Agatha Tutia
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New York City Travel Guide

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How cliche for me to say this is truly the city that never sleeps? Seriously though. It. Never. Sleeps. It’s like a college freshmen downing 5 red bulls in an all-night study sesh for an exam the next day. You’re either consumed entirely, or freaking peeing your pants. This city is not for the faint of heart. Accidentally strayed from your destination on the subway? Hesitant to jaywalk in front of a moving bus? Unsure how to spend your Saturday night alone? Tie on your Hermes scarf and purse your lips as if Andrea just said something absolutely insipid. Embrace your Miranda, and watch The Devil Wears Prada if you don’t get the reference.

Revisiting my time in the city, my New York Minute is always never enough. But if you’re planning on visiting the Big Apple, here are a couple of my favorite places to check out on the way.

 

ONE // Comedy Cellar - Greenwich Village

Nestled in the funny bone of Greenwich Village is a cozy, intimate, and legendary comedy club: the Comedy Cellar. Home to countless hilarious thespians such as Louis C.K., Robin Williams, John Belushi, and the entire cast of SNL. Reserve yourself a show (must be 21 or over) and laugh yourself silly. You'll be expected to order at least two items so this a perfect post-dinner drinks place to enjoy your evening.

Address: 117 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

 

TWO // Refinery Rooftop - Midtown

An industrial bar nestled upon the top floor of the Refinery Hotel in Midtown. Refinery Rooftop provides a most lovely view of the Empire State Building while you sip on a crafted (and pricey) cocktail. If I were to live in the city and burdened with oh so much cash, I have no doubt I would book a private birthday affair just for the romantic and intimate aesthetics. This is definitely a treat yo self location. Do note that reservations come in handy for groups in order to sit outside on the lounges for lunch like the cast of Gossip Girl.

Address: 63 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018. Walk through the lobby to the elevators and go to the highest floor.

 

Three // Smorgasburg - Brooklyn

Self-proclaimed foodie? Taste the latest Buzzfeed-worthy food at Smorgasburg. It's kinda like a healthier and more cultural Houston Rodeo/Texas State Fair. Set as an outdoor market in Williamsburg on Saturdays (11am-6pm) and Prospect Park on Sundays (11am-6pm), you can graze through tents and tents of truly instagrammable food. Try the Parmesan Truffle Fries of Home Frite, the infamous (and truly foul, but you HAVE to try it anyway) Raindrop Cake, pineapple/watermelon/dragonfruit drinks of John's Juice NYC, Ramen Burgers, the Funfetti Ring Ding of Duane Park Patisserie, and visiting vendors from across the country. Stock up on cash and then spend it all on a delicious journey with your taste buds.

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Williamsburg Address: 90 Kent Ave. Brooklyn NY 11211. Open 11am-6pm.

Prospect Park Address: Prospect Park – Breeze Hill (East Drive at Lincoln Rd.). Open 11am-6pm.

four // Westlight - Brooklyn

Need another rooftop option? I highly suggest reserving Westlight for that magic hour at The William Vale's rooftop bar. Probably the most wonderful view of the city from Brooklyn. While left alone Saturday evening, a friend suggested I wait in the line to check out the view before heading out. In the midst of waiting, I encountered a group of Parisians and spent the rest of the night with them till 3am so this place holds a special place in my heart. Also the restrooms in the lobby are really nice.

Address: The William Vale Hotel, 111 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Five // The High Line - CHelsea


Source: The High Line

A reinvented train track, now purposed as a 1.45 mile long park along Chelsea, is one of my favorite places to go. Grab some gelato, take a stroll, catch up on some reading, and marvel at all languages spoken. I started at the Ganesvoort Street entrance to the very end at W 30th Street (if you're traveling to another city on bus this could be where you depart). You can also check out Chelsea Market first and then get on the High Line for a post-lunch promenade.

Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (This is actually the Chelsea Market address, but it takes you there!)

Six // Brooklyn Bridge - Financial District


Source: History

It's iconic from movies to Sex and the City. Arrange an hour or so to walk along the bridge or meet a long lost lover (or Tinder match) at the middle. And be mightily impressed by this historic beauty and New York staple. Be cautious of tourists stopping right in front of you to selfie it up.

Address: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038

Seven // Ping’s - Chinatown


Source: Yelp

Want an authentic Chinatown experience? Then go to Ping's. Refresh with some green tea, hot or iced, and pick out your dim sum from the trolley, dearies! They come in various small portioned sizes so you can try a bit of everything from pork dumplings to cooked eggplant to more dumplings. It's definitely a hole-in-a-wall, but that just makes the nom-athon all the more legit. And when you receive your check, it will delightfully surprise you with an underpriced total for a New York City establishment.

Address: 22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

Eight // Taiyaki NYC - Chinatown

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Just a couple of blocks away from Ping's is Taiyaki NYC's Japanese ice cream shop. All the rage in South Korea, soft served ice cream is swirled perfectly into their fun fish-shaped cones. Absolutely ridiculous, but so so delicious. Lick fast before it melts away.

Address: 119 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013

Nine // The Met - Upper East Side

What a wonder! You'll find European paintings, Japanese artifacts, gorgeous jewels, and my favorite room: the Moroccan Court (you can watch a video of how they built it here). Honestly, I wish I had more time, but my feet were soaking wet from the rainstorm that I had to return home. You can pay however much you like to enter The Met, $1 or $1000 (I paid $10, but the suggested for adults is $25, oops), and be free to roam the entire day there if you'd like. There's a cafeteria and multiple restaurants to nourish your cultured stomach. Aimlessly wade through each exhibit, and if you find yourself in the Moroccan Court, take a moment to slow down and appreciate the fine, intricate, yet simple details of the room. It'll take your breath away.

Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

Ten // Wander!

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This is NEW YORK! Walk around, stumble into boutiques, restaurants, parks! Seriously, for an hour or two, just wander and take it all in. Let New York City dazzle before your eyes.

Last key thoughts: familiarize yourself with Google Maps and the subway lines, buy a metro card and fill that baby up $7.25/day give or take, bring a power pack to charge your phone or always be aware of the closest Starbucks, avoid chains like the plague (unless you need to charge up), and wear comfortable shoes. And of course, you will encounter at least one crazy person on the subway so have fun and good luck and be safe!