Shop, Sip, See and Be Seen in Manhattan!

With a plethora of activities happening each second in New York City, it takes patience, enthusiasm and an adventurous spirit to venture out to try out new things in the city, which is what I do daily.  Whether buying discounted fitness or restaurant coupons from deal sites or hitting up a bar my friends and I have never been to, I can always have a good time.  Though my favorite things change as frequently as Katy Perry changes hair colors, there are a few activities, venues and restaurants I am sure to frequent as the we transition into fall and winter.

As an early riser, coffee is a must have food/drink item each day.  I remember reading its health benefits on WebMd, which included being less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.  Since I normally work from home, I hit up Joe The Art of Coffee almost four times a week. I like going to the West Village, Chelsea or Union Square locations to people watch and possibly spot Joe Zee, whom I’ve seen a few times.  Joe The Art of Coffee is an experience to be had.  Each cup of coffee is individually brewed at the impressive brew bar.  Though I’m pretty vanilla when it comes to coffee drinking (I like it black with a dallop of cream and no sugar), I go weak in the knees for the Joe’s latte, which is pretty much the perfect latte you’ll ever have in your life.  At first sip, your taste buds will be singing hallelujah! This place is truly an experience and the barristas are very friendly.  If you want the perfect coffee experience, this is the place to go.  There is no wi-fi, which gives me the opportunity to read myWomen’s Wear Daily and gossip mags in the AM or catch up on a few magazines on my iPad before getting my day started.

After my coffee and newspaper hour, I usually head to the gym or run by the water in Battery Park to clear my head before blogging.  I don’t belong to a specific gym, I just buy daily deals for 30-day memberships to the plethora of fitness facilities in Manhattan to try them out.  Out of the ones I’ve tried out, Barry’s Bootcamp keeps me going back for me.  This Los Angeles gem just opened in Manhattan a few months ago and socialites and celebrities can’t get enough.  It is a favorite of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, and with such impressive bodies, it’s no wonder they rely on this no nonsense workout to look ravishing in their Herve Leger dresses.  The classes are high octane, taught by friendly and fit instructors.  It’s a no brainer workout.  Each day of the week is dedicated to a different body part so you effectively workout three to four times a week to get results.  For example, Mondays are for Arms & Abs, Tuesdays for Legs, Butt & Shoulders, Wednesdays for Chest, Back and Abs, Friday for Full Body.  Barry’s Bootcamp has two locations in Manhattan, one in Chelsea (135 West 20th Street) and Tribeca (1 York Street).  There is also a location in the Hamptons for those who cannot live without getting a workout in while on vacation.  I love the convenience of their training method and the fact that everything is held indoors.  Classes started at $32 and though a little pricey, if you have an event coming up, it’s worth splurging $285 on 10 classes to get into that dress (how many of us spend that much on a three day weekend?)

As a member of the New York Junior League, volunteering my time in the community is enriching.  Not only does being a member of this prestigious organization provide networking and lifelong friendships, I also get volunteer my times with charities I am passionate about.  Whether it’s helping children by building playgrounds, helping adults with special needs or helping to provide career training for incarcerated women, helping someone in need is always in vogue.  As a Junior League member, I also get access to the impressive member’s only house on the Upper East Side that Blair Waldorf would approve of.  The events committee throws the best parties for members, including the not to be missed Fall Fête, which happens each November.  Girls dressed in the season’s best bring their handsome dates to dance the night away while bidding on fabulous auction items to benefit the League.  The Winter Ball is another favorite, one that has brought out Mary J. Blige, Andre Leon Talley and a bevy of socialites and business leaders.  It’s the event to splurge on that gown from your favorite designer.

If you are looking for a great shopping destination, nothing beats the Meatpacking District, which has an impressive roster of designer boutiques like Alexander McQueen, Carlos Mielo, Jeffery’s, Diane von Furstenberg, Scoop, Matthew Williamson, All Saints, Ted Baker London and so much more.  What I love about shopping in this area is that you can always take refuge at one of the highly rated restaurants, including Abe & Arthur’s, whose French toast bread pudding with butter-pecan ice cream is a must try; Spice Market (403 W 13th St) where you’ll feel like you’re Carrie Bradshaw, dining with the girls.  The ginger fried rice is a must try here; and Toy Restaurant, the newly opened Asian fusion restaurant at the Hotel Gansevoort whose dim sum are savory and decadent.

A night in New York City is incomplete without dancing the night away in my sexy stilettos and little black dress.  My girlfriends and I usually start at the Bowery Hotel Bar (335 Bowery) for cocktails, where celebrities like Robert Pattinson, Chris Pine, Marrion Cotilliard, Blake Lively, Rachel Bilson, Ashley Olsen and even Keifer Sutherland have been snapped by paparazzi.  We then head to the Back Room (102 Norfolk St), a speak easy bar hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the Lower East Side, for martinis and shots, all serves in cute tea cups.  This is one of the coziest bars in the city and a hidden gem that a several designers love to throw parties in.  We usually hop in a cab around 1am to get to the Boom Boom Room aka Top of the Standard (848 Washington St), where the door guys are strict but once inside, you’ll have the time of your life.  Make sure to bring your credit or debit cards ladies, because the drinks are pricey.  If you are dressed to impress however, most of the guys inside will be more than happy to buy you drinks.  We’ve spotted Blake Lively and Leonardo DiCaprio canoodling at this spot.

With High Yield Free Checking from Capital One Bank, you can earn Interest 5X the national average, guaranteed for a year, and have access to free ATMs anywhere. Learn More about HYFC and where you can open in NYC. Click hereto Learn More.  Compensation was provided by Capital One via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.