Ford’s, Hans Solo along with R2-D2, C-3PO and a brief cameo from Luke himself— are back and it feels like 30 years have gone by and they’ve been up there in the galaxy star-trooping all along. The balance of nostalgia and forward-looking character and story development create just the right tension to what feels appropriate for this addition to the timeless classics.

A warmer Hans Solo appears optimistic and hopeful, with his “been around the block” banter. He seals in some clarification for fans, when he proclaims, “It’s true, it’s all true. The Dark Side. The Jedi. It’s all true.” His love for Leia is also apparent and matured and he truly aims to bring back their son [avoiding details here for truly unfair spoiler] when he ultimately falls to his death.

Perhaps the biggest question left unanswered revolves around Rey, and who she was related to, which is kept a mystery and perhaps ample material for the 2017 VIII production. Was she Hans’ and Leia’s daughter? Was she related to Luke, or was she a sole rider, with unknown ancestry? But the mystery feels good to have leaving the theater, because to leave with the feeling that it’s all solved and over would not be as satisfying. The Force must continue and the story must grow on to be told. So a cliff hanger is expected here and there, as Abrams aims to pass the baton to future writer-director Rian Johnson who very well may attempt to close the franchise forever with episode I, Rogue One, scheduled for theater release in 2017.

There will always be fans that criticize, because that is what they do, especially with any attempt to rejuvenate an episode belonging to the Star Wars fan saga. However, in a humble viewer opinion, Abrams kept it on the side of fresh and respectful to the original trilogy, and I believe he wins points for that in our book.

There may have been disturbances made to the Force, but once again the galaxy is at peace, for now, as the Light wins over the Dark Side every time. It’s a quantum theme, perhaps the greatest theme of all time, that can be borrowed and applied to every day situations.

Walk in the Light and be strong. May the Force be with you all.


How a Ginger Lemon Shot Saved My Life Sun, 06 Dec 2015 16:51:29 +0000 An Ancient Health Secret—And Hangover Cure—Is Also a Shot.

Full disclosure, my sister is the founder of Monfefo, a shot made of raw and organic ginger, lemon and honey, made in small batches and based in Brooklyn, NY.

I woke up to the distant city morning sounds, buzzing and humming in the backdrop, almost pulsing to the same beat of the headache that had forced me to rise earlier than usual that day. Last night’s holiday party offered a variety of complementary drinks, leaving me with a classic hangover, throbbing with all over post-bender pain and nausea. Until recently, the only known cure for my hangover was enduring the pain, loathing myself, and chasing water with anti-inflammatories like, Advil, until I could see straight again. (Net, net, usually a 24-48 hour process to full recovery.)

My mother calls me on this morning of my agony, and I tell her I have to cancel all my plans for the day, because I feel so ill. She asks me if I have tried a ginger shot to take away the intense nausea I was feeling. I wasn’t sure if the ginger shot would fight the nausea, since it’s a little spicy and I usually drink Monfefo straight for a daily boost of energy and vitamins. I was desperate to try anything, so I grabbed a Monfefo ginger shot from my refrigerator and shook it up for a minute or so…

…then stirred it with cool water, making a delicious drink. The cool sensation of a ginger shot and water was immediately cooling to the abrasion my body felt from alcohol poisoning. Minutes after drinking a tall glass of Monfefo’s ginger shot and water, and my nausea was minimized. After another shot mixed with water, some 15 minutes later, and the nausea was gone!

Having a Monfefo ginger shot to remove my nausea when I was hungover made it possible for me to get through the day, with minimal hangover symptoms.

There are many ways to drink Monfefo ginger juice, and I am happy to say mixing with cold water on a hangover morning is one of them!


5 Ways to Drink Monfefo Ginger Juice:

  1.  Drink it straight, like a shot. (Think wheatgrass shots, but golden, gingery yellow.)
  2. Mix with water or your favorite juice. (Hangover cure!)
  3. Combine with warm/hot water for a proactive cold remedy tea during the cold season or year-round.
  4. Add to sparkling water for a bubbly, refreshing treat.
  5. Enjoy with a dark liquor, like whiskey or brandy. Drink Responsibly!

And exciting news from the Monfefo team: They are now shipping Monfefo ginger shots U.S. Nationwide! Visit their website for more information. RECEIVE 10% OFF BY ENTERING COUPON CODE “FAMILY” AT CHECKOUT.

Whether you are proactively healthy, or reactive and reach for remedies only once you don’t feel so great, Monfefo ginger juice harnesses the power of an ancient wonder, a secret root that has endless healing properties. Try it once, and enjoy it. Have one everyday, and enjoy a healthier life.

Breathe and the rest will follow.


Automatic Slims — Hottest Pickup Bar from the 80s Thu, 03 Dec 2015 20:07:44 +0000 A man dressed in mod sits upon a brass rail, lining a street perch. Exhaling smoke from a spliff with painterly hands beneath the highest tree on Bank street, he actively preserves an old but not forgotten vibe on one of the city’s most memorable blocks. Out of the corner bar entrance, a fellow mate of the first fellow sways over, asking for a drag and both politely introducing themselves to me, a strange passerby.

