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New York, New York!

Travel

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I’ve recently had the “pleasure” of visiting the city so great they named it twice. You guessed it. . .New York! It was a quick girls' weekend trip, being just myself and Tori. Interestingly enough there wasn’t much excitement or feelings of reality leading up to the flight until we were physically in the airport incredibly late for our takeoff.

 

But is it really the start of a great trip if you're not running to your boarding gate, ticket in hand, with your friend refusing to let you grab a Matcha at Alfred's?

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The drive into the city was utterly underwhelming as we both passed out from post-flight exhaustion in the cab and awoke to rush-hour traffic. Our first people-watching experience of the trip followed shortly after, which was my first informal introduction to the New York street style. But amends were made when we had these extraordinary tacos at this little dine-in right by our hotel. 

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My luggage that Tori thought matched the cab hilariously.

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Tori took the gracious liberty of planning an itinerary for our full 4 days in the city (which we would have been lost without). Speaking from first-hand experience, even with an itinerary you may still find it difficult to decide what exactly to do first, which is completely fine! I actually prefer to keep an open mind as well as an open schedule. In no particular order, I'll be going over some highlights of our short-lived but memorable trip.

 

We came to the conclusion that shopping would be the best way to get out of that small-town funk that we were originally stuck in. So, we were able to hit up some amazing shops on our first morning there, Acne Studios, Maison Margiela, and anything else in sight! Although we didn't purchase anything on this day, it was a great icebreaker introduction to the city and a smooth way to transition into the day-to-day lifestyle. 

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After our window-shopping escapade, we were en route toward one of Tori's go-to brunch spots. Now, if you haven’t hit up Jack’s Wife Frieda, it’s definitely a must-go spot for locals and tourists alike. When or if you do go. . .make sure you time out your coffee and pastries breakfast in accordance so that you don't arrive completely stuffed as we did.

The atmosphere was so engaging, and we snagged the perfect corner table booth right in front of an open French window, granting us the perfect breeze. We ordered the avocado toast with a side salad, fried zucchini, and the roasted cauliflower salad-like dish. All of which were delicious by the way, gauging from the few bites our full stomachs were able to consume. Next time we're back we'll be sure to be extra hungry. 

As far as walking goes, besides the random dank whiffs of pee smells you are likely to encounter, the streets can be beautiful! You are sure to find little parks placed throughout the city which are consistently full of pedestrians escaping the heat for a while. Compared to sunny California, where driving is more of a requirement rather than a luxury, it was nice to explore a pedestrian-friendly city. Just try to avoid the tenants with the hoses constantly spraying down their sidewalks and the hoards of group marathon walkers roaming the streets.

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Among some other memorable mentions, is the Ace Hotel where we honestly spent all of our nights with a glass of chardonnay or a prosecco for Tori. Inside remains some Instagramable-worthy picture walls and decor setups. The dim lighting really helps to set the mood, which is supported by the live DJ nights. More importantly, there is an overpriced photo booth which we just had way too much fun with!

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When food is involved it's always serious business. So of course La Pecora Bianca must take the title for some of the best pasta I have ever tasted. We indulged in an evening of Creamy Vodka Pasta topped with burrata and some Chicken Milanese. Outdoor seating is also a wonderful option for those of you who love a good breeze, but nonetheless, you can be sure to find excellent service and delicious-tasting food. 

 

Some notable choices for breakfast will have to be Friedman’s for waffles or Maman’s for a very interesting avocado toast and a late latte. Although the comparison is broad due to the extreme menu differences between the two, if you're ever feeling adventurous there is something for everyone, including the coffee lovers. 

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We did eventually make our way to the Chelsea Market, The Highline, and Little Island. All of which are very well-known and slightly touristy things, which we had no shame about. 

 

At the Chelsea market, I purchased these amazing blue light glasses from a local seller that I wore for the rest of the day because I just love them so much. Located right above the market, is the Highline where Tori and I became true architecture enthusiasts, Zillowing the million-dollar apartments we sat and stared at for 45 minutes.

 

When we did eventually start our venture towards The little island we found it to be so intimate and beautiful. The island was so lively and full of students, families, and date-goers. Our favorite part was the small amphitheater that was built into the structure for small concerts or plays! Being surrounded by the most beautiful flowers and the thinnest walking paths, it's surely a great activity for any and everyone. 

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I always save my favorites for last, and of course that would be none other than shopping in Soho in which I spent more than the actual trip itself lol. We had some amazing finds ranging from old Ralph Lauren 1940s blouses to fur-lined Gucci mules. Of course, there's nothing that quite compares to shopping with a show, which you will find in Soho Aritizia, with shoppers Shazaming for the song Gas Pedal. 

 

Even if you’re not looking to spend a quick month's rent in a designer store or any store for that matter, it’s definitely worth seeing the interior designs of Gucci, where we found an amazing ‘eye-catching’ pillow. And it just felt right to end the unfaltering shopping day with some delicious pizza and wine at Emporio right down the street. 

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By the way, is New York just super chill, or is bar pretty privilege a real thing?

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Photos by Soraya Sefiane Coady, Tori Fraley

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