Archive for July, 2010

Apple Architecture

Posted in Trends on July 20, 2010 by Bright Lights

Some of you may have noticed an overt trend throughout New York City where many of our newest buildings look like an Apple Store.  The glass panels can be seen on recently built office buildings, theatres, and even condominiums.   While it may seem that there is no such thing as too much glass, I think the long-term outcome of this period in New York development will be that these structures will be very easily dated.   Much like the rise and fall of corduroy, this look won’t stay at the level of uber popularity forever.

Below are some pictures of The Link, which is a condominium at 310 West 52nd Street in Manhattan.

The new Bank of America building at One Bryant Park:

Alice Tulley Hall at Lincoln Center:

Apple products are known for their sleek and stylish design.  Most Apple Stores are worth visiting just for the visual experience even if you have no intention of buying any of their products.

It makes alot of sense that developers would follow Apple’s lead and try to create a similar (but different) visual experience by utilizing glass paneling.  Lets just hope that an Apple a day, doesn’t churn our stomachs when this trend turns on its heals.

Bright Lights, Big City.

Hamptons 101

Posted in Travel on July 15, 2010 by Bright Lights

Ok… It is mid summer in NYC.  It’s oppressively hot.  You could handle the first few weekends of the summer in the city, but need to get out…now.  A weekend in the Hamptons sounds pretty good as you are melting on the subway platform.  Whether you are a Hamptons rookie or a weekend-getaway pro, this is your quick guide to making it happen.

Our special guest blogger Bright Sun has compiled the Seven Steps to Making It (for the Weekend) in the Hamptons:

  1. Commit to Making It Happen.
  2. Get out There
  3. Secure Lodging
  4. Get in the Water
  5. Apre Beach
  6. Hit the Town
  7. Don’t Do Anything (Too) Stupid

1) Make it Happen: First congratulations on choosing to get out of the city.  You will already be relieved not to be fighting through the tourists around Manhattan.  Also, you have seen MTV’s The Jersey Shore, so nice job on choosing to step it up a bit.  Once you have made the decision to make the trip, you are already on your way.

2) Get out There: If you have never been out there before, you need to know that there are three main ways make the trip: Bus, Car, Train.

Option A: Car- This option is self explanatory. If you leave Friday afternoon (after work, school, etc.), be prepared to deal with traffic. You may think you have passed the traffic, but the Montauk Highway, the last leg of your trip, is narrow and can take time. Be sure to bring good music and don’t count on the radio.

Option B: Bus- Even if you are anti-bus, the Hampton Jitney is quite fantastic if you are without wheels. It leaves directly from the City and stops at several places in the Hamptons. You may feel like you are waiting for the M14 city bus out front of the Qdoba on 3rd and 40th, but then your luxury liner pulls up and you are on your way to a warm, sandy beach. Tickets are $53 round trip. Check out the website for more info and other stops. http://www.hamptonjitney.com

Option C: Train- The LIRR is your friend. It goes all of the way out to Montauk at the tip of the Island. If you can’t stand traffic, this is your route. Check the website for schedules.

http://www.mta.info/lirr/ This will cost you about $40 (assuming peak fare on Friday and off peak on Sunday). Don’t forget to buy your ticket in the station and pick up a beer (or two) for the ride.

3) Secure Lodging: Maybe you have heard the stories of 100 people fitting in a share house.  Maybe you are not sure what a share house is.  The important thing to know is that if you haven’t secured a share (1/2 share, ¼ share or 1/8th share) before Memorial Day, this may be a little tricky.  Most people organize share housing in the spring, sometimes earlier. However, don’t panic, because if you are a couple or a small group, there are usually spots available since people’s plans obviously change.  Try finding a place at craigslist.org under NYC vacation rental. You may have luck getting a room in someone’s place for $300-$400 per couple per weekend.  You may need to pack the aerobed and take a risk that you will be in a house with strangers.  Think- The Real World – could be fun or a disaster, but it usually works out.  Bonus if you can find a house with a pool and grill.

