We’ve been travelling the world for the last three months visiting trade shows and exploring the world’s best kept secrets for future product inspiration. First stop: New York City.
We love this gritty city; a city forever in flux with a myriad of things to do, see and eat. No matter how long you visit for, as any local will tell you it’s impossible to experience everything. From bustling bars to cool speakeasys, cosy cafes to hidden restaurants, theatre shows to rooftop cinemas, incredible shopping and beautiful bookstores to get lost in, we find ourselves coming back over and over.
This time, we visited the Big Apple to do our first-ever trade show exhibition and book signing at The Book Expo of America. After weeks of soaking up the city’s pulsing vibe, mingling with local artisans and finding some amazing off-the-grid spots that you won’t find on your typical tourist guide, we created a bucket list of all the goodness of things to do in ‘the city that never sleeps‘ to share with our wanderlust tribe!
1. Brunch at our Favourite Vego Heaven.
Located in West Village and Nolita, The Butcher’s Daughter is a plant-based restaurant, cafe, juice bar and self-proclaimed ‘vegetable slaughterhouse’. If you know us, you know we are obsessed with food, and we can hands-down tell you that this is one of our all-time favourite cafes. Not only is the menu sublime (and massive – allow time to make a decision!), their interior fit out is ace. You’ll find the world’s most exciting Caesar salad here, and the coconut yogurt parfait is out of this world.
2. Train at RUMBLE
When we travel, food is always at the top of our minds and we make a point of trying everything! To balance out all the eating we try to squeeze in a daily workout sesh and we love that NYC has so many cool boutique gyms to offer! Our new fave is Rumble: a Barry’s Bootcamp type boxing class, where you do half time on the sack and half time strength on the floor, and oh boy – did we get our money’s worth. This all-over workout fitness class held in a nightclub inspired underground gym blew our minds (and muscles). Give it a try at www.rumble-boxing.com
3. Shop a Story
One of our all time fave Manhattan stores is a Chelsea boutique called STORY. This is not a normal store – the unique concept is more like a gallery or magazine, where everything changes every four to eight weeks – both interior and products! Offering a curated selection of goods from local and international artists, it’s a bit of a worldy oasis telling a story through merchandising and events. We loved having our Bucketlist journal on their shelves as part of their ‘Design’ STORY! Since then they’ve had themes like ‘Her’ Story, ‘Feel Good’ story, ‘Colour’ story, and the ‘Fresh’ story just opened with a big food theme! This place is no only shopping, it’s an experience.
4. Discover a hidden restaurant
Tucked away on the Lower East Side is Freemans restaurant & bar, a cosy space at the end of an unused alley way off the Bowery. This is where you’ll find the trendsetters of NYC hiding, a warm vibe, rustic American dishes and an impressive list of cocktails. We love the Freeman’s Cocktail: a unique concoction of rye, simple syrup, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and house orange bitters.
5. Watch the sunrise from a rooftop
While NYC is known for its underground hangout culture, it’s equally renowned for it’s spectacular rooftop bars and gardens offering spectacular views from different vantage points across the city. Most apartment blocks have a rooftop garden or space, which is a bit of a novelty for us Australian folk. One of the best nights we had in the city saw us sneaking up the fire stairs of our apartment block to watch the sunrise. Armed with a guitar and few friends, it was the best view we’d seen of the city. Be careful: hold on tight and ditch your heels before you venture up!
6. Get pampered at Aire Ancient Baths
After days of walking the endless streets and avenues it’s time to get spoilt rotten and we found the perfect place to feel like a million bucks again. Tucked away on a side street in New York’s Tribeca amongst mid-century furniture stores and neighborhood restaurants lays this luxury oasis. With healing salt baths, refreshing ice pools, rejuvinating steamrooms, and massage jacuzzi’s – we were in heaven! There are countless options for you to indulge in a day relaxing in the bubbles… get a four hand massage or spoil yourself or soak up in a red-wine bath – yes – you bath in the wine! Check our Aire Ancient Baths for more.
