NYC + Brooklyn City Guide: To Do

August 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

1. Central Park – Manhattan

Central Park is my #1 recommendation for anyone visiting New York. It’s huge, beautiful, and like no park I’ve ever seen. Wander around the various paths, over footbridges, and visit the John Lennon tribute Strawberry Fields. See the reservoir, the zoo, the carousel, and in the winter, the skating rink.

2. New York Public Library (Main Branch) – Manhattan

Quite possibly the most beautiful library ever . This building feels like a castle. Even if you don’t borrow any library books, you’ll leave feeling inspired.

Bonus: this is where Carrie & Big’s wedding was set to be in the beginning of the Sex & The City movie.

3. DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn

There’s something very special about this area of Brooklyn. It sits in the shadows of the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges and is filled with restaurants and shops in very old buildings, but has become a hotspot for creatives in NYC.

Wander the streets then go for a walk in the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. If you have a child with you or love nostalgia, visit Jane’s Carousel. Finally, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge into the City Hall neighborhood of Manhattan.

If possible, I highly suggest taking the East River Ferry there.

4. Art Galleries in Chelsea and The Highline – Manhattan

Chelsea is home to countless art galleries! If you’re into any sort of artist expression, there is surely a gallery right for you. My favourites are the Joshua Liner Gallery and the Jonathan Levine Gallery.

While you’re over there, check out the High Line, an elevated park built on an old railroad track.

5. Greenwich Village – Manhattan

Take a break from suffocating Soho and walk west to this breathtaking neighbourhood. So many beautiful brownstones, cute shops, and great places to eat. Daydream about living here while watching the young and hip parents cart around their adorable kids with ease!

If you’re a Sex & The City fan, see Carrie Bradshaw’s house at 64 Perry Street.

6. The Lower East Side – Manhattan

It’s amazing how different each neighbourhood can feel and look in New York. Even though CBGB’s is gone, a visit to the Lower East side will bring you back to the 1970s punk scene. Check out the bars, restaurants, and music venues. If you’re a carnivore, stop into Katz’s Deli (of When Harry Met Sally fame) for a pastrami sandwich stuffed with enough meat for three sandwiches.

7. Grand Central Station – Manhattan

The most beautiful train station I’ve ever seen in North America. Visit the Oyster Bar, the Whispering Gallery, and the Transit Museum and shop. Oh, and take lots of photos, especially of the ceiling!

8. Coney Island – Brooklyn

When I first started coming to New York, Nick would ask me what I wanted to do and (to his chagrin) my answer would always be visit Coney Island. It’s a bit of a trek by subway, but once you arrive it’s like a whole other world! Eat some junky carnival food, walk the boardwalk, dip your toes in the ocean, play at the carnival, and if you’re feeling brave, ride the Wonder Wheel or the Cyclone.

9. Times Square – Manhattan

As much as I hate it when I have to try and walk through Times Square, I have to admit it’s an amazing spot and definitely worth seeing at least once in your life. You don’t even have to go anywhere or do anything, just stand there and marvel at the scene!

10. American Museum of Natural History – Manhattan

The perfect way to spend a rainy day in New York. Feel like a kid again and take in all the exhibits here. You might even learn something! Don’t miss the giant blue whale.

Bonusmy first ever trip to New York!

{photos: Central Park 1,2, NY Public Library, Brooklyn Bridge, Art Gallery, Highline, Greenwich Village, LES 1, 2, Grand Central, Coney Island, Museum}

NYC + Brooklyn City Guide: Drinks

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

New York has so many bars and places to purchase alcohol, you almost don’t even need me for this category. That is, unless you have a more refined taste for drinks and want to try something new and special.

I’m primarily a beer drinker, but when I go out for drinks with friends, I like to treat myself to a well-made cocktail now and then. That’s why most of my favourites are speakeasies. Read on for my Top 6 Places to Drink in NYC!

