Be sure to look out the window when you’re riding the Q train from Brooklyn to Manhattan. This little animation awaits. Isn’t subway art wonderful?
If I can make it through the rest of my work and get our two carry-on bags packed with two weeks worth of clothes, I’ll be on a plane tomorrow morning to New York. Mmmm. Land of crisply scented air, chilled rosy noses, and shopping bag laden arms. Friday night, we’ll head directly from the airport to the Pamplemousse show, and then on Saturday I’ll head directly from my mom’s pull-out couch to the Brooklyn Winter Flea, and then Sunday we’ll head directly from Kennedy Airport to the Virgin Islands. Because these fabulous two days in New York are really just a quick stop-over en route to the real Christmas vacation destination: St. John! Caneel Bay to be precise, where they still lean over the boat rail and peer down at the sparkling Caribbean Sea below, just like they did in 1969. (I love those plaid shorts). Have a wonderful holiday everyone!
It’s been a year and a half since my wedding, but I still get a thrill every time I see a gorgeous white gown in the window of some pretty bridal boutique. I got my tulle-covered Angel Sanchez number at a sample sale, but I did make it over to the wedding dress warehouse known as RK Bridal where I tried on some serious cream-puffs, and I also managed to slip into some of the exquisitely designed gowns of New York City’s small, independent bridal boutiques. There are many, but here are a few of my favorites.
156 Orchard Street
137 Avenue A
The Bridal Garden
54 West 21st Street
Merciel (Pictured Top)
224 East 10th Street
71 Franklin Street
VeKa (Pictured Bottom)
262 Mott Street
It’s no secret that my adoration for New York City has grown quiet. It’s been buried beneath a blanket of too much pushing on the subway, too much unnecessary horn honking, and not enough empty seats at my favorite restaurants.
But New York City is more than just Manhattan. It’s also the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and even Staten Island (which I have some really good things to say about, and promise to in a future post).
Right now, one of the most compelling regions of New York City’s outer boroughs, is Greenpoint. Yes, this charming Polish enclave has fallen under the spell of gentrification, but what a delightful gentrification it is. A host of lovely little shops have popped up among the kielbasa markets and pierogi restaurants. Here are a few my mom and I discovered one recent afternoon.
jan & äya
99 Franklin Street
Adorable handmade objects for home and play.
126 Franklin Street
All types of books, plus pretty stationary, note cards and journals.
150 Franklin Street
Gorgeous fashions by some of the hottest independent designers around.
911 Manhattan Avenue
Offering the best in skin care, bath products, and vitamins since 1995.
Restaurants & Bars
925 Manhattan Avenue
Really good Thai basics. We go here for dinner a lot and I used to get take-out for lunch sometimes.
929 Manhattan Avenue
Yummy pizzas, especially the one with rosemary and zucchini.
924 Manhattan Avenue
Authentic Polish, family-run restaurant.
60 Greenpoint Avenue
My mom went here once for her birthday and said it was good. Their menu looks scrumptuous.
The Pencil Factory
142 Franklin Street
Across the street from an old pencil factory, this is an intimate corner bar with lots of dark wood.
A whimsical spring luncheon follows a traditional ceremony at a historic New York City synagogue.
Who: Amanda Monaco and Andrey Henkin
When: April 3, 2005
Bride Wore: A floor-length, champagne silk shirtdress with three-quarter length sleeves and a crinoline.
Bridesmaids: Amanda had one bridesmaid, her sister, who had just had a baby six weeks before the wedding. She wore a long silk skirt with a striped silk shawl.
Flowers: Both the bride and her bridesmaid carried bouquets of tulips. Amanda’s were white, while her sister’s were peach-hued.
The Ceremony: Amanda and Andrey had a traditional Jewish wedding, but instead of the bride circling the groom seven times under the chuppah, as is custom, “we had a more egalitarian twist,” explained Amanda. “The bride circled the groom three times, the groom circled the bride three times, and then we completed a circle together.”
Music and Dancing: Before lunch, the bride, groom, and their friends and family formed a ring and danced the hora. Afterwards, a seven-piece soul group played for another half hour of merriment.
Favors: The bride and groom placed finger puppets representing different animals at each place setting.
Read a feature on Amanda and Andrey’s wedding in the “Weddings & Celebrations” section of the New York Times.
My friend Meredith is taking a trip to New York next weekend and she asked me for some recommendations for fun bars. Here’s a list of my favorite Manhattan spots.
Speakers blast Brazilian tunes in a cozy, wood-paneled front bar.
59 Grand Street Between Wooster Street and West Broadway (Soho)
The best sangria, and tapas too, try to snag a table by the open doors in summer.
151-B Elizabeth Street between Broome and Kenmare (SoHo)
Low key candlelit spot with a copper bar. Lots of good bottled beers.
144 Sullivan Street/Prince Street (SoHo)
Stylish, subterranean atmosphere with a Russian influence. Excellent vodka cocktails.
281 Lafayette Street/Houston (SoHo)
A typical, dark wood corner bar scene with the best burgers in town.
331 West 4th Street (West Village)
White Horse Tavern
Storied watering hole of Dylan Thomas.
567 Hudson Street/11th Street (West Village)
Good DJs in a mellow, clubby atmosphere with striped wallpaper.
419 West 13th Street (Meatpacking District)
Grand Central Oyster Bar
A historic, train station ambience beneath vaulted brick ceilings.
Grand Central Station, 42nd Street and Park Avenue (Midtown East)
Hotel Grace Bar (Formerly Hotel QT)
Futuristic design, behind a hotel lobby with a swimming pool.
125 West 45th Street (Midtown)
Famous literary haunt full of grown-up class.
1703 2nd Avenue/88th Street (Upper East Side)
During a recent surprise visit to my friends Jonathan and Alissa’s house I noticed this adorable calendar tacked to their bulletin board. It’s from Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which they say is one of the best restaurants they have ever been to. It’s one of those places where the restaurant is on a farm, so all of the food is super fresh. And, it’s easily accessible from New York City. According to the restaurant’s website, all you have to do is take a 35-minute Metro North train ride from Grand Central to Tarrytown, then a $7 taxi ride gets you there in five minutes. Sounds like a pretty fabulous evening escape.