My Not So “Typical” Typical Saturdays

            Of course for many people going to FIT for Precollege classes seems to be anything but typical, but for us, Precollege students, it is either routine or quickly becoming. Not every Saturday is the same for me but most often this is what my Saturdays going to FIT and in being in NYC look like – basically here are the things I love to do and places I love to go (and what I recommend to anyone who may have time to kill whether it be before, after, or even in between class).

CatherineLyons_photo 2Shopping:

  • 5th Avenue

5th Avenue is known for expensive shopping. Of course I don’t have that kind of money but I still enjoy going into expensive stores like Bergdorf Goodman. It’s not as intimidating as you’d think. They are nice there, even to an overly excited 15 year old who most definitely won’t be buying anything. There are plenty of more reasonable places to shop as well though like Zara, Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Nobles, etc.

  • Herald Square

Herald Square is a nice area to shop in with the The Manhattan Mall and other shops around like Macy’s, Forever 21, Zara, H&M, Aldo, and seriously so much more. And it’s literally right by Penn Station!

  • Soho

I don’t typically shop in Soho just because a lot of the shops I like to go to can be found at a much closer location (like Herald Square) BUT I still like to go because the only Topshop in the city is in Soho and there are some other shops there as well that are only in Soho.

  • Thrift Stores

Beacon’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill (I haven’t been to a lot in NYC but I plan on going to more in the spring)


  • Pret A Manger

Ah! Where do I begin!? My love affair with Pret A Manger started only a few months ago, but EVERY Saturday I stop in (there is like one on every street) and grab a snack for the break during class. The rosemary potato chips are my absolute favorite I highly recommend them!

  • Chipotle

I don’t have to explain this one, do I?

  • Panera Bread

I adore Panera especially the one by FIT mainly because it has a cool loft (my suburban Panera does not have a loft!) but I really love the food and the “You Pick Two” deal.

  • Whole Foods

Of course it’s a supermarket, but I know for sure the one in Columbus Circle has buffets of pretty good food out, with a lot of stuff ranging from salad to Indian food. They have pretty good baked goods as well (I love the almond croissants)!

  • Eataly

Eataly is by the Flat Iron building and it is an Italian food market with some restaurants in it as well. I’ve never had actual dinner there before (because the lines are quite long on a Saturday night) but they have really amazing gelato and paninis.

(Looking at this now I realize that I really don’t eat anywhere unique AT ALL)

CatherineLyons_photo 2 (1)Parks:

  • Central Park (Near Columbus Circle)

I usually walk around the lower part of the park by Columbus Circle. I really love Columbus Circle, they have good shopping, a Whole Foods and other yummy food places, and of course Central Park is right there. What I tend to do is go to Whole Foods pick up a pastry and walk through the park. Central Park is quite nice early Saturday morning; people are out all around doing weekend errands or going for a jog.

  • The High Line

The High Line is basically a park built on an elevated platform that used to be used as a railway. I highly recommend going, it’s quite crowded but still nice.

  • Madison Square Park

It’s right by the Flat Iron building it’s small but Shake Shack is there and they have tables with heat lamps when it’s cold so that’s a major plus!

  • Bryant Park

Another nice park! It’s like right behind the New York Public Library; there is ice-skating and some little pop-up shops in the winter, places to eat, and nice seating.

Just reinforcing this – of course there are plenty of things to do in NYC, these were just some of the places I thought could be accessible and quick for a Precollege student to go to either before or after class (probably not in between except for some of the food places I listed). But I would also like to add (I wouldn’t want anyone reading this have something bad happen to them) to make sure you have your parent’s permission to go anywhere that’s not FIT. And it’s probably best to have someone with you; I don’t go alone I go with my best friend Betsy who also takes classes a FIT.

If anyone has any other suggestions – or I wasn’t clear on something and you need more information please feel free to comment below!


How to use the most of your break time when at FIT!

Time is precious, therefore you should always use it wisely! When at the FIT program, you’re given a break that ranges from 15 to 30 minutes. During this break, you can do anything, like grab a snack, eat a meal, buy a couple of things, hey, you can even venture for new possibilities! But, I suggest staying in a close rage to the campus (you must have time to get back on campus, or you’ll miss class, which is a no-no).

Since NYC is so compact and there’s virtually a store within a 10 feet range- there’s so many options available to you!   Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but I’m here to show you my routine when I’m on my break to give you some ideas.

I always exit out of D building onto 27th street. On the left side you’ll see a variety of restaurants and stores! But my absolute favorite has to be the Lily Farm Deli!


The number one thing I’ll always buy at Lily Farm’s is Snapea Crisps! It’s healthy, absolutely delicious, and affordable!

