Life in the big city, and everything in between.

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Zipcar

In Entertainment, Travel on February 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Living in NYC, it’s nearly impossible and very expensive to own a car. The parking alone can cost more than a monthly car payment.
I’ve had a Zipcar membership for the last year and it’s been super convenient. You rent the car by the hour or by the day. You can run your errands, explore other places outside of your city, do what you need to do and drop it back at its stop. No maintenance, no paying for gas or insurance, and up to 180 miles free per day.

They even have a Zipcar app for your iPhone.

Click below to receive $25 dollars in free driving credit (:

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish

In Food, Travel on November 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Ted Peter’s, a family-owned restaurant in St. Petersburg, has operated in nearly the same location for more than half a century now. The place is pretty small, with picnic tables outside, a few tables inside, and a long bar where scores of diners come who crave the smoked mullet, salmon, and mackerel. Although the place is unassuming, the food is down right to die for.
Too bad I have to travel to Florida to get a taste of the fabulous fish, but Ted Peter’s charm is definitely worth it. Order a dinner platter of smoked salmon, which is enough for two people, and enjoy the smokey flavor, as well as the moistness and tenderness of the meat.

It comes with warm German potato salad that’s just as sensational as the main fish course with it’s amazing vinegar, bacon, and onion flavor, as well as the perfect amount of cracked pepper on top.

You will also get a nice helping of their delicious coleslaw.

And the fish spread I will never get tired of. It is an absolute must. Flavored to perfection with mayo, pickles, celery, and some other good stuff. They serve it with saltine crackers. And make sure you listen to the waitress when she says “top it off with hot sauce“.

They even have what’s considered the best burger in the region. It can’t get better than this. But wait, to quench your thirst, order a draft beer (Miller High Life because it’s the only choice) and you will get an iced mug that will freeze your hands off.

Check out Guy Fieri, from the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, visiting this 60-year-old legacy.

This is one establishment that lives up to the hype. Expect a lot of flip flop wearers and local die hards. They are cash only, and it is usually packed, obviously, but it is well worth the wait. Once you sit down and smell the on-site smokehouse you will be transformed to food heaven.

1350 Pasadena Ave S
South Pasadena, FL 33707

(727) 381-7931

 

RibFest 2010

In Food, Travel on November 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

Ribfest St. Petersburg 2010 took place this past weekend. This pork-lovers event was held in Florida and I was lucky enough to attend.  This fun filled three day charity fundraiser featured about a dozen of the world’s best barbeque ribbers and included national touring bands playing classic and southern rock and country hits.

If you are a pork connoisseur I suggest you make it out to their 22nd RibFest next year!

I loved the Carolina Rib King from Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was nothing if not authentic SC-style ‘cue. The ribs fell right off the bone, just the way I like it. And was served with smokey baked beans, sweet, buttery cornbread and chopped coleslaw in a clear vinegar sauce. It was amazing!

Please visit www.ribfest.org for more information.

Best Scenic Drive in New York

In Travel on September 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm

by Natalie Oakes

Most people either love New York City or hate it. For me, New York City is a constant negotiation of the two extremes. When I need a break from the City’s frantic pace, I hightail it to the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York with my husband and infant son. We drive up New York State on 1-87, and then take Route 28 through the mountains. It’s an especially dazzling drive this time of year when the leaves are changing: shades of red, gold, orange, and yellow abound.

The Catskill Mountains technically aren’t mountains, but a dissected plateau, (file that tid-bit for Jeopardy!) and they really do look more like friendly hills than imposing peeks. Route 28 is the perfect scenic drive through the area. The road winds for 50 miles through charming country towns (Phoenicia, Delhi, and Andes to name a few) that still boast stately Victorian homes and quaint main streets. There are a variety of inns along the way, and the views of the mountains are stunning.  I love to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at the stands that flank the road outside of Phoenicia from May until October. The stands are picturesque and never fail to inspire a delighted “Oooh…. let’s stop there!” in each passersby.

