We're about to take you on a tour of New York, so cool it, Action!
If you're like me, then we share a deep, dark secret: we've never been to...New York. There! I said it! Well, you've probably cooked up some ideas about what it's like. You fantasize about being the tallest and prettiest Rockette, dead-center of a chorus-line high-kicking its way through Times Square. Today, we will stop rolling the dice on destiny.
Your big city dreams need an update, Honey. This doesn't mean they can't still be your special treasure feelies, but you do need a pre-trip reality check. Thankfully, we know Deb Johns. She is a bonafide New Yorker who will tell you straight up--real New Yorkers avoid Times Square like the plague. Forget the chorus line fantasy. At best, you'll be in the waiting line for a picture with the Naked Cowboy or just generally waiting in line to move. Also, Frozen Hot Chocolates at Serendipity, like, aren't the thing anymore. But, don't be scared. Hamilton will always be hot Broadway fire & our guide to New York will be your ticket to the Met Gala (ie. really awesome).
Day 1: West Side's on the docket. And, we've got a story...
The journey begins outside the Ace Hotel with a Kate Wristlet in Metallic Wink. For added cool/looking like you know what you're doing, throw on a leather jacket. So posh, so chic, so New York!
Check out the Flat Iron building located at the crossroads above the village in Chelsea and rock an Original Deano. You can go the extra mile and carry a pattern with colorways inspired by iconic New York landmarks. Afterwards, b-line it to the atrium of the Nomad in Chelsea. If you're a hardworking gal like our SCOUT photographer, Kaitlin, you must order Eggs Benedict before your long day of schlepping. You'll feel like a true woman (or man) about town while fueling yourself with Hollandaise and black coffee. The open, well lit room will be perfect for absent minded skimming of the the Times with all that natural light pouring through the glass ceiling.
Oh, hello there! 3 of our quilted bags in New York inspired patterns rest like precious little Easter eggs at the entry of Chelsea Market. They're ideal for cradling your Turkish bath towel, soft cheeses, cured meats, and bottle of champagne before your High Line snack hour.
As you beebop your way to the HL, don't forget to soak in the colors of the city, like this mural at an elementary school in Chelsea.
And while you're absorbing your environment like a New York sponge, you may as well stop into the Whitney Museum of Art. No mind if you're in a hurry, or just plain overstimulated! Just pop into the museum gift shop (SIDEBAR: museum gift shops are the BEST KIND of gift shops, so be careful because I have completely blown weekend spending money in them before--leaving me broke but artsy/fulfilled).
Finally, you've reached the High Line! You may be a little tired of walking, so take a seat on a park bench (or lean casual against a wall for chill-factor) and pensively look out at the Empire State Building. "Ah, yes," you sigh. Alas, we are truly in an Empire State of Mind.
We don't have that much time to smell the concrete daisies. You're probably ravenous at this point and could use some caffeine, or something stronger (calm down, I'm thinking something like a mimosa). Pick up those hooves of yours and trot over to Lady Mendl's Tea Shop. You'll feel like a field mouse turned white stallion or Cinderell-i at the ball, at this eclectically decorated townhouse on Irving Pl off Gramercy Park. We're talking OVER THE TOP glamour: velvet, gold, plush, and tapestries. With 5 courses, Lady Mendl's gives a cool and unusual take on teatime. Plus, you'll eat so many tiered sandwiches you'll turn into one.
Now that you're full of tea, spirits, sammies, and scones, you're ready to take some glamour shots! Dress like a frothy, creamy dessert and power pose outside Lady M (run by the same clan as Lady Mendl's). They're known for their famous crepes cake, so your wardrobe should reflect that.
If you decide to stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel, grab one of their complimentary bikes and zip on over to a happy hour (but remember to bike responsibly!). Note: bag and bike coordination is the epitome of city chic.
