We had such a great response the first time around, so please enjoy another installment of the The New York Series featuring a few of my favorite New Yorkers! I have some of the best friends a boy could ask for, and it’s always a treat when I get to feature how amazing they all are.
Apparently all my friends moved here because of “Sex and the City,” see all the connections below, which in reality is really the best inspiration to move to NYC. Because we all live in Carrie’s rent controlled Manolo filled apartment a stones throw from Barney’s.
There are still many a New Yorker I’d like to feature as I’ve built quite the family here, all of which bring their own sense of humor, quirky behavior, and originality to everything they do. Our codependency runs deep. Everyone’s answers are so diverse and cover a wide range of the city in their little hidden gems.
So take a look, hope you enjoy some of my favorite Gremlin’s as much as I do, stay warm this weekend with good friends/wine/books/vodka/movies/whiskey/snacks!
Name: Courtney, 27
Neighborhood you reside in: Upper East Side
Hometown: Smithtown, NY
Occupation: NYU Grad student/Preschool Teacher
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Even after all of these years in the
city, it is still probably going to a Yankee game in the early summer.
As the wise Carrie Bradshaw once said, ‘I was a fan of anywhere you
could drink at two in the afternoon without judgement.‘”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Training for the marathon allowed me to
discover a lot of amazing spots while running, my favorite might be
crossing the bridge to Wards/Randall’s Island up in East Harlem. The
path around the island is a gem in itself.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “An iconic NYC moment to me would
have to be when I was walking home from the subway and I ran into the
fabulous NY housewife herself, Sonja Morgan. And yes, to anyone who
watches the show: her intern kindly took a picture of us.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: Oh, Courtney, Courtney, Courtney…you literally will never, ever be bored around her. Besides the fact she is one half of a power couple (she’s roomies with the amazing and handsome New York Narrative favorite John), she knows every Real Housewife tagline and is always up for a great time. She’s also run the New York marathon like a boss and is the sweetest girl in the world. Queen.
Name: Dustin Cox
Neighborhood you reside in: Upper East Side
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Exploring new restaurants with my friends. I like to eat. Also, since I’m from the South, a lot of people I grew up with think I’m the coolest person they know because I live in New York. Therefore, I get a lot of visitors. I’ve had to play tour guide multiple times (which I love even though I complain about it) and my favorite thing to do with them is walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The view of Manhattan is gorgeous, and it reminds me of the time Miranda and Steve met in the middle to reconcile their relationship which always puts a little smile on my face.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Carl Schurz Park in the Upper East Side. Not many people know about it so it’s never crowded. It’s beautiful, quiet, and has a great view of the East River.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “When I first moved here, one morning I was commuting to work and a string of events happened: the screaming homeless lady outside of my apartment screamed in my face, I had to jump over a pile of trash to get around a group of slow tourists, fell down the subway stairs, saw a rat and wasn’t grossed out, was literally body checked by a girl trying to make the train before the doors closed, and jaywalked/shimmied between two cop cars in traffic without skipping a beat. That’s when I knew I was an official New Yorker.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: I met Dustin this past Summer and didn’t really give him a choice to be my friend. He’s a co-worker of my lovely Bestie Sarah, who you remember from her Personal Grooming Products segment as well as the first round of The New York Series, and when she brought him to a Happy Hour I looked him up and down and said, “You’re coming to the Beach on Sunday and we are going to become Best Friends.” And that is exactly what happened. Dustin is handsome, kind, and a ball of fun. He also is a bit of lap dog and doesn’t understand his incredibly built physique doesn’t fit in small spaces. IE: when he accidentally broke John and Courtney’s Christmas tree this year which will forever be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. See below for a picture of the (Thursday) night Dustin and I decided we just couldn’t bring ourselves to go home after work resulting in an epic evening.
