Category: New York City

Manhattan Dinner Cruise

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Every year Kyle comes up with the most creative and meaningful birthday gifts, but this year he totally outdid himself. For my gift this year he booked a sunset dinner cruise around Manhattan. I had never seen the city from the water before, so I was extremely excited for my birthday adventure.

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Our cruise was through Hornblower and they did a wonderful job planning the trip. There was an hor d’oeuvres and cocktail hour on the boat, followed by a three-course meal and after-dinner dancing. The boat cruised around the Hudson and the East River and had great photo-ops near the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

There was a beautiful deck on the boat where you could stand or sit outside before or after dinner, or between courses. The weather was beautiful, so we enjoyed sipping on our drinks outside while taking in the breathtaking views.

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As far as our meal, the different courses were pretty tasty. I ordered the Tamarind and Orange Glazed Duck Breast for my appetizer, and the Oven Roasted Chicken Breast for my entree. Both were extremely well-prepared and had great flavor. The sweet potato puree with my appetizer was so well-seasoned I could have eaten a whole bowl of just that.  Kyle ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake as his appetizer, and the Pan Seared Filet of Beef for his entree and they were pretty amazing too.. I had bites of course.  For dessert, I ordered the cheesecake, my absolute favorite NYC specialty.

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The DJ played great music, mixing in the old with the new, and got everyone on the boat in a great mood. He played some top pop hits, some salsa music, and even some Frank Sinatra.

The Manhattan skyline lit up against the night sky is unlike anything else you will see in your life. We stood outside for almost half an hour just taking in the view.

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For anyone living in, or visiting, NYC looking for a fun night out with friends or a romantic dinner date, I would definitely suggest booking a boat cruise through Hornblower. It was one of the most memorable nights in NYC I have had yet.

Exploring Hoboken, New Jersey

I’m back in New York City for the summer and have already started to go back to my adventuring ways. I love spending my free time discovering new neighborhoods and areas in the city. I had never been to New Jersey before, so I decided it was time to make the trip (especially once I learned it was only a 10 minute train ride from the Financial District…so close!).

As graduation is just around the corner, I’ve started to look into different neighborhoods that I could move to in or around New York City. Hoboken was an area I always heard was very quaint and hip, so I figured I would give it a tour on my day off. I had a little Friday afternoon adventure to Hoboken and I completely fell in love with the neighborhood.

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As you step off the Path Train from Manhattan you look to your right and you are right along the water. The view from Hoboken is breathtaking! You can see the entire Manhattan skyline from the pier and it is totally enchanting. The cute grassy area would be perfect for an afternoon picnic.

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As I walked farther into town I was surprised at how many adorable little markets and cafes I passed.  There was a lot of outdoor seating at a bunch of local restaurants perfect for a summertime dinner date. The neighborhood was lively, yet much less noisy than Manhattan. it was a pleasant change of pace.

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I couldn’t visit Hoboken for the day and not pay a visit to Carlo’s Bake Shop…AKA home shop of Cake Boss. Everything in the bakery looked delicious, but if there was ever too long of a line or you weren’t feeling the touristy atmosphere, there are tons of other local bakeries in the area.

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A bakery that I stumbled into today was called Choc-o-Pain. It was an adorable french bakery that carried everything from quiche to croissant. I chose the “Chocopain Aux Amandes,” which in other terms was a chocolate almond croissant and let me tell you… it was life changing.  Easily one of the best croissants I’ve ever eaten.. which is saying a lot since I have had some pretty amazing ones in France. If you want a low-key bakery with a lot of character and an adorable ambiance, this is your place.

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The architecture in Hoboken was a lot more historic than I was anticipating for. I loved how much character the different blocks had and how each housing unit had its own touch of personality. Trees lined every street and the neighborhood had such a homey feeling.

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If you’re spending some time visiting New York City in the near future, and are looking to see a few places away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, I would definitely put Hoboken on your list!

 

A Date in Central Park

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I was lucky enough to have my boyfriend visit for the Fourth of July holiday. There were so many amazing places that I wanted to show him in NYC, and one of those spots was Central Park. Many people have seen Central Park in the crowded, touristy, way, but there are areas in the park that are so amazing and romantic, and often missed.

