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Irresistible New York, New York

I was lucky enough to have lived in New York for nearly a decade. During those crazy and free years I learned so much about myself, business and life in general. I partied A LOT and eventually met my amazing husband, Simon. Although that time has passed and I now reside in the UK, I must return every couple of years to get my fix.

New York is many things: electric, noisy, poignant, inspiring, tough, uplifting, chaotic, direct, romantic, debaucherous, artistic, elegant, gritty, multi-cultural, gentrified, rich, poor. It contradicts itself often and any given day can be completely different from the next. It's a fascinating place with so much to see and do and it will keep you on your toes and entertained at all times.

My visits back don't normally include any of the tourist stuff. I have already seen it. So, I stay where I like it best, below 14th street and as close as possible to my old apartment in the East Village (well, one of my old apartments - I have had a few!). Based here, I can see old friends, meander the streets, check up on old haunts (those that still exist) and discover some new ones.

If I wrote about all of the things I love about this city, I would be writing forever. So, here are some of my favourites from the last trip. I hope you enjoy.


Where to Stay

Sixty LES

190 Allen St, New York, NY 10002 | +1 (212) 460-5300 |

On a separate visit two years ago, we chose a studio apartment via AirBnB on 17th Street, just off Union Square for a very reasonable $80/night. It was pretty shocking to find that now AirBnB rentals in Manhattan are nearly as pricey as hotels, if not more expensive depending on what you are looking for.

So, we decided to treat ourselves to Sixty LES with it's contemporary design, amazing floor to ceiling city views, Lower East Side location and roof top pool - a true luxury on a hot summer's day in the city. Prices from $266/night.

The staff are excellent, attentive and always happy to help.

Located amidst plenty of bars, restaurants and shops on the Lower East Side, you can easily access The East Village and Soho by foot. If you are going further afield, the subway is a few blocks away and taxis are readily available at the front of the hotel.

We made use of the relaxing pool area after a busy day out and about. The hotel also has a busy rooftop tiki bar and sushi restaurant on site.


Where to Eat

Yuca Bar

111 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 | +1 212-982-9533 |

Yuca Bar is located in the East Village, on Avenue A and 7th street, next to Tompkins Square Park. Despite rampant gentrification in the area over the years, it's still a great place to watch the freaks and fashionistas and spot the occasional celebrity.

They serve up a plentiful menu of delicious Mexican inspired dishes and there is always a buzz whether it's breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or just drinks. Try their lip-smacking Huevos Rancheros served over a tortilla stuffed with refried beans then topped with copious amounts of quacamole, queso blanco and pico de gallo, finished with a spicy jalapeno sauce.

Essa Bagel

324 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009 | +1 212-260-2252

The great NYC bagel debate wages on!

In my opinion these are best bagels in New York. If you don't believe me, have a look at the long line of customers spilling out onto the street in the morning. Although they have had to move across from the original location at the corner of 21st and 1st, the same family who have owned the place since the 1970's still make the bagels the traditional way by first boiling them, then baking them. The result is a tender chewy inside and a crispy outside.

My favourite is the 'everything' bagel, toasted, with the homemade scallion cream cheese. You can also get any other kind of bagel sandwich imaginable stuffed with the freshest ingredients either at this location or at their sister store in midtown. Worth getting your carbs on!


12 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010 | +1 212-228-7557 |

Located in the Flatiron district, Almond serves up inventive, seriously delicious food based on local seasonal ingredients. Stand outs include the ravioli of ricotta with many herbs served with goats butter sauce, summer squash and pea puree and the marinated hangar steak with sauce bordelaise, shallots & marrow, cooked until perfectly pink and tender.

The Cupping Room

359 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013 | +1 (212) 925-2898 |

This place is a MUST for brunch. Located in Soho, it's the perfect place to stop when a morning of shopping leaves you famished. The tried and true favourite is their classic oozy eggs benedict with avocado and Canadian bacon. Best accompanied by a Mimosa or two.


Around Town

The Highline

This 1.45 mile stretch of formerly abandoned above-street railroad has been part of an on-going project by New York Parks and Recreation and it's non-profit sponsor, Friends of the Highline and now brings a bit of green to Chelsea with it's 500+ species of plants and trees. I watched it's development from my old office at IAC and was happy to return to the west side to see it packed with people and functioning in it's glory. The Highline now also hosts art exhibitions and musical performances.

Union Square Market

E 17th St & Union Square W, New York, NY 10003 | +1 212-788-7476

Open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, this market in the heart of Union Square is chocked full of farm stands showcasing a variety of local fruit, vegetables, breads, honey, flowers and more. The park at Union Square is excellent for people watching. Try a game of chess with one of the locals.

Hoboken, NJ

If you want to get the best view of the New York skyline, head to the 34th Street ferry terminal and take the ferry to Hoboken 14th Street (About 7 minutes). From here, you can see the city in all of her glory.

If you are feeling hungry, try one of the best authentic Mexican restaurants in the New York Area, Charrito's. To start, have the home-made quacamole made to order at your table. EVERYTHING on the menu is delicious. It's BYOB so pick up a bottle of tequila on the way for some tasty margaritas!

121 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030 | +1 (201) 418-8600 |

National September 11 Memorial and Museum

180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007 |

Simply put, the new memorial is a beautiful, spiritual and heartfelt way to remember those we lost.

Never forget.

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