This past week I was fortunate enough to visit my favorite place EVER and future home (fingers crossed) the city that never sleeps; New York! I journeyed on this trip with my sister Megan and friends Anya and Andrew. We all love New York with a passion and we FINALLY were able to get a trip organized and our plan came to fruition. I wanted to give a little guide of the best of the best from this spectacular trip and let everyone know that New York can still be fun even in the winter 🙂
What to do When it is Ridiculously Cold
-Check out the The Whitney Museum in Chelsea for some truly whacky, modern, thought provoking and puzzling exhibits. A ticket purchase is required for this spot so if you are not too into the “avant garde” save your money for The Met.
Within the Meatpacking District is the ever so lovely and quant Chelsea Market which is not too far from the museum. This is not your typical market, more like a hip farmers market with mom and pop shops that are inside a cute setting with a truly sophisticated ambience. AND I must mention that the food choices are AMAZING. You Will not be disappointed, this is solemnly swear.
Where to Go When You Want a Spectacular View
THE GANSEVOORT. I cannot rave about this rooftop location enough. The view is BEYOND unbelievable with one side being the backdrop of the bustling meatpacking district skyline/Chelsea and the other a clear aerial view of The Hudson River. It is a mix of the uptown classy vibes, but combined with the downtown feels and not as snooty of patrons. You also just happen to be next to the Highline, an elevated linear park that is definitely as cool as it sounds.
Be warned; the drinks at The Gansevoort rooftop are VERY expensive. Like take away your breath expensive, so I would recommend grabbing a drink before and simply going for the view or forking out the cash for a $20 vodka soda (eye roll).
The Best Downtown Pizza
If you have not noticed yet Chelsea/The Meatpacking District was hands down our favorite neighborhood in Manhattan. Tappo, which is (you guessed it) located in Chelsea and is quite frankly the best NY style thin crust pizza I have ever had and I can bet money that it would blow your taste buds away.
Even better – the Happy Hour special is ridiculous…. but ridiculous in the best way possible. If you purchase a pitcher of beer or a bottle of wine you get a large cheese pizza for FREE. Not interested in a bottle or pitcher? They have you covered with the buy one get one free policy.
Where to Spot Celebrities
1Oak nightclub is the spot. Although we are not into night clubs much anymore we were coerced by a friend who is a native to Manhattan to hit the spot at 2 IN THE MORNING. I forgot to mention that the bars/clubs stay open till 4am, and this is IF there is not an after party which will have you staying out way later than you could possibly imagine or want to remember.
Be warned; this club is one of those “extremely exclusive” spots, as you know celebs frequent the spot so you have to have some type of connect to get in. Recommendation: Don’t bother waiting in line; you will not get in or get even close to getting in unless you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody….
Doing Brooklyn like a Local
While heading on over to the most hipster of the boroughs we met up with one of my childhood best friends who has been a Brooklyn native for the past 6 years. I figured we would be hitting the town in the hipster capitols of either Williamsburg or Bushwick, but boy did we get a different and unique experience.
Instead, we went out to bars in Bedstuy. The music at all of the bars had us shocked; instead of your typical top 20 or recent hipster tracks, all of the music was Caribbean vibes aka afro beats. There is a huge population of Caribbean individuals who were able to bring their culture to Brooklyn and to be honest dope music to the nightlife scene.
BONUS: Drinks in Brooklyn are extremely reasonable. I thought I was charged incorrectly the first drink I bought as it was half the price of a drink you would get in Manhattan (fist pump).
Central Park to relive all of the scenes you have witnessed in movies/TV, but the main appeal – it is more breathtaking in person.
Levain Bakery: THE BEST COOKIES YOU WILL EVER HAVE IN YOUR life. The line for Levain is ridiculously long at the location on 74th in the Upper West Side, so make sure to hit up the location on 77th (also located in the Upper West Side) or the Harlem location.
ACME: Let me start off by saying when you go to ACME, you need to go to the downstairs lounge NOT the upstairs restaurant. The ambience within the restaurant is beautiful, but the service is completely awful and quite frankly received a very honest yelp review from one of my friends (LOL).
This sleek bar will take you on a trip down memory lane reuniting you with those nostalgic tracks you forgot about and have you truly dancing the night away. TIP: Get there early as the lounge is limited space and is extremely popular and “exclusive”. Be prepared to be surrounded by Manhattan’s wealthy crowd, where $20 cocktails are no big deal and the preppy NYU students take over as the night progresses.