I just had the most amazing weekend in New York City. And no, it did not involve the trailer – it was my last big hurrah of trailer-free living – move in happens this week! It did, however, involve adventures with three of the most wonderful people I know in one of the world’s greatest and most eclectic cities. Despite having gone to school and lived for the past 6 years just a short 4 hour bus ride from NYC, I hadn’t been there since my parents took me on a college-visit trip my senior year of high school to indulge my dreams of going to Columbia or NYU (right…) plus one short-lived fantasy of being a fashionista at FIT (again, right…).
So needless to say, this New York experience, my first as an adult, was completely different from my earlier NYC visits. For one, I got to explore parts of the city that I hadn’t been to before. We started our adventures in Brooklyn. It was my first time exploring this little gem of a neighborhood, and boy did I love it!There were so many reasons – the neighborhood feel, the views of Manhattan, the waterfront, the fabulous food and shopping, and the eclectic people. But part of why I kind of love it is because it reminds me in a lot of ways of my wonderful DC neighborhood that I’m leaving – H Street – and the great potential it possesses. We began with a stroll along the Brooklyn waterfront.Which didn’t last long before our appetites, and the abundance of cute cafes, got the best of us. After debating options for far too long (per usual) we decided on one of our original picks Heights Café. The food was deliciously filling – I got the Grilled Marinated Chicken Sandwich on an onion baguette with lemon pepper mayo, roasted peppers, arugula, avocado and provolone cheese with house-made fries and blue cheese dressing on the side. It may not sound too special, but it was divine, especially when served up with a refreshing Hoegaarden.
Next we headed to another area of Brooklyn to do some shopping. One of my favorite parts of New York was getting to see, and be inspired by, each person’s unique style. It truly is an anything goes city, as long as you have the confidence to rock it you can be fashionable wearing anything in NYC. This area of Brooklyn was certainly no exception. But my fascination with fashion was put on hold when I discovered that heaven is located in Brooklyn. You weren’t aware of this fact? Well then you’ve surely never been to The Chocolate Room.This would definitely make my top 10 list of happiest places on earth. In addition to having decadent chocolate-y treats (I got the Cafe Torino – an amazing drink where they mix their house espresso with their rich dark chocolate hot chocolate), they also serve a fantastic selection of beer, wine, and ice cream. The atmosphere, though, is really what makes the place – you feel like you have stepped into a quaint European chocolatier. (Ok, it may have helped that there was an adorable European family at the table next to us.) But seriously – go there. Your sweet tooth will thank you.Then we were on to wandering through the West Village – back into the heart of New York where the streets were crowded and pulsed with an energy unique to this city, this neighborhood even. After taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the area, we finally settled on a tiny Italian bistro, I Tri Merli, for a long relaxing dinner. The location was perfect for watching all the action on the busy street corner from the open air restaurant while enjoying a glass of wine. I got the Brazino (sea bass) with cherry tomatoes, capers, olives and sautéed spinach in a white wine sauce, which was delicious. And of course Tiramisu to share for dessert. The slow, relaxing dinner filled with laugher was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.I was fortunate enough to get to spend another day in New York, and we started it off with a Sunday favorite – brunch. It was a spectacular day for sitting outside at Le Monde and enjoying their tasty Croque Madame and ginormous Café au lait.Spectacular, that is, except for the bee who wouldn’t leave us be (pun intended). After some dramatics and looks from other patrons, our winged friend flew away just long enough for us to finish our meals and mosey onward.We took a stroll through a park adjacent to Colombia, stopping to enjoy some child-like fun on the swings and admire the beautiful surroundings.
Before we knew it, it was time to get ready to head home. We packed our bags and headed downtown for one final fun venture. And was it ever fun…We stopped by my friend and fabulous jewelry designer Diana’s new boutique, Diana Warner New York, and – Oh. My. Goodness. Everything, and I mean everything, was incredible and beautiful and so fun (let’s just go ahead and add it to the list of happiest places on Earth along with The Chocolate Room). Besides the store itself being impeccably decorated, it was filled with such a wide array of fantastic clothing, jewelry and accessories. Prices ranged from the affordable to the luxurious – so definitely offered something for everyone and every style.
I had managed to avoid the NYC shopping bug thus far (trailer doesn’t exactly have an abundance of storage space), but I had to indulge at DWNY. I picked up 3 beautiful and versatile pieces:
1.) A gorgeous jewel-toned aqua silk top from Tolani. Makes me feel so lavish and is perfect paired with the colors in Stella & Dot’s Marchesa Collection.
2.) A whimsical sheer lacy cream-colored tunic from Blue Bird that I’m so excited to pair with my lacy Chantilly Cuff & Earrings.
3.) The pants I will probably live in this fall/winter – Henry & Belle Ideal Super Skinny Jeans. They are so tight but still so comfy because of the amazing stretch. They have the look and feel of jeans, but the fit of leggings – a perfect combo.
After my final bout of extravagance, it was time to head home and back to reality – that is work and a week filled with packing packing packing. But I could not have asked for a better weekend. Not just because of all the fabulous things I did, but mostly because of the people I got to do it with. This shared time with my oldest and greatest friends was just the boost I needed to prepare me for the uncertain (yet exciting) months that lie ahead.