dannie im in nyc for the next few days, do u know of any cool cheap stuff i can do?
hm lmao i don’t ever do anything that is “cheap” because i love recklessly spending money BUT
most big museums (the met, the moma) are technically free to get into but they ask for donations so you could technically get in for free but it’s good to give them a reasonable amount/as much as you can. you can also get in free to a lot of museums with a student id so i’d look into that if i were u!!! also i highly recommend the museum of the moving image and the met as like. the top two museums imo. museum of the moving image just has a lot of cool stuff and the met is really An Experience bc you’re in the same room as all these really famous pieces of artwork and it’s a rly humbling experience
another pretty cheap thing is rocky horror!!!!! go see my cast!!!! i’m not on crew rn because i had to take a hiatus but they are some of the best people i’ve ever met and we’re like ~the first shadowcast~ so if you’re into that it’s p cool. shows are friday and saturday nights at midnight at chelsea cinepolis (corner of 23rd st and 8th ave). tickets are 9 dollars and they have prop bags too which are 2 dollars (buy a prop bag they are fun!!!!!!!)
u can also enter all of the lotteries on todaytix (i don’t think there are lottery tickets that are more than $40 but most are cheaper than that) and hope for the best like it doesn’t hurt to enter them all and if you lose you can just do something else but if you win then u win
if u like books/looking at books my fave bookstore in the entire world is the strand on 12th and broadway and they just have a lot of cool stuff but idk if buying stuff is your thing
i was looking for cool/weird things to do in paris the other day and i found this website that has lists of cool/weird things to do in basically every major city so u should def check this place out
i literally don’t know what else to recommend that doesn’t cost money lmao but here are some of my favorite food places:
joe’s pizza (there are three locations: 14th street and 3rd ave, carmine street off of the west 4th subway station (idk the exact address sry) and one in williamsburg that i also don’t know the address of but it’s off the bedford L stop)
pommes frites: PLS GO HERE IT IS MY FAVORITE FOOD IN ALL OF NEW YORK it’s belgian fries and they have like 30 different flavors of mayonnaise including frites sauce (the mayonnaise they have in europe which is rly hard to find here) but i recommend 1000000% the sweet mango chutney) also it’s on macdougal street near the west 4th subway station
also like right next door to pommes frites is a very vaguely named hole in the wall place called “creperie” which has deadass THE BEST CREPES I’VE EVER HAD they’re not served in the traditional cone fashion but they’re really really good also they are cash only last time i checked
big gay ice cream is also fun (there’s a location in the east village and west village)
if u like bubble tea my favorite bubble tea place is called ten ren’s tea time in chinatown (73 mott street off the canal street n/q/r/w/j/z/6) THEY ARE SO GOOD i recommend the almond bubble tea which is literally all i ever get from there bc it’s so fuckin good also they’re cash only too
la durée is a cool macaron place which is slightly less cool imo because they’re pretty commercial but still they have rly good macarons. there are multiple locations and idk their addresses bc i don’t go there often but they’re out there
but for real go to joe’s pizza they have the best pizza you will ever have anywhere in the entire world
sorry this was like all food suggestions lmao food is like the cheapest thing you can do in new york bc all the entertainment options cost a million dollars but anyway I HOPE U ENJOY NEW YORK and i hope i have been somewhat helpful
Almost all of these were taken over the last month in the Spring of 2015 here in New York City in Central Park, the West Village, the East Village, the Lower East Side, and the Upper West Side with my Sony A7 II (and then edited on my phone using Priime app).
Springtime in New York City has never looked so beautiful.
Rent is wildly popular rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City’s East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.
Rent was one of the first musicals I saw and the first musical that ever spoke to me. I remember watching the movie and “Life Support” came on. I cried my heart out. It was so beautiful and raw.
Jon lived a bohemian life in downtown New York. He rented a scruffy loft that had a bathtub in the kitchen and a crumbling water closet with a skylight above the toilet, and thick extension cords running all along the baseboards to feed his computer, his synthesizer, and his tape decks. For a while, he and his roommates kept an illegal, wood-burning stove. He got a waiter’s job at a SoHo restaurant called the Moondance Diner. He dated a dancer for four years who sometimes left him for other men and finally left him for another woman. He wrote lots of music in the years between leaving college and mounting Rent, including two shows that didn’t get produced.
