NYC is buzzing with up-and-coming fashion talent. As far as fashion in the North America is concerned, NYC is Mecca. And as part of New York Fashion Week, I had the privilege of attending The Set NYC's Fashion Benefit to raise money for a charity called Love 146, that fights child trafficking worldwide.
For the first time in almost 3 years, I'm actually in New York City for Fashion Week. I have been very blessed to have been invited to two very different types of fashion previews - the first was an intimate gathering for the newly launched Á Moi Atelier's Ready to Wear Autumn/Winter 2014 Preview at designer Alejandra Alonso's Soho apartment and the second, detailed later in this post, was an invitation by The Mobile Media Lab + Tommy Hilfiger to a New York Fashion Week Instameet.
There is nothing quite like the artistic energy that emanates from the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, my favorite borough of New York City.
I spend one night at the Wythe Hotel, a boutique hotel with loft-converted rooms that feature original historic industrial detailing, pine ceilings, and exposed brick walls. My room overlooks the hauntingly peaceful snow-covered Manhattan.
Now that I have reached 30 years of age... here's the biggest question on my mind: what am I working towards?
That's recently been the main topic of my internal thoughts, mulling and pondering over the purpose of my life and the projects I am working on.
Ben Scorah, Head Mixologist of Crown Group Hospitality, shows me how to make a Porn Star Martini. This colorful and fruity drink with loads of passion is to be chased with a shot of prosecco!
Ben Scorah, the Head Mixologist at Crown Group Hospitality, shows me how to make The Windsor's speciality cocktail, the Half Windsor. It's a light and refreshing drink that is only 90 calories!
Personally, I'm not a big fan of watching sports on TV, but if you had to drag me out to watch a game, at least drag me out to a place where I get dressed up nicely and enjoy some great cocktails. This classy sports bar in Midtown Manhattan is a perfect mix of sports and sophistication. In this video, I hang out with Ben Scorah, the Head Mixologist at Crown Group Hospitality to try out some of The Windsor Gansevoort Park's gourmet bar snacks.
After reading Lee Abbamonte's controversial blog post 'I Believe the United States Should Get Involved in Syria', I found myself thinking about my own stance on the matter. There are many reasons that I question the motives of our government in wanting to strike.
As an avid traveler and world citizen, I am not an advocate of war, but I am a strong believer in human rights and this was clearly in violation.
The video evidence of the effects of the chemical attacks I found online were absolutely horrific.
The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Assad began in March 2011.
This number gave me the chills. I hate to hear of anyone dying without just cause, but is this enough reason for a military intervention?
Moaz al-Khatib, a former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was quoted stating: “Ending the massacre in Syria is the responsibility of the international community.’’
I found myself thinking… is it really?
Would an intervention by the US and its allies really help solve the conflict that is going on there? As an American citizen and a citizen of the world, I have to pose this question: Are we really being honest with ourselves with the reasons for wanting to enter this war? Is it really for the said human rights violations and to be the "good guys"? Or are we really doing this because we want to hurt Iran? Syria is Iran’s closest partner in the Arab world and John McCain has been quoted saying, 'The fall of Bashar al-Assad would be the greatest blow to Iran in twenty-five years.’ With Iran apparently working toward a program of nuclear arms, he suggested, an intervention in Syria was not just a matter of humanitarian interest but also one of national interest. (Source: The New Yorker)
Is this declaration of war simply to a way to take advantage of a country's weakness for access to Iran's oil reserves? Proved oil reserves in Iran, according to its government, rank third largest in the world at approximately 150 billion barrels. Even though their oil production has declined due to political unrest, limited investment, and US sanctions, can't it be recovered once there is proper infrastructure, especially if the infrastructure is installed by the United States?
Another reason to question the US military motives:
There are thousands of human rights violations all across the world. I can name several off the top of my head: Genocides are happening today in Darfur, Sudan, Eastern Burma, Congo and Rwanda. So why pick this one in particular to wage an enormous, very costly war against unless we also had other interests other than "being the policemen of the world"?
If we look back in history at the US involvement with Iraq and how it left it —a failed state that will take years and cost thousands of lives to rebuild. Here's another question to the US government: Is this how we are going to leave Syria? Is this how we as the United States of America operate as the so-called "policemen of the world"? By interfering in conflicts that we do not belong in and then bail when the going gets tough, leaving the infrastructure of a country in shambles?
