Life Recently: Late Summer Edition

Hi friends,

Summer certainly came and went in an instant, am I right? Mine was … ummm … interesting. There were a lot of things that happened with my family this summer that kept me busy, but along the way we still managed to have lots of NYC fun and, thanks to our plethora of weddings this fall, I was able to spend a lot of time with friends at multiple bachelorette parties and other fun events.

Here’s a bit of what’s been going on, according to my iPhone:

photo 13^^^ The gorgeous gardens at The Cloisters.

photo 12^^^ Drinks on The Refinery Hotel‘s rooftop.

photo 11^^^ Soaring high above New York City on our helicopter tour with HeliNY Tours.

photo 10^^^ Witnessing a stand-off between Penny and my friend’s cat Libbie, who Penny will be spending a lot of time with when Chris and I travel later this Fall. Hopefully they’ll eventually get on better than this photo suggests!

photo 9^^^ A little silly fun at a friend’s beautiful Red Maple Vineyard wedding over Labor Day weekend.

photo 8^^^ The amazing pink sky and white moon, as seen from my parents’ front yard. No filter needed, my friends. Amazing.

photo 7^^^ Taking a little stroll along the Hudson to The Boat Basin Cafe when a friend came for a visit.

photo 6^^^ We never got to walk the Brooklyn Bridge like we wanted to, but we did get to drive over it in a taxi ;)

photo 5^^^ Being a Broadway Baby with Lisa on our way to see This Is Our Youth.

photo 4^^^ For one of the bachelorette parties I attended this summer, we decorated our hotel room with Hawaiian-themed decor and wore tacky Hawaiian shirts, because this particular friend spent three years living there. We did a pretty dang good job, if I do say so myself!

photo 3^^^ While nightclubs certainly aren’t my thing on a regular basis, chillin’ with some old friends from high school for a couple nights at some were a lot of fun.

photo 2^^^ Atlantic City turned it on for us during one friend’s bachelorette. The weather was amazing, and we had a ton of fun.

photo 1^^^ Andddd … my little sister is engaged! ‘Nuff said ;)

And with that, I release you, summer 2014, into perpetuity. Here’s to fall. And amazing travel plans. And cooler weather. And tights and boots and sweaters and scarves. Here’s to new beginnings and saying goodbye (for now!) to friends and beloved places.

Sigh.

Back in the Borough: An Epic New York Weekend

Hi friends,

So besides the helicopter tour Chris and I took on Friday (which I talked about yesterday), we also purchased Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets to check out the amazing Garry Winogrand exhibit (if you’re in town before Sept. 21, you should seriously check it out!) on Saturday, as well as The Cloisters on Sunday. (Tickets to the Met also get you free admission to The Cloisters in the same week.)

I’ve been jonesing to see the Winogrand exhibit since I read about it in New York Magazine about a month ago, and checking out The Cloisters (which is located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan — kind of a pain to get to) has been on Chris’s Manhattan bucket list for a while so, you know … two birds with one stone ;)

The Met is one of my all-time favorite places (it’s a very close second to The Museum of Natural History), and The Cloisters turned out to be totally interesting and beautiful. So it was a good NYC weekend, my friends. A very good one, indeed.

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photo 21^^ Views from The Cloister’s terrace were spectacular.

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photo 14^^ The garden with all the medieval herbs and flowers was definitely my favorite part of the visit.

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Photo 6^^ The walk from the subway to The Cloisters is actually quite steep, so visitors beware — don’t wear heels!

photo 5^^ Saturday after The Met we stopped off at the Third Avenue Ale House and then Kaia Wine Bar, both in our neighborhood. At the Ale House we asked to sample some of the beers, and they came in these adorable teeny, tiny little beer mugs. How could we not take a photo?!

And a few from The Met:

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Bis bald, my friends! I hope everyone had a swell weekend, as well!

 

Back in the Borough: A Helicopter Tour High Above NYC

Hi friends,

So Chris and I finally cashed in on an amazing wedding present from one of Chris’s friends in Australia — a helicopter ride high above this beautiful city. We booked with HeliNY Tours (which is pretty pricey at more than $300 for two people, but totally worth it, in my opinion).

Here’s a bit of what we saw …

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It was, without a doubt, one of the most fun experiences I’ve had since living in good ole’s NYC.

Bis bald, friends!

