New York brutal winter escape.

Coat: BeBe
Boots:  DUO Boots
Handbag: Big Buddha






New York is well known for its nightlife scenes: perhaps a little too well known since the city never sleeps. Everyone loves a decent bar, but it can be hard to define what a "decent" bar actually is. In fact there are so many bars in which to consume cheap alcohol during happy hours or midnight drunken phase and I spent the last year trying to answer that question, researching (aka drinking too many hardcore ciders and fireball shots) What I found? There is nothing better than a dive bar. Rather than getting all dressed up (or for someone who bailed from any sort of gala event) and spending extra money to journey across town, wouldn't you rather just walk to the corner looking however you want with the few bucks you already have in your pocket? It's often both the worst bar you can imagine and the best bar you go to. You might recognize all the people there, unpolished, loud, drunk shouting, imperfect people, just like us but "almost" everyone minds their own business.

From thousands of bar in NYC, here's six from my personal favorite to whet your whistle.

Whisky Tavern (my original regular to go bar when I used to work in downtown, A mystical find in the depths of Chinatown/Little Italy)

Food! Yes! They have food here! Gotta fall in love with this place, this is a superb location for all sort of party or a fun group outing. One of my favorite owner/bartender/entertainer was Rob; he was full of many amusing hijinks that he played on all his patrons. This may be cliche but Rob felt like family to me and my friends, not just a regular bartender, in fact, he is family :) Check out the photo booth and outdoor seating :)

79 Baxter Street, New York, NY 10013
(212) 374-9119

God sister's birthday party in Whisky Tavern. I'm in the middle.

That's Rob!

Be ready to meet the dildo duos.



Jimmy's Corner (the main reason for non-tourists to visit Times Square)

Thanks to my friend Guy who took me there! If you're looking for a bar with history, come here! A well known boxing themed bar in the heart of Times Squares. Owner Jimmy Glenn, himself a former boxer and now a professional trainer, adorned this Times Square watering hole with all types of photos, posters and memorabilia dedicated to the “sweet science.” When there’s a match on the tube, there’s no better place in town to catch it than here. Do not come here with your empty stomach although there's a few "Halal" food truck nearby, perfect New York's drunken food.

140 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
(212) 221-9510

Art collector Guy Frazier and Owner Jimmy Glenn
It was a Michael Jackson kind a night.

It's like traveling back to the 70s.

Famous patron's photography - timeless


Peter Dillion's (a touch of Ireland near Grand Central)

I started to come here a lot since I work in midtown nowadays. Great happy hour specials  and decent bar selection. (although they don't have my favorite Stella cider) The owners and bartenders are great,  very friendly and make you feel comfortable. Thumbs up to my favorite bartenders Greg and Eifa. In weekdays they have live music and Karaoke night every Fri and Sat (get your dance shoes ready). Pool table available for pool lovers (they have some serious pool players in Dillion's). Atmosphere is clean and comfortable but no food, ordering in or make a stop down the block at Shake Shack might just be the solution for that if you decide to show up with empty stomach.

130 E 40th St ( between 3rd Ave & Lexington Ave ) New York, NY 10017
(212) 213-3998

$4 shots
A touch of vintage Irish. That's Eifa.

Who's the happy guy? That's Greg!

Serious pool players, I mean really really serious. ;)




International Bar (perfect example of a hole in the wall bar)

Perfect place to grab some low key drinks. The pours are generous and the bartenders are down to earth and attentive. It's a total local dive, don't expect much since the owners have banished TVs to promote friendly banter and there’s always the jukebox to keep you company, just grab a beer and enjoy the atmosphere and crowd. PS: they have a backyard :)

120-1/2 1st Ave New York, NY 10009
(212) 777-1643





Snafu (it's like a black hole, once you're there, you won't be able to leave)

Oh snafu, my first impression was like, what kind of bar would named Snafu? Sounds a bit like Japanese but opps, I was wrong, nothing oriental at all (Dainobu Japanese grocery store used to located next door but they closed recently). Snafu was my regular bar, I had my moments there, the good, the so so, the crazy and romance perhaps. Bartenders are attractive and friendly. Happy hour patrons are mostly bankers who works around the area, during weekend you'll see some tourists as well. Happy hour bud light special only $3 and free wifi access, laptop friendly before 4:30 pm! What I love about snafu are the jukebox and I can easily download an app to play song remotely from it or slipped in the dollar bills to play my favorite tunes. Popcorns on the house for everyone and pool table downstair, with other games too. Thumbs up to Arturo, Olga and Irene (find Arturo and Olga in Whisky Trader on Mon) - my favorite "Futenders" and Jose - the bodyguard :)

That's Jose on the left!

