New York

NYC Sunset from the Highline

Whenever I thought of NYC, my mind wandered to the images I had experienced on my business trips to the big Apple: extremely polluted, overly crowded and never-ending avenues filled with busy stressed-out people.

I used to be one of them.

My trips to NYC were never as amazing as they seemed (after all, I spent most of my waking time inside hotels and office buildings). To this, I must add that my trips, though frequent, were always ridiculously short (mostly 2-3 days, arriving on a Sunday evening) and hardly ever allowed for “a day off“.

This was one of the reasons I made New York one of my priorities this summer: I really wanted to live the city. I wanted to spend enough time around to appreciate what makes NYC, well, NYC. What is it that makes people fall in love with this place?

Well, I think I found the answer: Sunsets.

And these are my all-time NYC favourites.

Grand Ferry Park (Brooklyn)

NYC Sunset from Grand Ferry Park

NYC Sunset from Grand Ferry Park

NYC Sunset from Grand Ferry Park

On my second day in New York, I returned back to Brooklyn late in the afternoon – right on time for the sunset. I was hoping to capture it on camera, but had no idea where to go. I followed to Hudson River up towards North Williamsburg until I came across a tiny green waterfront space offering an open view of the Manhattan skyline. I wasn’t alone, of course: roughly 20 people were spread across the park having a drink or snack while watching the sun disappear behind the skyscrapers.

Location: between Grand Street, West River Street and the East River (map)

The Highline (Manhattan)

NYC Sunset from the Highline

NYC Sunset from the Highline

If you are planning to visit New York, I highly recommend adding The Highline to your itinerary. But even better than walking through this exceptional park built on an elevated section of the NY Central Railroad is doing so on time to watch the sun set peek in-between the buildings.

I’m in love.

Location: The Highline runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues (map).

Williamsburg (Brooklyn)

NYC Sunset on the streets of Williamsburg

NYC Sunset on the streets of Williamsburg

NYC Sunset on the streets of Williamsburg

On a Saturday evening, the sunset caught me roaming the streets of Williamsburg (Brooklyn). There was no time left to rush down to the river. And there was no need for it, either. The golden hour swept through the green leafs – reflecting on parked cars, brick walls, pavements. It shone intensely – so much, that for a brief moment, I was blinded by its light!

This is proof that you really don’t have to go far to find beauty: just go outside and appreciate the moment. 

Location: Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact street I took these photos on – what I do know is that it was between Bedford Ave Station and Williamsburg Bridge (map). 

Wythe Hotel Rooftop (Brooklyn)

NYC Sunset from Wythe Hotel

NYC Sunset from Wythe Hotel

NYC Sunset from Wythe Hotel

If I had to pick one place, just one place, to go and watch the sun set over New York – this place would be the rooftop of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg (Brooklyn). Because nothing really beats watching the skies change their colours over an iconic skyline while sipping rosé with friends (old and new).

Location: Wythe Hotel – 80 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (map)

PS: An iPhone pic I took from the Wythe Hotel became my most liked Instagram shot so far! But, do you want to know what was actually happening behind the scenes…? 

Which is your favourite place to watch the sunset in NYC?


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Writing is a key way to refine my thoughts and keep a clean record of my experiences. I love composing thoughtful post ideas and choose and work on the photos that best go with the topic. However, sometimes I just want to share my thoughts, goals and the little things that make me smile on a day to day basis.

At the end of each month, I will put together a behind the scenes post in which I’ll give you a peek of my weekends, business travels, goals and favourite links.

Click here to read my previous Behind the Scenes.


Travels and Adventures

Ever since I left Spain in 2009, I longed for hot sunny summers spent lounging at the beach. So when I finally decided to take a career break earlier this year, I figured this was my chance to make up for the past 6 years!

May: Tenerife – Madrid – Basque Country 

Hiking in Tenerife, Spain

I spent my first month back home soaking up the sunshine, eating fresh fish and on occasional hikes. One of my favorite moments was watching an incredible sunset from a small mirador only a 30-minute walk away from my home.

Sunset in Tenerife, Spain

At the end of the month, I flew to Bilbao for a Mom – Daughter trip in the Basque Country to celebrate my 31st birthday! I spent my birthday surrounded by things I love: family, nature and wine. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than that!

