It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been on the blog, but I’ve been SO busy with my full time job and well life just got ahold of me ya’ll! But I’m back and have a lot of fun blog posts coming soon!
First and foremost I get SO many questions about what I do for work and, especially most recently, and why I go to New York so much so thought I would do a quick little round up of what I do for work and talk about my recent favorite places in the Big Apple.
First off – what I do for work.
When I first moved to LA, I worked in fashion as an intern, then moved on to a full time job in advertising where I worked my way into the entertainment industry and stayed for a few years. Recently last year in 2017, I shifted gears and transitioned to the vendor side in the beauty industry to work at a visual graphics company.
First question – What is a visual graphics vendor?
A visual graphics vendor is a large format print shop where you can print on specialty substrates at large size.
Few examples – the massive Calvin Klein in-store cut-outs of the Kardashians, we printed those in-house. When you walk into Sephora, we produce all of the graphic updates for the various beauty and skincare brands each season. We also do special projects such as trade shows – IMATS, Ulta GMC, BeautyCon, Ipsy, The Makeup Show – you name it, we are there – large or small scale events – even pop ups, product launches, influencer events, etc.
Second question – what is My role?
I am the day-to-day contact for numerous key agency accounts, so I liaise with the brands and retailers to ensure production goes smoothly and creative is up to par. I go to press checks, approve color, and ensure the artwork is high resolution and meets brand standards. I also produce trade shows and all on-site installation and management.
Why am I in NYC so much? Majority of my clients are located in NYC, and a majority of the makeup trade shows have just so happened to have been in NYC, with a few scattered in Vegas, Texas and Los Angeles.
What’s it like being bicoastal? It’s a WHIRLWIND. I don’t sleep much, I lose track of time because of the time change, and after a week I am ready for my own bed again. I have been pretty much 60/40 in LA vs NYC so far in 2018 and it’s been a blast. Things didn’t really pick up in NYC until this year, but I’ve really enjoyed exploring and working in the Big Apple. My company’s corporate HQ is also in NYC right in the middle of Midtown (on like the 29th floor with the most gorgeous view of Manhattan).
NYC HOT SPOTS – FOOD + CAFES
Okay okay okay so now for all the NYC hot spots I’ve tried so far – and TOTALLY recommend!! From food to drinks, views and parks – I have more than enough to fill a 3-day itinerary without being tooooo touristy.
PIZZA: honestly, any of the $1 pizza holes on the corners will NOT disappoint. My fave is Joe’s $1, just google it when you’re in the city and you’re 90% likely to be near one (they are all over).
BAGELS: Ess-a-Bagel – in Midtown East Village. 831 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
It’s a mom & pop owned bagel shop that home bakes their bagels daily. There’s a line for just ordering a bag of bagels and there’s a line if you want to order from the menu. The sweetest lady behind the counter could tell it was my first true bagel experience and she custom made mine.
My order: the everything bagel with egg, lox salmon cream cheese, pepper jack cheese and tomato. Plus medium coffee (honestly better than Starbucks y’all). And SO CHEAP. My bill was under $10. TRUE GEM!!!
LOBSTER ROLL – Burger & Lobster – in Midtown – 132 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
While this was my first lobster roll ever so I don’t have a lot to compare to, the fact that all I did was a quick yelp search my very first work trip to NYC and this popped up and NO REGRETS!! I definitely ate the whole thing, worth every penny. Bonus: There’s plenty of sights to walk around and see to walk off the lobster roll once you’re done. Not to mention, the bartenders were super nice, and gave me free wine. YAS!!!! I’LL BE BACK.
My order: Original roll w/ Japanese Mayo & lemon on a soft roll
ITALIAN FOOD – Il Corallo Trattoria – 176 Prince St. New. York, NY 10012
My girlfriend works in SoHo, and this was a spot she recommended via her coworkers and bless my Italian heart I’ve been CRAVING some delicious Italian ever since Via Venetto in Venice (nothing has compared in over a year) – and trust me, this pasta was Roma-worthy.
Not only is the menu MASSIVE and it all sounds good – there’s literally an option for anyone. From ravioli to pizza and more, even the prices taste good and plenty of good deals on bottles of wine. AMORE!!
