Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Saturday Brunch at Robert

My Easter weekend was a great time to catch up with my friends that live in the city. I visited the MAD Museum (more in depth on the great exhibits coming up!) and enjoyed brunch at Robert Restaurant. I have been here a few times with other friends, but it has been a while, and I was overdue for a visit. 

They really had the restaurant quite lovely for the Easter holiday. I don't think this 
chocolate bunny was real but it sure looked it! 
This is why you come here. The views. We were lucky to be seated right 
at the window with this glorious view of Columbus Circle the whole brunch! 
Prosecco was necessary and it tasted fabulous. 
If life gets better than this, I am totally not aware of it! 
My friend had eggs benedict and I was a bit disappointed in her dish. I think 
they could have done much better here, but she did enjoy it. 
I had the salmon burger with yummy avocado. It was tasty and portion size 
was generous. 


They gave us these at the end of our meal, cookies and cream type of 
little bite. It was okay. 



I would suggest you stop here once, lunch would be your best bet as more inexpensive than dinner. Brunch is available on the weekends, which is serious in New York City. We were glad we went, had a lovely time, but the views and champagne were the best. If you are going here for great food, I would choose another option. It is an experience, and one which you will be very glad you can say " I was there!" to your friends.

Robert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Vintage Shopping at Eve Bari

I spent my first Easter in the city this year, and had a most fabulous time. I am all about creating new memories to go along with my fantastic ones I have from prior years. I was meeting a few friends in the city, which is always fun, and was really looking for some type of hat for Easter Sunday. The above photo is the gorgeous Plaza Hotel. 
The Plaza just oozes New York City elegance! 
As I was walking up West 57th Street, I came across the shop Eve Bari. Their windows are what interested me. Very cool vintage items, and hats!  
Really great items, I just love vintage shops!  
Even something for the gentlemen too!  
I ended up talking with the kind owner, and popped in the shop.  
Cat eye sunglasses are just everything!  
Talk about a great selection, and most items well under $100. It is so neat to have a hat for the Easter holiday, but not everyone can afford a couture one!  

I loved this bracelet, but I behaved and didn't purchase. I love stacking these type of bangles!  
Perfect Easter accessories!  
I ended up purchasing a black feather fascinator which worked perfect with my outfit!  
It was so great to see the spring flowers in full bloom while walking around the city! 

Eve Bari
205 W 57th St # 1
New York, NY 10019
Hours: 10am to 8pm

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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Little Church Around the Corner

Walking around the city, I found the rooftops of this church calling to me. Times like these you want your agenda for the day to be a bit open for new finds. How gorgeous is that wrought iron? 

I come upon The Little Church  or The Church of the Transfiguration, which was just a wonderful site to see! 

Here is some history about the church from their website: 

Founded in October 1848, The Church of the Transfiguration is one of the most famous Episocopal parishes in the United States.  For more than 160 years, The Church of the Transfiguration has been known for its inclusivity – welcoming individuals from all races, classes, sexual orientations, and other backgrounds.  Established on what had been the outskirts of New York City in the mid-19th century, the church today is a visible worshipping community near the geographic center of Manhattan.  

The Church of the Transfiguration was founded by the Rev. George Hendric Houghton, sometimes called one of the Saints of the American Church, who served as its rector for 49 years.  In his ministry to those in need, he sheltered escaped slaves as part of the Underground Railroad and African-American families during the Draft Riots of the Civil War and welcomed members of the theater profession, something not common at the time.  

The Church of the Transfiguration is often called “The Little Church Around the Corner.”  The nickname dates back to 1870, when Joseph Jefferson – famous for his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle on stage – had requested a funeral at another church for his fellow actor and friend, George Holland.  Upon learning that the deceased had been an actor, the priest refused.  At the time, many considered actors to be unworthy of Christian burial. After some prodding by Jefferson, the priest suggested that “There is a little church around the corner where it might be done.”  Jefferson responded, “Then I say to you, sir, God bless the little church around the corner.”

To this day, The Church of the Transfiguration maintains close ties to the theater.  The church has served as the national headquarters of the Episcopal Actors' Guild since its founding in 1923, by the third Rector, Dr. Randolph Ray.  The church itself was designated a United States Landmark for Church and Theater in 1973.

Our historic buildings and lovely garden have drawn couples from all over the world to be married here. These couples are members of the "Little Family," and many have continued to stay in touch with us over the years.  Continuing its long tradition of inclusiveness, the "Little Church" celebrated the first same-sex wedding in the Diocese of New York in July 2012 and is proud to have performed several since the formal rite of Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant was adopted by the General Convention..


I need to come back on a Spring day when the gardens are in bloom!  

So beautiful!  









My next step is to go inside which I bet is very beautiful. Hope you enjoyed today's visit with The Little Church Around the Corner! 

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday "Opening of the Holland Tunnel"

An endless stream of 1920s cars and buses line up to take a ride through the brand new Holland Tunnel on opening day. Flags are hung throughout and people come out to observe the celebration. Nov 12, 1927. New York. I guess the craziness started from the very beginning! I wonder what the folks thought about this tunnel when it opened in 1927. 


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Visiting New York City The Frugal Way

New York City is probably one of the most expensive cites in the world. There is a way however to visit with minimal expenses. I can imagine for a family it can be a daunting task to make a vacation, or even a day in the city an affordable option. I decided to come up with a guide to try to help folks who wish to enjoy the Big Apple on a frugal path.
I am going to start off with where I think you should spend the most money if you are planning a frugal trip. I feel the area where you do not want to skimp is your hotel. I personally do not want to spend a week in a place where I do not feel safe, or that is so out of the way, it is an inconvenience. I spoke to a lady who was visiting from Toronto (one of my favorite cities) who had a really cheap nightly room. She came due to the airfare rates being very low at that time. She stated however, that her hotel was not near many attractions, and it was a job to get back there after sightseeing all day. It seemed to me, for a few more dollars, she would have been better with a hotel in a better location.

