EAST TO WEST VILLAGE
Expensive and lush all over.
Wander the streets filled with galleries, cocktail bars, fancy things and fancy people.
The vintage stores are incredible as are the thrift stores.
Spend mornings in a cafe with a coffee
and your afternoons hanging about Washington Square Park
where the absolute best people watching can be done.
I love this part of Manhattan; although it is littered with the best
of the best designer stores,
it is not only for the upper of the upper class.
These areas also have some of the most beautiful streets in NYC!
Green trees, secret hidden gardens, old apartment buildings with fire escapes
the kind of Audrey Hepburn’s dreams.
Washington Square Park
This park is a little piece of epic. The people-watching here is phenomenal. You are likely to encounter ribbon twirlers, couples in love, Chopin played from a very real grand piano, and the Friends cast playing in the fountain. Little old men sit waiting to challenge you in a game of chess. When it comes to NYC parks, this is a must-see.
178 Prince St, New York, NY 10012 The owner of this gallery has been around for many many years supporting artists from all over the world, but mostly those from New York. He is the sweetest of sweethearts and if you see him, have a chat! He’s what I call a laugh and a half. This gallery holds an eclectic collection that is full of work from up-and-coming and already risen artists.
From vintage and thrift to designer wear, you will not be disappointed in the shopping here! Here are my faves:
- Starstruck Vintage Clothing- 47 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014
- Geminola- 41 Perry St, New York, NY 10014
- Monk Vintage Thrift Shop- 175 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10011
- Buffalo Exchange- 332 E. 11th St, New York, NY 10003
With so so many places, and so little time, you’ll simply have to visit only the best restaurants. My god, you’re gonna be the happiest and fullest person alive!
- Magnolia Bakery– 401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014 (get the coconut cake!)
- 12 Chairs Cafe- 56 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
- Miss Lily’s- 132 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012
- The best Jamaican food in town! You MUST try the corn and the Jerk Chicken. Staff is friendly, tunes are a-buzzing and with a Jamaican beer in your hand you shall turn all frowns upside down.
- Cowgirl– 519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
- This place is really funky! Its walls are filled with barbed wire from all over the country; different types and different spikes. The food is also delicious. The menus may make you chuckle.
- Balthazar– 80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
- This French brasserie in SoHo is so romantic. Inside is a magical wonderland that makes you feel as though you have been taken back in time to Paris in the 20’s. The large hundred year old mirrors covering the walls; the oyster station with happy oyster serving man; the quiche. Oh, the quiche. A blast and not too bad on the old wallet. Head chef Keith McNally also owns Pastis, Cafe Luxembourg, Lucky Strike, Pravda, Odeon, and Schiller’s Liquor Bar.
- Cubbyhole- 281 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014
- Yes to LGBT bar goodness. This divine establishment plays some excellent tunes and has the BEST rainbow everything collection on the walls.
- Katz’s Deli– 205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
- New York’s most iconic deli and the orgasm station (Katz’s was the site of Meg Ryan’s famous fake orgasm scene in the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally)
Young, wild and free. Brooklyn is huge. HUGE! Made up of countless boroughs. Here you can find many a craft beer, vintage and thrift stores, intricate hand-made jewelry and the famous-for-a-reason Brooklyn Flea Market. Get a bagel and wander the ins and outs of the streets in your fur coat and sparkle hoops.
I’m not sure, but I think you could definitely act out your own self-written, self-performed monologue while staring out over the river into the labyrinth of thy Queen of cities. OR you could skip from one side to the other like a school girl!
Brooklyn Bridge Park
This area is surrounded by the East River, which you will see as you pass over the Brooklyn Bridge. The park is a lovely way to end your best-ever-bridge experience. The perfect scene for an all out make-out session.
- Spoonbill & Sugartown Avenue- 218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
- This is where I found some of the most special books I own to date. I found a German ‘fashion guide’ from the 1920’s and a book filled with French poetry. Yes, some treasures to be found here.
- Catbird NYC– 219 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
- A tiny “Brooklyn mecca” boutique in stylish digs, offering dainty rings, bracelets, candles & other designer trinkets, as well as unique, original gifts.
- Awoke Vintage- 132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
- In Williamsburg, a thrift store worth your time. Or, visit their second location in Greenpoint (688 Manhattan Avenue). Open 7 days a week!
Brunch? Breakfast? Bagel. Lunch? Lobster. Dinner? Martini (dirty).
- Supermarkets (in general)
- The supermarkets are great if you need a break from your fried chicken diet. But you probably don’t. Check one out on Bedford Avenue! Foreign supermarket experience, check!