Halloween 2014, Zoran and I
Halloween 2014 - Right - Irene
Olga (middle) with friends, she is a fun person to have around :) 


Arturo - the awesome bartender

It's a bar thing. lmao








What sort of thing would happen to you in a dive bar? Anything might happen: a fight could break out, the beginning of a love story if you're lucky, make new friends that could last for a long time, on rare occasion you'll see a baby in stroller and doggy on leash, a raving lunatic could start preaching about the apocalypse or a sad old-timer could tell you his life story over a few tequila shots... Though, and you'll spend an afternoon or a sodden evening drinking away your troubles (or inventing some new ones).

127 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017
(212) 317-9100

Whiskey Trader (spacious, friendly bartender and great music)

For folks who frequent midtown spot near Rockefeller Center, here is another awesome reasonable dive bar spot for you to cling on. If you like drinking for cheap and you enjoy a dive bar atmosphere then go here because this place is the place for you. This is my regular weekday to go bar (especially Monday night you'll find a sillydrunkfish here) Awesome dive bar environment and great bartenders, Arturo and Olga, they are the best you can ever asked for and all in all I had a great time with friends here!

The Whiskey Trader buddies
My favorite bartenders Arture (left), Olga (second left) and well, me in glasses (don't really look like me) and a friend. 

71 W 55th St. New York, NY 10019
212. 582.2223

The dive bar list goes on ...... TO BE CONTINUE
Missing the warm summer day in New York City. 
Top: H&M
Bag: Nine West
Phone purse: Calvin Klein




New York City - New Jersey - Pennsylvania - Maryland - West Virginia - Virginia - Tennessee - Alabama - New Orleans - Austin, Texas.

Someone once said: "Driving is the best feeling in the world, you packed your stuff and go, leaving all the baggage behind" - A.K.


And I say road trip is like soul searching, in a less comfortable way but yet, truly intriguing.


We drove over 1800 miles in the course of three days, stranded in the middle of nowhere in the winter cold Maryland; stopped in a country bar and met a 70+ years old go-go dancer with countless man stories to share yet she quoted: "Young lady, never stop dancing...".

There's more, M's airport joke; A's impersonation of Alabama's accent; the road kill bingo; a Wal-Mart picked up line in Virginia started with "Oh my beautiful lady, are you married? oh no, taken or seeing someone? Oh gosh, single?"

Saw the one of the most beautiful sunset in Tennessee and sunrise in West Virginia; experienced a complete dark country road and abandoned gas stations in Louisiana; car dog searched on Craiglist although it was a failure; cowboy hats in Kangaroo gas stations and the recurring short dreams about the annoying host from TX Fox radio station; endless open field in Texas .. and more ..


Life is beautiful, isn't it?



Sometime in life when we're traveling, it’s the people we meet that make travel the rich, vibrant experience that it is. They shape our memories more than the locations themselves. They can make a bad place good, or a great place bad. They shine lights on our ignorance and teach us about ourselves. We inspire each other so much in many levels!

"I met this wonderful couple who loved my origami bird. High school sweetheart and going strong for 38 years in marriage." 
We meet many people crossed path in our daily life, perhaps if we slow down our footstep and listen to other stories, we gain something new! Everyday is an adventure, regardless what we do or where we are as long as we keep our option open and believe in possibilities. Never stop dreaming.

"Country road in Louisiana"
"Somewhere in Alabama"
"Be a cowgirl!"
"No caption needed."


