TheWorkingWardrobe Takes Manhattan: Neighborhood Exploration

by Rachel Yeomans | January 21st, 2012   

Ah, Saturday. I’m cozying up behind my computer, glasses on, and a mug of steaming tea in front of me. Working? Of course! I’m prepping for the recording of this week’s SpeakingOfFashion podcast – plus I’m slightly workaholic in tendency. However, I am also dutifully ignoring those open suitcases in my bedroom.

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My lease doesn’t begin until February 17th, and my sublet ends tonight. Thus enters the weeks of air mattress-hopping! What I find hilarious about this situation, is that I moved from a fully-furnished (and fully-decorated) one-bedroom apartment in an adorable neighborhood in Chicago. I’m almost 30, have a good job, good life, friends…and now I’m sleeping on air mattresses for three weeks. Yes, this move was 100% worth it, but it’s still comical knowing just how far out of your own comfort zone you’ll take yourself to pursue your dreams and ambitions. But I digress…

This past week was full of processes that everyone goes through to feel truly a part of his or her new home: Exploration.  This process consists of activities such as choosing your favorite neighborhood grocery store, choosing your favorite coffee shop that not only features WiFi but also available outlets (and good coffee of course), the dry cleaner’s, the shoe repair, yoga studio…the list goes on.

Here are the places I discovered and highly recommend if you want to find good spots in the Midtown area (when I move to Astoria, I’ll supply additional resources).

Dry Cleaner: On Time Cleaner – 477 3rd Avenue – Fantastic service and really great at tailoring. My friend recommended them and called them very “trustworthy”. I second that statement.

Laundromat: New Absolute III – 155 East 33rd St – It’s a brand new laundromat in Murray Hill so it’s still really clean. And it was my very first laundromat experience – oh yes, it was epic!

Hair Salon: PANYC Salon – 36 W 17th St # 5 – If you want a great haircut, go to Simon. My hair has never been so pampered!

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Manicures/Pedicures: Serenity Spa – 717 2nd Ave – I tried out a few places, and this place seems like a good regular spot. Good work, good prices, and good shoulder rubs.

Coffee Shops: Birch (you get one hour of free wifi – enjoy it, sit in the Library, and check in on Foursquare for a free muffin!), Cafe Grumpy (not the best for working, but it’s still a great coffee shop!), Argo Tea in the Flatiron District (lots of outlets!)

Bars & Restaurants: The Copper Chimney (delicious Indian food! Can’t wait to go back), Zengo (tasty Spanish/Asian fusion tapas style), Nomado 33 (a surprisingly good sushi restaurant just down the street), Cinema Cafe (amazing food, adorable decor, and they play old movies against the back wall – I think I love this place), Cafe Bari (remember that place in SoHo that I stopped at for wine and tiramisu after the AllSaints sample sale? Yep, this is it!), The Archive (really cute place for a happy hour), Cask (great neighborhood stop but it’s getting much more popular so it’s more difficult to get in than it used to be), Gust Organics (I had a meeting here – good food and I felt quite proud and healthy afterwards as opposed to my normal lunch of cheese and olives), The Coffee Shop (great for meetings in a central location – and their brunch is great!), Macao Trading Co. (great cocktails; try the dumplings- and this one isn’t in the neighborhood but it’s worth the trip to Tribeca to go!)

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Grocery Stores: Trader Joe’s in Chelsea – avoid the one in Union Square – this one is so much less crowd-crazy! Also try a local D’Agostino (they’re pretty plentiful) – they have this amazing blood red orange juice imported from Italy called Aliseo. It’s a wee bit pricey ($8), but definitely a worthy splurge every now and again.

Liquor Store: Windsor Wine Shop - 474 3rd Avenue – A perfect stop a mere block away from the apartment. Great selection, good service, and best of all – convenient.

I still have a few other places to find, but I’m holding off until I settle in one spot again. So for the next few weeks I’ll be reporting from an air mattress near you! A bit crazy? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

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