Walking High

To say that there are a lot of things to do in New York City would be a massive understatement. There’s everything from shopping, to museums, history, hikes, you can basically do it all on that tiny island. But after being in there a few times you start to love certain places more than others and you may begin to repeat those favorites instead of adventuring to something new. The NY High Line is definitely one of those repeat events for me.

The New York City High Line was originally made for trains to commute above the city, now it is a place for the people. The High Line is a 1.45 mile long structure that encompasses beautiful landscaping while keep the old railway structure. It has become a beautiful juxtaposition of the hard NY skyscrapers with the gentleness of the landscape. It is definitely something to experience. There’s always something new happening or a chance to notice something that you may have overlooked.

Flora and fauna aren’t the only things you’ll discover on your walk from Gansevoort Street to 34th. The High Line is also an amazing place for cultural events, art installations, performance artists, classes, and even snacks along the way. You can find everything from coffee and ice cream, to soda and sandwiches. That’s right you can find everything in one beautiful, high in the sky location. Which means you can discover new foods while taking in those incredible views.

And about those views! They are simply incredible and on a nice day it really can’t be beat. I went on a chilly-ish November weekend, and while the High Line can certainly get congested, it wasn’t too bad. I will say that the earlier you go the better, but watch out for those runners speeding past.

Oh, and did I happen to mention all of this incredibleness is free? So take a stroll of a New York from a different perspective and see what you can discover.

 

Griffith Observatory

For those of you who don’t know, I lived in Los Angeles, CA for about 3-4 years. It was one of the most incredible journey’s of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In all of my time living there though, I didn’t really partake in many of the typical touristy activities. I mean I was a local, why would I do that? Now, all that has changed. Every time I head back to the West Coast, I make it a point to do something that I haven’t done and the Griffith observatory was pretty high on that list.

The Griffith Observatory is one of the most notable and iconic buildings in LA. It is located in Griffith Park above Los Feliz on the South side of Mount Hollywood (yes, that’s a thing) and having never been there, it definitely took some finagling through the winding park roads. Griffith is completely free and features exhibits, an incredible telescope and some of the best views of both Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Griffith is listed as the third planetarium in the US and houses the most used telescope in the world.

I probably spent a good 2 hours just meandering through the park trying to take it all in. On a clear day you can see straight out to the Pacific, but on any day you will have your breath taken away at the beauty that is LA. I know, I know, LA isn’t often viewed as a beautiful city, but when you’re standing 1,134 feet above sea level, there’s a certain feeling that comes over you. High above the traffic and the lights, it’s almost as though nothing else exists and in LA that’s not a feeling you get very often.

Aside from those incredible views however, there are also exhibits where you can learn something. So for the price of nothing, you get incredible sites and gain some knowledge. My favorite exhibits are on the lower level and are all space driven, but they are all unique, beautiful and a bit educational.

Los Angeles is so much more than just celebrities but sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find it all.

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Dollar Shave Club

Not too long ago I saw a bunch of ads about Dollar Shave Club, DSC. As a young girl, I used the typical hot pink “girl” razor. I thought “but it’s made for me!” Of course, the older I got the more that I wondered what the difference really is aside from the price tag. A few years ago, I borrowed a man’s razor and Oh My God, it was the absolute best shave, and I never went back to those girly things.

When I finally took real notice of the DSC, I was immediately concerned that the quality wouldn’t be great for the price. How on earth could a razor cost so little and actually be good at its one and only job? The program is easy, there are 3 levels. The first costs $1 a month (+ $2 shipping and handling) this program, “the humble twin,” has 2 blades and gives you 5 extra cartridges a month. The middle child is called “the 4x,” and has, you guessed it, 4 blades. You receive 4 cartridges at a time and this program costs $6 a month and ships free. Last but certainly not least, is “the executive,” the big daddy of the options. This plan features a 6 blade razor, 4 cartridges, free shipping, and a trimmer edge on the blade. Each starter kit also includes the handle and you can purchase an extra if you want to share, but trust me you won’t want to. Plus, you can schedule your shipment every month, or every other month to suit your shaving needs.

Originally, I was going to sign up for the 4x program until I noticed a special that the site was running. For $8 I got the executive and shave butter, which I was already considering buying after reading the reviews. About a week after I placed my order my adorable little box arrived. Everything was tucked neatly inside and honestly, I could not wait to shave. I don’t think I’ve had that thought since I was 12 and was dying to shave my legs for the first time.

For starters, the shave butter is delightful. I didn’t really know what to expect because I’ve always thought the more foam the better and now here I was using something that was never going to work into a lather. It almost felt like using a conditioner on my legs and even after shaving that soft feeling remained. Now, that razor. Hot damn that razor. It’s perfection. Each stroke is a clean, close shave and my legs have never felt softer. I like to use the trimmer for cleaning up the bikini area, because the 6 blades are sometimes difficult to navigate into close areas. For this reason, I decided to drop down to the 4x level for my next shipment and give that a whirl. I also switched to the every other month because I think switching my razor every 2 weeks is perfect for me.

