Guest Post: New York, I Love You

While I am excited for my New Zealand adventure (if you haven’t heard about it yet, read here), I am sad to leave my family, friends, job and beloved city. I created a list of all the NYC activities, restaurants, bars, sites and neighborhoods both touristy and not that I would like to do and see before I leave. Some of them I have been to before (or several times), while others are things I’ve been meaning to do for years and finally found a good excuse to cross them off my bucket list. I hope many of you will join me in fulfilling my I <3 New York list this summer.

  1. Explore the Cloisters (Did it!)
  2. Peruse the flora at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Did it!)
  3. Walk along the Coney Island Boardwalk (Did it!)
  4. Ride the tram to Roosevelt Island (Did it!)
  5. Grab a Nutella treat at Eataly (Did it!)
  6. Use my Museum of Modern Art membership to view the galleries before the crowds
  7. Get authentic Greek food in Astoria (Did it!)
  8. Indulge in a freshly baked chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain Bakery (Did it!)
  9. Dive into the Shark Week at the Natural History Museum (Did it!)
  10. Do a Central Park crawl to the BoathouseConservatory Water and Bethesda Fountain (Did it!)
  11. Vendor hop at Smorgasburg (Did it!)
  12. Buy discounted tickets to a Broadway from the TKTS booth (Did it!)
  13. Picnic on the Great Lawn (Did it!)
  14. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (Did it!)
  15. Try a yummy flavor at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
  16. Stargaze on the High Line (Did it!)
  17. Browse the books at the Library lounge in the Nomad Hotel (Did it!)  
  18. Get a deal on a meal during NYC Restaurant Week (Did it!)
  19. Stroll around South Street Seaport (Did it!)
  20. Toast to the view from The Metropolitan Museum rooftop garden cafe and martini bar
  21. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and museum (Did it!)
  22. Dine outdoors in Palma’s garden
  23. Watch an outdoor movie (Did it!)
  24. Try New Zealand cuisine at Park Slope’s Kiwiana (Did it!)
  25. Ride the 7 train throughout Queens (Did it!)
  26. See Manhattan through Woody Allen’s eyes (Did it!)
  27. Go to a concert at the famed Apollo Theater (Did it!)
  28. Enjoy comfort food at Red Rooster (Did it!)
  29. Lay out on the grassy area at Lincoln Center (Did it!)
  30. Grab a sweet cocktail at Dylan’s Candy Bar (Did it!)
  31. Savor the architectural beauty of the Cathedral Saint John The Divine
  32. Catch a flick at The Paris Theatre (Did it!)
  33. Sample some budget-friendly dumplings Prosperity Dumpling in Chinatown
  34. Try street meat from the Halal Guys cart
  35. Scan the goodies at the GreenFlea Market (Did it!)
  36. Get wild at the Central Park Zoo (Did it!)
  37. Try the one-of-a-kind Don Huevo dessert at Bodega Negra (Did it!)
  38. Read a book for pleasure at the main branch of the New York Public Library (Did it!)
  39. Pretend to be British chic with high tea at Tea and Sympathy (Did it!)
  40. Take in all that is the enchanted Plaza Hotel like Eloise
  41. Find the best Pimm’s Cup cocktail in the city (Did it!)
  42. Spot Bill Brand’s animated subway mural “Masstransiscope” (Did it!)
  43. Attend a taping of the Daily Show (Did it!)
  44. Eat a hotdog at Gray’s Papaya (Did it!)
  45. Pay half price for a morning movie (Did it!)
  46. Stop and shop at my favorite upper west side grocery stores Fairway and Zabars (Did it!)
  47. Browse the flowers at the Chelsea Flower District (Did it!)
  48. Take the free Ikea shuttle ferry to Red Hook
  49. Watch the sunset at Pier I (Did it!)
  50. Go rooftop hopping from midtown to Williamsburg (Did it!)
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Guest Post: A Tree (And Many Flowers) Grows in Brooklyn

This is another guest post by my friend, Arielle over at The Digi Diaries. I’m so glad she is blogging for me while I am taking a break to heal.

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Although the city that never sleeps is best known for its towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, New York City is also home to some beautiful, natural oases like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) in Park Slope. My love for gardens and flowers has flourished since my childhood days where all I knew was Central Park, and I’ve been dying to bask in the glory of Brooklyn’s finest flora. Morgan and I met on the 2 train and caught up as we made the 45 minute ride to the Brooklyn Museum stop (another place I need to add to my to-do list). On Saturdays, the gardens are free before noon and we happened to make it with three minutes to spare.

We followed the path that guided us under pergolas heaped with shrubbery towards the Cranford Rose Garden.

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I kept gravitating towards roses in shades of orange and bright reds.

I fell in love with this trellis window that framed the garden so that it felt like watching a Monet painting.

After taking way too many pictures (thanks for putting up with me Mo), we continued to wander around exploring every garden, pond and bridge.

We smelled familiar scents in the Herb Garden.

And admired perfectly pruned bonsai trees, giant lilypads and desert-loving succulents and cacti in the greenhouse.

We arrived at the Lily Poll Terrace made up of ponds filled with lilypads with colorful flowers along with the beautiful exterior of a greenhouse and a whimsical fish fountain.

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There was a lovely ode to Shakespeare where quotes from his plays are featured alongside the plants they highlighted. Shakespeare was fasciated by botany and incorporated references throughout his works.

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The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden had traditional Japanese features including striking pops of red against the lush greenery.

After gushing over all the adorable trinkets in the BBG gift shop, we walked to the nearby Park Slope Flea and Smorgasburg Jr. We browsed antiques and decided to share a Nutella taco from a new booth called Goa Taco. The “taco” was more like a hybrid between the Indian chapati bread and a crepe. It was warm, flakey and and deliciously filled with Nutella, peanuts and mascarpone and came in a cute envelope package which was hand-delivered to us by the lovely woman running it.

On our way to the subway, we spotted a lovely brownstone with stairs were lined with colorful flower pots (as if we didn’t already have our fill of flowers).