New York City: Greenwich to Brooklyn

by

Round TWO ladies and gentlemen. So now we are heading further south of Manhattan Island, and going all the way downtown to Brooklyn. Uhhhhh. I’m talking culture with a side of culture. I’m chatting love on the block and all over town.

A little insight into the southerly area of this big ol’ city. If I had endless time to chill, you bet your bottom dollar this is where I would be. Covered in vintage (faux) fur, slurping my oysters and reading my Baudelaire. I would be getting a better haircut (touchy topic), grinding in the best of the best LGBT bars and lounging avec donut. Alas, this is a holiday time, and as such you and I must hustle.

This guide: Packing, Budget, Love, Laughter, peeing a little and changing underwear.

New York is the ultimate destination for those wanting to wander and frollick. There is something for every person, and I guarantee this city will draw you out and punch you in the face with happiness. Not in a violent way, but an extremely pleasurable way. Dig?

 

Buckle up and listen as you ride

 

 

 

EAST TO WEST VILLAGE

East and West Village, a little Little Italy, Chelsea and Meatpacking districts too! Expensive  and lush all over. Wander the streets filled with galleries, cocktail bars, fancy things and fancy people. The vintage stores are incredible as are the thrift stores. Spend mornings in a cafe with a coffee and your afternoons hanging about Washington Square Park where the absolute best people watching can be done. I love this part of Manhattan as although it is littered with the best of the best designer stores, it is not only for the upper of the upper class. These areas also have some of the most beautiful streets in NYC! Green trees, secret hidden away gardens, old apartment buildings with fire escapes that Audrey Hepburn would dream of. Read on.

DO

Washington Square Park

This park is a little piece of epic. The people watching here is phenomenal. You are likely to encounter ribbon twirlers, couples in love, Chopin played from a very real grand piano, and the Friends cast playing in the fountain. Little old men sit waiting to challenge you in a game of chess. This park is a must do of NYC parks. Surrounded by so many other delights, you can wander on through along your way to holiday bliss.

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High Line

Yes to panoramic views of the city. Yes to birds-eye views of REAL roadworkers REALLY jack hammering the road (just like in Sesame Street). This wondrous forrest-like walk takes you from the Chelsea Market all the way north (or south) of Manhattan Island, providing you with cheeky views into incredible rooftop gardens, the streets, graffiti and wooden sun beds to bask in your own glory. Ya gunna luv it.

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Little Italy

Right next door to the equally satisfying China Town, this area has endless delights. We are getting further south now ladies and gentlemen. Should you choose dumplings over pizza, I shall not judge you. I love you. But… need I say more than pizza? I will say though… pizza.

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Ward-Nasse Gallery

178 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

The owner of this gallery has been around for many many years supporting artists from all over the world, but mostly New York. He is the sweetest of sweethearts and if you see him, have a chat while he finds the perfect box to shove your beautiful hand-made ceramic bowl into. He’s what I call a laugh, and a half. This gallery holds an ecclectic collection that is full of work from upcoming and already risen artists. Squiz, please.

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SHOP

From Vintage and Thrift to Designer wear, you will not be disappointed in the shopping  here. My travels bought me countless a vintage piece that I now cry into, remembering the good old NYC shopping times. Quuuwaaality. Beautiful. Here are my faves:

Starstruck Vintage Clothing

47 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10014

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Geminola

41 Perry St, New York, NY 10014

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Monk Vintage Thrift Shop

175 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10011

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photo by houseofndubuisi

 

Buffalo Exchange

332 E. 11th St, New York, NY 10003

 

 

Designer and Designer, Designer

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Diptyque

 

 

EAT

So so many places, so little time to write. Miss Lily’s and the BEST Jamaican food in town… Magnolia Bakery and its Coconut Cake… Cowgirl and its take of Texas and collection of barbed wire fences… Katz Deli and the orgasm station…. My god you’re gonna be the happiest and fullest person alive.

Magnolia Bakery

 401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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12 Chairs Cafe

56 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

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Miss Lily’s

132 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

You MUST try the corn and the Jerk Chicken. This place is vibing off the planet, you will feel as though you have Time Warped (again) to Jamaica. Staff is friendly, tunes are a-buzzing and with a Jamaican beer in your hand you shall turn all frowns upside down.

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photo by thedyme

 

Cowgirl

519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

This place is really funky with its walls filled with barbed wire from all over the country, different types and spikes… just so much variety. The food is also good. The menus may get a chuckle out of you. Delish.

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Chelsea Market

75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

One word: Lobster. Costs more than you may bargain for… but man oh man oh man oh man. Happiness. And cupcake galore!

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Lombardi’s Pizza

32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Fun fact: Some Americans call pizza ‘pie’. I’m confused too. Mmm pie.

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Katz’s Delicatessan

205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

The lads here will let you taste test some meat to help decide. You will need help, my friend. There is a big arrow above the chair that Meg Ryan had yet another fake orgasm, don’t sit there no one wants to perpetuate that shit.

