everywhere else

New York City
  • NYC: Marathon Weekend

    (originally published on December 20, 2013)

    Still catching up here! The Mr. and I joined our friends A and G in NYC last month. G was running the marathon and the rest of us were spectating. Who knew that it took so much plotting and planning and coordination to watch people run? 

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    No sleep til Brooklyn!

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    And G finished under 4 hours! 

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    And this is what we did while he was running 26 gazillion miles. Spectating like a boss.

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    Afterwards, we celebrated at Keen's. We went all out with oysters, thick-cut bacon slabs, steaks, sweets, drinks ... we had it all!

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    This, Scotch-lovers, is the Scotchy Scotch Scotch menu. All. Scotches.

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    And because we were all a little tipsy, we ended the night in the Ice Bar. Complete with man furs, sickly sweet drinks, and an empty wallet. That place robbed us blind. But we do have awesome photos!

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    The next day after A and G headed back home, we took an official tour of Grand Central Station. 

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    I was bummed that The Campbell Apartment was closed for some sort of photo shoot, but we ended up in the Oyster Bar instead.

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    It really is the coolest place and I definitely recommend the official tour!

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    So we also did quite a bit of eating ... clockwise from upper left: 1. Carnegie Deli 2. warm poached pear salad at Robert 3. corned beef and egg sandwich at Carnegie Deli 4. bagels to go from Ess-a-Bagel 5. the super secret Burger Joint hidden in Le Parker Meridien

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    And, of course, we did some sightseeing. clockwise from upper left: 1. inside the Chrysler Building 2. the view from our hotel room at the Hilton, 3. the Empire State Building, 4. the Moleskine "store" -- so disappointed to find out it was a tiny kiosk, 5. view from the R Lounge onto Times Square

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    Thanks A and G for an awesome weekend! We had a blast!

    For your own NYC travel planning, you can take a look at my Tripline with all the addresses and locations of places we visited, including some places not featured in this post. And I've already started a new one for the next trip. So, so much to do in that city!

  • 26 Hours in NYC: *part two

    (originally published on April 29, 2013)

    If you missed part one of our 26 Hours in NYC trip, you'll want to read that first here.

    On the second day of our 26 hour whirlwind trip to NYC, we rose fairly early despite staying for "one more drink" at the Top of the Strand.

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    We checked out of the hotel before 10:00 am and left our bags with the bellhop to guard while we ran around the city.

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    We both like the quietish Sunday mornings in NYC and decided to walk towards the Village, where we had brunch plans later. On our way, we passed the Empire State Building.

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    And this moving tribute, outside the Marble Collegiate Churchto those who had lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    We ended up in Madison Square Park, a favorite spot of ours.

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    On the other side of the park, this wonderful statue, Bird, is temporarily installed across from the Flatiron building. 

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    This is a detail of the nest.

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    It was 10:30 am and the Mr. decided it was time for us to get a hot dog. At Gray's Papaya. We also had the papaya drink. The whole combo was indescribably awesome! Here's a little atmospheric capture on Vine.

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    Brunch wasn't until noon so we wandered around the West Village for a while. 

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    How lovely is this?

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    Next time, Bobo, next time!

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    So New York.

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    Eventually it was time to eat again, and a crowd had gathered outside, waiting for Empellon Taqueria to open its doors.

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    Remember we just ate a hot dog an hour and a half ago, so we decided to stick with the chicharrones with refried beans and cotija cheese and the chips with a sampling of these seven salsas:

    1. Sikil Pak (pumpkin seeds, tomato, onion, garlic, cinnamon, epazote, sour orange juice, serrano) 
    2. Smoked Cashew (smoked cashews, chipotle) 
    3. Salsa Borracha (pasilla Oaxaqueña, orange juice, mezcal)
    4. Salsa Verde (tomatillo, cilantro, serrano)
    5. Tomatillo - Chipotle (chipotle, roasted tomatillos, roasted garlic, honey)
    6. Salsa De Arbol (arbol, cider vinegar, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, spices) 
    7. Salsa Habañera (habañero, orange juice, grapefruit, Mexican oregano)

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    The Smoked Cashew salsa was our favorite! It may sound strange but it is delicious. A must-try if you ever go. All of the salsas were fantastic, although I must warn you about the habañera -- it almost sizzled off my taste buds. Very hot!

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    This drink is the whole reason I wanted to go there. Smoked. Banana. Mezcal. Margarita. 

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    Since we clearly had not eaten enough that day, we left Empellon and rounded the corner towards Magnolia Bakery, which was a complete cluster inside. Cupcakes here, there, everywhere, and no order I could discern. 

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    I went with the Cupcake of the Month, lemon, and the Mr. grabbed a German Chocolate Cake version. 

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    Which we ate here on the High Line.

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    I love the whole idea of the High Line but, in practice, it was narrow in many places, super crowded, and made me want to flee. Especially after I almost broke both legs tripping over one of these benches. 

