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Archive for the year 2014

2014

10 Fun Things To Explore in New York’s SoHo

September 29, 2014 by  

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When we think of spending the day in New York City’s SoHo, the first (and perhaps only) activity that pops into our heads is SHOPPING!  And while, yes, it’s totally the truth that SoHo is filled to the brim with any and every store you could possibly imagine–all the way from the top designers to tiny boutiques with budding no-names–there’s more to SoHo than clothes. Today, we’ve partnered with our friends at TripGo to take you around to all our favorite non-fashion forward stops in SoHo.  TripGo is a handy dandy app that connects your calendar with real-time transport suggestions, providing all your door-to-door options for easy breezy comparison.  Basically, a New Yorkers best friend.  Before heading out for the day, I plugged in my locations (below), plus my travel preferences (subway + walking), and was provided an optimized schedule for my day in SoHo.  First stop…breakfast!

1. Chobani

While a yogurt bar may sound about as exciting as a bag of rocks, let me promise you, this place is deliciously worthy of a visit every single time I’m in the neighborhood.  They have Sweet (toasted coconut + pineapple), Savory (cucumber + olive oil), and Seasonal creations that are hands-down…

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Brasserie Style Merchant Boston Wows With Presentation + Taste

September 29, 2014 by  

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Brasserie style Merchant near Boston’s Downtown Crossing surprises for a few reasons. First of all, when I lived in the Boston area now close to ten years ago, I never spent time near Downtown Crossing, a central part of Boston that has some stores and office buildings, but very few great restaurants worth mentioning. So, when I learned about Merchant’s location, I wasn’t expecting much. When you first walk in, you’re greeted with a standard brasserie style venue with a classic Boston flare, which was only surpassed by the Irish waiter, who was gracious and let’s just say, fit right in. When I saw that they had fresh oysters on the menu, I immediately relaxed and knew the evening was going to be okay. After oysters, we moved onto the Maine mussels, which is served in a green curry with sake. Also a “must order” is the Dayboat Tuna Sashimi, something you wouldn’t expect from a Boston brasserie. The chef services the dish with avocado mousse and crispy tempura. They also do a delicious homemade country pate with whole grain mustard, carrot pickles (yes really), and of course, grilled country toast, for a l’il…

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Legal Harborside in Boston, Not Quite Like the Others…

September 29, 2014 by  

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Legal Harborside is Legal Sea Foods’ 20,000 square foot flagship property on the Boston Waterfront, comprising three floors and three different concepts under one (retractable) roof.  And, of course like other Legal Sea Food restaurants, it is notorious for its fresh and wide assortment of seafood menu offerings. We opted for the third floor to take advantage of their exquisite chef’s cooking, the fabulous views and top notch wine list.
Legal Harborside’s third floor promenade deck offers a four-season rooftop lounge and bar as well as cosy seating in front of windows with great views of the pier.  There’s also a copper-clad fireplace which is perfect for visits in colder months. We were there this past August, so the weather was perfect, but decided not to sit on the patio since there was a fairly noisy concert next door at the time we were there — in summer months, it’s worth checking the concert schedule if you don’t want to compete with the noise. That said, if you do end up sitting inside, the views are equally stunning however and in my case, it allowed me easy access to…

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The Cultural Side to Columbus Ohio

September 29, 2014 by  

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Until recently, I thought of Columbus, Ohio as a dull Midwest city without the “hip factor” however there’s plenty to keep the culturally interested engaged. If you have the chance, stop in at the university’s Wexner Center for the Arts, which frequently hosts exhibits that you can’t catch at the Columbus Art Museum. Additionally, here’s a few things worth exploring.

Short North Arts District

This area just south of Ohio State University takes the crown as Columbus’s most hipster-heavy district. Art is everywhere, including on the sides of many of the brick buildings. You can take a self-guided walking tour of the area that shows you Short North’s best public arts displays. Of course, I’m sure your walking tour will suffer a few delays by distractions of all the fascinating shops, art galleries and cool restaurants. A highlight of Short North is the Italian Village Neighborhood, which has beautiful historical buildings and a down-to-earth vibe. Italian Village also has great coffee at places like One Line Coffee and Impero Coffee — and what better place for hipsters to gather than in a coffee shop that isn’t Starbucks?

