Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas and the City: Christmas tree disguised World Trade Center

Last but not least, I would like to share with you one of my favorite ways to enjoy the Holiday magic in New York. My last posts about it, here and here, were about more traditional things; but this one is for me a strong reflect of New York’s creativity and singularity.

Go for a walk or a run along the Hudson river and enjoy the Christmas tree disguised World Trade Center
Construction workers who are currently rebuilding the World Trade Center site have recently given a holiday gift to all New Yorkers and visitors; Thanks to the electrical contractor of the building, one tower is getting in the holiday spirit with brightly colored lights that disguise it in a giant Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas and the City: Dyker Heights (Brooklyn)

Here is the second part of my post about less-known things to do in New York to enjoy the Holiday magic. Don’t hesitate to share your favorites by commenting my posts or by email. 

Opt for an evening trip to Dyker Heights
Dyker Heights is a wealthy residential Italian neighborhood situated in the southwest corner of Brooklyn. It is renowned to be one of the best places to visit in order to see “over the top” Christmas lights and other decorations. Each year after the Thanksgiving weekend, residents decorate their house in a professional way, going above and beyond the North American standards. This gives birth to an awesome local spectacle that New Yorkers come from all five
boroughs to explore.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas and the City: Nolita and Little Italy

Arriving in New York just before the holiday season was a real treat for me. Christmas frenzy makes the City very welcoming; Every time I see the famous huge Christmas tree of Rockefeller Center as well as Macy’s window displays, Bryant Park all dressed up, New York Public Library's tree and the numerous glamorous Christmas ornament of 5th avenue, it feels like the first time.

Need a break from the classic, packed, touristy holiday sights? I have some great escapade suggestions for you… 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone in West Village

Earlier this week, I allowed myself a guilty pleasure: I went to get lost in the streets of West Village… and… I took advantage of the fact that I was in the neighborhood to go see the famous "brownstone" of Carrie Bradshaw, the principal character of my beloved TV series Sex and the City. I know, Carrie supposedly lives in the Upper East Side; but the brownstone where the crew filmed the outdoor scenes is actually situated on Perry Street, in West Village.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New York: Flower city

When you’ve lived in a city for a long time, and even sometimes for your whole life, you stop marveling at simple things that are part of your everyday environment. These last weeks, I have visited many corners of the City. I have also observed the judgmental attitude of some people towards me when I was taking pictures of taken-for-granted parts of the New York landscape – which I can understand, I always found it weird when tourists in Montreal were sitting in the stairs of my apartment for pictures –. All of this made me realize that too many New Yorkers are just too busy to appreciate and enjoy their city’s simple eccentricity and all the little details that make it unique.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fashion industry: an interesting career option in NYC?

As I plan to take advantage of my relocation to explore new career opportunities in New York (as a PR professional of course), I have an interest in exploring the different business areas that are part of the city’s Landscape. The first industry I decided to do some research on is fashion; and what an interesting world!

A vital business area
Everyone knows it: the fashion industry is and has always been an important part of New York City’s job market and economy. Even if it has faced many challenges these past years because of the financial crisis, the industry is doing well and is still a major business sector, currently employing around 165,000 people and representing 5.5% of the city’s workforce.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Finding the “almost” perfect apartment in NYC

Finding an apartment in New York can be very tricky. Let’s be honest: you won’t find the perfect one useless you have an unlimited budget. Depending on the neighborhood, the vacancy rate (interesting market report here) goes approximately from 0.4% to 1.8% here (compared to 2.5% in Montreal, where I come from). Martin and I were lucky enough to arrive in the city at the end of the year, which is supposed to be a good period to find deals, but all year long, the competition is hard. 

Do I need a broker or not?

Personally, I did not enjoy my experience with a broker and ended up finding a great apartment by myself. Our Broker was specialized in two neighborhoods (this is the case for most brokers) and was not very helpful in finding places outside of his zone. He was pushing “his” neighborhoods and trying to  discourage us from searching in our preferred areas; I found this a little annoying. Anyway, regardless of whether you want to work with a broker or not, here are a few bits of advices that may help you find a nice place.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Union Square: Crossroads of New York

A view of Union Square
(white tents are for the Holiday market)
Union Square, a New York public square situated near Broadway and 14th street, is an important and fascinating historic intersection. This
weekend,Martin and I had the chance to explore and learn more about this lovely place as the Union Square Partnership offers a free walking tour on Saturdays: it was very interesting! The tour allows visitors and residents to discover the social and political history of the Union Square neighborhood through discussions about its people, history, architecture, etc.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade

2011 parade
Martin and I went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade this morning. We woke up at 6 am (yes we did that, on a holiday), ate our breakfast and ran to the streets to get a nice spot. It was crowded… and cold! But the happening has worth the wait; It was a lot of fun!

A Thanksgiving institution for 85 years, the world famous Macy’s parade is a very impressive spectacle including enormous balloon creatures and numerous celebrities. In the US, it is also the official kick off of the holiday season as Santa makes his first appearance in the streets of New York.

The parade begins at 9am at Central Park West and West 77th Street. After a 3 hours route, it ends at the Macy's flagship store at Seventh Avenue and West 34th Street.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First week in New York: all about getting organized!

My first week in NYC has been really busy; I have not had time to write for my blog which makes me feel very guilty because writing is an important part of my English learning experience. But arriving in a new city (especially in a new country) as a resident as opposed to a tourist is so different: getting organized is very demanding!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Montreal

Like I told you in my last post, I am staying for two weeks in a temporary apartment in Old Montreal until our one way flight to New York. Our place is situated on 20th floor so we have a wonderful view of the city. We see the Mont-Royal, Quartier des spectacles with its spectacular light sculpture, and all the most beautiful buildings of downtown.

Night view from my appartment

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Less than two weeks before leaving for New York!

I can hear the City
calling me!
Preparing for a move abroard is a big (and sometimes long) process: it begins with the decision; then you announce to your family, friends and colleagues that you are leaving; you pack your things and get rid of stuff; you sell furniture; you welcome strangers into your home; you prepare your arrival in your new city; you do all those steps one at the time, just like any other to do list. Every day, your move becomes more concrete.

But, at one moment, you cross that line where everything stops. In seconds, the adventure in which you've embarked is not just a project anymore but… your new reality!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The “two months with two suitcases” challenge

This week is my last in my Montreal apartment. For the next two or three months, I will experience temporary housing as we are first moving into a temporary apartment here in Montreal (until we get our Visa approved – unexpected delay) and then to another one in New York, until we find our own place.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quebec’s Highline

When I visited New York last May, I fell in love with the Highline Park; this famous elevated park running through the Meatpacking District. For me, this charming oasis rising above the West side of Manhattan is a demonstration of New York’s creativity and audaciousness, in addition to being an amazing gift to the population (and visitors like me!). I just can’t wait to go back to the Highline to discover the park's new sections (I’ll keep you updated about that).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welcome to my blog!

In 4 weeks from now, I will be moving from Montreal to NYC with my husband who is being transferred there for work. What an amazing chance!