Tips for Amy in NYC

My BFF since 3rd grade, Amy, recently received a spot in a hot blogger calendar and will be in NYC next month for the photo shoot. Yay Amy! I can’t be there as I will be in Vegas celebrating Susan leaving her 20s. I’m no expert to NYC by any means. But it is one of my favorite places, if not my very favorite place.

Now Amy’s been to the Big Apple before. However, here are 10 tips, from one Carolina girl to another (or for any girl traveling to NYC, for that matter!):

1. Don’t fill your suitcase all the way when packing. Leave as much room as you possibly can. Will explain in number 5.

2. Do pack in layers. You will spend a lot of time in the elements. On Friday, in September, it was chilly. I wore a sweater during part of the day. Will be more so in October. However, it’s hotter than you can even imagine in the subway. Be ready to peel off those clothes!

3. Fly into JFK or LaGuardia if you can. Then you can take the airbus or an MTA bus to the subway, and you’re at least in the city already. Newark is kind of a pain.

The C train headed downtown on Friday.
The C train headed downtown on Friday.

4. Download a subway map to your iPhone. That way, when you’re double and triple checking your map, you look like you’re doing something important on your phone rather than being a silly lost tourist.

5. Shop, shop, shop. H&M is a hidden treasure for us. My NYC girl, Erin, complains that everyone there shops at H&M; therefore, if you shop there and live there, you will see people everywhere wearing your clothes. She’s right, too. I spent one afternoon at H&M this week, and that night I was able to point out no less than 5 outfits I’d seen in the store that day. I was wearing clothes I’d just bought, so I felt like I had a neon sign pointing at me saying “I shop cheap!” Since there’s no H&M in the greater Charlotte area, no one here will know you got that top for $5 or those pants for $15. All that said, my true favorite affordable store is Zara. For discount designer stores, check out Century 21 and Filene’s Basement. Plan time for these though – you may have to do some digging.

Little Italy on Friday around lunchtime.
Little Italy on Friday around lunchtime.

6. Do find time for a meal in Little Italy. It’s the closest thing to Italy I’ve seen in the States. Sadly, every time I visit it is smaller and smaller – slowly being taken over by Chinatown. As I typed this  on Friday I was dining at Giovanna’s on Hester and Mulberry. The food there is OK, but I’d suggest try another one. Just wander around until something catches your eye.

7. See a show if you can find the time around your photo shoot. I would love to recommend my favorite, “Rent,” but they closed their curtain last week.

8. Spend some time in the Village and SoHo. It’s my very favorite part of town. The shops, the restaurants, the atmosphere.

9. Avoid Times Square like the plague. It’s way too touristy.

10. Be the hot blogger I know you are … I can’t wait to see the photos! Congratulations!