ART

NYC has so much to offer in terms of arts and culture.  We feel blessed to have so many amazing opportunities to show Juliet a good time that are both fun for all and educational too!  When Symphony Space invited us to view one of their new, family-friendly “Just Kidding” performances, we were thrilled to review their calendar and find that they had dance performances for our tiny dancer to watch!  This 3.5 year old LOVES dance!  She has started ballet at 18months and has this year, added tap classes to her dance routine. Having read that there would be over 100 dancers from National Dance Institute’s “The Celebration Team” on stage we knew this would be a spectacle!

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What we didn’t know and fully appreciate until after seeing the show was the level of professionalism that would be exhibited.  As a fellow dancer myself, (I trained in tap and jazz for 12 years, while also dabbling in ballet, hip hop and other forms of dance) I deeply understood the hours of practice and collaboration a performance like this required.  And to think we expected to see another kid’s recital…

national dance institute, arts for kids, nyc kids

What made this dance performance so awe-inspiring was the choreography.  I was seriously SO impressed.  Dances ranged from African to modern, to jazz and hip hop styles- all mixed in with an innovative dose of poetry.  (yes poetry!)  And I’m not talking about the Dr. Seuss variety but quotes from Walt Whitman and other sophisticated leaders and prime poets from our century!  And the creativity  (oh the creativity!)  It was Broadway / Martha Graham – level!  I couldn’t help but be a tad bit jealous of these kids who got to train under such talented tutelage.  Way to go to all the Producers and developers of this show!ndi_poetry_02medium

The other interesting things about the show was that it featured a healthy mix of boys and girls.  They say it’s hard to find male dancers but you wouldn’t know it from this stage! They made for excellent examples for all the littles to look up to!  And finally, who knew a kids’ dance performance could so powerfully translate themes of diversity, hope, and love.  We appreciated the sophisticated messages that kept the adults thinking and on their toes too!

Tips for Parents:

  • refreshments can be purchased inside the auditorium.  There’s even wine for the adults (woohoo!) and yes, you are allowed to take them back to your seat.
  • Booster seats for the little ones are readily made available so everyone no matter their age enjoyed excellent viewing
  • Indoor stroller valet is free of charge
  • It’s conveniently located across from the 96th street subway stop on Broadway

In this highly digital age, it’s so nice when we can find entertainment away from an ipad that is rich with culture, isn’t it?  Plus what parent can turn down the opportunity to give their kids an art-filled family memory? The Symphony Space’s remarkable calendar of events (there are shows every weekend now through the end of March!) includes everything from music to acrobatics to comedy, to puppetry to theater and of course, dance.  You’re sure to find something that suits your fancy.

Here are a couple of our picks for upcoming shows!


Les Parfaits Inconnus

“goofballs who jugle, rock out, shimmy up poles, and make their audiences squeal with delight.” -The Seattle Times

Saturday, January 7 at 11 am and 2 pm:

Justin Roberts and The Not ready for Naptime Players 

“the Judy Blume of Kiddie rock” -The New York Times)

Sat., December 10 11am and 2pm

Full Disclosure – we were given complimentary tickets to review the show and venue.   All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

 

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times square, nyc kid, nyc art, nyc, broadway plaza

I purposely opted not to enroll Juliet in school on Fridays so we would have the freedom to take long weekend getaways or get to sleep in and enjoy mommy and me city adventures.  This is the last year we will have after all, before she has to attend school regularly M-Fri.  While the weather is still nice here in New York, we like to go out and explore all of New York’s offerings.  There’s so much to see and do and Times Square is one of the many locales that offers so much in terms of attractions, shopping and now art!  I’m excited to share with you, “The Beginning of the End,” an interactive and reflective monument in the heart of Times Square’s Broadway Plaza (between 46th and 47th streets).  It asks visitors to “reassess their perspective on an entirely different visual reality, how they see themselves in the environment that surrounds them, and how that relationship changes as the reflections create new visual possibilities.”

