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Stay-cation in Atlantic City

Stay-cation in Atlantic City

Last week we went on a stay-cation to Atlantic City with family friends. I had never been to the seaside city known for gambling and entertainment shows. The city itself is run down except for a few up-kept historical spots, a shopping strip and of course the casino/hotels. The boardwalk was a tale of the same, one side vibrant with stores, The Hard Rock Cafe and a pier with rides, games and restaurants. While the other side had not as many, thanks to some businesses closed down and past attractions taken away. One would think that in a city that generates money from gambling there would be more upkeep to so such a large attraction and to the city itself. Although we don’t have to think that hard on where all that money stays (casinos). If only those casinos would invest in the city itself?

 

We did get to see a few historical places that I found interesting. There is a time capsule buried in front of a church that is to be opened in 2056 that we stopped to see. Although the most interesting place, was the Abescon Lighthouse with an attached house that serves as a museum. Not only did I enjoy this place because of all the history it held but because of the lighthouse keeper, named Buddy. The museum is free but if you pay a fee you can walk up to the top of the lighthouse where the lighthouse keeper, Buddy waits to greet you and tell you more about the site. Buddy is 92 years old! He is there every Friday, although the other employees say he’s there up to three times a week. He served in WWII and traveled with his now deceased wife when they were young.

 

Buddy who is quite chatty, told me of one particular trip to South America with his wife and how they forewent wanting kids in favor of traveling. My kind of couple! He became interested in becoming a lighthouse keeper after doing the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge with a few friends. Buddy thoroughly enjoys volunteering there, celebrating his birthdays with the lighthouse staff and has been the lighthouse keeper for what will be 10 years in October. He walks up and down the 228 steps of the lighthouse just like everyone else. Once again Buddy is 92 YEARS OLD!  He attributes good genes, and physical activities like the Tai Chi classes he takes to his longevity. Buddy was one of the highlights of the trip for me. If you go to Atlantic City you have to visit Buddy at the top of the Abescon lighthouse!

Facts about the lighthouse:

Jan 15, 1857 was when the lighthouse began shining across the Atlantic. The light beamed 20 miles out to sea.

The position of the current museum is exactly where the original light house keeper lived and it was known as the “Keeper’s Dwelling”.

The assistant keepers dwelling or the assistant lighthouse keeper also had a house, located behind the lighthouse.

By July 11, 1933 the lighthouse was decommissioned or put out of service thanks to the rising skyline of Atlantic City.

Lighthouse keepers had strict rules to follow, like that of a person in the military. They were to stay in the watchroom and never leave unless an assistant keeper or trusted person came and took their place. While other requirements included being neat, sober and managing the upkeep of the lighthouse and the grounds.

 

 

The rest of my trip included eating really good Peruvian food at El Chalan on 2641 Artic Ave. Playing Rummikub, which I’m finally getting the hang of thanks to my Rummikub tutor (my mom’s friends), walking the boardwalk at night, riding a ride at the amusement park with my moms thrill loving friend and pushing a single slot machine button. And no, we didn’t win anything! Lastly, a few hours at the beach was spent before heading home.

 

 

 

If you’re interested in visiting Atlantic City in November, Puerto Rican Salsa Group El Gran Combo will be at the Tropicana on November 30th. Make sure to pickup the Atlantic County Coupon Guide in your hotel or at the Absecon Lighthouse for a discount off the admission to the lighthouse and to other events in A.C. Have you ever been to Atlantic City, what was your experience? Let me know in the comments and on social media.-T.S.

Lifestyle New York Travel

Top 4 cars I loved at the New York International Auto Show

NY Autoshow

The New York  International Auto Show is always a fun event to attend. This is my third time going thanks to A Girls Guide to Cars who hosts Girls Night Out. These events are always filled with educational information not only on cars but on how the bloggers and social media influencers that attend this night can improve their business and platforms. Among the guests, speakers were the co-creator of the first electric adventure vehicles, Rivian, and representatives of Purewow, the digital lifestyle platform. As attendees went around to each brand were learned about the cars and how to use apps and social media to improve our blogs and social media platforms. Although I don’t know much about cars, I admire the work and details that go into making them. This year I stopped by Nissan to admire the GTR line up, more than once. Nerd Alert: I don’t know much, but I do remember the GTR being Brian’s car in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Here are the other cars I loved in the auto show. This post is sponsored by A Girls Guide to Cars.

 

Rivian

Rivian makes the worlds first electric adventure vehicles. Inspired by the great outdoors the brand currently has the  R1S All-Electric SUV and the R1T All-Electric Truck. The truck includes three outlets, a compressed air nozzle to fill up tires, a rear bin with a full-sized spare tire and a gear tunnel for extra storage among other amenities. Rivian is an all American made car company located in California, with its original inception in Normal, Illinois.

 

 

 

Jaguar

Jaguar unveiled its newest all-electric car, the I-Pace. Some specifications include storage in the front where the motor would be and retractable handles that retract when the car is locked and in motion. The Jaguar I-Pace has been awarded World Car of the Year, World Green Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year, all for 2019. Details include 234 miles with a fully charged battery, the ability to go from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, compact style and the ability to charge up to 80% in under two hours.

