It’s with much climatic fanfare that NY bade a blizzard-y, snowstorm-y adieu to 2010.
Children all around the city were lucky enough to enjoy curbside snowball fights and sledding on hilly parts of the land from Crotona Park to Central park.
There’s no greater feeling than to wake up, rub eyes and see the sidewalk dressed with a delicate blanket of snow. The snow has a way to bring adults back to a more candid place also, that is, before the realization that, well…the thigh-high snow blocking the curb ain’t going to shovel itself up. By the time urbanites slipped and fell on their rushed way to the office, dug out cars buried on the sidewalk or even shoveled up a path out of their buildings, 2011 quietly tip-toed on us.
What to you, made the year that just passed such a thrilling, emotionally charged and intense one? What in your opinion should be left in the abyss to never be recovered again? Whether scheming big or plotting small, silently wishing or dreaming in color, tightly planning or loosely projecting, what are you taking with you into the new year? When you look ahead, do you see the promise of an exciting future? Filled with all kinds of possibilities, friendly faces, new and enriching people? New challenges and endeavors with a successful outcome or a valuable lesson from which to learn?
On this very first day of 2011, instead of randomly walking the streets of our beloved city to meet and discover a new face who’ll grace our sidewalk stories, why not pay a visit to someone we’re already familiar with? In fact, a familiar face and voice to all of us readers of the adventurista.com blog. That of Naima Sanowar, this Babble Best Mommy Blogger nominee known as: The adventurista.
After all, 2010 was the year Naima has brought the adventurista.com to life. A year to look back and reflect on, as we vicariously lived through this trailblazing yummy mummy’s adventures. The frequently updated web journal launched like a rocket in the blogosphere with a handful of contributors to boast. Post after post, Naima leads us in dazzling and enriching adventures with her vibrant family and circle of friends. Any woman who’s ever had to juggle with the demands of marriage, motherhood, work and various other types of relationships in our society, will find out it can be done with zest and simplicity. Fun and fearless, the blog delivers on many levels just like the woman behind it.
Naima is a force of nature in the most feminine sense. She’ll bat her eyes at a higher rate per second than most, she’ll coyly “betty boop” her way into a room and disarm with her eye-popping fashion style, but don’t let the vanity fair fool you, the woman is grounded, in charge and means business. The bold promise of a fabulous and fearless adventure through her everyday experience in and out of New York City is genuine as is her willingness to share and receive tips from readers and friends. Her son Jaden, 5 is an absolute delight, a mini social butterfly himself. The boy has somewhat of a devilishly handsome look about him, which is strange enough to say about a 5 year old. Now add to the mix the cool way he carries himself and handles conflicts in the recess yard and you’d be scratching your head for answers to this puzzle.
The mommy and son duo sure have a blast, but it’s when the whole family is together with husband Joe that the real fun begins! Joe, known to the readers as The Epicurean Man is a staple in the adventurista’s diary, especially as the moniker indicates, when it comes to unleashing their inner gourmet taste buds to sample the finest food or revealing hidden epicure spots around town. There’s a magnetism and that “you complete me” je-ne-sais-quoi about the couple that quickly comes to mind at first glance. The tips and encouragements offered on the blog to enliven a snoozing marriage or keep the passion as ardent as day one, are true and tried recipes Naima and husband Joe have diligently used before . A healthy dose of adventure and a hint of spice!
Have a Happy New Year 2011, wishing it to be joyous and adventurous!
Naima, what a tremendous year 2010 has been for you with amongst myriad of other fruitful commitments, the launch of the adventurista.com –a Babble Best Mommy Blogger Nominee! Tell us about all the facets of your life?
First let me say Yasmine, you are so lovely to want to start the New year off with myself as your featured Sidewalk Story. It feels a bit weird I must say, being interviewed by you dear friend, honored that you choose to feature me. Thank you for all the amazing, enriching sidewalk stories you have written for The Adventurista. I, as well as our readers look forward to what you have in store for 2011.
I guess I should get back to your question. The first couple of years of mother-hood, it was very complicated for me. The overwhelming responsibilities of caring for a newborn, then the demands of trying to balance, mother-hood, work, family, friends. I found myself a bit out of sorts. Then as time went on, my adventurous nature started to kick in, call it my survival mode. I thought to myself: “maybe I cannot have the same freedom I had pre-child, but DAMN IT, I can sure get creative and keep it moving.” I live in one of the most dynamic, diversified cities in the world. New York City is laden with fun, fearless and fabulous adventures for the entire family.
The word “Adventurista” has an irresistible ring to it. What does it stand for? Who, in your opinion, qualifies as an “adventurista”? What made you start this blog?
To be honest, I was in the midst of changing Blogs and had literally a few days to come up with a new name. It was nerve wrecking trying to come up with a name that reflects my personality, life and what I want to convey to my readers. I decided to play on the word ” Adventure” and there we have it “The Adventurista”.
