New York City, New York
I'm incredibly lucky. Last year, my NYC trip was canceled which was a bummer. But this year, not only was I able to go for a whole week, but my siblings, my friend, AND the love of my life suprised me in NYC. We even ran into SOLANGE WALKING DOWN THE STREET. I was incredibly lucky to be able to meet 28 in NYC. Birthdays stress me out, and this trip and my loved ones made it much easier to just have fun and not focus on all the stressful thoughts I have about getting older. I was just missing two more sisters. T_T NYC reminded me very much of Chicago, just 5 times as big. It felt like I was already home.
“Pink as fuck” + incredible pasta: Pietro Nolita. I had my b-day lunch here, and it didn’t disappoint!!! Pietro Nolita was proof that you can have your pretty cake, eat it, and it will also taste amazing too. I ordered the home made pasta of the day, which changes, but the Bucatini Cacio E Pepe on the menu also sounded delicious. They do not allow professional photos, so leave your DSLR at home. I believe the reason was that there are a couple of companies that have purchased rights to capture photos in the space. They were not opposed to phone photos, however, so just ask! The seating area outside is free for all, so snap all the shots you want.
The best soft serve (and cookies) I’ve ever had: Milk Bar. Chef Christina Tosi is a genius. Imagine your breakfast cereal milk in soft serve form, topped with some cereal crumbs. Frosted flakes is one of my fave cereals. It’s sweet and crunchy, and doesn’t have any extra marshmallows or anything. Milk Bar recreated that taste perfectly.. I loved it so much, I went to three different Milk Bar locations, and ordered cookies for the trip home. Don’t miss out on this one, especially if you love sweets!!!
If you love skincare, don’t miss this showroom: Glossier. If you know me well, you know I use Glossier. Like, a lot. I use their jelly cleanser, mascara, face masks, eyeshadow, blush, perfume, lip balm, the list goes on. The showroom is great for trying on new products or new colors. It’s also aesthetically beautiful, so you have a couple of photo spots. Go in the fall though, because it was incredibly hot in there when I went. Maybe the AC was broken, or the old building just doesn’t have AC built in, who really knows with NYC? Either way, if you’re a normal human and you perspire easily, it can get uncomfortably hot in the showroom, so do what I did: head in and head out in less than 5 minutes.
Coffee and plant heaven: Devocion USA. We took a break after lunch in this beautiful coffee spot. The cold brew was smooth and the space was open and green. I would be there all the time if I was an NYC native.
Baked goods that are out of this world. Haha, see what I did there?: Supermoon Bakehouse. Their menu changes often, but a visit to their website will tell you that “everything is always f****** delicious,” and I can’t agree more. My sister Lynn and I both got the croissant toast with a chocolate mousse dome and a salted caramel heart, AND it was Topped with raspberry jelly, white chocolate chantilly bulbs, sugared almonds and salted caramel and almond cream. It was fucking DELICIOUS. Pro tip: Buy a ton of different goods to share with your group, so everyone can try a couple of different flavors.
Where to just sit and chill on a beautiful NYC night: Madison Square Park. The park closes at 11, but find a table and order a snack from Shake Shack and enjoy each other’s company. I really enjoyed just sitting, looking up at the buildings, and marveling at the fact that I was in NYC.
You have to try these famous corn dogs: Coney Island. We went on a rainy, dreary day and no one was really at the amusement park, but the food was excellent. It’s worth the trip in the summer, for sure.
Where to get your hands on Totoro macarons: Bibble & Sip. Ok, we missed out on the Totoro macarons, cries, but the lavender latte was some of the best I’ve ever had. I also grabbed a matcha filled cream puff to go. They don’t skimp on the cream, it was so good. Get there bright and early and you might be able to snag a macaron.
The best all in one spot: Canal Street Market. The market has got bubble tea, food, small vendors, and even cool mini exhibition booths. We came for the Banana Mag Baesian booth, and stayed for the snacks. The perfect spot to walk around or take a break from the weather, there are tons to check out!!
Delicious Indian food with some Christmas light magic: Pana II. The reviews online were just phenomenal and a couple of my siblings had never had Indian food before so it was a no brainer. The place is decked out in Christmas lights, and some might find it kitschy, but I love a beautiful atmosphere. Our waiter seated us at the same table Solange sat at. It was destiny.
An elevated oasis: The High Line. Take a break from the garbage lined streets of NYC and enjoy all the greenery.
Where to try some amazing ice cream flavors, like a scoop of Black Sesame Ash Chocolate Cake: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Shop. If you check the site they have so many other drool worthy flavors, like Vegan Vanilla with Orange Preserves and Pistachios and Cookie Crumble and Strawberry Jam. Ugh, they sound so amazing. If those flavors are as delicious as the scoop I had, it’s a spot you don’t want to miss.
The place to get your chicken and waffles fix: Sweet Chick. The chicken was amazing, the waffles amazing, the cold brew amazing, the shoestring fries were amazing. We loved this spot so much we went twice. Everything was SO. GOOD.
NYC’s “secret” garden: North Brooklyn Farms. The spot to rest and enjoy a view of the Williamsburg bridge. The glasshouse near the water is beautiful, and a photo op for sure. Go near sunset, bring some snacks, and enjoy the view.
There’s a plethora of popups in NYC, and you can’t go wrong with this one: Dream Machine. I love pop ups, in case you can’t tell!!! A bigger recap of this one will be live soon!
For all the cheese lovers out there: Raclette. I mean, you go, pick a cheese, they melt it, and scrape it onto your choice of meats and veggies. It was phenomenal. So fucking good. Make sure to make reservations at least one day before you want to go. They get BUSY.
Cool if you do, cool if you don’t: Times Square. We we confused as to where the “square” was. Apparently it’s an entire couple of blocks. It was very bright and busy, but if you miss it, it’s not the end of the world.
Read books in English and French at the most beautiful bookstore in the US: Albertine. I could spend all day in this bookstore. It was magical.
The best Thai food I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten A LOT of Thai food: Ayada Thai. Ugh, please go and get the papaya salad with fish crumbs, Pad See Ew, and a panang curry. We shared the dishes at Ayada fam style. It’s always more fun that way. :)