Latte Luna

What town, large or small, shouldn’t have a locally run coffee house with friendly staff, tasty treats and cozy atmosphere? Bradenton finally got their own a few weeks ago when Latte Luna opened up.

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It’s right on Manatee Ave in an old frame house from the 1920’s. There are plenty of comfy places to sit inside. That makes it easy to spend hours socializing and sipping coffee, tea or maybe even a milkshake.

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It is always good to support small business. Not only does the company provide jobs in your area, but all the money goes back into the local economy, and not to some big corporate office somewhere else. Latte Luna is also committed to giving back in other ways. All of the tips that they receive go to various charities, and the charity changes each month.. How great is that? So next time you are out and about, skip the Starbucks and stop in Latte Luna for your cup of joe.

NYC Coat Thrifting

On our recent trip to NYC, my mom and I discovered just how much we are nancies about the cold. After nearly turning into Popsicles on our first night there, our mission the next morning became finding better coats. There is an area near Morningside Heights, and near my bagel shop, that has three or four really good second-hand stores that are all within one block of each other. One is a fancy store that only re-sells expensive brand name clothes (It’s a bit pricey) and the others were the usual Salvation Army/Church types. Our coat prayers were answered in church… well below the church building, in their thrift store…

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A whole wall of $5 coats!

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This one was my favorite, but it was a little big. 100% wool though and so warm!

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Then there was the leather jacket for anyone that wants to look like an extra from The Matrix..

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There was also a TERRIBLE ’80s coat that was purple and hand enormous shoulder pads, I lost the picture of that one though sadly.. I didn’t really need a coat anyway, but my mom definitely did. She found this one… She loves having her picture taken…

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Also 100% wool and made in America. Perfect for New York, but not so much for Florida. Because she only paid $5 for it, she was able to leave it behind for someone else to use! No trying to somehow stuff that thing into our luggage. No guilt in wasting the money since it was so cheap AND you get to help more people by re-donating the coat! Win-Win-Win.

St. John the (oh so) Divine

On day one of our itinerary-less trip to New York City, we were walking to breakfast surrounded by a bunch bland apartment buildings until there was a clearing for a small park.¬†That’s when we saw it, looking down from the hill across the park where it sits in all it’s spired¬†and stained-glass glory. Just like that, we had an itinerary….

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Choirs were there rehearsing for a competition over the weekend so the beautiful halls were filled with music that was equally stunning.

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There was a small monument in a side hallway to commemorate the 9/11 attacks and those that we lost. I don’t know if it was the surreal music ringing through the hall that made it so moving, but it was the most touching memorial that I had ever seen.

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The top half is that of a woman, and the bottom box has a piece of the World Trade Center inside of it. It was just completed in 2012 by Meredith Gang Bergmann..

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There are also several mini-chapels in the back of the building, each with a different theme and purpose..

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The whole thing is in the middle of a remodel. Here you can see the divide between the old and new walls..

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It is right next to the Columbia University campus, so if you’re in the area you should go check it out. They do not charge a fee for entrance, but giving a donation isn’t a bad idea. It all goes towards the restoration of the building.

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You can also donate in the form of a candle purchase. They’re actually quite cheap and you can write a small inscription. There were many candles with writing in several languages. Some were in memoriam, others were prayer requests or notes of thanksgiving… All very beautiful.

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Chelsea Market

This last trip to New York City, we didn’t have a lot of set plans. Our schedule consisted of waking up in the morning and picking a place on the map that looked interesting then taking it from there. This is how we discovered the Chelsea Market. It. Is. Glorious. The old brick building, the re-purposed materials as decor and furnishings, all the different restaurants…. It’s beautiful.

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Take a look at the Stray Kat art gallery… the owner is as entertaining as any of the paintings…

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You could buy some post cards…

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Or you could buy some hand made cards from the nicest person in NYC..

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Look at that table!

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I almost have enough crates to make a wall like this…

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So if you’re in the Chelsea neighborhood and you have some time, go take a look. You won’t regret it!