A Little Leopard in the Big Apple: Where I Went – Abigail Nora
A Little Leopard in the Big Apple: Where I Went – Abigail Nora

A Little Leopard in the Big Apple: Where I Went – Abigail Nora

One of the key words in business travel is, in fact, “business.” Trips are only as long as they need to be and you actually need to, you know, work while you’re there. However, you still get free time to explore a little bit, which of course I took full advantage of while in New York City for the very first time the other week.

Here are four of the highlights I was able to hit while in New York…but there are so many other places on my list (Chelsea Market! Milk Bar! Central Park! All of Brooklyn!) that I think I’m due for a return non-business trip very soon.

Stay: Ace Hotel

Lives up to the hype. In-between Midtown and the Flatiron District, the Ace Hotel is bringing cool to a neighborhood…not exactly known for it. Rooms are small (mine didn’t even have a desk!), but you don’t want to hang out there, anyway. Head down to the lobby, which is a working space full of young professionals, creatives and more. Plus, the lobby features a vintage photo booth, bar and Stumptown Coffee all on site. Get the cold brew. It’s as smooth as a Miles Davis jazz lick. That was a super lame analogy.

Also, fun story, I couldn’t find the Stumptown upon my arrival (it’s sort of tucked in the corner through a doorway). A very nice gentleman with what appeared to be a cold brew asked to sit next to me, and I said of course, also is that a Stumptown cold brew, sir? Turns out he works for Stumptown and brought me one for free! And people say New Yorkers aren’t nice.

Sweat: Y7 Yoga

I was very, very torn between trying a “celebrity” SoulCycle instructor or a hip hop yoga class while in New York. Hip hop yoga won for a couple of reasons:

  1. The Drake staircase
  2. It’s on ClassPass
  3. Y7 is completely unique to New York (and one studio in LA now, too) — and I know I love Chicago SoulCycle instructors, so did I really need to pay $34 of my own dollars (plus shoe rental) just to take a spin class from a guy who apparently also teaches Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift?

No, guys, no I did not need to pay $34 of my own dollars to do that. So J. Cole vs JT (as in Timberlake) hot vinyasa yoga it was. And it was great.

Eat: Jack’s Wife Freda

Very cute, very SoHo, get the avocado toast. No wi-fi, so it forced me to actually take a break, read a book and conquer my fear of eating alone. Turns out eating out alone is actually kind of pleasant!

Plus, New York Magazine described it with this gem: “The clientele, young and stylish almost to a fault, seem to have fallen off the runway from some downtown fashion show and straight into the cozy café’s leather banquettes….If you were going to give [the cuisine] a long and unwieldy name, it might be South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine.”

I can get down with that.

Caffeinate: Cha Cha Matcha

My love of matcha is well-documented, and Gigi Hadid went there. It is very, very pink, down to the neon sign that says “matcha gracias,” but more importantly, the matcha is actually good because that is all. they. do. None of this already-sweetened mass produced Starbucks green tea latte nonsense (though I will drink those in a pinch). They do soft-serve, too!

Anyway, two days on a business trip was not nearly enough time to really explore New York… so let me know in the comments, where should I go next time I’m there?

Images: The Design Files, Instagram