My NYC: What I love & hate

Hey everyone! I'm curious how many of you are considering moving to a new city?

After living in Las Vegas for 10 years, I decided to move back here to NYC. I'm originally from here. 10 years ago I thought I wanted a change - so we moved to the west coast. Well, I'm a city girl at heart, and my heart never left Manhattan. So, with that said - we moved back to New York. Some of you may recall the post that started it all here.

We've been back here for 5 months now. This city has so much energy - if you don't keep up, you feel like you'll get trampled on!  A few people have asked me what it's like to live here & if I would post about my fave spots to eat, visit & so on.  New York isn't ALWAYS amazing- all the time, so with that said, I'd like to ALSO mention the stuff I DON'T like about it. But first, my fave places are:



Spasso: Located in the West Village, this is a great authentic Italian food place. I went there for brunch & had the eggs benedict - they were made to perfection. Can't wait to go back again!




Vespa: the food here is delicious - Italian all the way.


Cascabel Taqueria: This is a Mexican restaurant on the upper East side. The fish tacos are the best & they have a nice assortment of agua fresca drinks, my pick would be the Watermelon agua fresca.


Pig Heaven: Awesome Chinese food, with the tastiest dumplings! 
 
Aroma Espresso Bar- The Soho location is the best, and the iced coffee is so good! Always frothy even when on ice! 


Nespresso Boutique Bar: This is a super cool coffee bar that serves amazing coffee - so much so, I own one of their machines. The bar also serves light meals and plenty of iced & hot espressos. They have a few locations in the city & definitely a great spot to meet with a client.





Uva: Also on the upper east side. Italian spot with a really nice backyard patio area. 


La Follia: Love this place, with some of the best pasta dishes & appetizers! Located on E.19th


MOMA- Museum of Modern Art (Happy now Susan?) - this is by far one of the best museums here in the city, especially if you're an art fanatic like me.


Ever since I moved here my dad had been mentioning highline park. I finally went with him & loved it. The high Line is a public park here in the city on Manhattan's West Side. It's built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets! 
 

Tina's Cuban Cuisine: I'm a sucker for homemade Hispanic food. Every so often my mom comes by & brings a few dishes to our place, it is the best! This is one thing I really missed when I lived in LV, my mom's home cooked meals. 



Well, if you can't make it to my mom's place, you can always go by Tina's. This place is delicious & very affordable! You won't believe the portion they give you for the price. Great deal.




Magnolia Bakery: There are several locations for Magnolia here in Manhattan & they're owned by different owners, so you'll taste a little difference in each. It's a long story as to why, so you'll have to look it up online. That said, my fave location is the one in midtown west. Super most cakes & frosting. My sweet tooth is always satisfied there.




This is one of my favorite department stores here in Manhattan. They have a ton of name brand items if that's what you're into, and get ready to spend money, it's not cheap. It's super chic with all the latest trends.




Zara: Who doesn't love Zara? This is my favorite shop here in town. Their clothing is the best, and they have a ton of variety. The best store in my opinion has got to be the one on 5th Avenue. 


This shop has it all if you're looking to bring something hip & stylish to your home. It's also one of my faves in the city. You can find it downtown Manhattan!



Sex & the City Bus Tour: What's a trip to NYC without Carrie Bradshaw?? I can't believe I just recently went on this tour!! Have you been yet? I went with my guy & he was like one of 3 guys on the bus. It was funny, but it was something we did last minute. 

My guy didn't mind, he actually enjoyed the show at times. This tour is about 3 or so hours long & they show clips of the series on little screens - you laugh a lot on this tour - it's totally worth going on. Next time I'd love to go with a few girlfriends though.



Ok, so the things I DON'T like aren't that many, but if I had to tell you, this would be it. Feel free to tell me the things you can't stand about this city & what you LOVE.

Street smells - lets' face it, a lot of street smell like dog Urine or dog poop. No wonder my dog got sick.
Subway - If I had all the money in the world (but I don't) I'd never, ever ride the subway. It's clean & fast, but dang is it hot during the summer. Literally feels like you're in a sauna on that platform. The day they invent air conditioning on platforms, I'll be there. 

Weather - I knew it was going to be humid here, but I guess I forgot how much. I swear on days where the humidity is past 65% I just don't want to go outside. I truly miss the west coast weather.



If you think you've seen it all, you haven't been to NYC. This is where you truly see it all. What's your fave place to visit when in NYC??






