There’s a reason why New York is considered one of the best cities in the world. It really never sleeps. Public transportation runs all night and there’s always something to do. The diverse population and eclectic culture only add to its charm.
For first-time visitors, the hustle and bustle can be pretty overwhelming. For a truly local experience of the city, you have to look beyond Times Square or the Statue of Liberty. Sure these attractions are nice but they portray a superficial, glamorous side of what it’s like to live in New York.
Two weeks ago, my friend visited from Haiti and my sister and I were her tour guides. We had 24 hours to make the most out of her time in the city and here’s what we did:
Because a full stomach sets the tone for the rest of the day, we had to make sure we started ours right. We took her to a small Italian restaurant in Lower East Side, called Oficina1000Miglia. Everything about this place was great! It has a very rustic deco with modern accents. The waiters were attentive and friendly and the food was delicious! I’d recommend any of their brunch dishes
Maybe we were having an Italian day, but one simply cannot deny the beauty of Little Italy. Located in vibrant Lower Manhattan, this neighborhood offers some great eye candy with its artistic murals and lovely shops and restaurants. While we were walking, there was an artist playing the saxophone to a couple sitting outside and it was so romantic! And not surprisingly, this place is well known for its gelato spots and wine bars.
Tea Break at Greecologies
I don’t know about you, but I can have tea at any time of the day. The city abounds with cute coffee shops that you won’t readily find online. The best discoveries are often unexpected. We stumbled upon this adorable coffee shop while touring Little Italy. It has a very laidback vibe, which is conducive to quiet work sessions, intimate gatherings and great conversations.
It’s hard to get past the aesthetic vibes of this part of the city. From the architecture of the buildings to the fashion style of the visitors, Soho is an inspiration to the visually oriented. As a fashion video blogger, I schedule a lot of photoshoots there. The urban scene makes for very artistic images. Soho is also where you can come across the most diverse people strolling the streets. From the street food to the stores, it’s definitely a neighborhood that you’ll remember.
End the day with a refreshing glass of rose and some authentic pizza at this Italian bistro. I’d recommend any pie on the menu. Their pizza is well baked and simply tastes delicious! The outdoor seating area is very charming with its flower ornaments and it’s located in one of the coolest neighborhoods of New York, West Village.
The best way to enjoy a new city is to have a truly local experience. Skip the tour buses and take the subway or walk through different neighborhoods. Mingle with the locals and hear their stories. It’ll be a much more memorable trip.
Want to see how these ideas played out in real life? Check out this video!