By: Sarah D’Alto
The best thing about living in the Fairfield County area is, debatably, being only an hour-long train ride away from Grand Central. Many of us have probably visited the basic tourist NYC attractions — the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and Central Park — but have you truly experienced everything the city has to offer? Here, I have compiled a list of unique spots that I enjoy visiting in the city.
1. Alice’s Tea Cup, Chapter 2
A long time favorite place of mine, Alice’s Tea Cup is a tea room offering an authentic Wonderland feel. It is easy to go through a pot or two of tea while staying here. You have the option to order delicious food alongside your tea; I personally suggest the Madhatter for 2. Their scones and tea sandwiches make the tea room the perfect touch to a dainty afternoon activity; it’s the prime spot for a date or a girls’ day out. Located on the Upper East Side at 156 E 64th St., it is not too far from Central Park or some fabulous shopping areas to enjoy after your lunch.
2. Coney Island
Located in Brooklyn, Coney Island offers amusement parks, beaches, dining, and recreation to enjoy with your friends and family. Luna Park is a personal favorite of mine. It’s the best place to go on rides with your friends and have Instagram worthy photo shoots. Although it’s the farthest destination on this list, it is definitely worth the trip. Pro tip: run free on the Coney Island boardwalk, preferably on a hot summer night.
3. FIT Museum
This beautiful museum is located within a top fashion school, The Fashion Institute of Technology. The FIT Museum is a must-see even if you aren’t wildly interested in art or fashion. You never know what exhibit might be there, but I can promise you that it won’t be boring. Located within their beautiful Manhattan campus, the museum offers both a history of and fresh takes on fashion.
4. Dover Street Market
A high-end fashion store with an unconventional set-up, Dover Street Market is located on 160 Lexington Ave, New York, NY. Headquartered in London with other shops in locations of major fashion districts including LA, Beijing, London, and Singapore, it is safe to say that Dover Street offers the most elite of fashion. It is set up in a rather strange fashion with multiple single room floors. Each room features a different layout, as if each level were a completely different store. Loosely themed, each room at Dover Street allows buyers or viewers to experience a different aspect of the store. With prices exceeding the average high schooler’s budget, Dover Street more closely resembles a museum rather than a go-to shopping destination; however, this does not diminish the fabulosity of it.
5. The Whitney Museum
The Whitney is a beautiful museum filled with modern art. It attracts a younger audience with its wide array of medias on display ranging from videos to sculptures to traditional paintings. One phrase to accurately describe the Whitney? Anything but boring. It is big enough to offer something for everybody to truly connect with on a personal level, yet small enough to fully navigate in a day or two. The Whitney is, essentially, the Met of modern art. Located in one of my favorite spots of the city (the meatpacking district on 99 Gansevoort St.), the museum boasts a stunning skyline engulfed in a peaceful, quaint, and quirky neighborhood. Definitely one of my favorites on this list — even the most avid museum-hater will love the Whitney.
6. Mood Fabrics Store
The world-famous fabric store used in the TV show Project Runway, Mood Fabrics is a one-stop-shop to the behind the scenes of fashion design. The fabric store is located on 223 W 37th St, in a dope neighborhood. Mood is a tightly packed store with every fabric, embellishment, lining, and patch imaginable. It is a great spot for blossoming fashion designers and avid sewers alike.
7. The Melt Shop
Located in multiple locations across New York and Jersey, the Melt Shop offers many cheese delicacies such as grilled cheese and cheesy chicken nuggets (which, by the way, are superb). They also offer individually wrapped pickles larger than your head. Pro tip: try their vanilla milkshakes!
8. Buffalo Exchange
With its original store in Tuscon, Arizona branded as having a unique take on used clothing, Buffalo Exchange will make you rethink your view on thrift stores. The successful store has franchises across the country namely in Seattle, (I’ve been to this one — it’s my favorite!), Brooklyn, multiple Manhattan locations, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, multiple spots in California and many more, Buffalo offers a large variety of fresh, funky clothing. Large stores with racks and shelves of all sorts of clothing ranging in styles from all different eras, are always fun to explore, and Buffalo is certainly no exception. Definitely an upgrade from your local Goodwill (although I love Goodwill) with high quality (sometimes designer!) items, increasing the pleasurability of the experience for shoppers. Definitely a personal favorite spot of mine, Buffalo is a must-see for everybody from the pro thrifter to the newbie. (Editor’s note: I also 100% recommend Buffalo Exchange — I went on a wild goose chase to find it, bought nothing, yet walked out totally satisfied. -VS)
9. Yuca Bar
The Yuca Bar, located on 111 Avenue A, is a delicious authentic Latin American restaurant. It offers the best guacamole and salsa with the friendliest staff in the cutest building. Easily the best Latin food in all of Manhattan, Yuca is a must go to. Their arepas? Absolutely to die for.