Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New York, Day 1

Sorry for the delay; I have been a little busy lately....
New York was awesome. It was beyond awesome. It was by far the best trip I have ever had to New York. First, I was there with my sweetheart, finally able to show him things for the first time instead of the other way around. He loved the city, which made me love it even more. I asked if he would move there. He didn't like that idea too much after he asked how long it would take to get to a sail boat. He did say that he would like to visit again soon. Score.

It was my main goal to make him love it, so the easiest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so we ate. And drank. And ate. It was fabulous. I'm still full from the trip. Here is a run down on where and what we ate. I'll get to the shopping later. That's when the drinking came in handy for the husband; when he's had a cocktail he is a little looser with his money. Score #2.

When we got to New York, it was freezing, of course. It was perfect New York weather. We checked into our fabulous hotel, the Hudson, and inspected our tiny, 150 square foot room. Tiny. The Hudson is fabulous. You walk in and are greeted by two huge green escalators that lead up to an ivy covered lobby. It was gorgeous. It was a great welcome to the city.

We were starving, so we went to Rolf's where we were told it would feel like you were in a Christmas tree. Rolf's did not disappoint. Rolf's is a German restaurant run by Indian men and has French food on the menu. I don't eat brats and sausage so I stuck to the French Onion soup. This was our cheapest meal of the whole weekend. Two French Onion Soups and two German beers later, we were ready to hit the sites of the City.

We left Rolf's and headed towards 5th Avenue to look at the store windows. Bergdorf's did not disappoint. Their windows are incredible. The theme this year is "Curiousier and Curiousier" which is inspired by Lewis Carroll and his works Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. We walked by the windows throughout the weekend and I always found something new and interesting in each window. I could look at them for hours and still be amazed by them. Here is a favorite of mine. I think that this one is incredible; the thought and time it took them to go over every detail. It is amazing.

That night we did not have reservations for dinner, so we decided to walk into the newly open Plaza Hotel.  It's not quite the same as it used to be back in the day. When we walked in, I expected glamour pusses and stock brokers to swarm the lobby. Instead, I found tourist and lots of older women in big fur coats pushing through. The lobby was gorgeous, none the less, and had a cozy fire and velvet club chairs. We decided to have a drink there and ended up staying for a dinner of a bottle of red wine and a cheese plate. We spoke with our waiter who had worked there for twenty years and he told us stories that were a little closer to my imagination of what the hotel used to be. The lobby was such a great spot to people watch, so if you aren't looking for a heavy dinner, it is a great place to go.

That night we decided to hang out at the bar in our hotel because it was too bitter cold to do anything else. The bar was fun; drag queens and all. Husband did not think it was so humorous, especially since one jammed his/her high heel on his big toe, but it was still amazing how open everyone is there. I think it's quite impressive. They also pour a great cocktail. The bar is called an "Urban Design Bar" because it has a fresco painting by world famous fresco artist Franceso Clemente. With all of the drag queens and other New York characters, I hardly noticed. I found a photo that showcased the bar, sans queens.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New York New York

One of the many perks of being a wedding planner is meeting an array of fabulous people. My brides and grooms are from literally all over the world. I have had clients from South Africa, England, Germany, Australia, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, and New York. They have been doctors, lawyers, artist, news casters, photographers, professional football players, famous hair stylists, make-up artists; the list goes on and on and on. I have been really blessed to be surrounded by such fascinating clients.

While planning my trip to New York, I emailed one of my former brides for suggestions on restaurants and eateries. She works for creative edge parties and is a total foodie. I knew she would be the best person to ask and she delievered the goods in record time. This girl has serious style and knows her food. Below is her hit list of all her go-to spots in NYC. I'll report back and let you know what we actaully got to.

18th Floor of Standard Hotel (otherwise known as Boom Boom Room), Meatpacking – open from 4pm – 9pm (then closes for private parties), you must go for a drink, gorgeous views of the city! Call and make a reservation for a drink, otherwise, you usually can walk in, go early.

