Monday, November 7, 2011

Farewell New York..... {for now!}

We had an amazing summer in New York... and now as we finish our senior years (Claire back at UC Berkeley and Miraya studying abroad in London) we are itching for the day we move back to the big apple after we graduate. Perhaps Berke-Lee will start up again once we are back in NYC, but one thing is for sure:

Thanks so much for exploring New York with us :)

{We are currently working on a recap of all our adventures.... check back soon!}

Thursday, August 18, 2011

FOOD: Tea at the Plaza

Every girl's dream - obviously to be Eloise and to spend her days skipping through the Plaza Hotel with her pet turtle. While I don't see this fantasy of mine becoming a reality anytime soon, I realized tea at The Plaza was a tangible alternative. Claire and I entered The Palm Court, feeling as through we were transported to London. Unlike tea time in London, The Plaza offers four different tea time options (New Yorker tea, classic tea, chocolate tea, and Eloise tea). Claire decided on the New Yorker, which included such items as a pastrami sandwich, black and white cookie, canoli, and other typical NY goodies. I opted for the classic tea for the macaroon, cucumber sandwich, and other such tea time novelties. Of course tea at The Palm Court isn't for those trying to save money, but for our last day in the city it was the perfect splurge.

We felt quite glamorous seated in The Palm Court, sipping our tea with a dash of milk. Positioned at the table closest to the Eloise portrait, we were able to view gaggles of teeny boppers pose with Eloise for their taste of a dream. Downstairs among The Plaza shops is an Eloise store which is the epitome of every girl's dream - dress up room, tea area, beanbags and a tv, and loads of pink tutus. Even if I'm too old to partake in such festivities, tea at The Plaza is fine by me!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FOOD: The Halal Guys

I tried quite a few food trucks this summer, but The Halal Guys was one of the only I made a second trip to. Located conveniently at 53rd and 6th, The Halal Guys makes for quite a satisfying lunch - and dinner too if you have the will-power.

Unlike the other halal trucks positioned on almost every corner of the city, The Halal Guys boast "we are different" and I must agree. Even the smell of the random halal trucks sickens me and the meat looks dirty, but walking past The Halal Guys I'm instantly tempted. Their menu includes plates of lamb, chicken, or combo (lamb and chicken) poured over seasoned rice, lettuce, pita, and doused in creamy white sauce and spicy red sauce. The portions are overwhelmingly good for the $6 cost. The first time I had the goal to save half for dinner but enjoyed it too much to stop, stuffing my face with the addictive spicy sauce until I felt I might explode and only a few bites were remaining. The second time around I forced myself to be more disciplined, splitting the bowl in half and stretching my $6 to last a lunch and dinner, needless to say I was quite proud. The Halal Guys is perfect for an empty stomach at lunch or eating on a budget. Your bowl is stuffed with quality meat, definitely getting your bang for your buck.


FOOD: Bagels

The best bagel is a heated topic among New Yorkers and after careful research I narrowed down that Ess-A-Bagel and H&H Bagel were the top contenders. So obviously I took it upon myself to decide which deserves the title of best NY bagel.

Ess-A-Bagel: When I walked in I was surrounded by cute old Jewish couples and instantly knew I was where I belonged. I ordered an everything bagel toasted with olive cream cheese and an iced coffee. The bagel was giant, I mean we're talking about the fluffiest, biggest bagel I've ever laid eyes on. One of the employees asked if I needed a bag to take half to go, but after I took my first bite I knew no bag would be necessary. The spices and salt coating the bagel erupted in flavor and heavenly mixed with the creamy olive spread. It was a fantastic bagel and I devoured the monstrosity quite quickly. Despite Yelp reviews which warned against the coffee, I didn't mind the iced coffee. Definitely wasn't one of the best cups of java I've ever had, but not too bad either. I left feeling very satisfied by the true NY bagel. It really is something about the New York water that gives bagels in the city their unique fluffy texture.

H&H Bagel: Located in the Upper East Side in the heart of thrift shop heaven, H&H Bagel will now always hold a special spot in my heart. The staff was unbelievably friendly. I was persuaded to order a lox sandwich with tomato and an iced coffee. My meal ended up being over $10 which was a shock, but it was quite a significant amount of lox between the bagel. The everything bagel was warm, fresh out of the oven, instantly raising the bar above Ess-A-Bagel. The bagel itself wasn't as overwhelmingly large as the Ess-A-Bagel, but size isn't everything. The warmth of the H&H bagel made me fall in love. Unlike Ess-A-Bagel, the H&H employees told me which bagels were freshest to ensure I had the best experience. The lox was flavorful and filling and the iced coffee was phenomenal. Overall, H&H wins in my book. I even made a second stop there to get a dozen bagels to bring back to California with me!

All bagels are not alike, and when it comes to New York, H&H Bagels takes the cake...or should I say bagel.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

FOOD: Amorino Gelato

The first time I walked past Amorino Gelato I was blown away to see a line down the street and wrapped around the corner. I assumed it must some pretty incredible gelato for people to stand in line for so long and instantly added it to my list of places to try. Shortly after I discovered that the reason the line was so long was I happened to walk past on their grand opening and they were giving away free gelato to all! Now, even at over $5 a pop the line is still always long.

The draw to this Europe originated gelato shop is the beautiful flowers they create from your flavors. First you select your size of cup or cone and then you can pick as many flavors as you desire and they scoop and mold them into a perfect flower. I've never challenged them with more than 4 or 5 flavors, but I've been told they can mold all 20 something flavors into a single flower - quite impressive.

Of the few times I've been I've been most pleased with the fruity flavors, which are refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. Next, I'll have to check out the Amorino Gelato stores in Europe, perhaps one of the two in England or some of the forty-three open in France! Obviously these people know what they're doing.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

PLACES: Top of the Standard

So, last Friday I walked to the Standard Hotel (built over a section of the High Line!) to meet up with Miraya and her parents, who were visiting last weekend. When I walked up the stairs onto the rooftop... I was NOT expecting to walk out onto a fantasy cruise ship on top of the city! Just look how the colorful, quirky theme of the rooftop bar looks so wrong yet so right against the city background. Amazing... 

Miraya workin' the water-bed/sofa/bean bag(?)

Noooo big.

Cheers to that, indeed!

So many sighs this summer... so many sighs...


PLACES/FOOD: Smorgasburg!

Every Saturday, Brooklyn Flea puts on a fantastical food market called Smorgasburg on the Williamsburg waterfront. Kevin, Sophia, and I went last weekend and tried a random array of items: lamb & brisket sliders, chorizo sandwich, biscuits, popsicle, and shaved ice! If only we had more room in our stomachs and more money in our wallets...

How cute are these TBD editors? Hmm maybe this is too close of an action shot...

Now that is sandwich-making.

sophia is so good at this!

Shaved ice and bracelet modeling.. impressive!


Not to mention, the waterfront is lovely... no matter how populated!

On top of all that, Smorgasburg is only two blocks away from Artists & Fleas market, which I will post on someday and which I bought this cuff at.

Love love Brooklyn.