5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video!

East Coast Trip Travel Log, continued

You’ve read my blog, you’ve seen my instagrams, you’ve liked my tweets. Last but not least is my video!!! A summary of my travels, and fun facts I made up whilst exploring. Do enjoy, and I apologize for any horrible accents.

I would also like to take the time to offer some realistic advice, as well as a review on how I survived 6 days with just a carry on, as mentioned in my first article: New York Ready.

Fun Facts & Advice:

  1. Carry around a charger  because your phone will never have enough batteries. Try to find a restaurant with available wall outlets whenever you stop to eat. If you become desperate I recommend finding a McDonalds. That way you can only spend a dollar on a coffee or snack, and feel much less guilty while taking all the time you need to charge your phone. Check for outlets before you order.
  2. Download the apps you need before your trip. I recommend yelp and any transit app. Check out nycgo.com’s excellent list of apps here. However, cell service underground rarely works. So be sure to pick up a map before you enter the metro system.
  3. Buy a week long Metro Card! This will save you money! Think about it, you can buy a bottomless 7 day Metro Pass for $29, or pay $2.50 a swipe for the few days you will be there. So if you swipe more than 15 times the card will pay for itself! And trust me, you would rather have the liberty of traveling on the subway whenever and wherever you need to, instead of worrying about saving your swipes. Especially since you are probably site-seeing throughout the city, and as a visitor you are also prone to getting lost which means you will probably be hopping on and off even more often. (trust me – it happened to me and I wish I had the 7 day pass).
  4. Get Dr. Scholls! My feet were killing me by the end of the trip. Please be kind to your feet and treat them to a foot cushion or gel inserts. There is a lot of walking and standing in the city, and if the subway is crowded you may not even get to sit down while in transit.
  5. Carry cash. There are enough banks and ATMs scattered throughout the city so it won’t be a huge inconvenience if you need cash, but having a range of assorted bills in your wallet never hurt nobody. Most street vendors only take cash, so if you want to know how that authentic and famous cart food tastes, get some bills. But hold onto it tight, this is a city known for its pick-pockets!

And how did it go, my wearing all black and all?

Absolutely wonderfully! I had two black pants that I alternated between each day, jeans and leggings, and I wore the same black jacket every day. Other than that the only thing I ever really changed was my shirt and my scarf choice. I was so comfortable, always matched, and always looked in style. I also enjoyed wearing my hat because it kept my head warm and I didn’t have to worry about my hair. It’s my signature look which New York helped solidify. I also got some compliments on the street, and in a few designer stores. Not trying to brag, but every girl likes a compliment or two. And when you’re in a trendy shop and people start asking you where you got an item you’re wearing – or asking if you work there… what can I say, it’s the best kind of flattery. Especially for a fashionista like myself. 😉

You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:

Day 0 – New York Ready
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound
Day 2 – New York Pretty
Day 3 – Lady Liberty
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare
Day 6 – Autumn in New York
Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video! (now viewing) 

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

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East Coast Trip Day 6 – Autumn in New York

TUESDAY

November 12, 2013

Today is my last day to explore the big city. I’m trying to think of what I have not done, what I might have time for, but also what my poor tired feet can handle. One thing’s for certain, I have to make it to the David Zwirner Gallery because my instagram feed has been blowing up all weekend by superstars like Refinery 29, ManRepeller, and Marie Claire, who were posting about the “I Who Have Arrived in Heaven” experience. Let the adventures begin…

8:30 Snow!! It’s snowing in the city! It didn’t stick, but the air was glimmering with wandering snowflakes. This was Michelle’s first time seeing snow fall, her first thoughts: “where’s the fire?” Said like a true Californian. 9:30 Drop Michelle off at the subway, stay in Brooklyn with her Metro Card in hand. 9:45 Breakfast at Crosby, a clean crisp and cool hipster cafe. Devour a chocolate croissant and sip green tea. Witness a car accident, a car hitting an ambulance accident.

10:30 Go to Williamsburg. 11:15 Shop around. 11:45 Grab a blueberry tea because it smelled amazing. 12:30 Subway into Manhattan. Need mo’ money, stop at Bank of America. 1:00 Macarons!!! From Macaron Cafe . I had to do it, and they were each delightful. I went with a berry, a pistachio, and a salted caramel. 1:20 Find David Zwirner gallery to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. Mesmerizing! “I have arrived in heaven.”