We entered Central Park right around 81st, roughly the middle of the park, and first headed to Belvedere Castle. It was fun to walk up the tight, spiraling, staircase together, and the view from the top of the castle was amazing. Next, we headed down the wooded paths near The Lake toward Bow Bridge. The paths were winding, hilly, and fun to walk through. When we arrived at Bow Bridge we sat in a covered bench area right next to the water. This area was nice and quiet and the perfect spot to watch boaters row by and have a good conversation.

After Bow Bridge, we stopped to admire the Bethesda Terrace and took in the culture around us. In this area of the park there are a lot of artists and street musicians, it is a ton of fun to just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere.

I loved walking under all of the bridges in Central park, the vines are gorgeous and it seems that each bridge is unique in its own way. This walk lead us to our final destination in the park, Conservatory Water. Here, we sat back and relaxed for a while. It was fun to watch people drive their sailboats in the water, and reminded us of all the times we had seen this spot in movies.

Our adventure in Central Park was amazing! Everyone should take some time in NYC to experience all that it has to offer.

‘Charles James: Beyond Fashion’ Exhibit & The MET

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This past weekend a friend and I visited The MET for the first time and it was a trip that will never be forgotten. Being from Chicago, I have visited some amazing museums and art galleries before, but never have I visited a museum where I could gaze at egyptian tomb findings, famous Van Gogh paintings, and a fashion exhibit all in one place. As a creative individual, it was an inspiring day to say the least!

For anyone who hasn’t visited The MET before, aside from visiting the new Charles James exhibit (my favorite) make sure to take plenty of time to experience the sculptures on the first floor and the amazing paintings on the 2nd floor. Both sections are beautiful and worth every bit of your time! Taking a moment to see the works of Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and Seurat in person will change your life, I promise! And if you need a mental break from all of the beautiful art during your day, head up to the roof for a breathtaking view.

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Now, about this Charles James exhibit that I have been raving about…

I had heard wonderful things about the Charles James exhibit before visiting The MET, but I couldn’t have predicted just how much of an impact it would have on me as a young aspiring fashion designer. The atmosphere and display of the exhibit is so simple, yet so dramatic and perfect. James’ most notable designs are truly a work of art, and the way that each was displayed made it very apparent to each visitor just that. Not only could you view every angle of each piece up close, but video animations and live-feed cameras throughout the exhibit made it possible to see every detail of construction that went into it.

As a designer, I found it so intriguing to be able to learn about how the garment was patterned and constructed to create the silhouette and drape of the finished product. I loved watching the animations display each garment on a form, and then unwrap and pick apart each area piece by piece by what the pattern looked like. I can proudly say that I read every single description of each garment and watched every animation of their construction. The added effects really allowed visitors to gain a greater appreciation for the mathematics that go into drafting a garment pattern, and allowed them to understand the work that was spent on each exquisite piece.

Not only did the exhibit let you see Charles James’ work, but it also let you into the mind of the designer. The exhibit was coated in James’ quotes and what he thought about fashion. Too often today, designers create garments with the simple intention of pleasing the public, I loved that Charles James looked to create new, innovative, designs that would inspire the public to go outside of their comfort zone.

I am inspired after seeing this exhibit to continue to challenge myself and my ability to create truly innovative work. I want to continually analyze what I am doing, and always work to reinvent my designs and perfect my visions.

Words from the man himself –

“A great designer does not seek acceptance. He challenges popularity.” – Charles James

Taking The High Line

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I have been having the time of my life in New York City. Not only have I fallen in love with my internship, but I have fallen in love with ‘The Big Apple’. This city truly never sleeps, and there are endless places to explore, experience, and eat an amazing meal. Since my last post, I have settled in in the East Village and explored almost every crevasse around my neighborhood. One of my favorite spots is the view of the East River. I discovered this amazing view, and awesome running path along the shore, only a few blocks from where I live.

I have had a blast making a new Sunday morning tradition out of yoga in Chelsea. I love having some time to unwind and relax, and then roam through the Chelsea Market afterwards with friends. This past Sunday, Mary Kate and I even took a stroll down The High Line to get a better view. This city is full of art, diversity, and full fashion freedom. I can’t think of a better place for an aspiring designer to experience.

… As for the outfit, I decided to dress down an edgy sundress with a pair of tennis shoes for a Saturday of shopping in Soho. There was a lot of walking to be done, so comfortable shoes were a must. With the right accessories, my outfit had just a bit of attitude and felt right for the occasion.