Marqués de Riscal, Basque Country (Spain)

June: Tenerife – Madrid – Basque Country – Cantabria 

Playa del Ancón, Tenerife (Canary Islands)

When I returned to Tenerife from rather rainy Basque Country, I made it a mission to soak up as much sunshine at home and some of my favourite beaches (like the ones above) as possible. I didn’t miss a single day on my duty. I think I did a pretty decent job. 

After a very brief visit to Madrid to attend the Open Day of my preferred MBA Program late May, I returned a couple of weeks later for an interview (which, later on, became an offer that I happily accepted) – now, I’m officially a 2016 MBA Candidate!

San Sebastián, Basque Country (Spain)

On the following day, I took an early train to Irún – where I started my 3-week hike along the northern coast of Spain. I loved discovering tiny villages, lush mountains and beautiful  sandy beaches in the Basque Country and Cantabria – all while challenging myself more than I ever had before.

Cantabria (Spain)

July: – Cantabria – Asturias – Tenerife – Miami – New York

Oviedo, Asturias (Spain)

Early July I continued my Camino de Santiago along the Northern route from Cantabria into Asturias – which has now become my latest obsession – I mean, look at this place. And this one. Oh, and the one above (Oviedo)!

Arriving in Oviedo (my end point) felt equally wrong and right. I was sad to leave – but also excited for the adventures ahead. I returned back to Tenerife for a few days to rest (and go kayaking!) before flying out to Miami to meet my best friend for 6 days of sunshine, art and cocktails (not necessarily in that order). I absolutely loved exploring the Wynwood Art Walls – and am still talking about it to anyone who cares to listen!

Cocktails in Miami

Following Miami came New York. A lot of plans began to change at this point: my 1-week  photography course had been cancelled** and so had my following trip to Iceland. This reminded me that things don’t always go as planned and you have to learn to make the best out of it.

Sunset from New York City Highline

And so I did. I took my NY trip as an opportunity to explore an entire different aspect of the city. I spent most of my time in Brooklyn, for instance. Every day I woke up without a set plan. Instead, I just walked: along the Hudson river, across bridges, through parks and even along a beach. I saw many incredible sunsets and had some of the best coffees. I even met up with some of my ex-work colleagues – it was so nice to see them again after these months!

**I ended up taking a short weekend photography course which now allows me to feel a bit more comfortable out of auto-mode (just don’t ask me to take backlit photos or indoor portraits!). 

August: New York – Tenerife – Cologne – Madrid 

New York skyline

I left New York for Tenerife once again – but this time for only just enough time to slightly recover from jet lag, squeeze goodbye my little ball of fur and pack my life into one and a half suitcases (oh, and also go on a quick boat trip to some of my favourite corners of the island – Los Gigantes and Teno).

Boat trip in Tenerife, Canary Islands

After dropping off my bags in my little flat, I headed straight back to the airport to fly out to Cologne, Germany, to spend some time with close family. I hadn’t been to Cologne in 20 years – what a beautiful city! I really enjoyed the lifestyle there: the large parks, river walks, beautiful old town, many breweries… I’ve already made it a mission to return some time over the next 2 months!

Cologne, Germany

I’ve been back in Madrid for the past 5 days, slowly easing myself into this new place, new neighbourhood and new life as an MBA student – can’t wait for the program to begin!


Summer Reads

Blue Sea in Tenerife, Spain

Early June I published my summer reading list. I have a problem with reading lists, though: I hardly ever stick to them. Once I find something I like, I tend to stick to it (as happens with terrifying psychological thrillers led by extremely twisted female characters – anti-heroes, as they call them).

So, yeah, I guess you won’t be surprised that two out of my three strongest recommendations are thrillers. Oops. 

Anyway, I have read some great (and some not so great) books this summer. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next purchase, I definitely recommend adding these 3 to your reading list:

Luckiest girl alive – by Jessica Knoll ★★★★★

I have read mixed reviews about this book before even picking it up in June as my next read. Lets put it this way: I really wouldn’t sell it as a light beach read. But. BUT. I personally loved it. If you enjoy dynamic reads that switch between past and present, cold and calculating anti-heroes and don’t mind rather graphic descriptions and swear words – give it a go (and let me know what you think!).

