Seattle and NYC, February 2014

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Work trip so not much time to myself, I caught up with friends in Seattle but didn’t have time to see anything, really. I stayed at The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club and Spa which has a great location right on the water – beautiful views. It was OK, there were a couple of things that bothered me but I mentioned them in my feedback survey and they were very on top of addressing them, so I’ll give it another go next trip. The most annoying thing was the $12 “amenity fee”, which means it’s $12 more a night than advertised. For free internet, and the gym (which I expect anyway) and a local car service (not always available). I also spent a night at the airport Hilton after I decided I was too tired to take the redeye.

I had sushi at Chiso, where I had been before and they have great sushi, and at Sushi Kappo Tamura, which was fancy, but nice. In Kirkland, we went to Cactus (fine), and Trellis (nice, they sent us out free desert, which was lovely).

NYC I had a little more time to hang out, caught up with more people, and went to MOMA, which was – as ever – amazing. I love that place. We saw Isa Genzken: Retrospective, There Will Never Be Silence, Designing Modern Women and my favourite, Frank Lloyd Wright and the City which was awesome. We also saw Once The Musical which was great, although is now showing in London so I wonder if we should have seen something else. I guess most things come to London pretty quickly though! Of course when in NYC, I have to take a walk along the High Line which is gorgeous, and longer than it was last time I came.

Foodwise, I ate brunch at Good Restaurant (amazing), La Bottega (well, breakfast, I like it there – it’s reasonably priced and reasonably portioned), Cookshop (incredible, possibly the best croissant I have ever eaten) and The Grey Dog (good – not table service though). Had an incredible dinners with some girlfriends at Buddakan, sushi at Koi with a girlfriend (incredible decor), other tech-women at Morimoto (amazing as ever), colleagues at Cherry (kobe beef and foie gras gyoza – woah) and solo at Blue Ginger (chill and delicious). Mexican food at Dos Caminos (so tasty, incredible desert featuring salted caramel), tapas at Tia Pol (great sandwich) and Aria with a Sydney friend. Also cupcakes from Eleni’s perked people up during the workshop we were running!

Stayed at the achingly hip Standard Hotel, and had drinks at the Top Of The Standard – fab views, pricey cocktails, but annoyingly you can’t get the elevator straight down to your room. Thankfully the kind barman sneaked me down the stairs to the floor below (from where I could take the elevator) as it was extremely cold and I didn’t have a coat! I still prefer the Maritime hotel, the conditioner at the Standard is terrible. I kept putting more and more on and my hair just turned more and more into a giant hairball, so I think it might actually be glue. I also find the hotel just too hip. But it’s fun to go there every so often!

I found this amazing design store called Story, which was inspired by 40 Days of Dating (two designers experimented dating each other, I wrote about it here) to do a Love Story theme. I loved 40 Days, so I bought a print, and a cute necklace by another designer. Also, Royce – the Best Chocolate in the World now have a store in NYC, which was so exciting! So I picked up some amazing chocolate.

It’s always good to be in NYC, I know quite a few people there and I met some new ones, which is great. But there was too much snow, which meant my flight out got cancelled and I missed my ski trip, which was gutting. Also NYC is rubbish in the snow, the streets aren’t cleared properly, so it was hard to walk about as there were huge puddles of icy water by the sidewalks, and the wasn’t enough grit down, so I was edging over ice a lot. In the end, I decided I was too tired and it was too cold to spend the unexpected weekend in cultural exploration, so I mostly hung out in my hotel room and worked on some stuff instead.

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