Posts Tagged ‘New York City’


It wasn’t easy to choose a hotel in New York. I couldn’t decide to go the AirBnb route or do a mystery deal on Hotwire or just look for a good deal.

I ended up searching on Booking.Com. My criteria was:

-price and location (in that order).

I originally booked the Courtyard By Marriott New York Manhattan/Central Park, but was graciously upgraded to stay at the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park which is directly above the Courtyard Marriott (how convenient).

The price was right and the location was prime! Not mention that we could always find the hotel when we got off the subway as it’s the tallest building around.


Here’s what we loved about our stay:

1. It was convenient to get to our room i.e. we didnt have to walk a mile down the corridor to get to our room. (huge pet peeve of mine).

2. The view was spectacular. It was so spectacular that we kept the curtains open all the time.


3. The hot buffet breakfast was a definite perk.


4. Our spacious room had a full kitchen.


When I pulled out one of the drawers in the kitchen I discovered that it wasn’t a drawer but it was a dishwasher. As you can see, we even used it.


5.. The lounge had these cozy spots so I could watch the U.S Open and sip on my happy hour cocktail.


I adore Happy Hour menus.


6. The location was just perfect. We were exactly where we wanted to be..walking distance to Times Square, Central Park and 5th Avenue. PERFECT.

7.  I loved the decor of our room and the fact that it was a corner suite was an added

I truly had a wonderful experience at the Residence Inn Marriott Manhattan/Central Park and would stay there in the future. As always, I’m looking forward to my next trip to NYC.

For more information:

Website: Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park

Address: 1717 Broadway Ave, NY, NY

Phone: 1 212-324-3774

Disclosure: The upgrade was complimentary however all opinions are my own.

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I wanted to take advantage of the long weekend so I booked a quick trip to New York City. I was originally going to drive and then went on Travelocity and decided to fly. It felt like a smart move till our flight got delayed for a few hours. Ouch.

Sadly this meant that our lovely afternoon on the Go NY Tours –  Hop On and Off Double Decker  Bus Tour was reduced to two hours. However we were so glad we went regardless. We had a great overview of the city while enjoying the double decker bus. I can’t imagine not doing these tours. I really do think they offer tremendous value.

nyc - tour

For dinner, it was recommended that we go to a Kosher Certified and Vegan restaurant called By Chloe.  (185 Bleeker St).  I was SO glad we went. The restaurant was hopping but scored a cute table outside to enjoy this super tasty kale salad.

nyc - kale salad

After dinner, I was able to nip into Murrays Cheese  (284 Bleeker St) where I quickly bought three items: Vermont Butter (which I havent found for years), some unique crackers and this beer that had me buzzed in no time at all. (can you say, 13% alcohol). Sadly no time to even look at the cheese counter. ARGHHH.

nyc - beer

Rushed back to the Residence Inn NY Manhattan/Central Park for a wonderful nights sleep in our beautiful corner suite that had an incredible view! (Blog post to foll0w).

nyc - corner room

On Saturday, my day included two critical elements of any visit to NYC – Shopping and Eating. (not in that order).

I started my day off at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. (90 Kent St) What a great decision. It was my 3rd time visiting this fabulous outdoor food market since it started in 2011 and it keeps getting better and better. What I like best is the opportunity to see so many creative food vendors.

nyc - smorgasburg 1

I saw a few of my favourite vendors from my previous visits: Bon Chovie (which I get on each and every visit) and Kelvin Slushie plus the Ramen Burger vendor.

nyc - smorgasburg 2


I was in foodie heaven.

Late afternoon on Saturday included a walk thru Central Park where we stumbled upon a huge gathering of people and then figured it out: POKEMON GO!!

nyc - pokemon

We also did some shopping on 5th Avenue and did some damage at the insanely huge UNIQLO (89,000 sqf).  Pretty grateful that there were no line ups at the cashier but as you can see from this photo. ..they are prepared.

nyc - unqlo

Can’t wait for UNIQLO to open in Yorkdale Shopping Centre sometime in the fall. Seriously.