Other places that I like going to on break are:

  • Rosa’s Pizza ,168 W 27th St .At 7th Ave. (left of Lily Farm)
  • Papa Johns, 213 W. 28th St (pizza is good for the soul)
  • Fashion Design Bookstore, 250 West 27th Street  of course!)
  • Revolution Books, 146 West 26th Street

Of course there’s many other places you can go too, but these are the ones that I find very comfortable. Time passes quickly in the City and with that being said, you should always keep time in your hands.  You don’t want to miss class!

Since after class I don’t really have a designated departure time to catch the bus (since it comes every five minutes), I  walk around the city to discover new things and take time for myself! I enjoy walking for a long periods of time. If I could, I would walk all the way to Central Park! I always venture off deep into the city.

Here are some places that interest me when I’m in NYC:

  • Buffalo Exchange, 114 West 26th Street
  • H mart, 25 West 32nd Street
  • Tokyo Rebel, 170 Avenue B
  • Kinokuniya Bookstore, 1073 6th Avenue
  • Bleecker Bobs, 118 West 3rd Street
  • My Plastic Heart, 210 Forsyth Street
  • The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street
  • ONASSIS, 71 Greene Street
  • Any store on Broadway

The City is filled with such wonderful things. It would take years to discover half of what’s there! But the joy of it is, I get to have the great opportunity to go every Saturday cause of the FIT.

Time to explore even more!


Inspiration. Education. Diversity. – My FIT Routine.

Whats NOT to do in NYC? From restaurants, to shopping, to cafes, your options are limitless. Not only are their places for inspiration for your artwork, but you get to absorb so much culture in NYC just by walking the streets.

During my breaks at FIT, I usually get coffee at FIT’s cafe, right next to the art supply store (THEY HAVE EVERYTHING IN THERE, CHECK IT OUT!). Their caramel macchiato’s are to DIE for, and the variety of muffins are endless.

For lunch, I like to eat at FIT’s cafeteria, or I like to wander off and go to whole foods or even subway which is just a block away from the FIT campus. The prices at FIT’s cafeteria are unbelievably cheap, you get a ton of food for under 5 dollars. Also, you get to be around college students, and you really get the feeling like your in college with them. Although, being up and about in NYC and trying different cafes and restaurants really helps you absorb the NYC atmosphere; the cafeteria just gives you a different atmosphere to absorb. It really depends on what “feeling” you want to get throughout your travels.

Once class is over, I usually stop at the closest H&M store and buy something, or just to see whats new in their stores. I get a sense of whats in and out in the ready to wear industry by visiting H&M, and I get to see what the consumers are wearing. Its hard to just go to H&M without buying anything though. So my trips there have been cut down a bit, as I don’t want to be broke.

Inspiration. Education. Diversity. The three words that describe NYC, and my routine as a FIT Precollege student.


My Spring Break: Hitting The City For Fun & Inspiration!

Spring break is this week and I am excited because it provides me with an opportunity to expand my newly acquired skills from my classes at FIT. As you know, I’ve been learning techniques and the proper way to create everything. Sometimes as a designer, I get so caught up in making my design perfect that it ends up being overly basic and looses its originality and essence. Spring break lets me take my designs on a exhilarating ride. While spending all my time exploring the city and observing its inner soul; who knows what kind of inspiration or exotic fabrics I’ll find.

I will also be taking some time out to practice my craft and expanding it by trying to mimic the way different fabric hangs and can be positioned on certain body types. Once I’m sure on which fabrics I’ll be using, that will help excel at yet another skill I need work on: Shading. Proper shading is really vital to any design because different fabrics catch the light in different ways whether they be  lighter or  heavier or darker. Perfected designs really help the customer get an almost exact idea of what they’ll be wearing before the garment is even completed.

As for my spring break plans, I’m pretty much staying close to home. I’m spending my time in the city trying to portray the typical New York tourist. I’m planning to visit the Top of the Rock, the high-line, a couple of  Broadway shows, and the MoMA . Perhaps I’ll catch a sun-kissed tan, run into some people with British accents, contain my unattainable urge to sing along during a show and explain to my mom why a clump of hay or a black canvas is deep. Hopefully, in the midst of all that I can also acquire some inspiration.

While in the City I will also be looking for fabrics to finish one of my projects that is due right after spring break. Once I get some swatches I can start my final piece. I’ll post pictures of it up as soon as I’m done. Of course, I’ll miss everyone and the fun I have in the class. I’ll be cringing with excitement to show all my peers what I’ve come up with during this time. So until then, I hope everyone has a great break!(: