Father's Day

Just putting this pics together to greet the hubby a Father's day just makes me nostalgic. I am immensely grateful to the Lord for allowing our trio to continue to collect precious family moments for each travel. The munchkin and I collaborated on giving our dearest Dada a wonderful Father's day weekend filled with his favorites (including us, lol). The munchkin will always look up to his Dad because he shows him everyday the kind of love that is strong, constant, and exceptional. Throughout our ongoing adventures, we are grateful for having him as our trio's true north. 

So long Anthony Bourdain

This was hard to write. The hubby woke me up very early Friday morning to tell me that our foremost travel guide, Anthony Bourdain, passed away. The manner in which he left this world was even more devastating as we know that he has left a young daughter. We've witnessed first hand how much his eyes light up when she's the subject of the conversation. I know it because I've seen it from my own Dad. We just talked about him too with his best friend, Chef Eric Ripert, a few months ago in NYC when we met him at Le Bernardin. It's immensely saddening. Bourdain connected the world, in his own way, through travel and food. In Bourdain our trio trusted because we always made it a point to try his recommendation of food places and I must say he's never failed us. We just feel lucky to have met him during his book tour. We miss him already. 

For anyone out there struggling, I hope you find hope and strength in every new day. Stay with us, stay with your loved ones, stay in this world, there's always something worth staying for, if you haven't found it, you'll never know if you don't give yourself the time. 

Music ATM: Shawn Mendes

The newest album from Shawn Mendes, eponymously titled, showcases his wide range. Such a talented kid, voice like buttah, and plays guitar too. He's my new preferred music companion when I drive through traffic. 

And he is just so adorable on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden...

Goodbye Kate Spade

(1st pic photo credit: The Selby) 

I was shocked when I opened my IG this afternoon with the announcement of Kate Spade NY that their founder has passed. She is one of the fashion and accessories designer who thrived in color. Her stores reflected chic, vibrant and fun vibe. In a lot of ways, she’s been my peg when I had longer hair on having it up and sporting big sunglasses, it was the quintessential Kate Spade New York lady look. Her aesthetic has become part of the Big Apple landscape.

The "Sam" bag was simple with its boxy shape and black nylon material yet the understated elegance made it iconic. It was the It bag for the It girls of yore like Paris Hilton.  I actually had a revival recently  since most of the major brands are having throwback “reinterpretation” of designs (e.g. Gucci, Burberry, Dior, etc.).

(Left: Classic Sam, Right: Sam Reissue)

While the brand has exponentially expanded into a lifestyle brand, Kate became less and less involved until she eventually sold it. I still have my Kate Spade Barbie given by the hubby and the gold Spade paperweight bought in New York as a souvenir during the early years of the brand displayed in my closet all these years. The world has lost a burst of color and my heart goes out to her family for this devastating loss. 

Puma x Hello Kitty Women's Suede Classic Shoes

Last weekend proved to be the perfect time and weather to finally wear my Puma x Hello Kitty Women's Suede Classic Shoes. It's a gift from our niece, Nishi. Per Sanrio's website: Hello Kitty and PUMA have come together for this special PUMA Suede 50th Anniversary capsule collection celebrating two style icons made to last. We've seen the Suede get funky, fresh, chic and sporty. Now, we see the silhouette at its cutest. The PUMA x Hello Kitty Women's Suede Classic toebox, tongue, laces, heel and Formstripe are a radiant red, popping against a Hello Kitty pattern and a white sole. Her red bows beam through translucent outsoles.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Our (nerdy) trio is excited to see Solo this Friday. We're set via Fandango. 

Royal Wedding Fever

What a beautiful wedding that was! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding was as gorgeous and light as the sunny day. All the best to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. (Pictures 1 and 2 by Alexi Lubomirski). Windsor and St. George's Chapel made for a perfect setting. Click here for our Windsor adventures last year. 

Honestly, this made me cry while I was watching. The rendition by Karen Gibson and the Kingdom choir was just on point, heartfelt and sweet. 

Now on to the fashion, here are my favorites with the ladies: 

And for the gentlemen: 

San Francisco Cooking School: Momofuku Class

Before our trip to NYC, I went to SF Cooking School on one of their Cook the Book series and it was for Momofuku Cook book of David Chang and Peter Meehan.  Per their website: Our Cook the Book classes celebrate some of our favorite chefs and restaurants through their cookbooks. We select a signature dish from their cookbook, adapt it for the home kitchen, and build a menu around it to bring the book to life. These events are less instruction-based than our other cooking classes and make for an enjoyable night out.

