just 24 hours before we hopped on a flight to the west coast, brandon and i snuck away for a quick date to see the nutcracker circus suite at galapagos art space in dumbo. we booked the date impulsively and quite last minute through HowAboutWe, our sponsor for the year (they've been sending us on ten dates this year to celebrate our tenth anniversary), and the whole thing was seamless, even when booked down to the wire. we got lucky with a sitter, we shot across town on the c train, we didn't really know what to expect when we got there, and holy nutcracker! let's talk about this.

the nutcracker circus suite is the same story of marie and the nutcracker and the sugar plum fairy, but reimagined. what if the rat king were a break dancer? what if the dancers hung from the ceilings and danced in the audience? what if mother ginger were a cylon, and her children a trio of robots with lasers shooting out of their boobs, and what if the mother ginger cylon dance was actually a burlesque show, where she stripped down to her body suit to reveal a marilyn monroe type fembot with circuitry glowing up and down her spine? i mean, come on. it was flipping fantastic. i never would have known this even existed had it not been for HowAboutWe, i feel like i'm discovering all these hidden treasures all over the city and it is so much fun. 

i love the tradition of seeing the nutcracker every year. we have an old dvd of the macaulay culkin version (please tell me you've seen it) that i absolutely have to watch every december or else it isn't really christmas. one of these days we'll shell out the big bucks to see the balanchine at the lincoln center like grown ups, but already i'm pretty sure this one has it beat. if you're the type of nerd who knows the nutcracker inside and out, the circus suite is a delightfully odd way to honor the nutcracker tradition. we loved it so much we decided to make it a new family tradition--we met the show's creators and lead dancers afterward as part of the HowAboutWe package, and they confirmed that they're planning another run for christmas 2014. i already can't wait to see it again. it was really exciting to get to meet the creators after the show. i've always gotten such a buzz from being backstage, ever since my drama club days in high school, and getting to meet to such creative, passionate people is always such a wonderful experience. it was such a neat opportunity. when we first walked in and mentioned we'd booked with HowAboutWe, the ticket lady smiled and pointed us to the best seats in the house. i should have practiced my beauty queen wave on the train, that's a little how it felt to be escorted all the way up the to the front of the house. am i gushing? i might be gushing.

a few shots from the night below. galapagos art space happens to be smack in the middle of some of the most iconic views of the city. it made for a magical night.

△ i just want you to know, this number alone was worth the trek to brooklyn.
△ this shirtless man was the tea from china. upgrade!
△ at the end the sugar plum fairy did part of her traditional dance to an arcade fire song. why not?
△ the floating kabarette is what is playing most weekends right now. (please note there is a two drink minimum for all shows at this space. two of those bad bar diet cokes is a sacrifice i am willing to make. why are bar diet cokes always so terrible? i feel like there is probably a real sensible reason for this.) p.s. brandon wasn't feeling too "photogenic" that night, he was strictly in the -pher mood, and not the -phed. you know. you win some you lose some.

i've always said it, brooklyn is for lovers. it was so nice to sneak in a quick, totally impulsive yet still completely romantic evening with my husband in the borough where it all started. (for our next date we are going horseback riding in the country, and HO-LY HANNAH. i am so excited i could cry.)

thank you as always to HowAboutWe, who sponsored this post, and are offering $50 off your first date when you sign up with the promo link HERE. (applies to new members only, expires 03/31/2014.)


  1. aw, what a good time! this is how i feel about chicago where my husband and i met and fell in love. :)

  2. Looks like fun, can't wait to check out the galapagos art space next time I'm in NY.

  3. I usually never comment because well... You're just so big and important... But. I just needed you to know that today, like most days, I had 30 some plus posts to read and I saved yours for last. Because they are always magic. Everything.

    What a great night! My list of places to visit in the city is growing thanks to you but I'll check them off one by one. Yes I shall.

  4. Bar diet cokes are so bad because they are very light on carbonation and very heavy on the syrup. It's so you can taste the flavor of the soda when it's mixed with alcohol.

  5. Bar diet cokes are the WORST. They use a soda gun- those things are never calibrated right. (slash cleaned, sorry I went there.) And always seems like they don't use enough ice. Ice is free, people.

  6. That last pic of you is adorbs. And agree to all the above, bar diet coke is the worst. But then again, I'm all about the can anyways so anything else just is blegh

  7. What a fabulous idea, it sounds like an awesome night and yes, there's nothing so great as discovering hidden wonderfulness in your own city!

    Can I tell you how much I love these photos....my favourite is the one of you with the NYC cab & the Empire State in the background....SO New York!!

    Happy New Year, 2014 had better be good to you!! Xx

  8. um, macaulay culkin nutcracker?! whaa?? i grew up watching the mikhail barishnikov one, but i saw the maurice sendak one on netflix this year. LOVED. also saw it performed by ballet west, it was definitely the highlight of my season. this brooklyn version you saw looks AMAZING. color me jelly. also - LOVE YOUR FACE. seriously, those brows are killa. that pic of you by the poster is probably one of my faves.

  9. I wish wish wish How About We was in Cleveland!!! Maybe one day!!!


  10. looks to have been absolutely lovely!

  11. H O L Y M O L Y. It would be an understatement if I said I loved your pictures. Geez! They are fantastic.
    Ps. Love your style! So dang cute.

    xo- Lexie


  12. oh this is the coolest. these photos are so fun—i really love the bridge/bricks. you capture nyc so well. i'm definitely bookmarking this show for next christmas!

  13. Looooove this! I've been wanting to check out Galapagos and just never get around to it. Will definitely have to check it out, and I'd love to see this event next year!

  14. how fun! i wish this service was available in smaller cities! you guys are doing such neat things! :)

  15. Okay, it is killing me... the main character's name in the Nutcracker is CLARA, not Marie! Rant over. Sounds like it was a really cool, fun interpretation of the very traditional ballet!

    1. oh my gosh I totally had to look this up, I was sure it was Marie! it turns out both are true, it was rewritten in 1847 to remove a lot of the darker elements and for whatever reason the daughter was called Marie. it looks like it is Marie in the Balanchine version but not in many others. fascinating! I had no idea. technically I think you're right, since originally it was supposed to be Clara. thanks for sending me on the fun read this morning! xo

  16. This all looks and sounds like so much fun! And you look beyond adorable! Loving your entire casual outfit!
    And to comment on the above, I had no idea that there was a Marie and Clara. I thought that it was always Clara. Love learning new things ;)
    xo TJ


  17. I hate being THAT guy... But where is that perfect striped top from? Forgive me.

  18. Man oh man, I love the way you write. One of the few blogs I actually enjoy reading these days. Thanks for sharing! Love from Cambridge, UK

  19. Bar soda always sucks because it usually comes from a post-mix tap (here in the UK anyway!). Basically it's soda water mixed with cheap syrup. ALSO, interesting fact... Did you know that coca-cola (I imagine diet too) has different grades? So like they put the best grade in the old school glass bottles and the worst stuff in the big 2L bottles! Love your blog x

  20. i have to ask! where is your hat from? sooo cute!

  21. i have to ask.. where is your hat from? soooo cute!


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