Category Archives: NYC & Boroughs

Last minute NYC weekend on a budget

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This post is sponsored by OneMain Financial.

As a native New Yorker one of the things I pride myself on the most is in being able to bypass all the expensive, shining things that draw visitors to the city, but also put a burden on their budget.

So when OneMain Financial, as part of their Customer Appreciation Days, challenged me to take on two days and one night in New York City with only $200 in my pocket – including a hotel stay – I jumped at the opportunity, and ended with $20 still in my pocket, smack in the middle of holiday season too!

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Bröd Kitchen: A hint of Nordic flavors in the Village

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I enjoy the hip, creative vibe of the Village in New York City. Not only is NYU located there, but this is the home to tons of artist and performance venues that I have enjoyed over the years, such as the Village Vanguard, the Village Underground, and the Blue Note Jazz Club, as well as galleries and varies pop-up exhibits that happen throughout the year. I love the independent films shown at the IFC Center and the Angelika Theatre. It is home to historic The Jane Hotel, a true gem of New York City history.

There are many places to eat and drink, worthy of continual exploration as it is an ever-changing landscape.

My newest discovery was more than I expected, a pleasant surprise that extends beyond a nice cup of organic coffee and pastries.

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Cali-Style Mexican Food with A New York Flavor

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I don’t consider myself a foodie. I can’t pinpoint specific ingredients or flavors and my taste isn’t too adventurous. Not to mention that I am no stranger to the occasional bowl of cereal for dinner. But when it comes to Mexican food I’m all in. Quesadillas, burritos, tacos… those are essential food groups in my book. So when I stumbled upon La Gringa Taqueria in New York’s West Village neighborhood I knew I was home.

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Embracing Slow Travel

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During my Thanksgiving holiday break, where I enjoyed the company of visiting family, I was reminded of the beauty of slow travel.

Slow travel has been defined by many as the option to choose stays, such as vacation home rentals as opposed to hotels, to connect with locals and have more of a cultural experience where ever you may be.

An example of this would be how my family and I chose to travel through France a couple of summers ago.

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Howl at The Moon in NYC: A Night to Remember

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On any given weeknight after work you can find me unwinding at home, eating dinner from my favorite Mexican food truck and cuddling up in front of a good movie (or two) with my pups. Pajamas on, Netflix streaming. It’s my very own sanctuary from the craziness that can come from living in New York City. But every once in a while, when the timing is just right, I’ve been known to dress up, put on a little makeup and go out on the town with my favorite girls. Last Thursday happened to be one of those nights.

When Carol first told me about the opening night of Howl At The Moon I was not sure what to expect. Midtown Manhattan isn’t necessarily known for it’s nightlife but I was curious enough to accept the offer. From my initial Google search I learned that the venue is “Part bar. Part concert. All fun.” Count me in.

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Eating thru Hells Kitchen with Manhattan Walking Tour

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Where did Hell’s Kitchen get its name? How did the neighborhood develop? What are the best places to eat?

Now, you can Google the answers to these questions but there is nothing like a history lesson, minced with some urban legends and a side of good eats to really make the exploration of Hell’s Kitchen a fun time.

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Behind the photo: City of Music

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I was on a walking tour when we came upon the Bethesda Terrace.

I love this area of Central Park because it is where most artists congregate. As a former singer, I can appreciate the perfection of the acoustics of the lower passageway, so often sought out by singers and musicians who have been retained by the city to play there.

The beautiful ceilings carved to depict wildlife and seasonal motifs, give off a golden glow on the sunniest of days and beautiful shadows in movement on days that might not be so bright.

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Be a Tourist and Take a Tour

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We are coming to the end of the fall foliage season in New York City. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around there will be only a few leaves left hanging, much of which will fall at the slightest gust of winter wind.

I shared a lot a fall photos last year of Central Park, my favorite place to take the colors in, but thought I would share some more with a few tidbits I learned during a complimentary (for all!) walking tour hosted by the New York City boutique hotel chain, Triumph Hotels, and led by Andrew of Streetwise NYC.

I always recommend that you, dear readers, take tours when you travel and around your home town, because you will walk away with insight you didn’t have before. I learned something new almost every time I go on a tour and see my city, and others I visit, in a totally new way every time.

What things did I learn on this tour?

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New York City Eateries with Sabor and Soul

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If you do a Google search for brunch in New York City, you are bound to come across the growing complaints from long time city residents about how  it has become an all-day drinking fest, a form of binging sport lacking anything that resembles the leisurely Sunday gatherings with friends and family so many of us have known and loved.

But there are still places in New York that welcome that sense of community, places that seek to become that favorite spot you take your best friend to and look forward to visiting every weekend. Not so much for the trendiness, as much as for the good food and friendly ambiance.

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From Parade to Hot Chocolate: Fall Fun in New York City

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It’s a busy time of the year already here at the Cains. We have one big family trip still up our sleeves this year and I have a few solo trips on my own before hanging my wings, as I do every year, to celebrate the holidays at home with my family.

My kids are all about Halloween and yes, even talking about the Thanksgiving menu already. I know people are finalizing their visits to New York City right about now too, which always gets me excited because it truly is the best time to visit!

I wanted to get a little list of favorites in New York around Thanksgiving to help plan your trip.

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