On Sunday morning, I scrambled to the US Open. I was only there from 1030 to 1230 but it was worth it. I’ve been watching the US Open for decades on TV and it was great to experience being there even though I wasn’t there to watch a match.

nyc - us open

Just like that – it was time to head to Newark to catch our flight. I wish we had time to visit MOMA or the Whitney Museum or Washington Square or Chelsea Market but it just means I will have to go back, right?

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too.

For more information:

Go NY Tours Website

Address: 2 E 42nd St, New York, NY, Phone: 1 212-664-0300

Website:  Residence Inn NY Manhattan/Central Park

Address: 1717 Broadway, New York, NY Phone: +1 212-324-3774





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A few years ago, I had a doughnut at the Doughnut Plant in New York City. I then came to the realization that not all doughnuts are created equal!!

i.e there’s a HUGE difference between a commercially made doughnut and one that is made in house in small batches.

I also have been lucky enough to have discovered Suzi Q Doughnuts in Ottawa as well as doughnuts from Fraser Cafe.Therefore my quest for “really good doughnuts” continues.

Thanks to twitter I discovered  Thor Espresso Bar was serving  Glory Hole Doughnuts…..which means, I HAD TO GO. (like a good foodie)

Here was the Doughnut Menu:

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

I decided to order the lemon meringue doughnut and I wasn’t disappointed at all. The curd and the meringue were perfect which resulted in an awesome doughnut experience.


Clearly the donughnut required a coffee so here’s a picture of a perfect cup of coffee:

Doughnut + Coffee = Happiness

The owner of Glory Hole Doughnuts took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me one day. I found out more about her background (she’s a trained pastry chef) and why she opened up this business. (she simply loves doughnuts). I also found out that there’s a rotation of 11 flavours. I really think I should organize a Doughnut Tweet Up so we can try all the flavors!!

Who’s in?

These doughnuts are really really popular so go early!! It was worth the drive downtown on a Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m.!

Glory Hole Doughnuts can be found at the following locations on an ALMOST daily basis (best to call first)

Thor Espresso Bar: 35 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON (416) 451 8736

The Burger  Bar 319 Augusta Avenue, Toronto ON (416) 922 7423…SATURDAYS ONLY


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A few months ago, I received an email from a friend ,with a link to the Russian and Turkish Baths and I knew that I HAD to visit this place on my visit to NYC.

I spent some time looking at the website and knew that it would be an adventure. I wasn’t wrong – it was indeed a great experience. I have never been to anything quite like it.

They have separate hours for women and men. Plus there’s co-ed. My schedule only allowed me to go to the co-ed option. So I packed my bathing suit and off I went.

I was given a key for my locker and told to put my valuables in their safe. (which I did). Then I went to a locker room to get into my bathing suit. I also told the staff at the front desk that I wanted a platza treatment. (no appt necessary – how awesome)

When I walked out of the womens locker room, a RIPPED GUY (did I just say that?) approached me and said “I am Dennis and I’m here to give you your “platza oak leaf treatment”. I honestly was expecting a big fat russian woman but hey – the ripped guy will be just fine. LOL

Dennis told me to experience the different steam rooms and that he would find me later I did.

Lets review what I experienced:

  • The Russian Sauna: According to the website, the oven is filled with 20,000 lbs of rock which are cooked overnight. During the day, these rocks give off intense heat. Apparently only a handful of places have this type of room in the United States. When you walk in – its really dark – kinda like a cave and there’s these white plastic buckets (like the type you use for mopping your kitchen floor) and a large basin filed with water. When YOU CANT TAKE THE HEAT, you take the bucket and throw COLD COLD water onto yourself.  I loved this room the best.
  • Turkish Room – I liked this room too. Kinda like a wet steam room but with a shower inside so you could cool yourself off without having to leave the room (how brilliant).
  • Steam Room – this room had so much eucalyptus scent that I started to cough and had to leave. However I returned later on – and got use to it.
  • The Redwood Sauna – typical dry shvitz. Not complaining but not my favorite.
  • The Ice Cold Pool – I’m not kidding – this is a pool with ICE COLD WATER. I felt the cold IN MY BONES. This is serious Sh*t. I shook my head when I saw people swimming or dunking their whole bodies into this water

Now let’s talk about the people: Not once did I feel uncomfortable even though at 2 p.m on a Sunday there were 15 men and 4 woman there. People were shmoozing away in each room unlike the QUIET ZONE I am use to at other spas. I liked it. One guy was even sharing his home made salt scrub with a whole bunch of us. Nice!!

