Start saving your frequent flyer miles now…
Petting an owl while sipping hot cocoa from a toilet is the next big thing.
From ice festivals and romantic concerts to luxurious hotel packages, New York City’s five boroughs are the ideal place to discover and cherish romance this Valentine’s Day.
Share a special Valentine’s Day experience in New York City next month. Whether visitors have already found or are hoping to meet their one true love, New York City’s five boroughs offer a range of fun and romantic experiences this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the five boroughs include:
Carnegie Hall: In a special program of classics from musical theater and the Great American Songbook, Jessye Norman and Mark Markham will mesmerise audiences on February 14 at 8pm with a recital of songs by master music makers including Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Cole Porter. For more information and to buy tickets, go to carnegiehall.org
Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, visitors can celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fourth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with live DJs. Purchase tickets at centralparknyc.org.
NYC Chocolatiers: Between French-style truffles in Manhattan, Austrian treats in Queens and a feast of raw chocolates in Brooklyn, the City is experiencing a chocolate boom. For a comprehensive list of local chocolatiers, visit nycgo.com.
Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc. will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 14, kicking off at 10am. The race will take place at Hudson River Park‘s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.
New York Transit Museum: This February, the New York Transit Museum will welcome all the could-be lovers on our transit system to the Fifth Annual Missed Connections Party, inspired by Craigslist’s Missed Connections classifieds. This sexy, fun and subterranean event will kick off at 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 11, at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights. To purchase tickets go to blackbaudhosting.com.
On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry meets Sally in When Harry Met Sally. For more information, go to onlocationtours.com.
Romeo + Juliet at Lincoln Center: Next month, the New York City Ballet performs Romeo + Juliet at Lincoln Center. Shakespeare’s immortal tale of tragic love translates into a powerfully moving full-length ballet, with a famed climax that never fails to affect audiences. Performances will take place February 13–22, with tickets available at nycballet.com.
St. George Theatre: In Staten Island’s St. George, visitors can celebrate with A Valentine’s Day Cabaret: Love Songs, Showtunes and Standards, presented by Staten Island’s Shakespeare Theatre. Tickets are available at stgeorgetheatre.com.
The Rejection Show Valentine’s Day Heartbreak Haven: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue hosts the cult-favorite comedy series, The Rejection Show, which will regale the audience with an evening of its best breakup, heartbreak and love-related performances. Purchase tickets at littlefieldnyc.com.
Valentine’s Day at the New York Botanical Garden: In this Valentine’s Day workshop at the Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden, kids can sample Mayan-inspired hot chocolate and other chocolates from around the world, while learning about living cacao and vanilla plants. Each ticket also includes an All-Garden Pass for a participant and one adult to enjoy access to all of the Botanical Garden’s offerings. Tickets can be purchased here: nybg.org.
Valentine’s Day Lunch Cruise Aboard Spirit’s New York Cruise: This Valentine’s Day, couples and families can enjoy an all-new lunch buffet by Food Network’s Chopped champion and celebrity chef Eric Levine, along with a backdrop of some of New York City’s most famous sights. For more information, go to entertainmentcruises.com.
Wave Hill: This Valentine’s Day, Wave Hill in the Bronx is offering a special cookie-decorating event. Use sanding sugars, cookie icing and a variety of sprinkles to design your own cookies. Fill a box with your creations to show that certain someone how much you love them. More information: wavehill.org.
With hundreds of museums and cultural institutions located throughout the five boroughs, visitors and locals can purchase personalised gifts that are unique to New York City.
Find distinctive gifts at various museum and cultural institution shops throughout the five boroughs:
For more than 50 years, the American Folk Art Museum, located near Lincoln Center, has featured works from self-taught artists from the United States and abroad. The museum’s gift shop sells a selection of unique folk art pieces, from home decor to jewelry, similar to the displays seen throughout the museum (folkartmuseum.org).
With products ranging from jewelry to puzzles, the American Museum of Natural History has gifts for all ages. The museum’s three-level store offers a different shopping experience on each floor, including The Museum Shop, The Shop for Earth & Space, Cosmic Shop, Dino Store and Exhibition Shops. Gift ideas include educational books and games, apparel, stuffed animals, gems and minerals, science kits, posters and fossil replicas (amnh.org).
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, known for its contemporary art exhibitions, will be launching a holiday pop-up shop in collaboration with Puerto Rican fair-trade retailer Concalma The Store through Thursday, January 15. The holiday shop will feature accessories, T-shirts, books, home goods and iconic handbags (bronxmuseum.org).
