Friday, November 7, 2008

{ my place or yours...destination: NYC }

Get set friends...we're in for a real treat this week as my fellow blogging friend, the lil bee {aka Melisa} shares a special farewell tour and gives us the real buzz on her beloved New York City.

If you've had the pleasure of *meeting* Melissa you'll know she's a thoughtful, kind-hearted soul...a bit of a jet setter, a bit of an activist, and always...ALWAYS entertaining. Her lively blog is part of my daily ritual and if it's not already, it should be part of yours--Melisa is the real deal and a true gem. For now, sit back and enjoy the bright lights and big city, lil bee style.


Please tell us a little about yourself

I’m a freelance copywriter and event producer living in NYC with my husband Paul and our two dogs, Reggie and Paco. This week we’re about to make the move from NYC to Westchester. It’s been a bittersweet transition, to say the least, as I’ve lived in this city for almost ten years and loved everything it has to offer. So I’m thrilled let you in on some of my favorite things!

Are these two adorable, or what?

Three words that best describe NYC
Soul. Strength. Love.

Your favorite time of day
I’m a night owl so I love New York at around 2am. There are no stars in New York because of all the lights, which reflect off the sky. At 2 in the morning, it’s sort of like the stars are all on the street, and the energy is tangible.


Currently on your radar
I have a couple projects cooking that will combine two of my loves—fashion and writing. One of these projects will launch before the end of this year, and I’m really excited to see where it goes. I also love photography and am hoping to take a class this coming year so that I can learn a bit more than point and shoot.

What is your most cherished spot in your home? And why?
In my current apartment, my favorite spot would be our deck. It’s just off our bedroom and fits about 15 people comfortably. We have a bench, chairs, a hibachi, and tons of plants out there, and we use it to entertain or just chill on a Sunday with coffee and the papers. It’s definitely my favorite place to unwind, and I’ll miss it in a way that I don’t think has quite hit me yet.

Favorite discovery
That New York City is, and always will be, my home. You can live someplace your entire life and never quite feel like it’s home, because home is a state of mind. I didn’t move to Manhattan until after college, but when I did it was like I had finally found my way. This city will always have my heart and I wouldn’t be surprised if I find my way back here sooner, rather than later.

on the ferry

Where do you go to escape?
On weekends, Paul and I take our dogs to Central Park for off-the-leash time, which goes until 9am. It’s my favorite part of the day. For a night out with the girls, the best escape is any place with a great jukebox or good DJ (meaning Biggie is playing). And for a real getaway, I head to the beach. Not the Hamptons, more like Montauk. Or Long Beach. The more remote, the better.

Who is/are your favorite local artist(s) or not)? And why?
I’m a big fan of the street vendors that sell on Prince Street in SoHo. Some of my favorite jewelry has been scooped up from these stands, and I always get huge compliments on them. As for music, when I worked on 57th Street there was this amazing guitar player/singer who would perform on the N/R subway platform. He had the most incredible voice. There were times when I’d purposely miss my train, just to hear him sing. I went back there recently on a trip to Lee’s Art Store and he was gone.

What is/are your favorite local shop(s)?
There’s a shop by my apartment called
Wink that has great accessories and clothes. And I like to torture myself by going to Scoop and trying on $500 tops that I can’t afford. Of course, having a 20%-off-card helps, which I managed to score for 2008. I think I owe it to myself to go put that to good use before it expires, don’t you?

Best kept local secret
It’s hard to keep secrets in NYC. But one place that I adore is
Freeman’s. It’s tucked inside a little alleyway off of Bowery and has the most amazing food you’ve ever tasted. Plus, the crowd is always interesting.

When I moved from the East Village to the Upper East Side, I was nervous that I’d constantly be heading downtown for any sort of culture. But there are some hidden gems above 59th Street that I’ve had the pleasure of discovering. Like CafĂ© Buon Gusto, a tiny Italian restaurant on 77th between 2nd and 3rd. One night the hostess asked if we’d like to eat in the garden. She led us back through the kitchen,
Reservoir Dogs-style, and down the stairs into this completely ethereal, serene place. There was ivy growing up the cement walls and on the wooden beams overhead. One of the most beautiful gardens in the city that I guarantee most New Yorkers have never seen.