 

The 52 Project: September 8

photo 20^^ This weekend was jam packed and amazing — just the kind of NYC weekend I needed to get back into the swing of things after a crazy, hectic, mixed-up kind of summer. I’ll talk about all the different things we did in a couple of posts throughout the week, but for now this photo is one of the many spectacular views from The Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.

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The 52 Project: September 2

Red_Maple_Vineyard^^ Welcome to September (and Fall!) my friends. Oy this year. I sound like a broken record, I know, but this year has been — and continues to be — quite the year. This past weekend, Labor Day weekend, Chris and I attended a wedding of one of my besties from high school. She was married to an amazing man at Red Maple Vineyard in West Park, NY, and while it was unfortunately not the best of weather for when they had their own ceremony, my mom and I visited the venue again on Labor Day (for our own personal reasons … ahem little sister who just got engaged!), and took a trek up the hill to see what the view would have been for Faye, had the weather been nice. Simply. Stunning. Hope you guys all had a fabulous Labor Day weekend, and are as happy to welcome in a new season as I am!

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Back in the Borough: When Old Friends Come to Visit

Hi friends,

So I just had one of my dearest friends come to visit me in NYC, and oh the fun we had. She was here from Friday through Tuesday, and because she used to live here, there was none of that usual pressure of checking out all the touristy spots or rushing around to do as much as possible. Instead, we could pick and chose which activities meant the most to us, and isn’t that just always the best way to do things?

Anyway, I miss her a ton, and I was going through some of the photos I took while she was here and thought I’d post them to share a bit of what we did since, you know, I thought it was so much fun ;)

Just some food for thought!

01Me_and_Lise^^ I met Lisa at Penn Station on Friday (I was coming back to the city from my parents’ in Jersey, she was coming from Virginia), and before we even dropped our bags off at home we stopped at Blockheads, an amazing Mexican restaurant with even more amazing drinks called Bulldogs. (Tiny Coronas mixed in with Margaritas — yum.) Anyway the combination of Bulldogs and the beer we drank when we did finally make it back to my apartment may or may not have contributed to the silliness of this photo.

02Refinery_Rooftop^^ Granted this isn’t the best photo, but the next night we met some friends for drinks at the Refinery Rooftop, which is a pretty lovely little spot in midtown to grab a quick drink.

03Times_Square^^ After drinks we walked over to Times Square to catch a play …

04Our_Youth^^ Which was This is Our Youth, with Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson, now in previews at the Cort Theater.
05Me_and_Lise2^^ While we had every intention of walking the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday to meet up with friends at their apartment on the other side, we were lazy for the first half of the morning, and instead ended up grabbing a cab …

06Brooklyn_Bridge^^ And taking photos out of the window of the back seat.

07Empire_View^^ After dinner at El Cantinero in Union Square, we walked down to Washington Square Park and caught a glimpse at the Empire State gleaming in the background through the Washington Square Arches.

08Fountain_View^^ And we sat by the water fountain.
09Me_and_Lise3^^ And we took selfies.

10Hudson_River^^ The next day we walked all the way from my apartment on the Upper East Side to the Hudson River all the way as far as  you can go on the West Side.

11Boat_Basin^^ Which is where the Boat Basin is, a cute little outdoor cafe that sits right overlooking the water.

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And that, as they say, was that, my friends. You know — in case you’re looking for ideas for when your own bestie comes to visit you in NYC ;)

Bis bald, friends!

The 52 Project: August 25

NYC_Play^^ I have a BFF in town visiting for a couple of days, and on Saturday we headed out to Times Square to check out “This is Our Youth”, a play about three young kids growing up in the early 80s dealing with drugs, sex and general adulthood. We weren’t too sure how we felt about it at first, but in the days following, as we continued to chat about it, we realized the play did exactly what it was meant to do — get us talking about it — so that means it must have been good, right?!

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The 52 Project: August 18

Atlantic_City^^ I’m not gonna lie — this summer is kicking my you-know-what, guys! It’s been hectic and crazy, happy and sad, stressful and fun … sheesh! It’s also been a bit hard keeping up with this blog, but I’m doing what I can! Anyway, this past weekend I attended my final of four bachelorette parties for the summer. This one was in Atlantic City (again … had one there earlier this summer as well!), and we stayed at the Revel, which, sadly, is closing Labor Day weekend. We were worried about the service we would receive when we heard this news, but we found nothing short of amazingly friendly and lovely people, and the hotel itself was gorgeous with a specular view of the ocean. All in all, it was a super fun, very nice weekend.  Hope you guys are all having a fabulous summer!

