the NEW YORK list: the essentials

Am I a New Yorker yet? Of course not. I still have a few more years to go before I can redeem that title. But with 355 days of living in this city, it truly has become my home. I now know where not to go! *Apologies in advance if my early NY lists were a little surface level* However, I do promise that I’ll never take you to Chelsea Market. So the ESSENTIAL things I’ve learned (with some local gems to explore) in list formation are below. “Unleash the beast” as Darren Arnofsky said before traumatizing me with mother!

  1. The coffee scene is DIFFERENT. I dreamed of wonderful, huge coffee shops filled with inspiration. But with limited seating and no Wi-Fi, you’ll find me hidden away at Le Pain. Oh, how I love their huge tables. Yet for “good-make-your-bones-vibrate” coffee, swing by Happy Bones.
  2. Apartment hunting is 1,000 times easier when you live in the city. StreetEasy‘s push notifications will also become your best friend. My #1 tip: pick your neighborhood, be willing to sacrifice washing machines, and if you like it, put down that deposit.
  3. Truly anything can happen when you step out your door each morning.
  4. Book Culture is actual heaven.
  5. Even when you could totally take the subway, jump into a cab every so often. Nothing is better than giving your feet a break, staring up at the skyscrapers and clearing your head. Cue some good music too.
  6. I can’t believe I’m giving you my secrets. But my favorite restaurants right now are Cotenna, Emmett’s, Joseph Leonard, Kazunori and Café Frida. For dessert, Treathouse.
  7. My guilty pleasures: buying new jeans (probably at The Kooples), watching Siesta Key and SoulCycle. So, even in 355 days, not everything has changed.
  8. Avoid Midtown like the Plague. Unless you are seeing a show or doing that thing where you get a paycheck every few weeks, run away.
  9. The escalator at the Public Hotel is a neon-dream. Their rooftop and warehouse space create quite the spectacle.
  10. One of the first places I discovered in NY and a place I stumbled upon last Friday night is Better Days. This low-key hot spot is the perfect place to unwind, feel like a rockstar and meet some new friends. If I told you where it was, what would be the fun in that 😉

Always say yes. Rent a Citi bike. Put yourself out there. Find confidence in everything you do. Just don’t let NY change you.

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the NEW YORK list: summer in the city

WELL, It’s SUMMER in New York City. And it has been pretty, pretty cool (lifestyle and temperature wise). 10 things on my mind related to summer in the city (and somewhat not related) below. List formation, here we GO:

  1. Back on a dark day in May, I woke up at 4:00 AM to scathing heat. 2 fans made no difference. A cold shower and 12 hours later, I found my new best friend at Lowe’s. God bless the AIR CONDITONERs of the city. *Who would have guessed Lowe’s would show up on tLoC?!* 
  2. God bless HAIM.
  3. Caliente Cab. The Facebook viral video with the GIANT margaritas was a LIE, but it’s my new favorite spot. Just don’t be that person taking a picture of the giant margarita over the patio. Eat enchiladas for days.
  4. People in New York LOVE the Hamptons. AND YES, I’m totally hoping to be one of those people who go every weekend one day. Yet, NO ONE is HERE on the WEEKENDS now. Sooooo…Explore that CITY. Heck, DATE the CITY if you feel so inclined.
  5. I really like living in the Upper West Side. Sure, I sometimes feel like an old man reading in Riverside Park, BUT have you seen the tree-lined STREETS?!
  6. I’m adding “GIF Wizard” to my resume. That and “taco connoisseur.” I’m undecided on “music video enthusiast.” Please let me know your thoughts.
  7. YOGA, man. Who would have thought?! Sure, I’m tumbling over and I have no clue what a chaturanga is or does, but I’m learning. And I like sleeping on the floor.
  8. It hit me about 6 weeks ago, but this list maker LOVES new york.
  9. I just went to TAOS, NEW MEXICO!!! I’ll make a list soon…A sneak peek: TAOS knows how to make mouth-watering french fries. Spoiler: “the TRIP list: TAOS” is basically “the FRENCH FRIES list.” Muhahaha.
  10. I’m still learning a lot about life. And that’s COMPLETELY okay. At the end of the day, the best part about summer has been sharing stories with new and old friends over drinks, dinner, and/or dessert on many sidewalk patios. OR on that Brooklyn Barge (low key the coolest place to hang all summer long).

 

the NEW YORK list: broadway

One SUPER thing about living in Manhattan is the easy access to all of the FANTASTIC Broadway shows. If you’ve read the MUSICAL list, you know I’m all about some good theatrical expression. So far, I’ve seen 7 shows on the Great White Way since moving here. While MOST of them have been brilliant, some fell a little flat. SO, what show should be next to see on your list?! WELL…this list should help you out.

Dear Evan Hansen // La La Land’s composers take their skills to Broadway. It’s a mix of Next to Normal and Spring Awakening. It’s also the most challenging and beautiful piece of theatre I’ve ever seen. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW WORLD. You’ll probably cry.

