New York + Nate

By Kate Riley January 21, 2011

I just got back from the Big Apple very  late last night.  I’ve never been to New York City in January, and it was cold baby cold!  But not unbearable, in fact it was rather brisk.  Do people still use that word?  Brisk?  Anyway, I do a ton of walking when in NYC, and this trip was no exception.  I was staying on the upper west side.  In past trips, I haven’t had a chance to really explore it all that much, so this was the perfect opportunity!  The Upper West Side felt very "You’ve Got Mail” (minus the gorgeous weather in the film) and understandably so, since most of the movie was shot there.   

I was scheduled for the afternoon taping with Nate, so I spent the earlier hours walking around the upper west side.  Loved it!  Here’s a few scenes from my long morning walk, forgive the cloudiness of some of these photos, the lens kept getting foggy from the morning drizzle!

central park taxi



dakota building


kids park


italian restaurant new york


Gorgeous brownstones! Imagine this street in spring . . .



theodore roosevelt park


ny church


ny museum natural history


Central Park is always beautiful, even in winter.

ny lampost

ny central park rocks


seat in central park

The one place I wanted to visit was the NY Historical Society Museum, but it was closed for renovation.  Boo.

ny historical society


So instead, I made friends with these critters in the park.  They only loved me for my crackers.

ny squirrel


me n lenny
“Um, no Sir, I mean I’m sorry Sir Mr. Bird.  It’s all gone.”

were outta here birds

Sorry.  I just imagine these conversations when I travel alone.  Smile 

I love the streets of New York, the energy, the pulse, the architecture. 

ny architecture


ny architecture 2

You never know what you’ll see on any given day, like these three guys moving a sofa down the street . . .

sofa movers


So many moms (and nannies) walking dogs and children.



mom and dogs


This was the closest I got to these two landmarks on this short trip. 

Salt & pepper shakers.

ny skyscrapers salt and pepper


I stayed at The Lucerne, chosen by The Nate Show, I had a giant king bed and a great view, it was very very nice!

the lucerne


I also ate at the hotel’s French restaurant, NIce Matin, for dinner the night before, it was packed with people for good reason, fantastic food!  I popped in to take a picture the next morning for the wallpaper all over this swanky restaurant.  Is it just me, or does this wall kind of remind you of a petri dish? 

nice matin


The show sent drivers to pick up this suburban tourist from the airport, and also drive me to the show.  Wow, that’s a first for me, nice perk!

ny drivers
The Nate Show gave me my own dressing room, or ‘green’ room.  The entire staff takes great care of you, from making sure you’re informed about every detail, to getting you to hair and makeup!!! 

hair and makeup

For the show, I was the 4th of 6 segments.  Having visited the studio before, I was familiar with the set, so that took the edge off.  Whew!  My segment was certainly the shortest ~ the show opened with a big celebrity guest, an awesome table stylist, me, then Michelle Adams.

You know Michelle Adams, EIC of Lonny Magazine?  She’s only one of the nicest and classiest gals to walk this planet.  See her looking so fabulous?  And me with my fugly travel clothes and flyaway ‘just walked the drizzled streets of NY’ hair?  Yeah. 

michelle adams and me

So I made a “brilliant” wardrobe choice.  A short black skirt.  So they start playing my corny House Proud video (corny because of me, not the editors, they are totally fab), and I have to walk a mile across the stage in 60 seconds and get situated with Nate. 

Then I see them.  Barstools.  HIGH barstools.  And me wearing very short skirt. 


The clock is ticking.  15…14…13… seconds until that red light comes on.

Me staring at high barstools: “Um, I’m wearing a short skirt.”

Camera Crew:  “You’ll be fine.  We will letcha know if you can see anything.  We’ll just crop your skirt out”.

Me:  “Um . . OK”.   Panicking inside that the world will see my, ahem, undergarments. 

Camera Crew:  “You’re cool”

Me: “Um . .” nervous glance at short skirt


Angel of Mercy a.k.a. Director:  “Would you be more comfortable if you were standing?”

Me:  “YES !!!”


Loud guy shouts:  "BARSTOOLS OFFSTAGE!!"

So then I stepped off the barstool and tripped on the slate at the bottom of the fireplace on the set.  Caught myself, sorta straightened my top.  


Red light!  Smile and talk girl.  So I did.

