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

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Channeling My Inner Golden Girl

I may love the hunt that thrifting offers, but occasionally, I like to join every other girl as they find dangerously cute pieces at H&M. There always seems to be a sale at this popular retailer and they constantly offer stylish, yet budget-friendly selections to help me mix and match with my growing vintage collection.

One Friday after work, I decided to look around my local H&M and found this leafy ensemble:

“Insert Caption Here” -No really, I couldn’t come up with a good caption. Um, me in a fitting room? Good enough? Good.

This song originally came to mine while I was observing each angle:

Get it stuck in your head now. You're welcome.
Get it stuck in your head now. You’re welcome.

But really, I was thinking more about a southern tart. And no, I wasn’t hungry for those peach ones covered in pecans by granny. Those are good, too.

I of course, was thinking about famous bed-hopper Blanche Devereaux from my favorite show of all time, “The Golden Girls.” Aside from her never-ending list of lovers, Blanche was famous for her bedroom, specifically its decor.

Credit: BentonArtAndDesign.com
Credit: BentonArtAndDesign.com

According to Texas-based design studio Benton Art & Design, the banana leaf pattern, which transformed Blanche’s bedroom into a “wild sex jungle,” was inspired by interior designer Don Loper who, in 1942, created this pattern to “evoke the easy breezy attitude” of the Fountain Coffee Room for the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is still found today.

So back to this dress. The V-neck ensemble, which was originally priced at $49.95, was available on sale for $25. Not only is the waist elastic to maintain any unwanted pouch that apparently wants to come out and play for the summer, but its soft rayon fabric is absolutely perfect to beat the heat.

Credit: HM.com
Credit: HM.com

If you really want to go all out, may I suggest the Charlotte Olympia “Meredith” wedges? They feature a similar print. Except I believe these came out back in Spring 2012, so good luck finding them. Personally, I prefer simple tan sandals with a pedicure featuring a pop of color. You can never go wrong with classic red.

Credit: Charlotte Olympia
Credit: Charlotte Olympia

Fortunately, you can still snag the same H&M dress I fell in love with for the same sale price.

Credit: HM.com
Credit: HM.com

Get it now before it’s gone by clicking here.

Buh-bye.
Buh-bye.

The Fitting Room Chronicles: Becoming So Hot (and Not)

When it comes to clothes, I know what works for me: chic black ensembles, bold blues, and flower power.

But I also like to shake things up.

At one of my usual thrifting adventures in the West Village, I spotted this vintage dress with a label stating that it comes from India. It’s a sheer grey gown highlighting a low-cut v-neck, as well as loads of sparkles.

Shine bright like a diamond. Kinda.
Shine bright like a diamond. Kinda.

Some people like to reserve their jewels for a special night out. Personally, I believe every day is an occasion to dress up. Life is a grand ball and you’re the star. So why have your jewels collect dust at home? Would a grand dame do that? Exactly.

Rocking three dollar pearls from a church flea market. Tres chic!
Rocking three dollar pearls from a church flea market. Tres chic!

You’re speaking to someone who used to wear shoulder sweeping rhinestone earrings that look as if they came from Blanche Deveraux’s bosom. In high school.

Thank you for being a friend.
Thank you for being a friend.

While I love how I can easily rock this look for either running errands on Saturday mornings or enjoying cocktails past 5PM in the Meatpacking, its look is pretty deceiving. On a sizzling 85 degree day, this outfit overheated, causing me to melt five pounds worth of sweat. At least I’ll be more ready for bikini season.

Do you feel that heat?
Do you feel that heat?

Still, for $21, I took it. Hey, it will keep me warm during the cooler fall.

I’m also a not-so-secret fan of green garments. Except whenever I wear one, I feel like a walking M&M.

I may look tasty, but I feel stupid.
I may look tasty, but I feel stupid.

I really did like this jungle-inspired dress, but something about it made me go no. I don’t know if it was the fit, style, or even color, but it just didn’t feel right. So I let it go. It wasn’t true love because I have zero regrets.

No.
No.

When shopping, if you aren’t absolutely in love with what you find, don’t get it. The outfit may look like a great deal, but if it’s just taking up real estate space in your closet, you’re pretty much just making a retail donation. Save your precious greens for something you’ll really love and actually wear.

Still no.
Still no.

That’s all there was to this adventure. Wait, you’re complaining? Hello, I merely spent 21 bucks and am ready to rock something that will make me so hot…literally.

But I don’t care…I love it. Good luck getting this song out of your head.

So take that and go shopping, lovelies.