A Guide to Exploring New York City

Confession – I’m officially in denial that summer is over. If my next round of travel is any indication – I refuse to say goodbye to warm sunny weather.

prblonde-city-pass-5

But if you’ve ever experienced fall in New York City it’s one of the best times of the year. The city gets its bustle back, the weather is perfect for boots and cozy sweaters and there’s something about the season that makes you want to get out and explore.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I’ve been looking at New York through a different lens lately. All too often it’s easy to get lost in the street shuffle of local craft coffee shops, favorite bookstores and the mastery of NYC subways. Don’t get me wrong it’s a life I fully subscribe to, but sometimes it’s worth seeing the sights and reminding yourself of the storybook so many that live here and those who visit, fell in love with.

prblonde-city-pass-4

I’ve spent the past several weekends playing tourist with CityPASS in New York City thanks to my friends at Reserve Direct, a great resource for destination planning and booking, created by those that also also love to travel. From the Statue of Liberty to the Top of the Rock, Empire State Building and Natural History Museum, my CityPASS has been the ultimate passport allowing me to take in multiple sites with priority entry (and for nearly ½ the price!).

So to share the wealth and knowledge I’m breaking down the best of New York’s top attractions and sharing a few tips and tricks so whether a local or a visitor you can see the best of NYC with your own CityPASS – (pst! Read through to win your own!)

HOW TO NAVIGATE NEW YORK CITY WITH CITYPASS

Step 1 Purchase your tickets: Log on to Reserve New York City and locate CityPASS. Purchasing tickets is easy and cost effective. If you’re visiting you can even couple your sightseeing with a place to stay. Print and present your voucher at your first site (just look for the CityPASS logo as you approach the ticket counter) and receive your CityPASS booklet. It’s  good for 9 days after redemption and includes 6 attractions chosen from the list below:

  • Empire State Building Experience
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock™ Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum
  • Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • 9/11 Memorial and Museum OR Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

FIRST STOP: Empire State Building

Known for its downtown views and iconic observation deck, this is a not-to-be missed after hours spot. With amazing views of New York City in lights, plan to take in this view at night for a 360 nearly aerial shot of the city below.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

SECOND STOP: American Museum of Natural History

Plan for a weekday and engineer your tour backwards starting from the top and working your way down. By visiting the higher floors first you’ll be able to snag some stranger free photos of the dinosaurs and let the crowds at the premiere levels dissipate. Getting weary?  CityPASS also includes a complimentary planetarium show!

THIRD STOP: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What I love about The Met is that it doesn’t matter the time of day – nothing says luxe more than a stroll through the halls of more than 20,000 works of art. Should you need to, break this up into 2 days. You’ll need it if you want to see it all and CityPASS allows for re-admission.

FOURTH STOP: Top of the Rock™ Observation Deck

Views from the Top of the Rock are my favorite! With 1 WTC and the Empire State Building to the South and an unobstructed Central Park view to the north, it’s a prime picture spot! Get to this one first thing in the morning – no lines, limited crowds and the perfect morning light!

prblonde-city-pass-1

prblonde-city-pass-2

FIFTH STOP: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

I’ve always wanted to see New York from the water with a full tour. The beauty of the Circle Line is you get to see the Statue of Liberty, downtown and the east side all in a matter of hours! Don’t have too much time? Ride “The Beast,” a 30-minute high speed boat tour. Even better the NYC sunset cruise!

prblonde-city-pass-1-2

 

prblonde-city-pass-1-3

SIXTH STOP: 9/11 Memorial and Museum

One of New York’s prized possessions, the 9/11 memorial is one of the most memorable sites in town. CityPASS makes enjoying this landmark possible on your visit to NYC with limited wait time. As one of the most trafficked sites, it’s a not-to-be missed attraction.

prblonde-city-pass-6

Here’s the good news! I’m partnering with Reserve Direct and CityPASS to offer 15 readers a chance to win a $100 credit towards the purchase of your own CityPASS experience. Simply share a photo on Instagram showing how you #DiscoverMore tagging your favorite NYC locations with @ReserveDirect and #DiscoverMoreNYC!

Here’s to a fall dedicated to exploration!

This post was created in partnership with Reserve Direct, all opinions, tips and touristy tricks are my own!

 

September 20, 2016

The Full Post  »

On Turning 28 – A Birthday Story

Here we are, another year older, wiser, stronger, better. Happy Birthday to me!

PRBlonde Paris France-1

I think I spent the better part of writing this post scouring Susan Miller’s website for the statement that would define my 28th year, which led me to Brene Brown, then Pinspiration and then an Instagram feed on fancy cocktails – likely story! Shall we pour the rosé?  

