places, the latest, Uncategorized

the biggest thing NYC ruined for me

I always loved grocery shopping. Even after working at the local supermarket in high school and in the summer when I came home from college, I was never wary of the shiny linoleum aisles and well-stocked shelves.

This is because grocery shopping in a pleasant suburb is completely unlike shopping in New York. Suburban supermarkets get those cool, limited edition products (like peppermint Chobani) while NYC vendors sell crap you forgot existed (remember Kudos bars?). And then there are the prices. $7.99 for a half-gallon of ice cream. $4.99 for a gallon of milk. $7 for a carton of strawberries. All of these things are usually around $3 at my hometown grocery store.

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At the store in my hometown, you can push a full-sized shopping cart down each wide aisle, taking your time to choose the right items. You can buy 12-pack cans of soda, 16-count packs of paper towels, and other heavy items, knowing you just have to wheel them out to your SUV and drive home, traffic-free. In New York, I can only buy what I can carry (unless I spring for an Uber).

But it gets worse…the crowds! I have never found NYC to be overwhelmingly crowded, except in midtown during the holidays. Trader Joe’s on a Saturday afternoon is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When I lived in Brooklyn, the TJ’s closest to me would sometimes have a line of people outside, waiting to go in. Inside the store, the line wraps through the aisles–you’re better off grabbing a basket, hopping in line, and shopping as you weave throughout the store. Whole Foods has an insane (but effective) color-coded system for sending shoppers to open registers, but there is almost ALWAYS a line.

People say that living in a city is worth it for its conveniences, but man, oh man, what I wouldn’t give for an afternoon at Market Basket.

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places, Uncategorized

no fail* travel tips

I’m not going to try to sell myself as a cool, hip globetrotter. You may or may not know that I spent a semester abroad my junior year and managed to visit 8 countries in ~5 months, and I’ve been to like 40 states in America (including Alaska and Hawaii, so THERE) thanks to my parents’ shared passion for domestic travel and national parks.

In my 22 years of traveling, I like to think I’ve picked up a few (almost) no fail tips and tricks for making every journey a success–whether you’re with your family or your drinking buddies.

1. For the love of God, don’t get on a tour bus.

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Ok, ok, that was a little dramatic. I’ve done my fair share of bus tours on family trips, and they definitely come with pros and cons. If you’re in a foreign country (where you don’t speak the language) for a limited amount of time, a tour bus could be a good option. You won’t have to spend time trying to understand the local public transit system, and if it’s a “hop on, hop off” kind of deal, it’s basically a free shuttle around the city. But OH MY GOD do not take one in New York. I don’t understand why anyone would come to NYC, look at all the traffic, and decide to hop on a freaking bus. Take the subway, rent a bike, or take a city bus.

2. Go where the Anthropologie is.

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This is a rule of thumb I have for finding cute shopping neighborhoods in large cities. And it doesn’t have to be Anthropologie (if you’re in Amsterdam, try Dille & Kamille), but looking up boutique-y stores like this will usually land you in a trendy, non-commercialized shopping district. Just make sure it’s not far from the city center, because then you’ll probably end up at a mall. Not the worst thing, but you know.

3. STAY! TOGETHER!!

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This is especially important if you’re abroad and can only iMessage/WhatsApp over WiFi! Organize your schedule ahead of time so everyone gets to see what they want without getting separated. And if you must split up, agree on a very specific meeting place. Not “outside of the Louvre” but “in front of the rightmost table at the outdoor cafe on the right side of the third pyramid at the Louvre.” Got it?

4. Back it up.

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My phone is constantly out of storage. Literally twice a week, I’ll try to take a picture and my phone won’t let me. To avoid this problem when traveling, be thorough and back up your whole phone to your iCloud/laptop/hard drive/whatever before a big trip, and then delete the photos form your actual phone so it has room for all your selfies!

Happy trails!!

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places

who you should follow on instagram (besides me)

If you follow @nycismyboyfriend on Instagram, you might have noticed that I frequently repost photos from other users. I want to be able to post quality content on a frequent, regular basis, so it’s often easier to use someone else’s photo of a mimosa on Sunday morning than it is to shower, get dressed and actually go to brunch (nobody goes to brunch every week, FYI). Plus, I’m kind of busy and don’t always have time to run around taking scenic photos of NYC.

As I’ve been perusing Insta for great photos to have on hand for my posts, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of really amazing (and funny) accounts out there. Here are some of my all-time favorites.

If you have a serious case of wanderlust, follow @LucyLaucht.

Manarola glowing at dusk

A post shared by Lucy Rose Laucht (@lucylaucht) on

Her photos are seriously stunning, and I always have to stop myself from re-posting every image she shares.

If you love food, follow @Food52.

Their dreamy, minimalistic approach to food photos makes for beautiful photos guaranteed to make your mouth water. Food52 also reposts a lot, so it’s a great way to find other accounts to follow.

If you love bright colors, follow @ABeautifulMess.

🌵❤☀ @rclayton #ABMlovesmurals

A post shared by Elsie + Emma A Beautiful Mess (@abeautifulmess) on

ABM is also an amazing site that has tons of craft ideas and recipes, but their Insta feed is an always-welcome pop of color.

If you love NYC, follow @AlyssaInTheCity.

