Maisa Dabus

My personal, outdated, NYC guide March 30

I had the privilege of living 1 hour away from NYC for 1 year and a half of my life, followed by living 3 weeks in Queens (Astoria.. yes!) and then a couple of months in New Haven, which made my commute into Manhattan, to attend a Music Marketing class at NYU, 2 hours long. NYC is, indeed, my favorite city in the world, so far, and it's with a very personal touch that I share an extremely personal and probably outdated NYC guide with whoever is interested:

My fav restaurant is called Republic and its at Union Sq (14th st) - http://thinknoodles.com/ If they still have it in their menu, order the Crispy Tofu to start with and the Seared Marinated Salmon as a main course! delicious! ;]

Still around this area, you can find this AMAZING chocolate place called Max Brener (you can see the Virgin store in the corner and a big movie theater in front of it)... order some crepes with fruits and ice cream, it comes with melted hot chocolate.. and theres this thing called Sucao, you melt the chocolate in the milk and drink while it's still melting... mmm - http://www.maxbrenner.com/

Then if you wanna grab some cheap and good quality Japanese food, you can skip the fancy places and go to the real thing: stop at Astor Pl. and go to St. Marks st - you're gonna see lots of tattoo places and alternative clothes store and a few small, almost hitten, japanese restaurants... none specific: they're all good! just pick one you like the most and try it! watch it: they change the food's names... so you wont find "temaki" for example.. they call it "hand roll"... and no mango in the sushis.. they use avocado instead in all of them! ;]

Last eating tip: if you're around Bleecker St., they have 2 things you cant miss it: amazing italian ice cream and next door, amazing original italian pizza! - http://bleeckerstreetpizza.com/

Then, of course, whenever you're around of any of these places, you might just take the time to walk around Washington Sq. Park... which is one of my favorites! It's usually full of NYU students and a lot of musicians... last time i was there, the fontain was renewing, so it looked quite ugly, but luckly it will be fine by now... they have this big "arc" which is one of NYC's post cards... from there you can walk around the village and find cozy places to hang out later on...

If you have the time, go check Chelsea Hotel! its a classic one and there are tons of stories haunting that place down... you can almost feel it on the walls while you walk those amazing old stairs down from the top... tip: dont ask anyone: simply walk in and go to the elevator.. pick a high floor to drop and walk down the stairs checking the halls and the art on it! when you get to this huge poster full of "Marcia" and other signatures, you can look for my name on the left corner in the bottom: sign it closer! ;] - http://www.hotelchelsea.com/ PS: you can google Chelsea Hotel and read about it on wikipedia! its really cool! ;]

If you're on this area, you can walk to this Diner called Venus... its from a friend of my website designer, who was my roommie in New Haven, its 24hrs and has tons of good options! so its a must stop if you have the time: http://www.yelp.com/biz/new-venus-restaurant-new-york

SoHo and Tribecca: I'd just walk around, usually checking for some Movie and Music Events, so you better check what's going on when you get there! Time Out magazine usually has the whole schedule and it can come in hand for that! ;]

There's a traditional independent movie theater called Angelika... it's at Houston St. - it was one of my fav, so if you feel like checking some foreign movies, this is the place! - http://angelikafilmcenter.com/

Then, of course, the must see spots:

Central Park: get in through 5th av (and i guess 57th or 58th st) - this entrance has the famous Hotel Plaza and in the opposite side of it you'll find the Apple store (one of them) and FAO Swarchtz -the famous toy store with the piano on the floor from the movie "Big". besides, through this entrance you can see the lake and the brigde, which is one of the most famous part of Central Park...

Don't forget to check where John Lennon got shot.. there's a hotel (where it happened, called Dakota) almost in the corner and through that entrance they have a memorial on the floor at the Park written "imagine", usually full of roses and people taking pics.

Times Square: fun things to do in here would be Hard Rock Cafe, but you should try to go with time, cause it's often packed with tourists... have the apple pie there! it's the best one ever! great onion rings as well!; M&M's store can be kind of fun; if you walk downtown, you can check Madison Square Garden... oops, and of course, while still at Times Square you might just watch something on Broadway! which i didnt do =P

Rockafeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, Empire States, Statue of Liberty, old WTC... all of these you should add on your tour around! I personally recommend you Rockafeller Center over Empire States, but if you can, check them both! cause Top of the Rock is more modern and cool looking up there! and if you're around Rockafeller Center, walk to NBC store: tons of tv shows souvernirs (if you're still not sick of it!)

If you need to buy cheap stuff, you can go to Century 21, it's very famous for that... or of course, fake cheap things at Chinatown...Go to Canal St for that, but be careful not to get busted! I can also recommend to stop by at Urban Outfitters, which is a favorite for clothes!

Hope it's a bit helpful!

HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!