cozy fireplace coffee bar in NYC & the BEST book you've heard of in a WHILE

today is the first snow of the season in nyc and although i love snow and how beautiful it is when everything's cloaked in white, it's a bit early for it and i get the feeling that everyone in the city right now is like "really?" Snow or not, with temps in the 30s there's no better place you can find yourself than in a cozy, hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, and one with a fireplace in it is just, well, everything you need in your life right now. next time you're meeting a girlfriend for coffee downtown, head to the Marlton Espresso Bar. It's inside the boutique Marlton Hotel and it's a couple blocks north of Washington Square Park. the address is 5 W 8th St New York NY 10011. get there early if you want to sit by the fireplace. the place fills up fast and gets buzzing with that energy only found in new york B)

the book i'm reading in the pictures i've posted here isnt the ACTUAL one i am about to talk about, because it can't be yet. Someday it will be though! someday soon i'll be reading it like this! allow me to explain:

i've been wanting to write about this book for awhile. our old neighbor in kansas city (prairie village to be exact) is part founder of a publishing company that created this book. it's called the Acts of Good journal, and here's what it is. imagine a publishing company called "inspire good publishing" and their mission is to, well, yeah, inspire good. i know you would have never guessed that.
the book is a journal of sorts that you buy, and thus it starts with you. you register the book online when you get it. super easy to do. next, you think of something good to do for someone. it can be baking someone a cake, taking someone out to dinner, mowing someone's lawn, building someone a house (kidding), just an intentional act of good that you do for someone else. it can be someone you dont know that well, or someone you do know well. our act of good was letting a friend of a friend (who is now our friend) stay at our place for a week while here in nyc. you write briefly in the book about your experience of doing good for that person, maybe what you learned from it etc, what it meant to you. you then give the book to that person that you did good for, and explain the concept of the book them. now that person has (gets) to go out and do an act of good for someone else and write about it. and then they give the book to that person and so on and so forth. the great thing about the book is that it might start with someone you know but typically immediately from that person it goes to another person who you don't know from Adam. they give it to another person you dont know from Adam and so on and so forth. so when the book is complete, you (whoever bought the book so us in this example), have a compilation from people all over the world who have no connection except that they shared in the joy of doing something good for someone else and writing what that experience was like for them in YOUR book. i LOVE the fact that aside from the obvious, that the book inspires acts of good and that's amazing in and of itself, the book also requires you to (usually) have real life conversations to describe how the book works, when you are passing it off to someone. of course the irony is that i am writing this article on a computer screen right now and not telling anyone physically about the book face to face at this moment, but i just had to write about this because i've been SO excited about the book for SO long and i really want to spread the good news of a positive cool thing like this (possible christmas gift?). and in my defense i have actually literally told DOZENS of people about this book one on one, especially when i first learned about it because i was SO excited about it and i thought it was just so awesome, lol. and so the last act of good is for the last recipient of the book to print off the pre-paid shipping label (which the book tells you how to easily obtain online), and mail it back to it's original owner. then you (the owner) have the perfect coffee table book to enjoy. our friend who stayed with us who we gave the book to is australian and headed back there soon, so our book is already logging some major mileage. we cant wait for the day when it comes home! ;)
the book again is called the Acts of Good journal and can be found at different Paper Source stores (the Paper Source at Rockefeller Center has them), or most easily at

would love to hear what you think about the idea of this book :)  also if you've experienced any fireplaces as cozy as this one in the city. :)


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