The Sensation Collective’s “Best of” 2011 – trips, festivals, & NYC favorites

It’s the end of the year and that can only mean a few things: thinking up resolutions you won’t stick to, emailing relatives you never speak to thanking them for sending you a holiday card of their children you’ve never met (or in my case, dogs), and “Best Of” lists – which is truly the best of all 3 mentioned above.  Andy and myself spent all morning recapping our favorite events SHAW Promotion has been involved with this year and what we came up with was a really fun year. I am so grateful that I get to do such interesting things because of my line of work and also just in every day activities, so I thought it would only be appropriate to make a personal list of my favorite things that happened in 2011 to end this year properly.  This actually came very easy for me because I photograph almost every thing I do/attend, so all I had to do was look through my iPhoto at pictures from this past year  which was a blast. (Note to self: New new year’s resolution, start using Light Room.)

12. Monika came to town!

My best friend from my childhood who moved across the country 7 years ago came to visit at the beginning of the year to celebrate our birthday which are just a couple of days apart, a tradition we use to do. She brought her sister and I called up our other best friend, Galkin, to join us for a night and it was really a great way to start out a new year.

11. 2nd Annual Poconos Camping trip

Sponsored by two of our favorites, Sailor Jerry Rum and PBR, 12 of our friends from NYC and beyond gathered in the mountains on the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania to enjoy 3 days of August fun – and RAIN!! Even though being wet this entire weekend and sleeping in a tent full of puddles was a drag, we made the best of it and our rafting trip down the river was the ultimate highlight.

10. The Inn at Lake Joseph

The Inn at Lake Joseph is probably one of my favorite places right now.  Nestled only 2 hours in upstate New York, the Inn consists of a giant old manor with several  barns and carriage houses converted into private studio rooms to stay in, each with a kitchen, a fire place, and a giant jacuzzi bath.  Surrounding the Inn and rooms is acres of private property for you to roam around on all of the fun equipment which is all inclusive  (we recommend the cross country skis).  It’s definitely very pricey, but everything is included (a sit down breakfast every morning and raiding the fully stocked fridge whenever you want), so it really is worth it.  Did we mention its extremely dog friendly?!!
9. Rumblers Car Show
A great end of summer event, the Rumblers Car Show takes place under the BQE on Meeker Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Dozens of cars and families come out each year to show off their customized classic cars and motorcycles.  Too bad the Hell’s Angel’s got into a rumble with the cops in riot gear which immediately shut the whole thing down.  ‘Til next year!

8. New York Scooter Rally

Every year Andy takes his beautiful 1975 TS 125, “Kelly”, out to the NYC Scooter Rally for a weekend of fun scooter related events, including the famous ride through Times Square. It varies year to year, but on average around 50 scooters show up from all over the tri-state area to attend the festivities. Two years ago would have been my first rally, but we just so happened to get into a hit and run on our Vespa (the next 6 months were spent on a crutches/cane combination for me), so I was super stoked to be able to attend this year. And next year. And the year after that and so on. Hopefully soon I’ll be riding my own scooter.

7. Yankees game

Now I know what you’re thinking, a Yankees game?! Well at least that’s what I was thinking because I’m really no fan of sports, however when we were offered a pair of free tickets from a client, we jumped on the motorcycle and made our way up to Yankee Stadium.  When we arrived clueless and armed with a pair of tickets, we were directed to the VIP area where we amazingly sat 6 rows from the field at 3rd base where we stuffed ourselves with complimentary food.  Did you know they have TV’s of the game going on in the mirror of the VIP lounge bathroom so you can wash your hands and not miss a run? Going to a regular game will never be the same.
6. New Orleans Girls Week Halloween

Every trip has their ups and downs, and while I got extremely sick the latter part of my trip, I must say Halloween in New Orleans is possibly the funnest thing place to be.   5 of my girlfriends and myself booked a trip this past October and spent Halloween weekend  between the French Quarter, the Garden District, and the Marigny enjoying day drinking and greasy food while partying it up at night in the streets. Literally everything you see is awesome in this town and I couldn’t imagine a better time to be there.

5. ATP Festival

All Tomorrow’s Parties has been one of SHAW Promotion’s clients for the past few years and this is the first time we have been able to go, so we graciously accepted press/photo passes and took a trip down to Asbury Park, NJ for 3 days to shoot bands such as Portishead, Public Enemy, The Horrors, The Pop Group, Beak>, and my personal fav: a late night Shepard Fairey DJ set at Asbury Lanes.  It was my first photo pit experience and hopefully not my last, because I had SO much fun and was able to learn a lot.  The second best part, staying next door to Flava Flav.

4. Fire Island Vacation

Our good friend John invited Andy, myself, and of course our 2 kids dogs out to Fire Island, NY to spend a few days with a few good friends of his in a beautiful house on the beach.  Although Elvis got really sick (maybe because he ate all of the sand on the beach), and Andy had a fight with a ceiling fan and lost, this was definitely a beautiful, fun dog friendly vacation.   Can’t wait to go back!

3. Big Up Festival

My extremely talented cousin over at Shireworks Productions co-produced a 4 day camping festival on a beautiful 100 acre farm in upstate New York this past July called Big Up.  During the day it was a family friendly jam fest with markets, local food vendors, and sweat lodges while at night it transforms into a giant lit up dance party consisting of 4 different stages with amazing music.  We were so grateful to be able to experience something like this and hope to see more of these in the future.

2.  Road trip!

Back in May, Andy, myself and a few friends headed out on a company road trip to Austin, TX to attend the  SxSW festival.   After one week in Texas, Andy and I decided we weren’t finished with our vacation, and considering the rest of the country was a giant hail storm, we booked it south to New Orleans and then followed the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico in search of the bluest water and the whitest beaches.  We peaked at Panama City, FL and after a second week of traveling, headed back up North home.  What an amazing adventure.

1. Engaged!!

Well obviously nothing tops this. It has been truly an amazing year for me, I cannot wait to see what life has in store for me!  Live life and love life.  Be kind to strangers and treat others as you would want to be treated.  I wish everyone the healthy and happy new year.

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