New York

A (very stylish) home from home

Over the years, Al and I have learnt a lot about what we like and don't like when it comes to holiday accommodation. We are definitely creatures of comfort and love the space to potter about, rather than being crammed into a room. Essential for me as a coeliac is having a kitchen so we can self-cater, otherwise it's a nightmare trying to find places to eat out all the time (and expensive!). A bath is a bonus and wifi is an absolute must!

Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca

We are huge fans of Airbnb - if you haven't come across Airbnb before it's basically a website/service where people rent out their apartments/homes/rooms all over the world and the prices are usually much cheaper than hotels, and the hosts often provide fantastic really helpful advice about the area you are staying in, etc. It works on a review based system, so both the hosts/homes and the guests get reviewed - I've found the reviews really helpful in deciding where to stay (it definitely pays to do your research). So for our big USA trip this year we decided to Airbnb it all the way and I'm pleased to report we had a fantastic experience!

First up, I thought I'd share our New York apartment in Tribeca.

Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca

The owner (host) is an art dealer, so the apartment was filled with cool, quirky art pieces. I can't say they were my taste, but they worked well in the apartment:

Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca

The main living space was one big open plan area which worked really well and provided a great space to socialise in. We shared the apartment with some friends, which helped make it a bit more affordable.

We then moved on to Vermont, via a beautiful train journey to Albany, where we rented a car. We stayed in the most amazing modern Lake House, which literally was on the edge of Lake Bomoseen. It was simply stunning and such a treat.

Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont

The house had enormous windows overlooking the lake. We spent many an hour, with a cup of tea or glass of wine in hand, just staring out the window and watching the leaves gently float by. The view was simply stunning and constantly changing with the weather and the light. The house had been designed around the view and the bedroom had windows which looked through the main living space onto the lake. It was such a treat to wake up to that view.

Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont

The living area was open plan and I loved the feeling of space, and the wooden floors. The kitchen was great too and we made good use of it - we couldn't bear to leave the house when it got dark and we had got all cosy, so we cooked for ourselves every evening! The bedrooms had super comfy lovely bedding and I just adored the vintage chair in the living room - made a good home for my Blythes :)

Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont

We stayed in a third place too - on Mount Desert Island in Maine - but I'll save that for another post or this will never end!

New York adventuring

You'll be pleased to know this is the last post about my New York adventures :)

Golden NYC

The obligatory wander down Fifth Avenue and around Times Square had to be done for the amazing shop window displays and general bombardment of colour, lights, music, people....It was sooo busy. I didn't even manage to get my camera out down Fifth Avenue - the crowd was thick and deep and moving so quickly.... So much to look at, every which way, and so much to distract you!

Times Square
Neon
Times Square
Look up - look every which way!

On our list of places to eat in NYC was Bareburger - and after what felt like an eternity we managed to track one down for lunch - and we weren't disappointed (just as well as I think Candy Pop was about to eat my arm - we were ravenous!). I was pleased to see there were lots of good gluten-free options. And I loved the decor. We also tested Five Guys and I can confirm their fries are amazing.

Bareburger
NYC
View from Central Park

We packed so much into our last day. A leisurely stroll from our apartment took us to Soho. So much eye candy and so many beautiful shops... I loved nosing at all the beautiful window displays and marvelling at the amazing architecture.

Soho
Soho
Soho

I had a lovely long look around Anthropologie - I just adore all their displays. I treated myself to a beautiful soft grey cardigan and snuggly pink snood with my birthday money, and the most amazing owl plate I have ever seen :)

Anthropologie loveliness
Anthropologie loveliness
Anthropologie loveliness
Anthropologie loveliness

So much walking requires regular sustenance, so we had to stop at Georgetown Cupcake to recuperate - I had the most divine and velvety smooth gluten-free cupcake I have ever tasted. Nom! Highly recommended if you are looking for an alternative to the Magnolia Bakery.

Georgetown cupcakes
Soho
Soho

We made our way via Greenwich Village to Chelsea Market and found a fabulous screen printed NYC cycling map for our walls (pics to come - need to get it framed!). I really enjoyed mooching around all the fantastic eating places and we eventually opted for the most amazing freshly made gourmet sandwiches that we ate in the sunshine on the nearby Highline. I can really recommend the Highline - we wandered up and down the entire length of it taking in all the amazing views.

Shadow self-portrait at the Highline
Views from the Highline
Parking New York Style

Because we hadn't walked enough, we decided to round-off our last day with a quick trip to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and a visit to the 9/11 memorial site. Such a moving, peaceful place and a truly beautiful tribute. Night fell as we were there and the sight and sound of the water tumbling down the foundations of the towers under the moonlight will stay with me for a long time.

Gentle sunset over NYC
9/11 memorial by moonlight

Farewell New York - you were amazing, chaotic, exhilarating, exhausting, and so much fun! You can find the rest of my photos in my New York set on Flickr.

Brooklyn and a sparkling Manhattan by night

So, day one of our New York adventure kicked off with a whistle-stop tour of Brooklyn. We'd all been to New York before, but never Brooklyn, so figured we'd get stuck straight in, and round off the day with some night time photography of the Manhattan skyline from DUMBO.

Bright lights, big city: Manhattan skyline from DUMBO *7*

Bodies still confused by time zones, we were wide awake at 5am and headed out for breakfast as soon as it was a vaguely acceptable time. We were staying in a fabulous apartment in Tribeca (more on that soon) and didn't have far to wander before we came across a fab place called Mulberry & Vine, where I had the most amazing (and healthy!) gluten-free breakfast - some kind of kale/herb frittata, followed by a pumpkin muffin. Om nom nom. Fuelled up and armed with some recommendations from an old issue of Mollie Makes we headed out to Williamsburg.

Bike anyone?
French Cafe in Brooklyn

Of course, we were there far too early - things don't really get going until 12ish in this neck of the woods. So we whiled away the time and rested our aching feet in a hip french cafe, drinking lemonade out of mason jars. Followed by a gentle photo amble and some shopping. My lovely husband found a fabulous hat in Goorin Brothers - so many beautiful and impeccably made hats...

Al found a rather cool hat in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn

We came across lots of amazing graffiti....I just adored the cat!

Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn

From Williamsburg we headed to Park Slope and marvelled at the architecture and the halloween displays - so impressive.

Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Halloween decorations in Brooklyn, NYC
Spooky decorations in Brooklyn, NYC

We wound up in Pacific Heights and DUMBO, where there are the most fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline.

Photographing the Manhattan Skyline
Brooklyn
Brooklyn

Despite seriously flagging at this point, Al and I decided to stay out to catch the sunset and grab some long exposure night time shots. I'm so glad we did. It looked so pretty as darkness fell and the lights started sparkling. We kept meaning to go and get some dinner - but there was just "one more shot" from some new vantage point - so we didn't get home or eat dinner until 10pm!!! But it was all worth it. I think the night shots were my favourite ones from the New York trip.

Bright lights, big city: Manhattan skyline from DUMBO *8*
Bright lights, big city: Manhattan skyline from DUMBO *5*
Bright lights, big city: Manhattan skyline from DUMBO *3*
Bright lights, big city: Manhattan skyline from DUMBO *10*
Bright lights, big city: Manhattan skyline from DUMBO *11*

I didn't have room for all my photos here, so you can see the rest in my New York set on Flickr. Still plenty more to come from our other days, so watch this space!