1. Radegast Hall & Biergarten – Brooklyn

I love this old-fashioned beer hall. You’ll feel like you’re in Europe with the vast selection of beers from around the world, served in huge beer steins that you lift to your mouth with both hands. Enhance your experience by coming here a night they have a live jazz band playing and eat a pretzel and kielbasa when you’re not dancing.

2. Raine’s Law Room – Manhattan

My favourite speakeasy! Ring the doorbell for the Belgian doorman to let you know if there’s room for you, otherwise they will take your number and call you when there is. Feel like you are in Paris in the thirties while you sip your drinks slowly, enjoying the ambiance and decor of this gorgeous downstairs spot. Make sure you check out their custom-made wallpaper!

3. Pegu Club – Manhattan

My good friend Courtney first brought me here years ago. This gorgeous bar will make you feel like an Asian gangster from the sixties. Shelling out money for the Earl Grey martini will be the best decision you made that day.

4. 2nd Floor on Clinton – Manhattan

My speakeasy-finding partner Kate and I found this place one night after dinner in a noisy restaurant and were delighted to relax in this quiet, dim, and relaxing upstairs spot that makes you feel like you’re in someone’s home library. In addition to carefully-made cocktails, they also sell chocolates!

5. Beauty & Essex – Manhattan

Beauty & Essex is quite a scene, but definitely worth checking out at least once. This restaurant is “hidden” behind a pawn shop facade. The drinks are great, but pricey. Luckily, if you’re a lady, you can even out the cost by partaking in some of the free champagne served in the restrooms by beautiful bartenders (seriously!)

6. Death + Company – Manhattan

Another speakeasy that you must get past the doorman to enter. It’s small and dark, but worth the wait. If you’re a design-lover like me, you’ll appreciate everything from the custom-made coasters you get to the bar’s decor.

I couldn’t quite make it to 10 for my favourite bars, but if you have any suggestions of places I haven’t named here, please let me know! I’m always up for trying to new places :)

NYC + Brooklyn City Guide: Shopping

July 30, 2012 § 2 Comments

Like restaurants, New York has countless stores. Some people come to New York just to shop! With all the choices you have out there, sometimes you need a little guidance, someone to point you in the right direction. If you have taste similar to mine, I’m sure you’ll enjoy my Top 10 Places to Shop in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1. Uniqlo – Manhattan

This store makes New York the envy of every other North American city. Well, maybe it’s just one of the reasons. Really though, with their incredibly affordable basics and great jeans, I can’t begin to tell you how many Canadian friends ask me to buy them things here to bring home when I visit. Do yourself a favour and make sure you hit up one of their three NYC locations when you’re in town and stock up on your favourites!

2. Strand – Manhattan

This legendary bookstore is a must-visit for bookworms visiting New York. It’s full of new and used books as well as great Strand and NYC merchandise.

3. Dalaga – Brooklyn

My personal favourite clothing store for the past three years. This boutique is owned by sisters Michelle and Mary, but every lovely lady who works at this store is friendly and helpful. Have a question about how comfortable that shoe is? Chances are, one of the girls working there is wearing that pair and can tell you all about it. The best part is that the clothes are gorgeous and unique, but are still affordable. I love to bring friends visiting here and watch them buy half a new wardrobe.

4. Catbird – Brooklyn

The mecca for cute, beautiful, and unique jewelry. Much nicer than costume jewelry, but it won’t break the bank. They also sell letterpress cards, Saipua soap, and summer hats.

5. ABC Carpet & Home – Manhattan

A perfect destination for window shopping, interior design lovers. Even if you can’t afford that $1500 end table, you will be inspired by their displays and merchandise.

6. Journelle – Manhattan

This lingerie shop is the anti-Victoria’s Secret. Find pretty underthings from Eberjey, Elle Macpherson, and Fortnight that make you feel beautiful instead of like you’re some kind of unfamiliar raunchy version of yourself.

