This is going to be the first weekend I’m in New York since summer started, not counting the weekend I moved (I’d like to think that weekend I was stuck in cardboard box hell). It’s always nice to get out of the city and enjoy a new place, smelling some sweet salt air. But I’m kind of looking forward to being at home, catching up on sleep and living it up in the city while it’s not so crowded.
So what to do in the city to take advantage of the summer, that doesn’t involve heading to the stereotypical rooftop bar? Here are a few ideas:
Go see an 80′s or 90′s cover band. Canal Room has great concerts and always an awesome dance party
Attend a Yankees or Mets day game. Want something a little low key? Try a Staten Island Yankees minor league game
This weekend is my birthday, and about the fifth one I’m having in New York. Each year I do something around dinner, drinks, (more drinks), dance party… but this year I wanted to do something I felt like actually deserved. So I’m actually LEAVING the city and spending the weekend on the beach with a good friend from college. After the week I’ve had in the office, sand and a tan are necessary.
Celebrating in the city is usually such a daunting task – it’s like being at a restaurant and not knowing what to order… everything looks sooo good. If you’re planning a city soiree for yourself or a girlfriend this summer, here are a few things I’ve done in the past that can hopefully serve as inspiration:
Invite your best girlfriends for a boozy brunch at one of your favorite spots
Go Magic Mike style and hit up one of the chippendale locations in the city (I’ve been to Hunk-O-Mania. Awful name. Awfully awesome experience)
Over six months ago, I decided to make the move out of Manhattan across the river to Hoboken, NJ. I wrote that I would give my honest opinion about the move and even six months later it seems to be something that comes up in daily conversation, ‘œWhy would you leave Manhattan? Do you like Hoboken?’
The main reason I left Manhattan was because my landlord was raising my rent astronomically but besides that, my move to Hoboken was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life thus far. Here are some reasons why:
More for your money. I don’t feel as guilty writing the rent check when I evaluate what I’m spending my money on (washer/dryer, doorman building).
Less trapped. At times I used to feel like I was stuck on this tiny island confined to the Upper East Side. I would find myself not wanting to move from my apartment on the weekends and would be reluctant to leave the city.
Ability to have a car. This was a huge decision, but it’s much more affordable and logical to have a car in Hoboken than Manhattan. Plus I now have access to so much more ‘“ going home to visit family is much easier and I can drive down the shore anytime.
Shorter commute. Believe it or not, my commute to work is about 10 minutes shorter now then it was when I lived in Manhattan. The Path train from NJ is super fast, always on time and doesn’t make as frequent stops.
City outside of a city. Hoboken is much smaller and it gives you a taste of both city and suburb living, which I love. There are great restaurants and cities around Hoboken to explore as well (Jersey City, Weehawken, Edgewater). Plus, it’s hard to beat the view of Manhattan from Hoboken.
Have you considered living outside of Manhattan? If you do, what’s your experience like?
Last year, M and I attended the Intern Queen’s first party in NYC. Lauren Berger aka the Intern Queen has been featured on our site in the past, answering questions for those either looking for internships or career advice. The Intern Queen threw her first bash in NYC for interns to meet and mingle and this year she’s doing it again on July 31st at 404 NYC on 10th Ave.
The party includes a panel of speakers from Ogilvy, CBS, McGraw Hill and Viacom who will discuss what they look for out of their interns and much more. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with hundreds of students interning at different places and to meet internship coordinators that just might change your life.
There’s nothing better than ending a long day of work at a rooftop bar overlooking the city. Lately with the summer heat, I’ve been scouring the city for rooftop hangouts. Below are my top three this season:
12 Little West 12th Street
Relax on couches and enjoy a gorgeous view of the Standard. Be sure to walk the Highline afterwards.
Rare View Rooftop Chelsea
152 West 26th Street
Enjoy a summer cocktail and view of the Empire State Building.
Sky Room Times Square
330 West 40th Street
Have a happy hour at one of the highest rooftop bars in Manhattan overlooking Times Square.
It’s no secret that living in or around the city is expensive but don’t let the thought of being broke stop you from enjoying everything your city and summer has to offer! Ashley at The Frugal Model pulled together a list of places to go to find free stuff to do in the city and we’re ready to start going through the list ourselves…
Community websites: Your town likely hosts a bunch of free summer events that can be found on your city or park and recreations websites. Just Google ‘œyour town + free events’. In NYC there are always free concerts in the parks, street fairs and other cool activities:
Local library: You probably haven’t seen the library since high school, but it’s actually a great spot for things like free readings, workshops and classes, exhibitions, and even things like exercise programs and movie nights. It’s a great way to meet others in your community as well as a resource for discounts and passes to other local attractions.
Museums and zoos: Check out the ones in your area to see when they offer free admission. Many museums also have a ‘œsuggested admission price’ - which means you can pay whatever you want. If you’re a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch customer, wave your card to get into a bunch of museums for free on the first weekend of every month. Check with your bank to see which venues participate.
Amusement parks: I love me some Six Flags, and luckily they offer promo codes on certain products like Post cereal, as well as the amazing buy one get one free deal when you bring in a coke can. Check their website for more details, and of course always buy your tickets online for bigger discounts. If you order your tickets at least three days in advance, you’ll save about 40%.