Okay! So, you want to take a few more glamour shots (for good measure, of course). Work it with a little bag, background, and outfit coordination and head to Madison Square Eats. Maybe all this walking has made you hungry like a wolf. If so, hit the food trucks like the sample stations at Costco and taste cuisines from all over New York City.
Now you're heading back to the hotel and making your trek back through Chelsea. If you have it in you, check out your decadent pop tart sundae options at Black Tap.
Gilt touches punctuate black and highlight all that holiday shopping you did. Let your shopping, eating, and gawking guilt fade into black as you reenter the dimly lit entry of the Ace Hotel before dinner. Day 1 is done, hun. And, that's one secret I'll never tell. XOXO - Gossip Girl
Day 2: East (Side) bound & down, my b's.
Ready to fly with the eagles? Or, rather, walk among Giants? Well, surprise, surprise! Our favorite AOL Entertainment Editor, Gibson Johns, took the reigns on our guide to the East Side. Aside from Deb Johns, Gibson may be one of the coolest people I know. FYI, I'm using the word "know" loosely. Like, "knowing" (stalking) someone on Instagram, or "knowing" someone like being featured lurking in the background of their photos from a fabulous party you both attended (except you were the random guest who scored an invite through a ~work~ connection *cough Deb & Ben cough*). Hipness, along with a hotblooded love for NYC courses through Gibson's veins. He "got it from his mama," as local wordsmith and prophet, Fergie, would say. Gird your loins and hit it, Gibby!
We're coming in hot (& green) on Day 2. Vitality and health are so in right now, especially with breathing being such a cool activity. And who do we have to thank for oxygen? No, not the government, but PLANTS! Plants rock and are our friends, so go show your appreciation at Green Fingers Market on Rivington Street. Pick out your new little plant baby, then check out the vintage clothing store in the back. It isn't cheap, but it's well worth investing your spoils in a picture-perfect succulent. Don't stop while you're ahead! You and your succulent should book it to El Rey. Gibson recommends this intimate lunch spot on Stanton street for one of the best kale salads you will ever have. Aren't you just a vision of health!
Now that you're the proud new parent of a succulent people are starting to notice, and you're making a few friends. One of them is bound to be a member of Ludlow House, and they'll want to make sure you and your plant are getting plenty of sunlight and water. Gotta make sure it's producing all that oxygen people have been raving about. This Members-only social club has incredible food, drinks and live events. You're already glowing, and an impromptu roof hang spot will do wonders for your new New York spirit! These local haunts are doing wonders for your body, but we've gotta make sure the mind is keeping up. Stroll up Allen street and appreciate some of your favorite Instagram artists' from the #TheNewAllen handle of expansive murals covering buildings.
We love the rooftop bar scene and it's fun times guarantee. It's 5:00 somewhere, and today somewhere is Tiki Tabu at the Sixty LES hotel. This place does the tiki theme right. It feels like an escape without going over the top and making you feel like you're at Easter Island in Epcot Hawaii. Plus, the views are amazing. Isn't the East Side the best? Now that you're feeling like a million bucks, you deserve a little ice cream. Time for ICE & VICE, an awesome ice cream spot on the cusp of Lower East Side and Chinatown. You're such a colorful, vibrant New Yorker! Nothin' wrong with your ice cream sandwich reflecting that!
Me want more art! Keep feeding that creative mind of yours at Tictail, a marketplace constantly updating and featuring independent artists, designers and creators on Orchard and Broome. We interrupt this broadcast for a Gibby service announcement: this is one of the best intersections on the Lower East Side. So, Day 2 has essentially been the greatest day of our lives. Can't get much better than this, so we should probably just give up. SAID NO ONE EVER! I am of the firm belief that I could eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life, so why not start now? Vamos a Tijuana Picnic and top the day off with buckets of ceviche, sangria, and a dance party. Meanwhile...your old pal, succulent, will be waiting for you downstairs in the basement with throw back hits. A mi me encanta Nueva York.