ask Kelsi about
vintage • record stores • music venues • performing arts • parks • cocktail bars • hidden bars
a bit about Kelsi
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm the Assistant Manager and Visuals Coordinator of a luxury British clothing brand on Madison Avenue because I love fashion. I am a singer/songwriter/musician because I think music is the best therapy, both when I write and when I listen.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
After college, I taught theater to middle school students. By the end of the year, they actually performed really well in a little one-act play that won the school talent show and that was great, but getting there was a nightmare. Middle schoolers are the most talkative humans on earth, even though they don't know what they're talking about.
Were you born and raised in New York? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to New York?
I was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida! Home of Tom Petty and the Florida Gators. From the time I was a little kid, I always had dreams of moving to "the big city". I was an artsy kid; into theater and music and fashion. There's no better place!
What’s your current hood in New York and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
I live in the weird zone between where the Upper East Side ends and Spanish Harlem begins. The best thing about it is that I am only about 25 min away from work and that I live above a Chinese restaurant and laundromat. The worst thing is that I live above a Chinese restaurant and a laundromat.
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
I listen to a lot of music. I grew up listening to my dad's old records (The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Moody Blues, Fleetwood Mac...), so music from or heavily influenced by the 1960's and 70's is at the top of the list. I also listen to a lot of indie rock and folk bands like the Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Vaccines, The Staves, Lucius. I can't really get into EDM. I can not stand when club DJs remix a really great song to be a chopped up dance tune. Drives me crazy.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
I have playlists on Spotify for everything. My sad girl playlist has everything from Noah and The Whale and Karen O to Sarah Bareilles and Taylor Swift. Anything melancholy and poetic will do, regardless of genre. The lyrics have to connect with me.
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
Parks and Rec, Bob's Burgers, Mad Men, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black. Evolving characters and unique story-telling keep TV shows engaging for me.
Name some spots in New York that are good for a Tinder date.
My friends and I agree that the "high low" date is prime. Something like drinks/dinner/or a show somewhere nice where you can dress up and feel fancy. But then cap the night at a dive bar and/or a solid dollar pizza place. You get to show off both your best and most down to earth qualities. I would say grab dinner at Polo Bar on 5th Ave or rooftop drinks at Salvation Taco in midtown east and then crash at Crocodile Lounge for cheap drinks, free personal pizzas, and skeeball in your heels. It's great fun.
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Really anyone that is not a political figure, at this point. I am so over listening to people talk about politics.
Who’s your hero and where in New York would you take them out for a serious hang?
Taylor Swift. and/or the girls in Lucius. If Taylor Swift, um her house in Tribeca obviously. Anyone else, Jimmy, the rooftop bar and pool at the top of the James Hotel.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Belstaff, Zara, Urban Outfitters, vintage spots in Brooklyn, and SAMPLE SALES *heart eyes*
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Queens. I used to live there and I'll never go back. And I'll ONLY venture into Times Square if I'm going to a Broadway show. There are no people that live in NYC that actually go to Times Square for pleasure.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Lay in the sun in Central Park! This Floridian needs some sun but it's winter for like 9 months of the year here.
Where do you go in New York for a casual night out?
Fun dive bars like Crocodile Lounge or Rudy's. They've been around for ages and serve the cheapest drinks and free pizza or hotdogs with every drink you purchase.
Where would you go in New York to celebrate some freaking good news?
When I'm happy, I usually feel like dancing. Home Sweet Home plays 1950's/60's rock n roll on loud speakers and the dance floor is always packed.
What’s your choice of transportation in New York and why?
The subway is the cheapest and sometimes the fastest if I'm heading through a traffic-heavy area. Buses are terrible more often than not. Cabs/Ubers are a good way to get around if I need to get somewhere quick, if I'm carrying heavy stuff, if I don't know how to get somewhere by train, if I feel unsafe, or if I'm just feeling lazy. ;)
What are the New York spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
See a Broadway show. Even for people who aren't into theater. There are so many different types of shows, you're bound to find something that will interest you. They really are incredible and so worth it. Plus, then you can catch a view of Times Square at night (when it's the most beautiful and lit up) without spending too much time wading through other tourists. If the price is a deterrent, check out the TKTS booth at 44th and Broadway. They have discounted tickets for same day shows.
What are the New York spots tourists should run from screaming?
The Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. I would recommend planning to see them from afar, but don't waste your whole day standing in a line to go to the top or take the ferry. It'll just make you miserable. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is important, I think, but definitely save it until the end of the day. Plan to do it late enough that you can just grab dinner or go home after.
Tomorrow’s your last day in New York. How do you spend it?
Go out the night before, then sleep in that morning and get Brunch at Jacob's Pickles around noon. Walk around in Central park and relax, then go home and change to go see a comedy show at the UCB or the Comedy Cellar.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
New York City! I truly believe that New York has a little bit of everything. Just about anything that you're interested in, New York has it, plus some other stuff that doesn't exist anywhere else. It's a really special city.