November 7, 2013

{WANDERLUST} My Guide to New York City

Though I'm approaching my 10-year-anniversary with New York City, I'm still discovering something new every day that I live here. There are still neighborhoods I haven't traveled to, or entire Burroughs that remain untouched (hello, Staten Island), but I've learned a thing or two in my tenure, and have amassed a list of favorites that would probably be selfish to keep to myself.

To be clear, this list is absolutely not all-encompassing. I would need months and much more resources to create my definitive guide to New York, but this is a great beginning with some of my favorites that is a great beginners guide. Continue....

Everyone knows and loves New York City's shopping landscape; it's truly a materialsts dream. You can shop cheap, chic, and the most luxe-of-the-luxe within minutes of eachother, and if you're a local, on your way to or from the gym, grocery store, or office. There's no shortage of shopping destinations, but these are some of my favorite, authentically NYC destinations. 
CATBIRD | 219 Bedford Avenue at North 5th Street, WilliamsburgI once said that I had to actively avoid Catbird on my walks with Frankie, which was in part true - but only in part. The only reason to avoid it is because I am such a sucker for Catbird's siren song - glittery, dainty, feminine, but with a sense of humor. It's absolutely one of my favorite stores ever - and it's possible they're responsible for the midi-ring trend. You can find their signature jewelry as well as pieces by Jennie Kwon, polishes by Deborah Lippmann, fragrances from Tocca, dishes by John Derian, kitty masks... The list goes on. If I could live in a Catbird world, I would! Visit on the web.

OPENING CEREMONY | 35 Howard Street at Broadway, SohoAh, who doesn't know (and love) Opening Ceremony? It's a beacon of cool - and everything touched by the OC family seems to skyrocket to success. Ever since launching their in-house brand I've really been a sucker for OC - especially their accessories. Visit on the web.

 | 203 Grand Street at Driggs, WilliamsburgA neighborhood favorite, this one is dedicated to the snobs who refuse to go to Brooklyn: behold, our plethora of Proenza Schouler, Phillip Lim, Tsumori Chisato, Pamela Love, Isabel Marant, and Rag & Bone. Take that, Manhattanites! We've got our designer bases covered, too. The brick-and-mortar of this place is awesome, too. Bird was built completely to LEED sustainability standards. Visit on the web.

STORY | 144 10th Avenue at West 19th Street, Chelsea
Story is new(er) to NYC, with its large, floor-to-ceiling-windowed space nestled under The Highline. The space is thematic, with the theme completely dictating the contents of the store at any given time. No matter what their current "Story" is, it's a great place to find gifts or splurge on yourself. You can see all their past stories here. Visit on the web

Shopping for Plus Sizes
Unfortunately, New York City is not the Mecca for plus-size shopping that many expect it to be. You can try your hand at thrift and second-hand shopping at stores like Beacon's Closet or Buffalo Exchange (both generally have a good number of plus-sized pieces mixed into their general stock), but overall, the best bets are the City's department stores - especially Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and Bloomingdales (which now even stocks Mynt 1792!). There are a few extra stops you might like to make destinations, too!
BETTIE PAGE CLOTHING | 303 Bowery Street, East Village
For the Rockabilly-girl (or the one who isn't afraid to get all dolled up with pin-curls and red lipstick on occasion), Bettie Page is an amazing destination - with a selection of clothing and accessories in a size range from XS - 4X.
MONIF C |  325 West 38th Street, Hells Kitchen
Monif C is one of my favorite indie designers, and is most known for her amazing convertible wrap dresses - which can be styled in a million different ways. Though this space is technically also her showroom, you can call ahead to book a time to shop! 

MARINA RINALDI | 13 East 69th Street, Upper East Side
If you want a truly luxury experience, with the clothing (and price tags) to match, there's no destination quite like Marina Rinaldi. Italian luxe has carved out a home on the Upper East Side. 

FOREVER 21 | 1540 Broadway at Times Square
For a cheap fix, Forever 21's Times Square location is the only location in the city that carries plus sizes.

