Dim Sum NYC

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had a craving to go to dim sum in the city. After an extensive search online on what the best dim sum restaurant is, we ended up at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It was everything that I had hoped for, and I highly suggest going (and waiting) for a great dim sum meal if in the city.

 

Down a car free street. It was a cold morning and despite it opening up at 11 am (and us getting there then), we still had to wait for 45 minutes. That said, it was worth it.

The line! But once we were in it for 15 minutes, I was committed and not giving up.

Freezing. We did jumping jacks and drills, but still it felt cold in the tunnel of cold air.

The line only grew longer with time.

Written up in every food magazine, website, and GOOP, it attracts tourists and locals alike. I loved the decor on the outside.

We were SO hungry.

Not exactly full of ambiance or character, but the food was the shining star.

Cruzzie loves pork buns more than anything else in life. They were BEYOND.

Fried rice and chinese broccoli. The greens were delicious.

Closer shot.

Definitely worth it, and fun to do on a cold morning when there is not much else to do (and a good field trip to get out of the apartment). Visit Nom Wah Tea Parlor!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Knockout Beauty Skin Routine

Last Spring, I had the opportunity to take a “master class” at Knockout Beauty. Knockout Beauty is a beautiful skincare store with highly educated and informed salespeople, where I have been purchasing skincare items for years. That said, it was my first time taking a class and getting a one on one experience of what worked best for my skin. It was INCREDIBLE. I learned SOOOO much and bought products that are right for my skin (without being pushed on me) and I highly suggest stopping by Knockout Beauty, or calling them and asking them for a skin consultation. These are my favorite four products that I cannot live without.

 

The bag.

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Currently Loving Early November 2022

Yesterday, I wrote that the date was November 2021. I can’t believe that it is not 2021, and in fact, it is almost 2023! Here is what I am loving right now in Early November.

 

1.  Zara Marine Jeans (for kids)

 

These jeans are the cutest and I wish they had them in adults sizes. They are Tusia’s first jeans (ever) and she loves them just as much as I do (which is never the case).

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Mister Dips

If you happen to be in NYC and want an adventure, I highly recommend going to Mister Dips, an all-American restaurant that serves (supposedly great hamburgers) and ridiculous soft serve ice cream downtown on South Street Seaport.

 

We decided to make it an adventure — so we took the East River Ferry that loads at 34th Street (and the East River) and then got off at Wall Street. It was an extremely hot and humid day in the city, so the 15 minutes on the boat felt marvelous. Highly recommend doing just the boat trip!

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About Time Coffee

A new kind of coffee company is in NYC and it is going to CHANGE the coffee scene. About Time serves unexpected coffee creations through a speedy on-the-go coffee experience. You order on line on their simple app to the nearest location and then you pick it up. Yes, sounds like a typical coffee place, but in addition to 3 storefronts, they have “locations” around the city that you can schedule your pick up for — and they are there with your cooler and your coffee. They see themselves as magicians introducing modern sensibilities to the traditional cafe offerings…..and I couldn’t agree more!

 

I placed my order to 45th and 5th, and this was my “store.” A nice man with my coffee all ready.

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Bode Vintage Shawl Dress

My mother has been collecting shawls from all over the world her entire life — she literally has cabinets full of hundreds of shawls. Each shawl has a different story and represents the country and its craft work. So when I came across a vintage shawl dress, I had to get. It reminds me of my mother and I absolutely love it. I have been a long time fan of Bode — a NYC menswear company that specializes in one of a kind, handcrafted clothing that is cut from antique fabrics, victorian quilts, grain sacks, and bed linens.

 

Vintage shawl made in to a dress — one of a kind — each is unique and special.

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Governors Island Glamping

One of my favorite places in NYC is Governors Island, a 172 acre island that is 800 yards from Manhattan (a 7 minute ferry ride!). It is the perfect place to spend a day wandering and feels like a vacation, when it is only minutes away from home (well depending on the traffic….). And even better — you can spend the night there! It is an upscale camping experience and is a memorable and truly perfect way to spend the night. Recently, I took my daughter “glamping” on Governors Island mid week and it was the highlight of our Spring.

