A guide to explore Central Park!

Central Park is the refuge of New Yorkers and certainly one of the most famous spots in the city. With a huge area, that goes from 59th St until 110th St, the park is beautiful year-round. Whether in winter, when everyone is playing in the snow, or in the summer, when the lawns become “beaches”, ie in the middle season, when the trees become colorful with the shades of fall or spring. No matter the season, Central Park will always be a place to be visited in New York. And since the place is gigantic, it deserves to be exploited with time! I recommend reserve at least an entire day for the park – which can be split into two periods depending on how is the weather. Many people ask me for a guide on how to explore Central Park and today I decided to highlight some of the main points! In this guide, you will see a photo of each place, a brief explanation and, at the end, a map with all the points marked.

Great Hill – At 135 feet above sea level, Great Hill is one of the highest points in Central Park. It is part of a chain of rock outcrops that stretches across the park at 106th Street, an area that was originally part of Harlem.

Conservatory Garden – it is the only formal garden found in Central Park. The quiet, calm atmosphere of the Garden, free from runners and bicyclists, makes it an ideal spot for both weddings and relaxing afternoon walks. Opened in 1937, is composed of six acres of beautiful seasonal plants that are arranged into three styles: English, French, and Italian. Check out a post about the place.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – One of the Park’s most picturesque landscapes, the reservoir is 40 feet deep and holds a billion gallons of water. It was built in the 1860s as a temporary water supply for New York City, while the Croton Water system was shut down for repairs two weeks each year. It’s a very beautiful walk!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art –  You may not even like museums, but remember that in addition to the incredible collection of art, sculptures and other artifacts, MET has a seasonal rooftop – which is open from May to October. The view of Central Park is amazing! Every season, the rooftop has some exhibition as well.

Delacorte Theater –  located in the heart of Central Park, it is best known for its Shakespeare in the Park, one of New York City’s most beloved summer traditions. The presentations are free and you can check information here.

Belvedere Castle – Named for the Italian meaning “beautiful view,” Central Park’s Belvedere Castle offers park goers exactly what its name implies. With its two balconies, it supplies wonderful panoramic views that include some of Central Park’s most beautiful and famous landmarks: the Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond and the Ramble.

Glade Arch – one of the most famous and classics bridges of Central Park.

The Loeb Boathouse – Super charming restaurant, which sits on the edge of a lake. A great choice for anyone looking for a romantic spot! Sitting next to the windows, enjoying the view of the lake, is unforgettable. Prices for main courses range from $ 16 to $ 26, a fair value and the food is quite tasty. See more details on this post!

The Loeb Boathouse Boat Rental – next to the restaurant, you can rent a boat. It costs $ 15 per hour and each boat has capacity for 4 people. Another option – quite romantic – is to take a gondola ride! The gondola holds up to 6 people and one of the gondoliers is Brazilian, Joseph Gama! It costs $ 45 for half an hour. More infos here.

Bethesda Fountain – Is another super-famous spot in Central Park, which always ends up appearing in movies and TV series. In summer, the fountain is turned on. It’s a delight to sit there…

Wagner Cove – this small location on the edge of The Lake is punctuated by a rustic shelter with two wooden benches. This secluded spot is ideal for a date, a relaxed lunch, or quiet contemplation.

Bow Bridge – Central Park has many bridges and you will probably cross several of them during your walk. This is certainly one of the most famous, classic and romantic!

Strawberry Fields – Is where is the famous tribute to John Lennon, with the words “Imagine” drawn on the floor.

Alice in Wonderland – One of the most beautiful sculptures in the park! And the favorite of the children, who love to climb it. It is made of bronze and was created by the American sculptor of Spanish origin Joseph de Creeft.

Rumsey Playfield – Is where music and dance performances usually take place. The Good Morning America concerts also take place there in the summer.

Naumburg Bandshell – Another beautiful stage where there also music presentations. It’s here that happens the New Year’s Eve celebration.

