Shopping at BG’s

I mentioned in a previous post that one of the “must do again before I leave NY” activities is to try on more shoes at Bergdorf Goodman’s. I decided the perfect time to shoe shop was during the days of rain while Husband was visiting. We shopped all down 5th Avenue, but the cherry on top of our shopping trip was the pinnacle of all stores…Bergdorf’s.

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I am a teacher, so I cannot actually afford to buy things at Bergdorf’s, but it doesn’t hurt to look, or try on a few beautiful pieces!

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My favorite floor in BG’s is level 2, the designer shoe salon. My Mom thinks I’m crazy, but if I could afford it, I would snatch up a pair of either LouBoutin’s, Prada flats, Chanel boots, Jimmy Choo heels, or Charlotte Olympia crazy shoes in a minute. I know they are all ridiculously overpriced, by my God, they are beautiful. They are tiny little works of art that you can wear on your feet. I want my own masterpiece!

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Shopping at BG’s is a comforting exceptional  experience. They have comfy designer chairs every ten feet or so, the sales clerks will wait on you hand and foot, everyone is friendly and happy and all dogs are allowed! It’s the sort of classic department store where you imagine every glamorous classic movie star shopped (probably because they all did). We even ran into Sofia Vargara on the elevator!

It’s a great place for people watching too. Spend half an hour in the shoe department and you are sure to see tourists, Moms and daughters, old ladies with too much plastic surgery, rich men, fancy little dogs, large mutts, teenage heiresses and everyone in between. It’s perfect.

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Once, while window shopping, I tried on the most remarkable heels ever (the purple wedges from the 111th anniversary, remember?) While trying them on I noticed an older woman watching me. She was being waited on, and had a stack of about ten different designer shoes next to her. I looked back at her, and she said “Those look fabulous on you”. Without a thought I replied “I can’t agree with you more”. She then looked to the young lady helping her and asked for a pair in a size 8 to try on for herself. The young lady brought the beautiful purple shoes to the older woman who said “Forget it, I’m tired of trying on shoes. I’ll just buy them, and all the others I’ve tried on”.

I sat there, jaw on the floor, for a good ten minutes. She must have spent over 10 grand. I was secretly waiting for her to come back and offer to buy the pair I tried on. After all “they look fabulous” on me, right?

My favorite shoes during my most recent visit weren’t too shabby either.

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Bergorf’s also has a restaurant on the 7th floor. It’s lovely, has great views of Central Park and the Plaza, fancy delicious dishes and is exactly where I wanted to take my Mom for lunch. We had a roasted beet salad, seafood pasts, tea and coffee and it was all wonderful. We ate next to the window and talked and talked like Mothers and daughters do.

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It was the best last shopping trip I could have had at Bergdorf Goodman’s…at least until I come back and visit!

Cheers!

Rooftop Dates

Husband and I were supposed to spend a month apart while he worked on our new house in Tennessee and I finished my job here in New York. I decided that a month is far too long and decided to fly him here this last week to spend a few days with me as an “anniversary present”. A couple of days before he arrived I started feeling guilty about his “present”. Obviously it is a gift for him to get to spend time with me, but he didn’t actually ask for this gift… so I planned to make it extra special by planning a special date each night he was here.

After much thought, I decided to do a rooftop-themed week of dates. Husbands most favorite thing to do is climb or sneak onto something very tall and scary. He especially loves the roofs of skyscrapers that provide views of the whole city. I researched the best roofs in the city and had a perfect date for every night.

The first night was at Gallow Green. This restaurant is on the roof of Sleep No Moreonly our most favorite show ever!

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This restaurant is romantic and so very green. There are plants everywhere, Most of the seats and tables are made from unfinished wood and you can even eat in an old gutted train car. The atmosphere was perfect. It was warm outside and we watched the sun set as we ate. The food wasn’t great, and the service sucked, but we were so happy to be together on the romantic roof that we decided not to care. We also decided to pick up chips and salsa on the way home.

