Adventures

Paige & Rae Part 3

Hey, sorry this series is taking so long! I’m busy with Hillsong’s analytics, school projects, and midterms just finished.

If you’re new to my blog, please read Part One and Part Two to read about my other adventures around NYC with my girls!

So, it’s Sunday and we accomplished a lot of things on Paige’s and Rae’s list. But we also struck out a lot, since we forgot that everything is closed on Sundays. Well, not everything, but a lot of places aren’t open (for obvious reasons).

We woke up really early to meet up with some of Rae’s and Paige’s classmates. We were supposed to have breakfast at the famous The Bagel Store, home of the rainbow bagel. The classmates stood us up, but that didn’t stop us from having awesome bagels! Rae got a pumpkin bagel. Paige got a yummy apple cinnamon bagel. I, the only one who got a colored bagel, got the Walking Dead bagel with nutella. It was okay, but I can see why this one girl complained about it tasting like chemicals.

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(TMI, but if you get weird poop colors the day after, it’s the dye from the bagels)

Then, we took the train to Chelsea Market. Located in the Meat Packing District (my fav spot to be), it’s a mix of hipster, artisan restaurants, and grocery and retail stores. It’s expensive, vegan (for the most part), organic, and healthy. We got coffee and browsed the tiny “flea market” they have in the back. Cute stuff, but kind of pricey. However, the Brooklyn Charms booth is my favorite.

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Next, we walked the High Line, which is a block away from Chelsea Market. The High Line is an abandoned subway track turned into a cool park. It’s a favorite place of mine, because it’s refreshing to be around so much vegetation. You’re around cement so much and you need to take a break and be next to nature. It’s also a great way to cut through Chelsea and go more East of the island.

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Then, we made our way up to the Plaza. Paige and Rae wanted to do the Home Alone pose in front of the Plaza. I took them inside the Plaza Food Court. It’s a cute place to splurge lunch on. They have the best mushroom panini.

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We got tired. And when you’re tired on 5th Ave, there’s only one place to recoop! Central Park, of course! Tip, if you’re going to sleep in the Park in the beginning of fall, bring a blanket or extra layers.

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Before going down to Times Square for Hillsong, we chilled at Starbucks. I love Starbucks for two reasons. One, free wifi. Two, charger stations.

After church, we were excited to take the train back home and order in. We are so thankful that the Air BnB has Netflix! It honestly better than booking a hotel and I was sad that that was my last night there!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow Rae and Paige around the next day, because I had school. I’ll fill you in, though. They rode the Staten Island Ferry and went to the African Burial Memorial. If you’re here during summer and early fall, you MUST take the ferry. You get really great views and the ride if FREE!!!!

 

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Uncategorized

Paige & Rae Part: 1

I just had a wonderful weekend with these gals! My friend from home, Raelene, and her friend (now my friend), Paige. Doesn’t she look like Taya Smith???

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Last year, I got a random call from Rae asking about visiting NYC (they go to school in Chicago), then one thing lead to another and we planned a trip! Thank goodness for Air BnB! For those of you who don’t know what Air BnB is, it’s an app that allows people to rent a space in a house/apartment for a short amount of time. People can also lease an extra room or their house on the app. This is perfect for people who are staying somewhere for a weekend, who are on a budget, or who don’t like hotels. It’s as easy as searching the area, looking through reviews, and booking it.

We found Raquel, the host, and she had a basement apartment available for a very decent price. It was so clean, it was styled very nicely, and it had everything we needed. If you’re not familiar with NYC, everything is super small and condense, so don’t expect a huge room to stay here. It was a studio apartment, so the kitchen, living room, and bedroom were all in the same space, but it wasn’t cramped. The bathroom is really tiny, but it does the job and it’s super clean. Raquel had free WiFi, Netflix on the TV, and she left a note saying where the nearest subway stations were and restaurants.

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But before we checked in, I met Rae and Paige at Bakeri. This really cute bakery cafe in Brooklyn. It’s very homey feeling and shabby chic. The waitresses have these cute Rosy the Riveter like uniform. Then we found ourselves in a cool vintage garage. I bought these projector slides, which I’m seriously thinking about collecting from now on. Lots of cool things in there. Then, we walked to our Air BnB.

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Our day wasn’t finish, yet. After unpacking, we immediately set out to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a pretty price to pay ($18 for students) to get inside the museum, but it was really worth it. I cried so much and the museum was gracious enough to provide tissues at every corner. What really got me was the exhibit dedicated to those who jumped or who fell out of the top floors of the tower. The stories that were told were so chilling and the actual voicemail messages that play through out will haunt you. It will give you a new found respect for our public service warriors (policemen, firemen, and EMTs) and so proud on how the nation recovered from such a tragedy.

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We capped the night at Chinatown for some chow. Rae and I are so used to eating pretty authentic Chinese cuisine, so we went pretty mild with Paige. We got pork buns, egg rice, and sweet & sour chicken; served family style. It was so filling and delicious. We had ice cream from The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. I got ube (the one in purple), Rae got butter and macha oreo, and Paige got almond cookie. It came with a Green Tea Pocky stick.

