Originally published Jan. 8, 2013
What better way to start the new year off than by talking about something sweet. Should your travels be taking you to NYC, and if you happen to find yourself on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Dylan’s Candy Bar is a worthwhile stop to keep the kids or a sweet tooth satisfied and happy.
Dylan is the daughter of famed fashion designer Ralph Lauren (Polo, anyone?). She was one of many childhood dreamers inspired by Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory at a young age. Yet, while many pretended to make their own candy bars with the back of the Cap’n Crunch box (mail-in order form) kit that came with chocolate Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompa molds and Wonka Bar candy wrappers, she was one of the few who actually realized her dream by opening a real candy shop in 2001. There are a couple other retail outlets around the states (East Hampton, Houston, LA, and Miami Beach).
Taking a leisurely walk through the 3 level flagship store took my daughter and I at least an hour. It is a visual banquet of color for the eyes and might house one of the largest candy collections in the world. They claim to have over 5,000 types of candy!
One of my favorite items in the store is their line of candy bars. There are over 20 flavors including specialties such as Red Velvet Cake, S’mores, Angel Food Cake, Banana Cream Pie, Dark Raspberry, Brownie Batter, and Bacon. The packaging is fun and colorful and the price is reasonable at 4 bars for $10. I think even Willy Wonka might be envious.
Enjoy this photographic trip that will give you some of the visual stimulation without any of the calories! If you find you are craving something sweet, they offer on-line shopping and shipping for most of their products.
This was actually quite lucky. I’m not sure what happened, but about 10 minutes later the store filled with over 100 people. Maybe a tour bus arrived or something. That’s my daughter holding a NYC pizza.
Steps with candy floating in them!
Notice the wallpaper in the stairwell. It reminds me of the wallpaper from the movie that you can lick. I wonder how many people or kids have tried?
Funny NY Street Signs
Originally published Aug. 11, 2012
These street signs are in New York City and being an out-of-towner, I found them rather humorous.
I thought I had it figured out but I was wrong. I had to look it up on the internet. It actually means that there is street cleaning Tues. and Fri. during the designated times and there is no parking on that side of the street then. Maybe it also implies that if people didn't litter, we wouldn't have to impose this no parking time so we can clean the street.
You might be wondering whether this sign can be true “Don’t Honk”. They seem pretty serious about it too since it’s in all capital letters and with a $350 fine. A vehicle’s horn is put there for a good reason, right?
Did I hear any horns honking? Yes, but only a few and I did not see anyone get caught. I can imagine though if they didn’t impose this restriction in Manhattan (seems like a pretty aggressive group of drivers), there would probably be horns going off constantly and the sound might be deafening.
I wonder if people look around them to make sure the coast is clear before they honk? If you come to Minnesota, you can honk the car horn all you like, but people just don’t do it here very much. It must be the Minnesota Nice in us!
A Little Bite of a Big Apple
Originally published Aug. 4, 2012
In U2′s song “New York” Bono sings:
In New York freedom looks like
I think they must have been referring to deciding where to eat.
I occasionally find myself thinking that in order to get any good food where I live I have to drive into Minneapolis or St. Paul. After being in New York City, I am now thankful for that. There are Fodor’s-rated restaurants on almost every block of Manhattan. Even with all the walking they do, New Yorkers must have a hard time watching their weight with the surplus of amazing dining available around the clock.
Pre-dinner offerings from The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station
Staying in the city for 3 days meant that 9 meals were possible. Using Fodor’s as a guide, I found my way to one phenomenal dining experience after another in the Big Apple. Somehow I didn’t take those dollar signs seriously enough though and I was mentally unprepared to spend over two hundred dollars a day on food. Lunch for two is an easy $50 and dinner at least $100 even without the extras (no dessert or wine/cocktails).
One of the best rated pizzas in NYC, John’s Pizzeria
The highlights of my trip include Second Avenue Deli which, when it was all said and done, was probably the most memorable food I had while there and gets my vote for best food. The pastrami sandwich and Matzoh Ball soup (also affectionately named “Jewish Penicillin” on the menu) make me want to see when I can fly back for a Second round. They offer shipping and I did bring some home (the pastrami) but it just wasn’t the same. I am also left wondering: what was that mysterious dish of pickled items that came before the food and the post-lunch shot of ?
Best Matzoh Ball soup ever, Second Avenue Deli
My vote for best ambiance goes to Tao. It was sublime to sit in front of a giant Buddha and enjoy great asian food. Good marketing move with the big guy. It’s what you remember afterward.
Favorite comfort food? Having a Starbucks a half a block away in not one but two directions from the front door of my hotel. There are about 255 Starbucks in Manhattan alone. I may have been a pedestrian and traffic hazard on the way there, but once caffeinated, I walked like a New Yorker all the way back to my room.
A quarter of a Pumpernickel Bagel from Ess-A-Bagel. These bagels are 3 times larger than those found in Minnesota. Wished I would have had lunch there instead of a breakfast bagel because the deli case was amazing.
Show-Stopping Store Windows
Originally published July 9, 2012
While recently walking the streets of Manhattan, there were two sets of store windows that were so stunning I had to stop, unpack my gear and get to work.
I didn’t realize until I was home that they were the same designer. Hats off to Louis Vuitton for great window displays!
4,320 New York Minutes
Originally published July 3, 2012
That is how long I recently had the pleasure of spending in Manhattan. It was one of those trips where everything went right. Connections were made, transitions flawless, plans wholly accomplished.
Since it’s the eve of the Fourth of July, I want to spotlight 180 of those NY minutes that were spent getting to, from and visiting the Statue of Liberty.
The weather looked like it might not cooperate, but in the end it all worked out and even provided me with two different backdrops for the Statue: cloudy and partly cloudy/blue sky mix.
If you’ve never seen her before, I can just say one thing. You cannot fully appreciate how big she is until you are standing next to her. She is enormous (151 feet tall, 305 feet including the pedestal and foundation – a little less than a football field if you include the end zones). Her feet measure in at 25 feet long. Her face is over 8 feet and her nose is 4 feet 6 inches long. The arm holding the torch is 42 feet. Notice how small the people look in this image – they are walking around the bottom of the statue:
People used to be able to climb inside the statue all the way up to the torch but access was closed in 1916. The next highest interior access was the crown which offered 25 windows viewing out to New York if you could climb the 354 steps. Unfortunately it was closed after 9/11 but reopened on July 4, 2009. Then they decided to close it again last year for upgrades and to improve safety. It should be open again by the beginning of next year. It would be pretty awesome to have a look out of those windows.
It really makes me appreciate the work that went into designing, building and transporting her, how long she has been standing there, how many millions of people have photographed her, the people for whom she was the first sign of making it to America (12 million immigrants viewed her as they arrived at Ellis Island). Also the times she has stood through and watched and I thought of the people who were standing there when the World Trade Center Towers were hit. Now riding back on the ferry, another change in the skyline. The new World Trade Center being built. Signs of hope, perseverance and optimism.
To all those celebrating it, I wish you a safe and fabulous Fourth!
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.