15 THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK CITY IN SPRING

 


Spring 2019 NYC guide

Hello April! Who else is excited for warmer weather months?! Spring in New York City is pretty euphoric. New Yorkers slowly start to come out of hibernation from Winter once we get that first glimpse of warmer weather. Think days spent at Central Park, bike rides, rooftops, dining on patios and more. And just like any season, there is always a ton of things to do around the city. I’ve rounded up the best ‘15 Things to do This Spring in NYC’. So whether you live here or you’re planning to visit in the coming months, I hope you find this list helpful!

  1. Macy’s Flower Show - FREE and open to the public from March 24th-April 7th

  2. Stroll through Central Park - The park comes to life during Spring months and there’s nothing better than seeing the blooms up close in person. You can even take a walking tour to see the Cherry Blossoms.

  3. Hudson Yards - This newly developed area recently opened to the public. High end shops, restaurants, public garden and a NEW landmark called the Vessel. You can climb all 154 flights of stairs to see unique city views from each landing. It’s FREE to access, however you do have to reserve tickets to enter the Vessel.

  4. Cherry Blossom Festival - April 27th-28th at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. This event is known to sell out, make sure to reserve tickets ASAP.

  5. Bryant Park - Stroll the park, grab coffee and find a seat amongst all the tulips in bloom.

  6. Yankees Game - Spring baseball season is underway. Go Uptown to the Bronx to see the Yankees in action.

  7. Dine from a rooftop - Eataly in Flatiron has a new Spring inspired rooftop garden including a new seasonal menu and cocktails.

  8. Drink from a rooftop - Rooftop Season is one of the best perks of living in the city. Grab a cocktail with a view at one of these popular spots: Refinery, 230 Fifth, The Roof, Cantina & PHD Terrace

  9. Smorgasbug - The infamous outdoor food market is expanding into the Financial District this Spring. It opens to the public on April 12th and every Friday thereafter through October. Hours: 11:30am-7pm

  10. Brooklyn Bridge - Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a MUST during warmer months. Best way to see the Manhattan skyline. And makes for the perfect Instagram photo.

  11. Food Truck Fest - Saturday April 13th. Located at Grand Bazaar Market on the Upper Westside. There will be 15 gourmet food truck vendors along with other local vendors.

  12. Frida Kahlo Exhibit - A new exhibit located at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s the largest US exhibit of her personal items, clothing and art. Definitely recommend purchasing tickets in advance, several dates are SOLD OUT already. Exhibit runs through May 12th.

  13. Dine al fresco - Many restaurants in the city open their cafe for dining outside in April/May. A few of my favorite spots include The Mermaid Inn, Cookshop, Boat Basin Cafe and Tavern on the Green.

  14. NY Beer Fest - The 2nd annual Beer fest will be located at Citi Field in Queens and feature dozens of craft breweries.

  15. Explore a new neighborhood. There’s nothing better than walking amongst the tree lined streets of the city and seeing the Spring blooms everywhere.

What are you looking forward to doing this Spring? Comment below.


XO, Rae

SUMMER IN THE CITY: NYC EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED

 

Summer is underway and with July half way over, I'm reminded of all the things I still have left to do on my Summer bucket list. One of the things I love about living in a big city like New York, is that there is always so much to do. And whether you live here or planning to visit this Summer, there is something for everyone. Here's a list of events that are NOT to be missed. 

Bryant Park 2018

 

1. Bryant Park Summer Film Festival 

Every Monday June 18th-Aug. 20th

2. Restaurant Week

July 23rd-Aug. 17th 

Atrium Dumbo

3. Summer Music Festivals 

Concerts happening all over the city and in each borough. 

4. Rooftop Cinema Club

August dates are NOW on SALE, but hurry this weekly event sells out quickly!

5. FREE Yoga at Bryant Park

Bryant Park hosts free yoga in the park every Tuesday morning at 10am & Thursday evenings at 6pm. RSVP by clicking the link above. 

Bryant Park

6. Rosé Mansion

This interactive and educational pop-up will be available July- October. Get tickets by clicking the link above. 

7. Bubbles, Beats & Brunch Cruise 

This is basically a day party aboard a boat that cruises around Manhattan. Brunch served with unlimited mimosas and Bloody Mary bar. Grab your friends & book a date!

8. FREE Fridays at MoMA

Free admission to MoMA every Friday 4-8pm

9. Pier 17 

Newly re-opened Pier 17 has everything from outdoor concerts, a food market hall and a pop-up bar with waterfront views. 

10. Summer Streets 

An outdoor block party, free from vehicles that takes place the first three Saturday's in August.  

Pier 17

 

Feel free to share this list with friends visiting NYC this Summer or save it to your phone as a reminder of things to do around city. 

