SUMMER DON’T GO, but since you are, in fact, *gasp* gone, here is what I want to do this Fall…some repeats to last year, but as a lover of lists (and planning), I like setting goals for the season. Here they are:
1. Be more current and attend more live concerts.
Live concerts….so much fun to go to. And I don’t go often enough. We are going to see O.A.R. in Port Chester in November, but otherwise need to get live music on our calendar.
2. See more theatre.
On a beautiful summery day last weekend, we went with friends-that-are-family to Bar Pisellino, a bar that I had read about and was so excited to try out. If you know me, I have been obsessed with Aperol Spritzes for the past 12 months, and Bar Pisellino not only serves them, but has them on TAP. YUP — Aperol ON DRAFT.
Nothing better than summer nights in Manhattan….especially with epic and gorgeous skies as documented by @ken.natori
After months of hearing about Ralph’s Coffee, I finally made it inside. And it is even more divine and fabulous than I ever imagined — chic, beautiful, and old school glamorous. Located inside the Ralph Lauren flagship store on 72nd and Madison , Ralph’s Coffee is a relaxing and delicious place to grab a drink and snack (Ralph Lauren partnered up with the team at La Colombe to create Ranph’s Coffee’s signature blend). It also helps that the people inside are just as beautiful as you would expect, making for great people watching.
Sidewalk art signage. Although the store does not open until 10 am, Ralph’s Coffee opens at 8 am. I can’t wait to go back!!!
I was introduced to my new favorite pizza place by my out-of-town-brother this past week and now I am dreaming of the pizza nonstop. My brother is one of those people that knows everything about a place even when he doesn’t live there. He also loves food, reading about food, and is always right. So when he was visiting this past weekend and suggested trying Prince Street Pizza — I knew that it was going to be good and worth the trek down. And YUP, sure enough, this tiny little pizza shop is where it is at. I can’t wait to go back.
Located in Nolita, on Prince Street, this tiny little shop is c harming, crowded, busy, and has oh so delicious pizza.
Last week, on a beautiful Spring day, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the new Basquiat exhibition at the newly opened branch of The Brant Foundation in the East Village. Tickets are free, but you must register beforehand, and unfortunately the exhibition is currently “sold out.” That said, if you are interested, put yourself on the waitlist, and chances are you will be able to get a ticket. Not only did I find the exhibit special, remarkable, beautiful, and different, but the building itself is incredible.
The exhibition starts on the 4th floor of the 16,000 square foot townhouse. The room itself is unbelievable, with a gigantic sky roof with water flowing on it to give beautiful waves and light.
The Scandis always know how to do everything right. Especially bakeries. One of my nearest and dearest friends is Norwegian, so when we decided to meet last month for coffee, she told me about a new Danish bakery, Ole & Steen. And holy shmoly, is it unbelievable. Everything about it is perfection; the breads are to die for, the pastries, the porridge, the coffee, EVERYTHING. I am not sure what exactly it is about their baked goods, but they are beyond delicious and my new favorite thing to eat.
I dare you to go in to the bakery and try to buy one thing. Impossible.
Last weekend, we went to a new roller skating rink in Brooklyn: Dreamland Roller Rink in Industry City. On the weekends, they have family skate times from 1-5pm (at night, they have adult only times) and it is unbelievably fun for the whole family. Even Ken put on roller skates for the first time EVER and skated around the rink. It is a great winter activity (when you need to stay inside) or even in the summer to do something different. I am excited to venture back to the rink and have more fun out there. It is crazy how fast the time flew by and how much exercise we all got!
The only three people in the whole place who brought their own roller skates
This past weekend, we went with our biffle squad to discover a new ice skating rink in the city, Pier 17 Winterland, which opened up in December. AND HOLY COW it was oh so fun and amazing. At first glance, it is tiny, but the surrounding views of the city and Brooklyn Bridge are amazing. There is also a restaurant which is cozy, beautiful, and extremely friendly. Even on a super cold day, the kids had so much fun and before we knew it, we were there for three hours.
I run by this location ALL the time, and yet I had no idea there was a secret skating rink in there. In the summer, it will be a concert summer stage — can’t wait to check it out. And then this Spring, new restaurants are opening up by David Chang and by Jean-George. Definitely will be checking those out…..
This past Friday, a friend invited me and the kids to join her and her daughters to see a Battle of Hip Hop dancers inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And holy smokes — it was amazing. Riveting. Exciting. Enchanting. Incredible. Ridiculous. One of my all time favorite activities I have ever done. Period.
