eats lifestyle travel

adventuring with ashley: NYC

this fall, i have been lucky enough to travel to NYC twice – once for work and once for play. i absolutely love exploring the big apple and all of its diverse neighborhoods, and there is truly something for everyone in new york! 

where to eat 

aunt jake’s – little italy 

this place has the best pasta i’ve had lately, or maybe ever. if the weather is nice definitely ask to sit on the patio out back – it is a great little oasis to get you away from the hustle and bustle of manhattan.

my order: black kale salad, farfalle with garlic pecorino

vida verde – midtown 

a trendy mexican restaurant and bar with three levels and rooftop seating. come here for a delicious margarita – but keep in mind that it is 21+ and they check IDs at the door.

my order: charred brussel sprout tacos

the little cupcake bakeshop nolita

a bakery and creamery with indoor seating and adorable decor. they have vegan and gluten free options so there is truly something for everyone.

my order: black and white cupcake 

morgenstern’s – lower east side 

the cutest little creamery in the lower east side. they have such unique flavors and the texture of their ice cream is incredible.

my order: salted caramel pretzel ice cream with hot fudge

what to do 

central park – upper manhattan

you could honestly spend a week exploring the park alone, it is that huge. definitely check it out online before you go, pick out the places you definitely want to stop by, and spend an afternoon wandering through the beautiful park.

my must-see: the bethesda fountain and terrace 

top of the rock – midtown

even as afraid of heights as i am, this is definitely a must for anyone visiting new york. one of the most iconic buildings in the city itself, the upper decks showcase beautiful 360 degree views of the city from both indoors and outdoors.

the metropolitan museum of art – upper east side 

the site of the iconic met gala each year, i knew i had to check out the 5th ave location. although the heavenly bodies exhibit has just ended, there is still so much art to see. plus, you will get free admission at the other two locations the following two consecutive days.

brooklyn botanic garden – prospect park

we took the train out to brooklyn on a sleepy weekday morning and enjoyed walking through the beautiful gardens and conservatory. i’m sure it’s even more gorgeous in the spring when the cherry blossom trees are blooming.

my must-see: the lily pool terrace 

where to shop


bulletin – nolita 

probably my favorite store ever, bulletin is a rad feminist store with a bunch of items made and designed by local artists. this is a great place to find unique gifts and home decor. over my trips i picked up an art print, a necklace, and a tee from the shop. my favorite part? they donate about 10% of all proceeds to planned parenthood of new york.

artists & fleas – soho 

this is the coolest little shop amidst all of the corporate stores lining the streets of soho. it’s almost like a permanent flea market, with a bunch of little booths carrying items ranging from used books to handcrafted jewelry to vintage apparel.

nintendo world store – midtown 

the only nintendo store in the world, it’s definitely worth stopping here if you are a video game fan. they have all of the nintendo merch you could ever want, from games and consoles themselves to apparel, plushes, and anything else nintendo you could imagine.

glossier showroom – soho

one of only 3 stores worldwide, you have to stop by if you love glossier. it is the perfect place to test out new products that you’ve been thinking about buying as well as stock up on products you already love. my recent purchases include boy brow in brown, generation g lipstick in jam, balm dot com in birthday, and solution.

where to drink 

watermark – pier 15 

all the way downtown on the east side, this is a waterfront bar with amazing views of the brooklyn and williamsburg bridges, and the dumbo neighborhood of brooklyn. the drinks are a little pricey but they are strong!

my order: frozen strawberry margarita

tanner smith’s – midtown 

a trendy speakeasy hidden in midtown. i went on a weeknight and the crowd was eclectic, people going out for the night and the after-work crowd mingling in the dark old school ambience. i thought the cocktails were a little pricey (even compared to san francisco) but they were delicious and the presentation was stunning.

my order: summer 75, a gin cocktail

aaand these are all of my recommendations for NYC! in a city so large, i’m sure there are so many more things to do. let me know your recommendations below!

*disclaimer: this post is not sponsored. all opinions mentioned are my own.*




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