I started the Blog for the same reason most of the fabulous mummy bloggers out there did…. to vent and share our feelings about being a mother. Originally that was the sole reason, then I started broadening my topics, and posting on the inside scoop of all those things that make living in and around the city fun, fabulous and fearless. Also on my Blog, you will find resources to make it creative and help to maximize your time and still have a fabulous experience, whether it is a play date, mummy date or a sexy night out on the town with your significant other, or planning a fantastic holiday with your family. I am all about multi-tasking.
The fantastic category you write for me “Sidewalk Stories” we showcase Adventuristas who are prominent mummy influencers in their own right, as they share with us their views about Big City living, fashion, culture, photography, travel, food. Yasmine the Mums you have featured to date are all ” adventurista’s” in my eyes, including yourself of course. My cousin Kirstin McKee who is a guest contributor for my Blog is an Adventurista http://theadventurista.com/archives/4187. It is not about fabulous living, having the means to live a lavish life that makes an Adventurista. Any woman that goes after what she wants however small or big takes the plunge to live life to the fullest and then takes special time to share it with others…is an Adventurista
All right! Your posts often lead us on a trail to your son Jaden’s many pulsating adventures, what would you say are his favorite things to do? Is he always game for a new exploratory outing?
Jaden aka Karate Boy is simply amazing to me. He was a miracle from birth, I guess even then he was fearless. Jaden was born a micro preemie at 25 weeks, he weighed only 1 pound 14 ounces at birth. My son has defied all the odds against him, he spent years in therapy and fought hard to be the healthy, normal little boy you see before you today. I must admit, Jaden ‘s personality favors more mine than his daddy’s. He is so social, loves entertaining, every day he is looking to make new friends. His motto is “every day is a party”. He is is my sidekick in most of the adventures I blog about, we can go to the super-market and he would look at me and say ” Mummy thanks for that super-market adventure.”
One of Jaden’s favorite things to do is dining out, we have spoilt him that way, but it works for us since he is welcomed at most restaurants, he is so well behaved. Family date night does not always have to be at “kid-friendly” restaurants, we can take him to very grown up restaurants as well. He loves most things little boys his age do, he is passionate about building Lego space ships, he loves going to the Museums, art galleries, exploring new playgrounds.
It’s hard to think it possible but each new post featuring Jaden’s fun-filled moments tops the last, what’s your ideal escapades with your son, how do you plan those?
The best part of raising a kid in New York City, is that everything is around the corner, zoo, parks, museums, classes…there is a plethora of culture to expose them to. The majority of our escapades are spontaneous , I am so busy with work and other projects I am involved in, that everything I do that involves adventure is on a whim. For example, in the summer, I was famous for getting up on a random day during the week, texting other mummy friends and saying “10 am , grab the kids, lets go to Manhattan Beach, can we be back by 1 pm for a meeting I have with a client.?” http://theadventurista.com/archives/2124Most mums thought I was a bit loony, but some enjoyed the challenge and the spontaneity of such an un-planned adventure, they would always thank me for such good times after. I never let anything get in our way for a good time, even when all we have is an hour in the day, we make the best of it.
Some of our favorite places for adventure are Museum of Natural History, then lunch afterwards at The Shake Shack a block away. The Lego Store at Rockefeller Center http://theadventurista.com/archives/2391, we absolutely love The High Line Park in the Meat-packing District http://theadventurista.com/archives/812, Central Park. A number of fabulous playgrounds in New York City, like pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights, The Imagination Playground in the Seaport, just to name a few. http://theadventurista.com/archives/1970
Another thing with your son Jaden; the boy is dashing at all times! How do you manage this? Where do you shop for his little debonair chic style?
My husband and I both have similar tastes when it comes to design and fashion. From when he was just a baby, we loved creating cool looks for Jaden. My husband’s favorite look for Jaden is Ralph Lauren for kids. Jaden’s whole wardrobe could have easily been all Ralph Lauren, but my little guy has his own fashion sense now that he is older. Jaden is really into “rock-star clothes” as he puts it. He now wants to pick out his own clothes. We took him shopping the other day, on his request. He insisted on clothes with hoodies and zippers and skinny jeans. When it comes to shopping for Jaden, I shop wherever the cool clothes are. Lucky Brand Jeans, Gap, H &M, True Religion, Diesel Kids to name a few.
Grooming the relationship in the couple is a key philosophy throughout the blog; how do you and Joe, (best known to readers as The Epicurean Man) enliven the love? Any incredibly romantic gesture extended to each other in mind?
