An Extensive City Guide from a Future NY Transplant

New York City is different for everyone. Some revel in the night scene, others take in the history, for me I’m all about exploring whether that be new places, new foods, or new stores to shop at. Like last year when I wrote about getting lost in the city, I still stand by it and had time to experience it even more this summer. Although this time I was much less lost and more, trying to get lost for the sake of it!

For some who don’t know, I spent the majority of my summer in New York City interning for Macy’s in Herald Square in Men’s digital merchandising. In the simplest terms this consisted of helping the digital merch team buy and analyze sales for Macy’s website with brands like Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole and Sean John (streetwear). In addition I was an intern in the BRAG program, standing for Black Retail Action Group, which strives to better improve diversity in the retail industry. With this program I was able to meet other interns that worked for companies in the city and across the country including Nordstrom, Tory Burch, Bloomingdale’s, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in both, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed my time roaming around with my new and old friends even more. As corny as it may sound, I really didn’t want it all to end.

Now that you have a little background into why I was there, I felt all the places I went should be logged in some form and this one where I can share with you seemed the most fitting! Thus, I give you my NYC guide. Remember these are just my opinions and places I couldn’t get enough of, yours might be different. If you’re in the city hit me up with these because you know I’ll be back soon 😉

To Eat

Pietro Nolita | Nolita

This shop is in one of my favorite areas in the city, Nolita (which stands for North of Little Italy). I call it the little pink restaurant because literally every thing is pink– the walls, napkins, the drinks. It is also one of the tiniest restaurants I’ve been in, any one over 6 feet would have to bend over to get in i’m sure.

Serendipity 3 | Lenox Hill

You know that romance movie Serendipity? Yeah the couple ate to this restaurant. It is was super rainy when I went and it was an hour wait, so be prepared to rang out, but the dessert is so worth it. I went with my aunt one night and we got the chocolate cake sundae– haven’t had a better sundae yet. Enjoy these boomerangs filled with excited anticipation for our food.


Cha Cha Matcha | Lower Manhattan

I am a big matcha fan and my love for it heightened after being in new york. This place is filled with everything matcha– lattes, teas, ice cream, croissants–all green with matcha. And the atmosphere is even cuter with it’s punny matcha napkins and neon sign.

Chocolat | Harlem

If you’re coming or some brunch chocolat is one of the good ones. I got the red velvet pancakes and they were soooo good, not too red velvety at all, if you were wondering.

Sylvia’s | Harlem

For some good ole southern food, when you’re not in the south come to Sylvia’s. Try their combo of mac & cheese, greens and fried chicken, you can’t go wrong.

Rosemary’s | West Village

At night, this place is so nice! A little price-y but the dark lit atmosphere was well worth the cost. I was telling my friend that I went with that this place would be nice to go for a date. They even have a rooftop which was closed when we got there, but try asking them when you arrive to sit there.

Sweet Chick | Bedford, Brooklyn

Anyone who knows me knows I love chicken and waffles. If it’s on the menu, I’m most likely ordering it! So I’ve done some comparing and Sweet Chick is by far the BEST C&W I’ve EVER had. Just beware of possible hour and a half wait I also endured and no, they do not take reservations.

San Marzano | Ukranian Village

Okay so I know this is the 3rd time I’ve said I’ve had the best of something, but NYC is king (or queen) of bests, so here you go the best pasta I’ve had was eaten here. My friend, Tori introduced me to this place and I literally brought a few more friends back the next day. It’s cheap ($9 pasta) and you can choose whatever pasta and sauce/toppings you would like, so all the picky eaters can also eat here.

Van Leewan | Ukranian Village

Right down the street and rightfully so, there is an ice cream shop with some great honey comb ice cream. I never had this flavor until I went here and now I can’t find it anywhere else, thanks tori.

Sarabeth’s | Upper East Side

If you want a true New York brunch experience it’s Sarabeth’s. You’ll definitely look classy in this joint.

Bareburger | All over NY

This one is not only in NY, but it’s worth noting. If you want a burger that’s (somewhat) healthy and also is sooo good, this is the place. I tried my first buffalo meat there and I would definitely order again.

Your Local Pizza Shop | The one near you

It’s worth stating that NY pizza from the smallest little shops that are walking distance from your residence and say open til late are your go-to best friend. They satisfy your late night cravings /random snackings and you half to walk there and back to your place, so you’re basically burning all the calories to get it, not to mention its C-H-E-A-P.

Places to Shop

The Oculus | Financial District

Right next to the 9/11 memorial you will find a beautiful white, architectural tail of a building that is the Oculus. With stores squeezed inside it is one of the prettiest malls I’ve seen.

& Other Stories |5th Ave & Soho

I discovered this store 2 years ago when I visited NY for a conference and it is still my favorite store to visit. It has everything from clothes to shoes to notebooks to beauty supplies and is all curated effortlessly.

Melissa |Soho

There is currently a feminist exhibit in there called Melissa Gallery and hosts the most electrifying visuals and not to mention the coolest pairs of shoes.

Adidas | Soho  &  5th Ave

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Adidas fan, so you know I’m going to recommend the large one on 5th avenue, but also the fashion-focused one in soho, really just visit them all…I went to three.