- Bagelsmith – 189 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
- Roberta’s – 261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
- Sheltering Sky– Rooftop, McCarren Hotel, 160 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249*
*Sheltering Sky has since turned over and is now known as the McCarren Rooftop Bar. The year-round roof deck has been reimagined by Joe Carroll and Francesco Panella, the team behind the hotel’s new bar Oleanders.
VACATION IN NEW YORK CITY PACKING GUIDE
1. Your comfortable day wear that makes you feel sexy as hell. Comfort doesn’t have to mean ugly, my friends.
2. Choose three colors or tones and match everything to them. I’m a black, white and grey girl. If your dresses, jackets, tops, shoes and accessories all fit together, you will never again pack an unused item.
3. Shoes that can cross from day into night. My go-to shoes are platform leather ankle boots.
4. Accessories: Hats are a must. Fedora, straw, beanie… the options are limitless. Jewelry: minimal. Bring only the stuff that you can wear with most of the outfits in your suitcase. AND your badass hoops, of course.
5. Your night-time-hot-time outfit. One or two options, that’s it. Be fearless.
6. Chargers, converters, headphones, earplugs, eye masks… you know, practical things.
7. Notebook to journal, draw, or take notes. Traveling makes you a genius. Write that shit down.
8. Weather appropriate everything. NYC has extreme weather folks, and don’t you forget it.
9. Camera (or if you’re like me, iPhone)
10. An uplifting book. Do not pack a book that makes you sad, depressed or negative. You’re on holiday! Your only business should be in smiling, kissing and feeling good vibes.
Accommodation in this city can be expensive. If you’re hitting the city in high tourist season, (which is basically any time of year except early January to mid February) you will have to book ahead. Accept that the best option may be a hostel full of backpackers, which along can put you back around $70. Hotel rooms, depending on the area, are going to hit you up for more. A nice alternative would be to book a private room in an Airbnb apartment. A tip: Stay in the area where you want to hang out! If not, you’ll end up paying the difference lugging your butt from taxi to subway anyhow. (psst! TTL has some suggestions for you in this post, including the app Hotel Tonight, for last minute hotel deals)
You have SO much say in this matter, as you can see from this guide. You don’t have to spend a crazy amount on food. You can get by on next to nothing if you’re buying from supermarkets and cooking. While there are many expensive restaurants, there are tons of reasonable options in the city as well. If you’re on a budget, dine out for just one meal per day and you shall sail through mighty fine.
A note on alcohol: In New York City, you’ll find it is not so cheap. At the bars, drinks are much more expensive than in Europe or Asia, but comparable to Australia. Wine is expensive; beer not so. Howver, liquor prices in supermarkets can be cheap!
Subway and taxi costs within the city are not outrageous. If you plan to take the train a lot, purchasing an unlimited ride ticket for the MTA makes sense. Note: walking is free.
If you’re low on cash but MUST get something to remember your trip, don’t fret! Souvenirs are cheap from street stalls, and there are some really cool ones around Washington Square Park. Plus, vintage and thrift shops give you the choice of some incredible finds for groovy prices, as do flea markets.
1. Tour area by area. Don’t spend your days commuting from one side of this terrifically enormous city to the other.
2. Don’t overpack! Because you’re likely going to shop, consider the fact that you will be wearing your new special treasures while on holiday.
3. Bring comfortable shoes (but not ugly shoes).
4. Bring all the beauty products that make you feel like the royalty you are. But only in travel size!
5. Immersive theatre. Only available in New York City, and SUCH a unique experience.
6. In New York, ATMs dispense cash first, card last. Learned that one the hard way.
7. Don’t stand in walkways, doorways or anywhere in the way. People will get hella mad! Another hard lesson learned.
8. Ask for help if you’re lost! New Yorkers have a steely look as they power through the streets, but honest to god, they are all so so generous and are willing to help, no matter their resting bitch-face.
9. The Metropolitan Opera hosts summer concerts in Central Park. If you’re visiting in the summer, go!
10. Also in the Summer, check out Bryant Park events. They have everything from Shakespeare to fire twirling and juggling to films. Check out their calendar!
11. St. Marks is the place for all the cool hangs.
Like this guide? Check out shesnogood for more travel guides and views into Sophie’s wanderings. From shesnogood: “Here is your spot to find travel guides of all kinds, music, fashion, art and sex. shesnogood is your place to lay down your hat and play. To follow your heart.” Or, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. TTL is grateful for the collaboration!
All photos courtesy of shesnogood.