Hanover Farms is a favorite. It has garden grown vegetables and fresh fruit, as well as brown eggs, country pies, homemade bread, local milk and cheeses. In the warmer months you can take advantage of the flowering baskets, potted plants, and herbs they sell— a lazy gardener’s best friend, believe me. The potatoes I bought in September were so crisp and flavorful, I nixed the potato salad I was planning, boiled them, and just drizzled them with a bit of olive oil. In the early fall the stand is covered with pumpkins, colorful gourds, and barrels of New York’s famous apples.

I also recommend the neighboring Alyce and Roger’s Fruit Stand. They sell fresh fruits and vegetables like Hanover Farms, along with cinnamon-sugar cake doughnuts, cookies, homemade salsas and jams. Don’t miss their local smoked-trout either; the streams and waterways in the Catskill’s are the birthplace of American fly-fishing and known for their tasty trout.

Urbanites who love the city but crave moments of bucolic quiet should definitely take a countrified drive upstate and check out Route 28 in the Catskills. After a weekend in the mountains, I always come back to the city feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to fall in love with it again.

Hanover Farms

5200 Route 28, Mount Tremper. NY 12457

(845) 943 0117

map it

Alyce and Roger’s Fruit Stand

5150 Route 28, Mount Tremper. NY 12457

(845) 688 2114

About the author


I’m so happy to be writing a guest blog for The Gotham Girl’s website. I’m a big fan! Here’s a little info about me. My name is Natalie and I am twenty-eight years old. My husband and I just had our first child, a darling baby boy named Dane, in May. New York City has been my home for about ten years now, and I have grown to love it, but I also like to take trips to the Catskill Mountains whenever I can. (I’m a country girl at heart.) I’ll be on leave for the next year from my job as a high school teacher so I’m looking forward to reading lots of great literature, writing some songs, singing, and just being a mom to baby Dane—it’s more fulfilling than I ever expected it to be. Thanks to Helya for her supreme lovely awesomeness and I can’t wait to see what’s next!



Escape to the Dominican Republic Part 1

In Travel on August 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm

For the past three years I have spent each vacation in the Dominican Republic, the second largest nation in the Caribbean. Many tourists go for the countries’ year round golf courses and all inclusive resorts.  These are among the top attractions, but what keeps me going back for more are the local customs and traditions. The cuisine of the Dominican Republic is similar to other Latin American cuisines, with an amazing Spanish flavor. Breakfast is a savory dish of  eggs and mangu, which is a puree of plantains or taro, accompanied by red onions, sausage, and white cheese.  Lunch usually consists of rice, beans, meat, vegetables, and of course a salad topped with fresh lime and avocado. Are you salivating yet?  And if you are not worried about your diet go for the chicharonnes, fried pork rinds. My personal favorite would have to be Chivo, which is roasted goat.  If you are the daring type, try the amazing street food. I am not talking about street food like the hot dog carts in New York either. One of the best times I had was enjoying some amazing street food with an ice cold Presidente beer.  I was lucky to have friends who are from Santiago to show me around.

If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture, embrace the food. If you aren’t sold on just the food (which I hope you are)  there are numerous cultural activities. One activity I took part in while I was in Santiago is cock fighting. This is an old Dominican tradition and is considered to be a sport. I know some people may think this is cruel and inhumane but these animals get treated better than we do. They get highly pampered including a diet full of rich grains, minerals, and vitamins. These roosters are idolized and prized by their owners. Once the action in the arena starts it is like nothing you have ever seen before. The frenzy from the crowd and high adrenaline rush is all worth it. Bets are also made on the roosters. If you want to place a bet, you simply just shout it out and someone will hear you. The losing cock is usually eaten for dinner and most of the time not more than 15 minutes after it has fought. If you are looking for a lot of noise and commotion and you are lucky enough to have a local take you on this exciting venture then go to a cock fight. You will have some pretty amazing stories to tell your friends.

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