Friday, August 31, 2012

You've really got a hold on me: Amanda's Fashion Spot Guide of New York City!

I recently came back from a 5-day trip in the Big Apple, a city that I feel I have developed a close relationship with. While walking up Madison Avenue and taking a stroll through Greenwich Village, I couldn't help but be reminded of the very first time in the Big City.

I remember being so excited and inspired by the bright lights of Times Square, the busy, fast-paced nature of the pedesterians and let's not forget the endless shopping options. If there is one thing that New York has, it is an abundance of fashionable boutiques selling everything from luxury and contemporary designers to fast-fashion galore.

I first visited New York City at a time when I needed inspiration, a break from my ordinary routine and some fabulous additions to the old wardrobe. After my first experience, in the great big city I felt that I had received a jolt of energy that inspired me to go after my dreams, seize the day and live the life I have always dreamed of. A year or two later, I was fortunate enough to spend my summer in the Big Apple while having an internship with Seventeen Magazine (insert link) and enjoy a little bit more of NYC.

When I was in New York most recently, walking around the city I was reminded of how much I had experienced and how much I have changed since my first time in New York. I can now proudly say that I consider myself an honourary New Yorker and no matter where my life takes me, that city will always be a part of me and my life's journey.

New York is a city that is continuously evolving and ever changing with new buildings, developments, restaurants and boutiques popping up left, right and centre! (In fact, an Aritizia boutique is opening up on Fifth Avenue in late fall!) Every time I go and I find a new place to love. Here are some of the places that I enjoyed during my recent stay:

1. C Wonder

Walk into this store and you will swear that you are in a boutique that is a hybrid between J. Crew, Tory Burch and Kate Spade. But alas you are not and instead you have entered the new super cute and classic store, C Wonder. With brightly coloured stripes and gold accents decorating the walls, you are in a classic meets luxurious fashionistas wonderland! C Wonder carries everything from monogrammed tote bags, leather belts and necklaces to multi-coloured chevron print cardigans to printed dish sets, tribal print pillows and costume jewelry. Everything you need to add a dash of colourful fun to every part of your life. C Wonder is currently expanding across the States but fingers crossed this adorable store comes to Canada sooner than later.

2. Marc Jacobs Stores

Whenever you are in NYC make sure to head to Greenwich Village and take a stroll down Bleecker Street to check out the four Marc Jacobs stores. They are not his Marc Jacobs collection stores but rather Marc by Marc Jacobs Women's, BookMarc, Marc Jacobs Collection Accessories and Marc by Marc Jacobs Men's boutique, that each have their own fun party atmosphere and friendly sales associates. Aside from the contemporary yet fun clothing and accessories you will find at the stores, you can also find quirky and unique merchandise such as a Marc Jacobs doll, heart-shaped compacts and playing cards available at BookMarc and Marc by Marc Jacobs Women's. If you are looking for a way to add some MJ into life, be sure to head to Bleeker Street and in between shopping stop by Magnolia Bakery for a delicious cupcake ala Carrie and Miranda from Sex and the City.    

3. Bloomingdales

Whenever I go to New York, one of my favourite stores to shop is Bloomingdale's or as I like to refer it as, Bloomies! Carrying designers and labels anywhere from Aqua (a personal favourite) to Rebecca Minkoff to Mackage (a Canadian designed brand, woohoo!) to Tory Burch, Bloomingdale's has impeccable merchandising, a clean layout and all around fun atmosphere. During this visit, I was delighted to have my shopping trip accompanied by an awesome DJ who spinned some wicked tunes such as, "One by One" by Mavado featuring Laza Morgan and "Why You Wanna" by T.I. I couldn't help dancing my way through the racks as I picked out some new pieces to add to my fall wardrobe! It was as if I was attending a hip dance party and shopping at the same time, what more could a girl ask for?

If you ever make your way to Bloomies and you are not from the New York area, be sure to stop by the visitor's centre, so you can get additional 10% off your purchases! Check out their website for more details.   

4. Brooklyn Flea Market

Right now, Brooklyn is one of the trendiest boroughs in New York City. Home to hipsters, the Brooklyn Bowl and Coney Island, it is one hip place to be, so once I heard about the Brooklyn Flea Market, I just had to check it out! There are several flea markets that are held on either Saturday or Sunday until mid-November, including Smorgasburg (DUMBO), Fort Greene Flea, Williamsburg Flea and Smorgasburg (Williamsburg). I had the joy of checking out the Williamsburg Flea, which had an great variety of hand-crafted and vintage jewelry by designers and brands such as Mamazoo by Maria Ana Moura, FSYMNYC Jewelry and Cam ci Cam ca. If you are looking for a fun thing to do on a lazy weekend in New York City, make sure the Brooklyn Flea Market is one of your first stops!

5. The Plaza Food Hall

If you happen to be anywhere near Midtown East Manhattan and want a nice place to enjoy a quick bite to eat after some shopping along Fifth Avenue, then you need to stop by The Plaza Food Hall ! "The European-inspired specialty Food Hall" offers a wide selection of foods including a Sushi Bar, Wine Bar, Cheese & Charcuterie Station and Brick Oven Pizza. I tried a meal reminiscent of Cape Cod, which included a lobster wrap served with salt and vinegar chips, a pickle and ginger beer soda.  As someone who has not eaten white starch in awhile, it was a nice treat! For desert, I had a decadent and delish green tea gingersnap cheesecake. Not your typical cheesecake flavours but it was every bit satisfying! The Plaza Food Hall is by far one of the most glamorous and sophisticated food courts in town, so be sure to check it out next time you travel to Manhattan! 

What are you favourite places in New York City? Do you plan on visiting the Big Apple anytime soon or have you been there recently? What are experiences in your life that have inspired your life's journey and career path?

Let me know in the comments below and don't forget to check out Amanda's Fashion Spot on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram! 

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