BEYONDBKLYN

a little blog about a big adventure in New York.

New York Makers - Jaclyn and the Beanstalk

New York Makers, HomeStephanie Hind1 Comment

Bringing a little bit of green into your home in New York can be a difficult thing, with limited outdoor space and crazy climates it can be hard keeping plants alive.

While living in London I tried my hands at looking after a couple of plants with out much success they ended up sitting on the balcony slowing turning brown. Since moving to New York I wanted to try again and have slowing been acquiring what I call easy pants, basically cactus and succulents that are pretty much kill proof and so far it seems to be working.

Last weekend I extended collection with a beautiful new succulent in an even more beautiful pot! We headed to a small craft fair I had heard about based in Manhattan in an old fire station. Degenerate Craft fair is in it's 6th year and has everything from jewellery to some delectable little snacks.

We took a look around before Jaclyn's aptly named stall, Jaclyn and the beanstalk, caught our eyes. Her table was packed with all sorts of pots and terrariums a visual feast. Right there and then I knew we would by something but it was just deciding what. Jaclyn works as a designer by day and then by night  she puts together these wonderful creations out in Long island. She sells at markets around the city and also does custom orders for some clients. 

I loved the terrariums she had to offer but they were all a little to big for our windowsill so we ended up choosing a vintage style cream pot that I kind of think looks like a pineapple with the top cut off. It's so cute I couldn't wait to get it home where it is now sitting in prime position in the living room. Each pot comes with a little set of care instruction that are super simple to follow so even the un-greenest of fingers can't go wrong.

You can see more of Jaclyn's designs on her Instagram page, she has now done her last fair for the year but I will be on the look out for her again in the new year.

Miansai Tea Bar - Soho

Stephanie HindComment

Miansai is a handmade accessories shop known for their rope and hook bracelets but they also make watches, leather goods and some beautiful wallets. 

They have a gorgeous little store on the ever so trendy Crosby St and sitting at the front of the store they have their very own Tea Bar. 

They usual deal in New York is to have your store double as a coffee shop serving up Blue Bottle or something of the like but Miansai decided to be a little different and only serve tea.. And good tea at that! I'm not a coffee person so this is right up my alley.

They offer up a range of teas from green and black to herbal and chai. Sitting on the counter placed in carefully carved wood indents is a row of copper mugs etched with the name of all the teas they offer. You can take your time finding the perfect tea for you before getting it served hot or iced. 

I went with a strawberry green tea over ice while the boy went with silver needles served hot! Both were delicious and we sat outside of the store on the bench as we watched the very fashionable world pass by.

Definetly one to stop in if you are passing by, but be careful it is way to easy to buy everything in the store.

Spring Lake in Fall

Stephanie HindComment

A few weeks ago we decided to take a few days out of the city, we didn't want to go far but just far enough to get a little bit of country living. We did however leave the star of New York, Choosing New Jersey as our point of call.

Just over 2 hours from New York by NJ Transit (train) is the Jersey Shore; Now I know what you are thinking and, No, the place we stayed was far from the realms of Snookie and J-wow. We choose a little seaside town named Spring Lake, the town itself is many residential with a few small hotels and restaurants. It is primarily a summer holiday spot but it was off season meaning we got our hotel for a steal!

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We stayed at The Chateau inn a quaint little B&B close by to the train station and just on the edge of the lake from which Spring Lake takes it's name. Our room was huge, it had two queen beds and an open fire place that was replenished with a safe burn log each day.

We basically just wanted to relax so we had one restaurant reservation and just planned on exploring the area. 

The restaurant we chose was Whispers a award winning spot just a few minutes from our hotel and boy was it good. No photos from this one as they are not allowed in side the restaurant but believe me it was great and the service was second to none.

The rest of our time was spent exploring the board walk, main street and shopping spots around the town as well as hiding from the rain back at the hotel. Before we headed back to the station and jumped on a train back to the city.

All in all I would say it was an awesome little break and would recommend it to anyone thinking of getting out of the city or for a taste of something a little different.


Brunch at Gallow Green

EatingStephanie HindComment

Gallow Green is the rooftop garden restaurant and bar at The McKittrick Hotel, if you haven't heard of it you may have come across Sleep No More; the immersive theatre event that encourages guests to move from room to room to explore while wearing a pretty creepy white faceless mask. Reports from friends are only good about this place but I am yet ti try it my self, but we did make it along to Gallow Green from unlimited... yes you heard me unlimited brunch. That means unlimited food and breakfast cocktails, including Bloody Marys, Mimosas and prosecco.

