the great NEW YORK CITY stay-cation of 2013


Last week I was on vacation and because of a few different factors (namely my lack of foresight and tendency to not plan in advance) I found myself with a week and a city before me. And seeing as how New York City is one of those places that people come from all over to see, I thought, why not approach it from that angle? I bought fresh flowers, had my duvet laundered, and treated my small Brooklyn flat as if it was an expensive bed and breakfast. I brought my camera everywhere, indulged in lattes at every turn, and took myself out to dinner just as one does when on vacation.

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(I made myself look up more. The usually staid skyline taking on new light.)

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(I even bought a new pair of heels, which is a BIG DEAL since I don't really own any. At all. Also, I got them for a steal at a small shop in Williamsburg and then saw Anthropologie is selling nearly the same shoe for 80 dollars more).

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(Fresh flowers and warm lattes are pretty much all I need. Ever).


(I finally checked the Jazz Age Lawn Fest off of my New-York-City-Bucket-List. I wore an impossibly short Alice + Olivia dress that I had gotten years ago {and my new heels!} and loads of fake pearls. This event takes place on two weekends each summer on Governors Island and you bring your own fun. My friend Suzanne and I took notes for next year: (1) don't be afraid to bring your big camera and ask to take photos of people! (2) pack a big, swanky picnic lunch and blanket (3) arrive early to stake out a good spot (4) get a big group of friends--with this type of event you sort of bring your own fun, and finally (5) go full out with the planning and dressing-up because that's really what much of this even is about).

...Which leads me to vintage shopping... while I'm relatively new to this game, I've had really good luck at

Hooti Couture (I got this dress and belt from there) and Olive's and Olaf's...

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(Our pre-Jazz-fest breakfast was one for the books. Mimosas in one hand, coffee in the other, and plenty of toast with of my favorite breakfasts ever).

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(So I'm one of those people who will go up to a subway busker I like and ask if they're playing anywhere soon. So when Jesse Cohen told me he'd be playing at a small bar on the Lower East Side on the Saturday night of my vacation I knew I'd be there. I put on my new heels, sat by myself and listened to his truly INCREDIBLE VOICE. I mean, holy heck, this kid can sing. He always transforms the Carroll Street subway stop into a cathedral with just a few notes).


(In NYC it's so easy to get to the beach. You hop on the A train, Rockaway Bound, make one quick shuttle transfer and you're in spitting distance of some damn fine beaches--and the best fish tacos I've ever had...Rockaway Taco).

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(It's become tradition to head to Smith Canteen for an iced coffee and lemon-popyseed muffin for the A train to the beach--the ride takes about an hour, so provisions are a must. It's like the NYC version of a car trip! If ever I were to advice a tourist on the NYC experience, I'd say..avoid Starbucks. There are too many good, small, locally-owned coffee shops to necessitate that particular experience).


(I am a walker-jogger when it comes to exercise. Much as I'd love to head to Physique 57 a few times a week to get my workout, it's just way too expensive {I mean, shockingly expensive...but such is New York, I suppose}. Instead I head north on Clinton Street, making my way over to Henry, and then finally, the entrance of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The view is aces, always. Lady Liberty to the left and to the right, a view of lower Manhattan which is just breathtaking. It always makes me feel like this is such a special time in my life: that each morning I get to make the small odyssey to this small stretch of park--a holy thing).

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(The surrounding Brooklyn Heights neighborhood with its cobblestone streets and original carriage houses...a must see on a trip to New York).


(I'm so lucky to have family in nearby Montclair, NJ {just a 20 minute bus ride from Midtown Manhattan}. I ventured out there for a night because there is always cooler and sometimes suburbia is all that it's cracked up to be {in the good ways}. I got to have a glass of wine by three, a spread of cheese and crackers {my favorite food group}, and few bad movies {which on tv, and in the afternoon, are perfect}).

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(Applegate's ice cream! It's no Carvels, which was a staple of my childhood summer visits to Montclair, but the rainbow sprinkles did the job).

If I had more time (and more money) I would have made my way through the growing list of restaurants I want to try. Right now the list is as follows:

Chez Moi


The Musket Room


It was a really good, really restorative vacation. And I think the takeaway is, with new eyes and the right attitude there can be a little vacation in the every day. A good latte, always goes a long way. But if you're looking for things to do/or places to go in NYC, there's plenty...avoid the obvious.


Currently on my New-York-City-bucket-list...the US OPEN...anyone got an extra ticket?!?!