German Village

To explore Columbus in all its hipster glory, you might want to stay in downtown…

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Quaint Rockport For All Things New England on the Massachusetts North Shore

September 29, 2014 by  

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I love Rockport and although I hadn’t been back for years before this recent trip, I used to live in the area and spent many a’ summer and fall day and night biking, hiking and eating in her peripheral vision. This charming predominantly summer town lies about an hour’s (depending on traffic) drive northeast from Boston on the Massachusetts North Shore. (approximately 40 miles) It had been 9 or 10 years since my last visit to the North Shore, so it was a welcome treat to get to spend so much time there this past summer. There are plenty of things to take in both in the main town of Rockport itself, the charming artist colony in Gloucester nearby (see our separate write up on Gloucester), any of the neighboring beaches or Plum Island which is a stone’s throw away. Located at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula, Rockport is not short of stunning views and charming landscapes regardless of which direction you look. You’re surrounded by the ocean with its ever so picturesque port where boats pull up after a lazy excursion on Atlantic waters.…

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The Authentic Lobster Pool, Picnic Table Style on Rockport’s Coast

September 28, 2014 by  

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A very special and unique restaurant on the Massachusetts North Shore is a gem called The Lobster Pool in Rockport. What makes this place so special and unique is that in the hands of this very casual atmosphere are long time veterans of the area who believe in keeping New England tradition alive through their love of lobsters and seafood…local Massachusetts lobster that is, NOT Maine lobster. When we were there, it was sadly the only rainy day we had on our trip to the North Shore, so we didn’t sit outside, which is something you want to count on doing if the weather is good. The Lobster Pool has a west-facing view over the ocean and there are picnic tables outside, all with that spectacular ocean view. While the venue may be a “humble shack” of sorts, the hospitality and service is out of this world and the lobster is as fresh as it gets. The restaurant is obviously known for their lobsters (steamed or baked), lobster rolls, Quesadillas, haddock, clams and scallops. They source their lobsters from Captain Joe’s and Sons in Gloucester down…

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Nature “Wins” on Bike Routes in Toronto

September 28, 2014 by  

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Fall is a great time of year to cycle nearly everywhere, but particularly in Canada. Specifically, Toronto is a pretty great place if you’re a cyclist. There are several bike paths on city streets and several parks throughout the city that allow you to explore the off the beaten path gems. Among my favourite biking routes is through High Park and along the lakeshore. There’s plenty to see all while breathing in some fresh air. Here are some of the sites I took in recently in Toronto. image image image image image image The last one was a bit of a surprise. It was a Naval graduation ceremony. Have some favourite biking trails in Toronto or in your own backyard?


Emerson Inn By The Sea, Where New England Charm Meets Ocean Views

September 28, 2014 by  

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Meet Emerson Inn By The Sea, a charming and authentic inn nestled on the ocean in Massachusetts’ historical Rockport.  The inn is intimate with only 36 rooms, all of them unique in character and presentation. Imagine a massive old historical house on the ocean that has been renovated but just ever so slightly to bring in some of the modern amenities you’d expect for a luxury boutique stay while keeping the lovely style of yesteryear. This property exudes the charm and nostalgia of the past yet there’s wifi, TV, mini-refrigerators and air conditioning. Imagine waking up to this view every morning. Fog, rain, mist or sunshine, it’s hard to beat this breathtaking scenery.   Here’s a view of the inn we took as we were walking up from the water after taking a stroll along the rocks which I would recommend doing early in the morning or close to sunset. Of course, the best part about the inn in my opinion is the front porch which is decked with Adirondack-like chairs from left to right. The very same charming chairs are scattered across the lawn as well,…

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