And here’s another thing to know about Jonathan: He wanted to transform the musical theatre, to make it more modern. He didn’t like that show music hadn’t changed since the late 1940s. That Oklahoma sounded like Oklahoma in 1943 was fine; that a lot of musicals still sounded like Oklahoma in 1996 were depressing. All of his downtown friends liked music but none of them liked musicals; he would explain to them, “That isn’t our music uptown on Broadway; those aren’t our characters, these aren’t our stories.” Jon had grown up listening to the Who and Billy Joel and Elton John, along with Sondheim. He wanted to make them one and the same thing. But after seven years of writing musicals in the city, he hadn’t been able to convince anyone else that this was the right way to go. That was when he hit on Rent.
So now here’s Billy Aronson, who was a Yale trained playwright, who loved opera, and who had this idea. Billy wanted to write a musical updating La Boheme. He wanted it to be about people like himself - struggling to make art under lousy conditions. Some theatrical acquaintances suggested Jonathan. They met a few times in 1989, sitting on Jonathan’s roof and absorbing a little kefi. Jon came up with the title. He didn’t like Billy’s proposed Upper West Side setting. Billy wanted to make the show about his friends, and Jon wanted to make it about his. Jon won. In 1991, he called Billy up and asked if he could take Rent for his own. Billy said sure. Jon also liked one more thing about Rent. In La Boheme, the Parisian bohemians are afflicted with tuberculosis; the whole opera occurs under its spectre. The modern equivalent was AIDS. Jon knew all about AIDS. He was healthy, but a lot of good friends had HIV, like Matt O'Grady, his pal from back home. Writing Rent provided one way to make sense of the experience.
Jon spent a year working on the themes in Rent. Though he set the show in the East Village, he didn’t really live there. Jon felt out of place in the punky East Village; he was West Village through and through. Jon didn’t want to go alone on tours of the East Village so he took along Eddie Rosenstein, a filmmaker and friend, who scouted locations with him.
Back home, he wrote his musical. He whittled his Moondance job down to three days a week, which left four days for writing. Sunday nights, Jon would boil a big tub of pasta and a big pot of sauce and mix them together; he’d eat that for dinner all week. He’d buy boxes of Shredded Wheat, and break off exactly one and a half scrubby bricks each morning. He wanted to fuel himself like a machine - without having to think - so all his thoughts would be reserved for writing.
One day in the summer of 1992, after he’d finished the first draft of Rent and recorded some of the songs, he hopped onto his bike. “That now legendary bike ride,” remembers Jim Nicola, artistic director of New York Theatre Workshop. The Workshop has just purchased a new theatre on East Fourth Street, “and that summer we were tearing it up to try and make it more hospitable to the kind of work we wanted to do. Jon took a ride through the East Village, sort of scouting out theatres. The doors were open, he heard the construction, and he wandered in. And he immediately fell in love with the space and thought it would be perfect for Rent.”
It was the right moment for Jon to bring a musical to New York Theatre Workshop, which had been doing mostly new plays for nine years. Nicola thought it was high time NYTW mounted a musical. He wanted a show reflecting the world beyond Broadway, with music that sounded the way music does today. Jim listened to Jon’s tape the night he got it. “‘Light My Candle’ was there, and the title song, and 'I Should Tell You.’ The story wasn’t quite there yet - there didn’t seem to be a clear story - but the music was thrilling.”
New York Theatre Workshop put on a reading of the musical in the spring of 1993. Nicola was struck by the intensity of responses. Some friends though it was simply ragged, but others were in love with the material from the first, no matter its flaws. A young producer named Jeffrey Seller, who had met Jonathan several years earlier, also felt the time was right to produce a musical. He had stayed in touch with Jon, because he, too, wanted to bring rock music to Broadway, and was convinced that one day, “Jon was going to write a brilliant musical.” He came down to Fourth Street. Jeffrey felt the play was baggy, a collage with no narrative shape. “There were great songs,” Jeffery remembers, “but there were endless songs.” Some producer friends he had brought with him left at intermission, assuring Jeffrey the work was unsalvageable. Jeffrey was still interested, though - as long as Jon found a story as good as the music.
