Travel: Less than 72 Hours in NYC

I’m very lucky to have friends and family that live in the Big Apple! When I visit, it’s a whirlwind tour of everything that I need to eat and drink, all while catching up with some awesome people.

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Here’s a few of the cool places I got to check out on my most recent visit over the 4th of July weekend!

But First, Coffee

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Fika Coffee, Multiple Locations
I love love love coffee, and in the summer in NYC you need some good iced coffee to get your day started.  Fika has a simple coffee menu without too many fancy drinks, but definitely does regular cold and hot brews right.  Their lattes are also on point.  If you’re fueling a full day of touring I recommend their “power bars” which are really like candy bars, but hey with 16 grams of protein that’s nothing to snuff at in regards to getting your energy boost!  Totally a vay cay treat and not to be had on the reg unless you’re super active and burn calories like crazy.

Where to Roll

Travel - North and Red - New York - Burger and Lobster

Burger and Lobster, 39 W 19th Street, Flat Iron District NYC
One of the first things I need to eat when I touch down on the East Coast is a Lobster Roll.  One of my newest finds was Burger and Lobster, because it’s an AMAZING deal.  20 bucks gets you a roll, fries and salad. Just the roll alone can run you 15-30 bucks in NY or anywhere, so for this to include two sides with a hearty portion of seafood, I say “yesssss please.”

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Travel - North and Red - New York - Toro

Toro, 85 10th Ave, Meatpacking District NYC
This was one of the best new places I tried!  Toro is a tapas restaurant in the meat packing district that has a fantastic atmosphere, great people watching, and delicious food.  Slightly upscale, but still approachable and casual, this is a great place to go with a small to mid-sized group of friends for a great meal.   Notable dishes were the Pimientos Del Padron, Datiles Con Jamon, Jamon Serrano, Maiz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotilja, Pulpo, and Empanada De Pollo Y Patatas.

Fancy Drinks

Bathtub Gin, 132 9th Ave, Chelsea NYC
Looking for great cocktails that no one can find?  This place is an homage to prohibition era, and is located literally behind a coffee shop storefront.  Look for a coffee shop from the street, then walk on through to find this hidden gem.  Their cocktails are mostly gin-based, but have a full menu with a variety of classic and new mixology-based cocktails to satisfy anyone’s whim.  Notable cocktails: Shirley’s Temple and Blonde Ambition.

Quintessential Brunch Goals

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Penelope Cafe, 159 Lexington Ave, Midtown East – Kips Bay NYC
No trip to NYC is complete without #brunchgoals.  Penelope has been a favorite of mine, and a mainstay for locals since 2003. This comfy spot is good for hangovers or to enjoy a great brunch bevvy.  The queue can be long especially on weekends, so feel free to put your name in and go grab a quick coffee and check out the neighborhood.  If you’re venturing on a weekday here, breakfast, and dinner offer great options.  It’s very “chick” friendly during the dinner hour, so think SATC #squadgoals. Also, I highly recommend a slice of red velvet cake no matter what time of day.   Notable brunch items: Salmon wrapped poached eggs and Nutella French Toast.

Seafood with a View

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Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn NYC
#PatioTimes for daaaays here at BK Crab.  This place is great for everything outdoors and is apparently great in the winter too.  Grab yourself some fresh oysters, fried seafood, or a seafood pot… whatever you get it’s ALL good.  In addition to some seriously fresh seafood fare, they have entertainment and views that make you feel like you’re not even in NY.  But then you take a look around and realize, this is definitely Brooklyn with the cast of characters surrounding you.  Worth the trek from the mainland.
Pro tip: Take the FREE Ikea Boat from Pier 11.  Notable dishes: Blue Crab Roll, Seasonal Oysters, and the BK Steampot for 1.

Patio Times

Travel - North and Red - New York - Lavendar Lake

Lavender Lake, 383 Carroll Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn NYC
So, I have to admit I was super disappointed with my visit to Lavender Lake, because they offer alcoholic slushies on Fridays and Saturdays and I went on a Sunday (insert sad face emoji).  So, despite not getting the draaaaanks that I wanted, the atmosphere and patio at Lavender Lake is totally worth checking out.  Next time I will be in for some fancy drinks and food!  But for now, their atmosphere won me over.

Tiki with a Twist

Zombie Hut, 273 Smith Street, Gowanus – Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn NYC
Looking for strong frozen drink with some flare?  Zombie Hut has got an array of fruity strong cocktails to satisfy a hot summer night on the patio.  It’s also super cool and fun inside, so I am torn whether I say go for their patio or go for some inside times.  Regardless what you choose, there’s board bames, fun drinks and a great atmosphere inside and out.  Notable Drink: The Frozen Zombie.