1:50 Eat chicken kabob. 2:00 Go to china town. 2:30 Get dumplings for lunch/dinner[/linner?]. 3:00 Say bye to Michelle.

3:30 Take subway to JFK. Did not get lost. 6:30 Leave 😦

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So that sums up my trip, kind of anticlimatic. I was running out of steam by the end, so this ending is appropriate. However, you will be glad to know a New York video is in the works. Also stay tuned for a style report, or at least a stylish retort. Thanks for following!

You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:
Day 0 – New York Ready
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound
Day 2 – New York Pretty 
Day 3 – Lady Liberty
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare
Day 6 – Autumn in New York (now viewing!)
Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video!

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

East Coast Trip Day 5 – New York Time Spare

MONDAY

November 11, 2013

A summary of my 2nd day exploring New York City alone, because I had so much TIME to SPARE…

6:30 wake up! (3:30am PST fml) 7:30 NJ train station, (bye dad xoxo)

Nothing gets between us. #classic #loperfido #smile 👌✌👊 thanks for everything @odifrepolm

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 8:09 Miss train to NY 8:29 Catch next train to NY.

You can tell I’m alone with nothing else to do, I was blowing up my own twitter.
10:10 New York again! Drop off my carry-on bag with Michelle at her office and borrow her metro card for the day. She’s the best #forevergrateful 10:30 Columbus Circle! Explore Central Park. Buy roasted nuts (coconuts). Give a sax player a dollar. Mock tourists. Enjoy nature.

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11:30 Find restroom in the Time Warner Center (it’s a mall). Try to charge phone but security guard would not let me sit down. Walk to Lincoln Center, it was not that exciting from the outside. 12:00 Time Square!!!! Amazing!!! Just like the movies!! (and Vegas!) Wow! 12:15 Kissing booth with Cosmo and Maybelline.

12:30 Eat sandwich at Majestic Deli.

1:00 search for flatiron building. Find farmers market at Union Square. Buy fancy green juice from The Squeeze.

1:20 Find the Flatiron Building! It’s magnificent!! 1:30 Walk through security and try to ride elevator up to top. Make small talk with fellow elevator rider. “Must be nice on the 19th floor! Wht do you do?” “I work for [itsXaXsecretX]” “oh cool. (never heard of them before). “Are you just looking around? Yes I’ve always wanted to see out from the top I was hoping for a goood view but am sad all the offices are locked.” “Well you look like a respectful person, I’ll show you around if you dont turn me in” …awesome!!! She showed me some great views of the east and south facing windows in vacant offices. Loved it!!!!

2:00 Tired. Phone dead. Must charge. No where will let me. 3:00 To McDonalds!! Free chargers upstairs!! While charging I met these funny kids who were very much day drunk off Bacardi Gold, as they informed me multiple times. They were very friendly and chilling in McDonald’s watching This is the End on an iPad. They both grew up in Manhattan, but were born in Jordan & Israel. Told me about some places I should hit up: A bar that serves $5 pitchers + a shot and free hot dogs “because when you’re that drunk, trust me, even the hot dogs sound appealing” lol. 3:45. Shopping! 4:00 Beacon’s Closet, Found a gray over the shoulder clutch. 4:30 Tried to sneak into Parsons University “The New School For Design,” Failed 4:45 Meatball Obsession, yum! 5:00 Shop lots of consignment and vintage, found a green UNIQLO light weight jacket at Buffalo Exchange. 5:45 I should get going 6:00 Look for wine for Michelle and I. 6:20 Find wine. Realize I don’t have a wine opener. Get Mike’s Hard instead, I know I’m sorry. 6:30 Subway to Michelle! 6:45 Grand St Subway. Pour our drinks into Starbucks cups. Tell homeless man who started hitting on me to keep walking. Felt like a real New Yorker. 7:00 Michelle!! Walk around with the poor girl who had a cold. 8:30 Date at Shake Shack ❤ 10:00 Cha-An Japanese Tea House. Tea and Moshi.

