There are countless visitor guides out there telling us how we should see New York City. “Check out the museums, catch a Broadway show, eat at a famous restaurant!” they shout. New York City is the city that never sleeps, where there are too many options, and anything you can dream of is at your fingertips. How do you choose what to do? Well, hopefully this will you give you some ideas. This is a different kind of guide — this is a Free People girl’s guide to New York City.
I’m moving back to California at the end of the month, so with just a few days left to experience the city, I’m dubbing this my NYC bucket list. To experience and share in the same thing that is meaningful to another person is, in itself, very special, so I enlisted the help of a few New York-based FP girls, asking them to share their favorite things to do that wouldn’t be found in a typical city guidebook. I also added some of my favorite things to do in New York at the bottom! Check out the guide below:
Charlotte, Social Media Specialist at Rockefeller Center: “Walk to the Northside Pier in Williamsburg early in the morning. I grab a coffee on the way and just soak in the tranquility of the city and the sound of the water. It makes for great photos too!”
Madeline, Display Coordinator for NYC: “One of the most amazing things about living in New York is being able to take the train straight to the beach during the summer. There are tons of different beaches to explore — each with their own story and experience. My favorite place to go on the weekends is out to the Rockaways. The A train lets you off just a few blocks from the water, where you can eat some of the freshest food in the city. Rockaway Taco, Rippers and Playland Motel are must-visits every time. The area is still trying to rebuild from Sandy, so every year there is something new to discover.”
Ali, Senior Store Manager at Rockefeller Center: “While New York is known for some of the most famous large-scale music venues in the world such as Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, we like to think that the real magic exists in the nooks and crannies of this concrete jungle. Smalls Jazz Club is a local underground MUST on any FP music lover’s bucket list. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village this original raw basement space is perfect for an intimate evening of vibrant and energized music created by some of the greatest jazz artists in the world.”
Lulu, Senior Visual Manager for NYC: “The whispering gallery at Grand Central is a special place. I saw a marriage proposal there once.”
Kelsey, Senior Stylist at Rockefeller Center: “How can you choose just one? Go to Café Mogador in the East Village and order the Moroccan eggs with tea. They serve their tea in the coolest little tea pots! It’s my favorite place to spend a Sunday morning. Or if you want to try a New York bagel, go to Ess-A-Bagel on the Upper East Side. It trumps any other New York bagel you could possibly have. It’s a true NYC gem!”
Brooke, Artist: “I love getting my caffeine fix at Ninth Street Espresso in the East Village. The space is cozy, yet simple — a perfect way to start the day. Great coffee, nice folks, and they always have the best tunes on.”
Kelsey and Ali: “Yoga To The People (or YTTP) is the perfect place to get a yoga session in if you need to take a break from the energetic city. It’s donation based and offers classes for all levels, all over the city.”
And for me, you ask? Well, I generally like the simple and thoughtful things in life, so what I enjoyed doing most in New York ending up being the things that I felt most present in. I love making a music compilation on Spotify, putting my headphones on, and heading out to the bustling streets. As my music plays, I make sure my phone stays in my pocket so my eyes stay exploring the city around me. I love walking up and down the cobblestone streets of SoHo — the architecture, the people, the charm, the fashion. Oh, the fashion! If you need any outfitting ideas, SoHo is the place to be inspired. I also love riding CitiBikes all around New York, weather permitting. You can rent a CitiBike for $10 for the entire day! One of my favorite rides was up and down the path on the East River, all the way down to Wall Street, where you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The East River waterfront is a great spot to take a break, relax, and watch the world around you. Oh, and if you have time, check out a little hidden gem called Rossy’s Bakery. It’s one of my favorites.
+ I can’t wait to hear some of your favorite NYC spots — please share in the comments. I’m sure there are tons!
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