7 Things You MUST Do in New York City
Over “winter” break (because what is Winter in Florida really), Shir flew to NYC to experience a real winter in the Big Apple. After spending her entire summer there, she became pretty familiar with the city. But, we all know that there is never enough time to see and do everything in the City that Never Sleeps! So, Shir has compiled a list of her top 7 stops that every traveller must take while visiting NYC.
1. Spend the Day in Soho
Whether you’re a shopaholic like S&J or not, Soho is the place to be. This cute neighborhood located in Lower Manhattan is the hub of shopping, adorable cafés, popular brunch spots, and chic art galleries. Here you will find a plethora of stores ranging from upscale boutiques to international chain stores, such as Zara and TopShop. And if you’re craving a delicious brunch, stop by Coco & Cru for a delicious Modern-Aussie inspired meal or Jack’s Wife Freda for an American-Mediterranean spin on breakfast. The infamous Chobani Café is the place to stop for a light meal or snack, where you can order just about anything made with greek yogurt!
2. Explore the City’s Rooftop Bars
With one the most picturesque skylines in the world, there is no better place to enjoy the city view than from a rooftop of a 40+ story building! The City is filled with rooftop bars, many which are found at the top of beautiful hotels that can end up being pretty pricey. So, if you’re ballin’ on a budget, go with friends and share a few of the bar’s most popular drinks because you’re mostly going for the view (and the perfect Instagram photo) anyway! During the winter many of the rooftops are closed due to the weather however, but for most of the year they are open and are a must for you NYC visit! Below are Shir’s favorite rooftop bars in NYC ranked based on drinks, view, vibe, and crowd:
Mr. Purple: Lower East Side
Le Bain: Meatpacking
Pod 39: Murray Hill
Jimmy at the James: Soho
Cantina Rooftop: Hell’s Kitchen
Hudson Terrace: Hell’s Kitchen
Loopy Doopy: Battery Park Downtown
3. Visit the Samsung 837
This past summer, Shir’s boss convinced her to visit Samsung’s new flagship NYC building. And the most interesting part of it all? They don’t sell a SINGLE ITEM! This “digital playground” is located in one of Shir’s favorite areas in NYC: the meatpacking district. The Samsung 837 is a true experience of what the future holds for technology. You can try out various kinds of virtual realty technology or walk right into its VR tunnel, where you step into a “virtual world”. Throughout the year, Samsung switches things up to keep it interesting, but last time Shir was there, it was an Instagram dream. What do we mean by that? All you have to do is log into your Instagram account on the tablet provided and step into the tunnel, where you walk through every Instagram you’ve ever posted!
4. Eat Your Way through Smorgasburg
We all know that Brooklyn is up and coming, but what you might not have known is that your palettes are in for a surprise! Paving the road for delicious startups, this outdoor food market is definitely worth the trip. On Saturdays it’s located at Williamsburg’s East River Park and on Sundays at Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill. 75+ vendors set up their tables and tents to serve everything from Brunch on a Stick to Ramen Burgers and even Frozen Cheesecake Pops!
Weekend brunches are a LIFESTYLE in the City. From “Prix Fixe” Boozy Brunches to classy rooftop deliciousness, NYC has it all. Shir’s favorite Soho spots are listed above, but there are too many brunch spots in NYC to go into detail about them all. So, included below are photos of Shir’s must-see brunch spots:
If Avocado Toast is your thing, you must we repeat MUST check out Bluestone Lane. There are a few in the city all the way from West Village to the Upper East Side. S&J have ordered Avocado Toast at almost every restaurant we’ve been to in the city that serves it and Bluestone by far takes the cake. This local brunch spot is not only one of S&J’s faves, but VS model Romee Strijd’s fave as well!
6. Jump on the “Small Group Fitness” Fad Train
Workout classes have enormously popular in recent years and NYC has definitely been on this trend. All around the City, there are various studios to train and live the healthy lifestyle we all desire. From celebrity endorsements, to social media hype, these group fitness classes are worth it! Of course, S&J had to try them out, so here are a few of our faves:
ModelFit: Housed in a converted downtown Manhattan factory space built in 1900, ModelFit’s space was most recently used as a photo studio. Karlie Kloss has expressed multiple times in interviews how much she loved this workout studio and S&J concur! We tried out the Foundation class, which teaches the basics of the ModelFit Method with circuit training exercises in a group atmosphere. The studio was picturesque, and the locker room was stocked with high end beauty supplies for the perfect touch-up after your workout!
Dogpound: After receiving a TON of social media attention by Victoria Secret Models training for the VS Fashion Show, Shir had to give it a go! Models like Adriana Lima, Josephine Skriver, and Taylor Hill are obsessed with this intense workout spot. It has a minimalist-cool look filled with black and white, yet its infamous Block Letters give it a “tough” vibe. Shir signed up for the Beginners Boxing class and we’ll just say that she was sore for the following 3 days… She walked in 3 minutes late (in the S&J fashionably late style) and had to do 15 burpees. She made another mistake and was told to do 15 burpees again! Needless to say, after 30 burpees, Shir was very careful not to make another mistake again!
7. Delve into the Lower East Side lifestyle
The Lower East Side is definitely a different crowd than the West side; it’s usually full of college graduates and people in their late 20’s. These low-key bars are small, but vivacious and it has excellent happy hour options! Shir always stays in the Upper West Side, Chelsea, and Murray Hill area, so traveling to the Lower East Side is sometimes a mission, but it all depends on where you stay; regardless, it’s worth the trip!
For breakfast, you must go to Tompkins Square Bagels. The insanely long line is 100% worth it because your options are endless. Shir honestly needed the long line to choose one of the many bagels and cream cheese flavors ranging from Birthday Cake to Chipotle Avocado.
During the day, you should attend the Hester Street Fair. It’s currently on its 7th season and there is always something interesting to do there! On the weekends, the fair hosts various activities with themes such as Earth Day, Wellness Weekend, and Test Kitchens. There are many cute gifts you can purchase for friends and family and, of course, grab a delicious bite to eat!
When the strikes ***HAPPY HOUR*** you’re in luck, because the L.E.S. is the home to all good things HH! This vivacious, low-key area is unlike any other nightlife you’d experience in the city. Many of the bars are Gastropubs as well, meaning that you can order delicious, high-quality food with your cocktails! This area is full of college graduates and people in their late 20’s and it’s the perfect place to meet up with a group of friends after work. Some of the bars Shir recommends include: Pianos, S.E.T., Attaboy, Tijuana Picnic, and Mr.Purple.
There is a reason why they call NYC the City that Never Sleeps… it’s because it’s true! There is so much to do in this amazing city, so we hope that this guide narrowed down some of your choices for you. As much as we all wish, vacation isn’t forever and we only have a limited time in such amazing places. Comment below if you’d like to add any more NYC suggestions!