taza’s new york city guide: union square to midtown


hello! for the next part of my nyc guide of a few recommendations around the city (see my guide to the upper west side HERE) i’d love to share a few of our favorite spots from union square to midtown.  a few are highlighted in the video we made below with jenner brown, but several more are listed below.  of course, this is just a sliver of what to do in the city, but hopefully it will be of some help as you plan your next visit to the big apple! and don’t forget to leave any of your favorites in this specific neighborhood in the comments below for others to check out.


video by jenner brown. music in video is wooden floors by david swensen.

some things to do between union square and midtown:

union square farmers market
east 17th street at union square park 212-788-7476

strand bookstore
828 broadway 212-473-1452

flat iron building (one of my favorites in the city to see from a few blocks up!)
175 fifth avenue

cinema village (great little spot for documentaries, independent and foreign films)
22 east 12th street 212-924-3363

fishs eddy
889 broadway at 19th street 212-420-9020

abc carpet and home (worth checking out every floor! such a great place to get lost in.)
888 & 881 broadway 212-473-3000

ace hotel (photobooth, too!) + sumptown coffee
20 west 29th street 212-679-2222

empire state building (it’s the one pretty big touristy thing i highly recommend!)
350 5th avenue 212-736-3100

new york public library (the reading room is spectacular!)
5th avenue at 42nd street 917-275-6975

bryant park (they show movies on the lawn on certain summer nights and be sure to check out the carrousel on the south side!)
at 42nd street and 6th 212-768-4242

11 west 53rd street 212-708-9400

some things to eat between union square and midtown:

city bakery (my favorite chocolate chip cookie in the city. also, amazing pretzel croissants and hot chocolate.)
3 west 18th street 212-366-1414

friend of a farmer
17 irving place 212-477-2188

gotham bar and grill (a bit of a fancier and pricier spot, we’ve only been during restaurant week, but it’s one of our favorites.)
12 east 12th street 212-620-4020

200 fifth avenue 212-229-2560

the original shake shack at madison square park
madison avenue (btwn 23rd and 24th street) 212-889-6600

max brenner (a fun chocolate spot to grab something sweet)
841 broadway 646-467-8803

1164 broadway (btwn 27th and 28th street) 646-449-8884

burger joint (the best little one room burger joint behind a curtain in the le parker meridien hotel)
119 west 56th street 212-708-7414

norma’s (get a reservation! and try the crunchy french toast!)
119 west 57th street 212-708-7460

*josh’s midtown lunch recommendations below if you’re needing a quick stop for food. these are his top two go-to lunch places from all his time working in midtown:

little italy pizzeria on 43rd (he says you have to get the original grandma’s pizza! i’ve had it and it is pretty good)
1 east 43rd street 212-687-3660

park italian gourmet
60 west 45th street 212-382-0580

there you have it! a few recommendations from union square to midtown! now i need a city bakery cookie….

taza’s new york city guide: upper west side + morningside heights

NYC-GUIDEhello! i’ve been compiling some of my favorite things to do and eat in new york city by neighborhood and would love to begin with my personal favorite, the upper west side. although i might be partial since this is the neighborhood where i went to college, met and married my husband and now live with my little ones.  ;)

we made a small video with jenner brown highlighting a few of our favorite spots, but more are listed below. (music in the video is by natalie prass, hold me close.)

new york city is such a fascinating and incredible place to live.  i feel very lucky to experience it each day (or most days, if i’m being honest.)  there is always a new restaurant or exhibit opening, and it really truly never sleeps (we ordered in sushi the other night at 1AM and i was reminded as we were looking at the options of what was nearby and still open, that we are in the heart of it. thank goodness too, because we couldn’t shake the sushi craving and who know what we would have done!)
as a new york city dweller and blogger, a question i receive most often is usually based around advice as to where to eat or what to do while visiting manhattan.  while i might not know everyone’s preferences or interests, i hope this little guide can help in some way while you plan your next trip to the city!
so here we go!