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The setting is beautiful, a rustic roof top complete with train tracks and an old train carriage which houses a small bar and a few tables. Vines grow up and around the supporting wooden post and archway which covers the train track walk way. 

The food was set out in one corner in a buffet style but was being freshly cooked by chefs directly behind the counter. Highlights included gruyere and leek scrambled egg, what i can only describe as bread and butter pudding french toast, an ungodly amount of salmon and plenty of meat for the boy.

The service was great our drinks were topped up as soon as there were below half full and had time to get nice and full in our 2 hour time slot. We even headed to the Highline afterwards which is only a block away to walk it all off.

Flour Sack Tea towels - Oh, Little Rabbit

StyleStephanie HindComment

A few weeks ago I stubbled across Oh, Little Rabbit while on a Etsy mission to find some tea towels I actually like. Honestly I never thought it would be so hard but Ikea's selection was weak and Macy's were just plain boring. I wanted something that would fit in with our home and our personality, nothing to outlandish but something with a little bit of flair. 

Jason & Cara Hibbs started Oh, Little Rabbit in 2010 in the hallway cupboard of there 1 bedroomed apartment. The company grew quickly and they now both work full time creating some amazing products that are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful screen printed home wares around.

I managed to pick up 3 really lovely flour sack tea towels each printed with a different design, but they are all screen printed blue on white and have a similar feel. This is mainly to due the boy's OCD-ness that everything has to be cohesive and yes, I do get his point we don't want a miss mash of things we end up hating.

They have so many different designs in a range of colours which makes it hard not to find something that you like but best of all they are all organic and they use nontoxic water based inks. I ended up with a 3 prints; a kettle, Russian dolls and a jar with wild flowers and I love every single one!

When they towels arrive they where each individually folded and had a cute little cardboard band around them with the company name. You can tell they were lovingly hand packed and I even got a little "bunny bulb" card which gave me 10% my next order. Yay!

I would recommend checking out the Oh, Little Rabbit Etsy store if you like the style as they sell everything from greeting cards to bedding all adorned is their amazing prints. Happy shopping!

Brooklyn Makers - Oille Natural

Style, Brooklyn MakersStephanie HindComment
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Me and the boy love our candles we always have at least a few dotted around the apartment and light them pretty much every evening. He likes earthy notes where as I tend to go for floral or citrus scents so we have to change it up every now and then so we both get our own way.

When we happened across Oille Natural at a renegade fair in Brooklyn we were pleasantly surprised to find we both loved the selection they had. Oille Natural is an organic apothecary, Kirsten King the creator of this natural skin care brand and aromatherapy collection has worked her magic creating beautiful scents and products that are kind to your body.

We picked up two of the candles they had on sale, they are made of soy wax and presented in a brown glass jar with white screw on lid and white label. Now usually I would try to go for candles that were in a plain glass container or just self standing but these look pretty good; the branding is not over powering just black lettering on a white label. They almost look as if they belong in an apothecary but still have a very stylised feel to them.

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We chose 'Lavender & Cedarwood'  and 'Blood Orange Lemongrass,' they seriously smell amazing and scent the room with out being over powering. Also because they are made of Soy wax they will last longer than a normal candle so are worth the couple of extra dollars.

I love that these are handmade in our local area, it makes me so excited that we live in a community that create such amazing products and I can't wait to find out what else I can find just a hop step and a jump from home.

Bear Mountain - Oktoberfest Tips

Eating, AdventuresStephanie HindComment

This weekend we gathered up a group of friends and headed off to Bear Mountain for a day of Oktoberfest fun! If you are visiting NYC it's a great way to spend a day doing something a little different and seeing some of upstate New York (which is stunning.)

Since all of us wanted to partake in the drinking there was no point in hiring a car to drive and the train just ends up being a bit of a hassle, so we decided to take the Seastreak cruise to get to our destination which runs between $45 and $60 depending on the website you use. The cruise sails from Pier 11 and takes around 2 hours to reach Bear Mountain. 

While I was researching the trip I couldn't seem to find much in the way of information so I decided to put together a list of handy hints and tips about the day.

