Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten fun ideas for special occasions (specifically for people who are near NYC :)

Last Sunday (April 28) I celebrated my birthday with my best friend in New York City. It was so much fun that I can hardly put it into words; just thinking about it puts a smile on my face. 

Then I thought to myself, hmm, maybe I should do a Top Ten Tuesday birthday special, just fun/unconventional/amazing things to do for your birthday, your friend's birthday, your loved one's birthday, or just any special occasion. 

I apologize in advance, because this post unfortunately only pertains to those of you who live near New York City (and/or Princeton, where I celebrated with my girl friends on Saturday).

Alright, here goes :)

1. Empire State Building Observatory

 I thought of this idea when I was doing some research on fun things to do in NYC (after having decided on celebrating my birthday in the City).

I bought two tickets, one for the 86th floor and the other for 102nd floor. The lines weren't too long--we waited for about 20 minutes tops. Then we rode one of the fastest elevators I've ever ridden. Seriously, my ears were popping. 

When we got out onto the 86th floor of Empire State Building, we were awed. The view was killer. Think about it! The entire New York City beneath your feet! I felt like I was on the top of the whole world.
 The buildings were all small geometrical shapes, the cabs yellow little matchboxes, and pedestrians tiny colorful dots. In the distance, Statue of Liberty looked about as big as my dad (which isn't very big :P), and Central Park was this absolutely gorgeous piece of emerald embedded in a forest of iron and steel.
more information:

MACARONS!!! 'nuff said (or you can check out this post about macarons that I wrote a while back). They're so beautiful. And Ladurée will give you the best possible macaron experience, I swear.

3. Guggenheim Museum
Incidentally I went there very recently on a school art trip with my Art History class. It's a museum that features brilliant modern art (if you're a fanatic about modern art, read this post for more awesome places to visit).

Anyways, Guggenheim Museum is next to the Central Park, and the entire building is so unconventional. It's designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect who also designed the beautiful House of Falling Water. Inside the museum, you will find yourself awed by the beautiful dome that is sort of like an oculus. Also as a visitor you will walk up a ramp, slowly spiraling around the whole museum. It is an experience not to be missed if you are ever in the area.

4. Central Park
Let me tell you. The idea of Central Park is genius. Pure genius. Who came up with it, seriously? (The answer is Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux but that isn't the point of the question.) The park is gorgeous, and just such a nice break in the middle of one of the world's busiest cities. The beauty and harmony that will seize your heart upon your arrival cannot be described in words. 

If you're celebrating a special occasion with family or close friends, it would be fitting and just fantastic to organize a casual, relaxing picnic in Central Park, or just take a few laps around the reservoir.

This chocolatier, having many locations in NYC (I've personally been to two, one near the Met, the other in SoHo), has eccentric chocolates that you wouldn't believe! For example, their bacon milk chocolate bar, as bizarre as it sounds, tastes ah-mazing!

It is not only a chocolate store, the one in SoHo also features a chocolate bar where you can sit and order chocolate food items. Yummmmmm. A definite go.

6. Union Square Park
Compared to Central Park, Union Square Park may not strike you as anything special, but I've always loved just sitting on the steps of the square and people-watching. It's kind of my remedy when I'm feeling stressed. Just sitting down and watching the city rush by has an unspeakable magic to it, apparently.

Celebrate a special occasion by sitting down at the park--sometimes there are farmers' market or other special events going on, which are always fun.
Why do I always end up talking about food... oh I wonder :P but anyways, while we're at the topic of chocolate, this amazing store-restaurant is not to be missed!
At Max Brenner you will discover the world's most delicious chocolate fondue...yummmmmm. And chocolate pancakes and crepes and just about chocolate everything (even chocolate burgers, which are surprisingly good).

the famous chocolate burger

Treat yourself, friends, and family to a feast of chocolate!

8. Princeton public library
Now. Back to Princeton area. I know you're probably like, whaaaa? celebrating at a library...?!? 

Indeed. Princeton library has a wonderful cafe for cozy small gatherings, and the square area in front of the library has picnic tables and sun chairs to chill in. Why not?

And here are two cool pictures of my friends and I in front of a wall art in the library:

9. Sakura Express
a;kfkgh;dj;sfag;hdsadfks; fantastic sushi. FAN-TAS-TIC. 

I ordered New York roll and Boston roll. and my oh my. They were. Gastronomical. New York roll had apple crisps on top, drizzled with mayo. These two ingredients combined with the sashimi is just incredible.

Oh and did I mention for Boston roll they give you generous wedges of avocado?

10. Communiversity
Every year Princeton community gathers together and has this epic fair that is a whole day of fun and fun and fun. If you're looking for something to do for a special occasion with your friends or close family, then don't hesitate to go to Princeton communiversity!

Okay that's it. Enjoy the spring. Celebrate your special occasions (or just when you're feeling like it)! Embrace this beautiful weather <3

Vanessa :]

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