Jon sent a letter to Stephen Sondheim, asking for advice and assistance. The older composer responded by encouraging Jonathan to apply for a Richard Rogers Foundation grant. Jonathan eventually won $45,000 to support of workshop production of RENT.
What they needed now was a director. Jim immediately suggested Michael Greif, a young New York director who had recently become artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. He sent Greif Jon’s tape and script. Greif listened to the tape on a Walkman flying from California to New York. The script seemed shaggy - “What impressed me,” he remembers, “was its youth and enthusiasm, and that it was a musical about contemporary life. Jon was writing about some people I felt I knew, that I sort of loved, or had loved in my life.” What Jim wanted in a director was a counterweight to Jon’s kefi philosophy, which had allowed him to treat dark subjects like AIDS, homelessness, and drug addiction with optimism. Michael was hard-nosed and cool-headed. He met with Jim and Jonathan in January of 1994, and the three set to work on bringing the script to the level of the music. “It was a very fragile material at the time,” Jim recalls.“ And it was so easy for it to become sentimental or hokey, or any number of things. I felt Michael had the right sort of dryness and sharpness to balance Jonathan’s writing.
Jim saw his instincts had been right as soon as the three got down to shaping the script in Jon’s loft. They met for a week in the middle of the spring, preparing for the workshop scheduled for November. They went over the script scene by scene, moment by moment. Immediately, the dynamic between Jonathan and Michael slipped into a productive yin and yang. Michael was afraid there was something self-congratulatory about the young bohemian heroes of the show; so Jon toned down the lyrics of "La Vie Boheme.” Michael fretted about the homeless characters - that they not simply serve as East Village window dressing, as moral scarecrows where Mark and Roger could drape their good social conscience; so Jonathan wrote the new song, “On the Street,” where a homeless woman gives Mark a stern telling off. Most importantly, Michael had reservations about the message of the show, the “No Day But Today” cheerfulness of the Life Support meetings. Michael had friends with HIV, just as Jon did, and they were not cheerful about it. Jon added the new scene of Gordon questioning the Life Support credo. And Jon himself kept Michael from becoming too hard-nosed and cool-headed. “What Jon gave Michael was some of his hope and heart and generosity of spirit. And what I think Michael gave Jon was some edge and realism and complexity. It was a good marriage,” remembers Anthony Rapp, who plays Mark.
The three met again that summer at Dartmouth College, where NYTW ran a kind of working camp for its affiliated artists. Michael and Jon talked plot. One large problem, they agreed, was the relationship between Maureen and Mark; in these drafts, a major plot point was Mark winning Maureen back. Michael didn’t like it. “My position was, if they’re going to be lesbians, let them be lesbians. Don’t make them about going-back-to-their-man.”
In October, back in the city, Michael worked out the “performance vocabulary” of Rent. For budgetary reasons - and also because it suited the nature of the characters - it was decided to have minimal props. Michael suggested the three “Frankenstein” tables, which could be made to serve so many functions in the show. Because it was rock, Michael played around with microphones, with actors singing directly to the seats: “We were very anxious to take advantage of the fact that it would be as much a concert as it was a play.”
For all its flaws, the November workshop was a tremendous success. It ran two weeks with the audience growing larger and more enthusiastic each night; by the last week it was sold out. Anthony Rapp, a cast member of the November workshop, remembers the excitement: “I kept telling people it was going to be an event. We knew it needed work. But people I trust and respect - friends and collaborators - would come down and be knocked out by it.”
Jim Nicola thought it needed work, too. But the responses he was getting from his friends were just what Anthony was hearing. “There was a lot of passion - again, the most striking thing was the intensity of opinion about it. There was a large segment of people whose tastes I trusted who just loved it, and didn’t care what the problems were. I felt even more convinced that there was really something strong here.” Jim found himself moving towards an exciting, scary, stirring decision. “Rent was the kind of show to bet the company on.”
