Tag Archives: Travels

Currently Reading: Lost in The City Travel Guides

Nubby Twiglet | Lost in The City Travel Guides

One of my passions is collecting magazines and books. Nothing can quite replace that feeling of holding a printed piece in your hands. There’s a special connection that happens when you flip through the pages of your favorite book, escaping into another world while bookmarking the parts you love along the way.

Lately, I’ve been getting more into travel books. Reading blog posts about specific locations and searching Pinterest is great but I dream of having a bookshelf full of inspiring places to visit.

One of the coolest series I’ve come across are the Lost In The City Travel Guides. With a mix of recommendations gathered from bloggers, journalists and photographers, they’re written from a local’s perspective which adds to the charm.

Nubby Twiglet | Lost in The City Travel Guides

The book designs all feature big, bold type across the covers, bright splashes of color and simple layouts. I know they say to never judge a book by its cover but the design is so inspiring.

The books are a nice, compact size and weighing in at 70 pages, a quick afternoon read. Right now, there’s guides dedicated to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, Ibiza, London, Los Angeles, Milan, NYC, Paris, Stockholm and Vienna and I hope they keep expanding.

The Lost In manifesto sums up the excitement of visiting a new place best:

“Getting lost in the city is not about throwing away the map. It’s about surrendering yourself to the essence of the place. The sights, smells, flavours and sounds that make it unique. The photography, the art, the creativity that provide its individual inspiration. Getting lost is diving headfirst into what makes each city its own.”

Totally agreed.

P.S. I picked up my copies at Anthropologie.

What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Five years ago, I visited Palm Springs for the first time and it changed everything I thought I’d wanted out of life. Literally.

The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving is that this desert oasis is not only beautiful but also incredibly friendly and welcoming. Joey and I have been invited into the condos of complete strangers and made friends while waiting in line at local restaurants. We’re now so smitten with the place that we are searching for a vacation home to put down more permanent roots by the end of the year (come visit!)

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The truth is, before I experienced Palm Springs for myself, I had no idea what I was in for. My mom and stepdad used to vacation there every year and based on what I’d heard, I imagined the place being a sleepy retirement town full of tourists indulging in a long weekend of spa hopping, poolside lounging and plenty of golfing — all in all, not a youthful, happening place.

While some of the stereotypes are still true, Palm Springs has undergone a massive transformation over the last 10 years and is now a truly hip hotspot with new hotels and shops opening all the time.

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The thing is, there are so many guides out there to dig through and most left me wanting more. Some of the most comprehensive ones I found were long out of date with many places on the lists since closed (the recession hit Palm Springs especially hard) and others only had a handful of recommendations that crossed over with every other list I found.

I wanted more so I started compiling my own guide — my hope is that this makes your Palm Springs vacation easier to plan.

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If you’ve never visited, here are some fun facts to entice you:

• The sun is out over 300 days a year. Basically, it’s impossible to wake up in a bad mood.

• Liberace spent his downtime in Palm Springs and chose one of his many homes in the area to spend his final days.

• Palm Springs is home to Modernism Week, an 11-day event focusing on mid-century modern architecture.

• Rush hour is nonexistent since most folks are retired or on vacation. Rejoice because traffic jams are a distant memory!

• Celebrities including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Estée Lauder once called the place home and Leonardo DiCaprio recently snapped up one the most iconic houses in town.

• Palm Springs is very GLBT friendly and has one of the highest concentration of same-sex couples in the United States.

• Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held annually in Indio, right outside of Palm Springs.

• Elvis loved his rented Palm Springs home so much that he honeymooned there with Priscilla and 9 months later, Lisa Marie was born.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide


PACK

The brighter and airier your outfits, the better. Keep your looks loose, comfortable and made of natural, breathable fabrics. It can be hard to remember everything (I set my suitcase out a month in advance of a trip and still miss a few things!) so here’s a quick cheat sheet of must-pack items.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

• Sunglasses and sunblock: The midday sun is crazy intense.

• Large brimmed hat: If you want to avoid looking like a lobster, protect your face poolside.

• Water bottle: You never know where you’ll end up and you can’t survive on martinis alone!

• Fun beach towel: Hotel towels are often boring white standard issues so liven things up!