You can take home an I heart NY Shirt, or you can get your fashion-loving friends a souvenir that's a little less expected. 
BOOKMARC | 400 Bleecker Street at West 11th Street, West Village
Marc Jacobs occupies a good portion of the northern end of Bleecker Street (my old stomping grounds), but perhaps my favorite MJ-branded establishment is Bookmarc, with a neatly curated selection of literary classics, coffee-table books, and trinkets and baubles with the signature Marc Jacobs stamp of approval - from $29 gilded pen necklaces to $35 totes. Visit on the web.

KATE SPADE NY | 789 Madison Avenue at 67th Street, Upper East Side
With Deborah Lloyd at the helm, I have totally fallen in love again with the Kate Spade brand. It's ├╝ber girly, but I love the whimsy, playful spirit, and kitschy approach to fashion. It's also the perfect destination for something totally New York without actually being a tiny Statue of Liberty. Itty-bitty hot dog earrings, a yellow Taxi clutch, and a big apple on a chain currently top my list of offbeat souvenirs. Visit on the web.

STRAND BOOKSTORE | 828 Broadway at 12th Street, Union Square
BOOOOOOOOOKS! If you've seen photos of my apartment, you know I'm a sucker for that paperback. And, a good, nicely worn book makes the perfect New York City treasure. Pick up an old Zagat guide, or a cook book by one of NYC's favorites (Mario Batali? David Chang?) or Eloise at the Plaza. There are entire tables dedicated to NYC-centric books, here, and if you're not feeling like packing a heavy volume - you can take home one of the signature totes, instead. Visit on the web.

One of the things that drew me most to New York City was the thriving arts community and super-established museums and galleries all throughout the city. Though I don't get to visit them as often as I'd like, these days, but New York City's museums still rank among my favorites in the world. They each have amazing visiting exhibitions, too, so be sure to check up on their websites when you're planning a trip! 
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART | 1000 5th Avenue at 82nd Street, Upper East Side
I mean, duh. The Met is not just one of the finest museums in New York, or in America - it's one of the finest museums in the world. For a time, I used to visit The Met on a weekly basis. It houses some of the most incredible artists of our history - among my favorites are Degas, Renoir, Goya, Matisse... The Egyptian Wing is also incredible and feels like a trip to Giza. On a day with good weather, don't miss the Roof Garden exhibitions. The museum is also open late on Friday nights, (perfect for a date!) Visit on the web.

THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM | 200 Eastern Parkway at Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights
With Jean Paul Gaultier's From the Sidwalk to the Catwalk currently on exhibition (until February 23rd, 2014) - the Brooklyn Museum is especially worth the trip to South Brooklyn. The Sackler Center for Feminist Art, with a large-scale, permanent installation by Judy Chicago called "The Dinner Party" is moving, emotional, and inspiring - and is a collection that feels completely unique to the museum. Visit on the web.

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART | 11 West 53rd Street at 6th Avenue, Midtown West
MoMA is just steps from Rockefeller Center, and used to be my favorite lunchtime treat when I worked in nearby office. It's a home to many-a Warhol, Lichtenstein, Dali, and Duchamp and is the perfect balance to The Met's classicism. Fan's of surrealist art will love the Margitte exhibition, currently up through January 2014. This is one place where you don't have to feel badly about exiting through the gift shop, either: it rules. I mean, there are mini-Eames chairs, for gods sake. Visit on the web.

PS1 | 22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue, Long Island City
The space at PS1 is constantly evolving: it is experimental, quirky, fun, and is home to a kick-ass party all through the summers. Currently on exhibition, through February 2014, is Mike Kelley's work - including rainbows of stuffed animals that you might want to take home to snuggle with you. Visit on the web.

BROOKLYN BOWL | 61 Wythe Avenue at North 12th Street, Williamsburg
Even though it sometimes makes me feel like a middle-aged, balding man, I kind of love bowling - even (especially?) if I'm absolutely awful at it. Brooklyn Bowl is unique to most bowling alleys in the city because it also houses a concert venue (I've seen The Gossip, Tennis, Rye Rye, and more there) and a restaurant backed by the Blue Ribbon family. Get a group of friends together and bowl your heart out while sipping on a Nutella-bourbon milkshake. Visit on the web.