The second week, Jeffrey Seller returned to East Fourth Street. He brought his business partner, Kevin McCollum. Sitting down in the front row, seeing the three tables, remembering the plotless show he’d seen a year earlier, Jeffrey had time for a crisis of confidence. He turned to Kevin before the show and warned him, “This is either gonna be absolutely brilliant or it’s going to be a piece of crap.” At intermission Kevin nudged Jeffrey and said, “I’m loving this. Get out the checkbook.”
A couple of nights later, the two brought a business associate named Allan Gordon to NYTW. The three had worked together previously on the national tour of “The Real Live Brady Bunch.” Allan was equally enthusiastic - like Jeffrey and Kevin, he was overpowered by the music. That night the three decided to work on the project together.
After the holidays, Jim, Michael and Jonathan sat down again in Jim’s office. Jim had thought it over, and talked to NYTW’s board members. The Workshop decide to stage a full production of Rent the following year with the help of Seller, McCollum and Gordon, who would get the commercial rights in return. The budget would be $250,000 - twice the cost of anything NYTW had ever mounted.
After the holidays, Jim, Michael and Jonathan sat down again in Jim’s office. They spoke about what need fixing. The show had no single story, no primary narrator - in the November workshop, all the characters told the story; when they had something to say, they turned around and said it right to the audience. And the characters themselves, especially Maureen and Joanne, needed refinement. Jim gave Jon a task: Could he boil the plot down to a single sentence? The sentences Jon first turned in were impossibly long, crammed full of clauses and parentheses and second thoughts. But as Jim anticipated, as the sentence came into focus, so did the play.
Jim decided to hire a dramaturg to work with Jonathan. Dramaturgs work with playwrights as shapers, advisers and editors. Jon did a lot of interviews before meeting Lynn Thompson. They hit it off right away. From the first, Lynn seemed to be on Jon’s wave length. She was able to speak in a voice that sparked Jon’s enthusiasm. Jim put the two on a schedule; Jon would deliver a revised draft by the summer’s end. Rent was to begin rehearsals in the fall.
Jon had found another strong collaborator. Lynn suggested he work up biographies of the characters, that he write a version of Rent told through each person’s eyes. Her belief was that once Jon understood the story completely, once he really had the characters under his belt, the rewriting of the play would come in a simple burst. They worked through the summer, discovering a structure for Rent.
By October they had a new draft. Jon was confident his six years of work were over. Actors read the script aloud to everyone. Jim and Michael were both struck by the changes, but they knew they weren’t out of the woods. The characters were sharper, but Jon had done some structural fiddling, turning much of the show into flashback. The first act began with Angel’s funeral and Mark wondering, “How did we get here?”, with the rest of the story catching up from there. No one was comfortable with this except the playwright. The Maureen-Joanne relationship was finally working, but their second act duet was by all accounts miserable. “One of the worst songs ever written,” Michael remembers with a laugh. “The songs was a straight out cat fight, the lovers sniping at each other, Maureen telling Joanne, 'You’re the hepatitis in my clam.’”
Jeffrey was also concerned. The show was supposed to go into rehearsals in six weeks and Rent didn’t feel ready to him. “On the one hand, the new script made a huge, wonderful leap from the workshop - a gigantic creative stride - but it wasn’t there yet. Now it’s late October and we’re in casting. And the show starts rehearsing in December.” Jeffrey dashed off some quick, blunt notes on what he felt need to be changed in Rent before the production could move ahead.
Jeffrey’s notes were intended for Jim and Michael, but Jon got a hold of them. What the notes called for was another rewrite. Jon didn’t want to do any more writing. “There was real terror the production wouldn’t happen,” Michael remembers. “It was a tense few days. Jon was very upset and very frustrated. But what it came down to was, we all want this to be as strong as it can be. No one thinks this is finished, so we should have another go at it.” Jon turned to Sondheim one last time, and Sondheim reminded him of a key proposition: theater was collaborative. Part of Jon’s job was to take into account what his collaborators felt. So Jon signed on.
Michael wanted a simplified structure, with a clearer emotional division between the two acts: “The first act should be much more the celebration, and the second act should be a lot of the ramifications and sorrows surrounding these lives.” Jon finally quit his job at the Moondance Diner. His friend Eddie Rosenstein remembers, “After he left the diner, and he announced that he was a full-time professional musical playwright, his spirits soared. That’s all anybody wants to do in life, isn’t it? A chance to do what they do.”