Like years prior I went back and read my 26 and 27 birthday posts to see if life had been living up to previous expectations. Here’s to crossing #1 and #4 off the list in a big way! But, before we dive into the prophetic state of 28, I want to raise a glass to 27.

27, you brought me back to find my groove.

27 was like being set-up on the best first date and finding that relationship groove after being screwed over by so many before it. 25 – all the changes, 26 a rebuilding year, and 27 was:

An Investment  – In my professional career and its growth, one that I am beyond proud of no matter what the outcome.

Adventurous – 5 countries and 15 cities. An expansion of the mind that made the most consuming of problems seem small and seeing the world a priority.

Accomplished – It may have only been a half-marathon but what people don’t tell you is the mental strength needed will push your boundaries farther than you ever thought possible.

Appreciative – Of my family, friends, s/o’s, co-workers, roommates – and those that had an impact on shaping this last year.

Now while my name may not be Stella, what’s great about this “groove” is I can wholeheartedly say I have poured myself quite a foundation in which to build the last stretch of my 20’s. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to a decade that’s been so unbelievable – thankfully, I don’t have to, just yet!

So let’s ring in 28! I’m ready for a year of celebration, pushing boundaries and building on all that’s been created. So in what’s become a birthday tradition – here’s a few PRB Originals to lay the path to good ol’ 28:

Lean into the discomfort – challenge your peers, challenge your bosses, challenge yourself.

Vulnerability is a birthplace for joy, success, love and creativity – go there!

Push yourself to be the best version of you you can be – even when the comforts of who you are now feel like 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.

Tell the inner critic to sit down shut up and grab a glass because it’s going to be one hell of a party!

Here’s to today and to fellow birthday buddies – Sean Connery (86), Claudia Schiffer (46), Blake Lively (29) and Regis Philbin (85), who I’m convinced will all have voice overs in my autobiographical audiobook someday!

To my family – words can’t even describe how thankful I am for you. To the #girltribe, here’s to our groove that just keeps getting better.

Cheers to 28! Pop. Fizz. Clink!

August 25, 2016

The Full Post  »

Weekend Reading Vol. 43

Does holding a glass of rose count as holding a torch? Go Team USA! Happy Sunday!

IMG_2461

Team, I’m really excited about this Ed. of weekend reading. So many nuggets and goodies… so many!

BUT FIRST INSTAGRAM STORIES

For the sake of my argument, let’s call life my phone and let’s call Ferris Bueller a prophet. From Snapchat to what is now Instagram Stories, we now have one more reason to be “connected.” While I appreciate the power move by Facebook to solve their “we can’t take over the world till we have taken down Snapchat” dilemma – they’ve forgotten about Cameron (Instagram) in favor of Sloane (The corporate “hot” factor). We don’t even know who Instagram is anymore, it’s become the unfun friend you have to drag around. Choosing to set the mood and what you see and how you see it. It’s the Cameron, living constrained by what Facebook thinks we should see instead of letting us call the shots – like, so what if I want to dance on a float in a parade, don’t rob it from other peoples feed dammit!  However, for the sake of this post and drawing one more (and don’t worry my last) parallel to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the social media trifecta, that movie ends happy, all friends are liberated so maybe there will be a happy ending. Nonetheless, we’re left with the same prophetic nugget at the end of the movie that applies here…

Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.”

So in the spirit of doing just that pull your head out of your phone and do something this weekend! Like drink some rose outdoors while playing corn hole and enjoying the greatest two weeks of sports ever played – #TeamUSA!

Now for the nuggets…

THIS WEEK:

  • I said goodbye to another season of the Bachelor and welcomed Chad to my Tuesday night repertoire. Did anyone else see that Jordan DID land a sportscaster job with ESPN?!
  • I signed up for my second half-marathon – admittedly this time a little half-heartedly. More on that next week.
  • I started planning my birthday festivities – 28, WTF!

READ THIS:

BUY THAT: For the next trip!

REMEMBER THIS: Cocktails, champagne and things to chat about!

NEXT WEEK:

  • The Eurotrip video! Finally!

Till then.. catch me here: Instagram (now IG stories! #PRBUnplugged) | Twitter

August 7, 2016

The Full Post  »

Weekend Reading Vol. 42 // I’m Off To Montauk

There’s a let down when you come back from a whirlwind trip….

Photo Gray Malin

Photo Gray Malin

So why revel in the loss of wanderlust? Nope, no thanks! I’m picking up again and headed out East this weekend with some fun in the sun in Montauk. From days on the beach to nights at Surf and a fun event hosted by my friends Lauren, Amanda the brilliant Crowns by Christy, I’m ready for seersucker dresses and wicker chairs.

