Saturday, July 27, 2019

Newborn Baby Essentials for the Practical Millennial City-Dwelling New Parent

OK, we're 3 months into this adventure, here are the top items we recommend for the big-city dwelling new parents.

These are recommendations I did NOT get from any other parents but I would describe as lifesavers and all these we really like and would recommend to our friends (hence this post).

Pampers Pure Water Wipes (BULK)

These are hands down our favorite, pampers knows how to make the fabric correctly and they add next to nothing to these wipes that will irritate your lil bug. We tried a few things and found many ways to get diaper rash with these it all cleared up and they are relatively cheap. (You can go crazy trying to get pure products and spend a bloody fortune). Won't name drop specific brands, but many of the items on the shelves at the pharmacy will irritate the crap out of your baby, many of the wipes at organic money-pit shops will literally cost $2 per diaper change. These are a happy medium, buy them by the crate, no rash no worries.

Bath Kneeling Pad

You'll realize after about 3 days with a newborn kneeling on a bath mat, towel, tile floor is just unsustainable. A gardening kneeling pad is cheap and literally saves your knees. We like this one, no frills, very durable, easy on the knees.

Baby Side Snap Bodysuit Set, 100% Cotton Boy Girl Unisex Kimono Onesie, 4 Pack

These are our little one's favorite. The sleeve mittens are critical as he spends a lot of time in the middle of the night trying to chew his hands. Style-wise our baby seems to prefer looking like he's straight out of the gym rather than straight out of daycare and they are super easy to wash and hard to stain in a socially unacceptable way. We have worked our way through every size of these. Our favorite by far.

Uppababy Vista - The ULTIMATE Walk-in-the-park Stroller

If you've ever used an Uppababy stroller, you know these are the Landrover of strollers. For a Manhattan apartment, one of these costs a pretty penny per month to park inside, but man they drive like luxury. If I'm out in the park for 3 hours, this stroller is a dream and the child loves it too. Simple enough Grandma can figure it out, sturdy enough for some long miles. NOTE: Very, very good resale value esp. in a big city.

You Can also accessorize this stroller with the Uppababy Snack Tray

hOmeLabs 70 Pint 4,000 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier for Extra Large Rooms and Basements - Efficiently Removes Moisture, Mold, Mildew and Allergens

Honorable mention, our 1st floor apartment has some humidity problems, this brand is really effective for getting humidity where it should be. Save yourself the consumer reports subscription and you can believe us that after 8 hours of research this one works well. According to other reviewers, their customer support is better than LG, Honeywell and Frigidaire.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Christmas Gifts for the Nerdy New Yorker

So after being asked a number of times "What do you want for Christmas?" I figured I'd make a list and send it out to the internet in hope that the elves read this. Above all, I really want some wood, a lesson on Dad's table saw, the Forgotten New York book ( is my favorite website on the internet). I also have a fascination with vactrols lately that is hard to satiate. I've put two more varieties on this list and you can't go wrong with fluorescent pink earplugs if you live in the city! I bought ten jars of these a few years back, on the last jar! OK elves have fun!

  • Forgotten New York - This book is amazing!
  • We need 4 of these cables - 3.5mm to 1/4" Mono
  • Guitar Grimoire Progressions/Improvisations Book (Purple)
  • 2 pieces of 8 foot 1" x 4" pieces of wood from the Lumber Store
  • Electronics Stuff from Synthrotek for the stocking!
  • Mack's Dreamgirl Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair, Pink
  • Darn Tough Warlock Socks
  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    After a productive, exhausting and super creative 2.5-year break at Berklee College of Music, Light Minutes Away is back to curating some exclusive performances!

    We are psyched to present a cross-discipline performance XENAI, which engages electronic music with vocals, live painting performance and analog video synthesis.

    XENAI is a trilogy series centered around the ideas of inception, challenges and assertion of a new identity.

    Thursday, July 12, 3pm
    921 Boylston St.


