The concrete jungle of New York City–where danger doesn’t include tigers or lions, but giant sidewalk holes (what are those things??) and poop on the subway wall (probably still includes giant bugs though). You can find anything & everything in NYC, you just have to know where to look! I’ve put together highlights from my trips to NYC of the things I love and hope you will too!
FYI: Traveling in — coming in from the airport. There’s a multitude of options in trying to figure out how to get from the airport to the city. If you’re crunched for time, I recommend grabbing an uber or lyft straight to your destination. But if you’re trying to save some $$, find the nearest subway stop and take the metro to your destination. You’ll save yourself at least $25!
If you go to New York, you HAVE to go get some good dim sum. Chinatown is booming with awesome places to eat, we recommend Jing Fong or Grand Harmony (GH is a bit faster and cheaper :)), (Make sure you get hao gao, shao mai, and some tao shao bao). Meander down the streets into the gift shops that Chinatown has to offer. We went to Aji Ichiban (basically the Chinese Willy Wonka store) and grabbed some dried fruit and gummies as snacks for the rest of the day. Grab some bubble tea if you still have some room after dimsum and you can walk through Italian Village to get to Soho!
Soho is the ultimate shopping mecca in New York, with discount shopping such as Forever 21 to things I may never afford at Opening Ceremony. If you’re going to do some serious shopping make sure you leave the entire day open, shops are pretty spread out and you will definitely need to take a breather and eat for a bit. We grabbed macarons at Ladurée — they are the bomb.com and the restaurant is the most adorable macaron place we have ever been to. Their workers are pristine looking and they’ve got some fancy ass Greek statues in there too. We also got a donut from Dough Donuts while we were in Soho, literally I live off sugar & carbs.
First, you should try and walk through Union Park on your way to Chelsea Market to see their
art installations & farmer’s market. We saw an installation complete with an numerous stuffed pigeons and one real pigeon that accidentally stumbled into the pigeon party (poor guy was probably so confused and thought the world was ending and that he was the last of his kind).
Afterwards head to Chelsea Market for some brunch or just snack around the market since there are so many things to try. Stop by the artists and fleas area to check out some of the local artisans showing their crafts. They’ve got some beautiful jewelry vendors and I was super tempted to buy some very gorgeous jewelry from Alexandra Beth.
From Chelsea Market, you can walk a street over to one of the Highline’s entrances. The Highline used to be a railroad and now is a gorgeous walk above the New York city streets. If you go during the summer or late spring the walkway will be covered in gorgeous plants and flowers. A great place for people watching and spotting some proposals, the Highline is a must do activity.
I stayed in Stuy Town with one of my friends and it was one of the most convenient places to stay! Walking distance to the metro and the Lower East Side, East Village, and so many other areas. Stuy Town has some great eats including the instagram star Tompkin’s Bagels.
Believe me, these bagels live up to the hype. Perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft doughy center with a generous amount of cream cheese and smoked salmon. You can also try their super famous sprinkles cream cheese, but it was a little too early for me to start my sugar crash (it was 2pm lol, and this was the start of our day). Take your bagel to go (the bakery is small) and eat it in Tompkin’s Park like a true New Yorker (idk if this is what New Yorkers do, but I ate it in the park with one New Yorker).
We also ate at Xe May, a delicious hole in the wall Vietnamese sandwich shop. I got their hog sandwich (grilled pork, scallion oil, and fried shallots) spicy (jalapenos AND sriracha). It was so good that I saved it to bring to Columbus to share with Jeromy..but then I ate it.
LOWER EAST SIDE
If you’re going to go out in NYC, it’s probably going to be expensive, so you should go to some awesome bars to make it worth it. We checked out L.E.S Subject and had a great time. Subject is casual without being too much a dive or being over pretentious. The owner Matt, served us drinks and chatted with us about them. A lot of the drinks are made in house (get the nutella infused whiskey–so good!), but all the cocktails are great. It’s also one of the rare bars in NYC that takes large party reservations for free, so it’s great for a big group or just a few!
Another cool spot to check out is Arlene’s Grocery which hosts a live hip hop jam session in their basement where they invite local artists to perform!
A visit to NYC isn’t complete without visiting at least one of their renown museums. My favorite is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), they always have great installations and it’s equally as great when someone drops a piece of trash and everyone side steps it because they’re not sure if it’s art or not (I witnessed this once). The Guggenheim is a gorgeous building (it’s always in any movie about NYC), they feature an audio tour about their architecture, which is pretty interesting!
You must (or least should) make the trek out to Brooklyn if you’re in NYC. We went to the Brooklyn Bowl (half bowling alley, half concert venue with a bar– pretty effin’ sweet). We caught a $12 show of Moon Hooch, who by the way, are super talented. Two of the members played crazy saxophone, occasionally played the keyboard and rapped or sang, against a drummer and dubstep. Check out their music here, they’ve been featured on NPR Tiny Desk Concert and got famous from playing in the subways of New York! Crossing my fingers they’ll come tour in Columbus (ahem, Mr. Dove hoping you can make this happen).
We also checked out Oddfellow’s ice cream, they create a rotating odd flavor and you can try every ice cream on the menu except for the odd flavor (when we went it was caramelized onions). You either go all in or you stick to one of their more normal flavors! (I chickened and went with Sprinkles, it was great). Bonus: they give $0.05 to the Food Bank of NYC from every purchase! So in closing, if Jay-Z is out in Brooklyn, then you best go there too.
BONUS: TOUR THE GOOGLE OFFICE
If you’re lucky and have an awesome friend working at Google (shoutout to Elissa!), definitely take the chance to take out their sweet NYC office. It’s full of delicious coffee and vintage computers that paved the way for our little blog to even happen!