Three Days in New York

Back in March, when it was still snowing and I was desperate for spring, I started planning a little trip to celebrate James’ birthday. Last year, we went to Portsmouth, NH for a couple of nights, and while that was relaxing and fun, I thought I’d go for something a little more exciting this year. We’ve both been dying to see The Book of Mormon for years now, so I booked seats to the musical, bought train tickets, and reserved two nights at the Refinery Hotel.

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

We hopped on the train and got into the city in the late afternoon, with enough time to get ready for the show. It was sprinkling outside but I curled my hair anyway, and even though I’m generally anti-selfie I took a picture to document the fact that I did a decent job for once. By the time we got to the theatre, we were damp and frizzy haired but so excited. And for good reason–the show was hilarious, sweet, and full of the most talented people! And, yes, also full of all the profanity and thinly veiled lewdness you’d expect from the creators of South Park. We loved it.

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

Most of the rest of our trip revolved around roaming and eating, so  you won’t see a lot of pictures of landmarks or museums here. Since we only had one full day, we decided to spend it exploring Greenwich Village.

James found a walking tour published by the New York Times, which we followed loosely, stopping in to say hello to the puppies at a boutique pet shop and to have the best cupcakes ever at Molly’s Cupcakes. Crème brûlée cupcakes, so moist and perfectly spongy and slightly crisp on top with a custard center. I would be in trouble if this place were within a 50 mile radius of our home. Also, the bar seats there are swings and now I want to put swings everywhere!

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

We found a great little cafe called The Grey Dog, which has a big menu, a few craft beers, and lots of options for those of us who can’t drink a drop during the daylight hours unless a nap is in order immediately afterward. A friendly server showed us a colorful handkerchief, which she put on a table to save our spot. We played the “If we lived in Greenwich Village” game the entire time we were in the area, and The Grey Dog made it into our “If we lived in Greenwich Village, we would have brunch here all the time” spot.

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

Later that afternoon the rain started again, but we were pooped from walking all over the place anyway. The Refinery has a great restaurant called Parker Quinn, so after relaxing for awhile, we had a big dinner and got cozy in the hotel bathrobes for the night. I should point out here that The Refinery is a little oasis in the Garment District. As soon as you come in off the street, it’s quiet and welcoming, with a really friendly hotel staff, super comfortable beds, and an overall aesthetic that feels, to me, like a mix of Brooklyn-hipster and Paris-chic. Black, white, gold, and wood.

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

The next morning, we had breakfast at a restaurant called The Shop, which is in the Andaz 5th Avenue hotel, directly across from the New York Public Library.

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

I’m working on a little summer travel project for work featuring the school’s mascot, so after breakfast James shot this photo of me holding the stuffed mascot up to one of the NYPL lions. (The mascot’s next stop is Greece – so lucky!)

Quick Visit to New York City | Frock Files

And then we were whisked out of the city on the train! Taking the Amtrak into the city is one of my favorite parts about the trip. It’s definitely more expensive than the bus, but it’s so peaceful and pleasant. And after a couple of days in the busy, busy streets of Manhattan, it’s a welcome reprieve.

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend, too! Now that we’re refreshed and relaxed, we’re excited about getting back to all of our summer plans. Do you have any travel on the horizon?


Be the First to Say Hello

Be the First to Say Hello

Whew! Last week was a whirlwind. Better Homes and Gardens invited a handful of bloggers from across the country to meet in New York to learn about working with the magazine. And so we came from both coasts and everywhere in between to talk style, food, photography, and social media. But my biggest takeaway from the trip? Friendship.

As I was getting ready to head to the Big Apple, James and I had a few conversations about all the pressure that surrounds these blogger events to look good. At the last minute, I was concerned that I was, perhaps, not worried enough about my clothes. Should I have bought more new things? Did I need a new lipstick? In the end, we came to the conclusion that, unless you wear your rattiest clothes or something Lady Gaga-esque, no one is really going to remember what you wore. On the other hand, everyone will remember whether or not you were kind to them.

Luckily enough, I met some really wonderful people through the workshop. Although I’d never met any of them in real life before, I had the best time getting to know PJ, Kirsten, Sarah, and Jeran, who met me for dinner the first night and allowed me to be their honorary fifth roommate on the day of the event, since my apartment was further away than their hotel. I got a chance to meet so many other bloggers whose work I also admire, like Rachel and Leah. And I was reunited with my very first blog friend, Whitney! I learned a ton from the BHG experts, including a great demonstration in how to be totally charming from Eddie Ross himself. (The girls and I decided that we want to have a dinner party with Eddie every weekend for the rest of our lives.)

When I hit up Alt Summit last January, I was really shy about introducing myself to people. But after that conference and during this workshop, I discovered that the way to make the most of these events — and the way to build great and lasting friendships — is simply by being willing to say hello first. A smile helps. Genuine interest in the people around you is even better.

So this week, whether you find yourself in line at the grocery store or at a professional networking event, think about saying hello to the person next to you. It’s a tiny gesture; it doesn’t take much energy. But it could make your life a heck of a lot richer.

P.S. I didn’t have a minute to spare in New York because I had to get home for some long standing commitments. So if I missed seeing you this time, please know that I’ll do my very best to see you the next time I’m in the city.

P.P.S. The team at Better Homes and Gardens is awesome! Thank you so much to Kaelin and her team for putting together a stupendous day. I’m excited to collaborate!


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