Category Archives: new york

Fun Forecast: New Finds in 4 Great US Cities

Over the course of four weeks this spring I traveled to 3 out of 4 of the United States’ biggest cities and was lucky enough to uncover some great new finds in four US cities. From tours, to shopping, to galleries to where to see and be seen, check out if any of these ideas tickle your fancy too.

New York City

still house whiskey

Small batch distillers in NYC have become ALL the rage so much so that you can find self-guided and somewhat more official distillery tours offered there now. While I have not officially tried the Brooklyn Booze Trail (self-guided tour showcasing the borough’s new generation of spirits, from whiskey and rum to grappa and hibiscus liqueur) or New York Craft Cocktail Tour, I have sampled some of these small batch distillers’ products. My favorites were The Noble Experiment, a small batch rum distiller and Van Brunt Stillhouse, makers of rum, whiskey and grappa. I only sampled their American whiskey and while I would not say I’m a whiskey connoisseur, I found Van Brunt Stillhouse’s whiskey delicious. One or both of these tours are on my radar for a future visit 100%.

Los Angeles

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Abbot Kinney Blvd. located in the Venice Beach neighborhood of LA is a cool street full of fun boutiques, galleries, restaurants and amazing architecture. One of my notable favorites is Beach House Brand – a boutique meant to inspire wanderlust – carrying personally curated items to bring you an “Endless Summer” travel experience of your dreams. I found beautiful dresses, never before seen bikini brands and all kinds of awesome travel accessories. Burro was my other absolute do-not-miss. They carry an eclectic, thoughtful selection of items from all over the world – from stationery, jewelry and home decor to modern toys for kids. Burro says that while their shops are a destination location for tourists they remain the local “go to” favorite. I found some of the best greeting cards ever there as well as a very entertaining selection of gift items.

Miami

peter tunney

Peter Tunney Experience is a gallery located in the Wynwood Walls area of Miami. Peter’s work helps us redefine our way of interacting with and understanding the world around us. Using optimistic headlines such as “BELIEVE”, “GRATTITUDE” and “CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE EVERYTHING”, Tunney is counter attacking the media’s constant relay of stories of death, destruction, hysteria and greed. It is a refreshing way to think positively and not think or live in fear. The Wynwood Walls area is an international destination within itself, giving Miami a place to gravitate to and explore and serving as tribute to graffiti and street art, which has been somewhat under appreciated and not always respected historically. Both of these things are an absolute, take the time out, must-see.

Chicago

soho house chicago

Opened a little less than a year, Soho House Chicago is a private club with some public spaces such as their ground floor restaurants and bar. Soho House was founded in 1995, in London, as a private members’ club for those in film, media and creative industries BUT you don’t have to be a member to enjoy a drink at Fox Bar or a slice at Pizza East. The Allis is a spot within Soho House Chicago for a coffee, quick bite or cocktail. Also, let’s not forget Chicken Shop where you can enjoy free range chicken from the spit. Now, if you are lucky enough to be a member or know one, I think the roof top deck is the place to see and be seen while viewing downtown Chicago’s skyline. Located in a historic former belt factory in the Fulton Market neighborhood, Soho House Chicago should be a must-do.

PS – all four of these US cities I’ve highlighted have a Soho House!

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Filed under chicago, los angeles, miami, new york, travel, USA

Airbnb Times Three

airbnb in NYC, LA and Bahamas

In April, I rented 3 Airbnb places in New York City, Los Angeles and Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I’ve tried other rental companies for some of my lodging during traveling but never Airbnb until then. I was very impressed to say the least. Their tagline, “Airbnb feel like home” is spot on. With rentals in over 190+ countries, you are sure to find something with Airbnb in many locations.

New York, New York

NYC loft with airbnb

At $200 a night, this bright airy loft apartment in the Garment District of NYC felt like a steal. I absolutely loved the simplicity of it all. I had a private bedroom with a shared bath but never even saw the other renter. Besides being clean and priced right, the location was key. Situated between Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, it was so easy to get everywhere from this Airbnb rental. OH and the host was amazing – always checking to make sure I had all I needed during my stay.

Los Angeles, California

venice beach pacific ocean

Located in Venice Beach, a block and a half from the ocean, my cozy bungalow Airbnb was awesome for a long weekend in Cali. I was sharing the rental with a friend and it was perfect for the two of us. There was plenty of room for us and all our stuff and we even had space to just hangout. Besides being well priced at $180 a night, the location couldn’t have been more ideal for us. If you want a great taste of the California surfer & skate scene Venice Beach is for you.

