Monthly Archives: July 2016

El Barrio – Spanish Harlem!

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You are going to see a theme guys. It’s summer in NYC so I’m in the mood to blog about the many glorious neighborhoods that make up the greatest city in the world! I still need to tell you all about my UK trip I went on in the spring but right now I want to cover east harlem aka Spanish Harlem aka El Barrio aka Nueva York!

Imagine being transformed a liiitttlle back in time. Imagine being transformed to the islands – Puerto Rico, Cuba, DR and maybe sort of Mexico too (only bc there’s a lot of Mexican joints in the hood!) But with a twist! That’s the beauty of this neighborhood. It’s not crazy different from other parts of the city but the ethnic makeup is vibrant and alive! Latin beats surround the streets and people seem to know others from around the block, as you see them all hanging out on the block, playing ball, blasting Latin or reggae beats chillen on the porch or hanging around a bodega.

El Barrio encompasses the area north of the upper east side (UES) and east 96th street to about 140th street. You know you are in the right hood when you see the big hill slope down (if you are walking down from Lexington ave) !

Unfortunately, it has a reputation for the highness unemployment rate, teen pregnancies, AIDS, drugs and homelessness. On a positive note, it’s notable for its contributions to Latin freestyle and Salsa music!!! What up JLo!!! There is an abundance of beautiful, beautiful art everywhere, as you will see from my pictures. Another fun fact: in February 2016, it was featured in the New York Times for being the next hot neighborhood!!!

I don’t need to tell you more. I need to SHOW you more. Check out some pics from my trek the past weekend:

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Astoria, Queens Night Market!

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So for as long as I have lived in Astoria, which if you don’t know, is an amazing neighborhood in Queens, right across the bridge from Manhattan. It’s known to be a Greek neighborhood, originally, but now it’s a complete melting pot with some great cafes and markets ect.

The famous Astoria Flea market is supposedly a popular night market that takes place for three Saturdays in a row in July from 7pm until midnight, featuring an assortment of vendors . It is held at the well known Kauffman Studios. Kaufman Astoria Studios (KAS) has established itself as one of the largest and most sophisticated production centers in New York and on the East Coast! It was built in 1920 and was the original home of Paramount Pictures. Today, top Hollywood film, television, and digital on-demand series are made at the studio, including the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, Amazon’s Alpha House, and Sesame Street, which has filmed at Kaufman Astoria Studios since 1992! The event will take place at the KAS’s outdoor movie lot.

I’ve never actually been to this street fair. Usually they’re are street fairs around pretty much every weekend in Astoria as well as the city. You know, those random ones. The ones in Queens though include rides for kids (which I mean I wouldn’t recommend because they are mobile. I wouldn’t trust a rollercoaster some guys set up and break down by eve…!)

Anyways though, those are still fun to check out! I went to this night market Saturday eve, around 8pm. I am not sure if magically more venders arrive and if the music gets better, but it was truly a disappointment! It seamed like there were only like 20 venders selling crap. I kind of assumed the food stalls were from restaurants in the neighborhood. I asked one guy where they are located and he said they don’t have a location, they are just here for the festival. We were done after 5 minutes. I don’t know if you are supposed to go there post sunset but I wasn’t trying to wait around. It should be poppin throughout!!

Anyways, in conclusion, this is not something worth checking out! I would stick to the random street fairs you bump into in the city on any given weekend. Those are much better! It’s definitely overhyped in the news:

http://qns.com/story/2016/06/03/astoria-flea-food-returns-in-a-big-way-with-three-huge-night-markets-this-july/

If you DO trek out to Astoria, don’t feel like you wasted your time on a retarded street market! There are plenty of fantastic options in my neighborhood! Too many in fact! Just take a walk up to Broadway or 30th Ave for some great cafes, or also you could check out Steinway street as well for more options as well as some shopping!

 

 

I’m back and so is rooftop season!!

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Hey girll!!! And guys….

It’s been a while. If you scroll down, you will know why. I just want to say as hard as the last several months have been I appreciate the people who have stood by me and kept me company, made me laugh, hung out and made plans to keep my mind off things & spirit high.

Because of those people I have not gone into a depression that I could have easily, and still could easily slip into. Life tosses lemons all the time and we each have our own way of squeezing or dodging them. There still are times when I lay in bed thinking is this real? And why did this have to happen? But at least I know tomorrow is a new day filled with those who lift my spirit! Also, thank God for summer in New York City!!

Anyways!!! This is my travel blog, I want to add reviews on various restaurants, bars, shops, products, films as well to create some variety. This IS my KALEIDOSCOPE, remember 😉. I have done some travels, had some visitors and checked out some local places which I am excited to share with you so stay tuned!!!

Since it IS summer in the city, the rooftop scene is on high gear! I’ve been to a few good ones and a few mehhh ones this summer, and I’ve done my research since I had guests visiting this summer. In my opinion, Press Lounge is DEF the best rooftop in the city!!! I actually revisited 230 5th, which was the first ever rooftop I have ever been to in Manhattan when I moved here 10 years ago, and its still beautiful! Although the waiters are rude, they have an amazing peach Bellini! I still highly recommend it but I think this is a good one for daytime. Reason being, is they have this tropical decor  with palm trees on the roof. The inside is beautiful as well! Here are some pics when I was there to celebrate my dear cousin sisters birthday a few weeks ago. Photos include the inside bar and rooftop:

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I was recently at the Gansevoort in Meatpacking and ehhh..the space is cramped. The set up is weird so there’s not a lot of room, especially on the actually rooftop part.

Some other rooftops that are “visitable” but I wouldn’t go out of my way are Upstairs at the Kimberly, Refinery rooftop and I think it’s called Pulse, in the Marriott hotel on 36th street between 5th and 6th.

Oh I also didn’t find Dream midtown amazing either. PRESS LOUNGE ALL THE WAY!!!!

Here are some pics from two different occasions :

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