Keeping old and useless stuff in the closet and other places of your house can deprive you from valuable free space in which you can store your new things. It is not enough just to put your old possessions away because sooner or later you will have to go through them again. As you continue to buy new stuff, you may realise that the organisation of all of your things is becoming harder due to the lack of enough free space. The solution is hiding in the immediate deep cleaning of your property which will definitely make a difference in the domestic environment of your home.


One thorough cleaning of your apartment or house will help you get your old and new things in order, and the best thing is that you can do it yourself in a time which is most convenient for you. Through this cleaning process you will have the chance to rediscover some old objects for which you have forgotten, decide which of your belongings you can keep and which ones you can toss out. The best thing about this premature spring cleaning is that you will have the opportunity to get creative and make new interesting objects for your home, spending no money and using only your old possessions are saying from Battersea Loft Conversion.


You will probably find your inner inspiration after you look over the clever ideas which we are about to give you. You can use all sorts of materials which you think that will be appropriate for your projects. This way you will not only give new life to your old things but you will also protect the environment by throwing out less stuff.


  • Hook from a binder – If you find an old binder somewhere in your home, you can use part of it as a hook on which you can put your towels, pictures and other things that come to your mind. After a small modification, you can attach the hook to the wall and it will be ready for use.


  • Cotton holder from an old whisk – There is really nothing easier that turning an old whisk into a cotton holder. Just wash the tool, if its dusty or dirty, and fill it with cotton balls. You can put it in your bathroom or in any other room you like, so that you can have easy access to cotton every time you need it.


  • New Olive oil pour spout from rubber – If you often buy Olive oil in plastic bottles, then you will love this idea. All you need is a pair of rubber gloves, preferably new ones for your safety, to which you have to cut one of the fingers. Then you can put a hole on the tip of the piece. Depending on the size of your Olive oil bottle, you can place the rubber finger on it and use it instead of pour spout.


  • A picture holder from old candle containers – If you manage to find some old candle containers, preferably metal ones, you can cut them in half and glue the two parts together. This can make a perfect holder for your pictures, notes and other things.


  • Painting brush as a door stopper – You don't have to spend money for the purchasing and installation of a door stopper in your home because now you can make one yourself. You just need a bigger painting brush which you can clean and then attach to the wall which is right behind the door. Make sure that you bend the upper part of the brush before you attach the handle, so that your door can always hit the soft part.


  • Earmuffs from tennis balls – Instead of tossing out your old tennis balls, you can make great earmuffs from them. Simply cut the ball in half and connect the two parts with a metal piece. Now your ears will be always protected.

Every woman dreams of having a walk-in closet where she could walk in and get lost in all the clothes and shoes she has. The purpose of a walk-in closet is to allow more space for your belongings. It can help you organise your clothing much more efficiently. At the same time, finding your stuff is easier than ever. A place for everything and everything in its place, that's how it works. But to make your closet functional, you need to incorporate several things. Here I'm going to talk about how to design the perfect walk-in wardrobe and what to include in it.


Things to Consider

One of the most important things to consider when building a walk-in wardrobe is how much space you have. It is important that your bedroom is big enough to accommodate a walk-in wardrobe. Furthermore, I've heard that it's best to use odd-shaped or L-shaped bedrooms, but as far as I know, any medium-sized room can make do.

Another important thing to consider is how you're going to organise your wardrobe. For maximum efficiency, you need to install shelves, cabinets, tables and other storage space where you can put not only your clothing and shoes, but also your bags, scarves and other accessories.

And the third thing I would like to focus on before I move on to my next point is cleanness. You'll have to keep your wardrobe as clean as every other room in the house. Perhaps it is a wise idea to choose materials that don't get dirty very easily. This will make cleaning piece of cake. It will also save you time wiping and dusting. Now let's have a look at what you can place in your walk-in wardrobe to make it perfect.

What to Include in Your Walk-in Wardrobe Design:


Sliding Doors 

Sliding doors have many functional and design benefits. Most sliding doors today are made of safety glass, which means that they are safe and secure. In addition, they save space. This will make your bedroom much more spacious. Last but not least, sliding doors look elegant, minimalist and beautiful. They are just more functional and more fun. A great accessory to every home and to every walk-in wardrobe. I suggest if your budget allows, that your go for sliding doors.

