2 October 2012


Pipes & Sneaker's New York City Guide: 

I just got back from my trip to NYC, working as an assistant photographer. I had a lot of free time to discover the creativeness and the undreamed of hidden aspects of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Obviously I want to share all the amazing things that Pipes & Sneakers came across. There is an endless list of things I would have wished to still see and do. But six weeks, of which I spent 5 days a week walking around and visiting galleries, sites, restaurants, cafes, shooting artistic Brooklyn interior designers, walking through parks etc. just weren’t enough! 

Unsurprisingly, I am already craving and missing my daily doses of ....blue berry pancakes, green healthy superfood smoothies, bagels bagels bagels, hot humid windy metro stations, and wonderful people - the most helpful and interactive I have ever met.  I also miss the different districts that make you feel as if you have travelled across to various cultures within a few hundred metres; the overwhelming hecticness and smells of China Town; the expensive but creative Soho; TriBeCa with all its lofts and beautifully converted warehouses giving a feel of an suburban designer warehouse area (if such a thing exists); West village, Chelsea and the Meatpacking district - its galleries and wonderful restaurants satisfying all senses; East village's second hand shops and growing number of individual designer shops. I miss walking through the beautiful but less creative areas such as the Upper West side, admiring the beautiful apartment blocks, walking into Harlem, its colourfulness and young men rapping about you as you walk past. 

I miss people watching in Central Park, and visiting amazing exhibitions in huge museums such as in the Guggenheim and MoMa. Most of all I miss feeling at home in my temporary room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - an area that sprawls of creativeness resulting from the melting pot of young citizens coming from all over the world mixing their European coffee shop and boutique flair with the Australian talent for savvy BBQ joints mixed with nouveau American and French cooking. 

However, the somewhat try-hard attitude of some Brooklynites in Williamsburg, to be anything but a “Manhattaner” has, in my opinion, resulted in the fact that you see a bunch of ‘hipsters’ all developing the same style, yet following the exact attitude they oppose - namely creating an identical appearance failing at their inner desire to be an individual. It is impossible to walk one block in Williamsburg without seeing at least two people with “tattooed arm sleeves” and looking like they did not spend much money, whereas that is usually an illusion since every shop located on Bedford avenue does not cater for the budget-traveler or the broke student type. 

Nevertheless, do not get me wrong, I love Williamsburg, but I try to present an objective picture of the place I spent most of my time. My little list of things you should definitely not miss out when you visit Williamsburg will be at the bottom of this “essay”.  

The fantastic thing that gives you a smile on your face on even your most stressful day, are the uncountable number of musicians spread across New Yorks’s metro stations. It’s so heart-warming to see these dedicated musicians playing in the dusty, dirty and humid metro stations at any time of the day, doing what they love most. It is even more heart-warming to see all the locals giving them their spare dollars and tapping their feet along to the beats whilst waiting for their metro to arrive. 

It goes without saying that all your food desires will be satisfied. On one single block you can find any kind of culinary delight from across the world. Mexican obviously being one of them, is a must try if you are in New York. Sunday brunch at The Dinner in Williamsburg also presents a must highlight to your week. 

Last but not least, the most exciting thing that concluded most of my days, was visiting or rather “crashing” a roof top party. Oh My… the views, the breeze and the beautiful people that you will experience at these exclusive events, are a must visit. I was of course lucky being in NYC at its most vibrant time, New York Fashion Week - spotting uncountable numbers of super models, designers, and just awe inspiring numbers of creative individuals adding to the flavor of every party. Obviously the free champagne that goes with it also plays a role. But do try visit these roof top parties, as being on top of a high-rise, in the summer at night, is breathtaking. 

Also try and find the speakeasy clubs, hidden away behind mirrors in barber shops, or behind doors with signs that say ‘no entry’ in the back of some bars...it might be hard to find them in the beginning but keep your ears open and speak to locals about it. Furthermore, during the day in the summer do not shy away from trying to crash a members only club, they have amazing pools on the top of their roofs too which are the perfect hideaway on a typical humid day in New York City. 

All I can say is let yourself indulge every amazing aspect that NYC has to offer, and trust me it won’t be hard to let all but all your senses be fully satisfied in this amazing spot on earth. 

Here are a few things that you should check out: 

In Williamsburg:
The Dinner for Brunch
Wythe Hotel for cocktails overlooking manhattan
Reynard’s for a classy but creative dinner
Beacons Closet for the best bargain vintage clothes
Juliette’s for a Brooklyn beer on their lovely roof top garden
The Beerhouse for a Belgium or German beer, and obviously you must try one of the Brooklyn brewery beers
Brooklyn Rascals, Kids clothing
THE MUST VISIT: Maison Premiere, You will definitely feel like you just traveled in time back to the 1920s.. zipping on amazing champagne and flavorsome oysters

Roberta’s the must, hidden amazing food place 

Housing Works, Great designer second hand clothing
In God We Trust, the most amazing clothing store
Supreme, yes that’s how cool you are
Pulino’s for brunch
Balthazar for brunch
Tribeca Grand for a boogie in their basement
Soho Grand for amazing drinks (expensive) in their bar upstairs or in the yard
Kiki de Montparnasse, expensive but oh so sexy lingerie
Yamerra, Skin products all produced locally in Manhattan
What Goes Around NYC, amazing second hand shop
Dominique Ansel Bakery, WOW have the flourless chocolate cookie…..
Soho House, chilling in the poo
Saturdays Surf NYC, cool surfer wear
Cafe Falai, lovely food, waiters, and chairs  
The Standard, Le Bain and Boom Boom room are amazingggggg
Le Baronne, come in and find out hehe

All images © by ZLVH

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