Movies: Did you know that with advanced screenings you can watch a film for free before it’s released? Filmmetro.com offers promotional screenings through their website. You could also enjoy the very retro experience of a drive-in movie theater (find one at drive-ins.com), and your whole carful of friends and family can watch usually two movies for one price. You can also save with credit card-sponsored offers (such as Visa Signature 2-for-1) or buy tickets in bulk from Costco, AAA, or Bulktix.com.
More ways to save:
Use your AAA or similar membership for discounts
Use your student ID (even if it’s old) for student discounts and pricing
Some cable and wireless companies also offer special deals for their customers
Daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial now offer deals for events/experiences
$15 buys an entertainment book with coupons for things like movie tickets, food and attractions.
Are you excited yet? You should be. Everything is more enjoyable when you don’t have to pay for it.
This week has already been nuts with Adrianna and I both attending our little brothers’ high school graduations this past weekend and my moving in just 5 days. I sat down this morning after two days off to over 600 emails, and my head already began to spin.
But while I’m beginning to pack up my life in my apartment that I’ve been in for just one year, it’s so funny to think back about how much has changed over the past 365 days. In New York, it is really easy to feel like you’re “stuck in a rut” or not moving anywhere in your life, because everyone else seems to be speeding past you. When you take a moment to breathe and appreciate what you’ve accomplished, it’s crazy how much can change in just one year. Here are just a few things I have experienced:
Started a new job with a new position that I absolutely love
Went to California for the first time, then went about 5 times after that
Experienced the Jersey Shore with Adrianna
Saw one of my favorite bands of all time live in NJ
I’m headed home for a long weekend celebrating my brother’s graduation, so luckily I am out of the city just as we’re experiencing the first heat wave of the season. However, this week of sweating got me thinking of the must haves for keeping your commute in the city as comfortable as possible. Here are a few things you’re going to need to stay stylish as you strut into the office this summer:
A great cross-body bag, to keep weight off your shoulders. I love the Cambridge bag, $155
Large hair clips. Even if you give yourself a great blow out, just spending five minutes outside will turn your hair limp
Comfortable flat shoes. Even if you’re a lover of heels, as I am, you need comfortable shoes to run to the train in. I wear Converse ($50), but Tom’s ($54) are another great option
Sunglasses are a must while commuting as well. Every PR girl needs at least two kinds of sunglasses – glamour shades, like a pair of Karen Walkers, and Ray Ban Aviators ($145)
Yesterday, M and I got the chance to visit the Top of the Rock thanks to New York City Vacation Packages. NYCVP is a the perfect travel website if you’re looking to visit NYC to find centrally-located hotels, tickets to Broadway shows, sightseeing options, advance tickets to popular museums and attractions and even dining reservations at some of the best restaurants. One sightseeing option I’d been meaning to check out since I’ve been working in the city is the Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center.
The view is breathtaking. You see all of Central Park, the Empire State Building, downtown Manhattan, Times Square and more. I’d argue that the view from this observation deck is much better than the one at the Empire State Building – simply because the Empire State Building is what makes the skyline so spectacular!
Top of the Rock is located at 30 Rockefeller Center and is open daily from 8:30am – midnight.
What’s your favorite sightseeing destination in NYC?
I’ve mentioned it a couple times now, but I’m actually moving AGAIN this year to move in with my sister who just graduated from college. While I’m kind of excited to have a roommate again, the process was not without blood, sweat and tears. We had a few moments where I was convinced we would end up stuck in my sister’s sublet in the Bronx next to her university.
Moving in New York, whether it’s your first time to the city or your 15th, requires a ton of patience and positive thinking. Especially in this marketplace, where everyone is staying in their apartments to keep pre-recession rents, it can seem impossible to find an apartment on a budget. Here are a few pieces of advice I can offer after just going through the process myself.
Plan your budget, and stick with it – Though I was moving in with my sister and could technically split costs, I was dead-set on finding a place without paying a broker’s fee. I quickly realized this would take MUCH more legwork on our end, but to me, it was worth saving the $4,000+ that brokers can cost. We also decided quickly what our max rent would be, and how we would split the rent. Neither of us wanted to live beyond our means, so we decided which areas of town were most likely to have apartments in our budget (hint, I am not yet in the swanky West Village. One day!).
Do some searching yourself – Even if you are open to using a broker, don’t discount some of the places you can find by doing some searching on your own. My sister and I finally found our apartment on StreetEasy, but I found my current place on Craigslist and the one before that on RentHop. Beware of listings that look too good to be true – they most certainly are. Also be sure to ask around to friends and colleagues. If a friend loves her building, she is usually more than willing to share their landlord’s name to help your search.
Don’t discount the boroughs - My sister is becoming a teacher in Harlem, so we really couldn’t live anywhere but Manhattan to suit both our work commute needs. However, I have lived in the Bronx while at school and commuted into Manhattan, and it was beyond fine. I also have close friends who live in Brooklyn and Queens, and can’t imagine living anywhere else. And of course, A is OBSESSED with the ‘Boken. Each part of New York City proper has its redeeming qualities (and usually, lower rents), so be sure to check out all areas that are within reason for you.