-highline park images by Iwan Baan
-cupcake pic by ny daily news
-sex & the city pic by mario tama
-aroma bar pic by arancia project



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55 comments

  1. I want to move to NYC when I'm older, so I love reading posts like these, on the good and bad! It sounds like such an amazing city! xx

    Kate {Modette}
    http://modetteblog.com

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  2. I've loved in NYC all my life it's the best place in the world... here are my favorite places: Beard Papas 76th and Broadway it's a japanese bakery amazing stuff, Queens Center Mall, Gabriellas which is a mexican reataurant on the upper west side, and there are so many more I can't list them all haha.

    My pet peeves about New York pretty much same as yours, I hate the subway i'm a big germaphobe so it drives me pretty crazy how dirty it can get, how the drivers are so aggressive, Canal street haha i hate it down there, and I hate the C train but that's a whole other story hahaha

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  3. New York is such a wonderful city. All the food is so good and there is amazing energy. I have never lived there, only visited. How cool that there's a Nespresso restaurant. I just got a Nespresso machine and I'm OBSESSED with it.

    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com

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  4. Wow I feel like I went on a vacation to NYC after reading this post! So a big THANK YOU! Haha. I need to make a real trip to NYC so badly! I feel like it's one of those cities I would absolutely love living in because of all the culture. All of those restaurants look fantastic - especially that charcuterie plate - holy moly! Great post, hope your week is off to a great start!

    ~Amberly

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  5. I'm from L.A. and am itching bad to move to the East Coast, not permanently, but for a good while. Would love to live in N.Y., but yes, I have heard about the weather there. It does seem so beautiful. XoXo

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  6. I love NYC and have often thought about moving there from the UK. When I visited last, I went to watch the Knicks at Madison Square garden which was really cool and I love to eat at the Mercer Kitchen - they have great burgers. Reading this post has made me want to plan a trip really soon : )

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  7. I'm in NYC a LOT, so I really appreciate you sharing your list of loves and hates - great choices on your lists! My favorites would have to be the museums (The Met is my absolute favorite and the Museum of Sex is a riot); restaurants = Strip House, Patsy's, Amber, Serafina, etc.; love shopping at Barney's, Saks, or any of the stores on 5th. And I love Time Warner Center and Central Park, among other places :)

    Same "hates" as on your list, for sure.

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  8. Honestly how awesome is nespresso!! I've owned one of their coffee machines for ages and they finally opened a nespresso shop on the gold coast (Australia) so happy! Not to mention George clooney on the wall!! Haha my husband & I are saving to go to NYC and all around America hopefully this "saving" thing doesn't take forever!!

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  9. Honestly how awesome is nespresso!! I've owned one of their coffee machines for ages and they finally opened a nespresso shop on the gold coast (Australia) so happy! Not to mention George clooney on the wall!! Haha my husband & I are saving to go to NYC and all around America hopefully this "saving" thing doesn't take forever!!

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  10. Honestly how awesome is nespresso!! I've owned one of their coffee machines for ages and they finally opened a nespresso shop on the gold coast (Australia) so happy! Not to mention George clooney on the wall!! Haha my husband & I are saving to go to NYC and all around America hopefully this "saving" thing doesn't take forever!!

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  11. Honestly how awesome is nespresso!! I've owned one of their coffee machines for ages and they finally opened a nespresso shop on the gold coast (Australia) so happy! Not to mention George clooney on the wall!! Haha my husband & I are saving to go to NYC and all around America hopefully this "saving" thing doesn't take forever!!

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  12. Oh how I envy your beautiful city! Your posts just make me want to pack up and go!

    Gen x

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  13. I love NYC!!! Such a great post with many cool places. Some I've been to, others....I can't wait!!

    www.stellsandco.blogspot.com

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  14. Liznoveggiegirl: aah yes, Patsy's is good too! I also love the MET- its amazingly large. ;)

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  15. Miss iris- that would be a similar move to what I made. You'll have to get used to this weather... But I'm sure you'll miss LA weather, big difference. Plus it tends to rain here so much more then on west coast it seems.

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  16. i live 25 mins out of the city - so it's pretty much my home in my backyard - nothing beats a day in the city with the girls and finding new treasures all the time!

    *Much Bliss*
    Erika~Tiptoe Butterfly~

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  17. Hola soy de Puerto Rico y esos platanos maduros se ven super ricos, Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!

    Have a lovely day!

    x

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  18. Thanks Jen! I'll definitely be checking out those places when I make it out there!!

