Oh Christmas Tree, Oh (Rockefeller Center) Christmas Tree

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This past weekend, we traveled down to Connecticut to stay at my sister’s house so we could all go into NYC together as a family to do some holiday sightseeing together. I loved being in New York on such a beautiful day with my family. So much fun!

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Grand Central Station always is so awe inspiring.

I love that this is what greets us every time we visit New York as we take Metro North into Grand Central. It is just a great way to start and end our trips into New York.

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Our crew!

We headed out to the Winter Village market at Bryant Park. I love going there. It’s festive and I love the shops there. Plus, grabbing a hot chocolate and watching the skaters at the ice rink is such a picture perfect Winter activity.

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Autumn is still very much uneasy around dressed up characters. She previously freaked out around a duck on Mother’s Day and Wally the Monster, the Red Sox’s mascot, on Father’s Day, but I figured enough time had past that she might be ‘over it’. But nope, she would say “No, no, no Mommy/Daddy!” when they would walk by us in Times Square. She was quite happy watching Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, and Elmo at a safe distance though.

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After our adventures in Toys R Us, Autumn tried sour belt candy for the first time. She love/hated it. She ate 2 pieces and made this face after each bite. hilarious!

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I love how there never is a picture with kids looking in the same direction as there are always no less than 4 adults snapping pictures at them.

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New York, I like your style.

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And ta-da! Here we are as a grand little family in front of the tree.

I can’t even start with how much I love these pants that my sister found at a tag sale in the summer. They are old Lilly Pulitzer Pink Corduroy Pants with Boston Terriers all over them. And they were in such great condition! Practically new! I just needed to get them hemmed… duh!

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And my sister, me, and my brother!!!

Also, what am I doing here with my leg? I have to stop doing that…

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Such a great bad photo. ha!

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral has undergone a major restoration project and had scaffolding on it for about a decade so it was wonderful getting to see it without any framework on it for the first time since it was taken down last year.

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On our way to our lunch at Empanada Mama, Autumn passed out in the stroller. I was so excited about her napping on schedule and for having a meal in peace!

But then, an employee at the restaurant next door slammed the metal sidewalk access panel door shut and Autumn was up in an cranky instant. Such a bummer for her and us!

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My sister, brother-in-law, and 2 nephews went back after lunch but the rest of us hung around a bit more. We just couldn’t resist being out in such awesome, strangely warm weather. We swung around Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park again to Grand Central to catch a train home.

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We were able to decompress from our walking and eating on the quiet train ride back.

But of course, we had to try our Chimney Cake, that we picked up at our 2nd visit to Bryant Park. So stinking good! If you go you have to get it with chocolate inside and with cinnamon sugar on the outside.

My brother came over my sister’s house, where we were staying, for pizza and beers. Plus the kids all got to play around. Autumn learned the fine art of break dancing from her cousin Cara. There were some fantastic spins on the floors.

Overall, we were all so exhausted so we crashed pretty early on in the evening. That’s the best way to end a great day!

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Before we left to head home my brother and his family came back over for breakfast for bagels, eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit. And plenty of coffee!

These are the best photos from Sunday morning of the kids playing. They were nuts and awesome. They were jumping on each other and playing with all the Minnie’s that Autumn had (3) on her new Minnie Blanket (of course!). I love how they play and love with pure abandon.

Man, I love adventures with my family!

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{Glasses from Firmoo, Pants are old Lilly Pulitzer, Top is Old Navy}

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The Jane Hotel, NYC- Review

The Jane Hotel NYC

Way back in June I attended Alt Summit in NYC. I needed an affordable hotel for 2 nights where I could dump my stuff and get on with my day. It’s New York, I don’t need to waste time hanging in a hotel (accept for that nap I had…).

Well, I had remembered reading about The Jane on the Hither and Thither Blog ages ago so I figured I should check it out as an option as I was only looking for a place to crash and not spend too much. Since The Jane has some teeny tiny rooms (50 sf!) the rates are really affordable.

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Why are rooms so small? Well, the hotel was built in 1908 and a boarding house for sailors called American Seaman’s Friend Society Sailors’ Home and Institute.  William A. Boring, the architect renowned for Ellis Island’s immigrant station, designed cabin like rooms for the sailors to enjoy for their short stays while in port at a charge of 25 cents a night for seamen and 50 cents for others. In 1944, the YMCA took the hotel over and in the 80’s and 90’s the hotel was part of the downtown’s bohemian culture, hosting many rock-n-roll events. And then it was renovated in 2008 to be the lovely hotel it is today by the developers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode.