The class was reasonably priced and was relatively easy for me to get to. It started early in the evening and since there were a good number of participants,  we were divided into 2 groups. We were then further divided into groups of 4 and were assigned certain recipes. The teachers and the recipes were easy to follow. I love that they try to teach you efficient or new ways of food preparation like cutting, measuring, etc. The hubby had a previous class with them so I get it now why he wanted to upgrade some things in our kitchen as you get to use excellent cooking tools and appliances during class.  It was great to be learning new things and just add to my cooking knowledge. Our menu was Momofuku Chicken Wings, Ginger-Scallion Noodles, Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Bacon, and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cereal Milk. The class ended with a buffet style dinner featuring all the dishes we made. I met some nice people in my group who were also foodies. I’m definitely open to doing more classes.

What I'm Watching: The Crown (Netflix)

I was a huge fan of Downton Abbey, so it was not a total surprise that I’ve taken a liking to The Crown. I’ve been watching episodes on Season 1 whenever I can through Netflix. I love the historical context and watching the ever evolving dynamics of the royal family. The story starts from the last days of King George and led up to Elizabeth taking over as Queen after his father’s demise. It follows her journey as a sovereign whilst trying to traverse the tricky terrains of being a wife, sister, daughter, niece and mother. I wonder how much of the scenes actually took place in real life. Claire Foy plays Queen Elizabeth well with depth. She will only get to play the Queen for two seasons.  The costumes are outstanding and I find myself in awe especially when they are in full royal regalia. 

It’s a good precursor with the royal wedding coming up this weekend.

thecrowncastshot.jpg

More NYC Culinary Adventures

Brigadeiro Bakery- Brigadeiro is a specialty milk candy from Brazil. It’s been gaining popularity in NYC for the past few years. It’s similar to the milk candies from the Philippines which explains my instant like to them. They have also become a tourist attraction of sorts as they get included in itineraries for tour groups. Great staff, cute store and excellent packaging (ideal for gift giving). 

STORE LOCATION

156 SULLIVAN STREET
SOHO, NEW YORK 10012

Phone: 917-740-5772

Mon - Fri : 8am to 7pm

Sat: 10am to 7pm

Sun : 12pm to 6pm

Doughnut  Plant- I personally love their pistachio yeast donuts, the boys love the chocolate kinds: Valrhona and Chocolate Chip. For us, they are still one the best in NYC when it comes to yeast donuts. The interiors are fun;  their staff, historically, are not warm to people (they just want to move you along whether there’s a line or not), and packaging has improved through the years. 

They have a few location in NYC but we usually go to:

CHELSEA HOTEL
220 West 23rd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 7 a.m. – Midnight

 

Bubby's - On the recommendation of Bobby Flay, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, we went to try this since we were staying around Tribeca. The fried chicken and pancake combo was definitely on our list. The munchkin loved it while the hubby and I ironically enjoyed the Peruvian chicken more. The staff were wonderful, the interiors were vintage-y, and it’s a busy place.

LOCATION & HOURS

120 HUDSON STREET NY, NY 10013
212 219 0666

WINTER HOURS

SUNDAY - THURSDAY 8AM - 11PM

FRIDAY - SATURDAY 8AM - 12AM

Mother’s Day Weekend Hodge Podge 

Hope you all had a nice Mother’s day celebration. Next up, father’s day.

Here's some pics from the weekend: 

Russ and Daughters (NYC)

Their website actually succinctly describes them: 

Purveyors of the highest quality smoked fish, caviar, baked goods, and specialty foods, Russ & Daughters is New York City's premier appetizing shop. Since 1914, this landmark New York City institution has been owned and operated by four generations of the Russ family. Russ & Daughters has continued to provide the tastes and traditions of a true New York experience from the same spot on East Houston Street for more than a century.

Once you taste their bagels, you’ll be amazed of the difference between regular store bagels and authentic NY bagels like theirs. They have been a favorite of mine since discovering them accidentally when we were walking after coming from Katz’s Deli. Since the munchkin was already a fan of bagels and smoked salmon combo, I knew R&D was right up his alley. They have a wide variety of smoked salmon and cream cheese to choose from . He chose plain bagel with farm fresh cream cheese and Norwegian salmon. I chose garlic bagel with cream cheese caviar, capers, some onions and Norwegian salmon. We both loved our choices. Another product that I’m sure to pick up from them is the creamed herring. I haven’t quite found something as good in the Bay Area but I always welcome suggestions.

