manhattan

DIY Lace Up Tee in Chelsea

BY CAILIN BURKE

The weather was a little nicer than usual, so we thought, “Why not take a walk on the Highline!?” We actually hadn’t been to the Highline in over 2 years since it’s pretty far on the West Side, but it was the perfect day to walk around, pop into Chelsea Market, and end the day with the famous artichoke pizza at Artichoke Basile’s.

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I was super excited to debut my most successful DIY upcycled shirt – I literally got this cool tee from Salvation Army for $1 (can I get an amen for Half-Priced Wednesdays at Salvation Army!?) It’s a tee from a building supply company but I thought the graphic was pretty cool so I took it home to cut it up!

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Strollin’ on a Sunday

BY CAILIN BURKE

For us, Sundays are our total relaxing day. After church we usually like to just hang out, walk around, and get some NYC eats. This time we took the walking around a little far and found ourselves walking about an hour all the way to Soho!

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We go to church at Hillsong NYC in Midtown, so it was definitely quite the walk. Since it was a beautiful day it was no big deal. Plus I love going to Soho as it’s one of my favorite areas of Manhattan! Once in Soho we decided to grab coffee and lunch at Ground Support. It’s this cute little cafe that has tons of light, wood tables, and even a bench for a window seat!

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B♭

BY TARA BURKE

Last Friday we headed to B♭ on Church St. in downtown Manhattan for happy hour. We heard they had great cocktails and even more importantly fried chicken! Their happy hour runs from 5-7pm and offers beer for $5, wine for $7 and cocktails for $9. The space is very inconspicuous with no official signage except a small painted B♭ on the door frame.

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You then head down some stairs to the underground bar area. When we went there was only one other party there, but it started to fill up a little after 7pm. The bone chilling weather may have been to blame for the deadness as I suspect it’s usually more crowded, especially on jazz nights which they have every Monday and Wednesday.

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They had a specific happy hour menu, which I assume changes, but I got the Maple Daiquiri and Cailin got the Bee’s Knees. Both were yummy, but not mind-blowing. On the other hand, the fried chicken “tatsuta” was amazing! The breading was deliciously seasoned and it came with a really good sauce that gave a lot of asian flavor to the dish. The Japanese deep frying technique, tatsuta, keeps the chicken tender and the outside extra crunchy. It came with 5 pieces of chicken, which Cailin and I shared for $9. Hellllooo new craving!

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Feature Friday: Miss New Foodie

BY CAILIN BURKE

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This week our feature is all about… food! Clearly we aren’t the only ones who like food, as @MissNewFoodie, has tens of thousands of followers on her food-centered Instagram account. Since we now live 15 minutes outside of Manhattan, I always look at her Instagram to see which local restaurant or cafe I should hit up next. Miss New Foodie, otherwise known as Emily, definitely has a way of photographing the food she eats to look the most drool-worthy it can get. Keep reading to hear what made her want to start Miss New Foodie and how she manages to find all of these great NYC eats!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

mnf: Hi, I’m Emily and I’m 19! I’m a sophomore at NYU and I’m obsessed with food and social media (obviously). When I’m not eating or taking pictures of food, I love walking around Manhattan, discovering new coffee shops and art galleries. There is something to be said about never getting bored in New York City—everywhere I turn there are new places to explore. Oh, and I also love to window shop. Shoes are definitely my weakness.

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Castle Logo: When and why did you start Miss New Foodie?

mnf: I started Miss New Foodie in October 2013 of my freshman year. I didn’t have any particular reason for starting the account; I just loved looking at other food accounts, and figured it would be fun to start my own. Never did I imagine it would become as popular as it has.

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Castle Logo: How did your interest in food start?

mnf: I’ve been interested in food ever since I can remember. I played competitive soccer up until college, so I was always conscious of what I was putting into my body. After I stopped playing, I was still really interested in different types of foods and flavors. This fascination has just grown and evolved into Miss New Foodie. Now, every chance I get, I go around NYC eating different foods and taking pictures of all of my eats.

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Castle Logo: You are based in NYC. How has this inspired or helped Miss New Foodie take off?

mnf: I don’t think Miss New Foodie would be as successful if I was in any other location. NYC has so many different restaurants, cafés, and cuisines, that I can always find a new place to try. Even if I’m just walking down the block, I usually stroll in and out of random food shops and order the first thing I see off the menu. Whether it’s a coffee café or pizza parlor, it feels like there are an infinite number of places scattered around Manhattan. I don’t think any other city has so many different eateries in such a close proximity.