 

 

Toyota

Toyota showcased its Highland Hybrid and newest Prius Prime. The Highland Hybrid includes an electric motor, all wheel drive and the ability to be equipped to tow up to 3500 pounds. The inside perks include a Blue Ray player, remote and headphones, a moonroof, silencing insulation for a quiet interior, seating up to 8 and more. Perfect for your whole family to fit in comfortably and enjoy the ride. On display was the FV2 concept car, their future mobility concept that would have driving or a riding mode, and which will be able to connect to a person’s emotions by relying on facial and body movements. The car would also be able to move in the direction the driver wants by simple voice and facial commands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nissan GTR

Nissan showcased its line up of GTR’s including the 50th Annivvery GTR 50 by Italdesign prototype.  This newest edition will only include the production of no more than 50 vehicles and will cost  999,000 euros. Its interior includes black Italian leather and gold accents. Also on display were the original 370z and 50th Anniversary 370z.

 

 

I also enjoyed the classic car collection that included a 1976 Ferrari, 1961 Maserati, 1966 Lamborghini and more. Stay tuned to my Instagram as I post pictures of cars not shown here. Have you gone to the New York International Auto Show? What are your favorite cars to see while there?-T.S.

Spanish /Espanol Travel

Visitando la ciudad de Nueva York

nyc

Se que tengo seguidores y suscriptores que le encantan visitar a Nueva York. Y otros que lo estan planeando. Manhattan y la ciudad de Neuva York, que incluye Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn y Staten Island tienen un sin numero de cosas que ver y hacer.  Asi que, aqui esta una lista de cosas que necesitas saber quando visitas a Nueva York y la isla de concreto. Tambien puedes descargar un “freebie” que cree’ si eres suscriptor de mi blog. Este entrada tiene enlaces de afiliacion.

 

Transportacion

Caminar-La cuidad de Nueva York es una ciudad de caminar. PERO para turistas que no estan acostumbrados a caminar mucho el subway es el mejor opcion. Los calles son largos, cruzando cinco calles te puede cojer 20-30 minutos o mas si no caminas rapido. Mientras tu caminas vas a ver los Neoyorquinos pasando te con prisa, porque sabemos si queremos llegar a la subway, tren o necesitamos estar en algun lugar en tiempo, necesitamos cruzar los calles largisimos.

 

Subway-La forma de transportacion mas rapida es el “subway”. Tambien es la forma mas economico de andar.  Ala misma vez la mayoria de los subways son viejos y se pueden tardan. Asegurate  de comprar un ¨Metro Card¨ la forma de pagar en el subway. Dependiendo de cauntas personas usuen el ¨metro card¨ pon la cantidad que crees que necesitaras. Ahora mismo un viaje por subway cuesta $2.62-$2.75 por persona.

 

Taxi, Lyft, Uber- Descargar los apps Lyft y Uber para pedir un caro, y mas caro pero mas rapido de ver son los Taxi´s amarriollo´s.

 

 

Cosas que ver y hacer

Top of the Rock y Rockefeller Center

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Botanical Garden- Gardin Botanica

9-ll Memorial

Statue of Liberty

Highline

The Metropolitan Museum of Art la de la quinta avenida, que tiene una mezcla de diferentes tipos de arte. El Met Bruer para arte moderna y The Cloisters para arte clasica y que se encuntra dentro de un parque.

The Museum of FIT- Museuo de Moda

Natural Hitsory Museum- Museo de naturaleza y animales, muy frecuentado por familias que tienen ninos.

Central Park  y el Central Park Zoo- El parque mas grande de Nueva York que tambien tiene un zoologico ademas de otras activitades.

Times Square… y mucho mas.

 

 

Ropa

La ciudad de Nueva York es el capital de Moda en los Estados Unidos. La cosa que mas indetifica los turistas como turistas ademas de estar perdidos fisicamente es el vestimento. Si, es posible estar comodo y estar en tendencia con lo que esta de moda! Si tienes dudas en que ponerte, los colores negro y blanco siempre van con todo! Inspirarte de los New Yorquinos y ponte majones, jacketas estilo moto o jean y un t-shirt. Los siguiente son otro ejemplos en que ponerte.

Botas

 

Joggers

Tenis

 

 

Ballerinas

 

Accesorios

 

 

 

Jackets estilo Moto

 

Costumbres de la mayoria de la gente en NYC

Caminamos RAPIDO y no paramos para la senal de cruzar.

Adamos con los audifonos puesto quando caminamos.

 

 

Si vistitas la cuidad in Febrero o Septiembre

Estos meses son reconocidas como Fashion Week Months o los Meses de la Moda, en que ocurren la semenas de Moda. Durante este tiempo habra gente de el mundo de la moda como disenadores, modelos, reporteros, fotografos y bloggers andando como locos por todo la ciudad. Vas a ver moda impecable que amaras y moda que pensaras que los que lo tienen puesto estan loco. Pero es Nueva York, la ciudad de la moda, y por muchos, no la ciudad de decir ´¨no, esto se ve loco¨, no importa si se ver realmente loco.

 

La cosa mas importante es disfrutar de una de las ciudades mas bello del mundo asegurandote que te mentengas alerta de tus alrededores. Se que estoy olvidando me de cosas importantes, pero espero que este ¨post¨ te ayuda. Si tienes preguntas, ponlos en los ¨comments¨o  por mi redes sociales.-T.S.

 

 

christmas Lifestyle The Metropolitan Museum of Art Travel

Must See’s and Things to Do During Christmas in NYC

Must See's During Christmas in NYC

Lets not kid ourselves NYC will always be a Christmas/December destination. There are already so many tourists that visit NYC during the rest of the year, and not surprisingly that number jumps during the holidays. Although it is worth it to see the beautifully decorated stores, attractions and experience a New York City Christmas. Here’s a list of things to do and places to see this holiday season in NYC. (Locals pack your patience, visit early or at the end of the season, or avoid midtown like the plague!)

