On July 19, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:New York City offers the prime experiences of each season. There is the snowy wonderland feel of winter, the blooming picnic season of spring, and the steamy rooftop season of summer.
In my opinion, the best time to visit New York City is fall. These crisp days—when the air conditioners are turned off and the doors are thrown open at sidewalk cafes—are what New Yorkers wait for all summer long. In addition to comfortable temperatures for exploring the city on foot, it’s a spectacularly beautiful season with the change of colors in Central Park and the shift of produce in farmers markets.
While summer can sometimes have a draining effect, fall is an invigorating time to visit. With such ideal conditions, you might see and do more during your visit.
On July 19, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:When packing for a trip to New York City, keep one thing in mind: blending in with locals. This will enhance your experience and open doors, so leave those sneakers at home (unless you plan on jogging). Comfortable walking shoes (with a stylish touch) are essential; you won’t want your aching feet to stop you from exploring New York.
Perhaps most important is a sizable handbag that comfortably sits on the shoulder or across the body. Inside you will want to pack an umbrella, a stylish scarf to bring any outfit to life, and a change of shoes. New Yorkers love their chic footwear, but when it’s time to stroll home, we often depend on a pair of ballet flats or sandals. The addition of heels and a scarf will bring you from day to night very easily.
Also, think before you pack. Plan on spending most of your time uptown? Classic, refined pieces will do. Thinking about exploring downtown? Feel free to leave the jewelry home and pack more fun pieces. Lay everything out before throwing it in your bag—packing in a single color palette where all items match will ensure you have an outfit for any situation.
On June 24, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:Ask this question each day of the year and you might get a different answer.
In New York City, restaurants come and go with remarkable speed. Some are flash in the pan trends that everyone knows won’t last, while others feel more thoughtful in both style and menu.
One of the most exciting new openings is Carbone on Thompson Street, the latest restaurant from the guys behind much-lauded Torrisi Italian Specialties and Parm. Expect elevated Italian-American, red-sauce fare with attentive service and portions big enough to take home (along with similar size price tags).
Strolling by this restaurant this past weekend, I encountered a to-remain-nameless Hollywood couple getting off a motorcyle and being quickly ushered inside behind the thick curtains.
On June 24, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:Many neighborhoods have an iconic restaurant that in some small way defines the local character.
In TriBeCa, that restaurant is Locanda Verde. Located on gorgeous Greenwich Street and an extension of the Greenwich Hotel, this Andrew Carmellini restaurant – also of the Dutch and the new Lafayette – is a bustling, comfortable space serving up wonderful handmade pastas, among other Italian-inspired fare.
In SoHo, Balthazar takes the prize as everyone’s favorite local restaurant. It is as ideal for a morning croissant and café au lait as for happy hour oysters as for a late night steak frites. Everything from the uniformed waiters to the music brings a touch of elegance to your meal. Balthazar is a neighborhood staple.
In the West Village, it’s the Spotted Pig. This corner gastropub is always packed, nodding not only to the quality of the food – a killer burger and addictive Devils on Horseback – but also to the ambiance and people watching. At the bar or packed into a tiny table upstairs – I’ll take any seat I can get in this neighborhood favorite.
On June 24, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:The best antique shops are hidden and packed with a curated collection of interesting objects.
One of my favorites is an antique cookbook shop in the far west of SoHo on Greenwich Street. Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks specializes in out of print, unusual cookbooks and books on food and wine. It’s an excellent place to hunt for a special gift that can be easily transported. This shop is also a piece of history, as it is set in the front room of a historic townhouse.
A curiosity shop full of unique items, the Olde Good Things store (locations in Union Square, Chelsea, the Bowery, and the Upper West Side) has everything you didn’t know you needed. Expect unusual dining tables, accents, mirrors, and lamps. For browsing or buying, it’s easy to get lost in the fun finds stocked in these stores.
On June 20, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:Designer clothes are found throughout New York, but the best stores are chosen for experience and service.
If you want to shop uptown, explore the three B’s: Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, and Bergdorf Goodman. A day could easily be spent in each and service is excellent. There’s also a Bloomingdale’s downtown in SoHo.
Those who prefer the experience of exploring a beautiful neighborhood while shopping in designer stores that feel like boutiques should head to the cobbled streets of SoHo. Weekdays are much more civilized than weekends, when the narrow sidewalks fill up quickly. Here you can shop at Theory, Chanel, Catherine Malandrino, Armani, and more.
For designer clothes on discount, check out the designer sections in Loehmann’s and Century 21. The prices are a steal off the ticket price, but still an investment in your wardrobe.
On June 20, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:Pizza is serious business in New York, a treasure of the city, and often the topic of debate.
There are many delicious pies and slices, but no pizza is as dear to my heart as any pie pulled from the coal oven at Arturo’s on Houston Street on the border of Greenwich Village and SoHo, where bubbling pies with a slightly charred crust have been served nightly with a side of jazz for decades.
