For New Yorkers, there’s one word that’s synonymous with Sunday: brunch. It’s practically a rite of passage. We’ll travel from one end of the city to the next to try the huevos rancheros at the tiny hole in the wall that was written about in New York Mag. We’ll wait in an hour-long line for a table, as long as we have sunglasses to shield our bloodshot eyes from the night before (added bonus if the restaurant allows you to have a drink while you wait). Brunch is hands down the best event of the week. End of story.
It seems like many moons ago that the romantic & I shared a New York brunch. While browsing through old Instagram photos, I found this gem from a brunch we shared with Mrs. O Around the World, The World Wanderer, Stay Adventurous, Butterfly Diary, and a few others. It got me thinking about the possibility of next weekend’s brunch, and of course, what I’d wear.
A Sunday toast at Olives in Union Square
In New York, brunch style ranges from super casual to incredibly chic, depending on the location. Buuut, let’s be real. I’m a girl in her twenties who spends the majority of her income on rent and her red wine habit, so my personal brunch side definitely leans towards casual. The most essential brunch item is a baggy top that leaves room for plenty of bloody marys. Voila:
Happy (?) Monday, everyone. We were apart this weekend for the first time in like, a long time, so we’re planning on catching up tonight with lots of red wine. Pour yourself a glass and indulge in NTR. It’s like we’re all together.
Clicked on this link because we thought it said Switzerland, but this might be even cooler… Malolotja Canopy Tour in Swaziland
Well, we ask ourselves this question just about every day. New York City: Love It or Hate It?
Ohhh, take us here! The Beauty of Kotor
We’re normally all about the off-the-beaten-path mentality, but we can get behind a lot of these. 25 Tourist Traps You Don’t Want to Miss
The romantic & hubs spent their weekend in DC, enjoying some serious autumn leaves.
PS. Have you seen our re-vamped twitter page? It’s rull serious. While you’re there, you should probably follow us if you haven’t already.
xo! the romantic & the wino
Well this just makes us absolutely insanely happy that our Switzerland trip is only eight weeks away. Lucerne at Night
Love/hate is actually the most on-point description we can image for our relationship New York City. 8 Lessons I’ve Learned from Living in New York City
Extremely helpful. Oktoberfest 2012: Know Your Oktoberfest Beer
Getting into the autumn spirit in NYC. (Mrs. O, we’ll save you one!)
the romantic & the wino
This post opens with, “I’ve been zip-lining a couple times this year…” so color the romantic impressed. Jumping Backward off a Cliff: Maui Style Zip-lining
Any additions? We recommend bringing a spare memory card–we don’t like to delete anything until we see them loaded on our computer. Taking great travel pictures
“Yum yum yumyyumyumymum want,” said our tums after we read this post. Experiencing Aperitivo in Florence
These are so interesting! 10 Quirky Taboos From Around The World
If you’re in the New York area, don’t miss Madison Square Eats! Smack dab in the middle of Madison Square Park through October 19th. Mildly obsessed.
the romantic & the wino
The good news: it’s almost the end of my third week as a New York City working woman, and the dust has settled just enough that I think I’ll finally be able to re-instate my title as blogging extraordinaire and happy go-lucky wino. The bad news: I’m apartment-less, yet again, which means I’ve been schlepping my bags from couch to couch all over the island of Manhattan. This may not be bad news for you, but trust me, attempting to carry multiple pieces of luggage on the New York City subway does not a happy wino make.
All this hobo-like activity makes me reminiscent of another autumn when I up and moved to a new city at the drop of a hat. Except that time, I was silly enough to lug my suitcases across the Atlantic and test out my luck in another country. Moving to Dublin, Ireland in the Fall of 2008 ended up being one of my best decisions yet, but in the moment, as I was attempting to carry a year’s worth of clothes in two enormous suitcases, I was seriously doubting my sanity. I thought the fact that everyone speaks English in Ireland would eliminate all the problems I faced moving abroad the first time around to Paris, but I learned very quickly how naive that notion really was.
