Sup New York City?
One of the best perks of my job is traveling, especially when it’s New York City. I get to kill two birds with one stone: see my family and market research at the same time. How lucky am I?!
Although, I’ve been back to NYC countless times since moving to the PNW nine years ago. This time around, I had many positive emotions and some confusions on how I was feeling about being back home. The recent visit felt different for a few reasons and here my reflections:
- Is it me or people in NYC seem much nicer? I always feel like I need to keep my guard up when I’m there, in case someone throws me “shade” or an attitude. But everywhere I encounter, people were very polite and pleasant. Has this city lost its edge?
- All the neighborhoods seem less gritty and too “clean up” for NYC’s own good. What happen to all the immigrant communities that existed in the past. For goodness sake, they’re constructing a giant hotel chain across the street of my parent’s Chinatown apartment building. Never in the world would I ever thought that’ll happen.
- The next time I return in November is when I run my one and only bucket list marathon. I was picturing myself running across the Queensborough Bridge towards the last 10 miles of the race. How crazy is that going to be? The adrenaline is starting to build up!
- An early celebration of my 40th birthday with my family was so memorable. I spent time with the people I love and knowing how nervous I am turning this new decade, it reminded me how loved I was back home. My heart is so full and I’m so fortunate to have these people in my life.
- Last but not least, I see my father aging and suffering from kidney failure. It dampens my heart. I wish I can fix everything and make him feel better. I think one of the worst thing to go through in life, is feeling helpless while having to see your loved ones suffer.
My heart is definitely at home and thinking about all that happened the last couple of weeks.
With that said, I wanted to mention a few places that I discovered during my visit and worth mentioning. Those who know me can’t say “no” to an amazing dining experience. So here goes the list:
Sushi on Jones: One of the collective restaurants or you can say little outdoor shacks, in the Bowery Market, serves omakase for $50. The catch (no pun intended) is finishing all of it in 30 minutes. I loved the quick eating experience. It allows you to skip the small talk and focus on eating the food. That’s kind of their motto! Text the number on their website for reservations.
Egg Shop: I’ve tried the Egg Slut in L.A. a couple of times and this place takes it even further. First of all it’s located in my favorite neighborhood Chinatown (or Nolita but we can probably argue all day about that). The ambience is quaint with simple decor. At the end the food did all the talking. They took the simple ingredient of an egg and prepare dishes that is very thoughtfully put together. The food had bold flavors let me wanting for more! Besides the not so nice owner that was rude to my niece Ava, I can’t discount them for the food. I might have to swallow my pride and go there just for that B.E.C. (bacon, egg, cheese) sandwich. They take reservations and best for smaller groups.
De Maria: Artisanal flare with a contemporary atmosphere, serving some of healthiest foods. I ordered the $15 avocado toast (see picture). Every bite was pricey but delicious. Definitely a good alternative when the Butcher’s Daughter (right next door and has the same address) gets super busy.
Clinton Street Baking Co.: One of my favorite brunch eats when I used to live in LES with Peter. Its since gotten very popular. Hence, the expansion of the restaurant and long waits. We waited for an hour. But we didn’t mind poking around the neighborhood and discovering new places. Please try to get there early or download the No Wait app to check their waiting list.
W Hotel Union Square: The perfect location to all the lower manhattan neighborhoods. Isn’t anything pass Time Square way too Uptown anyway? Peter is also a SPG Platinum, so we often get suite upgrades and keep coming back to the W. We love the cool modern vibe aesthetic throughout their hotels. They have large size rooms for being a NYC hotel and service is impeccable.
Sheraton Hotel: Located in Tribeca in the busy streets of Canal Street and very convenient if you plan to hang around downtown. It can be quite loud so ask for the rooms facing away from the streets. The ambiance is not my first choice, but it does the job because the point of going to NYC is not to stay in your hotel room. Just give me a clean room with a comfy bed and I’m sold!
Soho on Broadway: This neighborhood has become a giant outdoor mall, since the last time I could remember. It has all the mainstream brands such as, Mango, Club Monaco, Hollister, Madewell and etc. But there are few stores I like such as, & Other Stories and Muji, that I know I won’t get to check out in Seattle. The way I love to shop is to wander the neighborhood stores next to Soho. Which brings me to mention the following…
Westside of Soho: Many contemporary high end brand name stores such as, Golden Goose, Jill Stuart, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, Agent Provocateur, Isabel Marant and many more. It’s the perfect place to look for “inspiration” for work and one of my favorite spots to “window shop”.
Nolita/Chinatown: This is the area I love the most. Many local boutiques (with the exceptions of Vince) carry unique items and pieces that are not easy to find. They are all carefully curated in most part, affordable prices. It’s currently home to Reformation and Opening Ceremony.
Lower East Side (L.E.S.): In recent years, its’ definitely become one of the most coolest neighborhoods. It still has some of it’s grit, for the lack of better words, but without being too commercialize like Soho. Although there is a Blue Stone Coffee that just popped up on Clinton Street. In due time…my friends. Some shops worth mentioning 7115 by Szeki for clean modern easy clothing. Alife Rivington Club for sick sneakers. Frankie for those sophisticated pieces for work.
Hope you enjoy my list of EATS, STAY & SHOP! Please feel free to ask me for other recommendations on your next trip to NYC.