Tag Archives: nyc
A night walking through the streets of New York City. On this particular evening my feet covered the Lower East Side, East Village and some of the West Village.
Despite those things that didn’t really feel like they belonged among the coolness and uniqueness of the neighborhood, like the Super Cuts and Chipotle on St. Mark’s Place or the Starbucks on 1st Avenue, it was refreshing to walk the streets late at night, among the hipsters and cool kids and just photograph the sights.
I’ve blogged about the Scholastic Store so many times now that it’s not secret I love that place. But it’s been a bit since, and I just wanted to put a little reminder out there to everyone looking for fun, free events for their little ones and family in the city that the Scholastic Store always has something going on. So, for example, with the movie Hunger Games coming out, Scholastic is celebrating the series with family fun activities on March 24, 2012. But whether you go this month, next month or later in the year, don’t forget to give check out their website at http://www.scholastic.com/sohostore and the Scholastic Store events page for up-to-date information on what’s happening.
I admit: I’m not a huge fashionista. But when you live in the fashion capital of NYC, trendsetter or not, it’s always a thrill to glimpse into the glitzy world that most people have relegated to Hollywood fictions (ahem, Gossip Girl). Recently, I got my own taste of the sequins and gowns at New York Fashion Week, when NYCityMama was invited by Fiber One to attend Monique Lhuillier’s Fall 2012 show.
I arrived at the silver Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week façade about 15 minutes before the show. This is the second year the sleek building sat on the southwest corner of the Lincoln Center plaza, nestled between the grand homes of the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Ballet. Inside, pop-up booths featuring sponsoring brands lined the bright lobby, offering free samples, photo ops, and other fashion-themed displays.
The show was late to start—no surprise there—so I waited at the information desk to get my seat assignment. I stayed in line instead of exploring the booths because I didn’t want to lose my place, but not for want of entertainment. Let’s just say that with all the multi-colored outfits, costume jewelry, and other curious ensembles showgoers flaunted, the lobby itself became an impromptu catwalk.
When the doors finally opened, each party was individually escorted to runway area (nothing to make you feel more important than a personal guide, right?). I took my seat, and though I didn’t spend much effort into celebrity sightings, the chatter of the girls in the row behind me told me some of the Gossip Girl cast was indeed present.
Before long, the room went dark and the show started—and it was every bit as dramatic as it looks on the big screen. As the lights dialed back up and the first model hit the runway, pumped-up music and all, I couldn’t help scooting to the edge of my seat and leaning in.
Fiery reds, shiny black leather, and sparkling sequins paraded before our eyes in various shapes and forms. I saw nothing that I’d personally wear, of course, but I was mesmerized. I later learned that Monique Lhuillier had her beginnings in bridal couture, which explained the beautiful silhouettes of the flowing gowns and open backs. My favorite of the collection, which is meant to be an edgier and sultrier upgrade of past designs, was the marbled red and black strapless gown (above) with an off-center thigh-high split. At the end, the models filed out one after the other for a final strut, and then it was all over.
So here’s my take on New York Fashion Week for the non-fashionista: You don’t have to anticipate the trends. You don’t have to get, or even like, the collections. All you have to do is marvel at the theatrics—on and off the runway—and delight in being a part of all that glitters, if only for just a bit. At the very least, it’s something that will make all your girlfriends jealous.
Photography by Christine Wei.
Disclosure: Admission to the Monique Lhuillier’s Fall 2012 show was courtesy of Fiber One Bars, which were sampled at Fashion Week. We also had the opportunity to taste the new Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars in Chocolate, Caramel & Pretzel.
It’s so sunny out, but so windy and cold. You don’t want to stay inside – especially if you’re visiting NYC – but how can you avoid freezing your tush off and still take in all the city has to offer?
Well, I’m going to dust off a few fun posts I’ve shared on some tours you can enjoy (inside), especially on a nice day, making a day out in NYC fun and exciting for the entire family to enjoy. And even if you are from NYC, touring the city and taking advantage of these tours is a lot of fun. I personally was giddy to have the backstage access to some of these, and there’s so much to learn a long the way too!
My husband is fascinating with the art of making sushi. He tried it once at home. They were big balls of rice that tasted delicious, but were oddly shaped and not very pretty. He was determined to figure out what he was doing wrong and learn tips to really perfect the technique.
Lucky for me, he thought to combine this need to learn with a fun date night adventure for us. He signed up with Sushi by Simon, a class presented by Chef Simon Feil, a sushi instructor located in NYC.
This morning’s New York Times article “So You’re Priced Out. Now What?” did nothing but stir close to full blown rage in me.
As someone who just recently moved to New Jersey for this very reason, I am still a tad bitter about this topic and find it nothing to brag about as a New Yorker. As a matter of fact, I find it quite shameful that it has come to this for most families living in the city.
I put the conversation out on Twitter and within minutes my stream was on fire. Though the article makes mention of places where people can venture to for cheaper rents and mortgages, when it comes to the quality of schools – an issue on every family’s mind – it does so only in passing. And I hardly consider “two-bedrooms at the new MiMA tower on 42nd Street rent for about $6,500 a month; the most expensive three-bedroom there is $16,250 a month” a great deal.