My first wrong turn was made when I decided I HAD to spend a week in Paris before settling down in Ireland. Because I was on a limited budget, I bought the cheapest flight I could find on RyanAir from Paris to Dublin. The joke was on me when I found out about RyanAir’s microscopic weight limit, and I was forced to pay over $300 extra for my heavy bags.
My second mistake was counting on public transportation to get me from the airport to my new home south of the city. Though the bus system in Ireland is cheap and reliable, trying to get ALL of my things on and off the bus was absurdly hellish. Not to mention, my lack of advance research put me about a mile’s walk from the bus stop to my new apartment. Cue instant tears and waves upon waves of regret.
When all was said and done, I finally settled into my new Irish apartment, though with sore feet and a suffering bank account. I’m hoping, sooner rather than later, I can do the same in Manhattan.
Until then, my belongings have taken up a new home base on the shelves around my office. A girl needs options.
That’s a very valid question, friends. To make a long story short, let’s just say: a little bit of here and a little bit of there. As you may know, I’m back in New York City with my beloved blogging counterpart (can we get an AMEN?). I promise that as soon as the dust settles I will get back into my regularly scheduled programming and regale you with the stories of my misadventures. Until then, here’s the short of it:
DC? No bueno. Philly? Whirlwind. Job? Came out of left field. After an offer in NYC came through that I couldn’t really refuse, my dreams of stuffing myself silly with Philly cheesesteaks took a backseat to, well, making a salary. So, I packed my bags (which I’m luckily well-versed at doing), and took a bus to New York last Sunday night to begin my new job on Monday morning. Le sigh.
Never fear. It took me about 30 minutes and one slice of pizza with the romantic to realize I made the right decision, and I’ve been settling in ever since. Because I’m currently apartment-less, I’ve spent the past few nights in the very posh Hudson Hotel (thanks, new job!) near Columbus Circle. As a former Upper East Sider, this neighborhood is like a brand new world. Who knew?
The very swank Hudson lobby
To celebrate my return to the Big Apple, the romantic, the hubs, and the scholar met me at the Hudson last night for a celebration of rooftop cocktails followed by a Mexican feast. Sipping on a Pimm’s Cup overlooking the Manhattan skyline, I kind of fell in love all over again. Though I tend to tuck them in the far corners of my blonde brain, there were reasons I moved to New York the first time around. We had our ups and downs, but that’s what love is all about, right?
If you’ll all join me in raising your glasses, I’d like to toast to New York City. To a second go-round. May our time together involve less hate and more love. Maybe a little more money. Definitely a lot of pizza. Mostly wine.
Unfortunately, my red-headed counterpart and her beau are zip-lining around Costa Rica and couldn’t be in attendance, but I made sure I paid proper homage to one of my favorite cities in a whirlwind 24 hours of drinking and eating. I have my gracious host to thank, the Scholar (remember her?), for showing me around her new neighborhood and taking me to a few of her favorite places.
Bar #1: Pete’s Tavern, 18th & Irving Pl
Pete’s is arguably the oldest bar in New York City and happens to be one of the Scholar’s favorite haunts. We sat outside, enjoyed bloody marys, french fries, and a few Sam Adams while taking in the scenery of one of Gramercy’s prettiest streets.
Pros: Old-school New York City experience, delicious drinks, and an authentic and regular crowd
Cons: $$$$$. I mean, just a little. But I’m poor.
Bar #2: Brother’s Jimmy’s, 16th between Park Ave and Irving
Bro Jim’s is a NYC chain, with locations all over the city. Think southern barbecue meets college frat party. We sat at the bar and salivated over the smells coming from the kitchen while enjoying a few tall-boys of cheap low-brow beer.
Pros: $4.50 cans of PBR and Natty Light all day every day. That’s a freaking steal in New York City.