 

This is Tusia on Governors Island in 2017. Since then, the green space has turned in to the property for the glamping, Collective Retreats.

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L’industrie Pizza

In my constant search of  “the best pizza in NYC,” I landed at L’industrie Pizza in Brooklyn. Ranked by all the food websites as one of the best slices in NYC, we decided to make the trek to Williamsburg to try it out (and by trek, it is really not that far — it is just the mental jump from one borough to the next). And sure enough, it was ever so delicious and worth going to.

 

We placed the order online ahead of time so that it could be there when we got to Brooklyn. (We knew ahead of time that there would be no seats for us, so we wanted to have a picnic in the car).

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Spring 2022 To Do Wish List

Although we are in already a week in to May, NYC has not been very warm or Spring like….better weather to come, here is what I am hoping to do this Spring (both in the city and in general).

 

1. Drive In Movie Theater in Brooklyn

 

I am dying to try out this Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater where you not only watch the movie, but you have beautiful views of the city. Right now they are showing Clueless.

 

2. Visit The Whitney Biennial

 

I must go! I must go! I must!

 

3. Overall Spring Cleaning

 

I love Spring Cleaning – a fresh start to clean and purge and tidy everything.

 

4. See The Basquiat Exhibit

 

I love Basquiat and cannot wait to see this special exhibit.

 

5. Finish my Dr. Dre Needlepoint

 

Dr. Dre needlepoint — loving this creation but ready to move on to something new!

 

6. Enjoy a Show At The Forest Hills Stadium

 

Live music!

 

7. Devour Pizza

 

A newly opened Pizza restaurant in the Lower East Side, yes please!

 

8. Play MiniGolf in Williamsburg

 

A great family activity — mini golf in Brooklyn! It reopens May 16th!

 

9. Glamp on Governors Island

 

One of my favorite adventures was glamping on Governors Island — different, unique, picturesque, and fun. A must do at least once in your life!

 

10. Roam on Pier 57 Rooftop

 

A new rooftop park to explore — sign me up!

 

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What are you looking forward to doing, exploring, engaging in this Spring? Do share!

 

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Rolo’s

After a personal recommendation AND reading about it in the NYTimes, we decided to trek to Ridgewood, a neighborhood in Queens, to try out the restaurant Rolo’s. Definitely a trains-plane-automobile situation to get there, but the food and adventure was worth it. The restaurant was started by 3 ex-Gramercy Tavern chefs (an old time favorite and Classic NYC restaurant) and every bite was delicious. If you are up for a different neighborhood and scene, definitely check it out!

 

And of course, on the 10 minute walk from the subway station, we came across a Biggie Smalls mural, which I love…because I love Biggie and most of all, 90s hip hop.

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Jordan Nassar Exhibit

If you happen to be in NYC any time between now and May 7th, I highly suggest that you visit the artist Jordan Nassar‘s work shown at the James Cohan Gallery. And even if you DON’T make it to the gallery, I recommend becoming familiar with Jordan Nassar! Jordan Nassar is a 37 year old native New Yorker (The Collegiate School graduate) and his artwork is mainly hand embroidery.

 

I did a solo trek down to James Cohan’s gallery on Walker street in TriBeCa. As someone who needlepoints and has a mother AND a daughter that both love to embroider, I appreciate looking at other people’s creation. And Jordan Nassar is unbelievable — his creativity and colors blew me away.

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Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace

As a die hard roller skater, it made me so very happy that NYC opened up its first Roller Skating Rink, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, this past weekend. So sure enough, the kids and I ventured to skate and dance on opening day. It was such a great hour and I cannot wait to go back — pure simple family fun. Located in the heart of Manhattan at Rockefeller Center, it is a great place to people watch and soak up the energy of the city.

 

Smack dap in the middle of the city! So much fun.

