brooklyn

It’s all in the Name: Dun-Well Doughnuts

BY TARA BURKE

If you’re looking for some delicious doughnuts don’t look any further than Dun-Well doughnuts just off the Montrose L Train stop in Brooklyn. If you’re looking for vegan doughnuts also look no further than Dun-Well. Yes, you read that right. Dun-Well’s doughnuts are completely vegan and are more than comparable to a traditional doughnut.

IMG_1113

IMG_1142
(keep reading…)

Bushwick Collective

BY TARA BURKE

Cailin and I love street art! There is something so impressive about the techniques each artist uses to create their pieces on walls, pipes, water tanks and other urban canvases. Plus having a whole wall for a canvas usually makes for one massive painting, which is awe worthy in itself. Looking for some artistic inspiration we headed to the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn. Here you’ll find a bunch of street art condensed into one central area spanning several blocks. The Bushwick Collective is always changing, so even if you’ve already been, check out their Facebook and see if there is any new art up. Cailin went this past winter and did a post on it then, so you can see how different the art is now. Here is a sneak peek of some of the street art you’ll find today!

IMG_1204

IMG_1229

IMG_1250
(keep reading…)

Street Art + Street Style

BY TARA BURKE

Street art makes the perfect backdrop for some street style! For this look I wanted something edgy, that still had a summer vibe to it. I wore a graphic tee, faux leather and cotton skirt and a crochet vest. It can be hard making your black pieces work on beach weather days, but this crochet vest gives the whole look a music festival vibe which is perfect for summer. I finished the outfit with some wrap around belt booties. Booties and mules are my fave winter to summer shoes. They work so well with almost all outfits at any time of the year. Cailin also wore a graphic tee and a purple elastic cinched skirt with pocket details. Once again, I’ve had most of these pieces for a long time, but I’ve listed some look-alike items below. Happy shopping!

IMG_1166

IMG_1162

IMG_1256

IMG_1187

IMG_1272

IMG_1237

IMG_1195

Belt Wrapped Bootie

Faux Leather Zipper Skirt

Crochet Vest

The Return of Smorgasburg

BY TARA BURKE

Smorgasburg is back and spring has finally sprung. We had a gorgeous Sunday afternoon completely free, so Cailin and I decided to head to Smorgasburg for some Ramen Burgers and to check out the Dumbo location. On Saturdays Smorgasburg is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and then on Sundays it is in Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5.

DSC_1446

DSC_1468

(keep reading…)

Sunday Sweats

BY TARA BURKE

One of the great things about Sundays is being able to relax at home in sweats and unwind before the work week starts. However, I always end up doing a few afternoon errands before hauling in for the night. I don’t really go out of the house in sweatpants too often, but I found this perfect pair of sweatpants that are nicer for those lazy days. I mean sometimes you wish you could be one of those people that goes out in the world with their pajamas still on. These are a great alternative because they’re super comfy and great for lounging in, but have a fun patten and not too slouchy fit for a more polished look.

IMG_1589

IMG_1604

(keep reading…)

NYC Coffee Shops

BY CAILIN BURKE

New Yorkers love their coffee, and as a result, there are thousands of great coffee shops to go to. Over the past weekend I did my best to try a few that I have been wanting to check out. Here are my thoughts on each unique café:

1) Maman-  Maman is located in SoHo, my favorite part of Manhattan! Aside from the food and drinks here, I have to point out the decor. The whole cafe has an urban aesthetic with wooden tables, brick walls and stringed lights. They also decorate the walls with plants and quirky knick knacks. I wanted something sweet so I opted for lavender hot chocolate. Plus, I’ve never been somewhere where lavender hot chocolate was even an option, so it was a must-get. It was delicious and you could definitely taste the lavender, but it wasn’t too overpowering. Don’t be afraid to try it yourself! It’s subtle and spices up the typical hot chocolate. Plus… look at the cute cups they come in! I also got chocolate walnut bread to go along with it. It’s actually funny, because the sign said “chocolate cake,” so I guess I kind of had cake for breakfast! Either way, I loved Maman and it definitely makes for a cute spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_3

IMG_1991

FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2

2) Jack’s Wife Freda- I’ve wanted to go to JWF for Sunday brunch for a really long time. I wasn’t planning on going here when I did, but it was raining and my friend and I wanted to sit down and have some coffee…. so to Jack’s Wife Freda we went! Their coffee is from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which I’ve never had before, but it was great and even better was the adorable sugar packets they had on the table. I loved the coffee and the place a latte.