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11:00 Head back. Must also grab bag from office & wait for late night trains. 1:00 Goodnight.

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You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:
Day 0 – New York Ready
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound
Day 2 – New York Pretty 
Day 3 – Lady Liberty
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare (now viewing!)
Day 6 – Autumn in New York
Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video!

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

East Coast Trip Day 4 – Philly Cheese State

Sunday

November 10, 2013

philly cheese steak

8:00 Wake up on the floor of Dad’s apartment in rural New Jersey ready for a day exploring Philly, a city neither of us have been to. 9:00 Walk the chilly streets of Florence to grab a loaf of coffee cake to eat with our home-brewed coffee for breakfast. 10:00 to Philly! 10:30 Race up Penn steps, because if Rocky can, so can we!11:20 Explore Philly. 11:30 Get Philly cheese steaks. The restaurant was playing the Dog Whisperer in the background so of course my dad asked our server if he’d ever seen our episode: Hounds From Hell (watch here, start video at 17:45) The man claims to have seen and enjoyed it, how adorable. 12:00 Walk to Liberty Bell. Admire the tour groups. Walk around independence hall… in the footsteps of our forefathers, or even better Nicholas Cage 😉

 1:00 Walk through diamond distract. Walk back up Ben Franklin Parkway and take tourist photos of tourists taking tourist photos.

2:00 Head back to Jersey. Stop at target, surprise dad with all the great and cheap finds. 3:00 Home. Rest. Eat.

5:30 Make dad pancakes for dinner. 7:00 Watch Rocky. 9:00 Fall fast asleep (that’s 6:00pm PST btw lol).

My closing thoughts: I think I would like to rename the city, “the city of fatherly love,” because I had so much fun with my Dad, but then we would have to call it Philadadlia.

Slide show:

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You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:
Day 0 – New York Ready
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound
Day 2 – New York Pretty 
Day 3 – Lady Liberty
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State (now viewing!)
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare
Day 6 – Autumn in New York
Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video!

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

East Coast Trip Day 3 – Lady Liberty

Saturday

November 09, 2013

Dear friends, fans, and nosy neighbors, my run on sentences have gone on long enough! Here is a much briefer post about my next day in New York, it was also the day I reunited with my dad!

8:30 Dad rolls up in his old man car, the 5 series Beamer. Michelle is ecstatic, she claims she hasn’t ridden in a real car for months and months! 9:00 Statue of Liberty Park 9:30 Ferry to the islands, drink surprisingly good coffee in a cup. 10:00 Ellis Island. Find ancestors etched into monument, kind of a look-back-and-realize-how-far-we’ve-come moment.11:00 Statue of Liberty. Climb about 150 steps to the lookout platform on which she stands, lookout! Great views. Hard to see the statue herself from this close though, with her being directly above us and all.

12:00 French Fries 12:15 Ferry back 1:00 Liberty Park Cafe for lunch. Order an open faced pastrami sandwich with cheese. There was lots of cheese. 1:30 Drop Michelle off at a train stop so she could take the subway back to Brooklyn. 1:45 Drive with Dad through the town he grew up in, South through Jersey. Drive passed groves of autumn trees glowing in the setting sun. 4:00 Stop at Trader Joes. 5:00 Drive through Florence to see the small community he lives in now, I wasn’t expecting to see such quaint old houses and beautiful trees lining a winding river. Reminds me of Newberg, Oregon where I lived during my college years. 6:00 Arrive at his small apartment. Relax. 7:00 Bungos for pizza. 1 large buffalo chicken pizza and 2 beers please…

9:00 Goodnight Dad. 10:00 Goodnight moon.

A slideshow of the day:

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You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:
Day 0 – New York Ready
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound
Day 2 – New York Pretty 
Day 3 – Lady Liberty (now viewing!)
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare
Day 6 – Autumn in New York

Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

East Coast Trip Day 2 – New York Pretty

Friday

November 08, 2013

9:20 Hopped on the subway and rode into the city with Michelle. She left me at Grand Street where she got off for work and I continued uptown to my destination of Central Park. 10:00 detour at Grand Central Station. What a pleasant surprise it was to find myself in the middle of the famous arched complex. The place was swarmed by tourists requesting photos or asking of their whereabouts. To be honest I was the same as them, but since I was exploring alone I did not stand out as a tourist. Instead I was able to blend in with my surroundings and saw the sights of New York in a more polite way. 10:30 Arrive at Central Park!