The season has a lot to do with your hotel cost, Winter, from January through March, is best for bargains, with Summer period, July through August, second best. Fall is the most expensive, November can be calm and affordable (except Thanksgiving weekend) and Christmas is top dollar prices. You can obtain special rates if you have AAA, AARP or frequent flyer miles. There are also “internet only” specials, so always check out the hotel’s direct website. I use Trip Advisor for hotel ratings to make my hotel choice. You can also be open to the area where you will stay, Uptown or Downtown, Brooklyn has also been recently opening hotels due to the borough’s extreme popularity. Staying on a weekend can also give you a nice special rate, Sunday nights are the least expensive.

Some sites online to check for hotel rates are:


A great site to help you navigate the Priceline and Hotwire sites is BetterBidding.com  as you can see what winning prices travelers are obtaining at that time. If you are flexible with your dates, Hotel Tonight is a great app to be used on your phone that gives discount rooms the week of your stay. 


Attractions

There are many attractions in New York City that are free to enjoy. The world-class museums also give wonderful days of discount or free entrance such as:

Metropolitan Museum of Art and TheCloisters “suggested” admission of $25.00
Museum of the City of New York  “suggested: admission of $10.00
Queens Museum of Art “suggested” admission of $5.00

Some of the Free Tuesday Admissions: Brooklyn Botancial GardenChina InstituteStaten Island Museum. You should check the website of a particular museum you wish to visit to see when/if times/days free admission is offered as they all vary.

A new tour that we have previewed here on the blog is the Brooklyn Chocolate Tour, and this runs $50.00 for 4 hours, a great way to see Brooklyn and taste amazing chocolate. 

Another great choice with a reasonable fee is the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden. Admission for adults is $8, $7 seniors, children under 12 FREE. They also have many wonderful programs for adults and children with fees ranging from $10.00-$15.00.

Tickets are FREE to attend taping of television shows such as The View, The Chew, Saturday Night Live, The Rachael Ray Show, Live with Kelly and Michael. You need to request the tickets in advance, but if you can coordinate them with a planned trip, it makes for added fun to your stay.

Free Attractions  
Bronx Zoo (Suggested Donation on Wednesdays)
Queens Botanical Garden is FREE from November 1 to March 31 daily


Free Walking Tours

I always have said walking tours are the best way to see the city. There are quite a few that are available free of charge and I would highly recommend them.

Greenwich Village Walking Tour sponsored by Village Alliance BID – Saturdays June-September at 11:30am
Times Square Walking Tour
The NYC Big Adventure
Federal Reserve Bank Tour


Download FREE audio self-guided walking tours to any tech device: 
  • NY Times podcasts - primarily focused on notable architecture and institutions.
  • Bowery Boys - Over 50 tours of various neighborhoods, landmarks, historical sites.
  • Lower East Side - shops, landmarks, food, history of the neighborhood
  • Made In NY - Film and TV locations in Soho and Lower Manhattan
  • Central Park - a monument and architecture tour and a family tour
  • New-York Historical Society - Various historical topics. (The museum is closed for renovations until November 2011.)
  • AudioSnacks - a "wiki" site where anyone can post an audio tour. Random assortmen

Inexpensive Gourmet Dining

We all know the famous expensive restaurants that are in New York City. There is also an opportunity however to eat well inexpensively, at all different price ranges. Menupages is one of my favorite websites to search various eateries in all areas of Manhattan, including Brooklyn and Queens. You can always do lunch at a great restaurant as that is always a better price option than dinner if trying to watch your budget. I always book via Opentable and they have reviews there as well for each restaurant.

NYC Restaurant Week takes place twice a year, in summer and winter, which allows three-course dining deals for lunch $25 and dinner $38. The restaurant choices are always top notch, and you have the ability to try gourmet food at a very nice price. The summer session spans July through August. The winter session spans February through March.


I am not sure if many of your are aware, but the Food Trucks actually have a yearly awards called The Vendy Awards which has been around about 9 years. Many of these trucks have opened brick and mortar shops once they see if their cuisine is popular with the tourists and the hometown folk. Food Trucks are a fabulous way to eat great food and not spend a ton of money. You can follow the trucks that interest you on twitter to see where they are located each day. Another reason to love twitter !!

The Vendy Awards website is a great tool to see the top trucks, here are some of my favorites:

Uncle Gussy's Greek Cuisine
Coolhaus Ice Cream
LaBella Torte Italian Truck (cannoli!!)
Fun Buns NYC
Schnitzel and Things
Wafels and Dinges
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
Milk Truck NYC
Eddie's Pizza NY
Red Hook Lobster
The Treats Truck


Another great website is Real Cheap Eats NYC which showcases a great selection from Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx.

NYC Insider Guide to Discount Shopping is quite informative and the great vintage shops are another fabulous way to shop inexpensively.

As you can see, there are many options when visiting the city, you do not need to have a large budget to have a fun time. There are also the wonderful flea markets to stroll around during nice weather months and many of them have food vendors as well. The internet is an amazing online tool of information for travel. Research where you would like to go and what interests you and your family would enjoy. I hope this information has been helpful to you and if you wish to contact me with any questions about a future visit, please feel free to do so.


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