sunsets

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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Last September, I promised myself to return to Terrazas del Sauzal when I was back in Tenerife. Several flights back to the island and I finally got around returning to one of my favourite terraces on the island.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

I never get enough of this view. 

As we sat down and scanned through the menu, I noticed that, since last year, the menu had taken a twist, offering some new and refreshing choices. As much as I enjoy their tuna tartare (ah, one of my favourite picks from last time!), I was on the mission of trying out their latest creations.

The first thing that caught my attention was the tuna goldbrick. I pictured a brick of tuna – carefully decorated, resting on a delicious avocado puree and was immediately sold. After each of us chose a starter and main, we waited, expectantly, for the food to come.

It didn’t take long for our appetiser to arrive.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

I’m a big fan of small portions, and this cherry tomato and mozzarella brochette dipped in home-made pesto sauce was no exception.

Shortly after, our colourful starters were placed on the table. We ordered a vegetable tempura salad with iberian ham and prawns, decorated with mango sauce and caviar, and a foie strudel with goat cheese, topped with caramelised apple and combined with duck ham and papaya. The foie brick (which to be honest looked like a crema catalana) was an incredible combination of flavours that I hadn’t expected at all!

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

By this time, I had eaten so much of their delicious bread and starters that I was a bit worried about being able to eat the tuna brick. Note to self: put a limit on the amount of bread you want to eat that evening and actually stick to it!

Anyway, when our mains arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with my choice.

Terrazas del Sauzal, Tenerife (Spain)

My tuna goldbrick was actually, well, gold!

I had read before about the trend of using edible gold in restaurants and always thought: “Well it can’t be actual gold. Who would eat gold?”. The truth is, using gold in cuisine has become more and more popular – and there are different types of edible gold. If you’re living in NYC (or like me, are just curious about the crazy things some people do for marketing) – you might have heard of the Douche Burger (a burger sold for 666 USD – which, among many other luxuries, includes gold leafs).

My tuna was not covered in gold leafs (I doubt I’d be able to afford a meal at a restaurant that did!). Instead, it was sprayed gold – a much more affordable version of decorating your meal. While there was no difference in taste (it didn’t taste metallic, by the way), it was a creative touch that made me smile. 


There’s a lot of debate about the trend of adding gold to food and drinks – although these debates do refer to the much more expensive gold leafs (which are, in fact, thin pieces of the metal). For some, eating gold is an act of inexcusable opulence. For others, the ultimate in gourmet luxury. 

Would you try edible gold?

PS: I’m linking up on Treat Yo’ self Thursday with Treasure Tromp and The Happy Type!


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Best Sunset in Tenerife - Las Terrazas del Sauzal (Canary Islands, Spain)

I had been looking forward to having dinner at Las Terrazas del Sauzal for months. It’s one of these hidden gems that still not many people know about – maybe because getting there is quite an adventure itself. We drove to El Sauzal – a village with about 9.000 habitants. This part of the island used to be made up of farmlands, but over the past few years, it has shifted to a more urban focus with beautiful villas along the hillsides. We cruised up and down the steep and narrow one-way roads for almost as much as it took us to drive to the Village in the first place (about 15 minutes on the highway).

At arrival, we were greeted by this…

Best Sunset in Tenerife - Las Terrazas del Sauzal (Canary Islands, Spain)

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Best Sunset in Tenerife - Las Terrazas del Sauzal (Canary Islands, Spain)

From the open terrace, we had a clean view of the island’s north side – its coastline, beaches, hills and villages. We saw mount Teide, the island’s dormant volcano, and the Atlantic Ocean. Everything tinted in a diffused orange and pink light.

The moment was perfect. As soon as the last ray of bright orange light hid behind the horizon, we sat at our table and were ready to enjoy dinner. Their menu is short and simple, but it still took me a while to decide what I wanted. It’s difficult to do so, when you’ve been looking forward to this moment for so long and know that it may be a while until your return.

Fine dining and a perfect sunset in Tenerife

Homemade foie terrine, crunchy brioche and creamy green apple.
Tuna tartare, guacamole and Doritos.
Salmon wrapped in sesame seeds, artisan tomato jam and ginger vinaigrette.
Beef tenderloin, caramelized foie and sweet wine reduction.
Duck breast with guava sauce, potato terrine and mini vegetables.