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    But there were some cool things to see there. I loved this installation by El Anatusui, Broken Bridge II, the best! 

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    Here's where our plans got a little off track. We walked down 23rd street through Chelsea back over to Eataly across from Madison Square Park, hoping to grab a brewski at their rooftop bar, Birreria. I was in full-on introvert shut down mode at this point, so the Mr. decided to stop and get his haircut while I sat outside on the bench. Perfect plan, except I was soon joined by a woman who chatted with me the entire time. And when we finally arrived at Eataly, it was so packed and so loud, I wanted to lay down on the floor, curl up in a little ball, and rock until all the people went away. (Introverts, you know what I am talking about!)

    We exited quickly and wandered up the street to The John Dory Oyster Bar.

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    Where it was quiet. And there were fish tanks to watch. And I could get myself back to neutral. I even captured the fish on Vine. Soothing, right?

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    We still had a little bit of time left before we had to pick up our bags and head to the LimoLiner for our trip home. I was still exhausted so the Mr. thought we could just grab a beer at one of the Irish pubs near our hotel. Truth be told, it smelled like a frat house and the bar was sticky. But look, it's Happy Hour all day!

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    We then grabbed our bags at the Strand and headed towards the LimoLiner pickup point. Realizing that despite all the food establishments we had been in that day, we were still hungry for a little snack before the bus left at 6:15 pm. Bellies full, we climbed aboard, and I snoozed the whole way home!

    To see all the locations we visited on our 26 Hour Trip to NYC, click over to Tripline and watch the animated map I created for you! (Press play in the upper right-hand corner.)

  • 26 Hours in NYC: *part one

    (originally published on April 26, 2013)

    I wish I could say things have completely returned to normal here in Boston. They haven't, but things are better. Much, much better. Thanks for asking.

    The weekend before all this madness overtook our lives, the Mr. and I had a wonderful whirlwind 26-hour trip to New York City. 

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    Our LimoLiner tickets were about to expire (left over from our Hurricane Sandy-cancelled trip to watch our friend run the NYC Marathon back in the fall) so we decided to make use of them as we could. A last minute idea, we could only find room on the 12pm bus to NYC on Saturday. I work on Patriots Day and the Mr. wanted to be here for the Boston Marathon, so we had to return on Sunday. 26 hours was all we had.

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    The LimoLiner is quite nice and only accommodates 28 people. It's spacious and comfortable, has free wifi and snacks, and drops you off conveniently in Midtown.

    We stayed at the Strand  (also in Midtown) and it was perfect for our short stay. The rooms are tiny, but if you are only going to be in it to sleep for a few hours, who cares? Plus it had a fabulous surprise I'll share with you at the end of this post! 

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    I keep ongoing lists of things I want to do in places I want to visit so it was really easy to plan out this trip for maximum capacity. Our first stop after dropping off our bags was Laduree, of French macaron fame.

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    There was a line there, of course, but it was well organized and they gave us a laminated sheet of all the flavors available so we could select them easily. Look at all the pretty boxes and ribbons! The people working there seemed to be trained in a special placing-of-macaron-in-box flourish they did with their hand. Totally intimidating and if I didn't want those pretty little cookies so bad, I would have ran out of there.

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    Gorgeous, right?

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    We ended up with a box of six. Basically because the Mr. suggested four and I always want more than whatever he thinks is appropriate. It's a little thing we have going. My favorite was the lime basil version.

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    We passed this awesome place on the way to our next destination. A "snack bar" with a fuzzy flying pig sign? Going on the next NYC visit list!

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    Our next location was the one thing I wanted to do for sure while we were here because it is number 68 on my Mother List -- drink a martini at Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle.

    Here's the Bombay Sapphire martini, which came with a giant pitcher of martini refills. OK, it was just the extra liquid from the shaker but seriously, it never ended. The Mr. said to me, "I've never seen your face get so red." He's never seen me drink 6 gallons of gin. 

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    My low tolerance for martinis aside, the place is AWESOME! The walls are painted by Madeline artist, Ludwig Bemelmans. Right in front of us was this familiar sight. The place filled up quickly, started to buzz with conversation, and then a pianist started to play. I was swooning, or maybe just swaying at this point!  He even played Take Five, which I captured for you here on Vine. Make sure you turn on the sound!

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    As soon as we finished our drinks, we grabbed a cab to Ray's Pizza for what my husband promised would be fantastic New York pizza. He grew up in Jersey, right outside the city, and will fold in half anything that even slightly resembles pizza. I've seen him fold one appetizer barely two inches in diameter. "When in Rome," I said, and joined him in the folding. (Although I would like to point out that pizza tastes better when the first thing that hits your mouth is cheese. Just sayin'.)

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    This dog with the interesting fashion accessory was waiting outside the entire time.