During Jon’s rewrites the show moved in casting. Michael wanted a youthful, sexy cast, and he and Jon leaned toward young performers who seemed to have some connection with their characters, whose spirit could add dimensions to the work. The cast seemed to invigorate Jon. “He was really inspired by this company,” Michael says. “We still needed the Joanne-Maureen song. And Jon really wisely said, 'let me just sit with these actors, and let me bring you something.’ And then what he brings me is 'Take Me Or Leave Me,’ and I’m totally thrilled out of my mind.”
In December, with casting done and rehearsals about to begin, Jon handed in the final version of Rent. Jon had worked a succession of 20 hour days. “He had completely cleaned up the narrative,” Jeffrey says, remembering everyone’s excitement with this last creative step. “In December, when I saw the first sing-through with the full cast, I knew we were in great shape. I gave Jon a hug and told him, 'you done good.’”
One thing that struck Jim was how tired - even in his excitement - Jon seemed after pulling off this final rewrite. “But I do think of theatre as sort of an Olympic event. It’s a rare moment in one’s life when you really push way beyond what you think your endurance is. That’s what Jon did.” They had the draft of the show everyone had wanted for three years. And Jon finally delivered to Jim his one sentence summary of what story Rent told: “Rent is about a community celebrating life, in the face of death and AIDS, at the turn of the century.”
From December on, it was a quick sprint to the show you’ve seen [or at least know and love]. There were a lot of what Jon called “programming changes”: shifting songs from one position to another, seeing where they fit best. In January, Jim watched a rehearsal with a group of NYTW board members, and the emotional response to RENT was extraordinary. “It continued to get even tighter and better through rehearsals,” Daphne Rubin-Vega remembers. Then The New York Times got wind that a rock musical based on La Boheme was going to premiere on the 100th anniversary of the original La Boheme. No one had know this; it was a simple fluke. The night of the final dress rehearsal, Jon was sick with a sore chest and a fever. But he took a taxi to Fourth Street, watched the show, and sat for his interview with the Times. The last thing Michael and Jim remember saying to him was to take it easy and sleep well; they’d see him and Lynn in the morning. Jon died an hour later.
After Jon’s death, there were few revisions. Lynn, Jim, Michael and music director/arranger Tim Weil (who would take charge of the show’s musical elements after Jonathan died) would meet and attempt, by looking over the many drafts of Rent, to decide what changes Jonathan would have approved. They would put their heads together and out of their three component visions try to come up with a close duplication of Jonathan’s. When the show premiered, they knew they had something special on their hands. Jon’s death added an explosive, powerful element to the cast’s understanding of the play. “The company had already come together so well, but that event of Jon dying just brought us together that much more strongly,” Daphne remembers. “It let us remember that the bottom line is really about what you do with this experience, because tomorrow isn’t promised you. There was no more powerful way of receiving that message than from someone who was completely healthy and died. Someone whose life was just beginning.”
Jon’s friends had to go to his old loft to clean the place out. His oldest, best loved girlfriend found a diary Jon had kept during his last years of college. “When I die,” he had written, “whenever and wherever that may be, I wish to be cremated, and I want my ashes to be thrown to the sunset with music and dancing and crying.”
The day of Jon’s death, no one at the Workshop was quite sure what to do. The first performance was scheduled for that evening. Jim Nicola’s first inclination was to cancel, but he knew they needed to do something for Jonathan’s memory. Jim was uneasy. The first act, in particular, involved a lot of tricky dancing and jumping on tables. It hadn’t been completely rehearsed, and he was afraid there would be injuries. Eddie Rosenstein urged him to run the whole show full out. By the evening, Jonathan’s friends were streaming into the theatre, his parents were there, New York Theatre workshop was filled to capacity with people Jon loved - friends, family and colleagues. Jim decided on a sing-through - no movement, just songs. Throughout the first act, the cast was able to hold their seats. But very slowly, they began to rise. They acted, they danced. “It was incredible and terrible,” Anthony remembers. “It was like we had to do it. We were all sobbing and crying.” The lighting people made their way to the lighting booth; the sound manager began to pick up his cues. “They couldn’t contain themselves,” Eddie remembers. “The audience was reaching out to the cast. They were crying and cheering. By the second act, it was no longer contained. It was the full show run full-out, with every line hit for greater and greater meaning. If emotion could have become a physical force, the roof would have blown off, the weather would have changed.” The second act ended. There was a huge ovation, the cast slowly left the stage, and the audience stayed in the theater. No one was sure what to do. The cast returned and sat down in the front row. Finally, a single voice called from the audience, “Thank you, Jonathan Larson,” which brought the evening’s loudest, final burst of applause.
