New York City has a certain energy about it. It can be intimidating. It can be breathtaking. After all, more than 8 million people call the Big Apple home, and that’s not counting the hundreds of thousands of visitors. It is the most superior melting pot in the world, in all respects; food, culture and of course, fashion.
We flew in Tuesday to attend the Lucky FABB (Fashion and Beauty Blogger) conference. Since the actual event wasn’t until the next day, we made an ambitious plan to see (and eat) as many things on our list as possible in the little down time we had.
First on the agenda, a visit to our home office in Midtown. With a delightful view of Central Park, this particular space houses a handful of tremendous Vera Bradley creative team members. We spent some time catching up and admiring new product samples (there are some great styles coming!) before it was time to head out on the town.
We hailed a cab and set out to begin our food tour with a little East Village treasure, S’Mac. In 2006, someone finally decided to cash in on a basic American fact: Everyone loves macaroni and cheese. We claimed a corner table and gathered around two “major munch” skillets with bubbling helpings of the 4 Cheese (cheddar, muenster, gruyere and pecorino) and Parisienne (brie, figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms and fresh rosemary), respectfully. There are no words.
A short (rainy) walk brought us to the glorious galley-style hotspot Pommes Frites, where we shared a cone of the famous Belgian fries with a Dill Lemon Mayo dipping sauce. Salty, savory and certainly worth a second helping.
We moved on to SoHo (a neighborhood in lower Manhattan) for a little retail gazing before hopping in a taxi for more noshing at an intimate little seafood spot called Mary’s Fish Camp. Two of the three of us had never had a lobster roll. If you’re going to try one, why not start with the best, right? We strolled three blocks over to end the evening with Red Velvet and Peanut Butter bliss in the form of cupcakes from the infamous Magnolia Bakery. Our trio turned in for the evening, tummies full and happy as good be.
We welcomed Wednesday with a little caffeine and eagerly filed into the Times Center for Lucky FABB. The lineup was a fashion and editorial feast beyond comprehension: Terry Lundgren (Chairman, President and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.), Leandra Medine (Founder, The Man Repeller), Rachel Zoe, Steven Kolb (Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America), Lauren Bush Lauren (Chief FEEDer and Co-founder of FEED Projects), Lauren Conrad, Anna Sui, select brilliant Lucky editors, and more. So much more.
The creative energy in the auditorium was palpable and precious. We left with notebooks full of takeaways for the future, aspirations and an overwhelming drive to be better, every day.
The three of us were standing at the brink of a certain major event in the city. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off in a fantastic way with Fashion’s Night Out Wednesday evening. It is the fun-filled opening ceremonies for Fashion Week, and while we wouldn’t be able to attend any of the shows or parties, we did want to do a little spying before heading back to the Midwest. Strategizing over bagels and coffee in Bryant Park Thursday morning, we mapped out a day that would end outside the Lincoln Center, site of the major runway shows.
Of course, always with food in mind, we first took a scenic walk to procure macarons from Ladurée. We stepped off Madison Avenue and into a romantic Paris bakery. Making an impossible decision, we left with a beautiful bag of caramel, pistachio, red currant, raspberry and coffee pastries, almost too exquisite and delicate to eat. We strolled through Central Park and found the perfect little spot to enjoy our treat.
Energized by a heavenly sugar rush, and the final destination a short walk away, we pressed on to Lincoln Center. Around the side of the building, the eyeful of towering white tents was just enough to get our imaginations going. Who was inside? Probably a group of fabulous people seeing fabulous clothes. Or maybe a rush of makeup artists and hair stylists corralling gorgeous runway gals. Either way, it was the perfect punctuation mark to our time in the Big Apple. Until we meet again …