Mar
5

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Hunter Gatherers + Giveaway

unnamedWe’re giving away tickets to a new off-Broadway production! Here’s all the details on the show, and how to grab your pair!

HUNTER GATHERERS is a pitch black comedy that begins with one couple’s annual dinner get-together with best friends. The evening begins with an animal sacrifice that quickly descends into more sex, violence, deception, wrestling, and dancing than at previous parties. It’s an ominously comic evening where the line between civilized and primal man is blurred, and where not everyone will survive long enough to enjoy the brownies for dessert.

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Here’s how to enter:

1. Subscribe to Used York City, which signs you up for our monthly newsletter. (Don’t forget to respond to the verification message you are sent via email. Former subscribers are automatically entered!)

Details:

The contest will run until Friday, March 6th, at which time a winner will be randomly chosen and announced on this post and via Twitter, and the winner will be notified directly by the email address that they subscribed with! Best of luck to all our readers!

p.s. if you don’t win the tickets, here’s a code for discounted ticket prices: REDCARL20 (through March 12th) REDCARL25 (through March 13th through March 28th).

Mar
4

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Used York City Is Featured On HotelsCheap!

20121201-082745We were thrilled to sit down with HotelsCheap for an interview, where I shared my very favorite things about NYC for both tourists and locals.

Now, I don’t want to give it all away, but one thing I enjoyed chatting about was how running Used York City has changed my relationship with NYC.  Here’s what I said:

It just boils down to spending time doing the things I actually love. For example, when I first started the blog and opportunities would come my way, I’d say yes to everything: “concert? sure! fundraising event? why not! gallery opening? I’ll be there!”  The website has taught me you don’t have to do and love everything; time is better spent digging deeper into the things you really enjoy. So instead of saying yes to 3 random events around the city, I’ll spend my time seeing a show and then going into a deep discussion about the show afterwards while trying a new restaurant. I think this is important because it brings the focus back on inspiration. With the precious hours that we have to ourselves, why not spend them doing something that inspires us and makes us happy?

For the full interview, click on over here!  Thanks so much for having me, HotelsCheap!

xo,

Jess

||Photo Credit: 1||

Mar
3

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Pooch Paradise: St. Michael’s Inn At Perry Cabin

Fun fact: Wedding Crashers is one of my husband’s Top 2 favorite movies (I’ll leave you hanging in suspense as to the other…!)  So when narrowing down choices for a laid back, drivable, not-too-far-from-NYC-where-we-can-also-bring-our-dog getaway, I was thrilled when the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michael’s, Maryland popped up.  Why?  Because it’s the gorgeous spot Wedding Crashers was shot, of course!

unnamed unnamed-3I know you’re probably all “do you guys really pick weekend getaways based on your favorite movies?!”  Well, yes and no.  While that was what initially roped us in and got our interest piqued, a few other key items were what sold us.

First off: the inn is pet friendly, and SO friendly to your pets!  (Pet parents will automatically know the importance here!)  While once upon a time I was able to sneak my sweet chihuahua in just about anywhere, in his older age he’s become much more, shall we say, vocal.  If I were to leave him in a strange room for more than a few minutes, his chirping (the cute little noise he makes when he barks, but sounds much more like a chirp!) begins.  Impossible to hide.  Which makes finding properties where we can bring him along, comfortably, a bit of a challenge.

unnamed-7We were chuffed to find out the inn only has you pay $100 pet fee (for the entire stay!), and also treats your pooch like royalty.  I’m talking doggie cookies, bathroom bags, water at your front door, and so many hugs and kisses and scratches throughout the day.  They even had a doggy menu you could order from!  And our own little fenced-in backyard for Gills to go potty romp around!  I’m pretty sure Gillman thought this was a spa vacation just for him.

unnamed-4Besides not having to stress about the comfort of our 14 year old chihuahua (which was huge, as you pet parents will agree), the inn offers lots of other goodies for a relaxing retreat: the essentials, such as a spa, seasonal outdoor pool, delicious restaurant, casual pub, and fitness center, along with nice bonuses such as gorgeous gardens, waterside location, and both complimentary bikes and boat docking.  The town of St. Michael’s is quaint and walkable, full of just enough cafes, boutiques, and antique stores to fill an afternoon stroll.  All this in under a 4 hour drive from NYC.  Kinda perfect, eh?

unnamed-5My favorite part, though?  Sitting by the roaring fireplace in the lobby, playing board games and drinking wine–the ultimate rest and recharge. With little man on my lap, of course.

cn_image_3.size.inn-at-perry-cabin-st-michaels-st-michaels-united-states-104079-4 unnamed-6Have you been on any pet-friendly getaways lately?  Share below!

