How can you tie hospitality and fashion together? In more ways than you could possibly imagine! I embarked on a world wind of a trip last week during Mercedes-Benz NYFW. Food, fun, travel, hospitality, and fashion galore filled my week of back to back events, restaurant indulging, bar hopping, shopping, and the occasional road trip pit stop for food (and a powder room break!)
While visiting my editor for the magazine I write for, F.A.M.E. The Experience, I was asked last minute to embark on this business trip. Usually I would turn down something so last minute because I am a scheduler and a very organized, over thinker, who lives by pre-planning. But in efforts to take more risks and enjoy all of the opportunities that life has to give I said “Why Not!?!?” Before purchasing my plane ticket, I told a friend about the trip just to get some reassurance on my decision and she had never been to NYC and thought that it was a great idea and suggested that we take a road trip on up. So we packed our bags and made our way up from the South-East to the North-East coast on an adventure that would surely have a wacky story or two by the time we came back.
There are beauties of the world that you can’t see face to face when you fly. The South is so beautiful, green, and still. It eases your mind driving through rural areas before you hit the city. As a writer, places like that unleash the high point of my creativity. Though it may be nice and open, you definitely have to watch your speed around North Carolina and Virginia. The police swarm those places out in the open and in hidden corners. Road trip pointer…Avoid getting a ticket at all costs or it will cost you your TIME and MONEY!
Driving through my home state of Maryland was like driving through memory lane. Every city, every highway, every tree, every body of water, and every landmark sparked a old childhood memory to share with my passenger side friend. If you ever visit Maryland, it is a must to eat seafood! They are known for delicious crabs and do stop by the National Harbor in Prince Georges County near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
It is a favorite tourist attraction full of restaurants, outlet and retail shopping, waterfront condos, offices, night clubs, a marina, a National Children’s Museum, and special events like Cirque du Soleil. It has six hotels including the amazing Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center overlooking the beautiful Potomac River, and a huge Capital Ferris Wheel standing at 175-Feet on the pier where if you are brave enough, you will get in over the water especially in the evening when it lights up and you can see parts of Baltimore, D.C., and even Virginia.
We shortly went through Delaware which was too dark to make out and describe to you because by that time it was the night. It was a quick pass through. But New Jersey was definitely the rockiest drive of our trip. Crazy roads…smoke filled dark skies…and some sketchy looking areas. It was a scary drive passing over the New Jersey Turnpike. Under experienced drivers beware!!! You have entered the lions den because close by is the big city!
HELLO NEW YORK! GOING ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE (AND FINALLY GETTING PASS ALL OF THOSE TOLLS) WAS A RELIEF!
We stayed by my family in Brooklyn as I always do but the next time I would love to experience a city hotel but nonetheless the experience was amazing! We were freezing but on to NYFW we went. The Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan is where we attended our first show hosted by designers Zohar & Frankforter. It was an unforgettable experience. There I spoke to and interviewed House Of DVF’S Abs Petit.
After the show we went to the popular Footprints Restaurant in Brooklyn. I have always heard of this place and I have always wanted to try their dish called the “Rasta Pasta”. It is a penne pasta dish where you can add any meat or seafood from chicken, to fish, to beef, or even jerked meats. I added the jerk chicken and shrimp. This has got to be THE best pasta dish that I have ever had!!! You must try it when you are in New York. The drinks were all just as amazing and it was karaoke night so the entire magazine staff and I had the place super live. One of my best work-cation experiences to date.
The rest of our week was filled with more fashion shows in Manhattan, taxis and subways, high heels and winter chic wear out in the brick city and food after food and bar stops like Flight 151 where customers can actually draw on paper mats on the table with crayon. How fun! It definitely brought out the kid in me (assisted by my cocktail to add some colorful flare to my drawing and my friends drawings.) Some of my favorite eats were street vendors like my Authentic New York Slice. Yum! I enjoyed it with an ice cold Angry Orchard Cider.
I definately gained a few pounds on this trip! Especially before leaving we stopped in the effervescently bright Times Square and ate well at Texas BBQ’s. The drinks are huge and the bbq is sweet and tangy. My pulled chicken bbq sandwich was just right and my frozen cocktail was big enough to share with four people.
When all was said and done we packed up our things, our winter fashion memories, and headed back down to the south in hopes of coming back in warmer times to create new memories. Though the south is known for it’s southern hospitality, New York sure brought some hospitable bang from the beautiful locations that the fashion shows were held in, to it’s variety of food (in that cultural melting pot of a state), to it’s numerous routes and types of transportation, to the view and the NEW YORK way of life; fast and ever moving which has had a sure to be long lasting effect on us.
If you haven’t visited the BIG APPLE yet…What are you waiting for?!?! Hot or Cold, you will have the time of your life! I am glad to say that coming back to the quiet south was surely missed but no home sick remedies were necessary.
*Etta’s Road Trip Tips:*
1-Make sure that your car is ready and prepared for all types of weather. Especially black ice. (YIKES!)
2-Charge is the simple and easy future but cash is always essential. Have money set aside for gas, food, especially tolls, and any miscellaneous buys like tourist gifts. Know your cash and keep up with your expenses!!!$$$$
3-Have a planned mental map out of the state/city and save gas, money, and time. Fly, take the bus, the train, or drive if it is more convenient. Take the subway or a taxi in the city. It will give you more of a chance to take a lot of beautiful pictures. However, If you are traveling far, just drive. You’ll thank me later.
4-Check out the best hotels and stay close to all of your desired hot spots or if you want to save money and feel at home, stay with a friend or family who live close to the city.
5-Take time on the road. Drive for others and yourself. Safety first. Save lives, do not put them in danger. And if you’re tired, PLEASE stop to sleep at a rest stop or switch drivers with your friends along on the trip like I did! Road trips are always fun with others. So bring the team with yah! 🙂
HAVE A FUN, SAFE, & UNFORGETTABLE ROADTRIP!!!!!