There are three words I remember using:   "remodeling," "coax" and "strip".  I pray to God that last word I used was when I was talking about my staircase.  I’m not really sure.  It was all a blur.  So then another 60 seconds go by, we wrap it up, and then I told Nate he was an inspiration, hugged him and left the stage.  The End.  Sorta.  I actually had a very brief chat with him after. 

Ten Things You Should Know About Nate Berkus.   He is 1. Genuine  2. The Ultimate Professional  3. Down to Earth  4. Witty  5. Tireless  6. Incredibly Kind  7. Welcoming 8. Crazy Talented  9. Runs a Tight Ship and 10. Extremely Good Looking (of course this last one we all know). 

And he has an amazing staff.  If you ever get a call from these two fabulous people Lori or Curran (Rachel too!) from The Nate Show, run don’t walk, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Call them back immediately, because they are the absolute best at what they do, and couldn’t be any kinder or more attentive.  Big big props to the staff at The Nate Berkus Show.  

kate lori curran

I just heard my brief ‘House Proud’ segment with Nate will air February 3rd!  Yay!

My drive to the airport included Fifth Avenue, always a favorite place for high style and eye candy!

bergdorf goodman

chanel and lady


I love this city.  Where else can you stare at amazing architecture, feed a squirrel, eat anything you want, watch locals moving furniture down Broadway, catch a yellow cab, and appear on TV all within in a few city blocks and within a few short hours? 

only in ny title

But it’s good to be home.


cg kate signature


  1. I can’t wait to see the episode! I’m sure you were amazing. Love the NYC pics :)

  2. Ahhhh that cracks me up about the black skirt!! Loved the play by play…felt like I was there. So happy for you and can’t wait to see your segment! I know you were fabulous! xxoo Emily

  3. Wow, I can’t wait to see the segment. I’m sure you did great, but I could see how it would be all a blur! I leave for NY next week for a work trip and I’m so excited my husband and kids are meeting me out there. I can’t wait to show my children the city, I think they will love it.

  4. I was actually NERVOUS as you were counting down in your post! Ha! This is sooo cool, and I’m glad you shared your experience with us! You deserve every moment of praise you get! Can’t wait to see it!

  5. Love your recap and pictures!! It’s like I’m there all over again (I stayed at the Lucerne too!) I can’t wait to see your segment – here’s hoping they post it on their website! Did you do any backstage stuff?

    PS pretty choice of top – love the ruffles.

  6. You look great! And being in front of cameras on the spot like that is hard! Looks like it was a fun trip, though!


  7. I think my comment got lost,I’ll try again :)
    You had me on the edge of my seat talking about the stool and the skirt, so funny!
    You look beautiful and I am so verry happy for you!!!

  8. Hey Kate! I’m so proud of you..I think I would’ve thrown up right there waiting to go on! :) BUT, I’m sure I could work through it if Nate is reading this and would like to bring me there! ROFLOL
    I was cracking up with the bird conversation! lol I know you must have had a blast…I LOVE NY! Although it’s been a few years since I’ve been there, I remember it like it was yesterday!
    Hugs to you girl!
    Missy :)

  9. How exciting. Big big big Congrats to you!! :)

    Also… love how you added in ‘Youze Guys’ in the bird photo. Oh that cracks me up because I say that.. [I think all northerners say that? I know Massachusetts people do, that’s where im originally from]. Now, living in the South, everyone gives me a double take when I say ‘Youze guys’. lol.

  10. How exciting! I love NYC, there is so much history and great architecture. Can’t wait to see the segment, I’m sure it is as witty as you!

  11. Awesome post! :) I love NYC any time of the year, but yes…it does get cold up there, huh? I always pretend like I’m in “You’ve Got Mail” when I’m in the Upper West Side…don’t tell, okay?

    You looked great and I bet the segment will be great. It sounds like you had a blast, and I am so envious that you got to meet Nate. :)

  12. Oh, this makes me miss New York! It sounds like a wonderful trip – I’ll be sure to watch the show when you’re on!

  13. Congratulations! I’m so excited to see your segment. I’m sure you did an amazing job. I love your outfit, especially the boots.

  14. No way – how wonderful you’re going to be on Nate’s show. I can’t wait to see it!!! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer blogger.