KARAOKE BOHO | 196 Orchard Street at East Houston, Lower East Side
My go-to karaoke song is Anything-on-No-Doubt's-Tragic-Kingdom-with-Exception-to-the-Title-Track-Tragic-Kingdom. My southern California roots really come out when I do my best Gwen Stefani impression. The magic of Karaoke Boho is: 1.) Private rooms, 2.) BYOB. Start practicing your best Mariah Carey, now. Visit on the web.

BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDENS | Eastern Parkway at Prospect Park, Prospect Heights
I try to make it to the Botanical Gardens in any city I visit, but the ones in Brooklyn hold a special place in my heart. It doesn't matter what time of year you visit (though the spring and Cherry Blossom seasons are especially gorgeous), there's always something beautiful to find. Visit on the web.

BROOKLYN FLEA | East River State Park at Kent & North 7th Street, Williamsburg
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I visit the Brooklyn Flea every weekend. Even though I'm usually just browsing, I love walking through the stalls with vintage post cards, furniture, vintage Coach and Pendleton finds, and having the entirety of the NYC skyline behind me. Most vendors are cash-only, but there are ATMs on site. After you're done browsing the flea, hop on the ferry at North 6th Street and head to either Dumbo or South Street Seaport for more scenic views. Visit on the web.

In a city as busy and crazy as New York, it's important to have moments of rest and relaxation -- even if it's only for 30 minutes. Here are some of my favorite places to treat myself to a little bit of pampering and R&R.
PRIMP & POLISH | 189 Grand Street at Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg
There's no shortage of nail salons throughout New York City, but if I had to pick one for my basic manicure, it would be Primp & Polish. They're also experts at nail art and design - but make sure to book an appointment in advance since only a few of their nail technicians specialize in nail art. Prices can start getting steep with elaborate designs, too - but the atmosphere and service is impeccable. Visit on the web.

MARIO BADESCU | 320 East 52nd Street at 2nd Avenue, Midtown East
When my skin really needs to be kicked into shape, I head to Mario Badescu - where it's all about skin care. Their facials start at $65 with add-ons for special treatments and masks, and are worth every single penny. Their new gold mask ($40 add on) is pumped with amino acids that moisturize and encourage plump, hydrated, glowing skin. It feels amazing going on, too! While you're there, they also offer free consultations to work out which at-home-products are right for your skincare needs. Remember, what works for your BFF won't always work for you. Skin is highly personalized and should be treated as such! Visit on the web.

BLISS SPA | 12 West 57th Street at 5th Avenue, Midtown West
When I'm looking to relax in a really luxurious environment, I go to Bliss. I consider Bliss more of a lifestyle-destination than many of the other spas in the city, where everything is curated and branded for a young, fashion savvy client - while still being an accessible luxury. I love their massage services, and their signature "Blissage" is the perfect rubdown to get all the tension out of my back and shoulders. Visit on the web

ARROJO SALON | 180 Varick Street at King Street, Soho
I'm a total slave to my hair, now. What used to be a totally at-home, DIY process has turned into a high maintenance commitment - but it helps that I totally love my go-to salon and the stylists who work there. I get my haircuts done by Topher at Arrojo, and coloring done by Flores. I recommend both of them to literally everyone who asks me. Even if you're not local, if you're visiting NYC and looking to update your 'do - I would send you nowhere else! Visit on the web

