FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Spring at Last

by Yasser Ogando

Apr 20, 2024

With the rain came the flowers, but what a lovely transition either way!

Since my trip to Florida last month, my weeks have been filled with fun activities and the palpable joy that comes with spring. Despite rainy days and a busy season at work, the transition to warmer weather has been more enjoyable this year.

Well, what have I been up to, you may ask? Some of my recent highlights include exploring more of the Chestnut Hill area; a full weekend of activities with my family in New York City; Sunday mornings at the market; and lots of colorful, home-cooked meals.

FoodChestnut Hill is a little gem of a neighborhood located on the northwest edge of Philadelphia, just above Germantown. Home to a mix of old and new money, college students and artists, there’s plenty here to see and do. Recently, as the temperatures have warmed, my fiancé and I have been wandering through the town, enjoying a drink at Char & Stave, an espresso and whiskey bar; grabbing a delicious Parisian sandwich from Matines Café; or perusing one of the many weekend markets such as the Clover Market they held this Sunday. With more than 90 carefully vetted vendors, the Clover Market travels through the Philadelphia region, setting up shop in Chestnut Hill; Bryn Mawr; Kennett Square; and Collingswood, New Jersey. We had a delightful time taking in the warm, toasty sun and the vibrant artwork adorning the many market stalls. If you are anywhere near one of their stops and on the hunt for anything vintage, definitely check them out!Food

SpringOn another weekend, Nathan and I found ourselves in New York City to visit my family. This time, however, we decided we wanted to explore more of Chelsea Piers, so we bundled up the kids, hopped in the car and headed downtown. Parking was surprisingly easy to find on the street, and we were out by the piers on Little Island in no time. Little Island is an aptly named little green oasis built on small concrete piers jutting over the Hudson River. A large part of its appeal also lies within its function as an outdoor performing arts venue, and you can find a complete list of upcoming performances on its website. The adults were loving the views and the park, but the kids were getting hangry, so it was time to grab a bite. Luckily, Market 57 is located right next door on Pier 57!

Market 57 is a food hall home to more than 12 vendors with cuisines varying from Jamaican to Asian and Mediterranean to American. The whole hall has a trendy vibe to it, and it is packed, it seems, at all times of day. We were, fortunately, able to grab enough seats and enjoyed some great food. With the kids a lot happier, we were able to pop over to the High Line for a post-lunch stroll. It was so nice to have a place for them to run around and let some energy out away from the worry of cars and trucks and street-level danger. Once we got everyone back home uptown, Nathan and I decided to head back out and meet some of our friends at Locksmith’s Bar — a Washington Heights staple since the aughts known far and wide for its burgers and fun nightlife scene.

FoodOf course, not every weekend can be so eventful (and thank God for that!). Sometimes, just staying in and taking care of your space, getting shopping done for the week and cooking a few wonderful meals can be the perfect weekend. I’m proud to say Nathan and I have been having those weekends often this spring. It’s been nice to share routine chores together and be each other’s task buddy to make even the regular moments enjoyable . . . not to mention the food we have been cooking up — like these spicy salmon bowls! Both of us decided we actually prefer our food to take out — and again, because we have been approaching the cooking as a team, it has been less daunting to try new recipes or take on cooking challenges. Next up, we’re going to attempt our own flatbread for homemade falafel wraps. There’s just something about seeing the produce get fresher in the store and feeling that warm sun that makes cooking (well, let’s be real, eating) good food so much more enjoyable.Food

What are some activities you do to get into a spring mood?

— Yasser Ogando, executive director, media

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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