  15. Cool! I will definitely put this show on my calendar to watch. How fun! I’m new to your blog, but all of your projects look so great! You definitely take a lot of pride in your home. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

  16. Hi Kate-
    What fun to read all about your day in NYC and the Nate Show. I did a few dec segments for Lifetime years ago and always enjoyed the perks like the limo, hotel, and makeup. I am sure you did fine. Even though it made you nervous, you looked very chic in your skirt and boots :) Can’t wait to see the show.
    I sometimes prefer to walk around the city by myself. You notice more and get into the rhythm of the city.

    Glad to hear you had a great time and got back to your home sweet home safe and sound.
    My best- Diane

  17. So happy for you Kate! I can’t wait to see the show!
    I’m from NJ/NY so I know exactly how you feel…it truly is one of the greatest places to visit…espcially when you’re rolling VIP style! You go girl!

  18. Kate-
    I can’t wait to see the show…glad you had a great time in NYC. Love the city and seeing your pics makes me miss it SO much! There’s nothing like New York!

    ~Jenna, SAS Interiors

  19. It sounds like a dream…a wonderful, exciting dream come true. I know of Nate Berkus but have never seen his show. I wonder if we get the network in Washington state; hopping on the internet to figure this out because I just HAVE to see your segment. Congrats again on the wonderful opportunity! You deserve it!

  20. So exciting Kate! I can’t wait til it airs. I feel like I know a celebrity. :)
    Glad it was such a great experience for you.
    See you soon!

  21. Love this, Kate, and can’t wait to see you live and in person( well, ok, taped, and in person!)I am putting in in BIG BOLD on my calendar!
    Thanks for the fun tour, and the excitement building count down…. Now catch your breath, and enjoy being’ back down at the vineyard!”
    ( I’ve noticed those barstools, and they would be intimidating in a long skirt too! imagine catching your heel and splatting right at Nate’s feet!You were brilliant to stand!)

  22. Sounds like you had a great trip. Enjoyed seeing your photos, and glad you included some of the beautiful architecture there. Love your talking birds! :D I have never been to NYC. I could go, but just have not.
    Looking forward to seeing the show. Congratulations!
    Enjoy your evening.

  23. Wow, what an experience. I bet you never thought you would end up being on the Nate Berkus show. Too funny about the short skirt. There you were just trying to be cool and bam – you were about to flash the world your undies.

    My daughter and husband went to NYC just before Christmas on a little trip that we do when each child graduates from high school. I did a post with my daughter’s photos of the Christmas windows in New York, which you might be interested to see as you were probably walking by the same stores. Here is the link:

  24. Love the NY pix! Thanks for sharing them. And congrats. This sort of thing only happens to CENTSATIONAL girls!

  25. Welcome back and cant wait to see the show. Looks like you had fun, its always nice to see where you live through someone elses eyes. Makes you see things you might otherwise take for granted.

  26. I felt like I was right there with you Kate! What a great story writer you are, watch out Michelle! The cool thing about Nate {like as if I know him personally ha!} is that he really does come across just like all the 10 things you said he was. What a whirlwind trip, but oh so worth it. Can’t wait to see you on the show.

  27. how fun! I love that segment and I always have his show DVR’d. Always fun to see fellow bloggers in real life- even if it’s through the TV screen! :)

  28. Can’t wait to see you in the show. I tape it from time to time and will be sure to tape it that day!

    Love your New York pictures, beautiful. I would love to visit there someday!

  29. What a fun and hilarious accounting of your time on the Nate Berkus show. It is quite how I thought I would feel. What a great life experience. Can’t wait to see it.


  30. Sounds like it was an amazing experience. Looking forward to seeing it air. BTW – if you thought yesterday was “brisk” you should feel it today. Yesterday was 20 degrees warmer than today!!

  31. K: Glad you enjoyed our Big Apple! Isn’t it just great? Having been other places, for me, there’s no place like home–NY! And yes, we do talk like your birds (wish i could say I did not have a NY accent…Dad’s from Brooklyn, so mine’s a little better-haha!) My son will be in his last semester at the fashion Institute of technology this spring…and spends Sunday mornings in Central Park on a French Soccer team (he says he can’t understand anyone but it doesn’t matter!)
    Come again soon!

  32. i love that show! How awesome that you are featured on it! You could have your own show though..just saying;0. Congrats! I hope to visit NY some day so thanks for the pics to get me more excited about it!

  33. Oh Kate, how I heart you and your blog. Of all the design blog I read (and, ahem, I read alot of them), you are my favorite. You need to offer design services! I used to live in NYC so this post was a walk down memory lane!