 

Xo, Rae 

SHINY AND NEW: THE RELAUNCH OF REINVENTING RAE NYC

 
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If you're reading this, then you are seeing the NEW and IMPROVED site for REINVENTING RAE NYC. Ahhhhh, I'm so excited to share this NEW space with y'all. It has been weeks of editing, writing, late nights and LOTS of coffee! But it is FINALLY done and I could not be more HAPPY with the outcome. And if you're new to my blog- WELCOME! 

When I first started this blog (almost 2 years ago) I had no idea where it would take me. Over the past two years, I have learned so much and grown as a writer. I love being able to share with you, my life here in New York City as well as everything in between. Blogging has also connected me with some amazing creatives and other bloggers. I want this new site to be BIGGER and BETTER and full of more content!

SO, WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO SEE ON THE NEW SITE? 

Well, to start, this is a whole new platform. I moved all of my content over from Blogger to Squarespace. Which is a HUGE upgrade in itself. I also revised EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST!! I updated the content, images and made sure it was relevant to the blog overall. I'm also going to be posting new blog posts each week that will cover everything from beauty, lifestyle, travel and of course all things NEW YORK. And I'm also working on a new monthly blog post that will feature the "BEST PLACES TO BRUNCH IN NYC". l'll give you the low down on all the hot spots, as my friend Leigh Ann and I, brunch our way through the city. In addition, I'm looking forward to sharing more 'Guides to NYC'. So, whether you have never visited New York before or you've been to the city several times, you can have access to all the latest things to do during your visit. 

I promise there is much more to come in this relaunch of Reinventing Rae NYC. And I can't wait for you to check it all out! Thank you for being here and following along!! 

 

XO, Rae

 

WHAT CONTENT DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF? -COMMENT BELOW

WANT TO COLLAB ON AN UPCOMING BLOG POST?-CONTACT ME

 

NEW YEAR, SAME DREAMS

 
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Happy New Year, y'all! I'm excited to get back to blogging and share even more content with you in 2017! Not gonna lie though, I'm kinda sad the holidays are over. I love how the city transforms into this magical place during the month of December. But I guess all good things must come to an end sooner or later. And maybe that's a good thing, considering all the indulging that I've done the past few weeks with holiday treats and cocktails. Thank GOODNESS for yoga pants!

A New Year is kinda like having a fresh start. Whatever held you back last year or didn't bring you joy, you can leave it all behind in 2016. And that is exactly what I plan on doing. Since leaving my 9-5 corporate job in the Summer of 2015, I have been in this awkward transition phase. I worked from home for awhile and have since been putting ideas together of starting my own business. My dream is to create a Lifestyle Brand that reflects me and has something for everyone's budget. And it has proven to be harder than I ever imagined. Not that I thought it would be easy, don't get me wrong. But having BIG DREAMS also means BIG CHALLENGES. So, here I am, back to the drawing board and pushing myself to do EVERYTHING I can to get this business off the ground this year. 

I was recently explaining to a friend, over brunch, how you loose some of your confidence when you haven't worked in awhile. I have always been driven in my professional life. And I always succeeded in any position I held. But when you strip everything away and get back to the basics, it's easy to forget what you are actually capable of. You constantly fight off doubt and start to question yourself. 

I also, allowed my personal life to overshadow my dreams and goals last year. My parents divorced and the aftermath was more that I could handle at times. I spent months just feeling like my whole world was coming apart and I didn't know how to fix it. And it caused me to be distracted and unfocused on my life.

For me, 2017 is going to be a year of CONQUER. I want to conquer the FEAR, DOUBT, COMPARISON and DISTRACTIONS. And I want this year to be the year I let go of anything that doesn't serve a purpose in my life. It is possible to live your best self, you just have to want it bad enough.

How will you make 2017, your best year yet?!

 

XO, Rae

YEAR 2 OF LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY

 
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On October 10th, 2014 at 3 A.M., I crossed over the George Washington Bridge and into Manhattan. Moving to New York was never something I saw myself doing, but when life brings you opportunities, sometimes you have to take it and RUN! It's hard to even believe that it's been 2 years already. I still feel like I just moved here but also strangely feel like I've been here forever. That's the thing about New York, once you live here you instantly become attached. My first year living in New York was one to remember. It was full of amazing experiences and growth. And year two has been just as memorable. Here are some of my favorite memories over the past year. 

 

STANDING ATOP THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

Seeing all of New York City from 86 floors up above, gives you all the feels. It also, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Empire State of Mind”. It reminded me how lucky I am to be able to call this concrete jungle, home. 

SUNDAY FUNDAY IN BROOKLYN

This Summer, my brother visited NYC for the very first time. I was excited to get to show him around the city. But I also wanted to show him life outside of Manhattan. And Brooklyn is the next best borough. We first walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, then grabbed pizza at Grimaldi's (best pizza in Brooklyn) and finished the day drinking beers at the Brooklyn Brewery. By far, one of my most favorite days.