Neighborhood Vibes

Travel - North and Red - New York - Bar Tabac

Bar Tabac, 128 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn NYC
If ever there were a “feeling” that you’re in Brooklyn this place is it. The candle lit, euro influenced dishes and random artisty types that hang out here make you feel right at home.  Whether you’re settling in for a chill date or throwin’ back some wine with friends this is a neighborhood joint that anyone can enjoy.  Comfort food galore and live music 4 nights a week makes me wish I lived around the corner.  Notable dishes: Burger Bar Tabac and Couscous Merguez.

Where all the Cool Kids Hang

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Gansavoort Park Avenue Hotel, 420 S Park Ave, Midtown East – Flat Iron District NYC
I was fancy during my visit this time and got the opportunity to stay at the Gansavoort Park Ave.  I recommend this place because it was a luxurious hotel without being stuffy.  It’s also a great neighborhood location that is convenient to getting to lots of tourist areas, without being in tourist central.  The bi-level rooftop during the day was a fantastic place to sun bathe, hit the pool and grab a delish snack like their guac with plantain chips.  Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, hitting their rooftop bar, The Drift for some cocktails and views is definitely a great idea if you’re in the area.  If you’re up for some cluuuub times see about hitting the VIP Red Room for some DJ, dancing and a scene.

And Hey, it’s Okay to Be a Tourist

Travel - North and Red - New York - Eataly

Eataly, 200 5th Ave,Flat Iron District NYC
I love going to off the beaten path places, but it’s a-okay to enjoy places that are touristy central, including Eataly.  Eataly is a unique market place chef-driven and totally amazing, so don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t help indulging in their artisanal market shopping, delightful desserts or going carbie barbie and sitting down to a hearty pasta or pizza dish.  No judgments over here, because Eataly is the best!

Always looking forward to more NYC finds next time I visit!  Comment below with your favorite places to eat, drink and parte!  Would love to check them out soon!

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Garfield Park Conservatory

Happy April!  In Chicago, our weather is unpredictable and it’s not quite “April Showers bring May flowers.”  So if you’re visiting Chicago or tired of the Chicago winter weather my new favorite way to escape is the Garfield Park Conservatory!

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The conservatory has been there for over 100 years, I have lived in or around Chicago for over 30 and I can’t believe I just discovered this fantastic place!  What’s great is admission is always FREE so whether you’re looking to sit and meditate in the Desert Oasis House or take the whole family to enjoy the Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden.

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If you’re ready for Spring in Chicago like I am you should check out the Annual Spring Flower Show, Colorwise featuring Luftwerk’s conservatory-wide installation Solarise.  

2016 Spring Flower Show: Colorwise
Horticulture Hall at the Garfield Park Conservatory
Runs February 13th – May 8th during Conservatory Hours

The Garfield Park Conservatory is Located at 300 North Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624.  There’s parking available and it’s also accessible via the CTA Green Line (Conservatory/Central Park Station).

You can find another great article about the Garfield Park Conservatory and more Chicago finds from my fellow spotters and I at Spotted by Locals: Chicago Edition.

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Winter Beauty Update: Part 4, Treat Yo’ Self

Spring is less than a month away and we’re in the home stretch for winter to end.  The last installment of my Winter Beauty Update, is to treat yo’self!  In this post I’m sharing my favorite makeup products to perk up your look as the sun emerges and the weather warms up!

Treat Yo’ Self

Tinter Moisturizer

Laura Mercier: Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (1.7 fl. oz./$44 at LauraMercier.com)
This fantastic little makeup + moisturizer combo is fantastic to put over your regular moisturizer, or if you’re totally feelin’ like you’re skin is good to go, you can use it solo as a facial moisturizer.  The added bonus is that there’s a tint to give you an all over facial glow!  There are 44 shades to choose from so it’s easy to find one that will go with your skin tone. I’m so pale that I am “porcelain” aka the lightest one that they have!  But, my skin looks brighter and I look awake (and not sickly) with the addition of a little color.  It’s great for me because sometimes I am super low maintenance with my make up routine and I will just use this in lieu foundation.  It’s a great light weight formula to allow your skin to breath, but still get that all over coverage.

Face Powder

Bare Minerals: Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (.28 oz./$28.50 at www.bareescentuals.com)
This illuminating, light weight powder, has been in my makeup bag for over 10 years.  I have yet to find another powder that compliments my skin without covering me up.  I have very pale, freckled skin, so I want to even out my skin without glob-ing it on. Not only does it give me a flawless look, but the mineral formula is proven and I can attest to improving your skin without drying it out.