These conflicts that we are meddling with are rooted in thousands of years of history. We should know damn well what we're getting into. And we should also know what we're going to do about it when things don't go according to plan. If the US is going to go interfere in the Syrian civil war, it better plan to be there for the long haul.
Let us not think about war in terms of our country's ego, but in terms of the number of civilians that will have to be involved.
Please do not let this be another war fought for the American ego, our ego as "The United States of America". If we really want to save the civilians of Syria as a noble cause, I encourage it, but if this is a thinly veiled excuse for the US to get a stronger foothold in Syria in order to tap into the Middle East oil reserves, then here's the question that I pose to the US Congress: Is this all really worth the blood of our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters that will have to be deployed there?
Taking into account past actions by the American government in developing countries such as Vietnam and Afghanistan as well as the declining US economy, I'm afraid that their answer to my question may be a firm "yes".
4.30pm is the worst time to hail a cab in New York City. My advice: take a pedicab instead. A pedicab, one of those bicycle powered rickshaws is a summer staple of Manhattan. Not only are they eco-friendly and fun to ride in, they can also be your knight in shining armor.
Here's my pedicab to the rescue story...
Flashback to the summer of 2012: It's 4:45pm. It’s raining and it’s 15 minutes until my bus leaves for DC. I’ve been standing outside trying to hail a cab for 25 mins. Everyone’s off duty and I’m infuriated. I’m having a heart attack because I’m going to miss the last Tripper bus of the day going to Arlington, VA where I’m supposed to meet my friend Anna. And I already missed the earlier bus that I was supposed to catch. Argh. Off-duty cab after off-duty cab and another 5 minutes pass me by. 10 mins left until my bus leaves! I’m not sure what to do anymore. My clothes are soaked and I’m screaming inside. Suddenly, the solution appears. Low and behold, a pedicab pulls up before me.
I only need to go 3 avenues away, I tell him. 30 bucks, he says. I only have 20. He says 25. I only have 20 in cash and I need to catch my bus pronto.
Although a cab is much cheaper, I’d pay extra for the human powered vehicle as long as I don’t miss my bus!!!
He helps me put my two suitcases for my month long Best of the Road trip on his little vehicle and pedals his mighty legs through the sheets of rain and zig zagging through congested traffic and even through a red light. Go Mr. Pedicab Man!
We get to my bus 2 mins shy of it’s departure. Whew! A BIG thank you to Mr. Pedicab Man. I am eternally grateful.
You've decided that you're a hundred percent ready to live that gypsy wanderer life that you've always wanted. You've sold your stuff or are in the process of selling everything you own so you can be merrily free of all possessions, except your laptop and internet connection. Or you want to be nomadic with your clan. Whatever your reasons are, there are thousands and thousands of different online resources to help you.
Although I travel quite a lot, I haven't committed to being a full nomad yet. Although it's been quite tempting, I often miss New York City and crave that sense of community of spending time with friends and family. But I'm compiling this list of online resources in no particular order, just in case I want to get up and go.
I'm going to continuously be adding on to this list so come back for more and if you have any ones to contribute, leave it in the comments below and I'll incorporate it into this list.
Nomadtopia - practical advice and inspiration (Amy Scott's website)
Amy's interview with Helen Hunter Mackenzie about living and working anywhere in the world
Suitcase Entrepreneur - tools to run your business from anywhere
Location Independent - the original website and creators of the term "location independent professionals"
Location Rebel - from Sean Ogle of Location 180
House-sitting, Home Exchange, Places to Stay
CoolJobsCanada.com (primarily hospitality industry jobs)
Freelance Work Online
Apartments in Buenos Aires: http://www.bytargentina.com/re/propview.php?view=5143
Location Independence/Long-Term Travel with Kids
Homeschooling, Unschooling, Alternative Education
Book: The New Global Student, by Maya Frost: http://mayafrost.com/new-global-student-book.htm
http://worldnomads.com - travel/emergency insurance (Amy Scott is using)
http://www.integraglobal.com/ - comprehensive int'l insurance outside US/Canada (Carrie McKeegan uses)
45 Jobs you can do while traveling
"Me?" Holy beejeezus ohmigoodness! was the first thought that raced through my head when I came upon an email from Traci Suppa of Go BIG or Go Home Travel Blog inviting me to share my experience as a travel video blogger at a panel called
So You Want to ... Build Your Business Through Travel Blogging at the American Society of Journalists and Authors's 42nd Annual Writers' Conference (ASJA)
Holy crikey batmobile! was the next set of words that tumbled out of my mouth when I saw that the panel would feature other bloggers I admired such as Maria and Anthony Russo of Cultureist.com and Charu Suri of ButterflyDiary.com
Then, there was an entire hour of woah, is this for real? Really for real? For real, for realz?