  • Arrive at Pier 11 at 8am and pick up your tickets at the table located outside of the waiting area, you don't need your email just the name you booked with, the cruise leaves at 8.30 sharp.
  • Pack your camera you are not going to war to miss the beautiful landscapes you will see on your way to Bear Mountain.
  • The boat takes around 2 hours to get to bear mountain so you might want to pack a snack, people pulled out full coolers full of sandwiches and all sorts on our trip, but even a couple of bags of chips (thats crisps for us from the UK) would do the trick.
  • Once you disembark the boat you have to walk around 1 mile up a fairly steep slope so make sure you wear suitable shoes (heels are definitely a no no, we say a few girls having a hard time in them)
  • Flip Flops are probably also a bad Idea as the ground is super dusty and one of our party's feet were completely black!
  • On the way up the path you will pass a swimming pool, zoo, deer head statue and venting machines incase you need a halfway point water.
  • You arrive at Bear mountain around 10.30 but they can't serve until 12 noon  as they have no licence until then. There is plenty to look at and do; the zoo, artisan stalls, boating on the lake and plenty of hiking trails. (we opted for a walk around the lake)
  • There are benches dotted around the area to sit on but not enough for the amount of people there, so set up camp pretty soon or pack a picnic blanket so you can mark out your spot on the grass.
  • Try the food! There are sausages, pretzels, potato pancakes and a plethora of other things and there are well worth a try.
  • If you are afraid of wasps I would suggest you stay away from soda as they are every where and everyone with a can was fighting them off.
  • There are different beer stations around the festival serving different varieties of beers, so make sure you check each one out.
  • Steins are $25 filled with beer and refills are $12 or you can get a smaller cup for around $6. Oh and if beer is not your thing they also serve cider and wine ($6).
  • Get back to the boat for around 3.45 as it leaves bang on 4pm and it wasn't waiting around for people even as they ran down the hill towards it, they were left standing on the dock. (not to fear though there is a hotel and a train station some where if the worse should happen)
  • You arrive back at pier 11 around 5.30/6pm and the views of manhattan as you pull in are brilliant.

Brunch in Brooklyn - Building on Bond

Stephanie HindComment

We wandered past Building on Bond in our first week in New York while we were looking at different areas and bookmarked it as somewhere we should really try, as it happens we ended up living about 15 minutes away by foot.

So this week we decided to try it out for brunch with a group of the boys work mates. Located just of Atlantic Avenue it is easy to get to without being in the centre of a busy road or hoards of tourists (not that I don't love a good tourist spot.) But Building on Bond is on a leafy corner in Boerum Hill catering to the surrounding Brooklynites and their ever increasing brunch habits. Me and the boy included, I don't think I've eaten as many brunches as I have since moving to New York. 

The cafe occupies a turn of the century building and the interior is made up of grey metals and a lot of warm coloured wood but is flooded with light due to the huge windows making it feel very light and open.

Phil Morgan and John Kole two furniture/re-porpose designers own Building on Bond which is evident form the kind of mismatched pieces inside. We happened to have sat in front of a giant metal cabinet full of small draws, and each were filled with little notes and random trinkets that people have left over time.

The food is just as good as the decor, most of the table when with beef brisket hash which went down like a house on fire, I had scrambled eggs creme fraiche, marinated cucumbers and radish which was cooked perfectly and I know, sounds a little odd but was super tasty. The boy had a porchetta sandwich with egg and Herb Fried Potatoes which was the biggest thing ever but was sealed with the stamp of approval, I even stole a potato that tasted delicious! 

Worth a trip if you are in the area or want to get away from the busy streets of New York, most certainly one of the nicest places we have had brunch so far.

p.s our waiter awesome, he even wore a Hawaiian shirt!

Location

112 Bond St, New York, NY 11217 (on the corner of Pacific St)

Nearest subway

Hoyt - Schermerhorn

Prices 

Brunch dishes range from $7 to $18

Brooklyn Makers - The Gifted Putterer

Style, Brooklyn MakersStephanie HindComment
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There are so many amazing makers, seller and designers at Fort Greene flea, and most stalls are based around things for your home including furniture, crockery and art with a few jewellery, clothing and food stalls mixed in for good measure. Still a market that is definetly worth a visit if you are from out of town and a bonus that it is not as crowded as Williamsburg flea.

