Musings of a Little Girl in the Big City

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Best Winery Tour in Long Island

Best Winery Tour in Long Island

You can find the Japanese version of this article here. Can I be brutally honest? Summer in NYC is not that great! it’s just too hot and humid to enjoy any activity you might be doing. This being like my 5th summer in the city, […]

Weekend Guide to Philadelphia

Weekend Guide to Philadelphia

I went to Philadelphia with Takashi over Memorial Day weekend and I’m finally having the chance to sit down and write about it! My friends have asked me why out of all the places we could go to, we chose Philadelphia. Well, living in New York can definitely get a little overwhelming sometimes, and I  was just looking for a quick place to get away that also didn’t require a car to get to. While not having a car can be difficult when you’re trying to get away but also don’t want to fly, I was determined… actually admittedly desperate to find somewhere quick, convenient and still fun.

Philly, it turns out is a city that’s great for walking. And Tak had been there many times before so I thought what’s better than going with someone who already knows their way around!?

Overall, Philly is a beautiful historical site but also an interesting modern city. I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a quick trip from New York. Although we didn’t get to see everything (you will not find the Liberty Bell here haha), a night in Philly was perfect for us and just what we needed to get away.

Philly
Downtown Philly

Getting There

If you don’t have your own car there are three main ways of getting to Philly. You can get there by Amtrak or the NJ Transit, or you can do what we did which is by bus – it was less than $30 per person and the ride didn’t take more than 2 hours, which was great especially for Tak who love being out and about (aka can’t sit still haha)! Since he lives on the West side of the city near the Megabus stop, we chose this bus line to take us to Philly.

Things to do

In order of where we went, here’s what our itinerary consisted of:

Day 1

1.Reading Terminal Market

As soon as we got off the bus, our first stop was the famous Reading Terminal Market – what I call Philly’s version of Chelsea Market (although Reading Terminal came way before Chelsea Market). From Amish bagels to seafood, burgers, and desserts, they’ve got something for everyone here. Based on Tak’s recommendation, we went to Hershel’s East Side Deli and got “the Rachel” – a pastrami sandwich with Thousand Island dressing and coleslaw inside the sandwich! Whoever thought of this combo is a genius because it was delicious!

The Reading Terminal Market was a farmer’s market back in the day and you can still find fresh produce there to this day!

 

Herschel's Deli
Herschel’s Deli

 

The Rachel at Hersche's Deli
The Rachel at Herschel’s Deli.. delightful!

Also upon Tak’s recommendation we got cookies from the Famous 4th St Cookie Company. I thought we would get one, maybe two cookies to try, but he ended up ordering four – a little overboard? LOL. But the cookies did not disappoint – they were chewy and indeed delicious!

Famous 4th St Cookies
The Famous 4th St Cookies

2. Shopping on Rittenhouse Row

After checking into our hotel (we stayed at the Downtown Sheraton since Tak gets points), we walked to Rittenhouse Row, which is a high-end area of Philly filled with nice places to dine and shop! We went up and down Walnut St and I took this opportunity to window shop at places

3. Independence National Historical Park

We were heading to Old City when we came across this park and I really enjoyed my time here. You can also find the Liberty Bell here-entrance is free-but since we’re an impatient couple who don’t like waiting in lines, we opted to just walk around the the park to admire historical buildings preserved from the Revolutionary period – places that you can easily walk in and out of without any hassle. It’s an amazing place to read up on history and how this country came about. You will find people dressed up as Benjamin Franklin and volunteers offering stories of the colonial times to children, which I secretly loved seeing. #tourist

Independence National Park
Me inside a restored Colonial Building, trying to casually take a picture with Benjamin Franklin

 

Cobblestones
Colonial vibes

 

Independene National Hall
When you don’t know how to pose but you still like the building

4. Old City

After our stroll through the park, we made our way into Old City. This is the place you come to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. There is just so much history here. Reminiscent of Boston, everything from the quaint shutters to flower boxes on this well-preserved site made this area one of my favorite places to visit in Philly. I could’ve spent all day here if I wanted to!