• Fuji Instax: Because instant photos conjure up the heyday of Palm Springs.

• Comfortable shoes: Whether you’re spending the day hiking, biking or shopping, avoid blisters and keep it casual with flats or sandals.

• Swimsuits galore: The brighter, the better.


ARRIVE

I’ve flown directly into the Palm Springs Airport a few times but the most economical way to visit is to fly into LA and grab a rental car.

Tickets are much cheaper and the drive from LA to Palm Springs is only about 2 hours (as long as you bypass rush hour). I always start my search for flights on Kayak first to compare rates.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

You’ll definitely want a car once you get to town to explore since Salvation Mountain, Joshua Tree and a ton of other desert cities are just a short drive away. Also, street parking is free and we’ve never had issues finding an open spot.


EAT

There are so many fantastic places to eat in Palm Springs — for being such a small city, it’s got a great variety of spots to try. These are some of my picks.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Birba: Right next door to Cheeky’s (and ran by the same owner), you can’t miss the big red “B” at the entrance. This is the place for you if you’re on the hunt for gourmet pizza.

Lulu California Bistro: This is the ultimate crowd pleaser for breakfast, lunch and dinner, especially if you’re with a group that is full of picky eaters. There’s literally something for everyone on the massive menu (including my vegan husband). Ask for an outside seat — since the restaurant is in the center of downtown, it’s the perfect spot for people watching.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Norma’s: Make a point to visit this restaurant at The Parker at least once for breakfast. It has a sunny, kitschy mid-century modern feel perfected by Jonathan Adler and the menu will make your mouth water. Just beware of the portions — they’re so massive that I’d recommend splitting with someone. I’ve tried everything from oatmeal to French Toast and it’s impossible to have a bad meal. I love that they have a section called Mom Can’t Make This. Haha!

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Chi Chi: Named after the original Palm Springs nightclub, this is a new restaurant inside the Avalon Hotel with a Latin-inspired twist. Stop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner poolside or better yet, stay at the hotel and use the tablet to order room service!

• Ernest Coffee: This independent coffee shop is located in the same spot where the original Don The Beachcomber’s tiki restaurant once was. If you need a quiet place to chill, grab a treat and get some work done, this is it.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Reservoir: This brand new restaurant does breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is small but solid and I was happy with everything I ordered from fish tacos to scrambled eggs and toast to rosé. Let’s talk about the real draw, though — pastel tiled floors, wood paneled walls and beautiful natural light.

• Trio Palm Springs: While I personally haven’t eaten here, the locals constantly recommend it and I’ve only heard positive things. It’s on my must-visit list when I head back to town.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Ice Cream & Shop(pe): With a marbled tile backsplash, mint green chairs and a neon sign of an ice cream cone, this ice cream parlor is bound to put a smile on your face. My top pick is the birthday cake ice cream inside the pretzel cone. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Bonus: there’s a small gift shop to the left, full of fun goodies.

Loco Charlie’s: This is my secret hangout. Don’t be fooled by the nondescript restaurant tucked in next to a grocery store in a strip mall. This place is the bomb. Much cheaper than the big local chain in town, this is where the locals go for no-nonsense, tasty Mexican food with fantastic service.

• Tonga Hut: It’s a crime to visit Palm Springs and not have at least one tiki drink! Get your fix here — the staff are super knowledgeable and friendly, the tiki-themed music is great and the kitschy atmosphere is super fun.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

King’s Highway: While this isn’t my top pick since the service has gotten progressively worse over the last few years and vegetarian / vegan options have been pruned, King’s Highway does a great American-style breakfast and the atmosphere inside the restaurant is really lively. A former Denny’s, Ace Hotel has done an great job of leaving the authenticity of the original restaurant intact.

Cheeky’s: Show up when the doors open or be prepared to wait…for a very long time. This is a spot for the most serious of brunchers and the rave reviews back it up. I love the outdoor seating area with orange lucite chairs.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Customs Coffee: My number one Palm Springs obsession at the moment, this cozy little coffee shop is wallpapered in vintage-style travel tickets. I love the attention to design they put into the place — it makes the experience feel extra special.