Name: Will DeCamp, 25
Neighborhood you reside in: East Village
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Occupation: Casting Assistant at Manhattan Theatre Club
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “When I first moved to the city, I spent a month subletting in Washington Heights. It was then that I first discovered Fort Tryon Park. It’s a great place for a run or a date…wink wink. Fast forward 2+ years later, and it remains one of my favorite retreats in the city. I always get VERY excited to take people there. The park is especially magical in the Fall.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Lam Zhou in Chinatown. BEST dumplings I’ve ever eaten. To say that it is a hole in the wall is an understatement. Will there be a kind lady or gent slamming hand-pulled noodles at the table next to you? Definitely. Will you leave a changed person? Definitely. Word to the wise: BYOB (because you can!)”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “Initially, moving to New York City was very much connected to pursuing my dream of working on Broadway shows. The first time I saw my name in a Broadway playbill will always be a pretty iconic moment in my life. Along the journey towards making that dream come true, I’ve met amazing people along the way and done amazing things with them. I’m a lucky guy.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: A fellow Lower East Side Greaser, Will is the definition of a Sweetheart. He comes by way of Ryan (see below) and as soon as he met the whole Gremlin crew I knew he was a keeper. He’s incredible witty and an excellent dancer. Which is generally where you’ll find him when we go to Bedlam at 2:30 AM because that’s always a good idea…
Name: Matt McNeill (Doctor Matt, to the rest of us), 29
Neighborhood you reside in: Murray Hill
Hometown: Durham, NC
Occupation: Internal Medicine Resident Physician, Chief Resident, NYU Langone Medical Center
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “New York experiences depend on the season. In Spring, I like to sit outside at a cafe or bar with friends. In Summer, I like to lay out on a local beach, in a park, or on a pier with a good book. In Fall, I like to enjoy the crisp air with a bike ride or Kickball game. In the Winter, I like to explore the hidden streets (like Stone St in FiDi) under a fresh layer of snow.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “It’s not necessarily a gem, but for an excellent tour of the city that always leads to excitement, take the East River Ferry from E. 34th Street toward Downtown. For $4, you can sit outside with the sun on your shoulder and a breeze through you hair and enjoy the entire Manhattan Skyline, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, with stops in Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, DUMBO, and Wall Street. You can enjoy the views, but also hop off for an adventure at Smorgasburg, Brooklyn Flea, Brooklyn Brewery, Governor’s Island, Wold Trade Center, China Town, or any other of the amazing sites in Lower Manhattan. It’s great for NYC guests and locals alike.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “I love that NYC is the only city where people celebrate a version of ‘#NewYorkVersary’ or the day they moved to the city. Moving and becoming established in NYC can be exhausting, but then one day, everything will just click and no where else feels like home. That is such an iconic and unique moment for each New Yorker.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: How do you solve a problem like Doctor Matt? How do you catch a cloud and pin it…wait, actually, Matt is never a problem. EVER. Which is one of the reason’s why we love him so much—that and because he always gives us free Medical advice (“Matt, is this mole normal looking?”). Anytime we go out I always introduce Matt to a pack of good looking Men saying, “Have you met Matt? He’s a single handsome doctor under 30!” and then skip off; he totally appreciates it. Matt is lovable and level headed and always cuts my hair when I ask him too. So talented. Here’s a bonus picture of Doctor Matt eating a hot dog, because, why not.
Name: Jess, 29
Neighborhood you reside in: Long Beach, NY (former Upper East Side resident)
Hometown: Millbrook, NY
Occupation: Advertising Sales Executive
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Vintage shopping and dive bar-hopping.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Wilfie & Nell.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “I have two memorable NYC moments: Visiting the Top of the Rock around midnight. Cliche I know, but breathtakingly beautiful if you’ve never done it. And taking a yacht around Manhattan with Mumford & Sons, Carey Mulligan, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Spur of the moment invite after their concert ended in Hoboken.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: You’ll remember the gorgeous Jessica from her Personal Grooming Products spotlight, as well as just being a ray of sunshine anywhere she goes. I said it then, and I’ll say it again, “Jess probably has the kindest heart I’ve ever encountered…a total Earth Mama who has an affinity for crossbows and puppies, so, naturally we hit it off right away. She’s also just an awesome person in general who is the definition of ‘Great Friend.'” That sums up my love for the wonderfully beautiful inside and out, Miss Jess.
Name: Ryan Bernard Tymesky, 26
Neighborhood you reside in: Lower East Side
Occupation: Casting for TV, Film, Commercials, and Theatre
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Exploring new bars (read: drinking), restaurants (read: eating), and nightlife (read: dancing).”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “The Cock! No, I’m kidding I would probably have to say The Cloisters. As much as I live for the hustle and bustle of the city, sometimes it’s necessary to just on the train and sit on a quiet ledge overlooking the Hudson.”
