City Island- A Haven in the Bronx

My favorite part about living in New York is that there are so many different neighborhoods to visit. Compared to most New Yorkers, I think that I do a pretty good job of expanding my horizons and seeing new places. For me, the Bronx is the final frontier. Geographically the furthest borough from our home in Brooklyn, exploring the Bronx is a commitment. This summer, I have pledged to make that commitment and see what this massive borough has to offer. As the home of hip-hop, there certainly has to be more to this place than the Botanical Garden, Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo, right? A short bus ride away from the end of the 6 train is City Island, a place that you would never believe is part of New York City- let alone the Bronx- until you saw the skyline in the distance. City Island is 1.5…

Best of Quebec City: Auberge Saint-Antoine

This week, we've been reporting on the best hotels in Quebec City. We've come to my favorite of the Quebec Old Town hotels: The Auberge Saint-Antoine. This hotel is further away form the Chateau Frontenac, between the river and the Hotel 71. I love this hotel because it is a museum within a hotel. Immediately upon walking in to the hotel, you see glass display boxes full of artifacts from "ancient" Quebec. In the lobby, the lovely hotel representative giving me the tour greets me and points to a stone line cutting into the floor of the sitting area a half floor down. He tells me how it used to be part of the old Quebec fortification. The wall of the city sits in the middle of the hotel because the City has grown over the last few hundred years by landfill. Walking downstairs, the wall briefly turns to glass…
Continuing on my hotel tour of Quebec (and you can catch up on last week's episode here) are the sister hotels Hotel 71 and Hotel Saint-Pierre. These hotels are joined at the lobby and are located very close to the Chateau Frontenac near the lower part of the funicular. The hotels are part of a new trend of minimalistic hotels in Quebec City.   The Hotel 71 is a trendy, sleek hotel that caters to mostly couples. There are only 50 rooms in the hotel. In the low season, the superior room goes for about $189/nt, reaching the low $300s during the high season. The lobby has an espresso bar and hosts a happy hour during the evening. Walking through the hallways feels warm and intimate.   The hotel used to be a bank and many of the details of the old buildings are incorporated into the design; in the…

There's a Real Live Flower Factory Right Here in NYC

As you may have figured out by now, I love an interesting experience. Anything out of the ordinary, I want to see it. So when I saw a post on the FIT- my alma mater- Linkedin board to take a tour of a real live flower factory right here in Manhattan, I could not resist the invitation.   M&S Schmalberg Flower Factory on 36th street in NYC's Garment District is small, but effective.  The door opens into the showroom, which is a girly girl's dream; flowers of every color, fabric, shape and size adorn the walls, tables and fixtures. The owner, Warren, was working with a designer when I arrived and some other custom tailors and milliners were waiting to look through the stock.   Since 1916, M&S Schmalberg, a 4th generation family-owned company, has been creating custom flowers in New York City. They still use the same techniques as when…

The Ice Ball: A Guerrilla Formal Skating Event

So speaking of snow (there is a blizzard right now in NYC), The Trip Trotter caught up with Sidney Oolong, one of the creators of the Ice Ball, a guerrilla-type event, which occurs yearly at the Bryant Park skating rink. The event encourages skaters of all levels to join, as long as they embrace the formal theme: Photo credit: Sydney Oolong TTT: How long has the ice ball been happening and how has it grown? SO: First: 2010: about 20, 2011: approx 30, 2012: approx 70, 2013: approx 70, 2014: approx 80 TTT: What was the inspiration for the ice ball? SO: I had bought a full formal evening dress outfit for my "performance" in the Quadrille Ball that year, and began to invent reasons to wear it to get my money's worth. Dooner (another organizer) was holding somewhat regular ice-skating socials, which echoed of the social aspect of the…

The Amazing Windowswear Walking Tour

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking a NYC boutique and department store windows walking tour with Windowswear. This tour is great not just for fashion enthusiasts, but for anyone interested in the history of New York City or economic development. Even after going to fashion school and living in the city for almost a decade, I still learned a surprising amount! The tour isn't fashion-centric, meaning the focus is not what the current colors and trends are, but talks about the composition of each windows, the window's creator, the history of the brand (and their windows), and the history of fashion in New York. Did you know that Macy's was the first store to use their windows as a form of art? Or that Lord and Taylor's flagship is the only store that has their windows on hydraulic elevators for easy changing?   We started off at Herald Square,…

Manhattan's best food courts

You're out exploring the city. You're hungry. But you don't want to spend the time at traditional sit-down. Lucky for you, we're reviewing our favorite Manhattan food courts so you can enjoy a quick fix! 1. Hudson EatsBrookfield Place, 200 Vesey Street, Manhattan212-417-7000Hours: 7:00am- 9:00pm Overlooking the Hudson river on the very bottom West side of Manhattan sits Brookfield place, a large building complex  resembles a midtown office building. Hudson Eats takes over the whole second floor with diners enjoying sweeping views of the river. Hudson Eats is a new food court with upscale dining options including Umami Burger and Blue Ribbon Sushi. Hudson Eats has a sleek, modern feel, with food covering most every genre.   2. Plaza Food Court1 West 59th St212-986-9260Hours: 8:30am- 9:30pm This is a personal favorite of ours, one that is under the radar for most New Yorkers. This area is notoriously difficult for finding…

NY Botanical Garden Train Show

After many years livng in New York, it's easy to fall into a pattern; going to the same bars, same restaurants and doing the same things. But then all of a sudden, you realize that you're not taking advantage of the city that you spend so much money to be in. I decided that I was going to make an effort again! To see and experinence new things. While I was still in the "gung-ho" phase, I decided that I would venture all the way to the Bronx to see the Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden.   Two trains and one bus later, we arrived! Upon arrival, despite the massive amounts of people and children, you felt transported to another world, stilt walkers dressed as train workers and fabulously festive conductors (complete with train shoulder pads!) Excitement was building, and finally, we were allowed in the greenhouse.…
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