The Mall and Literary Walk – A true tree-lined corridor that changes color according to the season. During the warmer months, it is common to find musicians and painters there.

Sheep Meadow – A gigantic green area that gets crowded in the warm months. People come here for picnics, play, tanning, etc.

Tavern On the Green –Another super charming restaurant that is located inside the park. It has a beautiful outside area! You can check more details here.

Central Park Zoo – this is the Central Park Zoo. It’s not a big zoo, but it is famous because it was in the movie Madagascar. Tickets cost from $ 13 to $ 18. More infos here.

Wollman Rink – during the winter, this is the place of the ice skating rink. In summer, the space gives life to an amusement park. Check out more details.

Hallett Nature Sanctuary – it reopened to the public in 2016 after more than 80 years. It was originally closed off to become a bird sanctuary, but in the intervening years, the four-acre woodland became horribly overgrown with invasive species like Japanese knotgrass, wisteria and Norway maples. Now that those plants have been cleared and the original paths restored, it’s once again open to visitors for limited hours.

Cats Rock – These rocks stand high and provide a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline!

Do you like this guide? I hope these tips can help you explore the park better! As I remember – and knowing more places in the park – I will update the post!

Sweet Corner: a Brazilian bakery in New York City

I already knew  Sweet Corner by name, I knew a little about its story  – and that it’s owned by Brazilians – but I had never visited the place. Last week, I took the opportunity to stop by after I saw that they had released gorgeous milkshakes – a good excuse to finally check out this bakery up close. Besides, it always gives a little bit of pride when you discover Brazilians making success in the Big Apple.

Several factors make Sweet Corner an interesting place that is far from being an exclusive choice of Brazilians who live or visit the city. First, the choice of location, at a corner in the West Village, one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city. Second, the mix of pastries offered. Cheese bread, guaraná, brigadeiro and pudding share space with other non-Brazilian creations such as cookies, cheesecakes and wonderful cakes.

The story began in 2009, when Rodolfo Gonçalves and his wife Patricia began baking goodies  at their apartment in Astoria, for family and friends. The hobby was so successful that more people started asking about it, placing orders and demand grew fast. In 2011, after being encouraged by one of his clients, Rodolfo participated in a contest of Brides Magazine and his cake was voted one of the most beautiful in the country. Later, one of the clients, Priscilla de Barros, came up with the idea of opening a bakery. She invested in the business and it was when that the society of the two was born. Today, Sweet Corner is already four years old.

The success of the place is due to the cookies: Sea Salt Chocolate – which has 4 types of chocolate and French salt – and the Red Velvet Nutella Bomb – red velvet cookie with Nutella filling. The first has already been choose as the Best Sea Salt Chocolate Cookie in NY! I was super curious to try these cookies, and honestly? They are delicious. If I had to choose only one, I do not even know which one to choose! I also think they can compete to Levain Bakery or Imsomnia Cookies, in my humble opinion. The sizes are super generous. In addition, there are cookies from other flavors like traditional chocolate, – and prices range from $2 to $3.75.

The releases of the moment are the milkshakes – Instagram worth, gorgeous presentation and exaggerated sizes. The flavors are the same as the best-selling cookies: sea salt chocolate and red velvet. I liked the first one because Red Velvet has strawberries and I’m not a strawberry milkshake fan (but that’s a matter of taste). Each milkshake even comes with half a cookie. I recommend splitting because the size is great indeed! Each costs $13.

Sweet Corner also has various cakes such as Red Velvet, Chocolate and Carrot, coffee and other pastries. Also, the design of the place is all cute! It is worthwhile to stop by and observe the charming streets of the West Village.

Address: 535 Hudson St.

Pics by Adriana Carolina.

Beauty: Space NK launchings!

