ask Jiří about
japanese food • café • cocktail bars • breakfast and brunch • art galleries • viewpoints • ethnic food
What do you do and why do you do it?
I work in the travel industry and take a lot of trips both domestically and internationally. Marketing and executing digital & social media campaigns is what pays my bills, but I also do various creative side hustles. Being a freelance photographer is one of them. I had a pleasure of photographing more than 30 fellow cool cousins all over New York City. Yes, that means you just came across your Super Cool Cousin who knows all of theirs spots.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
People say that my daily playlist sounds like a heartbreak playlist. Well, see for yourself. Radiohead - High & Dry, Beach House - Other People, James Blake - Retrograde, Cage the Elephant - Trouble, Bon Iver - Holocene, and so on. I can't help it.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Fargo are my all time favorite shows. I guess I have a thing for villain protagonists. I'm also a big nerd about British and Irish sitcoms such as Father Ted, Black Books, and The IT Crowd.
Name some spots in New York that are good for a Tinder date.
I don't consider myself an expert - cough cough - but Night of Joy (Williamsburg) on a weekday night is the spot. Also, Hot Bird in Clinton Hill matches well with nearby Chuko Ramen (put your names on the list and come back from Hot Bird in an hour).
Who’s your hero and where in New York would you take them out for a serious hang?
You should never meet your heroes. Never. They won’t be your heroes anymore.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Nudie Jeans for my pair of denims, COS for my biz casual attire, Rapha for my cycling gear, and the rest here and there. Why Modern Anthology is so freaking expensive is something that I can't explain.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Midtown (the only forgivable exception is when I don't have 2 hours to wait for a table at Ippudo East Village and eat at Ippudo Westside instead).
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Great bands and musicians from all over come to perform in New York City, but I never get to see most of them. I keep telling myself that I need to do something about it, but hey, it's hard enough to be able to catch up with all the art shows, theater performances and see all the new indie flicks.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in New York and where did you get it?
My year-long study program in Turkey and traveling around the Middle East made me think I developed a high tolerance for spicy foods. But the extremely spicy Nashville-style fried chicken at Bed-Stuy's Peaches Hothouse proved me (and many of my friends) wrong. I keep ordering regular spicy ever since and so should you.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in New York that you particularly like?
M O L O K O Bar in Bed-Stuy. You can't beat the $2 oysters & $5 old fashioned weekday happy hour in this tiny hole in the wall with exposed-brick walls and friendly Brooklyn-based bartenders.
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'm not that much into the boutique spas in Manhattan with their indoor waterfalls and whatnot. My most expensive and by far the best spa experience in New York was at the Russian & Turkish Baths in the East Village. One admission is $45 plus you will want to spend something extra for snacks from the little kitchen in the lobby that serves Russian-Jewish fare.
What restaurant in New York looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Most of the old-school dim sum parlors in Chinatown look crap, but the food they serve is (mostly) unbeatable.
Where can you get the best cocktail in New York? Which one do you like?
Maison Premiere. I always go for gin-based cocktails, but you should also partake in their absinthe drip & oysters.
Where would you take your partner in New York if you wanted to really pamper them?
We'd book a night at Brooklyn's Wythe Hotel, go for dinner to the minimalist-looking Atoboy in Koreatown that serves Korean-inspired small plates, and then we'd walked back to Brooklyn across the Williamsburg Bridge to have a glass of wine at the Four Horsemen. In the morning, before our departure to our New York homes, we'd go for coffee to the light-filled coffee bean temple named Devocion.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Is beer considered a snack? Try the Pilsner Urquell beer imported straigt from the Czech Republic at "Doma na rohu" in the West Village or at Bohemian Spirit on the Upper East Side.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in New York?
The Statue of Liberty. Listen to Lou Reed's "Dirty Boulevard" and you'll understand what I mean. Also, you'll be much better off if you visit the Ellis Island or even if you partake in the "free" Staten Island ferry madness.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in New York?
The entire Brooklyn besides Williamsburg is still kind of underrated among visitors. But if you need only one place, I'd say the Brooklyn Museum. Not only for its vast art collection but also for its proximity to the Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
What are the New York spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Walk the High Line and go to the Whitney, stroll around DUMBO, take the cable car to the Roosevelt Island and have a picnic at Central Park.
Tomorrow’s your last day in New York. How do you spend it?
I use my bike to make the most out of my last day. I start with a few laps in the Prospect Park because The Farm on Adderley opens for brunch just at 10.30 AM. It's weekend. Eggs Florentine & 2 coffees later I'm off to Manhattan. I take the Bklyn Bridge with all the tourists who see the bike lane sign for the first time in their life. I keep my cool and feel relieved that I made it to the New Museum. One last coffee at Stumptown and chill at the Washington Sq Park. I'm the first one for dinner at Momofuku. I bike back to Bklyn before the sunset and take pics at the waterfront. I dance until the break of dawn at the House of Yes.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
If I had to pick just one, I'd go with Istanbul. I've been there more than five times and always found a new way to explore this magnificent city that stretches across Europe and Asia and reflects so many cultural influences from both continents. The history of religion, architecture, and art are just a few of the things that make Istanbul such an incredible city. But what makes me so excited - and my mouth watering - is just thinking about Turkish food.