Last weekend was one of my favorite events of the summer (if not the whole year): The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island. This event is a 1920’s style party with live music, dancing, cocktails, antique cars and vintage vendors. I first attended this event in 2014 with my sister, but last year I got to attend both days and weekends because I perform in the last number as part of the dance class I’m in. Even though the days are long and hot, it’s always super fun. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in NYC during the summer. They put on the event one weekend in June and one weekend in August every year. It’s very easy to get to from lower Manhattan, it’s just a 5 minute ferry ride. They have a few food trucks on the grounds, as well as various alcohol sponsors you can purchase a cocktail from, but you can also pack your own picnic if you’d rather bring your own food (your own alcohol is not allowed though). If you don’t know how to Charleston, don’t worry because they do a lesson in the beginning of the day so you can learn. Even if you don’t like to dance, it’s still a great event for people watching and taking in the music and watching the performances. It truly feels like traveling back in time for the day.
If you're interested in getting tickets for August, you can check out the website here.
Last Saturday I went to check out the new TWA hotel at JFK airport. If you remember, last year I went to visit the TWA lounge in World Trade Center (you can check out the post here), which is basically a mini version of the new hotel, so I was so excited to check out the full scale version. The hotel is in the original TWA Flight Center, which was built in 1962, and has been abandoned since 2001. They spent $265 million dollars to restore it to its original 1960’s glory. On May 15th it officially opened to the public, so anyone can go check it out. Here’s some more details if you’re planning a visit:
Most New Yorkers dread trekking to JFK airport for an actual flight, so you might think we were crazy for making the trip there willingly, but to me it was definitely worth it! You can take the A or E train from Manhattan then transfer to the AirTran. The AirTran costs $5. In total, it took us about an hour to get there from lower Manhattan. Once you get on the AirTran, you get off at terminal 5 which is the JetBlue terminal. We got a little lost at first once we were in the terminal, but they did have signs directing us downstairs. Once downstairs, you then take an elevator to the TWA hotel.
Even if you’re not actually staying at the hotel, you can still go to check it out. It’s free to go, but there are places you could spend money if you so choose.
Things To Do:
When we first got there, we headed right outside to Connie, the airplane turned bar. Because last weekend was still sort of a soft opening, they weren’t fully functioning yet. I called the night before to see what time they opened and they said “late morning to early evening”, so they didn’t have set hours yet. The plane was open when we got there around 12 so we were able to go on and take photos. They were also serving free Prosecco, so we took advantage and had a few glasses each. Around 1 they opened for the day and passed out menus. Since we were already a bit tipsy, we didn’t order anymore drinks. The prices are definitely on the high side, but expected for New York City and the ambiance is totally worth it to pay a little extra for a glass of wine or beer. It’s not everyday you can drink on a vintage plane with 60’s music playing in the background, right? I took a photo of the menu if you want to get a better idea of pricing.
The Sunken Lounge:
This lounge is back inside. We took some photos here but didn’t get anything to eat or drink, but I did see a lot of people ordering martinis. I imagine the pricing is comparable to Connie.
This is the Jean George restaurant located upstairs. We didn’t eat here this time around since we had brunch before coming and weren’t super hungry, but from what I’ve heard, like the other bars, it is a bit pricey but worth it for the atmosphere. I definitely want to make a reservation and come back to eat here!
There was a little store where they were selling TWA merchandise. I bought the pin I’m wearing in the one photo for $2.
You can easily come here and not spend a penny and still have plenty of fun. There’s lots of photo ops, from the pay phones, to vintage cars, to magazine stand. They also have flight attendant uniforms on display through the years, which is really cool to see. If you get hungry while you’re there and need some food on a budget, they also have a food court with different vendors. Overall, we spent about 3-4 hours here.
If you have any other questions feel free to ask! You can also check out their website here for more information or to make reservations.
I took these photos in one of my favorite bars in NYC. I've posted about it before, it's called the Trailer Park Lounge and it's located on 23rd street between 7th and 8th avenue. It's super kitschy with lot's of vintage photos and antiques decorating the bar. I highly recommend grabbing a drink here if you're in NYC. They even have a mini trailer parked inside. I thought it would be the perfect backdrop to take photos in this dress from Karina Dresses. Now if only I had a pink lawn flamingo to pose with...
If you're interested in shopping my dress, you can find it here.