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What I Wore: A Tattooed Dress In The Desert

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is about a 40 minute drive from Palm Springs and is named named after the Joshua trees (yucca brevifolia) that cover the park. It’s a popular destination for camping, hiking and climbing but I’m happy to keep it simple and drive on through, stopping along the way to admire the otherworldly landscape.

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

Ever since I visited Joshua Tree last year for the first time, it has been on my mind constantly.

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

I probably couldn’t stop thinking about it for two reasons: 1. It seems to be popping up in every fashion brand’s lookbooks and plenty of magazine spreads right now so it’s hard to avoid. 2. It was like no other place I’ve ever seen. I totally get the allure and why so many creatives feel inspired to create after visiting.

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

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Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

I stopped by a few days ago, wearing my favorite new dress embroidered with tattoo-inspired patterns paired with these gray platform boots that feel like the right balance between goth and Stormtrooper.

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

I wore: Nasty Gal tattoo dress, Anita K rose gold collar, The Horse rose gold watch and Vic Matie platform boots.

Nubby Twiglet | Joshua Tree

P.S. I just posted this little video to show you what Joshua Tree is like and you can learn more about the history and all the great things you can do when you visit here. Enjoy!

2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 02

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Spring has finally sprung but I’m not so secretly counting down the days until my Palm Springs vacation with Joey and Rocky in 3 weeks so it feels fitting to be posting the second part of our vow renewal shoot today.

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Back in October, Joey and I rented a house to celebrate our 5 year anniversary (and if you missed the first set along with the story behind the shoot, read that first).

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

This second look was less stressful to shoot because we knew the “wedding look” for our Rock n Roll Bride Magazine feature was out of the way. We could have stopped there and called it a day but when you have a few extra hours left with some super talented photographers and a change of clothes, you push on!

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

I already had the dress on-hand, a full-length halter style by Vince Camuto that I’d spotted on a mannequin in Nordstrom two years earlier. I’d only ever worn the dress on past trips to Palm Springs because it was on the formal side and the open back was ideal for warmer weather. I also wore my original wedding shoes from the first look so it required nothing new.

Joey kept the same look as before but just switched out his tie. A few weeks before the shoot, I began to get nervous that we’d never find a match to the neon chartreuse stripe on my dress because it was so specific. I googled away, just trying to find something, anything that would work. Finally, I came across Zazzle and they had the exact color for custom ties. Score!

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

For this set of photos, since we didn’t need anything specific, we took it easy and walked around the grounds of our rented house with Rocky, definitely wishing it was ours. Ha!

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Lemon trees are still such a novelty to me. In Portland, we can grow meyer lemons but big, beautiful lemon trees like this just don’t happen. I felt like a citrus fruit goddess for a solid 5 minutes. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

As the morning turned into afternoon, I kept thinking about how glad I was that we’d invested in photos so we could look back on our 5 years together. Our time in Palm Springs flew by but thanks to the photos, our memories will last forever.

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Issue 7 of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine is now on sale and features a 10 page layout of our vow renewals. One feature I especially love is the “Steal Their Style” section at the end of every wedding that pulls together the details so you can source similar items with very little effort. Kat totally nailed ours!

Thanks for virtually coming along and reliving our special day with us! xo

Nubby Twiglet | The Palm Springs Vow Renewal

Photography: Made U Look
Location: Private residence, Palm Springs
My hair: Nathan at Salon 119
Joey’s look: Suit from Italia Suits, vegan Dr. Martens Gibson, Zazzle tie
My look: Vince Camuto dress, Camilla Skovgaard heels

2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

It’s hard to believe that these photos were shot back in October. Time flies! We had an exclusive with Rock n Roll Bride Magazine and now that the issue is available, I can show you EVERYTHING!

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

Joey and I wanted to do something special for our 5 year anniversary so a few weeks after throwing a party at our Portland house for family and friends, we packed our bags and flew to Palm Springs to celebrate.

The Backstory

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

The celebrating part this time around was important because we never had a honeymoon. In September 2010, just 9 months after meeting Joey for what I thought would be a one-time drink, we got married. Yes, it sounds crazy, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I’m an all-or-nothing sort of person and I didn’t see the point of waiting…so we took off to Vegas! Our only guest was my BFF Bianca and we lived it up.