After a couple more email exchanges between Traci and I, it finally dawned on me that is was.
After having the pleasure of attending so many panels on travel, writing and blogging and learning so much from all the amazing panelists I met, I am honored and more than happy to share what I learned during this DIY travel blogging journey.
So if you're planning on being at the conference that day, give me a hoot and holler. I'd love to see you!
And oh, here's the tagline for the conference: (lifted from their website)
"Whether you're a seasoned veteran, an enthusiastic rookie or somewhere in between, the 60-plus panels, workshops and special events at ASJA 2013 will supercharge your career."
Woo hoo! I'm going to help you supercharge your career!
We're gathering at 9am on Friday April 26th, 2013 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City (mid-town Manhattan to be exact)
Again, here are the deets - succinctly now (copy & paste-able):
9am Friday April 26th, 2013
45 EAST 45TH ST. AT MADISON AVENUE,
NEW YORK, NY 10017
Hope to see you there! Safe (and fresh) travels!
by Patricia Serrano There's a hotel for every kind of traveler in Delray Beach. This is a list of the different hotels that I've stayed at. I will keep adding as the list grows.
If you’re a fancypants - Stay at the Seagate Hotel and Spa (1000 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33483, 1-877-57-SEAGATE, theseagatehotel.com). I LOVE the beds here. They have one of the most comfortable hotel beds that I’ve ever slept in. I also enjoyed their lap pool. I got up early to do my laps before the kids come out to play. There’s a gym and on-site spa as well where you can get pampered with their special Rain Massage ($180 for 80 minutes), a treatment where you get massaged with water. I found it a quite novel experience. Not recommended for those who don’t like to be drenched in water for 80 minutes straight. The hotel also has a seaside Seagate Beach Club for exclusive use by hotel guests and club members only with complimentary cabana service so take advantage while you’re there.
If you want a secluded hideaway - Stay at Crane’s Beach House (82 Gleason Street, Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 278.1700, cranesbeachhouse.com) You’ll feel like you’re tucked away on a secluded island in the Florida Keys. Phone reception was a bit spotty, but that may have just been my carrier, but it was so beautiful here that I really didn’t want anyone disturbing my peace. Also, the breakfast there is great. I really enjoyed sitting in a hammock under a tiki hut and sipping their freshly squeezed juice. Also, the hotel and all the inspiring art on the walls makes it an ideal place for a detox so if you’re looking for one, Holistic Life Coach, Jill Schneider in conjunction with Crane’s offers a 5-day Exclusive One-on-One Transformational Retreat.
Best for traveling on business - Marriott Delray Beach (10 North Ocean Boulevard Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561)274-3200, marriottdelraybeach.com). I stayed in a great suite where there was a separate sleeping area and separate work area. This made it easy to mentally separate work from play. Also, with convenient amenities, on-suite spa, N Spa, and the best and fastest WiFi I experienced in Delray, this is a great place to be if you need to be connected at all times. It’s also right across the beach so if you need a few hours of being disconnected R&R, it’s just a walk away.
For the view - Holiday Inn Highland Beach (2809 S Ocean Blvd, Highland Beach, FL 33487, (561) 278-6241, highlandbeachholidayinn.com) Nothing beats this view. You’re so close to the water that the sound of the waves therapeutically lulls you to sleep. Other than the view and the location, another good thing about this place is their Sunday brunch. A beautiful view coupled with bottomless mimosas and a large selection of seafood, including oysters.