As for my platza oak leaf treatment. Dennis found me, and then led me into the Russian Sauna (didnt realize it would take place in a public room – but hey – I just rolled with it). He told me to lie on my stomach on one of the benches. He put a towel over my head and then proceeded with the treatment. It felt like I was going thru a car wash. (not when the hard spinning bristles hit the car, but when those long soft ribbons hit the car). I loved it. I really did. Between the heat, the oak leaves hitting my body, and the buckets of cold water splashed on me – it was indeed SUPER RELAXING. I felt like a wet noodle afterwards. I even said “I could do with a nap now”.

I was drained even though the treatment wasnt that long. Then I had a shower (to rinse off the oak leaves) and had a quick head massage and shoulder rub to relax me even more.

Would I go back again? In a heart beat. Would I get a platza oak leaf treatment again? in a heart beat.

PS if you go to YouTube – do a search for “platza treatment” and you will find a video.

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If you are looking for food adventures in NYC, then I highly recommend the following:

a) Go on a food cart tour with Urban Oyster. I went on a food cart tour last year and I was so impressed that I did it again this year. It’s well organized, informative and DELICIOUS. The tour guide (last year and this year) is a food blogger (@EatThisNY) and knows his stuff, so you can’t go wrong. Plus I love how accomodating they are; i.e if you dont like spice, if you dont eat meat etc.

Food Carts on the tour that we visited:

  • El Reydel Sabor (King of Flavor)…quesadlias made with pumpkin flour
  • Trini Paki Boys Halal Food….veggies with a tarmarind sauce over rice
  • Bapcha Korean Cuisine…noodles with stir fried veggies
  • Biryani Cart…kati rolls
  • Treats truck…for dessert

Biryani Cart

b) Attend a cheese class at Murrays Cheese. I participated in a mixologist and cheese class in 2009 and it was on my list for this years trip. The beer and cheese class worked out well with my schedule so thats what I signed up for. Once again – the presenters for the evening were entertaining and well versed on their respective subjects. Enjoyed listening to both of them.

Plus there were 5 beers!!

c) Visit Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. This outdoor food flea market was launched last weekend and I was thrilled to have found out about it (thank you Google Search)!! The variety of vendors, the setting and the layout was perfect. It was hard to figure out what to eat cause I wanted to try so many things…thankfully @norecipes joined me so we could share everything (problem solved!!). We enjoyed Kelvins Natural Slush & Co, anchovies from  Bon Chovie, a noodle dish with peanut sauce, Grass Jelly, Coconut Milk Infused Corn with Scallions and more!

This mustard was launched at Smorgasburg! Loved it...

d) I also found out about Taste of Tribeca (thank you again – google search) and went to check it out – after Smorgasburg. By this time I was FULL – but still managed to try out a few vendors. It was quite the festival – lots and lots of vendors and lots and lots of people. This was a charity event and you could tell that the restaurants and the neighborhood came out to support this cause.

e) It was suggested from @winedanddined that I visit a block in the East Village (7th avenue between 1st and Avenue A) for “great food”..and I did. She was so right!! Lots to eat on that street plus I discovered even more food a block away on St. Marks Pl. Between the two streets this is foodie “heaven”:  ButterLane, Lukes Lobster, Porcetta, HolyLand, Crif Dugs, Chocolate Library, and Abreca Coffee.

Oh yeah – one more thing. I went to check out Eataly (in my spare time). I was blown away with this concept. Only had a coffee but I certainly enjoyed walking around and snapping up photos.

Need Mushrooms? Here's a healthy assortment...

Needless to say, I picked a great weekend to visit the city. Sadly there was so much going on that I didn’t actually go to a restaurant in the city. No room in my stomach!! Im not complaining…I know I will be back.

