Sunday, January 29, 2012

Celeb Spot! Anjelica Huston

Yesterday I spotted Anjelica Huston walking along 81st Street on the Upper West Side.  The Oscar winner has been in loads of movies including 'The Adams Family', 'Daddy Daycare' and '50/50'.  She is also starring in the new TV show 'Smash' which starts in February.

Anjelica Huston looked very much the New Yorker, wearing a black outfit with sunglasses.  She is very tall and slim and I was very excited to see her walking around the neighbourhood!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

'Alice's Teacup'-Restaurant Review

'Alices Teacup' is one of my favourite place to go to for tea.  They currently have three locations across Manhattan, but I always go to the 'Chapter 1' which is located on 73rd Street and Columbus Avenue.

It is a relaxed, cosy little tea shop with friendly staff.  They have a huge selection of teas to choose from, probably the biggest I have seen in New York.  They serve breakfast and lunch, but my favourite item on the menu is 'Alice's Afternoon Tea'.  There are 3 types of afternoon tea to choose from and I enjoy sharing the 'Mad Hatter' tea with a friend.

Make sure you go hungry as the portions are huge.  You get a choice of 2 pots of tea, 2 sandwiches, 3 scones with cream and jam, a big slice of cake and a selection of cookies.  The tea costs $45 for two people, and considering how much food you get I think it's really good value.

The 'Mad Hatter' Afternoon Tea 
The food is delicious, especially the scones and cakes.  I have had afternoon tea here a few times now and still haven't managed to eat everything.  Although I do like taking home a goodie bag of the leftovers!

There are lots of other options available at Alice's Teacup and you don't have to pig out to enjoy the experience.  They have a good selection of salads and sandwiches as well as a soup of the day.  You can also enjoy the cakes and scones individually too.  

I would definitely recommend Alice's Teacup and always enjoy my visits there.  For more information please visit http://alicesteacup.com/.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday New Girl in New York!

Today is the first anniversary of 'New Girl in New York'!  I can't believe I have been writing this blog for a year now, it has gone so quickly and I have had some amazing experiences.

I feel I have learnt a lot about New York over the past year, but there is still so much more I want to see and do.  I have heard that it takes 10 years to be considered a real New Yorker, so I guess I can still call myself a New Girl for a while yet!

Blogging has given me some amazing opportunities, I have been lucky enough to write an article for a magazine, given interviews for websites (more information to follow!) and met some great people online.  I have been very lucky!

Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read my posts and follow my blog.  I know there are lots of people writing out there and I really appreciate you checking out mine.  Thank you to those who leave comments or email me directly, I love your feedback and am always happy answer questions if I can.  

I hope that you continue to read and enjoy my blog over the next year and I'm looking forward to sharing my New York experiences with you!



Saturday, January 21, 2012

The first snow day of 2012 in NYC

Today was the first snow day of 2012 in NYC.  I had forgotten how pretty the city looks after the first snowfall, especially in the parks.

I finally got to wear my snow boots and giant coat (think a sleeping bag with arms) when went for a walk in Central Park to enjoy the scenery.

The lower path around the reservoir
Perfect snow scene

Snow day in Central Park
The park was still busy with lots of children racing down hill on little sleds, cross country skiers and of course, joggers!  No matter what the weather you will always find people running in Central Park.

The first day of the snow is always beautiful in New York, before it gets all brown and sludgy, so we made the most of it.  We took a long walk around the reservoir and through the park, but once the snow on our coats started to freeze we decided it was time to head home for tea!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Visiting Inwood

Inwood is located above Harlem and Washington Heights, running from Dyckman street to the tip of Manhattan.  I have a friend who lives in the area and she invited me to lunch and for a walk around some of the great parks up there.

Inwood is much quieter than any other area of Manhattan I have visited so far.  It seemed a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of mid-town, but was only 20 minutes away by train.  It is a diverse neighborhood with lots of families and students living there.  I took the C and A trains up, getting off at Dyckman Street, which is located on the main high street.

We went to lunch at the 'Indian Road Cafe', which is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant.  It was a great place to chill out and my food was delicious.  The lunch menu contains a wide variety of sandwiches and salads and the baked goods looked yummy (damn the new diet!).  The dinner menu looked well worth trying, with a good selection of cured meats and cheeses, as well as various other dishes.  For more information visit http://indianroadcafe.com/.

After lunch we went for a walk in 'Inwood Hill Park' which is really pretty, even in the winter.  It is home to the last natural forest and salt marsh in Manhattan.  It was much quieter than Central Park, very serene and relaxing.  Unfortunately the rain cut our walk short so I will be going back to have proper look when the weather is better.  Check out the park website at http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/inwoodhillpark.

Inwood also has one of the most famous liquor stores in the city, PJ wine. This store has one of the largest and most reasonably priced selection of wines and spirits in Manhattan.  Visit http://www.pjwine.com for more information.

I really enjoyed my afternoon in Inwood and will definitely be going back for another visit.  When I told my friend I was going to write about the neighbourhood she said, 'Oh no, don't tell everyone about this place, it's our little secret!'.

Monday, January 16, 2012

'Broadway Week' and 'Off-Broadway Week' Jan-Feb 2012

'Broadway Week' runs from the 17th January to 4th February 2011. You can get 2 for 1 tickets for many performances including 'Chicago the Musical', 'Jersey Boys' and 'Spider Man-Turn off the Dark' to name a few.

For a full list of the shows participating and to buy tickets, visit http://www.nycgo.com/broadwayweek.

'Off-Broadway Week' is also coming up and runs from 30th Jan-Feb 12th 2012.  Again, 2 for 1 tickets are available for the majority of shows including, 'Avenue Q', 'Carrie' and 'Rent'.

