Daffodil Celebration and Wine Weekend 4/29 & 4/30

This weekend the New York Botanical Garden will be celebrating the bloom of 300,000 newly planted daffodil bulbs along with a wine tasting from local vinters and live music. As if that weren’t enough, visitors will get a chance to check out the new CHIHULY exhibit. Check out the schedule and ticket information below:

  • Wine Tasting & Refreshments: Enjoy a flight of local wines from New York and New Jersey from 12–5 p.m.

    Participating wineries include: Baldwin Vineyards, Pine Bush, NY; Brimstone Hill Vineyard & Winery, Pine Bush, NY; Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, NY; City Winery, New York, NY; Hudson-Chatham Winery, Ghent, NY; Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook, NY; Mysto Mead, Carmel, NY; Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills, NY; Tousey Winery, Germantown, NY; Villari Vineyards, Sewell, NJ; Warwick Valley Winery, Warwick, NY; Whitecliff Vineyard, Gardiner, NY; and Winemakers New York, Massapequa, NY.

  • Live Music by Milton: Milton will perform acoustic bluegrass and folk tunes at 12, 1, 2, 3, & 4 p.m. each day.
  • Botany of Wine: Beyond the Grape: NYBG botanists talk about the botanicals that go into making wine and how the nuances of flavor come about at 1 & 3 p.m. in the Perennial Garden.
  • Daffodil Hill Tours: Meet at the Native Plant Garden entrance to take a walk with an NYBG guide and learn more about NYBG’s plans to dramatically expand its historic Narcissus collection.
    Tours at 1:30, 2:30, & 3:30 each day.

    Non-Members: Adult (21+): $38, includes souvenir wine glass ($10) and All-Garden Pass ($28) Members: $10 souvenir wine glass

    Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Trip Recap: South Africa

To continue sharing some of my travels you, I figured I’d do some trip recaps to give some insight into some of the amazing places I’ve been fortunate enough to visit. In August 2016, my friends and I embarked on a trip to visit Johannesburg, Phalaborwa, and Cape Town.

Lodging

In Johannesburg, we were lucky enough to stay with my friend’s cousin. Staying with a local is the best way to really get a feel for a place.

In Phalaborwa, we stayed at Sunbird Lodge, a cute guesthouse with beautiful grounds you could probably spend hours admiring.

In Cape Town, we stayed at a loft via Airbnb. Centrally located and around the corner from the most delicious eatery, Eastern Food Bazaar. I hate to go to the same restaurant more than once when I travel, but this was so worth it.

Things to Do

My favorite thing about Johannesburg was visiting the Apartheid Museum. As someone who is mixed (black & Puerto Rican), in South Africa I’m considered “coloured” which is a really weird experience. Obviously, we have our own racial issues here in the U.S., but it’s very different, of course, than what South Africa has been through. We didn’t have a whole lot of time, but I’m very glad we visited. There’s so much history that I had no clue about.

In Phalaborwa, we went on a safari – something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. We saw baboons, zebras, elephants ,giraffes, impalas, bison, and so many more I’m sure I’m forgetting. It was an incredible experience.

Cape Town had so so so much to offer. The exchange rate is pretty awesome for us, so I did lots of shopping. One of my favorite shops was a thrift store named Afraid of Mice.  We got a great club recommendation from the employees there, after our first attempt was a bust. So, we headed to Coco that night, where AKA was making an appearance (He is apparently the South African Kanye West). It was probably one of the best club experiences I’ve had (except for the fact that unlike in NYC, people can smoke indoors, so I definitely smelled like straight up Marlboro afterward.)  And last, but definitely not least, we made a trip to Table Mountain.  With its breath-taking sights and the signature cable car ride up, it’s not to be missed.

Getting Around 

Of course, while In Jo-burg, we got around with my friend’s cousin. However, in Phalaborwa, you can walk around, of course,  but Kruger is definitely the main draw. There are also Hippo Crossing signs everywhere, and they are actually very deadly, so we arranged to be picked up with whichever tour guide we were using that day. We used Little Shingwedzi Safaris for the much of our travel in town, to/from the airport, and to our boat tour. In Cape Town, we were able to walk around to most places and we just took Uber any other time.

 

 

20160804_114356

20160807_153259

 

 

malay q20160809_165951

Bronx Native Pop Up Shop 4/22/17

Streetwear brand Bronx Native will be hosting a pop up shop tomorrow, April 22 from 3-5 pm.

 Bronx Native is a brand that embodies what The Bronx truly is. Our borough is strong, beautiful and ambitious and we intend to expose that by highlighting and embracing our home through apparel, art and media. The Bronx has been stereotyped and under rated for far too long. We are showcasing The Bronx’s culture ,history and people through our clothing. Through Bronx Native we are trying to help our community prosper and move forward, we use our art to express our pride as Bronx Natives. Using different mediums like design, film and photography we help our people and put The Bronx on the map. Our goal is to make a positive impact in The BX and show everyone what our home is really about.

They also have a really dope Instagram account. Be sure to check them out tomorrow!