Benefit: Fake Up Hydrating Crease Control Concealer (.12 oz/$24 at Benefitcosmetics.com)
Concealer is a double edged sword, because usually you’re trying to conceal something you don’t want to see.  But, a lot of concealers are heavy and can flake or dry your skin.  Fake Up is intended as an under eye concealer, but I use it all lover my face:) Instead of dabbing a glob of tan liquid onto a red spot or under my eyes, this easily glides over what you’re concealing and the clear part around the color is a moisturizer, so as you blend it in, it’s actually adding hydration and not completely drying out your skin. This is the best to throw in your purse and be able to touch up in the afternoon if you’re starting to show some tired eye bags, or just touch up around your face to give you a little recharge.  It is literally a #magicstick of makeup.

Lip Gloss

Fresh SUGAR Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 (.15 oz/$24 at Sephora.com)
Part gloss, part lip stick, it’s called a “lip treatment”…I’m not really sure how to categorize it.  However, I love this stuff!  Lip glosses can sometimes be sticky, drying and not exactly well that glossy.  SUGAR is perfect to get that glossy smooth finish, while reaping the benefits of SPF and moisturizers.  I love the selection of colors there are and if you want you can go from coral to pink to no color at all.  You can also play around with how much you apply.  ie: Pictured above is the Ruby Red Color, but it doesn’t necessary look that dark unless you layer it on to be darker.  So if you’re a bit afraid of red lipstick, this is the perfect way to try it out!

Lip Pencil

Nars: Satin Lip Pencil (.07 oz/$25 at Nars.com)
For those that are less of the faint of heart when it comes to applying rouge to your lips, this is the product for you.  Bold, matte and lasting color.  They have 18 shades from nudes to bold reds, pinks and corals to transition with your dark winter wardrobe to your bright and beautiful spring classics.  I really love this for a going out look, because I’m not an everyday bold lip kind of girl.  But when I do, DAMN this stuff makes my lips go Heyyyyy without talking… which is saying something, because I am usually heard before seen at a party;)

Eye Shadow

Urban Decay: Naked Eye Shadow Palette ($29/$54 at UrbanDecay.com)
I don’t think I own one single color eye shadow. I love to work with a palette for a few reasons.  One, you’re going to have a better look if you layer and use contour shading to make your eyes pop.  And two, you’re definitely getting more bang for you buck when you have a selection of colors vs buying each individually.  That said, if you’re new to palettes or you’re looking for a good one the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette.  This neutrals based palette gives you everything you need to go from day to night. If you want to get fancy and more bold check out some of the others they offer.

Cream Eye Shadow

Laura Mercier: Caviar Stick Eye Colour (.05 oz/$28 at Sephora.com)
This creamy eye color in a stick is the perfect base, blender, or smokey eye creator!   I love using Rose Gold as a base because it’s matte, but shimmery.  Other colors like Khaki or Plum are great for creating a smokey eye or smooth contrast.  I absolutely love the precision you have because it’s a stick so you have complete control when creating your unique eye look.

Eye Liner

Stila: Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner (.01 oz./$22 at Stila.com)
I am not a steady hand kind of girl, so this smudge stick allows me fool proof lines for my eyes.  With 19 colors to choose from you can have a subtle funky eye with Shimmering Egg Plant, or you can be bold and even create an easy cat eye look with Jet Black. The best part, it’s waterproof, so it won’t budge and you look will last.

Mascara

Maybelline: Lash Stiletto, Waterproof Ultimate Length Mascara (.05 fl. oz./$7.82 at Drugstore.com)
The eyes are the window to the soul, and not everyone can afford extensions to help you win Bachelor Ben’s heart.  One of the cheapest buys in my makeup tool box is also one of the best!  Lash Stilletto extends, separates and perks up my lashes for any look, day or night.

Blush

Nars: Dual Intensity Blush (.21 oz/$45 at Nars.com)
Looking to perk up those cheeks for your instagram sefies, this dual intensity blush is the perfect combination to give you a subtle glow and amp up your look.  I love the various combos that Nars offers to create contour and definition for your cheeks.

Do you have any great makeup tips or fave products?  Hit me up at NorthandRed@gmail.com, on social media or by commenting!

And if you haven’t already, checked out the rest of my Winter Beauty Updates! Here’s the links: Part One, Treat Yo’FacePart Two, Treat Yo’Body; Part Three, Treat Yo’Hair.

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First Slice Pie Cafe + Lill Street Art Center

With Thanksgiving and the holidays just around the corner, I thought it only appropriate to share one of my favorite cafes that also serves up some delish pies!

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First Slice Pie Café is located in the heart of the Ravenswood community in the same building as the the Lillstreet Art Center. Being located at the art center makes it a truly a communal hang out for the neighborhood. You’ll find artists grabbing coffees and treats before going to their classes or working in the studio, or people like me who stop in for a coffee and lunch.  While you’re waiting for your delicious latte or sandwich, you can peruse the gallery shop where they feature local artists’ ceramics, jewelry and other items for sale.

