Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dirt Candy, Wayland and DVF

The only thing as good as a long weekend is the short week that follows. My problem was there were five days worth of work to be done in only four. As expected, the weekend couldn't have come any sooner.

Friday's date night took S and I to the East Village for a return visit to Dirt Candy. We first visited this place shortly after moving to NYC a few years back - and it promptly became foremost in our growing list of favourite restaurants in the city. 

The restaurant does such amazing and clever things with vegetables and deserves all the accolades it's received (including 2 NYT stars). On previous visits, there is usually a standout favourite amongst the dishes we order. Friday's meal of the onion!beans! (pictured) and corn! though were each so delicious, we made return reservations even before our plates were cleared. 
We had plans to have an early night but wine and dinner put us in high spirits (ha!), so we walked East through Tompkins Square Park to check out the cocktails at The Wayland. So unassuming from the outside, it has all the elements of a casual bar but with a seriously impressive cocktail menu.  
I first ordered the Smoked and Roasted, which I now propose to rename "crack", because I didn't put the glass down once it hit my lips (plus I am a sucker for salt-rimmed drinks). Then I rounded out date night with the Evergreen, which is a great evening-starter if I should see one. 

I would be at The Wayland every night if it wasn't located all the way in the boondocks of Avenue C. Good thing perhaps?


Anyway I wore this DVF dress out on Friday. Except that since I didn't take any photos that evening and I love the print of this dress so much, I give you a photo taken during our Barcelona trip in January 2013:
DVF September 2011 "Wrap of the Month", unwanted accessory: jet lag eye bags

Hope you are having a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sunshine in Bali

My parents turned 60 within 6 months of each other. To celebrate, my brother and I flew them out to Bali when I was back in Asia last November.

Apart from my dad who came to this island on a quick business trip a decade ago, none of us had visited before. (Side note: if you are travelling around Asia, please do something right and fly Air Asia).  
Our trip was for barely a handful of days so we chose to stay in the tourist-centric Legian, in a villa booked via AirBnb. While it needed a good repainting and the garden could have done with some tending to, the villa was spacious for our family of four, and serene as it was set a few streets away from the main strip. 
Goa Gajah - The Elephant Cave Temple

Besides the beach, Bali's main draw cards are the beautiful temples found everywhere on the predominantly Hindu island. 

As one can expect, the real Bali is beyond the touristy Kuta/Seminyak/Legian area. So we hired a car with a tour guide/driver to explore the rest of the island. 

Our travels coincided with the full moon, a significant day under the Buddhist and Hindu calendar (amongst others). Balinese are very pious - it's hard to miss shrines and altars everywhere you go. On extra auspicious days, the devout take the day off to pray and give offerings at the temple, as well as stay in traditional dress all day. So colourful and festive! 

Pura Tirta Empul - temple with 12 purification fountains
Tanah Lot temple - only accessible when the tide is low

Culture and architecture aside, I was beside myself to be able to swap the cold NYC winter behind for some beach and ocean time. 

Legian beach gate
Anthropologie Cuilin Dress, Nine West zebra sandals (sim), Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal, Ray Ban Aviators, Club Monaco necklace
Anthropologie Stamp Art Dress
Bali is gorgeous and there is an immense amount of culture and heritage quite unlike the rest of Indonesia.  Our trip was short but Bali's close proximity to my family home means I will be back in no time. Tell me if you've ever been?  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Date Night - Valentine's Edition

S and I forewent celebrating love on Thursday since we had our usual date night set up for Friday.

This week, I managed to wrangle reservations at the Lounge at Atera - the basement cocktail bar beneath the aforementioned new restaurant about town which the New York Times recently awarded three stars to.

Considering the cost of a meal at the restaurant, we assumed correctly that cocktails would be priced at a premium. So we went casual for dinner with classic French bistro cuisine at The Odeon.  While I am no connoisseur, I loved the croque monsieur which I washed down with a refreshing glass of GrĂ¼ner Veltliner.
Indulging my wanderlust tripping the light fantastic

We then walked around the corder to Atera. The lounge is small - with space for about 15 people. What it lacked for in decor (apart from the leather seats, the space is very sparse), it made up for in innovative drinks. 