For the romantic - The Sundy House (106 S Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, FL, 33444 (561) 272-5678, sundyhouse.com) Nestled in lush greenery, this quiet ex-mayor’s home turned 11-room boutique hotel is peaceful and beautifully landscaped. Each room is also creatively decorated in its own creative theme and the suites come with washer/dryers and full kitchens! I loved staying in a rainforest-themed room. What absolutely blew me away about this place is their landscaping. I loved having my morning coffee under a gazebo by a serene pond. Although the WiFi in the rooms worked well, I wish the WiFi in the rest of the hotel worked better so I could spend more time outdoors. I absolutely loved swimming in their freshwater cenote-style pool. The place feels so magical that it’s not surprising at all that so many weddings take place here.
For proximity to things to do - The Hyatt Place in Pineapple Grove (104 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 330 3530, delraybeach.place.hyatt.com) is in the heart of everything cool in Delray's Pineapple Grove Arts District. I like how convenient this place is to get in and out of, with no big lobby to stroll through. Easy in and out, it’s like you’re in a serviced apartment with a great bar. It’s an extremely short walk to a lot of Delray’s best restaurants, bars and nightlife. Some nights there are even live jazz acts playing in the lobby.
41. Work on your laptop at Spot Coffee (44 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 455-4041, spotcoffee.com) Super friendly crowd, good coffee, nice ambiance, stable WiFi, and most importantly, good music.
42. Look closely at the tattoos of the people around you. You might find a cool one that will hit you when you least expect it, like this one off a local Delray girl (@ashleyricardo). “Don’t let regret take place of the dreams you chase.” Damn right, girl!
43. Grab a round of beers and mini-golf at Putt’n Around (350 NE 5th Ave Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 450-6162, puttnaround.net) Play 36 holes in a beautiful, tropically landscaped setting with sculptures, ponds and even a few waterfalls. Very zen and relaxing.
44. Eat sustainably at Max’s Harvest. (169 NE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 381-9970, maxsharvest.com) This farm-to-fork restaurant is the epitome of fresh. Using only locally sourced vegetables and fruits, their meat comes from humanely raised hormone free farms and eco-raised or caught seafood. Their menu changes often, according to the seasons, and the food is prepared simply.
45. Shop at Green Market – (NE 2nd Avenue north of Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL, (561) 276-7511, delraygreenmarket.wordpress.com). On a Saturday morning, pop by Old School Square Park, on Pineapple Grove Way, just a half-block north of Atlantic Avenue, to learn about everything artisanal, from off-the-vine produce to freshly cut flowers to homemade goodies. This charming market runs every Saturday morning from 9am-2pm until the beginning of May.
46. Get a juice at Nutrition Cottage (07 E Atlantic Ave. Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 272-8571, nutritioncottage.com) With a whole team of nutrition specialists, this little cottage knows health. Their café, Cottage Café, is where you should head to grab some juice and healthy eats.
47. Get better everyday at Slash Fitness (401 NE 2nd Street, Delray Beach FL 33344, (561) 865-5716, slashfitpro.com). If you’re staying at Pineapple Grove, go get fit at this little training gym that provides customized workouts for individuals of every shape and size. The semi-private training sessions make the individual attention you get affordable.
48. Go on a fun date at Dada restaurant (52 N Swinton Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 330-3232, dadaofdelray.com) – French for ‘hobby-horse’, Owners Rodney Mayo, Scott Frielich & Chef Bruce Feingold created a cozy home-like atmosphere at this restaurant and lounge. Their event calendar is filled with fun events like slam poetry and tattoo beauty contests.
49. Get into the Sensory Deprivation Chamber at DU20 (103 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 455-2147, du20.com/the_floating_experience). It’s a bit intimidating, but I swear it’s relaxing. The buoyancy created by 1000 lbs of Epsom salts added to 200 gallons of water heated to 95 degrees F (skin temperature) in a dark “chamber” 12 inches deep will bring back memories of being in your mother’s womb. Not recommended if you’re afraid of the dark, but really recommended if you’re trying to get over your fear of the dark.
50. Grab a drink at Jimmy’s Bistro (9 S Swinton Ave Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 865-5774) This inconspicuous off-the-beaten path restaurant has their menu of New Italian cuisine by Chef Jimmy Mill’s up on a blackboard. I unfortunately didn’t get to eat here because I discovered on the last day of my travels and I was already super full from dinner, but I did grab a drink at the bar. This place looks like it could be a bar in the West Village in NYC. This is absolutely number one on my list of places to eat when I next return to Delray Beach.
