Man do I miss seeing my neighbors chillin’ on their Brownstone stupes until 2 a.m., clubbin’ it up at Caribbean City, the view of Manhattan from my rooftop, and riding the A-train home every night. And do I ever miss those flashing lights of Times Square. I will never look at movies filmed in New York City the same again.
For the summer, I had the privilege of interning at InStyle.com and worked with the most kick-ass online editorial producer Tiffany Black. For the record, I lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and worked in Midtown Manhattan. So I rep Brooklyn =) Shout out to my girls Kimberly Wilkes, Ashley Randle, Janelle Faison and Wen-Hua Yang, and my boys Chris Zarzana, Collin Orcutt, and Dale—who made Brooklyn living all worth while.
Whether you’re a New Yorker, a tourist, or soon-to-be visitor, I’ve compiled a list of top 70 for you.
Where you must go, what you must do, places you must see, foods you must consume, and clothing stores where you must shop:
1. Coney Island
2. Flea by the Sea in Coney Island (*Keep in mind for summer 2010, because it only happens in the summer)
3. Brighton Beach
4. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
5. Jones Beach and the West Bath House Pool in Long Island.
From Manhattan, take the LIRR to Freeport then buses to Jones Beach
6. Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden
618 St. John’s Place, Brooklyn, NY
(between Classon Ave. and Franklin Ave
7. Radio City Music Hall
8. Staten Island Ferry
9. BCD Tofu House
17 W 32nd St
10. Dallas BBQ
241 West 42nd Street
(located between 7th and 8th avenues)
Try their Strawberry Daiquiri
11. Grand Central Station
12. Highline Park
The High Line is located on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues. The High Line was originally constructed in the 1930s, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan’s streets. Now, they built a park over its tracks.
13. The Metropolitan Museum
14. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
15. Eat a sausage link or a hot dog, from a seller on the street
16. The Time and Life Building
17. Hearst Magazine Building
18. Ride the A train – Get off the Nostrand stop (where I lived) – it’s a predominantly West African, Jamaican neighborhood. Check out all the mom and pop $.99 cent stores. Find the store on Fulton where they sell “Brooklyn” tank tops for $6 bucks.
19. Element/The Vault – club/lounge
225 E Houston St & Avenue A
20. Caribbean City – filled with mostly Crown Heights locals. Reggae/carribean vibe. No top 40 or mainstream music here. It’s all about the dance, homeboys shouting “Brraaauh Briit Brit,” bangin’ on walls, jumpin’ on couches getting their groove on. It’s not the place to be unless you possess the rhythm and flava.
21. Statue of Liberty
22. Empire State Building
23. Ellis Island
24. Battery Park- Walk along the Hudson River
25. Take a photo with a snake man, you can’t miss the guy with a huge boa coiled around his shoulders
26. Catch a subway performance. Really pay attention to the talented subway performers (It’s a free. Otherwise payment is on a donation/sliding scale basis) My fave skilled street dancers are the Underground Entertainers and the Street Rockers.
27. Find these stuffed mini cupcakes sold in Soho. Melissa makes silver dollar-size treats in flavors like PB&J, s’mores, tie-dye, and cookie dough—yummy, tiny little things. Baked by Melissa, 529 Broadway @ Spring St
28. Apollo Theatre – it’s grand, but not as big as it looks on TV. Just outside the theatre, is a wall dedicated to Michael Jackson, signed by thousands of his fans.
29. Alvin Alley performance
30. Free Kayaking (Again, keep this in mind for summer 2010)
On the Hudson River: Pier 40 at Houston Street, Pier 96 at 56th Street, 72nd Street in Riverside Park
31. St. George’s Church
209 East 16th Street
(Located at 3rd Avenue, near Stuyvesant Square)
Episcopal Church near Union Square
32. 34th Street
34. Times Square
35. The Broadway Comedy Club
318 W 53rd Street (btwn 8th & 9th Aves)
If you see Erik Rivera perform, tell him I sent you
36. Freak Nasty. Find out when the next Freak Nasty event is and go– I never knew f%$^*%& could be described with such eloquence and hilarity. Talented spoken word artists pay tribute to sex and sensuality with erotic poetry.
37. Comix. Check out Helen Hong’s K-Date
Laughter & Matchmaking. Korean Style.
The one and only matchmaking comedy show! Comics perform, then pair up members of the audience! Hosted by comedian Helen Hong!
38. Brooklyn Diner
212 W 57th St. near Carnegie Hall
39. Carnegie Hall
40. Bronx Zoo
41. Junior’s Cheesecake
386 Flatbush Avenue EXT, Brooklyn
42. These clothing stores: Strawberry, 21st Century, Accessory, Mandee, Buffalo Exchange in Brooklyn, Mystique Boutique
43. Soho for some high-end shopping or if you’re spend thrift hit Canal street right around the corner or Chinatown up the street
44. John’s Pizzaria
278 Bleecker St (Between Jones Street and Morton Street)
45. Le Poisson Lounge
158 Bleecker Street
46. See Bob Bordallo and Ebon Grace perform at various bars. Genre: Soulful rock, funk & groove. http://www.myspace.com/ebongrace
47. Watch an art battle
48. Bombay Masala in Brooklyn
678 Franklin Ave
Between Prospect Pl and St Marks Ave
Best Indian food in New York City
(Ya’ll know how much I love me some Indian food)
49. Canal Street – Spend thrift shopping
China Town – even more thriftier (Don’t touch the t-shirts unless you’re gonna buy it. You’ll be charged, even if you don’t purchase them).
50. Dress up to see a musical. I saw Phantom of the Opera and In The Heights twice
51. Duane Reade- instead of Walgreens
52. Dumbo/Fort Greene Flea market
53. Galapagos Art Gallery – catch a burlesque/cabaret show
54. Prospect Park –free concerts http://www.prospectpark.com/*
55. Lucky Strike = Bowling Alley + Spiffy Bar/Lounge
56. Wander around the Seaport Area
57. Take a Pole dancing class at Crunch (My cousin, Jenilee Lucero, is a pro. She can definitely teach you a thing or two about working those hooker heels. Then Swing on a pole on the L-train at the last stop when everyone gets off and before other riders hop on. Or you could just do like me and swing on the pole when the train is still moving).
58. Rent a Bike and ride around Manhattan
59. Stroll through 5th Ave
60. The Promenade in Brooklyn
61. Have a rooftop barbeque
62. Farmer’s Market at Jay Borough Hall
63. Afro-Punk Festival*
64. Max Brennar
(between 13th and 14th Streets)
65. Sing Sing Karoke
9 St. Marks Place
Between 2nd and 3rd avenue
66. Movie Night underneath the Brooklyn Bridge*
Got to see Edward Scissorhands and met up with an old friend, Dylan Houle.
67. Brooklyn Ballet
68. East Village/Stuyvesant- Tompkins Square Park, my dog Babygirl enjoyed their park
69. Buggy Ride through Central Park (Take the buggy instead of the horse carriage, because the horses stink and they cost a grip)
70. Last, but not least. Slow the hell down.
And Yes, I did go to all these places, witness these glorious sights and some. ‘Til we meet again New York City. I’m still married to San Francisco.