Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Personal Guide to the Best of New York

Living in New York City for the past 12 years has been a hoot! Now that I have moved, I would like to pay homage to this incredible city by sharing my own "Best Of NYC” guide. This is an honest guide with real people, no kickbacks and no paid advertising. :)

Feel Food opened not too long ago and has quickly become a favorite for many. Always consistent, with fresh, clean, simple food and friendly staff, I give them the thumbs up. Because I have a reaction to gluten, it’s very hard or boring to eat at most cafes and coffee shops. Thank you to the management of Feel Food for delivering goodness!

Best Smoothie
Juice Press is one of the few juice bars that serves fresh almond milk with their smoothies. Why...when almond milk is so easy to make? Shame on you other juice bars!!! This minor detail alone makes all the difference in a healthy, tasty, easy-to-digest drink. They also offer a variety of fresh ingredients to custom blend a smoothie of your choice. You rock Juice Press!!

Best Coconut Water
With the current coconut water craze and all those companies selling dishwater liquid in cardboard boxes, I just have to mention my favorites. The best place to get fresh coconut water, where the nut is opened in front of you, is on the corner of 173rd Street and Albion in Washington Heights. Take it from me, an island boy who was literally born under a coconut tree! 

Also Organic Ave has the cleanest coconut water out of all the juice bars in NYC. I don't know how they do it, but it’s damn good.

After years of digestive problems that were so severe I had to be hospitalized, Path For Life literally saved my life! Jeanette Bronee is not only very successful, her knowledge of food is like Wikipedia. When we first met she instantly eased my pain and educated me on how to survive the crazy, industrialized food system we live in.

When I learned that Blink Fitness was owned by Equinox, I almost fainted! How could an over-priced, pretentious gym like Equinox have an affiliation with such an amazing brand!! Cheap, clean, efficient and well managed. Please note that I belonged to Equinox in the past for years, but as a smart savvy Trini-Yorker, you know what’s worth it and what’s not.
Thanks Blink!!

I have never seen anyone touch hair like Mr. Orlando Pita. His relationship with hair is that of a true visionary. His ability to rocket a client to the 4th dimension through a haircut is something to experience (even if you're just watching.) Backed by his humility and natural instinct to really listen to a client is simply inspiring. Having your hair cut by someone who set's the trends worldwide is simply incredible.

Joe Martino is a friend, mentor and hairstylist whose standards I aspire to.  He is the most versatile hairstylist I know in NYC (and I know many.) Brunettes with amazing shine to blond-to-die-for (foils or balayage)....his skills keep him at the top of the NYC fashion pyramid. Over the years I have seen so many colorists become limited by their preference for foils and balayage, which only hurts the client. If you can't get a haircut with Orlando Pita, Joe is as close as you are going to get to the real deal!! Joe's love for cutting hair with every tool available, wet or dry has made him a hard man to get an appointment with. When I started working with Joe over 4 years ago, he shared his vision and passion while nurturing me, the same way he was guided and taught by Mr. Orlando Pita. To all the other hairstylists in NYC I say, bow down bitches!!! LOL!!

Best Pedicure
Yes there’s all those fancy, schmancy spas with piranhas nibbling at your toes and organic, grass-fed cow milk to soak your feet in. Well if you just want a regular manicure and happen to be in Chelsea, stop by Bloomy Nails on 8thAvenue and 21st Street. Ask for Michael, he will get those toes looking like new. His attention to detail makes all the difference!

The AMC on 68th Street and Columbus offers big, soft, sofa-like seats that recline. The first time I sat one, I forgot I was in public and proceed to get "too comfortable." I quickly realized that I was not at home on my big sofa (that I don't own.) But you get the drift! You can also reserve a seat without the hassle of waiting in that long, annoying line or through the ticket machine that spits out a ticket at you. The staff is super friendly too!

Oh yes I'm old school like that. I get confused online with all the hype and sites promising you too much. I call Richard Pampinella at Kennedy Travel Service and he hooks me up in minutes, literally! I have never had a problem with his choices in destinations, hotels for flights as he knows the world like the palm of his hand. He specializes in travel to places that host carnival celebrations. He also specializes in gay travel destinations. Thanks buddy, I really appreciate you.

I hope this was helpful to both locals and visitors looking for a great experience in the Big (organic) Apple.

Thanks NYC you rock!!


Marlene DeNoon said...

I love your blog.. my first visit. Yes that particular AMC is my favorite... as for the others new things to explore...

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Mila Rad said...

Antonio, where are you now? I need a haircut!

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