Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Fridays with Kristen Bell and Maroon 5

Happy summer! After the longest winter ever here in NYC, it's officially summer and it feels pretty damn good. There's something about going through a really brutal winter that makes you appreciate the great weather we're finally having even more.

Most Fridays, I've been heading out to my Montauk house but this past Friday, I stayed in the city for an assignment that turned out to be really awesome. American Express did an "Epic EveryDay Getaway" contest where winners were chosen via social media to have a weekend of unique experiences in NYC.

The contest was hosted by Kristen Bell and I got to hang with the winners on Friday as they did SoulCycle in the middle of Grand Central, got glammed at Milk Studios with blowouts from DryBar, makeup by Sephora and dresses from Rent the Runway capped off by a super intimate concert with Maroon 5.

Soul Cycle is always a fun workout (if you're not familiar with it, picture spinning class meets a dance party) but doing it in the middle of a legendary venue like Grand Central was amazing. Kristen did the class with the contest winners, along with Real Housewives' of New York newcomer Kristen Taekman. Two Kristens for the price of one!

Speaking of Kristen Bell, congratulations are in order for her because news just broke that she's expecting her second baby (which explains why she was wearing baggy clothes all day). During our interview for SheKnows, the actress said she loved getting (and keeping) bigger boobs while pregnant. "They get like monster and they're up high." she told me. "It's what I imagine having breast implants would be like, but you get them for a year. It's dope." Looks like she gets to keep them for another year now, so mazel tov.

All kidding aside, Kristen was super sweet, down-to-earth and a great interview. She took a lot of time to chat with fans and pose for pics and you can tell she's just a cool chick. I'll post the link to the full story when it's live.

Later that night, it was time for the Maroon 5 concert at the Bowery Ballroom. It was my first time seeing a show at this LES venue and it's pretty small and intimate...there's really not a bad seat in the house. I got into Maroon 5 back in high school before they were everywhere and remember seeing them at small venues like the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, so it was cool to get to see them again in a similar venue even though they're huge now.

Adam Levine was sexy on stage back in the day and I'm pleased to report he's still got it (along with a full sleeve of tattoos, but I digress). Say what you will about him (that bleached blonde hair was not his best look), but he's a great performer.

They played a bunch of their hits new and old, as well as their latest single "Maps" for the first time. But I think my favorite moment was when Adam did an acoustic version of "She Will Be Loved" before being joined by the whole band. Cheesy, yes, but the boy's got pipes. Video to come but in the meantime, enjoy this GIF.

I got to head to the beach the next morning, so I feel like I got the best of both worlds last weekend. As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been doing some Hamptons reporting so I'm excited to share my very first story for Travel + Leisure. I have more coverage coming out next month so I'll post that in the coming weeks.

Speaking of live music and Montauk, here's a video from Surf Lodge's concert with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros a few weeks ago. Surf Lodge is one of my favorite places on earth to see live music and if you watch this video, you'll see why. Edward Sharpe is always so good live and it doesn't get much better than seeing them at Surf. There's even a marriage proposal mid-concert.

Hope everyone's summer is off to a great start so far!
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