  34. What an awesome opportunity Kate! I hope to remember to watch the show for your debut! My sister and I have been talking about going to NYC next year….she’s been once but this little ol’ southern gal has never been! She’s planning a wedding for her son and his girlfriend this summer so she says this year is out for a big trip. I might have to get some pointers from you for places to go, see, eat., etc.


  35. Congrats to you, Kate! What an awesome experience! I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for you, girl! :) Looking forward to that February 3 show!!

    xoxo laurie

  36. How awesome for you! You look super cute in your little black skirt! Can’t wait to watch. :) Dang, now that you and Nate are besties, slip him MY number next time you hang out! ha!

  37. Thank you for a wonderful post – and the photographs. For someone who is most unlikely to visit America this was a very very nice alternative. Those brownstone steps remind me of Carrie in Sex and the City!

  38. Great stuff. Can’t wait to watch…it’s suppose to air on my birthday, so maybe I’ll watch it while eating a piece of cake. Looking forward to it.

  39. Kate, you look beautiful- nothing to worry about! I thought your segment was airing yesterday and I was on the edge of my seat, er, sofa waiting for you- duh. Should have realized you were just taping that day! Your photos are really beautiful. I especially love the one of the brownstones. Great eye!

  40. Thanks for filling us in after such a busy exciting time, your photos are beautiful. I feel like Im friends with a super star :) Now that our living room is painted, media wall and all, my next plan is to get foxtel installed so that I can watch the Nate Show (and every other lifestyle show thats on too!). By the time it gets aired in Australia I might be lucky enough to watch you on tv!

  41. Congratulations, Kate! So glad you had a great time. I love the Upper West Side–any part of town anchored by the Metropolitan Museum has to be pretty good, huh? I’ll bet you’re glad to be back in sunny California, though.

    I’ve never watched Nate, but I’ll tune in for the February 3 show. It’ll be fun to see you on the screen!

  42. awww the Upper West Side was my neighborhood when I lived in NYC! That’s a great pic of the Dakota. Thanks for sharing your trip, I can’t wait to see your segment.

  43. Oh, how exciting! I had butterflies for you just reading about the skirt episode with the countdown. So funny. I’m sure you did great. :) I hope I get to see it..not sure if I get that show in my neck of the woods.

  44. Loved the post and the pictures… you look super… ‘sensational’..!!! :)

    Wonder if we will get to see your episode in India …??????? I haven’t caught any of Nate Berkus shows except on Oprah ..

  45. You have made me totally homesick. From a forever NYC girl at heart! Sounds like a fantastic time!

  46. Omg. Way to go Kate!! Im so excited for you! I didn’t even know he had his own show!! Please remind us again in feb to watch it!!!

  47. Awesome outfit!! Good move with the bar stools! LOL! We only get that show here on cable television and it could be ages before we get your episode but how exciting for you! I have been to NY twice and the first time it looked just like your pics – in fact it would have been about this time of year that I was there – 16 years ago!!!! Seems like yesterday – in fact I think I recognise that squirrel!

  48. Loved the pictures, Kate. They brought back memories. You look beautiful and a lovely smile! Great skirt and boots and I was entertained by the short skirt story. I look forward to Feb 3rd and seeing you on Nate. I think he should have had you on the whole hour. I’d love to watch the “Kate” show!

  49. OMG! What a great post. What a great trip! We don’t get the Nate Show (we’re in Germany), but I [heart] him so much. It’s good to hear that he’s as nice in person as he seems.

  50. How exciting Kate, and so deserving!! You looked amazing. Thanks for sharing the experience and the pictures with us. I have’t been back home since high school and those pics bring back memories of visiting my grandparents when they lived in Manhatten.

  51. Kate….this is sooo exciting! I think I would have fainted. You look so cute…love the outfit you chose to wear. Can’t wait to see the show!

  52. Kate, looks like a GREAT trip! I have already set the DVR to record your segment, I know it will be fabulous! I ADORE New York and the last time I was there it was February, 16 degrees and snow everywhere!! Did not slow us down one bit! lol SO much fun!

    Glad your home safe and sound with a wonderful memory!

    Lou Cinda

  53. I love your recap, the beautiful pictures, but most of all I love that I found your site and all the inspiration that you provide me without even attempting all the projects you do. You have flair and style in your both your writing and choice of projects. I am totally obsessed with spray paint as my “Mr” says since I found you – but that’s a good thing. I look forward to many more projects in this New Year. Congrats again.

