The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. The Capital of the Wold. The City of Dreams. Whatever you call it, it's electric. Right when you step off the plane, shoot, even when you're in the air flying above the skyscrapers and bright lights - you feel it. That buzz - that intense energy. It's unbeatable. It's unmistakable. It's New York City.
I had the pleasure of traveling to NYC on business last week. My company set me up in a lovely place called the NoMo. It's this trendy, upscale hotel with vintage vibes. Consisting of blues and whites, with rustic accents and chic decor. The NoMo sits right in the heart of Manhattan's SoHo district, making you feel in the middle of it all. Because of this fabulous location, I was able to experience the neighborhood of SoHo in all it's glory - and I just had to share my findings!
SoHo, short for 'South of Houston Street', is quite the neighborhood. It has everything you need - from shopping to great food, from art to nightlife! The stores that populate SoHo are some of the grandest retail spaces in the world - and the buildings these spaces inhabit were once occupied by NYC's most famous artists. Films were made here, art was painted and dances were choreographed. There is this amazing clash between modern day fashion and historic craftsmanship, and it makes this city so unbelievably unique.
Shopping is literally everywhere in SoHo! Everyone who is anyone is here. Store after store envelopes the streets of Broadway, Prince, Mercer, Greene, Wooster, Broom, and Lafayette. Anything you need is within this vicinity. In the midst of retail heaven, I found some gems: & Other Stoires, UNIQLO, Don't Ask Why.
There is a wide range of eateries in and around SoHo. Here's a list of what I recommendin no particular order):
- ABC Kitchen: YOU HAVE TO GO HERE. I ordered the Housemade Ricotta with Strawberry Compote for an app (f-ing delicious) then the Crispy Pork Confit for my entree. You guys, I'm not joking - this was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I literally cried when it was over because I did not want it to end. True story.
- Champion Pizza: Looking for a good slice of New York pizza for $2? Hit up Champions - I got their classic cheese and pepperoni and it did not disappoint!
- Osteria Morini: Go here on Monday night for Industry Night! Their pastas are only $10, when they're normally $28! And $40 bottles of wine are only $28! Their pastas are all made from scratch - might I recommend the Cappelletti with truffled ricotta ravioli, melted butter and prosciutto!
- Street Cart Hot Dogs: When you're in NYC, you have to hit up a street cart! They're everywhere, they're delicious, and also... they're cheap!
- Birds and Bubbles: Do not go here if you're in a rush (service is a little slow), but if you're a fan of Southern classics - look no further. This place takes fried chicken to a whole other level! I recommend the Chicken and Egg Biscuit with fried chicken, deviled egg sauce (to die for), and dill pickle.
- Ed's Lobster Bar: This place can be a bit pricey, but their clam chowder is on the cheaper side and it is phenomenal. Also, their Lobster Bisque looked and smelled incredible - it's on the list for next time!
- Balthazar: This is one of New York's hottest restaurants. Dinner reservations might be hard to come by, but pop on over for a weekday breakfast or brunch and enjoy a delicious French-American cuisine!
We ventured outside of SoHo a few times to the nearby neighborhoods.... here's a few expeditions I thoroughly enjoyed:
- Chelsea Market: Located in the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market is one of the greatest indoor food halls in the world. Within this block-long and block-wide neighborhood market, vendors are selling everything you can imagine from all over the world! Cheese, chocolate, wine, coffee, meat, fish, souvenirs, art, jewelry... the list goes on.
- The High Line: This 1.45 mile long park is located above the city. Instead of tearing it down when the last New York City Railroad train crossed its tracks in 1980, the city converted it into a linear park for its citizens to enjoy. This aerial greenway starts in the Meatpacking District, runs through Chelsea and ends near 34th Street. The views of NY are unreal from this vantage point, and a definite must if you're near the area! If you're wanting a drink, pop over to The Standard Biergarten located right under The High Line. Having visited Germany for Oktoberfest a couple years back, I can credibly say that his beer is authentic! The atmosphere is fun, and everyone is there to have a good time.
- Brooklyn: I have always wanted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and I finally got my opportunity! We hailed a cab from SoHo and had it dropped us off right near the bridge's gateway. The walk across is spectacular with breathtaking views of the city's skyscrapers, the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges and Lady Liberty herself. Upon crossing into Brooklyn we ventured over to Prospect Park for Smorgasburg - a flea and food market! We enjoyed some beers, and amazing food from 100's of local and regional vendors. Hungry? Get the Mofongo - it's a Puerto Rican staple made of fried plantains hand-mashed into a bowl then filled with fried pork and topped with house sauces.
- The Ship: A little bit off the beaten, we came across a doorman infront of a dark doorway labeled "The Ship". We wondered in not expecting much, and then were pleasantly surprised by the cool architecture, fabulous food, and seriously amazing cocktails. If you like your mixed-drinks, head on over to The Ship and indulge!
- Gatsby's: Gatsby's has an old-school pub vibe with a modern day twist. It's your classic neighborhood bar with fried food and good drinks. If you're looking for a fun time, chill atmosphere and not hurt your wallet - this is the place!
- Spring Lounge: With $5 cans of beer, heavily poured cocktails, a dive-bar atmosphere and great people watching, Spring Lounge is my kind of bar! There's a sign on the ceiling stating "Life is Short. Drink Early" - words of the wise. Plus, they have free beer soaked hot dogs on Wednesdays.... need I say more?
- Brinkley's: If you're looking for local brews, head to Brinkley's. Here you'll find all the local business men and women letting loose after a long day's work. Untucked dress shirts, loosened ties and a desire for a good time fills the room. Bartenders are pouring New York state's finest beers and the kitchen is serving up classic pub dishes.
This city has endless places to explore, and these were just a few I got to experience first hand. I hope you get to have your own New York adventure soon and partake in the fun! Cheers.