New York City in a Weekend: The Foods of NY Tour

 

Chelsea Market Food Tour

I love New York and I love to eat so  the Chelsea Market/Meatpacking Food Tour for $52.00! (Thursday is a discounted day!) was perfect for a Saturday !

According to the website:
The Snapshot:
NYC’s historic indoor Food Market mecca plus a short walk on the old cobblestoned streets of the, now trendy, Meatpacking District & visit to the famous Highline – a park in the sky
The Full Description:
Tour NYC’s urban (indoor) Chelsea Food Market. Become a market insider while experiencing the sights, sounds, and flavors of this historic 112-year old landmark building which was the birthplace of the Oreo Cookie.
Learn the history of the Market, view original artwork and granite sculptures, and learn how the Chelsea Market has become the ultimate indoor food paradise (while tasting your way through).
Then step outside and take a stroll on “THE HIGH LINE”, New York’s only elevated outdoor park for great views of the Hudson River. Finish the tour with a sit-down food tasting at a restaurant in The Meatpacking District and learn all about this trendy area – NYC’s hottest destination for nightlife!
On this tour you will taste delicious specialties from seven “mom and pop” food shops in the Chelsea Market and one restaurant in the Meatpacking District. Also, get a glimpse inside one of two IRON CHEF RESTAURANTS made famous on the FOOD NETWORK: MORIMOTO or Mario Batali and Joe & Lidia Bastianich’s DEL POSTO!*

I am partial to the Reading Terminal Market here in Philadelphia which opened its doors in 1892 but I have to say that I loved the Chelsea Market! Darrell was our tour guide and his training as an actor certainly brought excitement, animation and great fun to our two and a half hour tour (Definitely ask for him!). We feasted on colorful and delicious cupcakes at Eleni’s , had the best chocolate milk I have ever tasted at Ronnybrook Dairy, tasted the legendary delicious preserves on hot muffins from Sarabeth’s Kitchen,
Lucy’s Whey provided a delicious cheese tasting experience. A warm and perfectly smooth quiche was brought out to the group in Buon Italia . We tasted salts,spices, vinegars and herbs all while laughing and listening to the history of the market, shops and surrounding area. The only problem was the fact that with so many restaurants, there was only one bathroom and the line was soooo long which could have been very painful for some! Darrell took us to the rest rooms in Morimoto (Unfortunately, no taste testing here!).  In all my travels I have never seen anything like it! Women would go in, shut the door and we would all hear exclamatory ooohhhsss and auggghhhhsss behind closed doors…all because of the heated seats, music, infinity glass art, and so many more amenities! Worth the experience if you are in the area!  This is the first time I have ever recommended a toilet experience! “Upscale”, “gentrification” were often used words in our group’s conversations. We numbered 12 from across the US and we all hugged at the end! Darrell brought that bonding about!

The Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel is luxurious and chic. We could not resist going up to the Penthouse (even though we were not staying there) for a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view of the city with sunset views over the Hudson. There is a pool, bar and many comfortable couches to just relax. take in the views and momentarily dream!  It was so hard to leave but reality and the dinner bell brought us back to the streets and the Restaurante Italiano. Appetizers were all we needed but we received such attentive care even with a bill not in the triple digit range. Dining outdoors was wonderful for people watching. We met Frances the dog and his owner so you know I had to talk to the dog lover to find out the legacy of this name. Frances was Bill’s mother and sister so he not only bore “Frances” tattoos but named this stubborn little girl after them. A chance meeting that became another bonding experience! Gotta love a man with “Frances” across strong arms!

 

Spices and Tease

Spices and Tease

 

Darrell's Gift Ideas

Darrell’s Gift Ideas

Taste Testing

Taste Testing

Chelsea Food Market

Chelsea Food Market

Sarabeth's Specialty

Sarabeth’s Specialty

Sarabeth's Bakers

Sarabeth’s Bakers

Eleni's Cookies

Eleni’s Cookies

Eleni's Cookies

Eleni’s Cookies

State of the ARt Bathroom Experience

State of the ARt Bathroom Experience

Penthouse View

Penthouse View

 

View from the Penthouse

View from the Penthouse

 

Frances The Dog

Frances The Dog

 

Darrell and I

Darrell and I

 