We happened across Christine Stromer's stall, The Gifted Putterer, at the Flea on Saturday while exploring our new neighbourhood market, and she had the exact thing we were looking for. Christine sells a mix of handmade products and found antiques including vintage re-framed maps of Brooklyn, vintage ribbons, wooden and metal print letters and a multitude of mason jar creations.

We were there to buy two mason jars that had been re-proposed in to a soap dispenser and toothbrush holder. We wanted something a little different for the bathroom and after our toothbrushes spending way to much time coming in and out of our wash bags using an ugly hand soap bottle these were just the ticket!

We really wanted a matching pair and as their were not on the table we almost walked away before Christine reached in to a box and pulled out two exact matches! The jars come in two colours; clear and blue and the soap dispensers come in a shot size, mid size and large (which is pretty giant.) The tops are made from repurposed zinc to give them an aged look and they really do work with the embossed jars.

Christine was so lovely and we chatted for a while about her life as a New Yorker and our new Brooklyn neighbourhood before I finally realise I didn't have enough cash in my purse... but Square Up to the rescue and I was able to pay on card.

You can check out Christine's Website for more info or her Etsy for her latest products, I know jars aren't on there but I'm sure if you dropped her and email she would have some for sale. 

For now I will be enjoying our lovely bathroom accessories and attempting to kit out the rest of our apartment.

Tom Ford nail polish

BeautyStephanie HindComment

Ever since I was in high school I have loved Tom Ford, I think I even wrote an essay about him in one of my classes and no body had any idea who he was (A sin punishable by lord knows what at university.) It's crazy how things have changed and from head man at Prada to his very own empire Ford has shown that his sexed up style is beating out the competition, his charm and good looks don't go a miss either.

So when the boy brought me home a little brown bag from Bloomingdales I was excited to see two shiny Tom Ford nail polishes inside. I like to experiment with my nail polishes as all the girls in the office back home will tell you, I'm always getting thrown the crazy neon colours and glitters but I have to say my favourites are the classics. Well they boy knows me well because neatly wrapped inside layers of tissue paper were two bottles; Toasted Sugar and Scarlet Chinos (nude and red.) 

Tom Ford's beauty collection is all beautifully designed but not over the top which I love, a simple design that works with small standout details. The polish goes on smoothly and in two coats covers the nail, then once you add a top coat it's perfect! It's one of the only nail polishes I find stays on your nails and doesn't chip after a day or two, in fact it can last up to a week, sometimes more.

The red is perfect for a bit of glamor, a date night or just a classic look; mine was applied for a double date and is still going strong, I'm yet to wear the nude but I'm sure it is just as divine!


3 places to grab a beer in Williamsburg

Adventures, EatingStephanie HindComment

Ok so I'm putting it out there... I'm not exactly a beer girl, I'm much more of a cocktail fan but the boy and his friends are always taking me around on tours of bars serving good beer and judging from their reactions and my take on the bar as a whole I have put together 3 of the best places to grab a beer in Williamsburg.

Radegast Hall and Bierhall 

We stumbled across Radegast Hall and Bierhall one night after some food at a local restaurant. The atmosphere in this place is amazing! The inside is covered in dark carved wood and the beers comes in huge steins emulating an German beer hall. The night we stopped by there was a bluegrass band playing and people even got up to dance. Oh they also have a BBQ in the back and they cook up German sausages if you need something to soak up the huge beer.

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery beer is exported throughout the world and most loved in Sweden (of all places) but if you want the real authentic experience you have to come to their original brewery in Williamsburg. They have extended their original space, managed to fit in a basic beer hall and they offer free tours on a weekend (which are pretty entertaining.) Upon entering you buy wooden beer tokens at the souvenirs window, beers are $5 each or 5 for $20. I know what you are thinking... "why go when I can get a Brooklyn beer anywhere?" Well the beer brewed here is only shipped to the New York area all of the beer they export is brewed up state and has a slightly different taste. Plus they do special one off beers only available at the brewery.. so definetly worth a visit.

Skinny Dennis

I have already posted about Skinny Dennis, but it is defiantly one of the places all of thy boys recommend it for a good selection of beer. Honky tonk, free monkey nuts, arcade games and good beer this one is a must see! Check out the full review here.

Know any other good beer places I can impress the boys with? Let me know in the comments.

The Plaza - Rose Bar

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We had some time to kill while near central park in Manhattan and fancied a cocktail or two. So we decide to head in to the Plaza hotel, probably most well know for the part it played in Home Alone 2, but a beautiful hotel and a designated city landmark.

