The Great Outdoors

The end of our vacation in New York City was filled with a bevy of outdoor activities! First up, we hopped on the East River Ferry to Brooklyn. 

The fare is cheap and the views are spectacular; it’s something a little outside the box for visiting NYC!

After grabbing some ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (which I first discovered back in June) we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan. 

The following morning (on our last day in NYC) we headed north to the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. The gardens are gorgeous and it’s a nice peaceful break from the bustling city surrounding the grounds. 

What a great way to end the trip! 


You might recall that in June my friends and I took a stroll on the High Line. I knew before we even arrived that I would have to bring my parents back during our trip in August to see it for themselves. We woke up early on Monday morning and headed west to walk the High Line top to bottom! 

At 20th Street we descended to grab breakfast at Cookshop, an American restaurant recommended by blogger Rosie.

The restaurant is bright and homey with a great big window and patio for people watching. I ordered the Cookshop Blend tea to start: rose hips, orange peel, blueberry, hibiscus, fruit blend and berry leaves. This was a bit too sweet for my taste, but warm and comforting nonetheless. 

On a Monday morning after the work rush it was pretty quiet, though I’d imagine this place is hopping on the weekends for brunch! 

I kept things simple for my meal with scrambled eggs, bacon and breakfast potatoes-everything was cooked to perfection.

I’d absolutely recommend a stop in at Cookshop; it’s just a stone’s throw from the High Line and serves up delicious food across the board! 

Back on the High Line we spotted this gem-

-and snapped a few pictures on our walk. 

I just love the mix of nature and urban city as you stroll downtown and think it’s a must see for anyone visiting the city! 

Sunday in the City

What could beat brunch, Central Park and a musical on a lovely Sunday in New York City? 

We started off the day at Cinema Cafe, a cosy restaurant on 34th and Third. I ordered the Hangover Pizza: bacon, leeks, egg and arugula-

Dad picked classic Eggs Benedict-

And Mom chose the Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Omlette-shiitake, portobello, crimini, oyster and button mushrooms, oy my! 

We then journeyed uptown to take a stroll through Central Park, stopping to say hi to Balto

We made our way to the Central Park Zoo, a lovely little zoo on the east side of the park. 

Animal crackers are a must for the zoo!

We then headed to the Walter Kerr Theatre for a matinee of the Tony winning musical, ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder’. 

The show is absolutely worth the hype! From their website:

GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way (each played by Tony winner Jefferson Mays in what The New York Times calls “the year’s greatest musical theater performance”). All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea. The Hollywood Reporter raves, “GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE RESTORES OUR FAITH IN MUSICAL COMEDY” and The New York Times cheers, “IT WILL LIFT THE HEARTS OF ALL THOSE WHO’VE BEEN PINING FOR WHAT SOMETIMES SEEMS A LOST ART FORM.” Kindly get your tickets now for the new musical that will have you dying with laughter!”

Tacomi at Fonda Nolita

After a very touristy morning, I wanted to venture a little off the beaten path for lunch. Thanks to a lovely post recommendation by my favorite blogger Rosie I knew of just the place! 

Tacombi serves up seriously delectible Mexican food. The restaurant is located in a converted garage on Elizabeth Street-inside it’s light and airy with the beautiful faint smell of delicious things cooking. 

Up at the bar there are homemade juices on display. 

And every table has its own array of sauces to choose from. 

I ducked away from the table for only a moment, but when I returned the p’s had already snagged themselves a drink each! A paloma for Mum and a cerveza for Dad. 

If you like grapefruit juice you must order a paloma sometime! Fresh juice mixed with tequila and club soda….it’s extremely refreshing. 

But the pièce de résistance is the converted VW bus inside where the tacos are assembled. How cool!

We started off with an order of guacamole to share. Even though I prefer my guac a bit chunkier, the flavor was fantastic and we gobbled up the whole bowl! 

Then it was time for the main feast. Each order comes with enough topping to make two tacos and is served with two corn tortillas. Between the portion and the price, it’s a great place to try a ton of the menu offerings! 

