Adagio Is NYC’s Cup Of Tea


While it may be all about the iced coffee and fresh juices in the summer months, October to March (ok, sometimes May!) in NYC is all about the bevvys that keep us warm on the inside and out..and nothing says cozy quite like a cup of hot tea!  There’s no limit on the tea houses you can frequent throughout the city, but some days you just want to brew your own from the comfort (and warmth!) of your own kitchen, am I right?

I was delighted to learn about Adagio Teas–a family owned company that works directly with farmers and is dedicated to incredible quality and incredible customer service, delivering door to door service.  When I say incredible, I mean emailing the company, telling them what flavors my taste buds prefer, getting an immediate response with recommendations and descriptions, and upon placing an order receiving my shipment within 2 days.  AND a follow-up email to make sure everything was to my liking!  Seriously, these guys have the kind of customer service that creates loyalty for life.


Besides their delicious teas (summer rose and vanilla rooibos being my favorites thus far), I just love their genius invention the integnuiTEA.  Perfect for busy New Yorkers who don’t have the patience to stuff dried leaves into tea baggies or balls, this all-in one teapot empties your brew right into a mug when it’s placed on top of the rim.  Less mess?  I’m so for it!

Here’s a little preview of how it works:

And at only 10 cents per cup, this sure beats any of the tea house prices you’ll find around New York!  Or if you are curious about what flavors you’d enjoy, you can order samples for $2, which makes enough for 10 cups of tea!

Quick recap of why Adagio simply rocks for busy New Yorkers:

1. They deliver!

2. Minimal mess and dishes!

3. Budget friendly AND incredible quality!


What flavor is your cup of tea?  Share below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen




5 Things To Do In Coney Island During The Off-Season


Ahh, Coney Island, NYC’s crowned jewel of beaches!  Have to admit: when I moved to NYC 9 years ago, one of the first solo exploration outings I did was to hop on the F train and ride it to the very last stop (mind you, I lived in Jamaica, Queens at the time, so I was essentially riding the train its entire length…enough time to finish a short novel;-)  Needless to say, I’ll never forget disembarking the train in the July heat…the smell of hotdogs wafting along the salty sea air, the Cyclone rumbling along its rickety track, and the beach dotted with so many towels, you had to squint real hard just to see the sand!  Really something special.


However, if cozying up to a complete stranger on the shore isn’t your jam, I have a beautiful alternative for you: Coney Island in the off-season.  Not only is it barren of locals and tourists trying to soak up some sun, but the isolated theme park paired with the crashing gray waves gives a sort of urban beauty you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else.  Here’s 5 things you can enjoy in this hood during the off-season:

1. Take a Tour

Coney Island Tours have a special touch because the tour guides are born and bred Brooklynites, who are crazy passionate about their neighborhood, and can give you the inside scoop on anything and everything.  I had a guided tour led by owner Michael Quinn, and seriously left armed with so much fun knowledge about Coney Island’s history (but the fun stuff, like gangsters and the evolution of Nathan’s Hot Dog!)  Tours are year round, by appointment.

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2. Eat a Famous Hot Dog

Okay, okay, I understand that you can get a Nathan’s elsewhere in the world, but this, my friends, is the original, founded in 1916!  And originals always taste best, right?  Open year round (and inside seating!), you’ll get to enjoy the experience, sans a long wait and fight for seating you’d encounter during the summer months.


3. Stroll the Boardwalk

Urban hikes have long been a NYC fave, but the boardwalk is certainly a way to mix up your walking regime from other city faves such as the Highline or Central Park.  The historic 90-year-old Riegelmann Boardwalk, stretching 2.7 miles, is open year round, and despite being the off-season you’ll surely run into a plethora of walkers, runners, bicyclists, parents with strollers, neighborhood folks out and about, and of course tourists from around the world.  Insider’s Tip: as you head towards Brighton Beach you’ll get to take in some of the Russian vibe the hood is so known for.


4. Visit the NY Aquarium

There’s something so relaxing about watching fish swim round and round in brightly lit tanks, making the aquarium the perfect way to while away an afternoon.  The daily penguin feeding has been a long time favorite of mine.  Insider’s Tip: If you visit on a Friday afternoon after 3pm, it’s pay-what-you-wish admission.


5. Watch (or join!) the Polar Bear Club

One of the crazier things you’ll stumble upon in Coney Island during the off-season is the swimmers of the local Polar Bear Club.  These guys and gals take a dip in the icy Atlantic ocean every Sunday at 1pm, November through April, and outsiders can join for “guest swims”.  They also organize the legendary New Year’s Day plunge (which anyone can join, no membership required!), and the proceeds go to charity.


Have you been to Coney Island? What stood out most in your mind?  Share below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen

This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox.




New Yorker Moments



{collecting leaves in central park for craft projects}

Happy Halloween, NYC (and beyond!)  I was sifting through photos last night and realized the last time I dressed up for the holiday was 2009…!  Needless to say, I’m not a huge Halloween celebrator myself (gotta save my festive energy for the trifecta of faves…Thanksgiving/Christmas/Valentines!), so today my folks are coming into town to visit and we’ll be headed downtown to appreciate other peoples’ costume efforts, and then to take in an Off-Broadway show.  And of course popping by somewhere delicious for dessert…I mean, it is the national sugar holiday, after all:-)

How will you spend your holiday?  Share below!


{maple capp that’s as delicious as it is pretty}


{central park in the fall}


{the sweetest baby shower dessert bar at the brooklyn winery}


{fuzzy picture, but one of my favorite times during the week is volunteering for the pajama project}






The Brightness Of Heaven + Giveaway


This contest has officially ended. A huge New York thank you to all who participated, and congrats to our winner, Nasha! Stay tuned for more exciting giveaways!

Theater lovers!  Another fantabulous show and ticket giveaway, which happens to be at what I deem the cutest theater in all of NYC!  Seriously, I never miss an opportunity to see a show at The Cherry Lane, it’s adorbs!  Here’s all the info:


The Kilgannons are a typical Irish family in 1974 Buffalo.  However, the world is changing fast, the generation gap is widening, and the future is up for grabs. Will the Kilgannons find the serenity to accept the things they cannot change and the wisdom to know that what needs changing most is sitting around the dinner table? THE BRIGHTNESS OF HEAVEN is a witty drama about family, faith, and the ties that bind — sometimes too tightly.


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!)

2. For a bonus entry, tag your favorite NYC moment of the week on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #UsedYorkCity


The contest will run until Monday, November 3rd, 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 $26 off ticket prices: BHRR. Just enter at checkout!

By: Jessica Tiare Bowen




UsedYorkCity Inspiration #8



^^The sweetest collection of cups and saucers from the Brooklyn Winery.^^

1. A friendly reminder to look up once in a while…diamond lampposts in the Diamond District. (via Untapped Cities)

2. …and sometimes it’s good to look down, too.  Gorgeous shots from NYC taken in the air. (via Denver Post)

3. Just finished reading a fascinating and harrowing book, The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what the book goes through in much more detail. (via NY Post)

4. How to reclaim every tiny inch of your already small kitchen. (via Apartment Therapy)

5. The best hoods to go Trick-or-Treating in NYC. (via 6sqft)

What’s been inspiring you this week? Share below!