Monday, March 26, 2012

New York City - Part 1

Since I took roughly 200 pictures on my recent trip into the city, I figured I'd do a two-part series. The first will be the places I visited. Tomorrow's post will be about the things I got!

We got into the city around 10:30am. After a quick bite with the hubby (nothing fancy - just a Starbucks Artisan sammie), we walked to 5th Ave, kissed goodbye, and I headed two blocks to Zara. I've been to a couple of Zaras in NYC, but my favorite is on 42nd Street. It feels more boutique-y. I scored a couple of great items that I'll share with you tomorrow.

{Waiting on our train at Milford station.}

{Grand Central Station}

There's a Magnolia Bakery inside Grand Central Station. I took pics while waiting for hubby. I tried the cupcakes from the original location in the West Village four years ago when I came up to Connecticut for my interview with my current employer. I have to say, I was not impressed with the cupcakes at all. They were dry and I didn't care for the sugary sweet frosting. In all honesty, I think a box of Devil's Food cake mix is better than these. But that's just my opinion.


{New York City Public Library. "I knew you would do this" - Carrie to Mr. Big}

After visiting Zara, I headed down 5th Ave to 34th Street for a little shopping at Macy's.  I bought a couple of bracelets and a pair of shoes. Waiting for the shoes was an ordeal. Women's shoes are on the 5th of 7 floors. However, you have to go through another corridor to get to the shoes. I circled all around the 5th floor and finally asked an associate (who wanted me to come back and let her try to sell me Chanel makeup in exchange for her helping me find the shoes - uh, no.).

When I tracked down an associate for a pair of Nine West lovelies, she checked the stock on her handheld inventory thingy, took my name, and then told me to go wait in another section of the shoe department and she'll come find me when 'they' tell her my shoes are ready. It took about 15 - 20 minutes for her to come back with the shoes. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I pretty much waited in lines all day at stores. It was quite busy on a beautiful spring day in the city.

{Original wood escalator still in use on the 6th and 7th floors of Macy's.}

After Macy's I walked a couple of stores down 34th Street and found Joe Fresh. This was the one store I was really looking forward to visiting. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment. I did end up getting a couple of items (orange dress was no where to be found). Most of their items are very casual (a lot of workout gear). The sizes are similar to H&M. Bottoms go up to a size 12 and shirts go up to XL, although the sales woman said shirts go up to 2XL. I didn't see anything over an XL. They do have a grand opening at their flagship store on 5th and 43rd Street next Friday.

Sometimes I forget to look up when walking around NYC and I end up missing some of the best shots. Luckily, I looked up for this one right as I was leaving Joe Fresh.

Somehow after visiting Joe Fresh, I ended up on 32nd Street, which was entirely Korean. I've been to Chinatown, didn't know there was Korea town (or maybe it's just Korea block). A lot of restaurants displayed their food wrapped in plastic wrap on metal shelving right outside the restaurant. I have no idea what this is. Showed it to my husband on the train ride back and even he didn't know. Looks like a fish dish (I think). It's colorful and unique and quite interesting.

There was an adorable French Korean bakery that I just had to pop into. I didn't buy anything but it looked delicious. Croissants, cream cheese sticky donuts, and beautiful cakes. Yum!

{Paris Baguette on 6th Ave and 32nd Street}

Next up was Eataly. I've been looking forward to going to Eataly for months. And I was not disappointed. But I started feeling my shoes rubbing on my feet and knew I needed to start cabbing the rest of my trip if I was going to keep going.

When I first entered Eataly, I thought it was tiny and crowded. However, it twists and turns into restaurants (7!) and a marketplace. I stumbled into a general piazza where people were standing at long, marble tables having wine and eating cheese and meat off cutting boards. Even though my feet were killing me, I scooted up to the end of a table and asked the table in front of me for a menu. My waiter came over and said that usually groups of people will come here and order several meat and cheese dishes off the menu. Since it was just me, he recommended a prosciutto and mozzarella platter. He informed that they make their own mozzarella on site. We also went over the wine list. I told him I like big, bold spicy reds. He recommended a lovely red (couldn't even tell you the name but it was $19/glass!).