This Refinery29 writer posts great photos of everything from rosé to retro cars, and (of course) beautiful images of New York.

If you need a laugh, follow @GirlWithNoJob.

This is so true

A post shared by Claudia Oshry Soffer (@girlwithnojob) on

There are tons of accounts that share memes and funny text posts (@FuckJerry is also great), but this one is always on point.

 

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places, Uncategorized

death by apartment hunting

I think it was Carrie Bradshaw who said that everyone in New York is always looking for either a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment. Or something like that. You all know I’ve been looking for a boyfriend, but my most recent crisis is finding a new place to live. The lease is up on my Bronx college apartment next month, so I’m frantically searching for something that lives up to my (way too high) expectations. After four years of living with roommates, I was hoping to be able to find an affordable studio apartment so I could fly solo, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. How TF did Carrie do it?

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Most of my classmates are from the tri-state area, so they’re able to move back home and commute to NYC. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option–this is the only time I’ll ever regret not being from New Jersey. To make matters worse, many of the places I’ve found are only available for the rest of the summer, and since I need a July move-in date, I’m feeling pretty screwed. And what is with people having cats? I’m super allergic (plus terrified of litter boxes), and every other apartment listing on Craigslist says “must love cats.” If it’s not a cat, it’s a fourth floor walk-up. Or a $100 credit check. Or a 15% broker fee.

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Like, I’ve given up on having an exposed brick wall and a walk-in closet–but why is it so difficult to find a room big enough for my twin-sized bed and bureau without borrowing money from my parents? If you have any tips or need a roommate (I cook! I bake! I make great cocktails! I always have wine!) hit me up ASAP.

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pin-spiration, places, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: amsterdam

I will never get over this place. I’m literally tearing up as I picked these photos (no, I only had one glass of wine), and I am missing Amsterdam oh-so much these days. I can’t believe that next month it will be a whole year since I said farewell to this beautiful city. Before I left for study abroad, I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to Amsterdam-themed pins. But no amount of tulip photos or canal views could prepare me for the beautiful place I was about to spend a semester in.

I miss riding a bicycle everywhere, wandering through the floating bloemenmarkt, and taking full advantage of free museum admission. I was SO incredibly happy here, and I really found a home there. My parents came to visit, not expecting very much, and totally fell in love with Amsterdam. I’m telling you, this is a special place. Go to A’dam, and stay for more than a couple of days. Drink a Heineken at an outdoor cafe, eat as many sticky stroopwafels as you can, and soak up the incomparable beauty that is this magical place. I’ll be back ASAP.

all photos from Pinterest. 

Follow nyc is my boyfriend on instagram. 

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places, Uncategorized

the bronx is blooming

#OrchidDelirium is here! Living so close to the New York Botanical Gardens is amazing–the garden grounds are beautiful year round, and they have the most beautiful shows throughout the year. I finally got to the annual orchid show, and it did not disappoint. As a Fordham student, visiting NYBG is one of my favorite free things to do near campus, but special admission to the show will set you back a couple of bucks. Spend the day and get your money’s worth–then head over to Arthur Avenue for some phenomenal Italian food. (I recommend Mike’s Deli or Zero Otto Nove.) Your Instagram will thank you.

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places, Uncategorized

NYC snack spots

Food is amazing. Food in NYC is super amazing. Any time of day, you can find something delicious to eat in this city. Whether it’s traditional falafel at 4am or $1 pizza, I’ve tried eaten it all. Here are some of my favorite snacks in NYC and where to eat them!

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1. The PB Acai Bowl at Juice Generation.

This smoothie bowl is my favorite way to pretend to be healthy. They’re actually super simple to make at home (necessary since twelve bucks a pop makes these a rare treat), and are full of tasty things. Frozen acai, almond milk, and peanut butter are blended into a super thick smoothie that tastes almost like ice cream. It gets topped with strawberries, bananas, cacao, and granola. Oh, and a spoonful of more peanut butter.

Livin’ it up. #pbacai #leapyear

A post shared by Juice Generation (@juicegeneration) on

 

2. Green Falafel at Taim.

Honestly, this is the best falafel I’ve ever had in my life. It seems a little fancier at first, but I promise this is the traditional sandwich you’ve been waiting for. In truth, this is more of a meal than a snack, but it’s been a favorite of mine for years–I ate here on a weekend visit to NYC in high school and have never forgotten it.

 

3. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies at Levain Bakery.

This famous cookie was part of a dessert round-up I did a while ago, but these cookies give me *life.* Like, I never want to eat any other kind of chocolate chip cookie ever again. It’s a major goal of mine to recreate these enormous cookies, that are somehow perfectly gooey on the inside & crispy on the outside. I’m usually not a fan of nuts in dessert, but somehow Levain makes it work.

Go ahead. You've earned it. #Repost @veebabyyy with @repostapp

A post shared by Levain Bakery (@levainbakery) on

 

4. Tacos at Burrito Box.

This midtown west staple is my go-to when I’m craving Mexican food. It’s crazy cheap, crazy fast, and crazy delicious. It’s the tiniest eatery ever, so take your food to go and hop over to Central Park to enjoy your Tex-Mex perfection. Two tacos come in an order, so share with a friend for a perfect snack. Bonus tip: their guac is to die for.

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