Ophelia Ding


Welcome to New York

Two whole months (!) with crickets here on the blog. I’m trying to get better at this documenting-my-life-via-a-blog thing — but adjusting back to the grind of junior year has been unwaveringly busy. Nonetheless, I’m excited to squeeze in a blog out of my recent travels to New York City. I’ve been to NYC 5 or 6 times over the last few years (thank you for living there, Chris hehe), but still can’t get enough! 

My first day in town, I met up with the lovely Mariel, whose work and writings I admire immensely. She planned a Brooklyn date for us that made me fall madly in love with Greenpoint and good ol’ Willy-B! 

First stop, the light-soaked Ovenly (pictured above). Hidden in Greenpoint, this place had the most delicious salted chocolate chip cookies. We stocked up on coffee — and no lie, I needed it after my red-eye from San Diego. Here’s Mariel in our cute lil’ corner spot!


Next stop, Bellocq — aka the most gorgeous tea shop on the planet. When we walked in, I was immediately hit with all the smells! This place smells heavenly. Plus, the owner of the shop gave Mariel and I samples — complete with a descriptive story of where the name of the tea White Wolf came from —  while we roamed around the space.

We made quick stops at Home of the Brave and Homecoming, two cute shops right around the corner from Bellocq. Home of the Brave is a homewares shop (with the funnest curly succulents) and Homecoming was a floral + coffee + donut + gift shop (I know right? hide my wallet!). I’m telling ya, Greenpoint is the best! Highly recommended for an afternoon outside of Manhattan or downtown Brooklyn. 

We trekked to Williamsburg for a late lunch at the Wythe Hotel’s Reynard. Look at that space, and those floors! I know it looks kind of fancy-pants, but I was pleasantly surprised by its affordability (for NYC at least! haha). We had the most delicious Dutch Pancake and poached eggs and enjoyed the haven from the cold. 

Last stop, Woops! Bakeshop in Willy-B. The cutest name, right? We stopped by for some chai lattes to finish off our day. This place was so popular/crowded so we couldn’t stay long, but was the best way to get a lil’ warmth before our trek back to Manhattan. 

A huge thanks to Mariel for the most darling day! Mariel is one of my creative inspirations — and her savory dishes, thoughtful writings and vlogs are superb. Check her out over at whatmarielmade.

And next, of course, my dearest Manhattan! 

Chris and I had the best time wandering all over the city, but I wanted to narrow it down to my absolute favorites: 

1. Dinner at The Little Owl in West Village. This cozy, Mediterranean inspired restaurant was one of my favorite eats in the city. We had a velvety gnocchi, steak and Asian inspired veggies. There’s probably only room for 20-30 people in the entire restaurant, so it felt intimate — like we were dining in a home. And fun fact — the Friends apartment facade is literally right above this restaurant (aka, it is exactly the place that Central Perk is supposed to be). 

2. Ost Cafe. Located in East Village, Ost is the instagrammer’s dream — just look at those floors! Ost’s coffee is strong and delicious, but the best part about Ost is the atmosphere. It’s incredibly charming. Newspapers are hung on racks, with indistinct conversations and the smell of coffee wafering throughout. Ost is more spacious than the average NYC coffee shop, making it the perfect place to relax. Fun fact — we saw this photo on Frye Boots' Instagram getting taken. Chris and I were wondering who this probable famous instagrammer was the whole time! 

3. The Apartment by the Line. Aka, my dream apartment. Smack dab in the middle of Soho. With the most beautiful light, windows, furniture, bathtub, rugs, kitchen, just #goals! It’s so much fun to visit this showroom and oogle at all the beautiful things. A favorite, for certain.

’Til next time, NYC!