Thursday, September 2, 2010

A slice of...New York City!

for my new blog feature

Hi everyone! On Thursdays for the next couple of months, I'm going to be including a new feature here on Sometimes Sweet. I've asked a large handful of both my blogging buddies and real life friends to give us a little tour of the city or town they live in, from their point of view, and share with us some of their must-go or must-see places. I have a really wide variety of towns and cities (and amazing ladies!) to feature, and I'm really excited to unveil this. I hope you all enjoy it!

I thought I'd start with one of my dear friends Emily (visit her blog here) who resides in Brooklyn, NY. I was lucky enough to visit her twice last summer and she and her fiance Jesse were amazing hosts, taking me to delicious restaurants and fun spots all around the city (click here to read that post). I'm super excited to share her "Slice of New York City," and I think that whether you've dreamed of visiting the Big Apple or have been there before, you may find a new restaurant to try or fun idea to add to your "must do/see/eat" list when traveling to this area of America. So, without further ado, here is New York City, through Emily's eyes!

my heart!
Emily and me, in NYC (at Taco Chulo, a restaurant mentioned below)

I can't say enough great things about New York.

Jesse and I moved to Brooklyn 4 years ago, and to date it is the best decision we have ever made. Since moving here we have taken up weekend "staycations" where we explore various parts of our state by either walking around various neighborhoods discovering new coffee shops, galleries, secret gardens, independently owned shops or we plan a beach trip to one of the many beaches in the area. So, when Dani asked me to write about my favorite spots I got REALLY excited! Although some of my favorite spots are not absolute locations and more qualities, they are parts of New York that I truly treasure. I do not take this place for granted.

1. Central Park & Secret Gardens

Although Central Park can be a headache due to the amount of people that fill the area each day, I absolutely love it. It is a solid 6 mile loop of beautiful landscape that makes for a great quick run, a perfect place to lay on a blanket and read, or to mosey around with a dear friend. It is smack-dab in the center of Manhattan and the moment you enter the park the chaos from the city settles and you are brought in a complete state of relaxation. If you have a chance to come to the park make sure you check out the 'turtle pond', there are hundreds of little red ear sliders poking their heads above water while moving their little arms around-- it is incredible!
There are gardens throughout all the boroughs that are 100% community run and general in the strangest areas. You will find yourself walking out of brunch and pass a skyline building only to find a teeny-tiny community garden down what you would think to be an alley. There are usually sign-up forms to come in and donate your time and love and it's a great place to meet locals or to take a break from noise and hectic feel of the streets. I recommend the garden on 6th street near Ave B; it's small, quiet, and the guy who owns the land is usually there day in and day out taking care of his plants.

2. Food

I recently came back from a vacation where my fiance and I based our trip on what kind of food we wanted to eat so it's not a surprise that food makes the list. I am a gluten-free, VERY health conscious vegan who has limited time in the kitchen with a full time job in fashion, part time job in fitness and a full time school schedule. So, quickly and healthy food is very important to me and New York DELIVERS. Literally!
A few of my favorite restaurants are:

A. Souen: Not only is it macrobiotic, but it is organic and they have gluten-free noodles and soy sauce.
(the 1st photo below is of the macro platter at Souen)

B. Candle 79: Basically a vegan's dream. This 5 star restaurant offers all organic fare by top vegan chefs with the BEST service possible.

C. Viva Herbal: Organic, vegan pizza that is HEALTHY! They have a green slice made on spelt with broccoli, spinach, cucumbers, pesto and vegan cheese (if you want it) all for $5.00. It doesn't get better!

D. Babycakes & Lulas: BC is becoming more and more famous and with a recent cook book release people all over the US get to try their gluten-free, sugar-free cupcakes and treats! Lulu's makes their vegan ice creams on the premise each day with an almond base and they are the tastiest cones I have ever had! This location is conveniently located close to the garden I mentioned on 6th st. making it a great place to enjoy your treat.

E. Taco Chulo: Good grief this place rules. It is a mexican restaurant in Williamsburg that offers healthy, delicious mexican food and a margarita menu that goes on for days.

3. Bridges

Growing up in Utah and Arizona I was never near water, therefore no need for a bridge. Now that I am living in New York I have the pleasure of taking the train every morning and I've never made the trek without looking out the window to admire the way the city glows and prep myself for the day. The bridges are also one of my favorite things to run--When I make it halfway over any bridge going into Manhattan (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Williamsburg) my stomach fills with butterflies at the site of the city. You can feel the excitement in the streets and it feels like a fairy tale knowing that this is MY home.

4. Museums

Talk about lucky. We get all the best exhibits and usually have the chance to see them first and usually you can go to the museums for free thanks to various sponsors. When I toured for a living and had off a few weeks between tours I would spend them in museums in the city; my very favorite- The Natural History Museum! I call this museum my sanctuary because the moment I walk in my blood pressure drops and I feel completely at peace. If you have an opportunity to go, you MUST check out the 'Totem Pole" area; you can smell the age in the wood and the history (and creepiness) in the tribal masks.