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James Turrell

Only a couple days left of the James Turrell exhibition at Pace Gallery in NYC — definitely worth visiting if you happen to be in the city before it closes on March 19th! I had the opportunity to visit last week with a college friend (who happens to be in the Art world) and absolutely loved my five minutes of sitting in a dark room and looking at the light installation.  My college friend reminded me that James Turrell not only attend our college (Pomona College), but also spoke at our 2001 college graduation (!!!!) I don’t remember any of his speech or the fact that he spoke at our graduation, but knowing this information, made me even more intrigued in this art display.

 

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Nothing Really Matters NYC Bar

A new hidden bar, Nothing Really Matters, in NYC has arrived — in a subway entrance! It is located between the entrance and the turnstile in the downtown-bound 1 train station at 50th Street and Broadway. Normally, I would not know of such a bar or have a reason to go to it, but recently a friend took me there and I fell in love with the randomness and beauty of the bar. I cannot wait to go back — so unique and different. And you will definitely NOT run in to anyone you know there….

 

Literally downstairs in the subway. Yes, gross and full of trash and rats.

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Lost Stickers

In my walks and runs in NYC, I love to look at all the stickers posted everywhere — they are little signs full of joy, wisdom, hope, and mystery. My favorite current series is by Irish artist, Asbestos, who has created and posted street art everywhere since 2003. I love to see them as they are all in random places around the city — never making much sense but bringing a smile to my face.

 

Lost leek

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Ippudo Ramen NYC

Over the weekend in one of my “best of New York” searches, we decided that the cold weather was perfect for Ramen. So in a quick search, I found out the Ippudo is ranked the best Ramen in NYC. So ten minutes later, we were in the car and on our way to Ippudo — and it did not disappoint. It was perfect in every way — full of flavor and depth, and oh so comforting.

 

Ippudo — three locations in NYC — East Village, UWS and Midtown. Great vibe with hip hop music, locals, and great food.

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Chinatown Foot Rub & Dumplings

Last Friday night, in dire need of a foot massage, Ken and I decided to venture to Chinatown for a couple of hours. It was a huge success and I cannot wait to go back. Not only did we get great (and cheap!) foot massages, but we also brought home super tasty dumplings.

 

After a lot of research on the world wide web, I decided that we would get our foot massages at Renew Spa. It had great recommendations online (and also had a website in English). I made appointments for us and although I thought it would be empty, it was actually very busy. But it was very safe and clean — and I had my own private room, which I loved.

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Banh Mi Zon

Over Thanksgiving break, I decided it was time to start my food hunts again in NYC to find “the best ofs.” Last Winter, I found the best dumplings, the best pizza, and the best Italian Food. So, this time, I thought it would be fun to find the “best Vietnamese” in Manhattan. It was a throw back to when I was pregnant with my 12 year old, and only wanted gazpacho and Vietnamese Summer Rolls…..So after reading several articles and reviews, we headed down to 6th Street in the Lower East Side to Banh Mi Zon to pick up a selection of items.

 

Vietnamese sandwich — perfect crusty bread with vegetables and meat. Loved every bite.

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Di Fara Pizza Manhattan Pop Up

Last Winter, on our “best pizza” of NYC, we wound up deep in Brooklyn at Di Fara. It truly was the most amazing pizza I have ever had, even with the hour long drive. So as soon as I found out that Di Fara had a pop up for 3 weeks in Manhattan, I jumped at the opportunity for us to go. Definitely worth it as still the best pizza I have ever had.

 

Located in the Lower East Side, this pop up, is basically an office building with a security guard who has someone come take our order. You can also get pizza from Roberta’s (but Di Fara is way better).

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Synful Eats

At the very start of the summer, I was at a friend’s house where she served a plate of the most delicious cookies I had ever eaten. The cookies were all broken in to pieces which made it very easy to eat and sample all the different flavors. Each cookie was better than the last and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Or eating them. They were BEYOND. Thankfully, these cookies, Synful Eats, can be bought in NYC / Hamptons — and hopefully soon nationally. They are the next Levain Cookies — top quality, incredible combinations, the best ingredients. I can’t wait to see what this company does next — and until then, I will continue to support (and eat!) these unbelievably tasty cookies.

