Archive for ‘New York’

July 9, 2014

birthday recap

I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend and celebrate my birthday–a day that I typically despise. Some quality time at home, a stroll through Central Park, lunch and cocktails at The Loeb Boathouse, a dip at The Empire Hotel, followed by a Yankees game with friends (if only they’d have won for me). I guess birthdays aren’t so bad after all!

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May 15, 2014

something to celebrate

1. Mike’s Birthday | 2. Finally making it to NYC after multiple flight delays and a cancelation | 3. Spending time with friends and loved ones | 4. The first taste of spring in NYC | 5. Mother’s Day

 

April 24, 2014

weekend recap

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February 12, 2014

Billy Joel at MSG

Growing up, there was always a playlist. Whether we were road tripping to Southern Utah, Sun Valley, Upstate New York, Vermont, Mattituck, Hilton Head, or the beach club, my Dad had a soundtrack to make each experience even more memorable and fun.

Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Police, Van Morrison, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Elton John, Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, Simon & Garfunkle, Steve Miller Band… An array of talented artists and classic songs would play as we’d all sing along and my Dad would ask, “Who sings this song?“. He always knew, of course, but that simple question has made me a music master.

My favorite musician on those road trip playlists was always Billy Joel. A born and bred New Yorker, raised on Long Island, just like me. I knew every album, every song, every word–although I didn’t quite know what they meant at the time.

My first cassette tape was Billy Joel’s Storm Front. I followed in my Dad’s footsteps starting at the ripe age of seven and I’d create playlists of my own–most of the songs being sung by none other than The Piano Man. My parents took me to my first Billy Joel concert at The Delta Center in Salt Lake City and I’ll never forget it. It was my very first concert and it couldn’t be more fitting. Hit after hit, we sang and danced through the night.

Fifteen years later, I finally made it back to see Billy Joel perform live–this time, at Madison Square Garden. He was entertaining and funny, and although it was long overdue, he sounded just as he did on my cassette tapes.

February 10, 2014

L’Artusi

It’s hard to believe that out of all the Italian restaurants Mike and I have been to, L’Artusi never made the cut; but after eating there on Monday night, it’s hard to believe it took us so long.

Not only was the food delicious, the prices were actually reasonable–for Manhattan. I ordered the bucatini, which had just the right amount of kick, and Mike ordered the cavatelli special (I may have swayed him a little bit, seeing as it’s my favorite noodle). The cavatelli was incredible and I highly suggest they add the dish to their everyday menu, a.s.a.p., please. We also ordered a side of their famous brussels sprouts which were light, fluffy, and perfectly seasoned.

February 7, 2014

a winter wonderland weekend

I know I say this every time, but I am just now recovering from yet another memorable weekend up North. It’s funny how some people, myself included, need to actually leave a place in order to appreciate it.

The weekend didn’t start off as well as I had hoped, though. “Snow” in Charleston meant road closures, and the biggest bridge in the city unexpectedly closed just before rush hour on Friday afternoon–just as I was leaving for the airport. A drive that typically takes no more than 20 minutes took me over 90 minutes.

After having several legit panic attacks in my immobile car–all of which consisted of sobbing, screaming, slamming my hands against the steering wheel, calling Mike and my parents in tears, and driving up on the shoulder of the highway–I screeched up to the Charleston Airport valet stand at 4:35 PM. I dropped my keys, grabbed my bags, and darted to security.

By the time I got to security, it was 4:39 PM and my flight was on-time and scheduled to depart CHS for JFK at 4:50 PM. I had 11 minutes. If I had been leaving from any other airport, I never would have made that flight, and if I had missed it, I never would have gotten another flight up to New York, thanks to the Super Bowl–which was so much less eventful than my airport adventure, by the way.

Upon landing in New York, Mike and I hit the road and headed even further North–just 100 miles South of Canada–to Stowe, VT. We’ve been venturing up there for the past three years and I’m pretty sure we’ve decided to make it an annual tradition. It’s a really special town with a lot of character and charm, and it’s particularly special to me because my parents used to do the same exact thing when they were young. Mike and I stayed at the cozy Green Mountain Inn, home to one of our favorite restaurants, The Whip Bar & Grill, and after staying there, we will never have the desire to stay anywhere else.

We had a great day of skiing–one of our best yet–and the snow fell for our last three runs. We got back to the hotel, set our Bean Boots by the fireplace, and slipped into our swim suits only to make ourselves comfortable in the outdoor hot tub as we watched the snow fall from above. It snowed through the night, but cleared up just in time for our departure.

We woke up in Connecticut Monday morning to a winter wonderland, quite literally. Snow was falling and everything was covered by 9 AM. It was beautiful, but let me tell you, it was stressful. We had plans to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden that evening and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let six inches of heavy snow stop me from seeing my favorite musician. God willing, we made it to the show, and for the first time ever that next morning, I made it back down to Charleston without a single flight delay, cancellation, lost bag, or mishap.

January 28, 2014

Brunch at Barbounia

I’ve been on a brunch kick as of late, so it’s no surprise that I felt the urge to try Barbounia–one of my old NYC standby restaurants–for brunch, as opposed to dinner. We sat by the window and since it was a warm December day they kept the french doors open; plus the restaurant was dressed to the nines for Christmas, which made it feel even more special and cozy.

I discovered that I can eat their “Spicy Feta” day or night–it’s just as good for brunch as it is for dinner. And now I’m getting a craving… They also have a great unlimited champagne cocktail special for $18.95, but you almost want to avoid the champagne because the juice is that fresh. Really, it’s just an unbeatable combination.

January 18, 2014

Pod 39 Rooftop

After writing about the Pod 39 rooftop, I searched images to see how it looked in the daytime. Upon Googling, I discovered something extremely disturbing. The before and after photos within the two years the space has been open just breaks my heart.

The once priceless views of the city are now obstructed by a horrible building with no character whatsoever and the only way to view the Empire State Building is by standing in one particular area of the rooftop. A view that was once blemish-free and flawless is no more. So sad…

January 14, 2014

home for the holidays

Although my trip home was two weeks long, it only felt as though I was home for five days… tops. It’s crazy how quickly the time flies, whether the schedule is jam-packed, or empty.

Although I managed to squeeze in a decent amount of R&R, I made sure I was busy and doing things that I can only do at home (aside from spending time with my loved ones).

My trip to New York consisted of delicious dinners, city views, karaoke night with my girlfriends, baking cookies, a snow day, a weekend in Connecticut, indulging in my favorite foods, New Years Eve in the city, and as always, lots of time spent on planes, trains, and automobiles.

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January 13, 2014

Pod 39

Despite the rooms being the size of my bathroom and the bathrooms being the size of a small closet–no, but reallyPod 39 packs a big punch.

First things first: check-out is at noon, as opposed to 11 o’clock.

Secondly, Salvation Taco is conveniently located directly off the hotel lobby, which is where Mike and I spent the wee hours of our night drinking margaritas and playing Scrabble.

And last, but certainly not least, is the beautiful rooftop. With views of the Empire State Building and the bustling NYC streets, not to mention the exquisite and authentic design, this rooftop is a romantic gem and one that should not be missed–especially in the warmer months. It only makes me wish that I took advantage when I actually lived in the city. Sigh…