Only a little over an hour away by train, Dia: Beacon is the perfect day trip to escape the city and see not only amazing art, but see it in the most beautiful setting. It’s located along the Hudson River in the little town of Beacon, NY, and is a very short walk from the Beacon Metro North stop.
The sprawling building was once a carton making and printing plant, but was renovated in 2003 to the gorgeous, loft-like space that it is now. Huge glass windows and skylights let sunlight pour in and show views of the nature around the building, exposed brick and pipes add to the loft-look. I have to admit that I could be looking at almost any art in the building and just be in awe of the space itself. But luckily you get to see modern art by the likes of Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter and so many more.
I recommend packing a lunch and eating at the picnic tables on the museum grounds, and breathe in that sweet, less-polluted air. If the farmers market outside the train station is open, you must stop in for a very small, but yummy selection of food.
A round trip ticket to Beacon + museum admission is $27.75 through the MTA.
Photos by William Steinman
I believe that if you’ve never tried Mexican-style grilled corn, your life is not complete. My boyfriend believes that no life is complete without a Cuban sandwich. Luckily two of my favorite restaurants have both, and they’re amazing. I love going for Cuban when I’m tired of the usual Mexican food dish. A popular favorite in Nolita is Café Habana, which is really more of Mexican-Cuban fusion fare. It’s cramped and hard to get a table, but the wait is usually not too terrible and is definitely worth it. For brunch I love the Huevos a la Mexicana, and for dinner you have to, of course, get the Cuban sandwich and grilled corn. I highly recommend their cheap brunch.
17 Prince St., New York, NY
Cubana Café is a very similar cafe in SoHo that’s a perfect stop after a long day of wandering around and/or shopping– especially if you’re in town on vacation. Their grilled corn is even better then Cafe Habana’s, their Cuban sandwich is a good, simple take without trying to add anything fancy (duck Cuban? Please, no.) But what I love most is a simple side dish – Whipped Sweet Plantain Puree. I can best describe this as being close to banana pudding, but it’s not quite as sweet and goes well with all of their dishes on the side. It’s just plain heaven and I think about it all the time!
110 Thompson St., New York, NY
Two often overlooked museums in NY happen to be really fantastic places to visit, with minimal crowds. First up is The American Folk Art Museum. Situated next door to the MoMA, the art is not only fascinating and wonderful – making you question what exactly constitutes as art and who is considered an artist, but the museum itself is a work of art.
I love the tall skinny building that makes such amazing use of the space they had to build. It’s free from 5:30-7:30 on Fridays, the same time as MoMA, but with a lot less of a crowd to maneuver. But their general admission price of $9 is completely worth it if you can’t make it on a Friday night. Do not miss the Shaker pieces, and of course, Henry Darger.
The Morgan Library is a gorgeous building with an interesting mix of old and modern, and there’s always a wonderful show going on. Their illuminated manuscripts are breath taking, and I’ve been captivated at shows like Philip Guston: Works on Paper, Illuminating the Medieval Hunt (an amazing show of an old manuscript on medieval hunting), and Drawing Babar. Fridays are free from 7-9pm. Close by is Manhattan’s Little India, so be sure to grab some delicious food afterwards.
Keeping your passport in check while traveling is so incredibly
important, that a little cover to keep it (and a few other little
things in, like tickets) in is not a bad idea. Here are a few simple
picks of mine:
clockwise from the top:
Jane Streetby Kate Spade,
Cover by Hayden-Harnett,
Document Cover by Mary Jane,
Wallet by Tusk
With some airlines charging to check baggage, and the pure pain of
dealing with baggage claim in general, I am a huge fan of packing
light! I own one suitcase that has not left New York with me since I
moved, because I am a true believer in a big huge overnight bag and
maybe a big purse or backpack to carry on with me. Even if I got on
week-long trips, I can fit all my crap in them. I find that most of
the time bringing extra stuff NEVER gets used, and it ends up being
more of a hassle in the end.
So I bring you some of my favorite overnight bags I’ve rounded up.
