New York City: Must-Go Ice Cream Places

The following is an active on-going list of what I think are worth-trying and unique experiences in New York City for Ice Cream. The most recent ice cream visit would be at the top. Let me show you my tantalising journey, scroll on!

Amorino

Visited: Summer 2017

60 University Pl, New York, NY 10003 – 212.253.5599 – www.amorino.com

There are 4 Amorino Stores in New York City, so if you live in the area – there’s no excuse for you not try these. Amorino started in Paris back in 2002 by Cristiano Sereni and Paolo Benassi. They are known for their flower-like ice cream, a flavour per petal called Amorino Rose. Besides ice cream, they also offer hot beverages, macaroons and even have their own tea line. There was a long queue and they have an interesting system. You would need to first pay the cashier for the size and type of ice cream. Then, they will give you a receipt to give to the scoopers then you voice out which flavour you like. The flavours I had are: Hazelnut Sorbet with Organic Dei Monti Nebrodi Hazelnuts from Sicily, Banana Del Brasile, Cioccolato Amorino, Fiordilatte, and Vaniglia Bourbon Del Madagascar with a Chocolate Macaroon on top. This cost $7 plus tax. This is a great treat to your tastebuds and super Instagram worthy.

 

Taiyaki (Round Two)

Visited: June 2017

That’s right, I went back to try out their limited promotion Unicorn Taiyaki Ice Cream! Last I visited was back in Winter last year, and so I’m back for more yumminess! For those who loves fantastical creatures, you’ll be squealing with happiness as soon as you’ve laid your eyes and hands on this. It’s a soft serve of vanilla and strawberry with pastel coloured sprinkles, then they hand made some edible ears and horn. This cost $7-$8 plus tax as well, which is again not bad!

 

 

Tipsy Scoop

Visited: Spring 2017

217 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010 – 917.388.2862 – www.tipsyscoop.com

As this store is located in USA, only 21 and over are allowed to experience Tipsy Scoop – they will card you while waiting in line. Yes, there is a line but who wouldn’t want to wait in line for this? They have an overwhelming and interesting selection of boozy ice cream flavours. I ordered one scoop of “Vanilla bean ice cream infused with Bourbon” and one scoop of “Ice cream infused with cake vodka, amaretto and white chocolate liqueur” on a sprinkled waffle bowl with a cherry on top. It was delicious! I’ll definitely go back to for more to try out their seasonal flavours!

 

Sundaes and Cones

Visited: Spring 2017

95 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003 – 212.979.9398 – www.sundaescones.com

This place is a hidden gem located in Lower East Side near NYU campus. Sundaes and Cones has an extremely wide variety of ice cream flavours, it was super overwhelming! Fun fact about this ice cream parlour, they were originally located in Brooklyn back in the 90s and now have relocated to LES since 2006. Hence, their logo, the wide space, staff’s uniform, and colour theme of the store is very vintage-like. Not only do they offer ice cream, but they also offer coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes, floats, and customised cakes! For ice cream on cones, they can do up to 3 scoops for $6-$7 plus tax. (And their scoops are super generous!) I ordered vanilla ice cream on a waffle cone so you can’t really see how much they’ve put into it. I also love the fact that they have a cone plastic sleeve for zero-mess along the way. I’m definitely planning on going back to try their Asian Inspired Ice Cream Flavours like Thai Iced Tea, Black Sesame, and Lavender.

 

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Taiyaki NYC

119 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013 – 212.966.2882 – www.taiyakinyc.com

Visited: Winter 2016

I have been seeing multiple videos and pictures of this place on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Then several bloggers that I follow on Instagram got their hands on it too. In Winter 2016, we were walking around in China Town along Canal Street then I realised that we might as well drop by Taiyaki. It was only 3 blocks east from Canal Street Station off of the N/Q/R/W trains then make a left, it’s a small shop with a very long line – you can’t miss it!