times square, nyc kid, nyc art, nyc, broadway plaza dsc_3505

Seeing Times Squares skyscrapers and flashing lights multiplied through all the mirrors was pretty spectacular!  If you’re in the area, you have to see this while you can.  It’s only around for another week (website says it closes down Nov 21st).  Who knows, it might just inspire a little dancing in the streets!

times square, nyc kid, nyc art, nyc, broadway plaza dsc_3535

It encourages even the most jaded New York-ers to look up, and really look around to appreciate the magnificent skyline and energy of the city.  We are so lucky to live in this vibrant place.

the beginning of the end, times square, broadway plaza, nyc art, mirrors

matching outfits, nyc mom, nyc kid

                                                                                                                                                                  Juliet’s dress is care of Sprouting Threads

I just wish Cuban artist Rachel Valdés Camejo could see all the joy she brought to the heart of this city through her art.  It brought smiles and such joy to tourists and NY-ers alike!

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Tips for parents:

  1. Nearby restrooms can be found at McDonald’s across the street
  2. The Disney store (which also has a restroom on the 2nd floor),  and the Hello Kitty TS store are great stops before/after
  3. There are tons of family-friendly restaurants nearby, (Carmine’s for Italian and Ellen’s Stardust Diner for dinner with a show are my top picks)
  4. Dave and Buster’s is at 234 W 42nd St, 3rd Floor
  5. Hershey’s Times Square is at 1593 Broadway
  6. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is at 234 W 42nd Street
  7. Midtown Comics is at 200 West 40th Street
  8. You’ll see lots of opportunities to snap photos of your child with costumed characters found along the streets of Times Square (think Mickey, Minnie, Elmo, Hello Kitty and superheroes) but beware, you will be expected to tip!

Where else would you recommend hitting in the heart of Times Square?

For more of our artsy adventures, click here!

 

 

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When Juliet says, “Mommy I love going on adventures with you!” She is referring to our little mommy and me field trips where I take her to new and exciting NYC spaces offering arts and culture.  Here, we explored an immersive gallery experience at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery on 521 W 21st st.  The moment you first view this colorful, web like art structure, curiosity takes over and you can’t wait to get close-up to Ernesto Neto’s work.

nyc art, art gallery, kids art

Titled, “The Serpent Gave Birth To Humanity”, was made up of finger-knitted weaves that evoked the image of an “infinite serpent.”

ernesto Neto

It welcomed touch which was so perfect for a toddler with curious hands.

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As you crawled through openings, and slithered through curvy tunnels, it was hard not to appreciate that you were in a special place.

dsc_3177There was also a round, canopied structure, that created a tent-like fort where Juliet found instruments to play with like a guitar and the drum set below.  She even danced to the music made by others!dsc_3185

It was very apparent that the artist considered the energy, sounds and movements made by the inhabitants part of his ever-moving art.  We had so much fun exploring the space, its textures, and its wonders that we hardly realized that an hour had passed!  It’s a great spot to come with kids, or just to sit, relax and reflect on its padded yellow floors.

tanya bonakdar gallery, nyc art gallery

This solo exhibition is on view from October 29 through December 17, 2016 and is free and open to the public.  We hope that you too will be able to experience this vibrant, immersive experience!

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For more video recaps, follow us @fabgabblog on Instagram!

