AStylishLiving’s Guide to the US of A: Part 1

There are many reasons why one should visit America; the shops, the labels, the weather, the attractions, the culture, the food, the people…It can be hard to cram in so much in such a short space of time so I have done the hard – but fun – job for you and brought you the best that the two main locations – NY and LA – have to offer. Plus I give you a sneak peek at other areas in the US of A that might suit your tastes instead. First up, we head to New York, my favourite place in the world.

NEW YORK

WHERE TO STAY – LUXURY

THE PLAZA HOTEL

– FIFTH AVENUE AT CENTRAL PARK SOUTH, NYC

Anyone who has ever watched Home Alone 2: Lost in NY – one of my favourite films by the way – will recognize this landmark hotel from the movie. Situated directly opposite the infamous Central Park, guests can take a leisurely morning stroll through one of the most famous parks in the world. Now, most people don’t come to NY to sleep, or even spend much time in their hotel for that matter but with its famous Oak Bar, as well as an interior, Tranquility Garden with reflecting pools there will always be something to keep you amused. Mixing the old traditional with new technology (i-Pads in your room anyone?) this hotel will continue to be at the top of my NY hotel list. http://www.theplaza.com

WHERE TO STAY – BUDGET

THE POD HOTEL

– 230 EAST 51ST STREET, NYC

There is a pod room to suit everyone at this hotel; single, bunk, double, queen…all climate controlled and fitted with mp3 player docking stations and dimmer control lighting system (swazzy), plug into the Internet with free Wi-Fi access, and catch your favorite shows on LCD TVs. If that isn’t enough for you then the hotels ideal location – steps away from classic sights as Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, Rockefeller Center (which you can gaze at from the hotels roof top garden bar) – will have you in NY heaven.  http://www.podhotel.com

WHERE TO SHOP – VINTAGE

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

– 351 WEST BROADWAY, SOHO, NYC

Everyone who is anyone is NY will be caught at this hip and much-loved vintage haven. Chloe Sevigny practically lives here! WGACA’s vintage collection for women includes a diverse array of clothing and accessories covering more than a century of modern fashion history. As well as carefully sourced vintage garments, co-founders Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser have set up The Collection which sees them creating garments from vintage inspired pieces. The WGACA’s Collection counts Robert Pattinson, Nicole Richie and Katy Perry among its biggest fans. For those not able to go to the store in NY, The Collection is sold in some major department stores worldwide, including Harvey Nichols. http://www.whatgoesaroundnyc.com

WHERE TO SHOP – DESIGNER

FIFTH AVENUE

Tiffany’s, Saks, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Bergdorf-Goodman Apple, Barnes & Noble, Chanel….need I say more? As well as having these DIVINE stores to do major damage on your credit card with, make sure you take a pit-stop at sights such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museum, Rockerfeller Centre (check out the huuuge tree and ice-rink during the festive period), The New York Public Library and of course – The Empire State Building – go right up to the top people.

WHERE TO SHOP – FOR AMERICAN BRANDS

MACY’S

– 151 WEST 34TH STREET, NYC

I have always loved this store and make it one of my pit-stops whenever I am in the US (as well as Forever 21) when I need a USA fashion fix. With brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, DKNY Jeans, GUESS?, 7 for all Mankind; it really does have something for everyone across its 8 floors. http://www.macys.com

WHERE TO SHOP – FOR KIDS

FAO SCHWARZ

– 767 5TH AVENUE @ 58TH ST, NYC

Adults and kids alike will LOVE this toy store on 5th Avenue – a legend in the toy store industry – trust me, you won’t be able to leave without buying something! The store features a breathtaking Grand Hall adorned with more than 20,000 computer-controlled colored lights, a giant dance-on piano keyboard – you will remember this from the movie Big and “FAO Schweetz,” a classic New York candy shop that offers hundreds of scrumptious confections = heaven. http://www.fao.com

WHERE TO DO BRUNCH Sex & the City style

MAGNOLIA BAKERY

– 401 BLEECKER STREET, NYC

Oh dear…this bakery is dangerous for someone with a major sweet-tooth like myself! Grab the girls and head to the 401 Bleecker Street outlet and act like Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda for a few hours. It really is cake heaven and has the best cupcakes in town with icing big enough to satisfy even the harshest critics. http://www.magnoliabakery.com

WHERE TO GRAB A NY PIZZA SLICE

LOMBARDI’S

– 32 SPRING STREET, NYC

Who would ever think of coming to NYC and NOT having a NY-style pizza slice? Quelle horreur!? Lombardi’s is America’s first ever pizzeria and has been running since 1905. Make sure you pop in and get a takeaway NY sized slice of my favourite Margarita. Hmmmm…. http://www.firstpizza.com

WHERE TO CATCH A THEATRE SHOW

BROADWAY

I saw Hairspray here and it was amazing!! The usual popular theatre shows such as Wicked, Jersey Boys, Chicago, and Avenue Q can all be found here with many famous actors taking to the Broadway stage such as Hugh Jackman, Tate Donovan, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, Rupert Everett, Scarlett Johansson, Katie Holmes…

WHERE TO CATCH A SPORTS GAME

NEW YORK KNICKS – MADISON SQUARE GARDENS, NYC

Ok so I am never going to entirely understand or appreciate the rules of basketball, but I can appreciate the atmosphere in Madison Square Gardens, the obligatory popcorn, hotdogs, huge drinks, big fake hands, the Kiss Cam and of course, the abs’s!

DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT…

SUNBATHING – OR ICESKATING – IN CENTRAL PARK.

Both of these can make your trip to NY a dream holiday. I love nothing more than sitting with my friends in the middle of Central Park with a picnic and picking up an ice-cream and soaking up the atmosphere and looking up at the skyscraper landscape surrounding the park – words cannot describe how truly awe-inspiring it is. It also has a zoo that you should check out.

Part two of our USA Guide next time….


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