A New York State of Mind

When I was in the 7th grade I purchased a tee shirt with the New York City skyline upon it.  Sprawled across the brilliant buildings was a simple statement, "I left my heart in Central Park."  Those words never truly meant anything to me, for I had never visited before.  Now the words are more relevant than ever.  

For my 16th birthday all I had really wanted was to visit New York City.  I had never been before, yet somehow I knew that it would be the most magical place I had ever been, and I was right.  It was an adventure I will never forget, my first trip to my favorite city.  

Since my birthday getaway all I could do was yearn to return to the city that never sleeps.  When my cousin invited me to visit her brand new Big Apple apartment I was quick to accept and the countdown began.  

Although I was overflowing with excitement it was tough to say goodbye to my family.  I wanted to just pack my puppy in my suitcase :-) 

It was only my second time flying alone, so I was a little anxious at first.  Soon my nerves were as far away as the plane was from the ground.  

I arrived around dinner time and my stomach was grumblin'.  After dropping my luggage at Erin's (my cousin) we took the subway to Chelsea where we dined at Eataly.  First we had to fight a little for a table, but once we secured a spot the service was great.  We were presented with a platter of italian cheeses and meats, all of which were outstanding.  They didn't provide a gluten free option (Just bread), so I brought along my own crackers.  Once dinner was done we headed for the dessert station (where else? ;-).  There was plenty of gluten free goodies for me to choose from, it was so difficult to decide.  I finally settled on the triple chocolate cake, my mouth is watering at the memory - didn't taste "gluten free" whatsoever.  We walked through the gorgeous space and checked out all the other stations.  Great food, great groceries, and LOTS of gluten free goods! 

The next morning we were up bright and early for a day well spent in Soho!  Our first stop was breakfast. I'm not the nicest girl on an empty stomach ;-) The Chobani shop provided the perfect treat.  They had a variety of yummy yogurts - I chose coconut, pinapple and hazelnut toppings.  A taste treat that kept me sweet :-) 

Lunch rolled around and we stopped at Le Pain.  One of my favorite gluten free spots.  They had delicious gf crackers/biscuits topped with some of my favorite ingredients - prosciutto, mozzarella and pesto :-) 

After lunch we continued to shop the day away, checking out some of my favorite spots and a few new ones as well.  

The HIGHLIGHT of my trip.  It is my dream to write for teen vogue, so getting the opportunity to tour it was just amazing.  A family friend showed us around and I got to see all of the different departments and meet all kinds of people. I got to hear about their daily duties and all the other aspects of their jobs.  Personally, I'd love to work in fashion news :-) We strolled through the fashion closet (which was obviously great), even the halls are filled with racks and racks of clothes that I couldn't help but covet.  Before the tour came to the end we stopped by the beauty closet where we got to pick out some free products.  I know, I lived every girls dream ;-)  It was such an amazing experience and I can only continue to dream about a future there! 

I am NOT one to take mirror selfies, but I did want to share my sweet teen vogue style.  - Top shop daisy dress, bright yellow C wonder bag, white converse and wayferer raybans. (Outfit post to come :-)

Some of my loot from beauty closet raid :-) 

Post teen vogue we hit up the Hummus Place for some delightful mediterranean food.  Its one of my favorite food genres :-) Grape leaves, falafel and hummus - perfect food to refuel before more shopping.    


You can't go to Bendels and not buy something...so I bought several things!  All of which were 50% off, I totally lucked out! I walked away with a signature Bendals box necklace (for myself), a matching glass Bendals jewelry box (for my mom) and an adorable HB iphone case.  

While on our walk home we caught a glimpse of a movie set.  They were attempting to make snow for a scene...but on the hottest day of the year.   

I have a new favorite gluten free restaurant, The Rissoteria in the adorable west village.  First things first, the breadsticks are the BEST I have ever had.  When they were first placed before us, I figured they were gluten filled because they looked and tasted so good.  I even brought home their mix so I could make some myself, I have yet to try but will have to share once I do!  After I scarfed down a breadstick (or two ;-) I ordered a yummy homemade lemonade (A favorite of mine) and a mozzarella and pesto panini.  I have never in my gluten free days had a panini and it was just as good as it looks!  For dessert we went just down to the street for a little froyo at 16 handles - New York Style cheesecake frozen yogurt, YUM. Getting home was an adventure.  We failed at hailing a cab and waited for what seemed like forever for our subway.  While waiting I spotted my first subway rat, I am not kidding when I say it was the size of a cat! Something I'll surely never forget.    

The next morning we got up bright and early and trekked down the street, headed for the Kelly and Michael taping.  When we arrived we discovered some not so great news...They don't film on fridays in the summer.  We were definitely disappointed, but we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day.  We strolled through one of my NY favorites, central park, and we stopped for coffee and fruit at the famous Zabars.  If you've seen you've got mail, than you will recognize the adorable grocery store! (I re-watched it just before my trip :-) 

Around 11:00 we headed for the NBC store where we waited in line for Jimmy Fallon practice monologue tickets.  A piece of advice, don't arrive until 5 minutes before noon! They hand them out at that time and it doesn't matter your place in line for EVERYONE gets a ticket, our mistake.  At about 2:00 we headed back to Rockefeller center for the show!  After waiting way longer than we were led to believe, we were shuffled into the surprisingly tiny studio.  I LOVED it despite the sore feet and long lines.  I am a big fan of Fallon and he, of course, was too funny!  We all had twinkies below our seats (in honor of their return) and we had to chew and yell "I love twinkies" all at the once.  I opted not to take the bite, because of my intolerance to gluten, so I just pretended ;-) but I did get a photo with my fried friend.  

That night for dinner we chose the Shake Shack.  I was excited to go just because I had heard it mentioned in a few of my favorite shows.  Let me tell you, you will not find a better shake, cheeseburger and fries.  :-)  I brought my own Udis Bun to put my cheeseburger on, but they have a whole separate kitchen for preparing the gf food in order to avoid contamination.  It was a taste treat and I can't wait to go back! 

Walking to breakfast on my LAST morning... :-(

We went to Lalos, which is suppose to have amazing gluten free waffles.  Also the spot where Meg Ryan waits for Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail.  Can you tell its a favorite? ;-)

UNFORTUNATELY they were all out of the gluten free waffles.  Next time I will be sure to call ahead to make sure they're stocked! 

Cafe Lalo - They are also suppose to have glorious gf desserts.  I'll definitely have to try on my next NY adventure.  

Home sweet home.  It was an incredible trip, but I was happy to be home.  

I will forever be in a New York state of mind...




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