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!

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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.

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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!