Space NK Apothecary started as a concept store in London, and, because the great selection of select the brands, the store has become successful, and today it is an internationally respected brand with 62 stores in the UK and Ireland and 27 in the United States. The mission is the same from the beginning: offering a selection of the best and most innovative products from all over the world. By Terry, Chantecaille, Eve Lom,  Tata Harper, Oribe are some of the brands available in the chain’s boutiques, that have a team of experts to help clients. The stores are complete with sections of skincare, hair, makeup, sunscreen and fragrances. There are still male and home products, such as diffusers and candles. We can say that Space NK is like a Sephora, but with a boutique concept and different and renowned brands.

Last week, Space NK hosted the founders and experts from 21 of the featured brands for a preview of what’s new and next in beauty for summer and fall. I was invited and today I show you some of the highlights.

Tea to Tan, By Terry – By Terry is a super sophisticated makeup brand. This product is incredible! It is a bronzer spray for body and face. The formula is water based (super light!) and it provides sun-kissed look. It is not a self-tanning product and also does not stain or transfer on clothing. The finish is super natural, not to mention that the application is very practical! $ 42.

Sun Designer Palette, By Terry – this palette is designed to be all you need to do your summer makeup: it has six shades that can be mixed or used alone as bronzer, blush, highlighter and even eyeshadow. By mixing making the colors, you create that perfect “sun-kissed” effect! $82

Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, Hourglass – Hourglass is also another super respected makeup brand and it is relaunching this foundation, which has an oil-free formula, matte finish and long lasting. The best thing? It has 22 shades! $56

Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush, Hourglass – Hourglass is also launching three new shades of the famous highlighter blush. How not to fall in love? $37.

Featherbalm Weightless Styler, Oribe – Oribe features amazing products for hair styling and hair treatment. This product was formulated for fine to medium hair textures and adds a touch of styling hold and hydration without weighing hair down. It can be used as a blowout lotion, light texturizers or finisher. $42

Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Cream – to be used before blow dry, this cream protects against heat and humidity. It helps to straight, smoothes hair while maintaining body and movement, controls frizz, seals split-ends and strengthens and restores hair fiber. $44

Gold Lust Pre-Shampoo Intensive Treatment – a treatment to be used before the shampoo. It is a balm that melts into hair, deeply moisturizing and repairing while protecting against harsh aggressors such as washing, styling and pollution. Softness, shine and strength are restored. $68

Cleansing Volumizing Paste with Pure Rassoul Clay and Rose Extracts, Christophe Robin – Christophe Robin has been an A-list colorist for over 20 years. In 1999, he launched a line of hair care formulated with powerful ingredients designed to protect color, enhance shine and strengthen hair root to tip. This product is a clay that cleans your hair and helps create volume from the roots. Also, the effect lasts for days. $53

Dry Shampoo Foam, OUAI – this brand was created by Jen Atkin, Kardashians hair stylist. The products are very famous and this dry shampoo is different because it has a mousse texture. You spread the products on your hands and massage the scalp, until it is completely absorbed. And there is no powdery residue. $28

Cleanser, Eve Lom – this is the most famous product from Eve Lom, with a formula that has more than 30 years. It is a makeup remover balm. The formula contains a blend of four aromatic plant oils purify and decongest the skin without stripping or drying, melting away foundation and stubborn waterproof mascara with ease. $50

Kiss Mix Tints, Eve Lom – Eve Lom’s ultra-moisturizing, ever-coveted lip treatment, is now available in a trio of flattering, buildable shades that enhance your natural color and replenish hydration. The luxurious blend of active extracts instantly gives a cooling, soothing sensation while imparting a swath of color and slick of protective shine. $24

111 Skin – the concept of this brand is very interesting, since it was created by scientists to protect astronauts’ skin from accelerated aging in space. The products – like cream, mask and sérum – deliver unprecedented protection from environmental damage.

