Holiday Shopping in New York City

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Happy Holidays to all!

Are you looking for the best places to shop and stroll in New York City this holiday season? Well look no further! Manhattan is one of the best places to shop for fashion, jewelry, art, trinkets, and other gifts in all the land. In New York City, unique shopping opportunites abound at one-of-a-kind holiday markets, chic boutiques, and elegant department stores. The selection is endless, and outlined below are some of New York City’s finest places to buy and browse for you and your loves ones.

The Columbus Circle Holiday Market

At 59th Street, straddling between the border of the Upper West Side and Midtown Manhattan, is one of New York’s most unique places to spend. And no, it’s not the nearby mecca of “The Shops at Columbus Circle.” Instead, it’s the annual winter Columbus Circle Holiday Market, a place of commerce for artisans, craftspeople, and gourmet food vendors from all over the world. From early December to Christmas Eve, visitors can sample sweets from designer chocolatiers, purchase local, handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry, or simply grab a bite at one of New York’s delectable food trucks. The Market is a maze of fashion, freshness, and fun, and you wouldn’t want to miss out.

Some of my personal favorite vendors: Avidgail Adam, an Israeli jeweler selling headpieces, bracelets, and rings, Savon de Provence, a manufacturer of sweet-smelling handmade French soaps, and Spices and Teas, which sells gourmet infusions from around the world!

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Winter Village at Bryant Park

Bryant Park’s very own Winter Village follows the same concept as the Columbus Circle Holiday Market outlined above. However, there is one major difference: Bryant Market has an incredible ice-skating rink. And who doesn’t love ice-skating – a storied winter tradition! The Winter Village is open until January 4th, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy.

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Bergdorf Goodman

Chanel, Saint Laurent, Dior, Céline, Prada, Balenciaga – the list flows on and on. If you’re looking for designer merchandise for you and your loves ones, look no further than Bergdorf Goodman.

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Bergdorf Goodman is – unarguably – New York City’s ritziest, glitziest department store. It’s Manhattan’s very own version of the UK’s Harrod’s (also one of the most memorable shops that I have ever visited). Posh, classy, sexy, elegant – Bergdorf Goodman is everything. As soon as you walk in, you feel like a celebrity. A pampered princess. Well-dressed salesladies shower you with attention, and your visit is their delight.

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On the first floor, you’ll find handbags and all-too-precious bijoux. Chloé, Judith Leiber, Van Cleef & Arpels, Proenza Schouler – if it’s on the runway, if it has graced the pages of Elle and Vogue, it’s here. On the upper floors, you’ll find fashion-forward clothing and the magnificent shoe department, featuring the likes of Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia, and Prada.  

Bergdorf’s deserves a visit, even just a window shop.

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Stay tuned! There’s more shops to come tomorrow!

All About Nicaragua!

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Greetings to all, and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays!

Todays blog posting is dedicated to my future trip to Nicaragua.

I realize that I haven’t blogged about travel for a while – which was meant to be the primary focus of this site. You see, at the moment, I am inundated with work – college essays, AP Biology worksheets, creative writing prompts, et cetera. But come January, I will be free as a bird when my college applications have been submitted. No worries until late March, when my college decisions arrive.

Anyway, it is now Christmas break, and I would like to update all my loyal readers on my future trip. I will be remaining in New York for the entire winter holiday (I haven’t vacationed over Christmas break since 10th grade in the Caribbean). But come February, I will journey to Nicaragua in Central America – a country that I couldn’t be more excited to visit.

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Nicaragua

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Fun Facts about Nicaragua – Thanks to Factmoster.com 

  • Population – 6 million
  • Currency – Gold Cordoba
  • Language – Spanish
  • President – Daniel Ortega
  • Ethnic Makeup – Mestizo 69%, White 17%, Black 9%, Amerindian 5%
  • Literacy Rate – 68%
  • Major Industries – food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood
  • Natural Resources – gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish
  • Religions – Roman Catholic 73%, Evangelical 15%, Moravian 2%, None 9%
  • Exports – coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts
  • Imports – consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products
  • Capital City – Managua
  • Arable Land – 15%

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An Overview – From Infoplease.com

“The largest but most sparsely populated of the Central American nations, Nicaragua borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. It is slightly larger than New York State. Nicaragua is mountainous in the west, with fertile valleys. Two big lakes, Nicaragua and Managua, are connected by the Tipitapa River. The Pacific coast is volcanic and very fertile. The swampy Caribbean coast is aptly called the ‘Mosquito Coast.’

“Nicaragua, which derives its name from the chief of the area’s leading Indian tribe at the time of the Spanish Conquest, was first settled by the Spanish in 1522. The country won independence in 1838.”


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I traveled to Central America once in my lifetime – to Guatemala. And it was extraordinary. The country was more beautiful than I ever could have imagined, and I can’t wait to see more of what Central America has to offer. In February, along with my classmates, I will be traveling to Nicaragua for a volunteer mission trip. There, we will be constructing sinks for the residents of a local village. I am sure where in Nicaragua I will be visiting, but we are going to start off the journey in Managua, the capital and largest city. I am so excited to go! I love exploring new countries. It just gives you a different perspective on life.

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Lake Apoyo, Catarina, Nicaragua

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The volunteer coordinator also recommended that I get malaria shots before I go, as there is a strong risk of the disease. I was also told by past volunteers to Nicaragua that the food served would be largely unvaried. One girl I spoke said that all she ate was rice and beans, and some local snacks and fruit. But I have no problem with that. I want to know how the locals eat, to truly experience their daily life.

Each volunteer in my group must bring an empty suitcase of supplies to donate to the locals – toothbrushes, toothpaste, crayons, markers, toys, shoes, and the like. This trip is going to be hard work, and I am excited to contribute.

Managua – The Capital

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For fun, my group is going to hike up a volcano – something I wanted to do in Guatemala, but time did not permit – and do a beach visit. Which means I need a cute new bathing suit! 

Where will you travel next? Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from my readers.