Cons: Crowd full of sports-crazed and college-aged bros. But hey, maybe that’s your thing.
Bar #3: The Penny Farthing, 13th & 3rd
This is where things started to get rowdy, as the tall-boys of cheap beer started to creep up on us. There was a lot of laughter at this bar, especially after a few stouts.
Pros: Lots of outdoor seating, super nice staff, AND it’s really fun to say the name of the bar in a British accent. Sunday Funday trifecta.
Cons: Can’t really think of any. Maybe that my Guinness came in a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass? Does that count?
Bar #4: Back Forty, 12th & Avenue B
We thought it best for everyone that we got some food in our systems at this point, so we headed over to the East Village for dinner at Back Forty. We split a loaf of house-made bread, a beet and goat cheese salad, and super delicious burger.
Pros: Everything we ate was absolutely delicious, and there was a great selection of craft beer to wash everything down.
Cons: Definitely not hipster or cool enough to frequent Back Forty on a more regular basis. Let’s just say there was a little air of pretension amongst the East Village clientele.
After four bars and about seven hours of fun, we decided it was best to head back to the Scholar’s apartment, where we half-heartedly watched the Olympics and mostly snoozed on the couch. Unfortunately, the next morning, the Scholar was back at work and I was on my way back to DC, but not without my favorite Monday morning hangover cure:
New York, you were real good to me for 24 hours. Don’t think this means I forget about how smelly you get in the summer and how much rage your crowded streets give me. But hey, it was nice seeing you again.
These are all very helpful and practical, but hit us up if you’d like info on where to get cheap drinks. Cheap New York City for the Budget Savvy Traveler
We’re not campers, per se, but these we could probably do. 7 Ultra Luxurious Tent Hotels
Uh, no. Flights are expensive enough, thanks. Would you pay an extra fee to get off the plane faster?
Reading right before lunch is a bad idea. You’ve been warned. Getting a taste of San Juan, Puerto Rico
We were pleased to see they didn’t mean this literally. Geisha Hunting in Kyoto
We don’t really lust after Hollywood, but this picture just might change things:
the romantic & the wino
It’s not even a tropical heat wave–it’s a city heat wave, which, in case you’re wondering, is the worst kind of heat wave. We love when friends and families come see us in our respective places, but we’ll be the first to admit: June-August in NYC and DC is not the ideal time to visit. Each city is sweltering, public transit is full of sweaty, stinky people, and tourist numbers are way up, all agitated and confused by the situation.
Though we like to focus our summers on beach vacations vs. city exploration, we’re no strangers to weather discomfort disrupting our plans.
Lucky for you, we also know how to cope.
Like packing a trendy scarf for each day you’re in Paris and wine for a picnic, you need to take a look at what the weather is going to be like and go in with the proper and necessary supplies. Going to Ireland? Pack an umbrella, a rain jacket, and a cute pair of wellies. We can all take advantage of how stylish rain boots are these days–the romantic stomps puddles in her black Hunters and the wino pledges her allegiance to Tory Burch, always.
Bonus? If in Ireland you decide to go horseback riding, you’ll have your own stylish pair of boots to sport, rather than being forced to wear their back-up options, which may be unfortunate for a variety of reasons.
Pre-ride with Dingle Horseriding and still so stylish, no?
We know, we know–we prefer the outdoors too. But a weather catastrophe, like pouring rain or sweltering heat, doesn’t have to be…well, a catastrophe. Keep a few indoor plans–like museum hopping or indoor tours–in your back pocket for days like these. If all else fails, run to the nearest pub/cafe/covered awning and make the most of your situation. AKA: drink.
Acceptable indoor activity in Amsterdam? Cheese (and wine) tasting at Reypenaer.
In August 2011, New York City braced itself to be ravaged by Hurricane Irene. Instead of fleeing the city, we stocked up on junk food, beer, and pajamas and locked ourselves inside for three days with friends. Making the most out of crappy weather is easy when you’re with friends. Or the random people you met in your hostel bar.