Shop info: 

Mon-Wed 8 AM - 6 PM
Thurs 8 AM - 7 PM
Fri-Sun 8 AM - 6 PM

179 E. HOUSTON STREET

New York, New York 10002

Minetta Tavern (NYC)

In Bourdain we trust. Officially, Anthony Bourdain has not failed us with any of his culinary recommendations and Minetta Tavern so far takes the cake. The interior and exterior are blasts from the past. It has this vintage feel that makes you want to whip out a slick fedora while contemplating on your existential questions. It’s been around since 1937 and have seen the likes of Ernest Hemingway and E.E. Cummings come through. Even with all those brooding patrons, they are surprisingly kid-friendly. They are Michelin rated as well.  When you get to taste their food, you will understand exactly. We started with the oh so glorious ESCARGOTS À LA BOURGUIGNONNE in its individual ponds of garlic parsley butter. I ordered the classic steak frites (with maître d’ butter or sauce béarnaise), the munchkin got the Pasta Zaza (fresh pasta with pancetta, sage, Parmesan, and a fried egg) and the hubby got their Black Label burger 9selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites). The steak was of significant size and I requested for medium well. The beef was tender and well-seasoned. The munchkin’s Pasta Zaza was creamy, cheesy and just all around yummy. I’d love tp get my hands on the recipe for this dish. The burger was juicy, seasoned, and just hits the spot. There’ really no gimmick with food here, they make them the way it should be, simple, good and on point. We totally get why they are a neighborhood favorite. I can’t wait to come back. 

The hubby made reservations through Yelp. Here’s more info: 

113 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

Hours

LUNCH
Wednesday – Friday 12pm – 3pm

DINNER & SUPPER
Sunday – Wednesday 5:30pm – 12am
Thursday – Saturday 5:30pm – 1am

BRUNCH
Saturday – Sunday 11am – 3pm

 

Tetsu (NYC)

The hubby had this on his list because of Chef Masayoshi Takayama also more popularly known as Chef Masa. Anthony Bourdain's high regard for Chef Masa is well documented. 

 

Per their website: 

Built around the idea of a robata, the center place of traditional Japanese homes, Tetsu’s menu is presented by cooking method – Raw, Grilled, Fried, Sizzling – plus stews, noodles and rice dishes. All items are served family style and are meant to be shared. Daily fish specials will be available, as well as Chef Masa’s first-ever burger.

Housed in a landmarked building from the 1860s, the interior of Tetsu, “iron” in Japanese, pays homage to its historic cast iron structure. Designed by Chef Masa, a suspended mezzanine overlooks the open kitchen and the focal point of the restaurant is an 18-seat counter made from a single Bubinga wood tree. Recycled oil drums are used as host stands and the 8-foot tall flower pot is fashioned from a reclaimed water pipe.

We reserved and went for early lunch to avoid crowds as Chef Masa's restaurants are easily crowd drawers. The Pork charshu miso ramen was on point and the hubby gave it a thumbs up. The munchkin and I enjoyed the Yellowtail tatami skewers and the chicken yakitori. The hubby also had to try their lamb burger. 

Here's their info: 

Monday–Thursday
12:00pm–3:00pm
5:00pm–9:45pm

Friday & Saturday
12:00pm–3:00pm
5:00pm–10:15pm

78 Leonard Street (between Church and Broadway), New York, NY 10013

 

Westfield World Trade Center Picks

Here are our culinary delights picks from the Westfield World Trade Center:

Lady M Confections 

I have to say that I've been drooling to try their Mille Crepes ever since I saw them on Instagram last time we were in Hong Kong. I found out too late so we were not able to get at that time. It didn't help that Oprah featured them on her magazine too. I was so excited to find out that they have stores in NYC. The store is perfectly positioned at Westfield World Trade Center (WWTC). The store was bright, simple yet elegant. We tried the strawberry mille crepe, green tea mille crepe, and checkers (chocolate). The hubby loved the strawberry, green tea for me, and checkers for the munchkin. The mille crepe was as delightful as I thought it would be as it features no less than twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with ethereal light pastry cream.

