Monday, July 28, 2014

Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel is one of my favorite places. Prior to my viewing of the Clark Family Auction at Christie's, I met Marta from Baker's and Artists for tea. I had tea here a few years ago during the Christmas holiday and it was wonderful. I was curious if it was going to still be as good. 
These photos were actually from my phone, I kind of didn't want to pull out the big camera. Most of them came out pretty good which shocks me how great camera phones can be. I am now using the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and I just love it. My tea of choice was the Tuscan Pear Rooibus which was so tasty. 
We selected the Fitzgerald Tea, which pays tribute to The Plaza's most legendary patrons, F Scott and Zelda. The one thing I remembered about the tea before was that the food you had was quite a plenty. Some of these teas the sandwiches are not very filling. I have had some teas where after an hour I was hungry again! This did not happen here, for sure! 
The scones were tiny, and I hate to say a bit dry, but so they were. I love a good scone, and they should be moist and tender. 
Some of the largest sandwiches you will have at a tea. Very tasty as well, egg salad - salmon- turkey - cucumber - 
A very lovely setting here, real silverware to be used and it was a pretty filled place on a Saturday. Some folks were having lunch as well which looked pretty good to me! 
Another shot of some of the sandwiches. They were oh so good! 
By the time we were ready for dessert, we were actually pretty full. That opera cake was calling me however so that was one of the little guys I enjoyed! 
Lovely presentation, great atmosphere and overall very tasty food. I would highly recommend anyone to have tea here. It is a wonderful experience in one of the most iconic places in New York City. 

If you wish to see my holiday tea, you can check it out HERE

Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel on Urbanspoon

Today's Words of Wisdom: I'm the kind of person who would have liked to have lived at the Plaza. I love crystal chandeliers and gold leaf, velvets and mirrors, Oriental rugs and marble. Candace Bushnell

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Friday, July 25, 2014

One Month to the US Open Tennis Tournament!!

For many of my new readers, and I thank all of you, you may not know I am bit of a tennis nut. It started very young, watching on the television and always wanting to go to one of the majors. My photography really began with attending the US Open in Flushing Meadows in 1996. Every year after that I attended the tournament. It started just for one day, and then eventually I would go the whole first week. The first week is the best time because there are so many matches going on and the night matches are really the best. I had a great company that provided transportation to/from the tennis center from Manhattan. I actually rode with the umpires, ball boys/girls and lower ranked players. Unfortunately that company went out of business and I really am not a fan of taking the subway to the tournament. I skipped the event in 2012, then my Mom's health declined in 2013 so I missed that year as well. This year I plan to attend for the day as I have missed it the last 2 years. I actually sold many of my photographs on Ebay for a few years, they went as far as Japan and Australia, which I thought was pretty cool! Watching tennis in person is really so much better than on television. The players are really such high level athletes. I thought I would give you a peek at the grounds and some of my tennis photos since the tournament is coming up in the next month. 
The Arthur Ashe statue on the grounds. The grounds are really beautiful and flowers are just about everywhere!  
Another fun shot of people mulling around. I had the pleasure of attending the Arthur Ashe Kids Day as press for Tennis Panorama News in 2010 and it was so amazing. I actually got to sit in the photographers pit which felt so cool. I was disappointed when some of the pros were not very nice, but I guess they have to be that way, it's a grind to get the shot you want for your publication. You can check out my post HERE of the players. Karen, who is a fabulous person, who runs the site, now covers all four grand slams as press for her site. I would love to visit the other 3, but I think the French would be my best bet.  
I always love to pop in the exhibit from the tennis hall of fame. They have some great historic items on display, and it's air conditioned which is helpful in the NYC summer heat!  
Pretty grounds, right?  
The shirt selection is always fun. I am a McEnroe and Nadal fan myself. 
I even attended a Wilson fashion show in 2011 which was very, very cool. God knows how I stood as my coach sneakers did not agree with my feet and caused blisters. I understand however when you are doing something you really love, you do whatever it takes. You can check out my full post HERE of the show.  
Feliciano Lopez was in attendance at the fashion show. He wears Wilson and yes, he is gorgeous! The Spanish players are all very easy on the eyes! 
Vintage Maria Sharapova photographs  

