Food & Wine

A Hotspot of Hope: The NEW New York

The New New York

[trip style = urban]

{Editor's Note: Scroll to see 50+ photos below.}

To me, traveling to New York is like seeing your coolest and oldest friend. Your time together is always filled with all the feels, and in NYC's newest hood—one of the city's current hotspots—the feels run really deep. 

NYC Hotspot
Enter my recent trip to the Big Apple. I caught a ride to Manhattan on Cathay Pacific's chic and nonstop flight {Vancouverites and New Yorkers: This is the BEST way to fly between the two hubs given the carrier's international-level service on the route}. During this visit, rather than my usual repertoire of hopping between it shops and stops throughout New York's endless neighborhoods, I focused on one NYC grid: The completely revitalized Lower Manhattan, coined the new New York. 

The New New York
Rebuilt after the 9/11 attacks and stronger than ever, Lower Manhattan has become an ode to all the things that make New York a sought-after place to live and visit. In the new New York, there's grit and glam, fortitude and fearlessness, history and ingenuity, energy and esteem. Counting still-standing relics telling visual tales of the city's oldest 'hood, memorials that give a clear voice to past events, eateries so delicious you'd hop on a plane just for one dish, and addresses so stunning they double as art, there's an overwhelming sense of hope oozing from every new building, sidewalk, and storefront.    

Beyond the must-eats, -stays, and -dos popping up all over the revitalized locale, you'll find you're not just visiting a place, but participating in the day-by-day restoration of the human spirit. Here are the addresses that took my breath away in New York's hotspot...of hope.

<Scroll down for details about what to do, where to eat, and my gorgeous stay below>

---> DO <---
Oculus & WestField World Trade Center
You've probably seen its gorgeous wingspan gracing every instagrammers' feed, but there's more to the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus than meets the eye. Commissioned as a memorial to 9/11, this monument to life's glass skylight opens up every September 11th. In a powerful display of light overcoming darkness at 10:28am the sun shines most intensely into the dove-like building—timed to the moment when the second building of the World Trade Center fell. I was there for about four hours, but I could have stayed for the day. The structure is that stunning {and the dove's wings ignite a creative fire in your soul—at least they did for me!}

The Oculus is built over one of the city's major transportation hubs and retail escapes that includes NYC staples such as Eataly and Kiehl's, and transplants like San Fran-based Blue Bottle Coffee, Stockholm-based COS, and London-based Reiss, in addition to other TS faves like Aesop and Claudalie.      

One World Observatory
Perched at the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is a place of perspective: One World Observatory. I don't always flock to bird's-eye-view tourist magnets, but this attraction is in a category of its own. It gave me goosebumps, it made me cry, and it made me smile all in one visit. In short: You have to go to see the bedrock upon which the engineering marvel is built, hear the stories of those who rebuilt the iconic structure, witness the panoramic views, and climb from floor 1 to 102 in 47 ear-popping seconds. And, I won't spoil it, but there's one part of the journey that literally takes your breath away...

National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Grand in scale but contemplative in nature, the National September 11 Memorial spans eight of the 16-acre World Trade Center plot. Including a forest, pools, and a subterranean museum telling the stories of those who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks, this place of tribute is a powerful ode to past events, present awareness, and future change. 

Don't just walk past this memorial. Linger. Sit in the forest and reflect. Read the names of those who never got to tell the tale of that day on the bronze plates circling the one-acre pools. Listen to waterfalls—intended create a sanctuary in the midst of the city's bustle—cascading into the bodies of water. Visit the subterranean museum, a place to learn, feel, reflect, understand, and pay respect to the fallen.       

---> EAT <---
Le District
If I could give a petit bisou to one food address in NYC it would be the French food emporium: Le District {and not just because of the Rosé crèam glacée}. Sandwiched between the Hudson River and the World Trade Center in the chic shopping and dining address, Brookfield Place, the French market feels like you're hovering in an epicurean eden somewhere between New York and Paris.

Think of it like a walkabout of the 11th arrondissement with all the accoutrements you'd expect from the culinary district: Fromagerie, boucherie, poissonerie, boulangerie, patisserie, chocolaterie, bar au vin, brasserie(s)—except here, all the fixings are huddled together in a 30,000-square-foot market. 

Whether you pop in for an éclair {made with imported butter from France, bien sur}, a glass of bold Bordeaux, or a croque-madame at Beaubourg, one of three sit-down eateries, don't plan anything after your visit, because you could sit, browse, nosh, and sip the day away in this chic concrete- and tile-clad francophile land of milk, honey, and every other provision under the French sun. 