The bottom line on the Dollar Shave Club? The quality is great and you really can’t beat the price. Plus, if you’re anything like me and hate buying razors, it’s completely mindless and simply shows up ready to be used!

Ready to try it for yourself? CLICK HERE!

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Spruce Street Harbor

Every once in a while the city of Philadelphia comes up with a glorious idea. Spruce Street Harbor Park is one such idea. Located right on the Delaware River, Spruce Street Harbor has become a favorite by locals and tourists, and I am no exception.

Walking into Harbor park is a bit of a nightmare. It is always swarmed with people and in the summer that simply makes everything a bit hotter. Once you’ve learned where things are though, it becomes much easier to navigate. I have a few favorite spots, but first a bit about the Harbor.

Starting in late Spring until early Fall, the Harbor becomes inundated with food, drinks, hammocks and fountains. It basically becomes one of the best meeting spots in the city. While the park is open daily, the evening is when it really shines. The lights turn on and the cool air sweeps in making it the perfect atmosphere for a beer on the barge. But there’s so much more. This year you can get ice cream from Franklin Fountain, donuts by Federal and Tacos by Distrito. Seriously there is something for everyone.

Personally, I love heading out to the bar on the barge and relaxing there. It’s a bit more away from people but still have access to alcohol which is what really matters. The upside is that they only allow so many people on the barge, the downside is that if you leave you need to get back in the awful line. The moral of the story? Don’t leave the barge.

You can find hammocks and lawn games, ping pong and giant jenga, all for free. So if you’re in Philly it’s definitely a place to check out and kick back.

Want more info? Click Me!

Cooper House

I live in a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA. Now when I say small, I mean 200 people in my graduating class and the inability to go out without running into someone that I know. So when a new restaurant pops up nearby, it’s pretty common knowledge and it’s only a matter of time before my curiosity gets the best of me forcing me to head over and see what it’s all about. This is how I discovered, Cooper House.

Cooper House officially opened in June, but due to it being summer, and me hearing a few mixed reviews I was a bit slower to jump on the bandwagon. Once the beer garden opened though, I knew I had to swing by and see what it was all about.

Located on Cooper River in Pennsauken, Cooper House is the new restaurant by Chef Tyler Turner who previously manned the kitchen at El Vez in Philadelphia. Now, I love El Vez, so I thought why wouldn’t I love Cooper House too!

Walking into Cooper House you are greeted with huge windows right from the front door. The atmosphere is modern and sleek with 2 outdoor areas, one for the restaurant and one for the beer garden. Due to the 90+ heatwave we’ve been experiencing, my boyfriend and I opted to eat inside right by the windows. It was about sunset so the glow off of the river was actually kind of beautiful.

We each started with a specialty cocktail, I had the 1884 and Steve got the Rower’s Delight. Mine was made with maker’s mark, simple syrup, lemon juice and malbec, overall it was just okay. Basically, I was drinking maker’s with a splash of red wine, odd but not awful. Steve’s had spiced rum, coconut rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine. After a good mix, it was good, but towards the end, the sweetness of the juice took over and became a bit too much. They certainly were pretty though.

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Next up was soup. The soup of the day was a roasted red pepper and tomato bisque. I have to say this was my second favorite part of the meal. It came with a cheesy piece of toasted bread and made me dream of dunking a full of grilled cheese into my bowl. The flavors were good and I would definitely order it again.

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That’s when the upswing started to get sad again. Our next round was the Seafood Mixto. It was a ceviche style crab, tuna and shrimp plate with avocado, onion, tortilla chips, chipotle and tequila. The fish was great, there was a bit too much onion for me, and we definitely could have used more chips. I’m not a huge spicy person, so I should have double checked about the chipotle part, but even so it was pretty good.

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Next was the main course. We both got burgers. His was the Cooper burger, simple and easy. Mine was the Chipotle Bacon burger, this one I did ask about the heat in and was told that it wasn’t very spicy. Well it wasn’t spicy at all. The chipotle and bacon are actually in the form of a jam on the burger, which was cooked perfectly medium rare (my specifications), and complete with avocado, crispy onions and cheddar cheese. My only complaint was it had a slight burnt taste, which Steve also experienced with his. Unfortunately, we were really trying to find another good burger place because the one we really love it not close by, and this was not that place.

The fries however are a whole other story. This little crispy guys were phenomenal. Seriously some of the best fries I think I’ve ever had. They were fresh, crunchy and perfectly salted. Seriously, guys, these fries are incredible.