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misaki kawai, cave life

I love art and so does Juliet.  We’ve enrolled her in art classes since age 18months and she has happily and proudly made her own art at various school settings and at home ever since!  She often comes running over to us at school pick-up excitedly telling us, “I made this for YOU!!” And we’ve already collected a mountain of her artwork, turning our fridge and sometimes her playhouse into a virtual art gallery.  One way we’ve encouraged her love of art is to take her to art galleries around the city.  Here are the 3 main reasons galleries are great places to take a toddler. 

misaki kawai, cave life

  1. It’s a mommy and me outing that doesn’t SUCK.  There comes a time (usually weekly) where you’ve had enough of the playgrounds and indoor play pits.  Anyone relate to this?  Kids running around, crying and screaming while your mind goes numb and you look into your phone as your only outlet for parental pleasure…  Sometimes you need to mix it up!  Take your kids to a kid-friendly art gallery for some education and culture that feeds both your minds and souls.  How many times can you say you left inspired after leaving the playground?? misaki kawai, cave life
  2. Experience the culture without the overwhelm.  Toddlers (and plenty of adults) have short attention spans.  Instead of trying to cover an entire museum in one day in order to try and get your money’s worth,  (after all you could be forking over $20 admission at a famed NYC museum), you can expect to dedicate anywhere from 10minutes to a half an hour at a gallery for free while feeling the same accomplishment and satisfaction of having completed an artsy, worthwhile experience.  Small doses feel manageable.  Avoid the overwhelm and ensure yourself a happy toddler.misaki kawai, cave life
  3. It encourages curiosity and creativity.  Win mommy of the week award (if there ever was such a thing) by enriching your child’s life with the joy of exploration, curiosity AND creativity.  Juliet actually told me the other day at our last gallery outing, “Mommy, I love going on adventures with you.  this is so exciting!”  You never know what you may find!  In today’s case, we found an all yellow room, with fun painted furniture in the shape of bananas, snakes and bones.  The large-scale paintings, and wall murals seemed straight out of a child’s imagination.  Juliet immediately related and was quick to tell me about her favorite finds.cave life, nyc art, nyc art gallery, 312 bowery, the hole

If you’re interested in checking out this sunny space, go to 312 Bowery to a gallery space named “The Hole” before this “Cave Life” exhibit by Misaki Kawai ends on October 30th.  Note that it is only open Wednesday – Sunday 12pm-7pm and is by the Bleeker Street 6 train and Broadway-Lafayette B, D, F and M trains.

It promises to bring out the kid in all of us.  Juliet and I went home and continued to talk about what we saw and even tried to replicate some of the artwork at home!

misaki kawai, cave life, nyc art gallery, the hole, art for kids

For more of our artsy adventures, check out our posts on  Refinery 29’s NYFW installation, NYC street art, and the Osgemeos gallery exhibit!

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We are so lucky to live in Manhattan and have such easy access to all the amazing art in the city!  Today, after school pick-up, we enjoyed the unseasonably warm 80 degree fall weather with a little artsy adventure.  Lehmann Maupin on W 22nd street showcased a wildly colorful exhibit featuring Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOS that we just had to see for ourselves.

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Twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo transformed multiple rooms in an immersive installation that combined drawing, painting, collage, mixed media sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements.

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We found the vibrant art to be so much fun to explore with its playful, quirkyiness!  Ever hear of the man in the moon?  Well here’s a toddler too!

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The exhibition offers “a heightened multi-sensory experience that embraces the power of human imagination and the vast possibilities in visually interpreting the subconscious.”  It certainly did feel a little dreamy, that is if you dream in full, technicolor fashion!

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Osgemeos’s signature yellow characters and intriguing patterns felt accessible and understandable to all ages which is why I highly recommend it as a fun outing for moms and kids.  I love that I can instill the appreciation of art and exploration through NYC exhibits like this!

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Check it out, even if it’s just for all the Instagram-able floor-to-ceiling art walls!     silence of the music, nyc art, nyc gallery

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If you want an Instagram-able photo, just head to any of NY’s graffiti walls and you’re bound to get the distinctive look that you’re hoping for.  I personally love street art and apparently am instilling an appreciation of it to Juliet who stops to admire and talk about the art she sees along our pathways.   The Lower East Side’s Allen and Delancey area is one of these perfect stops for photo opps.  We headed there today and found nearly a dozen cool graffiti walls to choose from within a 1 block radius!

