Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building.
Meet Christine, NYSOM’s COO and editor in chief. She has lived in New York City’s East Village for 6 years. Though raised in Kansas and educated in New Jersey, she considers herself a New Yorker through and through. She likes to say that New York is the love of her life.
Step inside Christine’s Manhattan to understand her New York state of mind.
The best resources for learning about NYC:
Your go-to locale for…
- Coffee: A soy latte at either Ninth Street Espresso (which has four locations, only one of which is on 9th Street in the East Village) or Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Midtown’s Ace Hotel, depending on where work takes me that day.
- A sandwich: I’m Celiac, so I go for gluten-free varieties: a panini from Tu-lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery in the East Village, the chickpea “tuna” melt (on gluten-free bread) from Terri in Chelsea, and the brie and ham sandwich at Baked by Butterfield on the Upper East Side.
- A night out with friends: I spend many evenings (and much of my income) in the audience of the New York City Ballet (when it’s in season), and at the theatre, both on- and off-Broadway. Most friends are happy to accompany me, and the best friends strategically plot out which shows we’ll see each season. We often find great discounts via TheaterMania and BroadwayBox. Lincoln Center and Roundabout Theatre have incredibly discounted tickets for patrons under 35; in my experience, those companies also produce the shows I ultimately love the most. Friends and I often grab a bite after the show. Post-City Ballet, I always head across the street from Lincoln Center to The Smith, where 9 times out of 10 I spot several dancers sitting down to their dinner and unwinding from the show; it always gives me a thrill to be in the same place as my favorite artists.
- Date night: Union Square Cafe. It’s been around since 1985 for a reason. Anything and everything there is perfection. The “Christmas Sweater” cocktail at the holidays is the only present I need. Danny Meyer is a gift from god.
- A glass of wine or cocktail: A kir royal from Temple Bar. A non-trendy but lovely, quiet, darkly lit place on the border of Noho and Soho, where you can enjoy a drink with a friend and actually hear their conversation.
- Dessert: The pistachio panna cotta at Porsena, in the East Village. Pre-game the dessert with their delicious dinner (and you’d be foolish to skip the green bean salad).
The hotel you always book or recommend to friends, and why:
The Ace Hotel, because everything about it is fabulous, including the food. More budget-conscious friends have enjoyed the Yotel; guests check in on iPads rather than with human concierges, but there’s a restaurant on site, and you’re just a few blocks from Times Square.
The ONE thing visitors must see or do, and why:
Walk the High Line, one of Manhattan’s best free delights. Built on the former tracks of an elevated train, you’ll have stunning vistas from this non-traditional park, including the Statue of Liberty. You’ll also connect with NYC’s past, and you’ll be close to the great food vendors at Chelsea Market (where you can get Ninth Street Espresso!) and delicious restaurant Cookshop, and the incredible shopping on 14th Street (Jeffrey!). I’ve lost count of how many friends have told me that the High Line and Chelsea Market were their favorite parts of their visit to NYC.
Your favorite hidden (or not so anymore) gem, and why:
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s former home in the West Village. It’s New York’s narrowest house at only 10 feet wide. The street address is 75 ½ Bedford Street. Yes, 75 ½. So delightful to look at, and in the heart of an incredibly beautiful neighborhood. Uptown on the Upper East Side, The Frick Collection is often overlooked in favor of the Met or MoMa, but it’s the incredible personal art holdings of the erstwhile industrialist Henry Clay Frick, and on display in the original setting within Mr. Frick’s Fifth Avenue mansion. Temporary exhibits and a beautiful garden make this a deeply calming place to pass an afternoon.
Number of hours or days required in town for the “full” experience:
5 days is probably the sweet spot. You’ll know just enough to leave wanting more.
The town is great for what type of visitor:
- CELEBRATE (the host with the most/ladies who lunch)
- CURATE (the artsy intelligentsia)
- DECORATE (the shopper with great style)
- EPICURATE (the foodie)
- INNOVATE (the tinkerers and life-long students)
- RECREATE (the adventure-seekers and fitness gurus)
The town is best explored by:
By foot or city bus, if you can help it. Stay above ground and you’ll experience so much more of the city’s beautiful and weird visuals.
The town is best explored in:
Summer (though don’t come in August) or Winter (when holiday lights are up and there’s snow in Central Park).