The Grand Plaza Hotel Food Hall

Sadly, my camera broke and I am left with my old phone to take pictures for now. Hopefully, my pictures will still do justice!

Last Friday, summer vacation officially launched! I began my summer adventures with row boating in Central Park (for just $15!) and a visit to the Hotel Plaza Food Hall. This hotel has been a hot spot ever since it became famous from being featured in the movie, Home Alone 2, but surprisingly, not many know about the upscale tummy-filling, mouth-drooling hall down below.

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Greeting you as you enter the main hall are display cases of luxury souvenir items and Eloise dolls. As you head downstairs to the food hall, you’re greeted by high-end vendors that are so worth paying for just to try, whether you are interested in dessert, savory bites, or an entire meal. Try a sample of detox green tea at Kusmi Tea, grab a slice of the green tea mille crepe at Lady M, or select some chocolates for a special someone from La Maison du Chocolat. You may want to stop by the ATM first. 🙂 

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Bring your craftiness on!

Friday was the annual Etsy Craft Party in Dumbo, Brooklyn under the Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza. The event was from 5-8:30 but arriving at 4:40 was an advantage in taking photographs and getting started on the craft of the night:  embroidering vintage images. The Etsy staff was incredibly friendly, welcoming me in as one of the first guests and teaching me how to use the needles to stitch. Here are some photos from my quick 45 minute stop-by!

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After only sitting for 10 minutes, the seats quickly filled from babies to children to gatherings of friends and couples.

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The hunt is over!

Happy Easter, everyone! Gatherings of families and friends seem to be all out this weekend whether egg hunting, attending church services, or enjoying brunch and dinner together. My husband and I really enjoyed listening to Pastor Adam Burt at Every Nation today.  Afterwards, we, like every other New Yorker who braved through this brutal winter, walked avenues and avenues to take in some sun while it’s nice out.

Though Easter bunnies and eggs have nothing to do with the real meaning of Easter, it’s hard not to use this beautiful week to celebrate the talent shown through The Big Egg Hunt of NYC. If you’re out and about, why not visit Rockefeller Center to see all 260+ eggs designed by artists all over New York City? It’s quite a sight to see, but be prepared for crowds and lots of people getting in your pictures! The eggs will be there until April 25th when they already have been auctioned to bidders on April 22nd.

To save you lovely readers from scrolling endlessly, I put a majority of the eggs I hunted in a collage form.  All were taken with the iPhone, so no special photography here!

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One of my goals this year is to know Central Park like the back of my hand and surely, I am getting close!  This park is simply incredible with its variety of habitats, animals, plants, and recreational activities. Here are two photos I captured during my visit with the kids to Central Park 103rd Street.

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And tonight, while visiting a friend living on a penthouse on Water Street, I had the breathtaking view of Manhattan and Brooklyn so I took the chance for a photo op.  Repeating what my caption on Instagram said…. NYC is endlessly inspiring!

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It’s a big egg hunt in NYC!

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It seemed silly for adults to go on an Easter egg hunt until this classy one started on April 1st in New York City. Up until April 25th, you can hunt for giant Easter eggs around the city! There are 260 egg sculptures decorated by a variety of artists and if you download the The Big Egg Hunt NYC app and collect eggs, you can win a Fabergé jewel encrusted egg pendant.  Besides the fun of being on a scavenger hunt, the beauty also comes from after the 25th when the eggs are auctioned for over $500 each.  Proceeds go to Studio In A School and the Elephant Family.

My friend over at Doobybrain (www.doobybrain.com) has already found quite a few!  Are you ready?  Get set…. hunt!

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Chinese New Year Festivities

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It has officially been 1 week since the first day of the Chinese New Year. Chinatown, NYC has exploded with festivities during the first weekend! Lion Dancers and Chinese unicorns roamed the streets while visitors and celebrators took the day off and enjoyed the company of friends and family. Many also used this great opportunity to purchase and shoot confetti all over the streets before sanitation cleaned up at dusk.  I didn’t quite appreciate all this “craziness” until recently, when I realized how incredible the culture really is and how important it is to keep tradition for our future generations!

If you’re interested in seeing the last celebration of the New Year festivities, come out to Chinatown this Saturday!  Streets are blocked and Lion Dance groups and organizations come out to bless the stores with good luck and scare away the bad. I highly suggest public transportation because there will be no parking!

Here’s a few photos taken during the first weekend.

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Click!

This past weekend, I attended an open house at the 92nd Street YMCA. I have always heard wonderful things about the place from a colleague, but it was beyond what I expected. They offered free classes from photography, watercolor, oil painting, and jewelry-design to hula dancing for 2 hours, so I took the 2 hour photography session and brought my husband’s SLR camera.  If I could, I would have stayed from opening to closing…

A special thanks to Jim Beecher. He made it extremely clear what all the camera functions do and provided many scenarios of when you would use those functions! His website also includes everything you need to know from knowing how to use fill flash to using the focal lens for different purposes. I couldn’t wait to try everything I learned, so I took a walk to Central Park!

My first attempt was at the Reservoir – I played with the exposure compensation in these first 3 pictures.

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