Do you live in a big city and find yourself desperate and unsure of what to do when you
have to get to entertain visitors? I suppose you really don’t have to live in a big city to warrant that problem. But alas, a problem it is for many, if the random sampling I took of my friends holds true to the population at large.
Truth is, although I’ve been neglecting to update my audience here, I do tend to find myself occupied most weeknights and many weekends of the year — like you too, I am sure. But whenever I have guests coming that ask me to plan a fun weekend, my mind draws blank. My weekends in distant memory are suddenly painted in cherry red Netflix, my favorite coffee shop morphs into a Starbucks and the only activities that come to mind are Time Square, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. Like most city-dwellers, none of that generally occupies my daily life. Point is — I always struggle to come up with cute, quaint, and not mega tourist-heavy spots for my house-guests.
I wanted to curate a no-fail list of amazing restaurants, activities et al to entertain weekend visitors, if you too happen to live in the city and face this problem. However – what do I know? A lot of my weekends DO consist of Netflix. So I did what any other girl would have done – I got by with a little help from my friends. And since I have many wonderful people in my life who volunteered to help a girl out, I decided to make this into a series.
Each of these fine New York loving pals took their own unique twist on answering my question, and their picks highlighted their own experience in the city and personality to a fault. So without further ado, I begin the first entry in my Entertaining in the Empire City series.
I’ve known Allison literally since the day I moved to New York. Unbeknownst to us both at that time, we later lived with each other for about a year, and even now we still remain close since her exciting relocation to Chicago a few months back. To paint you a little picture, Allison is what you’d get if you blended Carrie Bradshaw and Elizabeth Warren in a mixer, heated in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, and then iced that to look like Jackie O. She’s powerful, classy, and unapologetically herself 24/7. It’s no surprise that her favorite New York haunts are riddled with those vibes as well. In her words, here’s her favorite locales to entertain guests:
Dive Bar: Fourfaced Liar, West Village: Best place to meet the real New Yorkers who have lived in Greenwich Village for over 30 + years, who might have a drinking problem — but that only adds to its charm. Ironically has the best bloody mary in Manhattan (made by John the bartender).
Mob-vibe Italian: Volare, Greenwich Village: If you are under 35 you will be easily the youngest person there. Even if you don’t eat here, go in and have a Negroni to experience the place. In a city where restaurants open and close all the time, Volare has been a West Village staple for ages and you feel like you’ve entered a time warp when you walk in.
Wasted Happy Hour: Pazza Notte, Midtown West: Best bang for your buck happy hour. 2 for 1 Martinis all night, 7 days a week. Pizza, Risotto, and truffle fries (they LOVE their truffle oil here) are amazing and are the perfect foods to keep your hangover at bay.
Best View: Per Se, Hell’s Kitchen: I literally take friends and family who are visiting here because I do not want to wait in line or be part of the Empire Hotel rooftop scene. Outstanding ambiance and you can always get a seat and enjoy a martini which are great here. They usually have a DJ so you can dance if you want.