The Upright Citizens Brigade

I've mentioned I had family in town last week so let me tell you a little about my aunt Carla. Carla visits us here in NYC every 6 months. I kid you not. She first came up just a couple months after we moved here and since then she comes every spring and fall. Every time she visits, she has a list of places she wants to go, including tourist spots, restaurants, and half the time it's places JP and I have never even heard of. This time, I was able to take the entire week off from work, which gave us a ton of time to tackle her list.

Every time she comes, she plans a secret thing for us to do and doesn't tell us about it until she gets here. Once it was Accomplice, a walking tour/scavenger hunt/theatre show, though I can't tell you too much about it or I might get in trouble (for example, once you buy your tickets, you don't know where you're supposed to go until you get a voicemail telling you - and it ends by saying you must delete it immediately). Another time, it was taking a sailboat around Manhattan. So this time it was a night at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre!

We saw the show Death by Roo Roo: Your F'ed Up Family. For those who might not be familiar with this theatre, it's an improv and sketch comedy spot. It was started by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh in 1999 - it not only has shows, but it also has a training center for people who want to train in improv and sketch comedy. The show was saw had two parts - in the first half, they talked to someone in the audience to hear about their totally f'ed up family. Unfortunately, the volunteer we saw SUCKED. He was weird and none of his stories were f'ed up and the guys in the show just made fun of him to his face. Then the improv bit they did based on his family also just sort of made fun of the guy most of the time - they were hilarious! It was great to see that even with a crappy volunteer, they could put on a great show. The second half of the show was them making up an entire scene for 30 minutes based solely on a word given by an audience member. It was equally funny and we had a great time.

I highly recommend this and any of their other shows!


A Mug Addition for a Mug Addiction - Unicorn Tapestry

I recently visited The Cloisters where they have a Search for the Unicorn Exhibit. Anyone who knows me knows I love unicorns and I've always loved the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry - I have a print of it hanging in my apartment. I'd never been to see it in real life, however, and I must say it was very impressive. I'd never thought about how big it actually is and it was so neat to be able to see the silver gilded thread woven through it. I wish I could have it, but they refuse to sell it to me (maybe because I could only offer about $10 - they refuse to haggle like they do in Chinatown). I did, however, buy a mug depicting the unicorn from the tapestry, which I'm absolutely in love with, so the day was still a success!

Also, for the record, I got to see a narwhal horn up close at the same exhibit. Apparently, during the Middle Ages when hunts for unicorns were popular, they didn't know what a narwhal was, so if their horns washed up on shore, then everyone would assume it had belonged to a unicorn. Anyone who knows me knows that not only do I love unicorns, but I also love whales, and narwhals are the unicorns of the sea so...this exhibit was very exciting for me.

A real narwhal horn!
The Unicorn in Captivity tapestry


We're Moving!

Big announcement!

For the past 3 years we've lived in the little apartment we found in Queens. It's a little off the beaten path, which we liked at first, but as we got used to living in the city and realized just how long our commute to work is, our apartment became less and less ideal. We've loved the quiet neighborhood with its trees and courtyards, but we've hated the 14-block journey to the subway and the unreliable Q23 bus (seriously, it has to be one of the worst bus lines in the city). So last year we decided to try and find a place in the city. Or at the very least, a place in Queens or Brooklyn that was right next to a subway station. 

Well, we were having a hard time finding one that we could afford, but then my dear friend Harper told me her two roommates were moving out of her amazing prewar Harlem apartment and she would need roommates starting in August. For a lot of people, a married couple living with roommates is strange, but in NYC it's the norm. In fact, I know of some couples with babies who have roommates. It's just the affordable way to do things here and I'm so excited about it!

So stay tuned for more about our move and I'll also be blogging about all the places I visited around the city this past week - I had family in town so I took off from work and had a bit of a stay-cation. I can't wait to tell you all about it!


The Tony's and Fried Pickles

I've been a little busy (and also a little lazy) lately, but I've done a few things and been to a couple places I'd like to tell you about!

First of all, a couple of week ago I got to go to the press junket for all of the Tony nominees! My friend Suzy works for Backstage (a website for actors, specifically a place for them to find auditions) and she asked my friend Molly and I to come help her by running sound and camera and setting up lights. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet the super famous people like Tom Hanks, but I really loved getting to meet the famous Broadway people. Everyone was so nice and I had a blast.