This is a neighborhood relic, where the décor and staff remain the same year after year. The doors open daily at 4pm, and pizza fills a mish-mash of tables throughout its three rooms until well after midnight, with live jazz sets interspersed throughout the night.
The best place to be is in a booth in the main room, to hear the music and witness the bar’s bustle, or during nice weather, comfortably seated at a sidewalk table. Ordering a pie is the complete New York pizza experience—the too hot but oh-so-delicious first slice, the perfection of the second slice, the slightly cold but even more flavorful third. This is perfect New York eating.
On June 20, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:The best rooftop bars have a sense of space, a warm breeze, and of course, refreshing drinks too.
Prosecco is on tap in the rooftop bar on top of the Conrad New York, a hotel in Battery Park City. Views over the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and the New York harbor are spectacular. The Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar also serves spiked ice-pops that have become a seasonal favorite.
For a rooftop bar with striking Manhattan views, head to the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A factory dating back to 1901 underwent an extensive renovation and is now a boutique hotel with ground floor restaurant and rooftop bar. Try and arrive for sunset to watch the lights of Manhattan flicker to life.
A lush rooftop with twinkling lights, Gallow Green evokes a secret garden overlooking the neighborhood of Chelsea. On top of the McKittrick Hotel, home of the popular interactive theater experience called Sleep No More, Gallow Green is an enchanting place to watch the sunset.
On June 14, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:When people think New York theater, Broadway comes to mind. While this part of the city is packed with beautiful theaters, there are also other fun theater experiences, especially in the summer.
One of the best is Shakespeare in the Park, an annual series where Shakespeare productions are brought to life in the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Tickets are free to these outdoor productions and often include well-known names who jump at the chance to participate in this beloved summer tradition.
Beyond Broadway, another great area for the arts is Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side. Home to the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City Ballet, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, this complex offers theater and more—you’ll also find opera, dance, films, and exciting cultural festivals.
On June 14, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:The best museum in New York City depends on your individual interests.
To dig deeper into the immigrant history of New York, check out the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side. This museum guides visitors through restored apartments from certain moments in history to tell the story of immigrants starting a life in Manhattan.
If you’re more interested in modern art than history, spend a day—preferably not a weekend, when crowds grow significantly—at the Museum of Modern Art. One current exhibition that has gained a lot of attention is called Rain Room and offers an experience of “controlling the rain”. A downpour of rain is interrupted whenever a human body is detected. Visitors can walk or dance through the rain and never get wet.
On June 13, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:Public transportation is one of the great benefits of life in New York City – it is dependable, safe, and fast.
There is a certain allure to taking taxis – not only because they travel in the streets where you can watch the city whiz by – but unfortunately they are often the slower (and of course, more expensive) option. If you’re trying to move a considerable distance at anywhere near rush hour, that cab will be stuck in serious traffic. If you don’t know the city well enough to direct the cab driver, you might be stuck even longer.
The answer is the subway, and downloading a subway app on your phone. Subway service is best when moving north and south (uptown and downtown) and express trains that skip local stations can help you cover great distances quickly. Moving east and west can be more of a challenge, but there’s always the city buses, good old walking, or the few subway lines like the L and the 7 that travel across town.
Get yourself a MetroCard (a prepaid card that you swipe to pass through the turnstile) and if you have any questions, ask the attendant in the booth or a person nearby. Despite some rumors, New Yorkers can be helpful and warm, especially when people are trying to use the subway system—we all remember our first forays into mastering the color, number, and letter-coded system.
On June 13, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:History in New York City can be relative. There are some hotels that have been open for decades and have achieved iconic status, while other hotels are set in buildings with historic significance.
For uptown glamour, few properties compare to the St. Regis. This elegant property on 5th Avenue is only a few blocks from Central Park and features historic details such as the original mail shoot. Complete with Butler Service and the King Cole Bar, this is a classic property with modern themed suites, such as the Bentley suite.
The Jane is a boutique hotel in the West Village that once housed the survivors of the Titanic. It is known for its small bunk-style rooms, but skip those in favor of the luxurious “Captain’s Cabins”, some complete with terraces, that would have been the quarters of high-ranking officers. The café and bar here provide further opportunities to see the historic nature of this fascinating building.
On June 13, 2013Jessica Colley answered the question:Central Park is just the beginning of the sprawling, striking green spaces in New York City.
Few parks have the electricity of Washington Square Park, in the heart of Greenwich Village and NYU territory. Beneath its famous arch, you might witness a swing dance performance or impromptu piano concert. In the warm months, it is an ideal spot for a picnic, and if you have kids, they might want to jump into the fountain for a quick splash.
For a quieter experience, check out Hudson River Park, on the banks of the river along the west side. This is one of Manhattan’s newer parks and has been in development for years. The result is an expanse of manicured lawns and paths that are perfect for biking, walking, and picnics. Different areas are also home to summer concerts and outdoor yoga classes.