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Back in the Borough: The Mansfield Hotel and Long Walks Home

Hey friends,

With all that’s been going on this summer, I haven’t had a lot of time to just wander around NYC. Last night, though, I met a friend for drinks at The Mansfield Hotel bar (aptly named M Bar) in midtown (drinks here are expensive, but the atmosphere is laid back and subdued, which can be really nice (and hard to find) in the hubbub of midtown. If you do find yourself here, you simply must try Violet’s Blue Martini with fresh blueberries and pineapple juice. To die for.)

Anyway, the bar is on 44th, and as I started walking to the subway I thought … why not walk home? I haven’t done that in forever, and the night was cool and breezy after the rain, so I just went ahead and did it, my friends.

And you know what? It was lovely.

Public_Library^^ Even on a wet and dreary day, the New York Public Library is still the most lovely.

Pretty_Buildings^^ If this photo doesn’t scream New York — with its lights, tall buildings and taxi cab — then I don’t know what does.

Radio_City^^ If you squint really hard, you can see the red Radio City lights shining away in the background.

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Rockefeller_Center^^Rockefeller Center, in all its glory.

St_Patricks^^ It’s kinda hard to tell from this photo, but St. Patrick’s Cathedral is getting a massive facelift.

Street_Vendor^^ I have an unhealthy obsession with street vendors — particularly of the large pretzel variety ;)

54th_St^^ 54th Street ya’ll! Only 40 more blocks to go!

Sky_Clock^^ I couldn’t tell you why, but I think there’s something eerily beautiful about this photo …

Birdcage_Women^^ Birdcage women? Interesting display.

Fall_Clothes^^ Anyone else as purely ecstatic about the fall weather clothing making its way to window displays? No? That’s just me? Okay then.

Okay friends. Well I promise to be back at some point to talk more about Gallow Green, the rooftop garden where we celebrated my sister’s engagement last weekend. It’s seriously a sight to be seen.

Bis bald, friends!

The 52 Project: August 11

_DSC6004^^ Well friends, this summer has been a lesson in ups and downs, highs and lows, happy and sad. Saturday, though, was a decidedly happy day when my little sister and her awesome boyfriend got engaged! A huge shout-out to Brian for inviting us all along to surprise Steph. Brian popped the question on The High Line, then we headed over to the Gallow Green rooftop garden  at The McKittrick Hotel for a bottomless, boozy brunch (more on this later) and then to American Whiskey to keep the celebration going. I seriously cannot believe my baby sister is engaged, and she couldn’t have picked a better guy ;) Congrats you two, we love you!

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The 52 Project: July 28

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^^ A shot of the gorgeous room from the wedding we attended on Saturday at El Caribe Country Club in Brooklyn. The cocktail hour had no less than 10 stations with fresh cheeses and meats, pastas, veggies, seafood and much more. The entree menu offered six meal options and the Venetian hour has about a dozen dessert tables with everything from popcorn, cookies, snow cones and fondue to omelets, a sundae bar, cotton candy and a cannoli table.  This, my friends, is how the Italians in Brooklyn celebrate a marriage, and I’m happy to be a part of it ;)

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The 52 Project: July 21

Seafood_Night^^So this past weekend was a whirlwind of crap that I won’t go into detail on, but let’s just say the week that preceded it was pretty awesome. I was down in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with about 30-40 family members, and this photo is just one of many I took during our Seafood Night extravaganza. It’s tradition for us to do one night where everyone gathers at one house and eats all the seafood we can stuff into our faces. Blue crabs. Lobster. Oysters on the Half Shell. Steamed Clams and Clams on the Half Shell. Shrimp. Chicken. Steak. Corn. I mean really — it’s an extravaganza. YUM!

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The 52 Project: July 14

Alexis_Borgata^^I spent last weekend in Atlantic City, at the Borgata Water Club, to celebrate my friend Alexis’s upcoming wedding. It was a blast. Then I drove straight from Atlantic City to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware for a week of vacation with the family, so I’ll probably be a bit MIA this week. Plenty to updates to come next week, my friends. Bis bald!

