Champagne Wishes

FullSizeRender-8

In my opinion, New Year’s Eve is probably the most overrated holiday, but I did manage to make this the best New Year’s Eve celebration ever, with a vintage bottle of Champagne and two friends I would keep hostage if they didn’t have bills to pay. We ate, we drank, we laughed and shared the moment of a new year with hundreds on the Brooklyn Bridge.

FullSizeRender-5

Danielle and Samantha are two of my favorite people in the universe, so it made the most sense that I would demand they bring their talents to the big apple to begin 2016. We popped a bottle of champagne before a early dinner on New Year’s Eve at Pie’s and Thighs and reviewed the J train shenanigans of a couple we would surely have voted off an island. The food was good, the company better and the Brooklyn Graffiti welcoming.

FullSizeRender IMG_0477

I thought about Champagne on the bridge for last year’s festivities, but the transition into 2016 turned out to be a better fit. The weather was perfect, the bridge not too crowded and the city lights provided a perfect background. The bottle of champagne, a 2005 Vintage Dom Perignon, was a gift from by friend Beth, sent by mail for a celebration of my recent promotion.

 FullSizeRender-9 FullSizeRender-7

 We made a standard toast to our hopes for the new year, but added our own gratitude of great friendship. We wouldn’t have to recover from a hangover the next morning, only the A train running local after we thought we somehow caught the only express train running after Midnight in the city.

IMG_0586

We brunched at Phillip Marie on Hudson Street for New Year’s Day and fell in love with every bite. The table boasted over easy and crab benedict eggs and a treat of pancakes topped with strawberries for us all to share. The rest of the day was eventful at a local bar in Brooklyn. Happy Hour turned into Happy Hours and January 2nd became a day of recovery and reminiscing.

FullSizeRender-6

Three Champange glasses for three great friends was the simplest recipe for starting a new year right. 2016 is sure to be a year of more adventure, more blog posts, more champagne and the best of times with friends I am still figuring out how to change their zip codes to one closer to mine. Until next time.

FullSizeRender-3 FullSizeRender-10

Warm December

IMG_1345

The thing we can most often get caught up in as adults is… life, more specifically work, so I could kick myself for depriving my self of some adventure. The great thing about New York City is that she will have open arms and options as soon as you are ready to jump back in and thanks to a co-worker and a bit of dumb luck, I crossed off some limited time excursions on a unseasonably warm Saturday in December.

In the simplest terms, I found a large kaleidoscope nestled on the corner of 5th and 26th that gleamed different angles of the Flatiron and it’s surrounding glory. The true details are that “Nova” is a winning proposal for a Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design competition only featured in December.

IMG_1355

The best way to tackle this masterpiece was simply to take pictures at every angle and take a dive into an abstract version of the Flatiron district with of course the background noise of the holiday season.

IMG_1368

The intention for the next stop was to head straight for the pop up Museum of Feelings near the Freedom Tower. Lucky for me, a mistake to Battery Park City meant a sunset and carousal ride.

IMG_1377

I was familiar with Seaglass, but not completely in tune with the kind of whirlwind ride that was in store for me. The best description I can provide is that if you ever imagined your self as a mermaid, coy fish or deep sea diver, this is your opportunity and driest attempt to live out your fantasy. It was a carousal with fish shaped seats, a twirl of blue hues and music you imagine any sea creature swims to. In less than 5 minutes I experienced the adult version of having a light of sea shapes projected on your ceiling as a child, or at least I believe it to be. I went straight from Care Bears to New Kids on the Block. No room for starfish.

IMG_1374 IMG_1389

We never made a grand entrance to the Museum of Feelings since the line wrapped around the corner and suggested an hour wait. The irony of waiting in that line would have been the wrong type of feelings for a feelings museum, but some fresh ground beef from Bubby’s downtown was a glutinous substitute.

IMG_1388

Nothing like some child like activities with bright lights to put things in perspective. I love working hard, but sometimes forget to have a little fun. Luckily I live in a city that has the operating hours of a convenience store. Always open with a variety of sections to tickle anyone’s fancy. Until next time.