We meet and greet and instantly fall into conversation. The bar tender, whose well acquainted patrons swoon over, soon joins us for a smoke. Through a spontaneous occurrence I began to discover the history of the establishment we were all gathered around, an iconic bar of the 80’s, a sister bar to its Memphis location, a place that hasn’t changed in decades, Automatic Slims.

Considered the best singles bar in NYC in the 1980’s, when the West Village was not a desirable neighborhood, but rather a distressed part of town missing the opulent caste for which it is home to today, Automatic Slims was one of few bars open to the brave willing to step into the ghetto-like surroundings, some 30 years ago. This belt of NYC’s westside, stretching from 14th street to Canal street, and from the westside highway to Hudson street, was once heavily peppered with trannies earning a living through prostitution, meat hangers on every corner of its Meatpacking district and a center for NYC’s homeless. Each visit from its willing patrons then, proved a courageous feat to those in search of a match.

Today, with the neighborhood virtually unrecognizable, Automatic Slims is more of an antithesis of the mega-clubs and bars that dominate the revamped now center for nightlife scenery. The bar leads a double life, a mellow bar by day, serving charred burgers and bar food, which turns into a dance party with rows of shots lined up as the sun sets over the Hudson river.

Swarms of night goers flock to the unchanged establishment for a shot, a dance, great classic, unpopular music and perhaps a conversation with a stranger at the bar. The bartender, who acts on the side, claims the bar is an institution of sorts, one that has survived untouched for many decades, due to the owners resistance to sell the building for much more than it is valued at, avoiding another Starbucks corner.

Another rarity the bar offers its patrons, is dog-friendly Sundays and Mondays. So you can now enjoy a tall brew with your canine, and if they are lucky like the many singles who continue to find each other at this once trending 80’s connection-making joint, your canine could meet its special four-legged match, too.

After four years living on Bank Street, and oddly never once wandering into this legendary pub, I decided to detour off my walk path and stop in for a tallboy vodka double. Accessing the bar through its unusual corner door entrance, I stepped on to the red and black checkered vinyl floor, as if entering a type of music hall . Observing the black and white photographs of classic legends like Jim Morrison on the white washed walls, a Hendrix tune entranced the room.

In a city where two things are ever-constant, pulsing energy and change, Automatic Slims is a time capsule treasure, with a dichotomized, some say “baby-making vibe.” A must see for any curious persons of a New York City in its former years.

Giving Thanks and More Content [VIDEO] Fri, 27 Nov 2015 02:56:51 +0000 With change in the air, a Vixreview site redesign was in order. Better viewability and cleaner design will hopefully make for a more enjoyable short essay, opinion and review content experience. Joyful holidays, and happy reading. – V,

Hebron Harvest Fair — What American Dreams Are Made Of Mon, 14 Sep 2015 16:51:53 +0000 Growing up in a suburban landscape, I don’t recall attending any jamboree county fairs as a child. My mother would often send my sister and I off to Poland for the full summer and into September sometimes to stay with our grandparents. The last few years I feel like I’ve been compelled by random things I didn’t experience as a kid, like missed episodes of Seinfeld, I had some catching up to do!

My friend Ali invited me this past weekend to Hebron CT, the town she was raised in, where her parents still live to this day. Nearly 3 hours out of NYC, primarily cruising on a two lane hilly pass I drove in a meditative flow, mentally detaching from the city static, soon arriving in rural Hebron.

Upon arrival at her parent’s home lined with human height zinnias that contoured the driveway, it was nearly time to head out to the County Fair, the largest in CT, my first ever. The house was near the fair, and traffic was telling… this would be an event to remember. Youth walked on the grass, sipping Red Bull, some smoking cigarettes, as we slowly rolled into the parking area, a great field occupied by rows of cars, trailers and abundant handsome horses.I’ve been to amusement parks growing up; Dorney Park, Six Flags, but I never made it to a large state fair, an event locals look forward to attending each year, completely worked by carnies whose lives revolved around the constant mobile operation of their “joints” or booths; either food stands, games or rides.

By far the newest attraction to me, were the truck and tractor pulls. The point I think was to show off the vehicles’ power, and of course the high level of noise that deflected throughout the fair as trucks blasted their engines forward pulling enormous weight behind them. Sometimes the trucks maneuvered wheelies, due to sufficient torque being applied to the rear wheels. This was a crowd favorite, and all ages sat by the adjacent field patiently and waited for the next truck pull to echo across the fair grounds.


The food was not for anyone that had limits, and if you did, you simply forgot those limits existed while you were there. For the night, I guiltily allowed myself a fried onion bloom, a Greek gyro, accompanied by a tall root beer, deep fried Oreos, and a soft serve twist waffle cone. Together, this mix of illegal American delicacies, done no more than once a year, could barely be forgiven. The deep fried Oreos have permanently imprinted pleasure-seeking memories in my mind and my happy gut.

“I was taking a short clip of the pigs walking around and getting judged, when suddenly in my camera view, a pig took a massive number two!”

