Archive of ‘Travel’ category

24 Hours in the Catskills

It’s no surprise that I managed to turn my anniversary into both a weekend getaway and excuse for me to plan a trip (which you probably know is my favorite thing to obsess over). Thankfully, this one was simple, and something different from my usual. Rather than party-centric, visiting friends, music festival, or multi-city European getaway, I went on my first ever ~romantic~ weekend trip.

GOALS: Do this once a month.

Welcome to The Catskills (specifically, Phoenicia, NY)

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The entrance to The Graham and Co. the perfect hotel/motel we chose for the night

Ok- so it wasn’t exactly a weekend getaway, because we only stayed one night, but it really felt like enough time to be worth it. We boarded a 2.5-3 hour bus ride from Port Authority Bus to The Catskills Sunday morning at 9 am, to arrive around noon. The bus was unlike any grimey Chinatown or Greyhound I had taken before, had decent sized seats, and didn’t smell, which was nice considering it was $65 per person (round trip).

I chose Sunday-Monday for a few reasons

1. Sunday is basically a weeknight for hotels, which makes it cheaper (the room was $185 for one night, and worth it)

2. Who doesn’t want a long weekend. Fuck Mondays.

3. Most boutique hotels, especially in peak season, require a 2-night minimum for weekends, and I didn’t want to spend too much.

I haven’t even been gone a full day and I am already dreaming of returning. This adorable boutique hotel is a great combination of rustic and hip, clearly you’re out of Brooklyn, but the staff knows their clientele and their needs (they hand you a Budweiser at check in, all the toiletries are their own signature packaging and scent). This isn’t too surprising because the owners are also designers of Brooklyn based boutique, OAK.

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Me thinking I am never going to leave

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Best Bushwick (and beyond) Eats

This weekend is officially my two years living in New York. I’ve been living in the same apartment since November 2012 so I’ve gotten pretty familiar with the nearby spots. On weekends I love being able to get brunch, lunch, casual dinner, cute date dinner, or whatever without getting on the train. I like trying new places of course, but there are a few places I am finally happy enough with I would write a Yelp review, if I did that sort of thing.

Here are some of my favorite spots in the Bushwick/East Williamsburg/Williamsburg areas.

Breakfast/Brunch:

Dillingers: Coffee Shop, $

Dillingers

This place is around the corner from my house (don’t stalk me). It’s “Russian” inspired and super cute with a back patio. Aside from great coffee drinks and pastries, the food is amazing. I love the grilled cheese with brussel sprouts on Texas toast, and the garbanzo bean, squash, and kale, sandwich also on Texas toast. There are dumplings, pretzel hot dogs, and a few other meal items, all ranging from around $7-10.

One note, this place is very slow. If you are in any sort of rush I would get a simple coffee and pastry because they LAG. Though as a regular, I clearly think it’s worth it.

Cafeteria Mejor : Coffee Shop, $

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This Cuban coffee shop has Miami inspired art-deco design and amazing coffee that has butter and salt in it. DALÉ! I typically order the cafe con leche. As a non-milk drinker, this is one of my only exceptions, the whole milk is essential to the Cuban coffee experience. Embrace the thickness. Their tostadas are also amazing (think toast, not anything taco-like) as well as “the meridian” which is a jamon y queso sandwich but with spicy and sweet jam.

Warning, a few of my friends have gotten in weird tiffs with the often moody staff. I am always fine, but just a note. Also, their patio is more like 3 feet of dirt, so don’t bother.

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A Stripper Grabbed My Top Knot in Toronto

Learned a lot of interesting things while in Toronto, for example, the 6  refers to being in Toronto because the city’s two area codes both include 6 in them. I arrived late on Thursday and left early evening Sunday, a relatively short trip, but managed to pack in a mix of hustling around and relaxing in the hotel.

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The thrive was real

We stayed in the Hyatt because NXNE paid for it, but we were able to walk around or catch quick cabs to venues. NXNE is something Toronto is super proud of, and while it was a lot of fun, was even more low-key than small scale city fests such as NYC’s CMJ or San Francisco’s Noise Pop. Despite timing my trip around the festival, I had a lot more fun checking out local restaurants, bars, and going on some weird Torontonian (I was actually convinced this is the term- correct me if I’m wrong) adventures (hint: strip club).

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Took this horrifying photo of Drew in our hotel window

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5 AM in Toronto (is when I was eating poutine)

Drew and I headed to Toronto for the first time a few weeks ago for NXNE, their version of SXSW to hang out with some of our Canadian friends, because Drew was on a panel, and I wanted an excuse to go on a trip. Below is an account of everything I ate, because I am the type of person who emails ten people for suggestions before I go anywhere.

Cheese curds had me like…

Toronto is actually super easy to get to from NYC with just an hour long flight. My roundtrip flight was $215 and left at completely reasonable times. I arrived later than Drew and took a shared ride shuttle from the airport to our hotel because it was $18 vs. a $60 cab (book online to keep it as inexpensive as possible). Once I figured out where it was picking me up, this was super easy and I would highly recommend it.

Pro but obvious tip: don’t use your phone in Canada except on wifi or your phone bill will cost the equivalent of a flight to Paris, which is a much better use of $800 imo.

I had high expectations for Toronto after everything I’ve learned from Drake’s discography, and wasn’t let down. I did a lot of fun things and most importantly ate a lot of good food. Let me break down the food part of it for you.

Smokes Poutinerie IMG_2298-1 I referred to this place by an internet friend. I went my first night and lost my poutine virginity. We chose one that had chicken, bacon, peas, mushrooms, ON TOP of the usual cheese curds and gravy. At the time, I was thinking it was so dope, but you will see if you scroll, I soon learned the true ways of poutine. tldr; this is good but has too much extra shit on it, I just want the OG curd vibes. More food below (more…)

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