 

Uptown

  • Central Park Ice Skating at Wollman Rink– I haven’t done this yet but it is said to be less crowded than Rockefeller Center with a gorgeous view of the surrounding park. It’s on my to-do list.

 

 

 

  • The Nutcrakcer Ballet at Lincoln Center- This is also on my to-do list! If you’re into ballet, why not see a top ballet company preform a Christmas classic.

 

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art : Medieval Hall- I love visiting this part of the museum especially during Christmas. A tree is put up surrounded by a manger, angels and medieval decorations. On display until January.

 

Midtown

  • Rockefeller Center-This is a must for tourists! It is really a sight to see that gigantic tree lit up. Ice skating here will be crowded if you go mid December and the more people on the ice the more choppy it is.  I did this once with family members from out-of-town at the end of the season and it was not crowded but the ice was extremely rough. Its beautiful, but the rough ice and crowds should be something to consider.

 

  • The Christmas Spectacular and The Rockettes– I also suggest seeing the Rockettes perform, it is a great show and a classic. The last time I saw it I enjoyed the new segments added, particularly the homage to the city of New York.

 

  • The Winter Village at Bryant Park/ New York Public Library on 5th- These should be seen together, I suggest visiting the shops at Bryant Park and entering the library after. The front entrance is decorated and has a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree.

 

  • Store Windows on 5th Ave -After you’ve seen Bryant Park and the library walk out onto Fifth  Ave and walk north towards all the holiday windows. Don’t miss Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany & Co. Not on 5th but must see’s are Macy’s windows on 34th which has Santa Land inside. Bloomingdale’s also has gorgeous holiday windows on 1000 third ave and 59th st.

 

  • Grand Central Holiday Fair Market – Stay warm in this indoor holiday market located in Grand Central Station. I like to grab something to eat from the adjacent food vendors.

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Downtown

  • Wall Street Christmas Tree- Visit the Christmas tree on Wall Street. The surrounding buildings are decorated and are lit up at night. Don’t forget to pass Trinity Church which is also decorated and Zuccotti Park which has small Christmas trees that are lit in the evening.

 

  • Flat Iron District-Visit the tree at Madison Square Park. A tree lighting ceremony will take place Dec 6th from 3:30-5:30pm.

 

  • Ice Skate at the Standard The hotel in the Meatpacking district opens its skating rink to guests and the general public from December 20th to the end of March.

 

  • Union Square Holiday Market-Visit the market which runs until December 24th. Buy from local vendors and eateries, visit the kids art studio and heat up in the warming station and lounge.

 

Other Boroughs

  • Holiday Train Show– The New York Botanical Garden host the Holiday Train Show. It showcases miniature New York City landmarks all made of natural materials.

 

  • Vintage Subway Museum– Open year round, explore what subway cars used to look like in the main branch of the museum in downtown Brooklyn. If you plan to stay in Manhattan, visit the smaller museum at the Grand Central Gallery Annex and Store.

 

  • Astoria Holiday Market– A Holiday market in Astoria Queens that sells vintage goods and food. Open December 9th and 16th at the Bohemian Hall.

 

  • Winter Fest at the Brooklyn Museum– The Brooklyn Botanical Garden teams up with the Brooklyn Museum to create an indoor winter wonderland. Activities include live performances, food, a tree maze, Santaland and an array of activates for the whole family.

 

  • Dyker Heights Lights- Houses in Brooklyn are decorated with spectacular light shows. Great Christmas Light Fight anyone? Located on Dyker Heights Blvd from 83rd st-86th.

 

There are so many more things to do! Did I miss a must for you? Are you planning to visit NYC this Christmas season? Let me know in the comments an on social media!-T.S.

 

Travel

Renovated and Revived: South Street Seaport

If you follow my stories on Instagram you’ll know that last week I got to check out the newly open Pier 17 at South-Street Seaport. It’s been five years since it closed for renovations in 2013 after being hit by hurricane Sandy. Its been newly renovated with locals in mind as opposed to being a full on tourists spot. It was a day of taking my mom around to do touristy things like go to a museum that I never went to before, even though I use to walk by it everyday! Because lets face it, when you become so used to living or working in an iconic city, you forget and don’t realize how many historical attractions there are right in your backyard. That is something tourists and visitors don’t get wrong, visiting the historical and iconic spots. (Click pics to enlarge)

 

We finished our museum visits in the financial district and headed to South Street Seaport. If you are a tourists or potential tourists to this area, please don’t waste your money taking the subway or a taxi from the financial district to south street seaport. This is very walkable even at a leisurely pace and the blocks are a bit shorter, so enjoy the walk among the cobble stone streets and original architecture!

South Street Seaport and Pier 17 are not completely finished yet and some of the areas are still blocked off to the public as they continue renovations. Although what I saw was beautifully well done and has already done the area justice. I remember only a little bit about what it used to look like since I had not visited this area since I was little. I’ve worked in the financial district since, but like I mentioned before since its always there, I had not thought to go see what it looked like now. I don’t feel that bad though since it was under construction until its unveiling on June 30th 2018.

 

The pier itself has brand new boardwalk planks and the building is a airy with  glass windows that wraps around the building. While wood and glass continue running inside and follow outside to the back patio. Currently open are only the ground floor and the rooftop while the second floor shops are still under construction. The first floor holds the summer pop up, Market Hall restaurant and runs straight  into the back patio. Market Hall, which we ate at has a minimal menu curated by Chef David Kornell while the space itself has a nautical vibe. It was all delicious, the drinks which you can have in an alcoholic form as well were really refreshing and unlike any other drink I’ve ever had.