CUT by Wolfgang Puck
You'd think celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck would have a dozen of his namesake eateries sprinkled all over Manhattan, but the longtime culinary VIP is choosy. While Puck has been sizzling fixture in the fine dining space since the '80s, he did not choose to enter the upscale Manhattan market until 2016 when the stars aligned to open his steakhouse, CUT, in Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Here, join the Financial District's powerbrokers in the sultry, velvet-draped, and wood-ensconced space to nosh on the city's most highfalutin steaks {read: Grilled over hard wood and charcoal, and finished under a 1,200-degree broiler} and chichi comfort food like creamed spinach with a fried organic egg.

---> STAY <---
Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
As part of a neighborhood that is being reshaped by vision and soul, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is a quiet yet confident addition to Lower Manhattan's skyline. Polished yet understated, it's the kind of address a celeb could slip into unnoticed {ahem, and they do}. Occupying the first 24 floors of one of the city's most sough-after towers, the newly-opened luxury hotel has all the fixtures you'd expect from a posh hotel—picture-perfect rooms with marble bathrooms and soaking tubs, a 23-meter pool {so huge it has its own lifeguard}, a spa stocked with rare Swiss brands and lavish treatments such as a Chardonnay skin rejuvenation ritual, a celebrity-chef-helmed restaurant—and then some. And if you ever exit the chic urban retreat, you're steps from culture, cuisine, art, and shops that will make the Big Apple even more delectable than it already is. 

Other Dispatches in this Series
3 Days in NYC {What I Packed}
Cathay Pacific's Iconic YVR to JFK Nonstop Route
Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR
Next Up :: NYC

[Lead photo taken by @NomnomYVR, all other photos taken by @TripStyler (unless otherwise stated) while exploring NYC in partnership with Cathay Pacific Airways and NYC & Co.]

Summer In Vancouver: Designer Ice Cream + Liquid Yoga + A Chic Longtable Dinner

Summer 2017 insider must-dos in vancouver canada

[trip style = active + food + wine]

To my sun-seeking soul, summer is the best time to be on the West Coast. During this sacred season, California's weather flirts with Canada's coastline, bringing sun from 6am-10pm, weather that justifies rosé all day and a fashion sense that's more breezy than bundled.  

Other than a few trips abroad in June, I typically reserve July and August for trip styling locally, either on weekend jaunts or staycations. To do this, I try to work fewer hours and extend each weekend because British Columbia is too gorgeous not to explore when it's in full bloom. 

For weekends away, I usually head to the mountains, beeline for the beach or channel my love Palm Springs in Canada's only desert {also a wine region!}. If I stay in the city, I like to bike the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path, practice pool yoga or eat designer ice cream. {Real talk: Now that I have little stylers, I can't do all of this in one weekend, so I break up the fun throughout the summer.}

Here are a few "very Vancouver," summer-only, Trip Styler-approved happenings going on right now. See you there!

beta5 ice cream socials

Designer Ice Cream
Tucked away in an urban industrial district off Main Street, you'll find BETA5 Chocolates, aka Vancouver's sweetest secret. This summer, Canada's coolest chocolate-, pastry- and ice cream-maker is one-upping its cool-factor by offering designer sundaes that are more art than ice cream. But the cool treats aren't just for Instagram show --> they taste as beautiful as they look given the local dairy, in-season produce and handcrafted toppings that go into each bite.

DETAILS: BETA5's Ice Cream Socials take place every Saturday from 1-5pm during the summer. Want ice cream during the week? It's cool; they've got you covered.

liquid yoga the westin bayshore summer

Liquid Yoga
In an ode to Vancouver's summertime glory—yoga + outdoor pool + sunshine = yes please—head to the Westin Bayshore for Liquid Yoga. Taking place in the waterfront hotel's outdoor pool, participants float on aquamats while they flow through a 60-minute practice in a small-group setting, complete with birds chirping and warm water lapping up against their mat. The only requirement: Know how to swim and BYOBS {bring your own bathing suit}. The setting is so inviting, you'll want to take a dip after class when your hands touch the water during savasana.

DETAILS: Sixty-minute classes take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 8am + 9am during the summer, and cost $30 {$20 for hotel guests}. Reserve your spot here.


Crab + Lobster Boil
Every Sunday this summer, YEW Seafood + Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is bringing the ocean to you with its Crab + Lobster Boil. Featuring BC-caught Dungeness Crab and Canadian Lobster, as well as a spread of sautéed greens and marbled potatoes, this long table feast offers a coast-to-coast taste of Canada, including BC wine. PS: If you haven't properly celebrated Canada's 150th birthday, this tasteful soirée is for you.  