Disclaimer – by Renée Knight ★★★★

I devoured Disclaimer in 1.5 days! Catherine begins to read a book she finds by her bedside until she realises it’s all about her. It threatens to expose her darkest secret, one she thought she was safe from. The book is written in past and present form from the perspective of two characters. It was dynamic, gripping, fast-paced and twisted – highly recommend it!

The wrong knickers: A decade of chaos – by Bryony Gordon ★★★★

I simply loved this book for 3 reasons: it’s honest, real and hilarious! I believe there’s a little bit of Bryony in every one of us – and it’s so refreshing to find someone who (graphically) depicts the ups and downs of this awkward, f*cked up decade. I’d say a must-read for any woman who has successfully survived (or is still surviving) her 20s!


Instagram

New York skyline

I wanted this photo to say…

Look at me, I’m sophisticated. I spend my summer evening sipping rosé from rooftops overlooking Manhattan.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes…

I queued to get to this rooftop (which is stunning, by the way). It was still broad daylight when I negotiated my way through the crowds to the ‘perfect place to take photos of the skyline‘. I forced my friends to follow me and feed me drinks so I didn’t have to leave my rather privileged spot.

I took a grand total of 27 photos of this sunset (12 with my iPhone and 15 with my Canon EOS). This wasn’t the best one of all – but I couldn’t really wait to get home and download my DSLR photos, so I picked my best iPhone shot instead. It’s grainy. But hey, it became my most liked shot so far!

Hate is heavy, so let it go

I wanted this photo to say…

I am a street art hunter with an exceptional eye for detail. Also, this quote is so inspiring!

Meanwhile, behind the scenes…

We only came across Wynwood because our Uber driver had mentioned it. I don’t really know any artists’ names and don’t recognise styles (though I wish I could).

All through the cool streets of Wynwood, I was dragging behind – we had actually come here on a mission to find good mexican food. It was getting dark – which wasn’t great in  neighbourhood filled with warehouses we didn’t know almost anything about. Most of my shots (well, those taken outside the Wynwood Art Walls) were taken with my iPhone because I was on a rush!

Asturias, Spain

I wanted this photo to say…

Asturias is beautiful and wild. It is full of contrasts and manages to be stunning even on gloomy days.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes…

I was a tiny step away from missing this bit. My feet were still aching from the 38km hike  the day before and the thought of even walking 5km today was killing me. Thankfully, the train wasn’t leaving until 2 hours later and I chose to give walking a chance instead.

At this point, I was completely on my own. While I usually didn’t mind this during my Camino, this day was different: I was desperate to share this landscape with friends and family. I sat down on a wooden bench and sent this photo to my girlfriends. This day, I really wished they were there.

PS: Are we friends on Instagram?


By the numbers

Brooklyn Bridge

Since May (which symbolized the start of my extended summer holidays), I…

  • Took 13 flights: Tenerife – Madrid – Bilbao – Tenerife // Tenerife – Madrid // Oviedo – Tenerife // Tenerife – Madrid – Miami – New York – Madrid – Tenerife // Tenerife – Madrid – Cologne – Madrid
  • Rode 1 long distance train: from Madrid to Irún – the starting point of my Camino del Norte!
  • Hiked +450 km from Irún to Oviedo in 21 days
  • Booked a ridiculous amount of Ubers (my new source of local gems)
  • Slept 1 night at a Twelve Tribes location
  • Shot over 1000 photos with my new Canon EOS 7D (although only about 700 have made it into Aperture)

Inspiration

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison


 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Writing is a key way to refine my thoughts and keep a clean record of my experiences. I love composing thoughtful post ideas and choose and work on the photos that best go with the topic. However, sometimes I just want to share my thoughts, goals and the little things that make me smile on a day to day basis.

At the end of each month, I will put together a behind the scenes post in which I’ll give you a peek of my weekends, business travels, goals and favourite links.

Click here to read my previous Behind the Scenes.


On Traveling

Chicago, USA

WOW. February was one crazy, busy and cold month (see above the ice covering the Chicago River!). On Wednesday 11th, I was asked to cover a colleague on a US Roadshow. That evening, I went home and packed my carry on – I was leaving to New York the next day! I spent over 15 days on and off the city that never sleeps – hopping to Boston and Chicago in between. I only returned to London yesterday evening (over 3 weeks on a carry on!).

As much as I loved my work in the States, I’m actually quite relieved to be back home now. Would you be surprised if I confessed that I forgot the access code to my building? Sigh.


