Waking Up In The City That Never Sleeps: My Top 5 New York (non-BlogHer) Highlights

I'm still on my NYC high. Yes, while I may look like death, the thought of my trip to the city is still making me giddy. For me, this was a wonderful trip. It was part work, part blogging world, part NYC - the perfect combination of an amzing trip. 

Friday I was texting Jason telling him to pack up, we are moving east... but by Saturday I was ready to head home to the cool nights and Pacific Ocean breezes that I love at home. I could bore you all and go on and on about each of my 5 days, but in the interest of sanity (mine and yours) I'll bring it down to the top 5 things I loved about my trip New York City. 


1) Dinner at Bar Pitti
Maria, my SD bestie, used to live in NYC. As we chat over wine, we've often fantasized about our girl trip to the city. As luck would have it, our trips out east overlapped by one evening and I couldn't wait to spend one evening with her the fabulous city. We met her friends in "the village" for dinner at hotspot Bar Pitti. There was wine, italian food and a crazy homeless person outside. My experience was off to a perfect start. As we were wrapping up dinner, I logged onto FourSquare. The bonus of the geotracking tool on vacation is that you always know where you ate last and I wanted to be sure I could refer back to it. After I check-in, a tip came up saying that the crowd at Bar Pitti is normally "1/3 celebrities and 2/3's 'Bravolebrities'." We all began to look around at our fellow patrons...no one of note.

Then as we were walking out Real Housewife of New York City Princess Carole Radziwell practically ran into my friend. Carole was stumbling around like a hot mess on the sidewalks of NYC. Maria SWORE it was her. I begged to differ because of the dirty 2001-era mini Louis Vuitton in DENIM she's holding. Then she walked right past us again, and there was no mistaking those emaciated arms and 6-inch Loubitians. 

2) 20 Minute Facials at Dermologica Academy
You always read about city dwellers feeling caked in city grime, and with temps in the 80s and high humidity, Iphoto taken with my Olympus PEN E-PL3 camera now totally understand that. Nightly my face felt like it was caked in my grandmother's foundation. But the lucky ladies (and men!) of NYC have the Dermologica Academy - where they can pop in for a quick and easy 20 minute facial for $20. Yes. $20. If I lived in NYC I would be there weekly. Now, usually I get red and blotchy after a facial, but after my Dermologica facial I was smooth, glowy and refreshed.  
I also walked out of there with the brand's top selling product, Daily Microfoliant. This stuff is a super cool grainy powder that you shake into the palm of your hand; add a little water to it and you get a soft but effective daily facial scrub. While I've been using this for a week, my skin is looking really smooth and nice. And after all that sweating, heat and sampling new make-up products, I was sure I would come home with the skin of an pubescent 14 year old. But no! Still glowing and smooth - and I'm going to credit Dermologica for that!


3) The Braid Bar at The John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman
Years ago I read the book Bergdorff Blondes. In the book, the main character's life revolves around the hair salon at this landmark department store.  So when I found out that the legendary John Barrett Salon recently opened a "Braid Bar" to help ladies whip up the latest styles in "pinterest hair," I booked my appointment immediately, and went in 2 hours later. See, I was all about having New York experiences, and having my hair did at this salon was SO on the list. 

 Braiding goddess Kayley Pak litterally braided me to perfection in 15 minutes. And I rocked that 'do for the next 2 days. In the heat, it was perfect - I didn't have to worry about sweaty hair sticking to my forehead. 

 So, hair done at Bergdorfs? CHECKED off the bucket list!  


4) Halal Guys Street Food
 picture taken with Olympus PEN E-PL3Halal Guys is nothing less than pure street food perfection. We first passed by the stand on our second night in the city and the aromas overcame us. From a block away you can smell the meats and veggies being cooked...and you can see the line, at least 30 people deep. The cab driver told us that no matter the time of year or time of night they have a line. Thursday night found my roommates Romy, Candice and I racing from event to event with no real food consumed. When we got back to the room at 11 PM we all agreed, it was Halal Guys night. 
Romy has a contact at Le Grand Courtage and they sent us a case of mini bottles of bubbly for our room. And just for the record, really yummy sparkling wine and really yummy NYC street food DO go very well together. 


Our sink: a chiller of Le Grand Courtage bubbly! Take with Olympus PEN E-PL3 

5) My Classic NYPD Story
 By now maybe you have heard about the insane swag bloggers get at these conferences. Thursday night was the Big Toy Book Sweet Suite party which I actually worked with Nukotoys. Upon leaving the party I was given two huge bags of toys to take home. Add that to my purse and swag bag from the party I went to earlier in the evening, I was pretty loaded down. The party was held in the Viacomm building right smack in the middle of Times Square. As I walked out it became very apparent that there was no way I was going to make it through the crowds and back to the hotel carrying as much as I was. I noticed two other bloggers that were also at the party with me standing on the corner, figuring out how they were going to get back also. I asked them if they were headed back to the Hilton, and if so if they wanted to catch a cab.  


After standing there, trying to figure out which way to go, the other bloggers, Joanna and Akemi, asked a group of NYPD standing at the corner where the best spot to catch a cab was. Now, I must interject here that these two bloggers were both VERY pretty, tall blondes (As a woman I can totally say that.) And yes, it's imperative to the story because I'm sure this wouldn't have happend had it just been me standing there. 


One of the male NYPD offered to help us. He walks us right into the middle of Times Square, gives us a lesson in how to hail a cab, then walks over to a cab (who's light read "off duty") stopped at a red light and talked him into taking the three of us back to the hotel. He then helped us get all our crap into the cab and sent us on our way.

Who said New Yorkers were rude?? This was one of those fabulous moments for so many reasons - it was just a hilarious moment and I shared it with two bloggers that I may have never met had our paths not crossed on this particular street corner. 


All I can really say is New York rocks. Going into this trip, the city intimadated me, but not anymore... and I'm counting the days until I can go back.  


I Love NY! Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL3 

**Big Thank You to Olympus Cameras for giving me an Olympus PEN E-PL3 to bring with me on this trip! I took some amazing pictures - I can't wait to share them all! Not to mention that I will be giving a camera away in the near future!