Situated on central park south the hotel is an imposing figure, but don't be put off by the flash cars and door men. If you just want to take a sneak peek inside you are more tan welcome to do so, you are just asked not to enter the reception area (unless dinning or staying at the hotel). But if you head straight forward you are greater by a dining area with a magnificent ceiling surrounded by ornate corridors, so it is definetly with a look.

We headed in to the reception area as we wanted to grab a drink at one of the bars. The Champagne Bar sits with in the lobby in a bright area over looking Grand Army Plaza and is always busy. We decided to head up the stairs to the quieter Rose Bar, much more my style with dark wood, big comfy chairs and beautiful sculpted rose lights giving out a muted purple glow.

The service was good, but not the best i've seen in a Fairmont hotel (The Savoy will forever be my number one) but the French martini was a dream.

The rose bar is perfect for a quiet chat, the waiters don't bother you every 5 seconds and it feels very relaxed and if your not in the mood for a drink I still suggest you pop in to see the hotel in all its glory.

Where

768 5th Ave, New York, NY

Nearest Subway

5 Av/59 St

Prices

As you expect it is a little pricey at around $30 a cocktail.

The Meatball Shop

EatingStephanie HindComment

 The Meatball Shop has been a favourite of mine since we first visited Williamsburg a few years ago. It is actually one of a few shops spread throughout New York but I am yet to visit the others.

The walls are littered with vintages photos, old fashioned meat grinders and specials boards. The whole shop has a bit of a vintage look, dark wood and dark metal make up the tables and bar.

The menu is a simple "build your own" type of deal you are presented with a laminated menu and a pen which you use to fill in reck boxes. Firstly you picked how you wanted your balls; naked (their words, not mine), in a sub or as sliders. Next you picked a type of meat or veggie balls and then a sauce to top it off, these include tomato, parmesan cream, pesto alone with a few others.

Finally you can pick a side which comes either on the side or under the balls, these range from mash potato or pasta to fresh market greens or risotto.

To make things even better on Saturdays and Sundays they do brunch, including Balls Florentine and Balls Benedict. They also do ice cream sandwiches which by all accounts are rather delicious.

An awesome little place to grab a yummy lunch or brunch, of and when you visit their website make sure you turn on your sound... "mm balls"

Where

170 Bedford Ave, New York, NY 11211

Nearest subway

Bedford Ave

Price 

Naked balls - $8

Serendipity 3 - What is a frozen hot chocolate?

Eating, AdventuresStephanie HindComment
When love feels like magic, you call it destiny. When destiny has a sense of humor, you call it serendipity.

The movie Serendipity is one of those really lovely feel good films; a girl meets a guy and they are instantly attached to each other they head for ice cream at a near by cafe and then in a twist of events end up spending the whole day and evening together. They are both involved with other people so decide fate must take it's course. Sara (the girl) asks Jonathan (the guy) to write his name and phone number on a $5 bill, while she writes her's on the inside cover of a book. If they are meant to be together, he will find the book and she will find the $5 bill. The movie then follows both parties a few years in the future on their search to find one another. I don't want to ruin the ending so I'll stop... but it's good, believe me.

Every time I have visited New York I have tried to visit that cafe (Serendipity 3) and partake in a frozen hot chocolate, but there is always at least a one hour wait and I have always had plans. Finally this time I was able to wait the hour and grab a table. If you do have to wait then I suggest heading to Dylan's Candy Bar making your way upstairs and grabbing a cocktail or two, try the strawberry nerd mojito and the sour patch kids margarita!

Once the hour was up we headed back along the street and we were lead to the table which, to my delight, was the table Sara asks Jonathan sit at in the film. Serendipity looks a little bit like a 7 year old's bed room threw-up all over it, but the sparkles, glitter and lights are just part of it's charm.

I ate goats cheese nachos which were pretty yummy and Lee had a chicken BLT which he pretty much inhaled so that's a good sign (her said it was really good.)

Then we had to have the obligatory frozen hot chocolate, which is huge! More than enough for four people to have a try. When I sent a Snapchat back home of the frozen hot chocolate every one was asking "what is even in a frozen hot choclate?" Well, a frozen hot chocolate is kind of a cross between a chocolate milkshake and a chocolate slush. They then add about 3 inches of thick whipped cream on top, sprinkles and chocolate sauce. Basically it is INSANE but it had to be done while we were there and it was pretty yummy even thought we couldn't finish the whole thing.