I'm not a big drinker, and beer doesn't have a place in my life, but when I indulge in a bit of alcohol I really enjoy a finely mixed, complex cocktail! My favorite cocktail spots are on the fancier, sultry side - but a little bit of intimacy goes really well with a martini. 
HOTEL DELMANO | 82 Berry Street at North 9th Street, Williamsburg
This is one of my go-to date spots, because it is so beautiful, warm, and has some of the most sultry lighting in Brooklyn. They're all about mixology and bespoke cocktails, but their list of signature drinks are all stellar (and even throw in some surprise spirits, like absinthe). Sip slowly, my friends.
THE IDES | 80 Wythe Avenue at North 12th Street, Williamsburg
If you're looking for an adult-bevvy with a view, this is it: on the 6th floor of The Wythe Hotel lives a swanky cocktail bar with a view overlooking the entirety of the Manhattan skyline. The best time to go is just before sundown, when you can beat the line and catch the view as it flips through a rainbow of real-time filters.
MILLER'S TAVERN | 2  Hope Street at Roebling, Williamsburg
If you're one for a raw oyster (I know, they're so polarizing, but damn do I love 'em), you should pop over to Miller's for their happy hour - where well drinks and beer are around $5 and oysters are $1 a piece.
APOTHEKE | 9 Doyers Street at Bowery, Chinatown
Doyers Street is home to a couple of my favorite hidden gems, but Apotheke is the only one that has a high alcohol content. It's sexy, a little mysterious, and perfectly on the speakeasy trend. 

 | 848 Washington Street at West 13th, Meatpacking District
I'm generally not very fancy, but the Top of the Standard (also known affectionately as The Boom Boom Room) can get pretty fancy. It's all gilded and shiny, and hello - that view. If you're feeling extra special, order the Lobster Thermador alongside your champagne.
Dancing Shoes
I'm not exactly the party girl I was in 2005 when the Misshapes party lived at Luke & Leroy's, stumbling-distance from my tiny West Village apartment, but I still like going out for the occasional night of dancing with my friends. My nightlife favorites are definitely on the queer side, and that's how I like it. Everyone is welcome, and that's what I love best.
ONE LAST SHAG | 348 Franklin Avenue at Lexington Avenue, Bed-Stuy
YES MA'AM | Location Rotates, Check Facebook for Latest
HEY QUEEN | Location Rotates, Check Facebook for Latest
MISSTER | Wednesdays at The Woods, 48 South 4th Street, Williamsburg
PAT PARTEE | at Union Pool, Timing Varies. Check Facebook for Latest

CAFE COLETTE | 79 Berry Street at North 9th, Williamsburg
I won't lie: part of the appeal of Cafe Colette is the proximity to my apartment. I can literally stumble down my stairs and into this Parisian-feeling cafe, with a tried-and-true (by me) brunch menu. I love coming here during the day when the space fills with light and lively people and a staff of super friendly servers. My favorites on the brunch menu are the Market Frittata (changes seasonally) and the fish tacos - a true calling to my California-girl roots. There's also a take-out window for coffee and pastries if you happen to just be passing by.

MOGADOR | 133 Wythe Avenue at North 7th, Williamsburg
I am always in the mood for Mogador. My own mediterranean heritage means that this place (a mix of Morrocan, Lebanese, and Turkish cuisines) is a true harkening to my childhood comfort foods.

REYNARD | 80 Wythe Avenue at North 12th, Williamsburg
The Wythe Hotel's restaurant is beautiful, open, airy, and has a concise but perfectly executed menu. Everything is delicious - and they pour a stellar latte, too.

FIVE LEAVES | 18 Bedford Avenue at Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint
Absolutely one of my favorite spots for brunch, Five Leaves is also worth the trip to Greenpoint. According to people who love pancakes, their ricotta pancakes are "the best thing ever," while I love their house-cured arctic char and bruleed grapefruit. Come with an appetite and good company!

While it's not fast food (sorry, not my thing!), sometimes you're just in the mood for something cheap and cheerful. These are spots where you can stuff your face for $10 or less. 
SMORGASBURG | East River State Park at Kent & North 7th, Williamsburg
The blessing of Smorgasburg is that it's a single destination that can satisfy any craving. The curse of Smorgasburg is that it can satisfy any craving. Whether you're in the mood for a S'moreSpicy Tuna Nachos, or a Lobster Roll - it can all be found at the all-food version of the Brooklyn Flea, and with the most amazing New York City backdrop, to boot.  Most vendors are cash only.

MAMOUN'S | 119 Macdougal Street at West 3rd Street, West Village
Steps from Washington Square Park, and in the heart of NYU, Mamoun's is generally overrun by first-year college students. Still, it is absolutely worth the sometimes eye-roll inducing Psych-101 conversations and frequently longish lines for an amazing falafel sandwich that rings in at just $3. If you want to forego the sandwich, a side of falafel is $1.50. Cash only. 

