We love hearing about local’s insider tips, especially about one of our favourite cities. Our friend Abigail Ekue is a lifelong New York resident and founder of the very cool Native Creative Concierge, a flexible tour and travel planning company designed to immerse you into city culture by taking you to the places off the tourist radar. We asked Abigail to choose her favourite cool spots in NYC…
The High Line Park
I remember when it was just abandoned railroad tracks and always wondered what it was like “up there”. Once the first section of the High Line opened in 2009, I was hooked. I loved that they preserved a lot of the original tracks and the being able to view NY from that new vantage point was exciting. When I’m touring Native Creative Concierge clients through the Meatpacking District or Chelsea, I include a stop on the High Line – whether for sun, a break from traffic and streetlights, viewing the art installations or for photo ops. Any shows from exhibitionists at the Standard Hotel are a bonus.
There are some great burgers in NY. No doubt. When I’m near the south end of the High Line, I usually pop in for a burger from Bill’s Bar and Burger on 9th Avenue in the Meatpacking District. But I’m partial to Lucky’s Famous Burgers on Houston Street. Just a classic burger. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, too much to finish french fries and fountain soda. Can’t go wrong. The clientele in Lucky’s and the parade of NY’ers on Houston Street make for an entertaining experience. Yes, I do try to steer Native Creative Concierge clients toward the burgers on the menu but I’ve had some who weren’t disappointed by the hot dogs. They also offer veggie burgers too.
I love chocolate. That’s a good dessert after a burger. Vosges Chocolate on Spring St in SoHo is a regular stop for me. Even when I don’t “know” I want chocolate I end up there sampling a new creation or stocking up on my favorites — Mo’s Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar or Bacon Caramel Toffee. The Vosges staff is always very helpful and eager to answer questions. For Native Creative Concierge clients who love chocolate and are adventurous enough to try something new, this is always a hit with them — chocolate with bacon or wasabi or mushroom or stout or blood orange or carrot or guajillo chili…
The feeling that you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing only makes it that much more enjoyable, doesn’t it? At the bend of the curvy, alley-like “Bloody Angle” — Doyers Street in Chinatown — is the unmarked door for Apotheke. If it’s a Wednesday night, you need a password to enter for their Prohibition Wednesdays. Other nights of the week, once you enter through the curtain you’re greeted with a boisterous crowd and live music. The cocktail menu at Apotheke changes seasonally so there is always a choice on the menu to cure what ails you made from every possible spirit. I get as much joy out of this as my Native Creative Concierge clients do.
When I’m planning excursions for my clients I don’t include museum stops because someone should be able to take their time and enjoy the exhibits. However, there is one museum that I will include on a private excursion if we happen to be a few blocks West of Apotheke in what I consider “unchartered territory” between Chinatown and Tribeca. Plus, I have a thing for alleys. Museum is easy to miss. It is the smallest museum in New York, located in an old freight elevator on Cortlandt Alley. This back alley looks like the seedy New York depicted in movies that many Native Creative Concierge clients want to experience. Even when the museum is closed, you can view the exhibit through the window in the door.
All words by Abigail Ekue, owner of Native Creative Concierge. Experience New York City with a lifelong resident! Whether you’re simply visiting New York or relocating long term, Native Creative Concierge™, immerses you into NY culture through relaxed and friendly private excursions into attractions and the New York tourist don’t visit. Native Creative Concierge™ also offers travel planning and itinerary services to make sure your time in NY is spent experiencing the best in food, shopping, art and entertainment all catered to your interests and tastes.