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Gypsy Jetsetter: New York City – I Miss You

NEW YORK: A CITY GUIDE – PERSPECTIVES

I love coming back to New York City on my annual or semi-annual trips, and the doorman of my building asks, ‘So where in the world are you living now?’ That’s when I feel like I’m really home.

New York has this vibrancy and dynamic feel to it that is hard to describe and best understood once encountered.  Each person who visits New York has a totally different experience.  It is what you make of it – just like life.

TO SEE AND DO

There are different events going on depending on what time of year you come to New York, but you will never be short of things to do. For the never-been-to-New-York-before-in-my-life tourist, please consult a proper guidebook for all the basic standard tourist attractions, as I’m just giving you a perspective here! Two that I can recommend are taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, and visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I visit this museum time and again and it has consistently been my favorite.

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Photo credit: luxurycouncil.com

SUMMER

If you come in the summer, be warned, it’s HOT. Not only hot, but sticky. If you are prepared for this and still willing to come during this time, that’s great because it is a fun time to be in NY. People are happy and flirty and the streets are buzzing with life. And the great thing is that you can escape to the Hamptons on the weekends. It is advisable to go out East with someone you know, but if you are visiting NY with a bunch of friends, this is feasible as well. You can take the LIRR or the Hampton Jitney and rent a house or a few rooms (in advance!) The Hamptons is basically the city on the beach. Again, this cannot be described, only experienced.

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

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Other activities in the city would include Concerts in the Park in Central Park, rooftop bars, and loads of summer events everywhere you look.

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

WINTER

Also not the most recommended time of year to come. NY is freezing at this time of year – and I’m not exaggerating. If you do insist on coming in winter, buy gloves from the street stand guys with the fingers cut off. Trust me this is very useful when you are trying to avoid frostbite and not hold up hurried New Yorkers while you try to dig your frozen metro card out of your wallet in the subway. I have gorgeous leather gloves that I never use there. The hobo look is much more practical.

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

You can go ice skating as well – which is either very touristy or a cute date night type of thing to do. And my favorite part of New York in winter is Christmas. No other place on earth holds the magic that New York has during this time. Definitely visit Rockefeller Center and look at the tree – I do this whenever I’m there around Christmas even though I’m a native New Yorker.

SPRING AND FALL

These are probably the best times of the year to come to NY, weather-wise, although they last only a few weeks out of the year. And of course you have fashion week. New York is beautiful year round.

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

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INTERNATIONAL CUISINE

Having traveled extensively and with a gourmet chef for a mother, I must say that New York has some of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Whichever cuisine you have a craving for, you can find in New York.

From pretzel stands to South street seaport, to quaint brunch places in the village or lively ones in Soho, to trendy places in meatpacking, to top name restaurants run by world-famous chefs, you can have the ambiance and the food you are looking for.  New York has hands down the best brunch in the world – which I am really missing right now. And the great thing is that the good places change all the time so you will never be short of finding something new to try.

THE BEST SHOPPING IN THE WORLD

Mainstream shopping can be done on 34th street, and I recommend going for a bite in Korea town next door after (35th and Broadway) at Kang-Soh restaurant – look for the green awning.

The number one shopping haven in NY is Century 21 for designer discount. I recommend getting there before 11am (i.e. before the crowds). Plan on spending a few hours and a few hundred or thousand dollars and then go for a bite of pizza next door to compensate (somewhat).

Glitzy stores can be found on 5th Ave and Madison Ave as well. This is a great place for the wealthy or for tourists to wander around and stare up at the buildings. Stop into Central Park at 5th ave for a break from the hustle bustle and have a coffee or a bite at the Boathouse.

For the stylish and trendy, I would highly recommend Soho. From the Apple store to fun boutiques, and Bloomingdales, Soho has it all. I’d also advise wandering down to Chinatown for souvenirs and knickknacks. Chinatown has great dim sum as well – real Chinese style, not the Americanized version. If you’ve already hit all the places I’ve mentioned, you might want to stop in at a massage place in Chinatown – they have some of the cheapest and best massage places I’ve been to. My favorite is a hole in the wall on Mott street 1 hour for $40 and my masseuse speaks no English or any other language that I could converse with him in. Perfect.

THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

While I am no longer an expert on nightlife in the city I can tell you with certainty that there is something for everyone. Whether you are a hipster looking for bars in the Lower East Side, or a trend-setter looking for a club in Meatpacking, or you just want to have a drink at a hotel bar, or party it up on a rooftop, New York has it all, and until the early hours of the morning (although places are not open as late as in Continental Europe).

BASIC NYC NAVIGATION

  • Buy a metro card for the length of your stay (i.e. a 7 day pass).
  • Cabs are cheap, take them – and definitely after 10pm.
  • Always know the cross-street of your destination.

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Photo credit: luxurycouncil.com

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Photo credit: Tai Yuni

Say hi to the city for me. And as always, have a great trip!

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About Tai Yuni

I am here to introduce you to tips and tricks on living the ultimate gyp-set lifestyle. I have been globetrotting since day one – and not always with sufficient means to do so – but international travel and living in different countries is my passion. And if a little luxury is thrown in there, all the better. – Tai Yuni

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Photo credit: Jamie Carpi

 

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