Suzy and me
Molly the amazing camerawoman

Richard Kind
I have also discovered a great bar/restaurant that serves SWEET TEA and also fried pickles. Y'all, this is a big deal. This little southern girls loves to have sweet tea with dinner and it's an absolute travesty that only a handful of places here even know what it is. Anyway, the spot is called The Mason Jar (appropriate right?) and I highly recommend their chicken fingers, their buffalo chicken, their fried pickles, and of course, their sweet tea.
43 East 30th Street
New York, NY 10016

In the same vein, I recently went to a bar called Live Bait that also had amazing fried pickles and an excellent happy hour (the fried pickles were also part of happy hour so I was sold). It's super country looking and I loved it.

Live Bait
14 E 23rd St
New York, NY 10010


Power Rangers

Growing up in the late 80s/early 90s, we played outside a lot. My mom would make us play outside a lot of days, which I sometimes hated, but I'm grateful for it now. In my family there are 7 kids and we often joke that the 4 of us who are older had a totally different childhood than the 3 younger ones. And it's true. The biggest gap in ages is between Brittany (number 4, born in December 1989) and Micah (number 5, born in May 1992), so for about 2.5 years it was just the 4 of us and then it was a while before the youngest 3 were old enough to play with us. When we played outside we used our imaginations A LOT.

One of the games we played was Power Rangers. We were a little obsessed with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (the original, we never watched any others after that) and we all had our favorites. Brandon always played Jason, the red ranger and the leader of the group. Kaley always played Billy, the blue ranger and the brains of the group...and yes, Kaley played a boy - she was very much a tomboy. I always played Kimberly, the pink ranger and obviously the most awesome of the group. And poor Brittany - she always wanted to be Kimberly, but we never let her and often issued an ultimatum: she could play Trini, the yellow ranger and the only other girl, or she could be "the monster" that we all had to fight and conquer. Most of the time she'd acquiesce to being Trini, but I remember her being mad and saying she wouldn't play at all, then she'd run off to play by herself and we'd pretend she was the monster and attack her anyway. Yeah, we were awesome.

How to pretend to be Power Rangers:

1. Know your rangers. Don't forget that Tommy (green ranger) and Kimberly are bf/gf so the only boy who can be Tommy is the boy you like who lives down the street.

2. A good fight mostly involves attempts at roundhouse kicks, karate chops complete with shouting "hi-yah!", and if you get knocked down you must roll a good 5 feet before getting back up.

3. You're mostly going to be fighting putties and you know you have to punch or kick them in the Z on their fronts.

4. Know your dinosaurs. At some point you're going to have to call on your Dinozord and you'd better know it. For example, Kimberly's was the pterodactyl and when it's time I had to stand with my legs apart, put my hands out as though I'm holding something resembling a belt buckle, and shout "Pterodactyl!"

5. It's ok to use the slide on your swingset to do a jump attack on someone, but if you land sloppily you have to roll a good 5 feet again.

6. You must create the Megazord before you can win a fight.


Star Trek

My husband and I recently went through the original Star Trek series on Netflix. I did very much enjoy it, but I must say...it's a little ridiculous at times. It's excusable though, since it was the 60s and their special effects and such weren't quite as good as they are now.

Just in case you have no interest in ever watching Star Trek, I want to share with you the most unintentionally (or perhaps intentionally at times) hilarious moments of Star Trek, the original series.

1. The theme song for the first season is very nice. It's catchy and fun to hum along to. Then in the second season, they kept the song but added a woman singing along and it was suddenly weird.

2. Almost every time Captain Kirk gets into a fight, his shirt rips so that at least one nipple shows.
3. In the episode The Enemy Within, they found a space dog, or as I like to call it: a unicorn insect dog.
4. In the episode What are Little Girls Made Of?, Kirk is chased through some caves and he grabs a piece of stalagmite to defend himself...and the stalagmite has a very...ahem...interesting shape...
5. In The Trouble with Tribbles...there are Tribbles. And they're ridiculous. Basically just furry pillows that are treated as though they're living beings.

6. In Arena, we're introduced to the Gorn, a race of aliens, when Kirk has to fight one. I give you the worst fight scene ever.

