• Neighborhoods
  • Upstate Excursions

    Feeling sick of the city? Although New York is a hub for interesting activities, the Metro North gives New Yorkers access to a wide variety of places to explore upstate. Below I have included two very fun and beautiful places to go for a weekend excursion up the Hudson.

    Bannerman’s Castle:

    Once used as a storage site for Francis Bannerman, construction for the Scottish style castle on Pollepel Island began in 1901. Today, the castle now sits among ruins, which was caused by a great fire, atop a lush island just off of the coast of Beacon, NY. Access to the island is given by the Poughkeepsie bound Metro North from Grand Central to the Beacon stop and then by a small ferry from the Beacon dock which is walking distance away from the train station. The island is also accessible by kayak as well. Tours of the island and of the castle are from the months of May to October. The island is stunning to witness and is surely a unique oasis away from the city.



    Also available from the Poughkeepsie bound Metro North train, the art museum of Dia at Beacon is filled with grand works of art. The museum is mainly composed of large-scale pieces that fill up entire rooms. My personal favorite was a room filled with swirling structures that are composed in a maze-like fashion. This museum is definitely something only available outside of the city simply because of its gigantic size. The lush area around the museum is spectacular, and the town of Beacon is filled with good lunch spots and coffee shops.


  • Neighborhoods
  • Lower East Side

    The Lower East Side of Manhattan was once the most densely populated area in the world… it was also home to a staggering amount of tenement buildings and immigrants who were trying to begin a new life in America. Today however, the neighborhood is full of blossoming institutions. Although the area may have been seen as dangerous a hundred years ago, the Lower East Side is now a place that people in New York come to for a variety of fun reasons. Below, I have included some must-visit destinations that evoke a sense of historical and delicious as well!

    Soft Swerve: If you happen to see purple or green soft serve ice cream on the street, you now can know where it comes from! Soft Swerve is located at 85B Allen St, New York, NY 10002. It offers the now newly-craved matcha ice cream, as well as some other unique flavors (and colors) like ube and black sesame.

    Vanessa’s Dumpling House: If you are looking for good dumpling fix, Vanessa’s is definitely a solid option. I must also include that their sesame pancakes are necessary as well. The address is 118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002.

    143 Allen St: Once part of James De Lancey’s vast estate, this historical residence is now an official landmark of New York City. Once a part of six row houses, the 143 Allen St residence still stands after 186 years (it was built in 1831). It has stood the test of time, and can now be seen as an urban fossil.

  • New York City
  • Young New York Local?

    Hi everyone! For this spring, YDL is moving to the big apple. Now I know what you may be thinking… a Denver blogger going to New York City? I know, it may be crazy. But while I am living in New York temporarily, I will be giving you some special places in NYC that won’t be found on any travel websites or tourist webpages. If anyone is ever visiting New York, you can now look here for some unique places to go see!

    I will be back in Denver at the end of May and will continue to be posting about all things Denver and Colorado… but for the moment, New York City is the new topic of Young Denver Local.

  • Fun
  • Punch Bowl Social

    Other than Ace Eat Serve, the availability for teens to find a place to go get a good game is certainly lacking. While we may be past the age of heading to Elitch’s every weekend, there is definitely a special “grown-up” arcade with fun games on Broadway and 1st Ave.

    The Punch Bowl Social, taking up the majority of block on 1st, gives teens the experience to be able to grab food and play at the same time. Although they opened a few years ago, it seems their popularity seems to stay extremely high.

    My first time going to the Punch Bowl was only for a bite to eat. Although their popularity is certainly focused on the myriad of games, the food was quite good as well. I had a delicious Cubano and witnesses their beautiful looking wings. It offers all of your American staples from burgers to a chicken sandwich but also offers a few flares of Mexican and Italian influence.

    The games are certainly my favorite part of the experience. Ranging from ping pong upstairs to shuffleboard downstairs, the arcade and game section are always filled with kids and adults looking for some competition and fun. They also have a bowling alley and all its amenities for those looking to come bowl for a short or large amount of time.

    Certainly enough entertainment in one building, the Punch Bowl Social gives teens a way to get out and take a break from school for a moment by gaming it up without having to organize or rent equipment.

  • Trek
  • Evergreen Lake House Ice Skating

    As we dive into the depths of winter, it is certainly needed to get outside. But when you don’t want to go spend $170 on a one-day lift ticket to ski in the mountains, we have to search for some other options. Just a 40 minute drive into the foothills, the Evergreen Lake House offers daily ice skating on their frozen lake. Not only does it offer a fun way to get exercise with friends, but if you choose to take the Parmalee Gulch Road, one can experience a beautiful winding drive through Indian Hills.