 

Since it is local delivery, the cookies arrive in the most beautiful pink box and bag. Even the box is perfection.

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Fall 2021 To Do

Here we are — Fall 2021! There is always so much to do in Fall — the start of school, the shift in weather — and here is a list of everything and anything that I want to do!

 

1. Eat at Thai Diner

 

Thai Diner is exactly what it sounds — a diner that is influenced by Thai food. Recommended by a friend I always trust, this downtown restaurant is a Thai Love Letter to the classic American diner. It gets rave reviews and the dishes look incredibly interesting and delicious. I can’t wait to try it out.

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Golden Diner

This past weekend, on our final NYC day before heading out west for the summer, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (our favorite activity) and then had lunch at the Golden Diner. I have read about Golden Diner for many years as it serves classic NY diner dishes that are influenced by the neighborhood, Chinatown. Everything had an Asian spin to it — even the tuna melt.

 

First, the Brooklyn Bridge! And yes, we have a million of these pictures, but I love them….

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Little Island

Last Friday, Little Island, New York’s newest Park opened up to the public. It was received with excitement, buzz, and energy. I had the opportunity to run down there and see it on opening day and it did not disappoint. It is unusual, beautiful, and a great green space.

 

This park, Little Island, is funded primarily by The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation. It is a great addition to the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side, and is interesting to visit as a walk, or more of a destination to sit and hang out.

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Spring 2021 To Do

NYC has had some rough moments this past year — the cold, COVID, an increase in crime — it’s been through a lot. So many of my friends are moving away and it feels like the end of an era. For good or bad, we are staying in NYC and there is so much to love and do. Here is a list of things that I want to do for Spring 2021!

 

1. The Rooftop at the Met

 

The Met rooftop is one of my favorite places to visit. I used to be able to sneak in a sandwich, but due to COVID, no food is up on the roof. Nevertheless, the Blue Big Bird flying in the sky is a fun sculpture to look at and enjoy the beautiful NYC skyline.

 

2. New York Botanical Garden: Kusama exhibit

 

Open through the end of October, this KUSAMA exhibit is a must see. Beautiful polka dots surrounded by all the beautiful nature — a must.

 

3. Scoot / Walk around Governors Island

 

Governors Island just reopened on May 1st and I cannot wait to return. It is always one of my favorite places to visit on a sunny weekend. Scoot, walk, and take in all the views and fresh air!

 

4. Eat at Via Carota

 

I’ve only eaten once at Via Carota many, many years ago. But the memory of this green salad still is with me. I am dying to try to go down to the West Village and eat not just this salad, but all the other many delicious dishes.

 

 

5. Take a Dog Leash Making Class

 

This weaving class is a hit with my kids, and I am now so excited to take a class myself. A dog leash making class!!!!

 

6. Visit Coney Island

 

I have no idea why I am dying to go (but every year I put this on my list of things to do for Spring), but I want to go and be super cheesey and eat hot dogs and go on the rollercoaster.

 

7. Watch a movie at the Paris Theatre

 

I love this movie theatre so much — it is classy, retro, beautiful, and you don’t see rats there…..

 

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I also want to organize my photos, purge kids’ clothing, organize my linen closet, and figure out summer plans….what do you want to do this Spring?

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Absolute Bagels

This past Friday, while sifting through magazines and food websites, I decided it was time to try “the best bagel” in Manhattan. So after researching some of “the best bagels,” I decided that we would try out “Absolute Bagels” on the Upper West Side (108th and Broadway). I liked it because it seemed gritty, authentic, unique, and off the beaten path. I like bagels — don’t necessarily love them — but holy smokes, these bagels were AMAZING and I cannot wait to return. Absolute Bagels has been run by a Thai couple for the past 27 years and although a typical bagel shop with all the different cream cheese offerings, they also have thai iced tea. Perfect random touch. It did not disappoint.

 

A huge line outside — mostly Columbia University students — but a mish mash of people. The lady in front of us waited in line for ONE bagel.

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