Weekend Scenes

New York, USA

While I spent most of February working (yes, that also included weekends), I did get one beautiful weekend off in New York. On that Saturday morning, I bought myself a Canada Goose (best investment ever) and spent the rest of the time wandering around West Village, shopping in SoHo and TriBeCa and stopping for fancy lattes each time my feet felt cold.


February by the Numbers

New York, USA

  • 4 flights taken (2 of those on a private jet, eek!)
  • 17 days working in the US (and counting)
  • 3 cities visited in the States: New York, Boston and Chicago
  • -18 degrees Celsius is the coldest I’ve been (yes, New York, I’m looking at you). Did I mention that this was the coldest February in NY in 81 years?
  • over 14600 km travelled (that’s over 9000 miles!)
  • 15 Instagram photos (the above view from my room at The New York Palace was your favourite one)

Words

New York, USA

“Learn the rules like a Pro so you can break them like an Artist”

Pablo Picasso

One has to learn the rules to understand the boundaries that have been set before pushing past them into the innovative and creative. This, in my opinion, applies to everything in life – from blogging and entrepreneurship, to business strategy and law.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Writing is a key way to refine my thoughts and keep a clean record of my experiences. I love composing thoughtful post ideas and choose and work on the photos that best go with the topic. However, sometimes I just want to share my thoughts, goals and the little things that make me smile on a day to day basis.

At the end of each month, I will put together a behind the scenes post in which I’ll give you a peek of my weekends, business travels, goals and favourite links.

Click here to read my previous Behind the Scenes.


On the road

IMG_2279

There are 3 things I’ve learned over the past month: a) the more stuff you travel with, the more you’re risking to loose something on the road, b) It’s impossible to keep everyone happy all the time and c) long-haul business tickets are totally worth their price (trust me).

October has taken me to Paris, Zurich, New York, Boston, Frankfurt and Tenerife (this last one was mainly to nap under a palm tree). 7 flights, 1 (delayed) Eurostar and countless cabs and cars later – I’m back to my more conventional self!


 Weekend Scenes

London, UK

Recovering from such a crazy start of the month has meant spending my weekends locally – after all, the last thing I wanted to travel somewhere else. I wandered around my neighbourhood – discovering amazing cafes, food markets and spotting beautiful doors along my way (ah, yes – doors have become an obsession!).


Reads

Over the clouds

A few days ago, I finished reading #Girlboss (I know, I’m a bit late to the party!). While I can’t say that this book has made it to my Top 10 favourites, it’s no doubt an exceptional story in which Sophia Amoruso recalls how she went from being an anarchist to becoming a CEO. My favourite word of advice is:

“When your goal is to gain experience and knowledge, failure is no longer your possibility, failure is your invention.”

And now to my favourite online reads.

  • After 10 years filled with amazing travel stories, Kaleena writes a goodbye letter to her first passport. I still remember retiring my last passport back in 2010!
  • I don’t like being told that I’m lucky to be where I am, and so does Liz. It undermines all the hard work we have poured into our lives! Admitting we’ve been lucky would mean that we don’t own our own achievements – Stop giving luck so much credit!
  • While I have a serious obsession with doors lately, Anna’s got a thing for floors. I love exploring new perspectives – and this post prompts me to look down more often!

Mantra

“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

– Winston Churchill


October Goals Review

New York

  • Slow down. After returning from the roadshow earlier this month, I took this goal quite seriously and enjoyed doing nothing. I’ve spent weekends strolling around cafes, reading books and magazines and sleeping an average of 9 hours a day. I know, 9! That’s a luxury!
  • Walk without a destination in mind. Early October, I spent a weekend in New York. Even though I worked most of the weekend, I did squeeze in a long walk down to Madison Square (where I met the cutie in the picture above!). Back in London, I explored Balham, Wandsworth and Clapham Common – there’s always something new popping up in this area.
  • Move – no matter what! Ok so this one has been a bit trickier than I had thought. I went for a run through Central Park in New York and a few gym classes (hey, I even gave yoga another try and I liked it!) – but the truth is, when the weather isn’t playing along, I actually like to stay indoors. Maybe a new coat would help me break this habit?

