New York City Calling


You know how it's been said that every city you visit changes you irrevocably? It opens your eyes to new perspectives, challenges the notions of lifestyle you've come to take for granted and if you're lucky, your brief rendezvous with the city will impart a sense of longing for reacquaintance that's far more potent than anything you've ever known. Enter New York City.

I've been sharing snippets of our NYC adventures, like our day in Coney Island loading up on hot dogs and riding vintage amusement park coasters and the one time we wandered all over Midtown Manhattan checking off tourist traps in just one afternoon, but being that it's been nearly three months since we got back to Singapore, I finally figured it was about time to do a customary post-trip list of recommendations.

And so. Henceforth we shall talk about the things to eat, see and do in New York City, sans the run-of-the-mill Empire State-Statue of Liberty-Times Square babble.

 Part Un | Sights from the Brooklyn Bridge

Part Deux | Sights from Union Square Greenmarket.

Six things to do in New York City that I wished TimeOut and/or Lonely Planet had told me:

Eat DOUGH donuts.
It started off innocently enough. One Sunday morning we hightailed our way out of bed and straight to the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg, and our empty stomachs fell head over heels for Dough Bakery's rows of mile-high fluffy donuts that were painted with chocolate, caramel and all shades of wonderful. The first bite was an eye-opener and by the time we'd polished it off, our eyes were just about hanging off their sockets. My Krispy Kreme-seasoned self had never known a donut to be the size of your face, yet so perfectly soft and chewy. After that encounter, we trudged around Times Square for two days in a row hunting down these donuts again because it was that much of a game changer.
4 locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Experience Minetta Tavern.
Right in the West Village is a dining heirloom from the 1930's that brims with old world romance and glamor in everything from its oak furniture, to its vampy red booth seats and the black & white photos dotting its walls. The tavern is famed for its butter-doused Black Label burger, but fair warning: nothing beats the Shake Shack when you're in NYC. That said, let's be real, you should still grab your other half and experience this hot ticket fixture anyway because you couldn't dream up a more romantic date night locale if you tried.
West Village, Manhattan

Shop Awoke Vintage.
If you love vintage shopping, Awoke Vintage in Williamsburg will send your heart into overdrive. This part of town is laced with so many retro candy shoppes, vinyl record stores and highbrow cafes that it makes complete sense that vintage shopping--another hippie pastime--is well catered for here in the home of the man bun. Awoke Vintage is one of the most well-curated vintage boutiques I've ever seen. The visual merchandising impresses without overwhelming, and the prices won't fumigate your wallet either. The burnt orange crepe maxi dress I wore on our jaunt at the Brooklyn Bridge, as depicted in this post, was one of the gems I found there.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Have a day out Coney Island.
Definitely worth the 45 minute subway ride. More here.

Do Union Square Greenmarket.
Farmers' markets are wild dreams for a city girl like yours truly, and I couldn't have felt more at home on the three mornings I woke up extra early to roam the Union Square markets. Visit for a sprawling compound of stands pushing locally grown produce of mind boggling variety, apple cider donuts, Hudson Valley cheeses and wines, sweet blooms and artisanal baked goods. Even you're not there for your routine grocery procurement trip (and why would you be, if you're on vacation?), take the liberty of wandering from stall to stall, sampling all the edibles and stopping every now and then for a bottle of fresh cold pressed juice or a gluten-free just-made something.
North & West sides of Union Square Park

Hang Out Central Park.
This rectangular plot of shrubbery smack in the middle of Manhattan is pure magic. Do as the New Yorkers do and set up camp on one of the shaded lawns. Add a book, a picnic mat, good company, boxes of takeout and you'll have the innards of a very gratifying and laid back afternoon. Because you're in NYC, this is non-negotiable. Just do it.

And more!
Momofuku Milk Bar | For the legendary Christinia Tosi's Crack Pie, birthday cake truffles and a treasure trove of cookies like blueberries & cream, confetti, corn and cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow (YES).
Artists & Fleas | A whimsical hodgepodge of artists and vintage vendors, and an eclectic shopping venue for vintage and handmade wares.
The Halal Guys | I salivate just thinking about the chicken over rice, smothered in the Halal Guys' enigmatic white sauce. It's so aromatic, comforting, delicious and satisfying.

 Part Un | Sights from the Brooklyn Bridge. Wearing dress from Awoke Vintage, bag from Mulberry.
 Part Deux | Sights from Union Square Greenmarket.

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  1. great the photos!!
    kisses from dubai ♥


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