Sunday, July 31, 2011

Up High on the High Line

Well guess who came to visit me…LEAH! (aka my roommate from Spain).  We spent a Saturday evening and Sunday exploring the city with her cousin who lives here.  Spending time with Leah is nothing short of refreshing.  She has such a wonderful view on life and makes friends with literally everyone she comes in contact with.  For example, we were at an antique store and next thing I know she has discovered that one of the sales people wants to sell her figs and is calling her contact at Whole Foods to connect the two.  From delicious food to antique stores to yoga to chocolate to bookstores, it was an action packed weekend.  However, I figured I would just give you a little glimpse of it through our adventures on the High Line.
Now for those of you who don’t know, the High Line Park runs along the Hudson River from 10th to 33rd.  It was old rail tracks that were turned into a park, completed in June 2009.  The elevated walkway is complete with natural flowers, grasses, and contemporary art.  Check out the website to learn even more.  
When you are with Leah, it is just a given that you trust everyone.  So, without even thinking we handed our fancy cameras over to a group of three guys and ran down the steps for them to take our picture.  However, since I was with Leah, it all turned out just fine.  In fact, it turned out better than fine it turned out fantastic! The guys proceeded to do an entire "jumping" photo shoot of us and are now our new friends.
 
Our new friends.
Check out silhouette photos...
Leah.
Me.  Check out these views of the Hudson River.
My typical pose...eyes down checking out my pictures.
How crazy is this?...
The picture that Leah and I took in Switzerland back in December
has the exact same light as the first picture on this post.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Willford's Favorite Student

This will prove once and for all Katie that I am Willford’s favorite student.  She came all the way to NYC to visit me.  (If that last comment confused you, click here to see if you can find what I am referencing.)
Anyways, last Tuesday one of my favorite teachers of all times (my high school leadership teacher) was in NYC.  Willford, as she is fondly known, was taking a group of students on an East Coast College Tour along with a good friend of hers.  Her friend’s fiancĂ© owns the company that organizes these college whirlwind trips where students see an unbelievable amount of schools in one week.
The two tour guides
I joined her, along with 25 high schoolers for dinner at John’s Pizza off of Times Square.  If you had told me when I was a sophomore in high school that I would be having dinner with Willford in NYC six years later, I would never have believed you.  I guess that is just a testament to the amazing teacher and friend she is, even through my college years.
Fun with reflections and mirrors in Times Square
We had a great time catching up and exploring around Times Square.  We even found the perfect souvenir for her daughter at the Disney Store.  Thanks again for visiting me Willford!  Even if it wasn’t the sole purpose of your trip, we can still pretend it was. J
The Disney Store
The perfect souvenir

Friday, July 22, 2011

Walking on Bruised Feet

Sunday and you know what that means… Lululemon free yoga and doughnuts!  Of course I had to take my mom so she could experience this Sunday tradition.  Then off to SoHo to explore a not so touristy part of the city and get a late brunch of frittatas and watermelon salad.
Watermelon Salad.
Frittata.
Next up was a bit of shopping.  The funny thing is I find myself only looking at clothes that will work for work since that is just about all I ever wear now-a-days (if you don’t include the Nike shorts and white v-necks that I throw on when getting back to the apartment).  We found some pretty good deals on dresses at Anne Taylor Loft so I was happy.
We happened to cross Times Square just as the shoot out of the Women's World Cup was showing on the big screen.  Everyone gathered to watch the game reminded me of Europe.
I LOVE this statue...no pun intended.
Central Park.  A trip to the Big Apple would not be complete without a stop here.  There just so happened to be a summer concert going on that evening so we could listen to it for a bit.  The one thing better than people watching is people watching with live music playing in the background.
Everyone out for music in the park.
We ended the night with dinner on the Upper West Side at Monaco, an AMAZING Mediterranean restaurant.  My mom order chicken kebabs and I had the most delicious chicken tangine in the entire world (lemon/saffron sauce over chicken and couscous).  It was so enjoyable to sit in the open air window, watching the New Yorkers on their nightly summer strolls.  If I come back to NY, which I hope I do, I definitely would live on the Upper West Side. 
I loved having my mom out here for the weekend and glad I will see her again in a few weeks.  And mom, I apologize if your feet are still bruised!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bruised Feet

Well I didn’t think I walked that much, but apparently I am wrong.  In fact I walk enough to permanently bruise a person’s feet according to my mom.  I guess I am the exploring version of my dad on steroids.  To be honest, I decided to do a mapmyrun.com for our Saturday route, and shockingly realized we had logged 14.74 miles.  However, the best way to see a city and truly understand it is to walk the streets.  You come across so many hidden gems that you would have missed if you had simply taken the subway from point A to B.  Most Saturdays I don’t really have a destination or plan when I start off, just a direction.
Well we ended here...now see what we went through to get to this location.
However, since my mom was here, I had to have a bit more direction.  I figured we better start off with a nice relaxing brunch before heading off on our day’s adventure.  We ate at Rue 57, one of my favorite places for brunch on the corner of 6th and 57th.  She had French toast with berries and I had an omelet.  We had a great seat in the open air restaurant which happened to be right next to the person who sits next to me at work.  What a coincidence!
To be honest I am not a huge fan of this pic because pictures of you sitting at a table just look awkward, but I decided my expanation of the restaurant/table wasn't the best so this would help.
Next we headed off to Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Flea Market that my Markets of New York book from Anthropologie praised.  We were not disappointed.  The market was filled with all sorts of antiques, vintage clothes, and delicious food.  Brooklyn with its trees, smaller buildings, and quirky charm is a nice escape from the busy city.
Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Flea Market on Lafayette St.
Can you spot my mom and I?
This merchant turned old ceiling tiles into artwork.  I am obsessed!
Pure fruit popsicles...blueberry + apricot = delicious
After that we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, making our way back to Manhattan.  As we meandered through Sea Port (a Fisherman’s Wharf type area) I took my 10th sample of lotion for the day.  My mom pointed out that every time I see a tester bottle, I obviously feel the need to try it.
Obviously windy, bridge pictures aren't our specialty.
We passed through Battery Park and the World Trade Center site as I led my mom to our New York office so she could see that and have a view of our Jersey City one.  It just so happened that there was an Arts Festival going on at the World Financial Center.  Take a look at what we saw.
video
Next up was Otto, Mario Batali’s pizza restaurant at 1 5th Ave.  My mom was neighbors with Mario during 9th and 10th grade when their families lived in Madrid.  She remembers him as this awkward teenager with a huge, curly, red haired afro and even brought along a picture of all of them just in case we saw him at the restaurant.  Unfortunately he was on vacation but the restaurant was still neat, designed to look like a train station, and the food was pretty good too.
A new spin on capresi salad...add pesto and pine nuts.
After dinner we walked along the Highline, old elevated train tracks that run along the water from 14th to 34th.  Someone had the brilliant idea of turning them into an elevated park and the walkway was alive with people going for their nightly stroll.
We probably held traffic up for 30 people taking this picture
since the man who was taking it couldn't figure out my camera.
We finished the night up with a stop in Times Square.  My mom was not a big fan of the crowds and neither am I, but it is still amazing to see so many people from all over the globe in just a few short blocks!
Now that is what I call an impressive flip!