I’ve also had some cheap options from good old Target, but can’t seem
to find any of them online. There’s also everyone’s favorite, Orla
Kiely, but that’s a bit more money and you’ve all seen those, I’m
Asos Three Zip Leather Holdall
Dwell Studio Charlotte Weekender
Filson Tin Cloth Small Duffle
Vintage Grey Leather Overnight Bag
Matt and Nat Vegan Bag
Steven Alan Port Tote
For today’s post I thought I’d share some photos from one of my
favorite NYC events – the Chinese New Years Parade in Manhattan’s
Chinatown, that we went to today. I love spending the afternoon
watching all the great costumes, dragons, adorable little kids doing
martial arts, and eating Chinese pastries (hello coconut bread and
custard bun-induced stomach aches). The weather was amazing today (a
balmy 45!) so it was a wonderful day.
Jackson Heights has a plethora of different ethnic areas, but my favorite is the Indian section on 74th st, known as “Little India”. There are lots of shops, food stands, and restaurants that are all amazing, but I will make the trek just to have a meal at Jackson Diner. It has a kind of airy-cafeteria feel and a flustered staff (though, incredibly fast service, I will say), but is inexpensive, has huge portions, and is probably the best Indian food I’ve ever had. The big huge windows in the front are great for people watching, and they have a super cheap lunch buffet daily. After you eat, wander your stuffed-self around the block lots of interesting things to look at.
37-47 74th St
Jackson Heights, New York
This weekend I thought I’d focus on an often over looked awesome part of NY: Queens, and two reasons to head to the fabulous borough (I hope to bring you more eventually). It’s the most culturally diverse part of New York, and the most diverse parts of America. I love it for it’s little pockets of cultural neighborhoods, and it’s laid-back more residential feel.
The first reason to go to Queens is the absolute best museum in NYC: PS1 Contemporary Art Center. An affiliate of MoMA, PS1 is housed in an old school building and has about 3 floors of amazing contemporary art. I’ve never seen a bad show here before, there’s always something amazing. In the summertime they host a concert series, Warm Up, with lots of music and dancing. In the Fall and Winter you can experience one of James Turrell’s permanent “skyspace” installations (swoon), Meeting.
22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
Bonus: While you’re in the area, it’s hard to miss the giant graffiti-covered building across the street, Five Pointz. A commercial factory building almost entirely covered in graffiti, it’s free for anyone to paint (with prior approval and direction from the coordinator there), and you can spend an eternity walking around looking at it all.
The Seattle girl in me tells me that I should not be disloyal to Top
Pot and make a statement like this, but Doughnut Plant has the best donuts on the planet. With rotating flavors like pistachio, blackberry jelly-filled (they make their own jelly), creme brulee, and tres leches, it’s a little piece of doughnut heaven in the Lower East Side. The lines are long in the morning, so try going at a random hour in the afternoon- but know that some
flavors may sell out. The coffee isn’t bad, but skip that and go for
the chai – a seriously delicious compliment to any of the doughnuts.
379 Grand St nr Norfolk St
If someone were to force me to decide what my favorite type of food was, I’d have to say French. Fortunately New York is not lacking in that genre of good eats, but unfortunately they’re not always the most wallet-friendly. I love splurging on a nice restaurant every once in a while, but my family instilled a great sense of thriftiness in me when it comes to food. Luckily my two favorite French restaurants have options to splurge a little, or take it down a notch but still have a nice meal.
First, a restaurant I covered in Truant’s debut issue – but is totally worth mentioning again – is Zucco. It’s impossibly tiny, but don’t let it’s size fool you: this French diner has some of the best food I’ve had in the LES. You can go simple and cheap with sandwiches on baguettes (the Le Poulet de Belleville: chicken, goat cheese, and ratatouille is perfection) or try something fancier like the mouth-watering salmon, and don’t forget a little glass of wine from their all-French list. The very French owner, Zucco, adds to the charm of this adorable diner so sit at the bar if you can to witness his one-man show waiter skills and serious charm.
188 Orchard St
Moto is easy to miss. Hidden underneath the J train, dark windows and a black door with the name written small, you could walk by it a million times and not notice it. But once you open the door you’re transported to world so different than what’s outside on Broadway, on the south side of Williamsburg. Not quite as small as Zucco, but still not the largest space, the decor is rustic and ancient. I’ve never had a bad meal here. The ribs, mac & cheese, risotto, and best of all – the paninis – are amazing. If you’re on a budget, go for the paninis. If you’re waistline isn’t on a budget, try the mashed potatoes and finish your meal with the grilled donuts. You will die happy.