Two Decades

When I was a little girl I would lay in bed with my eyes wide open, full of anticipation for my birthday the next day. I hate mornings, but I would wake up at 6AM ready to start my big day! The only problem was that I had such high expectations, and some years it would live up to them, but some years it wouldn’t.

I knew that this year my birthday would be different and better than all the rest because I would be spending it in the city I love the most. I had no preconceived ideas of how the day would go, I just went with the flow because I knew that no matter what I did it would be great.

We counted down the minutes till it turned midnight on June 14th! My roommates lit the only candle we have in the apartment and came out of the kitchen singing to me with the candle and a shot glass in hand. The fact that it was the pink pomegranate candle from Urban Outfitters made my birthday night so much more special.

That night, we just barely made it into the bar. Thank god for Chelsea’s convincing words because the smeared check marks on our hands looked suspiciously smeared… I got a few birthday shots at the bar and then after some time we decided it was time to go home. Well, not really time for bed but time for pizza.

I have decided that I’m going to start making a list of my completely bizarre pizza choices. That night I order a slice pizza with pasta on top (as if pizza by itself doesn’t already have enough carbs) and a slice of Sicilian (because once again, regular cheese pizza just doesn’t have enough carbs…).

I woke up hours later completely full and with a slight headache. My best friend, Chelsea, and I had plans for the day though so I knew I couldn’t sleep in. We went to breakfast at the beautiful Isola Trattoria and Crudo Bar. The waiter joked that we were more excited for our glasses of water than our mimosas, and it was true. We were also still so full from pizza the night before that it was hard to finish our entire brunch. We had leftover berries and because NY is so expensive we were jokingly saying that we would ask for a to-go box. The best part was that the waiter actually asked if we wanted a to-go box. At first too embarrassed to say yes, we shook our heads no but quickly changed our minds so that we could keep the ridiculously overpriced raspberries and blueberries.

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The rest of the day consisted of shopping in SoHo and picnicking in Central Park. Lounging on our bed comforter turned picnic blanket, we soaked up the sun and caught up on everything from the past year. I cut slices of pickles with my teeth, every bite Chelsea lost half of the contents in her sandwich, because it was a mile high, and we tried not to flash everyone around us and we sat in our dresses on the ground. We tried to be as classy as possible but we’re not sure it worked out so great…

nyc01Chelsea on our picnic blanket

For dinner we went to The Smith in East Village. I had the most delicious passion fruit rum cocktail and for dinner split a lobster salad. Once we we had stuffed ourselves to the point of explosion, we were handed a dessert menu. Since it was my birthday we decided we had to get just one little thing to all split. The mini carrot cake donuts with cream cheese frosting were screaming my name so we decided on that. It came out with a candle and happy birthday lollipop stuck in the middle. The waitress also came bearing four FREE glasses of champagne. It was the perfect way to celebrate my entrance into the next decade of life!

After a wonderful dinner of eating, drinking and laughing so hard we almost peed in our pants, we were headed to Marquee night club. It has always been my dream to go to a place like this to dance and be surrounded my the hippest posh people of NY. I felt like royalty showing up to the place and skipping the long loser line that wrapped around the corner of the building. We got to cut all the lines because my roommate, Callie, had some connections, which Chelsea and I now have too.

photo 4An extremely bad picture of Marquee

Everything was so great, except the price of the drinks. Thirty-two dollars for TWO cranberry vodkas. 3-2 dollars for TWO drinks, only two! I was always told NY was expensive but experiencing it first hand is way different. Finding the club promoters table was a miracle because then it meant free drinks for us and if I could save $13 on every drink me and my wallet were VERY happy.

Our time here was cut short though when Callie decided to cool herself – and everyone around us – off. One second the drink was completely full in her hand, the next she was throwing it up in the air, and the next second she was proudly holding it upside down to show that it was empty. Unfortunately the bouncers didn’t find it as funny as we did and kicked us out of the club… It was probably time to go home anyways. Oh wait actually, time to go to pizza is what I mean.

Once again I picked the strangest pizza in the place, deciding on the slice with grilled chicken and ricotta cheese. Seriously, who know why I pick this stuff?! But I must say it was delicious! Or so at the moment that’s what I thought.

So after a long and extremely fun filled exciting day the three of us stumbled back to our apartment for a good night of sleep. I have to say thank you to everyone who made my birthday one of the best yet and a very big special thanks to Chelsea and Callie for giving me a birthday I’ll never forget!

I can’t wait to see how the rest of this summer turns out because so far it has been unreal.

NG

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Heaven Is All The Legendary Chefs In One Place

Tonight I attended Summer By The Sea the 29th Annual Chef Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels at the Rockefeller Center Plaza. I got to eat and drink for free, so what’s not to like about that?!

Going into into the event I had no idea what to expect. When I got to Rockefeller Center I had no idea where to go, but I knew I was in the right place because the smell of fish was in the air and the woman to the right of me was plugging her nose because of it. (Don’t worry though, downstairs it smelt fantastic)

I checked in as part of the press and got to snap pictures and tasting creations right away!

