Who doesn’t love NYC?  I’m sure there must be some people who don’t care much for New York, but I just can’t imagine why.  I love it and every time I’m there, I have fantasies of moving to NY with my little family and living in a skyscraper.  Sometimes I wish we could live several lives in parallel in order to do and see it all! I recently visited the city for a bit of eating and shopping and checking out the NY International Gift Fair (NYIGF).

From my hotel with a corner room, I had a view of the Hudson River, downtown and uptown.  I couldn’t stop taking photographs of the view. Even my bathtub had a city view!

A quick bite to eat at an old favorite – Bluewater Grill on Union Square. I love this place, because they serve a wide range of great food, including pretty good sushi. This is great if you’re like me and crave sushi all the time, but not all of your friends feel the same way. By the way, did I mention how much I’m looking forward to my trip to Japan? I can’t wait for all that fantastic super-fresh sushi 🙂  Anyway, back to New York and all the tasty things I ate while I was there…
Union Square Cafe – another classic. I hadn’t been here before, but a friend took me and it was so great to show up without a reservation and sit at the bar to eat their excellent spaghettini.
NYC Lure Fishbar

NYC Lure Fishbar

Lure Fishbar – a really yummy fish restaurant with a lovely boat-themed interior.  Seriously, it looks really nice – not some cheesy pirate or sailor theme, but instead like the interior of an elegant sailboat.  This is another place which serves a nice selection sushi in addition to great hot food (non-Japanese).

Image Source: Landmarc

Landmarc – in the Time-Warner Center at Columbus Circle, this is an easy place to get a quick bite to eat overlooking Central Park (they have a Tribeca location as well).  I really enjoyed the goat cheese profiteroles – I only wish they had told me in advance that they were really tasty and my order would only include 3 tiny pieces, which seemed to shrink as I realized how delicious they were. Light, airy and scrumptious. I looked online and found the recipe here for making these myself so that I can eat large quantities in the privacy of my own home.
Beauty & Essex – two dear sweet friends took me to dinner here, and even though I was feeling under the weather, the beautiful interiors did not escape my attention! The front room is a funky pawn shop facing the street, and then you step into a truly glamorous place. Kind of like a speakeasy!  The food was creative and tasty – even things I would not normally order, like kale & apple salad. I prefer cooked kale, and I don’t usually like fruit in my salads, but this was yummy!  And there is a champagne bar in the ladies’ room, which is probably more accurately called the ladies’ lounge.
Toloache – another old favorite.  I eat here every time I’m in NY.  There are three locations, but I always go to the tiny one in Midtown.  It looks like a cheesy dive from the outside, but go ahead and step inside. The food is great.  Excellent guacamole and I love their trio of ceviche. And they know what they’re doing when it comes to margaritas too.

Of course, I did a bit of shopping. The winter sales were on everywhere! Even without the sales, shopping in USD seems like such a bargain when you’re coming from Europe. Especially when you\’re buying items like jeans. I steered clear of the “jeggings” (that word really grates on my nerves) and stuck with real jeans – the jeggings were far too close to yoga pants (in both fit and comfort – yes, too comfy).  Real jeans, on the other hand, are much better for reminding me when I’ve eaten too many goat cheese profiteroles. And finally I succumbed to the peer pressure and the weather and I bought a puffer coat.  I have been looking everywhere and finally found a style that makes me look not entirely like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.  I’m still not convinced that it’s at all attractive, but my goodness, it’s definitely warm, so I understand now what people have been telling me.

And I did window shopping too, for all the lovely furniture and home interiors products that I would have loved to check as excess baggage and bring back to Amsterdam, if only I had a few extra homes to fill.  I could spend hours in ABC Carpet & Home – there is so much to see!  These little stools caught my eye.  The Kartell stool in crystal is actually made of polycarbonate, and the Cobble Hill Ribbon stool looks like the bark of a birch tree but is actually ceramic.
And last but certainly not least, I visited the NY International Gift Fair (NYIGF) at the Javits Center.  Wow, so much to see!  I only had time to visit about 1/3 of the show, so I focused mainly on the home interiors sections.  I wish I could show you how big it was – nearly 3,000 exhibitors!  But I am too much of a rule-follower to take sneaky iPhone shots with all the NO PHOTOS signs everywhere.  So I’ve just included photos from the websites of the companies and links to those in case you\’re interested. Here are a few that really caught my eye with their displays and products.
Bungalow 5 – I love Bungalow 5 and have admired their collections before (really like their Chloe chairs).  But I was blown away by their display at the show and was especially taken with their new collection of gorgeous lamps. Simple and elegant pieces that would work equally well in a modern or traditional home.  This “Bamboo” lamp is on my wish list. Actually, a pair of them 🙂  Their products are available in different colors – I’ve shown white here because that’s what I like.  Also, their website has a neat tool to show the colors of the base and the shade in all the different variations.  Clever!
I also loved this marble topped Hobbs Chest from Julian Chichester.  Gorgeous, casual and elegant all at the same time.  Wouldn’t mind having a pair of those too 🙂
Hobbs Chest Marble Top Julian Chichester

Hobbs Chest Marble Top Julian Chichester (Image Source: Julian Chichester)

I admired the exquisite hand-painted collection from Audrey Sterk. Inspired by her surroundings in Nantucket, she paints beautiful serene scenes on wall coverings, floor cloths, screens, and tables, as well as wall art (though I\’d argue that every piece is a work of art!).  I particularly love “Coastal Grasses” and “Flowers” from her geometric collection.  All available in a range of soothing neutrals.
Coastal Grasses Mural from Audrey Sterk

Coastal Grasses Mural from Audrey Sterk (Image Source Audrey Sterk)

There was so much more to see at the NYIGF that I haven’t mentioned, but this is becoming a monster-long post, so I’ll stop there and ask what you folks think?  Any of these pieces catch your eye?  Or have you seen other new collections recently? Please share in the comments below!