It's a Big Apple ❤🍎🍁

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What a magnificent oasis embedded in the urban jungle. You must remember this is not just autumn – my favorite time of year, but Autumn – in New York! A time of year so enchanting that it has songs named after it! The trees were a glowing-red and the earth was littered with bright fallen leaves. This was a sight for sore eyes; these same eyes glistened with tears of joy. I can be a rather sentimental chap at times, this time was one of them. You see, I grew up near a park by the same name in California, so I always thought of “MY Central Park” as home. Ever since I realized there was a land by the same name in New York I had dreamed of going. Here I was, standing in the heart of my dreams. Surrounded by beauty unheard of in Southern California. Surrounded by the season of autumn and the changing of leaves, the brisk air, the horse-drawn carriages, the zoo, the tunnels and bridges… I took in everything and everything took my breath away. 12:00 Michelle recommended I visit Cafe Sabarsky. In which I tweeted “Cafe Sabarsky, where even the espresso shots are fancy.” accompanied by a twit.pic of my miniature glass of espresso topped with whipped cream.  I drank my espresso in the quiet of my own table as old couples dined on fine white china filled with gourmet pretzels and sausages around me. 12:30 Must find bank. Must tell bank that I am indeed traveling and not walking around with a stolen credit card. 12:50 The MET! How magnificent! If you thought traipsing through the paths of Central Park had me all choked up, wandering the halls of one of the greatest museums in the world was even merrier! As you can see by the tweets below, I was awestruck.

Never in any dream did I imagine seeing the likes of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, and Seurat just sitting in galleries waiting for me to gaze upon them. Perhaps I’m being selfish, these masterpieces were there for others to enjoy too, but when one comes across something that reminds them of their entire upbringing, such as artwork that lived on the walls of my home and the pages of my parents’ art books for the past 23 years… If this person by chance stumbles upon the original masterpieces whilst traveling alone through a foreign city, it is an experience worth far more than 1000 words. Especially when I found Seurat. If you know anything about me you know that I’m in love with Ferris Bueller. Now let us recall the Chicago museum scene where they’re getting lost in the fabulous works: Cameron finds Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ and stares at it perplexed for a matter of minutes, maybe hours. I found a smaller version of this mural and had to stop and stare à la Frye; Lisa Loperfido was having a day off too ya know. 1:45 Still figuring out that darn subway. Tweet: “Poll: what’s more fun, subway hopping or subway eavesdropping? (in Manhattan, NY 2:37 pm). 2:45 I found my way to canal street, this task alone was not too difficult, but my phone was now officially low on juice, and I just realized I had not eaten anything all day (minus the dollop of whipped cream on the top of my double shot of caffeine.) Good thing I was right next to a Starbucks! Three old gift cards paid for my lunch and I ate it while charging my phone. While waiting there at the window bar overlooking the street I met Clyde. Clyde was a nice old man with a mustache. He told me how he’s sick of “this old grind” and wants to move out, perhaps to California. I recommended Long Beach because “you still have the city feel but without the hustle and bustle of New York.” He then left to go home and feed his bulldog so it wouldn’t chew up his couch. Once his barstool vacated it was filled by a girl my own age. She was getting off the street to avoid her stalker who hangs out by Starbucks because he knows she frequents it.

3:00 Shopping Time! I did not shop Canal Street because I was not in the mood for tacky counterfeits, I also did not want to be a hypocrite, because I wrote a long report in college about the counterfeit industry and the malignancy that comes with it (though I did keep my eyes open for a rose gold wrist watch, no luck.) Instead I shopped the windows of Soho. I discovered the stores I’ve only read about in Magazines… Top Shop, Made Well, Open Ceremony, how I love thee. I also admitted a cold hard truth:

I didn’t buy anything, mostly because I didn’t want to carry it around the rest of the day; being in the stores and seeing the styles was enough. 4:45 Walked into a small restaurant called Snack for a snack. They were offering a terrific happy hour: white wine and spanakopitas for approx $3 each, what a steal! (I paid more than that for my espresso earlier) I sat there, dined, and charged my phone again. 5:30 Michelle was set to get off work soon so I headed back to China Town  to look around. 6:15 Meet Michelle, all aboard the subway express! 7:00 Hunt for dinner. Michelle took me to the Chelsea Market7:30. Our grumbling stomachs passed over the flashy eateries with the long lines and we popped into the decadent smelling shop in the front, La Rana, (isn’t that spanish for frog?) It turned out to be some overpriced Italian place. I’m not going to tell you what the bill was, but I will say we could have bought 23 street dogs for the same price. Don’t get me wrong, the butternut squash ravioli was impeccable, but that price in relation to the plentiful food options of the surrounding city was a let down. 8:30 Walk the high line. The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side –thehighline.org10:30 Ok, despite popular belief I do not like to get inebriated. The thought of a night of debauchery in the big city never even crossed my mind. Besides, we had an early day ahead of us and Michelle was catching a cold. That being said, we went out for drinks at a small venue called Home Sweet Home. A basement bar lit with incandescent red bulbs and graced with the presence of  beasts. There were hipster undertones but the crowd coming in was covered head to toe in north face. It felt like I should have been in Portland. Nonetheless we drank our G&Ts, discussed our boy problems (literally, what is our problem with boys?) and went on our way. 11:30 Traipse back through the now-quiet trains and their adjacent vacated terminals.12:30 stopped at Popeye’s for corn on the cob. 1:00 fell fast asleep.

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Thanks for following along, I appreciate your interest in my over-embellished ramblings.

You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:
Day 0 – New York Ready
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound
Day 2 – New York Pretty (now viewing!)
Day 3 – Lady Liberty
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare
Day 6 – Autumn in New York
Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video!

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

East Coast Trip Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound

As promised I present a full encounter of my trip to New York City and the surrounding east coast area. Prepare to be completely immersed in my world. See what I saw, hear what I heard, smell what I smelled, but most importantly you have the unique opportunity to enter my thoughts as I recite this slightly scintillating and very verbose account of my lonely travels. Bear with me as I prepare the timeline of each day as it occurred in order.

Thursday

November 07, 2013

8:30 at the airport. I love LGB. I tweeted at them to inform them of this, and they replied!…

10:30 we finally take off. I could see the massive city of LA glistening through the smog as we ascended higher. While observing the thousands of flat commercial rooftops I was inspired to tweet “When I’m president, every commercial rooftop will have a luscious garden! Paint the town green!” (saved to drafts because my phone was on airplane mode.) An hour nap, 3 hours of reading “Oh My” by George Takei, and two hours of day dreaming later we finally landed. 6:30 JFK. I am glad all I brought was a carryon because I hate waiting, it took me long enough to get off the plane. 7:30 I have no idea where I am. They should really help us out with signs of how to navigate out of the airport and into the city. Maybe something like “by the way air train is how you get to the subway system, by the way you should get a metro card from the kiosk – buy a 7 day unlimited pass for $29 to save money in the long run, by the way take the A train to get into Brooklyn, by the way don’t take the Jamaica train 8:00 it will take twice as long and drive through the slums… 8:45 arrive at Michelle’s! She lives above a pizza place in Brooklyn.

9:00 Michelle bought pizza dough from the shop below and made me a hearty pizza. 10:00 Walk Brooklyn. 10:10 Get ice cream from Ample Hills Creamery (amplehills.com), try all the flavors because they were amazing. Drunk’n Pumpk’n? Salted Crack Caramel? The Muchies?! How about yes! 10:20 Find arc de triomph. 10:30 Walk around Prospect Park. 11:00 Realize it’s way too late to being walking around Prospect Park. 12:00 Sleep.

Scarves in New York Heart Pizza

You can view my entire East Coast Travel Log here:

Day 0 – New York Ready!
Day 1 – Brooklyn Bound  (now viewing!)
Day 2 – New York Pretty
Day 3 – Lady Liberty
Day 4 – Philly Cheese State
Day 5 –  New York Time Spare
Day 6 – Autumn in New York
Fun Facts – 5 Practical Things to Know About Visiting New York and 1 Video!

Connect with me @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest