So its that time of the year when black queens all throughout the nation come together to celebrate our natural crowns, highlighting the beauty that each and every-one of us possess. Curlfest, the event that brought me to New York for the week was occurring over the weekend and attracted more then 25,000 melanated curlies. Before and after this event I made it a point to visit as many places throughout NY as possible. Such an endeavor exhausted me in a way where another vacation to recover from this trip would of been greatly appreciated lol but it was all so worth it in the end.
Dave is from Brooklyn so we always opt to stay with his family for most of our trips, which gives us a chance to bond and catch up. They live around the corner from Prospect park, making our stay there a prime location for us to reside with curlfest being held just around the corner.
I’ve always been told that the humidity in NY during the summer is suffocating but during the month of July I enjoyed the warm moist air. There were random episodes of thunder and lightning accompanied with an outpour of rain but it felt like a warm sunny shower and never lasted too long to damper our explorations.
First stop after we dropped our bags at the house was to get to L&B Spumoni Gardens and grab a pizza pie! I literally crave this anytime we are in NY there is no square that I have tried that can compete. Its been a go to for 79 years amongst Brooklyn natives so do yourself a favor and, “Treat Yourself” lol.
Day 1: I wanted to check out a light exhibit at the New Museum which I saw posted online recently. It cost $7 each to enter but free after 6PM. As we approached the elevator I was informed by the staff that the exhibit Im here to see was an instillation from 3 years ago. I was like wow I know things on the gram aren’t always posted in real time but 3 flipping years ago! So lesson learned I will thoroughly do my own research and call to get a current list of the exhibits open before wasting money and time. Nonetheless we explored what was there and I found at least one work of art to admire. Besides that it has to be the worse museum exhibit I’ve experienced so don’t waste your time… you’ll thank me later 🙂
We then headed to Central Park and had a snack near the Loeb Boathouse by hopping over the miniature fence along the park pathway to get closer to the water and enjoy the instant escape from the congested city vibes. Walking into the park and especially near the boathouse area you feel so relaxed and are amazed that something like this exist in such a bustling city. Besides the mosquito bites I got I would have to rate this area as a top pick location for a romantic picnic or place to reflect.
Next, we continued our stroll towards the Bethesda terrace, which is a masterful piece of architecture. The tiling on the terrace ceiling screams opulence and you feel as if you’re walking the grounds of your majestic palace.. ok I’ll stop daydreaming… for now! 🙂
When it comes to the best time to visit the terrace I would say during sunset hours because the lighting used to illuminate the tiles are visible and make for some magical captures.
After exploring the park we made our way to Harlem to check out BLVD Bistro a southern-inspired restaurant ran by Chef Carlos. Sylvia’s is a well known southern restaurant that many go too when visiting NYC so I wanted to try a new place that isn’t as well known. One tip for this establishment is to make sure you call ahead to ensure they’re open before heading over because they will close earlier then the business hours listed, which we found out the hard way. Luckily we were able to revisit later in the week and BLVD Bistro didn’t disappoint, we definitely enjoyed our food.
Day 2: I met up with an instagram follower/new friend and we checked out Brooklyn’s Botanical Garden which offers free entry on Fridays. Although our visit wasn’t during the Spring they still had some visit worthy arrangements and plant species to admire. I particularly loved the lilly pond and the way it reflected the clouds in the sky.
Afterwards we headed to Mable’s Smokehouse and Banquet Hall for lunch. The meal was satisfying but I’ve had better mac & cheese. The meats were smoked well but wasn’t a fall off the bone type of rib. My friend and her husband who took me here were raving about how good this place is so maybe for NY this is considered to be top of the line BBQ. I’m used to Bludso BBQ in Southern California so for me the bar has been set pretty high.
Day 3: The day we all been waiting for was here! I spent the earlier part of the day at Curlfest snapping some pictures with friends and hopping from line to line to get some product samples for a few hours. It was a neat experience but there was no phone reception at the park and I got split up from my cousin with no way to locate her. Once that happened I headed out the park to meet up with Dave so we could do some more sightseeing and re-connect with her once I regained reception.
Once we all got back together we got some local Chinese, which was some of the best I’ve ever tasted from Far East on 5th Ave and although we were a little ways away they will deliver to your location using seamless regardless of distance. I’m not accustomed to this here in California where we mainly use UberEats and who restricts you to restaurants within a certain radius.
After refueling our bodies with some good eats I wanted to see the beautiful architecture of the Oculus which is a shopping center as well as the transportation hub of the World Trade Center. We got there around 5PM which is pretty late so I was expecting there to be crowds but we managed to get some great shots. When we initially walked to the shot location there was nobody really there but even as people started to come they would kindly scoot over once asked if they were in the shot.
We then checked out the 9/11 memorial which was such a sobering time to re-visit but it was beautiful seeing how the lives lost were honored all by name throughout the monument. While looking at the monument the pouring rain began so we headed back to Brooklyn for the day.
Day 4: Sunday, we checked into the Williamsburg hotel; to read about our experience staying there overnight click here. After check-in we found raving reviews about the Cafe Mogador and decided to dine there for dinner. This cafe’s Moroccan infused cuisine gave our palates an explosive experience!
Like this is an absolute favorite place of mine now; and the service was wonderful as well as the cleanliness, ambiance, etc. Definitely a 5 star experience especially if you sit in the Moroccan themed outdoor terrace at the back of the restaurant.
Day 5: We went to Ansel Bakery and came all the way back to DUMBO; an area of Brooklyn where there was music and movies playing in the park along with unobstructed views of the Brooklyn bridge. It was a perfect breezy day and an iconic spot for photo-ops
Day 6: We decided to rest up before our flight back home the following day so we did one outing for some New Territory Ice Cream. The many flavors and attention to detail didn’t disappoint. They treat food like art and being a previous art school attendee that is something I can always appreciate.
There were definitely some iconic spots that we didn’t get to see and staying longer would of helped. With that in mind 6 days wasn’t enough but with our budget in mind it was definitely enough lol. Until next time NY!