TAKING MY MOM TO SEE 'THE COLOR PURPLE' ON BROADWAY

The moment I learned that Heather Headley would be taking on the role of Shug, I knew I had to see this show. And what better show to take your Mom to during a girls weekend?! It was one of the best shows I have seen thus far. After the show, I pulled my Mom quickly aside and stood to wait for the cast outside. We got to have our playbills signed by all of the main cast including Heather Headley and Cynthia Erivo. I was freaking out (on the inside of course). Sharing that moment with my Mom was amazing. 

SEEING ALICIA KEYS PERFORM IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER

I may have had to wake up at 4:30 A.M. to only stand in the back of the crowd behind a street light pole. But to hear Alicia Keys sing LIVE made all of it worth it. Not to mention, I got to share the moment with my best friend. We bonded over Alicia Keys music over a decade ago, when we first met and I'm pretty sure we will dance to 'No One' one day at my wedding. 

WITNESSING MY BEST FRIEND PROPOSE TO HIS BOYFRIEND

That dinner, those words and the tears shed will always be a night to remember. I can't wait to help plan their wedding and stand next to my best friend as he says 'I Do'.  Love is Love. 

FINDING NEW FRIENDSHIPS

Moving to a new city means meeting new friends. And although there are millions of people here, it almost makes it harder. Everyone is busy with work and the city hustle, so it's not often you find long lasting friendships. But I have been lucky to meet some amazing people and I am so glad I get to call them friends.

I never could have imagined all the things that would come with living in New York City. Every day still feels as exciting as the next. I can't wait to see what the next 365 days bring!

 

XO, Rae

FALL BUCKET LIST 2016

 
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It's finally cool enough in New York City, where you need an extra blanket on your bed at night. I love how the city changes with each season. And FALL is no exception. As the leaves start to change in Central Park, we pack up our shorts and tanks, break out the sweaters and trade in our iced lattes for PSL's. There is so much in the city to look forward to in the Fall. Here are a few things I have on my bucket list to capture the most of the season. 

1. Walk through Central Park to see the Fall foliage with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand. (Basic, I know)

2. Bake Pumpkin Bread. It's one of the few things I'm actually good at baking.

3. Take a trip to upstate New York with friends. We actually have this beautiful house from the 1800's booked for an upcoming weekend. Can't wait!

4. Visit a festival and sip apple cider. 

5. Carve pumpkins. You're never too old to celebrate Halloween, right?!

6. Find a new favorite Fall scented candle at Bath & Body Works.

7. Ice skate in Bryant Park at the Winter Village. 

8. Drink copious amounts of wine with my best friend. She is visiting NYC for the first time, next month! #girlsweekend

9. Take new headshots for the blog. Any suggestions for local NYC photographers??

10. Explore a new neighborhood in the city. 

 

What are you adding to your FALL Bucket List?  Comment below. 

 

XO, Rae

YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE

 

Lately, when talking to friends the same words seem to pop up in conversation, 'never say never'. I was reminded of these words again as I scrolled through Facebook this morning & looked back at an old status I wrote in 2010. 

I had no intentions on ever moving to New York City. I was perfectly content with my life in Atlanta. It was only tempting to move because my best friend had literally just moved from Atlanta to New York & I felt lonely. But I knew my life was in Atlanta and I had worked so hard to build that life. My career was just starting to come together & I was surrounded by the people I adored most. 

Fast forward almost 5 years later and life changed drastically. I started to be more open to the possibilities of leaving it all behind to pursue bigger things. Literally over a year's time I would contemplate the move to NYC. I was in a different head space than previously and I was ready to see what more was out there for me. So, I took a leap of faith and made the decision to move to NYC in the fall of 2014. The moment I actually committed to the idea, it seemed like everything fell into place. I didn't have any hesitations from that point on. Everyone was extremely supportive of my decision and not one person tried to convince me otherwise. So, I took all the encouragement and promised myself I would make the most of this new chapter. 

I didn't have a job lined up when I moved to New York. My plan was to take some time to get moved and adjusted to the city. I got anxious to get out there so 3 weeks after, I landed a position with one of the top medical practices. I was ecstatic to say the least. From my first interview, I knew this was the job for me. Immediately, I felt like I was taking NYC head on. But 6 months in, I couldn't do it anymore. I loved the job but the work environment was not ideal. It was not an easy decision for me but after a lot of consideration and countless nights crying over bad days at work, I made the decision to resign. The day I gave notice, I felt like I could breathe again. I didn't feel stressed or bad for what I had just done. I felt like it was what I had to do. I had never quit a job like that ever in my life. I've always held long term jobs ever since I was 15 years old. So, this was new territory for me. I didn't really have a plan B. And I was okay with that, for once. Which if you know me, I never not have things planned out. I'm a planner by default. But I knew I wasn't happy. I also remembered that I promised myself to live a different life here in New York by any means necessary. And I wasn't willing to compromise my happiness after leaving everything behind in Atlanta.