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Back in the Borough: A Sunday Visit to Gotham West Market

Hi friends,

Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend! Chris and I spent the holiday watching soccer, celebrating good friends at their wedding in the West Village and checking out Gotham West Market, which I have been wanting to visit for a while now.

photo 1^^Our first stop was Ivan Raman Slurp Shop for some ramen noodles.

photo 2^^I had the veggie noodles and Chris got the Tokyo Shio with pork belly.  Both were super delish.

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photo 4^^ After lunch we moved on to El Colmado for some wine on their outdoor bar stools.

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photo 7^^Finally, at Cannibal we took advantage of their 3 o’clock happy hour to grab some beer and cocktails. It was the perfect ending to the day.

photo 8^^ Except that I wasn’t done yet, because I had to grab some ice cream from Jeni’s. A triple scoop with three different flavors. Do not come all the way out to Gotham West Market (which is pretty far out of the way if you live where we do) without picking up some ice cream. This alone would have made the trip worth it.

photo 9^^ We had some time to kill before 3 o’clock happy hour at Cannibal, so we walked the two blocks over to the Hudson to partake in the view — which includes the Intrepid.

photo 10^^ A seriously true sentiment.

photo 11^^ Kayaks, just waiting to see the light of day.

photo 12^^ This guys was teaching paddle board lessons to a small group of people. I could not partake in this activity, even if I wanted to.

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And that was about it, my friends! A very good 4th of July weekend, indeed. Next weekend I’m off to Atlantic City for one of two bachelorette parties there this summer, then it’s on to Rehobeth Beach for a week with the family directly from AC.

Bis bald, friends — and happy July!

 

Back in the Borough: Grab Some Sweets in NYC

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Welcome, friends, to the delectable part of my Weary Wanderer ‘In NYC’ Guide that is ‘Grab Some Sweets in NYC’! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate sweets — and even more so in the summer, for some reason. There’s just something about the warmer weather that says fro yo and candy in the park to me.

Anyway, there are a lot of places to get your sweet on in NYC, but I’ve compiled a list of my six all-time favorites here, along with one ‘must try ASAP’ option. So, without further ado … you no longer have an excuse for not sugaring up when you’re visiting Manhattan.

Where to Grab Some Sweets in NYC

  1. Baked by Melissa for cupcakes: Sure, you could hit up Crumbs for the most gigantic cupcakes of your life that will totally spoil your dinner and, trust me, there is a time and a place for that — but on any given day, you can hop on into a Baked by Melissa shop and eat multiple of the most delectable, delightful, teeny tiny cupcakes you’ve ever had in your life. I mean, July’s ‘Mini of the Month’ (how adorable is it that they call them that?) is the Root Beer Float cupcake. Ummm … ’nuff said.
  2. Dylan’s Candy Bar for candy: There isn’t one stinkin’ stankin’ thing that I don’t love about Dylan’s Candy Bar. (Well, maybe the prices, but hey, it’s Manhattan.) OHMGEE you guys. Back in my days as a staffer at magazines, I used to attend events on the top floor of this candy wondershop, and I always hopped at the chance to go. The decor is adorable. They have every candy option under the sun — I mean, they even do Candy Cocktails. For candy, Dylan’s can’t be beat. [Oh and by the way, “Dylan” of Dylan’s Candy Bar is Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph, inspirer of all your little kid candy-covered dreams — so that’s cool.]
  3. Corner Cafe & Bakery for cake: Okay you guys, I’m not gonna lie — this is a bit of a shout out to a neighborhood joint. I’ll admit it — Corner Cafe & Bakery holds a special place in my heart. This little cafe is in my neighborhood [on the corner of 3rd and 92nd, to be exact], and many, many, many a night I have walked home past an appropriate bedtime [sorry, Mom and Dad], past this tiny little bakery, to the sweet smells of the night staff making all those delicious treats fresh for the morning. Plus, this is pretty much where we get our birthday cakes every single year. They’re kinda the best. [They make a mean Chai Latte, too!]
  4. Tasti D-Lite for frozen yogurt: Frozen yogurt is kind of a huge thing in the city, my friends, I’m not sure if you know that. But while the 16 Handles and Red Mango’s and Pinkberry’s of the world are trying to inch their way in, I’m still a Tasti D kinda gal all the way. There used to be one on our block — the kind that only served three variations — chocolate, vanilla and a flavor of the week. But it’s closed, and now I have to, sadly, walk all the way to 86th street, to a much larger Tasti D with many, many more options (phooey) to get my fix. The best frozen yogurt is a very personal thing to Manhattanites — but if you want this girl’s opinion, I’ve tried ‘em all, and you can’t go wrong with the classic D-Lite.
  5. Li-Lac Chocolates in Grand Central Market for chocolate: When a place has been around, in NYC, since 1923, you just know it’s got to be great. Li-Lac is conveniently located in the Grand Central Market, just perfect for picking up a delicious little chocolate treat in between tourist stops at the Chrysler Building and Bryant Park. Go on … you know you want to.
  6. Macaron Parlour for Macarons: Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese. Elvis. Honey & Cognac. S’Mores. Oh, Macaron Parlour … you just get me. Located in the East Village [which is so fun], and conveniently next to the Hummus Place [which I adore], the Macaron Parlour is the perfect place to stop in for a sweet treat in NYC — although I dare you to try eating just one macaron. I maintain that this is a physically impossible feat.
  7. Dying to try: Levain BakeryThe Levain Bakery seems to have everything I love and more: from cookies and baguettes to brioche, sticky buns and apple bread. I want it, I need it, gimme, gimme gimme! Levain is most definitely on my dying to try list.

