Rainy Day Ideas: Jersey City

rainy_day

ART GALLERIES! Almost every hot spot on the block in Jersey City is featuring works of local artists on their walls. Or on their buildings, or had a wall made in their shop, or hosted shows in historic buildings. But there is more in art homes: Mana Contemporary, Art House Productions, Panepinto Galleries, Jersey City Art School, Hewes Art Center, etc. Add yours in the comments section.

PAGE-TURNER READS! Finish a book in a day!  Kill me Janet Evanovich or—the owner of my childhood homeHarlan Coben. And Lawrence Sanders. All my summer reads. Even sitting at…

COFFEE & TEA LOCALES! Is it just me or is people-watching at Vogue CafeDames Coffee Espresso Bar, Dulce de LecheMod Cup Coffee, Sam a.m., Beechwood CafeTea NJBWE, Lackawanna, The CliffShort GrainChoc-O-Pain (who is opening yet another location on Palisade Ave.), Congress Station, Ground Connectionand a plethora of other places in this city just so fun? I mentally write a story about each person that passes by.

MAKE OUT IN THE RAIN! I am guilty guilty guilty of this. No lover? Just being caught in thunderstorms with friends can brew creativity. Staying dry tactics, protecting clothes or electronics, what now? It’s an opportunity to learn. Dance in the rain, run in the rain (if it’s not a thunderstorm; safety first), puddle hop. Rain can be refreshing and freeing. Added bonus for allergies: it cleans the air.

PAINT IT OUT, OR COLOR! If Cork & Canvas is booked, you have adults and kids coloring books. (My faves for this occasion are Four Seasons by Aiko Fukawa & Barbie’s Spring Into Style). Just get the right pencils for the former and the gel metallic crayons for the latter. Materials make a difference! Or make a vision board out of magazine pictures. Or make something, anything! You have everything you need in your house to create. Look around and get creative.

HOME SPA: Scrubs, facemasks, manis, pedis and massages. My fave products:
Arbonne Awaken Sea Salt Scrub. This has changed my life (or really, that of my hands and feet)
Freeman’s Avocado & Oatmeal Face Mask
Rid Redness & Acne
Hair treatments
Homemade body scrub for skin

ORGANIZE: Cleaning out a drawer or a closet can be a relaxing ritual. Start with a small space so you don’t get overwhelmed, and then either be motivated to tackle bigger spaces or be inspired to do something else by something you find. If you have a creative mind, the act of it and the finding of something you forgot about will trigger some greats ideas. I promise!

MAD LIBS: Hey, you can play by yourself!

CARDS: Again, you can always play solitaire. If you need competition, I will beat you at spit any day. Try me.

SPEAKING OF CARDS: Buy some nice stationery and bring the handwritten note back! Who doesn’t love mail? Put some real effort and thought into those you love. Or get real with Hold Fast Industries (read my article in the Jersey City Independent this summer).

LISTEN TO MUSIC: Create a new playlist if you like anything for your next outdoor workout in sunnier skies. I’m all about Beyonce’s Lemonade right now, as if I wasn’t about everything Bey anyway for all of time. But now that Google Music has bought Songza, you have no excuse to hear an extreme variety of unsolicited music around the world and in your own backyard. They just #catertoyou.

HELLO! SPORTS: Put that new playlist to use while lifting weights at BLINK or stairclimbing at BASE. Then there’s indoor swimming at Pershing Field, the Local Barre and HipFit classes with Laura in the Brunswick Center.

BUY LOCAL, BE UNIQUE: Vintage: How Very or Another Man’s Treasure. For boutique, Vivi Girl Shop and Tia’s, of course.

MOVIES & SHOPPING: I not a huge fan of either, but I’ve found in my most stressed-out times, escaping to the Newport Mall just to walk around, (and maybe buy pretty, frilly things & specialty items at Sephora, Vicky’s and Lush) or—more recently—going to its newly renovated Loews AMC has actually helped me rejuvenate.

MOVIES AGAIN! OnDemand, Netflix and Redbox.

 

YAAAAS, I did. Enjoy,
JCG

 

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Meditate Jersey City

meditate

Did you know that you can meditate for free at The Brunswick Center in Jersey City?

The former school at 189 Brunswick Street has transformed into an educational health and wellness center, where classrooms have been converted into dance studios, cardio and weight-training rooms, and the yoga & meditation center.

Volunteers run the meditation classes at 7pm on Mondays (or Tuesdays, depending on attendance availability in the meetup group) and at 5pm on Saturdays.

On my particular visit, Kushal Choksi, who works in hedge funds, was the instructor. We removed our shoes before entering the studio and sat on our mats. First, we did breathing exercises to open up our air passages. Then Kushal led us in a guided meditation that he said would be 10 minutes but when we finished it turned out to be 22 minutes. Time was irrelevent. In meditation, you are so focused on your inner body that you are not concerned with the outside world.

Kushal explained that most of our daily lives involve things pulling us in different directions and that both external and internal forces control our thoughts. But there is one way we can control our thoughts…through breathing. I certainly felt clear-headed and centered after the session, at peace with myself and my surroundings. We were living in the present moment.

I spoke to Amit Haryani, who often leads the classes at The Brunswick Center. He has studied yoga and meditation for 20 years and has taught for 15 of those, finding that it gives him inner peace from his day job as an environmental engineer.

Earlier in ilfe, when Amit was stressed out during exams, his classmate introduced him to “The Art of Living” happiness program, started by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Brunswick Center location offers that as a paid program, once a month. Details here.

“The happiness program is about leading a lifestyle where you can truly be happy,” says Amit. “It gives you the ability to actually be the expression of happiness, rather than be in the pursuit of happiness.”

If anything can be determined from the demeanor of these men and other organizers, it is that they have an inner-peace that radiates positive energy and joy to all of those in their presence.

SCHEDULE:

  • Community Meditations: Monday 7-8pm and Saturday 5-6pm
  • Community Yoga: Tuesday 7-8pm
  • Happiness Program Schedule: Aug 27-31,  Sept 24-28
  • Meditation program: Aug 7-9, Sept 11 – 13  

Ommm,
JCG

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