DETAILS: YEW's Crab + Lobster Boil happens every Sunday night during the summer. Book your seat here. Tickets cost $75 and include wine.

[Photos via @tripstyler, except lead image courtesy of FS Vancouver]

A Five-Star BeerBQ? You Bet Your Brisket!

Whistler BeerBQ Four Seasons Resort Whistler

[trip style = food + beer + wine]

Editor's Note: More NYC coverage coming soon.  

This summer the Four Seasons Resort Whistler is turning up the heat {and the hops} on the idea of the backyard barbecue. And, in true Four Seasons form, the weekly event is not your average cookout, but rather a BeerBQ pairing a carousel of local craft brews with a mountain of meats. Add in salads and sides that belong on the cover of Bon Appetit Magazine, a custom-built smoker, live music, twinkly lights, as well as a babbling brook, and you've got a five-star cookout.  

But beyond the setting, the savory bites, and the sips, you'll find a Chef whose passion for cooking and craft brews is at the heart of the event. With an Instagram account called @ChefAndHisGrowler, Chef Artie McGee is the guy you want marrying your malt with your meal. True to his social handle, when he's not cooking at the Four Seasons, he's imbibing the latest lager and whipping up a just-right bite. 

"The BeerBQ is my passion project," he tells me as we walk around and he shows off the 8-foot-tall and custom-built smoker made by a local outfit, or he points out sauces, dressings and cast iron-baked corn bread incorporating the week's featured beers. "I'm so passionate about craft beer, I reached out to more than 25+ local breweries to see if they'd like to partner with us for our summer bbq series. They all loved the idea. It's a win-win."

To add some sizzle to your summer, cut out early from work, grab your gear, head up to Whistler, eat alllllllll the meat, and then upgrade your cookout with a night at the hotel. When your friends see what you're doing {on social media, of course}, tell them: "You bet your brisket I'm at a BeerBQ." {Sorry, the title of this is TOO good not to repeat...}

Four Seasons Resort Whistler BeerBQ details 
WHEN: Every Thursday from 5pm - 9pm until Aug 31st, 2017
WHERE: In the glow of summer's late sunset at SIDECUT's outdoor alcove  
COST: The all-you-can-eat feast, which keeps the meats sizzling and salads piled high {all night long} is $34 for adults, $17 for kids ages 5 to 12, and $10 for mini stylers under 5
SERVING STYLE: Buffet, and since it's at the Four Seasons, there's lots of stations {and very few, if any, line-ups}. Plus, there's a server to help you out. 
RESERVATIONS: Not required. The first-come, first-served event is for everyone, so while you'll want to book a room at the Five-Diamond retreat to roll into after indulging like a pit master, you don't need to be a guest of the hotel to attend.
WHO: Bring the fam, go with friends, or head there with your partner. Foodies and families flock at 5pm, while the weekend escape artists waltz in around 7pm.  
TRIP STYLER BeerBQ TIPS: Arrive just before 5pm to score a seat in the shade, stay until 9pm to feel the barbecue vibes all night, and stay the night at the hotel so the only distance you have to travel, post-BeerBQ, is to your hotel room!  

{Click the below images to enlarge, and then hover for details}

What's "brewing" at this summer's BeerBQ
July 13th - Strathcona, Strange Fellows
July 20th - Doans, Moody Ales, Persephone Hoyne
July 27th - Bridge, Four Winds, Steamworks, Driftwood
August 3rd - Hearthstone, Back Country, Coast Mountain
August 10th - Deep Cove, Yellow Dog, Whistler Brewing, Steal & Oak
August 17th - Postmark, Townsite, Dead Frog, Driftwood, Coast Mountain
August 24th - Moon Under Water, Main Street, Hoyne, Howe Sound
August 31st - Moody Ales, Strathcona, Strange Fellows, Yellow Dog, Twin Sails

[Photos by @tripstyler unless noted]

Next Up: NYC

New York City

[trip style = urban]

While everyone else is on the hunt for the coolest pool inflatable {read: unicorn!} to Instagram in a sea of blue, I'm going to zig while others zag and seek the city versus the sand.

This week I'm kicking off the TS summer in style and heading to the ultimate metropolis, New York, to explore Lower Manhattan's eye-popping revitalization and report back on its essentials.

Trip Styler Tip: On the topic of zigging while others zag, as in, booking a summertime getaway to the city versus the beach... I love this travel strategy because it always boils down to less financial output. Case in point: Cathay Pacific is offering up to 23% off Economy Class and Business Class fares between Vancouver and New York right now. This is not sponsored, I'm just telling you because the airline and destination are TS travel muses.