My favorite was the crispy fish, topped sky-high with red cabbage slaw. 

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita is located at 267 Elizabeth Street in NYC-check out their site here

Pearl Oyster Bar

I’m so so so obsessed with this restaurant. Located on a tiny, quiet street in the West Village Pearl Oyster Bar has everything I want out of my dining experience: friendly service, non-pretentious decor, and seriously delicious food. 

We started out with a seafood cocktail for the table-chilled lobster, shrimp, oysters and clams. 

Followed by lobster rolls all around. Served up with shoestring fries (that I dowsed in vinegar), this is heaven. The bun is soft, everything is perfectly seasoned and the amount of lobster is liberal. I could really eat this at every meal and be happy. 

We left with full tummies and smiles on our faces. 

But no meal is complete without something sweet. We headed east for Morgenstern’s ice cream. The shop is tiny and is cash only, with unusual flavors like banana curry and american egg.

Dad went with peppermint (boring!) and I chose cardamom lemon jam. 

A great first meal for our long weekend in the city! 

Morningside Heights

Despite five prior trips to New York, I had never before ventured to upper Manhattan. Intent on fixing this I headed up there the Friday after work with my parents to check out some of the key sites. 

Our first stop was the extraordinary national memorial for 18th President Ulysses S. Grant, and his wife Julia. Known more simply as “Grant’s Tomb” and completed in 1897, this structure is under the management of the National Park Service. 

When President Grant passed away in 1885 at the age of 63, his family agreed to have him interred in New York City. An organization under the name of the Grant Monument Association was formed. After many years of fundraising and construction, the monument was inaugurated on April 27, 1897, the 75th anniversary of Grant’s birth in 1822. 

The remains of President Grant and Julia Grant (who passed in 1902) were each laid to rest inside the atrium of the building in red granite sarcophagi. 

The neoclassical granite architecture is breathtaking, and a beautiful exterior to the mausoleum  inside. Across from the monument is a small museum and gift shop, and scenic views of the Hudson River. 

Grant’s Tomb is also located across the street from the Riverside Church. 

We spotted some super sweet wheels parked outside of the church! 

A short walk away is the private Ivy League Columbia University. 

Carl Schurz, the first German-born American to be elected to the United States Senate-

We took a stroll through Morningside Park, before hopping on the subway to head to dinner! 


My work pal Megan and I started talking about our week in New York months ago. Since Megan works in Pennsylvania, we only get to see each other once a year at training. We came up with tons of ideas of what to do when we were there, but the one nonnegotiable was a visit to Drybar to get our hair done! 

Drybar is a blow dry bar for hair, designed around this simple concept: no cuts, no color, just blowouts for $40. Appointments are available all day, starting nice and early for us 9-5ers, and typically take 30 minutes unless you have very long or thick hair. 

Megan and I popped down to their Flatiron District location for a quick appointment before diner at Eataly! 

After checking in at the front desk, your stylist comes over to greet you and offer you a beverage-of course Megan and I went for a glass of champagne! (Complementary for every customer; they also have water, coffee, etc). Drybar has such a fun concept; they give you a “menu” of different hair styles to choose from for your blowout, named after popular cocktails. The Manhattan, Straight Up, Mai-Tai…so cute! 

Now I don’t have the easiest hair to deal with. It’s naturally curly, so much so that it’s impossible for it to be pin straight. EVER. Trust me, pros have tried. My hair is also fine, meaning that it will shy away from volume and bounce. Going into this experience my plan was to tell my stylist all of this and just say that they should select a style option that would work best for my hair. However my stylist simply gave me a very trustworthy smile and said that it was absolutely not unusual nor a problem, that she has styled every type of hair, and that I definitely could go ahead and pick my favorite look. Feeling happy and not like an outcast with difficult locks, I decided on the “The Cosmo-Tai”. Part loose curls, part messy beachy hair, it was pretty from the look book they give you and something I had never styled myself. 