nyc kid

Being that her half birthday just passed, I thought this was the perfect wall to shoot in front of.  (Now she’s 3.5 years old!) Definitely not a baby anymore.dsc_1155

Her outfit consists of new back-to-school finds from The Children’s Place (skirt, socks and ankle boots) along with the puppy purse and nerd glasses already in her arsenal of accessories.   This is the look she’ll give you if you try and call her ‘baby.’

nyc graffiti, nyc kids, allen and delancey

As if this wall wasn’t awesome enough, it is surrounded by several other colorful backdrops like this cool, claw one.

nyc graffiti walls, nyc street art

This girl loves candy.  And I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I bribe her to pose a little longer with me if she’s not naturally feelin’ it. dsc_1147

Below, she is wearing a Ba Ba Bling tee for which she is a brand ambassador for.  We love this graffiti style New York printed tee because it’s edgy, cool and perfect for our NYC kid.

les graffiti, lower east side graffiti

It’s paired with polka dot stretchy pants from The Children’s Place. which as you can tell, I’m a fan of for their fall collection this year!dsc_1213

On Orchard and Delancey was this can’t miss, bright sunny yellow wall which drew us in.  It’s such a fun pop of color isn’t it?  dsc_1223

I wish more of NY was painted in vibrant colors like these! dsc_1245 dsc_1251

Stay tuned for more NYFW coverage where Juliet and I covered all the kids’ fashion shows together.  And follow our daily adventures through our Instagram stories and feed!

 

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panda, panda love, panda room, 29 rooms

These days with the social media craze, it seems like everyone is searching for the latest and greatest and most Instagram-able moments.  Refinery 29 understands this inherently and has created Refinery ’29 Rooms’ to draw us all into their creative, fashionable world.  “29Rooms brings to life a lot of the themes Refinery29 covers in its digital content to a physical space, said Piera Gelardi, co-founder and executive creative director of Refinery29. “We live in an increasingly digital world, so people want to have memorable experiences, but they also want to be able to share them with their digital friends,”  As a former brand director, who created press-worthy integrated marketing campaigns, I found this immersive branding concept so up my alley and couldn’t wait to explore everything!  Since I had a VIP pass to 29 rooms, I knew I could skip the crazy long lines and bring Juliet along for the adventure and I’m soooo glad I did!

The transformed 80,000-square-foot warehouse felt like a cool, artsy maze with which you could weave your way in and out constantly discovering colorful new reasons to smile.

refinery 29 rooms

I loved how Juliet perked up at the sight of each cool new fantastical room.

29 rooms 2016, 29 rooms by refinery29

Each showcased, design, style, beauty, art, and even technology in the coolest, weirdest and unexpected ways.  But what topped our list as the most memorable rooms were the interactive ones!  Most were super kid-friendly like the ones that encouraged writing on the walls…hoping Juliet doesn’t get used to this bright idea…

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refinery 29, 29 rooms, brooklyn baby

And we totally enjoyed getting goofy and making art with our bodies!dsc_0794

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29 rooms brooklyn, 29 rooms 2016

Our top 4 favorite rooms out of the 29 rooms however were:  Celebrate You, Wig Wonderland, Texture room, and the Panda room!

I loved the Papyrus sponsored Celebrate You room for obvious reasons.  I’m a party planner after all and I live by the self-made motto, “celebrate the everyday in style.”  So this confetti filled room enveloped in party supplies had me in my happy place!  Juliet yelped, “it’s like a party in here!” And it sure was!

papyrus room, 29 rooms

We posed for silly GIF photos and threw endless confetti around ‘cuz that’s what you do in a party palace.  All mommy needed was some rose’ to really make it a party on this blistery hot day!

refinery 29 rooms

Juliet’s favorite (cuz she adores dress up) was what I like to call the wig wonderland.  Juliet loved trying on each whimsical wig and guests couldn’t stop taking selfies of themselves here!  The social shares here must be through the roof!  Apparently Ru Paul collaborated on this room hence, his famous saying lit up for all the world to see, ‘you better WORK!”  Juliet came back to this room for a 2nd time it was that good!