We don’t have a picture from said Irene weekend because we were drunk and in our pjs for 72 hours straight. Which leads us to…
Accept that extreme weather conditions will make you look ridiculous.
This is difficult, we know. But honestly, you can pull on your cute rain boots and button up your trenchcoat, and you will still look like a windblown nutjob in a matter of seconds of opening that door. Oh, it’s sweltering hot? Cute sundress, why is your face so shiny? These are just the facts of life and it’s better for you to accept it now than try and fight with style while traveling. The one slight exemption is that pretty much everyone looks adorable in the snow… but no one looks cute once they return indoors. Accept. It.
We’ve all been there. (Credit: Friends – The One In Barbados)
P.S. We’ll respect you more if you get the above reference.
Free your inner lazy traveler.
Among the many perks of not planning every single second of your vacation is one very important point: you can’t be let down if plans change. Be it a fellow traveler or an act of god, if you don’t leave yourself some wiggle room, you’ll just find yourself frustrated when something gets bumped from your schedule. Take it in stride, accept that there’s nothing you can do, and move onto plan B.
the romantic & the wino
Happy hump day, lovelies! Wednesday typically means two things in the Lazy Traveler universe: wine and Jetsetters. Tragically, this Wednesday, we have neither. GASP!
I know what you’re thinking. What went so wrong in our lives that led us to a Wednesday without these two staples? As far as our weekly Jetsetters feature, it’s a lot of work lining them up and we are
lazy really busy! As far as the wine…well, this is the most tragic story of them all.
We’re in the midst of our annual January Panic. You know the “I ate too many cookies in December and now I only have five-ish months to lose roughly 60% of my current body weight so that I can be in the best shape of my life by Memorial Day” panic? As we hit the 25-year milestone in life, this unfortunately translates to: cut back on your wine intake.
We can’t be alone! Twenty-something girls all over the world are experiencing the same ups and downs of January Panic! …Right? And so we’ve decided to provide a little therapeutic blog content to help all of us get through these trying times. We present to you: food porn, international edition. If we can’t eat it, we’re at least going to write about it.
Baguette and Cheese
If I were a prisoner facing my last day on earth, I would undoubtedly choose a crusty French baguette and a block of brie as my last meal. For the real deal, of course you need to be sitting and enjoying both in a Parisian park, but after years of searching stateside, we found Fairway Market in New York City can provide a very satisfying substitute.
First thing’s first: this is not just any lasagne. This is a heart attack in a pretty little layered dish, with béchamel and fresh noodles and one full cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’ve already revealed my love for traditional Italian fare, and I don’t mean to brag… but this is easily one of the best things I make. I blame it all on ten days in Italy. But alas, we’re on a break until further notice. You can find a close recipe here (I don’t eat pork so I sub all the pig-related meat with ground beef), but be warned: healthy alternatives to pasta will not fulfill any cravings. Curse you, whole wheat pasta.
Have you ever experienced that weird diet phenomenon where you start to crave things you never even knew you liked just because you can’t have them? See: donuts. I’m generally a savory-over-sweet type of girl, but in the short seven days since my diet began, I’ve started salivating over…donuts. Iced, sugar-coated, plain right out of the fryer, any way they come, I’m craving it. I blame this on Flex Mussels, in New York City, where they let you choose what you want to fill their delicious donuts with and then fry them up on the spot.
When it comes to savory vs. sweet, I’m on the same team as the wino. Give me french fries over chocolate any day. But you know what is torture? Living in a brunch-centric city. And even worse? Coming back from your first true-blue Belgian waffle experience to a brunch-centric city. I don’t think I can paint a sadder picture than this: I’m literally sitting here, eating a salad, and looking for the photo I took of our waffle in Brussels and my stomach just growled. Audibly. Try as I might to order the egg white omlette and hold the everything-that-makes-it-delicious, I know I’m going to cave. And all because of this:
the romantic & the wino