7. Oh and who can forget this guy from A Private Little War? I must confess that I was distracted during this episode and don't even know what he is or why he was there.

Like I said in the beginning, I love Star Trek. A lot. And I'm currently going through the New Generation. But you have to admit...this stuff is hilarious.


Z is for Zipcar

Zipcar is a very popular rental car company...or as they like to call it, a car sharing company. It's a super easy way to use a car for just a day trip. Use it for an hour or 12, whatever you need, and return it at the end of the day. It's perfect for those of us who live in New York and don't bother to have a car, but would like to be able to drive out of the city for...oh I don't know...Chickfila, maybe?

Zipcar isn't the only company. Hertz has it's own form of car sharing with less fees. I've never actually made use of any of them, but probably will one day. The convenience is well worth it.

It's the last day! I can't believe it. I'm a little shocked that I managed to do this every day...and it was so great to meet so many new people is the blogosphere!


Y is for Yummy Takeout

I've told my husband multiple times that if we ever move to a different city, what I'll miss most are the takeout options. There are so many options here! We have pizza, yes, but not just Domino's or Papa John's. We have several menus for local pizzerias where we can get pizza or pasta. I'm sure you've all seen TV shows or movies showing people eating Chinese takeout, which is so delicious. But on those nights that we're tired of Chinese, how about Japanese instead? Sushi delivered right to your door! Other options are burgers, wraps, Italian, milkshakes, Mexican food...oh the Mexican food. We order Mexican food almost every week - the restaurant we order from knows our apartment number by heart (to my delight but to the embarrassment of my husband).

What kind of food would you like most to have delivered right to your door?


X is for X-Walks

You like what I did there? Yeah, I know. It's impressive.

Crosswalks are simple. You stop when you get the red hand and you go when you get the little white man. But have you ever thought about how crosswalks could help you learn a city? When I first moved here, my husband almost immediately got hired to go on a children's tour. I was left in a big new city all alone where I basically only knew how to get to my job. So what did I do? I invented the game "Follow the White Man." (I mean to have no racial connotations here, I promise.) On the weekends I enjoyed taking the subway to a random point in the city and whenever I came to a crosswalk at an intersection, I'd go wherever I had the go sign. It really helped me learn the city (well, that and my iPhone, of course).

Could this game help you explore where you live?


W is for Winter in NYC

Let me remind everyone that I grew up in middle Georgia. For 24 years I lived through winters where I would sometimes wear a heavy jacket (not a coat...a jacket) and occasionally have to scrape some ice off my windshield before I could drive anywhere. I can remember having one blizzard when I was little and then every once in a while we'd get a snow flurry. That's pretty much it.

NYC winters are SO DIFFERENT. Y'all, this little Georgia girl had to quickly acquaint herself with coats, scarves (there are so many different ways to wear them!), hats, gloves, thick socks, long underwear...it was all so foreign! Earmuffs are what I have discovered I can't live without - cold ears are absolutely the worst. And guess what? You wear rain boots and carry umbrellas for snow, not just rain!

We went home to Georgia for our first Christmas and when we came back, we drove back along with my sister and brother-in-law. That was the night of the biggest blizzard we've had since moving here - we ended up getting stuck on the interstate and having to sleep there until morning. Not on the side of the interstate...we were stuck on the lane we had been driving in. And we had no heat because we had to reserve the gas. It was crazy.

I will say though that I love NYC winters. It helps that I don't have to worry about shoveling any of it and sometimes the snow lets me go home early and get an entire day off. I also prefer being cold to being hot, so this whole winter lasting into spring is totally working for me. :-)

What are winters like where you are? Do you love or hate them?


V is for Views

There are multiple ways to get a great view of the city. The 3 big ones (for now) are the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and the Brooklyn Bridge. Now in my opinion, I know it's historic and all, but the ESB is my least favorite. It's cramped, it has walls you have to peer over, and although it has a higher upper deck, it costs extra to access it. Plus, the Rockefeller building blocks your view of the park.

It's an excellent idea to walk the Brooklyn Bridge right before sunset. By the time you get to the first viewing area, you can see the city bathed in sunlight, take some great pictures, and enjoy the views. Then by the time you're ready to return, voila! You can see the city all lit up. It's amazing.

