March 6, 2015

An Empire State of Mind

I've mentioned this several times over, but the novelty of my cousin Carmela being in New York for three whole weeks in February hasn't quite worn off yet. Carmela is like my third little sister, as she grew up alongside me, Mel and Rachel, so I'm always excited to have the chance to spend a little more time with her. And to have her be in New York, city of my heart? It was fabulous!

Bethesda Fountain || my new favorite photo of Mela & I || goodies at Alice's Tea Cup
On the first day after her arrival, we walked a bit in Central Park as the snow was falling, catching up on all the things we hadn't been able to chat about yet. I took her for a quick brunch at Alice's Tea Cup, with a quick pit stop at Levain Bakery on the way. 

dumdums in New York || Upper West Side || say hi to the gang
boat basin shots || Lincoln Center
Shake Shack || Times Square || Lincoln Center
We met up with Mel, Joel and Macky at Shake Shack, and after lunch there, we walked on over to the Boat Basin together. We lingered there for a brief time, before catching a train up to see a beautiful church that was on 110th St. We then made our way to the Lincoln Center, before dropping by Times Square and Chipotle for dinner.

Brooklyn Bridge || locks of love || Big Daddy's Diner
The next day, in spite of the freezing cold, Carmela, her friend Abby & I ventured forth to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It might not have been the wisest decision, but it was certainly great fun in spite of being frozen! We lingered in Brooklyn briefly before we returned to Manhattan and ate a late lunch at Big Daddy's Diner. We stopped to shop a bit before heading home to relax.

knights || the Met || Monet
sassy poses || beautifully colored || Van Gogh
Degas || Egyptian style || stained glass
Grande Central || New York Public Library
I took off work the next day in order to hang out a bit more with Mela, and we started our morning with a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's just so nice to linger in a museum with someone who enjoys seeing all of the things in it as much as you, and we spent quite a few hours among the art and sculptures and historical remnants. Great fun for us both, really, and we took a ton of photos! We then went off to Panera Bread for lunch, before hopping a train to Grand Central and visiting the New York Public Library too. We grabbed a quick cup of coffee before meeting Mel and Macky and heading on home.

Les Miserables (made me want to read the book!) || A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (so fun!)
dinner at McGee's || a photo up in Times Square
Other adventures we went on during Mela's visit include: seeing A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (very funny, very charming, very British), seeing Les Miserables (which made me want to read the novel), dinner at McGee's (where they based MacLaren's in How I Met Your Mother), having our photo go up in Times Square (yep), and having dinner at Krystal's (a Filipino restaurant in Queens). It was a bit of a whirlwind, the rest of it, if I'm being honest, but still just as treasured a memory as the first few days.

There were definitely tears this morning!
It was with a heavy heart and much sadness that I bid Mela adieu on the morning I dropped her off. She had become such a part of the fabric of our lives in New York that it was so hard to say goodbye to her! There were many feels to be had that day, and even now, I still feel a pang of loss when it comes to her presence. But I'm grateful for the many adventures we shared, and look forward to the many more ahead!


  1. I visited NY last year and I have some of your same pics: the locks of love, that stained glass (So beautiful!!!).. I wanna go back! *-*

  2. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)March 6, 2015 at 4:44 AM

    Oh New York….I must go someday. And you saw Les Mis, I am beyond, beyond, beyond jealous. It's my favorite musical. Ah….I'm going to stop because I could make an entire comment on just my love for Les Mis (I've only read part of the book).

    I would love to go the museums there, they looks so beautiful and then there's the artwork and the sculptures and oh, my heart.

    It sounds like it was so much fun to have your cousin there visiting. It sounds like you all had a fantastic time.

    Ooh, and nice pictures too. <3

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  4. Loving the pics! As many times as I've been to NYC, I've never taken the time to really explore it like a tourist, you know?! I'm dying to see a Broadway show though, esp The Lion King.

  5. Hmm, as much as I keep hearing how amazing this book is, I'm put off about the slow start and lack of a lot of action. That usually kills a book for me nowadays. I just don't have the attention span like I used to, lol. Sometimes I can even put up with that, as long as something about the book, whether it's the characters or the plot progression, that keeps me interested. I'm still interested in giving this one a try though.

  6. People say "don't judge a book by it's cover" but I do it all the time! I can't help it! This cover is GORGEOUS. Great post!

  7. Yesss. <3 Gorgeous review Alexa :D I am SO HAPPY that you loved this book. <3 I'm just waiting for my pre-order to arrive :) So so excited for it. Sigh. It sounds like perfection :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts. <3

  8. I'm glad you had fun with your cousin!

    My cousin lives in New York, and she told me I could visit any time, but I haven't gotten there. Now she's moving, so it looks like it'll be a while longer.

  9. Woweee, amazing review! I love your reviewing style - it's so unique and interesting to read <3 I adore the cover of The Orphan Queen and it's content sounds fantastic! Can't wait to read it! x

  10. I, no surprise, love this post! I've been to NYC once and looooooved it and I might be coming back in May (weeee!! if it happens, we must meet!) so I'm EXCITED. As always, thank you for sharing your experiences with us! I honestly cant stop looking at these pics.


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