 

“The most literal translation of taiyaki is fried fish! Tai (sea bream) is a type of fish often considered king among fish in Japan, and yaki can mean fried, baked, or grilled. In our case, we bake our taiyaki!” – Taiyaki

 

The menu was simple and straightforward, there’s a choice of either “make-your-own-taiyaki” or choose from ” Taiyaki’s Favorites”. I’ve decided to built my own with vanilla soft serve with loads of rainbow sprinkles, strawberries and strawberry syrup on a taiyaki waffle filled with custard. This cost $7 plus tax, which isn’t bad at all. It’s super Instagram worthy and was absolutely delicious, I enjoyed every bit of it.

 

 

Thank you very much for reading through! As this is an active on-going list, I am open to any ice cream suggestions that you’d like me to visit in New York City and review. Feel free to comment them down below!

A day in the life: Beauty and the Beast

 

Here’s a quick summary of how our day went ❤

 

 

Thursday March 16th 2017

We attended Beauty and the Beast Opening Night Fan Event in Times Square Regal Cinema. We’ve booked this a month before and I think it’s totally worth it, we were able to select our seats in advance which is always awesome. Before heading out to the theatre, we had a quick lunch at Max Brenner with extra yummy dessert! Max Brenner is a uniquely chocolate themed restaurant — they serve flatbreads, burgers, mac & cheese, and of course their famous chocolate desserts! We ordered a veggie flatbread with chicken, then for dessert we ordered “The Excellent Eskimo I-Scream Experience”.

Mark and I couldn’t contain our excitement with this movie because Beauty and the Beast is one of our favourite Disney Movie of all time! My other favourite is Aladdin and Mark’s is Tarzan. As soon as we arrived to the movie theatre and checked in, we were given this cute glossy card indicating that we’re the 152nd and 153rd customers for this event.

As soon as the movie started, we couldn’t stop giggling or squealing in full of joy. The scene started out with Emma Watson in her iconic Belle scene singing “Belle/Little Town”. I was honestly amazed. Hermoine Granger has a singing voice! It just made everything better. Luke Evans who played as Gaston, he definitely did his character justice — the looks, attitude, and physicality. LeFou was also just hilarious. The creativity and dedication put into this project is simply amazing. They nailed everything — yes, they did change up a few details and storyline but it gave the story so much more personality. They even mentioned about Belle’s mother and the Beasts’ parents — in which to be honest, I never even thought about it. Have you?

The scene I almost cried in:

“Be our Guest” Scene — yes, I cried! They did it so beautifully. You can tell that they tried their best to do exactly how it was in the original Disney scene, but they managed to bring some more to your “plate”. I’m so glad they made a life version of this great story — it literally made one of my dreams come true. I can finally imagine how it’s like to have dancing and singing plates and cutleries  — oh the wonders 3D movies can give.

Last but not least, there was a souvenir stand before we exited the Theatre premises and of course how can we resist. We bought a few super cute T-shirts from them — there are plenty more here. (You’re welcome!)  There are not enough words to describe this incredible day and movie. If you have yet to watch it, I strongly recommend it!

Thank you for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing this. If you’d like way more updates of my life, please follow @itslittlerivy on instagram. Until then, see you on my next post!

Washington, DC + Highlight Vlog

 

We visited Washington DC back in Summer 2015 for 2 days and it was a perfect getaway!

Washington DC was so beautiful and amazing. Our visit was quite magical. We had a free coach ride going there (ooh, connections!) then stayed at Holiday Inn Washington – Georgetown for one night. We attended a special event on the first day then on the second day we explored around as much as we can.

We walked through everything, which was a great exercise and everything was within reach. The air there feels so clean, super blue sky, and people are friendly. Seeing the White House in person was such a dream come true especially for someone who only sees this on TV in Hong Kong. I would definitely love to visit again.

Enjoy watching this in HD!

 

 

 

Please like and follow to stay tuned for more!

 

 

 

GRWM – ARIANA GRANDE DANGEROUS WOMAN TOUR + Highlight Vlog

Friday February 24th 2017

It was my first concert in New York City and first time to visit Madison Square Garden! I was so hyped up for it that I’ve decided to make my first “Get Ready With Me” video.  In this video you will see my choice of makeup, outfit and shoes. Most importantly the choice of bag and things to bring to the concert in Madison Square Garden.