Now Top of the Rock...it's by far my favorite. It has multiple decks and you don't have to pay extra to get to the highest one. You're enclosed by glass through most of the viewing area so nothing inhibits your view. I particularly enjoy being able to see both the Empire State Building and Central Park.

I leave you with some of my favorite views I've managed to capture.

Taken from Top of the Rock

Taken from Top of the Rock

Taken from Top of the Rock

Taken from the Brooklyn Bridge


U is for Union Square

Union Square isn't quite as popular as other squares in the city. It's kind of small and a little out of the way from the all the hustle and bustle. However, it has some great spots you should know about. Right on Union Square is some great shopping: Burlington Coat Factory, DSW, and Forever 21 are all in the same building. There's also a Best Buy. Also, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, there's the Union Square Greenmarket, where 140 regional farmers, fishermen, and bakers come to sell their wares.

Then you've got some of the spots on the outskirts of the square. Here's a list of them:

828 Broadway
Strand is a bookstore. An awesome bookstore. They advertise having 18 miles worth of books. New books, used books, rare books...all can be found here.

24 East 12th Street
This is a burger restaurant, but not your average burger spot. They're famous for their milkshakes. They have a toasted marshmallow milkshake that is to die for, as well as alcoholic milkshakes (let's add some vodka to that marshmallow milkshake!). Their burgers definitely aren't bad either.

841 Broadway (between 13th and 14th Streets)
Max Brenner is a genius with chocolate. His restaurant not only has good food, but also sells his chocolate. Plus a lot of his dishes use chocolate...for example, his waffle fries are dusted with chili and cocoa powder. Delicious! You can also get fondue for 2, which is really fun.

A Mug Addition for a Mug Addiction - The Last Five Years

Last night, after loving the show and calling it my favorite for years, I finally saw The Last Five Years. And it was amazing. I won't bore you with all my critiques and the things I loved about it (which far outweighed the critiques), especially since most of you would just be lost and that's ok. Suffice it to say, I was great. Really great. Oh and if you ever get a chance to see Betsey Wolfe in anything, do it! She was phenomenal.

I leave you with a behind-the-scenes look of Jason Robert Brown (the composer of the show, which is based on his life, and also I just want to point out that he retweeted me on Twitter last night!) giving a little direction and working with the actors through my favorite song in the show. It's the one song that they sing together and it's when he proposes and they get married. It's gorgeous.


T is for Tap Dancing

I know what you're thinking. What the heck does tap dancing have to do with New York City?

Well, I'll tell you.

The story starts in Georgia. My family was visiting Stone Mountain one December day and we were all having a good time and you know how high levels of happiness can make you act silly...right? I'm sure you do. So at some point we were standing around waiting for a show to start and I started "tap dancing" for the family. It was stupid and actually barely resembles tap dancing at all (I should point out I have absolutely no tap training), but it cracked my family up and since then they will randomly tell me to tap dance when we're out.

The following January JP and I took a trip to NYC so I could go to a job interview and we could hunt for an apartment (little did I know it would also be the weekend we got engaged). It was my family's wish to tap dance in front of famous NYC places so...I did. Enjoy.

I really should get back into it and film some more. ;-)


S is for Souvenirs

No vacation is complete without souvenirs. In NYC you can find them on carts just about anywhere - Times Square, 5th Ave, Wall St, etc. And there are tons of stores to choose from but I'm her to point you to the best one.

This store is located right in Times Square across from the TKTS store/red stairs on Broadway. It has 3 floors the main floor has all of the NYC souvenirs and apparel, the upper floor has sports apparel and the kids section, and the basement has all kind of fun pop culture stuff, shoes, and even a great $0.99 section! If you love mugs like me, they have the biggest NY mug selection I've come across.

You can also order from them online, just so you know. :-)


R is for Real Life in NYC

Real life in NYC can be very different from what you see on TV and in the movies. This is a concept that's hard to accept for some non-New Yorkers. Especially in that first year or so of living here, I would get so many texts from friends and family saying stuff like, "I saw in Us Weekly that Kim Kardashian was in Times Square - WHERE WERE YOU??" People...I was working. At my job. You know...that thing you have to do in order to pay your rent every month? Yeah that.