Furniture and Lighting 

If your wardrobe is spacious enough, be sure to incorporate a dressing table, racks and chairs. They will add more comfort and functionality to your walk-in wardrobe. You can find some cost-effective dressing tables at online stores such as eBay, Amazon and others.

I've also seen TVs placed in walk-in wardrobes. That's probably too much but if you like spending time in your wardrobe, why not add a TV? You surely will have a great time. Just you and your luxurious clothes. You can entertain yourself to your heart's content.


Another important factor is lighting. As your wardrobe will not have any windows, you need to ensure good lighting. Tips: consider using fluorescent light bulbs to make your wardrobe more energy efficient.

Mirrors 

Mirrors are a must. A walk-in wardrobe without a full length mirror is like a bathroom without a sink. It's important to see your whole body when you are getting dressed either for a formal occasion or for a walk outdoors. See, walk-in closets and mirrors go together. Plus, mirrors can make any room seem much more spacious than it is. So, go for mirrors!

Shoe Cascade 

The perfect place to store your shoes in a perfect walk-in wardrobe is a shoe cascade. I advise you to install one so that your footwear has a designated space in the closet. Shoe cascades are great because they can help you maximise the space in any room. I'm sure you want to get the most of you wardrobe, so be sure to make some room for your footwear too.


** The article is written on behalf of QualityCleaning North London
At this time of Thanksgiving, we pause to count our blessings.
Whatever is beautiful,
Whatever is meaningful,
Whatever brings us happiness...
For all of these things we are deeply thankful.
Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving


It's the most wonderful time of the year. With the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"! It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! 

When the city puts on its holiday charm, even the workaholic among us can’t help but be enchanted. There’s just something about holiday events, Christmas shopping, holiday music, twinkly lights, sweet treats, and whiffs of roasted chestnuts that is universally appealing... I always started my Christmas shopping couple weeks or even months earlier, this year I found my favorite gifts from Bryant Park Holiday Market.

Holiday season is here, did you get the gifts ready? If not, you better hurry up! Here is a list of local / unique gifts available that I like from the winter village. Let's take a look, shall we? 


http://www.jessicasophia.com

1) Kubiya Games (L1)

From simple brain teasers and classic building blocks for your budding geniuses to more elaborate 3D puzzles that will help you think multi-dimensionally and sharpen your logic skills, this shop takes the phrase “work hard, play hard” in a completely different direction. A word of caution: while Brooklyn based company Kubiya’s puzzles are just the right balance of challenge and fun, the real challenge may be not becoming totally addicted to them. Then again, would that be so bad?

http://www.jessicasophia.com

http://www.jessicasophia.com

http://www.jessicasophia.com

 2) Mistura Timepieces (L6)

Mistura Timepieces strike the perfect balance between techno chic and environmentally conscious with their too cool for school timepieces. Made from renewable, responsibly sourced materials like bamboo and exotic tree woods, along with accents of recycled leather and metal, Mistura timepieces are both uber-fashionable and highly sustainable. Each one is as beautiful as it is green and is available in a wide range of colors, styles, and interchangeable bands.




3) Cliff Belts (J12)

Cliff Belts, an innovative line of waist-cinchers designed and manufactured in Brooklyn from sustainably sourced and reclaimed cork tree bark, organic canvases, and denim. The collection, which features interchangeable buckles, is completely vegan, but still has that worn-in, vintage leather appeal that complements any outfit. Then, go big and pair yours with a matching wallet, satchel, or handbag from Cliff’s urban-rugged handmade accessories.





Lucy & Leo garments are designed and manufactured in New York. Designer Rachel Mednick offers the cutest children’s clothing, including onesies, tees, skirts, dresses, and pants, all made from super-soft 100% organic cotton. No pesticides, no chemicals, no artificial dyes, even no electricity in the yarn production (it’s hand spun), and a low carbon footprint makes this collection as good for the environment and local economy as it is for your favorite little ones’ budding wardrobes. Better still, a portion of all of Lucy & Leo’s proceeds benefit local charities in the children’s arts and music education sectors.




