Roaming New York City with Click Retreat.

New York City Through the Lens

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I spent a very quick 72 hours in New York last week, which may not seem super quick to some, but when you lived in a place, that’s barely enough time to see a few of your dearest and revisit past haunts in a sprawling city with five boroughs and friends scattered throughout them.

If you're going for a photo stroll in Midtown Manhattan, be sure and stop by Bryant Park for the real pulse of the city.

But as usual, I squeezed in a few gatherings and meetings both before and amid Click Retreat, which was my reason for being in NYC in the first place. Airbnb offered to sponsor me at this photography workshop in Brooklyn, and I couldn’t say no. Especially since my dear friend Angie would be there, as well!

Learning photo tips and social media practices at Click Retreat NYC.How cute is she, and how much do I want one of these LoveSac non-beanbags for my house?!

Click brought together 20 influencers of all walks—food bloggers, crafty Pinners, serial entrepreneurs—for photo walks, strategy sessions and tutorials with brands like Blurb and individuals like graphic designer (and all-around rock star) Angie Hall Anderson.

Learning photo tips and social media practices at Click Retreat NYC.

After more than a decade of doing photography, I feel like I have a pretty solid grasp on that aspect on the business, but learning about new platforms, such as PubExchange, and ways to increase my blog’s visibility—especially in the wake of our new redesign—was why I was really there.

Strolling Bryant Park, learning photo tips and best social media practices at Click Retreat NYC.

Meeting new like-minded blogger friends like Heidi and Ali aside—not to mention, reps from the other sponsors like Southwest, my very favorite airline—the most beneficial part of Click for me was our afternoon at Pinterest’s New York office.

After packing on the subway and spending a morning strolling Central Park with Vivienne from Traveling Lens, we made our way to PiNYC on 5th Avenue.
Central Park photo walk
Put what you want
Put what you want

I’ve realized if I’m going to continue to up my blog game, Pinterest is one such platform I need to tackle—speaking of, are we Pinterest friends yet?—and I loved learning tips and tricks, some of which I already knew (like the fact that verticals and images with text overlay always perform better) and others that I didn’t (like how to name boards for SEO and how long Pin descriptions should be ideally). Also mind-boggling is the fact that Pinterest now has more than 100 million regular monthly users and 50 million search queries per day. WHOA!

PiNYC | Visiting Pinterest's New York offices as part of the Click Retreat.

The final day, however, was my favorite. Blurb came to the loft and did a couple of presentations, and then we all got to set out on a photo walk through Brooklyn.

Going on a photo walk at the Brooklyn waterfront, where you can see all of New York's best bridges in one place.

photo walk in Brooklyn with Blurb photographers
photo walk in Brooklyn with Blurb photographers
Embarrassingly, I spent zero time in Brooklyn when I still lived in those parts. In fact, I think I maybe went three times in two years! (More) Grown-Up Me definitely sees its charm now, and I have no doubt that next time I’m back with SVV, we’ll make our base in Williamsburg or Brooklyn Heights or maybe with our friend Nicole in Bushwick.
The Brooklyn Bridge

Claire Rosen, who has a fantastical series of feasting animals—seriously, go check it out, as she managed to stage an entire table of live elephants eating peanut butter sandwiches!—was our photo guide, and we had a grand ol’ time strolling the DUMBO waterfront and scampering among the foliage.

Strolling Brooklyn on a photo walk with Claire Rosen and Click Retreat NYC

Brooklyn photo walk with Claire Rosen and Click Retreat
Brooklyn photo walk with Claire Rosen and Click Retreat

Me Ra wanted in on the fun next. She makes an excellent foot model, don’t you think?

Me Rah Koh models for a group of photographers in NYC.

And then it was my turn. You know I’m not shy when someone tells me to climb into a bush! So climb into a bush I did.

Photo walk in DUMBO with Blurb.

Learning photo tips and social media practices at Click Retreat NYC.

Angie even posted this photo of me on Instagram, and it’s currently the top trending photo from DUMBO. I always knew my ass was destined for greatness! And that I should wash my feet more frequently, too…

Trips back to NYC make me nostalgic for my years spent there—for a very short time—but by the end of them, I am usually more than ready to escape the chaos and go back to my relatively quiet, if not hectic, lifestyle back in Tennessee—in this case, however, it was off to JFK to hop a flight over the pond; you can see where I am now via Instagram—but I vowed to New York that I wouldn’t put another 17 months of distance between when we next see each other.

Strolling the gorgeous mural-lined streets of Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood

COMMENTS
  • October 12, 2015

    These photos are gooooorgeous! Take me next time. Kthx

    • October 12, 2015

      Done! I’m pretty sure few could keep up with my pace of marathon eating on the road (i.e. five meals a day, minimum), but I have a feeling you’re up for that challenge.

  • October 12, 2015

    Your photos are FANTASTIC! So fun spending some quality time with you in such a great place. Let’s do it again SOON!!! Also, I promise to work on not talking with my hands quite so much 😉

    • October 12, 2015

      OK, done! I think a van Luna-House of Mayhem beach trip is in the cards, whaddya say? We can make the men our cabana boys—or better yet, put the kid to work 😉

  • October 12, 2015
    Fran

    Kristin, you make me anxious to get back to New York through your beautiful photos! Great job, but always get back to Tennessee, no matter where your travels take you!