7. J. Crew – Manhattan

I love J. Crew’s new, fresh, colourful, and fun looks these days. Great for bright jeans, cute tops, purses, shoes and more. A great place to go just to get outfit inspiration.

8. Madewell – Manhattan

Sometimes called “J. Crew’s little sister”, Madewell is a chain that’s clearly in-tune with the latest fashion trends. The store in Soho can be a little overwhelming as it fills up fast on the weekend. Just take your time and try to shop through all those racks of cute stuff while dodging people!

9. Word – Brooklyn

I’m lucky to have my favourite bookstore right in my neighbourhood! This shop is cozy and on the smaller side, but this just means quality over quantity. The staff gives great reading recommendations and their comment cards provide the perfect opportunity to get rid of your “reader’s block”. I buy almost all of my greeting cards here too.

10. Eastern District – Brooklyn

This beer and cheese shop is such a treat for food lovers. Order a turkey sandwich with gouda and bacon marmalade on fresh bread, pick up some tasty cheese, try some new craft beers, or take home some tasty treats (anything from chocolate to honey to pickles). You’ll be glad you did!

(photo: Benjamin Lozovsky)

NYC + Brooklyn City Guide: Food

July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

Of course there are countless food options in New York (especially when you’re exploring both Manhattan and Brooklyn), but I’ve managed to pare it down a little with my current Top Ten Places To Eat. Enjoy!

1. Paulie Gees – Pizza, Brooklyn

Hands down the best pizza I’ve eaten in my life. And I’ve eaten a lot of pizza.

Bonus: Paulie himself plays host every night. He walks around the restaurant with his coffee mug, asking how your pizzas are, what you ordered, and where you’re from. He loved it the time I brought 5 Canadian girls in for dinner.


2. Eataly – Italian, Manhattan

A huge Italian grocery store, owned by super-chef Mario Batali, smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. You can choose one of the many cafes in the store to eat at – including pizza, pasta, fish, gelato, meat, and vegetarian restaurants – and you can buy some pasta, bread, or sauce to bring home with you!

Tip: go on a weeknight. It’s much less busy.

3. Five Leaves – Cafe, Bar, Oysters – Brooklyn

Surrounded by hype and sometimes line-ups of hipsters waiting to get in, Heath Ledger was one of the restaurants’ first investors. Go early and enjoy one of their tasty gin cocktails. My favourite meal so far is the Atlantic Char, but I’m working my way up to the Five Leaves Burger! (Pictured above.)

4. San Loco – Mexican, Manhattan & Brooklyn

This spot is almost fast food, but still way beyond Taco Bell. Get a Guaco Loco – a hard taco, wrapped in a soft taco shell, held together with guacamole. Beans or catfish are my favourite. Enjoy with a Corona or, if you’re feeling saucy, a frozen margarita!

5. Dos Caminos – Mexican, Manhattan

When you find yourself in the Union Square/Gramercy Bermuda Triangle of not knowing where to eat, settling on this chain is actually a pretty decent bet.

My favourites: sangria and their great guacamole!

6. Peter Luger Steakhouse – Steakhouse, Brooklyn

This is a steakhouse the serious meat lover. Go here and feel like you’re a New York mobster. Have waiters ask you “how much steak you want?” instead of giving you a menu. If you aren’t so keen on spending a small fortune on meat, I actually prefer their burgers. BEST BURGERS EVER. But be warned, they are only available at lunchtime. Finish off with cheesecake.

Tip: Make a reservation, even for lunch.

7. Juliette – French, Brooklyn

“A Taste of Paris in Brooklyn”. My favourite brunch spot in Williamsburg. Very cute decor with a pseudo-patio you can enjoy in any weather.

8. Smorgasburg – Food Stands, Brooklyn

This is a food festival to end all food festivals. Best of all, it takes place every Saturday from about May to October. Eat everything from anchovies to BBQ to donuts to roti to pupusas. Go ahead and eat three lunches then dessert!