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Since we were pretty stuffed after all of that food, we decided to pass on dessert and instead have after dinner drinks. I ordered a mudslide, and Steve got a junior mint. Neither were good. I think the bartender made them in the same shaker, and did the mint first. Both tasted minty and way too strong. And that’s say something because I make a pretty strong cocktail. When the server came back to check on us, we explained that they were just okay and she offered to have them removed from the tab. I told her how they both tasted minty and, well, just off. Our waitress said that they don’t get a lot of orders for the after dinner drinks and she wasn’t sure they were made right. Now for starters, even if they aren’t ordered often, your bartender should know the drinks on the menu and know how to make them. Plus, while I appreciate the servers honesty, if even she thinks they were made wrong, that’s telling you something. On a side note, they seem like a complete afterthought of the entire restaurant. Every other plate and drink was perfectly decorated except these which just seem thrown together. Anyway, here they are:

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Needless to say we started mediocre and ended on a low which was a sad state all around. I will probably go back but only to try the beer garden and get fries, because really, these fries are spectacular and I can’t say enough about them. Cooper House hasn’t been open long, so hopefully they’ll start to find their rhythm but until then I’ll just stick to the beer.

Hudson Cruising

New York City is like a second home to me. I feel like I’m there at least 10 times a year visiting friends, shopping, seeing shows, meandering or just plain relaxing in the city. However, because I am there so often, it’s very rare that I participate in a tourist-y activity. My boyfriend on the other hand is not quite as comfortable with the city and by that I mean, he hates going and wishes I had more girlfriends to go with. Every once in a while though I twist his arm into just the right position that he caves and decides to spend the day with me in the magical land that is Manhattan.

On my most recent trip into the city I was really only going to get my hair done (yes, I get my hair done in NY, shush), but once Steve said he would join me for the day we decided to figure out something to do. I rattled off a few things we hadn’t done together, Central Park, MoMa, China Town and some things we had done, the Highline, Times Square. Eventually we decided on something completely different, a Hudson River Cruise. Once we had a made a decision I headed on to Viator to find the perfect one. We decided that we wanted something that was a few hours, had some food and drinks, and that as reasonably priced. In the end we chose a New York Harbor Happy Hour Cruise. It was a 2 hour cruise with music on board, food and drinks. There were four ticket options (1) just the cruise, (2) cruise with food, (3)cruise,  food, beer and wine, or (4) cruise, food with an open bar with prices ranging from $30-108.00. We chose to do food, beer and wine for $82/per person. Our thought was, how much can you really drink in 2 hours and make it worth the cost.

In any case, we headed to the South Street Seaport for our 6pm departure, ensuring that we would at least catch a glimpse of the incredible sunset behind the city skyline. To put it lightly, we were not disappointed. Everything was perfect. I recommend getting there on the early-ish side. We were able to get a table near the railing, but there were a lot of people standing without seats. The food was buffet style and offered a lot of options. There was certainly something for everyone. There were at least 2 bars so you never had to wait long for a cocktail.

As the sun began to set behind the skyline we looped down toward the financial district and back past the statue of liberty. I am one to always want to view a city from the water, and honestly I can’t believe it took me this long to get there. This little two hour cruise is something I would do a million times over. It was relaxing, peaceful, and reminded me just how much I adore Manhattan. There really are no words.

I mean really…those views though….

 

 

 

10 things to do instead of playing PokemonGo

I think it’s safe to say that Pokemongo has become a bit of a phenomenon. When knowledge of the app first came around I sat there thinking, what in the world is this? How does it work? And why is it so addicting? Now, I think to myself, there has to be something else that people could be doing with their time.

And so here is my list of things you could do instead of staring at your cell phone.

  1. Read a damn book. Whatever happened to that? When did people decide that reading was something that you stopped doing in high school?
  2. Don’t like books? How about a magazine? You can pick an interest and LEARN something
  3. Go for a walk… without your phone. Ya know all those walks you keep taking while playing? Why not just go for a walk?
  4. Visit all those places you keep getting pokemon from. Instead of just running in, grabbing a pokemon, and dipping out, why not go actually take a look at where you are and enjoy being there for a minute? You could have just ended up somewhere kind of interesting
  5. Call a loved one. Since you’re already on your phone, why not use it for its original purpose and talk to someone.
  6. Head to the gym. Since you can’t get the exercise just wandering around, go and really workout.
  7. Play with your real pets. They don’t just virtually love you, they love you in real life.
  8. Download a geocaching app. It’s a real live treasure hunt. With actual things at the end.
  9. Teach yourself a new hobby. I learned how to knit the basics in less than a week, now I’m a knitting addict. See? Just like pokemon.
  10. If you really want that hit of nostalgia, head to the back of your closet and dig it out. I’m sure you’ve got some pokemon cards or pogs or something hiding back there just waiting for you to play.