NYC in a Nutshell

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Our quick trip to the Big Apple was so full of plans and adventures that we are still recovering a week later. (Quite literally, thanks to catching some nasty colds.) As you know, we attended Comic Con, but before, after and in between the convention we hung out with friends, visited Zoey, ate some NY staples and showed Luna around our former stomping grounds.

The first night was a late one for us, and after flying and a full day of Comic Con-ing, we ordered in from our favorite Indian restaurant. Holy crap, how I miss that place and REALLY miss having dinner delivered! I forgot how easy and wonderful it is to have meals delivered and no dishes to wash.

The next day I had a bit more free time and got to join some of my best friends and their baby for a long walk though Central Park and a shopping trip through FAO Schwartz. We just had to spoil our babies with something from the iconic toy store. We didn’t stop walking there either… We finished up at Time Square and perhaps bought another special gift at the Disney store.

We saw not one, but SEVEN raccoons playing together at Central Park.
We saw not one, but SEVEN raccoons playing together at Central Park.

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Saturday, we took the babies to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and let them okay and explore for a couple of hours. They loved the hands-on exhibits and play areas, but the daddy’s had the most fun.

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Sunday, we spent all day in Brooklyn with Aunt Zoey!!! Zoey allowed us to relax in her new fancy pants apartment and bask on the even fancier rooftop. She showed us around her favorite Brooklyn hotspots (which consisted of the waterfront, ice cream and Artists and Fleas). And, we even made an appearance at the wrap party for the latest show she wardrobed (A Crime to Remember).

kittens barry park zoey's roof

Our last day in the city was the slowest and most nostalgic. After coffee with my former coworkers, whom I miss all the time,  Husband, Luna and myself spent the day doing our favorite things: shopping down 5th and Madison, eating chocolate at Vosges, drinking Starbucks, getting sandwiches at Lenny’s, window shopping in Bergdorfs and soaking up everything NY has to offer before hopping on a plane back to Nashville.

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It was a really great trip. Luna was an awesome little trooper. Her favorite part of the city was how it lulled her to sleep all day…

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I may just have to invest in a “noises of the city” CD to play her at night. Time to start planning our next adventure.

Cheers!

Fall Break in NYC

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*Written Saturday, October 12th…obviously I’m a little behind on my postings….LOTS of catching up to do!

We are officially halfway through our “babymoon” vacation. We just left the big apple (in-flight now), are headed to Nashville for some haunted housing and a very big ceremony. Then it’s off to Florida! New York was great, and I think it will end up being the most relaxing part of this two-week vacation.

Love walking along 5th and Central Park
Love walking along 5th and Central Park

For the first time ever I went on a vacation with zero plans. I had our flight in and our flight out written in my calendar, and nothing in between. After living there for two years it seemed a bit ridiculous to make plans. So, we played everything by ear and ended up relaxing a lot (for us, anyways).

I've been trying some new hairstyles everyday...I'm a bit sick of my hair at the moment.
I’ve been trying some new hairstyles everyday…I’m a bit sick of my hair at the moment.

We hit our favorite spots…Central Park, the MET, the giant public library on 5th, Chelsea Market, etc. Strolling around the park and relaxing is possibly what I miss most about New York. We spent a lot of time just people watching, and laughing at the people in the boat pond who had no clue how to row a boat.

Husband and Zoey having a leaf fight in the park (and yes, he is wonderful and carrying all of my crap)
Husband and Zoey having a leaf fight in the park (and yes, he is wonderful and carrying all of my crap)

The MET had a few new exhibits, as they always do, and we happened to go on the most beautiful day of the week. The rooftop was open, the sky was sunny and the views were spectacular. The exhibit on the roof right now is called “Zombie Garden”. You see why, right?

Zombie Zoey
Zombie Zoey
Rooftop of the MET
Rooftop of the MET

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The library had a new exhibit up that focused on the history and importance of children’s books, which is right up my alley. Plus, there was an entire Mary Poppins section!

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Mary Poppins umbrella is on display!

We shopped on 5th Avenue, Madison and through Chinatown. We snacked at a Chinese bakery on pineapple bread and mango and basil seed juice. I haven’t been to a Chinese bakery since we were in China 5 years ago, so it brought back lots of great memories. At Bloomingdales, I bought my first ever pair of shoes for the sole reason of being comfortable. I LOVE shoes, but in a fashionable artistic way. I could care less if my shoes are comfortable, until now. Being pregnant has made my feet total weenies. I was barely making it around Manhattan and began to worry about all the walking we will be doing around Disney. So, I did what a sensible person might do and bought a comfortable pair of non-slippery shoes with lots of support. They aren’t so bad. I’ve got to say, my feet feel aaammmmazzzzinnggg!