NOM WAH TEA PARLOUR | 13 Doyers Street at Bowery, Chinatown
Most out-of-towners go to Canal Street for their dose of "Chinatown," but you'll likely be disappointed and/or lured to see counterfeits somewhere down a back alley. Skip the Louis Fauxittons and head down to Doyers Street, one of the oldest streets in the heart of Chinatown. Nom Wah Tea Parlour, one of the oldest dim-sum places in NYC. I promise you that everything is delicious - and you'd be amiss to skip on the sesame ball for dessert. 

MURRAYS BAGEL | 500 6th Avenue at West 13th Street, West Village
New York is known for its bagels, right? I know people love to sing the H&H gospel, but for me it's all about Murrays Bagels - with their no-toast policy and all. When I'm feeling like going all out on some gluten, it's all about a Murrays sesame bagel scooped out with cream cheese, Nova Scotia lox, red onion, and cucumber. Yum. 

SHAKE SHACK | Madison Square Park at Broadway and 23rd Street
There are so many great burger joints in the city, but there's something about standing in a long-ass line, paying for your burger at a stand, and then sitting in a park waiting for your buzzer to go off that's just really, really awesome. I miss my In-n-Out burgers, but Shake Shack is as close as it gets on the East Coast. 

JOE'S PIZZA | 7 Carmine Street at Bleecker Street, West Village
To me, Joe's epitomizes the "New York slice" - enormous, burn-your-tongue-hot, and with fresh, sweet tomato sauce. If you're looking for fancy, wood-oven pizzas, this is not your place. But if you want a classic New York slice that you fold over and eat standing up at a counter, there's no better option.
 Cash only.

Both reliable and casual enough that you could go on a regular basis, these are some of my favorite spots for dinner, date-nights, or where I love taking out-of-towners without breaking the bank.
OTTO | 1 5th Avenue at East 8th Street, East Village
Rustic Italian fare with tons of vegetarian and gluten free options. Otto is great for a date night or a raucous group. Winos will also enjoy the impressive list of Italian favorites.Must try: Lentils Toscana, Pasta alla Norma, Prosciutto Arugula Pizza, Olive Oil Gelato

MARLOW & SONS | 81 Broadway at Berry Street, Williamsburg
New American Cuisine partially responsible for launching the Williamsburg foodie-revolution.Must Try: The menu changes daily, but their protein entrees are always incredible. Oysters are super fresh, too.

MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR | 171 1st Avenue at 11th Street, East Village
David Chang's cult-followed staple, Momofuku puts a modern spin on Chang's Korean background. It can be busy, loud, and demand a long wait - but the food is awesome. It can also be spicy. Menu changes frequently, but never disappoints (except when you fall in love with a dish and it is suddenly taken off the ever-evolving menu).Must Try: Spicy Sausage with Rice Cakes, Momofuku Ramen

DUMONT | 432 Union Street at Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
If backyard seating is available, the romantic, fairy-light space (with a treehouse, naturally) can't be passed up. This is one of my favorite spaces to come for a low-key, celebratory occasion; I've even spent several New Years Eves dining here! It's very casual, but that doesn't compromise the deliciousness of the food.Must Try: Crispy Baby Artichokes, Dumac & Cheese, Roasted Half-Chicken

WESTVILLE | 210 West 10th Street at Bleccker Street, West Village
Market-fresh veggies and comfort foods come together in an ultra-cozy space (and yes, that is a euphemism for tiny).Must Try: Market Vegetables, Cast Iron Turkey Burger, Grilled Salmon

DINER | 85 Broadway at Berry Street, Williamsburg
Another Williamsburg favorite, this cozy "diner" is nestled in an old diner cart (with additional space attached). The menu is always changing, but it's consistently fresh, delicious, and inventive. All the food is local and organic.Must Try: The menu changes daily, but their burger is among the best in NYC. 

