Posts Tagged ‘nyc’

My Favorite “Old New York” Establishments

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Anyone who knows me knows I probably should have been born in a different decade. I’m obsessed with classic movies, vintage fashion, and, of course, old-school restaurants and bars. Having lived in NYC for nearly five years, I grew to love “Old New York” establishments. Sure, there are countless vintage themed speakeasies and cafes, but I prefer a place with history. Here are my favorites. Take note that none of them have windows.

Bemelmans Bar

bemelmans bar old new york

Located in the Carlyle hotel, this is my absolute favorite bar in NYC. I couldn’t go that frequently as it’s far from cheap ($25 cover most nights and ~$21 per drink). But the drinks are good, the atmosphere is unique, and the live jazz is what I live for. You seriously feel like you’ve stepped into a Casablanca-eqsue jazz bar. It’s quaint and you can tell there are quite a few regulars. The artwork is also amazing as a fan of Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeleine. Fun fact: Bemelmans wouldn’t accept payment for his work. Instead, he requested a year of free stays at the Carlyle.

21 Club

21 club old new york

Originally a Prohibition-era speakeasy (and possibly the only one still standing), The 21 Club is a true New York landmark. All of my favorite Hollywood icons have dined here, along with nearly every president. In fact, many have their own favorite table to reserve because they dine here so frequently. It’s also featured in numerous movies and TV shows. I will admit, the food isn’t amazing, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Minetta Tavern

Historical, cozy, and the best burger in New York? Count me in. (Ok so I’m a vegetarian now, but I wasn’t at the time! And it was without a doubt the best burger I ever had.) Minetta Tavern was a regular hang for some of the biggest writers of the 20th century. Stepping in the door on a cold winter night is like finding an old inn to escape from the snow. Be warned though, reservations are tough to come by. We opted to dine at 11pm rather than wait two more weeks. Even though I won’t eat the burger, I’d love to go back to Minetta for the warm, bistro environment next time I’m in town.

Grand Central Oyster Bar

grand central oyster bar old new yorkAnother iconic spot, Grand Central Oyster Bar is known for its high-vaulted ceilings, fresh seafood, and convenient location for travelers and commuters. While it’s not nearly as intimate as the other spots on this list, the architecture is undeniably impressive and the food is pretty good, too. You should also definitely check out the quirky bathrooms.

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Exploring with Citi Bike

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So I finally tried out Citi Bike last night after getting a membership for my birthday. And yes, it was terrifying! The streets of New York are not for the weak. But it was also a lot of fun and a great workout. Here’s my little review and a few tips for bike riding in the city!

citi bike biking nyc new york fitness workout

The Good

It’s actually a really cheap workout. It costs about $150 for the year for unlimited rides. That’s cheaper than the cost of your own bike, which in a big city like New York, is likely to be stolen/damaged anyway. There’s a ton of drop-off/pick-up locations and they’re relatively easy to find thanks to the app. If Citi Bike continues to expand the way it has been, that means even more locations and a huge decrease in traffic. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly. You can take them for a spin for leisurely rides along the Hudson River (like me!) or in Central Park. Or you can use them as a quick way to get from one place to another or for your morning commute. It’s very easy to get around if you travel within areas with bike lanes!

 

The Bad

My biggest complaint is the quality and safety of the bikes. I quickly found out that these bikes were definitely not built with anyone under 5’5″ in mind! I could barely touch the ground, which is very dangerous. I emailed them today to see if they’re working on this. The gears are also a little flimsy so it can sometimes be difficult to speed up or slow down.

 

Pro Tips

  • Learn the rules of the road. There’s a lot of great info on the web!
  • Take advantage of the Citi Bike app.
  • Do as I say and not as I do: wear a helmet!
  • Avoid areas without designated bike lanes. Check out bike maps here.
  • Surprisingly enough my biggest obstacles weren’t cars. They were pedestrians that wander into the bike lane. Watch out for them.
  • Likewise, there’s a ton of potholes, litter, and other obstacles. Keep your eye out.
  • I made the mistake of going down a cobblestone road. Pay attention to avoid this before you’re on one.
  • Be visible and predictable.

citibike biking nyc new york

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4 Healthy, Budget-Friendly NYC Restaurants

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Finding healthy convenience foods can be difficult enough, but finding a nice healthy, sit-down restaurant can be nearly impossible. Sure, you can follow these tips for staying healthy while eating out, but sometimes it’s nice to find a place that does the work for you. Here are four of my favorite healthy NYC restaurants and they’re suitable for any budget!

Sushi Yasaka

sushi healthy restaurants nyc

In order to stay light while eating sushi, you really want to go with either sashimi or rolls that are heavy on the fish without sauces or tempura. Sushi Yasaka is perfect for that! They have some of the freshest fish in the city that’s not a fortune. Try the sashimi deluxe for only $24! It’s delicious, satisfying, and healthy as can be! Plus, unlike your typical affordable sushi restaurant, this place isn’t a dump. It has the perfect ambience for a nice dinner.

Kashkaval Garden

Need a healthy option for date night? This intimate, romantic restaurant is perfect. Kashkaval‘s Mediterranean tapas are cheap and light. You can get six of them (more than enough for two people) for just $22! But most of them contain garlic, so if you’re low-FODMAP you’re better off enjoying their delicious meat and cheese plates or the skewers.

Le Pain Quotidien

healthy restaurant nyc new york le pain quotidian

Le Pain Quotidien is one of my go-to spots for a casual, healthy meal. It’s a pretty big chain, but my favorite is the Central Park location. Go there for brunch or lunch and enjoy the atmosphere and the food! Everything is under $20, which is a steal for both the location and the quality. I love the tartines and you can get them on the most delicious gluten-free bread you’ve ever tasted! Try the salmon or the ham and gruyere! Just try not to be tempted by all of the sweet bakery items!

Bareburger

What if you have a craving for fast food? Bareburger is great for satisfying that craving in a healthy way. Most locations also have cute, outdoor seating. It’s a bit more expensive than your average burger, but with prices hovering around $10-$13 it’s still very affordable. Choose their collard green wrap instead of a bun and decide from many different free-range meat options, as well as quinoa or sweet potato patties for vegans!

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