Shopping down Madison Ave.
Shopping down Madison Ave.
Mmmm pineapple bread and some weird delicious iced tea
Mmmm pineapple bread and some weird delicious iced tea
oh yeah...comfy shoes
oh yeah…comfy shoes

We ate bagels at H&H, breakfast at lots of little diners, tacos at Tacombi and pizza of course. Sorry, but I am definitely one of “those people” who swears New York has the best pizza! (They do, they really do!) We even ate at the Stardust Diner for the first time ever. The Stardust is in Time Square and is famous for it’s staff, which is ALL professional singers, actors and dancers who are trying to make it on Broadway. (Rachel and Santana work there now, for all you Glee fans.) We decided we might as well try it since we are acting as tourist all week. The waiters were surprising talented and entertaining, the food was nothing to brag about and overpriced.

bagels at H&H
bagels at H&H
tacombi!!!
tacombi!!!

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We also so Pippin on Broadway, because no trip to New York is complete with a trip to Broadway. Pippin is an old musical that’s been revived and features some crazy cirque du soleil type acts, erotic dancing, some intense singing and a storyline that leaves you thinking “WTF”? We liked it, but I am also biased due to the fact that Gilmore Girls referenced the heck out of Pippin in one episode.

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Box seats for the first time!
Box seats for the first time!

Of course, the best part of our trip was catching up with friends. We had dinner out with different friends almost every night and really enjoyed catching up and getting to spend time with people we love so much. We love traveling and moving around, but it always sucks to make and leave friends so often. It’s also a good reason to go back and visit though.

Maybe, I’ll keep up with writing better over the next week, maybe not.

Exploring the archives of the MET
Exploring the archives of the MET

Have a great week!

Cheers!

City of Parks

My Mom’s two requests when coming to see me in New York were, “get a bagel at H&H” and “take a walk through Central Park“. Mom has been here a few times, and these two simple activities were something she just had to do again. And, who can blame her? You can’t get a better bagel than the bagels at H&H, and Central Park is one of my favorite places in possibly the whole world. The sunniest day she was here we had a carb-filled butter breakfast at H&H, and spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon exploring parts of Central Park neither of us had been to. That’s what I love about this park, you never know where you’ll end up.

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After eating lunch at Bergorf’s, shopping and exploring Chelsea Market, we headed back to Central Park, but this time to the North end. We got off the train in Harlem and walked south toward the Central Park Conservatory Garden and the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. So many fragrant plants were in bloom and the water was just beautiful.

conserv resrvoir

 

Central Park wasn’t the only park we visited during her stay. One night, while heading towards Eataly, we accidentally found ourselves in Madison Square Park. Perfect timing too because the park had an interesting art exhibit up from now through September 8th.

redyellowblueIt’s called Red, Yellow and Blue and it was created by Orly Genger. He used 1.4 million feet of repurposed nautical rope and 3,500 gallons of paint!

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It’s supposed to look like waves…combining the coastline with the city atmosphere.

redrope waterwall

 

We spent a long time examining the artwork before remembering we were starving for some authentic Italian food, and made our way out of the park.

I had a great time with my Mom, the best time. I’m grateful I get to show her around such a fun and beautiful city.

Cheers!

Picnics in the Park

I mentioned in a previous post that I am going to try to spend as much time as possible in Central Park. I am happy to say, I have been doing a fine job with this plan. Today is rainy and dreary, but prior to now we have actually had some beautiful spring days. Over the weekend I had two picnics in the park, and was able to lay in the grass and soak up everything that makes Central Park so perfect.

Even our walk to the park is beautiful!
Even our walk to the park is beautiful!

yellow us

 

The various colored tulips, the bright pink cherry blossoms and the fragrant magnolia blooms are almost overwhelming. Everywhere I looked there were people gazing at the them, photographing them or even painting them. The few weeks when all the tulips are in bloom are similar to the Autumn weeks when all the leaves are orange, red and yellow. It’s so beautiful, short-lived and you can’t help but feel lucky to witness it.

tulips red closeup painter

After we ate our sandwiches, we spent lots of time people watching. There were numerous brides taking portraits, families playing frisbee, and thousands upon thousands of tourists. Tons of tourist means tons of tourist traps. Around every bend was a performer. Sunday in the park consisted of accordion players, artists, singers, dancers, bubble makers, food vendors and masseuse.

bubble bowbridge

 

We were really enjoying our time in the park, but Belle was having the best time. Anytime we take her to the park she is so full of energy and excitement that it seems she will explode with happiness at any moment. She barks, runs, jumps and chases every stick and child in sight. Everyone thinks she is the most adorable thing ever when they see her running and fetching sticks. I never understood why, but Zoey just pointed out to me that New York dogs do not play with sticks. Interesting…

belle bellestick

 

6 weeks left to enjoy this beautiful park! I love New York! Hopefully, I will be able to find this much beauty and relaxation in my new backyard.

Cheers!

Before I Say Good-bye to New York

This is from our engagement picture in Central Park not long after moving here.
This is from our engagement picture in Central Park not long after moving here.

My time left living in New York is going by at lightning speed. With all the packing and organizing our life for this new chapter, I almost forgot my plan. “My plan” is to enjoy this city as much as possible during these last 7 weeks. I know we will come back and visit from time to time, but I still want to soak in my favorite parts before I’m no longer a “New Yorker” (if I ever was one to begin with).

Like all good plans, I began by making a list. My goal is to do all of my favorite things as much as possible before moving day. Devising a list of “the best New York has to offer (me)”, was a big task, but I have managed to make a Top 10 just for you!

