{TRAVEL} NEW YORK TRAVEL DIARY + GUIDE


August 10, 2016


From nearly getting trampled by Pikachu in a Casey Neisat video, to making history by attending the first every live recording of the Seth Meyers show, to eating and drinking my way from one end of New York to the other, it's safe to say this trip to New York was everything we could hope for and more.

Whether you've never been to New York, been there once, or a thousand times, it's always a new experience. Buildings are coming up and going down every day, and the city is forever changing and reinventing itself. While there's always something new to experience there's also a few things that always remain the same. Want to know what I got up to while I was there this time?

I'm not going to lie I'm not a huge fan of Times Square and everything that it entails. In fact, I didn't even make it there this time, and I'm not even sad about it. The thing is, of course, it's interesting and totally otherworldly, and what the city has done to transform the area from one of crime and fear, to tourist attraction really is a testament to the mayor at the time.  However, it's a little intense for me, and I much prefer the vibe downtown. In the past, we stayed at a hotel that no longer exists that was located on Lafayette just before Chinatown, but since it was no longer we had to get experimental. 

Truth be told we probably waited longer than we should have in the hotel booking department, but I think it all worked out for the best. We ended up staying at The Sheraton Tribeca, and honestly although it's slightly off the beaten path: it was actually amazing.

We upgraded to the #SheratonClub level and let me know tell you it's the best money we've ever spent. From a rooftop terrace with an amazing view of the city (accessible with your room key) to the around the clock well-stocked kitchen. You would have no excuses to ever be hungry or thirsty. Water, soda, juice, and a plethora of snacks were available around the clock. 

Breakfast was served from 7:30-10-30 am and was complete with scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, bagels, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and even pastries. And of course coffee, tea, etc.  You could choose to eat inside or out (with that amazing view who sits inside?).

From 6:00-8:00pm  there was a bartender there to serve you alcohol drinks (also he's the sweetest man ever, and has worked there for 5 years, and assures me that he's never gotten tired of the view), as well there are more snacks from guac and chips to fruit and cheese, and meat, and even a couple times they served mini sandwiches (which were AH-MAZING). I do not want to know what's different about American cheese, but oh man it's good. 

Even the view from our room was incredible, and it was MUCH bigger than any room we've had in New York in the past. All of the staff were so incredibly nice and accommodating I would totally stay there again.  

My only criticism was the shower. We were in a wheelchair friendly room which is totally fine; however, it was a little more than tricky in the shower, as we're both pretty tall people the shower head was a bit low for us. And by low I mean like impossibly low, but I mean kudos to the hotel for being accommodating for those with mobility issues. I think there's probably a better compromise here, but hey if that's the worst complaint we've got. We're doing alright. 




Shake Shack (duh)
I'm pretty much embarrassed to tell you how many times I ate at Shake Shack, and I'm going to leave your mind wander to the darkest place because that's pretty much what we're working with here. If you get the chance definitely give it a go, but be warned that it will take a while depending on where you're at. We waited about 45 mins at the Madison Square Park location, but we were determined, and it paid off (even if we had to scarf it down before heading to the UCB show).

Quite literally the oldest pizzeria in New York, this spot does not disappoint! I've been to NYC three time, and every time we make sure to stop at Lombardi's, and we will continue to do so again and again. Usually there's a line, but time it wasn't too long of a wait at all. I mean I fully maintain my theory of why people are so thin in New York because it takes SO long to eat anywhere lol.

Some advice: go at off-peak times. We went a little earlier than typical dinner hours because we were heading elsewhere, so we lucked out with a more private experience. If you're into smokey crusted pizza this is the spot for you. We always get the Margaretta, and add olives, and sometimes pepperoni, and I'm not going to lie as I write this right now I really wish I was eating this pizza for dinner tonight. OH man it's good.

