I can confidently say after being a (faux) New Yorker for a week, I learned how to live like a local in New York City. I’m not moving there tomorrow or making any sudden moves, but another confirmation that city life was made for me just as I was made for city life. And so I hopped on a flight to see my best friends Tina and Alan who recently moved to the city and I am so happy for them as people, friends and a couple. They encompass the New York icon of hard workers, free spirits and good people, all of which a true New Yorker should strive to be.
I was able to work out of my New York office for a few days, go out for drinks with my NY work wives (pop fizz clink) and take a few days off to both adventure and reflect. My favorite part of visiting New York City was going to the Top of the Rock. Not because it’s overloaded with tourists and selfie sticks, but because it was ironically enough the first place I found in the city where there was complete silence. No beeping taxis getting upset at pedestrians, no sirens echoing off of sky scrapers, and no planes or helicopters from above… nothing. It’s almost as if there is no one else around as you look out at the skyline. If you can find a space to getaway in a place so big and congested, whether it’s from up high or somewhere as simple as the river front, you know a little something about city life and balance.
But for those who are like me and rather live like a local and experience what it’s like to eat, breathe, sleep New York, I encourage you to try a few things, even if it puts you outside of your comfort zone a little bit.
I actually have come to appreciate public transit after driving in stop and go traffic from my adventures in Los Angeles… regardless of the unfortunate homeless person in my train cart on occasion, the subway gets you from point A to point B and majority of the time it is quicker than a taxi or an Uber. I finally learned how to quickly and swiftly take the subway and it’s not as bad as others might say it is.
Living like a local also doesn’t mean going out in Times Square. Tina and Alan live in the Financial District and it amazed me how many families, millennials and puppies (!!!) lived in the neighborhood. There are so many cool spots to check out- one of them being BlackTail which is a Cuban themed bar in what looks like a house straight out of the revolution. The hallways go for miles and the cocktails are a pleasant surprise. The neighborhood is rather quiet which makes this hidden gem even more intriguing.
I got into the routine of going out at night but I had to make up for eating delicious bites by making sure to get my workouts in. I even got Tina to take a Barry’s Bootcamp class with me at their Tribeca location and we had a blast. It is always nice going somewhere that I am familiar with, and knowing I am going to get my sweat on. For those upper west siders, their new UW location is OPEN.
As far as food and drinks are concerned, I enjoyed fancy cocktails at the quaint bar at Little Prince and skyline views with a cocktail in hand at The Jimmy. My favorite meal was at Shuka, a new Mediterranean restaurant in Soho and I won’t be forgetting my taco experience at El Vez in FiDi. Tina and I stumbled upon a trendy diner at Nickel & Diner during one of our evenings out and the food was amazing, and another night we checked out Hudson Clearwater and ate some yummy gnocchi. You know you are living like a local when the tables are so close to one another you can hear the conversation of the table next to you word for word. And boy were they… detailed… in so little words ;).
All in all I enjoyed living like a local in my favorite city for the week, and can’t wait to do it again soon. Outfit is linked below in case you are interested!
Photography by: Natalia Wajda Photography