{Out & About} Fall in New York

I love New York in the fall... and in the spring... and in the summer (despite the ridiculous heat bouncing off the cement sidewalks and buildings). Winter... eh. As long as I'm dressed for it, I'm okay, but since I often line up early in the mornings for rush tickets at Broadway shows, I'm not too fond of it then.

I take fewer pictures each time now since I've been going several times a year for the past 4-5 years, but there are still areas that are uncharted territory for me.

During this past trip, I finally visited Chelsea Markets. It's cute! I don't know where these elevators go but I like it. There was another one next to these two that I guess went to some MLB section since there were baseballs and bats. (I think. For some reason I didn't take a picture.)

I tried an original Fat Witch brownie from Fat Witch. Deeelish! I like to try "original" foods before trying their variations, because if you can't perfect the basic then what's the point?! Lol.

I walked through Eleni's. I want to know who's decorating those cookies! Seriously, amazing. I wouldn't want to eat them, they're so pretty! (And pricey.)
I browsed through the independent designer pop-up shops for way too long... but at least I came out with a necklace I've been lusting after and it was way cheaper than the original one I wanted.
I really wanted to climb over the bars to look down the hole.
High Line Park! I love all NYC parks and squares but this is in my top 3. No one lives in those condos on the right yet, but they are SO close to the park! I'd be paranoid all day.
A look down W 23rd St? 
This man is pretty freaky, but it's less freaky then another window that only had a waving hand. The paper on the air conditioning unit is one of those barcode things for your phone so I'm curious what comes up when you scan it.
Privacy fence using tree branches.
It must look amazing inside this art studio. There were maybe 5-6ish windows with coloured mason jars all lined up.
Unrestored (is this a word?) section of the High Line.
Chicken biriyani in Times Square. Yum!
Me and Judith Light. I love her. She's the nicest woman ever!
Harry Connick Jr.'s crocs lol.
A look down W 45th St.
Union Square preparing for the Holiday Market. I love love love it!
Mmm... donut. Coconut glaze and coconut cream doughnut. Valrhona Chocolate doughnut? My brother's 8 month pregnant friend said donuts from Doughnut Plant are all she's been craving for with her second daughter so we decided to take a trip to the actual location rather than just buying from Dean & Deluca (and I finally got to see Alphabet City! Only a million more neighbourhoods to go...). They are heaven. 'Nuff said.

Next week I'm off again for a weekend visit and since I'll be in the Union Square area more this trip, I am definitely going to take my time looking through all the stalls at the Holiday Market. I love little markets, especially holiday ones packed with people and you can sip on apple cider or hot chocolate while browsing, don't you?

{The Condo} A Peek Inside

I love looking at model suites and homes just to see how places are furnished and decorated... and maybe sometimes imagining what it'd be like to live there!

Condos A and B didn't have model suites, just model kitchens but I didn't get photos of them. Condo C had a model suite plus model kitchens for the other finishes (all standard).

This is what will be mine! ... in 3 years. I already have an idea of how I want to decorate the condo, I'm just hoping I won't change my mind too much by the time the place is actually built since I'm planning on taking some of my parents' old danish lounge chairs to reupholster and my grandma's sofa bed to slipcover.

I love the white cabinets. My mom wanted to take the french door dining table home! I'm thinking if I can get my hands on a door, I'll have to try to make an island like this, although I've been eyeing ones from Crate and Barrel and Ikea.
Guest bathroom with shower.
Den/optional second bedroom. I think they fudged the dimensions with the lack of walls and furniture placement but it's actually still a pretty decent size.
Master bathroom.
Master bedroom.
Kitchen again. There should be some sort of window for the den where the frame is. I don't know if I like the open shelving.
Standing in the living room, you see the kitchen, door to the master bedroom, den, and front door.
And the living room.
The dark version of the white cabinets.
They called this one "New York Vintage"... I don't know about this one...
An island is definitely going to be needed seeing as how there's no counter space, so a door island would be perfect to fit more people if needed since I probably won't have a dining table.

I'm excited! It's so tempting to buy things now but I'll definitely have to wait and see how the space is. 2014 could not come soon enough!

{The Condo} On the Prowl...

