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The Best Gifts for the New York City Lover

They say New York is the city that never sleeps. They call New York “the big apple,” a concrete jungle, a feast of culture and life. But those who call Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs home… the heartbeat of this city is enthralling, addicting and… truthfully, soul enriching. Visitors who have also fallen in love with New York know its undeniable charm and grit. If you happen to be shopping for a lover of NYC, we’ve curated a list of some of our favorite items and gift ideas. Here’s our gift guide for lovers of New York!

Brooklyn Airline’s Tote

New Yorkers know the feeling well. “I Hate Leaving New York.” Brooklyn Airline’s cheeky tote bag will make New York lovers giggle.  Give your New-York-loving friend a laugh and this handy, screen printed gem of a tote bag so they can wear their favorite city with pride.

A Gift Guide for Lovers of New York

Contribute to the Greater Good with Social Goods

Based in NYC. Social Goods makes bold statements with their awesome designs and every purchase you make includes a donation to a nonprofit driving real change for the issue at-hand. And to better support the work happening on-the-ground, they offer the ability to connect directly with that nonprofit. From additional education and financial contributions to taking action in your community, you can continue to support in a number of ways thrugh purchasing from Social Goods! Some of our favorites are the New York Woman Tee,  the New York Woman Sweatshirt and the New York Tough Hoodie!

Gear by Lower East Side Artisans, New York x New York

New York x New York is the real deal and I absolutely love their products. From stickers to Ts to mugs, their logo makes a statement and we are here for it. Via their website:

“NYNY began in the Lower East Side in a small lounge on Eldridge St, it was one of the last remaining cultural outposts in a neighborhood that has been hit hard by gentrification (colonization). The party began as a way of connecting the past, present, and future of the city — a space for a New York-born generation, the kids of immigrants to the city, and for anyone tied to the community-centered experience we remember as hip-hop. The word was spread about the party through text message only, we trusted that if you got the password and the video flyer, then we could trust you to pass it on to the right people too.

As time has passed the legend has grown and the once underground party that brings you the real NY vibe now sells out shows wherever we go, from Miami to Hong Kong to Tokyo. Home to resident DJ GETLIVE! and superstar guest DJs from Clark Kent to Vashtie to Kid Capri. We’re staying active in 2020 — dropping apparel collabs and expanding our global brand platform with digital experiences. All while laying the groundwork for live activations as soon as the world is ready for us. Be a part of it — NEWYORK NEWYORK.

“New York In Bloom” Book

Only New Yorkers really get to see the city burst into life in all the seasons. But without a doubt, spring is something special in the city that never sleeps. That’s why we’re obsessed with “New York In Bloom” – the perfect hardcover photography book that highlights beautiful floral, botanical details found nestled in the city’s iconic architecture. It’s the perfect coffee table book for a New York lover’s living room.

A Gift Guide for Lovers of New York

Joya’s Foxglove & Âmes Sœurs Candles

For New Yorkers, both native and new residents alike, our apartments are a sanctuary we curate carefully and intentionally. With smaller square footage, each and every item must have a purpose… and have something beautiful to offer. That’s why we’re obsessed with Joya’s candles. They’re gorgeous and their Foxglove candle has a delicious scent we love – think the perfect blend of citrus orange, salt meadow grass, oak, musk and jasmine. As is their Âmes Sœurs candle (which translates to “soul mates”) – the perfect addition to set a cozy, romantic vibe at home. And both are beautiful to look at to boot!

A Gift Guide for Lovers of New York

Baronfig’s NYC Softcover Notebooks & Copper Rollerball Pen

New Yorkers who love an old school notebook to write down their goals, dreams and keep themselves on track will adore Baronfig’s New York City Softcover Notebooks. The hand drawn illustrations of “commute life” in the city are adorable and relatable in the most humorous way! If you’re shopping for a cute set, we love their Copper Rollerball Pen to go with. City slickers know there’s know there’s nothing like whipping out a sleek and sturdy pen to use, no matter if you’re signing off on a receipt or signing your first book deal.

A Gift Guide for Lovers of New York

Pretty City New York

New Yorkers and New-York-obsessed travelers alike will adore this photo journalistic look into the world of “Pretty City New York.” We’ve been obsessed with Instagrammer Siobhan Ferguson’s photos of some of the world’ most famous cities in the world. Through the pages of this book, you’ll get a look into the hidden gems she discovers in the city that never sleeps. Think artisan boutiques, market scenes, quaint alleys and the nooks and crannies of New York that typical tourists may not be aware of. It’s sure to make you want to book a trip to the Big Apple!

A Gift Guide for Lovers of New York

Apolis’s Detachable Handle Market Bag

There isn’t a single market bag we love more than our customizable Apolis tote! Each bag is water resistant (perfect for those rainy bodega stops), made from 100% natural golden jute fiber and made to last. It’s the sturdy, trusty tote bag that can handle any grocery run… and you can feel good purchasing it. The female artisans who handcraft each eco-friendly bag receive Fair Trade wages, annual profit dividends, and a retirement fund.

A Gift Guide for Lovers of New York

Brooklyn Soapworks

We’re absolutely obsessed with Brooklyn Soapwork’s streamlined skincare and handcrafted bar soaps! They pack allllll the skincare you’d ever need in a bar – meaning less waste and more sustainability and incorporate all the same premium oils you’d find in high end skincare lines. We happen to love that each bar is made with love in the good ol’ BK to!

Gift Guide For Lovers Of New York

A Simple NYC Tee

Nothing shows your love for the city more than a classic, simple and cute t-shirt touting its name! This special edition NYC Tee is made from organic cotton slub and embroidered with a custom New York design. But what really makes us proud to wear this comfy and adorable tee is that 50% of the sales go to the NYC Fund for Public Health in their efforts fighting COVID-19. It’s a fashionable way to give back to those who have directly saved lives in our city!

Gift Guide For Lovers Of New York

Adventures Close to New York City

For those who love the city but need a break from the hustle and bustle, we love love this Easy Weekend Getaways in the Hudson Valley & Catskills guide by Carly Fisher.

 

North America Travel Planning

A First Timer’s Guide To New York City

NYC is my forever home, and I’m so proud of my city. The hustle, the diversity, the beauty… I love it all so much. Every day I seem to discover a new side to New York, and I’ve been here for years! First timer’s in the city might feel overwhelmed by all there is to see and do in dear ol’ NYC – but today, I’ve gathered up my top recommendations. (After hosting many friends and family members, it’s always nice to have a go-to itinerary suggestions!) Without further ado, here is my first timer’s guide to NYC! Filled with must-do activities, some hidden treasures, my absolute favorite eateries, rooftop bars and photo stops as well.

To Do

Use The City Sightseeing Pass

If it’s your first time in NYC and you’re not keen on taking the subway just yet and not interested in wasting tons of money on expensive cabs and Lyfts all day, hopping on the Hop On / Hop Off bus on The Sighseeing Pass is one of the best ways to get around. ​​​​​​​

We know, we know… it sounds touristy, but it’s an efficient way to see majority of the city in a short time frame (especially if it’s your first time in the city). It also helps you get a the lay of the land. Just leave your bags with an NYC luggage storage company and start riding! This is super helpful, because you can mental notes of where you’d like to go back to visit and spend more time. The stops are in the most convenient locations and the buses run frequently too!

Head Downtown

Consider spending time in Downtown as the area has grown quite a bit over the years since 9/11. There are tons of things to do! Be sure to stroll along Stone Street and stop at the many bars and restaurants. Don’t miss out on check out the beautiful architecture at the Oculus (which also serves as a mall and a train station). Shopping at Brookfield Place is a treat… and afterward, I’d recommend heading to Pier 17 to catch stunning views of Dumbo and the water.

Rooftop Cinema

A movie night on the rooftop? Rooftop Cinema has a mission to transform nights at the movies to cinematic events like no other. Starlit evenings, cocktails, snacks, and a great movie selection… what’s not to love?

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Best Observation Deck – Top Of The Rock ​​​​​​​

Getting an iconic shot of the New York City skyline is a must for first timers, if you ask me! Because you want a view of the city with the iconic Empire State Building in it, Top Of The Rock is my top recommendation of observation decks. Plus, it’s the only deck with epic views of Central Park.

Insider Tip: reserve tickets in advance because they sell out! I personally love coming to Top Of The Rock at 8am because it’s the only time you can get photos without crowds in them!

Runner Up For Best Observation Deck – The Empire State Building 

Just as beautiful as Top Of The Rock’s perspective, and you’ll get a chance to see the well-established and world famous Empire State Building from the inside out. Every inch of the building is filled with such history!

One World Trade Center 

No modern trip to NYC for a first timer is complete without paying homage to the One World Trade Center. It’s such an emotional experience learning about the history here… and the architecture is simply stunning. It’s a fantastic place to people watch and have a moment of reflection. I also adore the viewpoint from One World Trade Center because you can see both downtown and uptown views, Brooklyn, New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

P.S. I’d highly recommend coming to these places later in the evening. Observation decks are best to visit and photograph during golden hour/sunset!

Brooklyn Bridge

Sitting at 6,000 feet long, the Brooklyn Bridge has become just as recognized as the Manhattan skyline… and it’s simply not to be missed. No first timer’s guide to NYC would be complete without a recommendation to see the Brooklyn Bridge for yourself. Seeing the bridge early in the morning is an incredible experience. Minimal crowds, cool air and a stunning sunrise – it’s a photographer’s delight.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Little Italy

Little Italy is perhaps the most charming of the Manhattan neighborhoods This Italian immigrant haven has transformed over the years in Lower Manhattan, but it’s retained its traditional flair and commitment to the families, restaurants and businesses who brought it to life.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Williamsburg

Take a trip to the other side! If you have the time in your itinerary, I’d highly recommend exploring Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. P.S. a trip to Williamsburg’s William Vale is the perfect vantage point to get a look at the Manhattan skyscrapers from the riverfront.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

The Vessel

New to the NYC skyline is the modernist structure you’ve probably seen scattered around Instagram… the Vessel! Created as part of the Hudson Yard’s Redevelopment Project, this climbable landmark is the perfect place to people watch. The sculptural, honeycomb-esque design is truly unique against Manhattan’s skyscrapers and it’s the perfect backdrop for some photos too!

Dumbo

Once home to the ferry landing, Dumbo has become such a trendy part of NYC! I have a soft spot for it’s cobblestone streets, chic converted Brooklyn warehouses and up and coming cafes and restaurants. You’ll find people from all walks of life here, including many photographers soaking in the beauty.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Where To Eat & Drink

Au Za’atar

Au Za’atar has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in the city! Their Lebanese/Middle Eastern menu is so special. Fresh ingredients, homemade recipes, an inviting space and a great vibe – I couldn’t recommend it more and their table side shawarma makes it such a fun experience!

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Supermoon Bakehouse

Famous for its cruffins (a delicious mix of croissant and muffins) – Supermoon Bakehouse puts a twist on traditional pastries and then some!

Mexicue

What once began as a Mexican BBQ food truck is now a full fledged staple in the city! Tacos, tequila, lots of interesting combinations of Americana/Mexican staple foods… it’s simply a great spot to meet up with friends.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Eggloo

Hong Kong’s famous egg waffles right in the heart of NYC! Their ice cream concoctions are so much more than just photogenic, they’re incredibly delicious.

The Loeb Boathouse

The Loeb Boathouse is one of my all-time favorite spots in New York City. The restaurant is set on the most peaceful pond where you can watch the row boats go by while having a drink outside on their patio or lunch/dinner inside of the restaurant. It’s my go-to destination to take New York first timers to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.

Queensyard

Queensyard has one of the best views of The Vessel – and its British inspired menu is top notch! It’s the perfect mash up of English classics with an American twist. It’s an excellent brunch spot!

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

Mister Dips

An airstream trailer serving burgers, fries and soft serve ice cream? Yep! You read that right. Only in New York! Mister Dips is parked at the William Vale hotel, a 15,000 square foot public outdoor park overlooking the Williamsburg waterfront. It’s the perfect little spot to enjoy the weather, catch a view of the water and catch up!

Sadelle’s

Come here for one of the best bagel experiences in the city! Sadelle’s is a New York establishment with lots of history. A first timer’s trip in New York without a delicious bagel would be a sin.

Van Leeuwen

Vegan ice cream that actually tastes even better than the real thing (trust me). Van Leeuwen must do some kind of magic to create such delicious flavors!

Brooklyn Bagel

Another exceptional spot for a New York bagel! This time with a dash of more color and pizzazz. Brooklyn Bagel’s doughy goodness is hand rolled, kettle boiled and the perfect combination of chewy and crunchy. It’s a great breakfast spot!

Black Tap

The best burgers and milkshakes place! Black Tap has such a cool vibe. Their Soho menu is top notch and in a great location too! Be sure to order one of their infamous Crazy Shakes.

A First Timer's Guide to NYC

I hope you enjoyed this first timer’s guide to NYC! There’s no place quite like New York, that’s for sure. Be sure to check out more of our NYC posts!

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