    • October 13, 2015

      It’s such a great place, particularly in fall! And you don’t have to worry: I may not be in TN much, but I definitely don’t plan to leave permanently EVER. =)

  • October 12, 2015

    destined for greatness! ;). what a cool trip. i’m inspired to up my pinterest game.

    • October 13, 2015

      Let’s make a game plan to do just that! Pinterest support group in Nashville? 😉

  • October 12, 2015

    You were destined to be peeking through the bushes in that green dress! So great meeting you this weekend and exploring brooklyn with Claire and our fun group on Friday! Hope we meet again at another ClickRetreat! xo.

    • October 13, 2015

      I think we probably will 😉 Though next time, you’re the one climbing into the bushes, ha!

  • October 13, 2015

    Argh Pinterest. I have been using it since it was Beta and it was the place where I just posted pretty pictures that I liked and it was relaxing. I have also done a poor job of pinning for the blog, but do know it is an exceptionally great source of traffic, so I have to get my butt in gear and do more. Also, I have 2 pairs of Tieks and am love, need more, but they are so darn expensive – love yours!

    • October 25, 2015

      I know, right? SO expensive. But worth it…I think? I have a pair of orange and a pair of yellow that I got with gift cards, so I might stop there.

      And cheers to us both learning Pinterest finally! (I wish, for once, I’d be an early adopter at something!)

  • October 13, 2015

    These photos make me want to go back to NYC SO BADLY! Swoooon!

    xox

    • October 25, 2015

      Let’s meet there this year! How was your Charleston trip? Now that I’m back in the country, heading to your blog to read all about it =)

  • October 14, 2015

    Love your photos of NY in this post. I visited New York few months ago, unfortunately my photos are not even close to this.

    Neno

    • October 25, 2015

      What all did you get up to while you were there? Favorite part of NYC? Mine is definitely the West Village, though I didn’t have time to make it to the neighborhood this visit.

  • October 15, 2015

    Oh I can’t wait to visit New York!

    I think 50% of my time will be spent watching Broadway and the other 50% eating everything…

    • October 25, 2015

      Go see Hamilton if you can! It’s the one new Broadway show I’d make a special trip to NYC to see. And of course you have to see Phantom, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Matilda, the list goes on… =)

      • October 26, 2015

        So many to add to my list. I got to see Matilda in Sydney last month, and Wicked is my all time favourite musical (I don’t think I could see it without Jemma Rix as Elphaba). I must get tickets to Harry Potter on the Westend, it’s my number one priority at the moment!

  • October 15, 2015
    Maureen

    Wow, your photography skills are on point! Ive never been to NY or anywhere outside of Cali for that matter but its definitely on my bucket list now 🙂

    • October 25, 2015

      Thank you, Maureen! It’s so far from California—you can get to Europe from New York in the same time you can get from LA to NYC—but so worth it if you can swing it =)

  • October 15, 2015

    Cool photos and you selected the attractions wisely in short time. Short visit in such cities is always fun. During my last quick visit to NY, most of my time was spent in central park and I didn’t even realize it, but it was awesome.

    • October 25, 2015

      Definitely fun, but they leave you exhausted after the fact! I’m guilty of always trying to cram way too much in, but I have a sneaking suspicious that would be the case no matter how much time I had in a place =)

  • October 17, 2015

    Great photos of DUMBO! I can’t believe how trendy that neighborhood has gotten. I’m from New York, but when I was little that neighborhood was only worth visiting at night if you wanted to get mugged…

    • October 25, 2015

      Haha, but isn’t that how all of Brooklyn was at one point? Funny how little I went there when living in Manhattan 10 years ago, and now it’s likely the only place I would live if I were to move back!

  • October 18, 2015

    I love NYC! nice place.

    • October 25, 2015

      Greatest city in the world!

  • October 21, 2015

    So, So, SO happy to have met you and spent some star crossed NYC time with you! Please, let’s not let it fade, and keep in touch for future escapades! XOXO Heidi

    • October 25, 2015

      ME, TOO. You, Ali, Angie and I need to have another little retreat of our own 😉

  • October 25, 2015

    Love the photos! Looks like I might need to check out Bryant Park when I’m back in the city in two weeks time. Five trips and I haven’t been there yet.

    • October 25, 2015

      Yes, you should! Back when I worked at 4 Times Square, we lunched there every day during warmer months. The Wichcraft bodega has now turned into a waffle stand so I can’t vouch for how good it is anymore, but Southwest Airlines has a porch there where you can get drinks and nibbles! There’s also a Cafe Kaiser on the southern edge of the park right next door to the hotel (and don’t forget the Crumbs cupcakes location on the northern edge!).

  • December 17, 2016

    Hello Kristin, I loved your blog and your article, I already had the opportunity to get to know New York and it is really fascinating, I am already planning for a new trip soon and the destination will once again be New York.

  • December 17, 2016

    I loved your photos and your blog Kristin, I’ve been to New York and worked twice, but now I’m planning a trip and I plan to stay at least twenty days in New York and enjoy everything good that this city offers.

  • March 17, 2017

    Your pictures were divine. Kristin, I love New York, I can not wait to go on vacation again to be able to stroll around New York and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer.

  • May 4, 2017

    I loved your photos of New York Miss. KRISTIN, are wonderful and perfect, thanks for posting so we can enjoy them.

  • October 18, 2017

    My God. What a wonderful city. I love New York. I always visit when I can.

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