• New York City
  • Prince Street Pizza and Elizabeth Street Garden

    Classic New York pizza is known for having a nice thin crust. But hidden in Nolita (27 Prince St) is yet another special pizza joint that is cooking up an unusual slice for its location in Manhattan. Prince Street Pizza is a small and classic shop that cooks up a famous thick, almost deep dish style pizza. They do offer the classic thin crust, but their “square” pizza is notoriously famous and covered with greasy pepperonis.

    The pizza shop’s minimal seating is an issue… so where can you eat this slice? If you walk just south Elizabeth Street, you will come across the Elizabeth Street Garden. This quaint spot is perfect to sit down and eat because there are a variety of tables. This garden is also great to merely just hang out! There are interesting sculptures scattered throughout the space, and it is quite pleasant to just sit down and people watch on a nice day.

  • Fun
  • Governors Island

    Previously known for the infamous Gov Ball, Governors Island is now becoming a hot spot in NYC. There is so much going on in this space, and it is all just a ferry ride away from either Dumbo Pier 1 or the Battery Maritime building. The ferry ride over allows you to bring your bike with you, and it also gives fantastic views of the Lower Manhattan skyline.

    When you arrive at Governors Island, you are met Citi Bikes and beautiful brick buildings which were once part of a military base. Within the courtyard of these buildings lies food trucks, coffee, and picnic tables. If you move towards the south part of the island, you will come across the hills! These man-made hills feature New York’s longest slides and beautiful brick inclines. Behind the brick buildings are large, old houses that house various New York organizations. My sister and I walked right into one and learned about a bird organization which featured all of the different bird species in the state of New York! There is also Castle Williams which housed Union troops in the Civil War. Today, it is a museum and historical site on the island. What Governors Island may be most famous for, though, is its hammocks! Hammock grove is right in the middle of the island and has 50 red hammocks. This is a perfect place to come lounge on a pretty summer weekend!

    Governors Island is constantly featuring art exhibitions and events. To see upcoming activities and exhibitions see https://govisland.com/events.

  • New York City
  • Roberta’s Pizza

    We all know that New York City is famous for its pizza. This last semester, I went searching for New York’s best pizza, and Roberta’s hit the top mark. The restaurant’s main location is between Williamsburg and Bushwick; however, Roberta’s has a smaller branch in the upscale food court Urbanspace Vanderbilt in Midtown.

    The area around Roberta’s main location is pretty desolate. When you first walk up to the entrance, an old and run-down building stands before you. But inside lives a bustling and beautiful setting filled with shared benches and many, many pizzas.

    The dinner menu features eight magnificent pizzas. My personal favorite of these eight were the Lil’ Stinker. But what you don’t see on the menu is my absolute favorite: The Bee Sting. Pictured on the bottom part of my featured image, the Bee Sting is a classic pepperoni with honey drizzled over it. It sounds simple compared to the rest of the incredible pizzas, but I can assure you that you must order it!

    Roberta’s is cooking up some of the best pizzas in New York. The trek out to Bushwick is definitely worth it!

  • Neighborhoods
  • Long Island City

    Long Island City, located at the edge of Queens and just a close ride from north Brooklyn, is now becoming quite the destination. With the MoMa’s expansion into the area with the introduction of PS1, many people started flocking to the area. Most notably, “Hunter’s Point” (see view from featured image) is a beautiful waterfront park with a spectacular view of Manhattan. This area ranges for about a full mile with food trucks and ice cream vendors along its entirety. When I went to visit, it was a Saturday afternoon and the park was bustling. The people ranged from runners, to families, to people just sitting and watching the sunset like I was! The best part is that this park is just a walk away from tons of restaurants and activities to do in the area just east of the waterfront park. This summer, the Long Island City Food and Flea is returning to the area which will be a perfect time to go visit. With regards to food, there is definitely a mix of restaurants, ranging from upscale chains to local diners. I went to Dorian’s Cafe, one of many diners in the area, for a quick cheap and good burger, and I then walked just right across the street to a more upscale dessert spot called Something Sweet LIC for rolled ice cream (a new frenzy in itself). This just shows how LIC is developing as a neighborhood and becoming a destination for all people in the city. I definitely recommend checking it out!

  • Fun
  • Smorgasburg

    (Image from http://www.notboredny.com/)

    New York City is often called the food mecca. Amidst NYC’s fancy restaurants and local diners, a food market has gained prominence and has further propelled the idea that New Yorkers love their food.

    Smorgasburg is the largest food market in America. Its 100 different vendors range from burgers to barbecue to ice cream to much more. I happened to go to Smorgasburg on a rainy day… but that surely didn’t stop all the people! The market is open rain or shine and it seems that the market is surely to be bustling with people despite the weather conditions. I must admit that when I first arrived I was completely overwhelmed. So many options! Luckily, most of the vendors give you the option to order small portions. That being said… I happened to have dumplings, a taco, a fried chicken sandwich, and a doughnut. All of it was amazing, and it was only a small portion of the food available.

    Smorgasburg is in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays. Open from 11:00am-6:00pm, the market is filled almost all hours of operation. On their website, Smorgasburg states that they attract between 20,000-30,000 people to Brooklyn each weekend. Because of its amazing success in the past few years, the market has now expanded to LA and to upstate NY. Smorgasburg has definitely proven to be “The Woodstock of Eating” (New York Times).

  • 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.

    http://bannermancastle.org/index.html

    Dia:Beacon:

    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.

    http://www.diaart.org/visit/visit/diabeacon-beacon-united-states

  • 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
    Seniors/Military:$5

    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!