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I’ve just returned from New York City and I’m very eager to blog about WHAT I that’s what I did for three full days.

Sadly I can’t tell you about shopping cause this trip was about EATING. So let’s begin.

Here’s the highlights:

This beet gelato not only looked beautiful but actually tasted like beets!! Il laboratorio gelato – knows how to make gelato. I actually knew about this place as I follow a food blogger (@EatThisNY) who tweeted about it. (oh the things I learn from twitter).

I’m not sure I have ever had smoked salmon like this before, even though I grew up in a household that ate smoked salmon every week. Russ & Daughters has been around for decades, and now I know why. Thanks to @norecipes (another great food blogger) who took me to this fabulous store.

This is called a Chocolate Soup Dumpling from Rickshaw Dumplings and it’s an outstanding creation. You bite into this dumpling and hot chocolate liquid oozed into your mouth. EPIC!!

This is a brilliant concept – a slush without chemicals, preservatives or artificial colors. JUST GOODNESS. I discovered Kelvin Natural Slush Co. at a food flea marked called Smorgasburg (more on that later) and all I kept thinking was “why doesnt this concept exist in Toronto?”. They have a mobile truck too and you can call the “Slush Phone” for the latest location.

Again, I discovered Bon Chovie at the Smorgasburg Food Festival. I love the concept – the name – the graphics and these deep fried anchovies. I’m sure this booth will be  a hit throughout the summer and wish them well. Please click on the link to look at their website!! Brilliant.

ButterLane has a smart concept too. You pick your base (chocolate, banana or vanilla)  and then pick your frosting (over a dozen to chose from). GENIUS.

What else did I discover that was fun?

-Kumquat Gelato with Black Label Scotch from Cones Ice Cream Artisinal – 272 Bleecker St.  (happily paid $1.00 for a huge sample).

-Dr. Browns Cel-Ray water from Katz’s Deli (bought 2 for my dad – who loves this stuff).

-Over Sized Needles filled with Chocolate from Max Brenner

Eataly ..walked around drooling

Had coffee at Eataly, Oslo (in Williamsburg), and Abraco. Huge line ups at the last two places…clearly poplular in their respective neighborhoods.

I promise there will be more blogs about my food adventures this week!! Come back to read more…K?

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From Davids Tea

Ottawa Tulip Festival

Sunshine Suites, Cayman Islands, March 2011

Dylans Candy, NYC, June 2010

Union Square Market, NYC June 2010

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Last year I went to the Fancy Food Show in New York City. I loved eating my way thru New York City and eating my way thru the show.

I plan on going back to the show but this year it will take place in Washington D.C. (July 10-12). However I really want to go back to NYC and decided that I’m going to go the long weekend in May. Before the heat – before the major crowds.

On previous trips this is what I accomplished (ok – ate):

-attended a cheese and mixologist course at Murrays Cheese

-walked for hours thru the Union Square GreenMarket and Chelsea Market

never seen purple peas before!!

-went on a food tour of Greenwich Village with Foods of New York

-went on a food cart tour with Urban Oyster.

please come to Toronto!!

-had drinks at the Spotted Pig and Blind Tiger

-ate at Momufuko, Nougat by Jean Georges (well kinda), Todd Englishs Food Hall, Shake Shack, Risotteria(a gluten free restaurant),The Donought Plant

-was lucky enough to stumble upon a jello competition with students from Parsons School of Design.

All made out of Jello.

THIS YEAR: This is what’s on my hit list.

-attend Taste of Tribeca which is a culinary festival featuring great restaurants and wines.

-participate on a tour of Brooklyn brewerys with Urban Oysters

-attend a beer and cheese class at Murrays

-attend the opening weekend of  Smorgasburg in Brooklyn – described as a food flea market!!

I’ve been doing some research on the Manhattan chowhound board but havent made any final decision yet in regards to restaurants.  Ive also been using this website too. Nothing like finding out things to do in NYC for FREE.

What else should I do? Where else should I eat? What else should I visit? should I see a play? should I go shopping (ya think?..LOL)

Look forward to reading your comments.

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