Sunday, May 31, 2015

Summer Nights

Now that Summer is upon us, it's only fitting to be sitting on the water somewhere with a drink in hand with great views and good atmosphere. There is a perfect place in Manhattan that has all of this and more. La Marina is  a Restaurant/Lounge/Boat dock/outdoor dance party with live music off Dyckman Street Uptown, Manhattan. Sounds fun right? 

I had read about La Marina online and it looked like a perfect spot to enjoy some drinks and food on the water.  So a few weeks ago, I grabbed my roommate and we headed out to La Marina. When we first arrived, we instantly were in awe of the view.  We walked over to the water near the boat dock and took in the scenery. You instantly felt a very Miami/Havana nights vibe. High energy, great dance music and people dressed to impress in their Summer attire. 

The restaurant sits on the water and also has an outdoor high top table sitting area directly off of one side of the restaurant. Then a few steps away is a separate roped off outdoor seating lounge area with tables, couches and a live DJ.  All of which looks out over the Hudson River and has amazing views of the George Washington Bridge. 

We first grabbed a drink at the bar and sat at one of the high top tables to take  in the scenery. We enjoyed people watching. For dinner we were seated on the patio off of the restaurant right near the water. We had mussels, Mac n cheese and roasted asparagus. The food was very good. Prices run from $11-28 per entrĂ©e. Service was okay, I think our server had several tables at once and that could have been why he wasn't as attentive. Overall we had a great time. So if your looking for a nice restaurant, good drinks, live music, amazing views and a fun atmosphere La Marina is the place to be! 

XO, Rae

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chasing Dreams

Let's back up to about 8 months ago...
When I left Atlanta and moved to NY....I had just resigned from my job of 8 1/2 years.  I worked in medical as a manager for a large private practice. This was my career. I had worked hard over the years and loved what I did. I like making a difference and being there for people. 
I've always thought being a manager can have its challenges but it also has its rewards. There are days you question everything and days you feel like you've conquered it all. 

I took a chance moving here without a job. I wanted to move first, get adjusted to the City and then seek out a job. I saved up money so I knew I would be okay for awhile until I found something. After 3 weeks of living here, I was getting restless staying at home and was eager to get back to work. But of course I had fears. What if I couldn't land a job in NY? What if I wasn't good enough for the same type position?  What if? 
These doubts were running thru my mind but I knew I had to put myself out there first to see what I was up against.

To my surprise, once I started putting my resume out there, I got some very encouraging feedback. Within a 2 week period I was hired and starting my new job right before thanksgiving. The company was similar to the one I had worked for in Atlanta. The position was a step up from my previous job and was going to be more challenging. This excited me! I was ready for something new. I was ecstatic to have landed such a huge position with this company. I didn't think I would be so lucky so soon. After all, I moved to New York for bigger & better. (So cliche, I know) but it was true. 

I've been with the company for a little over 6 months now. I feel like I've given it my best. I recently resigned. Although I love the company, I've come to find that it's just not the right fit for me. For those who know me, knows this decision does not come easy. I have never quit a job like this. I pride myself on my work. Hell work consumes my life most of the time. I'm working on this! 

But what I have come to realize, is happiness out weighs everything else in life. As I finish up my last week of work, I am unsure of my next move for the first time in my life. And I'm strangely calm about the situation. I feel that I have learned a lot about myself these past few months since moving to New York. I'm not afraid of change anymore. I've already been pushed outside my comfort level and have done great so far. I have dreams of finishing a book I'm writing, continuing this blog and one day designing my own handbags. And who knows what else will come my way! 

As they say in life, sometimes you have to close one door before another one opens. I'm hoping this is true. I feel inspired again to create the life I want. 
No one ever said chasing dreams would be easy but they did promise it would be worth it! 

XO, Rae

Sunday, May 17, 2015

"You Have to Want to Be Here"

Central Park 

My Best Friend Will & I  
(one of my fave pics from one of my trips to NY before I moved here)

Before I moved to New York, I read countless websites, blogs, and buzzfeed articles. I did a lot of research in the months leading up to my move here. Mostly on what to expect when moving here. I would search daily on the Internet and search "things to know before moving to New York","what to expect when moving to New York" things you need when living in New York" get the idea.
I was determined to prepare myself the best way possible. I wanted to come here and succeed but also be realistic. I knew New York was not going to be an easy move so I wanted to help put my mind at ease.