I was in an adventurous mood, so went for the Sap - served shaken, the pine gave it a sweet woody flavour while the egg white resulted in the frothy meringue-like finish. Very easy to drink! S enjoyed the Loose Tai - which as the name suggests, was a spin on the Mai Tai - not just with malt syrup stirred through but also with the addition of malt bits sprinkled on top of the drink. 

Alas we were both so tired from work that we just couldn't handle another round. I do want to try the Bee's Mead though which means a return visit is most definitely on the cards. 

Anyway, I must have been subconsciously channeling old Hollywood as this is what I wore:
H&M Conscious Collection 2012 dress (sim) - last seen here

From my instagram - J Crew Cocoon CoatNine West pumps
Indulging my wanderlust tripping the light fantastic
Giles and Brother hook cuff, Hermes clic bracelet, Cheongsam fabric clutch from Chinatown, Anthropologie belt (sim), Alexis Bittar earrings (very sim)

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you are in the US - hope you have a lovely President's Day too! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter Wonderland

This weekend, New York experienced its first decent snowfall of the season. 

I woke up on Saturday morning and knew Central Park was where I wanted to be.. and apparently all of New York had the same idea too!
While the Park is beautiful on a regular day, the snow turned it into a spectacular winter wonderland. 
The Park was crowded! But it felt like there was so much happiness in one spot - everywhere you turned there were shrieks of laughter and exclamations of joy over how pretty the snow made everything look.



J Crew cocoon coat and leopard gloves (sim), Plush fleece-lined tights, Kate Spade polka dot gumboots (sim), Rebecca Minkoff MAC clutch (sim), Ray Ban Wayfarers
Tripping the Light Fantastic

Snow makes the winter so much more bearable, don't you think? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

NYC Social - February 2013

Inspired by my friend, Milster's monthly posts on things to do in Paris, I am launching a similar series of fun events taking place in New York. I hope these posts will inspire a visit to the city or if you are local, to take advantage of all the great happenings the city has to offer. 

Fashion Week: February 7 to 14
Donna Karan Fall 2012 (via)
While we eagerly await warmer temperatures to shed off our coats once and for all, the fashion tribe will be eagerly awaiting new cold weather fashion with the debut of Fall 2013 collections. Even if one doesn't have invites to the many shows around town, head to Lincoln Center as the expansive venue affords plenty of opportunity for priceless people-watching. Take your camera, who knows, an aspiring street style star may even ask to pose for you!

Sleeping Beauty at the NYC Ballet: February 13 - 24
The Winter season of the New York City Ballet is currently in full swing with the highlight this month being Peter Martin's Sleeping Beauty. With over 100 dancers performing to Tchaikovsky's great score, this is a must-see before the company takes a break until the Spring.

The Heiress: through to February 9
There is only a week left to see this acclaimed play set in New York in the 1850s about a young woman struggling with love and her inheritance.  Frankly I was sold as soon as I knew Matthew Crawley and Celia Foote was in this (alas I dilly-dallied and will be rushing to see it this weekend). If you don't see The Heiress before it's run ends, there is also Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof playing till the end of March.

Bulgari Serpenti Exhibit: February 9 to March 6
Taken during our visit to Tokyo last December
If you were in Rome, Tokyo or New York recently, you may have noticed the beautiful, luminous snake installations outside Bvlgari's flagship store. In conjunction with the Chinese new year of the snake, Bulgari's will celebrate its iconic Serpenti collection with a month-long exhibit at it's Fifth Avenue flagship.  The exhibit will showcase plenty of coiled jewelry and timepieces, as well as photographs, original sketches and one-of-a-kind pieces from the jewelry house's historical archives. 

Clinton Street Baking Company's Pancake Month and City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival: Feb 1 - 28
February is my favourite winter month for nothing makes my heart (and tummy) sing more than having pancakes for dinner. Shove aside any fitness and healthy-eating resolutions for Clinton Street's famous fluffy pancakes served all day. Right now I have my eyes set on the German Chocolate, the Fresh Coconut and the Raspberry ones. 
Then you have City Bakery's hot chocolate month. Located right by my favourite shopping strip in Union Square, the special flavours they churn out this month are worth making repeat visits for. Always order the house-made marshmallows - they are pricey but at the size of a fist, well worth it. 

Here's to a festive February and let me know if you will be partaking in any of these happenings!
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