For the past two years or so, I've been scouting out pre-construction and resale condos as well as resale houses to get an idea of what the market is like to prepare myself for when it comes time to buy. What I've known and was in denial about, is that Toronto prices are insane!

Five years ago my brother was going to buy a unit at the Pure Spirit Condos in the Distillery District but backed out since everyone (aka mom & dad) kept saying that prices would go down. Well, they went up. WAY up! It'd be at least another $100 000 (if even) right now to get what he would've paid for in 2006.

Unfortunately I had to veto townhouses and small homes altogether. Too much moolah required, very little in my bank account :(. So I've been wavering between resale and pre-construction depending on what's listed on MLS or what new condos are being launched.

The resale units are all either by cheap builders, high rise condos which I'd like to avoid, or way out of my price range. There have been a few with good floorplans but they're usually farther out than I'd like or in older buildings with high maintenance fees.

Pre-construction condos on the other hand, I've found have terrible floorplans because a lot have interior bedrooms with glass/frosted sliding doors that allow light in from the large exterior windows in the kitchen/living areas. I loathe those. Like, hate more than I hate public speaking, and I am terrified of public speaking! Immediately, that limits my choices of condos in Toronto, especially at the prices they're charging, but I did find some acceptable ones.

The following are all 1 bedroom + den units.
585 sqft. I like L-shaped kitchens and I liked that the bedroom, washroom, and washer/dryer were all in one corner.
 643 sqft. Not a huge fan of single galley kitchens but I liked that a door could be added to the den for extra sleeping space.

668 sqft + 105 balcony. Large balcony and powder room! I think for this condo, the optional island was $5000. Yah right. Ikea or Crate & Barrel would do me just fine.
 709 sqft + 90 balcony. I didn't even realize this has two full baths until right now! But the Den/Opt. Bedroom is the type of bedroom I hate. And the master has a dinky little window. Ugh.

667 sqft. Again, not a fan of single galley kitchens, but the master has a walk-in closet! And there are two full baths plus a door for the den.
694 sqft. Same as above, just a little bit bigger!

One of these will be mine! Even when I signed the paperwork I was in a bit of a daze - probably in a bit of shock! And I'll be in more shock once that first cheque gets cashed...

{I Heart} D*S at Home; Jon McLaughlin; SK6ers

So excited! My Design*Sponge at Home arrived yesterday and I can't wait to go through it! Thumbing through quickly, I love the DIY Basics section - with some of the projects on my to-do list, it will definitely come in handy! Buuuuuuut, it's currently sitting on my bookshelf with a whole slew of books (Domino, 10+ cookbooks, 15+ novels, a few random others) that are waiting to be read... I love buying books, I just don't have enough time to read them all! Work gets in the way of everything :(

On a totally unrelated note, I was down at Lee's Palace on Sunday for the Jon McLaughlin/Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers show which was amaaaaazing! 

I mean, if I didn't already love Jon McLaughlin before (and trust me, I did), I am head over heels now! He's amazing live - if it's even possible, he sounds better live than on CD! He's probably best known for performing 'So Close' from Enchanted but I still remember the day I was googling lyrics to find out who was singing 'Human' which was on an episode of Scrubs.

I'll be honest. I primarily bought the tickets for Jon and would've been okay leaving after his set. I had heard of Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers before but never really listened to their songs but they are so fun! They're more folk rock/country while Jon is pop, and now because of them I want to have my future wedding in a nice barn (like this!) so that they can be my wedding band! There was one song where they kept the house lights down, came off stage with their instruments unplugged, stood on boxes in the middle of the crowd and just played to the crowd (as if they weren't doing so before). I wish I had a video of it but my camera died on me very early on.
 Jon McLaughlin and his harmonica telling his story about his miles vs. kilometres confusion after driving across the border that day.
 Jon McLaughlin and his band with members of Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers.
Then Jon joined Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers for a song during their set.

Next week is Mat Kearney and apparently I otherwise have a play/musical every night starting tomorrow until Thursday. Then it's off to New York for the weekend for more plays/musicals! And once I'm back, I really need to start tackling some home projects again. I've been slacking in that department lately but now it's too cold to be sanding in the garage...