rupaul wig, refinery 29, refinery 29 rooms9-9-001

The next room was filled with textural surprises.  Juliet and I explored, danced, laughed and played in it for far longer than warranted.  You just never know what will inspire a toddler, I guess! She started playing around with the fur as if it were Rapunzel’s long locks flowing from the top of her head and me?  Well I just sort of got danced around getting my groove back!

refinery 29 room installation 9-9-003

Last but not least, the room we both were obsessed with was the Panda room!

 

29 rooms

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Having seen this room all over Instagram before coming, I knew to pack Juliet’s panda fashions. So out came her Gymboree panda shirt and matching shoes.  The artist and staff loved her outfit so much that they insisted Juliet take home one of the coveted but never given away, blow-up pandas that you see here.  What a souvenir!!  She was honored!  THANK YOU!

29 rooms

Braving the heat wave was worth it just for this Instagram-able room by Nicopanda.  Everyone was frantically snapping up a storm in here, knowing soon their time would be up and they’d have to stop sinking deliriously into this panda pit and return to reality.  This truly immersive art project will not soon be forgotten!

If you’re in the NY area, it’s worth a visit!  Just know that typically lines are at least an hour wait so be prepared!

When: September 9 through 11, from 12 to 8 p.m.
Where: 8 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn, NY

For more photos (so many to share, so little space!), follow me @fabgabblog on FB, Instagram and Twitter where I’ll be posting scenes from more rooms!

We had so much fun here and hope this post put a little joy in your day!  Please leave a comment!

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Dining by Design is DIFFA’s marquee event showcasing designers, manufacturers and creative individuals who bring their vision and passion to the table.  It’s seriously my favorite ‘trade show’ and I feel so lucky to live in NYC and to have attended it for the past 5+ years.  Dining by Design runs March 17 – 20 in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and all event proceeds go toward DIFFA’s work to fight HIV/AIDS.  This year, I was invited to a special media sneak peak and personal tour through the space.  There were so many fabulous finds – too many to feature here so I’ll focus on sharing my favorite creative spaces that featured my favorite colors, black and white.
This all white room sponsored by Benjamin and Moore featured variations on their white paint options.  Each square art piece that hung on the wall for instance, was painted in one of their popular shades of white and noted (title style) with the exact paint chip color. What a beautiful way to showcase your whites!
DIFFA dining by design
The florals, chairs and tablescape were simply breathtaking, don’t you think?
benjamin moore, dining by design 2016
Another all-white room that had me gasping was one designed with Crate & Barrel products.  Look how they created that art installation on the wall with their plates and bowls!
crate and barrel, art installation, tablescape, diffa 2016
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I now NEED to have those furry white chairs.  They’d look so fab next to my dining table.  And can’t you just see them at a vanity or office space too?  Also, can we talk for a minute about those cloche platters??  They make me want to move to a suburban house just to have the room to store these beautiful finds!
Moving onto the next space, this one featured a live grafitti artist who we were excited to see decorate the walls right before our very eyes. I couldn’t help but imagine how much fun my daughter would have had scribbling all over the walls and furniture in the same manner..
dining by design, art installation, home decor, tablescape trends
He was kind enough to pose for pictures and give me this amazing Pra-DUH sticker which I will treasure forever.  Hands off my sticker, Juliet!  This one is MOMMY’S!
grafitti art, fashion stickers, art diffa
Here is the finished room.
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Imagine getting to dine with a zebra, and a fashionable one at that!  This room’s fusion between fashion, function, and furnishings was from Echo, a brand long known beautiful prints and patterns.  Many know of the brand from their famous scarves, but they have creatively branched out into wraps, bags, rugs, table linens, wall coverings, gloves, outerwear, beach ware and more!  At their booth you could see the brand on the hale bay bench fabrics, on their wallpaper and on the tenting.
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Also interactive, they encouraged selfies with their polka-dotted zebra named Dot.  Who could resist?
diffa 2016, change your stripes
Kate Spade.  I just love everything about the brand.  To me it exudes happiness.  I love the bright pops of color against graphic black and white elements, the usage of stripes and polka dots and their quirky advertising.  So I was super psyched to see their table decor come to life at DIFFA.

diffa 2016, dining by design, kate spade dinnerware, kate spade table decorSAMSUNG CSC

kate spade diffa

Wouldn’t this be such a fun, girly place to have a girls’ brunch?  I would die.

For more video coverage of DIFFA 2016, follow me on Instagram @fabgabblog where I re-capped even more highlights!  And click here to see some DIFFA blog posts from past years!
Please leave a comment below with what your favorite vignette was. I’d love to hear!

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dance fashion

The Style Pointe fashion show invite intrigued me because I’ve danced for 12 years (ballet, tap, jazz, modern) and have always loved fashion.  Style Pointe melded ballet and modern dancers and choreographers with emerging fashion designers and proved to be an innovative and artful end to my New York Fashion Week.

style pointe

Just to give you an idea of how the two worlds collided, the dancer/models walked on pointe (tippy toes) all the way up and down the runway with the usual confident blank faced stare.  But at the end of the runway where a model usually poses, the dancer surprised us with her own fantastic flare.  After watching a week’s full of fashion shows, this unique runway strut really caught my attention!  And I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like if all top models were required to do a little dance-off at the end of their walk.  Pretty entertaining, I think!

IMG_8048 This format allowed for you to take in the clothes and appreciate the fluidity and movement so much more so than your standard runway show.  The full production involved having ‘models’ appear on stage far longer than an average runway.  If you think about it, you really only get to see the clothes for a few seconds as it whizzes past you in a fabulous flurry on a normal catwalk.  But here, you got to view it prancing across, flipping above, and leaping to the runway which added a whole other level of excitement and anticipation.

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And it seems the fashion world is starting to embrace this fusion of fashion with dance.  Opening Ceremony, hired the New York City Ballet dancers to strut incognito down their runways this season.  Their choreography centered around the idea of models falling down the runway

I love the element of surprise.  NYFW attendees sometimes need to be jolted out of their jaded attitudes.  The veteran fashionistas think they’ve seen it all.  Then they see a model fall (which elicits a group gasp).  Then they see another model fall in the same location.  Then they’re on the edge of their seats hoping it won’t happen again.  Then the next falling model gracefully transitions her fall into an epic dance move!?!?  Clever.  Very clever.

For those of you NY-ers who appreciate dance and fashion yet didn’t get an invite to these NYFW shows, don’t fret.  You can also view this new mix October 2nd-4th at Brookfield Place in Battery Park!  In a special event called ‘Move!’ Visionaire co-founder Cecilia Dean and noted writer David Colman, pairs artists with noted fashion designers to create one-of-a-kind experiences for the public to enjoy.   I don’t know about you but I’ve already marked my calendar for this one!

brookfield place move

 

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Mindrelic – Manhattan in motion from Mindrelic on Vimeo.

Things I love about NY:

  • the freedom to be who you want to be (where else can you live out every dream, dress/act/speak/live in any weird way and still be so accepted, still be so anonymous, still find your niche?)
  • endless selection (in restaurants, in people, in things to do, in shopping)
  • the eye candy (the beautiful people, the fashions, the cool hotels/lounges, the Parks, the museums, the Christmas windows)
  • the silly surprises (organized pillow fights in Union Square, Halloween doggie parades, the Easter bunny ice skating at Rockefeller Center, dancers in the subway train, Hello Kitty in Times Square)
  • the feeling you get walking down the streets the feeling of excitement, power, opportunity, romance, wonderment, glamour and possibility.

I heart New York.  What do YOU most love about NYC?

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