Dress: c/o Karina Dresses
Bag: Sun Jellies, Scarf: Target: Sunglasses: Rainbow Optx
Location: Trailer Park Lounge (Chelsea, Manhattan)
Yesterday, my friend Emily and I went to The Gutter, a bar and bowling alley in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for some good old-fashioned fun. Like me, Emily is also a vintage-loving gal, so we decided to both dress in our vintage bowling shirts for the occasion. The front of The Gutter is a dive bar, and then there are 8 lanes for bowling. The whole place has an old-school 70's vibe, so it's one of my favorite spots in Brooklyn. On Friday and Saturday nights, it gets packed and you can end up waiting hours to bowl. Emily and I headed there right at 12pm when they opened on Saturday, so luckily we were able to get a lane right away. There are a lot of bowling alleys in NYC, but this one is definitely my favorite because it has a lot of vintage charm. It's also more affordable compared to some swankier bowling alleys. In total, it cost us each $30 for bowling shoes, 2 beers and 2 games. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday in Brooklyn if you ask me.
I snapped these photos last weekend after brunch and in between vintage shopping. Spotting a vintage car when I'm out wandering through the city always makes my day. People always ask how I manage to find so many vintage cars for my photos. There's certain cars I know are often parked on the same street or neighborhood, but of course it's not guaranteed they're always there. This particular car is often parked on 12th street between avenue A and B, but last week we found it a few blocks away from its usual location. Aside from East Village, some of my other favorite neighborhoods it's easy to stumble across vintage cars are Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Red Hook in Brooklyn.
If you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here (and it's currently on sale):
Dress: c/o May 68
Location: East Village, Manhattan
There are fewer things I love more than ice cream and vintage, so you can imagine why I love Brooklyn Farmacy so much because it combines both of those things in one. The space was formerly a Pharmacy dating back to the 1920's and was transformed into a soda fountain and ice cream parlor in 2010. The first time I visited was on my birthday in 2016. Now I stop in pretty frequently for a milkshake or a sundae. My favorite things to get are the "Any Day Sundae" with mint chocolate chip ice cream, the brownie sundae, or just a classic chocolate milkshake. They also have an amazing grilled cheese too!
Another thing I love about this place is that they are always super festive for every holiday. The windows are always decorated and they have a special menu with seasonal items. The drink I have here is "The First Kiss", which is cherry soda and vanilla ice cream, plus a little heart as the finishing touch.
If you're in Brooklyn, I definitely recommend checking this place out, it does not disappoint. It is located in the Caroll Garden's Neighborhood at 513 Henry Street.
Dress: Vintage; Shoes: Eastland Shoe; Headband: Lysande
Location: Brooklyn Farmacy (Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn)
NYC during the holidays can be a magical time. There are lights everywhere, bars and restaurants are decorated, and there's fun parties and events almost any given night of the week. However, NYC during the holidays is also one of the most crowded times of the year. Tourists flock to the city, and locals, myself included, make sure to take advantage of being able to go out and about before the bitter cold and snow arrives. I love celebrating the holidays, but I hate being uncomfortable in crowds and waiting in lines. So I decided to compile a list of some of the most overrated places and events to skip and alternative, more under the radar things to check out instead.
Check Out: Boilermaker
Even if you don't live in NYC, you've probably seen photos of Rolf's, a German Bar and Restaurant with extravagant Christmas ornaments and lights hanging from the ceiling. I've never been here, but it only has 2.5 stars on Yelp, so I don't imagine the food or drinks are very good, and I've heard it's ALWAYS a ridiculous wait to get in. I actually saw a blogger I follow on Instagram post on her Stories that she went to line up outside Rolf's before they opened just to make sure she was able to get in and get pictures.
Instead, head to Boilermaker in East Village. At Christmas time, this place turns into "Sippin' Santas Surf Shack". They serve up tiki drinks, decorate the bar in kitschy holiday decor, and play 60's beach movies, like "Blue Hawaii" and "Beach Blanket Bingo" on a projector. Also, their burgers and fries are amazing too!
Skip: Bryant Park
Check Out: Union Square
Bryant Park is one of the biggest destinations during the holiday season. They have a holiday market with vendors, as well as the ice rink, which makes it a popular place for both tourists and locals. I love to shop the market for gifts from local businesses, but the crowds make it unbearable.
Instead, check out the Union Square Holiday market. They have similar unique, "shop small" vendors, and while this market can still get crowded, especially on weekends, I feel like its a bit more under the radar than Bryant Park.
