Azul Rooftop Bar at Hotel Hugo

If you’re new to my blog, here’s one thing you should know: one of my besties (Francis) and I are big rooftop fans. We’ve made it our duty to visit every single one in NYC.

On top of Hotel Hugo.
On top of Hotel Hugo.

So when we learned about the new Cuban-inspired Azul at Hotel Hugo between SoHo and the Hudson, we just had to check it out.

Photo by me.
Photo by me.

In typical fashion, we met up after 5PM for cocktails and decided to first explore the tranquil Hudson Square neighborhood. I love it because it’s quiet and picturesque, yet just blocks away from bustling, supermodel-loaded SoHo.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Remember when I was channeling my inner Golden Girl in the fitting room? Well, this is the dress.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

The piece is a v-neck ensemble from H&M featuring a soft rayon fabric and a gorgeous jungle print. It’s currently on sale for $20.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

I completed the look with gold jewelry, like this panther necklace, also from H&M. It’s no longer available, but I would have also worn this decadent chunky gold chain, also from the popular retailer. Of course, vintage cat-eye sunglasses, black pumps, and one of my signature reds, Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, also made an appearance.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

When we finally made our way to Hotel Hugo, we first explored Bar Hugo, the rooftop bar below the rooftop. With cocktails like Giggle Juice and Lavender Daisy, it was quite the crowd. We briefly stopped by to enjoy the view, but soon quickly went upstairs to see Azul.

Francis channeling her inner Marilyn at Bar Hugo.
Francis channeling her inner Marilyn at Bar Hugo.

Imagine escaping to a breezy, sun-soaked island where the beats of hip-swiveling salsa greet you at the door.

Azul Rooftop Bar at Hotel Hugo
Azul Rooftop Bar at Hotel Hugo

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You’re then welcomed with slushy passionfruit mojitos to quench your thirst.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

It’s a brain-freezer, but its sweetness is well worth the pain and packs a major punch for a tantalizing, downright delicious drink. Don’t just get one, trust me.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

You can relax with a laid-back crowd and savor all of downtown Manhattan from sunset and beyond.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

We soon decided to hang out by the pier to watch boats and yachts float by.

View from above at Azul.
View from above at Azul. Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Bagel, anyone? This is NYC after all.

Bagel art in NYC.
Bagel art in NYC.

Hope you’ll join us at the next rooftop outing!

Photo by Francis Rodriguez
Photo by Francis Rodriguez

Just Another Rooftop

I may be afraid of heights, but this New Yorker prefers wining and dining up in the clouds surrounded by skyscrapers. Really, why would anyone want to break a sweat in 90something degree weather in a stuffy room when you can catch a cool breeze up above everyone else?

Having Cocktails in the Sky.
Having Cocktails in the Sky.

Francis and I make it our mission to visit every rooftop spot in town, so when we were invited to culinary extraordinaire David Burke’s SPYGLASS above the Archer Hotel in midtown, needless to say we were going.

Our View.
Our View.

SPYGLASS is fantastic because it’s walking distance from many offices in the area. So whether you had a rough day at work or simply just want to kick back, this is a swanky rooftop that requires zero subway or taxi transportation, depending where you are. Just a simple stroll will do. Your nostrils will thank you if sticking your nose into someone’s armpit in a too-tight train or being glued to the chair of a cab on a sweltering day isn’t your thing.

Enjoying Ourselves.
Enjoying Ourselves.

SPYGLASS also gives you a direct view of the Empire State Building while you’re enjoying lobster dumplings, oysters, and thirst-quenching cocktails. Don’t get me wrong, the Village will always be my home away from home no matter where I am, but this local deal isn’t too shabby.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

Now for the dress. I absolutely fell in love when I saw this piece in a West Village thrift store. It features the brightest orange flowers I’ve ever seen. Seriously, you can light up any room with this thing.

Photo By Francis Rodriguez.
Photo By Francis Rodriguez.

