NYC Guide - Red Hook Edition

If you're looking for fun first-date options, laid-back birthday party outings or just want to get out of the city for an afternoon - Red Hook is the answer! Until recently, my Red Hook visits consisted of Ikea trips and olive oil drive-bys at Fairway, but the husband and I took to the streets this weekend and did some exploring. What we found was a thriving neighborhood with art, culture and alcohol!

Read on for our must-do list of activities! We had a blast!

Start the day with brunch at Botanica - the enchanting, romantic decor will easily transport you to another world. 

Start the day with brunch at Botanica - the enchanting, romantic decor will easily transport you to another world.


Once you've satisfied your palate, head next door for a tour of Cacao Prieto where they produce a line of fine chocolate bars and cocoa-based liquors and rums. 

It's also the home of Widow Jane and a whiskey tasting is a must. 

We strongly advise chasing your flight with a shot of hot chocolate - did I mention Cacao Prieto is 100% vegan?


Next stop on the tour is Van Brunt Stillhouse, but there are plenty of charming shops along the way like Kempton & Co., makers of tech-friendly leather handbags, and Papillionaire - the perfect place to scoop up the retro-inspired bicycle you've be wanting. 

Ahhh - on to more whiskey tastings. The Bourbon is divine - nice and smooth sipped neat.  

And if you're brave enough - a shot of Moonshine. You will probably go buy a bike after this one.


Soak some of that liquor up with the one and only, authentic Maine Style lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound - drool. 


And why not end the day on a fancy note with something sophisticated like a visit to an art gallery - Red Hook has many! Pioneer Works is an art gallery and residency with a beautiful backyard. The current exhibition is a photo essay of the oldest living organisms in the world!

Finally, say goodbye to Red Hook from the open waters with a water taxi ride to your next destination. 

Well, I hope this was informative. I certainly had fun gallivanting around Red Hook with the husband on a lazy Saturday (Sundays are for football now) and I'm sure you will too! If you end up there and you come across a spot I didn't mention, please let me know in the comments!

Have fun!

NYC Guide - Bedlam

Remember when bachelorette parties lasted like five hours? Maybe you don’t, but I had a lot of friends that got married pretty soon after college, pre-Hangover. Back then you would “pre-game” at somebody’s apartment, head out to the club and that was that! Now, you essentially commit to a spring break-ish trip except you have to worry about taking time off of work, being skinny and not looking cheap while still being…cheap.

So when my bach rolled around, I decided to stay local. However, local for me meant NYC. I was lucky enough to have friends from all over travel to be with me, but I did my best not to choose overpriced spots. All I wanted to do was dance and I couldn’t think of a better place than a gay bar. We ended up at Bedlam - it was unpretentious, dimly lit, housed a giant moose on the wall and played the best music you will ever hear. Best part - no one judged the group of 12 dressed like Clueless!

Drinks - 5 stars here because I’m pretty sure drinks were cheap. It only has two $ on Yelp so it can’t be that bad!

Dating - This really depends on where you are in the relationship. If you’re a boy with a boy, I would not go there if you’ve only been dating for a month or so because it’s a bit tempting - lots of pretty gays here. If you’re a girl with a boy and your man LOVES to dance than I’d say go for it, but the pretty boys might scoop him up! 

Drama - 0 stars. You will have so much fun dancing your little heart out that there will be no room for drama in your life at Bedlam. Just writing this makes me wanna go this weekend!

J, M, Z to Delancey or F to Essex. 

NYC Guide - Harlow

There are three things that people love to ask me about - directions, restaurant/bar recommendations and boys. I don’t know what it is about me that attracts these questions, but I’m all for it. So I thought to myself, why not talk about these things on the blog?

Every Tuesday, I plan to share my NYC Guide post - a guide to life in this crazy city combined with a guide of my favorite spots. And if you live here, you know that this place is all about three things - drinking, dating and drama. When you’re over this, it’s time to leave and head upstate. To measure these very important elements, I plan to institute a rating system so you always know what to expect. 

First place we need to talk about is Harlow. I have a special place in my heart for this midtown gem. It’s the brainchild of Richie Notar, Danny Ye and Sean Dillon, all of whom I worked with during my four years at Nobu. If there is one job that I would highly recommend to young girls who just transplanted to the concrete jungle, it’s a hostess/coat check gig. Not only did I eat for free, walk away with a decent amount of cash money and learn to love food, I also made some pretty awesome friends. Some are scattered around the world at other Nobu locations and others are killing it at their own spots like Danny and Sean. 

Harlow offers an unexpected hip vibe that’s hard to come by on the Upper East combined with the usual suit-and-tie scene. It’s a place that’s actually bearable if you’re like me and easily annoyed by clean-shaven men and pearl-dripped ladies. The menu  makes your mouth water and the old Hollywood glamour decor is stunning. Even the bathroom smells heavenly!

On to the rating:

Drinks - I give this place 4 stars for drinks. A. because the bar manager (what up Max!) is at my apartment right now watching football with my husband and B. because they are strong. Drinks are pricey though, but comparable to other high-end restaurants in the hood.

Dating - 4 stars here. If you’re on a date, make a reservation and sit in the main dining area. I would suggest this place early on in the relationship because it’s expensive (girls will understand that one.) If you’re on the prowl, the lounge/bar area is a watering hole for successful men. Best nights are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Drama - 5 stars. Like I said, the drinks are strong and that only leads to heated disagreements about the next mayor or a heavy flirting sesh. It’s definitely a who’s who kind of place, so the egos are up there. This fact mixed with fancy cocktails and sexy tunes is always a recipe for drama. If you’re looking for some excitement in the 50s, this is your spot.

4, 5, 6, N, Q, R to 59th Street

Instagram This: the event of a thread

It’s January 1st, which means you only have six more days to check out the Ann Hamilton exhibit the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory. Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for her large scale, multi-media installations. 

Commissioned by the Armory, Hamilton’s major new work fills the Drill Hall with a visceral and literal poetry. Set into motion by visitors, a field of swings, a massive white cloth, a flock of homing pigeons, spoken and written texts, and transmissions of weight, sound, and silence weave through this expansive space to create a fabric of experience.