Skip: The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular
Check Out: A screening of "It's A Wonderful Life"
Ok, ok, I love The Rockettes, and I've been lucky enough to see the show twice in my life, but it's a tourist trap and the tickets are super expensive!
Instead, check out a screening of "It's A Wonderful Life". A few theaters around the city show it, including IFC, which is one of my favorite indie theaters in West Village. Try checking out smaller scale productions of live theater or dance too. I was lucky enough to catch a live radio show of "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Mile Square Theater in Hoboken. It was a great performance and and lovely evening because the theater was cozy and intimate and not overly crowded. The show is still running until this Sunday, if you're interested in checking it out! You can find tickets here:
These photos were taken at the Vintage Holiday Train two weekends ago. Since it's in such a public place like the subway, this event can get pretty crowded with vintage lovers, photographers, and just the common New Yorker or tourist who just happens to find themselves in the subway and stumble upon the event. The event is happening again this Sunday (the 23rd) and next Sunday (the 30th). You can board the train starting at 10am at the 2nd Avenue subway station and ride it uptown to 125th street. I highly recommend catching the first train at 10 because it gets crowded later in the afternoon! The trains depart at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm from 2nd Avenue.
P.S. if you'd like to shop my dress, you can find it here:
Dress: c/o Smak Parlour
Tights: H&M; Shoes: Steve Madden; Purse: Vinage; Bow: Claire's; Bracelet: Kate Spade; Coat: Vintage
Location: 2nd Avenue Subway Station (East Village)
Last Friday I had an absolutely marvelous afternoon visiting The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Carnegie Deli Pop Up here in NYC. I first heard about the pop up about three weeks ago via Instagram. The pop up was only open for 7 days, so reservations went quickly, but luckily I was able to secure one for my partners in crime, Desirae and Adam, and I. Our reservation was for 11:30 am, right when they opened for the day. Luckily since we had a reservation, we were able to go right inside. But even that early in the afternoon, there was already a line wrapped around the block. There were booths where you could sit and eat if you had a reservation, but if not, you could line up to grab a sandwich to go at the counter.
Once we were inside, we were seated at a booth. The decor was great, complete with a wall of vintage photos mixed with shots from the show, a juke box and vintage phone hanging on the wall. They were playing the Mrs Maisel soundtrack over the speakers. Even the waitresses were in character and spoke in old school, New York accents. When it was time to order, Desirae and Adam both got the Maisel sandwich (pastrami) and I got the Susie (turkey). We got a knish for the table to share. The sandwiches also came with dessert too. Desirae and Adam both went for the cheesecake, but I opted for the black and white cookie. Since we're all big fans of the show and the 1950's in general, we all went more for the experience, not so much the food, so we didn't have very high expectations. So we were all pleasantly surprised with how delicious the food was! I'm still dreaming about the black and white cookie I had. The menu listed the food as 1950's prices, so we were all expecting to pay about $3 for our meals. But while we were eating, they made an announcement that lunch was on Mrs Maisel and instead asked us to consider making a donation to a charity they were raising money for.
Before we headed out, we took some photos at the counter and in the photo booth. Everyone loved that we were dressed up and one of the guys working behind the counter asked to take photos with us. He also gave us some extra black and white cookies for the road. My only regret of the day is that we didn't get any photos with the vintage cab parked out front. When we came out to leave to try and take photos with it, the driver had to leave for some reason and drove off. Other than that it was truly a marvelous experience!
Sadly, this pop up was only around for a week. But if you're in NYC and want your own Mrs Maisel experience, here are four permanent places to check out:
28 Eight Avenue (West Village)
If you watch the show, you'll recognize this old school eatery from the flashback scene in season 1 where Joel and Midge are eating breakfast the morning after their wedding. I love the exterior of this place especially because they have an Coca Cola sign with the name of the restaurant on it.
Kettle of Fish
59 Christopher Street (West Village)
While The Gaslight was a real coffeehouse back in 1958, it closed down in the 1970's, so sadly you can't go visit it. Even though it looks like an authentic coffeehouse on screen, the Gaslight in the show is just a set at the studio where they film in Brooklyn, which I was a little surprised to discover that when I was an extra on the show. Instead, check out Kettle of Fish. This bar also opened in the 50's and is still around today. You'll also recognize this from the show, as Susie and Midge come here in season 1.
