Tag Archives: NYC

Commuting with Tourists

Starting this post the same way I did the last one… Creative, I know.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (if not, you should! – @LindsayInNYC), you know I have a lengthy commute to work. On average, it takes me about an hour and a half one way. I take three different forms of transit – PATH, Subway and Metro North. In addition, not only is it long, it takes me through two of New York City’s top travelled areas: World Trade Center and Grand Central Station. You know what that means – LOTS and LOTS of people. Especially tourists. Some days I avoid them based on the time I’m commuting but some days I’m not so lucky.

Wouldn’t this be nice?!

(Source)

I’ve been trying to tweet happy, positive things lately and not let the daily grind affect me as much. I have a bad habit of taking things home with me and I’m trying to stop.

But, today, when I opened my Google Reader and saw this post from Blair’s Head Band, I just had to share. Because she honestly read my mind and took the words right out of my mouth.

So, here, fellow readers and commuters in metropolitan areas, please go read her latest post: NYC Summer Tourists (the gifs make it that much better!). You won’t regret it, I promise.

(Source)

A couple to add?:

– Large groups (I’m looking at you schools, day cares, camps, any sort of field trips), if your day is going to start or end in the middle of rush hour (particularly in a high traffic area like Grand Central), move out of the flow of traffic. Anywhere else really. Especially don’t stand in front of the turnstiles or Metrocard machines.

– This is a complicated one, bear with me. Stand on the right, walk on the left. Get it? Told ya it was complicated.

(Source)

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30 Before 30 – Weekend Accomplishments

I tackled a couple of items off my 30 before 30 list this weekend (+ Friday!).

Friday morning started off early with a pre-work blood donation (#2 of 5) at the Court near work.  Given that it was 90 degrees that day, it might not have been the best idea but I survived. 3 more donations to complete by November of 2013. I can definitely do that!

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(I somehow manage to get gauze that coordinates with my outfit. – Last time = purple)

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for a tour of the Bronx Zoo. J just became a board member for the MSU Alumni Club of Greater NY and they put together a little event at the Zoo. We had never been to the Zoo before but it was a blast!

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I also got a chance to (kinda) see the infamous Bronx Zoo’s Cobra who I obsessively followed on Twitter after his “escape” last year.

After we were completely exhausted, we decided to walk a little further over to Arthur Avenue, the “Little Italy” of the Bronx to fulfill part of my “Eat in all 5 NYC Boroughs”. 3 down, 2 more to go! Still have to check out Queens and Brooklyn. Any suggestions on places to eat?

First stop, we treated ourselves to some of the best iced cappuccinos EVER at De Lillo Pastry Shop.

Next stop found us at Vincent’s Meat Market where we bought some of the most amazing (and fairly inexpensive!) sausages and sopressata. We ended up buying a small styrofoam cooler to keep it all cold while we had dinner.

I’m dying to buy some fresh pasta next time! Especially when it’s 1/4 of the price as the stuff from Eataly.

Last stop was dinner at Mario’s where I was apparently too busy eating to take a picture… Mario’s is a family owned restaurant that’s been around since 1919. I can see why because the food was amazing!

This area was seriously a hidden gem and I will most definitely be back! The only downside was the neighborhood’s proximity (or rather, not so much) to the subway. It’s a bit of a walk through the Bronx to/from the area. We ate dinner slightly early and had no problem walking back to the subway around 6:30. Would I walk around that area in the dark? Probably not…

I didn’t fully complete any 30 before 30 items this weekend but I did chip away at a couple!

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How Clean is That Restaurant?

In July 2010, nearly 2 years ago, New York City started requiring restaurants to post their health inspection scores in their front windows. Scores ranged from A, B, C or “Grade Pending.” On their website, you could search for scores by location (zip code, neighborhood, etc.) or restaurant name. The results would give you a nice detailed list of their current inspection date and score, any prior inspection dates and score as well as the reason for any points. Any particularly “critical” violations are shown in red.

All in all, it’s a good program and website. I’ve looked at this website a few too many times so I know way too much about it at this point. For example, a restaurant could have mice droppings present and still receive an “A” if everything else is in line. Also, a “Grade Pending” score means a restaurant has contested the grade they were given. So right there you know they didn’t get an A.

Honestly, you kinda have to take the score with a grain of salt. If you take it too seriously, you’ll never be able to go to a restaurant again. Because almost every place has something wrong with it. At the same time, I like it. And what I like even more is that they developed an iPhone App for it too.

Enter:

(source via iTunes)

It’s called ABCEats NYC and you can get it here. So, New Yorkers, download it now and check out your favorite spots. Or rather, maybe skip the favorites and check out others instead?

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DMB Caravan v. Hurricane Irene?

What I planned on doing this weekend:

What I ended up doing this weekend:

Like most people on the east coast, I spent my Saturday with the TV glued on The Weather Channel. Instead of on Governor’s Island. Truthfully, a low key weekend was much needed. I was bummed 2 of the 3 concert nights had to be rescheduled but I feel caught up around the house and well rested.

We survived Irene without any direct damage. Unfortunately, we do have some bathroom ceiling damage… Around 4:00 a.m., I got up to go to the bathroom. Without even stepping foot in the bathroom, I heard some seriously leaking. I ran back into the bedroom to get my glasses (since I’m borderline blind without them!) and woke up J in a slight panic. Turn the bathroom light on to find this:


That’s the area above the shower (the bubble at left) and kinda between/over the shower/sink area (the other, bigger hole). I left J to deal with the immediate issue and ran downstairs to our concierge guy. Long story short… The building super went upstairs (I knew the resident(s) were there because we had a sign in list of people who didn’t evacuate and I was nosy) to notify the unit above us. Turns out the guy was saving water in his bathtub in case of an emergency and fell asleep. And the tub overflowed. For real. Seriously, what a moron! Luckily we were home and caught it… Yeah so that was a fun 4:00 a.m. discovery.

Aside from the ceiling, that was our only damage. There’s some flooding in the nearby streets but nothing major. And just got word that the PATH, MTA Subway and NYC Courts will all be open tomorrow. Lucky me. So I will be headed to Jamaica (as in Jamaica, Queens) in the morning… Be jealous.

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Updated! – Online Sales, Daily Deals and More

The whole online sample sale/discount site isn’t really a new concept anymore. If you’re not familiar, they’re basically online private sales that last for a limited time, anywhere from 24-72 hours. At one point, a lot of them were invite only. Some still are but most aren’t. I’ve amassed quite a list of sites that I receive emails from almost daily.

Women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, beauty products, home furnishings and cookware and travel getaways:

Rue La La – recent sales: Vineyard Vines, Puma, Theory, Nicole Miller, Yves Saint Laurent, Birkenstock
Gilt Groupe – recent sales: Ralph Lauren Black Label, Vera Wang
Haute Look – recent sales: Marc Jacobs, Original Penguin, Vivienne Tam
Swirl by DailyCandy – recent sales: Ray Ban, Charlotte Ronson, Paige Denim
Ideeli – recent sales: Havianas, Cuisinart, Dolce & Gabbana, French Connection
The Outnet – recent sales: Herve Leger, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Donna Karan
Editors’ Closet – recent sales: Fendi, Tom Ford, Prada, Stella McCartney
Billion Dollar Babes – recent sales: 7 for All Mankind, Michael Kors, Antik Denim
Beyond the Rack – recent sales: Nicole Miller, Nautica, Tahari, Bottega Veneta
Lot18 – discounted wines and specialty foods
Invino – insider wine sales, up to 80% off retail prices
Totsy – for moms (current and soon-to-be), kids and babies (ages 0-8)
Zozi – unique activities (outdoor/sports-based deals)
NEW – COMING SOON: Fab – design sales
Biva – fragrances, cosmetics, skin care, accessories – recent sales: Victoria’s Secret and Kenneth Cole fragrances, Borghese skin care

Travel deals only:

SniqueAway
JetSetter
TripAlertz – new deals posted every Tuesday – the more that buy, the lower the price

Other sites with daily deals (note: some are location-specific to your city):

Groupon – available almost everywhere now!
LivingSocial – available almost everywhere too!
No More Rack – 8 daily deals posted every day at 12pm, $2 flat shipping per item
kgbdeals – available in most major cities
BuyWithMe – available in cities
Tippr – available in 14 cities
theDealist – available in 5 cities
BlackboardEats – restaurant deals in NY, LA, and SF only
ScoutMob – mobile food deals in 13 cities
Lifebooker – NYC and LA – discounts on beauty services
ADDED 5/17/11: Scoop St – NYC only deals

Note: Some (not all) of the links are referral links. If you sign up through my personalized link, I get a discount or credit to use on their site.