Go ahead and watch it in HD!

 

 

Alrighty onto the details ~

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Before heading to a big party, concert, rave, festivals etc – it’s extremely important that you have a full meal. Especially, when you’re expecting to drink and dance – will definitely need the energy for that.

My makeup choice to the concert was the trending: Cut Crease Makeup. I’m not a beauty guru nor am I allowed to even teach because that whole process took me two hours experimenting and watching youtube. However, the make up tutorial that really helped me make this successful was from Christen Dominique. If you’re trying to make this look, please watch her tutorial – she takes it slowly and shows step by step. (You’re welcome!)

For my outfit of the day I bought them from a little boutique store in my neighbourhood, Rainbow. They’re pretty underrated but have the trendiest outfits out there plus Forever21 and H&M are pretty far so it’s a plus! And ofcourse, it wouldn’t be right to go to Ariana Grande’s Concert without doing her signature two high bun look. 😉

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Moving on to my little bag – I bought this cutie from Forever21 a while back. I am a serious planner and like to be prepared for anything especially in situations like these, you want to make sure you don’t forget anything. I chose a small bag because I know that I’ll be jumping and dancing a lot – so this bag was extremely convenient and comfortable. I didn’t have to put it down to dance to worry about it. Small backpack for the win!

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What did I bring to Madison Square Garden – Ariana Grande Concert?

My Planner/ Tickets

Believe it or not, I know some people who actually forget their tickets. Well, if you don’t bring your ticket – there’s no entry. So, remember to keep this in your wallet or planner etc. Or put it on a most common furniture you use – that sometimes work!

Wallet

Be prepared to spend some money on merchandises, food and beverages, or even for a cab ride home. Also, I’ve researched about the food and beverage policy at Madison Square Garden and we’re not allowed to bring any outside food/drink in! Usually, I would prepare myself with a bottle of water or light snacks. (Which is why I have my Club Crackers out and about!) In situations like these, do not worry, it must mean that they provide food/ drinks on site after security which brings me back to my main point, wallet!

Tissues

This is definitely optional, you do not have to bring them. However for myself, knowing that I get pretty emotional as it is my first concert and the FACT that I’ll be seeing Ariana in person is…. *sigh* It was very memorable.

Glasses

Again, this is optional. I myself do not own a pair of contacts so I brought my glasses. I wanted to make sure that I could see her from out bridge seating. Haha. But if you do wear contacts instead, make sure you bring eye drops in case your eyes tire out.

Keys

Lastly, keys! I actually have a small blade attached to my keychain and ofcourse I had to take them out. So, if you like to bring any selfdefense/sharpened items – this is not the time to bring them as it will get confiscated by security. Besides this, even if you’re super excited – make sure that you can get home by the end of the night and you wouldn’t want to get locked out.

Dangerous Woman Concert was absolutely amazing, inspiring and an eye opener. Ariana Grande was teaching us self love and that even us women being women wearing what we want and how we want to look – at the end of the day we never asked for attention or any malicious idea to trigger.

The concert started off with Victoria Monet’s appearance, and she’s a little fire! She got the moves, the looks and the voice! She’s like a little Beyonce dancing solo and does a great job getting the audience hyped. Afterwards, Little Mix performed a few songs and shared a few moves. When Ariana Grande finally came on stage, everything was a dream. The light shows, screen graphics, and stage transitions was surreal. Her beautiful raw voice filling up the stadium was heaven sent. We didn’t even realise that she was singing for almost 2 hours!

This was overall an amazing experience, the best way to start attending more concerts in the near future, and the best way to start of the year. 2017, you’re full of surprises!

 

New York City: Cat Cafés

It started with viral videos of cat cafés in Japan and I wondered if New York had any type of animal cafés. Well, they do have a plenty of cat cafés – and gosh I sure was excited to visit them all! Cat Cafés associates with different animal organisations to feature adoptable or foster-able cats. The following list is in an order of which I’ve visited, please note that most of the information are based off website details and personal experience.

At the end of the day, I’m encouraging for cat lovers and cafe goers to definitely visit.