Juliana's (Brooklyn) 
While the pizza at Lombardi's is ah-mazing I have to say that Juliana's is better. I think it's the crust. It's still blistered like Lombardi's, but it's slightly more chewy if that makes sense? Clearly I'm no pizza expert as I don't know the technical terms, but honestly just do yourself a favor and do both. You won't regret it.

There's also a pretty cool backstory about this place, but do yourself a favor and read up by clicking here.
Jack's Wife Freda
If perfectly Instagramable foods are your thing, or if you want to put a poached egg and avocado on EVERY THING this is your place.  Be prepared to wait for a bit though this place ALWAYS has a line, and heads up there's no AC (or at least it didn't feel like it). However, the iced matcha tea definitely made up for it. And the food, of course, was delicious, and I actually wasn't feeling the best at this point (I think from the heat), and I still loved it, so I feel like that's saying something.

We ordered the Mediterranean breakfast, and it was glorious. That yogurt? To die for. As well at the waffles which also came with the yummy yogurt. Everything was de-lish and I would 100% go back again.
Chalait 
Beautiful matcha latte art anyone? Yes I thought so! Phewf! This place is cute, and they have matcha EVERYTHING. They are moving, though, so if you're going be sure to check for the new location. I have a feeling like they were moving uptown, but don't quote me on that.

Aldora (105 Sullivan)
Had I not read a BILLION articles about where to eat in New York I might have missed this spot. In fact, I walked right past it, but since I was determined I turned around and found it. Okay for serious, you need to eat here, and if you order anything order the Pinocchio sandwich. That olive paste? OH MY GOD it's good.

After chatting with the ever lovely owner (well I'm pretty sure) he mentioned they were opening a second location near Bowery. Again I loved that he thought we were local like we needed to know about this other location for the next time. One of goals when traveling is blending in seamlessly and experiencing the city like a local as much as possible.

Spring Natural 
While no longer located on Spring Street I gotta say this place really got quite the facelift in moving over a couple blocks. The menu still has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options (that are delicious I might add), but I gotta say there's something to be said about their new ambiance. 




Besides stuffing myself silly I did manage to do a lot while I was in New York. I mean they do call it the city that never sleeps for a reason right? One of the things I found super helpful was getting a subway pass for the week, as well as our CityPASS booklets that let us into a number of the attractions on our list. I've used them before and I really find them helpful. Some of the attractions even had express lines for CityPASS holders - and who doesn't love an express line in the summer time, especially with NYC-style lines.

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre 
If you're looking for something to do that's off the beaten path of Broadway shows, and concert venues? Be sure to check out UCB they have free shows from improv to stand up. It was so good we literally went twice in a row. They do hold out a bucket at the end of the night for donations, so bring some cash and do the right thing.

Late Night With Seth Meyers
Not knowing when we signed up for tickets that we would be attending the first ever live recording of the Seth Meyers Show we were OVER the moon to have discovered this on our arrival. Have you ever attended a live recording of a show before? It's actually really fun (even if it happens at like 1am because Trump yammered on too long). I was also pretty neat to see the New York streets so bare, and abandoned afterward. I think we finished up somewhere around 2:30 or 3 am? We quite literally had the entire city to ourselves. It was kinda neat.

Metropolitan Museum Of Art
I was very happy to be in New York for the Manus x Machina exhibit. In all honesty it kind of made the whole trip worthwhile for me. I absolutely was in awe the entire time. I took like a bazillion photos, so be on the lookout for that post coming soon.

Be sure to also make it to the top before 4PM, so you can take in the Psycho barn, and maybe a bevy from the patio bar. We literally JUST made it in time, and had to ask like EVERY single person in there which direction to go, but we made it lol. 

American Museum of Natural History
If I could lend you just one piece of advice it would be to plan your visit to the Museum of Natural History because it's HUGE. Well I mean it would be because, duh, it has dinosaurs, but seriously you could spend an entire day here, and discover all kinds of things.