The animals showcased at the fair were a thrill to observe. From beautiful Thumper bunnies, one, which I deeply connected with and was hoping to bring home, to groomed roosters leading with strong bravados, and even the largest goat I ever saw, named Moses. Moses looked me in the eye, and almost whispered to me that he wanted me to take his picture… and that I did.


The most shocking moment belonged to the pig judging, which came with bleachers and a small but dedicated audience of your all American pig spectators. I was taking a short clip of the pigs walking around and getting judged, when suddenly in my camera view, a pig took a massive number two! I had a laugh that got me a bit high, like laughing as a child, without any attachment to adult stresses, so while it was a relatively massive distaste, I didn’t mind it, for it’s large sense of humor in that moment.

It began to rain, and we took shelter in the Arts and Crafts portion of the fair. Not only were there decorative quilts to admire, both crocheted and needlepoint stitched, but artisans from around the state submitted purses, scarves, and even crocheted dolls for the county judge’s consideration. Flowers that were homegrown, with ranging stem and bloom diameter heights and widths were also up for awards. Zinnias, Hydrangea, and Black Eyed Susans seemed to be popular entries.image3Vegetable and egg varietals had their fair share of presence as well. Tomatoes; heirloom to cherry to beef stake, peppers, sweet and hot, and some squash for the upcoming Fall season, received awards for best variety, picking and I am sure taste.

I don’t mind that I only got to experience this elaborate state fair as an adult. It created for a culture-shocking event, which I indulged the senses in and returned for a moment to the nostalgic and rare feeling of being a kid. And funny enough, my Polish roots somehow got laced into my trippy American maze of a night, as there were some local vendors selling pierogis… and we made sure to buy some on our way out.

Evil took James Foley’s picture Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:30:31 +0000 Walking into work, I usually glance at the NY Post headline before I pick up a Journal. Stepping off the elevator, I came to a halt in the hallway, as I was disturbed by the cover image on today’s paper. On the cover, US Journalist, James Foley, in an orange jump suit moments prior to his beheading by an Islamist terrorist group called ISIL. He first disappeared on November 22, 2012 in northwest Syria, as a freelance photojournalist, and was held captive. Seeing this insensitive cover of NYPost, disrupted the direction my blood flowed. I lost more than my appetite. It made me seriously question the world we are living in, and whether or not I would want to bring a child into a world, so deranged as the one we live in today.

The recent events taking place around the world, from Hamas terror, and airlines getting shot down, to innocent people getting gunned down in Ferguson and now James Foley’s murder. Whatever happened to live and let live? Why is there such a decline in respect for human life? What religion or political system can possibly allow this activity to exist?

Days like today are why I remember once actually avoiding the news on a regular basis. The horrors that occur around the world, like blood splatter on paper, make me feel like life in America is truly perceived as a bubble. Here we can decide what we want to participate in. To avoid the news, or be news junkies. Frankly, I don’t know what to do. Whether to tune in or tune out. Become an activist, or journalist, or bomb deactivator. Considering the world’s negative sentiment ratio, it can make any one individual feel overwhelmed perhaps in emotion alone — feeling helpless in the faces of such torrent evil.  James Foley was a hero, his last words were, he just wished he’d had more time with his family.

He didn’t get to have that time.

Foley, 40, grew up in New Hampshire and was originally a teacher, at one point teaching prison inmates in Arizona, before attending the Medill school of journalism at Northwestern University. After graduation, his first assignment was as an embed with the U.S. Army’s 173rd Brigade and 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan.  Foley had been covering the Syria’s civil war for GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse (AFP) when he was allegedly pulled from the car he was traveling in to meet with a colleague and abducted at gunpoint. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, GlobalPost hired an international security firm for a ground level investigation in Northern Syria and along the Turkish border to locate him.*

*Taken from

Giving Up the Grain: 5 Easy Ways to be Gluten Free Tue, 15 Jul 2014 01:44:57 +0000 It’s no coincidence that the word glutenous contains the word “gluten” in it. Sadly, the divine foods we long for, the bread components to each meal, the invention of the sandwich, baked goods, italian food and what the hell, pierogies, all fall into a soft spot on the emotional scale of the global gluten belly of billions of people.

Taking a short leave of absence from a daily routine that is gluten standard, or gluten heavy, can result in sudden weight loss, increased energy, better quality of sleep, and a healthier, leaner gut!

Explore the following ways to keep your pallet enticed while avoiding the glue!

1. Skip the sandwich at lunch everyday. Instead add your favorite ingredients to any salad! You’ll be pleased with the extra energy you have from the veggie high.

2. Pass on bread and butter or olive oil at dinner time. Instead enjoy some french     fries, parisienne style!

3. Discover a new favorite cold-press juice like any fine Juicepress, Monfefo or Organic Avenue selection. Start your day with a juice, even better on a hungover. Avoid the pizza grease and breakfast sandwiches.

4. Bye-bye Magnolia cupcakes, we broke up. You are not going to glue me up into a million little pieces anymore. I’m through with you, glue.

5. Beer, what? Check out bars that have gluten free beers if you insist, otherwise, stick with wine or pretty much anything else.