Tag 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

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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Something Old, Something New {Friday}

I’ve been trying to think of a little feature that I could do on a weekly basis that would keep me thinking and writing. I think I’ve come up with a good one, and I’m going to attempt to implement it starting today! Each Friday, I’ll share two things that happened during my week: one “old” and one “new.” The Something Old could be anything from catching up with an old friend to making a classic family recipe for dinner — think the kind of “old” that gives you warm fuzzies, not back pain! My Something New will run the gamut from something new that I learned that week to a new place I’d never been to before. The point of all this is to end the week on a happy and optimistic note! So, here we go…

{Something Old}

I had the pleasure of getting together with one of my best friends from college early this week for a bottle of wine after work! M and I are both Francophiles, and you may remember that she and I ran around France together for a week last year. We met up at The Bourgeois Pig, a great little wine bar in the East Village that offers a superb 1/2 price bottle night on Monday and Tuesday. I always enjoy my time with M because she’s one of those people with a contagious laugh who is so easy to hang out with. Sometimes there is nothing better than spending a few hours with an old friend!

{Something New}

I tried a Barre method class at my gym for the first time — and hoooooo baby were my muscles burning afterward! The class I took is called vBarre, and it combines ballet methods which are done at the barre with some Pilates-esque moves. The toughest part was using the glide board, which is a slippery plastic board about the length of a yoga mat. It looked like so much fun in the videos I saw online, but it’s really hard to do at first! Once you get the hang of it, you can get going pretty fast. I’m definitely looking forward to my next class!

Happy weekend, everyone! What made you happy this week?

Top photo by arvindgrover via Flickr

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10 Reasons to Kiss and Make Up with NYC

A view of the city from the Empire State Building

Well, it had to happen sometime… it was just a matter of when. After more than 6 years of bliss, I’m having my first fight with New York City. We are just not getting along this week. I’m blaming it on the poor timing of terrible weather — back to back days of sweltering heat after spending a week up north with beautiful weather hasn’t exactly given me the chance to cool down (literally). It’s no secret that this city can be tough to live in. It keeps running at warp speed, whether you have the energy to keep up with it or not! In an attempt to kiss and make up, here is a list of great reasons why New York is totally worth it.

  1. The people. Endless types of people! If you can’t think of anything else to do in New York, you are guaranteed great people-watching — any day.
  2. The green spaces. As much as people may complain about the lack of nature on the grid, you can’t argue with the fact that it is pretty easy to get to a green space from pretty much anywhere in the city. I can practically roll out my front door and into Central Park, but there are plenty of smaller parks to chill out in too!
  3. The food. I don’t know if another place exists where food is not only so diverse, but so accessible all the time. Feel like eating Thai food for dinner and then French pastries for dessert? Chances are those two menu items are within walking distance of each other. Don’t even feel like leaving your apartment? Order it in.
  4. Free creative vibes! All it takes is a quick walk down the street to be inspired by something. You’ll always find an inspiring piece of street art, a crazy outfit, or a totally bizarre street performer to get your own creative gears turning.
  5. Easy day trips. Sometimes finding the balance while living in the city is leaving it once in a while. Two of my favorite day trips are to Governor’s Island (totally free!) and to Long Beach. If you need a (cheap) weekend getaway, buses leave frequently for Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Boston.

Magnolias at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

6. Amazing shopping. You don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money to get some really good shopping in, and the sales at boutiques and department stores are fantastic if you keep an eye out for them. I also love those stores that have quirky things you probably can’t find anywhere else in the country. Some of my favorites are Pearl River Market for cheap home goods, and Kiosk for the most random assortment of gadgets and gifts from all around the world.
7. The best public transportation. Even though commuters may complain about the subways and buses, you have to admit that our system is pretty darn good. It’s relatively inexpensive, runs all the time, and covers a lot of ground. All in all, I’m impressed
8. Easy to make friends. New York might not always be associated with the words “friendly” or “welcoming,” but if you want to make friends here, it isn’t too difficult. I know so many people (myself included!) who have made friends out of people who they met on a night out, in a Meetup group, on an intramural sports team, or through a language exchange website. If you have an interest, there is a good chance that someone else shares it and would love to have someone to share it with!
9. Easy to be alone. There are definitely days when you just want to tune out and be by yourself — a difficult task, one would think, in a city of more than 8 million people. But it’s really not. Pop in your headphones, head to your favorite park or neighborhood, and just get lost in the crowd. It’s easier than you think!
10. Being a New Yorker. For every time that someone has shoved past me on the sidewalk or let a door slam in my face, there are twice as many times that a total stranger has offered to help me with a heavy suitcase on the subway stairs or even held their umbrella over my head when I forgot mine at home as we crossed the street together (yes, this really happened and I have seen it happen to others as well!). These little mutual understandings of community are really what binds this city together, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

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July 9, 2012 · 6:00 am