By Ebony Tucker ( bogges-s )
RENT won the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Rent played on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre from its debut in April 1996 until it closed on September 7, 2008. It is the 9th longest running show in Broadway history. In addition, it has toured throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Singapore, Mexico, and Germany and throughout Europe as well as in other locations. A film version was released in 2005. Less than three years after Rent closed on Broadway it was revived Off-Broadway at Stage 1 of New World Stages just outside of the Theatre District. It went into previews on July 14, 2011 and opened August 11, 2011.
Hello! I'm a mad creature from Australia who is seeking advice. You posted up an amazing selection of amazingness about NY & London aaaaages back. I don't suppose you know where it is or could give me a snapshot of some of that info again? I'm going to be in London just before Christmas and then going onto NY for Christmas/NYE and you having lived in both cities and generally being amazing I figured you would be the lady to ask. Hope you can help! xx sapph
YES of course boo! here you go:
Restaurants (some highlights)
Uva (Upper East Side)
Caracas (Lower East Side)
Malatesta (West Village)
Buvette (West Village)
Heidi’s House (UES)
Little Owl (West Village)
Dumont (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Rosa Mexicano (UES, Upper West Side, Union Square)
Sweet Chick (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Sushi Samba (West Village)
John’s Pizza (West Village, Times Sq)
Palma (West Village)
Penrose (bar with good pub fare, UES)
Momofuku Milk Bar (East Village, Midtown, UWS)
Met and Natural History (UES and UWS, respectively)
Tenement Museum (by appt only, LES)
Museum of Sex (Rose Hill)
Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design (UES)
Historical Society (UWS)
NY Public Library (midtown)
Frick Collection (UES)
Museum of the City of New York (midtown)
Neue Gallery (UES)
NYC Police Museum (Financial district)
Park Avenue Armory (UES)
Evolution (amazing cabinet of curiosities, SoHo)
Brooklyn Flea Market (Ft Greene)
Strand Book Store (the best, Union Sq)
Forbidden Planet (a geek’s heaven, Union Sq)
Trash & Vaudville (birthplace of punk, St Marks)
Search & Destroy (scary, weird, cool, St Marks)
Dressing Room (LES)
Pearl River (all-in-one Chinese/Japanese import megastore, SoHo)
Babeland (18+ only!, LES)
Rudy’s Music (most beautiful guitar shop in the world, SoHo)
Designer Resale (nabbed a Prada trench here for $70 - this place is amazing, UES)
Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore, midtown)
Rizzoli (one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, bilingual English/Italian, midtown)
Topshop (just as much as a ripoff as it is in the UK, but the venue is cool; across the street from Pearl River in SoHo)
Obscura Antiques (LES)
Toy Tokyo (St Marks)
Shakespeare & Co Booksellers (UES)
Bethesda Fountain in Central Park
English, Italian gardens in Central Park
Basically, Central Park
SLEEP NO MORE
Walk along the Hudson and/or East Rivers at night
And just try to walk everywhere you can. xxxx
BLOOMSBURY/FITZROVIA/MARYLEBONE • british museum (taking tea here is exceptionally good) • marylebone high st is my favorite street for walking in london, especially for cath kidston, conrans, daunt books (my favorite bookshop in the world) and a delightful weekend market at the top of the street near baker street tube called “cabbages & frocks” • the library at RADA (not sure if this is open to the public) • the misc squares and general stunning georgian leafiness of bloomsbury • denmark street is the best street in london for buying musical instruments. i’ve spent hundreds of afternoons at hank’s in a big armchair playing their stunning guitars. • FORBIDDEN PLANET DUH • if you happen to be on mortimer st, the george was my pub when i lived on nassau st. have a pint on me. • roka sushi. so so good. • suka - malaysian fare in the sanderson, an inconspicuous fashion hotel. to-die-for food but pricy. even if you can’t afford the grub, go into the hotel for a drink at the long bar. the elevator gives the illusion that you’re standing in a starry sky.