Koneko Cat Café

6 Clinton Street, New York 10002 – 646.370.5699 – www.konekonyc.com

We visited on July 20th, 2016. We made a reservation a few days before and paid for the tickets online – pretty convenient and straight forward. Once you enter, you get to order any drink or food and you do have the option to consume inside the Cat Sanctuary. I had an okonomiyaki which is a delicious Japanese Pancake and a Hibiscus Ice Tea. Before entering the sanctuary you are required to check in your backpack and jackets, and switch out your footwear to koneko slippers. The guests are also required to sign a waiver, making sure that you don’t harm the cats so that the cat won’t harm you. We visited on a Thursday around 12pm and we stayed in the Cat Sanctuary for about 2 hours. There were 3 levels: the main floor, outdoor, and playtime floor having about 15-19 cats. The cats “featured” are pulled from “at-risk” list by Anjellicle Cat Rescue. Koneko is the biggest cat cafe among the other cat cafes in New York City. Now they offer a 5-course tasting menu in which I haven’t tried. (Soon though!) They also do cute events such as “Kitty Brunch”, “Mewvie Nights”, “Guide Meditation”, “Drag Karaoke”, “Sake Tasting”, “Occasional events – Easter, Christmas, Halloween”, and even sometimes invite artists. The staff there are very down to earth and pleasant.

 

Meow Parlour

46 Hester Street, New York 10002 – www.meowparlour.com

Meow Parlour is the first Cat Cafe in New York City. My friend and I visited around 6pm-onwards and it was packed. We made a reservation online to book for 30-minute stay. What I love about Meow Parlour is that they also feature “special” cats and turns out that they’re more loving and playful! Before entering this beautiful sanctuary, we had to also sign a waiver and switch out our footwear to white slippers. Meow Parlour carries about 10 cats, which are provided by Kitty Kind Organisation. This Cat Cafe has two separate stores, one for Cat Sanctuary and the other one (not too far from the other) is an actual Cafe. We stayed in the Cat Sanctuary and ordered pastries to be delivered. They have super cute merchandises displayed right at the door- can’t resist to at least get a tote bag! They also do cute events such as “Cats and Comedy Nights”, “Yoga and Kitties Class”, “Drag Bingo”, and even had Hannah Shaw a.k.a KittenLady to do a talk.

 

Little Lions

40 Grand Street, New York 10013 – Permanently Closed

In that one month I went on a cat cafe craze, and I was really looking forward to go to Little Lions before finally visiting Brooklyn Cat Cafe. Little Lions is the 2nd biggest cat cafe to me, it has two separate stores that’s right next to each other. The left side is the cafe itself whereas the right side is the one big cat sanctuary. Their vibe and ambience is really chill. Just like the first two cafes, we made a reservation first. When we walked in, we were directed to check in at the left store first to sign a waiver before entering the cat sanctuary store on the right. They had cute off-white vintage settings in the cafe area with some merchandises and the signature tote bag. They served coffee, tea, sandwiches, cut-out cat shaped cookies, and desserts. The Cat Cafe sanctuary had beautiful vintage decors of purple and off-white colour theme. Once you walk in, on the left hand side is a cat playground stacked shelves that goes pretty high up. By the time we went in, they’ve just had their meal so it was nap time. Nevertheless, some cats were woken up as we brought some snacks with us – they were all particularly friendly. They had about 20 cats in-store at the time. Best Friend Animal Society Organisation provides adoptable and foster-able cats as well. This organisation was fairly new so unlike other rescue organisations mentioned above, they do not have a fixed location shelter. Instead, they would do pop up events – meaning to rent out a store location for a day or so to feature cats for adoption. How do I know this? There is a representative from Best Friend Animal Society that comes in to the cafe to give customers insight of each cat in-store and what the organisation do. I, personally, had an hour worth of chatting with the representative – their knowledge of each cat was really impressive. They rescued so many cats and kittens that they become overwhelmingly loaded. Therefore, they believe in lowering adoption fees to $10, approachable and affordable. Again, how I know this? I actually attended one of the pop up event of Best Friend Animal Society just to see if they were true and to know how their procedure works.

