ALT SUMMIT NYC :: Recap

Yep, I know. I'm way way way behind on this post (stop judging!), but if you've been following along with me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you will know it's been a couple of chaotic weeks. So I say, better late than never people. And who doesn't love the joy of re-living a momentous day? It would be sad if these wonderful photos (that I actually took myself!) were to never see the light of a computer screen! So, just do me the favor and indulge my little heart by pretending you've never seen an Alt Summit NYC post before! 

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After meeting so many new faces and chatting the night away at our Blog Brunch event the night before, Megan and I were basically functioning on little sleep and lots of coffee (read: a day full of delirious giggle attacks!).

Few things bring me more joy than getting to sit in a room with so many like-minded creatives and 'talkin shop'. I heard the best keynote ever spoken at a conference by the amazingly talented Tina Roth Eisenberg of.... you know... well, everything.... Swiss Miss, Creative Mornings, Teux Deux, Tattly. You must check out this gorgeous and super smart infographic by Sarah of 'Note To Self' on Tina's talk. We got to tour the Martha offices, staring at the dear employees like viewing animals at the zoo in their natural habitat. I apologized and then gave them the half-smile look of 'sorry we're not sorry we're poking around in your office'. We then proceeded to their stunning rooftop for some mingling and champagne served by male models/actors..... this is New York after all.  

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Thanks to Bing, Martha Stewart and everyone who helped put Alt Summit NYC together. Let's do it again soon!  

ALT SUMMIT NYC :: Guide to Shopping

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Welcome to the second installation of my Alt Summit NYC guide. Today we are highlighting the top shopping destinations the city has to offer. Now, as with the food thing, finding the key shopping locations can be overwhelming to the max here in the city. So, I have narrowed down the search for you with a list I believe encompasses something for everyone, and all in convenient locations. If you'll be in the city for Alt Summit, this list will guide you! 

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1) FISH'S EDDY

Are you a lover of vintage, retro, eclectic and affordable kitchen pieces? Yea... me too. This is my go-to place for anything associated with my kitchen - decoration, plates, tea cups, cheese boards, etc. I'm serious, it's the most adorable place. We love it so much, I made a specific wedding registry for us there and anytime I'm in the neighborhood, I'll swing in just to see what they have in stock. Bonus :: they have a super sale section in the back where you can get antique plates for $1. Mix and match to your hearts content for unique place settings without breaking the bank. 

2) CHELSEA MARKET

Not only is it a city landmark, with it's gorgeous industrial interiors, but Chelsea Market is the destination spot for foodies, shoppers and gourmet lovers of anything and everything. Grab a coffee at Ninth Street Espresso and roam through the shops and wine stores. Then grab a refreshing shaved ice pop from People's Pops. Check out the wine selection at Chelsea Wine Vault (if you're lucky they will have sample out!) and then find your wines cheese mate at Lucy Whey's. Come with a bit of an empty stomach as you'll stock up fast on fresh fruit and ice cream samples! 

3) BROADWAY (between W.Houston + Canal)

Don't get stuck in Times Square or Herald Square even trying to shove in and out of overcrowded stores and sidewalks. This strip on Broadway is yes, also crowded, but you'll hit everything in fell swoop of the street. Also, at least you're in Soho surrounded by great restaurants, coffee shops and pretty buildings! You can literally hit Zara, Bloomingdale's, F21, H&M, Aldo, Prada, Mango, Sephora, Banana Republic, Uniqlo, Aritzia, Club Monaco, Madewell, All Saints and Topshop. Plus, you can meander off onto the side streets to the smaller boutique stores.  

4) M&J TRIM

Are you a DIY blogger? If so, you can't be in NYC and miss a trip to M&J Trim. They are THE store for all your DIY supplies. From chain to fabric to studs and tools..... you'll have to set aside time to wander through the store and be inspired! 

5) ABC HOME

This building is a six-floor fortress of furnishings, fabrics, interior decor, paintings, knick-knacks, vintage finds and modern accessories . ABC Home has traveled the world finding the best in home decor so you don't have too. Basically, this is where I go to spend 2 hours lusting after everything I wish I could fit in my loft apartment! Really, it's a dream..... hide your credit cards. Bonus :: when you've shopped yourself hungry, swing down to the famed ABC Kitchen on the 1st floor for a delicious bite to eat. 

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6) HOUSING WORKS

If you're an all-star thrifter like myself, then this is the place for you. With locations all over the city and one in Brooklyn, my top choice is the Chelsea store. As with any thrift store, some days are hit and miss. Once I found a Marc Jacobs skirt for $15 and a pair of barely worn Frye boots for $20..... then other days I walk out empty handed having missed all the gems. Bonus :: their proceeds do towards ending the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS. 

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Buffalo Exchange - Also a great thrift/consignment shop. The best one is on 26th Street. 

Beacon's Closet - Another top thrift choice. 

Oak - High-end men's and women's designer clothing. 

Catbird - My favorite shop for dainty and adorable jewelry and accessories. 

A.P.C - The shop to dress like a Parisian. 

Brookfarm General Store - It's like if Kinfolk Magazine made a store. 