 

 

 

The back patio or River Lounge has rocker swings, lounge seats and the game cornhole for adults and kids alike to play. While a walk around will lead you to the Chase Sapphire Bar which held a ballon art installation by Geronimo and high seats to sit and watch the water. And the most impressive of it all, that Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan view. Also on the first floor is a Ticketmaster booth to  concert tickets for the south street seaport concert series. When you head up, unfortunately the middle floors are not finished, but you can head to the rooftop.

 

The rooftop holds stage space for concerts, intimate party space and spots to sit and take in the views. Once again the views are even more iconic as you get an above ground view of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn and the Manhattan Bridge. The completed rooftop will include a restaurant, outdoor bars and will span 1.5 acres. I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like when every section of South Street Seaport is open.

 

 

 

South Street Seaport Facts:

  • South Street Seaport is NY’s original commercial section

 

  • It was created in the 17th century and helped make NYC an economic powerhouse with the Dutch West India Company outpost that traded with old and new worlds

 

  • By the 1860’s the seaport was open 24/7,  making the Seaport District the first neighborhood that was open 24/7 in NYC. Dubbing NYC  “The city the never sleeps”.

 

  • By 1970’s the Seaport District created the urban renewal concept which preserved historical buildings while allowing developing real estate around them.

 

  • Once completely renovated the district will include 400,000 square feet of fashion, culinary, entertainment and cultural activities.

 

  • Restaurants by Andrew Carmellini, David Chong,Helene Henderson of the Momofuku Group and Jean- Georges Vongerichten are expected to open.

 

  • The experimental store 10 Corso Como by Carla Sozzani is  also expected to open

 

  • A 50,000 sq ft food hall by Jean -Georges  will open in the Tin Building

 

  • Pier 17 is ESPN’s new live broadcast studio

 

 

 

Steps away from Pier 17 the historic Fulton Street shops are also reopening. Some already open are the candy store It’s Sugar and the IPic theather, the Fulton Stall Market (Farmers Market) and much more. While new stores like the Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) boutique are yet to open.

 

Hidden on the basement level of Pier 17 is Level 4 an event space with views of the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, and the Statue of Liberty. Its purpose will be to be rented out and used as a venue for events.  Also rentable are the rooftop, Seaport Square at the entrance of Pier 17, and the Historic District :Beekman St.-John St. and South St. – Water St.

 

Make sure to check out my NYC highlight on Instagram to see more on the newly open South Street Seaport. Have you checked it out yet? Let me know in the comments and on social media. Learn more here.

T.S.

 

Travel

My Stay at Club Quarters Midtown

CQ Hotel

Two weekends ago I stayed at a Club Quarters Hotel in midtown due to consecutive events, the Jeval Beauty Event and the Puerto Rican Day Parade. One that my mom wanted to attend and the other she ended up attending anyway. Due to these events she thought it would be a good idea to stay close to at least one of these locations instead of paying for transportation twice. And being that I left the Jeval event around almost 10 pm and had to be at my meeting point for the parade at 8 am, I was glad she suggested it. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have still found a way to make both work but this option was less exhausting, for the both of us. She found a great priced room at Club Quarters Hotel located on the same block as Radio City Music Hall via Priceline. Learn about this cute hotel below! Locals let me know if you’ve stayed in this hotel and what other hotels you’ve stayed in to make an event or your workload easier. This is not a sponsored post I just happen to really like this hotel!

 

Amenities/ Extras

Here are the in-room amenities available to guests. The room comes stocked with an iron, ironing board, extra blankets and pillows. They also offer the option of leaving garments to be left for cleaning or to be put in storage, as well as same day and overnight dry cleaning with a laundry bag already located in your room. Their fitness room is small and doesn’t have any spectacular views but its open 24/7. They supply every room with a yoga mat and the gym is equipped with machines, refillable water bottles, towels, a scale and more yoga mats. The room also came equipped with a desk with a charging station, lamp and comfortable chair. I planned to use this convience but ended up being too exhausted to work at the end of the night.

The next amenity that I thought was very considerate and that I wished I would have asked for was the option to receive a “Sleep Better Kit”. This includes a humidifier, air purifier, and sound therapy machine. I was so exhausted the night before the parade that I didn’t think to ask for any of these, but I wish I would have asked for a sound machine. I sleep with one at home and it really helps me rest. It also would have helped block out the sound of playing kids next to us and the sudden police sirens… because duh NEW YORK CITY. But exhaustion, melatonin and turning on the air for the sound took over shortly.

I didn’t get a chance to take advantage of their dining options which included the following. The Terrace Club on the rooftop which had views of the city or the attached restaurant Johnny Utah’s next to the lobby. Room service and the ability to use the service/ app Seamless and have it delivered to your room was also an option. For convenience they also offer chilled, purified water machines on all floors as well as ice machines and buckets.

The final amenities were that of the business services. The hotel came equipped with free WIFI as well as wireless and Airpinting. They also have meeting facilities and a Club Living Room with work stations complete with universal charging stations and refreshments. These I didn’t get to check out, but I’m sure would be useful for large meetings and extra space for working. They provide four types of rooms as well as corporate apartments which can be booked for a 30 day stay or longer. Gold Rewards are offered to employees and guest of member organizations. Gold Reward perks include free nights, upgrades and gift cards to retailers

 

The App

Club Quarters Hotels has a corresponding app. The CQ Hotels app allows you to check in or out without having to go to the front desk. It also allows you to keep track of your reservations and your rewards points. The app can be used for any hotel under the CQ branch as well a partner hotels. CQ Hotels has hotels in multiple locations of New York Boston, Chicago, London, Philadelphia, San Francisoco and Washington DC. All giving you options to check in, find directions to the hotel and parking as well as order an Uber. The app also informs users about the hotel and what it offers as well as the ability to connect with guest services when you are in the hotel. You can control the tv with a remote via the app and you can also download a mobile key for the room. Finally you can find things  to do with suggestions by the hotel like to where to eat, enjoy night life and shop. There are also recommendations by TripAdvisor within the app.