Eleuthera, Bahamas

cayo loco eleuthera airbnb

Hello LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!! Try renting a cottage RIGHT ON THE BEACH for $250 a night. This Airbnb was so darn cute. Very bright & islandy with everything you could need. The owners had plenty of fantastic information on hand about their tiny island, like what to see, do and where to eat. Who couldn’t love a private cottage within ear shot of the crashing waves to lull you to sleep every night?! NO ONE, that’s who. The pretty pink sand beach was virtually empty and I’ve never stepped foot on a softer beach in my life.

So Why Airbnb?

My overall take away is Airbnb is a super way to go for travel stays. Very affordable and most times your rental comes with invaluable insight from the owners about the destination. And, while the owners are always reachable for any questions, they really give you your own space and privacy – which is key to me! All 3 Airbnb’s locations were outstanding and, for me, that can make or break a quick getaway. If you have not tried Airbnb yet, get on board.

PS – My friend I was traveling with in LA had an incident with an Airbnb rental before I arrived. Apparently, the customer service with Airbnb is as top-notch as my rental experience. It’s great to know you are in good hands when renting private spaces while traveling. :)

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Filed under caribbean, los angeles, new york, travel

Why I Travel

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I have all kinds of reasons for traveling. Most of all is the overwhelming curiosity that lives inside me to know more about the INCREDIBLE world we live in. The more I travel, the more I want to travel. It is a real need of mine.

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Sometimes I travel for work. Sometimes I travel for vacation. And sometimes I travel to reconnect with those that mean the most. No matter why I travel it is ALWAYS a pleasure. I’ll be crisscrossing the country spending time in New York, LA and Miami in the upcoming weeks. Admittedly, these are all great cities but not really anything new for me. I don’t mind though. I’m going first and foremost to catch up with important people in my life. Sometimes you have to just stop and make the time to show you care to those who support and love you. While there will be a bit of “work” and, at the end, some vacation, the main purpose of these trips is to share the love back to my friends of the world.

  jetset extra & the world wanderer   a hell LOVE a town, the world wanderer, walks of new york   stay adventurous & the world wanderer

In New York there is a travel conference going on. No doubt, it will be good for learning and networking. But I’m not gonna lie, that  is not why I’m going. It’s because conferences bring together some of my favorite people who I love and admire. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to reconnect with great people and to make some new friends. Plus, with little agenda that leaves A LOT of room for ADVENTURE! And future adventures to be planned.

  smallcrazy   discovering your truth   jetset extra

In Los Angeles it’ll be much the same. One of my dearest friends in the world is flying through California and since I’m not sure when I will see her again this year I took this chance to see her now. Sometimes you realize that you have to make the investment in people who get you and are always there. It’ll be a BIG catch up with many awesome people but also an opportunity to do something a little different. We plan to do a small road trip to see a bit of the Cali coast. Stay tuned for some pretty pictures and new discoveries.

miami

From there it’ll be back to my love, Miami. There’s a conference to attend so a fantastic opportunity to learn and network. But it is also a locale that I can never get enough of…my HAPPY spot. I should just go on get a place there already!!

bahamas

And from there, well this is where the vacation comes in. I’m finally going to Eleuthera – the Bahamian island with PINK beaches!! And, seriously, while I call this vacation, you KNOW I’ll be sharing the prettiness of that place with you. Plus, write about what you should see and do if you ever go!

Why do you travel? Do you try to get the most out of your trips even when it’s for work? Would you criss-cross the country in a few weeks time to catch up with special people in your life?

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Filed under bahamas, los angeles, miami, new york, travel

Sexy and the City

I heart Sexy City Travel, do you? I return to all 3 of these cities again and again. I’d love to hear which cities are your Sexy Travel Spots. Here are my top three Sexy Cities.

Paris

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I love Paris. I always have. The people look as delicious as the food and wine! It’s a romantic city but it’s also a sexy city. There is top everything from see and be seen shops, hotels, restaurants and clubs. But, you don’t have to be in the know to get the sexy vibe there. You could just be sitting at a cafe watching the world go by eating French onion soup and drinking a little vin. The French language is sexy. The French women and men are sexy. The French ophthalmologist shops are sexy. French artists make sexy French art. Famous writers from around the world wrote about sexy times in Paris. It’s indisputable.

