Goodbye to You

I’ve spent the last week cramming in as many fun activities as possible. I have finally checked off everything on my “NYC Bucket List” and feel like my time here is almost complete. I had brunch last weekend with three of my best girlfriends Alyssa, Lauren, and Christen at a gorgeous place in Chelsea called The Park. You felt as if you were sitting in an enchanted forest underneath vines and pretty winding branches.

I won tickets to the Sex and the City bus tour a few weeks ago at a trivia night. My friend Gabby and I finally redeemed out vouchers and went on the tour around Manhattan. We were the only locals on the bus but thoroughly enjoyed the trip around the city. We stopped at Buddakan where Carrie and Big had their wedding rehearsal dinner in the Sex and the City Movie. We stopped in the West Village for some Magnolia’s cupcakes and shopping at Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs. One of our final stops was at Aiden’s bar “Scout” where we cooled off and enjoyed cosmos.

This past week Courtney and I made dinner reservations at Lady Gaga’s parent’s restaurant Joanne Trattoria. Of course I wanted to visit this restaurant because of it’s relation to Gaga but the chef, Art Smith, is the former personal chef to Oprah and Jeb Bush.

We walked into the restaurant and Lady Gaga’s mom, Cynthia, was sitting at the front bar. It’s pretty scary how much they look alike except her mom was wearing more than Gaga’s typical leotard and heels. As I walked up to the hostess, I realized it was Gaga’s younger sister, Natali. She showed us to our table and after we finished the wonderful Italian meal, Cynthia came over to chat with us for a bit. She told me I looked fabulous and that she wanted my dress. What a compliment from the Queen of Pop’s mother! I just found out Gaga was at the restaurant this past Saturday- looks like I just missed her!

I was lucky enough to get 15 of my NYC friends together for my going away brunch. Courtney hosted the event and we held it at one of my favorite Upper West Side spots, Calle Ocho inside the Excelsior Hotel. Their Cuban inspired dishes and unlimited sangria bar are only a few of the reasons I chose this location. It was so fun to get dressed up and spend the day with close friends. I feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful people while living here!

I topped off the weekend with some shopping in Soho and lunch at Tacombi. I’m proclaiming this as the best taco spot in the whole city. They make the tacos in an old VW van and they had the best grilled corn straight off the cob. Georgetown Cupcakes, made famous on the TLC show “DC Cupcakes,” just opened a shop in Soho so of course we stopped by for some peanut butter cupcakes.

My mom arrives into NYC today and we start packing this week. Looking forward to visiting Hoboken today for Pretty Little Liars trivia night! What a perfect way to start off my final week in the Big Apple.


April Showers Bring May Flowers

I really hope the title of this entry rings true during the month of May. I now understand where the saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers” comes from. It rained for at least 50% of April and it has continued into May. The flowers are finally blooming and the trees have gotten their leaves back. But I keep wondering, when is it finally going to get warm?

During the rainy month of April, one of my best friends Kate got engaged! I told her 2011 was going to be a big year and to her surprise, her boyfriend Korey finally popped the question! I’m so excited she asked me to be her Maid of Honor and has included me in the planning process of the wedding. She is going to make one beautiful bride.

Nicole came to visit a few weeks ago and we had a great time taking her and her friends out on the town! The next weekend, Courtney and I spent a day at the spa getting facials and manicures. They tried to convince us to get a facial once a month- if only I could afford that in this expensive city!

I ate at one of New York’s best burger restaurants called The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian. The restaurant is a little grungy hole in the wall inside a glamorous midtown hotel. And I must say, the burgers were just as amazing as I was expecting.

One of my favorite places I’ve visited is the Brooklyn Flea Market. It’s a mixture of art, vintage jewelry and clothing, and local food vendors. I had a gourmet grilled cheese and bought the most glamorous 1960’s vintage dress for a big night out. There’s always so much to see and do in New York.

Courtney and I took a weekend trip to Washington DC to visit Steven. We spent the weekend enjoying everything DC had to offer. We went to the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian and saw an IMAX movie, went bar hopping in Chinatown, had brunch and mimosas on a rooftop, and saw the monuments and the White House. On Sunday, we spent the afternoon in Georgetown. It’s so quaint and made for the perfect afternoon. We saw DC Cupcakes from the the show on TLC. Since the line was wrapped around the building, we ended up having cupcakes at Sprinkles and eating them in the park. What a lovely weekend! This trip to DC was much different from when I visited as a kid.

I had off work on Good Friday so I spent the day exploring my neighborhood. Between Lincoln Center, The Empire Hotel (the hotel Chuck Bass owns in Gossip Girl), Julliard, Columbus Circle, and Central Park, there’s lots to see (and photograph)!

It’s hard to believe Easter has come and gone already. I was adopted by my friend Alyssa’s family and went to New Jersey for the weekend. The weather was amazing- it was the warmest it’s been here since September. We ate tons of food (and an entire chocolate bunny). Of course I missed coloring eggs with my family but my Mom sent me an Easter basket in the mail with all of my favorite candy. What a lucky daughter I am!

As a female, it was my duty to partake in the Royal Wedding festivities. Since no one I know would wake up at 5am to celebrate with me, I decided to watch the wedding on my own. This is one of those things I’ll be telling me grandkids about one day. Kate Middleton looked absolutely stunning. It was insane to see how many people had lined up outside of Buckingham Palace just for a glimpse of the bride and groom. I must admit, if I was in London, I would have been one of those people camped out!

Last weekend, we went to some beautiful gardens right outside of the city. It was acres and acres of lush gardens, greenhouses, colorful flowers, rolling hills, and never ending pastures all behind the most picturesque lake. It was the sunniest of days and we spent an hour just sitting in the chairs under shady trees. It was the most peaceful place I’ve found since I’ve been here. What’s the best way to end a day at the gardens? With Chinese food of course.

One of the coolest things to do on the other side of the bridge is visit the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg. There’s a free tour of the brewery and then you absolutely must stay to have a beer. It’s packed on the weekends, full of people drinking beer, playing board games, and eating picnic lunches.

As you all know, I’m not a huge sports fan but I felt going to a Yankees game was a New York ritual. The stadium was absolutely amazing! I cheered for A Rod and Jeter, the only two players I knew. It was a step up from all of the minor league games I’ve been too. The only way to end an American day of baseball is with some great barbeque at Brother Jimmy’s.

On Monday night, I found out Ryan Cabrera was playing an acoustic show at one of my favorite bars, Angels & Kings. Of course, I hopped in a cab and headed downtown as soon as I heard. Ryan still looks the same, big hair and all. He put on a great acoustic set and we even had a little conversation after the show. It sure felt like a high school flashback.

I want to wish my Mom a Happy Mother’s Day! I don’t know where I would be without all of her wisdom and guidance. She’s a truly remarkable woman and I would be lost without her. Thanks for all you do Mom- I love you!

“We can’t expect everybody to be there for us, all at once. So it’s a lucky thing that really, all you need is someone.”