SAMURAI MAMA | 205 Grand Street at Driggs, Williamsburg
Japanese fare with a modern spin on the classics, Samurai Mama's menu is mouth-watering and houses surprises. The "tacos" (hand-rolls, really) are not to be missed.  Cash only. Must Try: Kinpira, Pork Betty, Mama's Veggie Gyoza, AB Crunchy Taco

BOZU | 296 Grand Street at Havemeyer, Williamsburg
A sister restaurant to Samurai Mama, Bozu is more than just sushi. It is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in the entire city, and not just because of the great memories that have been created there. If I could eat at Bozu every day, I would! Cash only.Must Try: Tofu Salad, Spicy Mc Bomb, Japanese Fried Chicken, Yuzu-Lime Tart

CARACAS | 291 Grand Street at Havemeyer, Williamsburg
Venezuelan comfort food in a favela-inspired atmosphere. It's fun and casual, and their classic Venezuelan cocktails (like the fruity, rum-based Guarapita) are so good.Must Try: Tostones, La Mulata Arepa, Reina Pepiada Arepa, Tajadas

| 85 10th Avenue at 16th Street, Meatpacking District
JEAN GEORGES | 1 Central Park West at 61st Street, Upper West Side
BABBO | 110 Waverly Place at 6th Avenue, West Village
11 MADISON PARK | 11 Madison Park at 23rd Street, Gramercy
MERCER KITCHEN | 99 Prince Street at Mercer, Soho
ONE OR EIGHT | 66 South 2nd Street at Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg

I'm a believer in the fact that there is (almost) always room for dessert. And for gods sake, if you're going to go to Magnolia Bakery, please skip the cupcakes - they are too sweet and dry as a desert. 
MOMOFUKU MILK BAR | 382 Metropolitan Avenue at Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg
Another part of David Chang's empire, Milk Bar (even though the name makes me gag a little) was put on the map when they started shelling out their Cereal Milk Soft Serve (you know the leftover taste when you've finished a bowl of cornflakes?) and Crack Pie (literally a slice of pie made of butter and sugar, also known as a pecan pie minus the pecans). What is truly delicious and worth-the-visit, however, is their Compost Cookie and their Cake Truffles - made with the leftover scraps of their signature cakes. Hell, buy a whole cake if you can justify it or have a crowd to entertain. They serve Stumptown coffee, if you need a caffeine fix, too.

LADUREE | 864 Madison Avenue at 72nd Street, Upper East Side
This Parisian import is no stranger to anyone with a an internet connection or a taste for the sweeter things in life. The little Upper East Side boutique is the first Laduree location in the US, with plans for them to expand across the country. Though this location lacks a tea salon, it is stocked with macarons, pastries, and gift items like candles, stationary, and tote bags.

BABYCAKES | 248 Broome Street at Ludlow
I would never send anyone I loved or even remotely liked to Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake, even though many visitors will ignore my seasoned advice and go there anyways, (godspeed, my friends). Instead, head to Babycakes - where they have an assortment of cupcakes that are all vegan with gluten-free options. They also have tons of vegan and gluten free cookies, donuts, and other sweet treats for the allergen-challenged. 

PASTICCERIA ROCCO | 243 Bleecker Street at Leroy Street, West Village
I feel fortunate to have pretty much always been near a large Italian population. Truth be told, their sit-down service is awful - but it's an awesome place to come, get a box filled with cannolis and tarts, and walk over to Washington Square Park to feast while people watching.

I'm by no means a coffee snob - but I do know what I like, and I do have discerning taste when it comes to atmosphere and surroundings. I like my coffee strong, but flavorful and palatable. With so many good, independent coffee shops throughout the city - Starbucks just isn't an option.
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE | 160 Berry Street at North 5th, Williamsburg
Blue Bottle comes first because it is my favorite coffee spot in all of New York. My go-to order is their New Orleans Iced Coffee (cold-brewed, slightly sweetened, and a little creamy), or their Kyoto iced when I really need a jolt of artificial energy. Blue Bottle is really famous for their pour-over coffee, though, with a slow drip and incredible aroma. They also have amazing edibles - like a s'more with all handmade ingredients and Mast Brothers chocolate! 

