Bon Appétit

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It seems like every visit I make back to NYC revolves around food. It’s necessary to stop at all of my favorite spots for a bite even when making a quick trip. I started off my Fourth of July weekend with patriotic doughnuts and iced coffee at Doughnut Plant in Chelsea. The trip continued with fireworks on a friend’s rooftop in Brooklyn, a glamorous Italian dinner at the Mondrian in Soho, beautiful pastries at Dominique Ansel Bakery (sadly, they were sold out of cronuts for the day), and Upper East Side cocktails to escape the heat.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^The most ornate French pastries at the newest Ladurèe in Soho.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset ^^Lime Me Up tart with brown sugar sea salt at Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset ^^I need these doughnut pillows that adorn the wall at Doughnut Plant.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^Patriotic doughnuts calling my name.

IMG_4331^^Our view of Manhattan before the fireworks on the Fourth. 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset ^^Spaghetti Al Limone & Garganelli Bolognese at Isola Trattoria. I wish I could teleport this pasta to my kitchen right now.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset^^Our view while we ate our pasta. The glass chandeliers were absolutely stunning.

DSC_3999^^Escaping the heat with cold cocktails at Upstairs at the Kimberly.

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New York, New York

When I arrived in NYC last week, the first thing I did was take a stroll through the Upper East Side. The spring blooms lining Madison Avenue, colorful macarons at Ladurée, the intricately designed railings in front of the elegant brownstones, the window boxes full of hydrangeas at The Plaza, and the dazzling spring fashions displayed on Fifth Avenue.

Even after walking these streets hundreds of times while living in the city, there is still something so charming and magical about this part of town. It felt almost as if I was in a dream. A chic, elegant, perfect dream.

Cause I’m Just a Summer Girl

My brother Tyler came to visit me this past week. He’s been to the city several times since I’ve lived here and as usual, we had a great time together. We started off the trip by stopping for some late afternoon pizza at Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn. The line is usually wrapped around the building but we sure got lucky with only a 15 minute wait. After trying out many pizza spots over the last two years, this is by far my favorite pie!

Tyler loves Chinatown more than the normal person. I avoid that section of town because the smell of fish and garbage doesn’t really appeal to me. We did stop down there for some dumplings and fresh handmade noodles. I’ve heard amazing things about The Doughnut Plant so we decided to pop in there for an afternoon treat. After devouring a peanut butter and jelly stuffed doughnut, I swore I would never eat again.

Since it was 100 degrees out that day, we did everything possible to stay inside. We visited the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn which ended up being a very educational trip! The museum is inside of an old subway station and they have an entire floor that displays old subway cars from as early as 1890.

We had dinner on Friday night at Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. The ribs and pulled pork were unbelievable, even compared to the true Southern BBQ I’ve had. The next morning we started off the day wandering around Chelsea Market. Tyler loves the vendor that sells exclusively olive oil and vinegars in at least 50 different flavors. For lunch we had wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches from Lucy’s Whey.

Since it was free museum weekend for Bank of America customers, we decided to stop by The Met. It was Tyler’s first time there so I was excited to show him some of my favorite exhibits. Although he wasn’t too thrilled that I stopped to see “Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations,” it ended up being a beautiful display of vintage clothing. The rooftop garden at The Met is one of the most perfect views of the city as well.

We spent our final afternoon at a little Thai place for lunch before taking the tram to Roosevelt Island. The view from the skyride is even more beautiful during the day since you can see the skyscrapers standing for miles. That night we stopped for gelato at Eataly and ended with a quick visit to the fountain in Lincoln Center Plaza. What a fantastic few days with my little brother!

Brunch, Blue Ivy, and Bridal Couture

Hard to believe but we’ve only seen snow once this winter. By this time last year, the highs were barely hitting 20 degrees and there was about 3 feet of snow covering the frozen streets. I’m certainly not complaining about the mild winter and an early spring would be a real treat for us northerners!

One of the best things about the colder temperatures is cozying up in restaurants for brunch on Sunday mornings. Brunch up here is more than a meal; it’s a time for friends to get together and sip mimosas before noon and to indulge in some syrupy goodness. I had the most delicious vanilla bean French toast smothered in caramelized bananas with a blood orange mimosa at The Smith in the East Village with my friend Isobel.

A few weeks ago, I received an invite to Jay-Z’s exclusive 40/40 Club re-opening party! I was lucky enough to go with a few of my friends and indulge in a night with the rich and famous. We spent the evening sipping champagne at the gold-encrusted bar, tasting fancy pastries, and watching Jay-Z mingle with his fellow celebrity friends. I was excited to meet Shallon from MTV’s “Downtown Girls”- a show my friends and I used to watch back in college. What a fabulous night of dressing up and dancing!