9. Sidewalk Cafe – American, Manhattan
A good staple, perfect for meeting friends for dinner and drinks after work. With a 2-for-1 Happy Hour, you can get a little tipsy with your tasty meal for about $20!

10. Anywhere you can get a good New York bagel!

These aren’t your store-bought bagels, they’re chewy, salty, hearty, and soooo delicious.

My favourites: Murray’s Bagels, Baker’s Dozen, but of course there are many more throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Get the whole experience and slap some lox on that bagel along with your cream cheese! Yum.

My New NYC & Brooklyn City Guide

July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Being from Toronto means that I have a lot of friends and family who want to spend their vacations in New York. It’s just far enough to make you feel like you’re in a completely different place, but the plane ride is only one hour. This also means that I give out recommendations for restaurants, shopping, and things to do and see year-round. Summer is an even busier time for visitors (which I love!), so I thought this would be a perfect time to update my New York & Brooklyn City Guide.

This time, I’ll break it up into categories, posting one a day. Stay tuned for what could be your new favourite place to visit in New York!

{photo: Joisey Showaa}

NYC + Brooklyn Guide: Your Reactions

August 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had a great time compiling my favourite parts of New York and Brooklyn for last week’s NYC + Brooklyn City Guide and I’m so happy that there have already been some people who have been able to check out my picks!

Thanks to Jay for giving me a shout out on Twitter with his post about visiting Carrie Bradshaw’s house in the West Village (find the address here). I’ve also enjoyed watching out for Brittany’s photos on Instagram of her visit so far, including photos from Strawberry Fields, Brooklyn Bowl, and the Museum of Natural History.

I’ve got one more post to finish up the NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, coming soon!

My guide to New York and Brooklyn

March 9, 2010 § 6 Comments

After typing out countless emails of choice spots to visit in New York each time a friend travels there, I thought to myself, hey – why not just make a blog entry about it that can be here for each person who needs it? Also, I miss New York and want to take a trip there in my head.

These are my favourites. Do you have any must-sees or -dos that are worth mentioning? Please share in the comments!


Food & Drink:
Cafeteria a cute breakfast & lunch spot in Chelsea. Great eggs benedict.
Cosmic Cantina burritos that are both tasty AND healthy
Heartland Brewery delicious, reliable, cozy pub
Magnolia Bakery amazingly delicious cupcakes – be prepared for a line up!
Max incredibly affordable Italian with generous portions.
Nobu I haven’t been here myself, but I hear it’s the best of the best when it comes to sushi. $$!
Panna II This Indian spot is more worth the trip for the ridiculous atmosphere. It’s food is decent and cheap, but not the best you’ve ever had.
Pegu Club a classy bar on the border of NoHo & SoHo – amazing cocktails! Perfect for a shopping break.
San Loco Cheap, fast Mexican – try the guaco locos!
Sidewalk Cafe cute bistro, great happy hour specials
S’mac treat yourself to the ultimate comfort food: many kinds of mac & cheese to choose from.
Toasties can you believe I almost didn’t go in because their sign’s in comic sans? I’m glad I did because their sandwiches and salads are so good!

Apple Store on 5th Ave. Worth going there just to see the store design, especially at night.
Evolution you probably won’t buy anything, but it’s worth a look!
FAO Schwartz the famous toy store featured in Big
Giant Robot vinyl toys, art – better selection than Kid Robot and for a more mature audience
Kid Robot vinyl toy giant
Macy’s I almost have a panic attack every time I come here from the sheer amount of people, but their selection is amazing.
NBC Store pick yourself up a Dwight bobblehead
Steve Madden I always buy my boots here
Strand legendary with book lovers – great used book deals
Tiffany & Co. come plan your engagement ring!
Topshop The first North American store – a sort of more scandalous British H&M
Toy Tokyo huge selection of collectible toys
Uniqlo great for affordable staples, cheap but awesome jeans
Upper Playground design & culture store
Urban Outfitters not just any UO, this one has a huge sale basement!

Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (from Sex & The City): 238 East 72nd Street
Central Park
Grand Central Station
Jonathan Levine Gallery
Josh Liner Gallery
New York Public Library (so beautiful)
Rockefeller Center (30 Rock!)


Food & Drink:
Alligator Lounge Order a drink, get a free pizza!!!
The Bagel Store Williamsburg bagel suppliers
Bakers Dozen my favorite deli in Greenpoint with the best bagels EVER.
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory need I say more?
Fort Defiance Great bar with serious cocktails in Red Hook.
The Habitat great place for a pint and dinner. (Greenpoint)
Lodge great brunch spot in Williamsburg. I vaguely remember a special on Bloody Marys… It must have been a good one if I can’t remember!
Ontario Bar I haven’t made it here yet, but still want to go for obvious reasons.
Pencil Factory Bar good beer selection, good patio (Greenpoint)
Peter Luger amazing steaks, even better burgers available only at lunchtime. Call ahead to make a reservation. Cash only. (Williamsburg)
Peter Pan Bakery tasty pastries – they offer ice cream sandwiches made with donuts in the summer! (Greenpoint)
San Loco their Williamsburg location is bigger and better.
Turkey’s Nest Tavern grab a “to go” beer in a styrofoam cup and watch sports across the street in McCarren Park. (Williamsburg)

Beacon’s closet super trendy used clothing. (Williamsburg)
Brooklyn Flea Market tons of vendors selling great stuff! Delicious food options too. (Fort Greene)
Buffalo Exchange used clothing. (Williamsburg)
Built By Wendy expensive, but so pretty. Sometimes they have sales. (Williamsburg)
Catbird cute clothing & jewelry. (Williamsburg)
Dalaga my current favorite clothing shop. Local designers and original pieces, but not as pricey as you’d think. (Greenpoint)
Oak ladies, you will want EVERYTHING. (Williamsburg)
Sound Fix decent record store, new & used. (Williamsburg)
Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers wonderfully packed to the gills with books, magazines, and other pleasant things. (Williamsburg)
Word I fantasize about working in this bookstore one day. It’s just that sweet. (Greenpoint)

Brooklyn Bridge
Coney Island (you must go! ride the Cyclone!)
Williamsburg Bridge

2012: A Year In Review

January 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

2012 was “The Year Of Yes” for Nick and I. We wanted to make it the best possible, doing what we wanted when we wanted, within reason, of course. This attitude led to some pretty great moments and incredible experiences. I also fell even more in love with yoga, specifically Ashtanga, and turbocharged my practice into a 4-5 times a week affair which led me into new poses I never expected to be able to do. There were sad moments this year too, especially in February, but overall, 2012 was the best one I’ve had in years.


– On Friday the 13th, Nick & I went to see/experience the incredible Sleep No More.

– That same morning, I danced my heart out before 10am at Creative Mornings with Girl Walk All Day.

– Filed for an LLC and made my business official. No more freelancing for me!



– The beginning of the month, my family faced a tragedy. Jenn’s nearly full-term baby suddenly passed away a week before her due date. We’ll always remember Everett, even though we didn’t get to meet him.

– Nick and I met my parents in Jamaica for a sunny vacation.



– I flew to Canada for a week-long visit, where I stayed with Jenn and her family. This included lots of playing with their new puppy, Biscuit.

– I tried an incredibly challenging Soulcycle class – right after Jake Gyllenhaal worked out in the same room.

– Mad Men season 5 premiered and I fell in love with the show all over again.




– Flew to London for a long weekend. We got to see Nick’s client Frank Turner headline his first arena show and Abbey Road!

– I helped set a record at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade RecordSetter Event.

– Finally bought a bike worth more than $100. What a difference!




– Spent a weekend in Ohio for Alex and Erin’s lovely barn wedding.

– Started a subscription to Lancaster Farm Fresh weekly vegetable share and farm fresh eggs. Best decision of 2012!

– Had a quick trip to Toronto to see Frank Turner and Baroness, along with some friends and family.


Kate, Jenn & Lisa at Risotteria


– Saw an amazing Radiohead show in Newark.

– My sister Jenn came for a weekend visit!

– The first Long Island beach visit of the year with Kate.

– Gave a sweaty-faced testimonial in a video for my favourite yoga studio.

– Went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island solo, but met up with many ex- & current TAG friends and my good Torontonian bud, Travis Bradley!


Kate, Bryan and Nick


– Took a weekend road trip to Baltimore with Kate and Bryan. Survived the worst thunderstorm driving conditions on the way there so that we could see fish in their aquarium, go to a baseball game, and eat at a Brazilian steak house.

– Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with Nick by getting massages. So goooood.

– Rewrote my NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, complete with different categories, to appease all the NYC visitors!


Me, Mike, and Nick



– Went to Massachusetts to visit Nick’s best friend Mike, but we also went WHALE WATCHING! I saw humpback whales for the first time and it was one of the coolest moments of my life.

– Finally upgraded from a Blackberry to an iPhone.

– Collected a ton of paperwork and “proof of relationship” to renew my green card and have the conditional status of my permanent residency removed. Filed it myself and felt very accomplished.

– Flew to Toronto for a 10-day visit that started with a Bachelorette Party Cottage Weekend for Julia! Was so incredibly happy to spend 4 days in a cottage with some of my best friends that I only get to see a few times a year.




Julia and Jay got married! I was so happy to be able to celebrate with them and stand up for Julia as a bridesmaid. I was also pretty happy to partake in the best dance party in years at their reception.

– Finally succeeded in doing headstand in the middle of the room! I have still never fallen (knock on wood).




– Celebrated a great 31st birthday.

– Helped Nick celebrate his birthday and had our first joint birthday dinner ever with some of our best friends.

– Went to Chicago to see Smashing Pumpkins in their hometown!

– New York got hit by Hurricane Sandy. We hunkered down, but were very very lucky to not have any damage.




– My parents came to visit us for the first time since we got married!

– Went to a special Creative Mornings talk by George Lois at the Met.

– Kate and Bryan got married at city hall!!! They were engaged for over 3 years before finally tying the knot at Manhattan’s city hall and now they are pregnant!




– Saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse with Patti Smith at Brooklyn’s new venue, Barclay’s Center.

– Nick and I flew to Sweden for a long weekend to see his band Ghost. We were so happy about this opportunity, even though it was a whirlwind trip!

– After a few months of practicing, I was finally successful in doing a real Ashtanga back bend!

– Celebrated Christmas with my family in Oshawa and Fenelon Falls.

– Flew home from Canada on Boxing Day then flew to Paris less than 2 days later! Celebrated New Year’s Eve by adding a love lock to Pont de l’Archevêché. Romantic!

If you finished this post, I applaud you! How was your 2012?

2011: A Year In Review

December 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Happy New Year’s Eve! As Nick and I prepare to do our traditional New Year’s watching of “When Harry Met Sally” and make/share our lists of goals for 2012, it seems like a perfect time to look back on 2011. Even though this year seemed to fly by, so much happened!



– After the holidays, returned to work at Insound to find approximately a trillion online orders for the new CAKE album that had to be processed and sent out

– Met Ezra who was hired temporarily to help get the records sent out quickly. We realized we had a lot of the same musical taste and I declared him my New York Eli.

– It snowed and snowed and snowed

– I spent most of my mornings holding on to the iron gate below so I wouldn’t slip and fall on my way to work




– Nick and I attended our first New York Knicks basketball game, which was a ton of fun.

– We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple at – where else? – Peter Luger!

– I changed positions at Insound from White Label to Fulfillment.




– The Japan earthquake and tsunami bummed me out

– After a few weeks at my new job, I started to experience serious leg pain. Turns out, my hips and knee joints were inflamed from over use. My body was very unhappy with my new job, working in a warehouse and running around all day. I started to get hives and thought I had shingles!

– Needless to say, I gave my resignation. I need legs more than I need discounted records.

– I planned a trip home to Canada the weekend after my last day at Insound. I needed some family, friend, and Canada time, big time!

– Coincidentally while in Toronto, my old employer of 6+ years, The Agency Group, was throwing themselves a 15th anniversary party! I was invited and of course I went.

– An old coworker from The Agency Group who now manages bands got a hold of me and hired me to do design, web, and social media for one of her clients, USS!

– I also started doing a freelance wedding planning assistant job for an older couple from New York



– By April, my freelance work was really coming along and keeping me busy. I stopped applying for other jobs.

– Experienced the best “April Fool’s Joke” ever – Elvis Costello playing three of his best songs before The Strokes hit the stage at Madison Square Garden!

– Nick and I moved into a fantastic new apartment, just one block away from our old one. Check out our sweet “box blinds” above!

– I attended my first of many Creative Mornings  in DUMBO

– Started doing Ashtanga yoga, instead of the usual Vinyasa, and fell in love with it. Have been practicing 2-4 times a week ever since.



Jenn at Babycakes

– Celebrated Cinco De Mayo with Kate and some Mexican wrestlers

– Nick and I discovered comedy shows at Caroline’s in Times Square. We saw Jim Jeffries, Bill Burr, and Whitney Cummings while eating dinner, sipping beers, and laughing. What a perfect night out!

– Kate & I continue our fun by attending a Seychelle’s party. We drink free vodka, eat a free dinner, then later pay $25 for a glass of champagne, justifying we would have normally spent more than that anyway!

– My sister, Jenn, comes to visit for a weekend. I take her to Babycakes for gluten-free treats, Risotteria for gluten-free dinner, then help this hard-working mom get drunk for the first time in 7 years on red wine!


Me & Angela


– My old roomie, Angela, comes to visit from San Francisco. We attend the opening of Jeremy Fish‘s art show, then a rooftop party in Chelsea.

– I attend Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and fall in love with all the food stands

– June’s Creative Mornings helps get me a few other jobs when I meet Mark from BCS Interactive while waiting for the lecture to start. We nerd out on fonts, design, and then he and his partner Lou hire me to do Social Media for some of their accounts.


The apple of his eye


Julia and Jay visit, Nick and I get to feed them all our favourite things. Of course, this includes another trip to Smorgasburg.

– Nick and I spend the 4th of July weekend in Lancaster, PA with Nick’s Dad

– Went to the beach in Long Island a few times and actually got a tan

– Nick and I fly up to Toronto, just in time to experience the hottest day ever! Luckily, we later go up to my parents’ cottage and swim in the river under the shady trees for relief.

– While in Toronto, we celebrate our first wedding anniversary





– Canada’s NDP Leader Jack Layton passes away

Courtney and Jesse move away to Atlanta

– In preparation for mine & Nick’s trip to Europe at the end of August, I read an entire guide book on Paris and create the most-organized and complete trip itinerary of my life.

– Attend limited-time dumpster pool party “The Palms” in Long Island City with Olivia.

– Nick and I travel to London, attend the Reading Festival, take the train to Paris, then back to London to fly home

– I read most of The Girl Who Played With Fire on the plane, train, and our Parisian balcony and decide there’s something to this novel series.



Jay and Julia's Engagement Fete-125

– Nick goes on his yearly “man beach trip” with his best friends so I decide to treat myself to a bonus Canada visit

– Get to attend Julia and Jay’s engagement party while in Toronto

– I manage to get a ticket to one of the unattainable, sold out in 31 seconds Radiohead shows in New York. Go to the show solo, but end up chatting with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.




