July 31, 2012

Chelsea & Greenwich

New York has many different neighborhoods that are like miniature cities within the city. They all have their own feel and style. This past weekend we went to Chelsea and the West Village.

The crowd here, especially in Greenwich Village, is weird unique and eclectic. It's a fabulous place to people watch and we certainly did a lot of that while we ate brunch at a sidewalk cafe.

The small streets in the West Village are unlike any others in city. Everything seems miniature. There are many high end designers with small shops here as well as restaurants by some of the most well-known chefs and it's a great place to wander.

 We also checked out the goods at Chelsea Market. This building has so much history (it started as the Nabisco factory - the Oreo was invented here!) and it now houses a beautifully designed Anthropologie (gasp!), shops, restaurants, and is the home to Food Network.

Unfortunately our day was cut short by a heavy downpour and good luck getting a cab when it's raining. We arrived home soaking wet with soggy Trader Joe's bags full of groceries. Ick!

July 30, 2012

City Thoughts

We've been in New York City for 1 month now and as we find our little niche in the most populated city in the United States. I've already had a glimpse into things I like and things that aren't so pleasant about NYC.
Thumbs up...
  • to the endless options of entertainment (no matter your preference, there is something here for you)
  • to walking everywhere and taking the stairs (I'll admit that sometimes when I'm carrying a lot of bags or sweat is streaming down my face, I want to give this a big thumbs down, but I love the built in exercise)
  • to seeing all different kinds of people (on a daily basis I see a variety of personal styles, pass a celebrity or some kind of corporate VIP on the street, and hear the sound of languages from all over the world)
  • to being able to get anything and everything you can imagine delivered (need a bottle of wine or a cup of frozen yogurt and don't want to walk in the rain, just have it delivered, usually for no extra fee -  fabulous!)
Thumbs down...
  • to the overwhelming smell of dog pee that has sat too long on a hot sidewalk (nothing like a whiff of urine on a nice city stroll)
  • to people who stop/stand/talk/stare at a map/text on their cellphone in the MIDDLE of the sidewalk (there's a quick flow of pedestrian traffic -  move it or lose it people!)
  • to the insane prices of certain things (some price tags are considerably higher here than they would be elsewhere so I've resorted to ordering things online or buying in bulk from warehouse stores)
All in all, we are completely smitten with the city and still look at each other and say "Do we really live here?". I'm sure this love affair won't last forever, and in time we'll be ready to return to our comfort zone of fenced in backyards and traveling in cars, but for now we're pretty darn happy!

July 25, 2012

New Look

We live in a new city, have a new home, and now we have a whole new look to our blog!

Thanks to my friend Katie, a fellow spouse from the island, of Priceless Design Studio, we have a beautiful, elegant, soft new look to our online journal. I'm so in love with the new look and am extremely thankful to Katie for making it all happen. She's a great blogger with a fun perspective on life on an island and the transition back to America. I highly encourage you to check her out.

For those of you who receive our blog posts via email please take a peak at our new look at Happily Hickman. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks again Katie! You're the best!

July 23, 2012

No plans, no problem

This weekend was spent watching this...

and exploring this...

After spending all morning inside watching the British Open, we (and by we, I mean I) couldn't wait to get out of the house. This weekend we had no specific plans in mind. We just, went.

We sort of wandered throughout the Upper East Side, our hood, as well as a bit of Central Park and the Upper West Side. We turned down any streets or paths that peaked our interest and didn't take a single cab or Subway. Our feet took us all over this city. While we didn't have any real plans we certainly gathered ideas for future outings and adventures.

We also did a few DIY projects and hung some stuff on our previously bare walls. Our little apartment is really coming together. Pictures to come shortly...I promise!

July 17, 2012

Food, finds, and oh my feet!

This was our first full weekend together in the city and we took advantage of every second. We saw quite a few markets, explored new areas and streets, and tasted some pretty darn good food. 
Here's a look at the great time we had.

We went over to Brooklyn to see the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and some amazing views of Manhattan.

Right under the bridge is a park where children can run around in the grass, ride their bikes along the path, and families can have picnics, and ride the carousal.

In another area of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, we visited the fabulous "Artists & Fleas" market. It was such an eclectic mix of both people and goods being sold. It's a good thing we'd have to bring all our purchases back with us on the subway or we would have done some serious damage!

