New York, United States
Kelsey, 26
Graphic Designer & Jeweler
see her New York city guide

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a freelance graphic designer and art director, and also have my own jewelry line Abel. While I love all expressions of graphic design — print, packaging, branding, digital — I also love working with my hands, which is where the jewelry comes in.

Name some spots in New York that are good for a Tinder date.

On the nicer end of the spectrum, Ramona and Alameda are great cocktail bars with super nice interiors (both designed by Home Studios). On the other end of the spectrum, I love casual spots like Scarr's

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Mostly thrift and vintage shops. I love the feeling of finding a unique piece and giving it a second life, while also helping protect the environment (and my wallet). When I do purchase something new, I prefer to shop from small, independent designers whose items are made ethically and made to last. This usually comes at a price, but I think the investment is worth it and it forces me to shop more thoughtfully.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

This doesn't apply to one particular area/spot, but you'll never find me waiting in line to get into anywhere—life's too short! Besides, there are so many great places in this city, I'd rather go somewhere else and have just as good of a time than to spend half a night standing around in a line.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Simply walking around and exploring! I know it’s such a New York cliché, but more often than not I’m rushing to get places or do things — there’s always so much going on and never enough time! Whenever I do remember to slow down and take the time to appreciate my surroundings, however, I end up discovering amazing new things right in my backyard. I could walk the streets of NYC all day and night for the rest of my life and never get bored.

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?

When my boyfriend's parents were in town, we took them to see Woody Allen and the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band play at the Café Carlyle on the Upper East Side. The café is a legendary cabaret venue, and Woody plays dinners there once a week during the fall. The tickets themselves cost $165, on top of a food and drink minimum of $75 (which is very easy to reach). The experience is very surreal and intimate, definitely one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ nights where you just have to forget the price tag and enjoy the ride!

What restaurant in New York looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich (NOT Banh Mi Saigon, which is very close by and more famous) looks like it may or may not be in violation of health code, but I think they make the best banh mi in the city. Apparently Aziz Ansari likes it too, so... there's that.

Where can you get the best cocktail in New York? Which one do you like?

If I'm in the mood for a serious cocktail, I'll go to Attaboy. I don't think they even have a menu—they usually just ask you what you're in the mood for, then create something better than you could have ever asked for yourself!

Where would you take your partner in New York if you wanted to really pamper them?

My boyfriend and I love doing mini-staycations at hotels in NYC—we’ve stayed at the Wythe, the Ace, the Refinery, the Standard… we have a problem. If it were summer, I’d love to surprise him with a stay at the William Vale, since they have a pool that’s only accessible to guests. After some poolside drinks, we’d meander through McCarren Park over to Lilia (where I’ll have miraculously obtained reservations) for dinner. We could round out the night with more drinks at Westlight, William Vale’s rooftop bar, which has stunning views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in New York?

I used to work in DUMBO, and no matter the time of day there was always a line around the block for Grimaldi's. I have nothing against Grimaldi’s, but Juliana’s is right next door, was founded by the same people, and is arguably a better pie. If the weather’s nice, the move is to call in your order, pick it up 15 minutes later, take it into the park and enjoy your pizza sans line.

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