New York, United States
Mike, 28
Strategist & Restaurant Nerd
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a bit about Mike

What do you do and why do you do it?

I strategize. Whether I’m taking an afternoon to explore Brooklyn, barhopping with friends across town, or developing a brand strategy at work, I always organize a plan of attack. I work at an advertising agency called Giant Spoon in Manhattan, where I help turn creative ideas into experiences that people love. But my greatest passion is dining out: New York has too many incredible restaurants to try in one lifetime, so why settle for just another average meal?

What TV show is a must watch?

Atlanta, Westworld, and Catastrophe. I know that's three, but hey.

What’s the best karaoke song of all times?

Anything by Usher

Which movie have you watched more than 3 times?

Superbad. It shaped my adolescence in the best (and worst) possible way.

Have you ever cried while reading a book? Which one?

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara is the most incredibly moving, heart-wrenching, captivating book I’ve ever read. Perfect for feeding your seasonal depression next winter.

Are you a planned or a spontaneous shopper? What’s your go-to store in New-York City?

I’m a planner. I like to go shopping with a goal in mind, but then usually end up with 10 extra things I didn’t need. I.D. Menswear on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg is tight – perfect blend of casual, workwear and street brands.

What’s the one place in New-York City that you’re sure only you truly appreciate?

Prospect Park in Brooklyn is one of the best places to spend the day in NYC – it’s gorgeous, and I prefer it to the tourist-dominated Central Park. There’s a wooded section of Prospect with a waterfall, and you can easily hop the fence and climb to the top for an outdoorsy escape from the buzz of the city.

What’s your dream job?

I’d love to build a restaurant group one day. A collection of spots – from casual to more formal – that ladder up to a larger brand with a shared but distinct aesthetic. NYC is home to some of the best out there – from Major Food Group to Happy Cooking Hospitality – and I dream of joining the party one day. I have a ton of ideas.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

The lifestyle in Berlin is unmatched. It’s a sprawling city that is simultaneously charged with energy and naturally feels so relaxed. Club all night, post up in the park all day, hop from one cafe to the next, admire art, get lost, fall in love, then do it all again. What could be better?

Where do you go in New-York City if you have two hours to kill?

The West Village. It’s the best neighborhood of the city to get lost in. You’ll feel like you’re in a movie as you wander through the brownstone-lined streets, dreaming up a scheme to make $10M so you can afford to buy an apartment there one day.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in New-York City but never actually do?

See a movie. There are some amazing theaters here that I love – Nitehawk Cinema, Angelika Film Center, tons more – but I usually opt for something more social instead.

Who’s your hero and where would you take them out for a bite or a drink in New-York City?

Anthony Bourdain. What a guy. I’d probably ask HIM to take ME out for a bite or drink – I admire his vision for amazing food and drink spots – from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall joints all around the world.

If you were given a choice, mayor of which neighborhood in New-York City would you be?

Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn.

What’s the place in New-York City you’ll never be caught dead in?

Turtle Bay. Douchebags abound.

Where do you and your drinking buddies meet for a casual night out in New-York City?

Love a good dive bar to start the night in Brooklyn. The Levee, Rocka Rolla, The Johnsons – all solid bets.

Where would you go in New-York City to celebrate the best news EVER!?

The NoMad Bar. It’s fancy enough to make you feel special, big enough to host a crew, and they make some really bomb cocktails. After throwing a few back, I’d treat myself to the legendary $16 Humm Dog – a bacon-wrapped hot dog topped with black truffles and celery. Because, well, I’m worth it.

It’s a Saturday night and the mood is right – where do you go in New-York City to party?

Bushwick is home to some of the best nightlife spots in the city – from DIY warehouses to concert venues to event spaces like the Brooklyn Mirage. House of Yes, a massive nightclub in a former ice warehouse space, always has something exciting going on: electronic music, themed costume parties (like Zombie Vampire Beach Night), screenings, theater and cabaret performances, fire breathing, dancers crawling on the walls… oh, and bomb falafel at Queen of Falafel next door.

It’s your last day in New-York City – how do you spend your time?

Eating. As many of my favorites as possible.

What’s the one place a first-time visitor in New-York City can’t miss?

Katz’s Deli. It’s iconic.

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