And that’s it, friends! If this list doesn’t get you sufficiently sugared up, well I just don’t know what will. Up next on my ‘In NYC’ list … amazing places for photographs in NYC.

Bis bald friends — and to all, a happy Independence Day!

 

Life Recently: The Early Summer Edition

Welcome to summer, my friends! June seriously flew by, and the weather is now officially, ridiculously hot, and our intense, no-free-weekends couple of months has begun. I’m not complaining, though — we’ve got a lot of pretty amazing plans set up with some pretty amazing friends, so it should all be a great time.

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately, courtesy of my iPhone.

photo 1^^ I just loved in this relationship how it was the muscle man’s responsibility to walk the teeny, tiny dog. Gotta love that!

photo 2^^ I know, I know — I’ve officially reached creepy status by taking photos of people when they don’t know I’m doing it. But come on! How stinkin’ cute is this couple canoodling on the East River Promenade?!

Aunt_Stephie^^ The fun never ends with a 15-month old.

photo 3^^ This man sure does love his dog.

photo 4^^ Working from mom’s porch doesn’t suck.

photo 5^^ We hit up the Newburgh Brewing Company for a belated Father’s Day celebration for my stepdad. I really love that this place has brought craft brewing to little ole’ Newburgh. [I blogged a bit about them here, too.]

photo 6^^ Wednesday night is Trivia Night at the Newburgh Brewing Company, and we were not good! Did you know Blossom is going into syndication in July?! [We didn’t — we got that question wrong.]

photo 7^^ Happy belated Father’s Day, Robert!

Lake2^^ This was our backyard view from the lake house we rented for my college roommate’s bachelorette party. Not too shabby!

photo 8^^ We headed back to Warwick Valley Winery on Saturday to celebrate my parents’ anniversary and Christmas. (Yup, Christmas. It was our gift to Steph and Brian to treat them to a winery day.)

photo 9^^ Chris got into an argument with some wild turkeys. The turkeys won.

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_DSC5820^^ How insanely adorable is this little cafe in the town of Phoenicia, New York, where Chris took me to see the Otter Falls?

I think it’s safe to say the summer is off with a bang! Hope you guys are having an awesome, fabulous time with lots of entertainment planned ;)

A Day Trip to Phoenicia and Otter Falls

This past Sunday, Chris took me on a little day trip to Phoenicia, New York [which is about an hour away from where my mom lives in Newburgh] and then to Otter Falls, where he and a bunch of his friends run a relay every year.

But first, we stopped for pancakes at Sweet Sue’s Restaurant, which has a 24 Zagat rating for food and a seriously slammin’ menu of pancake options.

_DSC5808^^ Gotta love a town that puts on a rubber duckie race.
(And clearly reuses the sign year after year — so economical!)

_DSC5809^^ That’s a pretty spectacular backdrop for the Phoenicia Pharmacy, if I do say so myself.

_DSC5810^^ Cute little, awesome Sweet Sue’s Restaurant.

_DSC5811^^ Holy pancake menu!

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_DSC5814^^ These were my — wait for it — carrot. cake. pancakes.
With cream cheese sauce. ‘Nuff said.