Mar
2

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2015: The Year Of No Restaurant Repeats (February Edition)

We’re back with the February edition of “no restaurant repeats!”  This month, we did a bit of #travelthroughfood, checking out an amazing Spanish tapas place and a third generation owned French restaurant!

My favorite dining experiences this month tied, with Jean-Georges and The Four Seasons–and my least enjoyable experience was pastries from Dominique Ansel Bakery.  I’d like to think the experience would have been better had it ended in fresh-out-the-oven cronuts?

The budget friendly award goes to 1 Dollar Pizza, cause you can’t get better than a dollar slice in my book.

We’ll see you back at the end of March, but for more foodie adventures, follow us on Instagram!

And share below…what’s the best dish you’ve had lately?!

February 2015

unnamed-1{Le Pain Quotidien: Various Locations // $ // While not quite as popular as Starbucks, you can pretty much find an LPQ in any neighborhood.  The food is healthy and fresh, and I think it’s adorable (and very French) how they serve their coffee out of bowls.}

unnamed-2{Jean-Georges: Columbus Circle // $$$$ // Without a doubt, one of the top 3 dining experiences I’ve ever had in NYC.  The vegetarian tasting menu was out of this world (I finished EVERYTHING), truly deserves a post of its own. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, skip the gift and come here instead–an experience you and your tastebuds will not soon forget.}

unnamed-3{Chez Napoleon: Hell’s Kitchen // $$ // This has long been my favorite “hidden gem” French comfort food restaurant–owned by the most delightful French family, you can expect warm service and the most delicious house-made vinaigrette that you’ve ever tasted–slather it over everything!}

unnamed-4{Bouchon Bakery: Inside the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle // $ // Perfect place to catch your breath after a walk in the park or a morning of shopping–large size vanilla macaroons are my go-to order.}

unnamed-5{Tavern On The Green: Central Park West // $$$ // I always assumed this was a tourist destination so steered clear until recently (it’s where our out of town guests picked, go figure), but was really pleasantly surprised! The food was delicious, and there’s a toasty fireplace you can warm up next to! I got the soup for brunch, but the french toast was clearly the way to go.}

unnamed-6{1 Dollar Pizza: Hell’s Kitchen // $ // Dollar pizza, folks. Love it or you hate it, but I’m SUCH a lover.}

unnamed-7{Nai Tapas Bar: East Village // $$ // Feel like transporting to Spain for the evening? This hole-in-the-wall tapas joint will get you there. Along with the small plates, we were so pleased with the entertainment–live music and gorgeous flamenco dancing, and no cover charge to boot!}

unnamed-8{Dominique Ansel Bakery: Soho // $ // Meh, ok so were got here early in the morning for the cronuts (but nope, not early enough).  After waiting we figured we may as well order something, so we grabbed a few croissants and this Nutella bread.  It was okay, but just okay.  It left me a little confused as to the popularity of the place?}

unnamed-9{Circo: Midtown // $$$ // We stumbled on this circus-themed joint during restaurant week, and while I was impressed with my appetizer (cauliflower flan, now that’s fun!), the main course and dessert course were just so-so.  Because it was Restaurant Week?  Maybe.  But it wiped out any chances of becoming regulars–which I guess is good for this No Restaurant Repeat Challenge!}

unnamed-10{The Four Seasons: Midtown East // $$$$ // Ok, you know how I said before Jean-Georges was one of the three best restaurants I’ve experienced? Well, this is on that list, too!  Seriously, BEST SERVICE I’ve ever received in NYC…not to mention such playful and innovative dishes–besides that cotton candy, I was over-the-moon thrilled with their veggie lunch option (a delightful farro salad) and miniature house-made croissants, still warm from the oven.}