31. Try the Lobster Pad Thai at House of Siam (25 NE 2nd Ave # 116 Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 330-9191, houseofsiam.info). This little Thai place in Pineapple Grove serves up a mean and really pretty Lobster Pad Thai. Their ingredients are fresh - they grow their herbs fresh in planters right outside their restaurant.
32. Grab some yummy fish, deep fried Thai-style, and oh, some sushi too, at Ziree (401 W Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 276-6549, zireethai.com). A local man who spent his formative years in Thailand took me here with his wife. They say this is the town’s best Thai restaurant. It just so happens to serve Japanese food as well. So you can get your fill of spicy Thai food along with sake and sushi. It is a little bit away from Atlantic Avenue, but this place is worth the drive.
33. Invest in art at DeBilzan Art Gallery (38 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 266-2090, williamdebilzan.net) William DeBilzan’s striking art comes in several forms – the static kind for hanging on walls and such or the mobile kind like on bags and luggage, perfect for a traveler like myself – I love the latter.
34. Check out the wine and food pairings at the Delray Wine and Seafood Festival (dbwineandseafood.com). If you’re in town in November, get drunk at this festival and get an all you can drink pass – be warned the food is cash only do bring loads of cash if you don’t want to get drunk fast like I did and pass out at 7pm on Day 1.
35. Check out the Garlic Fest (dbgarlicfest.com) in February for the best of the best of everything garlic and amazing musical acts! A video of me trying their famous crab cake that literally draws crowds is coming soon!
36. Listen to local musicians jam out at Kevro’s Art Bar (166 SE 2nd Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 278-9675, kevroart.com). This art bar is a bit off the strip. It’s a funky find that feels like you’re hanging out in someone’s garage. Peppered with pool tables, pinball machines and hula hoops, and a huge open space to hang out under the Florida sky, it’s a great spot to meet locals.
37. Catch a show at the Arts Garage (180 NE 1st St Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 450-6357, artsgarage.org). A musical act or a play, My friend Anna Haas played a show at the Arts Garage and I also saw a girl that I went to NYU with Lauren Gundersen was having a play reading there. Delray is rich is supporting the arts.
38. Sake and sushi at Yama (200 NE 2nd Avenue # 110 Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 266-9929, yamafreshsushi.com). Located in the Pineapple Grove Arts District, this tiny unassuming sushi joint serves up some great sushi. Sit at the bar and get to know the sushi chef and maybe he’ll even make you your own sushi roll! He made one for me, the Patricia roll: eel, salmon, avocado, and brown rice.
39. Grab an Irish coffee at Park Tavern (32 SE 2nd Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 265-5093, parktaverndelray.com) and watch the game. Doesn’t matter which game – football (American or European), this tavern is one pretty cool spot. I met up with local John Butler here – pretty awesome guy who runs Delray’s ATP tennis tournaments – and we shot the shit over multiple Irish coffees and beers.
40. Get your coffee with cinnamon at Caffe Martier (411 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 450-6169, caffemartierdelray.com) Uber-friendly local fitness-trainer schooled up me on how cinnamon is a healthy sugar substitute that does wonders for your sex drive. Thank you, Stan Frydrych!
21. Dine and Boatwatch by the Intracoastal at Deck 84 (840 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 665-8484, deck84.com) I watched the boats go by as I savored some tuna tacos. This restaurant’s casual atmosphere is a great place to do some boat watching. Also a good place for happy hour.
22. Rent a Boogie Board/Surfboard/Kitesurfboard and enjoy the waves. I’m not a skilled surfer and wasn’t up for a land-only kitesurfing lesson so I grabbed a boogie board from Richwagen’s Bike & Sport (298 NE 6th Ave. Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 272-BIKE) and hit the mellow waves.
23. Relax with a fancy spa treatment at N Spa (10 N Ocean Blvd Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 278-8111, nspas.com). This was the best! I was treated like a queen at this place. Definitely not cheap, but worth it. I did a touch therapy, a customized heart-centered healing to improve my mind. The therapy included massages with pure coconut oil, rosemary, ginger, and pure Fijian oil. The chandeliered waiting room also has goodies like chocolate fondue and fruit to snack on.