  54. Cant wait to see the show…I’m sure you were fabulous. NY is always a bit intimidating to this girl so it is nice to see it through other’s eyes (and camera) Thanks for the tour.

  55. So glad you enjoyed your trip- you stayed right in my neighborhood and definitely captured the essence of the season on the Upper West Side. Nice Matin is one of my favorite brunch spots- the orange buttermilk French toast with caramelized banana is to die for- but I didn’t realize they were affiliated with the Lucerne.

  56. I’ve made a mental note that if I ever get called to be on national TV (ha,ha), leave the short skirt at home. Can’t wait to see your segment!


    I LOVE YOU!!

  59. How absolutely cool! I love Nate and I love your blog! Can’t wait to see your segment in Feb.! Thanks for sharing all of your amazing talents with the world. You Rock!

  60. First, CONGRATS! What a wonderful opportunity!! Second, you broke my heart. I grew up in NY, but now live in the South and have been extremely homesick the past few days :(
    I really enjoyed the pictures and the talking NY birds!! You nailed the accent. Isn’t it weird that they don’t run away and just walk around the crowds. I always said they are gangsta pigeons. Guess they are just used to being around people.
    Also, just started reading your blog and I’m now subscribed. Love it and have spent a ridiculous amount of time reading old posts :)

  61. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see the show and I am glad you love my home town. Your post made me a bit homesick but thats o.k. because I know that NYC will always be there. Next time you visit pop into ABC Carpet and Home. I would love to see your take on it.

    As for your skirt…made me laugh!

  62. Congrats on the Nate show. I can’t wait to see it. So happy you enjoyed my home town. It is beautiful! You got out just in time we had snow again last night. BTW LOVE your blog!!!!!

  63. It seems like you had such a great time! Your outfit was adorable! I can’t wait to see the show, how exciting!

  64. Just Wonderful! I’ve got my TV all set to record the show. You looked great and I’m sure it’ll be a terrific show.


  65. What a fun post! :D
    I love the cute little animals! The bird quotes were spot on! Really cute/funny
    BTW, I still use the word brisk and I am only 24….maybe that’ll make you feel better? Either way, even if no one uses it, still go for it! It’s fun to bring back pleasant old words (not tacky ones from scary decades that is, if you catch my drift :) )

  66. Awesome, Kate. Very well deserved and sounds like a blast. What a Life List item. Can’t wait to see your piece.

  67. Kate, huge congratulations! What a fun honor, and so well-deserved. Thanks for the mini-vacay to NYC through your post… can’t wait to tune in!

  68. Oh how exciting to go on the Nate Berkus Show. I will have to mark Feb 3rd on my calendar. You are right NYC is just fabulous for all the reasons you mentioned and more. I think NYC is just so exhilirating that is touches all of your senses and creates such a great experience, at least for me :)

  69. Have marked that on my calendar! Crazy exciting for me to see you on the Nate show since you are the first blogger I started following after that first day of blog surfing. So glad for you!

  70. I love your blog and totally related to your Nate experience. My sisters and I were able to be on his show in November and it was so memorable! We stayed at the lucerne and had a driver too!!!

  71. My dream is to one day be in the audience on the Nate show, great pics, love the detail you put in, Great job!

  72. Ay! Don’t none of us New Yawkahs tawk like dat boid!!!!!

    LOL! We can tawk howevah we want! We are the Center of the Universe!!!

    Seriously, thanks for visiting our fine City and I can’t wait to see you on Nate!!

  73. Yay! Can’t wait to see you on the show! Your blog is definitely the best of all! I bet the others that complained of the infamous trip are dying of envy! You deserve it!!

  74. I really loved this post! I am a longtime reader and I grew up, and still live in, Manhattan. I love seeing visitors appreciate my home city. When you get a chance to come back, be sure to take a walking tour on the Upper East Side for some GORGEOUS architecture! Basically make your way in the area between Park Ave and 5th Avenue, and between East 67th up to East 84th (and outside of that area too of course but I don’t want you to get too tired!) Check out Google Streetview for a preview until you can make it there in person. Keep up the great work!

  75. Oh gosh I saw you today. I was running around the house scream “I follow her blog” … DH thought the house was on fire. You were TERRIFIC.

  76. I will watch your episode tomorrow, as I recorded it while at work today. I know you did a great job! Can’t wait to see it. Sounds like you had an amazing trip to NYC and the Nate show. What fun! Love & blessings from NC!

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