International Beauty Show, NYC

IBS New York

IBS New York

IBS New York

IBS New York

IBS New York

IBS New York

Be it the intricate henna designs on hands of Indian women before a wedding, the brass rings worn around the necks of women in Burma or the scarring process of women in the Karo tribe of Eithopia…beauty is so subjective and dependent upon cultural norms. Exploring the question of “What is beauty?” is a fascinating one to be sure. Two weeks ago, the International Beauty Show was held in New York. I have been to the Jacob Javits Convention Center many times, but I have never experienced the huge crowds as with this event. This is the longest running, professionals-only beauty show in the nation. The show’s main objective is to educate and open new doors of networking and income opportunities. My press pass allowed me a unique opportunity to photograph some of the current western beauty trends. The top trends for 2013 in the hair category seemed to be braids, plaits,up-dos and bobs.(I am now sporting a very short bob thanks to celebrity stylist Mike Karg!) A variety of hues and shades seemed endless. Men seem to be paying much more attention to skin care and hair products while nails are becoming small artistic canvases with new colors and patterns. I was surrounded by state of the art cosmetics, oils, extensions – hair and lash, tools, haircare, nail care, tooth whitening, classes, hair cuts by the very famous stylists… but as Sam Levenson reminded us, “For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.” “For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.”
“For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.” “For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.” Beauty at its best!

New York City Street Photography

New York City SubwayNew York City

IMG_1841New York City

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Living in Philadelphia, I am just two hours (on a good day!) away from a city that truly “doesn’t sleep”!  Yesterday was a day with great friends.  Where else could we walk into a fashion store and be greeted with champagne and popcorn, walk down a street and have massive bubbles flying into our faces and see a man in his underwear strumming a guitar?  Going to NYC for a day can never disappoint.  Our first stop was an off Broadway show entitled, “How 2 B A New Yorker” .  A very funny play that in one hour will give the ENTIRE 🙂 history of NY along with  a play book for developing those instincts honed to street smarts,  a “love/hate relationship” according to the actors.  Then just walking those streets provides entertainment all on its own and for a photographer, I am in heaven!  After the meandering, we ended up at Fig $ Olive restaurant, (highly recommend and highly recommended!).  On each table were olive oils from around the world beginning a unique dining experience. We decided to go with their three course fixed menu: The  truffle mushroom croquette, pumpkin ravioli and the chocolate pot de creme won high praises from us all (cost $45.)

Thank you NYC for a day to remember with great friends!

New York Times Travel Show: Oh Take Me Away!

New York Times Travel Show 2013

New York Times Travel Show 2013
As I sit inside with the temperature down to 17 degrees and the snow up to three inches as we speak, I thought I would take out my notes from Arthur and Pauline Frommer again to pass along the most popular destinations predicted for 2013. China seems to take the spot for number 1! There is a 10 night city tour available with flights from JFK for $1399. In Frommer’s words, “Everyone should see the Great Wall of China in their lifetime.” (Sounds great to me!). He said this is the best price for a destination he has been able to find.

Ireland has been suffering badly from an economic downturn. One very savy marketing company decided that since Ireland is known for its hospitality and “party spirit” that this year would be known as “The Gathering” with celebrations going on at a spot in Ireland for the entire year. I absolutely love Ireland and its people. For me, this is a definite, “going home” experience when I travel there, so I am putting together a trip in July/August.(If you would like to join us, just let me know! We will have such great “CRAIC” which in the Irish language translates to good times, gossip, music, drinking, debauchery and good clean fun!…a type of mantra for me!).

India was next in the countdown due to the exchange rate. So much can be done and purchased now making India a very popular draw. (It happens to be one of my favorite draws any year!).

Dubai is putting forth quite the effort to lure tourists, but the elder Frommer was unable to recommend this travel destination. Having never been myself, I am unable to comment.

Here at home, Miami Beach is enjoying a huge surge in tourists. Colorado and Washington have been drawing many due to the legalization of marijuana and its huge appeal. New Orleans has just completed its 3rd of 6 buildings dedicated as a World War II museum which is a fascinating exploration of history.

Caral, Peru has attracted so much attention from the pyramids and ruins discovered after nearly a decade of excavation. It is now deemed to be the oldest city in the western hemisphere. The difficulty at this point in time is that there is only one local hotel which often is filled to capacity by many archaeologists.

Frommer predicts this will one of the top destinations when they are able to keep up with the tourists coming in. Next in the line-up would be Oslo, Norway. With the building of the acclaimed Opera House, it has become a major landmark with over 1.3 million visitors in 2008 and is the largest cultural building to be constructed since the beginning of the 14th century.

Many continue to yearn for a trip to Cuba but according to the speakers, it is still too overpriced which is exactly what I have discovered so my trip is on hold.

If you saw the “Life Of Pi” and loved the scenery, Taiwan is the place to visit. Amsterdam was voted the Best in Travel in 2013 by the Lonely Planet and January 2013 was the beginning of the year-long role as Europe’s Cultural Capital which was bestowed upon Marseille,France. So many wonderful places to see and so little time (and money!). A girl can dream can’t I?!