things to eat on the upper west side:

the smith (get the hot potato chips with bleu cheese fondu!)
1900 broadway (at the corner of 63rd) 212-496-5700
…and don’t forget to use the photobooth in the basement :)
the hummus place
305 amsterdam ave (bwtn 74th and 75th) 212-799-3335

sarabeths (a favorite brunch spot)
423 amsterdam ave (btwn 80th and 81st) 212-496-6280

luke’s lobster
426 amsterdam ave (btwn 80th and 81st) 212-877-8800

jacob’s pickles
509 amsterdam ave 212-470-5566

red farm
2170 broadway (btwn 76th and 77th) 212-724-9700

patsy’s pizza
61 west 74th street 212-579-3000

levain bakery (the dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie is out of this world!)
167 west 74th street 212-874-6080

zabar’s grocery (great to walk around, or grab things to-go and picnic in central park or riverside park close by)
2245 broadway (btwn 80th and 81st) 212-787-2000

shake shack (right behind the museum of natural history, fun to pair together)
336 columbus ave (corner of west 77th st) 646-747-8770

things to do on the upper west side:
american museum of natural history
central park west and 79th street 212-769-5100

the children’s museum (it might just be me, but i feel like this one is a bit of a germ fest since it’s so touch and feel with kids. i pretty much bathe mine in hand sanitizer prior to leaving)
212 west 83rd street 212-721-1223

new york city ballet at lincoln center
david h koch theatre 20 lincoln center plaza 212-496-0600

the metropolitan opera at lincoln center
the juilliard school (some of the best music, dance and drama to be seen in the city and often for free. check their online events for upcoming shows and tickets)
60 lincoln center plaza 212-799-5000

and a few things to do in morningside heights (just north of UWS):
bankstreet bookstore (such a fun little bookstore)
2879 broadway (corner of 112th street) 212-678-1654

st. john the divine cathedral
1047 amsterdam ave 212-316-7540

columbia university (definitely worth walking around the historic campus. so beautiful)
116th street and broadway 212-854-1754

smoke jazz club
2751 broadway (btwn 105th and 106th street) 212-864-6662

and a few things to eat in morningside heights:
absolute bagels (our personal favorite nyc spot for bagels)
2788 broadway (bwten 107th and 108th st) 212-932-2052

community food & juice 
2893 broadway (btwn 112th and 113th st) 212-665-2800

tom’s restaurant (well known from seinfield)
2880 broadway (btwn 112th and 113th st) 212-864-6137

silvermoon bakery
2740 broadway (btwn 105th and 106th st) 212-866-4717

hungarian pastry shop (josh and i used to live here when we were newly married and lived in harlem. it’s one of our favorite city spots.)
1030 amsterdam av (btwn 110th and 111th st) 212-866-4230

and according to josh’s guide, la taqueria y fonda la mexicana (but be prepared to smell like their grill upon leaving)
968 amsterdam (btwn 107th and 108th) 212-531-0383
if i left off any of your own personal upper west side favorites, let me know! i know this doesn’t have every spot or restaurant worth visiting listed, but hopefully it will help get you started.  more nyc neighborhood guides coming your way soon!

a little film: snippets of easter sunday.

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hope you had a wonderful easter sunday! here’s a video below with a few snippets of our day together.  it’s funny because when i put eleanor to bed on saturday night, i was trying to get her down quickly (my kids know how to drag out their bedtime routine like pros. or better!) so i told her the sooner she went to bed the sooner the easter bunny would arrive to leave eggs in her room! my plan totally backfired though as she expressed how afraid she was that the easter bunny would bite her while she slept because bunnies have big teeth! i ended up having to lay with her until she fell asleep to keep her safe from the bunny. ;) it was kind of sweet but i felt terrible.  i guess things like the easter bunny or santa claus really are freaky to little kids.  fortunately, all was forgotten in the morning when she saw the eggs! we had a really fun day together.  i love this family of mine so much.  happy easter!

p.s. easter last year and the year before.

love taza for lauren moffatt!

i am so so so very excited to share with you a sneak peak of my collaboration with fashion designer lauren moffatt on our new children’s line for fall 2014! this has been a dream come true and i am so proud of it. more to come, but in the meantime enjoy this tiny sneak peak by lumineux films!

our little christmas film.

hi! here are a few snippets from our christmas in new york city. it was such a special day. hope you had a wonderful christmas with your loved ones as well.  happy happy new year!

ps. all video taken with our Canon 6D. the song is christmas all over again by tom petty and the heartbreakers.