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You enter a charming lobby. that has beautiful ornate wood moldings and painted tin ceilings. The front desk, which is manned 24-hours a day by costumed staff. The uniforms are as charming as the staff themselves. While you check in be sure to check out the marble accents

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After a very tight elevator ride up to your floor you are on your way to your room. They offer three kinds of rooms- The Standard Cabin, Bunk Bed Cabin, and The Captain’s Cabin. Both the Standard Cabin and Bunk Bed Cabin are 50 sf and have flat-screen TV’s with DVD player’s, iPod dock, and an in-room safe. And of course you can’t have a modern hotel without free WiFi. you know… to tell everyone you’re staying at The Jane! The Captain’s Cabin is large at 250 sf and feature the same amenities at the smaller rooms with the addition of full, queen or king beds and private bathrooms. These rooms all have river views and/or terraces.

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I stayed in a Standard Cabin and it was just perfect for my 2 day stay. I was able to breeze in and out of the hotel with my room key that also served as my on and off switch for my lights, AC, and TV. The key is a little bulky but it is a really easy to find in your purse! Since the key turns the electricity on/off in your room you have to be patient in the summer with a hot room when you first get in as the AC only kicks on when you turn it on. I thought the room was a bit dry as well so I wished that it had some tissues but for about $90 a night I can’t complain!

The room is really small but the use of space is really efficient. I was standing against the wall when I took the photo of the room’s bed. Below the bed is the safe and storage for your luggage. The TV is mounted on the wall so that you can easily watch it while laying in bed. The ledge below is perfect for your toiletries and holding your electronics. I brought my laptop, cell phone, and cameras so I needed plenty of hook ups and thankfully the rooms had an adequate number plugs for my needs.

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The Standard Cabin and Bunk Bed Cabins don’t have bathrooms so they share communal restrooms. The idea of sharing a restroom with some strangers might be a scary concept but trust me when I say that they were exceptionally clean and I didn’t have to deal with much waiting for a restroom. Which at the time was really important as I was 4 months pregnant! These restrooms have beautiful white and black subway tile adorned walls, marble sinks, and the showers have rainfall showerheads. I personally don’t like rainfall showerheads and I don’t wash my hair everyday and these basically force you to do so as you can’t avoid your hair getting wet. While the showers were very clean I still suggest using flip flops so that you can comfortably get to and from your room.

While visiting The Jane be sure to enjoy the amenities that the hotel has to offer, including  Cafe Gitane, which is located off the lobby. I didn’t get to enjoy the cafe but the menu looked very tempting. As well, I didn’t get to use their complimentary bicycles, nor their parking that is located across the street, but I saw plenty of people using their bikes as they rode around the neighborhood, which is perfectly located right by The Highline- one of my favorite places in New York!

Thankfully, The Jane worked out perfectly for my needs and budget! I would highly suggest it to anyone who was looking for an affordable, beautiful place in the Lower West Side. Staying at The Jane is a real treat. And I am looking forward to my next visit to New York and staying in The Captain’s Cabin! 

The Jane Hotel

113 Jane Street

New York, NY 10014

212.924.6700

NYBG Orchid Show 2012- Part 2

To continue where I left off in my recap “NYBG Orchid Show 2012- Part 1“…

Price and I continued through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory to see the rest of the The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens. We left the Upland Tropical Forest area to head in the tunnel to the Deserts of the Americas hall. Before exploring the deserts we went outside to check out the reflecting pool and the fish in it.

 

Hello fishes!

 

We went back in and checked out all cacti and other spiky plants. I think that big guy would make for a great ottoman, no?

 

I love the succulents and living stones.

Rainbow Orchids

 

I have to confess that while I have a pretty green thumb I can’t keep orchids alive. I try but either the apartment is too hot or too cold, I water too much or not enough, there is not enough direct light or way to much. They are so delicate. Or I am just crappy at taking care of them.

Slipper Orchid

 

Moth Orchid

At the center of the Seasonal Exhibit space that housed main part of the Orchid Show was a large structure that the show designer, Patrick Blanc, covered with vibrant greens and orchids of all kinds. Orchids punctuate the green back drop and spill over the ferns and themselves as they wound themselves around the surfaces of the structure.

 

I love how everything seems so natural and wild in composition but all of Blanc’s designs and arrangements are deliberate and well organized.

 

Asian Corsage Orchids- Mighty Sunset ‘Roxburgh Red’ and ‘Purple Haze’

 

Everyone was enjoying what they were seeing so cameras of all sizes and phones were out to snap photos of orchids.

 

 

Inside the main exhibit space were a lot of signs about Patrick Blanc and his work. I thought they did a good job of giving a general overview of his work and philosophy.

From the main part of the exhibit you walk through through this archway that is completely covered in flowers and orchids.