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There are actually three locations, where you can access their full menu of pies and eats. I love their 70s salads, especially the curry chicken salad.  I know pies are what they are known for, but I’m also a big fan of their baked goods.  I’m a sucker for their flourless peanut butter cookie or kitchen sink cookie.   And you can forget the guilt on any treats you pick up here, because First Slice is all about giving back to the community and actually supports feeding the needy.

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Chicken Curry Salad – to go!

This post would not be complete without mentioning the sweetest part… the pie. Baked fresh daily, they offer a wide variety of sweet and savory pies from their infamous coffee toffee to Michigan sour cherry.  You can grab a slice and eat there, take it to go or order a pie ahead for your Thanksgiving or holiday parties!  I’m with the crowds and I dig the coffee toffee, because it’s like grown up french silk with the slight bitterness from the coffee that comes through.  I’m not a huge fruit pie person, but their apple made me a changed person.  Just do it, whether it’s their traditional or the streusel version depending on the availability it’s a delight!

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Check out one of their three locations for breakfast, lunch, dinner and those in between hours when you’re hankering for a treat!

First Slice Cafe at Lill Street: 4401 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago
First Slice Cafe at Ravenswood Manor: 4664 N Manor, Chicago
First Slice Cafe in Andersonville: 5357 N Ashland Ave, Chicago

If you’re in the market for a hostess gift or holiday gift idea they have lots of great stuff at the Lill Street gallery shop and also offer some cool holiday classes including how to make ornaments!  Check out their holiday open house coming up on December 14, 2015 here!

You can also find another article about First Slice written by me and more Chicago finds at Spotted by Locals: Chicago Edition.

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Music Monday: BØRNS

I am super excited to see that a rising star like BØRNS is keeping it real and playing at the Double Door this weekend.

I’m literally addicted to his debut album, Dopamine.  I listened to “10,000 Emerald Pools” on repeat hundreds of times before the whole album was released.  It’s got a beautiful melody, that transcends you with a bit of a psychedelic vibe and is totally a modern love song.

Speaking of love, his hit single “Electric Love” that he performed on Jimmy Fallon is as Taylor Swift says “an instant classic.”

BØRNS debut album is beautifully produced with help from Emile Haynie (who’s worked with Lana Del Ray) and Jeff Bhasker (who’s worked with Kanye West).  BØRNS better known as Garret Born writes genuinely and reflects on love and life as someone with more maturity than twenty three.

As we transition from indian summer to fall, this album can go with you on a walk in the park, at the office or a cozy evening at home with a glass of wine.

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Dabble + Curling Iron 101

A few months ago, I discovered a really cool platform called Dabble.  They offer classes in anything you want to master from brushing up on your spanish to cooking classes.  Don’t get me wrong, classes can be intimidating.  I am the WORST, because I assume everyone is judging me especially in fitness classes.  So, bringing a friend is always encouraged.

image credit: dabble
photo cred: dabble

My sister and I signed up for the Curling Iron 101 class offered at Goldplaited.  A bit of history for you…I have had super straight, super thin, but tons of it hair since birth.  With my super straight thick hair obstacle growing up, the only time you ever saw my hair curled was by a beauty professional at a salon or my mom for high school dances and special occasions.  As I have gotten older, tools and products for hair out there have evolved and can actually work wonders if you’re using the right stuff, which is why I’ve had any semblance of volume or curls in my adult life…. even if they do fall out sooner than I want over the course of an evening.  

photo cred: goldplaited
photo cred: goldplaited

Have you ever seen someone with luscious beach wavy hair and thought to yourself “oh that looks so natural and easy, I wish my hair could look like that.”  Everyone’s hair is different and even people with wavy or curly hair still lust for those gorgeous mermaid-y barbie locks that we’re forced to believe happens magically by using a product. And let’s face it, I don’t have 3 hours to get my hair lookin’ like Taylor Swift every day.

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At Goldplaited’s Dabble Class the owners and staff were there to demystify the secrets of curling your hair and not ending up looking like Shirley Temple.  It could have been the complimentary wine, but that room full of ladies had a bit more spring in their step, because they knew how to take control of their own hair curling destinies when they left. 

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For $25 you get a full understanding of what hot tool is best for your type of hair.  And it’s not a sales gimmick either, because if you want to bring your flattening iron or curling tools from home, they will actually physically show you how to use it on yourself, so that you can go home and get the same results.  I have never had so much fun doing my own hair, and had better results after I got home, too!  The team at Goldplaited is awesome and I recommend this class all the time to my lady friends looking to change up their hair routine.

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Looking to try something new? See if Dabble offers classes near you.  And if you’re local to Chicago check out Goldplaited for their awesome beauty services.

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