The Vintage Twin | Lower Manhattan

This shop is all about vintage clothing but is organized by the current trends, so when I visited there was track pants, distressed denim, classic windbreakers, etc. It’s a perfect place for the person who wants to wear vintage, but doesn’t want to sift through all the racks.

Glossier Showroom| Lower Manhattan

You may or may not have heard of this makeup brand it stands for everyday makeup with glossy (not shiny) touches. Their store is different from any other make up I’ve been to because all o the products are laid out for customers to self-apply. The associates are there to help and take orders, but it is so that you can apply how you would on a normal day, plus the showroom is beautfullll.

Goods for the Study |Lower Manhattan

If you’re into to stationary, journaling or want to find the perfect desk decor, this is the store. I, like any other stationary-lover awed over the different notebooks and pens they had.

Places to Read

Strand Bookstore | Gramercy Park

A great store to try a new book from your favorite genre. There is also a great collection of stationary, specially their greeting cards, if you want something different from the usual walgreens. Strand is the place for the ultimate booknerd.

Rizzoli |Madison Square Park

The perfect bookstore to be stuck in during a rainy day. And yes, this did happen to me when I unconsciously wore a white shirt, suede shoes and had no umbrella one seemingly sunny-turned rainy day. There is all genres here and has the perfect chairs to sink into while browsing your new book or collection or books.

McNally Jackson Bookstore | Soho

Not only is this a bookstore filled with some of the harder-to-find novels and magazines, but there is also a coffee shop inside, which I think every bookstore should come with.

Around the World Magazine |Garment District

By far the most amazing magazine store I’ve come across, Around the world has every genre of magazine from art to architeture to fashion to food, plus has ones from all countries (i.e. Vogue China, Harper’s Bazaar UK)

Places to See

Brooklyn Bridge

Just over a mile long, the bridge is one of the most popular landmarks of NY, so it definitely should be on your top to-dos.

Metropolitan Museum of Art |Upper East Side
This museum is by far one of my all-time favorites because you can go there a number of time and discover something new. I also recommend you see the fashion exhibit they are showing. Designer Rei Kawakubo for Comme Des Garcons  was was incredible to see up close.

9/11 Memorial | Financial District

You must see this part of history at least once in your life. I heard the museum is a very emotional, yet touching experience, but I was unable to go this time around.

Music Festival

The one I went to this summer was the Panorama festival and this was top 3 highlights of my summer. The pictures say enough, but too excited over my favs, Solange and Frank Ocean. There are so many other great festivals to go to like the governor’s ball and afropunk.

Yankees Game | Bronx

I’m not a baseball fan, let’s get that straight, but I do when you go to a good ole American game of b-ball with a group of friends and a bunch of junk food–I can definitely get behind that. The lovely Yankees stadium is also a sight to see.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Broadway Show

Really in show on broadway is one to see. This particular season I saw two, Chicago and a new one set in the week of 9/11, called Come from Away

Rockaway Beach

This beach was a nice way to get away from the city life for a bit, not that I really wanted to get away.

Central Park

It’s not just a tourist site a lively scene of people and nature that you don’t get anywhere else in the city/ You must check out the runner’s trail view, I ran it (one my one workout there haha) and the view was literally breath-taking, I had to take pics.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Guggenheim Museum | Upper East Side

I think I loved the architecture even more than the art. Both inside and out the Gug (coined by my friend, Eduardo) is a sight to see.

Macy’s | Herald Square

I could not leave out my place of work! This is the world’s largest store and a beautiful one at that. It may be overwhelming, but it has everything you’ll ever need. I was able to work on the 14th floor of this building.

Places to Get Caffeinated

Dr. Smood | Ones near Madison, Broadway and Lexington

This health shop hosts smoothies, juices and coffees all categorized by how they will change your mood. This cafe has the best vibes though, with dimmed lights, modern fashion magazines, and marbled tables.

Birch Coffee | Upper West or Soho

If you want to get good coffee and be able to focus this is it because they don’t have wifi (I know I was shocked at first too), so you can actually read, journal or write an essay without being distracted on your phone or laptop.

Double Dutch | Harlem

I ran into this place with one of my friends when we were trying to find a chill coffee shop to work at. We fell in love with this place because they do have wifi and there is even a back patio enclosed that you work in when the weather is just right.


So that’ll all folks, you got through my fully detailed and thoughtful NYC guide/lookbook. This was one of the most, if not most memorable summers for me and it was filled with experiencing the best city with people I just met or ones I’ve known since middle school. On your next stop in New York, be sure to check out a few of these spots, it will give you a whole new outlook on the city that never stops moving.

Header and final image taken by Rachel Cocke.

With Love,

  2 comments for “An Extensive City Guide from a Future NY Transplant

  1. Janet Ross
    August 24, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    This was awesome! It was so refreshing to see that some of your favorite spots are mine as well. The next time I go, I will take note of the places you listed that I didn’t know about/get to visit. A+ my dear!!! Love U and so proud to be one of your Bethel moms!!!

    • Maia Wilson
      October 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Good to know we have similar taste! Yes, definitely try some of these out next time! I loved them all!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *