What we did in NYC

23 March 2015

We spent two weeks in New York last September for our honeymoon and loved it. There aren't too many places to go out when you live in Wagga Wagga, so we felt like we were on one long date - eating out, going to galleries and stopping for ice cream whenever we felt like it.

We used a few blogs as guides and were lucky to have friends exploring the city at the same time who shared our love of food and art. Beyond their Instagram tip-offs we found Love Taza's guide particularly comprehensive. While I nearly wrote about every meal I ate in New York, instead I've decided to share the days and places that really stood out, along with a few handy tips:

Nat's New York tips

My cousin Natalie has been based in New York for the last few years and runs NYC List Lovers, which recommends great places to shop and eat, as well as things to do in the city. One of our favourite dinners of the trip came from the site. We love Italian food, and really enjoyed Il Buco Alimentari E Vineria in Noho, where I managed to eat the entire bread basket, followed by a three course meal.

Nat also took us to Big Gay Ice Cream for giant soft serve cones that had salted caramel hand piped into the ice cream before they were dipped in chocolate. Woah. While we waited in line she explained how she tips - never for cabs, never for over the counter food service, and for most places by doubling the amount of tax that's listed on the bill.

A Saturday in West Village

One of my favourite days was a rainy Saturday we spent walking around West Village, and close to Greenwich Village. I bought zines at Carmine Street Comics, we stumbled upon a Marc Jacobs precinct of sorts (BookMarc was my most favourite of the stores - specialising in art books, stationary, phone covers and DVDs) and hid from the rain at Murray's Cheese Bar. When it dried up, we ate cupcakes in the park across the road from Magnolia Bakery and then went onto Smalls Jazz Club for a late afternoon set.

The Standard, Highline

We stayed in an apartment in midtown for most of our trip but treated ourselves to two nights at The Standard, Highline before we flew home. It was a lot of fun and felt really special too. We had drinks at Top of the Standard at sunset and you could see right across Manhattan, and even spy the Empire State Building from the bathroom! We also loved the food at The Standard Grill, where we had dinner and breakfast the following day. Tony's pork steak was so good that he was momentarily speechless and I loved that you could order a slice of birthday cake, even if it wasn't your birthday.

An afternoon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

After spending a whole week in Manhattan, we really loved spending half a day in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where our friend Matt showed us the very best of his block. We managed to pick up a slice of the famous Brooklyn Blackout cake (there's pudding in the frosting and stout in the cake) and salted cookies from Ovenly, choose drinks from the beautiful Dandelion wine store and admire the Manhattan skyline from Transmitter Park, and later from the roof of The Pencil Factory.

Greenpoint was an awesome place to admire the city from a distance and I doubt we would've ventured there without Matt's invitation. We just missed out on trying the pizza at Paulie Gee's (we dawdled over cake and the line was too long) and instead ate dinner at River Styx, where the head chef is Bill Murray's son.

Galleries and museums

We went to all of the major art galleries and my favourites were MoMa (amazing iconic art wherever you turn), the Whitney and the Metropolitan Museum of Art - which is always pay what you want and has an amazing rooftop. A friend recommended the New Museum, where I saw one of my favourite exhibition of the trip, which was new media and social history combined. We also saw a lot of commercial galleries, which Tony sought out with dedication. Of those, the highlights were Greene NaftaliLisson galleryPACE and Anton Kern. Most of these galleries are in Chelsea and can be a bit intimidating because the gallery staff totally ignore you!

Burgers, ramen and soft serve

There were a few places we visited multiple times - Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Milk Bar and Shake Shack at Madison Square Park. If you're waiting in line for Noodle Bar, it helps to have a US phone number so you can leave your name and go for a wander. We found a cute German beer cafe a few blocks away and on the opposite side of the street that we really liked.

There are Shake Shacks right across New York but we loved Madison Square Park for its pretty outdoor setting - we ate our burgers beneath fairy lights and they were everything they were hyped up to be (also - peanut butter shakes!). We tried crack pie and the compost cookie from Milk Bar but it was the soft serve that kept us coming back. I loved the classic cereal milk flavour with cornflakes and we also had an excellent blueberry version with hot fudge.


Strand is an amazing bookshop and had so many art books that I had to leave Tony there and write postcards across the street, just to give him enough time to browse. I bought a stripey Saint James top, jeans and a chambray shirt from Madewell (really loved their jeans, and they're not too expensive either) and the best grey t-shirt from J.Crew. We both bought hats from Goorin Bros. hat shop, which was easily Tony's favourite shop. I would avoid department stores at all costs, they are scary. We ended up buying an extra suitcase (!) to bring our goodies home, and Natalie directed us to Century 21 for reliable luggage that wasn't too expensive.

Just quickly

The High Line is lovely during the week but really crowded on the weekend. If you walk to the end, you'll find Bubby's, which makes great apple pie. Another great find was The Brooklyn Art Library, which is the physical home of The Sketchbook Project. It's conveniently located on the same street as the Mast Brothers brew and chocolate shop. I found the 9/11 outdoor memorial incredibly moving but wouldn't recommend visiting the museum, which I found bizarre and strangely celebratory. Instead, I'd download and take this soundwalk.

Next time... 

I'd love to go to Roberta's in Bushwick for pizza and to stickybeak at the Heritage Radio set up inside the shop and visit Parm for a schnitzel sandwich. I also wish I'd known about Radio Cherry Bombe before my trip, it's filled with restaurant recommendations from industry folk.

A very big thank you to our family and friends, we couldn't have gone to New York without your generosity. Our stay was the ultimate wedding present and we're still raving about it, six months on :)

P.S The NY Subway app is fantastic, even if I still caught the train in the wrong direction, twice.


  1. Sonya I have finally visited your blog! I really love your writing, enthuiasm and reflections. What an amazing time you had in NYC! It's been a long time since I have been and now I really want to go back especially with your reccommendations! We certainly do both share a great love of food and art. Thank you for creating your blog and sharing! xDanie

    1. Hey Danie! Thanks for stopping by - I love my new blog space :) I want to go back to NYC already - it's even a lot more fun seeing it in tv shows and movies since we've been.

  2. Hey Sonya,

    I remember you took a photo on instagram of you at the cake shop in NYC. I made a mental note to come back to your blog when I had booked tickets for NY..

    SO I'm booked now! Heading out next month---THANK YOU for this entry. Your cousin's site is SO bloody good, too. Lots of amazing recommends.. It's awesome!

    We have Magnolia and Bubby's here and they are the two places I go to when I want a proper slice of cake/pie and some of that amazing butter cream frosting.

    CANNOT wait to try the real thing out!