Fall Foliage

FullSizeRender(3)

I finally understand the Family Guy episode where all the residents are irritated by the New Yorkers coming up to watch the “leaves change color,” but who could resist a day of fresh cider, apple picking and the demon of the day, cider donuts? As you will see I could not, and my brother and I turned an ordinary Sunday into Fall scenery and for him, a perfect opportunity to put in birthday requests.

The options for apple picking outside of the city are plentiful, but Gylan and I decided on Masker Farms, about a hour north of NYC in Warwick, NY. We didn’t exactly have Sunday driving music on, but the Hip Hop music would suffice and we arrived to a orchard of options on the last open weekend of their season.

DSC_0020

We deciphered the orchard map and decided the only logical first step would be to acquire a cider donut, which were even better than what I had imagined over the past two weeks. We poured a cup full of cider and enjoyed the Fall treats amongst our city kin. Fall has always been a celebration of sorts for us. My mother’s pumpkin patch adventures and cornstalk decorations have obviously rubbed off on us.

FullSizeRender

In a perfect daydream, I would pick ripe apples for a Apple Pie, perfectly presented to a crowd of one in my studio apartment. In reality, we sampled our way through apples, Ida Red, Empire and Red Delicious, but didn’t fall (pun intended) in love with a particular ripe variety and reflected on the fact that both of us would be going out of town the following week. I also noted to myself to never wear red lipstick during apple tasting again. Apple 1, Lacey 0.

FullSizeRender(1) FullSizeRender(2)

We captured pictures for Social Media to prove we actually got fresh air and had our car searched for apples before heading out for a mini hike. The car search obviously touching our hearts as a little piece of home, but don’t worry, you are allowed to eat as many apples as you like while on premise.

FullSizeRender(4)

Wawayanda Lake was about a ten minute drive from donut heaven, I mean the apple orchard, and we just took some time to hear our own thoughts before heading back to a line of cars crossing the George Washington Bridge and vulgar road rage, which seemed to be coming from our very own car.

FullSizeRender(6)

Work and other obligations always get in the way of doing the things that count as “living life,” including blogging, spending time with my brother and the search for Mrs. Right (A medium classic quilted Chanel flap handbag with Silver hardware.) I can not forget to fit in the moments that count, accompanied by people I adore, with calories I always think will be walked off around the city. Until next time.

More Brooklyn, More Art

IMG_9192

With the rotation of eye catching and intriguing exhibits at Brooklyn Museum, there is always a reason to go back, and often. This time Gylan and I were on the hunt for black lights and sneakers and was pleasantly surprised at what followed.

FullSizeRender-10

We started the day with brunch at Soco in Brooklyn. I thought it was finally time to introduce Gylan to the sensation of their Red Velvet Waffle accompanied by three glorious pieces of fried chicken. Throw in some mac and cheese for a appetizer, but subtract the mimosa special only available on Saturdays. Our after dining agenda was clear and after I avoided an anxiety attack because Gylan was refusing to pay the donation (I hate the negotiation and paying under the suggested entrance fee), we headed straight to the fifth floor of the Brooklyn Museum.

FullSizeRender-3 FullSizeRender

Faile: Savage/Sacred Young Minds was a phenomenal exhibit which “blurred the boundaries between fine art, street art and popular culture.” There was a variety of visual and interactive experiences with arcade games, black light effects and inspirations of everything from New York City to childhood fairy tales. The movement and sounds of the installation reminded me of Times Square and how amongst the chaos, you can see a image of every emotion a person can experience, including women in thongs and body paint, whom you can take a picture with, for a nominal fee.

FullSizeRender-5

Just feet away we stepped into Sneaker Culture, a look into the history of sneakers and how they have come to stand for an aspect of elitism.

FullSizeRender-6

Gylan is the sneaker expert of the family, so I mostly snap chatted for an envious effect and listened as he explained how to tell one Jordan from another. It ends up they were actually just stacked in order.