First of all, I love street dancing and hip hop so much — always have — and this was a performance of an urban dance organization “Dancing in the Streets” of the South Bronx. They have perfected a series of dance battles, which are now held inside The Met’s Arms and Armor department — truly remarkable — both the location of the performance and the performance itself. The freestyle dancers wore armor, battled between each other, and gave an amazing show. I felt incredibly lucky to be able to attend this event (and for free!) and the kids were mesmerized and in awe of the whole show.
Almost October, so that means there is only 1 and a half months before it becomes Winter in NYC. Fall is a very short lived season and there is so much to do between now and then! Here is what I want to do this Fall:
We still have green leaves on the trees, but sooner rather than later, the colors will change and then the Park will be orange / yellow hues…
Back in the early 2010’s, we used to spend our weekends driving out to Red Hook (in Brooklyn) to grocery shop at Fairway, gaze at the Statue of Liberty, eat cookies at Baked, and pretend like we lived in the outer boroughs/suburbs. We were religious about this weekend ritual and tried to keep it up as long as we could. But then Fresh Direct (and a second child) came along, which made it impossible to drive 30 minutes just to grocery shop. This past weekend, we decided to go back. And now I can’t wait to go back and make it a monthly ritual — Red Hook is a special and unique neighborhood and I just love it so much. The highlight was our brunch at Brooklyn Crab. I want to have a big blow out party there. The food is delicious, the views are great, and it just screams FUN PARTY.
Looks like you are on the coast of Maine, but NOPE, in Brooklyn!
Last week, one of my biffles introduced me to La Colombe “black and tan.” And now, I can’t stop thinking about it. Literally, every morning and afternoon, I dream of getting a black and tan from La Colombe. Although there are 30 locations nationwide, and 8 in NYC, none are in my neighborhood. So when I was talking to her the other day complaining about how much I wanted this drink, she said that I should take the canned version and create my own version of it. And then she made fun of me about how I was going to make a blog post out of it — and even got the exact phrasing and thought process of how I write blogs. And so, YEP, she knows me well. And so here we are, and I am doing exactly that. I am writing a blog post on my new favorite drink and thanks to Fresh Direct, I can create it without going downtown. Thanks, B, for being my editor, content contributor, and supporter of my caffeine intake and the Josie Girl Blog.
For many, the end of the school year is extremely busy, hectic, time consuming, and stressful. Especially when my work involves working in schools and tutoring students, the days seem to be marathons with a long list of to-dos. So, it was especially joyful and happy when a couple months ago, I discovered a neighboring apartment that had a statue that gazed out on to the street. This statue wasn’t just any statue, but one where the owners would frequently rotate the hats that the statue was wearing. For some reason, this was exciting and something I looked forward to every day.
The hat on the corner apartment of the building across the street.
Every September when I move back from the West Coast, I make a list of Fall goals. Every year, I say that I am going to go to the Farmers Market to get fresh, local produce, fruit, and any other random goodies. And yet, every year, I fail miserably and never make it to one.
Way back when, Good Eggs, existed. But that was short lived in NYC and didn’t last long (and it didn’t deliver to the Upper East side of Manhattan). So I was thrilled when I randomly came about (via instragram stories, nonetheless) OurHarvest. It is an online New York farmer’s market and gourmet grocery with local, farm-fresh, organic ingredients in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island. It has existed in NYC since 2014, and even though I am late to the game, I am so thrilled to have found it NOW! IT IS AMAZING bold italic exclamation point. It is coined Manhattan’s Farmers Market, and I get it. It is a farmers market that delivers throughout Manhattan. GENIUS.
The prices are good, the selection incredible, and the products themselves are the best. And the online platform is super easy, beautifully laid out, and great to work with (unlike instacart which I hate with all my might). There is so much to choose from and everything is fresh and local. You can get meat, fish, dairy, produce, fruit, pantry items, baked goods. Anything and everything.
I can’t get to a store without getting a fake sweet. Meaning, I love dessert, but want to curb my sweets so anytime there is a date sweetened goodie, I am a sucker for it.
As of a few months ago, I had not bought something at a vintage store since High School (when I was a regular at our local Goodwill to buy denim). Fast forward to this spring when I was on a mad and unsuccessful hunt for the perfect denim jacket. I was looking for something perfectly weathered / cropped / and that fit like a glove. Wherever I looked or asked for help, I had no luck. Then, at the recommendation from a stylish friend, I went to 9th Street Vintage, and bought my new favorite piece of clothing, a vintage denim jacket.
This jacket is from the 30s! How cool is that! Almost 90 years old — and so supers stylish and cool. GAWD I love it.
