Elevated Living: NYC Musts Old & New

An old adage usually goes something like, “Being around family should last the extent of fish in the fridge; 2-3 days max.” Alas, call me crazy, but time always seems too short when visiting my family; even after a week!

Fortunately in our maturity and growth, as both a family and individuals, we’ve developed quite the rhythm. Unfortunately, in spending time with them (and The City being so overwhelmingly full of exciting people to see and things to do) I have to be diligent in my “Must Visit” list.

Here are a few, yes a FEW, of my personal “NYC Musts,” God willing, weather pending.

1) Union Square Greenmarket:

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I grew up going to this farmer’s market as a kid. I distinctly remember being pushed around in a stroller, excited at the prospect of petting goats straight from the farm, where my parents went to get goat milk before it was trendy. (Such visionaries those two!) There were apples to snack on, fresh cider to sip, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a ‘sausage stick,’ while taking in the sites and sounds of farm fresh goodness abound.

To this day, if I’m in town on a Monday, Wednesday or obvious Saturday- the Union Square Greenmarket is a must. I grab a $2 bag of salted pretzels from Martin’s Pretzels and at least a 1/2 quart of apple cider from Breezy Hill Orchard. Oh, and in the winter, I never opt for cider donuts, but always pair their hot mulled cider with a molasses cookie. I don’t know how they do it, but they are always chewy no matter the time of day you purchase them!!! I grab my snacks and wander through the farm fresh goodness abound, like a kid in a farmer’s market.

2) East Village Cheese:

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$1 Brie. There. I said it. If you’ve read my blogs at all, you know, I’m into Frugality without compromise of enjoyment in any form. Even loving many of the finer things in life, I still cry; “With God as My Witness, I shall never go hungry again,” and East Village Cheese answers my cries and cravings without a huge dent in my wallet. Brie, Carr’s crackers, Prosciutto, and oh so much more are found hidden inside this hole in the wall establishment. Specials of the day are strewn across the storefront with signs on 8×11 pieces of paper with colored markers. I always try to shop here during the day on weekdays when it’s least crowded. However, if you do decide to stop in, ‘post Farmer’s Market on a Saturday,’ come with time, and much patience, to this unique gem.

3) L.A Burdick:

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I’m lucky enough to have this establishment not once, but twice in Boston (Harvard Square & Copley Square). However, I come to the Flat Iron, NYC location for my Dark Chocolate Grey Goose Martini. Are you kidding me? I mean seriously! The first time I had it, I fell in love. The way it coated my mouth and soothed my soul in a chocolate haven. The bustle of a tiny little European style cafe, was the perfect atmosphere to be lost in NYC, yet found inside that perfectly shaped V of a glass. Slowly sipping to The Point, enjoying the fresh chocolate shavings, that lasted until the decadent finale. Mon dieu, I can face anything after that. Even a long ride back to Boston. 🙂

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Frugal? Yes. Cheap? Never

As a frequent traveler between Brooklyn, NYC where I was born and raised, and Boston, MA my current home, (#YankeesForever) I have tried many a routes, services and options to connect the two as a passenger. As a college student, and even in my post collegiate days, I was always scouring for the fastest and cheapest availability; which was usually never a match. The most popular, affordable, and being in Brooklyn convenient of these options, was “The Chinatown Bus.” Cheap may be an option, but after a bus full of infested cockroaches falling from the air conditioning units I soon realized it was not the only option.

The fundamental aspect to understand whether one is being Frugal and when one is being Cheap, no matter how broke you are, is knowing your worth. Are there other extenuating circumstances? Always. Does Whole Foods accept EBT? I believe not. My opinion clearly stems from the availability of being fortunate enough to: Have Options.

On my latest trip home, being now, wherein which I write from an Amtrak whizzing 20 minutes south of Providence, RI, I am enjoying a Brooklyn Beer Summer Ale, homemade popcorn and two seats to myself. I was proactive enough to provide my own Adult Bevy (it is Happy Hour y’all) and snacks thus saving some funds. Always traveling with my trusty water bottle (I hate paying for water when I can bottle at home!) I opted to splurge on a sandwich for the road.

Many think of “Amtrak” and believe they can’t afford it. Instead, because I booked two weeks in advance, I was able to score a $49 OW (one way) fair. Greyhound/ Peter Pan is known to charge as much as $40 OW for an even longer bus ride. Also, signing up for Amtrak’s Frequent Traveler Miles program (Free) I earn miles towards trips.*

This is something I think that comes up a lot, with my peers, friends, and even family. We believe so many things to be unattainable, instead of spending time figuring out how they can be attainable. We think we lack worth in the form of being able to afford something, instead of taking the time to be proactive, persistent, and patience in planning our course of action. I’m sitting in a seat for $130+ easy, yet I have two for $49. People on this train are paying $6 for Coors Light (Bless your heart) and I’m chilling with Real Beer; if that helps to further my point.

Which, in summary is this:

You make your own decisions.

Make sure they are in your best interest, serving your best worth.

These are the only ways to Elevate Your Everyday.

Oh and that bus I no longer ride has this on their website: “Suspending all buses service to compliances a requested by US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for inspections and repair services.” Yeah. About that. So cheers for now, I have a beer to drink and a view to enjoy.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate The Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

*Create an email account for any and all “Frequent” travel, dining, whatever cards- AS LONG AS THEY ARE FREE! So many gifts out there waiting to be claimed by just being “A Member”