    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Shin Splints! What has worked for me...

    So here at Light-Minutes Away, our lifestyle often involves pushing our human physical limits a bit beyond design and sometimes this results in needing to do some self-tuning/correction.

    If you're hurt/in pain from running, we highly recommend finding a good sports practitioner to set you straight and understand you situation exactly.  (We are not physicians and don't want to set you astray)

    However, here's a little info from my experience with posterior (inside of the calf) shin splints that I seem to get every few years when pushing my limits (hard speed work, striving for too many "PRs" (personal records), long runs of increasing distance too quickly).   My physical situation is obviously unique, I have my own knee problems, back problems, hip problems, stride issues... but here's what works for me.  (First, I went to a great sports therapist and most everything I learned I got from a professional)

    Shin splints (Or MTSS - Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome) usually get their start when something is extremely tight and out of whack.  I keep a pretty detailed running log and looking back when I have been injured, I see a few little blips of me complaining about "tight hamstring" or "calves disturbingly tight" about 2 weeks before the shin splints took hold.

    For me a knot or two generally form on the inside (posterior) of the lower leg under the tibia bone.  It gets tighter and tighter until all of a sudden it's a significant problem. It might feel like the bone is "broken" thats for good reason, the bone itself is swelling from the pressure of tearing the meat off of it. 

    Some informal definitions: 
    Stress reactions -> when it feels like you have a broken leg and you sometimes fall/stumble from the pain while walking wearing street clothes.  If the bone is painful to touch (especially after activity) this can become a dangerous situation if left unattended.

    Stress fractures -> stress reactions that get out of control then show up on the x-ray as little cracks (when I'm reaching for a cane/crutch, this has usually resulted in my doctor telling me to shut down as I've got stress fractures)

    Treatments that have worked for me:

    I am a huge fan of massage for shin splints, 3x a week for 15 minutes straight (use a timer, time slows down when doing massage)

    then I do 15 minutes of modalities... ice, stim, etc.  (I tend to not do any heat therapy)

    Massage technique depends on anterior or posterior, i have suffered from posterior pain and the knots get pretty extreme.  Toning down the intensity of the running is critical, but stopping entirely seems to make no difference for me and stopping seems to prolong my recovery. 2 of my last 5 seasons have been very tough with the shin splints.  In those cases, I just cut speed work and brought the long runs down to <2/3 normal long run distance.
    • Here's a decent massage technique for posterior shin splint (find the knot, work it out).  I recommend finding a pro that does it well though and learning from them.
    For me, shin splints are the symptom of other stuff going wrong, like ultra tight calves or hamstrings.  You need to find your root cause (95% chance its in the calves or hamstrings, hips or all three)  For me, the hamstrings are the root cause of my plantar/shin splints.

    Meb's exercises in this video are a staple for me and have kept recent years less riddled with injury.

    If you are having pain or are in recovery, Ibuprofin and ICE immediately after a run.

    My #1 advice: Get real ice packs, use them ever single day!

    The seasons I have had bad shin splints, I've needed to ice after every single run for 3-5 months.  

    DO NOT HESTITATE, BUY THESE! --- not cheap, but much cheaper than physical therapy sessions and you're going to need 100s of "massage/modality sessions" in your life, so just bite the bullet and do the icing right.

    2x Patterson Medical 11x14 cold packs --- i generally ice both shins at once...

    Chattanooga Nylatex Wraps (2.5" x 36" for shins is great)

    My Therapist uses this, I think it works very well. Biotone Massage Creme

    Ice Ice Baby!

    Sunday, January 3, 2016

    Iceland Travel Tips

    Iceland. Is. Awesome.

    Amazing volcanic rock terrain, black sand beaches, dramatic any-photographer-envy lighting, volcanic belts and wonderful people. It’s beautiful, unpredictable, ecologically clean, unique in so many ways and independently strong!