CENTRAL/SOHO • selfridges natch • carnaby street is a gorgeous little hub for shopping, though it can be touristy; dance around the edges to find hidden gems, like the great frog, which makes fucking awesome jewelry. head into kingly court for amazing vintage finds, five-minute massage parlors, tea emporiums and beauty salons. • ronnie scott’s. brilliant jazz club. • milk & honey. serious bar with serious booze. • go shopping at covent garden. get a cookie from ben’s cookies. for the love of god go get one of those cookies.
NOTTING HILL/WESTBOURNE GROVE • cafe 202. the best french toast i have ever had in my life. ever. • hummingbird bakery. this is a no brainer. go here. do not ever skip here. there is also one in south kensington near the natural history museum so you have no excuse. go. and get the red velvet cupcake and dissolve into a puddle of tears at the fact that you’ve never had anything this good in your life. • portobello market can be insufferable sometimes but it really is worth it. unbelievable treasures everywhere. alice’s at the top of portobello road is particularly strange and wonderful. it has everything from preserved animals in jars to globes to unreturned library books to circus paraphernalia. there’s also an awesome cowboy shop next door. • the portobello star. pub specializing in historical cocktails. awesome little place, don’t go on a weekend though.
KILBURN • very off the beaten tourist path, but a must-visit if you’re young and into music. i went to school here for a year and it was a big stomping ground for me. the entire high street is littered with pubs and open mic nights and live music venues. walk around and explore. the north london tavern is my definitive pub. then there’s the brondes age, ciao ciao, the king’s head, the good ship, and powers - which is the first place i ever did a gig. the area can be a little dodgy at night but use common sense and you’ll be all right.
KENSINGTON/WEST KENSINGTON • i went to drama school here and lived here for a few years. the curtains up near barons court was my pub. (also the albion close by.) i love that place, it’s probably my favorite pub in london, if only for the memories. they make really good food as well. westfield shopping centre is fun if it’s pouring rain and you have nothing else to do. go to kensington palace if you can, and have a drink at the kensington roof gardens. otherwise there’s not much to do except enjoy the lovely park. kensington is largely residential and very expensive.
EAST LONDON • 93 feet east is a fantastic club for people who don’t like clubbing (like me). lots of different musical choices to choose from scattered all over the compound, from live rock to pop to reggae to trance…a lot of fun. but be wary. brick lane is notoriously debauched on weekends. call addison lee in advance for a taxi to come pick you up. do not take the night bus on your own. (this actually goes for most of london, unless you’re right in central - and even then it can be a bit rough on the weekends. the tube shuts at 11 so use common sense if you’re out late.) • brick lane market. amazing treasure trove of eclectic goodies. • the mockingbird. awesome tapas owned by my best friend’s dad and brother. authentic spanish food and the paella is out of this world.
idk that’s like a list of things i really love to do but there is SO MUCH MORE i mean i’ve been there years, so it’s hard to sum up everything, but other areas to check out include:
• camden town (and if you want a fancy night out, go to gilgamesh. a friend’s dad owns it. amazing asian fusion with a fun dance club upstairs.) • knightsbridge (harrods and harvey nics are staples, but only really necessary to visit to say you’ve been there. harrods has a ladurée inside - the legendary french patisserie - so it is worth going there to have a macaron or six. however, signor sassi - tucked away in a little side street - makes the best italian i have ever had, and you will fall in love with all the waiters.) also go to embankment and take a walk along the river. cross the bridge, explore south bank. definitely go see a play at the national.
also GO HAVE PING PONG DIM SUM THEY ARE ALL OVER THE CITY AND IT IS MY FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT ANYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. LIKE THEY HAVE ONE IN DC AND I LITERALLY WENT TO DC JUST TO EAT THERE BECAUSE I MISSED PING PONG SO MUCH. SO GO TO PING PONG.