As you move through the exhibit you are flanked on either side by panels that are covered in orchids as well. You have to take your time through this area since it can get crowded at times. Also you really should take your time to see all the varieties of orchids, take photos, and help block traffic so others can take family photos as well. It’s only nice of you to help out!

 

We really enjoyed this year’s Orchid Show!

After the show we walked through the Ladies’ Border, which runs along the side of the conservatory. I think we were a bit early in the season for that area since there were a lot of things not yet in bloom. And yet, it was still beautiful! I caught this bee in the act gathering pollen.  🙂

 

We walked over to the NYBG Shop in the Garden and looked at the plants, gardening supplies, books, and prints for puchase. I had my eye on a whole line of bee adorned housewares like this serving plate and these tea towels. Too Cute! We just need to move before I get anything else!

From there we walked back through past the reflecting pool, along Garden Way, and in front of Mertz Library before going to our car for our drive back to Boston. Such a great way to send a Sunday morning.

The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens is running at NYBG from March 3-April 22. While you are visiting be sure to tag your tweets on Twitter and photos on Instagram with #orchidshow. :-)  

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

NYBG Orchid Show 2012- Part 1

When I realized we would be in CT for Easter weekend I just knew we would have to visit the New York Botanical Garden for their annual Orchid Show.  I had gone previously with Emily and her mom in 2009. I loved the show then so I wanted to see it again and this time introduce Price to NYBG and the show. This is their 10th annual show and this time the design was from French botanist and artist Patrick Blanc. Blanc is known for his use of vertical space and how his plantings are on the vertical plan. It’s always a wonder to me how they stay up or how they are weeded. I had actually attended a Patrick Blanc lecture previously so I was very excited to see his work in person for the The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens.

 

We enjoyed our walk to the exhibit through garden. On our way we snapped photos of the countless robins we saw on the sprawling lawns and of the numerous varieties of daffodils that edged the walkways.

 

Stunning, vivid, bright, fragrant.

 

It was such a beautiful day. The weather was nice, skies clear, and flowers were in various states of bloom on the property.

When you walk in the conservatory you are greeted in the Palms of the World area with a large structure in the middle of the fountain. It’s lush with greens and orchids. This is ‘classic’ Patrick Blanc style of design. Reminds me of his work on Musée du quai Branly.

 

NYBG transforms the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into lavish, excotic, tropical wonder that is filled with orchids for the show. However, the conservatory is a year round exhibit space so it is always filled with palms, flowers, and other plants from around the world showcasing the variety of plant species that are indigenous from different climate zones.

 

There is a lot of helpful signage to help you learn about Orchids. As a designer I found the presentation clear and that helps you process the information you are reading.

In this pot alone there were over a half dozen diffident kinds of orchids. The dark purple ones hanging off the tree very vary fragrant. I would have loved to have that scent bottled or put into a candle.

 

We moved throughout the conservatory following the way through to Lowland Tropical Rain Forest…

to the Aquatic Plants and Vines Area.

 

There flowers everywhere you looked in this room. Lilies in the fountain, potted flowering plants, and orchids hanging from overhead. The orchids hanging were so delicate looking and added a whimsical touch when walking through the space.

 

From there we continued to walk through the conservatory into the Upland Tropical Rain Forest. I was intrigued with a extensive palms and ferns species there were housed in the hall. From small potted pones to towering high ones that resembled trees- it was really quite amazing.

And that that point we were only halfway through the Conservatory! So much to see, smell, and experience!

Please check back tomorrow for Part 2 for my recap and photos of the Orchid Show.

The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens is running at NYBG from March 3-April 22. While you are visiting be sure to tag your tweets on Twitter and photos on Instagram with #orchidshow. 🙂 

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

The Highline {part deux}

How is it September 1st? It’s crazy how the year is speeding by. How was it that I was in NYC a month ago? Crazy! Life has been speeding by lately. I’m grasping at it desperately since days are blurring and pretty soon I will be surrounded by fallen leaves and sipping cider.

Previously blogged about the super fantastic Highline from our first visit back in 2009. That was when the first section just opened. We went back to see the new part that opened this year. It’s a fantastic park that I suggest everyone to see when they are in The City. So if you are going to visiting there soon head over, maybe you can get a glimpse of these summery scenes before it gets too cold!

 

Above The Lot

Looking towards Section 3

 

 

SARAH SZE, STILL LIFE WITH LANDSCAPE (MODEL FOR A HABITAT)
June 8, 2011 – June, 2012
On the High Line, between West 20th and West 21st Streets

SPENCER FINCH, THE RIVER THAT FLOWS BOTH WAYS
Debuted June 9, 2009
Chelsea Market Passage

View towards Diane Von Furstenburgs’s Studio Skylight by Work Architecture Co.

I love this. So much.