Marat Safin from Russia who was a two-time Grand Slam winner. This was taken when the practice courts were open and it was so much nicer. Now the players are in an enclosed area, and you have to be very tricky with your lens to get shots without fencing in front of them. 
Ana Ivanovic from Serbia, who is ranked in the Top 10 this year, during an evening match. I really love the tennis at night, the weather is much more pleasant and it's a great vibe in all the courts. 
A vintage photo of Novak Djokovic who just won his second Wimbledon this year 
One of my favorite photos of Maria Kirilenko who always makes for a cool tennis shot. 
A collage of Rafael Nadal taken during practice session where I had my lens through a hole to get direct shots. It drives me crazy that the fans pay so much money to see the players at the tournaments, and can't even see them in a normal way. From what I am told, it is like this at all the Grand Slams, so one is no better than the other. These came out pretty great I thought! 
Victoria Azarenka, from Belarus, at practice. Again, taken with the lens through a hole, not too shabby! 
One of my very old shots, Andre Agassi. taken with film camera, being at the right place at the right time. Sometimes that is all it takes to obtain a very great photograph. I sold this one on Ebay many times over. 
Another neat shot of Victoria Azarenka during her match. I love when the skirt flies in the air in a shot. 

I hope you enjoyed my little trip at the US Open. It is a great tournament, and if you are a tennis fan, a must visit for sure. I did a post with Karen from Tennis Panorama News about tips visiting, you can view that HERE. If you are planning to visit for the first time and have any questions, feel free to email me and I will try to help any way I can. 

Today's Words of Wisdom: “Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome. Not everyone can be Number 1.” ― Arthur Ashe

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Photo Gallery Thursday "Hudson River Park View"

A great view from the amazing Hudson River Park. Especially during the months when the weather is pleasant, this is a great place to visit. More than 400 of the Park's 550 acres are located in the Hudson River. I actually found this view by just walking in the West Village, it was a real amazing treat! One of the things I love about New York City is walking and finding a treasure!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cafe' SFA Review

Saks Fifth Avenue. Iconic store on 5th Avenue, and one I am in more often than I should be. Prior to my recent visit to the Whitney Musuem for the Jeff Koons exhibit, I decided to have lunch at Cafe' SFA on the 8th floor. I have never been to the cafe'and was excited to try it. 
Nestled in the back of the fabulous shoe floor, this Christian Louboutin shoe was talking to me, but that heel and I are not friends. They actually had this design in sneaker form which would be more for me! So here you have shoes that cost thousands of dollars and a cafe' right in the back. Next to Louis Vuitton, another high end brand.  
Very nice, right? This area looked beautiful, but I wanted to sit by the windows for a view.  
This view was pretty top-notch! However, the windows were really dirty and the trim around them needed some painting. I just felt for a fancy floor and department store, this should have looked perfect.  
I had a cranberry lemonade which was very tasty and sized nicely. The bread basket could have been served warm, but I did find a pretzel roll that was really yummy. Would have been better warm. The lady next to me was complaining her butter balls (I liked the sound of the that!) were too hard and she seemed to be going after her butter at the table! It was funny, but again, should not have been an issue in this type of setting.  
I had the lunch special which was for $21.00 you had Maryland crab and corn chowder, salad and half a sandwich of cranberry chicken salad on raisin bread. The chowder was very tasty, and it was a nice size portion for lunch. The cranberry chicken salad was quite yummy as well.  

Would I eat here again? Probably, just not at the tables with the view. The food was good, and if you are in this area looking for a nice place to dine, this is lovely. Their menu has a nice array of salads, sandwiches and hot main courses along with some neat soda flavors. I felt the special I had was a good deal for New York City. After I was finished with lunch, I wandered back through the shoe department and just enjoyed the sights!!
Cafe S.F.a on Urbanspoon

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