When I first started Trip Styler back in 2009 I made a vow to visit the Big Apple yearly. My rationale: Connecting with New York is like getting together with your coolest friend. It never gets old {and you're already anticipating your next visit before you've even parted ways}. While I haven't 100% hit the lofty goal of visiting every 12 months, I've been able to prioritize getting there almost once a year. Because, New York. 

To whet your NYC palate, here's a taste of the concrete jungle courtesy of some never-seen-on-TS photos from my trip with Mr. Trip Styler a year ago. More dispatches will hit the wire shortly. I leave Monday night on the daily and nonstop YVR to JFK Cathay Pacific flight. Stay tuned. 

{Want to know more about a photo or pinpoint its exact location? Click it!}

First Look :: Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR

[photos by @tripstyler + @mrtripstyler]

The Après-Vacation BFF: Your Freezer

freezer meals for when you get home from vacation

[trip style = food]

Recently, I've made a new friend who welcomes me home from my travels with a green smoothie and a near-ready dinner. She's a little cold, but she's faithful, so our friendship thrives. This new friend is my freezer, and if we coordinate our schedules well, she's a real lifesaver when I need to feed the TS Crew healthy food {and I'm too tired to brave the grocery store}!  

In my early Trip Styling days, I would come home from vacation to an empty fridge. No problemo. A jar of peanut butter would satiate my hunger until I could dash to the market. Now that I have a baby and a toddler, I can’t employ the same laissez-faire technique. So now, the SMARTEST THING I do before I leave on a trip is stock the freezer with healthy dishes, which I can "make" {read: pull out of the freezer and defrost} when I'm so jet-lagged I can't see straight.

The best part about this post-vacation freezer plan is its ease: All I do is make a few extra portions of the meals I’m already consuming before we leave. Bonus: When my freezer is full of good-to-go meals, there’s no temptation to stop for fast food or worry about meal-planning. 

Here are some of my crew’s post-travel freezer favorites:

The Every Meal
CAULI CAKES {pictured at the top}: I love cauli cakes—a veggie take on my friend-who-should-have-her-own-restaurant Buffie's crab cakes—for any meal of the day. It's easy to make a ton of these in advance; plus, they freeze well and defrost quickly. To whip them up, mix cauliflower rice {raw cauliflower pulsed in the food processor}, an egg, mayo, panko, parmesan, a dash of dijon, fresh herbs, and S&P to taste. Once everything is combined, mold them into golf ball-sized portions, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, flatten them a little with your palm, and bake at 350ºF for about 12 mins {until slightly browned on top}. 

breaskfast when you come home from vacation

But first, COFFEE: If you’re a superhuman who can take your coffee straight-up, I salute your minimalism {and wish I could sip the same}. However, if you like something creamy in your cup, try to freeze a little before you hightail it for vacationville! Freezing cream actually works.

SMOOTHIES: Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables such as bananas, pineapple, peaches, blueberries, spinach, or kale, and blend them together to kick-start your post-vacation detox. Your body will thank you.
--> Have you tried our detoxifying jugo verde recipe

OATS: As far as sustenance, oatmeal with berries is a sure bet. Either pre-freeze a batch you’re already making, or throw some whole oats on the stove and add frozen berries. Grab a handful of almonds from your pantry and it's a whole meal.

QUINOA: We're quinoa-obsessed since carby-protein is tasty, good for you, and SUPER versatile. Pre-make it before you leave, then defrost it, fry it up, and add an egg. If you have a sweet tooth, heat it up with butter, maple syrup, and frozen pre-cut banana pieces.

dinner ideas for when you come home from vacation

Lunch or Dinner
LASAGNA: I know, you know, and your mom knows that lasagna is an ideal freezer meal.

SOUP: Soup and bread are sure bet {and one pairing I always keep in my deep-freeze}. Most soups freeze well, and bread defrosts quickly, meaning your hunger pangs will be sorted in seconds.

VEG: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in my fridge the night before leaving on a trip only to realize I’ve got a bunch of veggies that won’t survive my time away. Even though I’m usually running behind on the packing front, I take an extra 10 minutes to chop up all my veggies and put them into a freezer bag or sealed container. Pre-chopped veggies go with any pantry staple or sauce kicking around my fridge, and supercharge my diet when I'm done with rich travel meals.

Want more "cool" ideas? Check out my article in The Kitchn: 17 Freezer Meals for When You Come Back from Vacation.

[Photos by @TripStyler]