Though I sometimes crave leaving my beloved city behind and b-lining for the beach like mentioned here, I do love New York. Very early on, I had a desire to move into an apartment in the West Village (a brownstone, obv!) and settle down in the urban jungle. New York City just lives in my bones, and it always has (and I think always will). There is no denying it. With that being said, when I reached out to Raluca, founder of lifestyle blog What Would Gwyneth Do (who is actually living out my fantasy on the beach in Southern California), I jumped at her suggestion to offer my take on a “local’s guide to Manhattan”. Uncovering my favorite places “to shop, wine and dine, where to find the best massage, facials, places to take your kids” and so much more, I gave her readers the inside scoop.
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Be sure to stay connected with Raluca on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter – a lifestyle blogger with a working mommy slant, her blog (and distinct voice) is one you don’t want to miss: relatable, real and relevant! Raluca can also be found on Huffington Post Parents, The Chalkboard Mag and The Conversation.
Despite the return back from our southwest adventure last Monday, today feels like my first day back to it. Getting into the swing of things has been difficult since Dina was off all last week too. I’d been vibing off her extended vacation and using it to my advantage. With that being said, I decided to put off reality for a few more days and we lined up activities chock full of art, culture and cuisine for our remaining time.
And so our staycation began in our home city on Tuesday with a leisurely brunch at Lafayette, one of my new favorite spots to dine. A Paris meets New York City vibe, the food is right-on. I had the brisket burger which is not my typical mid-day light fare, but figured why not since we were still in vacay mode. Dina had the steak tartar, roasted carrot salad and mouth watering deviled eggs that I will surely be ordering in the future. I’m looking forward to the (hard to find in this city) outdoor space for those inching closer warmer days. For a quick latte and a scone, the restaurant houses a small french bakery for take-away. We got last minute tickets to the opera La Sonnambula for that evening. I’ve never been, but have always wanted to. Lucky for us, orchestra seats became available and we scooped them up. Grateful for the experience, I can’t say I’ll be a buying a membership at the Metropolitan Opera House anytime soon. What’s a stayacation without visiting the spa? I scheduled a massage at Great Jones and Dina checked out the new thermal baths at AIRE. Both relaxed, decompressed and unwound, we met up later that evening and took in an early movie. The Grand Budapest Hotel was a visual feast! Wes Anderson is a creative genius and the attention to detail with cinematography, storyline, wardrobe, props, etc. was next level. A quick bite after at Ribalta, a local joint with a gluten free pizza option! Rare find. On Friday we hit up the Museum of the City of New York to see the “City As Canvas” graffiti exhibit, featuring Martin Wong’s collection. A quick train ride up to 103rd street, I recommend the visit. Such an authentic exhibit which represents much of what the street culture in NYC felt like in the late 70’s and 80’s. The museum had other worthy to visit exhibits including “Rising Waters” which documents via photographs the events before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.
Over the weekend, we spent time with family, hung-out in Washington Square Park and took in one more delicious meal at Perla on Saturday night to celebrate Dina’s new job. Today is day one at Google and I am the proudest wife on the planet. No doubt she is going to kill it. Although I’m going to miss our endless days of adventure, I’m feeling EXTRA EXTRA grateful for the time we’ve had. I know how lucky we are. It’s not often that you get to spend this type of uninterrupted time with the person that you love. It has been an epic three weeks from Utah to Telluride to exploring our home turf in New York City and I’ve cherished each and every single moment. The reality of getting back to work is off and running and both of us are ready to dive back in, feeling more rested, replenished and inspired.
Never forget to take the time you need to breathe and reboot. Sometimes we’re all are on autopilot, and allow ambition and the pressure of success and making money to take the focus away from other important aspects of life. But by stepping away and giving yourself the space to gain perspective, you will always come back with a new level of appreciation, loving yourself and the people around you (and even your job!) more than before! Happy Monday! xx jenny
NEXT UP: A recap of our adventures through Utah & Colorado + an epic spotlight of Katelin Sisson, co-founder of Yoga for Bad People!
photo via Sincerely Jules