About this Site

Leslie Beslie is a personal blog of me, Leslie. I share articles and thoughts on where I live and things I like. This includes NYC, books, finances, running, music, cats, and drawing.

Other Projects: French Toast Brigade | Life & Spending 2016 Weekly Planner | College Football Daybreak Podcast

Life Updates: Happy New Year from Coney Island & 2014 Best Of…

2015 Polar Bear Swim on Coney Island

ready to do the polar bear swim at coney island

Ready to take a dip in the ocean to ring in 2015!

Just like previous years, I joined 3,000 other idiots, some of which were my friends, to jump in the 45 degree ocean on New Year’s Day on Coney Island. It was great! It was cold! This year seemed to be the coldest yet but, who knows, maybe I say that every year. I prepared better this year by having a pair of super cozy warm wool socks ready for me when I got out of the water. No matter what you do, your toes take the brunt of the cold and can be painful while trying to warm back up. The rest of you isn’t so bad.

As always, it was a blast! In true Coney Island fashion, there were plenty of characters and out-right weirdos, which makes the whole event great. Also, having a friend there who was not jumping in helped a lot. My friend Lauryn was our photo & wardrobe assistant. We were all too cold and wet to try to use a camera. Besides, your brain is telling you “get warm get warm get warm!” not “let’s relax and hang out and take photos”. It’s survival mode!

If you were on the fence about it this year, you have a whole other year to reconsider joining us for the best way to ring in the new year! Here are a bunch of photos to give you a sense of what the whole crazy event is like.

gladiator costume on coney island polar bear swim

metro card guy

not santa claus on coney island

the crowd on coney island polar bear swim 2015

The crowd on coney island polar bear swim


MSU v. Baylor in the Cotton Bowl (College Football)

GoGreen on coney island

Go Green!

The MSU bowl game started at 12:30p but I was still on the beach by then. So I wore all my MSU apparrel to show my support. And to help them win, of course. After the swim and delicious lunch at Oxcart Tavern, I got home just in time to watch the fourth quarter of the game.

When I turned on the game, the score was 41-21 Baylor and I was very sad. I kept my hoodie on, put on my MSU cap, and watched the game hoping that we would at least make it a closer game. Well, the last quarter of this game was some very exciting football!

First, MSU recovered possession of the ball after an off-sides kick. Yay! Then Connor Cook blew the play by throwing an interception. Boo. Then our defense forced Baylor to try for a field goal. And we blocked it. Yay! Then Cook threw a touchdown-pass with 17 seconds left in the game. Yay! Then we won! Yay! MSU scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to Baylor’s none. We won by a point! It was very exciting!


2014 Yearly Blog Best Of…

I didn’t want to write a full wrap-up post on this but here are the highlights of various things I’ve written about here in the past year. Enjoy!

January: Visited the NYC Transit Museum, Created a Complete Budget Spreadsheet, Created a Book Tracking Spreadsheet

February: Use NYC Libraries, Wrote about Working in a Factory, Easy Way to Eat Vegetables

March: Pinata Cake!

April: How To Make Plans Like an Adult, Cost of Cat Dental Cleaning, My Experience Going to a Psychic

May: World’s Fair Park in Queens, Ran the Brooklyn Half

June: Visited Washington DC, Few Thoughts on the Diva Cup, Using MTA Bus Time

July: Created a Goal Tracking Spreadsheet, Wrote About My First Year With Depression in NYC

August: My final thoughts on What to Do When Parents Ask for Money

September: How did You Spend Your 30th Birthday?, I redecorated my apartment with Cat Friendly Furniture, Rent Stabilization in NYC

October: Visited the Museum of American Finance, Created a Emergency Contact Sheet, What Have You Done You Didn’t Think You’d Do?

November: Went to the Lehigh v Lafayette Game at Yankee Stadium, Finding the Perfect Balance of Creation vs Consumption, Thinking about What It means to be in my 30’s and single

December: Free Tools for Learning Spanish, Use Show Don’t Tell to Focus on Goals, Yearly Financial Progress


150 Years of The Rivalry: Lehigh vs Lafayette

Lehigh vs Lafayette 150th Meeting at Yankee Stadium Tickeet

Commemorative ticket for The Rivalry ‘s 150th game at Yankee Stadium

This past weekend both schools celebrated the 150th Lehigh vs Lafayette game, coined “The Rivalry”. For the occasion, New York City baseball field Yankee Stadium was converted into a college football field specifically for this game. This has been done before, though it is rare. Last year, they filled it up with ice to become a hockey rink for the Winter Classic NHL series. For me, anytime I can go to Yankee Stadium and not have to watch baseball, is a good time.

