The Desert Meets the Big Apple

April 19, 2010 at 11:34 pm (Travel)

The Nor Cal infused desert girl made her way to NYC this weekend for a girl’s college trip reunion (miss you already Hadar, Jayme, Kelly and Amanda!). Our good friend made the plunge from Phoenix to the Big Apple and traded her views of Cacti for a view of Empire State building from her apartment. The trip was fabulous and confirms that nothing compares to a New York lifestyle. Let me start today by sharing some analogies I discovered between the Big Apple and the Valley of the Sun.

The Top 10 Differences between Phoenix and NYC — Yes, in my mind there are only ten. 🙂

  1. NYC has Bergdorf’s and rooftop dining overlooking Central Park. Arizona houses their sister store, Neiman Marcus and serves Popovers overlooking Camelback Road.
  2. NYC bars close at 5 a.m. so dinner typically begins at 10 p.m. AZ bars close at 2 a.m. so dinner begins at 7:00 p.m. There’s a good chance we’re asleep before the New Yorkers hit up their first club.
  3. Minimal cars, parking and extreme weather conditions mean New Yorkers can get pretty much anything delivered, including frozen yogurt (not fair). Because of Arizona’s sauna temperatures, we have drive-thru everything, including cleaners.
  4. Undercover cops in NYC drive around in cabs. In Arizona, undercover cops don’t.
  5. If you wear too many bright colors in NYC you’ll get asked if you’re from Miami. If you wear too much black in Arizona, you’ll receive condolences for your loss.
  6. In cold weather, New York bars pass out Snuggies for bar goers to wear over their carefully chosen outfits. This makes the bar look like a scene from a cult film. If an Arizonian wears a Snuggie to a bar, they’re asked where the bar crawl is.
  7. On Sundays, New Yorkers bring a whole new meaning to the term brunch…making it more like Sunday Funday. On any given weekend, you can find an Arizona pool party in every backyard and resort.
  8. In NYC, tourists treat Abercrombie and Fitch like visiting Buckingham Palace with hour-long lines out the door. In Arizona, Abercrombie and Fitch is the store of our 8th grade past. We just got H & M and plan on waiting for hours if Zara ever finds their way to town.
  9. In NYC, bedazzled headbands can be seen everywhere. In Arizona, bedazzled jeans blind the city. Let’s burn the jeans and pick up the headband trend instead.
  10. On any given NYC day, you have countless museums, shows, dining, shopping, festivals and fabulousness right at your manicured fingertips. In Arizona, you might have to do some digging, but with the right resources, you can make your own NYC experience right in the heart of our desert oasis.

In honor of the Desert Girl’s trip to the big city, here are a couple hot spot tips, should you find your way to the land of luxury anytime soon.

NYC Musts.

Ladies lunch at Bergdorf’s. On any given day, you may run in to NYC’s finest lunching and shopping at this cornerstone luxury store on  5th Avenue. But, who really cares when you have mouth-watering food that melts in your mouth, views of Central Park and an atmosphere that makes you wonder where you could hide from the staff so you never have to leave.  Lunching at Bergdorf’s after a day of shopping on 5th Avenue allows you to experience what some New Yorkers call a quiet Tuesday afternoon. I suggest you try to Lobster Mac and Cheese, the Lobster Napoleon, the Scallops, the Seafood Pasta or the Seafood Salad…or how about all of the above. For desert, please treat your taste buds to the S’Mores pudding. SATC fans, they filmed a scene for the upcoming movie at Bergdorf’s. Gossip Girl fans..Serena and Blaire are often spotted eating at this fine establishment. Just a little tv show trivia for you.

Here’s a secret friends. Yours truly just might possess the recipes of some of Bergdorf’s finest.  Lobster Napoleon anyone? Post a comment and share this blog with a friend and I just might send you a copy.

