Romantic City: Financial District

On our 11th year after September 11th

I remember every detail of this day as if it were yesterday and actually feel that this should be a national holiday, where we close our business and stay home and grieve for those who did not survive this horrific moment in our American history. When this day comes each year, I am so filled with sadness that I can’t imagine anyone who feels like working and going on with normal day to day activities. That said, I am not sure that those fallen would agree. I think the idea that we would grieve and feel the least bit defeated would simply feed into what the terrorist philosophy wanted. So in all due respect, I have come up with a bitter sweet day or evening of activities which will allow you to honor those you knew, loved or feel compassion for, while, living life and enjoying the beauty that NYC has to offer.

My favorite way to begin the day or evening would be to make arrangements to dine at the restaurant cafe of The World Center Hotel. (for hotel guests primarily, and not completely open to the public, however, they said they can make concessions). Their cafe view over looks the World Trade Center site and will inspire you with the progress made over the last 11 years. You have full view of the magnificent fountains in the foot print of the towers as well as the landscaping, the newer buildings and the updates on the large towers going up. When Liz and I dined there we thought it fun and appropriate to go fully American with Chicken Wings and Sliders which were very special and absolutely delicious! They have a full menu of salads and main courses, as well!  And the cocktails are a bargain and beautifully prepared.

Next store is the W Hotel Downtown, in the event you chose to have drinks before or after. The W is a great place to visit. Other ideas we have are to take a stroll over to Trinity Church, and head over the elevated walk way to the World Financial Center, through the back, to the patio and boating dock. The view is magnificent, and shows off the powerful vibe of NYC architecture in the most awe striking way.

We were disappointed to find that the bar at the top of the Ritz Carlton Downtown is now only available for weddings and private parties, but the concierge recommended to check out the roof top bar at the New Conrad Hotel. I must say, the view did not compare to The Ritz, and the cocktails were pricy but it was a lovely, intimate space, perfect for privacy and romance, with still an incredible view.

May you and your loved ones cherish this day, remember the fallen and make the most of each day we are here to enjoy our gorgeous city. A city perfect for the everyday romantic!

Love, Marisa

Romantic Occasion: Paris Proposal {day}

Hi Romantics, today I’m excited to be sharing two of my favorite things with you: Paris and proposals. Paris is on the top of a long list of many cities for proposing to one’s loved one, and many of our customers ask me for advice on planning their proposal. Having spent a great deal of time in Paris, I’ve come up several romantic ideas. For this first post, I thought I’d start out with a daytime option (which your hidden photographer will thank you for).

I propose that you propose to your lover in one of the many beautiful garden areas of the Palais Royal. Whether your tastes lean toward the modern sculptures or classical gardens, the surroundings of Palais Royal set the mood of infinite romance. A symbol of longevity, the 17th century architecture will become a part of the history you share now and in the future.

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To celebrate in proper romantic style, whisk her just a few steps away to lunch and champagne at Le Grand Vefour. The 18th century Cinderella carriage in the entry will immediately make your lover feel like the royalty you think they are. The food is delicious (Michelin 3 star), but the hand painted interior backdrop will create such a romantic atmosphere that you’ll want to freeze the moment forever… and you will, as a landmark of your life story.

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I hope this is helpful! This is only one of many ideas I have for romance in Paris, so please keep your eyes peeled for more in these upcoming weeks. Be sure to share this with the men in your life – you never know who might be in need proposal ideas soon! 😉

Love, Marisa

Once Upon a Time: Marisa & Douglas

Hello there, Romantics!  I sat down with Miss Marisa Perry and heard a story that I surprisingly hadn’t been told before.  I thought it was cute & funny, so I hope you do too.  Enjoy a little Wednesday bonus post!  Presenting… the story of Douglas & Marisa‘s first date, by Marisa! Alexandria

People often ask how Douglas and I met. It was actually a pretty funny first date and worth sharing.

Douglas and I met in 2001 at a restaurant on the Upper East Side called, 212. I was having dinner at the bar and he spotted me. We chatted throughout the evening and he contacted me the next day. Before you know it, he was asking me over to his apartment with the phrase, “I live in the building where San Domenico is, (now Merea). We will go downstairs for drinks, but come over first because I want to give you something.”

I was not sure exactly what he wanted to “give me” but it sounded suspicious!  I decided to throw caution to the wind and go to his house anyway… and there was jewelry everywhere! He kept telling me that he did “fashion jewelry.”  I did not understand that term at the time and thought it was a glamourous way of saying costume jewelry. I thought all of his fun designs were made of unreal product!

Douglas tried necklace after necklace on me, put two rings on my fingers and said, “Here, you can have this, this, and this.”  I was wearing an 8 strand pearl necklace and two silver rings with gemstones which I thought were costume. I thanked him, and we continued chatting. Or I should say, he began grilling me. “Who’s your dad, what’s his name, what does he do? Who’s your mom, what’s her name, what does she do? How do you feel about marriage, how do you feel about children?” He asked about 20 other questions that you’re usually not allowed to ask on a first date.

After the interview, we were sitting at one of his jewelry tables and he showed me this gorgeous two strand necklace and said,”Isn’t this beautiful? These are emeralds”.  It was beautiful… but then it hit me, if this was all costume jewelry, then why are there emeralds on the table? So, in front of me there was a pearl necklace. I tooth tested the pearls and looked at him and said, “But these pearls, (pointing to what he gave me) are real!” He said, “Yeah, if it’s a garnet, it’s a garnet, if it’s a ruby, its a ruby. The material is not always precious but it’s real.” I said, “I can’t take this, the only person who has ever given me pearls is my mom, for graduation!” He barked at me, “Look, I really like you, they look really good on you, and I want you to get past it right now.”

I said OK because I did not want to offend him (and I loved the pieces and really wanted to keep them!!) We continued chatting and it finally came time for me to go home, so I grabbed my purse. Then Douglas said, “Listen, this does not obligate you to anything, not even to see me again.” I said, “Good. Because if I was going to go out with you again, I wouldn’t do it for pearls.” He said, “No, you wouldn’t do it for pearls,” and I left. That was it.

Needless to say, I saw him again, again and again and now we have been together for eleven years and and married for six of those years!
Love, Marisa