For a full list of the shows participating and to buy tickets, visit http://www.nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Museum of Art and Design

There are many museums and galleries that I have yet to visit in New York, so I thought I would take a trip to the the Museum of Art and Design (MAD).  The museum describes itself as the exploration of the "blur zone between art, design, and craft today", so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the exhibits.

The exhibits are situated over 5 floors, so we started at the top with the "Crafting Modernism: Mid century American Art and Design".  It was a very basic exhibit of various bits of furniture, jewelry and art from the 1940's-1960's.  There was a distinct lack of information about the pieces and therefore it was not very interesting.

The "Beauty in All Things: Japanese Art and Design" exhibit had a few interesting pieces, but to me it looked like an expensive furniture store.  Again there was little or no information about the items, so it was difficult to grasp the concept of the exhibit or understand why those particular pieces were of interest.

The only exhibit saving this museum from being a complete waste of time and money was the "Korean Eye: Energy and Matter".  The 'BullMan' life size sculpture by Ji Yong Ho was amazing.  It is made from old tires and scarp metal and the creepy looking creature dominates the room.   There were some brilliant paintings and installations, and many of the artists had provided information about their work which was interesting and gave the pieces meaning.


I have to say that MAD is the least friendly and least relaxing museum I have ever visited.  The cashier was extremely rude when we purchased our tickets and the rest of the staff followed suit.  They have signs everywhere saying 'Do Not Touch' and there are a number of surly security guards watching your every move, shouting 'don't touch!' if you breath too close to an exhibit.  It was uncomfortable to say the least!  

Entry to the museum costs $15 and there isn't much to see, we were in and out in under an hour.  There are so many great museums to visit in New York and I'm sorry to say that I don't think MAD is one of them.

For more information about MAD visit http://www.madmuseum.org/.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jones Wood Foundry-English pub in NYC Restaurant Review

Jones Wood Foundry is an English style pub located on the Upper East Side.  It had been recommended to me as having great English food in a traditional setting, so I thought it was about time we paid it a visit.

As you enter, there is a pub style bar running the length of the room, which looked really authentic and cosy.  The restaurant is located in a separate room at the end of the bar and again was very reminiscent of an English pub back home.  It was quite darkly lit considering in was lunch time, but there was a nice atmosphere with a mix of locals and Brits.

The menu looked great and it took us a while to decide what to order.  In the end I opted for fish and chips, and my hubby went for the traditional Sunday lamb roast.  They had a good selection of British beers, both bottled and draft, so hubby enjoyed a London Pride whilst waiting for our food.

When the food arrived it looked appetizing, although the portions were fairly small.  My fish and chips were nice, but I can't rave about the dish as it was very ordinary.  The roast was the most disappointing with fattier than usual lamb and only two tiny roast potatoes.  As my husband was still hungry we decided to have a pudding (I was just being greedy ;-) and both went for the strawberry pavlova, which we enjoyed.

I thought it was quite expensive considering the portion sizes and standard of food.  It was fine, but in no way outstanding or worth the money.

I was quite disappointed with my overall experience at Jones Wood Foundry as it had received some great reviews.  I was expecting to feel like I had been transported to an English pub, but unfortunately the food didn't live up to the great surroundings.  However, we only tried a couple of items on the menu so may give it another go in the future, perhaps the dinner menu will be more authentic.

For more information on Jones Wood Foundry visit http://www.joneswoodfoundry.com/index.html.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Where do the dead Christmas trees go?

You know the holidays are well and truly over when you see piles of dead and discarded Christmas trees piled high on the pavement.  I'm not sure how I feel about the waste of so many trees, so I thought I would do a little research and find out what happens to them.

The answer is relatively simple, if you leave your clean and non-bagged Christmas tree on the curb the NYC Department of Sanitation will collect and recycle it.  The trees are chipped and made into compost which is then distributed across parks, ball fields and community gardens across the city.  The collection service is available until 14th January.

Also, this weekend (7th and 8th January) the Parks and Recreation Department host 'Mulchfest' at 70 sites across the city.  Certain parks have areas for mulching so you can drop off your tree and collect some mulch of your own!  To find out 'Mulchfest 2012' locations visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/mulchfest.

As over 140,000 trees are discarded in NYC after Christmas every year, I think it's great that the city recycles them and puts the mulch to good use.  If you are putting out your tree make sure it is clean of ornaments and tinsel and is not in any plastic wrapping or bags.

For more information on NYC Christmas tree recycling visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/dsny/html/pr2011/122711.shtml.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Restaurant Week January 2012

It's coming up to 'Restaurant Week' again so now is the time to make reservations in order to snag a table at  some of the best places in NYC.  'Restaurant Week' runs from 16th January to 10th February and restaurants taking part offer set 3-course menus at $24.07 for lunch and $35 for dinner, Monday to Friday.

I always enjoy trying new places during this time but have noticed that this year many restaurants that normally take part are missing from the list or are only offering lunch.  There are still some great places to go and as restaurants can become very crowded during this promotion so I would definitely make reservations ahead of time.

For more information and to make reservations visit:
 http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m=8&ref=412&pid=69 or http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek/?gclid=CPXxzMiIua0CFQcQNAod6GZQoA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  We got back from our holiday yesterday, so I have spent all day today trying to get everything back to normal.

We did watch the New Year celebrations in New York and saw Mayor Bloomberg and Lady Gaga drop the ball.  It looked crazy as always and I'm not sure I will ever brave Times Square on New Years Eve in the flesh, but it was great fun watching it on TV.

It's back to reality now and I'm looking forward to sharing some more of my New York tips and experiences in the new year.

Happy 2012!