It was a super busy first day. Stay tuned for Part 2-5. They won’t be as long as this, because I got lazy with taking pictures, but I’ll still write in detail about the places we visited.

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Adventures

Adventures in Soho

Last weekend,  my roommates and my two high school classmates embarked on a mission to try Eileen’s cheesecakes. My roommate is the one who discovered this little gem after watching a YouTube video about the 23 amazing flavors they have!

We first went to Sweet Greens, this really tasty salad place. I’ve ordered from there before, but for my bosses at the time, so I never tried it before. I had the Kale Cesar Salad, which was perfection! There wasn’t too much dressing, a hint of lime juice, and the parmesan chips was HEAVEN!

It’s sort of hard to find, but it’s really close to Jack’s Wife Freida’s Kitchen and right across the street form Eileen’s.

After our wonderful lunch, it was time to have some cheesecake! I thought that we were going to have to stand in a super long line, since it was featured on a popular YouTube page, but it wasn’t. There was a group of people outside, but that was part of a food tour group. It’s a super small place, a little rinky dinky. It’s a more upscale version of a “hole in the wall”, which my favorite type of restaurant to go to.

The cheesecakes are so small. It’s not a slice, it’s a mini cheesecake. It’s super cute and great for an individual. It tastes like a dream. It’s not super rich, the crust is thin, and it wasn’t super sweet. I had the Raspberry and my old classmate got the s’mores. The other girls got marbled, strawberry, and something else. I’m definitely coming back for my birthday!

Next, we walked around SoHo, because my roommate had to take pictures of her outfit for her blog. I love getting lost in SoHo.

It’s super trendy, nice, and so posh! There are also a lot of cute puppies walking around! I love going inside the boutiques and vintage pop up stores.

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My new favorite shop to look at is LF. It’s super expensive, but some really cute/sexy stuff. I found this silver maxi, sateen, double slit, on the bias dress. It’s my dream dress. I wish I found this shop when I was in high school, because it’s perfect for prom. I might get married in it, I don’t know.

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Adventures

Adventure in Brooklyn

The first weekend of September, Refinery 29 opened a 29 room interactive art exhibit in Brooklyn and I was dying to go with my friends. However, it was the hottest day of the year and the line wrapped around the building twice! Obviously, we were like…

No way, Jose!

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So, we ditched the art exhibit and started to explore around the area. This isn’t my first time in Brooklyn, but it’s such a huge borough and there are so many other parts to have adventures in! And even though we didn’t get in 29 Rooms, Brooklyn is filled with a bunch of street art. So, Brooklyn is basically a 100 something street art exhibit.

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We first had brunch at Tutu’s. It’s a tiny place with a bar and a few booths. The food was really good, pretty expensive, but what can you expect from a brunch spot in Brooklyn? I ordered the crab cake Benedict. It was really delicious, kind of pricey, but delightful.

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We stopped by two vintage-ish shops. Beacon’s Closet and some other small Co-Op. Loved the variety in Beacon’s and we actually found some real vintage clothing. You know, from the 60s and 70s. Everything was decently priced, but I’m a bargain kind of a girl. Almost got a $18.00 Club Monaco denim jacket, though!

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We grabbed iced coffee from Swallow Cafe. There was nothing special about this place other than it had overpriced coffee. My iced latte was $6.00. I couldn’t believe it. But it did it’s job, so whatever, I guess. The good side out of this purchase was my revelation about sweetening all my iced coffee with honey. It’s purely divine!

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Lastly, my friends oped for a photo shoot with the street art as their back drop. I was the bag lady, haha! I just feel uncomfortable in front of the cameras. I’m much more of a creative director and proved it by telling the girls how to pose.

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Adventures, The List of 5

5 Things To Do In Hawaii For Free-ish

1. Hiking

Unless you want to hike with a guide and a bunch of strangers, you must go out and do a hike (or several!). It’s beautiful through out the entire hike, there’s always a magnificent view, it’s free, and it’s healthy! I haven’t had the chance to do hikes on the West side or North shore, so my examples are limited to hikes in the East side, South East side, and North East side of Oahu.

Although these hikes are a once in a lifetime kind of activity, please do in-depth research. It is dangerous to hike, you know. We might not have bears,  but we do have pigs, dehydration, lots of people get lost, and people have died on these trails. It’s really easy to get yourself in trouble if you don’t know how to hike, so BE WISE!!! Or be the laughing stock of the 7 o’clock local news. Below are easy hikes that I highly recommend.

