4 Places to escape the City, in the City

 

Us, to NYC: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Translated: “It’s very definitely you, NYC.”
Sometimes, New York can be a bit obsessive—constant sirens and smells, strangers and even stranger subway rides. Sometimes, we just need our space.
But don’t break up with the City just yet. Here’s four places you can put all of the buzz and bustle at arms length, find your inner calm, and remember why you fell in love with NYC in the first place—because it always has a way of surprising you when you least expect it, and giving you moments you can’t find anywhere else.
1) Book your cushion online and take a moment to breathe at MNDFL – the West Village meditation center with natural light, a living plant wall, and a tea lounge. What better way to take a quick cleanse from the City? ($5 for drop-in self-guided practices, $10 for first-time class, Free tea)

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Photo credit: Vogue.com

 

2) This one’s on the DL – literally. Discover the Lowline – the World’s first underground park—a historic LES trolley terminal transformed into a lush subterranean oasis. Check their Facebook page for special events, too – like this evening of Yoga on the Lowline. (Free admission, open Saturdays and Sundays)

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Photo credit: Travel and Leisure

 

3) Spend a day away (really—a full day) at Premier 57—an unexpected escape in the midst of Midtown. With a $65 day pass, you can enjoy the spa’s hydrotherapy Bade pools, six unique sauna rooms, resting lounges, water lounges and bathes. Additional services are available upon booking. ($65 day’s access to facilities and no reservation required; spa treatments start at $75 and reservation required)

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Photo credit: Gothamist.com

 

4) Experience the allure of the ancient baths—right in the heart of Tribeca at Aire Ancient Baths. Soak in luxury, steam for a bit, or lie back and relax in the Flotarium. Lounge on the heated marble of their relaxation room. Take a rejuvenating plunge into the cold pool (if you dare!). Be serenaded by a classical guitarist and sufi flutist. And, add on an additional service upon booking if you wish—from yoga classes to massage treatments to specialty soaks. (Starting at $77 weekday, $87 weekend)

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Photo credit: Well and Good
Here’s to a relaxing weekend, friends!

Review: The Weekend Coffee Shop

A breath of fresh air.

That was my first thought upon walking into The Weekend – a breezy boutique coffee shop in the Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas. Granted, my initial affinity for this caffeinated oasis may have been swayed by the abundance of windows and sunshine—a welcome change from the dreary rain and chill I had just left in NYC. But, as the barista greeted me with a smile and I went to find a cozy corner to curl up, I felt sure I’d found a great little spot.
The Weekend’s decor is eclectic—a combination of vibrantly colored armchairs and lounges intermixed with gold and copper tables make it a great choice for work or leisure. I chose to pull out my laptop and settle into a bright turquoise armchair with an overhanging gold lamp and gold side table, complete with a vase of fresh orange flowers.
You can also tell the baristas take the art of crafting coffee quite seriously—each order is brought out on a wooden serving board, and each drink (to stay, of course) is served in stoneware with the foam decoratively swirled on top. Personally, I thought my chai was a great combination of smooth and spice.
The coffee shop is also located next to shops featuring fun books and works of art, which one can’t help but peruse on the way out.
Overall, I recommend. Thanks, The Weekend, for being a great spot to while away a few hours on a Wednesday afternoon!
Find out more about The Weekend here.
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Best way to start the day?

I was never a morning person.

 

I felt like I bought nice, feather pillows for a reason. Waking up was a challenge. I wanted to start my day feeling well-rested and, somehow when my alarm went off every day, I never felt that way.

 

Something had to change. I discovered five tricks that transformed my morning struggle – jumpstarting my energy, positivity, and productivity for the day.