CQ Hotel

 

The Room

The room itself I absolutely loved because it was tidy, clean, stylish and well stocked. I absolutely hate when I go to a hotel and there are not enough towels or you have to call for something to be brought up, changed, fixed, etc. When you walk into the room, just like when you meet someone you have first impressions and these were great. I loved how much sunlight came into the room and the fact that we could see Rockefeller Center and the NBC Building. I also loved how well light and modern both the room and bathroom were. The bed was well made and positioned well with multiple lighting options in the night stands. The desk was one of my favorite parts because it was functional and inspiring. If you’ve read my office space post I tell you a bit of how I have it set up. And this office space was similar, clean, inspiring and comfortable with a charging station! They also furnished the room with an extra chair and coffee station with a Keurig while the tv recognized you each time you turned it on. I also liked the color scheme which matched that of the office art and was relaxing.

 

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Things to do/ Things Near By/ Transportation

The hotel is perfectly located in midtown near Radio City Music Hall and Rockerfeller Center. Its also walking distance to Fifth Ave and Times Square/Broadway. Not to far from Times Square is Bryant Park and The New York Public Library. Also not far is Macys’, Herald Square and the Flat Iron Building.  All along midtown where the hotel is situated are things tourist aren’t goin to want to miss.  The hotel is also a block away from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) if you care to stop into a museum. While Central Park is only six blocks away if you want to walk to the beginning of the park. The closest subways are the D, F and the E, M which can take you up and down Manhattan. If you have a little girl or daughter with you, you many want to go into American Girl which is on the same block as the hotel! Not far is also the famous Momofuku Milk Bar, Nobu, St.Patricks Cathedral and sooo much more. Another point to make is since this hotel is situated on a street and not an avenue and not right on top on Times Square it was a little less crowded. Two blocks away from the hotel is also a Enterprise Rent-A-Car if you prefer to drive instead of taking public transportation.

 

I hope this helps you if you are looking for hotel options! Have you ever stayed at a Club Quarters Hotel? What was your experience like? If not, I highly recommend it!- T.S.

 

 

art Fashion exhibit The Metropolitan Museum of Art Travel

How to visit all three NYC Met Museums within 2-3 Days

the met

Last week I did something I do quite often, visit the Met Museum every year to view their largest Costume Institute exhibition. Before they open this exhibition the museum host the MET Gala. Yes that Gala in which you ask yourself why are these celebrities dressing up or dressing weirdly? I’ll break it down a bit for people who are not in the fashion, media, art..etc world. Every year the Metropolitan Museum of Art features a few exhibitions, and one very large one. Anna Wintour from Vogue, board members and the Met Museum decide on a theme or designer to focus on or honor with the exhibition. In the past they have focused on Asia and Asian inspired fashion with China Through the Looking Glass or one of their most visited exhibitions Savage Beauty on Alexander McQueen after his death.  To attend this event, celebrities have to be invited by Anna Wintour and the team, of which they decide who sits where and they also depict the dress code, usually in connection to the theme of the exhibition. This years exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, inspired many celebrities to dress in Pope like attire. Some celebrities embrace the theme while others don’t, I personally love those that do. In order to attend this gala, celebrities pay around $30,000 per ticket which benefits the Costume Institute. This year the exhibition spans two locations of the Met Museum. The largest part of the  exhibition taking place at The Met on 5th ave and the second at The Met Cloisters in upper Manhattan. I was determined to visit them both and because I thought The Met Bruer had part of the exhibition I ended up visiting all three within two days. How can you do this? I’ll give you my tips below.

 

There are a few ways you can accomplish this and I am going to suggest one way for New Yorkers and one way for tourists. I think of it this way because normally New Yorkers will know which subways to take and how to find these subways quickly. Where as if you are a visitor you will probably need some time to figure out which subway to take, where you have to catch it, where you have to get off and where to go once off etc. If you are savy with directions or have a great app to help you it can speed up the process. I just suggest taking this into consideration and the fact that NYC blocks are a mile long and you’ll be looking up at buildings and not walking as fast. Now if you feel you want to do this in a different manner, go right ahead but after some thought and doing this myself these are my suggestions. With one Met Museum ticket you can visit all three locations within three consecutive days, thanks to its ticket policy. One ticket gets you into all three! So this means you only have to pay to get into one museum no matter which, and transportation. Take advantage of this and make sure to KEEP THE RECEIPT as each museum will ask for the receipt when you mention this policy!

 

Tourist: Your first stop should be the Met Breuer, the smallest of the three. This museum holds modern art including Picasso’s. The museum is small with only a few floors, with one currently closed for construction. It also has many large sculptures as opposed to alot of paintings, which in my opinion made the process of reading about and viewing the piece faster. It only took me an hour an a half to complete the museum, but you might be going a bit slower than I did so I’d say give yourself 2-3 hours here. It probably won’t take you longer than that because like I said, its small. If your hungry check out the café which has a patio area on the basement level of the museum.