If you have the time I would recommend a trip to Serendipity 3, also if you haven't see the movie and you love a good rom-com you should get on it. 

Location

225 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022 - between 2nd and 3rd Avenues

Hours

Sun-Thur 11:30am to midnight, Fri-Sat 11:30am to 1:00am

Price

Frozen Hot Chocolate - $8.95 

Mains - $8 - $23


Taking the Roosevelt Island tram

Stephanie HindComment

Taking the Roosevelt Island tram has been one of the things I have been dying to do since I first found out we were coming to New York, It's just one of those things I have never got round to doing the other times I have visited.

The tram runs from Manhattan at  59th and 2nd across the river to the South end of the island and back again. Yes, you can get to the island via the subway but who really wants to do that when you can travel with some spectacular views, in a form of transport you don't get to see every day.

A tram runs about every 6 minutes and when we arrived the one leaving was a little full so we decided to wait a little longer so we would get a better view.

Once across the Tram way you can pop in to the visitors centre (just next to the station) and pick up a visitors guide or map. We then headed to the South most tip go the island towards the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. On route you will get an excellent view of Manhattan across the east river and you will also pass Renwick Smallpox Hospital.

This hospital is now a ruin and is the only ruin to be designated a New York City landmark. It is fenced off so you can't go inside but it is beautiful, nature is slowly taking it over; trees and plants are growing inside and ivy clads the outside central tower.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is completely in contrast to the hospital, brand new and perfectly landscaped. They run tours here throughout the day, the park is immaculate and you get a perfect view of the Pepsi-Cola sign.

Once you have visited to the park head back towards the tram station, where you will find a bus station, for 25 cents (or free on the day we went, for some reason) you can take 'the red bus' all the way to the other end off the Island. There you will find another park, not as pretty as the Four Freedoms Park but definetly with some character, a small light house and it even has its own built in BBQs. We sat on the sea wall, next to the light house for a while and just took in our new city.

After exporting the island, I have to admit that some bits are like a weird ghost town, we took the bus back to the station and the tram back to Manhattan. It's a great way to spend a morning in New York if you are looking to get away from the crowds of people but still see a really interesting place. Oh, one final thing; I recommend you take a couple of bottles of water with you as grabbing a drink at the far ends of the island isn't easy or cheap! 

Location

You will find the Manhattan station at 59th and 2nd

Cost

Only MTA MetroCards are accepted, the fare is $2.50

Opening times

Sunday - Thursday      :  6:00 AM to 2:00 AM 
Friday & Saturday        :  6:00 AM to 3:30 AM


A walk through Central Park - The Mall

Stephanie HindComment

I always love a little stroll through Central Park and you can be sure you never know just quite what you're going to get, so yesterday after trying to get a boat on the boating lake and realising the queue was WAY too long we decided it was a lovely evening for a walk! We snapped some snaps along the way.

The Lake - you can rent a boat from the Loeb Central Park boathouse for $15 per hour (cash only) and spend the afternoon feeling like you are in a film. They also offer bike rentals and have a restaurant and bar.

Minton Tiles at Bethesda Arcade - Made up of more than 15,000 colourful, patterned tiles, designed by British-born architect and designer, Jacob Wrey Mould. This is something you might miss if walking through with your head down but please look up!

Central Park's official Photographer, employed by the park this guy was taking photos of an eagle perched in a tree. 

Doggy dude - This little guy just started skate boarding up across the mall right in front of us and before we knew it there were hoards of people taking photos of him.

Street artists - these guys sit all the way down the Mall offering caricatures and sketches from anything as little as $10. Quite a cute memento, just chose your artist carefully... some a not so good.

Ballet Dancer - There a street performers up and down the Mall some playing music, others blowing bubbles and this woman dancing... trust me you will be entertained by some one along the way.

Our little walk was quite eventful, everyone gets to see different things depending on the day and time they go and that's what makes it great, you can go time and time again.

 

Breakfast in Brooklyn - Egg

Stephanie HindComment

We wandered past Egg after a night out in Williamsburg, I stopped to have a quick look at the menu (as you do) and knew we had to go back. So this weekend we rolled out of bed and headed to North 3rd street for our first taste of “egg.”