 

bxnativepopup

Tea Time at Prince Coffee House

This week the Husband and I went on a walk and found ourselves on Arthur Ave. We grabbed some frozen yogurt at Peachwave, stopped by Madonia Bakery, and I convinced him to stop by a place that’s been on my list of places to check out for MONTHS – Prince Coffee House. Obviously I am a sucker for a good coffee shop (see here) and Prince definitely doesn’t disappoint. I ordered an Earl Grey tea, which came in a cute little teapot, from which I was able to get 2 1/2 cups of tea. (Yum!) Aside from the presentation, the space itself is thoughtfully decorated – from the hanging bronze decorations on the ceiling, to the painted counter, and cozy little nook downstairs, I spent half my time there looking around discovering new details. I’ll know I’ll definitely be back to sample some desserts.

Prince 4Prince 3Prince 2Processed with MOLDIV

My Travel Personality

Something I touched on briefly in my Shediac post is my travel personality. Let’s first start off with what exactly that means. Your travel personality dictates where you stay and what you do while on vacation. Some people like to just chill on vacation; you’re not going to see them hiking, zip lining, or anything like that. They just want an escape from their ordinary lives. Others are thrill seekers, they’re going to be zip lining, bungee jumping, scuba diving, all of that.

For me, I’m somewhere in between. I love cities, so when I travel, I’m not too interested in lounging on a beach the whole time or hiking up some mountain. That’s not to say I don’t do these things while on vacation, but I like to see other urban areas and how other countries have defined what it is to live in “the city.”

What does this look like in action?

Location, Location, Location

I usually end up going to the capital city, think: Buenos Aires, Cape Town (did you know South Africa has three capital cities?!), and London. I like cities because you’ll find ordinary citizens living their daily lives, not just tourists taking selfies everywhere. Even though I’m technically a tourist when I go abroad, I don’t act like one. I figure the same way we hate the disrespectful way many tourists behave when they come to New York, other people in other cities must hate it too. I also am annoying and talk about how similar or different everything is to New York. I’m working on it.

Getting Around

I also hate driving. I’m a stereotypical New Yorker and got my license as an adult. So when I travel I like to be centrally located near public transit or at least in a place where I can catch a cab pretty easily. I love walking so once I’ve got some comfortable shoes, I have no problem going for a long walk to check out a new and fascinating place.

Activities

I like a good mix of active, physical activities and time to relax, go shopping, etc. I like to be amongst the locals when I travel, so of course I’ll check out tourist attractions, but I also like to check out hidden gem cafe or local boutiques. I also am not opposed to curling up and watching a movie or taking a nap. Actually, naps are a must.

Packing

I’ll do a full packing post in the future, but because it is a part of my travel personality, I’ll touch on it briefly. I try to be a minimalist when packing because I like to avoid checking my bag. I don’t like to wait when I get off of the plane. I just want to take my stuff and start my adventure (or head home!). So I try to have a carry on for the overhead and a book bag with my essentials and entertainment.

Once you’ve figured out your travel personality, you’ll have a much easier time planning your trip, especially when traveling with others.

What’s your travel personality? Feel free to share in the comments!

 

 

Brunch at Salsa con Fuego or, That Time I Ate So Much I Thought I was Going to Die

Ten years ago my husband and I decided to see where our new relationship would lead. Our actual anniversary was on Friday, but we were both so tired from work and life in general, we ended up knocking out. (#lifeafter25?) To make up for such misbehavior, we decided to celebrate on Sunday by going to Salsa con Fuego, whose brunch my sister recommended months ago.

To preface this, I had made my return to the gym after missing my Sunday class three weeks in a row (two of which were due to my trip to Shediac, the third was due to a mild hangover :/) so when I came back home I was not only drained, but starving.

Salsa con Fuego’s brunch is served buffet style with a free drink included (mimosas, bellinis, soda, or juice). We opted for bellinis, which were waiting for us on our table after we served ourselves.

I’m usually not a fan of all you can eat buffets because all I can eat in one sitting is really not a lot. But, like I said, I was famished. I piled my plate up with almost everything I saw – shrimp, pernil, rice, pasta – you name it.

After stuffing my face, I went up to partake in the fresh fruit and flan.   I had two servings of fruit and flan. “Why not?!” I said. “I’ll be fine!” I said.  I was not fine. I had definitely eaten away too much and moved at the pace of a sloth trying to make the under 30 min trip back home. Smh.

Besides an admission of my boundless gluttony, this is also a testament to how good the food was. Because it’s a buffet, you don’t have a lot of interaction with the staff, but our waitress made sure our water glasses were full and was generally very polite and friendly.

Salsa con Fuego itself is an expansive venue with lively portraits of Tito Puente and Celia Cruz adorning the walls. There were people of all ages there and several people celebrating birthdays and other special occasions. I didn’t take enough pictures, I was too busy stuffing my face.

Admittedly, I was a little nervous because of the mixed reviews on Yelp, but I am so happy we decided to go here for brunch. So worth it!

salsa