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For Husband’s second night, I took him to the Pod Hotel. They offer a free rooftop with lounge chairs and a bar.

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The bar was actually closed, but once again we didn’t let this little fact get us down. We still enjoyed the view, the sunset and relaxing in comfy seats before heading out for a romantic dinner.

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The next two nights, stormed and stormed. Every city rooftop was closed, which meant all my plans were ruined. Once again, we decided to make the most of our rainy situation. Our first idea was to go on the roof of Grandma’s apartment, but don’t worry Grandma, that was impossible. We ordered in and watched TV instead.

For the rest of Husband’s stay it rained every single moment, but we still had a great time together. I borrowed Grandma’s red rain coat because all of my rain-gear is in Tennessee, and we found nice city views from many different (enclosed) places.

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I was sad to see Husband go, but now my Mom is here spending the holiday weekend with me! My posts may be a bit sporadic the next few days, but if you want to keep up with me and the latest New York adventures just follow me on Facebook!

Happy Memorial Day!

Cheers!

The Last Time…

I am a very sentimental person. I am always celebrating something or going on some sort of adventure because I want to make memories. I want the days to be special. Maybe this stems from being anxious…it’s possible that my fear of dying encourages me to live a life full of great memories. Or maybe it’s just part of my sensitive nature. Either way, I like to turn mediocre occurrences into great life events, especially when something is ending.

When Husband and I left Disney World we made the decision to keep dating which meant committing to a long distance relationship for 2 and a half years. We also decided that we were in love, which made leaving Disney much harder than it already was. Every single moment became “the last…”. The last time we people watched in EPCOT. The last time we rode Dinosaur. The last meal with our best friends. The last time we drank vodka out of water bottles illegally. The last time we watched “Wishes” and sang every word as tears streamed down our cheeks. I wanted EVERYONE to remember these moments, and each other, so I constantly reminded them that “it’s our last time!” I took a hundred photos of “our last night” together and will never forget the laughs we shared.

When I left my first teaching job, I made a huge deal about the last dance recital, the last school play, the last classroom party, the last time I hugged my students and even the last time I closed my classroom door. Every thing was “a moment”.

I salsa dance with my fellow dance teacher at our last dance recital. It was the last recital for ALL 3 of us, and we went out with a bang!
I salsa danced with my fellow dance teachers at our last dance recital. It was the last recital for ALL 3 of us, and we went out with a bang!

Before moving out of the country we had to have a huge going away party to celebrate our “last days” in the states.

Our "European" themed party.
Our “European” themed party.

When we left Albania, I made sure to point out the last time we rode in a furgon, the last time we ate burek, the last time we had to speak Albanian and the last time we had a picnic at the park. Some of these “lasts” were more like “Yay! It’s my last day to work for someone who hates me!” But, the last day working some wonderful friends and students was not so happy.

All teary-eyed on the last day of school.
All teary-eyed on the last day of school.

Now, my days are spent remembering the “lasts” of the city. I don’t dwell on the “lasts” to make myself sad or to say that we will never do these things again, but because I want to soak it all in and remember these moments forever. I want to savor my last bites of NY pizza, gaze at the city skyline and do nothing but sit in Central Park so I can one day tell my grandchildren about my  adventurous life and actually remember these details. I want to look back with fondness at all of our trips, moves and good-byes and know that we took advantage of every day and made the best of all our situations.

Husbands “last night” (although not really…he’s coming to see me next week!) was spent eating dinner at the Russian Tea Room with some friends and family. We have both always wanted to try this famous restaurant, and we were not disappointed.

We then walked through Time Square for some last-minute people-watching and our “last trip” to the Disney Store. From there we headed to Bryant park for one final relaxing night in a city park.