Anna Sabino started Lucid New York jewelry collection as a transition from her glass blowing passion. She started working with metals and creating versatile, handmade jewelry for women like her, who are busy social butterflies and need to change fast from a work look to the night out look. Lucid New York pieces are versatile - can be worn during the day or spice up an evening dress. They are great on their own or layered with other pieces. Anna gets inspired by people downtown New York where she lives - by clothes, the way they move. 




6) Sabon (J1)

In a small Israeli farming town during the summer of 1974, a young couple, guided by an ancient Aboriginal recipe they had stumbled upon during their travels, began making soap in their backyard. Today, Sabon, which means "soap" in Hebrew, uses the same love and personal care that went into that first bar of lavender soap to present an unparalleled range of exceptional bath and beauty products. From luxurious lotions and creams, to slice-able soaps that smell (and look) good enough to eat, to skin scrubs that’ll whisk away that winter weathering, Sabon’s got you covered, literally.


7) The Jam Stand (H5)

The Jam Stand is Brooklyn’s happiest food company. It began in an apartment kitchen in Williamsburg when two best friends, Jessica Quon and Sabrina Valle, breathed life into an original concept; create a food company that’s a true reflection of themselves and their community. Since then, its been a whirlwind.The Jam Stand pushes the limits of what packaged food can be by combining unique flavors. They give their products an imaginative personality allowing their "Jam Fans" to take initiative and get creative in the kitchen.



8) Organic Wares (H4)

Woven entirely from 100% organic, natural fibers by women of Chiang Mai, Thailand, the ultra-soft, whisper-light scarves you’ll find lining the shelves of this shop are available in an array of colors from brights to pastels to jewel tones. And to make your home as cozy as these scarves, OrganicWares also offers organic yarn wrapped lights. The covered bulbs give off a sweet, muted glow, and add crafty character to any room.


9) Smart Glass (H1)

Recycling…It’s a smart way to look good. And there’s no smarter combination than SMART GLASS JEWELRY and a recycled bottle. Each piece of handmade jewelry features recycled glass, silver, brass, or gold fill. Look closely. You’ll see some of your favorite products in a whole new light. The colorful glass used in this recycled line is individually selected and cut from an empty bottle ensuring each SMART GLASS JEWELRY piece is an original work of art.




10) Ninova (G4)

Butter-soft leather may feel over-the-top luxurious, but, according to Ninova, not everything leather has to be considered an indulgence. With its collection of leather accessories, Ninova allows you to enjoy a little slice of luxury in your everyday life. Highlighting its range of leather goods are gorgeous handcrafted leather journals, all created using acid-free, archival quality Arches paper, which is hand-bound with acid-free linen thread and binding cloth. Each piece is hand crafted by Turkish artisans, ensuring quality, consistency, and the perfect fusion of rugged practicality with rich style.







Made in the State of New York! Serving up fresh-made soaps, oils, bath salts, and creams on the farmer’s market circuit since 1996, Merriweather’s is committed to keeping it real — meaning only the finest essential oil fragrances, cold-pressed, vitamin-rich soaps, and handcrafted, small-batch bath and body goodies. Chemical scents, artificial colors or dyes free. .







A Poland Christmas in NYC? Many years ago we stumbled upon a place where beautiful decorations are happily hung all year round. A place where mouth-blown glass ornaments come in over 1,200 different designs. A place where each ornament is hand-painted by Polish and Czech artisans. At Christina’s World, there is no detail too fine and no whimsical design left unexplored by the artists’ brushes. Inspired by a life immersed in the arts — from growing up with a dress designing mother, to training as a ballerina, to endless travels throughout Europe and Asia, Christina is never at a loss for inspiration.





Holiday Shops @ Bryant Park Winter Village

October 21, 2014 – January 4, 2015

The Holiday Shops include more than 125 boutique-like shops offering exquisite gift ideas from distinctive apparel to jewelry, decorative goods, local foods, and much more. There's something for everyone – adults, kids, and even pets.This European inspired open-air market features artisans from around the world. Located along Bryant Park's allées and terraces, the Holiday Shops are housed in custom-designed, “jewel box” kiosks.

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