_DSC5815^^ Chris went the savory route and got fresh corn cakes — equally delish.

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_DSC5819^^ As of 2014, Phoenicia was home to 299 residents. I seriously love that.

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_DSC5822^^ Mystery spot indeed.

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_DSC5829^^ This eagle originated in Grand Central.
Here’s how it ended up in Phoenicia.

After loading up on pancakes, we headed to Otter Falls, which is about a 20-minute drive from Phoenicia. Here’s what the Hudson Valley Visit Vortex has to say about this swimming hole:

Located on state land, a small, but adventurous, side trail leads to the spectacular falls cascading down about 30 feet to a large deep basin measuring about 20 to 30 feet in diameter with a center depth between 6 and 8 feet. With recent rains it should be like a giant, cold-water Jacuzzi, say the locals. Otter Falls is only about a half-mile from the popular Giant Ledge trail parking area, making it an excellent stop after a hot, sweaty hike. Sundown, lat=42.0314, lon=-74.4201

Directions: From I-87, get off at Exit 19, Kingston exit, RT 28. Go northwest on RT 28 about 25 miles to Phoenicia. Then:To get here from RT 28 in Phoenicia: Continue west on Rt 28 through Shandaken to Big Indian. Turn south (left) on RT 47 (set odometer) and go about 6.6 miles to a telephone pole with mile post #167 1/2 on it. Other things to look for are the state land signs (the yellow ones with the DEC logo). This state land is the only State land on the west side of Route 47 in Big Indian Valley. (If you come to the “hairpin turn”, an extremely sharp right hand turn, on RT 47, you have gone about .5 mile too far.)

To find it after you park, you walk along the highway and search for the tree with the 111A 167 1/2 numbers on it [which was my ‘Photo of the Day’ photo from yesterday]. It’s a pretty fun, secluded little spot — definitely worth checking out.

_DSC5840^^ It’s only about 500 meters from the highway to the waterfall so,
you know, my kind of hike!

_DSC5842^^ Ooooohhhh — pretty!

_DSC5858^^ I kept this photo because that black and white blur at the bottom right of the photo is a butterfly that was buzzing all around me. I snapped this one shot quickly, not hopeful to actually capture the little booger, and this is what I got. I kinda love it.

_DSC5859^^ We played around in the water leading into the waterfall for a bit.
And when I say “we”, I mean “Chris”.

 And that’s about it, ya’ll! I’d highly recommend a trip to the water hole on a hot summer day — nothing beats it.

Bis bald, friends!

Back in the Borough: Caffeine Up in NYC

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Happy Thursday, my friends! Today I’m talking about something that is near and dear to my heart — awesome places to caffeine up in NYC. I absolutely love a good cup of coffee, and a bad cup of coffee just makes me so, so sad. I’ve scoured this great city of mine for awesome spots to grab some coffee [and tea!], and this list, I think, is sure to make any caffeine addict happy.

So drink up, my friends!

Where to Caffeine Up in NYC

  1. Alice’s Tea Cup for tea:  Herbal. White. Red. Organic. Green. Black. Name a tea, and Alice’s is sure to have it. Tea arrives in your own personal tea pot, and be sure to throw in an amazing scone with your drink for good measure. [P.S. There are three Alice’s locations in the city: one in midtown, one in the UES and one in the UWS, so you know, it’s pretty convenient.]
  2. Cafe Mocha for lattes and cappuccinos:  Chris and I hit up Cafe Mocha after seeing STOMP at the beginning of this year, and it quickly became one of my faves. This East Village gem is charming around the holidays with its cute little twinkle lights, and the cappuccinos are fantastic. If you happen to be hungry, as well, try a tasty crepe — they come in so many varieties, you’re sure to find one you like.
  3. The Palm Court at The Plaza for the atmosphere: About two years ago now, Chris’s parents were visiting from Australia and had a hankering to try out the fancy tea service at The Palm Court in The Plaza hotel. If you’re looking for a place where you can wear your fanciest duds and sip on extravagant teas [extravagant in both presentation and price], then this is the place for you.
  4. Dean & Deluca for convenience: Felicity may have made it famous for kids my age, but Dean & Deluca has been delighting caffeine lovers in NYC since 1977. With locations in the Rockefeller Center Plaza, SOHO market and the Madison Market and Espresso Bar, this is truly a busy tourists coffee dream come true.
  5. Crumbs for a quick, tasty to-go option: Although Crumbs is mostly famous for its insanely humongous cupcake options, I personally have found the coffee there to be mighty tasty as well.
  6. Dying to try: Stumptown: I’m hearing good buzz about Stumptown, my friends, but I’ve not yet been able to try it for myself. If anyone’s been, I’d love to hear how it compares!