There are also some things that a lot of people don't think about when they're like, "Omg after visiting for 2 days I want to live there too." For one thing, I'm sure your hotel was really nice, but if you moved here you will most likely be in a building that does not have central a/c. "Oh but it's cold up there right?" Well yes...in the winter. But in the summer? Those buildings act like an oven and I can assure you that being in an apartment with no a/c SUCKS. We have two window units and two fans and we're still not as cool as we'd like to be...plus all of those electronics make your electric bill double. Apartments here are tiny (again, unless you make a crap load of money) - less space for a family, less space for pets, usually no space for a washing machine and dryer, which means you have to take advantage of laundromats or hope your building has a laundry room somewhere.

Another thing: taxis vs subway. A lot of tourists love to take taxis everywhere because they're fast and you don't have to be confused by the subway. However, unless you live in Manhattan (which is more expensive) or have a job where you're making a crap load of money, you're not going to want to throw away your money on taxis all the time. You need to learn the subway system and take advantage of it. Not having a car payment and insurance payment is fabulous, but it can also feel constricting knowing that you're confined to NYC and however far the MTA will take you. For example, in order to get Chickfila I have to take a subway and bus ride into New Jersey that lasts at least 2 hours! Wanna take a weekend trip? You'll have to find a train or rent a car first.

Don't get me wrong...living in NYC can be glamorous if you take advantage of all that it has to offer and have a great group of friends that can resemble the ladies on Sex and the City or Ross, Rachel, and the gang. In fact, this past month or so has been so busy and so fun that I did kind of feel like I was living out a movie or TV show. However, the majority of the time my life is a lot like yours - I wake up earlier than I want to, go to work, and come home to try and figure out dinner. The main difference is that instead of driving to work I take the subway.

NYC is not for everyone. It's one of the greatest places to visit, but not everyone will want to live here. My husband likes to say that the city will chew you up and spit you back out if you let it and I tend to agree. But boy if you can manage to make it work here, it will really change your life.


Q is for Queens

Queens is actually a pretty fun place to visit if you so choose. I'm gonna keep this nice and short. I'm sure some of you A to Zers can understand.

Shopping: Taking the M or the R to Steinway St will get you to some great and cheap little stores. I found a shoe store there where most shoes are under $20 and they're stacked all over the place.

Eating: One of the best pizzerias (that I forgot to mention in my pizza post) is Nick's Pizza down at 108-26 Ascan Ave in Forest Hills (a Queens neighborhood).

Relaxing and/or gaining a little culture: Flushing Meadows Park is where it's at! It's really big and, like I've mentioned before, contains the Unisphere at the site of the old World's Fair as well as the Queens Museum of Art.
This was taken almost 3 years ago (I can't believe it's been 3 years!) when we first visited the park after we moved her (we live within walking distance). As you can see, I'm really awesome.


P is for Pizza

I mean, when you're talking about places to go in NYC, you have to mention pizza places. Am I right? New York pizza is so good! Fortunately for all of you, I know the really good spots because I love pizza and all my friends/visitors love pizza so...let's just say I've made the rounds.

Under the Brooklyn Bridge
1 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Yep, our first stop is actually in Brooklyn. Patsy Grimaldi learned the art of pizza making from his uncle when he started working at his pizzeria at the age of 10 in 1931. When he finally opened his own pizzeria under the Brooklyn Bridge, it drew the attention of the mayor and even Frank Sinatra, who allegedly had pies flown to him in Vegas. Now when you visit there's a constant stream of Sinatra music playing. The crust is famous for its crispiness, thanks to the handmade coal-fired brick ovens.
Cash only and whole pies only, no slices.

32 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
Corner of Spring and Mott Street

Lombardi's is definitely my favorite pizza spot. It was founded in 1905 and credited as being the first pizzeria in NYC. In fact, the man who founded it, an Italian immigrant, is credited for creating "New York style" pizza. I'm not a big sauce person - I usually prefer minimal sauce. But I love Lombardi's sauce. A friend of mine once said she could swim in a tub full of the sauce...ok maybe that's a little extreme, but seriously. It's good. They also have excellent sangria and plenty of seating room.
Cash only and whole pies only, no slices.