If you are not willing to roll the dice, there are a few relatively cheap hotels in Riverhead, which is where the north and south forks split.

If you are deciding which area, here is an oversimplified guide:

Westhampton– One of the closest

Southhampton- Largest of the towns, lots of shopping

Sag Harbor Cute little harbor, charming main street. On the northern side of the south fork.

Bridgehampton- Small, but conveniently located between West/South Hampton and East Hampton/Amagansett/Montauk

Shelter Island- You need to take a ferry to get here. Mainly residential

East Hampton– Very Nice, fancy shops, similar to South Hampton

Greenport- This is a cute town on the northern fork, all other towns described are on the south fork.

Amagansett– Low Key, less populated, second furthest from the city

Montauk- Very low key, furthest point out.

When you hear places described as “South of the Highway” that means they are usually closer to the beach.

4) Get in the Water: There are wonderful beaches all over the Hamptons. Pick one and go.  There are some more social beaches out towards Amagansett. If you don’t have a beach pass you may have to pay $20 to park.  There is also a good beach by Bridgeport.

5) Apre Beach:

Unwind after a day at the beach here:

Cyril’s Fish House.

2167 Montauk Highway
Amagansett, NY 11930

Alternatively, if you make it to Shelter Island, check out Andre Balazs’ Sunset Beach (same guy behind the Standard Hotel in the Meakpacking District)

http://www.sunsetbeachli.com/main.html

6) Hit the Town:

There are two approaches to a night on the town. The first thing is to manage your expectations or else you will risk being disappointed like a bad New Year’s Eve.  There are several clubs in case you have that Puffy White Party vision in your mind, but you may be better off going a chill route.

a) Public House in Southampton is better for a beer with friends.

b) If you are in pursuit of a nice meal, make a reservation at Savannah’s in Southampton (great back patio).

c) If you want to step it up, check out Surf Lodge in Amagansett/Montauk and skip the Pink Elephant.

d) Recover the next day with a nice brunch at Pierre’s in Bridgehampton.

7) Don’t Do Anything (Too) Stupid: Just because you are in the Hamptons partying like a celebrity, make sure still pack your common sense.  Don’t pull a Lohan.  Drinking and driving is never a good idea. Here is number to a cab company:

East Hampton Taxi 631-324-9696

Use your sunscreen and have a great time!

Bright Sun, Big Beach.

Poll For My Readers

Posted in Life's Ponderings on July 13, 2010 by Bright Lights

Let me know which topics you most enjoy.  See poll below:

Pied a terre in Meatpacking Anyone?

Posted in Hot Places on July 12, 2010 by Bright Lights

Someday I will leave New York City.  Well, as a residence, not necessarily in spirit.  Further, I may continue to work in New York City long after I cease to reside here.  I have often thought about owning a pied a terre so that I can spend some weekends here.  But owning property in New York City is a huge headache, not to mention expensive.  To be honest, staying a hotel at $250 – $350 a night is probably still less expensive than owning if you only come in on weekends and if you take into account other expenses like utilities, cable TV, and internet.

If all you need is a clean place to lay your head, in a location that is convenient to dining and nightlife, then the answer may be the Jane Hotel.  The Jane Hotel has rooms starting at just $99, but what they lack in space they make up for in character.

The Jane Hotel is located at 113 Jane Street, just a few blocks away from the heart of the Meatpacking District.  The hotel has swanky 20’s style bar/lounge as well as a cafe in the lobby.  For $99, you get a great deal but you don’t get a private bathroom.  Instead, there is a communal bathroom on every floor that is very clean and inviting.

Jane Lounge

The Jane Hotel may not be a great fit for those that are high maintenance or if you like to spend hours in the bathroom getting ready.  But if you are looking for a way to spend more time in NYC without the headaches of driving, parking, and paying top dollar for a room that you are barely in, then this could be the answer for you.  You should note that the Jane Hotel also has larger rooms available for more money, so its not like you can only stay in a shoebox.  That said, someday I may to call that shoebox my home away from home.

Bright Lights, Big City.

Hotel Clerk