…You get the idea, right?

Fine dining and a perfect sunset in Tenerife

Fine dining and a perfect sunset in Tenerife

I had the tuna tartare and beef tenderloin, but made sure to try a bit of everyone else’s plate, too – a quite ambitious task, by the way – we were 9!

Las Terrazas del Sauzal is one of my favourite restaurants on the island and I am already looking forward to my next visit in a few months time.

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Before departure, I had written down a simple list of things I wanted to do during my holidays. I wanted to rent a bike, swim in turquoise water, get an envious golden tan, maybe even rent a boat for a day to discover other beaches… I’m proud to say, I went through almost all of it. Ok, I didn’t rent a bike – but on my defence, it was around 35ºC during the day and roads hardly ever were lit at night.

We did swam in turquoise water, visited a different beach almost every day and even rode a zodiac along the island’s coastline (as an alternative of renting a boat). However, no matter where we had spent the day, we always did our best to be back to our beach at latest 8:30pm.

Why?

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Not more than 30 meters from our apartment in Dunas Playa, was Pirata Bus – a cozy beach bar with good music, delicious mojitos and a unique view of the sunset. This bar has been in Platja Mitjorn for over 30 years, welcoming tourists and locals of all ages. Parents sipped their mojitos, while their children run around and play with the sand. A group of people played petanque. Groups of friends got together to plan the next day’s trip…

…and at 9:15pm, it felt as if time stopped. Everyone glazed towards the hills, counting the seconds for the sun to hide. In the background, tunes of Andrea Boccelli’s Por ti Volare. Each time the sun set behind the land, people clapped and cheered to the beauty of the evening.

After my first night on Formentera, I already knew this was going to be my favorite place on the island.

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Ouchy, Lausanne (Switzerland) – April 2011

Sunset on Lac Léman, Switzerland

I was born in a family of lucrative sailors, who dropped their anchor in the Canary Islands already many years ago. I grew up admiring pictures of my family sailing the Atlantic. I spent many weekends on a sailing boat with my best friend from school and her parents. I was invited to America’s Cup in Valencia, back in 2006. And now live watching little boats sail out each afternoon to enjoy the last rays of sun set behind the mountains.

Dear Universe: Are you trying to tell me something?

During my travels, I’ve seen some outstanding sunsets – each of them was different, special in a way, and has been captured in my memory ever since. Going through my pictures, I started wondering – What makes Phuket have those beautiful sunsets? And why is Africa supposed to have the best ones Worldwide? In fact, what makes the color of a sunset?

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Sunlight is composed of a spectrum of colors that range from blue/violet to orange/red. Each of the colors have a different wavelength – I don’t want to get too geeky, it’s probably easier if you picture a rainbow. The inner colours of the rainbow are violet and blue (which have the shortest wavelength); while the outer ones are orange and red, the colours with the longest wavelength.

At noon, the sun appears to be white because all wavelengths of visual light reach our eyes with almost the same intensity (remember that Pink Floyd album cover -The Dark Side of the Moon? That’s what I mean!). However, at sunrise and sunset, sunlight takes a much longer path through the atmosphere. Because air molecules scatter away the shortest wavelengths of light, the light that reaches our eyes is rather orange / red.

Sunset in Phuket, Thailand

All good – But what makes sunsets in some parts of the World more beautiful than in others?

What determines actually the kind of sunset is the size and concentration of atmospheric particles in the path of the incoming sunlight. Very small particles scatter blue and violet light preferentially, leading to a glowing orange and red sunset. A heavy concentration of small particles will create even redder sunsets.

Does that mean that if we’re somewhere with high air pollution, we’ll get to see a better sunset?

No. Pollution particles are too large, so instead of enhancing the colors of the sky, they subdue them. This is also the reason for which sunsets in deserts and the tropics are more dramatic – the air pollution is rather minimal or non-existent!

Sunset in Phuket, Thailand

Taking away pollution, there are many other smaller particles that can be floating in the air to create the perfect glowing reddish sunset, such as salt particles over the ocean, or dust and ash from a volcanic eruption.

Where have you captured your favorite sunset?