Big Apple + Little Sister = Best Day

I go to New York every few weeks, and I write about my visits every few years (including here and here). This week, I had the pleasure of spending a day in the Big Apple with my youngest sister Roxane who was visiting from Switzerland. Here is what our perfect day together looked like.

Mimosas at the Loews Hotel

On Park in mid-town, this is one of the most civilized places in NYC, whether for coffee, lunch, or drinks. I love it for meetings, I love it alone when I need to catch up on emails or write, and I love it for everything in between.

A facial at Heyday Upper West Side

Despite family businesses involving a spa and skin care, Roxane is not a facial aficionado… so I had to gift her a Heyday facial. Not surprisingly, she loved everything about it – the setting, the treatment itself, the post-facial glow, the wonderful team members. No better way to start a day in the city!

A stroll through Nordstrom 57th street

Both of our first times in this gorgeous new store, we were in awe of the beauty offering. Not just the ground floor beauty store (which was packed with shoppers by the way), but also the first floor Beauty Services area. Featuring various “shops in shop” including Heyday (yes, they are in all the right places), Drybar, Face Gym and more, as well as wonderful niche brands, this area gave off a cool, chic, inviting vibe that made you want to shop and treat yourself.

A haircut at Fourteen Jay 

Roxane is addicted to her short haircut, and to Aveda. When she asked me for the best Aveda salon in the City, I had to recommend Fourteen Jay, a project my friend (and celebrity hairstylist) Frank Rizzieri was involved in creating.

Apero at the “new” Pastis

Pastis reopening last year after a five-year hiatus was to me some of the happiest 2019 news. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner there still feels like a party, something utterly “New York” that can’t be replicated anywhere else. A must.

We didn’t have a chance to visit all of the places on my list… here are a few left for her next visit.

The bar at Morandi

Another Keith McNally creation, Morandi in the West Village is on my list of places to try.

An afternoon at Great Jones Spa

One day I will make the time to have a long and perfect massage at this legendary spa, and I will take advantage of their amazing amenities, including the River Rock Sauna, the Chakra Light Steam Room, the Jacuzzi, and the Cold Plunge. One day…

Big Apple highlights

I spend a lot of time in NYC. Every 6-8 weeks, I take the train from DC (usually train 180 leaving at 5:20am) and spend two or three days working in the Big Apple. While I could never live here, there are some unique places that make this city truly glorious. Here is where you might find me on any given day in New York City, in between client and press meetings.

My friend Trisala’s apartment in Tribeca. We have known each other since we were 12, could talk for hours on end, and her home-cooked meals are to die for.

SoulCycle Tribeca. To work off said home-cooked meals.  

Edward’s. Also in Tribeca. My favorite place to catch up on emails (free and fast WiFi) with a glass of wine (they serve it European style, in tall “water” glasses) or have apéro with a friend. The terrace is a delight in the summer, the bar is a delight year-round.

Felidia or Il Bucco for the best Italian dinner in the city. I have a sentimental attachment to Felidia, but my Italian father would tell you to head to Il Bucco instead.

You have your choice of amazing museums, but my go-to if I need to clear my head, be inspired, is the Guggenheim. The space itself is like a work of art and usually has me thinking in a different direction by the time I leave. Another wonderful museum, a little more off the beaten track of the “classics” (The Met, MoMa, Whitney, etc) is the Neue Galerie, which was co-founded by Ronald S. Lauder.  

The Highline. This repurposed railway space (almost 1.5 miles long) was inspired by a similar project in Paris (Promenade plantée) and is truly peaceful, regardless of the weather or the crowds.

Heyday. A trip to New York City is not complete without a facial at one of five Heyday locations. Sprinkled throughout the city’s various neighborhoods for convenience, this is the perfect place to get your skin in order and learn about home care and products  (and yes, Alchimie Forever is featured at Heyday).

Julien Farel Restore Salon. Inside the Loews Regency Hotel, this is my favorite spot for the perfect blow-dry. And if I’m lucky, I’ll run into the uber-glamorous Suelyn Farel (CEO of Julien Farel the company, wife of Julien Farel the man).

You may be surprised that there are no stores on this list… Indeed, I am not a shopper. But if I happen to walk by ABC Home I can’t not go in (amazing for gifts). And I feel the same about any beauty boutique

Girlfriends

This past Sunday, I celebrated the end of my birthday week. My friend Trisala cooked a home-made dinner for me, in her apartment in Tribeca. And then let me stay with her for three nights (I am here until tomorrow Wednesday) during my New York City business trip. You may know this about me: I have a love-hate relationship with NYC. I love it in terms of productive work – days here are packed with meetings with beauty editors, beauty buyers, branding experts. A 12 hour day in NYC also feels like a 20 hour day in DC; this city drains me. The speed of everything, the sensorial overload, the people, the driving (in a cab or otherwise)… Yet after a long day I come “home” to Trisala’s and I feel, well, a bit at home. Actually, so much so that I want to have her home-cooked meals every night. She laughs and says I am her only out of town friend who doesn’t want to go out to the newest, greatest, bestest restaurant in The City for dinner. Go figure. Of course, she has Swiss gruyere and Swiss “mayonnaise” in her fridge at all times. And a pile of French literature and philosophy books on her kitchen counter, some of which she lets me borrow. And the best playlist on her Ipod. And an apartment without a TV. And fabulous bath oils in her bathroom (an inspiration should we at Alchimie ever decide to make bath oils).

On Sunday night, we reminisced about when we met – middle school. Scary. I just turned 34, she is turning 35 in a couple of weeks, which means we have known each other for 20 years. Our friendship has survived the test of time, and of absence. She is the kind of friend I can see after 3 years of absence and feel like the last time I saw her was just a couple of days ago. Actually, when I come to think of it, I think of her every day; at least every day that I am in my house in Georgetown. She has given me three of the things I use most often in my life. My wine opener – the best one in the world. My pillows – the most comfortable ones in the world. And my cashmere blanket – a pure luxury that I live with from October through March.

There is nothing like a friend like her to make me feel at home even when I am in the Big Apple. Merci Trisala. And on that note, thank you to all of my dearest girlfriends. You know who you are.