Kat Burki – Kat Burki uses Applied Nutritional Sciences to deliver the most effective formulations for the skin through technology and cutting-edge nutritional research. Intelligent ingredient combining to create super nutrient complexes, are then Cold Processed to ensure maximum efficacy for optimal skin health. The new launchings are Illume Brightening Serum, formulated to restore damaged cells for a younger more even skin tone; PH + Enzyme Essence, that optimizes PH level, strengthens cellular response and accelerates the exfoliation process; and Super Nutritious Elixir, that helps support collagen production and brightens skin. Also, it is good to highlight the Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream – with 15% Vitamin C!

Black Baccara, Miriam Quevedo – this brand from Spain, which is well known for its hair products, now features a skincare line, Black Baccara. When it comes to our skin, our lifestyle and daily habits play the biggest role in the way it ages. Black Baccara offers a cosmetic solution with formulas designed to be mixed-and-matched, based on your lifestyle for a tailor-made, custom treatment to defend against aging. The textures are so amazing!

Diamond Instant Glow, Natura Bissé – another Spanish skincare brand, with 30 years of expertise. This product is amazing! Is like a facial at home, an express Mini-Lift in 3 steps (exfoliates, brightens and lifts), that transforms skin in just 10 minutes. The set features 12 ampoules, 4 of each steps. First is Peel, a gentle, effective exfoliation with glycolic acid and an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) complex, it eliminates dead cells from the surface of skin, which translates into a softer, even-toned and lifted complexion. The second is Radiance, a refreshing, silky emulsion that hydrates intensely, restoring elasticity and comfort to the skin after exfoliation. Last is Lift, that creates a tightening layer that gives skin an instant, lasting micro-lift that noticeably improves skin texture and softens expression lines while preserving hydration. $88

Clarifying Mask, Tata Harper – Tata Harper is a 100% natural brand and one of the most famous natural beauty brands. This mask features Chlorella and Raw Honey extracts and also salicylic acid, quartz sand micro-crystals and Alpha Hydroxy Acid Superfruit Blend. It minimizes the appearance of breakouts, balance sebum, and soothe redness without drying the skin.

Midinight Radiance Mask, Omorovicza – this sleeping mask – to be used as the last step of the skincare routine – has a gel texture and a formula that provides a skin tone more even and a smoother complexion. It has ingredients like salicylic acid and red alga.

Ultimate Brightening Rose Powder Cleannser, Uma – it is a powder gentle and exfoliating cleanser that penetrates deep into the skin for a thorough cleanse that brightens dull skin with every use. It contains powdered rose, calendula, chamomile, oats and walnuts. The combination of flowers and spices makes for the most divine sensory experience, promoting clear, healthy skin for every skin type. It can also be used as a mask. $65

Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel, Tula – Powered by probiotic technology, each TULA product is a nourishing smoothie for your skin, feeding it the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and defending it from damage. This gel restores the skin to its ideal pH after cleansing. It has turmeric extract, that reduces inflammation, and also mushroom, beet extract + hyaluronic acid, that provides 400x more hydrating than hyaluronic acid alone.

Kefir Moisture Repair Pressed Serum, Tula – another Tula launching is this pressed serum, with kefir extract, a super-powered probiotic that provides superior moisturization. Besides, the formula has ceramide complex, that prevents dryness and wrinkes and improves skin’s texture.

Did you like these products? Space NK features 80 brands and has 3 locations in New York City: 968 Lexington Ave / 31 Prince St / 229 Bedford Ave, and is also located inside Bloomingdale’s locations.

Kesté Pizza & Vino, in New York City

I’ve mentioned millions of times that Italian cuisine is among my favorites. But it’s funny to realize that, when we go to an Italian restaurant, we always end up ordering some pasta instead of choosing a pizza (practically every Italian restaurant has pizza on the menu). But some weeks ago we went to Kesté, which is a traditional Italian pizzeria here in NYC, with some friends. Then, there was no other way, everything ended up in pizza, literally – (I know it sounds stupid lol).