After a Yankee game last month, a few buddies and myself adventured into the village for some drinking, pizza, and good times. Compliments to Uber for hooking it up with a ride across Manhattan. Upon arrival, we came across a dollar slice place called Percy’s Pizza located on Bleecker Street. If you know a thing or two about dollar slice places in NYC, they are usually run down and sketchy. Percy’s was not. Very clean and brick-walled counter serve, had a Little Italy feel to it. Without saying a word, we walked in and this little spanish guy goes “HOW MANY?” I first picked up one to see if it was worth a second. And for a dollar slice it was well worth over a dollar! Probably one of the best dollar slice spots I have ever been to. Now I know the photo is a tad deceiving, but trust me it is worth it.
However… my friends and I ventured back an hour later and decided to get a pie. $8 is worth a pie. The guy wanted to charge us $12! Now I’m no mathematician but there are eight slices to a pie and at a dollar a piece how are they selling pies at $12?! Nonetheless, I just ordered 8 SEPARATE slices *puts on cool dude shades*.
I'm going to New York City for my spring break and was wondering what you would recommend I do while I'm there?
That’s so exciting! I hope you have a lot of fun when you come because there’s always a lot to do. Today I’m going to the Frick Collection :)
I highly recommend all the things that everyone says is very “touristy” because it’s really worth it. Since you’re coming in the Spring where the weather will be much warmer and nicer:
• Central Park - you can honestly spend hours here because there’s so much, plays, ponds, a small zoo, lots of trees and flowers, a castle, waterfalls, trail walks, and people watching. And I think in the spring or the summer they have shows I think one year they had Shakespeare.
• Brooklyn Botanic Garden - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone here since elementary school but it’s always so beautiful. In the Spring, the cherry blossoms are absolutely mesmerizing and there’s the pond that I used to try to feed fish and turtles but were technically not allowed to (anymore)
• Bryant Park - they have these small shops and they always sell cute things and it’s right by the New York Library so that’s always a plus :)
• Union Square - The little farmer’s market is awesome. They always sell cool things and there’s always organic/vegan food or something, although it’s a bit pricier some of it is really yummy!
• Museums: The Met, Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, MoMa, The Jewish Museum (though it’s a bit saddening and a mood ruiner, it is so interesting), The Cloisters, The Intrepid (freaken cool lemme tell ya haha) and I’m not sure f that’s connected with the Planetarium/Science museum but definitely check out the Planetarium like I love anything related to space and astronomy so I found it fascinating. I also heard the body exhibit and the Museum of Moving image was cool too so definitely look into that if you enjoy museums.
• Walk the bridges - my favorite is the Brooklyn Bridge. Williamsburg was okay but not my preference. But when you get to Brooklyn on the bridge you can walk to this famous pizzeria called Grimaldis and it is super yummy although the line is really long sometimes. And then there’s this really yummy ice cream shop by there and also a great view.
• New York City is good for walking around so any neighborhood: Soho, TriBeCa, Murray Hill, East/West Village, Financial District (near Seaport so you can see ships and take a tour) and there’s also a museum there too, and Chelsea Piers! And if you come to Brooklyn, definitely check out Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and Williamsburg. Oh and Coney Island because there’s a beach there.
• Eat good food!!!!! I love Doughnut Plant, Max Brenners, Cabana, Alice’s Teacup, Pinkberry, Maison Du Macaron, Spice, and there’s a bunch so you can always ask me :) (I eat out a lot haha)
• The Staten Island ferry is always free so you can take it and you can see the Statue of Liberty (that’s what I’ve been told). And idk being on the ocean is just nice.
• Governor’s Island (I heard there’s a lighthouse so I need to go!), Top of The Rock, shop on 5th Ave, Times Square just for the hell of it because I think there are so many other sights that are better, Highline, Grand Central Terminal, Washington Square Park,
• There’s also abandoned train stations and hospitals but idk if you’d want to do that haha but it’s on my bucket list :)
This was quite a long list but I hope you have a lot of exciting adventures here :)
Oh and I really like cemeteries for some reason and there’s a couple here.