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 // It’s whimsical, exhilarating, ludicrous and completely glorious. Some “War and Peace” plot lines infused with Russian accents make for the perfect combination.

CATS // Are you serious Charlie?!…YEP. I AM. The revival running right now is invigorating and sharp with each movement. It’s the cleanest show I’ve ever seen. AND I’m a DOG PERSON. BUT I STILL 100% approve.

Miss Saigon // This limited run will give you chills all through Act One. Act Two moves a little slow, but the tremendous set design makes up for it. It’s classic Broadway and terribly depressing, somehow making Les Misérables and Aida look like child’s play.

What about the three other shows you saw?! Eh, don’t worry about them. Plus all of the shows I saw back in high school closed (RIP Spiderman: Turn off the Dark). I’m only trying to GIVE YA THE BEST. So what’s next on my list to see?

Sunday in the Park with George // All I’m hearing is BRAVO and BRAVA. I’m trying to get tickets this weekend, so stayed tuned to my Instagram to see if I find my way back to Times Square (gah) for this limited engagement.

Anastasia // MORE great reviews and that word of mouth is spreading like wildfire about this show. Having just opened in previews last week, I’m curious to see how this one measures up.

Hamilton // Okay, don’t roll your eyes at me. But, I haven’t listended to the soundtrack yet. I just know that “ELIZA” melody. I’m all about going in blind to see a show and then being blown away. Listening to the soundtrack is the biggest spoiler. One day I’ll get in to see this one. Probably not anytime soon, but I’ve heard you should try and go.

 

the NEW YORK list: neighborhoods

I’ve been living in New York now for a little under two months. It’s been a WHIRLWIND of ups, downs, and adventure. While I won’t give away the whole what I’ve learned in NY so far list (that one is coming sOOn), I’ll break down the neighborhoods of Manhattan for you in lis formation. Totally not an expert opinion, but a list of first impressions and weekend exploration.

the Upper West Side – MY HOME. When I apartment searched (talk about stress), I looked at a few places in the UWS and KNEW I had to start my new life in New York right here. It’s full of good vibes. Tree-lined streets (fall is already a dream), TWO PARKS a few steps away, and GREAT food. Plus it’s safe and I live five blocks from an Urban Outfitters.

Midtown/Theatre District – I get off right at Times Square every morning to get to work and dude, it’s awesome. I’m not the typical New Yorker who hates Times Square with every inch of their being. Okay, maybe I do at like 6PM, but in the mornings its SUPER and full of wonder. Oodles of coffee shops, Bryant Park, the NY Public Library, the MoMA, Radio City, Rockefeller Center, all the SHOWS, and really good salad places aka Chop’t.

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the Upper East Side – If you watched Gossip Girl, its apparently the place to be?! Welp, I never watched it, but its a train ride north of Grand Central, has the GUGGENHEIM, plus the MET and has a really good Panera. Weird I know, but who doesn’t want a bread bowl.

Chelsea – Oh Chelsea. Art Galleries galore. The High Line. Plus the soon to be rad, Hudson Yards. The Trailer Park Lounge. Local Bookstores. Chelsea Market (which is honestly more stressful than Times Square on the weekends). You really just walk around here inspired. Plus everyone there is TRENDY AF.

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the Meatpacking District – Hands down, one of the coolest areas in all of Manhattan. BRUNCH spots. The Samsung 837 VR/Instagram Tunnel store. The WHITNEY. Plus crazy amounts of shopping, art, and rooftop bars. Right below Chelsea, you get dropped off here at the end of the High Line.

the Lower East Side – Okay, actually my favorite place in all of NYC. SO much creativity, energy and inspiration. PLUS great coffee shops and fried chicken. And Mr. Purple. AND Live Music. also INSANELY fun nightlife. Just don’t forget your leather jacket and don’t be that tourist taking your picture in front of a wall.

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Battery Park – If you are ever missing palm trees, head here. Brookfield Place has a bunch of palms just waiting for you. PLUS Battery Park is right on the water, you can see the Statue of Liberty walking alongside the Hudson and see some nice boats and maybe a cruise ship or two. Quiet, family-friendly and a great place to clear your head.

FiDi – Located right next to Battery Park is FiDi aka the Financial District. Sure there is Wall Street, but also Oculus (basically a star wars ship featuring a shopping mall). The World Trade Center. SHAKE SHACK. Steps away from the Brooklyn Bridge which takes you over to DUMBO. The Irving Farm Coffee Roasters in FiDi is stellar too if you need some WICKED GOOD coffee.

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SoHo It’s filled with shopping, an ADIDAS store, CRAZY good coffee spots, a CB2, incredible restaurants, and did I say good coffee?! Throw in a few art galleries, some instagrammable streets and you’ve got one of the coolest areas in Manhattan. Plus there is a pizza place that has DAIRY FREE pizza. bless up.

Greenwich Village – It’s NYU everywhere, but also where Lady Gaga played on the roof of The Bitter End with Mark Ronson a few weeks back. Between SoHo and Meatpacking, you’ve got Umami Burger, tree-lined streets and Washington Square Park. Classic New York City.

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