NYC trip // part gaga

Monday, November 25, 2013

On the last night of my trip to NYC - I very randomly and luckily got to go to Lady Gaga's album release party for her new album, Artpop. Needless to say, it was one of the most ridiculous nights of my life. The moral of this story is basically that you need to be friends with cool people who are friends with even cooler people and you get to do cool stuff. On Friday, my good friend Shae who lives in Brooklyn received a text from one of his friends who lives in Vegas, asking if he would like to go to this Gaga party in Brooklyn on Sunday night. He obviously said yes, and when he got an email confirming that his name was on the list for the party, he realized he got a +1 and since I JUST SO HAPPENED to be staying in New York until Monday morning - he asked me to go with him. I said, "yeah, whatever - might as well."

So Sunday night rolls around - I ended up having to leave a work dinner a little early - and I take a cab to meet Shae at this place near the East Village where you get on ferries to go to Brooklyn. The actual location of the party was undisclosed to us, but we knew we had to go to this place and get on a boat that would take us to Brooklyn. So I get there and there's a huge line - I cut a bunch of people (who were less than thrilled about this) to meet up with Shae and we wait for a little while - the boat didn't start loading until 8:45. Tons of people start showing up - and apparently you had to have your name on this list or you weren't getting in. A lot of these people were just trying to get in without being on the list and it was a mad house. Supposedly about 1800 invites had been sent out for the event and you had to have your invite with you. Lucky for us, we did, and so we made our way to the front of the line, got our wristbands - and literally skipped onto this ferry boat. Everyone on this boat is like freaking out - for obvious reasons. The ferry starts heading towards Brooklyn - it was about a 15 minute boat ride. We look off the side of the boat and see a huge warehouse with lights, etc and we can tell that's where we're headed (see blurry iPhone image below).

We run off the boat and up to this warehouse. The first thing we see is this huge statue of Gaga (the doors are behind her). This was just one of the amazing Jeff Koons sculptures that were on display throughout the space. Jeff Koons is an artist who has collaborated with Lady Gaga on her album cover and a few other things. You've maybe heard her say his name in her song "Applause".

This one was really romantic and beautiful.


Once we got beyond the art pieces, we saw the huge stage. Since we were on the first ferry boat to get there we like ran right up to it so we could stand right by the stage when she showed up, but we got bored doing that once we fully grasped that we were in Gaga wonderland.

More naked statues. This one was really beautiful as well.

Shae and I when we first got there!

Behind the bar there were different people in these types of outfits - most of the others probably aren't super appropriate for me to post pics of (more naked). But they were quite impressive. Like - that dude (or girl??) is at work in that picture.

Also worth noting is that when you walked out back, there were 3 really awesome food trucks and all of the food was just free. I got a cake pop that said ArtPop on it, put it in my purse, and the next day I had a really awesome squished up piece of cake! So cool!

There were also other areas around the warehouse that displayed art and a technology room where you could go play with her new House of Gaga app, etc.

Then she came out and performed a bunch of songs from her new album and it was amazing/everything.

Favorite part of the show for me was when she played "Gypsy" and "Dope" on the piano. It really showed just how talented she is.


So, yeah - that was Lady Gaga's album release party. Huge thanks to Shae for taking me - it was seriously one of the funnest nights of my life.


NYC trip // part one

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I was lucky enough to head back to NYC again a couple weeks ago for work, and I gotta say - that city is really growing on me. The 3 other times I've been able to visit have literally been in the middle of July, so being able to explore the city in the middle of fall was just a bit more enjoyable. I did have to work quite a bit, but fortunately I was able to see and do a few fun things - it was just kind of hard because NYC really doesn't have a lot going on.

 I passed this staircase at Opening Ceremony while shopping in SoHo, and I am seriously obsessed. Trying to figure out how to do this in my house...

 Can't go wrong with a fall-themed window display at the J.Crew Men's Shop.

 The second night I was there, I met my friend Shae at a darling little tapas restaurant in the East Village called Grape & Grain. I would highly recommend the house-made soft pretzels and roasted portobello salad.

 After dinner we moved on to this amazing speakeasy called Blind Barber - it's a barber shop during the day, and then at night you walk through the actual barber shop through a sliding door in the back and it becomes a speakeasy! Super cute - so fun, highly recommend!

I don't have a picture of it, but Friday night I met a friend for dinner at Tolani on the Upper West Side. I would probably say that this was my favorite meal of the trip. It's a wine restaurant with South African cuisine - definitely different but delicious.

 After dinner we went to another little speakeasy - Little Branch. This was a cocktail bar hidden in the West Village - and I mean hidden - we had to look for the door. But it's tiny and the bartenders are really fun to watch.

 Saturday for lunch I had an authentic Danish culinary experience at Aamanns-Copenhagen in Tribeca. I will say - this place is very European, and I wouldn't recommend it for everyone - but the interiors alone are worth a stop. Don't get me wrong - the food was amazing, it was just definitely different!

 Cute little Danish dishes - they tasted just as good as they looked!

 After lunch we made our way over to Central Park - and you really cannot go wrong with the gorgeous fall trees surrounding you.

 All throughout the park that day, different jazz bands were playing. Pretty cool.

 We kept smelling vendors roasting almonds and peanuts so obviously we had to stop.

 I literally cannot go to NYC without having at least one meal at Shake Shack.

 I stopped at this Parisian cafe, Maison Kayser, for some espresso on my way to abc carpet - totally adorable.

I could've wondered around abc carpet & home for hours - especially since they had so much Christmas decor out. For some reason I was really taken with this little guy - should've taken him home!

Another restaurant I went to that I don't have a photo of but deserves a mention was Alta in the West Village. This was another tiny hidden gem - they had a ridiculously long list of tapas. Luckily I was dining with a large group so we ordered about 30 little plates and I have to say every single one was good. The brussels sprouts are not to be missed.

So it was a really great 5 days in the city! I did get to do one other really cool thing on my last night in the city, but I'll talk about that part tomorrow!

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