 Kesté offers the authentic tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making and its owned by world renowned Maestro Roberto Caporuscio. If you wanna have an idea, the many accolades for Kesté include “#1 Pizza in New York” by New York Magazine, “Best Pizza” in the State of NY by Food Network Magazine, amongst the top 25 “Best Pizza Places in the US” by Food and Wine Magazine and 5 of “The Most Authentic Pizzas Outside Italy” (the only one in the US) by Mr Porter. With so many awards, it’s not surprising that they have 3 locations in the city.

 

Kesté Pizza & Vino offers over 70 types of Neapolitan pizzas, all original creations by Mastro Pizzaiuolo Roberto Caporuscio, signifying his knowledge of the history, the authentic tradition and the evolution of Neapolitan pizza. In his unique offering, Mastro Caporuscio also added 7 different types of fried pizza, 18 types of gluten free pizzas or the most famous Pizza Margherita made with all organic ingredients including flour, cheese and sauce, and 20 seasonal pizzas rappresenting the different regionality of Italy’s cuisines. The attention to the ingredients, the selection of high quality italian products, the wine collection made up of a top selection of high quality italian wines complete the Keste’ experience. Here in USA, pizzas are usually served for one person, but I would say that – depending on how hungry you are – you can share with someone. Me and my friend Juliana chose Del Re, with truffle cream, fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, prosciutto di parma, basil. Amazing! Delicious! There are a lot of flavors – even vegan. You can check the menus on the website. Prices are also great – pizzas start at $10, on average. And I couldn’t forget to tell you about Nutella Pizza: just try it!

Kesté doesn’t take reservations, but, as I mentioned before, there are three locations in NYC.

Locations: 271 Bleecker St (West Village, open for lunch and dinner), 77 Fulton St (Wall Street, open for lunch and dinner) e 232 N 12th St (Williamsburg, open for dinner). 

5 things to do in The Bronx, New York City

As I mentioned some days ago here on the blog, on the post about 10 things to do in Brooklyn, Manhattan is no longer the protagonist in New York. I love exploring options off the touristic route – and you probably noticed  that here on the blog I’m always suggesting things to do in Queens, Brooklyn and … in The Bronx. Yes! Today’s post is an invitation to put your prejudice aside and explore this area. Today, I suggest some things that you must do if you don’t want a classic itinerary!

New York Botanical Garden –  Obviously, I believe it is better to visit the place during the spring in order to see all the beauty of the gardens with roses, tulips and azaleas. The area is extensive and has thousands of species, in addition to periodic exhibitions. A little train gives you a general tour around the garden – which helps to give you a view of the place size. Free admission all day on Wednesdays and from 9am to 10am on Saturday- otherwise you pay $20-$25. 

Address: 2900 Southern Blvd.

