Hello from New York!
I came to the city to meet up with my two besties Chris and Kristina. We stayed in an adorable airBnB, complete with a ubiquitous NYC fire escape for late night cigarettes, in the East Village. It was an awesome area, and was centrally located to pretty much everything we did. It was also walking distance from Amor y Amargo and Veselka, which is all I need in NYC.
Here's rundown of the things we did in the city, but let me preface it by saying:
1. We stayed in Manhattan and skipped Brooklyn, except for one morning of coffee and walking across the bridge. I'm a big fan of getting to know one city/area of the city really well, which is what we did in the East Village.
2. The trip was centered around seeing two shows (Hello, Dolly! and Anastasia) and then a ton of eating and drinking. We skipped out on most of the de rigueur tourist activities in favor of our version of tourist (food, museums, and drinks).
- Buvette: When it was my turn to pick the place for dinner, I screamed "BUVETTE!" into my friends faces with the vigor of a thousands suns. Maybe it was more like I sent a link to the group text, but you get my point. I was super hyped to visit this French small plates bistro, and it exceeded my expectations. We sat shoulder to shoulder on tiny stools and around a tiny table, with a slew of precariously teetering tiny plates of charcuterie and cheeses. We drank a lovely Côtes du Rhone called Chat Fou (crazy cat) and found nirvana. Plus! Their bathroom is stocked with Aesop toiletries. Heaven I tell you.
- Amor y Amargo: A amaro/bitters bar with the craziest library of amari I've ever seen. Hands down my favorite bar we visited this trip. They even carry Unicum, which is a Hungarian amaro (like a sweeter Fernet) that I was introduced to in Budapest this past summer.
- Bibi: East Village wine bar with an elevated neighborhood feel. The perfect place to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine.
- Goodnight Sonny: a chill cocktail bar with an unpretentious, neighborhood vibe. Plus plenty of Tecate to be had.
- The Elephant Bar at the NoMad: Maybe I'm biased because we have two friends who work here, but this bar is gorgeous (everything is opulent, polished mahogany) and has an incredibly talented bar staff with a unique and inventive cocktail list.
- Veselka: A 24-hour Ukrainian restaurant that is basically my version of heaven.
- Russ & Daughters (the cafe): The eponymous Jewish deli. An impressive selection of Eastern European food plus an old world malt shop feel. It was close to the top of my list of places to eat, but I actually preferred the food at Veselka.
- Almondine: Cute French bakery in Brooklyn. We stopped in for provisions before hoofing it across the Brooklyn bridge in freezing temperatures (thanks Kristina). Their croissants and pastries were heaven sent, and very traditional French fare.
- Dimes: after eating like a human dumpster for the better part of a week, I was elated to have a healthy-but-delicious lunch at Dimes. The space is gorgeous and minimal, and they have a cool tea selection.
- Two Hands: A bright and airy lunch/brunch restaurant. It's run by Australians which may or may not be what makes it so magic and chic.
- Nom Wah: vintage Dim Sum parlor in China Town that dates back to the 1920s. I'm pretty sure we ate our body weight in dumpling that night.
- Death & Company: A world-famous speakeasy cocktail lounge. A dark and cozy setting, but a little more vibrant and up-tempo mood than some of the other speakeasies.
- Please Don't Tell: One of the heavy hitter NY cocktail bars. We almost skipped it because it's such a hyped up bar, but I'm glad we didn't! Located through a telephone booth in a hotdog restaurant (this winter's hottest club! Cue Stefon voice), it's a dark and intimate speak easy with an inventive cocktail list. Their bathroom is also a great photo op, just saying.
- Cha Cha Matcha: Aside from being ridiculously Instagram-able, this is a legit matcha café and the perfect place for a break from the cold.
- Holiday Cocktail Lounge: Deliciously divey, this place reminds me of Mac's Club Deuce in Miami. I remember texting my husband after a few scotch and sodas to tell him I found his perfect bar in NY.
- Everlane flagship store
- Glossier showroom: Taking up the penthouse of a chic building, the Glossier showroom is like a Millennial Disneyland.
- Hello, Dolly! and Anastasia: Am I the only one that cries my way through Broadway shows? Some of the most enriching experiences of my life have been live theatre. The palpable excitement in the air is electric, and seeing some of my favorite songs performed in these historic playhouses is a nearly religious experiences.
- MoMA: My favorite musuem; aside from the rare and impressive collection of art, the building itself is a sleek, modern sanctuary of good taste.
- The Met: They just so happened to have a David Hockney exhibit while we were there! Talk about good timing.
- Central Park: One of the few times I don't grumble about walking. Check out the Belvedere castle, and definitely stop to feed the chunkiest lil' squirrels in the world.