(I'll share some links below of some of the articles and sites I found helpful)

I'm working on my own list of "Things to know before moving to New York" (stay tuned!)
Now that I live here, I feel that I know a lot more of what the reality is and maybe my list will help someone who was just like me trying to get a glimpse into what was to come.

I did find that I learned some useful tips in my online research however the advice I received from my best friend Will was probably the most helpful to me. He told me "you have to want to be here". Those 7 words have stuck with me ever since. And it's the truest of anything I read or was told about New York. Here's the thing, there are tons of people who move to New York every day. And there are tons of reasons why they move to New York. But if you truly want to be here, you've already separated yourself from those who just move here on a Hope & a Dream. New York is tough.
People come here and make it big and people come here and leave with nothing. You have to want to be here!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!!

My Mom is my best friend. I know many women probably feel that way about their Mom. I mean, how amazing is it, to have a Mom and a best friend in one? I am not a mother myself yet but, just seeing how my Mom loves me inspires me to want to pay that forward one day. It's true that a Mother's love is unconditional. Only a Mom can love you when you are at your worst and when you are at your best. I have been lucky enough to have my Mom in my life. She raised me as a single mom for years and to me that is what I admire most about her. She is the reason I am the woman I am today.  
So to all the Moms out there....HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!! 


Hi, My name is Dana Rae, I am 32 years old and I recently moved to New York City. I'll explain more later on how I got here...Blogging is new for me but what I hope to accomplish is a blog full of real life stories, inspiration for women, favorites and all things New York. 
So Ladies, grab a glass of wine & let's get started!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spring has arrived in NY!!

After months of a snow covered New York...Spring has finally arrived in full force. Thank goodness!! 
Winter here is like hibernation. It's cold, dark and just a pain to go anywhere when you have to put on 10 layers of clothing.
New Yorkers are ditching their winter coats and snow boots for shorts and sandals. And slowly coming out of their apartments to enjoy the Spring air & blooms. 

Cafes are open and Happy Hours are commencing all over the City. 
Mermaid Inn is a great spot for happy hour! A must try!!

Prior to moving here, I was told how amazing Spring is in NY and I have to say I agree. Spring here is totally euphoric! 

Moving to New York....

Moving to New York has been by far the best decision I have ever made. Well...I say that now, maybe I should wait til I have lived here for at least a year, lol. Moving here was not always part of my plan but life changes sometimes and here I am.
Up until 7 months ago, I was living in Atlanta, Ga..I had a great job, amazing friends and a nice apartment right outside of the city. So what changed?! Well...I changed. Two and half years ago, before turning 30, I began to see my life differently unlike before. I was a few years out of a long term relationship that was on again off again for longer than I like to admit to.

When I was with my ex, I was so sure of my life, my career and wanting to be married and have kids. I had always thought that I would be married and have kids before 30. I think most women feel the pressure of this for all sorts of reasons. But turning 30 was a game changer for me. I stopped worrying about where I was in life and started to focus on where I was going in life. For me, I was so worried about trying to have this list of accomplishments by the time I turned 30 and then realized that my life was just starting. I let go of my preconceived ideas and I let myself be. I actually came to New York to visit my best friend Will (who I live with now) and celebrate my 30th Birthday.

I had no idea then that almost 2 years later I would be moving here to NY. Will had been trying to get me to move to NY for a few years. I would nicely say to him "maybe" but really knowing in the back of my mind that I had no intentions of moving. (He knew that as well but he still tried to convince me). At that time I was still content with my life in Atlanta and was ready to see what 30 had to offer. I would visit NY a few more times after my 30th Birthday, falling more in love with NY each time. And then upon another big change in my life, I soon realized that maybe New York wasn't a bad idea after all.

My Grandfather passed last year May 24th, 2014. A day that I will never forget. He was an amazing man. He traveled the world, had a very successful career and made a name for himself. He was known by a rare nickname and was the life of the party. Shortly before his passing, I had told him about the possibility of me moving to NY. He was surprisingly very excited for me. He traveled to NY often throughout his life and had nothing but great things to say and stories to tell about his trips here. I was still unsure myself if I would actually go through with it but when he passed, I knew I had to do it. Not just for him, but for me. His passing changed my life in more ways than one. But mostly he had always instilled in me to never have regrets in life. He lived life so passionately and I wanted to do the same. So fast forward to October 2014, I packed up an SUV with my Mom and my best friend Will along side me and I moved to New York. It was 19 hours traveled up the east coast and at 3am October 10th, 2014, I officially became a New Yorker.