 

Here goes…

 

  1. Start sooner to cut down on stress. It’s simple – setting your alarm for just 10 minutes earlier every day allows you to wake up more naturally, gives you extra time to prepare for the day ahead, and eliminates that “barely made it on time!” heart attack. And who knows – it may even give you time to grab Starbucks on your way to the office!
  2. Don’t check your phone first. 60% of people check their phones immediately upon waking up in the morning. Seeing all the texts, emails, etc. that have come in overnight instantly puts you into a reactive mode (addressing the issues, requests, and needs of others) instead of a proactive mode (exercising good time management and prioritizing what needs to be done). The choice you make – proactive vs. reactive – usually carries throughout your day, so choose wisely! (PS. If you must use your phone for an AM alarm, try keeping it on airplane mode until after your morning routine.)
  3. Drink a cold glass of water. This wakes up your metabolism, helps to flush out toxins, provides power to the brain, helps to fill you up and minimizes morning snacking!
  4. Exercise for 7 minutes. Exercising will boost your metabolism, make you more alert, and release endorphins (“feel good” hormones”) that will improve your mood for the day. If you’re struggling to find incentive to exercise, try prepping your clothes and a playlist – the more you like your outfit and tunes, the more excited you’ll be to put them on. And, you’ll start your day with a sense of accomplishment already – check!
  5. Fuel up! Start your day with whole grains, blueberries, and nuts – proven to be brain-boosting foods. For something of substance, oatmeal is rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium and eggs provide protein to help you power through your morning.

 

There you have it, friends! Try these tricks, and I’ll see you on the treadmill at 6:30 am.

UPDATE: The Grid Music Festival: May 5th – 7th

UPDATE: Enter to win a free pair of tickets to The Grid with doNYC here!

 

The Grid redefines music festivals by offering ticket holders exclusive access to “one night only” curated shows in curated, unique settings around New York City.

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Experience a once-in-a-lifetime intimate performance with top bands like Young the Giant, City and Colour, Awolnation, Ingrid Michaelson, Questlove, and Atlas Genuis—or discover a new favorite artist.
The Grid also offers info sessions that give aspiring artists and musicians a deep and insightful dive into the music industry.
The music festival runs May 5th – 7th. Both 3-Day and 1-Day passes are available, as well as VIP passes and Hotel + Ticket deals.
Find out more here.

“Best of Summer” Tunes

Warmer weather gets everyone thinking about shedding sweaters for swimwear, and boots for boat shoes. For us New Yorkers, it also means replaying their “best of summer” memories from last year – basking in lazy afternoons at Sheep’s Meadow, savoring those rooftop views, and soaking up the sun by the water…

…it’s got you craving those sunnier months too, doesn’t it?
It’s coming soon, friends. In the meantime, here’s a “best of summer” tunes playlist to warm you up for making more “best of summer” memories this year.
  • “Step” – Vampire Weekend
  • “Hella” – Cayucas
  • “Strings” – Young the Giant
  • “Fred Astaire” – San Cisco
  • “Close to Gold” – Hippo Campus
  • “Dancing at the Blue Lagoon” – Cayucas
  • “I’m Good” – The Mowgli’s
  • “Little Grace” – Hippo Campus
  • “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – Vampire Weekend
  • “Summertime” – The Mowgli’s

 

PS. Young the Giant’s tour and The Mowgli’s tour are coming to NYC this summer! Check them out live.

Live Epic.

I fully intend to live an epic life.

One of my earliest memories is sitting in the backseat as my parents drove though the lush, green forests just outside one of Germany’s fairytale castles, Schloss Spangenberg, listening to Cats through my black Walkman cassette player. The last three days had been filled with imagination and adventure – “knights in shining armor” (decorative coats of armor), “princess dinners” (lace gowns and five-course meals in the vaulted dining room), and “invaders from the North” (the unsuspecting sheep that inhabited the castle moat).

That moment in the car felt just about perfect to my four year-old self. I pretended I was holding a camera, squinted through one eye, and said “click”.

More than 20 years later, I’m still all about finding thrilling experiences and perfect moments. And, in New York, there’s no shortage. That’s the purpose of this blog – sharing the best events, music, and travel experiences that allow you to find that next adventure or fun evening out.

Cheers to what’s next.

Kenzi

Photo credit: Castle – HPollmeier via Flickr; Forest – http://bieneklopp.com