Photo Credit 
Photo Credit 

My stylist led me over to the shampoo station. A stool is placed next to your chair for you to put your feet up and your hair is washed efficiently, yet with a pleasant scalp massage. Clients can select to add on conditioning treatments or a legitimate ten minute scalp massage for an extra $10-20. Your hair is squeezed tight to remove all excess water (a crucial step in a good blowout) and wrapped in a towel before returning to your style chair. 

Then the fun begins! Each chair has a convenient hook for your purse. There is wifi if you want to work (or play) on your computer/phone, as well as outlets for power cords, and there are tons of magazines to flip through. Alternatively, you can take selfles of yourself mid-blowout. 

And then of the person you are with. 

Drybar has it’s own line of hair products, all of which smell amazing and work wonders. I personally have their 100 Proof Treatment Oil and Chaser Shine Pomade, which I mix together for post-styling. Megan swears by the Texas Tea Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as their Buttercup Blowdryer which she adores. You can buy their products at Drybar locations or at Sephora

One small thing that I really appreciated; my stylist asked if it was ok to put product in my hair before she got started. If you are particular about styling products or have any other qualms about it, it’s really nice to know that your stylist will ask before just going ahead with it. 

Megan went with The Cosmo; all curls which looked amazing on her! 

My stylist did a great job with the Cosmo-Tai; it definitely was a different look for me and one that I want to figure out how to replicate at home! 

We snapped a few pictures before heading out for dinner. 

The “after”….and a great shot of Megan’s adorable pink flats! 

We may have raved about the experience many, many times…much to the dismay of our male coworkers. Megan and I loved it so much we decided to go back (this time to the Midtown East location) before work on Friday! I chose the Cosmo this time and think it’s a perfect work look! 

Drybar is absolutely worth the splurge for some pampering and a great hair style. They have locations popping up all over the place, including one in Chicago (1611 N. Sheffield Avenue) that I have to check out sometime soon! 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For my first full day in New York I was ready for some culture. I threw on a play dress and piled my hair in a messy bun; a quick selfie and I was out the door! 

The elevator at the apartments I was staying at had a black light; odd, unusual, and funny to check out what you were wearing.

The day started off rainy; I picked up an iced coffee for my trip uptown on the subway and was rewarded with this little gem of a street snap; only in New York! 

The destination was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The Met” for it’s exhibition on fashion designer Charles James

Charles James was a fashion designer, known as America’s first couturier and considered to have been a master of cutting fabrics. He is known for his highly structured aesthetic and sculpted ball gowns. The exhibit wonderfully displayed Charles’ creations, using modern technology such as X-rays and analytical animations at the base of each display to examine the intricate design of each piece. 

These muslin mock ups show the detailed cut and intricacies of the designer’s work.

Every piece was proudly displayed on a pedestal, allowing visitors to admire the design from every angle. 

Ivory silk satin ball gown, 1951. 

Pale pink silk satin and ivory silk twill ball gown, 1948.

Green silk satin ball gown, 1954.

Green wool mohair dress (1952) and pear shape cocktail dress (red wool broadcloth, 1955).

Ivory and black bottom matelasse dinner suits, 1956.

Afterwards I took a walk around the European sculpture galleries. 

The detail of these pieces is amazing! 

Andromeda and the Sea Monster, by Domenico Guidi (Italian, marble, 1694). 

Ugolino and His Sons, Jean Baptiste Carpeaux (French, Saint-Beat marble, 1865). 

Winter by Jean Antoine Houdon (French, bronze, 1787). 

Herakles the Archer, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle (French, bronze, 1909). 

The Met is a huge museum, full of every sort of art imaginable. Impressionism artwork, Greek and Roman, Medieval, Drawings and Paintings….there is really something for everyone. It’s impossible to see the entire museum in one day, making it a great spot to visit every time you come to New York City! 

August in NY


I’m jumping right in after a bit of a blogging break by kicking off a recap series of my week and a half in NYC in August! While this trip was for work, I stayed a few extra days and had my parents fly out for a fun city vacay. 

I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and squeezed in a few of my favorite things:



And theatre! (Phantom of the Opera, to be specific)-

It was a great first day of what I just knew would be an amazing week! Stay tuned!