Every time someone comes to visit in NYC, I find myself rediscovering the city along with them. In the days before they arrive, I flip through my mental Rolodex to figure out how to show them a version of New York that will fill them with delight. It’s a wonderful challenge, and even though I inevitably end the day with sore feet and carrying multiple bags full of treasure, I absolutely adore doing it.
Last week, my friend Kat (not Rock N Roll Bride, another one!) came to town for a hot minute. I first met her at The Blogcademy in Melbourne, and our friendship was sealed forever when she got us access to the craziest vintage clothing store I’d ever seen. In April, we both attended the AstroTwins Tulum retreat, and got even closer. So when she came to NYC last week, it was the perfect opportunity to repay her for our adventures at that vintage clothing store in Australia!
Below are a few of the things we got up to… And some other favourites just for good measure. I hope these suggestions keep you entertained next time you come to New York!
ENJOY A MIDDLE EASTERN BREAKFAST
Cafe Mogador is as old as I am! When a restaurant can sustain itself for over 30 years, you know it’s a goodie. Cafe Mogador focusses on Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine, and there is always something delicious on the menu.
For breakfast, I love their Moroccan eggs (which come with spicy tomato sauce, pita bread, and delicious chunky potatoes), but there’s plenty to choose from, any time of day or night. I’m a little obsessed with their chicken tagine, and they do incredible couscous.
It’s cute, comfortable, and you never feel rushed. Invite your best friend to have a Middle Eastern breakfast and enjoy yourselves!
P.S. Last time I was there, Alexa Chung sat down next to me. No biggie!
GET A MAGICAL CANDLE CARVED
One of my favourite shops is Enchantments. It’s the oldest occult store in the city — it opened in 1982! — and it’s all you’ve ever wanted from a magic shop. It’s dark, the floor is uneven and covered in glitter, and cats roam freely.
In addition to their large selection of books, incense, herbs and jewellery, they also carve candles to help manifest your intentions. If you’re in the neighbourhood, you’d be mad not to get one.
In their own words:
One of our most popular products is our custom carved candles. These are 7-day pillar candles in a glass jar. We carve them with magical symbols and your name and astrological sign, anoint them with appropriate oil, and rub metal glitter into the carvings to define them. We place a small offering of honey, iron filings and incense into the jar before replacing the candle. The candles are a complete spell that you use as a tool to help manifest your intention.
They can either make you a candle out of their recipe book — like a Solar Blast (“Helps the Sun come through to cleanse, purge and rejuvenate your entire being. Provides positive energy for all your endeavors. Invites joy into your life”), an Empress (“To invoke an abundance of love, wealth, strength and attraction”) or a Mercury (“Invokes the God of speed, speech, commerce, luck, communication and magic. Opens and closes doors”) candle — or they can create something customised to your current situation.
All I can say is that their candles are powerful and super-magical. You have to visit!
GO CRYSTAL CRAZY AT ROCK STAR
As much as I like to stay downtown, there are plenty of gems — both literally and figuratively — above 14th Street! One of my favourite places to visit is Rock Star, a tiny shop which is stacked to the ceiling with incredible crystals.
Is it the cheapest game in town? No, it is not. But if you want a great assortment to choose from — and to see things you may have never clapped eyes on before — then Rock Star is your place. In fact, even if you aren’t in the market for an enormous amethyst geode, there is something magical about just being near all those crystals. Mmmm.
Rock Star is always my first stop when I’m in the mood to tszuj up my altar. I promise, you’ll love it just as much as I do.
HAVE A POLAROID SNAPPED IN SOHO
If you’re strolling around Soho, be sure to keep your eyes open. Take a turn off Broadway down Prince Street, and you might just be lucky enough to stumble across Jean Andre Antoine, a photographer, who — on his slow days — hangs out with his Polaroid camera. For $10, he’ll snap a wicked Polaroid and tell you a story or two. It’s the perfect souvenir from your day out!
Jean Andre isn’t the only person who does this, either. A couple of years ago, the other Kat and I had our photo taken on this same stretch, except the photographer transferred the image onto a piece of paper. It was super-cool, and for that reason, I would definitely recommend scoping out Prince St between Broadway and Crosby St next time you’re in Soho!
SING (SING) YOUR HEART OUT
Get a private room ($8 per hour per person) at Sing Sing and get ready to let ‘er rip! I was introduced to this legendary establishment by Ophi, one of the AstroTwins. This isn’t like your usual cheesy karaoke places: Sing Sing’s songbook is loaded with greatness (Lana Del Rey, I see you!), and they don’t care if you just hang out and sing for hours. It’s awesome.
Last week, Ophi, Colin, Mui and I spent a couple of hours in a private room, completely sober, belting it out to great hits like Poison, Say You’ll Be There, Ex-Factor, and Real Love. It was great therapy, excellent bonding, and one of the most economical nights out I’ve ever had!
Here’s to having the best day ever!
Photos by Jon Muzzarelli, Su-Chan, Nicole Franzen, Gery Singer, and via Enchantments.