7 Must-See Exhibitions in New York City

There are always so many great things happening in New York City that it can be a challenge to filter through them all to find the gems. One thing I like to keep an eye out for are unique exhibitions happening around the city and surrounding areas. Here are the seven exhibitions I’m looking forward to – most of them end in the next couple of months, so be sure to check them out soon!

1. China: Through the Looking Glass

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This incredible exhibit is set to break the popular Alexander McQueen exhibit that took place at The Met in 2011. Because of its popularity, the exhibit has been extended through Labor Day weekend. This exhibition houses some of the most beautiful haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear pieces of clothing alongside Chinese art and screens featuring Chinese movies. I visited once, but I’m very tempted to go again. Until September 7, 2015.

2. Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the pop cultural phenomenon that transformed television. Check out and interact with props, costumes, and sets that you’ve seen on your T.V. every Saturday night for the past 40 years. Maybe you’ll see a prop from one of your favorite sketches!

3. Sinatra: An American Icon

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This incredible exhibit gives you an up-close-and-personal look at Frank Sinatra’s life, from his time on the silver screen to when his voice captured the hearts of America. You can see his clothes, recording studio, Oscar trophy, and read all about his life and how he came to be an icon. Until September 4, 2015.

4. Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television

exhibit5This is the first exhibition to explore how avant-garde art influenced and shaped the look and content of network television from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s. Having majored in media studies, this exhibit looks intriguing. Until September 27, 2015.

5. Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men

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I saw this exhibit a couple of months ago, but since it’s still running for another two months, I’d recommend all Mad Men fans go see it. You get to see the costumes and scripts, but the coolest part of the exhibit for me was stepping into Betty and Don’s kitchen and looking around Don’s office. It all comes to life – a true step back into the 1960s. Until September 6, 2015.

6. Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

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I can’t wait to see this gorgeous looking exhibit of Frida Kahlo – it’s the first exhibition to examine the artist’s appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. Until November 1, 2015.

7. Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland

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Love Lewis Carroll’s classic tale? For the first time in 30 years, the original manuscript of Alice in Wonderland will be on display along with original drawings and letters, photographs, and objects. Until October 11, 2015.

Which exhibits are you looking forward to seeing?

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Around Town: Taiwanese Night Market

When I first heard about the Taiwanese Night Market in Brooklyn, I knew I had to get tickets right away. Featuring authentic Taiwanese dishes, the Night Market hosted a variety of vendors (including A-Pou Dumplings, CBao Easter, Wooly’s, and TKettle) selling yummy dishes such as shaved ice, baos, boba, green tea brownies, pig ears, tofu, noodles, and Taiwanese sausages. It was a laid back environment with great food. The cherry on top: a view of New York City from across the water at dusk.

Images by Lauren

8 Books for Spring 2015

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My reading list for spring has grown significantly in the past couple of weeks. I thought I was set, but then a few more stood out to me when browsing the bookstore. These are the food and film books I can’t wait to read this season.

1. Lesser Beasts by Mark Essig – As valuable as they may be for food, pigs are also intelligent and self-sufficient. Essig’s book explores the history of a creature we typically think of as dirty and lazy. A fascinating read!

2. Missing Reels by Farran Smith Nehme – Young love and old movies? Sold! A young woman moves to NYC and discovers that her neighbor may have starred in a forgotten silent film. As she tracks down the film, her life changes. I’m looking forward to being charmed with this read.

3. How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics by Eugenia Cheng – If you’re not a math person, maybe this book will change your mind. There’s food involved, after all. Cheng offers a new way of looking at math – I’m very interested to know why “making a good custard proves that math is easy but life is hard.”

4. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman – Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer and business journalist Charles Fishman wrote this book about “curiosity conversations” that have inspired Grazer to create some of the beloved television shows and movies in history (24! Apollo 13! Arrested Development!). Grazer has had weekly “curiosity conversations” with accomplished strangers for decades, and in this book the power of inquisitiveness is explored. As a curious being, this sounds right up my alley.

5. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe: A Novel with Recipes by Jenny Colgan – A sweet novel about a woman who opens her own cafe when she’s laid off from her desk job. Challenges and adventures await, but when there are cupcakes involved, it might not be so bad after all. Colgan has several books like this, including The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, The Little Beach Street Bakery, and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe.

6. Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Restaurant, A Marriage by Molly Wizenberg – When Molly Wizenberg’s husband Brandon decides to open a pizza restaurant, their young marriage changed. This book recounts their adventures.

7. Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl – A young woman takes a job at an iconic food magazine in New York. When the magazine is shut down, she discovers letters written to the legendary chef James Beard. I’ve heard great things about this book.

8. Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann – A true Hollywood tale of ambition, scandal, and murder. Recreated with the suspense of a novel, this story sounds like a thrilling bedtime read.

What books are you reading this spring?

Best Breakfast Nooks

When it comes to breakfast, I love the idea of relaxing in a nook that is comfortable and visually stunning. Why not start (and end) the day in a private corner enjoying good food, conversation, or a book? These are my 10 favorite breakfast nooks…

1. The light in this room is perfect. With the high wooden ceilings, black bordered windows, and open doors out to a patio, I would never ever leave this nook.

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2. Another classically clean and airy room, these linen chairs and pillows look great for snuggling up on and enjoying breakfast in the mornings.

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3. The striped booth and pillows give this breakfast nook a chic quality. And that candle chandelier – amazing!

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4. For a more eclectic morning, this nook is simple and unique.

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5. A new spin on the nook – put it against the kitchen island. I like it.

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6. A chic, upper-scale diner look. Love it.

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7. These bursts of color through the cushions, pillows, and flowers add a great vibe to this room.

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8. Gorgeous huge windows and a simply corner seating area make for a lovely morning drinking coffee and reading.

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9. More eclectic details here: gallery wall, cool table, unique pillows, and a basket lamp.

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10. Stairs leading up to a private nook? This is fantastic. What a beautiful kitchen, too.

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Which breakfast nook is your favorite?

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10 Favorite Black and White Kitchens

While I love a kitchen with color and stand-out backsplashes, I also love a good black and white color scheme. I tend to gravitate toward kitchens with lots of space, storage, and light. These are my 10 favorite black and white kitchens.

1. Lots of space, air, and the small black diamonds on the floor are perfect. Oh, and that amazing orange cat.

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2. For a smaller kitchen, these black and white striped blinds are casually cute. The black and white framed photos are also a great addition.

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3. Loving the white cabinets and the dark marble kitchen counter.

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4. White tiles, dark kitchen island, and red accessories that pop out.

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5. Black and white kitchen nook with subtle pops of color from flowers, candles, books, and pillows. Very classy.

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6. A useful and pretty chalkboard, white tile, and a black and white striped rug. Practical and chic.

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7. A darker vibe, but what an amazing look and feel. That wine storage and little desk – fantastic.

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8. Definitely more airy with sunlight pouring in – great contrast between white top cabinets and dark lower cabinets.

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9. I like that you can see everything – the plates, cups, bowls, etc. The dark floor is gorgeous.

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10. More old-fashioned and grand, but what a great contrast between the black and white, and then the hybrid with the tiled floors.

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Which black and white kitchen is your favorite?

P.S. My favorite movie kitchens.

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The Last Meals of Summer

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{Mozzarella and Tomato Basil Caprese Flatbread}

The summer is almost over, so what better way to wrap it up than with a few last refreshing meals. Spend the final week of August in the kitchen with the windows open soaking up the warm evenings. Gather fresh ingredients from the garden or the Farmers Market and prepare these five incredible dishes. Whether you choose a mozzarella flatbread, a light pasta dish, or a healthy skewer, these meals are the best ways to countdown to September.

 summer 2{Walnut, Parsley, and Parmesan Linguine}

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{Baked Pasta with Spinach, Ricotta, and Prosciutto}

summer 4

{Watermelon Salad with Mint}

summer 5

 {Ahi Tuna Lollipops with Sriracha Aioli}

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7 Favorite Kitchen Backsplashes

When it comes to kitchens, the details are the most fun part. One of these details includes backsplashes. When done right, they are practical and beautiful. These are my favorite kitchen blacksplashes:

1. This honeycomb-shaped gray mottled marble backsplash is eye-catching and unusual. I like how it climbs the wall but doesn’t go all the way. This honeycomb pattern blends well with the kitchen, and gives a simple kitchen character.

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2. Use chalkboard to make your backsplash even more functional. Write down recipes, ingredients you need from the store, doodles, and inspiring quotes!

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3. It is typical for backsplashes to be tile or marble, but I love this idea of having windows as a backsplash. You can look outside while you do cook or do the dishes!

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4. Having a backsplash that pops out against dark hard wood floors is such a beautiful idea. These lime green tiles stand out, but not annoyingly so. Such great contrast of light and dark.

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5. Backsplashes can maintain a clean and simple look, like this gorgeous off-white color. However, what keeps the look interesting is the design of the tiles. Create stunning shapes in a neutral color to keep your kitchen minimalist and unique.

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6. A counter-to-ceiling backsplash, especially in this light blue color, is captivating. The tiles do have different shades of color throughout, giving the kitchen a nice dimension.

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7. Go bold or go home! These big colorful tiles are such a great way to make a statement in your kitchen. They also match the floor!

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What types of backsplashes do you love most?