Today’s photo in Nancie at Budgettravelerssandbox’s Travel Photo Thursday is a scene from the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. It was taken in June 2010 during the “Top of the Rock” tour, which I highly recommend. It is a photographer’s dream to get such a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline. As you can see its pretty well populated; so much so that they only way to for the city to grow is vertically. It was pretty windy which didn’t bode well for videotaping, but it was virtually impossible not to get a great shot.
New York City is bigger than life itself. When I think of Manhattan, I envision constant movement, not one of confusion (though it may seem that way at first) but one of dogged and deliberate certainty. New Yorkers are a focused lot; each stride has a sense of purpose, of self-assuredness. Its people are what make this city come alive.
As a tourist, you can feel the excitement through every pore; the anticipation that something special is going to happen to you in this city….and you won’t be disappointed. One of the most exciting things that has happened in the city in the past year is that Broadway on Times Square is permanently closed to traffic. It is now a haven for pedestrians who generally like to bring their folding chairs, sit and take in the view.
The cosmopolitan menu that is offered by the numerous street vendors is a foodie’s definition of nirvana. There’s Broadway and Off Broadway if you are so inclined to take in its famous cultural offerings. The best view of the city is from the top floor of 30 Rockefeller Center and you’ll get your best photo of Lady Liberty from the deck of a tour boat on the Hudson River.
Be generous with your time and check out the other four boroughs they have their own unique contribution to that varied mosaic that comprises one of the most vibrant and colorful cities in the Northeast corner of the USA, New York City, NY!
This is the second in a series of infrequent articles that feature spa deals for the budget traveler.
While doing my research for my NYC trip, I decided that it would be cool to do something fun and different like getting my eyebrows threaded at City Brows. Never too satisfied with only one quirky experience, I decided to check out what else I could get into in the big apple. While checking out Time Out New York online, I came across a bar that took “Girls Night Out” to a whole ‘nother level. Every night, without fail, they have a “Martinis and Manicure” special that only costs $10.00!
One side of the Beauty Bar (which boasts itself as the “Original Manicure Happy Hour”) is truly a blast from the past. It is decked out like a 1950’s salon on one side and the other is your typical ‘belly up at the bar’ saloon. To get started, just hand a tenner to the bartender and he will give you a wait number in exchange. Everything is done right proper, every lady had to wait her turn. Next, place your order……you can choose from several cleverly-named alcoholic beverages: The Prell, Platinum Blond, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Pink Blush, Conditioner, Blue Rinse and Shampoo. Or if you are not as adventurous, you can have a Cosmopolitan, Beer or Martini….you name it….the bartender will fix it right up for you.The hours are Monday through Friday from 6pm to 11pm and Saturday & Sunday 7pm-11pm.
In short order, the two manicurists on duty will begin by calling the first customer and they continue until everyone has been served. They were very warm conversationalists and eager to learn about the person that they were serving and at the same time were very efficient and managed to serve their 15th satisfied customer before 9 pm.
The drill is pretty much the same as it in the more ritzy nail salons. The only glaring difference is that you do not get to soak in Palmolive liquid the way Madge the manicurist lets you. They go right to the clipping, shaping then they apply cuticle remover before allowing to you pick your fave OPI or Zoya nail polish. So far, there are other locations throughout the US in the following cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Las Vegas, Portland, Brooklyn, Denver and Chicago.
They were considering Atlanta once upon a time, but nothing yet. If they’ve changed their mind, I really hope that they reconsider. I would be one of their best customers! If you happen to find yourself in one of the cities that I mentioned, be sure to look them up. Everyone deserves a little fun every now and then….just remember to tip those hard working guys and gals while you’re there!
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be in New York City for a travel blogging convention (Go #TBEX!). I’m not the girliest of girls, but I decided a little pampering couldn’t hurt. I said “Self, this is a great opportunity to do something that you rarely get to do at home!” Since I had a dangerously good chance of winning a unibrow contest, I figured something along that line was in order. I was very happy to come across the aptly named “City Brows” which was located a block from the hotel that I was staying at off Broadway and between 78th and 79th streets.
This spa, owned by the Anitra family, specializes in brow threading but also offers facials, manicures, waxing and henna tattoos (if you are so inclined). I’d heard about threading but never had the opportunity (nor the desire) to try it. It’s a centuries old process used mostly in middle eastern countries and India. The clinician uses her teeth to anchor the (sewing) thread and both hands to grasp several strands of the unwanted hair and a quick tug pulls them out. The process lasts for up to two to six weeks, about as long as tweezing, but more hairs are pulled which shortens the threading session.
I will admit to some reticence as I was offered a chair. Let’s ‘face’ it, if they screw this up, it will make me mourn for that wretched unibrow. My daughter, Carisa actually got started before I did, so when I heard a few polite ‘ows’, I began to question my decision. But the 95 pound esthetician had me exactly where she wanted me and began gliding the thread ever so carefully over my face. It wasn’t as painful as I had imagined. At first, I thought I was being sliced because the feeling was so different from anything that I had felt before. I quickly became acclimated to that feeling and within five minutes, she was done. She asked if I wanted aloe vera rubbed over the brows and I said ‘YES!’ Please make sure that you do this because it allows the sting to quickly subside.
Now, the moment of truth…..the mirror’s point of view. I leaned forward and was astonished. My brows were a set of perfectly contoured arches that would put the St. Louis arch to shame. They looked like they fit my face….it was not outlandish or too thin or clownish looking. We were both very pleased with the outcome. The cost of this excursion into cosmetic bliss? $8.00!! They even offer a deal where you get your tenth threading for free. Are you listening, New Yorkers? This price was beyond reasonable and for both brows no less! If you find yourself in the neighborhood take a chance and try something new. I mean isn’t that one of the main reasons for traveling anyway and if you happen to live there, so much the better! The Anitra family was very professional, courteous and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them.
Now, it’s your turn. What little known, hidden treasure have you discovered during your travels (or at home)? What made your experience special? Did you get a great deal?