New Museum: Pixel Forest

If you haven’t been to the New Museum in New York to check out Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest yet, you have till January 15th before it closes!  Otherwise, here’s a glimpse of the exhibit at this museum on Bowery. I thought you might like to see some of the artist’s work just in case 🙂

Instagrammers and social media users have been posting photos of the exhibit since back in October. I didn’t have the time to go visit until last week. The New Museum is literally quite new. It’s small, but a few floors with a lot of interesting perspectives of art. The content is definitely not for children, as nudity in some of the displays is part of the work. Admission is $18 for adults, but psssttt… teachers with a DOE card get two tickets for free. : )

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Leaving It Up To The Chef – An Omakase Experience

When something is quite out of the ordinary like my experience at Sakanaya, it’s hard not to want to share. I’m incredibly thankful for my husband and two friends who took me out a couple of weeks ago for my birthday to my first omakase experience. Omakase in Japanese basically means “I’ll leave it up to you.”  That means from the moment you sit down to the moment you leave, every dish you eat is selected by the chef. I didn’t exactly know this, but immediately figured it out after our first dish arrived within two minutes of sitting.

Sakanaya officially had its grand opening last week (Congratulations!!) but we had the opportunity to reserve during its soft opening thanks to the recommendation of a fellow Yelp Elite friend. Although I don’t have anything to compare it to, I can say that the service goes beyond expectations. While we had to wait about 10 minutes for our seats, the waitress offered us seats to sit in, tea to drink, and apologized for the wait. Towards the end, well… you’ll see. They simply made my day with a never-before-seen-”cake”!  But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.  Here’s a run-through of our meal experience!

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The Rooftop at the Standard

And just like that, September is over and October begins. Is it me or time just speeds up as you get older?  In the blink of an eye, I am in my 9th year of teaching and first time teaching third grade. I love it and it is definitely keeping me busy.  Despite that, I’m always looking for opportunities to explore this city to share with you! For the first time ever two weeks ago, I went to the rooftop bar at the famous Standard Hotel. Yes, the one where Solange Knowles (Beyonce’s sister) supposedly attacked Jay-Z in the elevator. 

The Standard to me was always that mysterious hotel that was famous for its rooftop bar as well as the fact that since the High Line cuts through it, people are known to stand or pose naked by the windows so pedestrians can see. I always wondered what it was like to be inside. Well, here’s a peek at my experience!

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The Oculus and Westfield World Trade Center

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Just last Tuesday, the Oculus and Westfield Mall at World Trade Center had their official grand opening. It was exciting as I watched the area change gradually over the last couple of years! Some say the Oculus is almost like walking into heaven because everything is so bright and white. I’d definitely agree it’s quite beautiful (though many wonder whether the amount of money spent is worth $4 billion…)  I went a couple of times before and after the grand opening so I’ll tell you this – it looks very different today with completely bare space in the middle and no couches or seating areas as you may find in these photos below. The mall has many designer brand shops, but also some more popular places such as the Apple Store and Kate Spade. If you walk away from the Oculus and into the other side, you’ll find stores such as Under Armor, Banana Republic, and H&M. There aren’t too many food places nor children-friendly stores, but hopefully those will be built later on. Meanwhile, you can always go to Hudson Eats in Brookfield for food and seating, which is now connected under the World Trade Center.

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Catch ‘em All … Whilst New Yorkin’

Ah ha! So you know I love playing tour guide. I’ve been asked a bit lately about food and place recommendations – I love it! (and thank goodness for unlimited text messages.) : )   While I’m taking care of some things of my own, I’m going to keep this post short and sweet.  Last week I attended one of the park movie night showings at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We quickly grabbed something from Shake Shack and watched “Singing in the Rain,” one of my favorite classics. It was such a calm, soothing night on a blanket with my husband and co-workers. Who knew that in a bustling city, you can still have a completely quiet night at the park (you wouldn’t even notice the people around you as you’re watching the film or looking at the stars). Afterwards we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (crazy!) and discovered the obsessed phenomenon over Pokemon Go, where so many people were sitting on the bridge waiting to catch Pokemon. (Guilty: I downloaded the app…. -_- )  Then the next day I just laid in bed from exhaustion.  Yup. That all sounds about right.

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Point is, there’s so much to do in the city, so I thought I would share some of the sites that I use to get the latest information or fun things to do and events to go to. Even if you are busy catching Pokemon, why not do it in style and spend time with your friends and family rather than stand awkwardly in the middle of the street gleeing over the fact that you’ve finally caught Pikachu after countless hours searching!  