When we turned up there was already a big group of people waiting outside, we were asked to write our names on the list and wait until we were called forward for a table. Thankfully we only waited around 15 minutes plus it was nice and sunny so there was nothing to complain about. (I'm no so sure standing out side in the snow would be fun.)

Once our name was called we were lead towards the back of the restaurant and seated at a two person table covered by a paper table cloth and sporting a pot of crayons. At first we didn't know what to make of this but as we looked around we realised that everyone, yes that’s the adults too, had drawn all over their paper table covering. So we got to work drawing pictures and writing words all over ours… this kept me happily entertained until the food we had ordered arrived.

As you can imagine all of the menu is centred around egg based dishes, including french toast (which I completely had to resist with all my might), omelettes and pancakes. I went with 2 scrambled organic eggs, 5-grain toast and hashbrowns and Lee had home-made chorizo with scrambled organic eggs, salsa verde, pickled jalapeños and toast, kind of like a Mexican breakfast. We were both very impressed and ate every last bit even the free mini sugar donuts pieces they gave us.

The service was quick but the restaurant's light wood, sparsely place flowers and open plan layout made the whole thing feel very relaxed. If you’re looking for somewhere for modern and casual for breakfast in Brooklyn and you love eggs then this is your place!

Where

109 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11249

Closest subway 

Bedford Avenue

Prices 

Breakfast dishes from $8.50 to $12

 

Brooklyn Bars - Skinny Dennis

EatingStephanie HindComment

I stumbled across Skinny Dennis on foursquare while looking for somewhere for a quick drink before dinner. The descriptions read “Honky tonk” “kitsch” “country music”  and “spiked bourbon tea”  and that was me sold!

From the outside Skinny Denis Looks like some sort of cowboy saloon and inside it’s like you have stepped in to the 70s version of one. Behind the wooden bar is all sorts of neon lights, vintage posters and handwritten signs, even the drinks menu is on what I can only describe as a cinema board. Oh and there is a stuffed rabbit adorned with deer horns.

Along the far side of the bar is an assortment of vintage arcade games including bowling and the upright arcade games similar to PacMan.

We managed to get there in happy hour meaning beers were $5 and wells (that’s spirits, for us Brits) were $4 which with the free pours they give you is a pretty good deal. There are even free peanuts for anyone that wants them and just like at Raffles you throw shells on the floor, giving the bar even more of a rustic look.

When we ventured in it was pretty quiet and we were lucky enough to grab a seat but it was early Thursday evening so it could heat up later on.

This one is definitely an authentic Williamsburg bar complete with plenty of beards thrown in for good measure, so if you only have time for one drink in North Brooklyn definitely pop by and see Skinny Dennis.

Oh, P.S I didn’t go to the bathroom but apparently the walls are clad with naked women, so do check it out if you like that sort of thing.

Where

152 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11211

Closest subway

Bedford Avenue

Hand luggage essentials and the search for the perfect bag.

Adventures, StyleStephanie HindComment

Lee is forever shouting at me telling me that I over fill my handbags and asking "do I really need all of the things inside," well if you’re a girl i’m sure you’re with me on this one when I reply "of course I do! It’s only the essentials."

Well when I was choosing a bag for my hand luggage I made sure to get one that was just the right size, looked brilliant and was perfect for all of my essential. I chose a Knomo bag, I know a lot of people might not have heard of them but believe me you need to go check them out! There store was right next to my office in London and everytime I walked past, their window display drew me in. After a year and a half of drooling I finally have a Knomo and I think I may have caught the bug!

The bag is named the Marina, a quilted over the shoulder bag with a zip that runs all of the way round so the size of the bag can be extended or kept small and used as a laptop bag. It also has a laptop sleeve inside pocket and a cute little pocket on the front. I thought it made the perfect bag for flying but was also still usable in an everyday situation.

So back to those essentials; first up I don’t really go anywhere without a hair grip, I’m forever getting to hot and they are great for getting your hair out of your face with out causing a kink.

Sunglasses, these are actually a pair from a previous trip to Brooklyn Flea, I couldn't resist a pair of cat eyes and I definitely needed them when we stepped off the plane in New york, man was it sunny!

The Pukka Night Time capsules are a recent addition to my flight bag but certainly a welcome one, they are pretty much a all natural calming tablet that helps you relax and fall asleep. Believe me they work like a charm, Lee is a terrible sleeper and when I brought these home they really did the job.