169 West 4th Street (West Village)
You'll also recognize this record store from season 1. Susie and Midge come to visit. This is also where Joel overhears the recording of Midge from the first night she does stand up at the Gaslight. They sell musical instruments as well as records here, just as they do on the show.
New York Transit Museum
99 Schermerhorn Street (Brooklyn)
There are several scenes throughout the show where Midge is seen riding the subway. These subway cars are located at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. At the museum, you're able to go into each of the cars (they have other decades besides just the 50's). I've been before and it's a super fun experience!
Dress: Dolly & Dotty; Beret: Beau xoxo; Shoes: Steve Madden; Watch: MVMT
Location: Carnige Deli Pop Up (NoHo, Manhattan)
Pizza is an iconic food of NYC and a staple in my diet. There are tons of options to choose from, but I have different go to spots for different reasons. Here is a list of my favorites:
If you just want a slice...
Locations in Union Square, Times Square (my two favorite spots) and West Village
Their pizza is a thin crust and their sauce is super sweet, which is why it's my favorite. I love the fresh mozzarella and caprese slices.
Locations in Gramercy, Meatpacking, West Village, Park Slope, Astoria, Bushwick, Williamsburg & Financial District
My second favorite slice in NYC. It's thicker and bigger than Joe's. The margarita slice is my go to here. Pro tip: if you try the artichoke slice, you only need one because it's so filling!
If you want a whole pie...
Located in West Village & Times Square
You can only get a whole pie here, no slices!
Prince Street Pizza
Located in Soho (on Prince Street, duh)
I've been here for slices, but I honestly don't get the hype. There is ALWAYS a line wrapped around the block, regardless of what time of day you come. However, I've ordered a pie here before and was more impressed with that than with an individual slice, plus you can skip waiting line if you order a whole pie.
If you want a personal pizza...
Tramonti La Pizza
Located in East Village
Solid sit down place with personal pies. They also have pasta too!
Located in Lower East Side
They have lots of specialty personal pizzas. I love the classic margarita or the white album for something different.
If you want nice aesthetics...
Paulie Gee's Slice Shop
Located in Greenpoint
This is where these photos were taken! Paulie Gee's is a Brooklyn staple. The original spot only serves full pies, but the slice shop just opened recently and is a retro dream. I had 2 slices of plain, but according to my friend Emily, the hot honey flavor is amazing.
Top: Vintage; Skirt: Forever 21; Shoes: Eastland Shoes
Location: Paulie Gee's Slice Shop (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
Last Sunday, I finally got to have breakfast at Tiffany's in the Blue Box Cafe here in NYC. The cafe opened in the Tiffany's flagship store last fall. I desperately wanted to get a reservation for my birthday last December, but it seemed impossible. You cannot call to make one, you have to do it online through Resy. They also do not take walk ins. The cafe is very small, and the reservations are gone in a blink of an eye. The reservations open up at midnight for the following two week period. You literally have to log on right at midnight to get a spot. Once I tried logging on the following morning at 7am and they were already all taken.
After several tries, I decided to give up and hoped that it'd be easier to get a reservation once the initial hype died down. Meanwhile, my aunt also continually tried to get me a reservation. Then a few weeks ago she received an email saying they had an opening for September 30th at 4pm, so that's how I was finally able to secure a reservation.
Going at 4pm actually worked out perfectly. The last seating for the day is at 4:30, so it wasn't crowded at all, which meant we could get some good photos. Even though it was afternoon, we were still able to get breakfast, as they serve it all day long. Breakfast cost $32 a person, and includes a pot of coffee or tea, a croissant with fruit, plus an entree. We got the Tiffany Tea, because when in Rome, right? For our entree, Desirae and I each got the waffle, which was delicious! I was a little nervous about the food, as I read some mixed Yelp reviews. However, everything tasted great! It's slightly on the expensive side, but I thought for the food quality and ambience it was completely worth it.
Of course Desirae and I both dressed up in our best Holly Golightly ensembles. I thought more people might be dressed up too, but surprisingly we were the only ones.
Overall, I would totally recommend the Blue Box Cafe! Whether you live in NYC or are just here visiting, if you're an Audrey fan, it's a must do.
To make a reservation, click here:
If you’d like to shop either of my Holly Golightly costumes, you can find them here:
And you can use my code NICOLE13 for 13% off your order!