Photo :: E

ALT SUMMIT NYC :: Guide to Eating

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Are you one of the lucky few who snagged a ticket to the uber popular Alt Summit conference being held in New York City in mere weeks? If you are, then this week is for you! After receiving tons of emails over the five years I've lived here, it's about time to do my own guide to the city. And what better way to start than with a guide directed and made just for all you fellow bloggers, designers and creatives who will be descending upon this fine city in honor of Alt Summit! 

Today we are going to kick off my Alt Summit NYC Guide with what is probably my favorite part of this city...... the food! New York has almost too many options for places to eat, and honestly, it can be hard to decipher between the good, the bad and the ugly. Everyone comes wanting one of those dining experiences you can reference with such joy when you reminisce about your trip to the city. No one wants to just end up in the overpriced tourist traps or eating the soup and salad combo at Olive Garden in Times Square. You're in NEW YORK CITY! Let me help you eat your way through the boroughs.   

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Let's start with a few 'need-to-knows' so you can have the best experience throughout your meal.

1) Be sure to check ahead of time if the restaurant is 'cash only'. A lot of places tend to be in the city or they have a minimum to use your cards. If you're caught without cash, their in-house ATM usually carries a hefty fee. 

2) Splitting a bill four ways on credit cards is not the same as it is in most cities. If you find yourself needing to split a bill unevenly across multiple credit cards, be sure to write out on the back of your ticket the last name of each card user and the amount to place on each card. This should restrain your server from using an overly dramatic eye-roll upon picking up your bill. 

3) If you've heard a place is good, it's likely that 10,000 others have as well. You're on an island that holds nearly 13 million people during the work week. So, do call ahead of time to make reservations, or to just check what the wait may be if they don't take reservations. Most places will give you a general 'waiting time' idea. It's never fun to get really excited to eat, only to discover, it will be another 3 hours before that's going to happen. 

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Without further adieu, let's get this list started..... in no particular order ---> 

1) SHAKE SHACK

You can't come to New York in the summer and not visit the original Shake Shack! It's one of those staple places. Famous for their burgers, shakes and one-of-a-kind beer made by Brooklyn Brewery, you are in for quite a summer treat. Don't let the lines scare you off, stay strong and be sure to check the 'Shack-Cam' before venturing over just to get a glimpse of what you're in for. Brings water and snacks! 

2) EATALY

 Literally across the street from Shake Shack is the world's largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace. Thanks to the brains of Mario BataliLidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich, this 50,000 sq foot food hall complex and grocery store almost feels like you've been transported into a different world. Take my advice and skip the sit down lines (they are kind of a circus!) and opt for the stand-up wine and cheese restaurant - La Piazza. It's fun, fresh and I highly suggest ordering a handful of different appetizers and cheese plates and sharing amongst your group..... of course paired with a glass of wine. 

3) NO.7 SUBS

A perfect lunch spot full of magical sandwiches you'd think were thought up by a bunch of four-year-olds. Roasted cauliflower with potato chips and honey chipotle? Gross? Wrong. Try one bite and you realize that these sandwich combos are in fact pure, straight up genius. The sandwich combos change daily, but I guarantee, that every one is delicious. I've see some wacky concoctions posted in that place and have never once had a sandwich that wasn't crazy shockingly good. Bonus :: when you're finished, you can waltz around the corner to the Ace Hotel for a cocktail or coffee. 

4) FRANKIE SPUTINO

If it's a cozy neighborhood Italian place with familiar smells and delightful decor is what you're looking for, well good, cause Frankie's is where you should go. I'd suggest the Carroll Gardens location over the Manhattan based one, but since that could be a far trek if you're only in town for a few short days. 

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Burger & Barrel - insanely good burgers and cocktails.

Grape & Grain - best ambiance.

Cafeteria - their mac & cheese is famous.

Locanda Verde - the neighborhood Italian taverna.

Westville - it's a go-to and is nothing fancy. which is just why people like it. 

The Smile - because it's hip and they have delicious cappuccino. I'm not above 'hip'! 

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1) ROBERTA'S

If you're feeling adventurous, then head out to Bushwick to this amazing pizza joint set amongst the warehouses and lofts of East Williamsburg. The experience and food are worth the trip alone. Creative pizza combinations, delicious tap beers and a stellar outdoor space (which is like gold in New York). Bonus :: mention to anyone you've been here to eat, and you'll immediately get 10 cool points! 

 2) KAZ AU NOU

It's our neighborhood secret spot. BYOB and the most delicious French Caribbean menu you've ever tasted.... if you're the kind of person who has tasted a lot of those kinds of things!  Just don't tell anyone.... we wouldn't want the word getting out, shhh! Also, they don't take reservations, so show up early. Bonus :: if there's a wait, they'll let you open your wine bottles and start drinking. 

3) FETTE SAU

If ever the wedding between BBQ and whiskey was always as glorious as it is here. It's a seriously hipster place to walk into (it's located in Williamsburg after all..... need I say more), but once you start eating, you won't care who's around you watching. It's that good. 

Hope these are a good starting point for those of you visiting the city in a couple of weeks. Check back this week for my picks of where to drink, shop and the secret spots of locals! 

Photos :: E