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  19. amazing photos! I live right outside nyc on the jersey side and I feel like I don't take advantage of the city as much as I should! xo

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

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  20. Don't you just love the subway smells and gross weather combo? Ahh New York.

    Here are 3 favorite restaurants, all on the west side.
    French Roast on Bway in the 80s always open
    Community Food & Juice up by Columbia University
    Indian Road Cafe on 218th street - delicious and worth the hike

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  21. fun post!
    Love: Bonchon chicken, Giorgio's of Gramercy, Doughnut Plant, Campbell Apartment, Wichcraft pork sandwich, deviled eggs at Blue Smoke, ABC home, running on the west side highway

    Hate: the smell of garbage around Union Square, everything about Herald Square

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  22. forgot...I hate grocery shopping in new york. It's very expensive, the produce is pretty bad, and you have to go 3 places to find what you want! Ugh!

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  23. Thanks for the tips on where to go and shop in NYC! I will definitely have to check out a few is these hot spots. Sex and the city tour and that walk in the park, I am there the next time I am in town!

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  24. COBY: ha! I agree, very pricey, which is something i dont like either. I tend to go to the nearest market which is Fairway, which also has the best prices, but then i also end up going to morton williams too for things i cant find there. About once a month my mom drives us to NJ -to walmart to get all our toiletries which cost about $2-3 less each, so that's how we save some $.

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  25. Great photos! I have never been to NYC but seeing these pictures makes me want to go more and more!

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  26. I'm with you on the HATE for the subway. I'm 7 months pregnant and psyching myself up in the morning to get on that thing is the hardest part of my day. So hot and disgusting! But, other than that... I LOVE living in NYC! :)

    If you want great fish tacos, go to Tacombi NYC on the lower east side. SOOOOO GOOD!

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  27. What a fantastic guide! Thank you for sharing !

    xo
    Edyta
    http://www.edytaandco.com/blog-4/

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  28. CARE: wow & pregnant? ...I don't know how you do it!

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  29. I've lived in NYC the last 6 years and I have to agree with subway platform disgustingness. It's so gross! and the grocery shopping comment too! Half the time I can't find something as simple as sprinkles and then if you can it's double the price and you have to carry it all home. But the good thing is you CANNOT beat the food here. you just can't. and the highline is such a great piece of public design too!!

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  30. I love the nightlife. I've never lived there but I've been a few times on vacation. Amazing cafés, lounges and nightclubs like Pacha! Insane if you're looking for a real party. Plus I love that they're open til 4am...none of this 1 or 2am nonsense. Enjoy!

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  31. I'm in NYC at the moment! I'm from Australia. Have read your. Log for years. We did the Highline yesterday. Loved it :)

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  32. I'm coming over for a holiday from Sydney in 3 weeks and i CANT BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW GREATFUL I AM FOR THIS POST! Yayyyy, going to try all of these places. many thanks.

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  33. Great post - I've been to the city once and had the flu for most of my visit {bleh}. Hubby and I are hoping to take another trip back, I'll definitely bookmark this post and check these places out during our next visit!

    We did make it to Magnolias - simply delish!

    -Danya
    www.PinkPeonyStyle.com

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  34. I'm originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, but I've visited NY a bunch of times. I absolutely love the city and NY gets me really excited. I'm really itching for a visit to NY too - it's been too long. I love seeing some of your favorite places - especially coffee shops. Have you been to The Market NYC in Soho? I had gone there a while ago and got some really great things - that's another place I would need to visit next time we're up there. It looks like it might be a bit bigger now and in a different venue. I can't even remember some of the names of the bars that we visited, but it was such a great time. NY is like no other. I'd also like to visit Brooklyn next time we're up there too. We actually took the subway the wrong way and ended up in Brooklyn last time we were there.

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  35. My husband and I lived in NYC for five years. Our favorite borough was Brooklyn, specifically Carroll Gardens. You have got to go to La Petit Cafe on the corner of Court and Luquere. We went back a couple of years ago and were floored by what he has done to his establishment. Completely beautiful artistic secret garden with wonderful food and atmosphere.

    Google it. Images galore!

    Shelley

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  36. SHELLEY: Thank you, i love discovering new places and even though we dont venture into Brooklyn much, we do have friends from our church who live out that way. I think i'll def check this place out online in a sec, sounds lovely!! thanks!!

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  37. I just watched something on the High Line Park! I need to visit it in person soon!!