    The first thing you should do is rent a car and buy all possible insurance they offer. Volcanic rock and ash are nasty, and if you want to go outside Reykjavik (which you certainly do) you will inevitably end up driving on unpaved roads, and those roads aren't smooth and are full of sharp rocks.


    Spend a few days in Reykjavik - it's a great way to get to know the country, its people and the culture.

    1. Walk up and down Laugavegur during the day and at night, which is the main street in Reykjavik with lots of cool shops, bars and restaurants. There is a nice cafe Sandholt (36 Laugavegur) with great pastries and a cozy lunch spot that serves delicious soup in bread bowls Svarta Kaffird (54 Laugavegur).

    2. Walk around Downtown Reykjavik. Stop by the Reykjavik Arts Museum and HARPA Concert Hall (check out their performance schedule). Grillmarkadurinn (Laekjargata 2A) and Fiskmarkadurinn (Adalstraeti 12), by the same owner, have fantastic grill and fish. A much more casual but delicious place with local food and great selection of beer is Islenski Barinn (Ingólfsstræti 1).

    3. One other great spots for a quick but delicious bite is Old Harbor. Sagreifinn is in all guidebooks for a reason - you should absolutely try their lobster soup and fish skewers. Cafe Haiti has some good sandwiches to snack on (and we ran into Bjork there, haha).

    4. AURORA. Go to Aurora Reykjavik - Northern Lights Center. You will learn everything about aurora hunting there: from what websites to follow to what camera settings to use. Talk to the workers there and ask any questions! We found that the best places near Reykjavik to see Aurora are Grotta Lighthouse (and near by parking lots) and anywhere off the road toward Keflavik airport. Be aware that besides strong aurora activity, you need clear sky. Iceland gets a lot of precipitations and is frequently covered with clouds that prevent you from seeing any of the beautiful aurora lights.

    The two sites we followed daily:
    - For aurora forecast :"Aurora Forecast" phone app
    - For Reykjavik aurora and clouds forecast:

    The result of our deliberate aurora studying and hinting!!! Grotta Lighthouse in Reykjavik.

    Right next to Aurora Reykjavik is Saga Museum (a quick history lesson on Iceland) which also has a great restaurant good for coffee of dinner Matur og Drykkur (Grandagarður, 2).

    5. If you want to do some shopping, go to a mall. I loved Kringlan!

    Reykjavik murals

    Beyond Reykjavik

    The main reason why yo want to go to Iceland is it's amazing nature, unique terrain and unpredictable climate!

    Once outside of Reykjavik, there is pretty much one main road that circles the country. In about 5 hours we reached Vik, a beautiful South Iceland town known for its Black Sand Beaches. Near by, there is a well known volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which you can hike or snowmobile on. Check out numerous beautiful waterfalls on the way down south (Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and others), check out Solheimasandur plane crash site and just jump out of the car anywhere along the road to take photos, cause it’s breathtaking!

    The aurora watching outside of Reykjavik must be amazing!!! We only captured aurora in Reykjavik, as it was raining during the night we traveled down south.

    Black sand beach in Vik

    Things we didn’t do, but really want to be back for…

    Hopefully you will make it to the east coast and will see drifting ice. Horseback riding on the short Viking Icelandic horses looks like a ton of fun. Check out adorable puffins on Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), I believe the season is April-September.


    Great blogs/websites on Iceland to check out:

    Sunday, October 25, 2015

    CMJ2015 Recap

    CMJ week never felt so much fun - it flew by way too fast!!  New York weather cooperated like never before, the new CMJ homebase, Dream Hotel, was chick and welcoming (though I miss badly the charm of the NYC facilities and the view onto the Washington Square Park) and there was absolutely no shortage of fun people and awesome bands!

    Tuesday, October 13

    Knowing the spread of the CMJ venues, I started my CMJ experience with a short commute, just a block from the Dream Hotel, to Highline Ballroom.  Not knowing what to expect, I was absolutely charmed to see the tasteful, beautiful and very musical performance by a female electro-pop duo from Montreal, Canada Milk and Bone.  Their live performance is so much more deep and heartfelt, however, let me share one of their tunes with you anyway...