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Husband still wasn’t quite ready to call it a night so we took a “last walk” through Grand Central Station, where I friend Steve taught us about the Whispering Corners. How have we never heard of this? And why is a friend from Tennessee telling us about it?

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Husband’s “last night” was a great one. I am still looking forward to my last time to host a visitor, my last NY coffee, my last time on the train and of course my last time to walk home from work. Then, I will be excited to start celebrating lots of “first times”!

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.

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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…

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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!

Happy Year of the Snake!

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Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, and you know how much I LOVE holidays! Husband and I have been pumped about celebrating the New Year in the city! After eating a hearty brunch with Grandma we began our festivities.

First off: Bloomingdales. This famous department store was not on our original list, but Grandma told us they were giving out red envelopes filled with coupons and giveaways, so we decided to make a special stop. Giving out red envelopes with cash is a Chinese tradition during holidays and special occasions, and I think Bloomingdale’s take on the tradition was genius.

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We won a free frozen yogurt and a tote bag. Woo! They also had an entire China themed shopping section.

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After our quick shopping trip we hopped on the 6 train to Chinatown! The festivities were being held at Roosevelt park. Sadly, we missed the parade, but we still got to experience lots of singing, traditional costumes, fireworks, and even a lesson in Chinese writing.

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The festival was great and we took a nice walk through Chinatown afterward so we could shop through the markets. They always have the best produce…and the uh, most unique food options.

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Dried caterpillars anyone?

Happy New Year everyone! I plan to continue the celebration tomorrow by ordering fried rice and egg rolls for dinner!

Cheers!

 

 

A Manhattan Wonderland

We experienced our first New York Blizzard last night and today, and I have to say I LOVED the experience! I grew up in Texas so naturally, I am not a fan of cold weather, but snow is different. The snow is beautiful, peaceful and so much fun! We stayed up all night watching the snow quickly fall and pile up. We even took Belle for a midnight walk. We just could not get enough of our wonderland.

The blizzard from our window last night.
The blizzard from our window last night.

I got up at 6am to get a look at the neighborhood before the doormen began shoveling and the snowplows cleared the road. It was unbelievable. Everything was covered in a foot of snow! I wish I would have taken a photo, but I was too sleepy to remember, and by 6:15 the shoveling began. Not too long after I had to head to work for only half an hour, yay! I must say “snow days” are way more exciting as an adult than as a child. Teachers watch the weather like a hawk, and snow days are like Christmas for us!

After I checked the phones lines and messages at work (being a manager brings exciting duties), it was off to the park!

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We have never seen the park so crowded! It was like an amusement park for sledders. We could barely walk down the path without clotheslining a toddler with Belle’s leash or being wiped out by a speeding sled. We loved it!

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Belle was hilarious. She is our child so like the other parents we were taking pictures and videoing her “snow day”. I don’t know how much she enjoyed the snow, but she enjoyed spending the day with her loving parents.

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Belle's face after falling in a foot of snow!
Belle’s face after falling in a foot of snow!

People were sledding in literally every vicinity of the park….even down the steps at Bethesda fountain.

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We walked around the park for about two hours. We decided to turn back once we reached the bottom and got a Waffle and Dinges snack.

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It was a perfect day topped off with homemade vegetable soup and hot cocoa. I love snow days!

Cheers!

Feel Good, Do Good and Be Good

Tomorrow is the day I begin to face my fear, again. I had plans, big plans, to relax and breathe and be all kinds of zen this weekend to fully prepare my mind and body for my doctor apartment, but life happened and I ended up working 20 hours this weekend. Bleh. I really wanted to wallow and pity myself for being stuck at work all weekend, but I am determined, DETERMINED, to look on the bright side, which was not easy to find. After scrolling through my phone pics I found some definite bright moments this weekend.

Friday marked the 100th Birthday of NY’s Grand Central Station. To celebrate the station was decked out with new exhibits, free concerts, free snacks, free coffee, free train whistles, and lots of other special events and famous speakers. All the eateries even priced their food as if it were 1913. We had a limited amount of time to spend, but we did all we could and I’m glad I got to attend such a big celebration.