FullSizeRender-8 FullSizeRender-9

Due to weather distractions, Gylan and I never noticed the gem just yards away next door. Surrounded by busy Brooklyn streets sat the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We walked off every last bite of brunch and used the acres of gardens to have a moment of peace before the week started.

FullSizeRender-15 FullSizeRender-11

Brooklyn, you are always so kind with your modern charm, hidden gems and perfect scenery for Instagram posing and this more than makes up for the A train ruining the weekends of August due to repairs.

FullSizeRender-12 FullSizeRender-14

Art, rose gardens and Lily pads are a nice recipe for tranquility. I didn’t stare out the window watching the rain with Alanis Moristette playing in the background after, but I did get a chance to decompress before it was time to face NYC for another week.  I am now fully prepared to face conference calls, Van Wyck traffic and train humidity. Until next time.

Central Park

IMG_9032

Saturday proved to be the perfect day for a day in the park, but not just any park, Central Park. I had held it off long enough and with a out of town visit from one of my favorite blogger’s and best friends, Beth, it was time to seize the day. I try to make it a point to do new things when I have guests in town, so we can have an authentic new experience together. With Beth being a blogger, I had to to live up a to blog-worthy experience.

FullSizeRender copy

The row boats at the Loeb boathouse were a must do. We started at Columbus circle and weaved our way through to the lake for affordable boating. We passed picnics and bikers, sleeping labs and horse carriages and hundreds of runners that I had a paranoid feeling were judging me for walking.

beth FullSizeRender-5

We were surprised to walk right up to place our deposit down and $15 per hour to row our little hearts out. I volunteered to row first and took at least 5 minutes to get acclimated, stopping several times to take in the view, a.k.a. rest. While many of the boat drivers were rowing backwards, I decided to row forward and face my challenges head on. The sun beamed and I directed Beth through posting a video for me on Snapchat. We attempted to switch mid way, but reverted back to our original setup once things were just going in circles. A statement I’m sure I will get a text about from Beth.

FullSizeRender row

One Manhattan down, (my go to drink while actually frolicking in Manhattan) at the Central park Boathouse and we were off to see what else the park had to offer. We watched a street act hustle over $300 from the crowd and stumbled upon a stand with vintage photographs for $7 a snap. This immediately became the highlight of the day since photographs for me are the bee’s knees. Even though I don’t actually know what that means.

IMG_9099

 A quick lunch at Benihana and a few train stops down to the Chelsea Market, Beth and I successfully filled up our Saturday. I hope I exuded the confidence of a one year resident in the city and I’m glad Central Park worked at it’s full potential to show my friend a good time. A tote in the chelsea market had a saying with “New York is my Boyfriend” written on it, a relevant quote since my boyfriend acted appropriately for my company this weekend because you just never know when your boyfriend will embarrass you in front of your friends. Until next time.

 

 

One Year Later

FullSizeRender copy

I have officially survived one year as a NYC resident. I know which trains get me where, what time the tunnels have traffic you could cry over (basically all the time) and where to find the best bagels in all the boroughs. I know which direction the avenues flow and have “go to” Starbucks and parking locations. I never leave home without my phone charger and can now mentally prepare for hour long train rides. I can call myself a New Yorker and I am anxiously awaiting for a letter from the Mayor of some sort.

IMG_8473 IMG_8475

To celebrate the occasion, I found it most appropriate to visit something iconic New York City. The Empire State building greeted me with open arms, sunset views and lines that brought us to elevators, that brought us to other lines, but Gylan, myself and a family friend, Marcus eventually made it to the 86th floor.

IMG_8480 IMG_8481

The top was crowded, but breathtaking. We circled around the observation deck and shifted our way to the front taking in views facing Queens, Downtown, Uptown and Jersey. Sharing the moment with my brother made it even better, even if I did lose a $5 bet to him when I challenged him to name a movie where the Empire State Building was featured. He quickly responded with King Kong ( I clearly underestimated his movie knowledge), but I only ended paying out $1 since I charged him $4 for use of my charger.