Oh and “MiMA” is what is being passed along as Hell’s Kitchen these days, just like Hudson Heights is now what used to be known as Washington Heights and Sugar Hills what used to be Harlem. What’s the difference in the name you wonder? Well, about a few thousand, if not million dollars and a little less diversity.
But after being here for 6 months, and seeing my family flourish in their new schools and bountiful space, I say let them laugh and snicker. I don’t compete for good schools. I don’t have to cry at the DOE’s office anymore, or ask friends for special favors in an effort to offer my children the best education we can. I’m not overpaying to live in a shoe box refurbished apartment in the middle of a gentrified neighborhood. But it took a little bit to adjust to the fact that I wasn’t living in my beloved city anymore.
That one tweet says it all. Why is that?
There is something pretty cool about living in one of the greatest cities in the world, and today more than ever because it’s a status symbol. It implies that you have the means to afford the lifestyle in a city so insanely expensive.
I believe that anyone can live in New York City, but not everyone can live in New York City and afford to enjoy all that the city has to offer to the fullest. Like the New York Times article makes clear, in order to live there you have to be willing to compromise and sacrifice. The life of a New Yorker is all about compromise and sacrifice. You sacrifice space. You sacrifice neighborhood. You sacrifice education. You sacrifice access. At one point you start realizing that maybe what you’re sacrificing is giving your children the best you can. Then you start to wonder if it’s really all that worth it to be able to brag about living in a place that though you love, you just can’t grow in.
But what New York City is sacrificing in exchange for its luxury living and exuberance made available to only a select few is the families, the New Yorkers, who have been there for years – born and raised. Families who have worked for generations to keep the city alive, who gave to the neighborhoods when no one else cared enough to do so to help make it what it is today. The people and communities who gave New York City its flavor, its color, its diversity.
New York City’s inability to contain the over-pricing of its real estate, its inability to invest instead in its school, in its already established communities and neighborhoods, in its privately owned businesses and shops is killing everything that New York City is supposed to be about.
Pretty soon New York City will be nothing more but a boring island of generic, big name shops and businesses catering to the wealthy and well-connecting.
There are many reasons to visit New York City. There are many reasons to venture around and see what there is to discover, but there are fewer and fewer reasons for families to live there – starting with their failing schools. As a New Yorker it hurts me to admit that. It stings more than words can ever describe. And it is nothing to be proud of. I am sad for my city, I am sad of what it has become, but most of all I am sad for what is being lost each time a New York family is priced out and forced to leave.
Your loss New York City. Your epic fail.
Oh! It’s an exciting time in NYC for theatre lovers! Broadway’s Season of Savings booklet is out and is offering theatre goers up to $50 off ticket prices! I’m talking about REAL Broadway shows, right on the Great White Way people, with some really great off-Broadway performances too, such as Freckleface: The Musical (we loved it) and Stomp!,(which I’ve seen more than 7 times – at least).
Ok, I know. I sound a tad too excited, but I do love when the booklet comes out and I get to enjoy all the magnificent shows The Big Apple has to offer and save at the same time.
What kind of shows you’re wondering? Well, smash hits like Bette Midler’s Priscilla Queen of The Dessert with tickets starting at $43.oo, or classics like Phantom of The Opera with tickets starting at $26.50, and Rock of Ages with tickets starting at $46.50.
So, if you have a little list of shows you’d like to see, either for the first time or again, this is the time to get your tickets. If you happen to be visiting New York City, then you really don’t want to miss it.
Season of Savings was created in response to the devastating effect that September 11th had on sales at Broadway shows and at businesses in and around the Times Square theatre district.
Now in its 10th year, Season of Savings is the unofficial “New York Theatregoer’s Guide to Times Square.” It includes a special edition Playbill, published twice per year, that features discount coupons to numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway shows as well as restaurants, hotels and NYC attractions.
For a complete list of spectacular Broadway and Off-Broadway performances check out www.seasonofsavings.com for more information.
See you at the theatre!
All week long, all I have wanted to do was wake up Friday morning and surprise my two youngest with a visit to see Santaland in Macy’s Herald Square, an annual holiday tradition for us.
I envisioned my boys jumping up and down for joy, except I didn’t realize that Friday’s Pizza Day in school was such a big deal. So instead, I got this:
Eventually, as the news sunk in, the boys did get more and more excited and by the time we arrived to Macy’s on 34th street they were jumping up and down with anticipation.
I was delighted too, because unlike last year, I got there early enough to beat the crowds. Macy’s Santaland is open from 9am to 9pm on weekdays, and from 8am till 9PM on weekends till December 24th. Crowds are willing to wait outside for this, so it’s really best to get there early. The closer it gets to Christmas (16 days at the time of this post), the larger the crowds and the wait can be an hour or more…and not a lot of fun.
This year however, Macy’s added a bit more details closer to the end of the line featuring animatronics which highlight scenes from the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street. The kids loved this as did the parents because it helped to keep them entertained.