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    The Mr. and I then walked a few blocks and encountered more interesting creatures on our stroll.

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    I really wanted to see the scales of the universe at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at night. We must have walked around in circles for over an hour while we waited for the sun to set and the planets to illuminate. I thought the earth would look a little more earth-like so we waited much longer than necessary. Thanks to the Mr. for indulging my little obsession.

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    We then headed back to our hotel, where we took the elevator to the roof.

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    Where THIS was waiting for us! The retractable roof was open at the Top of the Strand and a really awesome DJ was playing. I think he was 12, but who isn't these days? Here's a little snippet on Vine.

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    And that was only Saturday! Look for part two next week!

  • NYC: The Best of the Rest *part two

    (originally published on October 15, 2011)

    And the rest of the few other things we saw in NYC ...

    Love this photo of the Chrysler Building!

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    St. Patrick's Cathedral.

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    St. Patrick's, interior.

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    St. Patrick's -- I love the staggered heights of the windows.

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    Hearst Tower.

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    Closest I've ever been to a traffic light.

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    Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

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    Riverside Church.

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    Grant's Tomb.

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    Apollo Theater, Harlem.

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    The building with "Roos" on it is Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster in Harlem.

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    Hee. Hee.

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    Guggenheim.

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  • NYC: The Best of the Rest *part one

    (originally published on October 14, 2011)

    So we saw a few other things in NYC ...

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    Times Square.

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    My travelling companions in Times Square.

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    The Naked Cowboy posed for me! 

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    He insisted I take a picture from the back as well! (And when I turned around I seemed to have lost my family. Hmmm ... wonder why they kept walking?)

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    The Fashion Center.

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    Gateway to SoHo.

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    One World Trade Center/Freedom Tower construction.

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    Occupy Wall Street, occupying Wall Street.

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    Love the guy in the corner!

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    Brooklyn Bridge.

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    Staten Island Ferry ....

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    ... heading into the city.

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    Miss Liberty ...

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    She's worth at least 4 photos!

  • NYC: Eataly

    (originally published on October 13, 2011)

    There was only one thing I absolutely wanted to do while we were in NYC -- go on a pilgrimage to Eataly, Mario Batali et al's mecca for foodies. We arrived a little before the doors open (and we weren't the only early birds anxious to gain entry.)

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    The place is enormous and is part marketplace, part restaurant as well as a feast for the senses.

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    Don't you just want to dive into that pile of fresh pasta pillows?

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    After wandering around quite a bit and wishing we had some way of taking all of this food back to Boston with us, we ended up ordering an espresso, an espresso macchiato (mine) and a chocolate hazelnut pastry (also mine, the Mr. having eaten with his family at Tops Diner earlier that morning.)

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    And then we wandered around some more, again wishing we could take it ALL home.

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    And as we left, we spied the wait staff getting briefed on the day's menus.

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    Such a great place! Next time we go, we're bringing a cooler to transport everything home ... and  I'm getting a piece of pizza, or three ... and we're hitting the roof deck beer garden, Birreria ... and I'm diving into that pasta pile.

  • NYC: Flatiron Building

    (originally published on October 12, 2011)

    One of my favorite buildings in NYC is the Flatiron Building so when the Mr. headed out very early in the morning to have breakfast with his family and my family went to Rockefeller Center to be on The Today Show (twice, as it turns out!), I went for a walk and ended up here.

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    I love the Art Space and the display of individually designed paper cups hanging there.

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    Afterwards, I headed across the street to Madison Square Park to wait for the Mr. to get back from Jersey and for Eataly to open nearby (see tomorrow's post!). I loved the Marimekko print umbrellas covering the tables. Such a wonderful, relaxing morning in the City That Never Sleeps.

  • NYC: Tick Tock Diner

    (originally published on October 11, 2011)

    To get ourselves going on Saturday morning, we had a serious breakfast at a New York diner near our hotel. We ordered -- and ate -- a lot of food.

    Only two of us were having meals requiring syrup ...

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    Corned beef hash was salty, crunchy, yumminess!

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    French toast, pre-syrup, super thick.

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    Can you tell the difference between the potatoes and the omelet?

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    Table full of fuel for our marathon day of touring the city.

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  • NYC: Empire State Building

    (originally published on October 10, 2011)

    This weekend we went to New York City. It's fun to go with someone who has never been there before and our travelling companions had not one, but two newbies in the group -- my niece and my brother-in-law. We packed A LOT into a short time and, although most of what we did and saw were not new to me (or to the Mr. who grew up across the river), I was able to check something off the always-wanted-to-do list: go to the top of the Empire State Building at NIGHT.

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    The views are spectacular!

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    Our hotel was nearby and each room had a little stuffed King Kong on the bed. Such a great touch!

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    The rest of this week is NYC Week on Juniper Disco ... stay tuned for more of our adventures in the Big Apple.