7 Carmine Street
150 East 14th Street

I used to work down the street from the original location on Carmine St and ate there every other week. The 14th St location just opened up recently and guess what? It's right down the street from where I work now. I've got some good karma! Anyway, Joe's was founded in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli, a Naples, Italy, immigrant, and he still owns and operates it today at the age of 75! It's a little hole in the wall spot with only counters and tall tables to stand at. They sell the classic New York slice and it is delicious. The walls are also covered with photographs of all the celebrities who have come in for some good pizza over the years.

260 W. 44th Street New York, NY

Last, but not least, is John's. It's situated in the theatre district, making it a great spot to grab a bite to eat before seeing a show. I actually listed the secondary location (the original is in Greenwich Village), which opened in 1995, because it's the coolest in my opinion. The space used to be Gospel Tabernacle Church, built in 1888, and now it holds the largest pizzeria in the country. The space is beautiful and they host fancy parties there - I've seen seen a picture of a wedding being held there. Oh and don't worry, the pizza is really good too. :-)


O is for Once

Once is an amazing Broadway musical that's based the movie by the same name. When I went to see the show, I had not seen the movie and really didn't know what to expect. I only knew that it was up for a lot of Tony's and I had heard reeeeeeaally good things about it. I was completely blown away. The performances were out of this world (everyone plays their own instruments!) and the story...the whole production just makes you feel. That was the only way my aunt and I could describe it. It just makes you feel.

Check out their Tony performance, where they performed my favorite number! The two people the camera shifts focus to at the end during the applause are the two who starred in the movie together.


N is for NBC Experience Store

I LOVE the NBC store! It helps to love the shows whose merchandise are sold there...I love Friends, The Office, Psych, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Community, Saved by the Bell, Chuck, Seinfeld, Law & Order: SVU, NCIS, and Doctor Who. They have awesome bobble-heads, mugs, key chains, tshirts, etc. There's not much more to say except it's just a great place to shop.

Right now they're having a buy 2, get 1 free sale on mugs if you use the code BUY2. Go go go!


M is for Museums

 NYC is full of awesome museums. You can find a pretty comprehensive list here if you want to know about all of them, but I'm going to mention a couple of my favorites.

1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028

The Met is definitely my favorite museum, though it may be just a personal preference to art. You can easily spend hours wandering around this giant museum and not get bored. Don't miss some amazing Van Goghs and Monets, as well as The Temple of Dendur (a 2000 year old temple that used to stand on the Nile River).

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024

There are two reasons why I love this museum. One, the life sized blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Two, the African Elephants. Besides that, they always have awesome exhibitions going on, plus there's the planetarium that I have yet to visit (it's on my to do list!).

New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368
My aunt and me at the Panorama
Now I'll be completely honest with you...I was not super impressed with this museum as a whole. However, the trip out there was completely worth it for 3 reasons: the Panorama, the fact that it's in Flushing Meadows Park, and the gift shop. The Panorama is a built-to-scale model of NYC - all 5 boroughs. It was built for the 1964 World's Fair and is truly breathtaking at first sight. I was stunned at the size of the thing and all of the intricate details. I was able to find my apartment and the building in which I work! The gift shop had a lot of adorable little trinkets, as well as fun World's Fair mementos.
Flushing Meadows Park was once the site of the World Fair and is home to the Unisphere and Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The best part about all 3 of the museums I've listed? They're all by donation only!! Yes they'll all have signs that make it look like you have to pay $20, but nope. Just walk up and say "2 tickets for $1 apiece please" or whatever you choose to pay. I know people who only pay a quarter. It's great!


L is for Last Five Years

Today I'm talking about a show that is very near and dear to my heart. The Last Five Years, by Jason Robert Brown, is about Jamie and Cathy, a couple who meet, marry, and divorce in the span of 5 years. They each take turns telling their side of their story - Cathy starts at the end of the story on the day their divorce is final, then Jamie sings about the beginning of their story on the day they meet. Their stories intersect in the middle of the show where they sing a duet on the day they get married.

The premise is very sad and maybe a little depressing, but it's also so beautifully done. Oddly enough, it's the show my husband and I sort of think of as "our show." I know, we may just be inviting bad kharma, but here's why. When JP and I started dating, he made a playlist of fun and sometimes romantic songs to listen to on our first date. Included was "Next Five Minutes," the song from their wedding scene in L5Y. I'd never heard of the show so I quickly got the album and fell in love with it while simultaneously falling in love with JP. (There aren't really any lines to speak of outside of the songs, so if you listen to the album, you know the show.) The little things we say to each other are often sweet lines from this show.

