Wednesday, June 7, 2017


About a month ago, my sister and brother came to see me in New York. I showed them my favorite places in the city, ate a lot of good food, visited a bunch of museums and before they arrived I also went to two art fairs. Let's put it this way, it was a very artsy week. I hope you're ready for a long post!Metropolitan Museum of Art

May brought some amazing weather, so I spent some time on the roof of my building. The view is pretty nice, right?

New York's weather is very unpredictable and extreme, so one day it rained so much (it hadn't rained this much in one day since the eighties) that I got kind of stuck at Joe And The Juice for a whole afternoon. It was impossible to go outside because of the rain! Check out my latest post to find out where I like to get work done. 

In May I also went to La Esquina twice, which is a popular Mexican place. For the 'hidden' restaurant downstairs you'll need to have a reservation but upstairs and on the terrace, it's quite easy to get a table. I really like the guacamole and cauliflower tacos here!

I went for an evening run and the weather looked very dramatic. It resulted in some pretty cool pictures...

I love my running views, just look at this.

I paid a little visit to Opening Ceremony where I saw this cute bag. Turns out it's by a young Belgian designer called Niels Peeraer. These kinds of things make me very proud to come from Belgium, which has so many creative and talented people. I really hope I can also make my country proud one day.

Talking about Belgian pride, how do you like my new Antwerp cap from Opening Ceremony x Vier? It's very pink but I like it a lot. I felt the need to represent the world's best city in the world's second best city ;) haha!

In May there are a couple of important art fairs in New York. One of them is TEFAF, which you might know from their yearly fair in Maastricht. It's on the Upper East Side so it attracts a certain kind of people. Right after I left the Axel Vervoordt booth (pictured below), I ran into Leonardo DiCaprio and Nina Agdal. I was so star struck I didn't dare to say anything haha!

I'll show you some of my favorite works from TEFAF below, starting with this beautiful Shiraga. 

And a bunch of works from Lucio Fontana, which seemed to be the common thread throughout the fair. Almost every booth had a Fontana, which is also one of my favorite artists.

There's something so powerful in these works, which really moves me. I know that opinions are mixed but I LOVE Fontana's work.

After TEFAF it was time for lunch and reading Vogue on my roof. I've been obsessed with toast and Earth Balance lately (a vegan butter which tastes SO good).

Doutzen is a mom of two and she still looks incredible, she's such a natural beauty.

On Sunday it was time for art fair number two: Frieze. I'd been to Frieze in London before, so I knew what to expect. Frieze New York seemed to be even bigger though. I didn't take many pictures, and the best thing I saw was this work by El Anatsui.

Thyme Food, a new company, launched at Frieze. They make these jars filled with fresh and nutritious ingredients. Everything is vegan which is great! I really like this concept, although the price is a little steep at $9 a pop. I actually reused the jar the following week to bring my lunches to uni, great idea!

At night I finally got to try the famous Momofuku Noodle Bar. We shared some of the best buns ever as a starter (the buns with hoisin and shiitake mushrooms, MUST order). As the main course I had a vegetarian noodle soup. Very flavorful and better than Ippudo if you ask me.

I went to Glossier to buy my sister the Boy Brow (eyebrow gel) which has been my best beauty purchase this year. The Glossier showroom always looks so perfect, and even the flowers look so perfect they almost look fake.

My siblings arrived late on Monday so I picked them up from their hotel and then we had a late dinner at Mimi since everything else was already closed. I had already eaten, but my siblings said the food was excellent here. I've only been here before for drinks, it's a very cozy spot.

My brother and sister finally in New York! It was so fun to show them where I lived and what my favorite places are. I'm not entirely sure what they were looking at here.

One day I brought them to one of the best Aussie breakfast spots, Two Hands

It was a beautiful day so we walked through Central Park, which looks entirely different when the trees are all green and there are flowers everywhere. 

I love this picture that I took of my sister.

My siblings love going to museums, so a visit to The Met was a must. For me it was the second time but there were two new exhibitions which I wanted to see.

The first one was the Rei Kawakubo exhibition. I didn't love it, but I think that depends a bit on what you like. I think the design of the exhibition was really well done. 

Exhibition number two was the Irving Penn exhibition. I really loved this one, because I love photography and Irving Penn was one of the best fashion photographers. 

You could spend days in The Met and keep discovering new things. I love this particular space.

One thing I didn't know was that The Met also has a rooftop. It's kind of hard to get to so I feel like it's a bit of a secret that not many people know about. The view from the rooftop is really incredible, with a long stretch of Central Park and the Midtown skyscrapers in the back. 

There's a bar on the rooftop so you could have some drinks and chill for a while.

But we got hungry so I brought my siblings to my guilty pleasure: Shake Shack. I was never really a big Shake Shack fan until I tried the shroom burger. So bad but sooo good.

