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New York City Travel Guide For The LA Girl

Everyone from your mother, to a trip full of 8th graders can go see Lady Liberty and The Rockefeller Center, but The LA Girl wants a little more information. What neighborhoods to visit, most instagrammable spots in the city, where are the socialites dining these days and what’s under (and over) rated ?

Let’s break it down: Neighborhoods and Important Links:

Get Your Ritzy On, Uptown:

If you’re looking for classic “Sinatra” esk’ vacation vibes, filled with Central Park-access and luxury. THIS is where to visit, even for the day. Here are the hot spots: Sant Ambroeuse café: An Italian coffee shop with pastries and homemade sandwiches (get them toasted.) This spot is nestled on Madison ave. and is a picturesque spot to meet friends. There’s a 24-hour Apple Store right at the bottom of Central Park that we must mention because it comes in handy much more often than you’d think. Tao Uptown and Avra are both recommended for dinner. The LA Girl had a firsthand look at Avra and now has a go-to Greek food spot when we are in the area. Keep in mind, you’ll pay a pretty penny, but if that’s what you’re interested in- go for it! The Plaza Hotel is an uptown staple: High Tea note: Book The Plaza Court for a high tea experience, open daily after 5pm. Lastly, the buzz around town is Ralph Lauren’s built in coffee shop: “Ralphs.” Not only is it content creator heaven, but following the hype, it was also the back drop for this week’s Gossip Girl episode. Speaking of, The Carlyle Hotel is a great place to have a drink/food or stay & Bemelmans, located in the hotel is one of the most popular nooks in town. Lastly, if you’re heading to NYC for the holidays, a best kept secret is that The Ritz Central Park has an “unofficially” blocked off section for their guests to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade if you’re in town that morning. That and at any time of year you are mere feet from Central Park.

Get Your Trendy On, Downtown/The Village

Think: the “cool” kids. Anna Wintour, creatives and trend setter vibes. The village is restaurant HEAVEN. Two of the hottest spots in town are Carbone & Mamo. These reservations are near impossible to get. Some locals find these spots to be a bit overrated, but never the less, there is ALWAYS a notable behind the doors, nightly. Pro Tips to make reservations: #1 Turn on your “resy” alerts for cancelations, do you or a friend have an American Express business card? Check to see if you have a concierge service on it. If you do, they can definitely help you, but you must be at least 30 days in advance of the reservation you’re making. So get on it! During the day, SOHO is the place to walk shop and more. Need a mani/pedi or day out with the girls Chillhouse is the spot to do it. Offering massages, a full coffee bar and space to hang, this photo-worthy spot is the place to “chill.” Sweet tooth? You can find Levain Bakerys famous cookies there too! There will usually be a line that looks intimidating, but trust that it moves quickly. Another block to consider is “Meat Packing,” some highlights include the Alice and Olivia flag ship store and Catch, a popular spot located in LA too that is steps away from Soho House New York, a shwanky members only club serving cocktails, full menus and fabulous company. Pro tip: ask around, maybe someone you know is a member and can take you there. Tao Downtown is also a fabulous bet for ambiance, great food, cocktails, desserts and atmosphere.

Going to see a Broadway Show? Here’s what to know:

The most important thing to know is they WILL start on time. So, if you can get there at least a half hour in advance, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to grab a drink and munchies for the show. Next, it’s going to be packed near the venue, as it’s pretty much tourist nation. If you’re making dinner plans, try another neighborhood, unless you’re interested in repeat titles like Red Lobster or Yard House. If you do opt to grab a cocktail somewhere pre or post show, Magic Hour is one of New York’s cutest roof tops. For the holidays, they feature “Pink Christmas” and deck it out completely in, you guessed it: PINK. Per usual, make reservations. But if you do just want to go to the bar, walk ups are available. Another must Visit, no matter where you stay: La Grande Boucherie, because of it’s spacious seating, reservations are usually accessible, the ambiance is very upscale and the food is delicious.

FAQ’S:

Where is Fashion Week?

Answer: Tribecca is where a majority of shows are held. If you’re attending for Fashion week festivities, stay down town, not uptown and expect tons of traffic if you’re going anywhere by car.

Where should I stay for a work trip?

Somewhere in the middle. If you’re staying longer term or need access to all parts of the city, The Moxy Hotel (East Village or Chelsea) are good picks. Bryant Park area is mostly corporate, but it depends what you’re in the city to do. Grammercy Park is one of the most centrally located spots in the city and is a quaint, beautiful and safe area to call a homebase for longer work trips. (My NYC flat is in Gramercy and the must sees are: Rolphs bar in the fall, Iriving Place Coffee, Friend of Farmer restaurant, Bedford Cheese Shop and ACBV Vegan.)

General Tips:

This is a reservation City: MAKE THEM! Even if you’re not sure of your plans. Better to cancel then to have none.

Parking: FYI, if you see full sized cars parked mainly on the side walk at an angle, it’s legal. Don’t be scared! I know when I first saw it , I was. Though I don’t drive myself in the city, friends who do usually find parking in neighborhoods locally or garages in crowded areas.

Trash: expect to see it, I’ll never forget the shock across my friend’s face when she came out of her mid town Airbnb to a sidewalk lined with trash bags. Get used to it and get into it.

Parks: There will always be a park somewhere for you to take a walk through, no matter where you stay! The main parks to google search near you while you’re there: Washington Square Park, Madison Square Park, Union Square Park, Bryant Park and of course: Central Park.

Rooms: Look, this is NYC, if you want a huge, spacious hotel room everywhere you go, try a different part of the country. While some hotels have surprised me in spaciousness (The Knickerbocker comes to mind, if you’re looking to stay in Times Square,) most may be smaller than what you’re used to. STILL FAB THOUGH!

The Most Important Thing:

No matter where you find yourself, the city is a magical place and it’s hard to find bad food. Trust what you like, because the people who enjoy uptown, will tell you uptown is the place to be and the people who enjoy downtown will tell you downtown is the place to be. Explore, have a blast and DM us your questions, photos & more!