The main part of the event was situated under a big white tent positioned in the middle of Rockefeller Center. The tent was lined with tables that held beautiful displays and plates of summer and coastal cuisine. There were street signs at every table that signified who the chef was, where they were from and what they were serving. There was Conch, Oysters, Halibut, Salmon, Lobster and even Octopus! The best part was that the food tasted as wonderful as it looked.

ImageNobu Matsuhisa Table – Umami Seafood Cocktail: Fish, Shellfish, Dashi, Soy Sauce

Some of the chefs in attendance were Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, Bill Telepan, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Laurie Jon Moran. Of course, I didn’t know who any of these people were before tonight but I now I do, well sorta! By the length of the line at Jean-Georges table I could have guessed that he was pretty famous. He had Lobster Sliders with Gruyere, Green Chili Mayonnaise and Yuku Pickles. It melted in your mouth it was so good! (I just made myself salivate thinking about it)

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Chef Jean-Georges Table

Everyone was so well dressed and posh. I enjoyed walking around people watching and soaking everything in. It was sort of strange to be alone but I didn’t really mind it as much as I thought I would. (Although, the few drinks I had may have helped with that some…)

A few of my favorites were the “Egg” from chef Laurie Jon Moran from Le Bernadin. It was made with Milk Chocolate, Pot de Creme, Caramel Foam, Maple Syrup, and Maldon Sea Salt. I had a special affinity for this table because my grandparents took me to the restaurant when I came to visit last. It was a bonus that the food was so so good! Another one I really liked was the Scallops from Joachim Splichal served with Chilled Cucumber Jelly and Gazpacho Sorbet.

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A view inside the tent

There were a lot of other interesting foods there, like Octopus Salad, Lobster Pig Ear Terrine Bahn Mi, Smoked Goat Tostadas and Sweetbread Cooked in Beeswax. And for anyone who is wondering, Sweetbread is the glands of a young animal….. I am very thankful I didn’t try that one. I was heading for it because Sweetbread sounds, well, sweet and delicious but at the last minute I overheard him say something about a gland and I made a B-line for the next table. I was feeling daring though and I tried the Octopus! I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it.

ImageImageTwo of my favorite displays

A jazz band played throughout the night and the different scents of food coalesced together to form an overwhelmingly delicious aroma, which made the night perfect. Beautiful people, exquisite food, delectable drinks, and delightful music. The best combination there is.

NG

 

New Yorkers Don’t Sweat

I have been living in New York for almost a week now. As absolutely cliche and stupid as it sounds, it’s like a dream come true. Every store I’ve ever wanted to go to is outside my door, there are to-die-for restaurants down the street from my apartment and when I’m feeling tired of the concrete I can escape to Central Park. I love the constant activity and liveliness that the city has to offer.

So, as I’ve been adjusting to the city life I’ve started to pick up on a few things that are different than what I’m used to. For starters, if you look around at the people on the street you’ll have a hard time distinguishing the season. Is it summer or winter? Well, from the way people dress around here you would probably think its somewhere in the middle, like fall, but maybe even winter.

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Everyone, well all the real new yorkers, dress in long pants, closed toed shoes and jackets or sweaters. Mind you, it is the beginning of June, so uh it’s not exactly cold out. It’s the strangest thing, I can’t figure it out! Why would anyone want to wear jeans and a jacket when it is 85 degrees out? So, I ask myself, do New Yorkers sweat? I suppose they do not.

Trying to fit in, today I wore a long sleeve button down, but I failed at fulfilling the whole “winter-summer NYC look” and I wore shorts to complete my outfit. Thankfully I was not hot because it was rainy and a little chilly out but I don’t think I can continue to wear long sleeves when the humidity sets in.

Another thing I noticed is a lot of people were all black or only neutrals. If you know me, you know that more than half of my closet is neutral colored clothes so I fit right in in that aspect!

More to come on my thoughts and adventures in NY!

NG

A New Adventure Begins

To say I’m tired right now would be an understatement. I feel exhausted, and yet, I can’t sleep.

I just zipped up my suitcases and loaded everything into the car so I will be ready to go bright and early at 6AM tomorrow morning!

Packing was a very big struggle, as I started off with two bags weighing 60 pounds each and ended with three bags weighing 40 each. Turns out, Spirit Airline, or as my family calls it, Kill Your Spirit Airline, has a 40 pound per bag weight limit, instead of 50 pounds (which is what we thought). But you’re right Spirit, why should you do what everyone else does…? So after numerous clothing transfers back and forth and a lot of sacrificing I fit it all in!

I am so excited to move to Manhattan tomorrow. I have wanted to live in the city ever since I was little. Even living on Long Island for 10 years wasn’t enough for me. I have always longed to live right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. My grandparents have warned me that the city is tiring but I have a lot of energy so I think I can keep up! I’m the girl who never sleeps so why not live in the city that never sleeps?! But really, I’m always the last one to fall asleep when I have a sleepover.

My time to live in NYC has finally arrived and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about it. Although, I keep wondering when and how I grew up. I asked my mom the other day if she was sure I was allowed to live in the city by myself because I’m very confused as to when I became an adult. I’ve determined that getting older is weird. The numbers change but your mind doesn’t. I still feel like my 17 year old self.

Well, considering I will be waking up in five hours I should probably get some sleep. I’ve got a big day ahead of me and a very busy week to follow!

More updates to come!!