24. Sweat it out at Hot Yoga class at Hot Yoga of Delray (3205 S Federal Hwy Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 266-2075, hotyogaofdelray.com). This was my first experience with Hot Yoga and it was better than I anticipated. At first I thought, no way am I going to be in a hot room in Florida when I could be frolicking on the beach! But I really enjoyed it, the heated room enabled me to get into poses that I wouldn’t normally and really got me to sweat out my stress! This was also a really good way to meet some good-looking, health conscious locals!
25. Buy food at the Convenient Drive Thru Food Store. Located in Pineapple Grove, this barred drive-through serves up gum, soda, chips and other items you can find in your local convenience store. Even if you don’t have a car, they service patrons on foot, I walked right up to it to get a pack of gum.
26. Dine at the Seagate Beach Club (401 South Ocean Boulevard, Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 330-3775, seagatedelray.com) But in order to do this, you have to be a guest at the Seagate or go with a club member. Unless you’re an expert networker or have a pre-made connection, the prior is easier than the latter. If you are at the hotel, take advantage of this beautiful beachside club and dine on the patio.
27. Try the crab cakes at 50 Ocean (50. S. Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 278-3364, 50ocean.com). This second-floor restaurant above Boston’s on The Beach boasts an ocean view, fancy cocktails, and wonderful crab cakes.
28. Ride a boat down the Intracoastal and catch the sunset. Rent a boat from Alex Warner of Delray Boat Club (777 Palm Trail, Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 865-7797, delrayboatclub.com) or make friends with a local and hop on their ride.
29. Play Russian Roulette at Candyfish Sushi Bar (8 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 330-4236, candyfishsushi.com) Here’s how it works: The sushi roll comes with a huge glob of wasabi hidden inside one piece and whomever at the table gets the wasabi-filled piece has to take the sake bomb that comes with the order. Warning: not for the faint-hearted. Watch this video of me and Brian Cox of TheTravelVlogger and giving it a go. Be sure you click on 'Candyfish Sushi' after the intro!
11. Indulge in beers and pizza at Mellow Mushroom (25 S.E 6th Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 330-3040, mellowmushroom.com). If you love pizza and you love beer, this hippie pizza chain place is a must-try. With 20-40 beers on tap and 50 or so varieties of bottled beer, you can even get your own custom-made pizza.
12. Listen to jazz at Brule Bistro (200 NE 2nd Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 274-2046, brulebistro.com). This classic French-influenced American spot in an artsy section of town called Pineapple Grove offers jazz on weekends. It’s a nice place to relax, have a crème brule, multiple glasses of wine and listen to music.
13. Have seafood linguini at Caffé Luna Rosa (34 S Ocean Blvd Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 274-9404, caffelunarosa.com). Known for their breakfast and their brunch, Caffe Luna Rosa also serves up a delicious pasta dinner. Sitting by the ocean also means you’ll get that cool ocean breeze.
14. Listen to reggae on Monday nights at Boston’s on the Beach (40 S Ocean Blvd Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 278-3364, bostonsonthebeach.com) Another bonus: you can have their Ipswich Clams without the New England winter weather!
15. Go shirtless and grab a drink at Sandbar (40 S Ocean Blvd Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 278-3364, bostonssandbar.com) This is a bar where you can go shirtless and shoeless. Even if you’re too shy, you can check out all the shirtless, shoeless eye-candy while sipping on one of their special build-your-own mojitos.
16. Get your hair cut/head massaged/nails done at Naked Hair Salon (10 SE 1st Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 265-3396, nakedhairsalon.com) This eco-friendly holistic salon is my favorite salon on earth. The ultimate in eco-friendliness, owners Adam and Janine Rose Shuman, created this concept after Janine got sick from the chemicals in all the hair products while working at a traditional salon. Everything in the shop made of all natural, human-friendly ingredients, and even their nail polish is formaldehyde-free. Watch me get my haircut dry with their special technique in this video (coming soon!).
17. Eat oysters at City Oyster (213 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 272-0220, cityoysterdelray.com). Nothing gets you through a rough emotional time like having oysters and wine with friends. So gather some friends (old and new) and sit down for a feast.