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30 Before 30 – #16 Done

I had a ScoutMob deal for Southern Hospitality BBQ that was expiring soon (50% off check, maximum discount of $25). Southern Hospitality is a NYC restaurant co-owned by Justin Timberlake and I had been wanting to go. Adding it to my 30 Before 30 list guaranteed that I would!

Now it’s crossed off the list! There were some pluses and minuses to the visit…

I called the day before to make reservations. They only take them for parties of 6 or more but the hostess or whoever I spoke with said we wouldn’t have a problem being seated around 4:30/5 pm which is when I said we’d be coming by. Only problem? She apparently forgot about the Kentucky Derby party the restaurant was promoting. Same with whoever uses their Twitter account. I was tweeting on Saturday before we went and the bartender was responding. Told me they had the Red Sox game playing in the bar but it was on rain delay. Interesting cause when we got there, every TV had the Derby on. Nevermind it would’ve been nice for whoever was on Twitter to mention how crazy busy they were! So that was a bit annoying. Then we got there and the hostess couldn’t give us any estimate of how long we’d have to wait for a table. No estimate at all. Annoying again. But luckily the rain had been holding off so we opted to sit outside. Just in time too since all the tables filled out not long after we were seated. Service wasn’t anything fantastic. Thankfully the food was good. Not Dinosaur BBQ good though. I’ll let the pictures speak a little…

I love ribs but only the fall of the bone type without fatty areas. So I usually opt for the pulled pork, as I did here. All of the entree platters come with 2 sides. I went with sweet potato fries (mmm!) and the corn bread with honey whipped butter. I could eat corn bread all day. Half of that plate is today’s lunch 🙂

J went with the Wet & Dry rib combo platter. Southern Hospitality has Memphis style BBQ which means their ribs are dry rubbed. J is all about his BBQ sauce though so the “Wet” portion included their baby back ribs. He went with creamed corn and tater tots for his sides. And, I quote, “those were the best tater tots I’ve ever had”! He ended up not eating the creamed corn but I had a bite. Literally only one. It was super buttery! No thanks.

Overall, it was a decent time. I can cross it off, say it’s been done. Maybe we’ll go back, who knows!

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30 Before 30 – Finally!

I know I promised a post on May 4 but 3 days late is better not at all, right?? Truth be told, I’ve struggled with some items. There are a couple on the list that I’m not sure about and might change but for now, it’s a list of 30 items!

And the list… Drum roll please!…

  1. Move IN to NYC
  2. Visit J’s brother in Japan
  3. Attend a MSU bowl game
  4. See DMB concert at The Gorge
  5. Attend Red Sox Spring Training in Fort Meyers, FL
  6. Wine Tours in the Finger Lakes, NY
  7. Visit Dave Matthew’s Vineyard in VA
  8. Visit Fenway for 100th Anniversary
  9. Attend Yankees vs. Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium
  10. Finish Africa Scrapbook (from 2006)
  11. Finish Winston’s fleece jacket
  12. Make/share Amish Friendship Bread
  13. Learn to crochet Meme’s socks
  14. Attend a live show/taping of SNL
  15. Attend a Junior League info meeting (orientation or Sip & See)
  16. Eat at Justin Timberlake’s NYC restaurant, Southern Hospitality BBQ
  17. Eat in all 5 NYC Boroughs
  18. See Rent on Broadway
  19. Have wedding pictures made into album
  20. Get teeth professionally whitened
  21. Go skydiving
  22. Try a new hairstyle
  23. Have a Spa Day
  24. Get a Lasik consultation
  25. Donate blood 5 times (approx. once every 6 months)
  26. Read the Bible
  27. Refresh Spanish skills
  28. Turn filing cabinet into paperless system
  29. Blog regularly
  30. Think about baby making?!

I’m going to post the list permanently at the “30 Before 30” link at the top of the page and update it as I go!

First up to accomplish? #16 – Eat at Justin Timberlake’s NYC restaurant, Southern Hospitality BBQ. I have a discount certificate from ScoutMob that expires in 2 weeks. Stay tuned for an update on the experience! 🙂

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