Looking back, we had a tiny budget and planning a big wedding sounded like an absolute nightmare on top of my freelance schedule at the time so I was totally happy with our decision.

Five years later though, we wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion. Plus, any excuse to visit Palm Springs (where we’re buying a place soon) is always a good idea. We simply secured our photographers, booked a beautiful house on Air bnb and booked our plane tickets. No stress.

The Look

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

The biggest expense for clothing was Joey’s suit, which he found at Italia Suits in Hollywood. The guy sized him up the second he walked in, pulled out the perfect skinny black suit and sent him down the street to an alterations place. It was literally that easy! He paired it with vegan black Dr. Martens and a tie he already had.

On the other hand, I wore my original dress from our Vegas wedding five years before, a total steal from Etsy that cost me less than $100.00. I’m still as obsessed with it now as I was then! I paired it with my original wedding shoes by Camilla Skovgaard, my favorite Forever 21 choker and some bracelets I’d found at Zara.

My style icon for the day was 60s-era Priscilla Presley who slayed with her long, dark back-combed hair and graphic eye makeup. Like Joey and I, her and Elvis had married in Vegas and then honeymooned in Palm Springs (remember the photos taken in front of their amazing hideaway?)

The Setting

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

I’ve had mixed experiences taking photos at hotels and other private properties around Palm Springs and didn’t want any stress with moving from multiple locations so I booked a house matching the color scheme we wanted with a large pool, lemon trees and a light-filled open floor plan. I highly recommend it (and check out that beautiful Tiffany blue room below!)

The Bouquet

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

I never had a bouquet at my original wedding so this time, I wanted to do something special. A few weeks before the shoot, I called Palm Springs Florist, hopped on Pinterest and emailed them some inspiration. The day of, they delivered the most perfect, spot-on bouquet.

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

I don’t recall exactly how much it cost ($170.00 or so including delivery?) but it was worth every penny. The succulents were such a nice touch and it held up all day. I couldn’t bear to throw it away so I packed it in our rental car, shooting as many photos with it over the next few days as possible.

The Invites

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

You probably know what I’m going to say next. No, we didn’t have invites for our original wedding (because we only had one guest!) so I wanted those, too. I’m OBSESSED with letterpress so I designed a simple invite for our backyard shindig a few weeks earlier and took the design to Darling Press who not only did a perfect printing job but also color painted the edges to match my second look, a dress with a chartreuse stripe. I still have one hanging up next to my desk! Invest in those keepsakes, friends.

The Veil

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01

Of course, I didn’t have a veil for my original wedding, either. Are you sensing a theme here?! LOL. Anyway, my timing for the vow renewal was perfect because my BFF Kat decided to release a veil collection with Crown and Glory.

Nubby Twiglet | 2010 Till Forevs: The Palm Springs Vow Renewal Part 01
I snapped up the custom slogan veil (emblazoned with FOREVS) and my absolute favorite, a pom pom trim version. SO GOOD.

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It’s Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

To be totally honest, this post isn’t what I’d planned on sharing this week but I’m sitting here between a Palm Springs sandwich of sorts. We just sent the March issue of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine to print yesterday which has an 11 page feature of my vow renewal photographed in Palm Springs but I can’t share it quite yet. And then, I’ve been hard at work on a travel guide dedicated to the city but it’s not quite finished — and I don’t believe in half-assing anything, especially when it comes to my adopted home away from home.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Instead of feeling frustration, I started thinking….and remembered that we’d shot a fourth look the day of the vow renewal. There was an open 10 minute span of time after I’d changed out of my wedding dress. The sun was shining after an overcast morning and I felt a sense of relief since the photos we’d needed for the magazine were done. I changed into something less confining —a very mod, citrusy striped dress from ASOS and walked around the corner from our rented house.

The cacti were taller than I was and I draped my Kate Spade license plate bag around one of them. It was a Monday but time stood still. “This is where I want to be,” I thought to myself.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

I’ve been very vocal about my love of Palm Springs since I first visited four years ago and set a goal by the end of this year to buy something, anything in town.