– We mourn the death of Steve Jobs

I turn 30, promptly get called a cougar

– Julia and her two other bridesmaids visit, I finally have an excuse to go to Lovely Bridal shop and watch her try on dresses

– I luck out and get another trip to Toronto! My fourth of 2011. It’s a quick one though, just two days, but still enough time to see two shows, friends, and a family dinner at a steakhouse.

– While we’re in Toronto, New York gets a freak snowstorm! The snow melts in approximately one day.



– Nick and I finally try out the Grand Central Oyster Bar

– I take part in a Rainbow Parade

– We finally get to see Louis CK do standup live during the New York Comedy Festival

– We spend Thanksgiving at home, celebrating with a trip to Central Park, another Jim Jeffries comedy show, and turkey tacos for dinner




– I realize now that I work freelance from home, I have no Christmas parties to go to! Then I get invited to The Agency Group NY’s party. Phew!

– Nick and I go to Lancaster for an early Christmas to visit his Dad. We scope out the mall, find Simpsons DVDs on sale at a music store, and the biggest assortment of gummi candy ever!

– We go see the Rockefeller Center tree a mere 3 days before Christmas and it’s a mob scene!

– Fly up to Canada for Christmas with the family. Spend 4 out of 5 days living in a cabin in the woods and have 5 moose keep us from being able to get to the grocery store.

How was your 2011? What was the best part?

Feeling nostalgic? Check out:

2010 + 2009

Four years of New York

May 4, 2011 § 3 Comments

It’s hard to believe that I had never been to New York until 2007. Ever since that first visit, I managed to come once a month for two years, then eventually* moved here.

The first time I came for a visit, I took a Greyhound bus with Angela. They were having a buy-one-get-one-free sale and our return tickets cost us something like $35 each. When you’re 25, have a fun roommate, and a portable DVD player (before iPods with video), taking an overnight bus for that price just makes sense.

We got in early that morning, but Angela’s friend (and soon to be my friend!) Courtney came to meet us at Port Authority to take us back to her place in Prospect Park. We showered, and I had my first taste of a New York style bagel**.

The three of us headed back in to the city. Courtney went to work, but Angela and I set out to do touristy things like visit the WTC site.

The subway system confused the hell out of me. I was used to Toronto’s actual direction system. You know, North, South, East, West? Not here! Forest Hills, Brooklyn Bridge, Queens – I had no idea! All the credit for not becoming permanently lost underground goes to Angela, even if we did have some scares followed by both of us having to pee really bad while having no idea where we were.

Courtney and Jesse were great tour guides. Their friend Bobby even came out with us to some of my favourite places like Coney Island…

… and Carrie Bradshaw’s house.

I know none of us will forget the night we drank vodka-Redbulls and got both drunk and hungover from caffeine:

The day of the caffeine hangover (far worse than any other hangover, kids – don’t do it!) the guy who would become my husband wanted to take Angela and I out and about in the city. After filling us full of Mexican food (my first trip to San Loco!) we had enough energy to travel. We visited CBGB’s skeleton and Joey Ramone Place.

And another one of my favourite places in the world, Central Park, where we visited Strawberry Fields.

Look how little and tattoo-less these two are:

It was nice to have the chance to visit the New York office of my then-workplace. I met a lot of people I had only spoken to on the phone or through email and putting faces to the voices was a lot of fun. Yeah, that office was pretty fun…

Talk about a monumental trip. Not only did I make new friends, but the beginnings of a relationship were starting to spark. I have to admit that my four day visit to New York did completely overwhelm me and I was happy to leave when we did, but it was also the moment my fascination with the city began.

Has anyone else out there had a life-changing trip?


*after a lot of shit.

** Weeks later, I would become addicted and Nick would woo me with a shipment to my office in Toronto.

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