 

Your next stop should be the Met on Fifth. The Met on Fifth is only seven blocks away from the Met Breuer, save yourself money and walk there! If its good whether, you won’t regret it, as the architecture of the upper east side is beautiful and the townhouse lined streets are peaceful. I love walking to the Met because of this simple fact, its like getting a quick peaceful break before you cross into the bustle of Museum Mile on fifth. The Met on Fifth is the largest of the museums and it is going to take you the rest of the day to get through it. Some of my favorite parts of the museum include the Costume Institute if there’s a fashion exhibition, the Egyptian Art wing, the Charles Engelhard Court in the American wing, the Medieval Art wing and the rooftop. The rooftop is open May-October and sometimes holds exhibitions while the views of the city are incredible.

 

By the time you are done with the Met on Fifth you’ll probably be too tired or it will be too late to attempt to go uptown as the MET closes at 5:30pm (Sun-Thurs) and the Met Cloisters at 5:15pm. You might feel like you didn’t see everything at the Met on Fifth and want to come back the second day. You are going to want to leave the Met Cloisters for the third day, as it takes a while to get up there and because it deserves a slow stroll through the grounds. The Met Cloisters is located inside Fort Tyron park in upper Manhattan, literally almost at the very end of Manhattan. From the Met on Fifth to the Cloisters the subway ride will take around an hour, and from the subway to the museum you are walking uphill. Give yourself time to walk slowly and take in the views of the flowers and nature of the park. I’m assuming you can take a taxi up but why would you, when you’ll miss the views and the nature. NOTE: Once you get off the train follow the signs that say Cloisters to find the elevator inside the subway station that will take you up to the entry of the park. If you attempt to walk from the subway, it will take long and it might be confusing. The park also has many hills and steps and you will be EXHAUSTED by the time you get there. I’ve walked there both ways and highly suggest finding that elevator!  Take your time in this museum, its small but gorgeous as it is filled with medieval art and the gardens and the architecture of the building are impeccably detailed.

 

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Local: YOU GOT THIS! I did it!

Now you may like the suggestions I made for tourists, and by all means follow them. But as a person who enters NYC via midtown I prefer going all the way up to the Met Cloisters first and coming back down to the Met Breuer in one day. Now the Met Cloisters connects via the A subway which runs on the west side of Manhattan, but the Met Breuer is on the east side. You would need to transfer to the C or B subway at some point or get off near Central Park and cross. It doesn’t take long if you walk NYC pace! I still enjoyed the park and I made it to the Met Breuer with hours to spare. From the east side of the park to the Met Breuer its only one block away. I did it this way and felt I saw everything both museums had to offer and got to stop and admire sections of the park I hadn’t before. I visited the Met on Fifth on a separate day, I suggest doing the same due to how big it is. Since I know my way around the museum on fifth, I knew exactly what I wanted to see. What I didn’t know and what you might not have realized is the ticket price for local NEW YORKERS is pay as you wish. College students of the NY, NJ and CT area can also pay as they wish. For non-New Yorkers it cost $25 to enter the museum, but like I mentioned above keep that ticket and receipt because it gets you into all three museums. This policy is fairly new, and a lot of people think it’s still pay as you wish for everyone, it is NOT. But it is well worth it if you visit all the museums!

 

Don’t miss the Picasso’s and Degas’s at the Met Breuer! They have the famous The Little Fourteen Year Old Dancer sculpture by Degas along with other modern art. The museum is the smallest of the three, with many sculptures and a floor currently under construction. You might be finished with more than enough time to visit the Met on Fifth! Take your time at the Cloisters, its like stepping out of New York and into a European medieval castle. The museum itself is small, but you are going to want to take in the details and beauty of the architecture, art and grounds. While Fort Tyron park is beautiful on its own. When at the Met on Fifth make sure to visit the Egyptian and Medieval sections and the rooftop, you wont’ regret that rooftop!

 

 

 

 

In whatever manner you visit the MET Museums I highly suggest you take advantage of the ticket policy. Locals who are just looking for something to do on a weekend or looking for ways to educate their kids are going to enjoy these museums. While tourists visiting for the first time are not going to want to miss the MET, it is a MUST. I hope this post encourages you to visit at least the MET on FIFTH, as I’ve been visiting this museum since I was a little girl and it is still one of my favorite places on earth.

 

Trains: A,B,C

Time: 2-3 Days

Cost: $25 per ticket + subway ride $2.75 per ride + if you are coming from outside NYC.

 

I will have a separate post on the Heavenly Bodies : Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. Have you ever visited all three museums as a local or tourists? Let me know in the comments and on social media!- T.S.

 

Event Travel

Mazda Brunch

Mazda

This is a Sponsored Post featuring Mazda

 

Saturday I attended a Brunch with Mazda and DiMe Media at the New Leaf Restaurant in the Fort Tryon state park of upper Manhattan. Bloggers got to view their newest cars and learn about the company. Mazda, a Japanese car company has been around since 1920 but did not become a full auto maker until 1946. It was birthed in Hiroshima Japan, and during WWII it was one of the only buildings left standing. Mazda which was pioneered by Dr.  Kenichi Yamamoto and Felix Wankel became the first company to invent the rotary engine. 47 Engineers or Samurai as they were nicknamed, along with these two masterminds perfected the engine.

Mazda, a relatively smaller car company compared to other massive manufactures, takes up only 2% of th U.S. car market. Reaching a niche market whose core values of perseverance, passion, harmony and family align with theirs. Values that are of high importance in the Latino community as well.  The purchasing power of Latinos/ Hispanics grew to over $13.9 trillion in 2016 and is expected to grow to over $16.6 trillion or more by 2021. With these stats and aligning values it is easy to why Mazda and the Latino community merge well together.