Joey and I have a meeting with the bank at the end of the month to see where we stand. When I left the comforts of a full-time job and started working for myself three years ago in an all-or-nothing move, I knew that I’d have to work harder than I ever had before and made a pact with myself so I didn’t burn out under the weight of it all. There had to be a bigger goal to strive towards, beyond just building a business. There had to be a way to have a tiny vacation spot, a place to go and “retire” to for two weeks at a time.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

I didn’t want to wait until I was 60 or older to feel the relief and the relaxation that comes with being able to wind down after a career. Instead, I set a goal of 35. I never saw myself as the type that would ever need a permanent escape from my job, anyway. I just knew I would need breaks here and there to recharge.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Right now, we’re going back and forth between whether we should buy a small condo that doesn’t need much work or a total fixer-upper of a house that needs to be completely torn apart and remodeled. Joey has remodeled most of our Portland house himself and loves the art of transformation so we’re leaning towards the latter. I don’t know how things will turn out but I’ll let you know what happens.

This phase of my life is definitely taking on a “choose your own adventure” vibe. Each choice will entail a different path. It’s a little nerve-wracking but also really exciting. I’m ready.

Nubby Twiglet | It's Always Sunny In Palm Springs

Now, it’s your turn: Where’s your happy place? What’s that one place you’ve traveled to or want to visit….and wouldn’t mind living?


Photos: Made U Look.

My New York City Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleeps

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleeps

Every time I visit New York, I’m discovering new places. I’ve had a love affair with the city for the past 15 years and whenever I’m in town, my friends introduce me to their latest haunts. I know what it’s like to travel to a new city, feel the overwhelm set in and go, “What is there to do?” so here’s a cheat sheet of 20 places I think you’ll love just as much as I do. I’ve done my best to keep it eclectic since the mix of high and low is what makes exploring a city so interesting and fun.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

Before we get started, you may be wondering how such a random mix of places came to be. Well, when I got into town to visit Gala 2 weeks ago, she pulled out a bright pink pen and paper and we conjured up all the places we’d been wanting to check out. Virgos are obsessed with lists and it felt so good checking places off, one by one.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

1. The Smith East Village Photo Booth

Most people visit The Smith for their tasty food but the best kept secret is in the basement. Walk through the restaurant and head down the staircase where you’ll find the best black and white photo booth in town. I’ve used it dozens of times and the contrast is always perfect. The strips never come out dark and streaky and they’re only $3.00. Get that debit card ready!

2. Cafe Mogador

Part of charm of the East Village are quaint little cafes that are great meeting spots for friends. Cafe Mogador has been at the edge of St. Mark’s Place for a few decades now and is a total crowd pleaser, whether you’re ordering their trademark Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine or are just in need of a great basic breakfast of french toast and scrambled eggs.

3. Barnyard

Sometimes, you just want a really good sandwich. Barnyard has a variety, from meat to veggie options and if you don’t like one of the toppings, it’s cool since they make everything fresh to order. If you want a salad or specialty cheese to go with your sandwich, they have tons of options. Total comfort food.

4. Three Of Cups

Okay, so this bar is at the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s in a basement, dimly lit and metal is the go-to music selection. I’ve been visiting this place with friends since 2002 and it hasn’t changed a bit and to me, that’s part of its charm. Gotta love a good local bar with absolutely no pretension.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

5. Caravan Of Dreams

When you’re in need of a sweet treat but trying to watch your diet, this East Village mainstay since 1991 has you covered. The menu is organic and raw vegan so you can dine without the guilt. I’m obsessed with the cashew milk chai lattes and carrot cake while Gala is a huge fan of the brownies and hot chocolate.

6. ABC Carpet and Home

If housewares and interiors are your thing, this place is a total mecca. With six floors brimming with perfectly curated collections of everything from rugs to dishes to couches to bedding, you can get lost for hours. What stands out most is the lack of sameness at ABC — the selection doesn’t feel like another whitewashed Pinterest-inspired room. You’ll discover tons of exclusive items you’ve never seen before, even if you spend hours a day online.

7. Buffalo Exchange

New York is full of fashionable folks and when they need to unload last season’s cast-offs, many end up at Buffalo Exchange. I’ve been shopping at these stores since I was a teenager and just spent an hour at the East Village location with Gala, selling three suitcases worth of treasures. I love Buffalo Exchange because the items are always in like-new condition and prices are super reasonable, even for designer goods.