Hudson Hotel – Midtown - anywhere in the hotel, just a cool spot to have a drink

PDT – East Village - call at 3pm ON THE DOT for same day reservations, it’s a fun speakeasy, but you must call to get a reservation just for drinks. Good late night spot or a fun place to start the evening. Great late night hot dogs.

Stanton Social – Lower East Side – fun spot, good drinks, also good for dinner

Oak Room in the Plaza – since they just re-opened the Plaza, might be fun to go check it out and have a drink in the Oak Room, I haven’t been since, but would be fun
Rolfs – this place is a MUST SEE for Christmas time. It’s literally like walking into the middle of a Christmas tree. Its open from 12pm onwards, so its best to go between 1pm – 4pm, when it is less crowded, push yourself to the bar for an eggnog/german beer/mulled wine.

McSorleys – this is the oldest bar in NYC, literally dates back to 1847 or something like that, this is a BEER DRINKING ESTABLISHMENT ONLY, they literally serve only two things – light and dark beer, but if you are in the need of some entertainment (and by entertainment I mean loud obnoxious guys), this is the place. It’s more of a “friends” place, less of a couple place, but in case your husband is into old bars.

Prune – East Village - (AMAZING bloody marys!!! There is always a line, unless you get there at 10am, otherwise put your name in and then go shopping around soho)

Spotted Pig – West Village - (AMAZING BURGERS with Roquefort cheese)
Nolita House

Pastis or Balthazar – Meatpacking and Soho – traditional NYC brunch hot spots

Ino – West Village - great paninis and a dish called “Truffled Egg Toast”

Jules – East Village - (French bistro with live jazz on Sat/Sun), great for Croque Monsieur, Mussels, Steak Frites, etc…

Abe & Arthurs – Meatpacking – new “it” spot for dinner/drinks, great food

Otto/Lupa/Babbo – all Mario Batali restaurants, Otto is best for casual pizza/pasta, Lupa is more fine dining and Babbo is by far the best if you can get a reservation

Mary’s Fish Camp – West Village - super low key and casual, our favorite Lobster Rolls

Blue Hill – Washington Sq - BEST LOCAL SEASONAL FOOD EVER!!!!!!!! If you can’t get a reservation sometimes you can go sit at the bar

Allen & Delancey – Lower East Side - GREAT food, nice cozy atmosphere

Stanton Social– Lower East Side - Fun ambience and food, check out the menu, a good “party spot” 

 Momofuko Ssam Bar – East Village - if you are into pork and adventurous food, this place is unbelievable, must try to pork buns!!!

Spotted Pig – West Village - same as above, awesome for all day/anytime food… GREAT FOOD!!!

Photo by Whitebox Studio

Wedding Season is Over

Wedding season is officially over! It is hard to believe that in the past nine months, I have had a part in over 70 events, mostly weddings. I have been through a roller coaster of emotions. From feeling elated that it ACTUALLY happened, to disappointed that the band really did throw a fit, exhaustion, coffee jitters, hunger pains, belly aches from too much wedding cake, I can sit here now and say that I am so proud of all that has happened this year.

People always question why I don't have the baby bug yet. Well, mostly my girlfriends in NC. My New York brides think it's crazy that I am 27 and already hounded when I'm going to pop out a baby. I think the real reason I don't have the baby bug, yet at least, is that for the past year, this job has been a child to me. It wakes me up in the morning with excitement for the new day. It wakes me up at night in fear that I forgot to order the linens or did not specifically tell the Chef about that one food allergy of the bride's second cousin. It is all consuming but completley rewarding. It is not a job, it is the (second) love of my life. One day, maybe sooner than later, I'll get the baby bug. For now, I'm taking my first love to New York City for his very first time.

Photo by the insanely talented Millie Holloman.
Kristin and Larry Shembri, married October 10, 2009 at the Bald Head Island Club