In my plastic zip lock bag I have; hand cream from Laura Mercier, it’s always a little dry on the plane so it’s best to keep those hands hydrated and the bonus is this one smells like creme brulee!  I also have Face Matters, pure collagen spritz, a product I recently found but think is amazing, it keeps your face fresh and is great for cooling off. I always have my Cowshed antibacterial gel in my bag, great for sticky fingers and general cleanliness. Hydraluron minis are little tubes of perfection, just the thing for keeping your face hydrated and avoiding any plane pimples! Finally Estée Lauder, Double Wear All-Day Glow, it’s light enough to just pop on at the end of the flight so you don’t look like a zombie going through immigration.

I also like to carry Mendill wet towelettes they are perfect to freshen up, clean spills and best of all they smell amazing, they are like the swiss army knife of wipes!

Chewing gum - because seriously, I’m not brushing my teeth in an airplane bathroom that has been used by over 100 different people.

Since I was moving I took both my iPad and Laptop usually I would just take one or the other but the Knomo had the perfect amount of space for both!

The GoPro was there to film the trip, this durable little camera is used by anyone from snowboarders to fashion students, they create amazing footage and are small enough to fit in your pocket.  I will be cutting a video of the trip and should have it on the blog soon, so watch this space.

Then of course the four ‘Ps’ - a pen, passport, phone and purse; My purse is actually a Michael Kors passport holder but works so well and it is the perfect size. These all slotted neatly into the inside pocket of the bag, which is quite large but takes away the panic of trying to find your passport in a bag full of bits.

Admittedly I took quite a few things along for the ride but they all fit perfectly into the Knomo bag and the over the shoulder strap made for easy carrying. Another nice little feature of all Knomo bags is that they can be registered so if they are lost they can be easily returned.

Oh and If you are looking for another handy travel companion try the Knomad, Lee picked this up a few weeks ago and he hasn’t stopped raving about it. It’s the perfect boy toy for keeping all of your tech organised, and they even sell one with a charger in case your phone dies on the go.

I’m already dreaming of my next purchase from Knomo, the absolutely amazing Mayfair bag… Lets just hope they ship to the US!

 

Packing for an international move - From London to New York

AdventuresStephanie HindComment
Photo by Anders Jildén

Photo by Anders Jildén

Packing up your life into four (yes you heard me four) boxes isn’t the easiest of things to do but that is what I have been doing over the last couple of weeks. Putting things in, taking them out again, having “maybe” piles and ultimately deciding what really mattered to me, it was a bit of a roller coaster. I have learnt a few things along the way and wanted to share them for anyone planning a long term international move.

Map it out

I found it hard to know how much to pack but setting out your boxes and deciding how many you are going to take really helps. It gives you a great idea of how much space you have and then you know when things are just too big and, I hate to say it but, you are going to have to give them up.

Boxes in boxes

As I said I must have packed and unpacked a good few times but I found using some smaller boxes in side your big ones is a real life saver. it means all those nik-naks can sit nicely together. Oh and it’s just a bonus that this makes for easier unpacking at the other end.

Lists

So yes, you probably want to make a list of the things you don’t want to forget but i’m talking list each item that is in each box. This is good for shipping as a lot of the companies what to know what is in each box and you can pretty much hand this over. It also makes you think about what you are taking and if you really need it and finally it’s great for sorting at the other end so you know what’s what.

Leave some space

I guarantee you will find “just one more thing” that has to go in the box and if you have packed it to the rafters there is no way you are going to squeeze it in. I suggest leaving a little bit of space until you have packed everything up in to the relevant boxes and suitcases, just incase.

Tape it up

Basically my boxes were full not too full but this I still had to squeeze the lids on to them and what I didn’t want, was for these to pop off in transit. We actually used a couple of different methods to fix the lids down; first up we wrapped them up in cellotape to make sure the lids were completely flush to the box, then we bought some cheap luggage straps and popped those around the boxes and finally we wrapped them up in what essentially was clingfilm just to make them a little more water tight. (just incase the worst was to happen)

These few tips were the ones that helped me in my quest to pack up my life and get it halfway around the world, I hope you find them useful and if anyone has any of their own let me know.

I’ll talk more about our shipping company in a later post but fingers crossed for now that the boxes arrive safely in New York… watch out for an update.