Enjoying a glass of bubbly at the Lincoln Center
For the past four or five years, my brother and I have made tentative plans to visit New York City together during his visit home to Toronto in the summer (he lives in Europe), but, pretty much every year I failed to get my shit together and make it happen, until now. Obviously there’s nothing I’d rather do than jet down to New York with my little brother for a weekend, but it always felt like things such as my work schedule or general poorness stopped me from being able to visit the big apple with him. Finally, this summer I was able to step up my game and be the older sister I’ve always wanted to be – the older sister that spoils him rotten! So I booked us a trip, and off we flew.
If you happened to catch some of m previous New York and Brooklyn city guides (like the 8 Things I Did In NYC and Brooklyn or Top 5 Best Places in Brooklyn to Eat, Shop and Drink!) you may already know of how much I love to stay in Brooklyn when I’m visiting, and some of the spots I always ALWAYS have to visit when I’m there like Court Street Grocers for a breakfast sammie, Clover Club for all the Cocktails, Frankies 457 for the best meal ever and Brooklyn Crab for Bloody Marys on the weekends.
Of course I took my brother Jackson to each and every one of the aforementioned places (I’m a creature of habit okay!) and he loved them (obviously) but there were also a few new places I found between Brooklyn and New York City on this trip that have managed to make it on to my list of “must visits” and I already can’t wait to go back.
Here’s my latest list of 5 Cool Paces in Brooklyn and NYC That I Love!
Normally when I visit Brooklyn stay with my bestie, Sara, but since there would be two of us on this trip, I felt it would be more polite to book our own hotel. I’ve actually never stayed in a hotel outside of Manhattan when staying in New York, and I wanted to find something that would be nice, clean, and close to my favourite area in BK – Carroll Gardens! Somehow I stumbled across the Dazzler Brooklyn through Expedia (while searching by the lowest price, obviously) and was very impressed by how cute it looked and how low the prices were! Aside from reviews that said the rooms were load from street traffic (like, hello, don’t got to New York or Brooklyn if you’re looking for peace and quiet) the feedback was all very positive, and so I decided to book. The Dazzler is an extremely new hotel and is located right at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. It was exactly as it looked in the pictures online, had friendly staff, and offered a nice, clean and modern room with a King Size bed that we never wanted to get out of. I loved our stay at the Dazzler Brooklyn and would book there again anytime.
Jackson and I in our giant bed taking a nap after our 7am flight!
One of my favourite things to do when I’m in a different city is try to go to a workout class at a nice studio. I always like discovering somewhere new, seeing how they’re classes or studio differ from my usual spots in Toronto, and working out really just helps me reset my body. As an Equinox Ambassador in Canada, I knew there were Equinox locations all over New York, and was eager to visit at least one of them during my trip. Jackson and I were able to take an amazing Vinyasa class at Equinox Soho over the weekend and I completely fell in love with the space! With multi-stories, an open concept and big, bright windows, it feels more like you’re hanging out in someone’s amazing loft rather than a gym. After yoga we both took time to enjoy the steam room, long hot showers, and finished it all with a shot of wheatgrass at the juice bar downstairs before heading out for Dim Sum. If you ever have a chance to workout at Equinox Soho while in Manhattan I highly recommend that you do!
My brother Jackson is a professional ballet dancer and studied at the National Ballet School of Canada. He had bought tickets to see the National Ballet of Canada perform at the Lincoln Center in New York City which was a big part of the reason for our trip. It was our first time seeing a ballet at the Lincoln Center and it was such a beautiful experience! Afterwards, we met up with his friends who dance with the National Ballet of Canada and headed down to the East Village for a late dinner at Casa Mezcal. I had never heard of Casa Mezcal but trusted Jackson’s friend Kate’s intense research of great places to eat (and drink) in the city. Also, it seemed to promise a lot of Mezcal which I’m always into. This spot is super tiny and cute, and also very authentic. If you’re looking for real Mexican food in the city (and great cocktails!) definitely check out Casa Mezcal.
I’m pretty sure book hoarding runs in our family, so obviously Jackson and I wanted to find a bookstore where we could buy more books! My friend Sara took us to BookCourt in Brooklyn where we happily sat around and browsed through everything before settling on at least two books each. I bought Sick In The Head by Judd Apatow and a great food and cocktail book called Brooklyn Bites that features a recipe for the best mac n cheese of your life from Clover Club. Obviously I had to have it!
Before our flight on the last day of our trip, I wanted to make sure that Jackson and I got to go somewhere special for an epic lunch. Sara and her friend Ramona recommended a little spot in Brooklyn called Rucola that I had never been to before so we decided to try it out. And I’m so happy we did! This restaurant is SO cute and so beautiful – plus the food was amazing. Also, Emily Blunt sat next to us and was very classy while Jackson and I drank a very inappropriate amount of wine and cocktails so close to the noon hour. I cannot wait to go back to Rucola again.
See you again soon, New York!