5. Beaches

One of my favorite ways to spend my weekend is at the beach with a good group of friends. The famous Coney Island is only about 45 minutes away (by train) and always grantees a great time. Although there is a project taking place to improve the "park" you still get the old time feel through the historic rides, freak shows, and old boardwalk. This beach also brings forth the most interesting mesh of people in 1 location you will ever see.

Although this reaches my 5 favorite "things/spots" I could honestly go on for days. Not only do I love these places/things about New York, but I love the overall vibe. As everyone knows, it is NOT cheap to live in New York (cheap rent is 1600 for a 1 bedroom) so to live here you MUST be motivated and you can feel this in the air. Everyone I know here is constantly working to better themselves and have their hands in a million pots at 1 time. I am no different from this group and hope I never lose my drive to continually be learning and doing more. If you haven't been to New York, you MUST come and visit. It is like no other city and you will never run out of things to do.

*the "Slice of..." pie photo at the top of this post was taken from weheartit. I am unsure of the original source, so if you know who took it/where it comes from please please let me know so I can give proper credit! Thanks so much. :)


  1. I love to visit NYC but I don't think I could ever actually live there. I like smaller, calmer towns. Big cities tend to intimidate me!

    Can't wait to see more of this feature. :)

  2. I miss New York :) I went a few years ago and fell in love. I want to bring my boyfriend there someday and show him what I love so much.

    Love and Turtledoves,

  3. eeeeeeeeeeee the fella and i are planning a new york weekend for our anniversary in october! thanks for the tour and the vegan restaurants! yay yay yay!

  4. although I've never been family LOVES NY! I love this feature, thanks again for including me.

  5. emily (if you read this), you are amazing. great post girl! i hope i get to come up and visit you guys someday! <3

  6. What a fun new feature! I'm already looking forward to next Thursday! :)

  7. Love it!

    I've lived in Astoria for 6 years and I have been to and love every restaurant you mentioned, except for Taco Chulo. Now I have a new place to try!

    Oh, and here's a funny little tidbit. I've seen Russell Simmons in Cafe Viva and Lula's, and actually talked to him in Lula's. Haha!

    Have you been to Curly's? It's my and my husband's favorite place - we go all the time.


  8. That is awesome! i love this feature and I can't wait to see more. I love traveling and I love to get ideas of different places to travel to.
    My hubs and I have never been to NYC but it is on our list to visit sometime! Thank you for posting!

    Take care pretty mama!

  9. I really, really love this new feature. Traveling is one of my passions. This is so wonderful!

  10. Love, this new series! Cannot wait to read more.

  11. Looove this edition; and especially that she still gets butterflies about living there, after four years. Going to NY is one of my biggest dreams and I hope with all my heart that it lives up to all the hype when I finally make it there!

  12. This is such an awesome feature and something I've been thinking about doing on my own blog... although I don't have that many friends in other locations. Guess I am going to have to go traveling! Love your blog and I can't wait to see more. (Also, it was nice to see you stand up for your friend the other day. Good for you!)

  13. What a great idea! Can't wait to see who you have next week :D

  14. lulas totally rules!!!! i went there for the first time last night and it was cute and tasty! score!

  15. Pretty sure the pie picture is from Wanderlust :) Her button is on my blog!

  16. LOVE the new feature Danielle <3 This will be an amazing reference when traveling to new places! Thank you :)

  17. Yay. Cool feature. If you ever want an Aussie, let me know. I would love to show you a slice of my beautiful home town and surrounds!

  18. LOVE this post. I love NYC. I try to get up there 3x a year... one reason I could NEVER move from where I am, a) close to the jersey shore and b) less than 2 hours from NYC. :)

  19. I really enjoyed this post and look forward to this new feature!
    I have yet to visit day...

  20. I love your blog! I spent some time reading through past entries and was entertained and interested by each entry that I read. I just wanted to let you know that I added you to my blog roll at Life As A Peach! Great blogging!

  21. Thanks for having me, dani :) Love you!

  22. Though I consider myself more of a 'small town girl'- or at least not a 'HUGE city girl'- I desperately hope to make a trip to NYC one day. The diverse cultural scence there is so appealing to me, and I appreciate how this post highlighted a lot of that.

    Shoot, I'd make a trip to the big apple simply to try a slice of that vegan pizza. It sounds SO good. Mmmm.

  23. Love the new blog feature! I hope we'll see a slice of Prescott soon, too! :)

  24. So nice seeing pics from NY. My hubster is there right now for a New Model Army concert and I am JEALOUS!
    I wish I was American so I can live in NY!!!!!!!
    Instead I'm stuck in the Canadian version(well, we wish it were! LOL)

  25. This is by far the best timing for this article! My boyfriend and I are vegans and going to New York for the first time at the end of the month and I'm so happy to have vegan restaurant recommendations by a local! Thank you - I can't wait!

  26. I really like Emily's blog so it was lovely to see her featured here too! :)

    Can't wait to read about other people's cities! x

  27. Love Emily's blog and LOVE this new feature! xo

  28. What a great new feature! I cannot wait to visit NYC.

  29. I'm so impressed with this post! I've been to New York a few times and when I go back next I'm definitely going to be hitting up a few of the restaurants mentioned!
    Thanks for sharing :)