The beauty of this city is that you will want to walk everywhere, which may be biased on my part as it was my first time in New York City and I did not want to miss a thing by bypassing the streets on the subway. The architecture is mind-blowingly beautiful and the whole city has its own neutral colour palette.
If you are spending your time ticking the tourist things off of your bucket list you may not be experiencing the city to it’s forward-thinking fullest however if you do your research (Pinterest is your friend as is any expats you know living abroad), you can find the ‘ethical’ diamonds in this concrete playground.
Where to EAT
The Butchers Daughter is an absolute must for a beautiful experience, from the food to the atmosphere and customer service. A plant-based café that is 100% vegetarian, the menu leans heavily towards vegan and gluten-free. With an effort to strengthen the community’s sustainability, The Butchers Daughter use produce from local and organic farms with a view on creating dishes that allow you to eat with the seasons.
By Chloe café runs with the philosophy of eat well, eat with purpose. Committed to a sustainable and vegan menu and eco-friendly packaging to reduce carbon footprint, this café is not only a go-to for a wholesome creative meal that is made in-house daily but they also have a Sweets by Chloe menu and treats you can buy for your doggo too – it’s a yes from me!
For those of you who aren’t living the full vego life, Print is dedicated to a seasonal, sustainable menu with produce that is 90 percent local and organic direct from the farmer and those products not from the region sourced responsibly from their growing regions.
If you can’t get yourself to these amazing places, for good coffee (trust me it’s hard to find, we’re super spoilt for choice in Australia) Bluestone Lane has multiple locations across the city and claims to be inspired by the coffee culture of Melbourne. Their coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified along with having compostable utensils and packaging.
What to DO
Amongst the amazing architecture that New York City is known for, you’ll find some great museums to pamper your cultural sensibilities. I visited the Museum of Natural History and Museum of Modern Art with its six levels. A heads up: dedicate at least half a day to take everything in as this museum houses collections from art prodigies like Picasso, Monet and van Gogh. Other museums to put on your NYC bucket list are The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, The Guggenheim Museum and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Check admission guidelines online before heading to museums as many work on a donation basis and the fee is just a suggested guide.
Now is there anything better than nature? In a city full of majestic towering buildings, it’s amazing to have such a large area of natural land that is Central Park. Although an unnecessary spend, if you are time poor (or in my case if it’s pouring down with rain) paying for a bike tour through the park can be a great way to see all the highlights. If the sun is on your side, put your walking shoes on, pack a picnic and spend the better half of the day exploring the city’s natural wonderland.
Visit Brooklyn Grange an urban rooftop farm growing local vegetables, born from an idea to create a sustainable model for urban agriculture. Brooklyn Grange is open to the public every Saturday for you to buy fresh produce and if you like get some hands-on experience, they also host evening yoga, farm dinners and workshops.
Where to SHOP
A little nook of Chelsea Markets is the Artists & Fleas where you can find a treasure trove of vintage jewellery and clothing, antiques and handmade crafts. Do yourself a favour and walk The Highline before or after your visit to the market, running from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea as a way to preserve the train tracks and add green space to the industrial area.
International Playground is a boutique stocking emerging local and international designers, many of which have sustainable values. For vintage stores L Train vintage has multiple locations, Narnia for all your vintage boho threads and What Goes Around and Resurrection Vintage for all your second-hand vintage designer finds.
I didn’t get the chance to venture to the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge but word is that 10 ft Single by Stella Dallas is the go-to for curated vintage clothing, shoes, accessories and wares for both men and women.
Not after pre-loved? The IT girl sustainable brand Reformation has three locations across New York City to curb your shopping cravings (and avoid the shipping costs to Australia!)
And once your shopping is done Joanna Vargas Day Spa is rumoured to be one of the best in the city, with a nature-focused approach and services that use all natural, plant-based skincare.
Don’t want to harm the planet whilst travelling? Make sure to follow these zero waste travel tips. And don’t forget to offset your carbon!
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