It may seem odd that two tiny private colleges in Eastern Pennsylvania, part of the Patriot League of College Football, get the honor of being able to play at Yankee Stadium. Well, this isn’t just any college football game.


It’s About History, Not Football

College Football takes over Yankee stadium for The Rivalry 150th meeting of the Patriot League's Lehigh vs Lafayette

College Football takes over Yankee stadium for The Rivalry 150th meeting of the Patriot League’s Lehigh vs Lafayette

I love college football. And not because I love sports, but because I love history. American college football has such a rich history as a sport and to our culture. And especially on the east coast, where it all began.

The first American (college) football game was Rutgers vs Princeton in 1869 [wiki]. Some consider it the first American football game played, some denote it specific to college. Either way, the final score was Rutgers Queensmen 6, New Jersey Tigers 4. (Princeton was originally the College of New Jersey.)

Although that game in 1869 was more of a cross between rugby + soccer than American football as we know it today. Back then there weren’t helmets, trophies, or the forward pass.

Lehigh vs Lafayette

As of 2014 The Rivalry between lehigh vs lafayette has been played 150 times since 1884 with only a single interruption in 1896

Let’s move ahead sixteen years to 1869 for the very first Lehigh vs Lafayette football game. Even on Wikipedia this is coined as, simply, The Rivalry. It is the most-played football rivalry in the nation.

November 22, 2014 was the 150th time the two teams have met to play against each other. Final score Lafayette 27, Lehigh 7. This is a bit closer than the first game. The first game of “The Rivalry” was held October 25, 1884 and ended with Lafayette 50, Lehigh 0. Quite the shutout.


Live Football at Yankee Stadium

Lehigh vs Lafayette Half-Time Show at Yankee Stadium for The Rivalry 150th Game

Lehigh vs Lafayette Half-Time Show at Yankee Stadium

Watching college football at home on television, as I spend most of my Saturdays in the fall, means missing the marching band at half-time. Sometimes it is nice to hear from commentators and get caught up in the other football games. (Almost all college football games are played on Saturday.) But most of the bigger colleges have really great marching bands. Those kids work hard at coming up with original material and choreography. I wish I had more of a chance to catch it live.

So it was a special treat to see the Lehigh and Lafayette bands + choir all play together for the first time in history, during half-time. It didn’t matter that Lehigh’s marching band was small or that Lafayette had a pep band. The bands, singers, and dancers all put on a great performance. It added to the experience.

Let’s not forget these are two very small private liberal arts colleges in eastern Pennsylvania, less than 20-miles apart. Lafayette has 2,500 undergraduates, and Lehigh has 4,800.

Yankee Stadium converted into a football field for The Rivalry Lehigh vs Lafayette

Yankee Stadium converted into a football field for The Rivalry

What was I doing at a football game for schools I didn’t attend? I actually have various ties to both schools. I went to the game with a friend who did attend Lafayette, so that is who I was cheering for. Plus, as a college football fan I was not going to pass up the experience of watching a game in nyc. Something that is pretty much impossible.

The closest opportunity I have to watching live college sports is at Rutgers, in near-by New Brunswick, NJ. They may be in the B1G now but that doesn’t make them any good. I will probably catch MSU play RU in basketball later this year, but going out there for a football game, would not be worth it. I much preferred simply taking the D train to the bronx.

Also, although I did not attend either Lehigh or Lafayette, I am familiar with both cities they are located in. Bethlehemn and Easton Pennsylvania. For several years, I lived in Phillipsburg, NJ. This is “the last exit in New Jersey” as the sign says on I-78 East. It is on the NJ/PA border. And there isn’t too much to do there. So often times, our group would head into Bethlehem and meet others there. It’s a loose connection to the schools, but I’m counting it.


Lafayette Wins the 150th Game

Okay, back to the matter at hand. After half-time, Lafayette got cocky with their 21-nothing lead and let Lehigh have a touchdown. That was enough of that though. Lafayette scored another touchdown, though missed the extra point. It didn’t really matter.

Lafayette won the 150th game of The Rivalry. And since that is who I was rooting for at the time, let’s consider it a happy ending.