Old City Philly Philadelphia
Old City
Old City Philly Philadelphia
Streets of Old City

5. Spruce St Harbor Park

Since I love parks on the water (really who doesn’t!?) after walking through Old City, we decided to check out Harbor Park. We were lucky enough to snatch a hammock and enjoy our drinks while we people watched. There were tons of families and people with dogs, which gave this place a lively locals vibe. But since Tak was getting tired we stayed for a drink and shortly after made our way back to our hotel before heading out to dinner.

Drinks at Spruce St Harbor Park Philadelphia
Drinks at Harbor Park

 

Harbor Park Philadelphia
Sorry not sorry to the lady whom I beat to get to this hammock!

6. Dinner at Audrey Claire

Tip: A lot of restaurants in Philly are BYOB! For someone like myself who likes a drink or two or three, this got me really excited. We picked up a bottle of wine before heading to Audrey Claire’s and found ourselves sitting at an outside table enjoying a gorgeous night and a lovely meal. And walking back a little tipsy on a rather quiet night out in Philly was the perfect break that I needed from the hustle and bustle of New York!

Audrey Claire
Waiting for our meal in perfect weather at Audrey Claire

 

Audrey Claire
Apps included grilled octopus and salad

 

Audrey Claire
we got fish for main course .. mmm

 

Philly Philadelphia Spruce St
Walk back from dinner

Day 2

1. Walking to Philadelphia Museum of Art

Next day, we knew we wanted to catch an early afternoon bus back to New York so we decided to get our day started early to not feel like we were rushed. One of the things I knew I couldn’t leave Philly without doing was checking out the Philadelphia Museum of Art which has been made famous for playing out a scene in the movie Rocky. From our hotel room, I could see a major tree-lined street and flags from all over the world erected leading up to the way to the museum so I thought it would be nice to take a stroll there. Honestly I enjoyed the walk leading up to the museum more than anything. We were blessed with beautiful weather on Sunday too and it felt great to get our day started early.

Rodin Museum Philadelphia Philly
A beauty of its own: the Rodin Museum which we found on our way to Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

Philadelphia Museum of Art
The steps of Philadelphia Museum of Art, where they shot the scene in Rocky

 

At the top of the stairs at Museum of Art
Philadelphia
View from the top of the stairs

2. Brunch at Parc

I haven’t been to Paris (yet) but I imagine this is what a bistro would look like here. When we got there, it wasn’t even quite noon yet but the place was already busy with people. Tak had suggested that I get their bread basket under their appetizer. Apparently that is what they are known for, and as soon as I had my first bite, I died and went to bread heaven! Tak got a salami sandwich which was also really good. Definitely recommend coming here and try getting a seat outside if you can! After satisfying our bellies we went back to hotel to pick up our baggage and headed to the train station to go back home!

Parc brunch Philadelphia
People enjoying their meal outside of Parc

 

Parc brunch Philadelphia
The bread basket at the Parc.. a must!

 

Parc Philadelphia
Tak’s Salami sandwich which was also very good.

So there you have it! I really had no idea what to expect of Philadelphia at first but I was surprised to find so many nice areas and restaurants. Have you been to Philadelphia? What are some of your favorite spots in Philly? Share in the comments below!

weekend guide to philadelphia

Top 9 Destinations on the Pacific Coast Highway

Top 9 Destinations on the Pacific Coast Highway

First off, I apologize for being MIA, I didn’t realize a whole month has flown by since my last post! Over the past month I took two trips, one of which I’m sharing with you today, and last week I celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday and […]

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

When you are a city dweller during the week, going to the park could literally feel like a mini vacation. That is why the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places to visit locally. It’s a stunning 52 acre flower park with lush greenery […]

Best Rooftops in Williamsburg with Views

Best Rooftops in Williamsburg with Views

At the first sight of spring, there really is no better way to enjoy the warmer weather with a cold beer in hand, outside on a rooftop with a couple of friends! Hey, after months and months of dealing with the cold, the slushy sidewalks from the snow, and overall tad depressing weather, it’s very well deserved!

So where are the best roof tops, you may ask. I may be just a liittle partial since I live here, but the rooftops in Brooklyn are honestly the best because you get sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline that you simply cannot get when you’re actually in the city. And the smaller crowd and bigger space are always a plus.  From low-key hang out spots to swanky new hotels, there is something for everyone. So grab your friends and  your metro pass and head on over to Brooklyn for panoramic views of the city and an overall great time.