But before we kick back and don our flower crowns here’s a few things to share this week!

READ THIS: 

BUY THAT: Summer is so not over!

REMEMBER THIS: Perfect topics for a beachside chat! 

  • A woman made history this week and the reaction of little girls everywhere we’re captured everywhere.

As always follow along on Instagram | Snapchat (@LaurenAPruner) | Twitter. I’ll be heading out east with Krista and you can be sure we’ll have Mimosas poured bright and early!

Happy Weekend!

July 29, 2016

The Full Post  »

Weekend Reading – Vol. 41

One of my favorite things about weekend round-ups is that they are often fueled by other people’s honest moments, links they read and passed along and other bloggers round-ups I read.

DSC_2404

My favorite this week, the birthday girl, Meghan of Wit & Whimsy. (HBD lady!)

So in the spirit of her round-up leaving me inspired and to help breathe a little life to where I am when I’m not on the blog, I’ve added two new sections, “This week” to share a few updates on my whereabouts and “Next Week” to share what’s coming…

But for now – here’s this weeks links:

THIS WEEK:

  • Minus working till 10 two nights this week – all the rose and outdoor dining.
  • I met up with Jess and Lauren for drinks and dinner and the NBA Finals, arguably finding a “Ruschmeyer” in NYC at local WV hotspot – The Happiest Hour.
  • I’m finally in town for a hot minute – headed to Greenwich to see my family this weekend and spending some much needed time beachside with Lobster Rolls! Happy Fathers Day Daddio!

READ THIS: 

BUY THAT: Already thinking summer holidays?

  • Everything on Asos! (For my upcoming TWO WEEK – trip announced Tuesday on the blog!)
  • This boater hat – perfect for a little time on the water.
  • These keds! I know – I can’t believe I just ordered Keds but I think my feet are going to thank me…
  • The perfect 4th of July dress for a backyard patio party!

REMEMBER THIS: Perfect topics for a beachside chat! 

NEXT WEEK: ALLL the travel announcements! 

  • We’re going to talk about work… or in my case werk, werk, werk, werk, werk!
  • We’re through 5 out of our 8 cities and the last three – are MAJOR! Like overseas MAJOR! Tune in Tuesday for the announcement!

Catch me here: Instagram | Snapchat (@LaurenAPruner) | Twitter

Happy Weekend!

June 18, 2016

The Full Post  »

NYC Weekend: Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic

What was meant to be my first weekend back in the city in a while, still turned a few “off the island” adventures. Guess it is the summer of travel, even if this time it wasn’t on a plane.

Veuve-Cliquot-PR-Blonde (more…)

June 6, 2016

The Full Post  »

Weekend Reading & Sales & Such

Happy MDW people! Wow summer’s here I’m about 1/2 way through my travels and can’t tell you how happy I am to be taking a few days off for non-screen life, friendships and lots of rooftops and rosé.

rose-all-day-2-600x401

Confession: These past few months haven’t been easy. Adulting has taken over and work has been running my life. Common for Q2 and PR Girls everywhere. But as Taylor Swift says “are we out of the woods yet?” And in fact… we almost are. But before I launch back into next weeks content, I’m taking some much needed time off to catch up on reading and sales. With the biggest travel of them all coming up in a few weeks I’m determined to build my suitcase piece by piece.

SALES AND SUCH

ANN TAYLOR // 50% Off Full-Price Purchase & Extra 40% Off Sale Styles // CODE(S): SUMMER50 // DATES: 5/26 – 5/31

ANTHROPOLOGIE // Additional 30% off all sale items, in stores and online // DATES: 5/26-5/30

ASOS // Extra 20% Off // CODE(S): HISUMMER // DATES: Now – 5/30

BLOOMINGDALES // Take an extra 20% off select sale & clearance items for savings up to 65% off // CODE(S): BROWNBAG // DATES: 5/26 – 5/30

J. CREW// 30% Off Your Purchase // CODE(S): WEEKEND // DATES: Now – 5/31

JOIE // Additional 20% Off Sale Items // CODE(S): MD2016DATES: 5/26 – 5/30

LORD AND TAYLOR // 20% Off Almost Everything // CODE(S): MEMORIAL // DATES: Now – 5/30

SAM EDELMAN // 30% Off Sitewide // CODE(S): VIPSUMMER // DATES: NOW – MAY 30

WAITING ON MARTHA // Spend up to $150 – $451 // CODE(S): MEM15, MEM20, MEM25, MEM30 // DATES: Now – 5/30 

VINCE CAMUTO // Extra 30% off Sale and Clearance // DATES: 5/26 – 5/30

 

WEEKEND READING

READ THIS: 

BUY THAT: 

REMEMBER THIS: You’ll want to pull these out at cocktail hour.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

I’ve been away for a hot minute – catch all the ‘grams from the trip here and a recap coming from my trip coming next week.