Even the middle of winter doesn’t stop my Florida friends from coming up for a visit. My friend Allie came to visit recently and we had a great weekend together. Spent Friday night at a cozy little Italian place on the Upper East Side where we had pineapple cosmos, pasta, and were serenaded by the best of Sinatra.

On Saturday, despite the freezing temperatures and several inches of snow that fell overnight, we wandered the slushy streets and saw the Broadway show Memphis that evening. To bid Allie farewell on Sunday morning, we had lunch at 40 Carrots inside of Bloomingdale’s, where they serve the most amazing frozen yogurt with your meal.

One of my best friends here, Isobel, met the owner of an Italian restaurant in Chelsea recently. The owner invited her and her girlfriends to a complimentary dinner on a Wednesday night. We wined and dined till almost midnight. White wine, ham and cheese croquettes with truffle oil, ravioli, arugula salad, and cannolis only start to cover some of the delicious things we ate that evening.

One of my favorite places for lunch is Peanut Butter and Co. It’s a cute little Greenwich Village spot that is straight out of the 1950’s. Fancy peanut butter sandwiches with toppings such as marshmallow fluff, bacon, and bananas. It’s right around the corner from Washington Square Park. Since it’s been unseasonably warm, Courtney and I spent the afternoon wandering the park and listening to the most amazing piano player I have ever heard. Please tell me this man went to Julliard or is a part of a famous orchestra. He brought his baby grand piano to the park…still wondering how he got it there.

My friend Dana was lucky enough to get two tickets to the Martha Stewart wedding expo at The New York Palace Hotel. Although neither of us are engaged, we took advantage of the cake tastings, free gifts, and Kleinfeld’s wedding dress fashion show. I’m dreaming of the day when I can indulge in a 5 tier cake and wear an over-the-top white dress down the aisle…

If You Only Get One Great Love, New York May Just Be Mine

Yesterday we had our first sign of winter- snow flurries! I was on my way to work when I could see the small flakes landing on my jacket. It only lasted a mere five minutes before turning into sleet but still, I was quite excited. I’m looking forward to some real snow in the next few months. I keep getting warned that after a few days of snow, I’ll be tired of it and wishing for warm weather and sunshine. The leaves have all started to change and Central Park is absolutely beautiful this time of the year! I love having REAL seasons!

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to meet two of the ladies from The Housewives of New York. They were filming an episode of their show at a costume shop in the city. My friend Alyssa’s mom owns the store and invited us to come see the taping. She personally introduced us to Jill Zarin and LuAnn de Lesseps. We got to talk to LuAnn for a few minutes and she started asking us about our internships at Fuse. She asked me for my business card and told me she wanted to send her music video to us. Then she went on to sing a line from her hit single “Money Can’t Buy You Class.” Boy, was that entertaining…

Halloween in the city was so different than anything I’ve ever experienced. All of the restaurants and bars started decorating for Halloween on October 1. One of my favorite things about fall is carving pumpkins. I carved a haunted house into a pumpkin and I’m thinking of becoming a professional pumpkin carver! On Halloween night, I dressed up as Lady Gaga from the “Telephone” music video and my roommate Jaclyn was Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & the City. I worked really hard putting my costume together and getting the coke cans to stay in my hair all night. I went out with a bunch of friends and we ended up having a blast! We spent our night at a rooftop party in the West Village (even though it was in the 40’s outside). My “best costume award” went to my friend Aaron who dressed up as a tree that got “TPed.” The one question I never got answered though was where do kids go trick or treating in the city?

I’ve been trying to take advantage of the beautiful weather and explore before it starts snowing! Last weekend I went to The Met for the first time. What a gorgeous museum. I went with another friend named Jaclyn and we spent 3 hours in the museum walking around. We then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Madison Avenue. We went into the Louboutin store and I must say, I was in shoe heaven. Of course we ended up in Henri Bendel’s, one of my favorite NYC accessories stores.

Last night, I had the opportunity to go to a free Katy Perry concert at Roseland Ballroom. AT&T put on a free concert to promote one of their new phones and they gave out a couple thousand passes to fans. She sang all of her big hits along with most of the songs off her new album “Teenage Dream.” Katy put on an unbelievable live show and her costumes were pretty amazing too.

This week I’ve seen snow flurries, the tree go up at Macy’s, and the window displays in progress. We all know what that means…Christmas is coming!