Happy 100th Birthday Grand Central!
Happy 100th Birthday Grand Central!
Husband just HAD to get a free train whistle...I'll just throw that out when he's not looking.
Husband HAD to get a free train whistle…I’ll just throw that out when he’s not looking.
 A special exhibit that will be open through March
A special exhibit that will be open through March

After working late Friday, I came home to this excited pooch! No one makes me feel more loved and special than my precious Belle. She misses me every moment I’m at work.

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Then, Saturday morning I woke to this…

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Poor Husband was sick all night, and baby Belle stayed by his side all night and day to keep him company.

That night I made sure to squeeze in a yoga workout with my new yoga mat.

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Of course, today was the Super Bowl. I got off work with just enough time to pick up some groceries to prepare for the big game. I don’t know what happened to us tonight, but we somehow filled our stereotypical gender roles. Husband watched the game so intently that he refused to acknowledge any questions, comments or insults during the game, even the pre-game! (So not like him.) And I…I cooked. Like, REALLY cooked. I made vegan spinach and artichoke dip (I’m lactose-intolerant), half-vegan and half non-vegan vegetarian lasagna (I’m also vegetarian), and apple crisp. Nothing came out looking good enough to serve to guests, but it was all edible and pretty tasty. Most impressive, I did not burn myself even once.

Belle got sick of the game rather quickly. She's never been into sports.
Belle got sick of the game rather quickly. She’s never been into sports.
My half and half lasagna...it's not pretty, but it was delicious!
My half and half lasagna…it’s not pretty, but it was delicious!

Now, it’s 1am, I’m drinking ginger-lemon tea and pumping myself with positive thoughts to prep for the doctor visit tomorrow. No big deal. I can do hard things. Breathe.

What a perfect note on my teabag.
What a perfect note on my teabag.

Happy Superbowl Sunday Day!

Cheers!

Snow Day

Last week was an intensely cold week. NYC stayed below freezing ALL week. I wanted to stay inside wrapped in blankets all day every day, but sadly I am a dedicated employee and forced myself out of the covers to walk to work each day. Husband was working out of town for a few days, so I made plans to spend at least my half-day off Saturday doing nothing.

Anytime Husband goes out of town I plan to take advantage of my alone time by cleaning the entire apartment, working out every day, and reading lots of books. By the time Saturday (my last alone-day) rolled around I had not cleaned a single thing, worked out zero times, and had not even bothered to look for my Nook.

No problem I thought, after work I will clean hardcore, do a yoga DVD, and spend the rest of the evening reading while cuddled on the couch with Belle. No big deal.

Then, it snowed.

I really wanted to play in the snow. I really really wanted to let Belle play in the snow.

I have so much anxiety when I do not complete a task or to-do list that I almost had a panic attack trying to decide between playing in the snow and cleaning the apartment. Luckily, Husband called mid-crisis and told me it’s cruel to not take Belle to the park on a snow day.

So….we went.

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Turns out that Central Park was hosting its annual Winter Jam on Saturday! Winter Jam is a free festival that offers concerts, quidditch matches, food trucks, winter markets, skiing lessons, and a whole lot more! We had so much fun walking through the festivities.

There were pro snow boarders showing off their skills.
There were pro snow boarders showing off their skills.

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The "ice lounge"
The “ice lounge”

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We even found a puppy food truck that served organic, holistic, and lactose free dog treats. Lucky Belle had her own bacon peanut butter flavored ice cream!

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She LOVED it.
She LOVED it.

I had to carry my spoiled frosted pooch home because the salt on the sidewalk (used to melt the ice) burns her feet. Anyone know of good dog shoes for small dogs??

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I made it home in time to clean the apartment before Husband got home, I considered my walk through the park a workout, and I read several online menus before ordering dinner. I considered my goals accomplished and have no regrets spending a snow day in the park!