1. Northern Territory

Northern Territory

 

Northern Territory Brooklyn
Inside the bar & restaurant

 

At the rooftop where the magic happens!
The rooftop

 

Northern Territory Brooklyn
Golden Hour

 

Northern Territory Brooklyn

 

Northern Territory tops my list because it has a huuuge rooftop with plenty of breathing room, places to sit and eat, and has a great, laid-back vibe. Although on this unusually warm Sunday (80 degrees in April!) I guess everyone was thinking the same thing and all thought about hitting up this great bar! But I honestly do not remember being this crowded ever last year and we came here a lot!  But its okay, this place is still big enough to share 🙂

Located at 12 Franklin St, Brooklyn NY 11222

2. The Ides at Wythe Hotel

Wythe Hotel
Wythe Hotel

 

Wythe Hotel

 

Wythe Hotel
Wythe Hotel

Wythe Hotel

 

The Ides at Wythe Hotel

 

Wythe Hotel
Not sure where all the guys with Bermuda shorts came from!

Con – you will wait in line to get in before you can get on the roof top on the 6th floor of The Wythe Hotel. Pro – the views are worth it! The sleek interior with floor to ceiling windows provide sweeping, panoramic views of the city, which makes this bar an attractive location – indoors or outdoors.

3. Berry Park

Berry Park

 

Berry Park

 

Berry Park

 

Berry Park

 

Berry Park

 

Berry Park

 

Berry Park

Berry Park

Like Northern Territory, this place is massive, and space is always great. Their new glass enclosure means you can enjoy the rooftop rain or shine. Downstairs is a gigantic beer hall. Low key, casual vibe here, and my favorite place to hang out for those nights when I don’t want to go out, but still want to go out and have fun! Berry Park, you get me.

Located at 4 Berry St, Brooklyn NY 11211

4. Output

 

Daytime partying Rooftop @ Output

Output is mainly known as a night club, but they also have a rooftop area where you can enjoy DJs, drinks, and seating areas with cushions and pillows. If you are an aficionado of Japanese lagers like me (I know you are out there!), you will be pleased to know they serve Asahi  at the bar!

Tip: Subscribe to their newsletter to get emails offering free or reduced admissions before (I believe) 3PM

Located at 74 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211

 

5. The William Vale Hotel

The William Vale
Source William Vale

Gigantic, white, and shiny, The William Vale is exterior and sheer size definitely makes a statement among the smaller establishments and hotels in the area (like the Wythe) that are nice but has more low key vibe. I always see its ultra-posh exterior as an indication of what this area will be like in 10 years. This is what may have kept me away from William Vale Hotel, however, with its rooftop perched on the 22nd floor, roomie says the view here is best because it’s so much higher up than the other rooftops I have mentioned in this blog post. I definitely want to go check it out in the summer time and see how much the fee is to go take a dip in their pool as well!

Located at 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

So there you have it! What are you favorite rooftop bars? Be sure to leave a comment below!

 

Best Rooftop in Williamsburg

with gratitude

The One Product You Need to Get Naturally Glowing Skin

The One Product You Need to Get Naturally Glowing Skin

Over the past few months, I’ve been watching quite a few Youtube Vloggers (it’s part of my job!) and admiring how flawless these vloggers look. I admit I did buy a contouring kit and a concealer because I wanted to look flawless like them– but I […]

Poke Bowl Recipe

Poke Bowl Recipe

Poke bowl shops are popping up left and right, so when I saw a stand at Smorgasburg selling poke last summer, I was excited to try it… but when I saw these local kids serve cut up pieces of tuna with less than great seasoning and seaweed […]

A Weekend Guide to Catskills, NY: Bachelorette Edition

A Weekend Guide to Catskills, NY: Bachelorette Edition

Last September, my friend’s bridesmaids planned a chill and relaxing bachelorette party in Hunter, NY 3 hour north of the city by car (maybe more with traffic, which you will most certainly hit, booo). I thought it was perfect for the bride-to-be since she loves outdoors activities.

Here is my Weekend Guide to Hunter, NY: Bachelorette Edition!

 

From Cindy’s Instagram: Pinterest inspired bachelorette decor and DIY

 To do:

1. Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls Hunter NY
Hiking at Kaaterskill Falls

 

Kaaterskill Falls Hunter NY
The main attraction at the hike

 

Kaaterskill Falls Hunter NY
Brave girls who hiked up behind the fall!