8.Dean & Deluca

A foodie’s dream, Dean & Deluca has been a staple of New York life since the 1970s because it’s packed with hard to find gourmet items. Searching out a rare chocolate bar, a special brand of sea salt or fancy tea? They probably have it. David Bowie used to shop here once a week and it’s no wonder why — their selection is always interesting and intriguing.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

9. Laduree

Ever since Laduree opened in Soho a few years back, I’ve been meeting friends and clients in their beautiful backyard garden area. I love the colorful macarons, massive statues and mix of fabrics and textures draped throughout the rooms. It’s a very luxurious, French-inspired experience that will transport you away from the busyness of Soho for a bit.

10. David Barton Gym

If I’m going to work out, I want my gym to feel like a nightclub. David Barton is the most eccentric gym I’ve ever seen, with dramatic lighting, dance music and plenty of gear to whip you into shape. If you wear all black and feel out of place in mainstream gyms, this is definitely your place.

11. Indochine

This is hands down, my favorite dinner spot in town. Since its doors opened in 1984, Indochine has fed everyone from Warhol to Madonna to Keith Haring to Duran Duran. Every art and music star of the 80s and 90s made their way here for its exotic French-Vietnamese menu. The most amazing part is that the interior is completely unchanged. You feel like you’re entering 1984 with massive murals of palm leaves on beige walls, while being surrounded by tables of people in suits and beautiful dresses. I’m obsessed with the people watching here. It’s fun to guess what everyone does — are they gallery owners, managers of modeling agencies or foreign bankers? Probably a little of each.

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

12. Joe & The Juice

I originally discovered this chain in London a few years back and was smitten with their bright coffee cups in baby pink and lemon yellow. They now have a Soho location with their signature selection of coffee and juices, plus fantastic sandwiches. The dramatic pendant lights and book-patterned wallpaper are the perfect backdrop for your next selfie.

13. By Chloe

If healthy and stylish are two buzzwords you live by, this restaurant is for you. It’s super chic and full of plant-based vegan options including burgers and salads. Beyond that, I’m obsessed with their awesome Instagram packed with some of the best food styling around.

14. Barcelona Bar

When you walk in, this teeny tiny bar seems very nondescript…until you see the menu. Specializing in shots, Barcelona Bar will keep you entertained for hours. Why? Because the shots have themes. My hands-down favorite is the Harry Potter. When you order, the bartender puts on a striped scarf, hands you a wand, lights your drink on fire and mumbles an over-the-top spell before blowing your drink out. Poof! Hows’s that for entertainment?!

15. Aura Photos

If you’re in town and looking for a unique keepsake, getting an aura photo taken at Magic Jewelry is really fun. For $20.00, they’ll sit you against a black backdrop, place your fingers on sensors and two minutes later, your portrait is waiting. An employee then shows you a chart so you have a better understanding of what the colors represent.

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16. Gothic Renaissance

Whether you’re in need of a black rabbit mask, a fresh pair of fishnets or a Lip Service PVC skirt, this is your place. It’s a goth wonderland that you wish had existed in your small town back when you were 15.

17. The Apartment

Admittedly, I didn’t make it here due to the epic blizzard but based on the website alone, I’m obsessed. The Apartment is a tightly curated experience inside of a shop designed to look exactly like an apartment interior. The best part is that all the objects and decor are shoppable!

Nubby Twiglet | My New York Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleep

18. The Butcher’s Daughter

A healthy, fruit and veggie-focused cafe with some of the cutest decor around, this place doesn’t disappoint. I was so smitten that I just shared a full post about it.

19. Insomnia Cookies

Who knew that such a place existed?! The premise is simple — your sweet tooth kicks in late at night, nothing is open and you just really, really want a cookie. Insomnia Cookies delivers warm, fresh-baked cookies throughout the city until 3 am. We had ours delivered to a bar we were at for the ultimate indulgence.

20. The Standard East Village

This location has a hidden gem — a backyard garden area complete with brightly colored tables and chairs. Incredibly private, this spot is the perfect place to sit down for a drink after a long day and catch up with a friend. It feels a little bit like a modern take on Alice In Wonderland and that should be enough to convince you to visit.


I hope this list has given you some new ideas of things to try in New York. Have fun!