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Castle Logo: After tasting so many delicious NYC eats, we’re all curious. What is your favorite food?

mnf: Avocado toast, definitely. I don’t eat it often, but whenever I go to brunch, I always like to eat the restaurant’s signature avocado toast. Every place makes theirs differently, so it’s fun to try each one. It’s so simple, yet satisfying and flavorful at the same time.

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Castle Logo: Name a few of your favorite places to eat in the city?

mnf: For brunch I like to go to Jack’s Wife Freda, Two Hands, and Café Gitane. Sometimes their lines are long, but it is well worth the wait. Some of my other go-to places are Joe’s Pizza, Tompkin’s Square Bagels, and Grey Dog. When I have a craving for something sweet, The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is also very fulfilling.

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Castle Logo: Are there any challenges to running Miss New Foodie?

mnf: In order to keep the account fun and interesting, I have to buy a lot of food! This is both time-consuming and expensive. I have to plan my day around where and when I’ll go get food, and I have to properly budget how much I spend each week. It doesn’t seem like much, but sometimes it’s difficult to balance time between Miss New Foodie and schoolwork, especially when working on Miss New Foodie is 10 times more fun than writing papers.

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Castle Logo: What camera/techniques do you use to capture the most delicious sides of all your food?

mnf: Lighting is the most important part of getting a good picture. Natural light is always best, especially during the time right before sunset. I also like to play around with the different angles of the food—going up close to capture the texture of the food, or from high above to get an overall view of the table. It really depends on what type of food I’m photographing. My camera has actually been broken for about two months now, so sometimes I have to hit the lens against my knuckles until it goes in focus.

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Castle Logo: What are your future goals/dreams?

mnf: I’m switching into a media major at NYU, so I’m hoping to work in the food media business in the future. I look up to food personalities like Guy Fieri or Giada De Laurentiis because they’ve made successful careers out of doing what they love. As I am only a sophomore in college, I still have time to figure out what I’ll be doing after I graduate… which is good because right now I have no idea what to do with my life.

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Castle Logo: Any advice for aspiring foodies?

mnf: I think an important tip is to never be afraid to try new foods! I always thought smoked salmon/lox was disgusting whenever I saw it in the deli shop window, but I never actually tasted it for myself. Then I tried it one day, and now I love it. As for the best way to grow a social media following, I think it’s really important to post frequently and to post original content. Create your own style and spend a lot of time connecting with your followers. Also, tell your friends and family about it, whether it’s a blog, an Instagram, or a YouTube channel! They are the first people that will spread the word about your account.

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To see more amazing food follow Miss New Foodie on Instagram: @MissNewFoodie and check out her website: MissNewFoodie.com

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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We Love Governors Island

BY CAILIN BURKE

After spending our first month living near NYC and getting to explore Manhattan, Brooklyn, a bit of Queens and Harlem, and A LOT of Hoboken… we decided to leave the city life for a little bit. We had heard of Governors Island and after seeing that it was only a $2 round trip ferry ride to get there, we thought “why not?” We’ve gone several times now and what I love most about the island is the epic views of Lower Manhattan, the free bikes on weekday mornings, and the hammocks. Our first time there, we just walked around the island, got lunch from the many food trucks there, and ended our day with Mister Softee ice cream, a NYC staple!

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Since we saw everyone riding bikes during our first visit, we knew we wanted to come back and have a leisurely day out of the city, just bike riding on an island. So we woke our roommate up super early to catch the ferry and make it to the island in time to get the free bike deal. Every weekday you can ride a cruiser for a free hour between 10am-12pm. Since New York is one of the most expensive cities and free things aren’t super common, we had to take advantage of it. Biking with the Statue of Liberty on one side and the Freedom Tower on the other was amazing. Plus since it was a weekday, the island wasn’t overly crowded and as an extra bonus we could ride down the hills as fast as we wanted!

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Although Governors Island isn’t a tropical island by any means, it is just as relaxing. We went to the one area of the island known as Hammock Grove and were lucky enough to each score our own hammocks! We spent the rest of the afternoon in these hammocks reading and it definitely felt like a little island getaway. If you’re tired of busy city life, a day trip to Governors Island is the perfect remedy!

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