Category Archives: New York City

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s

My first experience at Bergdorf Goodman was with my mom while I was still in college. I spent a lot of time wandering Fifth Avenue as a broke college kid — I loved walking through the classic department stores and boutiques, dreaming of a day when I might be able to afford to shop there.

bergdorfholiday2012Image via Flickr

For some reason, I had never visited Bergdorf’s. It seemed almost too exclusive, tucked at the edge of Central Park with windows that always looked like a fashion girl’s acid trip — incredible gowns, sparkling jewelry, and objet d’art shoes set against over-the-top backdrops that usually include wild animals or forests made out of intricately cut paper.

My mom, a former department store fashion buyer, couldn’t believe I’d never set foot in the place and so we went. The building is just as classic as Saks Fifth Avenue or Bloomingdale’s, but when you walk through the door, it just has a different feeling. Instead of the usual hustle of cosmetics counters and pushy salespeople, Bergdorf’s ground floor is quiet and filled with the most beautiful handbags and accessories that you could ask for. The atmosphere is insider-y and undeniably elegant.

I have to admit that I still feel like a bit of an outsider at Bergdorf’s. I don’t live the same kind of life as the women buying up the extensive selection of studded Valentino heels and classic Chanel ballet flats on a Saturday afternoon; but it’s still fun to stop by and dream!

victoria-roberts-i-want-my-ashes-scattered-over-bergdorf-s-new-yorker-cartoonImage via Conde Nast

Next month, a documentary called Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s (named after the famous 1990 New Yorker cartoon seen above) will be released, giving us an insider look at the store and the people who make it one of the most fantastic shopping destinations in the world. I’m really looking forward to seeing this one, preferably with one of my best partners in (shopping) crime! Take a look at the trailer below — what do you think?

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Filed under Fashion, Film, New York City, Shopping

Spring Blooms

farmersmkttulips

The weather was really lovely for walking around this weekend, which was perfect since we had guests visiting from out of town. We took full advantage of Saturday and spent the entire afternoon walking around the city, stopping only to graze on amazing food along the way (pizza, cupcakes, fried chicken… what didn’t we eat?).

We stopped by the Union Square farmers market, which is one of my favorite places to be during the spring and summer. You can easily make an afternoon out of browsing the amazing offerings from the local farms. There were a few stands selling cherry and plum branches that bloom with tiny pink flowers, and the tulips just screamed “spring”!

ranunculus_2013

I’m keeping fresh flowers in our apartment more frequently now — it just makes our space feel a little more fun when there is something nice to look at when we get home at the end of the day! Ranunculus is one of my favorite flowers, and I’ve had the bunch seen here for over a week already. As long as you change out their water and get rid of dead leaves, the buds will continue to bloom! What are your favorite spring blooms?

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Filed under Home Decor, New York City, Random

How did I get here? And where am I going?

nowayofknowingImage by Chris Piascik

I’m a frequent visitor to IFB for their great posts on blogging. This week, they posted a prompt that is really quite relevant to me right now: why did you start your blog?

Between working full-time, keeping up with my friends and family, and doing all of those boring adult things (paying bills, doing laundry, cooking dinner, etc.), I often let my blog go stagnant for weeks at a time. Lately I’ve been trying to work harder at building my blog, focusing my content, and really making it a reflection of who I am, how I got here, and where I’m going.

When I first started my blog, I was on the verge of graduating from college and had just secured a new job and apartment in New York. It was a really exciting time in my life because I felt like I had finally crossed the border into ADULTHOOD, and I was filled with nothing but hope for what was to come. I didn’t really have a clear vision of what I wanted the blog to be, but I posted occasionally about things that I did, places I went, and (of course) clothes that I liked.

Going back today to think about what my vision (or non-vision) was for my blog has been really refreshing. I’ve realized that my content here hasn’t always been a true reflection of who I am, and maybe it’s time to change that. I have looked to a lot of very successful blogs over the years and wondered why I couldn’t be more like them — to have the money for travel and pretty clothes, to live in a perfectly styled apartment that provides a beautiful backdrop for photos, or to have hours each week to test out new recipes and crafts to feature. But that’s OK, because that is just not who I am at this point in my life.

I want to be able to connect with people here who, like me, are balancing the things they want in life with reality. And more importantly, I want to be able to show people that there is a positive way to find a balance — whether it’s updating their wardrobe while staying on top of their student loan payments, or finding time to whip up something homemade and fabulous in their kitchen despite their 9-to-5. So, cheers to the future of City Coeur! Here’s hoping that I can bring back that same new-graduate hope to this blog years later!

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Snow Day in NYC

centralparksnow2013

This weekend brought us a ton of snow. I was actually pretty thrilled about it, since I really love seeing the city frosted in a fresh blanket of powder. I grew up in New England where a few feet of snow at a time is a pretty regular thing, so it’s always pretty funny for me to watch the reaction of New Yorkers when the city gets more than an inch.

The weather was the perfect excuse for me to lay low and enjoy the finer things in life, such as pizza delivery, excessive magazine reading, and cup upon steaming cup of hot tea.