The reason this fits into my NYC theme is because there's currently a revival happening off-Broadway and JP and I have tickets on April 23 and I could not be any more excited!! I can't wait to tell you all about it!!


K is for Kate Spade

Kate Spade is one of my favorite designers and her shop in SoHo is really cute. Yes, she's expensive, but you can find some great jewelry that's fairly affordable (it's cheaper than Tiffany, people!). Save your money!

Here's the ring I got:

Kate Spade Flagship
454 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013 


J is for Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres is a chocolate magician. That's right, people, chocolate. Hollaaaaaa! Am I right?

Ok so chocolate makes me a little excited. I grew up eating store bought chocolate from the candy aisle at the grocery store, but now that I'm an adult I've realized it's ok to spend a little more money on the things that matter. Like chocolate. And Jacques Torres is my favorite.

So today I'd like to list my favorite flavors for you and let you know his locations (and I've been to all of them) in case you find yourself in NYC and in dire need of good chocolate.

It's actually really hard to find a list of the chocolates he makes. So I'm going to try and describe a couple as best as I can from memory.

Cappuccino (my favorite) - round and filled with this cappuccino flavored cream that's to die for

Earl Grey chocolate - infused with Earl Grey tea

Lovebug - white chocolate with a taste of key lime

I'm sorry, y'all, my brain isn't working the way I want it to, but I swear to you there are TONS of amazing flavors. Also look for chocolate flavored cheerios and hot chocolate - and if you're there in the summer, their frozen hot chocolate is amazing!


DUMBO (the original)
66 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY

Amsterdam Avenue
285 Amsterdam between 73rd and 74th Streets

Chelsea Market
75 9th Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets)

Hudson Street (the biggest one)
350 Hudson at King Street (1 block South of Houston)

Rockefeller Center
30 Rockefeller Plaza, Concourse Level



I is for Italian Food

Italian food!! My favorite (well...if you don't count my recent and current obsession of nachos)! Now, just as a disclaimer, you're gonna be hard pressed to find a bad Italian restaurant in NYC. I'm sure they do exist, but I've never come across one. However, some do stand out over the rest, so here is a rundown of some of the places I love.

The most obvious restaurants to list are the ones in Little Italy. The heart of Little Italy and all of its restaurants is at the corner of Mulberry St and Hester St. The four restaurants in each corner are Da Gennaro, Caffe Napoli, Giovanna, and Casa Bella. The only one I haven't eaten at is Caffe Napoli because it's specialty is seafood and that's not my thing. My favorite is Da Gennaro - not only is the food the best there, but the atmosphere is so great. It has such a great little cafe feel with brick walls, painted ivy, and tall windows all around. If you don't want to spend a lot of money here, I recommend going at lunch time. But please note: they will have their $10-$15 lunch specials listed outside, but if you don't ask for a lunch menu once seated, they will charge you the expensive dinner price! In Little Italy, always ask for a lunch menu. :-)

My absolute favorite Italian restaurant is Trattoria Trecolori (254 W 47th St). I'm pretty sure I wrote about them recently on here, but...it's just the best. It's not too big, not too small, the food is superb (try the chicken parmesan - the chicken is as big as the plate!), and the staff is excellent. Plus it's right off of Times Square, so have some fun walking off all the pasta after you eat!


H is for High Line

The High Line is basically an elevated train track that was built in the 1930s to help get freight traffic out of the way of local traffic. It fell into misuse in the 1980s and by the late 90s there was talk of demolishing it. So in 1999, Friends of the High Line was founded in order to try and preserve the tracks. As a result of their efforts the High Line was transformed into a park that stretches up above the west side of Manhattan from Gansevoort St all the way up to 34th St.

When I went a year or two ago, the whole length wasn't open yet. I plan to go back soon and will post pics when I do, but when I first went it was really cool. It's really neat to be walking a path among grass and flowers...and also train track. There are lots of great views of the surrounding parts of the city and, kind of surprisingly, a lot of art to view along the way!

Their website is very informative and it even has different maps to download for free to help guide you as you take your walk.