My order: Taglierini Sorrento Pescatare – it’s squid ink noodles with a mix of seafood like clams, scallops and jumbo tiger shrimp, tomatoes and a light olive oil sauce. Extra parmesan on top OF COURSE.
CAFE – Citizens of Chelsea – in Chelsea – 401 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001
This last trip I stayed near Midtown – Chelsea and didn’t want to work in the hotel lobby, and didn’t have time to go to HQ office so wanted to find a cafe nearby where I could get food and sit for a few hours without annoying any waiters. This little spot was PERFECT – however – I would not recommend if you need to take a lot of business calls, as it does get a tad noisy. The ambience is super cute and cozy with light greenery and palms everywhere (very LA-chic) with rustic wood tables and turquoise plates. Not to mention, the menu – to die for – only took me an hour to decide. Random perk – everyone working was Australian, and always checking in on me with a huge (genuine) smile – which made it easy to stay awhile.
My order: Smashing Avocado Toast – Avocado tossed with citrus, cilantro and feta on sourdough toast. Garnished with beet hummus, pumpkin seeds, watermelon radishes and pickled onions.
(^ yes that says beet hummus.. yes I added a poached egg – best decision ever). Also don’t miss the ginger turmeric tea!! Great alternative to coffee (which was meh okay) .
NYC HOT SPOTS – NIGHT LIFE + ROOFTOPS
MONARCH ROOFTOP – Herald Square Midtown – 71 W 35th St, New York, NY 10018
This is probably my favorite rooftop, but my first NYC rooftop (yes I went alone and made friends when a Midwest guy spilled his drink on me then his GF & I realized we had mutual friends… small WORLD). The views give a stunning look around the city and you can peek at the Empire State Building out the backside.
My drink order: Moscow Mule (predictable)
MR. PURPLE – Downtown – 180 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
This spot is a lush lounge downtown NYC located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo with a terrace, pool and city views. While this is a hot spot – like 45 minute long line time – I wasn’t a huge fan of the crowd there.
Drinks here are $$$$ so go with something basic or grab a beer!
My drink order: Vodka + Soda – sooo basic I KNOW
UPSTAIRS AT THE KIMBERLY HOTEL – Midtown – 145 E 50th St, New York, NY 10022
This was a gorgeous patio style open roof concept rooftop with vinery and couches for a very social atmosphere and view of NYC skyline and Chrysler Building.
Drinks here are known for the mixology, so order something
My drink order: The Electrolyte and Rum Service
MAGIC HOUR ROOFTOP – Times Square – 485 7th Ave 18th floor, New York, NY 10018
If you’re looking for a mega party spot with bottle service and insane view of the Empire State building + mini golf course, this spot is for YOU!
My drink order: Vodka soda + champagne
THE GARRETT – East Village – 206 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
This is a super fun, social, posh bar filled with young late 20-30 somethings in a retro apartment setting with DELISH drink options and bumping atmosphere.
My drink order: Moscow Mule (MY FAVE)
CIELO – Meatpacking District / Chelsea – 18 Little West 12th St, New York, NY 10014
Big name DJ’s and big dance floor with disco – style bottle service makes this spot SUPER packed. Get there early or know someone at the door to get in. Recommend red bull Vodka because this place doesn’t close till 4am.
My drink order: Whatever was at the table
Honestly, I haven’t taken much time to do many of the touristy things in the Big Apple – but I will eventually. However, I did make it to the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park and neither disappointed. Pro tip: wear comfortable shoes to both places… not flat slides or booties, you will get blisters, and die.
You can see the statue of liberty from the Brooklyn Bridge, however, you should definitely do a ferry ride dinner if you can to get the full experience! I’ve heard great things and it’s on my list of things to do next along with a broadway show or musical.
If you’re looking for shopping – Canal Street has all the designer knock offs, Williamsburg has a lot of vintage and flee market shopping/ designer second hand snags, however Soho is where it’s at (if you have the moo-la)!!
That’s the NYC round up. Comment below what I should see next or if you try any of the places I’ve recommended tell me what you think!!