1)   Eat at Tacombi. I don’t know if I will ever get sick of their tacos, fresh guacamole, rice and beans, vegetarian tamales or watermelon and lime juice. Wonder how much it will cost to get them to deliver to Tennessee….

2)   Central Park. I want to be here everyday. I’m fairly certain that I’ll miss my walks through Central Park the most. I want to take Belle for off-leash hours, eat my fav vegetarian hotdog, people watch by Bethesda fountain and get lost in the Ramble a few more times.

3)   Try on shoes at Bergdorf Goodman’s.

4)   Spend a day window shopping, and a little actual shopping, down Madison and 5th Avenue.

5)   See more Broadway shows.

6)   Have diner breakfast.

7)   People-watch from the red steps in Time Square.

8)   Go on a romantic date with Husband that includes a delicious dinner, a walk, and possibly a view of the skyline.

9)   Have ethnic/vegetarian food delivered for dinner at any hour I please.

10) Visit the MET and take my sweet time roaming from exhibit to exhibit.

There it is, my “must-do at least one more time before I move” list.

Friends and family, if you want to visit and have the Hilarie and Husband REAL New York experience you better act now, time and space are both limited!

Cheers!

Feeling Funky

Okay, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve posted because I have been in such a funk. I am lonely because Husband is still in Nashville. Work has been busy and fun, which just depresses me. I have come home and cried often this week because I cannot believe I won’t see most of these children again. Then, there’s the packing and the cleaning. Remember when there was a major exam in high school or college and you needed to study for days and days, but for some reason you ended up organizing your closet and cleaning out your junk drawers instead? I’ve done a lot of stuff the last few days, but not a lot of packing. Then there’s the job hunting. All of this = funk, and not the superfly music genre kind.

Today, I decided I had to get out of my funk and turn things around. It was beautiful and sunny today so I called up Zoey and had her join me on a long walk through the park.

Did I mention it was beautiful today?
Did I mention it was beautiful today?

As soon as we got to the park we regretted not bringing a blanket and a picnic. There were families playing frisbee, babies chasing bugs, puppies running everywhere and thousands of people laying in the sun. (As soon as NYC reaches 60 degrees on a weekend you will find 100’s of girls laying out in bikinis at the park…people are desperate for some sunshine and nature here.) We tried to ignore our desire to picnic and lounge since neither of us brought snacks or cash, and roamed around taking gorgeous photos of the cherry blossoms instead.

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You know it’s a beautiful day when you can get such great photos on your phone. We eventually had enough of the walking and the watching other people sunbathe, that’s when it hit me…I have money on my Starbucks app*! So, we did the obvious and walked to the closest Starbuck’s stocked up on snacks and beverages, walked back to the park and lounged away.

There were so many people with adorable dogs all around us. Half of us let them off their leaches and played fetch with our loves. That is until two dogs began wrestling, one began playing fetch with someone else’s croquet balls and Belle started growling. There were also a dozen babies having a field day with all the pooches.

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While Zoey and Belle were playing together I took a cute photo to send to Husband. He then took a cute photo of his friends playing in TN to send back to me.

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I am still laughing.

We had a great day and evening eating junk food and duct taping a mold of Zoey’s body (I’ll have to explain that last part later). I think the funk has gone.

My friend Sara sent me this quote the other day because it reminded her of me. I was honored she thought of me because I love Audrey, and glad to be reminded of what “I believe”.

quote

I also believe moving, packing and job hunting will all get easier. Tomorrow is another day, and tomorrow I will pack.

Cheers!

*I actually only had a few dollars left on my Starbucks app, so I had to reload it (which is possible to do on my phone), however I forgot my password. After numerous attempts I called Husband and had him reload it from his phone in Tennessee. Zoey and I are obviously desperate and pathetic. Heaven forbid we just walk home to get our wallets!

What is that on your phone? (Giveaway!)

I have heard this question several times a day since I received my Olloclip: What is that on your phone?

3in1 olloclip

The Olloclip is the coolest phone invention ever! It slides over the corner of your phone (the corner where the camera is) and has 3 new lens options. There is a fish-eye lens that gives this effect…

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It gives a 180 degree field-of-view and looks amazing. Then, if you turn the Ottoclip around there is a wide-angle lens which provides pictures like this…

 

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It gives double the field-of-view you would get with just your iPhone. Now, if you just unscrew the wide-angle lens it becomes a macro lens!

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The macro lens applies a 10X multiplier and focuses within 12-15mm of the subject. Pretty nifty, right?

It is teeny tiny, fits in your pocket and comes with a little microfiber bag that doubles as a lens cleaner. I keep the Olloclip on my phone 95% of the time.

wholepiece 3piece

 

Now, I have GREAT news! Olloclip has given me an extra one to use as a giveaway! Woohoo party!

To win your very own red and black Olloclip (for iPhones only…sorry!) just follow these oh-so simple steps:

1. Follow my blog.

2. Follow my Facebook page.

3. Leave a comment below telling me what you want to take photos of with your new lens!

I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, April 16th! Best of luck to you all!

Cheers!