18. Try the Tuna Tartare Ice Cream Cones at 75 Main (270 E Atlantic Ave Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 243-7975, 75main.com). A novel idea and a substitute for those without a sweet tooth at this sister branch of the celebrity-frequented Southhampton hotspot.
19. Cruise down Atlantic Avenue at dusk. Peruse the shops like Waggs to Riches (waggstoriches.com), the pet store for totally spoiled and pampered pets. At night, the streets come alive with different scenes, making hopping from sports bar to enoteca effortless. People are ridiculously friendly so it's very easy to make friends.
20. Do sunset yoga on the beach. Every Sunday Jai Healing Arts (jaihealingarts.com) offers sunset yoga classes at the far North end of Delray Beach. Once I did savasana (corpse pose, final relaxation) under a beautiful open sky while the energy of the earth was cooling, doing it at a yoga studio will never be the same!
by Patricia Serrano Delray Beach, FL is the ‘rehab capital’ of the USA, the Most Fun Small Town in America, and also an ideal place to get over a breakup.
There is a quote by American novelist Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977) that reads, “When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.”
I love my life way too much to commit suicide, so when I come to a low point in my life, such as a breakup, loss of job, or just plain bad weather, I always find myself traveling to recover.
The first time I visited Delray Beach, FL was at the end of June with Rand McNally and USAToday’s Best of the Road. I was there for three jammed-packed days, fresh from the wounds of a break up, and because of that, I was busying myself with non-stop activity trying to determine the Most Fun Small Town in America with my awesome gal pal, Anna Haas, to keep my mind off things.
Being tasked to pick the most fun small town in America isn’t so easy, especially when there are so many awesome other small towns to choose from. So, after our roadtrip was over, I couldn’t help thinking – did we really make the right choice?
November in Brooklyn – I’m freezing and still not fully recovered from my horrible break up. I’m cooped in my cold apartment because of Hurricane Sandy. My mind’s racing with toxic romantic memories and I need out, pronto. What’s the first thing I think of? My summer memories of Delray Beach.
I couldn’t stop wondering about how much warmer Delray Beach was in the winter than New York. And how much warmer the water was. So, I checked out weather.com and got these results.
So, I did the natural thing and bought a one-way ticket down there ASAP.
I spent the next three weeks exploring the town at my leisure without the pressure of having to squeeze 10 activities a day into an itinerary. I thought 3 weeks would be more than enough time to fully explore this town like a local. I also went there at the perfect time – early November, the very beginning of tourist season so places weren’t jammed packed with Northerners flying south. I spent those three weeks getting to know numerous Delray locals and discovering the spots that they hang out in. I also spent a lot of my time here just giving myself a break after an emotionally tumultuous year. Delray Beach is definitely a destination to do some major relaxing, being the rehab capital of the United States.
Here are 50 things that I did while nursing my emotional health in Delray Beach. All the activities here were recommended to me by local Delray residents.
1. Get up early in the morning for a stroll during Delray Beach’s sunrise. There are many things to do for early risers on the beach. Early morning classes in yoga, boot camp and even stand up paddleboarding. By 7:15am, there are already lots of people on the beach. Just seeing the sunrise in the morning makes me smile.
2. Mark some turtle nests. Do your good deed for our eco-system. These species are endangered! Numerous leatherhead and loggerhead turtles nest on Delray Beach as early as March until late August. It takes approximately one to three hours for the female turtle to lay a hundred ping-pong sized eggs.
3. Ride around town on the Delray Downtowner (561) 702.8519, delraydowntowner.com). This is the town’s 100% electric eco-friendly transport carts. Although convenient, the service runs with limited hours and within a certain radius so I would call in advance to check how far these electric carts travel. Hours: M-F 5pm-11pm; S-S 11am-11pm. You can even go to their website and reserve a table at a restaurant on Atlantic Avenue and book a ride to and from that restaurant online.
4. If you’re in town for Thanksgiving as I was, why not have a No Drama Thanksgiving Buffet at the Marriott Delray Beach (10 N Ocean Blvd Delray Beach, FL 33483, (561) 274-3200, marriottdelraybeach.com). No turkey to prep, no table to set, no dishes to wash, no family to squabble with. Utter peace during one of the most hectic holidays of the year.