 

And because of them, I adopted my first furry companion, Little Gello. ❤

Sadly, they closed suddenly 2 weeks after my visit. Super thankful I got there just in time or else I wouldn’t have met Gello.

Ok. Moving on-

Brooklyn Cat Café

149 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11201 – 347.946.2286 – www.catcafebk.com

Finally, Brooklyn Cat Cafe. It took me a while before I could finally get to this place just because it’s in Brooklyn. We took the 7 train to Court Square then changed to the G train, then there was about 20 minutes walk to the cafe. The layout of the store was actually very similar to Meow Parlour. We walked in, checked in and signed a waiver. The first thing you’d see when you go through is a window full of kittens! They do a live 24/7 kitten cam online so you can just look at them all day when you’re at home! (Go ahead and click it! You’re welcome!) The place was pretty busy, filled with people playing with cats. Brooklyn Cat Cafe has a mini fridge to cool bottled beverages and a mini bar for light snacks – not so much for a cafe but that’s okay. They have cute kittens, active cats, cozy sofas, and lots of cat toys. We stayed for 30-minutes because the place was getting more packed than before and I was getting hungry. So before coming here, make sure you have a full meal – these cats will tire you out.

 

 

Cat Cafes does an extraordinary job in promoting to adopt or foster cats. There’s pamphlets, info boards, business cards, and every employee has in-depth knowledge about it as well. If you are looking to adopt or foster a cat(s), please adopt don’t buy.

Thank you for reading this,

please stay tuned for my next blog/vlog “Get Ready with Me to Ariana Grande’s Concert.”

If you’d like way more updates about what’s going on in my life – follow me on instagram @itslittlerivy

Hong Kong-Macau Trip 2017 + Highlight Vlog

Happy New Year!

It has been a long while since I’ve posted anything. It was quite a hectic period after my last post, it was the Christmas Holiday then New Year. Right after that we had a 3-weeks long vacation in Hong Kong, my hometown! Seeing my family right at the start of the New Year was surely refreshing and rejuvenating to the soul and heart. Mark and I have traveled around Hong Kong before so we tried to go to places we haven’t been before. I’ll list down places we’ve visited below.

 To make up for the time passed, I’ve made a Hong Kong -Macau Trip Highlight Video.

Enjoy!

 

 

Places we have visited Hong Kong…

Star Ferry Pier (Goes back and forth to Tsim Sha Tsui and Central)

Central – Four Seasons Hotel next to IFC for Afternoon Tea

Central – Aberdeen Street Social

Central – Lan Kwai Fong

Causeway Bay – Sorabol Korean Restaurant

Jordan – Temple Street

Kowloon Tong – Festival Walk

Tsuen Wan Mall

Yau Ma Tei – Hello Kitty Dim Sum Restaurant

AiA Carnival

Ocean Park

Mong Kok – Ladies Market

Mei Foo – Delia Memorial School Broadway

Places we have visited in Macao…

Venetian Hotel

The Parisian Hotel

Ruins of St. Paul

Another blog is coming out soon about New York City Cat Cafe. Stay tuned!

If you’d like way more updates about what’s going on in my life – follow me on instagram @itslittlerivy

#Inktober2016 Journey

#Inktober2016 has finally come to an end!

Jake Parker created the Inktober challenge since October 2009, a drawing a day in October. He creates the list and posts it online for everyone to join. The purpose of this challenge is to push one’s ink drawing further.

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This is my first time participating and now that it’s over I must say that it was really challenging. I needed a lot of inspirational help from my cat, pinterest.com (a wonderful platform) which I’m sure most of you have seen/recognised and instagram artists!

Honestly, when I see the daily keywords – I blanked out and did not know how or what to do. I didn’t have a character in mind at first, then I realised that I have never drawn animals before so I looked at my cat and started taking pictures of him.

I had fun throughout this entire process. I have never drawn with a fountain ink pen so this was an eye opener experience. I cannot wait for more challenges like this – I had a great time.

 

In case you were wondering, I used Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen – Medium and Derwent Graphik Line Markers

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Thank you and have a magical day!