True New Yorkers are sort of like bears and bats: during polar vortex days with slush-filled sidewalks, they tend to disappear and hibernate inside their little 600 square foot apartments. There is always one day where the city literally turns like a light switch and people come out of the woodwork. It is on this very day, typically sometime in April, when the sun sets later, the air feels warmer and city dwellers feel a sense of hope on the horizon – spring is near. Well that day has come and we are no longer hiding in dark spaces drinking red wine to keep us warm. The winter storms are far behind us, New York, as weekend sunshine in the park and rooftop gatherings are in full swing. Yes finally, NYC is buzzing with coatless pedestrians enjoying all that the city has to offer when the weather is a bit more tolerable – and this lady is loving it!
Although my passion is blogging about travel and sweet escapes from big city living, I can’t help but share insights on the best of city life – as a lady of course. I often hear people say, “life is short, live where you vacation.” Despite my love-hate relationship with this concrete jungle, it sure is a magical place and one that is visited by millions of curious tourists from across the world for a reason. I guess in a way, I do live where I vacation – New York City, baby!
So when the weather is delightful and I take a “staycation” here at home in the city, what do I do? Cook up some delicious food, shake a pitcher of Mean Lady Margaritas and have over an eclectic group of city friends (i.e. bankers, yoga instructors, aspiring actors, lawyers and fashionistas – oh the beauty of friends in the Big Apple). Here are glimpses into my private roofdeck where I enjoy hosting friends regularly. Enjoy Ladyhattan captured photographs with a few entertaining tips below! Fair warning – this lady is NO Martha Stewart, but I do try my best when it comes to hosting celebrations.
My Go-To Finger Foods & Décor Dos:
If it’s not a formal dinner party, the host is not necessarily responsible for catering a full meal. Since I decided to invite friends over at around three in the afternoon, I still wanted to provide a few “pre-dinner” snacks to keep people satisfied. Skip the mess and make it easy for yourself – select snacks that do not require fine china or forks! Chop up some colorful vegetables to pair with your favorite hummus. Load up bowls and platters with salty snacks. A beautifully arranged cheese platter adorned with plump grapes works for any affair – daytime or formal entertaining. For something sweet, no one will ever complain about a homemade cookie or chocolate covered pretzel. And lastly, for your hungrier guests, provide a signature finger sandwich of your choice. In the Derby spirit, and for my love of the south, I created a homemade pulled pork slider.
To make the presentation of food “lady approved”, head to your local market or grocery to grab bright spring flowers. On the corner of 78th and Lexington, I frequently grab the “dozen roses deal” for a mere 10 bucks! Place the flowers in your favorite glass vases or pitchers…and if you are feeling like an ambitious hostess, try covering the inside of the vase with large green leafs like I did for my hydrangea arrangement.
As for my serving pieces, my vases photographed above are Juliska. What is fantastic about these particular vases is that they can be used as a wine carafe too! You can find this multipurpose serving essential here! All platters and compote dishes are from Mackenzie-Childs – everyone knows love the black/white pattern paired with pops of color in my home.
Finger foods, serving pieces, a splash of spring décor, but wait, we almost forgot about the most important part of the party! The refreshing drinks, of course! For a simple springtime beverage, fill a cooler full of a variety of beers. Fellow City Dwellers, head to FAIRWAY and enjoy the new “mix and match” beer policy – it’s a great way to try new beverages and give your guests a broad selection. Instead of serving wine and formal cocktails, I chose to go with one signature spring drink that was casual and easy to serve: Mean Lady Margaritas served in a pitcher. The recipe is simple: using a shaker, mix your choice of tequila + 4 tablespoons lime juice + 1 orange slice + 3 small slices of jalapeño + ice cubes. After thorough shaking, pour the contents into a large pitcher. Serve the Mean Ladies in a glass over ice with a slice of lime & colorful straw.
Simple Southern Lady Sliders
- Toast your mini potato buns with butter (broil for a few minutes)
- Add one thin slice of jalapeño cheese
- Add one sweet pickle chip
- Place one small scoop of homemade cole slaw (any style works)
- Top a serving of slow cooked pulled pork (add BBQ sauce to your liking)
I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of Manhattan living (in warmer weather) at its best! Until the next sweet escape, I’ll enjoy my time “staycationing” at home here in NYC. Until the next Manhattan treat.