Joe aka The Epicurean Man and I are both the same sign, Taurus. Even though culturally we can be quite different, he is American, I was born and raised in Trinidad, we share similar interests. We both love dining out and doing cultural activities together, art galleries, museums. There is adventure and passion in our personal life, I do most of the planning, he shows up and embarks on the adventure with me. We are always seeking out off the beaten path venues to go to in New York city. We love the http://www.neuegalerie.org/ , where we saw the amazing Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. We love planning competitive adventures with friends like http://watsonadventures.com/ where we did the The Murder at The Met Hunt with another couple. Home design plays an important part in our personal life, so a date for us can easily be strolling through the streets of Soho and going into the many fantastic furniture stores. http://www.mourastarr.com/ and http://safavieh.com/ are two of our favourites and we have many pieces from both stores. On Friday nights we have movie date night. We are also both hosts at heart, so we plan many lovely cocktail soirees at our home. The most recent was two weeks ago, the theme was “prohibition night” and Joe and I came up with a cocktail menu of drinks from the prohibition days http://theadventurista.com/archives/4513. It was a wild night at the end… 12 friends over and well with scotch and bourbon as the main ingriedients you can imagine the conversations.
Then we have sexy adventures like when we attended an intimate soiree at the Kiki de Montparnasse ( kikidm.com)salon in Soho. I did have to coerce Joe a bit, he was not quite sure about what to expect at a lingerie salon, but he was a trooper and actually enjoyed “ The Art Of The Erotic Cocktail, a night to discover how to create sumptuous cocktails for your beloved ones with mixologist of Auchentoshan.” http://theadventurista.com/archives/3518. Like any other couple who have been together for a long time, we go through phases of taking each-other for granted, we are far from a perfect couple, what helps us is our ability to be aware and hence shake things up a bit when needed.
Oooh! Nice! What are your absolute favorite bars and restaurant for a swell mixology and/or epicure experience in the city? Can you name a delectable cocktail idea for our readers to steal?
We are a family that loves to dine out. Some of our favorites are Balthazar, La Esquina, Strip House, Da Silvano, Dell’Anima, Quality Meats in the Meatpacking district,
Marea , Spice Market. Pegu club for cocktails is very sexy. A fantastic website to read about all the new and fabulous restaurant listings is http://nymag.com/. Below is the recipe for one of the cocktails Joe made at our recent cocktail party… enjoy!
The Pegu Club Cocktail:
Ingredients: 2 oz gin- 3/4 oz orange liqueur- 1/2 oz lime juice- 2 dashes Angostura bitters- lime wedge or peel for garnish
Preparation: Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well.
Your NY social life takes you out and about but you also love to entertain and host in your dandy brownstone. What’s a never-fail ingredient to a great get-together?
I love to entertain at our home, a never fail ingredient to a great-together would be the right mix of personalities on your guest list. A signature cocktail, and have everyone bring a dish if food is involved. This allows you the hostess or host to spend more time enjoying the event.
The “yummy mummy brunches” are another quality time dear to you. How did the gathering start and who are those yummy mummies?
I host a yummy mummy brunch at least twice a month at my home, one day during the week and when the kiddies are safe in school, http://theadventurista.com/archives/3614. The mums and I make or buy delicious food and I always make a brunch cocktail, it has been Pimms the last few soirees. The sole purpose for the brunch has always been to make new friends, network among each-other, and also to create a time where we never have to worry about baby-sitting, child-care for our little ones and just have some grown up fun.
Today is the first day of 2011, what do you and the adventurista.com have in store for the coming year? What goals, aspirations and concepts are in the works?
2011 is all about “keeping it moving” a continuation of 2010. Last summer, we went to Trinidad and Tobago and had some amazing adventures there as a family http://theadventurista.com/archives/2764. Also we did a lot of cool local travel adventures in Montauk, Rhode Island etc, http://theadventurista.com/archives/3183. This year I plan on doing a lot more travel and documenting all of our activities on the Blog. We plan on going to Europe, to a few more islands in the Caribbean, Brazil. I am so excited to expose Karate Boy to different cultures and also share with my viewers any cool tips on Hotels, places to visit, eat, etc in the countries we visit this year.
Also I would like to do more cooking on the blog, learning new recipes, having some guest writers share their favorites with us. Beyond the Yummy Mummy brunch, I will be working with some venues to host fabulous events for mums and non -mums to attend and network, meet and have fun all through-out the City. I am currently working on having more video streams on the Blog . Then the usual, exploring new and cool playgrounds, shows, plays for kids. I am hoping to get a few more guest contributors for the Blog, so anyone interested please send me your info on my contact sheet.
Any personal resolution? Or even a wish you’d love to see materialize on a personal level?
I am starting Rosetta Stone and learning Portuguese in a few weeks. Last year was my introduction to a proper camera and photography. Joe bought me a Canon Rebel and I fell in love. In the summer I treated myself to a micro four thirds camera an Olympus pen, this comes in handy for most of my out and about adventures. In 2011, I plan on really taking time to take more pictures and learn how to work my lens. I also start tomorrow eating cleaner and losing some of the Holiday weight I have put on.