Unfortunately, I don’t have too many details about the dress. No label was found, but it came in excellent condition and was around 25 bucks. It reminds me of a 1950s (or even 60s) cocktail dress. Since the dress zips from the back and not the side, it comes from a later period (not the 50s). That’s one trick to tell if your ensemble is possibly more modern or much older. Also, this outfit highlights a full skirt, so no petticoat is require to add some dramatic flair. Just be prepared to slap people around with your hips.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

I paired the dress with matching navy patent pumps to keep the look more uniformed. The focus remains on the dress, as opposed to dizzying anyone with too much going on.

Original Fire & Ice Ad.
Original Fire & Ice Ad.

As for the lipstick? That’s Revlon’s Fire & Ice, which was first introduced in 1952. It was reportedly one of the many shades of red Marilyn Monroe wore. You can still find it in nearly any drugstore for less than 10 bucks.

Marilyn Monroe, 1952.
Marilyn Monroe, 1952.

The lipstick is a very bold, fiery red shade, so I blotted it just a bit to tone it down. Again, I wanted the dress to be the focal point. I finished my look with champagne.

Photo by Francis Rodriguez.
Photo by Francis Rodriguez.

This was our view for the evening.

Our Evening View.
Our Evening View.

So seriously, what are you doing down there? Start rooftopping it!

Spring Flowers and Chinese Cuisine

Forget spring and this blog title for just a second folks. New York City was experiencing a glorious 80 degree day. This may sound stuffy for some, but I have Dominican blood running in my veins, so anything that’s somehow related to the tropics gets me excited. I truly feel at my happiest when my skin can soak up that vitamin D (with sunscreen of course).

My view from Central Park.
My view from Central Park.

But enough of that. Let’s talk about the day.

I was invited to a media preview for Philippe on the Upper East Side to celebrate their new East Hamptons location. As someone who has been following this establishment’s history, I knew I had to be there. I was researching for future stories, of course!

A small preview of what was to come.
A small preview of what was to come.

The feast was nothing short of amazing. Succulent Maine lobster, juicy plump shrimp swimming in a tangy sauce, creamy coconut cocktails, and crispy chicken with a sweet-meets-fiery kick were just a few of the many dishes we savored. Even the fried rice was fluffy and perfectly paired with fresh veggies. Philippe impressed with their take on upscale Chinese cuisine and thanks to them, it looks like me and the takeout guy are going on a break.

Philippe knows how to feed hungry writers.
Philippe knows how to feed hungry writers.

And then came dessert. By then my stomach was ready to call it a night, but could you really say no to chocolate or red velvet? Didn’t think so.

Yum.
Yum.

If you are ever on the Upper East Side or in the Hamptons, and you need some Chinese food in your life minus the excess grease, give Philippe a chance. He knows how to please your belly.

After dinner, I was stuffed to say the least. I, along with my plus one, who happened to be my other bestie Alexcia, decided to burn off some calories by walking around. And behold, we encountered The Plaza, one of my favorite places in the world. Like with great Chinese, I could never say no to The Plaza.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

What a happy accident that The Plaza’s flowers matched my dress! And speaking of the ensemble, this is a ’80s floral wiggle dress with dolman (long and loose) sleeves. These type of sleeves also give some wiggle (no pun intended) room for ladies with bigger busts. Our chests deserve to breathe. And the plunging V-neck elongates the body, giving it a leaner, smoother appearance.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

I love the fact that it twirls! If it were up to me, life would be one giant Broadway musical so I can sing and twirl all day.

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

The dress was purchased from Girl in a Hat Shop on Etsy. I had it tailored for it to go just above the knee, which flatters any woman no matter her age.

I gave my usual red lipstick a break and decided to “think pink.”

Photo by Alexcia Foster
Photo by Alexcia Foster

My earrings, from Forever 21 (ha!), were purchased for about three bucks. They feature actual flowers within the jewel.

My earrings of choice.
My earrings of choice.

I also found this exquisite crown on Fifth Avenue. I believe it belongs to me.

Queen Bee.
Queen Bee.

And the evening concludes! See you all next week.

Goodnight.
Goodnight.