We all know how New York City can be overwhelming with places to go, things to do…and you’re constantly having the feeling of “Am I missing out on something today?!”
She moved here 3 years ago to attend Fashion school and ended up creating a blog to share a little bit about everything she was experiencing in this amazing city.
I’m not sure if you all know, but New York is always ranked in the Top 3 Destinations for Brazilians, so talking about New York (with style), is surely a definite success!
Take a look at Raquel’s great list of top picks in the City:
If you love an authentic Spanish Cuisine, Barraca is surely a place for you to visit. They have a “Sangria Lab” that features 8 regional sangrias, their paella is to die for, the environment is very relaxed and welcoming. Plus, come on….they’re located in the West Village - which is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan. Perfect combination!
Oh! They are opened until 1am, which is great for the night owls, right?!
“I love this place in the West Village because they have amazing tapas and sangria! Their happy hour is also a must-go.”
Location: 81 Greenwich Avenue (corner with Bank Street)
Simple Café, located in Williamsburg, offers amazing French-Algerian lunches, brunches and French-Algerian dinners. Chef Samia Behaya founded the place in 2006 and it became a neighborhood gem. They bake daily all their delicious breads and ingredients are all locally sources from the Hudson Valley Harvest.
“They serve super fresh and delicious French Algerian food, and they also have an option of breakfast buffet, which I love to eat on Sundays when I wake up starving Haha.”
Location: 346 Bedford Avenue (corner with South 3rd Street)
We love the Lower East Side of Manhattan and this is a cool place to go. 10 Degrees Bar is opened 7 days a week, from Noon - 4am and it’s a great place to meet friends for drinks in the City! Super low profile, chill place with a great crowd.
“Why I love them? Just because they have the BEST Mojitos, plus their Happy Hour is also amazing!”
Location: 121 St. Marks Place
The nightlife in New York can be very overwhelming, specially if you’re not from around. The Jane Hotel was inaugurated in 1908 and was originally built to host sailors, hence the tiny cabin-like rooms. The hotel hosts great events, so it’s a place to always check what’s going on.
“They usually have great DJs and the atmosphere is super fun.”
Location: 113 Jane Street
A restaurant, a lounge and a pawn shop. That’s Beauty & Essex, located on the Lower East Side. The place has 2 floors, dining and lounge areas, delicious tapas and small bits that are perfect for sharing by chef and owner Chris Santos, with outstanding cocktails…all in a 10,000 square foot space.
“I love Beauty Essex, even though I am not a big fan of fancy places! The decoration is gorgeous, cool crowd, and their BBQ fries are so tasty!”
Location: 146 Essex Street
Sometimes it’s hard to schedule fixed hours with a personal trainer. Work hours can get quite crazy and when you noticed, it’s Friday and you didn’t exercise or cancelled every class you had previously booked at your neighborhood gym.
If you’re never certain of your schedule, this is a great tip! Troupe Fit has a great team of personal trainers focused on general training, yoga and pilates that you can book when you want and where you want.
Individual classes start at $49. #JoinTheTroupe
“It’s like an Uber, but instead of cars they offer personal trainers to go to you and do your workout wherever you want.”
Take a look and download the app: http://troupefit.com
Known for being the Esthetician of countless gorgeous celebrities, super models and New York’s most breathtaking women, Joanna Vargas is a beauty guru in New York. She works with non-invasive techniques and has her own all natural and organic skin care products.
“They offer great facials using natural products that make your face feel so clean and healthier. Plus, you have a chance of running into Karlie Kloss while there.”
Location: 501 5th Avenue
We love braids, but it’s just so hard to make a cool one of your own! If you do have the coordination, congrats! It’s amazing! But…if you don’t…RPZL will change your life. You don’t like braids? That’s fine too. You’ll be able to get a great natural blow dry with soft waves, a very strait and smooth one or anything in between…and even get some extensions on, to wave around and show off in the streets of New York!
“You can go there to get extensions, blow dry, or even just a cool braid.”
Location: 27 West 20th Street
An Artistic Approach to Exercise. Pop Physique was founded in Los Angeles by Jennifer Williams, a former ballet dancer (very good professional one!) and pilates instructor and her husband. The workout is a one hour ballet barre-based class. It’s an “all in one” workout since it burns fat, strengthens, stretches and works on the importance of the correct breathing techniques.
“I am a fitness enthusiast and I went to this class thinking it would be easy for me, and it turned out to be a great workout…and even a bit challenging. Their instructors are super nice and the class works with muscles that I didn’t even know existed.”
Location: 31 West 26th Street
Yeah, you all do know that we love Williamsburg…even though tourists are now migrating more to this side of the Bridge. There is just so much to do and explore.
If you’re looking for a fun, low key, neighborhood vibe place to go with a little of rock’n’roll, you’ll love Brooklyn Bowl.
“Not just a place to see cool live bands and listen to great music, but you can also play bowling at the same time.”
Location: 61 Wythe Ave
For some indescribable reason, our Founder is completely in love with McCarren Park, in Williamsburg. When she’s working from Williamsburg, she walks to a further subway station, just to walk through the Park.
Over the weekends it’s super lively, with baseball games, families having picnics, friends playing frisbee games and talking for hours, people just laying alone on the grass having some down time…but everyone is doing one thing: having fun!
“It’s super clean and has a nice running track. I’m there almost every day.”
Location: 776 Lorimer Street
The main street that crosses through the neighborhood of Williamsburg is a bit touristy, specially during weekends, but it has great places to go.
Remember our Founder’s story of how “Behind the Scenes NYC” started and how she left everything to move to NY (here)? Well, the restaurant where she decided she was really going to go for it…and move to NYC, is on Bedford Avenue.
“No matter what direction you walk on Bedford Avenue, you will always find good options of places to eat, drink and shop.”
Location: The first stop off the “L” line when you arrive in Brooklyn is already Bedford.
Pioneer Works is a beautiful art and music space in Red Hook, Brooklyn. As they explain it (better than we do): It is a center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture. Through a broad range of exhibitions, performances, arts and science residencies, and educational programs, Pioneer Works seeks to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, foster community, and provide a space where alternative modes of thought are supported and activated in tangible ways.
“Located in Red Hook, it’s a huge space where they always hosts beautiful and interesting exhibitions.”
Location: 159 Pioneer Street
Are you into cooking? Many people we know in New York are, and so are we! Sometime it can be hard to vary dishes daily and be creative, if it’s not a natural gift you have, right?! Well, Home Cooking with Jean-Georges is a great book to test your culinary abilities.
“It has simple and vibrant foods that you can find at his restaurant ABC Kitchen.”
Location: 35 East 18th Street
To finish off the interview, here are a few quick fun questions we asked Raquel:
What does NYC mean to you?
“As it was already said: Concrete Jungle, where dreams are made of.”
What would you tell someone that is in NY for the 1st time?
“Congratulations you are in an incredible city so go enjoy every minute.”
Tell us a thing that proves that somebody is a true a New Yorker?
“Ordering coffee at Starbucks super fast. When I see people taking a while to order their drinks, making questions, and then still looking for their money to pay, I know that they are from out of town. We are always in a very fast pace here.”
Here is her website: www.raquelpaiva.com
Photo Credits: guillaumegaudet.photoshelter.com, Courtesy of all the venues.