We arrived to Santa pretty quickly, and this year was a pretty big deal because it was the first time ever that my now 6 year old had the courage to actually speak to him and tell him what he wanted and Santa took note. He took him by the hand and they spoke softly to each other. It was such a sweet and adorable moment that my holiday, Santa loving heart nearly burst with joy and my eyes teared up.
My 5 year old was a bit shy and spoke, but without really letting go of my hand. There was no rush, there was no pressure to move it along, and I was so grateful for the attention Santa gave my boys today, I just had to share the experience with you all.
So, if this is your holiday and you are a fan of Santa, I hope you can make your way to Santaland too this year. But keep in mind my tips, they make all the difference, and make sure to go with plenty of time, patience and happy holiday spirits. Many of the same rules I talked about in my Traveling this Holiday Season post, apply while you navigate the crowds, especially in the magical Santaland.
Make sure to stop by Santa’s Post Office online where you can create a letter on special holiday stationary. Once you have created your letter, stop by any Macy’s letterbox to drop in your special Santa letter. For each letter received Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1,000,000, giving others something to Believe in as well.
There is no admission fee to Macy’s Santaland. Photos with Santa can be purchased immediately after your visit with him. Macy’s Herald Square is located at 151 W 34th St New York, NY 10001. Telephone (212) 695-4400.
It’s that time of the year when my favorite NYC parks start showing the holiday spirit and magic!
This Saturday, November 12, families, pets included, are invited to Citi Pond at Bryant Park’s Second Annual Family Day Event to celebrate and kick-off the holiday season by enjoying a day full of fun, family-friendly activities!
Activities include: a book reading by “Christmas Feet” author Maureen Sullivan and an appearance by lead character, Carlos the French Bulldog; a pet fashion show and complimentary face-painting and treats. Throughout the day, live entertainment will include performances by legendary jazz singer and songwriter Bob Dorough of the famed “Schoolhouse Rock” series, Freckleface Strawberry The Musical and a live children’s musical performance “Songs for Seeds” by apple seeds.
The event is free and open to the public from 12 – 4 p.m.! In addition, starting at 12 p.m., the first 100 kids (12 years old and under) will receive free skate rentals (admission is always free at Citi Pond at Bryant Park).
In addition to the live performances, giveaways and entertainment fun, the whole family can also njoy complimentary face-painting, s’mores, karaoke, and live music and performances outdoors in the nice fall weather.
I did attended this event last year and absolutely LOVED it. It’s a fun way to kick-off the holiday season in the Big Apple, and truly, very few do it as well as Bryant Park so you don’t want to miss it if you can!
You won’t want to miss the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. They are popular and a favorite destination for specialty items, one-of-a-kind gifts and themed winter offerings. More than 125 retailers have individually designed and customized mini boutique shops and specialty food stores, enclosed by ultra-modern glass and aluminum structures.
Also, don’t forget to check out Celsius Restaurant, Lounge and Event Space. Celsius is a two-story 7,000 square foot glass-enclosed ultra-modern full-service restaurant, lounge and event space will include a heated outdoor lounge, themed winter offerings, specialty cocktails and a vast array of corporate and community events. Executive Chef Ian David Friedman will bring fresh ideas and expertise to the popular eclectic American comfort dishes.
Whether stopping by for an after work cocktail or planning a special event, the floor-to-ceiling views overlooking the skating rink, Bryant Park and the midtown skyline provide a magical dining experience. As it does every year, Celsius will introduce new offerings this season from Grilled Mojito Wings, Grilled Gruyere Cheese & Smoked Maple-Cured Ham to an Eight Hour Yankee Pot Roast.
The Glacier Punch Bowl will return by popular demand, including a selection of new cold and hot cocktails such as: Frostbite, which will introduce a new Kahlua cinnamon spice; Celsius A. Palmer featuring Absolut Wild Tea; the Polar Bear Cosmo; and the Steamy Vine, an infusion of red wine, brandy maple syrup, allspice and orange zest.
Perfect for an outing with the family, or – as my husband and I have done many times before – a romantic date night!
Bryant Park is located between W. 40th and W. 42nd Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues, New York, NY. The rink opens at 8AM, and Family Day will go on from 12 to 4 on November 12, 2011. For more information please check out http://citipondatbryantpark.com/event/family-day-citi-pond-bryant-park-1.
Stuyvesant Square Community Alliance (SSCA) will be hosting their 2nd Annual Open Air Gallery event on Saturday, October 22nd (Raindate: Oct.23rd) from 12 Noon to 4pm at Stuyvesant Square Park (located on 2nd Avenue between and 15th & 17th Street – West Side Square). The day’s events include their local artists’ gallery exhibit with local artworks for sale, guided tour and timeline exhibit of their historic park and neighborhood, kids art table, and light refreshments being served.
Attendance for the event is free. Any proceeds made from a percentage of local artists’ artwork sales or given donations from attendees will benefit the continuing improvement and beautification of Stuyvesant Square Park
For more information on Stuyvesant Square Community Alliance (SSCA), please visit www.stuysqalliance.org and for information on their other upcoming events such as the Candlelight Caroling: Christmas Eve and First Night of Hanukkah: Lighting.
Photos courtesy of SSCA.