New York is one of my favourite cities and so I’m delighted to introduce you to Jessica from Used York City who reveals her insider tips for New York on the blog today, while I’m my sharing some of my top London spots over on her blog. She’s recently become a mother to gorgeous Augusten, but still manages to look effortlessly glam.
Welcome, Jessica! What would you recommend visiting to someone who only has 24 hours in the city?
I’d say, follow you interests! If you’re a foodie and totally interested in authentic Chinese cuisine, you’ll want to head out to Flushing, Queens for the day to eat yourself happy! But if you’re really into experiencing the cultural side of NYC, head to the TKTS booth in Times Square to score discounted tickets for a same-day Broadway show, followed by a docent led tour at the Museum of Modern Art. And if you’re a fashionista…why, shopping doesn’t get any better than a stroll up 5th Avenue or around SoHo! By following your interests, you’ll really feel as if you made the most of your time in the Big Apple!
How would you complete this phrase – “You Know You’re a New Yorker when…”
…you’ve lived in more than 5 apartments, all of which could pass as a small closet anywhere else in the rest of the country. You know that if you see an empty subway car, it’s best not to enter it, even if you are wearing 5 inch stilettos. You would NEVER wear 5 inch stilettos on your commute, and always carry a pair of backup flats in your bag. You know better than to stop when people on the street ask “Do you have a moment for whales/LGBT/hurricanes in Southeast Asia?” Eyes down, earphones in, and keep walking. And perhaps most importantly, you know you’re a New Yorker when, as good as it is to get out of the city for a few days, it feels even better to come back.
What are the most luxurious places that you can recommend in New York?
Splurge on a gorgeous spa day–The Peninsula Hotel, The Mandarin Oriental, and Aire Ancient Baths are some of my personal faves. Follow it up with a shopping spree at Barney’s or Bergdorf’s, fancy cocktails with a view at The Standard Rooftop, and dinner at the world famous Daniel, Per Se, or for a more traditional classic NYC feel, The 21 Club.
Which hidden gems should visitors seek out, whether places to eat or things to see?
As popular as the Metropolitan Museum of Art is, I personally love its sister museum in Upper Manhattan, The Cloisters. Take a 30 minute subway ride up to the tippy top of the island to the neighborhood of Inwood, and it’s like transporting yourself to a French castle–it’s absolutely stunning, filled with magnificent tapestries, surrounded by glorious gardens, and the delicious New Leaf restaurant (Bette Midler’s brain child!) is just steps away. It really makes for the perfect way to spend a NYC afternoon off-the-beaten-path.
Where would you recommend to eat like a local?
Grab a dollar slice, we’re famous for them! There’s places all over the city offering 2 cheese pizza slices and a can of soda for $2.75, which can’t be beat, and New Yorkers are famous for lining up every day at lunchtime.
Each neighborhood is filled with it’s local spots–a few of my personal local favorites are the rooftop of Hotel Chantelle for an AMAZING 1920’s jazz brunch featuring $0.92 cocktails(!!!), Freeman’s for classic rustic Americana comfort dishes (plus it’s located at the end of an alley, adding to the allure of the dining experience), and Blockhead’s for delicious (and cheap!) margaritas, tacos, and lots of great vegan Mexican inspired dishes (But don’t worry, carnivores! They have meat, too!)
What about shopping, which are the best areas to go and what would you recommend buying?
For the classic NYC shopping experience, a stroll down 5th Avenue is a must. You’ll hit all the luxury stores…Prada, Louis, and Gucci, to name a few. But for a bit more variety (think luxury boutiques alongside ready-to-wear chain stores alongside mom-and-pop shops), SoHo is where you want to shop–there’s a bit of everything! Stop into Le Labo to find your signature scent, the original Tiffany & Co. to add an “I heart NY” charm to your bracelet, Henri Bendel’s for a monogrammed-on-the-spot passport cover, and Strand to grab a few NYC inspired books to read on your trip as well as one of their signature tote bags.
Is there a very touristy sight in New York that you haven’t yet visited but want to?
Oh yes! I still haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty (gasp!) and seeing as how my great-granduncle came over on the boat from Greece back in the day, I would love to see his name signed in the immigration book.
What would you miss most about New York if you ever moved elsewhere?
I would greatly miss being able to walk anywhere and everywhere, ordering basically anything one could think of at all hours of the day and night and having it delivered, and the constant buzz and energy running through the city. I always say…if you love NYC something fierce, it will always love you back.