GROM Gelato

Grom was among the many recommendations we got when we were in Rome. They have expanded through the years in Italy and throughout the world (Dubai, NYC, London, etc.). They are gluten free. My fave flavors are Caffe (coffee) and Cream di From (their signature flavor). The boys love the mango sorbet surprisingly. 

EATALY

This does not need an explanation, Eataly is always in our NYC itinerary, always. 

Oculus, One World Trade Center and Westfield World Trade Center Mall

This is is one of my favorite spots in our recent NYC visit. It looks like something out of the page of Tomorrowland. It's exactly how I felt when I saw Hong Kong. 

Per the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: 

The state-of-the-art World Trade Center Transportation Hub, completed in 2016, serves 250,000 Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) daily commuters and millions of annual visitors from around the world. At approximately 800,000 square feet, the Hub, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava, is the third largest transportation center in New York City.

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub's concourse will ultimately connect visitors to 11 different subway lines; the PATH rail system; the Battery Park City Ferry Terminal; the National September 11 Memorial & Museum; World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, 3, and 4; and Brookfield Place (formerly known as the World Financial Center), which houses the Winter Garden. It represents the most integrated network of underground pedestrian connections in New York City.

The “Oculus” serves as the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, incorporating 78,000 square feet of multi level state-of-the-art retail and dining. The concourses emanating from the Oculus link the entirety of the site above and below grade. With an additional 290,000 square feet of exciting, multi-level retail and dining space, the World Trade Center site is the focal point of Lower Manhattan.

Sneaker Shopping: Kith, BBC and Stadium Goods

Complex x Fuse Sneaker Shopping show is to blame for this post. The hubby found this TV show while looking for a Roger Federer episode. The hubby is a full throttle sneaker head and as for me, I’ve always liked shoes but I find the variety of stylish sneakers available now incredible. The hubby mapped out an itinerary of sneaker “Scouting” for NYC as these are stores we’ve seen on the show. 

 

Kith

I only started to follow Kith on IG after I saw their collab with LeBron James. The shoes were beautiful and intricate. There was a line outside the store but we only had to wait less than 10 minutes to get I so that was ok.  Store was modern and slick. They have 2 floors filled with products. Kith has their own merchandise . They had a collab going on with Columbia Sportswear Company at that time. They also sell other shoe brands.  I found it hard to really get assistance at the first floor as there were so many customers and at the same time it was hard to tell who were sales associates and who weren’t with the outfits. I asked for 2 simple items but it never came so we decided to explore the rest of the store. The second floor was better though and we were able to try some shoes. I ended up picking up a pair of pink Air Force 1s low because I am into anything rose colored lately and I rekindled my fondness with AF 1s when they became not so heavy like before. 

They also had an ice cream shop on the 2nd floor. We didn’t get to try as we were all pre-occupied with other things. I loved the design of the store and wouldn’t mind coming back. 

 

Billionaire Boys Club

Right off the bat, nothing says modern Japanese than having a they a huge plush  Takashi Murakami installation welcome you in. Then you have the walls upon walls of Medicom Bearbrick, it's insane. The store is quite an experience in itself. Started by legendary music producer (and N.E.R.D. frontman) Pharrell Williams and Japanese fashion icon Nigo, known for his work with Bathing Ape, BBC Clothing specializes in high-end fashion produced in limited quantities. They are also resellers of major sneaker brands. 

FLAGSHIP STORE

7 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

HOURS

Monday - Saturday: 12PM - 7PM
Sunday: 12PM - 6PM

Stadium Goods

Stadium Goods is an online marketplace for sneakers and apparel with a brick and mortar store in soho, NYC. It is a U.S.-based company doing business globally that was founded in 2015 by John McPheters and Jed Stiller. They are also usually featured in Complex x Fuse Sneaker Shopping show. The store is simple to highlight the walls of shoes that they offer. 

DUMBO (NYC)

DUMBO is short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. You get a clear view of both the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge against the Manhattan skyline. It has become a hub for the arts, dining and recreation for Brooklyn. 

The High Line (NYC)

Per NYC Government Parks: 

The High Line is an elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line raises the funding to maintain and operate the High Line and its programs from both private and public sources.

The munchkin enjoyed scooting around here. It's also a good place to do so much walking while your view changes in every few steps. We were astounded that we were already near the water after a while. It's a unique space that free to visit.