FullSizeRender_2

FullSizeRender_4

3) 983 Bushwick’s Living Room- Before my friends and I went looking at the street art in Bushwick, we grabbed brunch at 983, a place known for being open 24 hours a day. I got some delicious lemon poppy pancakes and of course, coffee to go along with it. I loved how the cream/milk came in a beaker! This is a must-visit place if you can’t get enough coffee, because I kid you not, you would take two sips of coffee and your cup would be refilled. By the end of our meal, my friends were so jittery from all of the coffee we drank. Approximately 10 cups of coffee later, we were sufficiently fueled up to start our day. I loved all the cute cafes we were able to try out and can’t wait to get back to the city to head to some more cool coffee spots!

FullSizeRenderIMG_1865

The Bushwick Collective

BY CAILIN BURKE 

For the past few days I’ve been in New York celebrating the New Year and my friend Emma and I wanted to do some non-touristy things we had yet to do in the city. I’ve always loved street art, and although seeing street art can be a tourist activity (mainly around Bowery in Lower Manhattan), Bushwick is where I had heard that some of the best street art is hiding. Although it’s all over Bushwick, one area coined the Bushwick Collective, is where the art seems to just continue block after block.

IMG_1932

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender_2

FullSizeRender

Luckily, Emma had a friend that has grown up in Bushwick, so it was even better that she was there to show us around. With her as our tour guide, we saw just about everything in the Bushwick Collective and loved it! To see this art for yourself, take the subway to the Jefferson St. stop (on the L train) and find where St. Nicholas Ave. and Troutman St. intersect to see the center of all of the art. It’s not just around there though, keep walking and more art will surprise you with every corner. What I love about the Collective is it’s always changing, so you can go back repeatedly and there will be new work to see! Here’s a glimpse of some of the street art we saw when we were there. (Most of the art pictured is from the Collective, but some is from other areas of Bushwick.)

FullSizeRender_1

FullSizeRender_4

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender_3

FullSizeRender_1

FullSizeRender_4

FullSizeRender_3

FullSizeRender_1

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender_2

NYC Christmas Day

BY CAILIN BURKE  

Before we were to head home for the holidays, we wanted to have a stereotypical Christmas day in the city. Well… actually it was Tara’s idea, so we called it Tara’s Christmas Day! Since New York has amazing window displays, lights, and shopping this time of year, we wanted to devote time to see it all. Since we had already seen the Rockefeller Tree and I had been to both the Grand Central and Bryant Park Christmas markets, we already had a few things checked off the list. We started off the day by getting up as early as we could and had brunch at St. Balmain, a cafe in Brooklyn.

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender_1

FullSizeRender

After we were ready for Christmas shopping and made it to the only Christmas market I had yet to see, the one in Union Square. It was definitely the biggest market of the three and seemed to go on forever! They had a huge variety of booths, with some of my favorites being the succulent Christmas ornaments (our roomie bought one!), the different pastry stands (there were beautiful macarons and donuts), and the booths that sold a ton of knick knacks.

FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender

IMG_0950 IMG_0941 IMG_0958

FullSizeRender_1

After the market, we headed to the Strand bookstore, which is pretty well-known in New York, for being this cool secondhand bookstore that seems to last forever! Of course I couldn’t help myself when I found a great deal on one of my favorite authors, Irving Stone. I found three of his books, Lust for Life, The President’s Lady, and The Agony and the Ecstasy all together in one huge book, for only $9!

FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_2

We continued our shopping escapade all the way down Fifth Avenue, stopping at cool stores like ABC Carpet & Home and Fishs Eddy. Then we went to see some of the biggest window displays, starting with Lord & Taylor which had an amazing animal-themed display.

FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender IMG_1011 FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_4 IMG_1083

The best window had scenes depicted from famous novels with little mice everywhere. When you think of Christmas in New York, Macy’s in Herald Square also comes to mind and we were blown away by their window displays too. Each window was a different planet and it told the story of a boy who gets to see Christmas on each planet! We went inside Macy’s as well to write a letter to Santa and then headed home since we were so tired after going to Brooklyn, Union Square, the Flatiron District, and Midtown all in one day! Christmas in NYC is definitely a must-see!

IMG_1087 IMG_1077
FullSizeRender IMG_1057 IMG_1094 IMG_1095 IMG_1092 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_1 IMG_1103 IMG_1099 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_1 IMG_1115

Coney Island

BY: TARA BURKE 

In honor of a rainy day in NY this weekend we are doing a little throw back post to our day in Coney Island. We actually went in the last few weeks of August, since we wanted some beach time, but it would also make a nice outing in the fall. You may not be able to get in the water, but a stroll along the beach in a big comfy sweater and a few carnival rides would still be fun! Plus there’s a chance it will be less crowded.

photo 1

We started out by getting to the beach early, around 10am, to claim a spot and beat the crowd. We went to Brighton Beach which is a little further down the coast from the Coney Island boardwalk. Especially in the morning this side of the beach tends to be less packed. Cailin and I can attest to totally forgetting we were in the city and not on a beach get-away.

photo 2

photo 3

photo 2

photo 1

Around lunch time we met up with some friends and chatted on the beach for a little before heading to Nathan’s Hot Dogs. Coney Island is basically synonymous with Nathan’s and hot dogs so we just had to be cliche and get coney dogs. We added in some cheese fries and funnel cake cause you know, go big or go home.

photo 4

photo 1

photo 4

After that feast we were stuffed so we just leisurely strolled the boardwalk and looked at all the amusement park rides and the Brooklyn Cyclone’s ballpark. We desperately wanted to ride a roller coaster, but the prices are steep ($17 per person for one roller coaster ride) so we decided we’d rather have ice cream! I guess all that walking made us hungry again. I ended up getting a cherry iccee and it made my tongue more red than I have ever seen in my life, haha! So if you plan on going anywhere afterwards it may not be the best choice, but it was delicious and refreshing.

photo 3

photo 5

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 3

photo 1

photo 4

In all, we had a really fun day. You still have time to catch the rides on weekends through the end of October, but the beach/boardwalk are open year round!

photo 5

A Tasting of Smorgasburg

BY TARA BURKE

Cailin and I really like food, so more than half of our to-do list in the city consists of places to eat. One of the food markets on our list was Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. So on a sunny Saturday we headed out to Brooklyn with our roomie. Although there were several absolutely delicious food stands to try, we headed straight for the Lumpia Shack. Being half Filipino we have grown up eating lumpia and it is by far my favorite Filipino food. In turn, we just had to see how the Lumpia Shack’s lumpia stood against our Mom’s. We ordered the lumpia sampler which included three pieces of each of their lumpia varieties: original pork, peking duck and truffle adobo mushroom. Our Mom makes traditional lumpia with ground pork or beef so we were excited to try the more gourmet versions of a typical Filipino spring roll. They did not disappoint. They only thing lacking was more of them!

photo 1

photo 2

photo 2

10517503_740242746032062_6965958243719075477_n

photo 1
We also ordered Halo Halo, a Filipino dessert that typically features shaved ice, evaporated milk, fruits, jelly and is topped with ube ice cream and leche flan. The Lumpia Shack put their own unique spin on their version of Halo Halo which featured purple sweet potato whipped cream, milk foam, fresh fruits, coconut jelly and popcorn! It too was delicious and was the perfect refreshment on such a hot summer day.

 We will most certainly be back to try out the rest of the food stands. Till next time, Smorgasburg!

photo 4

photo 3