Happy MDW!

image*

 

May 28, 2016

The Full Post  »

My Half-Marathon – Reflections on Training

In exactly 48 hours – the playlist will be done, the course run and 13.1 miles polished off with a big bowl of pasta waiting for me at Sarabeth’s downtown. You better believe I earned every last damn forkful after exactly 4 months and 2 days it took me to train.

Quick Donation Link Here: Team MMRF

Photo Mar 11, 7 21 45 AM

But we’re not there yet. (more…)

March 18, 2016

The Full Post  »

Oscar Worthy Sips With Chandon

I’d like to think I had something to do with the good juju that went Leo’s way on Sunday. Or it could have just been the trefoils. In any case Leo came out a winner and my Oscar chocolate lollipops came out of their molds. Take that Wolfgang.

How to Throw An Oscars Party

I love watching the Oscars and especially with friends. So on Sunday I threw a little shindig complete with specialty cocktails and Pinterest recipes. Ballots were filled out, buffalo chicken something’s were made and friends lined the couches armed with celebratory cocktails guaranteed to loosen lips and provide some great “Fashion Police” level commentary. Joan Rivers would have been so proud.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Chandon Opening Ceremony Cocktail

Having in home soirees in NYC isn’t easy. But I was determined to make this a decor’d fete complete with bow-tied Champagne Flutes (click for the “how to”) and Oscar ballots. Between food spreads, coaster topped coffee table real estate and seating – NYC apartment entertaining always involves moving some furniture and in my case buying some to create a bar that wasn’t a part of a bookcase. Home tour to come, but I will tell you I can work wonders with an Ikea bookshelf. So for a “bar cart” feel I invested in this Acrylic Clear Tray Table from CB2 (Under $80!) to serve up some Oscar worthy sips thanks to my friends at Chandon.

Oscar Chocolate Lollipops

To add a little color to the otherwise black and gold soirée I tried my hand at Chandon’s Opening Ceremony cocktail including Chandon Rosé. A pretty pink ripe strawberry, watermelon and fresh red cherry flavor and aroma with an inherently seductive and defined structure. I feel like that’s how I would want someone to describe my Oscar’s dress, no? Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

4-5 Wild Strawberry Slices

75 oz. Fresh Lemon

75 oz. Aperol

5 oz. Agave

DIRECTIONS: Using the glass end of your Boston Shaker…

1.) Add Strawberries to Shaker and muddle until completely crushed.

2.) Add all ingredients to the shaker and add Ice all the way to the top

3.) Shake vigorously until frost begins to collect on the brass end of your shaker.

4.) Strain Into Martini Glass

5.) Top with and Stir

Garnish with Strawberry/Thyme Enjoy!

DIY Bowtie Champagne Glasses

A few of these and commentary shunning Bree Larson’s dress, drooling over Cate Blanchet’s, and attempting to make sense of Stacey Dash’s appearance came way too easy. Did anyone else find Chris Rock a bit lackluster? Well my couch full of friendly cynics did – and I laughed and agreed wholeheartedly.

There’s nothing like getting friends together for some of TV’s must-watch moments and my friends would never turn down an opportunity to sip rosé in yoga pants. With several specialty cocktails on the menu – I’ll just have to find another moment to ensure we polish off the last of the brut. Bachelor finale anyone – rosé seems wildly appropriate…

Cheers Leo – and you’re welcome!

Thanks to Chandon for providing the sips! Opinions and commentary are all my own – as they should be!

March 1, 2016

The Full Post  »

Monday Reading – Vol. 40

Dear Lauren, welcome home to sub-zero temps.

Sincerely, New York.

Hat on Beach

People re-entry, woof! Coming home to freezing temps had me bundled up on the couch for the first 24 hours of being back. Can we turn-up the thermostat please?! After a week away I’m happy to be back and get back to life in NYC. With the past three weekends out of town – I’m ready for some much needed time with friends and my own bed.

Now let’s get to some required reading shall we?

READ THIS: 

BUY THAT: 

REMEMBER THIS: You’ll want to pull these out at cocktail hour.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

I’ve been away for a hot minute – catch all the ‘grams from the trip here and a recap coming from my trip coming next week.

Happy day off!

February 15, 2016

The Full Post  »