January 2015

unnamed-1{The Modern: Midtown // $$$ // Perfect for a classy date night.  Wear your favorite dress.}

unnamed-5{Bibble & Sip: Midtown // $ // Their  lavender latte is everything you’d ever dream it could be. Small cafe, but nice for catching up with a book or friend…tends to be my post-yoga class spot.}

unnamed-3{Prune: Lower East Side // $$$ // Great for meat lovers–the vibe is leaning towards the side of hipster for a casual, yet pricy, night out.  Probably not the best place if you have any food concerns (gluten-free, vegan), but they will produce this lovely off-menu veggie platter if you ask nicely–you must not be afraid of butter, though.  It’s on the cozy (read: small) side, so claustrophobics need not come.}

unnamed-4{The Bar Room: Upper East Side // $$ // They won me over with peacock wallpapering, and then locked it down with those extra crispy french fries–nice spot for a casual lunch or dinner.  You can also catch the game at the bar.}

unnamed-6{BluePrint: Whole Foods // $ // Well, it’s not a martini on the rocks or anything, but certainly the most efficient way to get in all your leafy greens in one swig. The taste is not nearly as terribly as one must think, promise!}

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{please note: this article will be updated monthly throughout 2015 to reflect the best of the best of what we’re noshing + sipping on around town}

Perhaps the #1 question I get from both tourists and locals alike is, “well, where are the BEST places we should we eat?”  Such a personalized question that I truly hate answering because, truth be told, my favorite foods and restaurant vibes are probably going to wildly vary from the ones you enjoy…and I’d hate to steer you down the wrong path!

That being said, I decided to take a new approach on the blog when it comes to documenting real food at real places.  As I may have mentioned to you before, the hubs and I are trying this 2015 no-restaurant repeat year!  Easier said than done, cause we do adore our tried and trues, but we’ve also discovered quite a lot of unexpected gems this year, and it’s only February! 

So my friends, I’ll post a single photo from each meal that we eat out throughout 2015, along with the restaurant link and part of town it’s in, with just a teeny bit of restaurant background…the rest is up to you!  Just remember, the mantra of our site is “best of new york, as used by new yorkers”, so if something is truly awful, it won’t be making the list.  Keeping it real for ya, my friends.

I’ll be updating the page monthly, both for your food porn pleasure and also for some inspiration of where to catch your next date night without being overwhelmed by so many options.  And as always, if there’s a place you’re curious about, leave it in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer your question!

Feb
27

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Learning A New Language: Month 2

Have you guys ever noticed how EVERY treadmill at your gym is completely taken in January, and then around February…crickets. Where did all the people go?!  Creeping away from their New Year’s Resolution, that’s where!  Which is kinda what happened to me this month…

funny-new-years-resolutions-going-to-the-gym-funny-someecards1As you’ll recall, I started January on a super high note with my language learning…I was playing the CD’s, writing daily phrases on our kitchen chalkboard, even texting in the mother tongue!  But then I lost that thing we know is SO essential to turning a resolution into a habit: motivation.

Around mid-month when I really noticed my progress slacking, I asked myself what the problem was (well, besides I just really suck at learning new languages…the struggle is real!)  But more importantly: I find language learning incredibly boring, so would push it back as far as possible into my day, putting other things way in front of it: reading blogs, going to yoga, sweeping the floors…seriously, anything that wasn’t language learning!  And then before I knew it, it was time for bed, and guess what?  No practice for Jess!  I reminded myself of Gretchen Rubin’s magical words of advice:

“Things often get harder before they get easier.”

So here’s what I changed towards the end of the month to address my problem of procrastinating my studies: I set my alarm (and coffee pot timer!) an hour earlier in the morning (I’m a morning person anyway so this wasn’t so terrible), and now study for an hour before my day starts.  This still hasn’t gotten to the point where it’s simple or enjoyable, and I’m not quite sure it will.  But you know what will eventually happen if I keep with it?  I’ll speak Bosnian a little better.

How are you 2015 resolutions/habits coming along?  Feel free to vent in the comments below!;-)