New York City

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Well, they did make a show about ‘sex’ in this city after all! New York is sexy for many of the same reasons as Paris. I wouldn’t say New York is romantic but it is a fast paced place where there’s always something exciting going on. Again, the people watching is incredible. It’s edgy and fun and that makes it sexy to me. It’s a bit of a rebellious city. Like the sexy rock star! You never know what or who you’re going to see when you step onto the streets of New York. This is one exciting and very alive city. You can feel its energy pulsing at any given hour practically anywhere.

Miami Beach

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Now this city, to me, is the most sexy of the three. It just feels more exotic. The chill international vibe. The swanky sporty cars and scantily clad people. Sex is literally in the air in Miami. That suntan oil summertime smell and lounge music drifting all around. I mean the sand and ocean tend to make you think of sexy things, am I right? Lots of sun-kissed skin. But even the dinners, drinks and dancing is sexier in Miami. That must be why I love it so much.

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Filed under miami, new york, paris, travel

#TakeWalks with @WalksofNewYork

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As I’ve written before, once upon a time, I was a Manhattanite, a New York City dweller. When I lived there, parts of Manhattan still were very undesirable. Like the Lower East Side. One the best Mexican restaurants was located there and you literally got dropped off in a cab and didn’t emerge back out of the restaurant until your taxi to your next destination had arrived. Today, things are different in many of these sketchy neighborhoods of the past. The Lower East Side is now a hotbed with cool places opening up all the time. So, when I had the opportunity to preview the Lower East Side tour with Walks of New York, I jumped on the chance. This was one neighborhood I knew very little about.

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With Walks of New York’s Lower East Side Stories walk, you can expect to learn how immigrants lived, worked, worshiped and celebrated for the last two centuries here in this important neighborhood. There are several historical sites here including landmark storefronts and synagogues. But there is really no better example than Eldridge Street Synagogue to show the historical significance of this neighborhood in shaping America.

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Opening its doors in 1887, Eldridge Street provided a place to worship and build a community for hundreds of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland. This was notable as it was the largest synagogue for Jews plus it represented the declaration that they could worship openly and freely. For 50 years the synagogue flourished until the Great Depression and in the end Eldridge Street declined into disrepair until it was rediscovered in the 1980’s. 20 years and 20 million dollars later, the majestic synagogue was returned to its glory. So much so, Eldridge Street Synagogue was named a National Historic Landmark and given the National Trust for Historic Preservation Award. It truly is a treasure and place not to miss. It made my day to have the opportunity to tour such a special place.

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OH YEAH, I also throughly enjoyed the foodie side of Walks of New York’s Lower East Side tour. Pitstops were made at Kossar’s Bialys, Matzo Factory, Knishery and Doughnut Plant to name a few. My favorite was Pickle Guys, where everything you can think of might be pickled. I LOVED the pickled okra best…MMMM. There really is so much to see and discover in this neighborhood and the 3 hour tour with Walks of New York was the perfect way to catch the best of the best.

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Another Walks of New York walk I was lucky enough to preview was the Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Even living in NYC for a few years, I’d only ever been to the MET for drinks on the rooftop or to see a special exhibit. SOOO this was another home run of a tour for Lola. I am not a big museum goer, 1) because I get overwhelmed and, 2) I’d rather be outside discovering than inside for hours looking at collections. However, with Walks of New York, the Met tour was a perfect bite-sized amount of information that takes you through some of the most important highlights and makes sense of it all connecting the collections from beginning to end. I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by an entire museum with important works…the Met Museum has the world’s most comprehensive collection of art! On this tour connections in art are made starting with ancient Egyptian temples to Greek & Roman works rounding out the tour with European masterpieces and American classics. AND all shared in a concise and entertaining way that you’ll never believe you spent 3 hours covering so much ground.

The Lower East Side Stories walk starts at $43 and Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art walk starts at $49. Check out their website for more information on these tours and others Walks of New York is offering. Whether you’re a first timer to NYC, dweller or repeat visitor, you can be sure that Walks of New York can show you things about NYC you didn’t know!

Walks of New York officially launches this month and is a brand extension of Walks of Italy, the well-known European tour experience that helps travelers avoid long lines and gain special access to popular sites.  Walks of New York will provide the same high-quality, small group insider tours that have won Walks of Italy praise from Fodor’sThe Daily TelegraphAFAR Magazine and USA Today.

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