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Balthazar

80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

This place is SO romantic. Inside is a magical wonderland that makes you feel as though you have been taken back in time to Paris in the 20s. The large hundred year old mirrors covering the walls, the oyster station with happy oyster serving man, the quiche. Oh, the quiche. A blast and not too bad on the old wallet.

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Cubbyhole

281 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014

Yes to LGBT bar goodness. This divine establishment plays some excellent tunes and has the BEST rainbow everything collection on the walls. Just love-paradise.

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photos by nycgo

 

 

 

THE STREET

Some pics from about these wondrous pockets, here and there, for your own personal perusal.

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DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN TO BROOKLYN

 

From downtown Manhattan a llllll the way to Brooklyn. The dirty, beautiful diamond of NYC. The Finance Disctrict… the big Riv… the bridge… as well as the smiles. This is all walkable until you get over the bridge, then yes you will most definitely want a subway to drag you about this treasure trove.

Young, wild and free. Brooklyn is huge. HUGE. Made up of countless boroughs such as the very well-known Williamsburg where Dan, the original Gossip Girl was from. Here you can find many a craft beer, vintage and thrift stores, intricate hand-made jewellery and the famous for a reason Brooklyn Flea Market. Get a bagel and wander the ins and outs of the streets in your fur coat and sparkle hoops. You rock those booty shorts and turtle neck all the way down Bedford Ave.

DO

Brooklyn Bridge 

I’m not sure, but I think you could definitely act out your own self-written self-performed monologue, while staring out over the river into the labrynth of thy Queen of cities. OR you could skip from one side to the other like a school girl! Good idea.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This area is surrounded by the East River, which you will see as you pass over the Brooklyn Bridge. The park is a lovely way to end your best-ever-bridge experience. The perfect scene for an all out make-out session. Dig.

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Photo from brooklynbridgepark

 

The Statue of Liberty

Take a cruise from Battery Park, the very bottom of Manhattan Island to the beauty of Liberty. While this can be quite a touristy affair.. how could you miss this Lady?

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Ground Zero

400 Church St, New York, NY 10013

A really touching experience that is self-explanatory. Love and respect, humans.

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Photo by the realdeal

 

 

SHOP

Yes!!! Yas. The Flea Market… the Vintage… the books (OH the books!) Brooklyn shopping is just BAM huge in your face. Whatever your particular style niche there will be a treasure worth searching for here.

Spoonbill & Sugartown Avenue

218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

This is where I found some of the most special books I own to date. I found a German ‘fashion guide’ from the 1920s and a poetry book of all French poets. I sigh, I die. Some treasures to be found here.

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Brooklyn Flea Market

There are two locations for this market on different days of the week. If you are short for time, book in a market session and do the area from there. Information on this can be found here.

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Photo by philly

 

Catbird NYC

219 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Awoke Vintage

132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Photo by bkstyled

 

 

 

EAT

Food-topia. Depending on where you find yourself in the area is where you are going to wanna hit. Brunch/Breakfast? Bagel. Lunch? Lobster. Dinner? Martini (dirty).

Supermarkets… in general

Soooooo much kale. Sooo much delicious fresh fruity guys. Great if you need a break from your fried chicken diet. But you probably don’t. Check one out on Bedford Avenue! Foreign supermarket experience, check!

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Bagelsmith 

189 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

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Buttermilk Channel

524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

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Photo by CBSlocal

 

Luke’s Lobster

11 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Photo by weddingwire.

 

Roberta’s 

261 Moore St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

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Photo by damienrepucci

 

Sheltering Sky

160 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

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Photos by gothammag

 

 

 

THE STREET

Wandering these streets by foot or bicycle is the best possible option for you to take in all that Brooklyn has to offer. Take it borough by borough, street by street and remember not to go all Rambo Tourist throughout the day. It’s your holiday for a reason. You’re relaxing, not running maniacally from thing to thing. The things need time to drink in, my sugar plum.

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PACKING GUIDE

What to pack for the best holiday of your life? What to? Pack? Here I’m going to list some of my top packing essential tricks of being packer-licious, as many or noone says.

  1. Your comfort day wear that makes you feel sexy as hell. Comfort doesn’t have to mean ugly my friends. Junners, mentioned in NYC Part One are not your only answer.
  2. I say this a lot: choose three colours or tones- match everything to them. I’m a black, white and grey girl. If your dresses, jackets, tops, shoes and accessories all fit together you will never again pack an unused item.
  3. Shoes that can cross from day to night. My go to are platform leather ankle boots.
  4. Accessories: Hats are a must. Fedora, straw… limitless options. Jewellery: minimal. Once again, bring only the stuff that you can wear with most of the outfits in your suitcase. AND your badass hoops, of course.
  5. Your night-time-hot-time outfit. One to two options, that’s it. Be fearless.
  6. Chargers, converters, headphones, earplugs, eyemasks… practical things that make you comfy. Always.
  7. Notebook– write a journal, draw, take notes… idea book. Something! Travelling makes you a genius, write that shit down.
  8. Weather appropriate everything- NYC has xxxxxtreme weather folks, and don’t you forget it.
  9. Camera– or if you’re like me- Iphone.
  10. Uplifting book. Do not pack a book that makes you sad/depressed or negative. You’re on holiday, you only have business in smiling, kissing and good vibes.