  • Makuapu’u Light House
    • It’s paved, so it’s mostly easy.
    • If you are not an experienced hiker, clumsy, pregnant, or elderly, then DO NOT GO DOWN THE CLIFFS to the tide pools.
      • Lots of young people go down
      • Tide pools are very dangerous
        • Many people have been hurt by the waves

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  • Diamond Head
    • Lots of stairs to climb when you get towards the top
      • So worth it!
    • $1.00 entry and $20.00 parking

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  • Koko Head (this is actually a little harder)
    • Lots of “stairs” straight up
      • Thigh killer!!!
    • Hot
      • Need sunscreen and water
    • Great view from above

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  • Aiea Loop
    • Drive out far and little confusing to get to
    • Lush green nature all around
    • Park
  • Pali Look Out
    • Not really a hike
    • Beautiful, stunning view
    • Police always in area
2. Beach Hopping

One of my most favorite things to do withe my friends is going to the beach. I actually have a semi-annual North Shore excursion that I orchestrate. But there are so many other beaches to go to! I mean, it is an island! However, to keep some beaches a secret (for local reasons), I’m just going to list some general areas with great beaches that are not so intense.

  • North Shore
    • Sunset beach, Turtle bay, Haleiwa Beach
    • No huge waves, pretty safe
    • White sand
    • Perfect for picnics after visting Dole Plantation

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  • East Side Beaches
    • Avoid Sandy’s and Makapu’u if you value your life
    • Beautiful teal waters and white, fine sands
    • Gaze up at the cliffs and explore the little towns

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  • North East Side
    • White, fine sands
    • Beautiful teal/blue water
    • Nice shopping areas nearby

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  • South Shore
    • This is Waikiki area
    • Highly populated, but still pretty to see
    • Much prettier beyond the shore
      • You can go on tours or go snorkeling

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3.First Fridays/Art & Flea

Like New York, there are lots of cool, free things to attend. There are a lot of cool vendors and stuff that would make great souvenirs. Lately, Hawai’i has been strongly promoting local boutiques/businesses, and art. Thanks to gentrification, these places are in the trendiest and coolest part of Honolulu.

  • First Fridays
    • Chinatown block party
    • Fashionable boutiques with local designers
    • Good food, good drinks, good bars
    • Lots of bars and a few pool halls to visit
    • Art exhibits with local artists
    • Parking is hard to come by

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  • Art & Flea
    • Every third Thursday of the month
    • Held at various areas in Kaka’ako
    • Vendors, good food, good drinks
    • It’s according to a theme, so dress up for it! (The last one I went to was dog themed)
    • Fashionable, stylish, cool, trendy!
    • Parking is hard to come by

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4. Watching sunsets/sunrises on the beach/cliffs

How can you resist or avoid doing this? Sunsets are magical back a home! It’s a wonderful backdrop for photos, proposals, dates, and so on. It’s so serene with all the ombre of orange to midnight blues! The best places to view it is on the beach or on sea cliffs.

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5. Exploring Waikiki at night

Although it’s a tourist trap, Waikiki is so much fun to explore at night. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do at night! I love walking by the shops, walking on the beach (which really isn’t allowed), and seeing the street performers.

The last time I was there, an Middle Eastern dance troupe was running around. They were blasting their folk songs, dancing, and had a train of people following them! They were even dressed up in costume!

Also, every Friday night, there’s a fire work show at the Hilton!!!!

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Adventures, The List of 5

5 Things to do in New York for Cheap

I’ll be posting a weekly list of five things according to a theme of my choosing. I’ll try to write a short bit about each item. Hopefully, I’ll encourage you to try one (or all) of the things on this list.

1. Taking a stroll down 28th Street.

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Between 6th and Broadway is a honey pot of pure delight that could brighten up anyone’s day! A strip of flower shops! Just what a person needs to see after a draining or terrible day: flowers. Flowers are expensive, but taking a few minutes to admire them is free.

2. Visiting the Cloister Museum.

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If you don’t live anywhere near the top half of Manhattan, then the subway ride to 190th street will be a long one. A long, but worthwhile one. Once you step out of the elevator, you’ll be asking yourself if you’re still in New York. It’s quiet, peaceful, and very green. It’s a bit of a scenic walk, but once you reach the museum (which is free, but they strongly suggest a donation of any amount), your jaw will drop. It has two beautiful gardens and lots of Gothic artworks.

3. Taking advantage of installations, pop up shops, and random events through out the city.

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That’s what I love about New York. There’s always something cool and new to enjoy. Naturally, being in a large city there are lots of sponsored events, new museums, artworks, clubs, and events. So, however you got the info, you better take a chance to check it out. Like this art installation/pop up store in Chelsea Market.

4. Picnicking in the park (during the warmer season)

 

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A mix-up on going out for lunch! It’s a cute date for friends or significant others to go on as well. Although, I know some of you might think that making your  food is a hassle, it truly isn’t. What’s complicated about making a couple of sandwiches, buying some spirits, and unfolding a blanket? Central Park is an ideal place to visit with all that space!

You can find other parks on the New York Parks and Recreation website. They give a nice description of each park.

5. Exploring the Meat Packing District

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After a nice stroll on the High Line, you can find yourself in one of the most trendiest parts of the island! Cool cafes and restaurants, cobble stone roads, wonderful boutiques, beautiful homes, and fashionable people. Bring your camera, everywhere is the perfect backdrop at golden hour.

If you have any suggestions for places to visit or things for me to do, please leave a suggestion in the comments!

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