 

And like business people who reinvent themselves to survive, Mazda has reievented itself with continuing to create new technology. Through various economic crisis Mazda continually reinvented their cars to be more cost and fuel efficent for their customer. During the mid 70’s oil crisis they unveiled the GLC model. During the 90’s they unveiled the ultra popular Miata. During the 2000’s financial collapse, they reveled the economic Skyactiv technology. All while making sure their customers, people who love to drive get exactly that feeling of freedom in driving.

The day consisted of a Ride and Drive experience, Mazda educational presentation, 3 course brunch and trivia with prizes. I won a bottle of  Secret Cellars cabernet sauvignon 2015 in a gorgeous leather Callaway wine carrier. With thanks to the ladies there who helped me answer the question! The delicious meal consisted of a Baby Spinach Salad, an entrees choice of Spring Linguini with Peas, Pan Seared Salmon with peas and asparagus or NY Strip Steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The meal was topped with a chocolate mousse cake that was hard not to devour!

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The following were the cars bloggers got to ride and drive. I drove the Mazda CX-3 and fell in love at first push of the start button. It was my first time driving a Mazda, so I was not sure what to expect. Perhaps I expected a sports car with a lot of power. But what I got was power, agility and a smooth ride. Now ask anyone who drives or has been driven around New York City, its never a smooth ride! Although with a Mazda the pot hole filled roads are not as bad. I also rode in some of the other cars with fellow blogger Renee of Getting Fit Fab.

All Mazda’s come with Kodo (soul of motion) design and Skyactiv technology. The Skyactiv technology with G-Vectoring control, was something I experience when it warned me and subtly adjusted my steering while turning. It also works to adjust the cars power and weight as you make turns and take curves. This technology was made with the Japanese “Jinba Ittati” or “horse and rider as one” philosophy in mind.

The cars showcased at the brunch were the following: Mazda CX-5, Mazda CX-3, Mazda 3 as well as the Mazda 6, Mazda MX, Mazda CX-9 and the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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What’s in the future for Mazda? Diesel friendly cars, hybrids and co-pilot installed technology that can pull the car over when the driver is in trouble. You might say “well why haven’t they unveiled these already?” That is because they have yet to perfect these concepts. Mazda, true to their core values does not unveil new technology without it being tested and perfected. With awards for “Best Car Brand in 2017″ by U.S. News and World Report and ” Most Fuel Efficient Auto Manufacturer” by the EPA among other awards, it wont be long until their upcoming releases receive accolades as well. I’ll be attending the NY Auto Show later this month, so stay tuned for more Mazda loving posts.

 

 

T.S.

Travel Uncategorized

A New Years Celebration at Hershey

On a scope of 1-10 on parties I’m a 1.  I’m not nor have I ever been a huge fan of parties. I blame it on my introverted nature and my overall comfortable ability to enjoy being at home. Yes even on major occasions like New Years Eve I’ve stayed home. Although sometimes I’ve regretted not putting an effort into finding something to do. So with really no plans for this past New Years Eve I was excited when a cousin of mine suggested we go to Hershey Pennsylvania! The town that’s known for Hershey Park has much more to do than its famous amusement park, including on New Years Eve. Here’s what we did while there.

Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction

Now if you have ever wondered how Hershey makes chocolate be sure to make your way to Hershey’s Chocolate World. The free Hershey Making Tour consist of an amusement like ride that teaches you how the chocolate is made. From cocoa bean to fully made Hershey kiss, you’ll learn so much more than you actually think goes into making Hershey’s chocolate. Be sure to grab your free Hershey kiss at the end of the ride. On New Years Eve there is a live DJ and dance floor for kids where they can dance with Hershey characters. Other options include the Chocolate Tasting Experience, 4D Chocolate Mystery, Create Your Own Candy Bar, Trolley Tour and bakery. The giant candy store can’t be missed either!

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The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue

If you are a history lover like I am than you must make your way to The Hershey Story. Inside is not only a museum, but a chocolate tasting experience, chocolate making experience for kids and a café. We did the chocolate tasting and museum portions which took a few hours. If you wish to experience the chocolate tasting I suggest buying your museum ticket on Groupon on which includes the tasting. Make sure to get there early as the museum is only open until 5pm and the tasting closes before that. During the tasting you are given a map and six sipping chocolates. Each is made with different chocolates from around the world, the map helps you figure out which chocolate you are tasting.

 

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The museum is a self guided tour where you learn about Milton Hershey’s life and how he created a world-famous brand and well-known town. You’ll be inspired to go after your dreams when you learn how Milton as young man with almost nothing started the Hershey Company. An innovator and equal opportunist ahead of his time Milton introduced not only chocolate but encouraged a creative and fair workplace. So much so that the machine which wrapped Herheys Kisses was invented by employees and brothers Walter, Howard and Raymond Philippe.

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His generosity continued even when former employee Harry Reese became a competitor. The two men became friends and when Reese was struggling to distribute his products Milton made an alliance with the Reese company, allowing them to use the Hershey’s distribution method. Eventually the H.B. Reese Candy Company was bought by the Hershey Chocolate Corporation. Hershey was continuously generous throughout his life, giving away his fortune to charity.

 

Other things to do:

Hershey Sweet Lights

Stay in your car as you drive through a festive light show.

The Kiss Drop

Watch the Giant Hershey Kiss make its way to the top as you count down to midnight in downtown Hershey. A live band plays music and vendors are out to help keep warm with hot chocolate.  Stay until the very end for a spectacular firework show.

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Hershey Park

The amusement park is open during New Years Eve if rides are more up your alley.