This is an odd sentiment, but I actually prefer this way of learning about animals so much more than a live Zoo. There's something about containing animals for our amusement that just doesn't sit well with me, and I refuse to spend any money supporting it. I'm not sure what it says about me that these ones are dead? I mean I realllllllly hope most of them died of natural causes, but somehow I think not. And even if some of them are fake it's still really neat to see the animals to scale... well that is except for the sea creatures because they are terrifying.

Central Park
They call New York the concrete jungle, and for all intensive purposes it is, and being surrounded by all that pavement can kinda get to you after a bit. Which is why I love Central Park. I'd been a number of times, but it's honestly so big, and eclectic you can have a different experience every time. The last time we went we decided to bike the parameter which we somehow did in less than 45 mins I'll never forget the woman's face when we returned the bikes. Having been again 30+ degrees out that day we came back wringing wet, and like we'd been to battle (and in a way we had, at least with the heat) her jaw could have touched the ground it fell so low.

That being said this time we decided to take a less aggressive approach and explore the areas individually. It was great! Just don't buy the coffee. YUCK! It felt like I was going against my moral code to toss away coffee, but it was awful on a whole other level.

DUMBO
Have you ever wondered what the DUMBO stands for? Well lucky for you, us nerds actually read the travel guide books to learn about these types of facts. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Overpass.  I mean maybe I was the only dumbo who didn't know what it stood for, but in case there are a few more out there. #themoreyouknow

I actually adore Brooklyn, and we almost always seem to plan our adventures there later in the week when things are oddly quiet (although welcomed) in comparison to Manhattan.  I really have been meaning to explore it more, but again the day we showed up it was over 40 degrees, and we were DY-ING from the heat. We decided to take the train rather than walk the bridge (I.e we fully surrendered because we knew we wouldn't make it), and we took the Ferry back over (which I would HIGHLY recommend). We wanted to explore the financial district and pop into Century 21, so what's the shortage distance between two points? A straight line baby, so we took the ferry over, and it was SO fun, and even more fast.

Washington Square Park
There's always something going on at Washington Square Park, and even for it's historical value, and it's connection to counter culture of the 60s it's worth checking out. And you never know you might just get nearly trampled by a life sized Pokemon or appear terribly frightened in a Casey Neisat video (or two).




Movie / TV Locations / Murals
Clearly there are a million films and tv shows that have been filmed in New York, and with just some quick google searches you can actually find them. What's amazing about New York, and certain places in particular is that they can in fact look the same as they did 50 years ago. One of the places on my list of things I wanted to see was the house they filmed "Breakfast at Tiffany's" I mean it's a classic film, and the idea that I could stand on the very steps as Audrey Herpburn did oh so many years ago it just INSANE. 

While there are things that stay the same there are others that are constantly changing, and one of the things I love to do in New York is spot the art installions around the city. We managed to catch a few while I missed out of on a couple of murals, but I guess all things must come to an end. Be sure to do a quick search before to go, or just keep your eyes peeled as you turn corners because you could totally miss out. 


While I did do some shopping in Soho (and you should too if you're ever in the area) there are some looks I wore during the crazy heat wave the is New York Summers.

It wasn't planned, but I pretty much seemed to keep the same color palette all week: mostly black and white with a couple sprinkles of color here and there. I do usually tend to try to match most of my pieces when I'm traveling so everything is interchangeable, and also can serve double duty if need be. Here's a look at a couple looks I sported while I was away.

Outfit #1: Skirt, c/o Bench (on sale here) | Tee, Forever 21 | Chucks | Bag, Aritzia |
Outfit #2: Tee, Forever 21 (which I haven't been able to locate again since the trip) | Cosimo Dress, c/o Aritzia (similar) |
Outfit #3: Tee, Envy Clothing | Shorts, Aritzia (other styles) | Sunnies, Givenchy via Smart Buy Glasses |
Outfit #4: Dress, Zara | Bag Auxilary via Aritzia |



Hope you found this post helpful! And if you're going to New York hit me up because I've got three spread sheets of suggestions I can lend you. 

xx 

Short Presents

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