 

Kaaterskill Fall Catskill NY
On the other side of the falls

Kaasterskill Falls

 

Kaaterskill Falls

 

Kaaterskill Falls Hunter NY
The view from beginning of our hike

Even though the fall didn’t have tons of water gushing down (there may not have beeen enough rainfall around the time we went) Kaaterskill Fall was nonetheless a beautiful hike.

Tip: pack lunch! There’s a place you can sit and eat by the big fall. Also pack a bathing suit if you want to go swimming in the reservoir- I have to warn that while I was totally planning on taking a dip,  when I realized how cold the water was I totally chickened out! But there were people swimming – more the power o them!

2. Ziplining

Who knew Hunter Mountain has the longest zipline in North America, and apparently the second longest in the world!?

The bridesmaids opted for us to do night ziplining course since they wanted something to do after hiking (we got a group discount which came out to $62 per person). For me this was thrilling and terrifying at the same time plunging into the darkness – but it was definitely exciting, in a heart-stopping way, hahaha!

 

zipline
Girls, girls, girls, at night zipline + staff photobomb

Two of the girls stayed in Hunter Mountain longer to do the long zipline “SkyRider” and they were raving about it! It does cost more – $129 per person on the weekends but it’s something that might be worth doing if it’s within your budget. If not, they also have a shorter “midmountain” ziplining for $89 per person!

 

3. Millbrook Vineyards

Millbrook Vineyards

 

Millbrook Vineyards
Fun fact: the owner of the winery also created the I love NY logo!

On our third day, we drove about an hour away to Millbrook Winery. We all wore black dresses to the winery while the bride wore a white dress since it is a bachelorette after all! Once we got there, we got a tour of the winery, tried all sorts of wine, and picnicked outside with snacks and more wine. It was the perfect Sunday.

Where to stay:

Bathroom decor

 

Hunter, NY
The outside deck and backyard

We stayed in Hunter, NY at this old, gorgeous house that one of the bridesmaids Cindy found through AirBnb. You can check out the listing here.

At night, we would come back and watch Netflix which they provided and this is where we got hooked on Stranger Things, haha!

We also got into their jacuzzi and wined under the stars, hung out at the deck, and made food for the weeekend. It was the perfect house for a group of girls!

 

Guide to Catskill, NY bachelorette

 

There you have it! What are some other “out of the ordinary” places you’ve been for a bachelorette? Share in the comments below!

 

Top 3 Outdoor Brunch Spots in Greenpoint You Do Not Want to Miss

Top 3 Outdoor Brunch Spots in Greenpoint You Do Not Want to Miss

For those that don’t know me, or for those that may know me but forgot, I live in an area of Brooklyn that’s north of Williamsburg called Greenpoint. This neighborhood is peppered with charming stores, cafes, and great brunch spots, the last of which I […]


My Diary

Hello world!

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog! I am so excited that you are here!

After all this time, I decided to start a blog for a couple of reasons.

First off my hope is that this will become a guide – to city living, makeup, favorite eats, travel tips, or a place to showcase some of my interests and progress (like room décor!) in the hopes that someone will find them useful.

Secondly – full disclosure – I work in marketing and the beauty industry, so I thought a blog would be a good platform to showcase my work and my aesthetics. I am hopeful that if I work at it and with a little bit of luck, it will even help me in my career development. We shall see.

I also have to give credit to my dad who told me to take on activities outside of work. And while starting a blog probably isn’t what he had in mind (I think he specifically said to “study more,” but I was never good at studying!), he always has my best interest in mind so when he said I need to be doing something outside of work to improve myself, I thought why not make something for myself like build a portfolio of a sort to reflect who I am.

All of this isn’t to say I didn’t have any doubts starting my blog. With so many beautiful blogs out there, it can be more than a little intimidating!

But sometimes you have to cast away your doubts and your fears, take a leap of faith. Sometimes someone just needs to nudge you in the right direction. I appreciate my boyfriend and friends for your input and encouragement, and of course my dad for telling me to do more in life.

I am beyond excited to share this journey with you. Thank you so much for reading.

Stay tuned for another post (very) soon!

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