ask Christy about
hole in the wall • whiskey bar • beer gardens • cocktail bars • hidden bars • music venues • museums
What do you do and why do you do it?
I teach 8th grade English at a charter school in upper Manhattan. I guess I started on this path because- what else does one do with a Masters degree in Medieval English? But I've stayed because I've seen how reading (apart from all its various uses in academic and professional settings) can transform kids' thinking about themselves and the world around them--I just love seeing my kids become empathetic and empowered as they read.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
I'm probably just listening to lots of Taylor Swift. But then, I'm also listening to lots of Taylor Swift when I'm not broken hearted, too....Sorry not sorry.
Name some spots in New York that are good for a Tinder date.
I live on the Upper East Side, so my go-to's are (well, were) the Penrose and Bondurants: casual (but not divey- gotta let 'em know ya girl's got standards), with good drinks, and the option of food, if things go well.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Everyone says Times Square here, but I secretly love the absorbing the joyful mayhem of confused tourists looking up at the billboards and the irritable locals battling their way around them. That aside, although I've been told there's some great stuff in Murray Hill...I have yet to be impressed.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in New York and where did you get it?
As far as extreme goes, in my more adventurous youth, I ate tacos filled with crickets at Tolache in Hell's Kitchen (They were crunchy, but not my favorite). My most decadent meal was definitely at the Breslin, where my dad and I had a 42 day dry aged rib eye...about which we still gush today.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in New York that you particularly like?
My most recent favorite hidden bar is the speakeasy above Burke and Wills, called the Manhattan Cricket Club. It's less of a "thing" than most speakeasies and super accessible to all my uptown-living friends and family.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in New York? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
I took my brother (who loves good food even more than I do) to Blue Hill for his birthday last year. I spent a LOT: my mom, brother and I did the Farmer's Feast tasting menu with wines by the glass, and it was delicious and decadent and incredible, and I regret not a single penny that I spent.
What restaurant in New York looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Vanessa's Dumplings in Williamsburg might not look like much, but OH man, is it delicious.
Where can you get the best cocktail in New York? Which one do you like?
The Vanishing Point at Fig. 19 on Chrystie St. is one of my absolute favorites-- usually I land more on the spirit-forward side of things, but this one is just the right amount of sweet and involves a house-made vanilla-and-cinnamon-infused gin. Plus, the rest of their cocktail menu is off-the-charts delicious. Just go--you won't regret it.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
My friends from the UK always want pizza when they come here-- you should not miss the pizza in New York! Same deal with bagels. Every New Yorker worth their salt will have something to say about our tap water and the taste of bagels, and they're not wrong. There are plenty of great snacks if you're not into the carbo-load, but I will say that much of the joy of eating in this country involves bread-products.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in New York?
Friends, I'm sorry, that Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center...It's kind of sad-looking during the daytime, isn't it?
What are the New York spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
You have to go to Central Park! There's nowhere else you can get as much of an expansive feel for the real life of the city-- you can see the skyline, and, for each tourist taking pictures, there are plenty of locals just doing their everyday lives. It's a true haven for locals, and full of iconic spots you'd recognize from movies.
Tomorrow’s your last day in New York. How do you spend it?
Honestly, I'm probably spending some of it at my mom's apartment. Then we'd go to a late lunch at Briciola in Hell's Kitchen (site of every favorite family meal I've had in the last 5 years), then wandering through Central Park (ideally, sitting on Sheep's Meadow with my friends). Since we're in a fantasy, I'm also eating at Alfie's for dinner with my fam, then heading uptown to make one last round of the bars on the UES, and dancing at Dorrian's till it closes.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Paris. I've only been there once, but it was a hard sell getting me back on that plane. It has almost everything I love about New York, plus history, architecture, and art that I'd never have access to here.