Despite the fact that it still feels like winter in New York, it actually *is* Spring. Since I love planning new adventures and outings each season, here is what I am currently hoping to do this Spring in New York! Take a look!
1. See Hamilton again….because it has been two years since I first (and last) saw this magical performance.
I had the opportunity to see the original cast in April 2016 and it was truly one of the highlights of my year. I am still listening to the music nonstop and can’t wait to go back….
As I am in Italy on a fun girls trip (more later), here is Ken with a quick guest blog post from his solo weekend with the kids:
Most people think of the Meatpacking District as a trendy neighborhood in Manhattan with shopping, night clubs, and buzz. It is also our favorite neighborhood to have early Sunday brunch (actually breakfast), as it is completely empty, has really easy street parking, and sets you up for a bunch of post-breakfast activities. Our old stomp was Pastis (mostly known for being trendy, not for being a kids-friendly brunch place). But since that closed down, our new Sunday morning brunch spot is Bubby’s on Gansevoort. Easy, empty, delicious, and well-located.
Parking isn’t allowed in the neighborhood until Sunday 6 AM. So early Sunday morning parking is a breeze.
On Monday, I highlighted Sold Out NYC, my new collection of sweatshirts that I wear every. single. day… — they are just so easy, comfortable, and good looking! Today, we meet the gorgeous, smart, and talented co-founders Kiane and Kate. Take a look, and thank you Kiane and Kate — you are such empowering and inspirational women!!!
Kate and Kiane — and can we talk about how cool, hip, stylish and gorgeous they are? DAMN.
My new favorite sweatshirts are from Sold Out! Hurry up before they are sold out (original joke, I know). There are four versions of the sweatshirt, all with different sayings and colors, each one equally cool and hip.
Three of the four sweatshirts.
At this point, loyal readers are probably sick of hearing about my marathons and the recaps. I know — I get it, in the past 4 years, I have completed 9 marathons — and in the last 7 months, THREE! There is not much more to say that is different about each race, and yet, this race is different. The NYC marathon is the most incredible marathon on the planet, and this year, when I gave up any expectations and ran to enjoy myself, was even better and more successful than imaginable. Giving up expectations, having no pressure, and just relaxing in to the moment made all the difference. I soaked up every second, looked at the views, talked to people, applauded my fellow runners, and truly enjoyed every minute.
Good or bad, I decided that my outfit for the marathon was going to be the exact same one that I wore a month ago for the Chicago marathon — yes, much colder temperature wise in NYC (my mistake in Chicago) but the shirt was a success in Chicago, so I went for it again in NYC. And man oh man, SUCCESS it was. Literally, once a minute, someone in the crowd would yell “Go Mama” — and I would yell “Thank you” and wave my hand up. It made me feel connected to the crowd and all their energy and positive vibes definitely helped.
One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.
This meal is a rainbow.
Last weekend, we went on a family adventure to Queens to visit the Queens Museum. As we decided we wanted to have dinner on the way back, I researched hip but kid-friendly restaurants for an early dinner. We landed on Sotte le Stelle, which had rave reviews on Eater as the #3 hot spot in Queens. And… pizza. The new restaurant was DELICIOUS.
The restaurant only has 30 seats and is super small and cute. All of the waiters and staff are Italian, and super nice and friendly.
HERE I GO AGAIN….another list, another set of goals…..
1. Go to a new restaurant each month.
We are spoiled in NYC with access to the best food and restaurants in the world. And yet, Ken and I have the tendency to go to the same three (who am I kidding, ONE) restaurant. So I want to make more of an effort and take advantage of all the great food around us.
There are over 850,000 (Thanks, Alexis) restaurants in NYC! So many types, cuisines, atmospheres, and experiences to try.
I have found my new favorite place: Governors Island. What is it? I had no idea before 3 weeks ago when a friend mentioned to me that she went with her family. Since Ken has been traveling due to work, I decided to take the kids to Governors Island for Mother’s Day. It was such a huge hit that we went back this weekend.
Honestly, nothing makes me happier than homemade baked goods, creative touches, and a hard working and inspiring mother. And Ilana, the founder and creator of Upper SweetsideNYC is all that. Ilana has created her own business of custom cakes, cupcakes & cookies for kids bdays and special occasions. Not only are the baked goods beautiful, but they are delicious too. Ilana is a fellow mother at my kids’ preschool, and through our morning chit chats and social media, I discovered her incredible talent. Ilana is a true example of a strong, empowered, and passionate woman who dreamed and created her own destiny! Here is an interview: — thank you!
One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!