 

Have you ever been to Hershey during the holidays?  What did you do for New Year’s Eve?

T.S.

 

art fashion Fashion exhibit Travel Uncategorized

Louis Vuitton Exhibition Rooms 6-10

If you pay attention to fashion news you probably already know that the Louis Vuitton exhibition, that has been a hit in other international cities has made its way to New York City. I made my way to the exhibition twice already and plan to go back before it closes. I wrote a review of the first 5 rooms of the exhibit which you can read here. The following is an overview of the next 5 rooms, which concludes the exhibition.

 

The Painting Trunk

Louis Vuitton’s relationship with the world of art began in 1924 when art dealer Rene’ Gimpel ordered a trunk for his business trips to New York, Paris and London. To meet the needs of artists like Rene, Louis Vuitton created larger trunks with drawers that could protect the artwork during travel. Returning to the companies roots of protective packaging caught the eye of the art world and soon other artists became customers as well. Masters of the art world such as the artist Matisse became clients of Louis Vuitton. Many artists developed close ties to the company and were given the opportunity to design one of a kind trunks. Over the years these ” artists in residence” have created new fabrics, patterns and designs for the house of Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton’s most recent collaboration has been with the artists Jeff Koons whose collection includes recreations of master works.

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Curio Trunks

During the 1900’s Gaston-Louis started buying trunks from previous customers to create his trunk collection. To start this process he would send certain customers a questionnaire to learn more about their trunks. Next the customers that returned the questionnaire, were sent an offer by Gaston to buy their trunks. The trunks in The Curio Trunks room consists of the trunks Gaston bought to create his collection.

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The Beauty of Fashion

Trunks for Stars

During the 1920’s and 1930’s the house of Louis Vuitton stepped beyond the trunk and started making beauty items, furniture pieces and specialty items. Hollywood’s starlets ordered velvet lined trunks along with the various new pieces the house was creating. Specialty pieces that were made for stars include a vanity case for Sharon Stone, wardrobe trunk for Katharine Hepburn and a suitcase and vanity set for Elizabeth Taylor. Stars around the globe continue to order from the house to help them with their travel and everyday needs.

 

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Exquisite Bottles

It was in 1927 that Gaston-Louis Vuitton created the first fragrance for Louis Vuitton, in an effort to expand the fields in which Louis Vuitton played. He cared just as much for the look of the bottle as he did the fragrance itself. Being so each time the house created a new fragrance Gaston would commission masters in the decorative arts field to design the bottles. The collaborations became a tradition for the house with its latest being in 2016 with designer Marc Newson.

 

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Sophisticated Dandies

Not only were silver screen actresses customers of Louis Vuitton, but so were actors. Many of the first were French actors that ordered foot and wardrobe trunks. The actors also ordered garment bangs and toiletry bags that helped push the brand into the menswear arena. In the 1920’s the making of canes with carved heads was another collaboration opportunity for the house and different artists to create unique pieces.

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Collaborations

Besides artists the house has collaborated with individual designers over the years. The introduction of different designers to Louis Vuitton began in 1996 when Azzedine Alana, Manolo Blahnik, Romeo Gigli, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Sybilla and Viviene Westwood were invited to collaborate with the house. This event helped mark Louis Vuitton’s one-hundredth anniversary. In 1997 Louis Vuitton officially entered the  fashion sphere with a ready-to-wear line. Guiding this new avenue for the brand was Marc Jacobs, the artistic director of the ready- to-wear line for almost 16 years. Jacobs used many of the artistic collaborations as inspirations for his collections. The designers that took on the role as Artistic Director after Jacobs departure also used artists and authors to create unique collections.

 

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The Music Room

Other than making trunks for clothing, art and writing the house of Louis Vuitton has been known to make trunks for musical artists as well. Delicate musical instruments have been stored in these special order trunks. Violins, guitars and more have found a safe haven for travel with Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton

 

Louis Vuitton Loves America

In 1893 Georges Vuitton made his first step into the U.S market when he attended the Chicago World’s Fair. While there he met John Wanamaker, owner of the first ever department stores. A few years later in 1898 Wanamaker put Louis Vuitton in his New York and Philadelphia stores. By the roaring 20’s Louis Vuitton had become the luxury luggage of choice for people all over the country.

Fast forward to 1997 to one of the most memorable Louis Vuitton eras which is when Marc Jacobs became Artistic Director. The designer guided the brand into the new millennium and held the position as Artistic Director for 16 years. During this time he made iconic collaborations with various artists including Yayoi Kusama who introduced her signature polka dot and Stephen Spouse who created graffiti inspired designs. Currently guiding the Louis Vuitton brand through each season is Nicolas Ghesquiere whose dressed celebrities like Taylor Swift and Nicole Kidman among others.

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Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere worn by Riley Keogh at the 2014 Amfar Ceremony

 

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere 2017 worn by Ruth Negga for the Golden Globes

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere 2017 worn by Michelle Williams

Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton worn by Taylor Swift at the 2016 Met Gala.

Louis Vuitton

Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton worn by Jennifer Connelly at the 2017 Met Ball.

 

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs and artist Stephen Spouse printed roses skirt.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs, feather headpiece and mink short dress and graffiti legging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. Worn by Madonna at the 2009 Met Ball.

 

I hope you get to see this amazing and encompassing exhibition. If you don’t I hope you’ve enjoyed my reviews. I learned so many interesting facts of a brand that I’ve worked for in the past, but had no idea of!

The Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibition will be on display at the New York Stock Exchange building on 86th Trinity Place in the financial district until January 7th 2018.

T.S.