Bronx Zoo – Forget Central Park Zoo – everyone I’ve heard that there was there was disappointed because the place is small. The best zoo in New York is in the Bronx. It is among the largest metropolitan zoos in the world, and is one of the largest in North America, with about 6,000 animals representing nearly 650 species from around the world. 4 D theater, butterfly garden and a special area for children are just some of the special attractions of the place. Tickets are $30 but you pay what you wish on Wednesdays, throughout the day.
Address: 2300 Southern Blvd.
Little Italy – forget those streets of Little Italy in Manhattan, near Chinatown… if you want to know a truly Italian neighborhood – and taste the unique cuisine – you need to know the Little Italy of The Bronx. Generations of Italian families have given the area a special small-town character unique for an urban setting, while at the same time establishing traditions that permeate the neighborhood like the sweet smell of sausage and peppers. It’s the best place for bread, pasta, meat, pastries, the only place to buy Italian sausage, and more. The quality and values are tops – a recent ranking confirmed once again by critics like the Zagat Survey whose readers repeatedly give “Best Buy” status to more Arthur Avenue shops than any other neighborhood in New York City. My tip? Arthur Avenue Retail Market (2344 Arthur Avenue). he place is like a public market with options to eat and to shop. It’s not a huge area, but there are a considerable number of establishments offering cigars, coffee, meats, fruits and vegetables, imported products from Italy, beer, pizza and sandwiches. Check out a post with more information about Little Italy.
City Island – City Island is a small island and a neighborhood approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long by 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide and a population of more than 4300 people. This island is part of The Bronx borough – yes, City Island is in New York City. Visit this place is to be transported to a small town with super beautiful landscapes and great atmosphere. If you are looking for places out of the obvious to visit during your time in the city, it is worth considering a trip to City Island. City Island has a main street, City Island Avenue, which bisects the island from end to end. On this avenue, there are two small supermarkets, a gas station, a pharmacy, a bank and a variety of other small shops. The island is super famous for its seafood restaurants and antique shops. Parallel to the main avenue you can see the residential streets. Full of charming houses, one more beautiful than the other, these streets make us feel in an American movie. Impossible not to want to live in one of those houses. Check out a post about City Island.
Wave Hill -It is a public garden of 11 hectares and also a cultural center. Located in The Bronx, about 50 minutes (on average) away from Midtown, this place has an amazing view to the Hudson river and its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes. It is a public garden of 11 hectares and also a cultural center. The place is very beautiful, charming and quiet – and without doubt the highlight is the Pergola Overlook. Wave Hill has a privileged location, highest, which provides an incredible view to the Hudson River and Pergola Overlook is like the postcard of the place. In a kind of hut, full of foliage, you see the river, the vegetation on the other side and also have an idea of the size of the garden. The place is so special that many people celebrate weddings there. Wave Hill is located in Riverdale, a very residential and super charming area in The Bronx –  when we got off the bus, I was already delighted with the views of the area. Click here and check out a post about Wave Hill.

Did you like these suggestions?

5 other apps to use in New York City

Apps make our lives a lot easier in New York – either if you live here or you are only visiting. Here on the blog, I’ve written countless blog posts about apps that I think interesting and useful. Since this is a basically endless subject, today I bring 5 more nice apps for you to use here in the city.

NYC Beauty – I couldn’t forget to recommend my app, NYC Beauty. It was launched in December and it was developed by me and my husband. It’s e beauty shopping guide in New York. NYC Beauty brings together a lot of NYC beauty stores, divided into categories: beauty in a budget, pharmacies and multi-brand stores, makeup, skincare, body, hair, Korean beauty, beauty destinations, natural beauty and fragrances. Inside each store, there are icons that indicate what kind of cosmetic you will find in that store. The text has a description of the store / brand, information and some tips. You will also find locations, hours of operation and phones. By clicking on the main photo of the store, you will see a pictures gallery. It is also worth mentioning the “Map of the city”, where you will see all the stores mapped and you can navigate by region. It is available for iOS and Android version will be launched on May 30th. Follow us on Instagram @nycbeautyapp

NYC Ferry –  NYC Ferry is the new ferry transport system that connects some regions of the city. Just like the subway, the NYC Ferry has lines, which make different routes. There are 6 lines. NYC Ferry can be very convenient for some routes! On this post, you can check all the information. Through the app, you can see the schedule and also buy your tickets.

Citi Bike – when the weather permits, exploring New York riding a bike can be a great idea. Citi Bike has hundreds of bikes in the city – and, in the last two years, they add more stations. It’s very simple: Pick up a bike at one of the hundreds of stations around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City and take as many short rides as you want while your pass is active. End a ride by returning your bike to any station. On the app, you can buy you pass and also check out the status of each station.

Chef’s Feed – if you are a foodie, like me, and love to discover restaurants and dishes, you will love Chef’s Feed. Download the app to discover the best dishes, follow your favorite chefs, and get the inside connection to the best food and restaurant culture in over 50 cities – including New York, of course.

Happy Hour Finder – if you love a drink or a beer, this is your app! Happy Hour Finder helps you find the best happy hour deals closest to your location. Drinking in New York City will be cheaper with this kind of help, right?