One of the largest wildlife conservation parks in the country, the world-renowned Bronx Zoo is open year-round. Visitors are encouraged to come when the weather cools down, as many of the animals are more active then, making for an entertaining visit. The zoo gift shop offers DVDs, books and more (bronxzoo.com).
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s garden shop has an extensive selection of bulbs and seeds, making great gifts for those on your list with a green thumb. The shop also carries garden supplies, books for adults and children, indoor plants, jewelry and apparel featuring the garden’s logo. Plants for sale include bonsai, orchids and tropicals (bbg.org).
With permanent collections featuring ancient Egyptian masterpieces, African art and European painting, the Brooklyn Museum is full of fascinating exhibits. Newly renovated in 2012, the Brooklyn Museum’s shop offers a variety of gifts including books, toys and prints. With a special section dedicated to Made in Brooklyn, visitors will find unique art, jewelry, bath products and apparel made by local artisans from the borough (brooklynmuseum.org).
Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town dates back to the colonial period, bringing alive American history with over 30 original structures and artifacts from the 17th century. The museum, which presents events, exhibits and concerts, also has a unique gift shop, featuring a wide selection of books discussing the history of Staten Island and, more specifically, Richmond Town (historicrichmondtown.org).
The Louis Armstrong House Museum celebrates the life and legacy of the famous jazz musician, set in his home in Corona, Queens. For music lovers, the museum store offers CDs, DVDs and books relating to Armstrong’s life, jazz history and African-American history. Additional gift ideas include tote bags, Frisbees, T-shirts and more (louisarmstronghouse.org).
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum offers three ways to view the museum: a walking tour of the neighbourhood, various building tours and an interactive Meet the Residents tour featuring a costumed interpreter. The gift shop, located adjacent to the museum, features a wide selection of books and souvenirs related to New York City’s immigrant history, in addition to a range of unique children’s books and toys (tenement.org).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the largest museum in the nation, uniquely develops products based on collections being shown in the museum to be sold in its gift shop. Items sold include jewelry, home decor, textiles, stationery, printed reproductions, calendars and books, which can also be purchased via the museum’s online gift shop (metmuseum.org).
At the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), shoppers can find designer gift ideas, including glass, ceramics and wood for home decor; fashion accessories and jewelry; stationery, books and children’s toys. Some examples are bookends, menorahs, totes and bowls (madmuseum.org).
The Museum of the City of New York has a selection of New York City–themed products, ideal for those looking to share their NYC experience. Gift ideas include memorabilia, books, clothing and more from its NYC Subway Collection. A fun option is the Eat Like a New Yorker tote, which gives tips to fit in with the locals, like, “Fold your pizza in half the long way” (mcny.org).
With multiple locations and offerings, the Museum of Modern Art has a lot to offer those looking for holiday gifts in New York City. At the flagship gift shop, visitors can purchase art reproductions, modern-design objects for homes and books for all ages (moma.org).
The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, is dedicated to the art, history, technique and technology of the moving image in all its forms. The museum’s gift shop has books for all ages, a wide selection of DVDs, and specially designed museum souvenirs that make for perfect gifts for film fanatics. Additionally, the museum hosts frequent book signings, offering the opportunity to give a personalized holiday gift (movingimage.us).
At the New Museum’s gift shop, visitors can find a unique and comprehensive selection of contemporary art books and other gifts. Books include monographs, critical texts and visual reference volumes. The store also sells CDs, DVDs, two- and three- dimensional art home decorations, apparel and accessories (newmuseum.org).
The New York Aquarium, located in Brooklyn’s Coney Island, has multiple exhibits and feeding shows for families to enjoy. There are two gift shops on the grounds, located at either end of the aquarium. Gifts that can be purchased include stuffed animal replicas, clothing, children’s books, jewelry, key chains and postcards (nyaquarium.com).
The New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens, has exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities relating to science, technology, engineering and math. The gift shop, located in the museum and online, offers science books, clothing, hats, mugs, calendars, posters, toys and games (http://nysci.org/).
The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library has a wide selection of gifts, appropriate for all ages. For adults, gifts include apparel, accessories, American history books, stationery, home decor and jewelry. Children’s gifts include books, toys, educational games and themed gifts based on the museum’s Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans exhibit (nyhistory.org).
The New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn is one of the largest museums in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history. The museum shop offers books, wooden train toys, apparel, cell phone cases, home accessories, magnets, posters, puzzles and stationery. Visitors can also purchase personalized gifts ranging from key chains to umbrellas (mta.info/mta/museum).
