A New York Minute: Lower Manhattan + FiDi Finds
Last week, I made a quick departure to NYC (specifically Lower Manhattan) during the winter blizzard.
It was only a week ago that I was there, but it feels like months ago. Since I’ve been back, life’s been a bit of a whirlwind. Between planning for upcoming renovations, working with a few new brands, reviewing spots, and pitching video, I’m just as busy as I was when I was still filming, which I did not anticipate. But it’s alllllll good stuff, and I cannot complain.
Anyhow, back to NYC. I went to the big apple to meet up with the Wayfair team along wide Chip Wade and Alison Victoria to rifle through the entries into the Trade Tastemaker awards, but because of the bad snow storm that hit last Thursday, I went a day early on Wednesday to avoid flight cancellations. And to my delight, I found myself suddenly with a boatload (okay, maybe 24 hours) of free time.
After landing at La Guardia, I hailed a cab and headed straight to Gild Hall in Lower Manhattan where I was immediately greeted with a glass of bubbly. I’m normally a BnB kinda lass (I just prefer the comfort of feeling like I’m in a home) but I’d happily up and move into Gild Hall for the rest of time. The atmosphere was just so intimate and cozy, with plenty of warm leather and wood, brass details, and ambient lighting.
I’m a sucker for most hotel beds (especially when it’s a king to myself), but this one was a real treat. Their giant tufted leather headboard with integrated swing-arm sconces is inspiring my future master bedroom goals.
I wish I could say that I went out and hit the town that first night, but it was 7pm and after a day of travel, all I wanted was comfort food and sleep. I ended up ordering room service from Felice and enjoyed their roasted bacon brussel sprouts and pappardelle alla salsiccia (only mine pictured are with penne because I requested gluten free, so imagine nice flat, wide noodles that are actually appropriate for this dish). All was yum. I then sat in bed with KUWTK on and wrote this blog post before crashing shortly after.
The next morning, I got up bright and early with plans to hit the town to explore. Turns out, that winter storm did hit, but I managed to hoof it to Birch Coffee relatively unscathed. I did fall on my bum once, and my phone landed in a snow pile, but we both survived. 😉
Birch Coffee was cute (see those encaustic floors and the wall murals?), and I ordered a hemp milk latte which was yum. I was surprised to find that nearly no cafe had wifi, but it was probably for the best because it forced me to just write with no distractions. I ended up crafting this blog post on getting over a creative block.
And I’m not sure whether it’s just a FiDi or Manhattan thing, but everywhere I went, I found colorful books on shelves.
After a few hours spent sipping coffee and writing, I decided to grab lunch on my way back to the hotel. I tucked out of the snow and into Melt Shop and ohhhhh my gosh, it was the perfect snow day food. Their taters were to die for and the sandwich was pretty dope, too. I got the Fried Chicken Sandwich (on GF bread and grilled chicken instead, so, I imagine the real thing is even better) and I loaded it with hot sauce and ate all of it way too fast.
Once I made it back safely to the hotel, I got word from Wayfair that we were going to forgo our original plans to head to a Brooklyn AirBnB to do the deliberations because of the storm. Instead, Gild Hall reserved their second floor library bar and hosted us for the evening. I got to meet the lovely Chip Wade and Alison Victoria, and over an assortment of charcuterie, tapas, and too much wine, we selected our winners for the Trade Tastemaker Awards.
In total, there were 10,000 entries (!!!) and it was honestly hard to decide because they were all so awesome in their own way, but in the end, we selected some real gems and we can’t wait to reveal them March 23rd at the awards ceremony.
The following morning, I immediately called the front desk and requested a late check-out (1pm) so I could squeeze in more exploring and shopping. I headed to the recently opened Black Fox Coffee for a smoothie and a latte (both necessary after all the wine the night before), and headed to Wall Street and the East River to catch a glimpse of Brooklyn.
After a quick browse of pretty shoes at Brother Vellies, I found myself on Front Street and stumbled into Northern Grade before it opened. I caught the owner slinking in to start work an hour before opening, and simply asked if I could come in, too. He said yes.
Once again, more books! What am I missing, NYC?! Anyhow, I spent a good hour or more in here and I ended up happening upon some Hackwith Design goodies. I left with a camel draper and a greige dress.
With two hours to spare before I had to pack and check-out, I decided to tackle Brooklyn Bridge. Considering the snow and blizzard conditions the day before, this day was nothing but clear blue skies and sun.
It’s touristy, sure, but walking the bridge was hands-down one of the coolest experiences of my life. You’re just among all these strangers, all of you exhilarated and taking pictures and asking for pictures to be taken and smiling. It was really, really cool. I then checked-out of my hotel and grabbed a quick bite at Fields Good Chicken (it lived up to its name) before heading home.
If my flight hadn’t been delayed 40 minutes, I probably would have missed my flight home. For some reason, La Guardia was under construction, and cabs couldn’t get within a mile of it. So I had to book it a few blocks to even get into the airport. Thank goodness for electronic boarding passes and smart phones, because I don’t know how I would have made it without.