So that’s my caffeine list, my friends, I hope it helps! Next up on my NYC tour — amazing places to grab some sweet treats!

Bis bald!

 

 

Back in the Borough: Bee-Bop in NYC

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I’m back today with a guide to fun (and somewhat funky, I’ll admit) places to listen to music in NYC. Of course there are plenty of concert halls and traditional places to catch your favorite band, but again, I’ve gone for a bit of the unconventional here. Some of these places offer live music as a backdrop, for others it’s the main event, but either way, listening to music at any of these “venues” will definitely give you something to talk about the next day.

Where to Listen to Music in NYC

  1. The Subways: One of the most amazing things about this place is that music is absolutely everywhere. You don’t always have to pay for it — you don’t even always have to want it! — but it’s there, all the same. The subways here are seriously alive with the sounds of music. From solo singers to Mariachi to 10-piece bands, you might be surprised with the talent you’ll be subjected to just when trying to get from one place to another. If you’re seeking out the music, try some of the big stops like Grand Central, Union Square and Times Square. Those are always happening.
  2. Terminal 5: This place is also somewhat sentimental for me and Chris [as was The Highline on my ‘Things to Do in NYC’ list] since it’s where we met and got engaged, and it’s also the only traditional music venue I’m putting on my list. Besides the amazing artists that perform here [we’ve seen Gogol Bordello, La Reux, The Gaslight Anthem and many others], they also have a fabulous rooftop where they sometimes throw parties or sponsor events. I particularly love the open floor plan of this place, and the two levels make it really easy to get a good spot to watch all the action.
  3. Fat Cat: Oh how we love Fat Cat. Come to this awesome little bar in the West Village to play some pool, scrabble or ping pong, drink some PBR (it’s so cheap!), and listen to some really amazing jazz music.  Plush couches and chairs make this venue so comfy, too.
  4. Philharmonic in the Park: Of course you could listen to the Philharmonic play on a stage … but where’s the fun in that? This event is seasonal, of course, as it takes place only a couple times of year, outside, under the stars in Central Park (and a few other parks in other boroughs). If you’re visiting during the summer, I highly recommend looking up the schedule for performances (found here), and grabbing a picnic to camp out on the lawn and listen. It’s an experience like no other. [Read more about our own experience with Philharmonic in the Park last year right here.]
  5. Cafe Wha: In Greenwich Village there sits a small and dark little venue called Cafe Wha … that is absolutely amazing. I have to admit that we haven’t been back here for years — maybe since Chris’s sister was here a couple years ago because she absolutely loves it. If you’d like to check this place out, you might consider calling ahead of time and making reservations, because it gets pretty packed. [Also of note: this place and Terminal 5 are the only places on my list so far that charge.] Another thing to keep in mind — this isn’t a place you come to chat. It can get pretty noisy once the band starts playing, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for something to provide a more low-key atmosphere.
  6. STOMP at the Orpheum Theater: Okay — if my other options here are somewhat unorthodox, this one takes the cake. Technically, STOMP is so much more than music — it’s performance art. The theater is located in the East Village [you may recall, Chris and I took in a performance as part of our one-year anniversary celebration], and the performers act out the entire “story” using props like trash cans, brooms, mops, etc. It’s honestly pretty amazing, and totally worth seeing. The things they can make shopping carts do — I can’t even use a shopping cart properly when I’m not trying to make music with it!
  7. Dying to try: Jazz StandardIt’s not that I’m totally in love with jazz or anything, but this city has such a rich history of it [and Carrie and Big make it look so fun on that Sex in the City episode!], I’d really love to try out a jazz place — and this one looks amazing. They’ve got two earlier sets — one at 7:30 and one at 9:30 — and then a later one for the real jazz fans that starts around 11:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Check out the site ahead of time to buy tickets.

And that about sums it up, my friends — my list of amazing places to take in some music here in the city. Hope it helps! Up next week: some of my favorite places to caffeine up!

Bis bald, all!