    Wednesday, October 14

    Wednesday was a full on college radio day with informative panels and award ceremony for the best and most achieved college radio stations.  I was lucky to catch a short performance by a brilliant Australian band SAFIA as a part of Sounds of Australia afternoon showcase.  So good!!!

    Thursday, October 15

    Just before my trip to Iceland Airwaves, I was psyched to catch an Icelandic band Mammut @ LPR - meditational and medicinal, but wholly shit with so much drive!! 

    I topped off my Thursday with an overwhelming show by Glass Animals @ Terminal 5 - tribal, chanting, jazzy, sing-along, dance-along hip hop tunes... whah? totally amazing!!

    Friday, October 16

    Friday was a very special day for me of getting ready for the one and only CMJ show - LightMinutes Away Showcase :)  Here are two bands that I really wanted to see, but will have to reserve this pleasure until next time: a Belgian band Balthazar and  a local synth duo from New York (Yeah!) Cardiknox... 

    Saturday, October 17

    Needless to say, Light-Minutes Away Showcase @ Matchless was one hell of a night! We totally packed the place with more than 120 people coming out and grooving to our very special all Brooklyn-based line up: Carbon Mirage, Satorii, Letters to Nepal, Cassandra Sun and yours truly OLYA

    Sunday, September 27, 2015

    SAT/10/17 - Light-Minutes Away Official CMJ 2015 SHOWCASE @ Matchless

    Light-Minutes Away is super psyched to be back to CMJ this year! We will also be celebrating our first full year of existence and music curation! YEAH!! Saturday, October 17, doors open at 6:30pm.

    Come, join us for our 1ST YEAR BIRTHDAY BASH with some of our favorite bands!

    11:00 - Carbon Mirage
    10:00 - Satorii
    9:00 - OLYA
    7:15 - Cassandra Sun
    7:00 - Lorena Vargas

    RSVP on Facebook:

    CMJ Music Marathon is one of the biggest music festivals in NYC and the country with over 1,400 live performances in more than 80 Manhattan and Brooklyn night clubs and theaters! (

    Meanwhile, listen to our compilation playlist of all the bands:

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Light-Minutes Away official NORTHSIDE FESTIVAL Showcase - Sat, June 13, 2015 @ Matchless!!!

    Light-MInutes Away is totally psyched to throw its first official Northside Festival showcase this year, presenting some of our favorite bands at the festival that defines Brooklyn indie music culture! There won't be shortage of good music and, needles to say, there won't be shortage of bands who will entertain you both in English and Russian. 

    8pm - Krussia
    9pm - Swampa_ZZ
    10pm - Satorii
    11pm - OLYA (Album Release)

    Listen to all the bands here:

    Friday, May 8, 2015

    Light-Minutes Away Coming to NORTHSIDE FESTIVAL - Sat, June 13!!!

    I am totally psyched that we are doing our first Northside Festival Showcase this year! It's edgy and hip, goofy and bold, awesome and adventurous - it's a music festival that I've been following for 5 years now...

    So, Northside, here we come!

    8pm - Krussia
    9pm- Swampa_ZZ
    10pm - Satorii
    11pm - Olya (Album Release)

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    Brooklyn-based indie-pop duo OLYA announces the release of its new 7-song EP "Utopia". The digital version of the album will be released on iTunes on June 1, followed by the album release party on Saturday, June 13. The album release party will headline Light-Minutes Away official Northside Festival showcase at Bar Matchless! 

    The duo is fronted by a singer/songwriter/producer OLYA, who fully recorded and produced "Utopia" at her studio. Writing in both her native Russian and English, she "makes her mark on the synth-pop world with one of the most unique takes on the genre yet" (Jonathan Frahm).