I wrote this Facebook status a year ago today (the day before my last day at my job):

A year later, I haven't looked back since. I took a chance on myself. And honestly I've never been happier. The past year has allowed me to get back to what's important in life. It has made me realize how unhappy I was all those years living at my job that I had always put above everything else. It has given me the opportunity to strip down to what I really want in life and what I never want to settle for. I've been blessed enough to be able to work from home, travel, write my blog and just enjoy living in this amazing city. 

My dream is to be an entrepreneur. And I'm hoping to make that happen sooner than later. I often let fear get in the way, but then I am reminded of how far I've come and all the things I've done that I never thought where even possibilities. So, I'm saying, never say never. Don't hold yourself back from things you want or deserve in your life. Everything happens for a reason. I honestly believe that. Be open to the possibilities of changing your mind. Trust the process and know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be. 

 

XO, Rae

FALL BUCKET LIST 2015

 
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It's finally starting to feel like FALL in New York City after being HOT and HUMID the past few days. I can't wait to FINALLY sip on a PSL and wear my favorite sweater and ankle booties. I also made a bucket list of things, I'm looking forward to doing this Autumn.  

1. Since I actually have some time on my hands now, I want to make photo holiday cards for friends & family this year.

2. Stock up on Fall scented candles from Bath & Body Works. Annual tradition.

3. Plan a day trip to a winery. I came across this one, that has a tasting room in a renovated barn. And I've been wanting to make a trip to upstate New York, so this is the perfect excuse to go.  

4. Host 'Friendsgiving' in the city. This will be the first year that I won't be going home to see my family, But I'm really excited to have Thanksgiving here with friends and see the parade.

5. Enjoy some of the best of things to do in New York during Autumn. Of course this includes seeing the Fall foliage in Central Park.

6. Find a new pair of snow boots for winter. So far, these are my favorite.

7. Visit the New York Botanical Gardens. They have a FRIDA KAHLO exhibit that I’m dying to see.  

8. Spend a whole day baking. I love making Pumpkin bread this time of year. 

9. See the Broadway Show WICKED

10. Go to the iconic Village Halloween Parade.  

 

What are you planning for your Fall Bucket List?

 

XO, Rae

NYC RESTAURANTS: PRUNE IN THE EAST VILLAGE

 

New York is a food city, no doubt. With so many restaurants in the city, it is often hard to choose one. But there are some restaurants that are like none other. Living with a foodie, my best friend, Will has been dying to go to PRUNE.

So, this past Sunday, we went for dinner. Located in the East Village, PRUNE is popular restaurant known for it's infamous Chef Gabrielle Hamilton. She's also the author of the New York Times Best Seller book called: 

Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef'.

We got lucky and arrived in time for the first seating of dinner at 5:30pm. Typically there is a wait for Brunch and Dinner service. When we arrived I was able to capture a rare moment of the restaurant completely empty. And although small in size, the experience is anything but that. And to make the night even more complete, we actually spotted Chef Gabrielle Hamilton walking by the restaurant with boxes in tote.

Below are some of the amazing dishes we enjoyed during our meal. The cocktails were amazing as well. 

 

Featured Appetizer: Fried Oysters with house tarter sauce

Halibut with cherry tomatoes in a spicy tomato broth

Grilled Broccoli, chili butter, pecorino

Charred Beef Ribs with anchovy butter

'Straw and Hay' Pasta with green tomato-chicken liver sauce

Dessert: Summer Pudding

 

I definitely recommend dining at PRUNE if you're willing to spend a bit more on delicious good quality food. GO EAT!

 

XO, Rae

BRYANT PARK: ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES IN THE CITY

 

On Sunday, I met up with my friend Sarah for lunch who happened to be in the city for the weekend. Sarah and I met while working in Atlanta together and she now lives in upstate New York. So, when she mentioned she would be coming into the city, we immediately made plans to meet up. Always great to see an old friend and catch up! 

After lunch I did some shopping and took a walk through Bryant Park, which is easily becoming one of my favorite places in the city. Bryant park is iconic for so many reasons. Mostly for hosting Fashion Week in the past years. But one thing I love about the park, is that it always takes on a new feel according to the season. And now that it's SUMMER time, it's the perfect place to hang out. Along with tables and chairs that border the lawn to sit and have lunch or just take in the sites, there is also food trucks and outdoor games available. Not to mention, the park also has some amazing views of nearby skyscrapers. I can't wait to hang out in the park more and take advantage of all things to do nearby.

What is your FAVORITE place in the city?

 

XO, Rae