Got any other sites you use? Please do share! Just click that email button right on top and bloop, sends a message.  🙂  

www.skint.com 

www.downtownny.com 

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do

http://mommypoppins.com/ (if you have kids) 

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As always, thanks for reading! xoxo  

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A Photo Documentary of NYC

Before I start my summer featured spotlight series later this month, I wanted to share with you one of the people that inspires ME in this city – Eljay Aguillo.  I came across Eljay’s Instagram (@whyilovenewyorkcity) sometime last year and started following him because just like him, I’ve grown to love New York City like no other since I moved here years ago. You hear tons of amazing (and also scary) stories about living in the different boroughs from people you already know. Now imagine broadening that even more and reading about specific moments that New Yorkers have while matching a face to it. Eljay’s project is a photo documentary about love for New York City and it’s really wonderful to read. Each story is full of heart, humor, and magic.  A couple of months ago, I felt humbled as he asked me to share my story. I didn’t think it was too special, but after I wrote it with him, it made me even more appreciative of the city. We walked over to the Seaport area to take a few photographs and there, a new friendship blossomed right out of NYC. Be sure to check out his website because you might just be inspired if you haven’t found your story yet, but even better, follow his Instagram. I promise you’ll love it!

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Another Thing to Do in NYC

I can’t say how many people I know are addicted to sites such as Groupon.  I try not to go on it because it is so easy to be tempted to buy good deals that you probably don’t even need (Ahem, a “Swarovski” crystal bracelet for $18, a two for one pizza deal, mosquito bands… ::whistles::). But sometimes there really are good things to get, especially if it’s something fun you can do with good friends!

A couple of months ago, my friend Irene and I found a Groupon for The Paint Place, a place where you can learn how to paint a specific painting taught by an instructor. It can be hard to schedule because the “great” pictures are usually booked very quickly, but we made it just in the last few spots for a Central Park painting. I was quite excited because well, for one thing, I always have an awesome time with Irene, and second, my living room has been plain for many months now so one of my summer projects is to fill my walls with art work or photography.  Here was my first project about to be completed!

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Urban Buddy: Social Food & Drink

The school year is almost over!  That means more blogging, socializing, crafting, and cooking time (I hope!!) – I’m thrilled to finally get some down time as the school year felt a little longer than usual. Got some interviews & giveaways coming up in the next 2 months, so stay connected especially on my Instagram! 🙂

Recently, I became a part of Urban Buddy, a really awesome and useful app where “buddies” or locals such as myself connect with hotel guests to give advice and recommendations in and around the city. I’ve always loved playing tour guide or taking friends and family around New York, so it was a great opportunity when I discovered them. Download the app and give it a try – you’ll be amazed at all the knowledge locals have and advice they give! You’ll also get an answer to your question within seconds.

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One of the perks of being a buddy is having an opportunity to meet some other locals at get-togethers and food tastings. Our last one was at Yotel, at the large rooftop bar and deck of Social Food & Drink. Along with the huge indoor and outdoor space, comfortable seating, and a view of the skyscrapers around the area, they also have the Rooftop Cinena Club, where you can watch movies on the deck in the summertime. Still haven’t tried it yet, but would love to one day! 

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Big Bunny Invasion!

An exhibit or display can really be on anything nowadays. Remember the  unique art exhibit of cans at Brookfield last time in Tribeca? Well this time, there are giant bunnies until next Saturday. GIANT.  H U G E.  MONUMENTAL.

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The bunnies are part of a four-city national tour of Intrude, created by an Australian artist named Amanda Parer who often makes large creatures in different habitats. This time, she made rabbits sewn in white nylon, inflated and lit inside so it’s even more gorgeous at night. This display is actually part of a 1 year anniversary since Brookfield Place opened again after a long time of renovation and closings.  It’s a fun installation to check out with the kids (or just because it brings out that inner kid in you!) 

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Good Food for a Great Cause

Everyone loves good food, but when you know the mission and purpose behind the food, it makes it even better.

This past Saturday, a non-profit organization called The Promise Society held their second annual Bites, Brews, & Wine charity tasting (check out the photos from their first tasting that I attended here.)  It was incredibly successful. While all the guests enjoyed their unlimited samples of great food and drinks, all the money was going towards the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a non profit organization that helps underserved high school students prepare for opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry.  Two alumni chefs who are excellent role models of why this program is such a success, came to support the event, and it was surreal to see their stories come true.

Meet Luis Adorno (right), sous chef at KOI Restaurant and Lounge, and Chris (left). Chef Luis is a very young chef that hopes to open up a food truck one day. For this charity tasting, he created this salmon sashimi dish drizzled with truffle and yuzu. It was quite a big hit as that yuzu just brought out the freshness in the salmon!

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