IRVING FARM COFFEE ROASTERS | 71 Irving Place at 18th Street
In a way, 71 Irving feels very, very romantic. Just off of Gramercy park, it's a dignified coffee shop where you can cozy up with a great book or write your next novel. They also serve beer and wine, and have a full-on food menu to satisfy cravings from breakfast til supper! 

BAKERI | 150 Wythe Avenue at North 7th Street, Williamsburg
When I first happened upon Bakeri, I was sure that I had sort of discovered it. It's adorable and warm and absolutely tiny -- a fact that is really pronounced by how insanely crowded it gets these days. They have lots of yummy baked-goods and salads and sandwiches to stay, but I generally go in for a cappuccino-to-go. All their espresso-based drinks are top notch! Cash only. 

STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS | 18 West 29th Street at the ACE Hotel, Garment District
This PDX-import is attached to the ACE Hotel, another affectionately loved West Coast original. If you get in at the right time, you can enjoy your coffee in the ACE lobby - while burying into one of their awesome couches or leather club chairs. I'm all about the cold brew (and so is Stumptown), so get your lil' bottle and a cup of ice and go to java heaven. Lines can be long. Cash only. 


  1. Love that Cynthia Rowley tee! And your guide to NYC is now my to-do list.

  2. Thank you thank you. I appreciate your response a lot. I'll sit on it a bit and see if it makes it's way similarly to Curve. But I loved the midi look but wasn't sure how to wear it so thanks for that inspiration, I'm going to try and utilize what I have to make some new fall/winter outfits !!

  3. Stumptown Coffee! A little PDX in NYC, love it!

  4. The first time I went to Murray's I couldn't even hide my eye roll when they told me they wouldn't toast my bagel - but I cant lie, they fill me up better than any other bagel I've had- one everything bagel with scallion cream cheese will keep me powering thru till dinner. But can you explain to this southern WASP whats the deal with scooped out bagels?

  5. I'm going to save this posts because I've never been there and I just need to. I will probably have the opportunity to go next Autumn, so I will keep this post in my wanderlust folder. I have to admit that one of the reasons I want to go to NY is Catbird!!! i absolutely love their designs!
    So, thank you for sharing your recommendations!

  6. LOVE this, I only wish I had this info when I came to NYC last year! I would love to write something like this for London as well, Kudos to you Nicolette so much effort clearly went into this! <3

  7. OMG this is amazing! Even though I lived in NYC for many years, next time I visit I'm bringing this with me!!!

  8. thank you!! it honestly took SO MUCH time (i've been working on this on-and-off for weeks, formatting, editing, finding the right photos from my own collection of photos i've taken, etc. it's something i've really been wanting to do but i don't think anyone who is not also a blogger can appreciate the amount of work this was!

  9. What Gabi said... Exhaustive!

  10. and I am in no way a blogger and can appreciate what you've done. :)

  11. So many great recommendations. I'm going to have to mark these in Yelp and bookmark this page. That's one of my biggest problems in NY. I think I have stage fright when someone asks me, "What's a good dinner place? What's a good dessert place? What's a good coffee place?". My mind goes blank and I can't think of anything! Ugh the worst!!! Love the Milk Bar, we just tried the cereal milk, it's delicious.

    I've been meaning to write you! It was great meeting you at Lucky FABB. Always love reading your blog, it's very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Have a good weekend!

  12. Hahahaha -- for me, honestly, I just don't like all the DOUGH! Scooped out = less dough = a bagel you can actually fit into your mouth. I also have a gluten sensitivity, so while I don't like a 100% gluten free lifestyle (a bagel once every couple of months, for example) - I try to minimize the intake juuuust a little.

  13. You must come to Staten Island and go to Royal Crown for a sandwich - the best! Also, if you're looking for a nice seafood dinner on the harbor, check out Cole's Dockside. I live in Staten Island, and although we certainly don't have the reputation of the other boroughs, it's definitely a nice change of pace from the big city!