We wandered a little on Saturday so that we could scope out the park and enjoy the snow before it got all dirty and melty (it didn’t take long!). The photo above is of Central Park, which I found to be looking particularly magical. Our only regret was that we were too late to buy a sled (literally, sold out everywhere) and join with our neighbors on the hill!

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Lunch

nypl-lunch-newautomatCredit: NYPL, Jonathan Blanc

“How much time do you have?” asked my friend Morgan.

I looked at the time. 12pm. I came in early that day, didn’t have another meeting until 2. “I think I can swing a full hour”

This made Morgan laugh. He was hours away from boarding a flight back to his home in Switzerland, where an hour minimum is a standard lunch break. And here I was, hemming and hawing over whether or not I could take a measly hour to catch up with a dear friend who I only get to see once or twice a year.

It’s no secret that Americans are some of the most stressed out human beings on the face of the planet, even if it is our own doing. We work long hours, bring our work home with us, and apparently don’t use half of our paid vacation time! AND we don’t take proper lunch breaks. Catch me on any normal day at the office, and there is a 99% chance that I’m eating my lunch in front of my computer — possibly while I’m still emailing.

Morgan shakes his head when I explain my routine. “You’re not meant to sit in front of the computer all day,” he says to me. “You need to take a break.”

This solution seems so simple, but in the back of my mind I can’t help but think, “it’s just not the way we do things here.” All the talk about lunch (and, I suppose, the unusual circumstance of sitting in a restaurant in the middle of the workday) takes me back to a fabulous exhibit that I visited a few weeks ago at the New York Public Library, Lunch Hour NYC.lunchhourIf you are in the city, I highly recommend that you visit this free exhibit if only for an excuse to wander inside the beautiful and historic library on 42nd Street (if you’re not in the area, you can check out the online exhibit!). Although the display is rife with nostalgic memorabilia, from menus to 1950s tin lunch boxes, there are some overarching themes that are so quintessentially American and which explain my lunchtime conundrum to a tee — everything was fast, convenient, and productive! The power lunch. Wonder bread. Food carts. All of the foundational elements that led us to the lunch break-averse culture that we are today.

I’m not saying that there is necessarily anything wrong with this. Sometimes I’d rather power through lunch to make my day go by faster and have one more thing crossed off of my to-do list before I head home. But I must confess that after lunch, a coffee, and a good conversation with an old friend (clocking in at an unthinkable hour and twenty-five minutes, no less!), I did feel more relaxed for the rest of the day.

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Weathering the Storm

A peek into the (closed) entrance to Central Park at the end of my street

Well, it has certainly been an interesting few days here in New York City. Our public transportation has been out of commission since Sunday night, and the subways have just started running again today. Although cabin fever was starting to set in, I have to be thankful that our neighborhood was spared any terrible damage and we never lost our power. I have friends in other parts of the city who are moving temporarily into hotels while they wait for their electricity and water to be restored. And of course, seeing the horrific damage in parts of New Jersey and Queens is humbling — sometimes we forget how powerful Mother Nature is until something like this happens.

I’ve been working out of our apartment for the past few days, and really taking the opportunity to reset and take a deep breath. Sometimes the constant feeling that we have to be going somewhere or doing something is just too much stress to handle. Even though it’s annoying that I can’t just jump on a train and be somewhere else for a while, I’m enjoying the feeling of staying put, writing more, and having more time to prepare something good for dinner each night! I even bought a Cornish game hen to roast last night — more on how that panned out later!

Otherwise, I’ve passed the time not spent working by baking, revamping an old piece of furniture, and making some plans for our Thanksgiving dinner! Hope everyone made it through the storm safe and sound.

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Cookies for Breakfast!?

Now, I know what you’re thinking based on the title — but I promise you, this is WAY better than Cookie Crisp cereal could ever dream of being!

I first heard of Levain Bakery through a friend who was excited that they were opening a location in West Harlem, not far from where we both live. She raved about the cookies there, but I didn’t really think much of it. I make plenty of cookies at home, so I don’t typically go out of my way to buy them.

Then, almost a year later, my boyfriend and I are watching a show on The Cooking Channel and THERE THEY ARE! Levain cookies. But they aren’t just cookies… think of what you would get if a delicious chocolate chip cookie had a baby with a scone, and there you have a Levain cookie.

We personally like to eat these guys for breakfast (not every day, obviously). The outside of the cookies are crisp and slightly flaky like a scone, while the inside is soft and slightly undercooked like all of the best cookies that I’ve ever had. My favorite flavor is the chocolate chip walnut, which feels like a slightly refined version of a chocolate chip cookie. But there are other tempting and chocolate-y flavors as well, like double chocolate and chocolate peanut butter. On top of being absolutely delicious, I also have to give these guys major props for being really nice! We rolled out of bed early this past Sunday and took our loaner dog (we were pet sitting) up to the bakery to grab breakfast for ourselves and my parents who were staying with us. When we arrived at the bakery we discovered that it was still 20 minutes until they opened, but the nice people there took pity on us and let us come in to grab our cookies early so that we didn’t have to wait around!

One last thing — you might think that $4 is a bit pricey for one cookie, but rest assured that this thing EASILY feeds two people. We didn’t even finish three of them between four adults. Completely and totally worth it!

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Filed under Food, New York City