 November Goals

Boston

  • Blog more often. I admit I’ve been a bad blogger over the past few months – only posting once or twice a month! While I’m aware that some bloggers are joining NaBloPoMo in November, I… am not ready to commit to a post per day. However, I do commit to 4 to 5 blog posts this month (you’ve got to start with something, right?).
  • Take more photos. This shouldn’t be a problem! This month, I have a visit to London, a trip to Paris and an Awards Ceremony. I can’t wait!
  • Run twice a week. I enjoy running, I really do. But ever since we’ve moved on from summer to fall, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to go out for a run in the park. The mornings are chilly and the evenings are dark. Don’t laugh – I’m a girl from the south!

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Writing is a key way to refine my thoughts and keep a clean record of my experiences. I love composing thoughtful post ideas and choose and work on the photos that best go with the topic. However, sometimes I just want to share my thoughts, goals and the little things that make me smile on a day to day basis.

At the end of each month, I will put together a behind the scenes post in which I’ll give you a peek of my weekends, business travels, goals and favourite links.

Click here to read my previous Behind the Scenes.


On the road

New York

September – what a month. Exhausting, chaotic and extremely challenging would still be an understatement. Early September, my team was appointed to project manage a global roadshow for what has now officially been titled the largest Initial Public Offering in history. While I partly assisted with managing logistics for this project, I also project managed a smaller (but incredibly high-profile) roadshow in London and New York, and pitched another project – which we’ve ultimately won as well (if all things stay the same – I should be flying to Paris at the time of publishing this post!).


Reads

New York

I’m currently reading the Confidence Code and am loving every little bit of it – I can’t wait to get hold of some free time on the planes to dive back into the book!

With my crazy schedule, I haven’t had time to read through many of my favourite blogs this month. But from those few times I did read online, the following two stood out to me:

  • On hiking along the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland. So, yes – I love hiking, Specially when I’m surrounded by breath-taking landscape. And even more when this landscape includes volcanoes or glaciers. My hike along the Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland a few years ago still remains one of my favourite hikes of all times (you can read about my experience here: Part I and Part II). When I saw Simon’s dramatic photographs – I wandered back to that time. It has been too long since I last went to Switzerland. It’s time to plan a return!
  • On life-lessons learned from yoga.  The truth is, I haven’t yet been hooked by yoga. Maybe I haven’t been to the right places or maybe I just wasn’t in the right mind-frame up to now. One year ago, Jessica started out like me – joining a class reluctantly (because, you know, yoga is not a real workout). She fell in love with the exercise and has ever since managed to take over 100 classes! In her article, she lists 100 lessons she has learned from yoga . Her article has inspired me to give yoga another chance!

Mantra

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith”

– Margaret Shepard

September goals

London Stock Exchange

  • More GMAT. The past month has seen me struggle with keeping up with my GMAT schedule. When you work 70+ hours a week in an extremely fast-paced industry, it’s difficult to still have enough energy left to drill on tricky maths problems and power read scientific text in record times. Therefore, after experiencing increasing pressure and anxiety, I’ve deliberately decided to put the test aside for a couple of months. While I had been hoping to apply in Round 2 (January 2015), I also realised that it wasn’t right to apply in a rush – I want to be able to present the best of me after all!
  • School selection. Funnily, I do have a pretty good idea of the top 6 schools I like most (some in Europe, some in the US). I am planning to visit at least 3 of them when I get the chance, as I think that a decision that big can’t be based on a brochure.
  • Getting back to the habit of running. Does going for 2 runs in a month count at all?

October goals

St Paul's Cathedral, London

  • Slow down. At the end of this month, I felt like I was juggling one too many balls at the same time. I was close to entirely loosing balance and having all balls hit me on my head. It’s time to slow down and find time to just enjoy doing nothing productive.
  • Walk without a destination in mind. Do you know what I missed the most during this busy month? Walking. It’s like therapy to me! Some days I just walked around the block once before returning back to a never-ending inbox. I miss 1-2 hour walks without a destination in mind – I’m really looking forward to doing this in New York this weekend!
  • Move – no matter what! With all this newly acquired free time (you know, those 8-15 hrs per week I had been preparing for the GMAT), there’s really no excuse to just sit in front of a screen. In October, I want to move – no matter what! It’s sunny outside? Go for a run. It’s too cold? Go to Zumba. It’s fully booked? go climbing at the gym. On a roadshow? walk in between meetings or hit the hotel gym in the evening.

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