  14. im loving your outfit once again! especially the tshirt! thanks for the great info and must sees when traveling to new york!!!‎

  15. What an awesome awesome post! Can't wait to get there eventually.

  16. Amazzzzing list! I live in Greenpoint, so it's nice to see some of my Williamsburg faves. I adore Bakeri!

  17. I am absolutely in love with your blog. Following you :D
    Make sure you also check out my blog and follow me as well

    x John Setrodipo

  18. Excellent list!!! And gorgeous pictures. I'm gonna have to try some of these places out when I'm in NY next year for FFFWeek. Why do you dislike Magnolia so much? LOL. I had a cupcake there like a year and a half ago when I was in town and I thought it was yummy! I wrote a list in April of New York City bricks-and-mortar shopping options for the FFFWeek blog - I'd love to hear an actual New Yorker's take on it!

  19. Excellent list!!! And gorgeous pictures. I'm gonna have to try some of these places out when I'm in NY next year for FFFWeek. Why do you dislike Magnolia so much? LOL. I had a cupcake there like a year and a half ago when I was in town and I thought it was yummy! I wrote a list in April of bricks-and-mortar New York City plus size shopping options for the FFFWeek blog - I'd love to hear an actual New Yorker's take on it!

  20. LOVE this list of stuff!!!!! I will be referring to it on my next trip to NY! Thanks:)

  21. What a fabulous post. Planning on a visit to NYC soon and will def be taking this comprehensive list with me. Thank you so much!

  22. wow serious kudos to you for this post! amazing! i'm sure it took tons of time to narrow down everything for a single post! also- you look amazing in that skirt! x

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  23. Wow love this guide. Thanks for all this great info!

  24. I can't wait to reference this when I come to NYC to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway!

  25. so useful :)

  26. Fashion Follows HerNovember 16, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    That's a rather lovely handbag.... need this little gem in my life!

  27. Fab guide! As a NYC local, lots of stuff I have on my own top lists but some new things I never heard of! Thanks so much, I am bookmarking this!

  28. I love your blog! You're very inspiring & very beautiful!

  29. So I just visited NYC for the first time this past week. I've never been more in love with anywhere in the world!! Reading this made me so anxious to get back and I just left! I will be a resident in the next few years, mark my words! Love your blog, I will definitely be a regular here!! :)

  30. thanks for the shout out love!

  31. Amazing. I'm from Cape Town and am visiting NYC for a few days in a months time. Your delicious post has made me ridiculously excited! x

  32. this is such a great list & i spied a little flight sale the other day - so tempting!


  33. Great ! Thank you for answering this question as I was wondering the same. Need to put my hands on this amazing skirt !

  34. Thank you so much to have took time to put together this great city guide ! I will be in NYC in february and this guide will be my best friend ! It's so much better to visit a city with the eyes of a local.

  35. It's a pleasure to visit your blog!....i really having surprise looking into it....

  36. Just started following your blog today. I will be in Brooklyn next week and this list will be SO helpful. Thank you!

  37. Ooooh Nicole. Thank you for this! My girlfriend surprised me with a trip to New York last week and the moment we got off the plane I checked out your guide! We stopped my Marina Rinaldi and I was in love:) Can't wait to dive into this list on our next trip.


  38. This is awesome! New York is the best and that fricken shirt is the sh*t! :)

  39. This is great; New York stuff is the best. I want that shirt you're wearing, gimme! >.<

  40. Very helpful! Thanks for the post!

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  42. How is it we've both been in NYC for 10years and never been to Staten Island? Field trip!

  43. Nicolette, you making me miss my NYC days! I just moved back to my hometown after ten years in Brooklyn. I had a baby and couldn't afford to stay and raise him there. But reading your blog is so fun for me, makes me remember when I was young and free and could wear dry clean only clothes, impractical shoes, and generally be a fabulous woman about town. (But maybe not as fabulous as you.)

  44. Also, try going to the Farm on Adderly in Ditmas Park. It was one of my favorite places to go.

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  47. From a Native NYer (currently living in Chicago) --WELL DONE!

  48. Check out our favorite places in NYC!

  49. I totally appreciate it! I'm going to NYC next week for my first time, and this has been such an inspiration! I'm totally checking out everything I can on your list. THANK YOU!

  50. Such a great post! THANK YOU THANK YOU! I really needed this. My wife and I are headed to NYC next month for my birthday.

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