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  38. OMG I absolutely agree with your comment about the subway in the winter. You were so sweet to be so PC with saying that it was like walking into a Sauna. Everytime I go I think its like walking into what Hell would feel like, maybe hotter? :) I just returned from a trip to Japan and I must say that their subway/train system and stations are THE best that I have been to, to date.

    Jen
    http://blankwhiteframes.blogspot.com

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  39. ahh soo many good things highlighted!! have you ever been to beauty & essex? it's one of my faves. xo

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  40. I don't think I ever told you I bought the Nespresso Citiz based on your recommendation. I couldn't be happier - it is AMAZING!
    We also have a Nespresso boutique in our Ipanema neighborhood - I love ogling the newest machines (and grabbing a quick shot, too!)
    Thanks again for the heads-up!

    alison g.
    MLHP

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  41. LOVE the High Line park and Calypso Home. Hundred Acres in Soho is a favorite for brunch, and a walk through Central Park never gets old!

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  42. LOVE the High Line Park and Calypso Home. Hundred Acres in Soho is a favorite for brunch, and a walk through Central Park never ever gets old!

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  43. hi Jen!

    First off- you picked oms great places in NYC to highlight... the highline is one of my favorites. but I agree with one of the ladies above- you've got to go over to Brooklyn! I've been living here for 5+ years and there is just so much to explore. Dumbo and Brooklyn Bridge Park are great.. If you're up for an adventure I suggest walking across either the BK Bridge or Manhattan Bridges (amazing views of Chinatown graffiti from here). 5th Ave in Park Slope and Smith Street in Cobble Hill/Gowanus are some of my favs for food & drink lately.

    Alyssa
    www.apicandhercamera.tumblr.com
    apic.yelp.com

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  44. Love your blog Jen! This is a great guide to NYC - you've inspired me to write one for Sydney (where I live). Wondering if you've posted pics of your NYC apartment yet - I'm longing to see how you've decorated it as I love your style? Bless you heaps, Mish

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  46. I have definitely gotta hit up the big apple again!All the places that you recommended to eat looks fab! I totally have to go visit Vespa, Nesperresso bar, and La Follia! I'm actually a big fan of Italian food and the ambiance in these places is soo cosy.

    HAHahaha...i actually did the SATC tour when i went to New york a few years ago, it was quite an experience! I loved the woman in the tour bus who explained each location that was linked back to certain scenes in the film. It was hilarious!!!

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

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  47. I totally love NYC , visited last year and now i am having serious withdrawal about it. The photos featured in home cooked spanish food were they fritters? I love them too

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  48. one broke gal: i dont blame you, i love it here. No, those are actually plantains. :)

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  49. CINZEE: cool! yea the tour guide gal was one of my favorite parts of the tour, she was so funny.

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  50. I am your new follower from Pakistan, enjoying your blog thoroughly.

    a-honey-dew.blogspot.com

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  51. We were just in NYC last week and I miss the city! I have to admit, I LOVE NYC summer weather...way better than the crazy heat and humidity in TX. This time around we ate at some yummy places, my personal favorite was Gramercy Tavern and my husband's was Nobu--I'm just not a sushi girl :) I loved Highline Park! I also love Barneys and the Tory Burch flagship store--the girls there are the sweetest. Glad to hear the Sex & the City tour was fun--I really wanted to go on it but the mister wouldn't agree to it, maybe next time!

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  52. Hi there!

    Just moved to NYC a couple of days ago (I'm from Seattle,WA - West Coaster). I totally agree about the subway and the weather here, it feels so icky and grimy.

    I don't have much favorites yet, but so far I'm in love with 5th Ave.

    Thanks for the restaurant mentions! I have to try those out once I get settled in.

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  53. There's no place like home after all. There's just something for everyone here - best shopping havens, many art galleries, lively bar scene, great restaurants. But be prepared to marvel at how expensive the city is.
    RSVP restaurant

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  54. Glad I read this post before heading to NYC tomorrow for the NYIGF!! Will you be going? I lived in NYC for 9 years, basically my 20's. Loved it at the time but once I hit 30 (and married) I was DONE! But I love visiting now. Caracas Arepas & Frank in the East Village are 2 fav. restaurants.

    Also, everyone should head out to Jackson Heights, Queens. It's SO diverse and so many different cultures, I felt like that little area was the "real" New York. Love your blog! -Boo
    www.bywaterboo.blogspot.com

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