ask Shaun about
Outdoor bars • Street food • • Delis • Pizza • Farm to Table • Cocktail Bars • Dance Bars • Rooftop Bars • River rides
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm a Product Designer at ustwo (you might of heard of the company if you've played Monument Valley). I was always creative as a kid and I ended up studying graphic design. I quickly found a passion for the digital aspects of graphic design (websites, apps etc.) and it was also the same time mobile was blowing up, so that led me to become a product designer which I've now been doing for just over 9 years.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
The last time this was a real situation for me I remember listening to a lot of Massive Attack, Portishead and Faithless. In general I'm a pretty happy and optimistic person though.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
I was a massive fan of Lost… until the end. The Wire. Newsroom. Narcos.
Name some spots in New York that are good for a Tinder date.
I'm married, but we love going on dates! My favorite spots would be Cotenna in Greenwich Village, Rosemary's in West Village, Tamarind in TriBeCa, China Blue in TriBeCa or The NoMad Bar in NoMad.
Who’s your hero and where in New York would you take them out for a serious hang?
I mean, Elon Musk is a cool guy, but choosing a place to hang out with a billionaire isn't going to be easy! Damn. Maybe dinner at Daniel in the Upper East Side, which is a spot that's been on my radar for a long time, but a little out of my price range. Then follow up with a cocktail or 3 at nearby Bemelmans Bar. There's a nice ambience in there, usually with a live pianist and that should make a nice setting to discuss the future of human kind or something.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
My go to's are Saturdays Surf NYC, Everlane, A.P.C. and sometimes Burberry.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
There really isn't much I don't like. I'm literally up for anything and it's one of the reasons I love being in NYC.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Eating in super-fancy-ass spots in the Upper East Side.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in New York and where did you get it?
I had a wedding anniversary tasting dinner at Blue Hill in Greenwich Village last year. That was pretty decadent and the menu featured some bold dishes such as smoked apple with spinach.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in New York that you particularly like?
I'm a big fan of tiki bars. My top 3 would have to be 169 Bar in LES, Super Power in Crown Heights and Zombie Hut in Carroll Gardens. So much fun!
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?
An experience for 2 at Aire Ancient Baths was expensive, but worth it IMO. Those experiences start at $335, but can be way more. There's even an option to soak in a red wine bath together for $1,149!
What restaurant in New York looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
There's plenty of humble Chinese spots in Chinatown which do amazing food. Nom Wah Tea Parlor and Vanessa's Dumpling House are my favorite. So cheap as well!
Where can you get the best cocktail in New York? Which one do you like?
I'm a big fan of Weather Up in Prospect Heights. I tend to go for something with mezcal in, such as the Better & Better.
Where would you take your partner in New York if you wanted to really pamper them?
I mean Aire Ancient Baths is up there. Follow it up with a sexy dinner and then stay at a fancy hotel afterwards.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
McVities Dark Chocolate Digestives. Eat 'em chilled and chocolate side facing down.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in New York?
I'm always amazed at the consistently long and touristy lines at Grimaldi's Pizza in DUMBO. To be fair, I've never tried it, but still, there's so many excellent spots in NYC that have much quicker wait times.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in New York?
The NYC Ferry. I try to get on one as much as possible because I love being on the water and seeing that skyline. I typically go from Wall St to Williamsburg or Greenpoint, but last weekend I took it out to Rockaway Beach. The trip lasted an 1 hour and only cost $2.75! Bargain.
What are the New York spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
For a first timer you gotta do Times Sq. So many locals hate on it for being so touristy and busy, but it is kinda cool to walk through there now and again as it reminds you that you're in one of the most exciting cities on the planet. Other than that I'd highly recommend walking along the High Line, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, shopping in Soho and NoLita (*not* 5th Ave) and a rooftop drink at Westlight in Williamsburg for the best view of NYC from Brooklyn.
Tomorrow’s your last day in New York. How do you spend it?
Brunch at Balthazar in Soho. A shop at Saturdays NYC and a cappuccino in their awesome back yard. Then a walk over to NoLita and into Elizabeth St Garden. Grab a cocktail somewhere in West Village, such as at Employees Only. Then a proper New American dinner at Gramercy Tavern before going on a devastating bar crawl with friends across both Lower East Side and East Village. If I'm still conscious a visit to Veselka for some drip coffee and Veal Goulash.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
I just came back from LA where I stayed in West Hollywood, Downtown and finished off in Marina del Rey. I loved it because the city offers amazing food, drink, some great shops and markets + museums. My favorite thing though is that the city is right by the Pacific Ocean so you get to explore that beautiful coast line.