7. Experience Avocado Paradise.
Holy Guacomole! If heaven on earth exists in the form of avocado-inspired menu, we’ve found it at Avocaderia. You guessed it, as the name suggests, the menu offers everything an avocado lover could ever dream about – with our fave being – the signature Avvo burger – where the bun is exchanged for a two avocado halves! The amazing Avocaderia sits in the rad rustic Industry City Food Hall. Like a cooler, younger sister of the popular Chelsea markets – Industry City is worth a visit itself! A 6 million-square-foot collection of warehouse structures situated on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn – filled with cool shops, art galleries, co-work shops and amazing gastronomic experiences!
8. Bike over Brooklyn Bridge
You can take a bus or join the thousands of tourists on foot for the trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn, but we think the best way to see the Brooklyn Bridge, and it’s incredible views on is on a bicycle. It’s fun, environmentally friendly, cheap and you can always make your way back to the city on a water ferry. We love using Citybikes to ride around both Manhattan and Brooklyn! A 24h pass is $12, 72h $24. Just make sure to park your bike in one of the stands (they are everywhere) every 30 min and get a new straight away – or there is a fee! Get ready to roll!
9. Dance the night away…
Being big lovers of both the trendy, high-end, swanky scene and the underground, gritty, vintage spots we’ve had some wild nights in NYC who has endless of party places to offer but these are our two faves:
Sip cocktails with the trendy crowd
CATCH Roof is a sophisticated Meatpacking hotspot for in-the-know New Yorkers. With panoramic views of the city skyline to set the stage, this penthouse is the perfect ultra-chic setting to sip cocktails, swap stories and dance the night away amongst celebs. We recommend to dine in the absolutley divine CATCH restaurant downstairs first. Their delicious, contemporary seafood menu and candle lit setting is the perfect start to a great night out! We ordered half the menu knowing we could never eat it all – we were so wrong! Wasn’t a bite left of the deliciousness when we sipped our last cocktail!
Get comfy at Montana’s Trail House
Located in an unassuming garage (a former auto repair shop) on the corner of a five-point intersection in Bushwick, Montana’s Trail House brings Southern and East Coast vibes together with an impressive menu, reasonably priced cocktails and warm, intimate vibes. Decked out in repurposed barn wood and kitsch, vintage relics of Americana, you get almost feel like you’re in a cozy cabin in the woods.
10. Eat an icon
There’s no food more synonymous with New York as the bagel. And if you’re going to eat it, why not go all out with ‘The bagel that broke the internet’. We’re talking about ‘The Rainbow Bagel’, which now has a VIP online waiting list. You can also order a ‘Glitter Bagel’, a ‘Unicorn Bagel’ and order your own custom bagel art. If you’re heading to Brooklyn, this original Bagel store is a must-see/eat stop: Watch how the rainbow is made here.
11. Enjoy a rooftop cinema
In keeping with the rooftop vibe, we were excited to get to hang out at the largest outdoor hotel terrace in NYC and watch a movie! At the top of Yotel you can kick back and bliss out to an incredible line-up of cult classics films (loved seeing one set in NYC like TAXI or Breakfast at Tiffany’s ) under the summery, starlit sky. This rooftop cinema is the perfect way to have a relaxing night, but still soak up the vibe in the city that never sleeps!
12. Stay in a converted warehouse apartment.
One thing that would be hight on most people’s buckeltit is to live in a converted warehouse apartment – and what better place to try this out than in NYC. Being big Airbnb lovers we found ourselves a Cool converted warehouse to stay for a week, and couldn’t have been luckier with the loviest of hosts – Swedish fashion designer Sabina – who is now a dear friend! We loved staying in her fab white, chic warehouse which is rented out as a cool studio to photoshoots daily, one day you have a top fashion brand shooting their catalogue there – the next a well-known perfume shooting one pic of a perfume bottle for hours – to later be a big billboard in Times Square! Sabina is the sweetest, healthiest host full of crazy stories from her wild life, who constantly have healthy tea brews and funny new exercises to share with you! Check out Sabina’s loft