IMG_8489 IMG_8573

The weekend reached its ultimate high, when I cashed in on birthday concert tickets from my brother to see Miguel, the R&B artist, no R&B God. I was anticipating seeing his performance since I previously saw him in concert and we obviously made a connection, since he came in town for my anniversary weekend. He surfed the crowd, he brilliantly wore fringe and made the crowd promise to be true to themselves.

IMG_8589

Gazing at the sunset over a zoo of tall buildings helped remind me that I had always wanted to live in New York, if only for a year. This city forces you to hustle and to always find a way to figure it out. It was beyond fitting that Miguel’s performance would promote finding happiness on your own terms and in the way you want to define it because that is exactly what I am doing in this city. Defining my happy, in my own terms in a city that after a year I call my own and sometimes with a spontaneous New York accent. Until next time.

IMG_8711

25.7° N, 80.2° W

FullSizeRender-8

A decent amount of time has passed since my annual girls trip down to the Miami Beach area, but one has to work through all the stages of after vacation depression before preceding. Beyond that, this is one of those blog posts where I want to be eloquent with my words in case anyone decides to run for Senator or even Block Club President at this point.

IMG_8113 IMG_8114

Three years ago it was my “dirty 30,” and a group of my wonderful friends and I decided to run the streets of South Beach for revenge on father time. We have since returned twice and we added in a little more luxury, a drink by the name of “call a cab” and a salt water spray down on a banana boat.

FullSizeRender IMG_7202

The first thing on my list of to dos, was to stay at the new Thompson Hotel of Miami Beach. I was a raving fan of the Toronto location and am determined to do a tour of the properties. The rooms were clean, crisp and modern with a flare for the area and the two pools overflowed with luxury and pina coladas. We chose The Seagrape of the Thompson Hotel for a Thursday evening meal which was to die for. The Thompson was just the first stop and after the full crew arrived we took residence in a condo fit for a group in the mood for fun.

FullSizeRender-10 IMG_8117

This blog post has to include more pictures than words because between pressed cuban sandwiches and scooter rides, there are now videos that I personally hope never appear on a stolen unlocked phone.

IMG_7319 FullSizeRender-5

The best part of the trip was being surrounded with friends that I don’t get to see often, since they are not residents of the great city I call home. They renewed my faith in long distance love and relationships and South Beach, Florida will always be home to memories no Social Media will ever be able to portray. Overflowing Thanks to Danielle, Samantha, Mercedes, Marie and the muscle of the group, Chuck. The Florida sun was very giving and I loved boasting about my tan in the Big Apple, I just hope Fat Tuesdays on Ocean Drive will have me back in the future. #nervouslaugh. Until next time.

FullSizeRender-11 IMG_8119

FullSizeRender-9 IMG_8121

FullSizeRender-7 IMG_7364

 

Rooftop Film Club

IMG_7477

You may or may not have noticed, but I have every intention of exploring what this city has to offer and I may have just experienced one of my favorite adventures to date. I often stumble across things to do on Social Media and I happened to notice an article on a Rooftop Film Club series hosted by Time Out Magazine that features a classic film every Tuesday for most of the Summer.

IMG_7434 IMG_7432

There was no need to look any further when I saw Pretty Woman listed for the last Tuesday in June. In hindsight, choosing a date right after a girls trip may have been overly enthusiastic, but as soon as the opening credits started rolling with the sun setting on Manhattan, I knew all was right with the world.

IMG_7400 IMG_7421

I purchased tickets for $25 a person, which included the movie, a glass of wine or beer and one taco per person. The term taco should of been clarified as being used loosely, but Yotel on tenth ave, provided a more than suitable location for a re-watch of the 1990 film. Gylan and I received our headphones which provided sound and barrier from everyone hearing me quote my favorite parts of the movie. “You work on commission right? Big Mistake, Big, Huge!”

IMG_7451 IMG_7581

Half of the time I thought about why movies weren’t made like this anymore and during the other half I wondered if I knew what was actually going on as a ten year old viewer. I feel it would be an insult to describe any part of the plot, because as a citizen of this Universe, you should have seen this, however  the classic scenes and classic lines seemed to all be summed up by Vivian when asked what she wanted and replied, “I just want the Fairytale.” 

Don’t we all Vivian? Until next time.

A NY Birthday

sis

My entrance into my 32nd year of existence or as I like to re-reference as my 24th year of existence into this world started as no other. It marked my first official birthday in New York City and while I had a sunny and hot version of a celebration planned for the next day, there was no other way to spend the day, but on a rooftop and with my brother, whom I haven’t spent a birthday with in years.

bro ot

We first attempted to catch the skyline at The Sky Room on 40th in Midtown, but a private party secluded us from the top terrace. Interesting enough, my name was not on the guest list for the party, a mix up in emails I’m sure. So with a cut over a few avenues, it was the Monarch rooftop that would be the host to drinks and birthday leisure.

sun

I  can always count on my brother for a instacrowd so a couple of friends joined us as we “snapchatted” our way through the night and successfully proved our Wednesday was much better than the rest of the world’s. The weather also seemed to cooperate specifically for the holiday, (my birthday if you missed it).

 IMG_7155

While there isn’t too much I can report besides indulging in over priced drinks, Face Timing with my parents and admiring the champagne (probably considered White to civilians) illuminated tip of the Empire State Building, I will leave on one note. On days like this, beyond the extravagance of it being the day the world was blessed with my presence, I am reminded of the missing piece I couldn’t find before I moved here. I needed a new outlet, a way to be myself beyond the hours of work and some outside factor that encouraged me to go for it all and 11 months ago New York City gave me that present. A little off on timing, but spot on for what I needed. Until next time.

38.9° N, 77.0° W

izeRender

Thirty one posts later, it feels good to have a creative outlet and blog to document all of my new adventures in New York City or forty74 as I have affectionately shortened the coordinates of the big apple to. Lucky for me I sometimes get the chance to travel outside those coordinates and discover new ones. This past weekend, I drove four hours South to Washington, D.C. for the first time ever on a trip with two men I adore the most.

IMG_6659

My dad has been talking about a family trip to D.C. for months now and we finally grabbed enough vacation time between the three of us to take advantage of passes to tour the White House. The tour was shorter than the wait, but nonetheless beautiful and allowed my brother to ask the Secret Service a burning question. In case any of you are wondering, the president does not wear his slippers around the East Room.

12

We spent the rest of the afternoon checking off major monuments, a welcomed itinerary since I was a D.C. newbie. The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and MLK Jr. statue were wonderful to see, but even better to experience with my dad since I knew it meant so much to him.

IMG_6685 IMG_6742

Lunch at a pub was suggested by a Secret Service Agent himself, as he put it, it was “where all the Secret Service Agents go.” A location I refuse to share until the official nuptials of myself and an agent have been announced. All the walking helped to work off the fried cod and as much as I hate to admit it, after checking into our hotel at 6, that was just about all the excitement I could handle on three hours of sleep. Which now that I think about it, could of been New York’s way of telling me I could go to another city, but she didn’t want me to enjoy it.

FullSizeRender

The next day had to include a stop at Ford Theatre where of course in true Father and Son fashion, they decided to recreate the expected crowd’s reaction during Lincoln’s dreadful night.

IMG_6760(1)

We walked here, we walked there, we walked everywhere. Rembrandts and Picassos at the Smithsonian, my dad, apparently a new found Art expert and a quick line into see airplanes and space shuttles, we hit all the highlights and fit in some Chick-fil-a. We had an authentic Italian dinner where I once again didn’t order first, something my brother and father never care to allow, but we shared laughs, speculated Obama’s White House activities and snap chatted our way into going over our data plan.

IMG_6836 IMG_6838

One lesson you always learn when you live away from your family is to appreciate any time you spend with them. New York City does it’s share of giving me adventures, but D.C. will always be a city where my Dad got some time with the people he is proud of the most. For as long as I can remember my dad has loved politics and the excitement of it all. It was the moment when I was watching my father read the quote’s of MLK Jr. on a stone wall that I knew he finally had a chance to have his children and other love all in one place and that was worth cheating on New York for. Until next time.

IMG_6714