NYC: Taking a bite out of the BIG APPLE

Last week I spent a few wonderful days in NYC... and a few in Brooklyn. Every time I visit New York, I have a very different experience but all trips have been ultimately fabulous! This was my first time seeing NY when it hasn't been drenched in snow and icicles in quite a while, so I was thrilled to see trees blossoming and daffodils singing. My trip was short so I did what I could but there is just soooo much to do in that fabulous city! The bulk of my time was spent in Manhattan but my bff has recently moved herself to BKLYN so I had some time there as well. While I can see why people may like the whole BKYLN scene, I have decided once again, that it isn't for me - it lacks the glamour and excitement that you find in Manhattan. However, I have to say, I found some GREAT handmade jewelry and tops at a market there on my previous trip. I guess I just feel like it's no different than finding the hipster/artist settlement in any other big city. Anyways, I am not hear to talk badly about Brooklyn, because like I said, I get why people would love it but when I go to New York, I want Manhattan! My trip was packed with scrumptious food, great shopping, best friends, LOTS of laughs and a $70 coffee (see that story below)!

I saw the musical, Catch Me if you Can at the Neil Simon theater and it was wonderful! I wasn't sure how they were going to turn that movie into a musical but they did it, and they did it well! Aaron Tveit (the lovely guy who played Tripp van der Bilt on Gossip Girl) played the role of Frank Abangale Jr. aka Leo's role and boy, can he sing! ...and look great while doing it! The musical was fantastic - great songs, great costumes, great dancing, great singers - all around fun!

Most of my daily activity planning was built around where we were eating that day so needless to say, I ate more than enough on this trip! Sooo many restaurants/cafes/coffee shops/bars came recommended to us and there was no way to fit them all in. We did make sure to make our reservation for Buddakan weeks in advance and boy were we happy we did! I posted a Feature Friday about Buddakan a long time ago so I was very excited to actually check out the design first hand and taste the food with all the rave reviews. Buddakan did not disappoint at all! Located in the Meatpacking District, a darling part of NYC that I had never experienced before, the service was great, the design was spectacular and the food was phenomenal! I was also impressed that the prices were more than reasonable and the crowd was a good mix - from casual dressers to swanky couples. I highly recommend visiting Buddakan if you're heading to NYC but you must make your reservation well in advance... we could only get in on Sunday because Fri and Sat were already booked and we called nearly 2 weeks prior!

Shop til you drop! That's what we did! One thing I love about the shopping in NYC are the window displays- I am not a Louis Vuitton fan but I was loving this window with the emu/ostrich? eggs and bird. The glare might make it a bit hard to see what's going on but basically the LV bags and accessories are hatching from the eggs... perfect for the Spring collection! I don't usually do my shopping in Mid Town but I did a bit this time and I have to warn you, be careful where you wander to! My friends and I were craving coffee and a quick rest after a few hours of shopping and walking around so we made our way to the Upper East Side (we hadn't realized where we had wandered to) and stopped at this cute little restaurant with sidewalk tables. We ordered our lattes and I requested soy milk in mine (because of allergies not because I want to be trendy) and when they said they didn't have it but they would be more than happy to go purchase some we should have known what we were in for. We ordered a plate of berries and a small slice of apple fritter to go with our lattes. We received our bill and my oh my! $70! I thought for sure we received the wrong bill. $70 for 3 lattes, a small plate of berries and a small apple fritter. The berries were $25, the fritter was $27, and lattes were about $6 each!! The place was called Nello and I suppose if you have the money, the atmosphere was nice and the service was great - SUPER friendly! I googled it when I got home and saw that it was a place to see and be seen and a place to wear your Chanel - the only Chanel I own is perfume! Needless to say, we cancelled our reservation at Spice Market in Meatpacking and settled on a still delicious but far less pricey one called Spice near Union Square. The food was DELICIOUS and again, prices were much more reasonable! There I go, talking about food again!

Of course, I stopped at every Anthropologie I saw - I know I can go to them at home but I love seeing the layout of each store and how they design their visual displays. The Anthropologie in Rockefeller Center had this one room which displayed all their fragrances and it had this gorgeous and modern floral display. I loved the use of the colorful and wallpapered blocks that created a skyscraper floral city. One other thing I was thrilled to discover is that my FAVORITE body scrub/lotion is available online! On my last trip to NYC, I purchased this scrub from SABON and fell in love! It makes your skin sooo sooo sooo soft and it smells delicious (I get the Patchouli Lavender Vanilla)! I wasn't able to find Sabon online after I had run out of the product but this time around, I found several stores throughout Manhattan and now they have an online store! Their product is great for gifts (Mother's Day!) or for pampering yourself so check it out! Can you tell how much I love it?!

If you have never been to NYC before, I HIGLY recommend that you go and if you have been, then you know how wonderful it is! My only tip for first time travelers is to ask people who either live there or have visited there often because they know exactly where to send you! If you want some more advice or recommendations, shoot me an email at christarose@loveinspirecreate.com!