 

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BUDGET

The main thing to consider when looking at a trip to New York City or the USA in general is that it is not a trip where you can live off nothing and still keep remaining teeth and fresh panties. Main focus here: how to be the cheapest, yet happiest gal.

Accommodation

As noted in nyc p1, accommodation in this city is a little expensive. If you’re hitting the city in high tourist season you will have to book ahead, and accept a hostel room full of your backpacker regulars at around $70 US. Hotel rooms depending on area are going to hit you up for more again. A nice alternative would be to book a private room in an Airbnb apartment.

BIG idea: stay in the area you most wanna hang out in. Always. No matter the cost- you will end up just paying that in lugging your butt from taxi to subway anyhow.

Cost: $70 US and up per day

Food

You have SO much choice in this matter, as you can see from these guides. You don’t have to spend a crazy amount on food. You CAN get buy on next to nothing for food if you’re cooking and buying from supermarkets. The meal prices are relatively reasonable in most establishments.

BRAIN storm: if you’re on a budget have one meal out a day and you shall sail through mighty fine.

Alcohol: Here you’ll find it is not so cheap. Drink prices are much more expensive than in Europe or Asia, but comparable to Australia when in bars. Wine is expensive. Beer not so. Liquor prices in supermarkets can be cheaper however!

Cost: $20 US and up per day.

Transport

Subway and taxi costs within the city are not entirely outrageous. Buying a bulk ticket for the train can be ideal for those who are using them frequently. I did buy this bulk ticket, but ended up feeling guilty about it because… I walked everywhere! Note: walking is free.

IDEA casanova: get taxis late at night when you can no longer continue to stumble towards location of hotel via hotdog stand.

Cost: $5 US and up per day.

Shopping

If you’re low on cash but MUST get something to remember your trip, don’t fret. Souvenirs are cheap from street stalls. (Some really cool ones around Washington Square Park) Vintage and Thrift shops give you the choice of some incredible finds for groovy prices. Flea markets… etc etc etc yes?

Cost: $2 US and up up…up. Mmmm new shoes.

 

SECRET TIPS

  1. Tour area by area. Don’t spend your days commuting from one side of this terrifically enormous city to the other.
  2. Don’t overpack. You’re going to be shopping mate, consider the fact that you will be wearing your new special treasures while on holiday.
  3. Bring comfortable shoes, not ugly shoes.
  4. Bring all the beauty products that make you feel like the royalty you are, but in the small size. Obviously.
  5. Immersive theatre. Only available in New York City, and SUCH a unique experience.
  6. In New York ATMs dispense cash first, card last. Learnt that one the hard way.
  7. Don’t stand in walkways or doorways or in the way. People will get hella mad. Another hard lesson learnt.
  8. Ask for help if you’re lost! Obvious one, yes? No. New Yorkers do have a steely look as they power through the streets, but honest to god, they are all so so generous and willing to help no matter their resting-bitch-face.
  9. The Metropolitan Opera does Summer concerts in Central Park. If you’re here at this time… do. it. Ah.
  10. Also in the Summer, Bryant Park events. They have everything from Shakespeare, Theatre, fire twirling and juggling to films. Check out their calendar and you might just be lucky!
  11. St Marks place for all the cool hangs. Buy an affordable pink wig here. Put wig on. Proceed.

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OH YEAH NYC. Love you.

Wanna add to this list of tips? Got any secrets you wanna share? My peach, I would love to hear them all.

Thanks for comin’ down.

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5 Responses
  • Bronwyn
    April 21, 2016

    Soooo many great photos and info good.
    Lucky to spend so much time really getting to know NYC.
    I must go soon. Xx

  • bellberrylane
    April 21, 2016

    LOVE this post! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it, I read both of your NYC guides. Very well written, organized, and extremely informative. I can’t wait to read more travel guides!! 🙂

    • sophieellis
      April 21, 2016

      What a bloody lovely thing to say- you made my day. Thank you for the kind words and please do read again soon… coming up… Morocco. 😉 😉 😉

  • thetravelpockets
    April 22, 2016

    It’s been a while since I’ve been to New York. Your photos make me want to plan a trip there soon! 🙂

    • sophieellis
      April 22, 2016

      writing it made me want to go again. Sigh. Such a vibrant experience is NYC. I’m glad I gave you little surge of inspo xxxx

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