With some new energy, we headed to the Met Breuer Museum, which you can access for free with your Met ticket. I liked this Lygia Pape artwork the most, which we also saw a couple of years ago at the Venice Biennale. 

It still feels unreal to live in this city. Although I've gotten used to it, there are some moments when I still pinch myself.

After a long day, we were super hungry. We were on the waiting list at a restaurant called Kiki's, but we were so hungry that we got some light appetizers at Scarr's ;) It's known as one of the best pizzas on the Lower East Side, and I must say it was very tasty, but I've had better. 

After an extremely long wait, we finally sat down at Kiki's, a little Greek restaurant. The food is very simple but good, and it's ready in a heartbeat. I really loved the aubergine dip. 

I always pass this store on my way home and I love it because a really cute cat lives there. You can always see this cutie snoozing between the handbags. 

Chobani is a great little spot for breakfast. I tried their yogurt with orange, chocolate and pistachios, a very interesting combo. Next time I want to try the one with mango, cilantro, and avocado! Their superfood bowls aren't actually that good (too sweet) so I'd stick with the yogurt pots.

The Japanese Maples in the West Village looked incredible on this day, with beams of sunlight weaving through the leaves. 

We shopped a bit for my brother at Saturdays, a really cool concept store for men. I like their simple designs a lot!

The Spring Street Salt Shed is a really interesting little building. It has no windows which makes it kind of mysterious. Apparently, there's a sanitation system on the inside, a little less excited than what I'd imagined.

I showed the Clover Grocery to my siblings, who are food lovers just like me. I love the design and layout of this store, it's so perfect.

It's all in the details.

Flower cones, how cute does that look!

Another must-visit is Calatrava's Oculus. We visited a lot of interesting buildings in New York, mainly thanks to my architect brother!

The new Jenga building by Herzog & De Meuron.

We had a late lunch at Lupe's, a cute and authentic Mexican restaurant. We started off with some freshly pressed juices and horchata. 

And some Mexican classics: tacos, burritos and quesadillas. My sister's cheese and spinach quesadillas were the best of the bunch. If you're looking for an inexpensive authentic Mexican meal, then Lupe's is your spot. 

After our lunch we walked over to The High Line, another New York highlight in my opinion.

The High Line looks so different each time I go because different flowers are blooming: from orange witch hazels to pink cherry blossoms to purple lupines.

I brought my siblings to Sleep No More as a surprise. It's an interactive play based on Macbeth, which takes place in a five-story hotel. You get to walk around for three hours, follow the actors and interact with them (if you're lucky), while wearing these creepy masks. I liked it a lot, but my sister didn't so I really think this is a love/hate thing. But it's definitely a once in a lifetime experience!

Sleep No More ended at 10 PM but we were a bit hungry so we stopped for some snacks at the Empire Diner. I'm going to write a proper review about this place because it really deserves it! It was one of the better meals I've had. 

I had class the following day, so I met my siblings around 5 PM. I had a really long class and I didn't have coffee all day, so we went for cortados at Toby's Estate on 5th Avenue. 

This Toby's Estate is linked to a Strand book store, a flower shop and Club Monaco. It's definitely one of the prettiest shops on 5th Avenue!

The flowers in the flower shop are some of the most beautiful I've seen, with very special kinds like Fritillaria. It reminds me so much of home.

While my sister and I were browsing around Club Monaco, I spotted some women doing a flower workshop in the back room. A lady asked if we wanted to join, and she didn't have to ask me twice. While my sister continued to shop and my brother was browsing books, I started flower arranging. If you know me a little, you know I love flower arranging, and I've been doing it my whole life. So this was the best surprise of the day! 

After a while my brother and sister also decided to join so we spent a good hour making bouquets. It was super random but really fun! At the end we got to take the flower arrangement home, best thing ever. My apartment was filled with flowers!

Because of the impromptu flower workshop we didn't have time to do anything else so I quickly went home to change for dinner.

My siblings stayed at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo, a really cool and new hotel. There's was a little rooftop party so we went there before dinner. The hotel is located right next to Dogpound, the gym where most models in New York train.

Because we wanted pizza, we put our names on the waiting list at Rubirosa, which always takes ages. So we shared a bottle of wine at Epistrophy beforehand, a really cozy place. At Rubirosa we shared two Vodka pizzas which is one of the best pizzas I know in the world. Thankfully my brother and sister agree! 

The next day it was time to head out of the city for a weekend trip! I picked up my siblings at their hotel and had a Joe Coffee inside the Arlo while I waited. They have a nicely stocked fridge in the lobby which is a smart idea (why don't more hotels do this?)

We rented a pretty cool Mustang for the week, so my brother was very happy to be the designated driver! 

In my next post I'll tell you what we got up to during the long weekend, so stay tuned. 

© whiskers & lions

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