Thursday, September 29, 2011

What should a Scottish gal, her hipster sister and their amazing Mum do in NYC?

I realize I've leaned a little heavy on the touristy bullsh*t this week, but I'VE GOTTA TAKE CARE OF MY GIRLS.


I'm a long time reader. (I didn't have to write to you when I got married last year, but reading your blog certainly helped quell the crazy a few times).

I've just booked a last minute trip to New York for 4 days in two weeks time to celebrate my kid sister's 21st birthday. I appreciate this is a totally non-wedding related question so you may tell me to eff off, but do you or your readers have any tips on where to go/eat/avoid/whether to pack our coats? The last time I was in NYC was 9 years ago, and I'm sure plenty has changed since then. (Where did CBGB's go?)

So, do you have any advice for a 32-year old Scottish gal, her 21-year old hipster sister and their amazing Mum? Or should I just go and buy a Lonely Planet guidebook?

P.S. I've included a picture of my Mum and Sister at our wedding last year as a tenuous wedding link.


Hokay. So I did move to LA six years ago...... but I get back to NYC on occasion. Here's a short list of my favorite spots:

The place is gorgeous and the cocktails are AMAZING.

Hey all you New Yorkers who still haven't been to this free park with lawn chairs, crazy views + the most amazing people-watching on the planet: WHAT'S YOUR DAMAGE?

(The High Line by Iwan Baan)

The Metropolitan Museum ROOF GARDEN (open Apr 26-Oct 30, weather permitting)
Sculpture. Skyline. A birds-eye view of Central Park. I always thought this would be the perfect place to get married, actually.

Catbird (DUH). While you're in Williamsburg, I love this tiny weird museum. And Hotel Delmano is another superb place to get a cocktail. It is just fucking beautiful in there. Plus they have oysters.

There are a kajillion more W'msburg recommends here. (Kid will probably want to spend a full day in hipsterville.)

And I asked Matt to suggest a few restaurants. This list came in via iphone late last night.

I might add Smorgasburg and/or Brooklyn Flea on Saturday and Sunday respectively. They take place on the waterfront in Williamsburg, one being a food market with some of the best food in the city, and the other, well, is a flea market.

Also in Williamsburg, pies 'n' thighs for great, pretty cheap southern food. Fried chicken is awesome and the chicken biscuit sandwich is heavenly. Across the street only 20 yards down the block) is Dram. Wood, wrought iron, and a kayak as a light fixture extending the length of the bar (for the most part). Big floor to ceiling windows are left open during good weather. Drinks are great.

(Dram by Evan Sung for The New York Times)

And if anyone really likes pie, try Four & Twenty Blackbirds, which is in Gowanus...but worth the trip. 

And for a great meal in a cool setting in the east village, try Edi & The Wolf. Sunroom with eclectic flower pots, such as mason jars, hanging upside down stools, even an old workboot.

The ladies have already arrived in the city, so here's hoping they're prepared for that muggy/rainy/partly sunny/party cloudy situation, amirite?

Photobooth pic by Cameron Presentations


  1. with weather like we've got at the moment (and the birthday occasion), the ladies should be inside and drinking. since time is of the essence and i'm guessing they're in manhattan:

    the bar at keens steakhouse (36th betw. 5th/6th) is old school as hell and perfect for a martini.

    the campbell apartment (on the outside edge of grand central station, at the southern end of 42nd street) is classic and relaxing (have a drink, skip the food).

    mary, queen of scots (allen at delancey on the lower east side) is our version of a high-end scottish bar; it's lovely from an american perspective (cute bartenders, may i add), and probably good for a laugh for the scots.

    painkiller (also lower east side, quite near mary queen of scots: essex @ delancey) is a kick-ass tiki bar; try the frozen dark and stormy.

  2. oh, i have to remind everyone that i got engaged on the highline. awwwww.

  3. People I'm jealous of: Naurnie

    I lived in the city when I turned 21. I spent the night celebrating at Lucky Cheng's and Cheap Shots.

    Do what you will with that information.

  4. Awwww. I am heading over to Chronicles to find your engagement story. How did I not know this?! Bad-blogger-friend. <3


  6. Cup of Jo has some good links rinks about actual stuff to do, as well as to avoid (pressed send too soon, above)

  7. @Anon 12:48 hipster sister, CBGB + Lonely Planet didn't give you enough clues?? eff off to a cup of jo

  8. Um, you just posted some of the SAME stuff as Cup of Jo. Just because she's actually nice to her readers doesn't mean she doesn't have great recommendations.

  9. my fuckin computer keeps eating my posts. here is attempt number 3 ...

    if you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, consider taking a stroll through the 'fruit streets' in Brooklyn Heights. they are landmarked and lovely -- many of them still have gas lamps ! from there you will be really close to the promenade, which has excellent views of the city, statue, and bridges. the dining in that neighborhood BLOWS, but there is one place that is worth visiting -- Jack the Horse Tavern. their food is simple, local (mostly), and delicious, and they have fantastic cocktails. most importantly, it's neighborhoody, and NOT A SCENE.

    if you want more of a scene, you could head into DUMBO / Vinegar Hill instead, and go to Vinegar Hill House. the food is similar to the other restaurant i mentioned, but it's way more HIP. there's a ton to do in DUMBO, too -- the piers, the carousel, the galleries, but it can be crowded and zoo-y on the weekends.

  10. If you need lunch after you've been to catbird you should head to saltie for sandwiches and then next door to momofuku milk bar for cookies, crack pie and ice-cream (and buy a few cookies to take home, they take the edge off the jet lag). For dinner you should definitely try marlow & sons, so good.

  11. n'since i seem to be spending 16 hrs a day in the east village in the studio instead of in leafy park slope ima go take my hungray ass to edi & the wolf RIGHT. NOW. with a pack of hungry unkempt MFA students. will report back.

  12. @bigBANG ooooooooooooo. send photos, will you???