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My Favorite Places in New York City

My Favorite Places in New York City

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When I was 22 I moved to New York City, and I loved every second of it. At times the city seemed overwhelmingly big, and expensive, but I was determined to make it my home, and for two years it was. I went from feeling like an outsider to knowing how to weave my way through the crowds with ease. I found friends, discovered restaurants and bars where I would spend my time, and got a master’s degree. One year after I moved, my sister, Kelly, followed, and when I moved to Chicago, she stayed.

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When Kelly and I went to Costa Rica, we flew from New York, and I tacked on a few extra days in the city before going home to Chicago. I had one day all to myself to explore my favorite places in NYC before my mother arrived (more about that in another post).

My first order of business was to go shopping in Soho. I love the mix of high end and affordable retailers, and the vibe of the neighborhood.

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When it was time of a snack I headed over to the Chobani Café (152 Prince St). If you think they just serve up yogurt, you are wrong. Then use their famous yogurt to create an inventive menu of dining options. While there I tried both a sweet and savory options, and was blown away. The Mango + Avocado is made with jalapeños, olive oil, lemon zest, cilantro, and lime juice over plain yogurt and served with blue corn chips. The flavor pairings might seem unconventional, but this was one of the best things that I ate while I was in NYC. I want to recreate it at home.

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I tried the Pistachio + Chocolate from the sweet section of the menu, this combined pistachios, dark chocolate flakes, diced orange, mint, and honey with yogurt. It was a successful healthy version of a dessert.


I grabbed coffee (well, it was really an iced Chai Tea Latte) with a friend at Maman (239 Centre St), the most darling little independent coffee shop with a big selection of fresh pastries.

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I spent lots of time walking around taking photos of architecture and murals.

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The blue fire escape caught my eye.

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And I liked this tree lined cobblestone street.

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I discovered the cutest little house on the top of a building.


I came across the most fun housewares store called Mondiale (20 Clinton Street), and I wanted to buy everything.

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I had lunch at Clinton Street Bakery (4 Clinton St) at 3pm. My sister says that it gets crazy busy on weekends, but I walked right in. While they are famous for their blueberry pancakes (Kelly loves them), I had to try the Chicken & Waffles, and a Strawberry Bellini.


As I walked around, I passed some of my favorite hangouts from my time living in NYC. Schiller’s (131 Rivington St) is a great bar (you might recognize it from the SNL opening credits). It’s a bit of a hang out for people in the food and beverage industry.

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Spitzer’s Corner (101 Rivington St) is a fun place to grab a beer, and the long tables accommodate groups well.

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And I remember hanging out with friends at Gatsby’s (53 Spring St).

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Then I headed back up to my sister’s place on the Upper East Side and walked by The Met, where I spent lots of time when I was in grad school. My professors at Sotheby’s Institute of Art are curators at the American Wing, and we often had class there on Mondays when the museum was closed.

That evening Kelly and I went to Barn Joo (893 Broadway) for bibimbap and dumplings. It was super dark inside, so photos were a no-go, but the food was excellent. The fried beef dumplings were fantastic.

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After dinner we popped into the most darling kitchen store, Fishs Eddy (889 Broadway) where I bought a couple of new food styling props – and a hilarious plate that says, “Here is your snack dumbass.”


Kelly loves Holy Cream (796 9th Ave), an ice cream parlor so much that she insisted that we go 30 block out of our way, to the other side of town to get it. The peanut butter vs. cookie dough favor was worth the trip.

Finally, we ended our night at the Irish pub near my sister’s apartment, Phil Hughes. It’s a no frills place with a good beer selection, sports on tv, and a pool table. It’s a neighborhood hangout.

*Note – I walked 25,000 steps this day, so keep that in mind if you consider this itinerary.