With a newly expanded venue, the Queens Museum continues to grow as a space with contemporary art from around the world. Located in Flushing, the museum’s gift shop offers a special section with goods crafted by local artists from the borough. Additionally, the gift shop sells historic memorabilia, T-shirts and more. (queensmuseum.org)
The Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea is home to a comprehensive collection of art from the Himalayas and surrounding regions. Visitors can purchase fair-trade cashmere shawls, scarves, books, candles, artisan jewelry and handcrafts at the gift shop, or attend a happy hour, live music performance, film screening or other special event (rubinmuseum.org).
On the Upper East Side, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is known for its exhibitions of international modern and contemporary art. The museum’s gift shop sells a variety of books, children’s gifts, jewelry and more. A bunny girl sculpture titled “I Have Seen Happiness,” created by Xiang Jing, is one the shop’s featured gifts for the holiday season (guggenheim.org).
At the hands-on Staten Island Children’s Museum, families can partake in interactive educational activities where kids can bring home handmade presents for family and friends. The museum’s Walk-In Workshops have a limitless supply of crafts, paints, glitter and glue, which children can use to show off their creative side (sichildrensmuseum.org).
In the Bronx, Wave Hill’s gift shop features items from local artists that want to connect people with nature. Gifts that accomplish that mission include educational toys, handcrafted soaps, seasonal plants, nature-inspired ceramics, glass and jewelry. Another unique gift idea from Wave Hill is honey from the garden’s hives (wavehill.org).
Lucy King, a student of Sydney’s The Fashion Institute in Surry Hills, had the amazing opportunity to fulfil a dream she’d had for years. She attended New York Fashion Week last month as a fashion intern – and it’s safe to say to experience has changed her forever. Here are some of Lucy’s experiences:
Tome was by far my favourite show. Working backstage was amazing, the rush of energy I felt the whole time makes it the most memorable. The clothes were beautiful and so were the models we were getting ready. Famous faces of the likes of Shanina Shaik and Jessica Hart to name a few were present backstage, it was a brilliant start to kick off my time in New York.
I am definitely in love with the old world nature of cobble stone streets in a modern city. The West Village and Soho is full of history and hidden gems. I roamed the streets of these boroughs for hours on end. Soho is fantastic for shopping, where as the West Village is more so I place I would like to call home. It’s quaint and quiet streets definitely make you feel much more relaxed and there are plenty of nail salons and day spas to visit in your spare time.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is much better to go to at night; according to many New Yorkers I met. I visited at nine o’clock on a Sunday night and still lined up for an hour plus. Though the view is completely worth it! The silence and cold crisp air of the night made it a beautiful moment of my trip to remember. Definitely worth the wait.
The Museum of Modern Art is great to spend part of your day at. Unlike The Met, which will take a full day to see and completely exhaust you. MoMa is in walking distance to Times Square and a five minute cab ride further downtown, where as The Met is all the way up in the Upper East Side. Central Park is right across from it though which is definitely worth a walk through.
New York Earth Room
One of my absolute favourite things I did in New York was see the New York Earth Room. One thing I love about this city is there is always something to do which will not cost you a thing. In a second floor loft in SoHo, there is a huge art installation which is made up of soil in a white room, with natural light streaming in from the floor length windows. If you love art like me this is definitely worth a look. Something so simple can really be quite beautiful and if you’re passing through Wooster St, just take a few minutes out of your day to take a look.
The Great Frog and The Cast are hands down my favourite shops in the entire city. The Great Frog makes sterling silver jewellery which is really beautifully crafted. They also have an amazing antique store hidden in the back which is worth checking out. The Cast is owned by a lovely couple Elisa and Chuck who hand make everything in store. They specialise in custom leather jackets, so this is definitely my go to place for anything leather!
The Smile/Café Gitane
One of the best brunch spots in the city! The food here is so natural and healthy and completely to die for. I feel that having sunday brunch in New York is a civic obsession. Expect a lot of mimosas and organic produce! My favourite.
Words and images via Lucy King
A trip around the world cannot be complete without visiting some of the best-known fashion capitals. Whether you’re into clothes, accessories, shoes (or the complete trifecta), be sure to jot down these locations if you’re ever close-by, or planning a global trip.
A fairly obvious first choice since France is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious fashion labels in the entire world. Shop at the world famous Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores located in the bustling Boulevard Haussmann.
Don’t forget to check out Coco Chanel’s infamous apartment – if you can get in, (they are known to be highly exclusive). But if that’s not really your thing, head down to the south of France for some locally produced and manufactured espadrilles and knick-knacks made right in front if your eyes.
If vintage shopping is what you’re after, then Amsterdam will definitely deliver the goods. Home to a large variety of vintage boutiques, each product is specially sourced and of the highest standard and quality.
Episode is located in three central locations which boasts a large assortment of clothes and accessories.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Known worldwide for it’s duty-free shopping, Dubai is home to a number of large and low-scale boutiques where you’re bound to find a number of clothes and accessories.
The Dubai Mall caters to men, women and children and is open until 2am almost every single night.
New York City, United States of America
NYC is known for it’s consignment shops where you can easily trade in one of your designer items for cash, or even put it towards a new product from the store. While most of these stores sell online, the best way to catch a bargain (without paying added tax), is by purchasing in-store.
Ina in SoHo stocks a variety of vintage and classic bags which are often difficult to get your hands on.
Images via Alpha City Guides, Blackdreamer, Fashion Modern Idea, What You Could Do
If the inspiration of almost all of Woody Allen’s films wasn’t captivating enough, or the images of fast-paced city life have you head over heels, it seems that The Big Apple is on everyone’s bucket list. Whether you’re planning an upcoming trip or need a little bit of convincing, below are a few reasons why you should definitely book that one-way ticket.
Even if you aren’t a face-painting sports fanatic, there is no denying that New York City is home to some of the most iconic teams in the world. Yankees, Giants, Rangers and even the US Open have home games where you can spectate and capture some great pictures for the photo album. The Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex is sprawled out onto a 30-acre lot where visitors can participate in various sports activities as well.
Visit: Asphalt Green – 555 E 90th St, New York
New York City is home to an enormous amount of cafés and restaurants which serve up a number of cuisines on a daily basis. From Little Italy to the iconic cronut, there is so much to try in New York City – just be patient and find the time to wait in line. There is definitely a reason why there are Food Tours taking tourists up and down some of the most iconic eateries in the city.
Visit: Magnolia Bakery – 401 Bleecker Street (Corner of West 11th St & Bleecker St), New York
What better place to spend all of your saving money, right? The city is lined with endless department stores, pop-up’s and specialty boutiques which will no-doubt sell something that you’ve been lusting after. Make like Carrie Bradshaw and visit Lower Manhattan, Chinatown, SoHo and The East Village for some great purchases.
Visit: Barneys New York – 660 Madison Avenue, New York
NYC is known for it’s sky-scrapers, bridges, art-deco buildings and also it’s iconic monuments such as the Statue of Liberty. The entire city combines new contemporary buildings such as 41 Cooper Sqaure (established in 2009), compared with the pre-war beautiful tree-lined streets of the Upper East Side.
Visit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – 1071 5th Avenue, New York
Images via Aaron Symons, CBS Tampa, Eat This NY, Shop Gotham
In the words of Alicia Keys, New York City is the place dreams are made of. And for so aspiring professionals, myself included, we are willing to go anywhere to chase down a dream. Whether your ambition is to move into a swanky flat in the city or venture to the land Down Under, finding a job in your dream city is never easy. But when faced with those (seemingly) vast, job applications, you can see equally vast opportunities – and adventures. The hardest part about planning a big move is actually landing the job to make moving a reality. Here’s some tips on how to land a gig in your dream city:
Bucket list #1: Live in (insert dream city here)
Type “dream city” into Google, and you’ll be bombarded with thousands of search results. Forget everything you’ve seen on Pinterest: the sunsets, model poses with delectable eats, and creeper crowds of random people having fun in the streets. You might be down for any adventure, but it’s crucial to narrow it down to one or two of your dream cities to keep from breaking the bank.
Don’t get us wrong, we’d love to frolic along the beaches of Fiji or hit up sun, sand, and surf in Hawaii, but you need to find a winning combination. Hone in on looking for jobs in a couple cities that have both summer excursions and career advancement opportunities. If you find yourself not feeling the love, take time to regroup and come up with a new strategy. Coming up with a long-term plan with your dream city as the end goal is a good stepping stone for opening up your options.
Look into companies that have multiple offices with one being in your dream city. It may not be exactly how you want to kick off your wanderlust escape, but you’ll have the opportunity to transfer down the road.
Upon grazing the potential job landscape, one has to use their primal instincts and connect with the herd. No, we’re not asking you to run wild into the Outback with the dingoes. One of the first steps you should take when searching for jobs in your dream city is reaching out to everyone (we mean everyone) you know who is living in the location you’re looking to move to. Sort through your LinkedIn connections to see if you know anyone who lives in the area or sign up for Google Voice phone number with the local area code. You can also hit up your college alumni association, this is a great way to remain plugged in.
Knowing someone who can connect you with a company contact, or provide you with a local address to borrow for your resume can be what you need to get to the next tier before getting an interview.
Book a ticket and just leave
At the very beginning of the job-hunting process, start saving for a travel nest egg, this chunk of change is what’s going to help you get to the last checkpoint. Schedule a trip a few months before your ideal move date and request an interview from all your job leads during the window of time you’ll be in town. By reaching out to request an interview on a specific date you might be more likely to get a response in a timely manner. Also, use your trip to scout out places to live and find new companies you may not have found through your online search. You can use MeetUp to search for events going on in the area. Getting your feet on the ground can greatly increase your chances of getting a new job title.
Don’t forget the nitty gritty details
If you’re moving within your own country, you can skip this pesky part but if you’re looking for work in an international company – you’ll need to understand their rules. In Australia it’s pretty common to ask to be hosted but not every company offers this option. This is the time to fully understand your own skills and what you can offer this company that their own citizens can’t. Go ahead and brag, this is the time when the spotlights all on you – let your inner narcissist shine. If you’re not in a rush, get those extra certifications you’ve always said you’d take, take a leadership course and brush up on your negotiation skills – you’re going to need them.
Keep moving forward
If all things go according to plan and you’ve followed some of the previous tips, we can only hope you’re packing up your life along with some snazzy new desk accessories for your new digs in a matter of a couple months. If location has been a huge barrier in your search the next step might be to bite the bullet and make the move anyway. You can always keep your items in storage if needed. This is definitely the most costly option, but you’ll be in your dream city 24/7 making it that much easier to get that job.
Throughout the process of moving also make sure to be tracking your expenses and hold on to receipts. Your employer might offer to reimburse you or you could be eligible to deduct the move as a job-related expense on your taxes, which would be the cherry on top after landing a job in your dream city!
The journey to your dream city can at times have some nightmarish obstacles, but as long as you do proper planning and stay fiercely focused you’ll be well prepared for buying that one-way ticket.
By Leah Rise, an accomplished world traveller and wolfdog charmer. She lives and breathes the balance of Search + Social every day in her dream city of Sydney, Australia. After touring over 20 countries, Leah has established her home base with seoWorks leading and developing strategies for several global clients.
There are lots of pretty girls in the world but Lara Bingle has certainly made a business out of it. Not just by modelling and red carpet appearances but also by a string of public ‘dramas’ and a steady flow of selfies – often topless. To silence critics who claim she’s another Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, Lara makes her money promoting clothing brands and attending events the rest of us would never be invited to. (Wait, isn’t that exactly what Paris and the Kardashian sisters do?)
Despite parting ways with another management team, don’t feel too sorry for Lara. She has a new beau, actor Sam Worthington, and they look head over heels in love. Why wouldn’t they be? Lara has a frankness about her that is refreshing. She tells the truth in interviews, even when her publicist is frantically gesturing for her to stop talking. And Sam is on track to become one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. But is Lara a liability?
Recently, her impulsiveness becomes an issue when she became embroiled in a paparazzi beat-down, while the new couple strolled around New York. In February, Lara was followed for four hours by paparazzo, Li Sheng. Li followed her from store to store and called out her name relentlessly. One of the many reasons celebrities leave New York is that it is impossible to get away from photographers. Every time you turn a corner, there they are. In Los Angeles, celebs jump in a car and disappear into their compound where the paparazzi can’t snap them.
What is an everyday occurrence for all NYC-based A-listers took a nasty turn when, after pestering Lara constantly, she turns and storms towards the paparazzo and strikes Sheng and/or grabbing for his camera. What Lara did after she hit/pushed the photographer was call Sam and plead with him to come and help her. When Sam arrives, she can be heard telling him the photographer kicked her. Sam then hits the guy. He could have had a stern word with Sheng and slunk off but, when your girlfriend claims to have been attacked, the instinct is to start swinging and ask questions later.
It seems Lara accidentally forgot to mention she approached the photographer first and grabbed for his camera (where he can be heard yelping, as if getting attacked, on video footage.) After Sam allegedly strikes the photographer four times in the face, Lara keeps trying to wrestle the camera from Sheng. She doesn’t have anything to lose, her career is built on public spectacle. But, with an assault charge, Sam could lose his ability to work or possibly even enter the US again. He is one of Australia’s most talented actors and it would be a shame for him to lose those opportunities because no one can find an insurance company willing to insure him (a necessity for even low-budget films) with a felony conviction.
In Hollywood, anything goes if it’s not caught on camera. Video of these altercations is what the paparazzi make money on and Sheng hit the jackpot that day. He made cash both ways: selling the footage to news outlets and the inevitable settlement he will receive for his injuries. What is uncertain is whether the blissful union of Sam and Lara can withstand her public displays of affection/affliction…