    Inside the beautiful wooden house, anyone can come to rent skates if needed for $7 and head out onto the beautiful lake which provides beautiful views of the foothills. While we are skating on a lake, it is important to call the Hot Line (720-880-1391) to make sure that the ice is not too thin to skate on. Admissions fees are:

    Toddler: Free
    Ages 4-17: $6
    Ages 18-59: $7

    As I first arrived at the Lake House I soon learned that there were an abundance of hockey players coming in and out. Venturing out onto the lake, there were sectioned off hockey rinks for personal hockey games. The lake can be booked and sectioned off for broomball games, ice skating games, or even personal parties. In addition, there are skating classes that can be taken advantage of for those wanting to learn how to skate or improve their skills.

    The Evergreen Lake House gives anyone the chance to experience ice skating the old fashioned way while also getting out and enjoying the mountains. I highly recommend even if you aren’t planning on skating!

  • Fun
  • WashPark – Wheel Fun Rentals

    Although you may be right in the city, it is still possible to get some exercise while having fun – even on the water! At the infamous Washington Park, Wheel Fun Rentals offers a variety of bikes, kayaks, paddle boats, and more. This time of year is perfect for everyone to get out and exercise before it gets too cold and WashPark is your ideal playground to explore and get out this weekend! Below are the different types of equipment and hourly rates:

    Single surrey (see pictures of a surrey): $25
    Double surrey (see pictures of a surrey: $35
    Deuce Coupe (lower, flat double bike): $25
    Chopper (lower, flat bike with two wheels): $12
    Quad sport (lower, flat bike with four wheels): $12
    Single pedal boat (see pictures of a pedal boat): $25
    Double pedal boat (see pictures of a pedal boat): $35
    Single kayak: $12
    Double kayak: $20
    Canoe: $20
    Stand up paddleboard: $12
    Cruiser bike: $12

    Wheel Fun Rentals is located on the south side of the lake and directly west to the boathouse.

  • Trek
  • Mt. Falcon State Park

    Just 45 minutes outside of Denver, Mt Falcon Park provides an excellent outlet for hikers, bikers, and picture-takers. After winding through Indian Hills, I finally reached the trailhead and immediately noticed the fall colors and their excellent display. There are several different loops, the Permalee Trail (pictured) being the longest and most difficult but includes a stunning overlook. While all the trails begin on a flat and wide path, they soon branch out and end with an amazing view! All the trails are less than 3 miles which makes Mt Falcon Park a great day trip for people in Denver looking to escape on the weekend. If you aren’t looking to hike, the park has 4 picnic tables with a fantastic view. Red Rocks and downtown Denver can be spotted from the top which makes for an incredible vantage point of the entire greater Denver area.

    Below is a Google Maps pinpoint of the parking lot / start of trail:

    21255 Mt Falcon Rd, Indian Hills, CO 80454

  • Study
  • Steam Espresso Bar

    Steam Espresso Bar, located on S Pearl Street just south of E Colorado Ave, is a great place to get studying! Whether it be for upcoming standardized tests or summer work, Steam has about 30 tables inside and outside. They also have an incredible juice consisting of beets, apples, carrots and ginger (shoved through an incredible juicer) – I had it and recommend!

  • Trek
  • Eldorado Springs Pool

    Eldorado Springs Pool, just 20 minutes outside of Boulder, is truly a special venue. As I drove down the dirt road through the town of Eldorado Springs, I thought there was no way a pool could be hidden back here. Sure enough, it was, and there was much more with it as well. The naturally fed pool has a snack bar, pool, and diving board. It is also a close walk to Eldorado Canyon State Park which has many good hiking trails with good vantage points. The pool has a $10 entry fee but it is well worth it!

  • Fun
  • The Market

    The Market, located on Larimer Square, is a bakery, deli, coffee bar, and much more. When I first walked in, it seemed like your quintessential coffee shop with pastries and such; however, as I ventured back I learned it was much more. I was soon greeted by ice cream, sandwiches, and other pre-made foods. It has plenty of seating and offers a unique variety of foods. I tried the ice tea (pomegranate green) but they have a variety of others and pre-packaged goods as well.

    I highly recommend this spot for anyone in the downtown area looking for coffee, pastries, lunch, or ice cream!