We of course had to grab some lunch and we both settled on "Schnitz", a reinvented chicken schnitzel on a pretzel bread bun, smothered with pickled jicama and radishes. Heavenly!

After all the shopping in the sun we decided to cool off with the oh so popular "People's Pops". We shared a peach & basil popsicle (don't judge - it's both sweet and refreshing.

Back on our side of the river, in Manhattan, we strolled through the Union Square Market.
Produce, cheese, baked goods, fresh fruits, and flowers lined the streets around the square. I hope to come here many more times to snatch some fresh seasonal items to cook up.

New York is known for it's pizza and although there are more pie places than Heinz has pickles, there are only a handful that have passed the test of time and are continuously rated top slice year after year. One of these places is John's. The famous one is on Bleeker St. (opened in 1929), but their 2nd location opened up less than 2 blocks from our apartment. This could be dangerous...

Another market we checked out was the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. This is where designer clothes, shoes, and handbags go to die, but hope to find a new life in another owners hands. Everything from Gucci and Prada to Ferragamo and Burberry is here and it's all sold at a small fraction of original price. If you're into vintage clothes, this is your place!

It was a long and exhausting weekend, but we had fun. We're loving the city more and more and can't believe that we actually live here.

July 10, 2012

Setting Sun

The city is full of beautiful surprises at every turn. 
Last night, while Kyle and I took an evening stroll to a book store we were hit with this stunning image of the setting sun, flashing through the high rises of Manhattan.

(I quickly snapped the photo with my phone as we were crossing the street so I apologize for the quality, but you get the idea, right?)

July 9, 2012

While he was away...

This weekend, Kyle went to Washington D.C. for an all-guy getaway. While he did "boy stuff", I had a few adventures of my own here in The Big Apple.

Saturday, I took the train to Brooklyn to check out the Brooklyn Flea Market. What a fantastically fun place! Despite the scorching 98 degree weather I had a great time. Handmade jewelry, vintage clothes, artisanal baked goods, unique housewares, you can find it all. They also have a row of food tents where you can get a pretty gourmet lunch for "flea market food". Think lobster rolls, seasonal fruit milkshakes, blueberry/cardamom popsicles, and Gruyere grilled cheese...am I making you drool? We will definitely be returning to this weekend market, if nothing else, to people watch!

***side note: On our road trip to NYC, we passed through the town of Greenville, Ohio. Home of KitchenAid, duh! It's a great place to snatch up one of those beautiful stand mixers for a fraction of the retail price. Let's just say I paid less than 50% of the normal price for my new beauty.

I thought my weekend alone would be the perfect opportunity to try my new kitchen machinery in peace. I made some batches of pizza dough to freeze and using the dough hook attachment made it a breeze. I'm hooked! (no pun intended)

After a relaxing Sunday morning and afternoon of meal planning, produce shopping, and street strolling I met up with my cousin, Gail, and her boyfriend, Tony, for a sunset bike ride. 

We rode through Central Park...

and along the Hudson River.

Thanks for a great Sunday evening, and workout, Tony and Gail. We'll have to do it again! 

I'm learning there is no shortage of activities in the city. I look forward to other weekend adventures, but next time I'd like to bring Kyle along too.

July 7, 2012

We Made It!

What a whirlwind these past few weeks have been! We traveled 2,500 miles, packed trailer in tow, from Phoenix to New York stopping to site see and visit family along the way. It took us a total of 2 1/2 weeks to get here, but last Saturday we pulled up to our new home on the Upper East Side.

The move in process was exhausting, hot, sticky, and oh, did I mention exhausting? The 3 stories of stairs to our apartment aren't for sissies, but on the plus side, I get a great leg workout everyday. Thanks to some help from my parents and a friend we got the job done in a little over 2 hours. The unpacking process, on the other hand, has taken me all week, but things are coming together nicely. I even cooked dinner the last 2 nights using all the kitchen utensils, plates, pots, and pans from our wedding. It was a dream come true. For the first time, this feels like our home.

We are loving the city and our location. There is so much around us and the rest is a short walk or subway ride away. The streets around our apartment aren't swarming with tourists as they are in other areas and I'm really learning to appreciate that. Kyle has started his rotation in Internal Medicine and has lots of stories to gross me out over dinner (thanks honey). I'm in the process of setting up house and hunting for a job.

There will be more stories (and pictures) to share in the coming weeks. I haven't been very good about taking snapshots so far, but it's been hard to do that while lugging groceries and housewares around the streets of New York.