An ideal spot to linger over lunch:
Friend of a Farmer in Grammercy has one of the best brunches I’ve ever had, plus the interior is beyond charming.

 I could linger over lunch, dinner, or dessert at Peanut Butter & Co., where everything they make starts with Peanut Butter. Unreal.

peanut butter 2

peanut butter co

And there’s also
The Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien. I don’t eat red meat or chicken anymore, but the fries are unbelievable and so cheap. Two years ago, Paul and I got married over Thanksgiving weekend at The Central Park Boathouse. Instead of slowing down the momentum to cook a giant meal, our entire family had milkshakes and burgers at The Burger Joint the night before the wedding. Hands down, the best Thanksgiving ever.

When visiting NYC, don't miss
Coney Island for the eye candy, most definitely. The West Village, for its beauty and great restaurants, like newly-opened
Morandi and long-time favorite Corner Bistro.

coneyisland 5


And I really love taking the ferry to Staten Island and back. It’s free and so fun for taking pictures. Plus, if you want to see the Statue of Liberty, it’s the ideal view. I’ve never actually gotten off the ferry in Staten Island, but maybe that’s fun, too?


If you had an opportunity to live anywhere else in the world, where would we find you?
We fell in love with Wyoming on our cross-country trip and talk about moving there one day. It’s absolutely gorgeous and so much of it is untouched. I’d also love to live in Paris for two years, or southern France. I’m a city girl at heart but I love the country, too. It’s just the in-between stuff I’m not a fan of…but I guess I’m about to adjust, aren’t I?


What's your motto?
Better to do something and risk failure than regret never trying.

Thank you Melisa...I have so many new ideas for my next visit to NYC. Best wishes to you, Paul, and the pups as you embark upon your new adventure in the burbs.


dee said...

This was so much fun! Thank you so much for featuring me, Suzanne. It was a nice way for me to bid farewell to my favorite city:) Have a great weekend!

please sir said...

Thanks Bee! You guys look so CUTE!

Diane said...

great post... I love NYC ... I used to go there 5 times a year at least for work and of course for the city... I miss you NYC

blue moss said...

all those fabulous i'm craving a nyc trip!!

Cindy said...

i loved seeing nyc through lil bee's eyes. good luck in westchester! and yes, they are a very cute couple.

Anonymous said...

Melisa is awesome. I think I'm a little sad that she's living the city she calls home!

jae said...

Absolutely terrific tour, Bee. Loved all of it! I do think you deserve to put that 20% to use and better do it quickly! Great photos and a Happy Anniversary is fast approaching.

Suzanne - loving the my place or yours posts!

Mrs.French said...

I love her..oh yes I do...I love her even more now...thanks my dear for this interview...xo t

Uncle Beefy said...

I desperately keep trying to like Bee...but when she's this charming it does make it difficult now doesn't it? ;) She is a Queen and me thinks she's busy gathering her workers together! Buzz, buzz, buzz. :)

littlebyrd said...

Great indterview! It was so good to get to know Melisa better. As always, your questions are fantastic and I love the photos!

karey m. said...

the lil bee, to me, is one of the ones who leaves such thoughtful and appreciative comments on most of my posts.

i do appreciate her. loving that i got to see gorgeous close-ups of her paul is beautiful, too. thanks for this one! xoxo.

Unknown said...

I heart her. I am a huge fan of her blog and her writing...
thanks for featuring Melisa here!

nichole said...

What a lovely interview and tribute to New York City. I share her love, and though we decided three years ago to flee 13 miles West to Montclair, NJ, NYC will always have my heart as well.

Mary said...

Great interview. I love NYC and love hearing everybody's stories.

Anastasia said...

great post! all these links will come in handy for my upcoming trip to the Big Apple!

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