Magnolia’s vs. Crumbs – you decide

The foodie in me was in heaven this weekend. How could I not try everything NYC had to offer? My waistline isn’t very happy with me, but it’ll get over it and I don’t regret a single calorie. NYC offers more top of the line dining than anyone can even imagine, but they also happen to take credit for the cupcake obsession. I’m pretty sure someone like Betty Crocker created the cupcake, but I’ll let NYC take the credit just because they have some of the most to-die for bakeries around town.

Magnolias earned their stripes after a cameo appearance with Miranda and Carrie on SATC put them on the map. Now it’s normal for the bakery to have a line out the door – rain, snow or shine. We got lucky and bypassed the line. One chocolate cupcake later, I see what the hype’s all about and I’m ok with a $5 cupcake.

Crumbs is the grandfather of the cupcake phenomena and a box of 12 mini cupcakes goes for $18. But, with frosting that melts in your mouth and a menu filled with options like S’mores and Peanut Butter Cup, can you blame the price or popularity? Oprah gives her stamp of approval with her “Oprah Celebration Cupcakes.” Friends…they also ship.

This post could go on for days, but it’s time for me to say goodnight. Before I go, I’m going to leave you with some other hotspots you should check out when you’re in the Big Apple. Oh, and some pictures too of course!

Central Park – take a walk through Central Park, have a picnic, go running or bike on the trails. Be sure to stop by the Boat House where many a famous scene has been filmed for movies.

Little Italy – If you can’t make the 12 hour flight to Europe, get a taste of my favorite Country in all the world by traveling to Little Italy. The food and culture make this experience one you’ll never forget. Be sure to try a Caprese Salad and famous Canoli’s. You’ll feel Italian before you know it.

Broadway Musicals – While I sadly didn’t get to attend a Broadway musical this trip, I’ve been to NYC before and pretty much only went to shows. I was in musical heaven. On the day you arrive, go straight to the red stairs in Times Square. There, you can find tickets to NYC’s hottest shows for up to 70% off! You can only buy the tickets the day of the event so be  prepared to stand in line and get heckled by the street performers.

West Village– Hop in a cab and go right to Bleeker Street in the West Village. It’s filled with boutique shopping, gorgeous brownstones and of course…Magnolias! On your way, stop by a café for lunch. I suggest Café Cluny. The Curry Chicken Wrap is still on my mind. You may also run into some well-known stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker. Ask her about the new SATC movie for me.

Soho – Filled with even more shopping and just down the street from Union Square (yes, NYC has a Union Square), take your pocket-book to Soho and be sure to stop by Top Shop. Founded in the UK, this is the only Top Shop in the US. It’s a bit pricey but has the cutest and trendiest clothes in town.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral   If you’re Catholic or interested in the Catholic faith, be sure to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. With the gorgeous architecture and Archibishop saying Sunday morning mass, it’s an experience you’ll never forgtet.

Museums, Tours, Sightseeing and more! I’ve only named a few exciting ways to spend your time in NYC and I didn’t even touch upon the museums, tours, sightseeing and clubs NYC has to offer. I guess you’ll just have to find a flight deal and make your way to NYC to explore it!

I will leave you with some NYC photos to take a mental break for a moment and pretend like you’re on vacation.

A beautifully sunny day in Times Square

The fabulous view from my friend Kelly’s amazing apartment.

Imagine waking up to the view of the Empire State building every morning.

A great staircase leading up to one of the gorgeous brownstones in the West Village

Trees lining the streets and a feeling of freshness as you walk in the West Village.

Spring is in the air in NYC and the cherry blossoms on trees throughout the city makes the city shine.

My college friends (Kelly, Jayme and Hadar) blended right into the scenery and I think they could fit in quite nicely with West Villagers.

The famous cupcake shop itself. Magnolia Bakery.

It’s not a visit to NYC without making a purchase. Hadar and Louis were meant to be!


From Kings to Diplomats, the rooms of the Plaza has housed many a wonderful person over the years. Remember Home Alone 2 or Bride Wars?

I’m on the Chandleir hunt for my condo. I’d like to place an order for the one the Plaza has in their entrance please.

A gorgeous day in the City makes perfect weather for a stroll through Central Park.


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