Jessica Colley

Correspondent

  • New York, New York, USA

Jessica Colley is a correspondent who lives in New York City and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. As a freelance travel and food writer, Colley works from the desk (and sometimes fire escape) of her TriBeCa apartment in Lower Manhattan. She adores New York for its bubbling pizza pies, storied cobbled streets, and picnics on the bank of the Hudson River. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, Bon Appetit, and Fodor’s, among other publications. She shares details from her travels along with New York tips on Twitter @jessicacolley.

  • On June 13, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best farmers markets in New York City?

    Jessica Colley The biggest and best farmers market is absolutely the Union Square Farmers Market, open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday with 140 regional vendors and farmers selling everything from farmstead cheeses to artisan breads.

    However, throughout the city, there are smaller greenmarkets featuring just a few stands that offer a great opportunity to talk to the farmers and learn about their products. If they’re less busy, they have more time to answer questions.

    Some greenmarkets in beautiful neighborhoods include the Tribeca Greenmarket on Wednesday and Saturday and the City Hall Greenmarket on Tuesday and Friday. These are by no means the biggest—but are both near parks for picnics and allow visitors to both rub elbows with locals and talk to the farmers who are so devoted to bringing New Yorkers fresh and healthy food.
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  • On May 31, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best neighborhoods in New York City?

    Many a heated debate has been launched over the best neighborhoods in New York City. The truth is, different neighborhoods are a perfect match for different people (with different interests) at different times. I’m partial to Lower Manhattan, where I call home, and the low rise, cobbled neighborhoods where it’s possible to see how New Yorkers live.

    I love Chinatown for its vibrant markets, the West Village for its cozy cafés, and Tribeca for its sidewalk restaurants. Nolita is densely packed with interesting restaurants and stores for a daytime wander. The beauty of SoHo is best appreciated by night once the tourists have all gone. I love the history buried in the Financial District—where Manhattan began.

    I would argue that the best neighborhoods in New York have access to parks or the rivers, so when you need a breather, a bench with a view isn’t too far away.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best bars in New York City?

    There is a bar in New York City for every mood.

    When you want an innovative cocktail in a comfortable place, check out the upstairs parlor in the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog. When in the East Village and a cocktail craving strikes, watch the impressive bartenders in Pouring Ribbons.

    New York City does the wine bar well, with knowledgeable waiters and lots of small plates to accompany the vino. Local favorites include Terroir in Tribeca and Anfora in the West Village. These are cozy neighborhood places where you might be tempted to stay all night.

    Manhattan is also still home to some excellent dive bars, such as Corner Bistro, one of the few places left where a satisfying beer and burger won’t empty your wallet.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best restaurants in New York City?

    This is the question New Yorkers find hardest to answer. We all have our own opinions depending on neighborhood, mood, price point, and dining companions.

    My approach to this question is to share where I love to dine at the bar, a typical New York experience. The pasta tasting menu at Mario Batali's Babbo on a leafy street in Greenwich Village is even more delicious while sitting at the bar. For more buzz and excellent cocktails, head to the Bowery and grab a stool at Saxon + Parole. Start your meal with some oysters.

    The wait might be long at Empellon, a modern Mexican restaurant in the West Village, but you can usually snag a bar seat for cocktails and plates to share without too much trouble. Another neighborhood spot in the West Village is Jeffrey's Grocery, a favorite if I'm craving seafood. For Italian with some scene on the side, order any of the pastas at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria.

    The bar seats are often the best seats.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best activities to do in New York City?

    When in New York, do as New Yorkers do.

    We adore our outdoor markets like the Union Square Farmers Market and Smorgasburg, an extravaganza of food stalls serving up tasty bites (and local goodies to take home) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    Think about New York in regards to the past, present, and future—and try to hit all three. For the past, sample classic New York pizza at a neighborhood spot like Arturo’s on the edge of Greenwich Village. For the present, take a walk through Chelsea to check out the latest art exhibitions at neighborhood galleries (and then watch the sunset from the High Line, a park created on an old elevated train track). For the future, explore developing neighborhoods away from Midtown Manhattan—such as Harlem or the Lower East Side.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    Where is the best shopping in New York City?

    There are as many shopping experiences as stores in Manhattan. Begin by narrowing down the options according to neighborhood, budget, and what you're on the hunt for.  

    For huge discounts on designer apparel (and an impressive, varied selection) nothing beats Century 21, the discount department store in the Financial District. However, be prepared to battle the crowds (that’s part of the fun!) and avoid shopping on weekend afternoons when it is busiest, if possible.

    Many local bookstores offer a distinctly New York experiences. A couple favorites include the Strand (with literally miles of books and excellent prices) and Kitchen Arts and Letters, for those visitors interested in food and cooking. They are both New York institutions.

    For unusual boutiques with slightly better prices than designer-dense SoHo, head to Nolita where you will find fun shops full of clothes, shoes, and jewelry. Keep an eye out for sale signs to nab the best deals in the neighborhood.