5. Lounge out by the pool. Need I say more? If you’re vacationing in Florida, I fully believe you need to be in swimwear at least 55% of your vacation. All that vitamin D from tanning does wonders to my mood.
6. Sunday brunch at the Holiday Inn Highland Beach (2809 S Ocean Blvd Highland Beach, FL 33487, (561) 278-6241, highlandbeachholidayinn.com) . It’s about a 20-minute bike ride off the main Atlantic Avenue strip, but it’s secluded and you can’t beat the beachfront view. They also have the most extensive Sunday brunch I’ve ever had, complete with unlimited oysters and mimosas! A lot of local residents in the neighboring towns come out here to brunch, so it’s also a great way to meet the locals.
7. Swim in the cenote at the Sundy House (106 S Swinton Ave, Delray Beach, FL, (561) 272-5678, sundyhouse.com). This 11-room luxury boutique hotel has a beautifully landscaped fresh water pool that is modeled after the famous natural swimming holes in the Yucatan peninsula.
8. Cruise along the ocean on a rented bike from Richwagen’s Bike & Sport (298 NE 6th Ave. Delray Beach, FL, (561) 272-BIKE, delraybeachbicycles.com). Cruise down the A1A during the day. This scenic and historic coastal highway stretches 328.9 miles with loads of lush and tropical scenery of the Atlantic Ocean. Very therapeutic.
9. Sit in a cabana on the beach and bask in the SoFlo Sun. You can lay on a beach towel for free but if you want a less sandy experience, rent a cabana for the day. Oceanside Beach Service (beachservice.com) manages the beach rentals that range from $3 per hour for a single chair to $25 a day for two.
10. Eat sushi at Buddha Sky Bar (217 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, (561) 450-7557, buddhaskybar.com). This discreet Asian fusion sushi bar is on the third floor and yes, here in Delray, the third floor is a high enough to be called a sky bar. Under the glass-incased rooftop, you’ll have magnificent views of Atlantic Avenue all the way to the ocean.
It’s my birthday and I’m craving a latte. Yes, I hear howling winds outside my window and it’s clear that Hurricane Sandy has descended upon us, but am I going to let a little wind and rain deter me from getting my birthday latte? I don’t think so.
I’m 29 years old as of today and I refuse to live my life in fear. I want a latte, I’m gonna get my latte. Plus, who knows? This may be the last latte that I have in my life and goddamnit, I’m going to enjoy every single sip of it.
But of course, these winds are dangerous and I’m a wee little thing, weighing in at approximately 100 lbs. How am I going to get through two blocks without being blown away by the wind? Here’s how: By dancing my way through. Not fighting Sandy and embracing the chaos that she brings and being smart about it.
I grab my boots and my raincoat and put my hair up in a bun. The last thing I need is my hair wrapping itself around my neck and choking me to death.
When I go outside, the cold wind whips my face, but I keep my head down and my ego in check. No need pick a fight with Sandy when I know she will kick my ass. I keep my mind focused on my end goal: the latte.
I relax and stay flexible. Sandy is strong and she whips my body - pushing back and forth. Instead of tensing up, I allow her to tumultuously rock me while I continue to dance forward with the sway of the winds, focusing on the step right in front of me, keeping each step firmly planted on the slippery sidewalk.
I stay calm amidst the chaos while I reach my destination. The turbulent winds are scary, but it’s only temporary.
I use what’s around me. As I improvise my way towards Marlow and Sons, I use anything at my disposal to shield my body from her winds. Whether it’s an awning, a building, a car or another person, as long as there’s something else to take the impact of her strong winds instead of my body, I know I’ll make it.
And you know what, I do. I get my birthday latte and I enjoy it immensely before I dance back home and hide from the rest of the wrath that Sandy is about to unleash upon us. Happy 29th Hurricane Birthday to me.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ifBPYbyM_Q?wmode=transparent&autohide=1&egm=0&hd=1&iv_load_policy=3&modestbranding=1&rel=0&showinfo=0&showsearch=0&w=500&h=375] Crave paella? Check out this place in Soho I went to with a Spanish friend to test its authenticity.
Socarrat Paella Bar 284 Mulberry St (at E. Houston) http://socarratpaellabar.com