OMG what a daunting task- writing a city guide to NYC?
The city has 8 million people in it all looking for something new and exciting and different- and the city DELIVERS. My love for this city runs deep so I’m going to give it the ol’ college try. So BE NICE in the comments and tell me where else I should go/do, because I know I’ve barely even scratched the surface of this beautiful monster of a city.
….also, how can you ever possibly do everything in NYC?
Where To Stay?
Alright so if you’re going to visit New York, where you wind up staying is a big decision. Choose where you want to stay on the basis of the version of New York you’re looking for. Do you want to shop and feel fabulous in dimly light champagne bars? Soho! Do you want to see the lights and go to shows? Mid-town! Want to live like a local and be off the beaten path? Try a burrow outside of Manhattan like Brooklyn or Queens!
My personal favourite place to stay is SOHO. I knoooow it’s a little basic, but the shopping! The food! The overall sexy, grungy vibe! Mmm I love it! Townhomes that share walls with boutiques and restaurants? Count. Me. In.
If you only have a few days and want to pack a lot of site seeing in Midtown is going to be your best bet. You made end up paying a little bit more to stay but you’re going to eliminate a lot of time and subway/ Uber fares but being right in the thick of things. You’ll be right on top (quite literally in the bigger hotels) of some of the greatest museums in the world, 30 Rock, 5th Ave, Central Park, and as much pizza as your travelling heart desires (don’t worry you’ll likely end up walking it off… bring good shoes!)
Times Square: I avoid this area as much as I can, there are way too many tourists, too many selfie sticks, too many mediocre restaurants that trick you with good ratings, but if this is your first visit to NYC you of course you have to put at the top of your list for first things to see! I love to go to broadway shows (we’ll talk about that in a second) so I usually pay it a visit when we go to the theatre, but that’s about it.
I have loved walking around and shopping in the West Villiage but have never stayed in this area, but it’s next on my list. I love the bohemian vibe, and tech employees with their yoga mats. I get the sense most people who live in that area are young professionals but not in banking… for whatever that tid bit is worth.
Brooklyn is another top spot I want to spend time in- at this point it feels wrong that I haven’t been there! I know I will like it but I just have not been able to venture over that way even though my restaurants and things to see list on the other side of the bridge is a mile long. So I’m putting Brooklyn on here simply because I feel like it’s awesome. I’ll update this when I get to verify! Have you been? Tell me everything, plz and thx!
What To Eat?
The second I write this it will become outdated but whatever, here are a few of my current favorite food spots in NYC.
Quick Bites: Fast casual style restaurants
Dez: A mediterranean restaurant by @edeneats and I’ll be honest I went for the first time because I love her on Instagram… I went the 4th, 5th and 6th times because of the shawarma burger… it is no joke people!
Dig Inn: Fast build-your-own bowls/plates. This is a hoppin spot at lunch but the line moves quickly so don’t be discouraged. Go early/late for a shorter line.
Ichiran: Amazing Ramen I fell in love with in Tokyo opened up 2 locations in NYC (Midtown and Brooklyn) so it made the list. Fast moving line, they really know how to pump out the ramen. You get the private booth experience just like in Japan so don’t go with a big group expecting to eat and chat and linger.
Slower Bites: Spots for dinner or lunch that have wait staff but also move you through the meal
Parm: Great counter casual parmesan place and its smack dab in the middle of Soho so you can just walk around if you have to wait
Rubirosa for pizza in a cool small funky environment. Again in Soho and there is always a wait so get reservations if you can or just be prepared to wait
Uncle Boons for some serious funky Thai
Jack’s Wife Freda for such cute and delicious brunch! I love brunch!
Slowest Bites: An evening out and slow meal perfect for catching up with friends over a bottle of wine… or two.
L’Artusi for real deal, not messin’ around Italian
Red Farm for great, authentic Chinese.
Gato for a tapas dinner
Chinese Tuxedo for more Chinese in a funky cool environment…. have I mentioned I’m big into Asian food?
What To Do!
Honestly the #1 reason I love NYC is because the list to answer the question, “What do we do tonight?” is endless and always has something new. I absolutely love going to fitness studios in NYC because the hottest newest stuff is always there. I also love the co-working spaces (I always have to work while in town but when you get to change it up like this, who cares?). Shows are always a number 1 thing and sometimes we hit a cocktail bar or two.
Y7: Upbeat yoga class set to music that seriously works you? I AM IN.
The Class by Taryn Toomy: Think of it as HIIT combined with the mindfulness benefits of yoga. A double dose of goodness!
The Dance by Amanda Kloots: Dance cardio class from a white girl with so much energy she makes you feel like you (as another white girl who cannot dance) can move.
Because I work when I travel I always need a spot to do so. I like to use coffee shops but in NYC because everything is so small and the coffee shops glares you get when you stay there too long are intense, I work from my airbnb or from co-working spaces.
WeWork is a fan favorite and honestly I know exactly what I am getting into when I go. They are the same everywhere. They don’t have a day/week pass but if you go in telling them you are interested they will show you around and you can hangout and work there for the day. If you are a member in another city you can get day passes or drop in passes for various places around the globe.
AWS Pop Up Loft is a FREE co-working space…yes, you read that correctly. FREE. You register when you get there and they are created for developers to ask AWS experts but I figure I have paid enough to AWS for hosting I can use it too even if I don’t have questions.
The Farm is cool and has day-passes for about $25 last I checked. They only have a few locations so check where you want to be.
Spacious is an interesting take on co-working. They rent out bars/restaurants that are closed during the day and once you are a member you can visit any of the locations. They only have monthly memberships so I haven’t been able to try it yet however I have stopped by to chat with the friendly team.
What To See!
I am only putting shows on here because I feel lost in the lists of others. The list is so long and I do love the theatre but because I never have that much time, I go for high energy shows. So if you like those as well you will enjoy the ones I have loved. *it’s short right now but as it grows I’ll put more on.
Come From Away: I cannot stop talking about this show, so much energy, such a good story-line, the songs are so catchy, I just loved it. It’s about the town that housed 38 planes and all the travellers on them when 9/11 happened. I had never thought about the other people in the air that day, let alone what to do with the planes in the air, nearby that were not hijacked. If you really want a fun day go to the 9/11 museum in the afternoon and then this show. It will perk you right up. You will love it even more if you have Canadian friends or have spent any time in Canada.
Wicked: It’s been on Broadway for a long time for a reason. The story of the Wicked Witch of the West and a different angle of the Wizard of Oz.
Hamilton: You have heard the hype, if you have the chance for tickets just GOGOGO! It’s 100% worth the hype. If you can try and listen to the soundtrack before you go, you will understand the storyline much better. Oh and brush up on a little history as well.
Well there you have it… my small attempt at rounding up some of my NYC favorites. Again, this list is here so I can reference it later and so my mom can read what I have loved about NYC. I am by no means an expert on NYC :)