Cheers!

A Funny Night

Zoey’s Birthday was this weekend and she chose to celebrate her special day at a free comedy show downtown. A friend of ours told her about the show in the lower east side (AKA Chinatown) and gave us an exact address, which is a rare thing to have in this city.

We made it downtown through the pouring rain and found ourselves standing in front of a tiny apartment building…no line…no bar…no people laughing…no sign of a comedy show. After doing some research via google, we discovered another address 2 blocks away.

We walked through more rain and found ourselves yet again, in front of another apartment building. This time though, we found a few strangers also in search of the free comedy show. Eventually, we traveled back through the rain to the first address and discovered the show was indeed in the building on the third floor.

We walked upstairs still searching for any sign of a comedy club, but only found a regular apartment door. We entered the large-open studio apartment and three guys drinking Budlight around a table looked up and said, “Here for the hostel?”

“Ummm…no?”

“Oh, the comedy show?”

“Yes!” we exclaimed, relieved to finally be in the right place. The middle of the studio was lined with fold out chairs so we found our seats and began eyeing the many beers lining the table. I asked if we go buy a drink and was told that ALL beers are free!

We left the house with beautifully curled hair....
We left the house with beautifully curled hair….
the audience
the audience
The stage area
The stage area

Woo! We got a drink and were just starting to get settled when the pizza arrived. Tons of cheese pizzas from Lombardi’s ALL FREE.

My most favorite pizza!
My most favorite pizza!

Where are we!?!?! Free show, free beer, free pizza??? Where’s the catch?

The show began and we were a little disappointed with the first act. The poor guy was shaking all over, and his jokes garnered only few laughs. We thought drinking more beer might be necessary to enjoy the next 9 acts. Luckily, that wasn’t necessary.

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The various comedians that followed were hilarious. We laughed the next two hours away, and even got to hear some new material from one of SNL and Jimmy Fallon’s writer. We also learned that this hostel(?) hosts open mic nights all month, charging a few bucks to each comedian, then host a free show once a month for everyone to enjoy. Awesome.

After all the laughs I went home to laugh at this little cutie.

She held this in her mouth in this exact position for half an hour.
She held this in her mouth in this exact position for half an hour.

Happy Birthday Zoey! Thanks for taking us out with you!

Cheers!

Rain or Shine, We Will Force You to Walk

Our most recent visitors did not come to New York with the best of luck. Their trip was supposed to take place the week that Hurricane Sandy hit, but was obviously canceled due to canceled flights and the fact that NYC basically shut down. When they did finally make it here last week one of them got the flu, which made sightseeing extra exhausting. To make matters worse NYC was rainy, cold, and foggy for their entire trip.

It could have been bad, we could have pouted and sat inside all day, but we refuse to let our visitors miss out on our favorite city. We also refuse to let anyone get too much rest…sorry guys. We just want you to see it all!  So, we put on rain boots, lots of layers, our happy faces and took the city by storm, while in an actual storm.

One of the best things about the slippery weather is the natural lighting. Husband and Friend’s Husband took some amazing photographs while we toured the town. They bring out the silver linings in all those heavy clouds.

Can't you see how cold I feel?
Can’t you see how cold I feel?
It was so foggy we could not see the top of the Rock.
It was so foggy we could not see the top of the Rock.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
Near the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge
Near the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge

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View of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan
View of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan
Brooklyn at night
Brooklyn at night
Lovely!
Lovely!
The Atlas statue in front of 30 Rock
The Atlas statue in front of 30 Rock

We had a great time playing in the rain during their visit, and when we felt too wet, or too cold, or too tired we simply cuddled together on the couch and watched marathons of American Horror Story. I now know that no matter what the circumstances, I can still pull off being an awesome travel agent/tour guide. You know who to call when planning your NY trip!

Cheers!