{Since I didn't get a photo of this nifty little part of Eataly, I borrowed this one from}


I couldn't decide if I wanted gelato or the new Bacon Smack cookie from Milk & Cookies when I was done at Eataly. I chose cookie. I hopped in a cab and headed down to Commerce Street. Good thing I got there when I did. They were almost sold out of the cookie mix I usually buy. The Bacon Smack cookie was fine after one or two bites, but then the bacon hit and it was just too much. I ordered a glass of whole milk and a chocolate chip cookie and had a nice conversation with a man and his sister from Hoboken. Turns out he used to work at Waldorf years ago and was a culinary baker. He rolled his eyes when his sister bought Milk & Cookies' cookie mixes as he is a 'bake from scratch' man.

{Milk & Cookies}

After woofing down my cookie, I still had about two hours to kill before hubby was done with his class. I decided to head to Soho and check out Topshop.  Although I didn't take any pics, I will tell you this. If you are in your 20s, adventurous with your clothing options, and aren't over a size 12, this store is for you! That's all I have to say about England's Topshop.
Hubby's class got out an hour early, so I took a cab and met him at Stand 4, a burger joint on 12th Street. We opted to try the Kobe burgers (pretty good - lean - but not sure if they are worth $18/each) and tator tots. Of course the main attraction was my Toasted Marshmallow Shake I've been wanting to try for quite a while. I think I can compare it to roasting marshmallows over a fire. The first one is awesome, the second one is still good, and the third one I just shouldn't have gone for. I'm glad I ordered a small glass because after three sips, I was done.

{Stand 4}

When I picked my outfit for our trip, I was channeling this Vince Camuto look. Unfortunately, the shoes were not so comfortable by 4pm and I have a ton of blisters. I was stopped in Eataly by a guy and his girl friend who said, "I love your outfit." To which she replied, "Your lipstick is beautiful as well." That's always nice to hear. I had on MAC's Girl About Town lipstick, Gap pants and tee, and my vintage velvet blazer.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - my haul!
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  1. Loved your opening pics, had the feeling of standing on the platform & expectations for the day. OMG, haven't seen a wooden escalator since Washington St. subway, Boston-years ago! Great pics & terrific nailing the outfit- you looked great.

    1. Thanks so much. Had fun writing the post yesterday. My husband couldn't believe the escalator was still functioning. It's quite creaky and uncomfortable on the feet.

  2. Hi Niki, I found your blog via a comment you posted to J's Everyday Fashion. I LOVE your style and reading your weight loss success story. After losing 40 lbs on WW myself last year, I starting following J and loving to buy and style new (smaller sized) clothes. Congratulations on your achievement!!! Now I'm going to follow you too! I read all your archives over the past few days and couldn't wait to see and hear about your trip today. I work in NYC so love your recommendations. Bravo to you! Renee

    1. Thank you, Renee. Actually I should be asking you for recommendations! And I'll be back in the city this Saturday for round 2. :-) My husband's class spans over two weekends. Thought I might head up to Bloomies this time. I also want to try the quiche lorraine from Bouchon. I might bring a small cooler with me this time so that I can take home some yummy stuff. The bread I got from Eataly was delicious! Would love to try their meats and cheeses.

  3. so fun! love all your pics! cant wait to see what you got!

    love from San Francisco,

    1. Awww. That's very sweet. So glad you girls found my blog. That means a lot.

  4. Oh Wow, looks like you had a great trip. I was in New York only once for 12 hours at the age of 7, so I have lots to look forward to and your trip has given me great insight for when I visit (Soon I hope!) I live in Los Angeles and we have a couple of Paris Baguettes and the pastries taste as delicious as they look. BTW, I am having a giveaway, if you have time, I would love it if you entered. :)

    1. Thank you Katrina, I didn't know Paris Baguette was a chain. Good to know. I'll have to see if there are other locations in New York so I can take home some things this Saturday when I go again. I've only been to LA once. Newport Beach was actually my favorite place. If it weren't so expensive and family lived out there, I'd move in a heartbeat.