What do you is an iconic New York City moment?: “The first time I visited the city (I am originally from Michigan) I was 13 year old, and with my high school theatre troupe (obviously). I remember standing in the middle of Times Square, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath, it all felt right. I verbally said, ‘Ryan, I promise you will live here one day,’ and 8 years later I did. I will never forget that feeling I had, that feeling of belonging.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: You will never be bored when you’re around Ryan. He comes by way of Josh, who introduced us, and he’s full of energy, good conversation, and the only other person I know who knows as many useless/useful facts about Film and Television as I do. If you want to dance till 5 AM, he’ll dance with you till 5 AM. If you want to stay in and cry watching whatever Oscar vehicle is the thing of the moment, he’ll do that too. He’s a good one and also a Downtown lad.
Name: Ashley Amarosa, 25
Neighborhood you reside in: Midtown East
Hometown: Smithtown, NY
Occupation: Assistant Controller
Favorite thing to do in New York City: “Brunch with some of my friends- good food, good drinks, gossip, and friends; what could be better?”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Middle Branch. It’s a small cocktail lounge in Murray Hill with delicious drinks and cool atmosphere.”
What do you is an iconic New York City moment?: “Looking over the skyline and realizing that this is your home. After four years, it still takes my breathe away.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: You know those people who when you meet them they are larger than life in their appearance, so gorgeous and glam, but are still incredibly down to earth and lovely? Like Kris Jenner? That is Ashley. It seems like John is responsible for a lot of New York Narrative content as Ashley is his gorgeous cousin and an all around great person. Like, the girl wore the same Balmain Jumpsuit on New Year’s Eve as Taylor Swift and blew the pop star out of the water. That’s pretty fabulous if you ask me.
Name: Shaun Patterson, 27
Neighborhood you reside in: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Hometown: Waxahachie, TX
Occupation: Writer/Producer at Nickelodeon
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “I love walking Brooklyn with a friend. The walk is dictated purely by liquids. Start by walking to get a coffee then to a bathroom then to a bottle of water then to a smoothie then to a beer then to a (many) margarita(s). It’s a guaranteed hydrated good time.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “The Donut Pub at 14th & 7th Ave.. Classic donuts that aren’t $4 each. It’s open 24 hours and perfect drunk food. Sometimes you can catch a magician doing card tricks at the bar. The Donut Pub doesn’t pay him, he just loiters around and eats donuts.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “Finally relenting to see a friend that lives in a 6th-story walkup. You better believe that I will NOT leave that apartment until the NEXT day so I won’t have to go down those goddamn stairs.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: If you can’t tell by the photo above of Shaun being carried by the Naked Cowboy, she’s a total wallflower. Shaun honestly may be one of the craziest, nicest, and coolest girls I have ever met. Our first encounter was watching The Oscars together last February and watching them with someone who’s in the industry is a real treat; her vocabulary of curse words during the show alone was a total education. This past Summer Shaun joined myself, Josh, Sarah, and a slew of our other gorgeous clan at the Brooklyn Art festival (below) which left most of us unimpressed ending in sunbathing and dancing on Josh’s then terrace in our underwear (which we felt doubled as bathing suits). Shaun also is a Big Apple Kickballer and, unsurprising to us all, won Biggest Flirt this season. Her acceptance speech was outstanding.
Name: Chris Turk, 27
Neighborhood you reside in: Chelsea
Hometown: North Brunswick, NJ— “Not trashy New Brunswick…”
Occupation: Creative Coordinator
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “My favorite thing in the city to do is lay on the pier (in the warm months) and then go to happy hour at the Rusty Knot on Sundays. Its a relaxing yet fulfilling day. Sometimes throw in a little dinner or shopping in there too.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Cafe Gitane, something about it just makes me so happy. Sitting outside eating their delicious food and enjoying a nice cup of coffee on a crisp Fall day, makes for the perfect NYC day.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “To me an iconic NYC moment is that moment in the day where you realize how lucky you are to live in the best city in the world. It may just be a moment where you hop into a bar to see all your friends or just happen to look up at the New York skyline, but just in that moment you smile. You smile because you look at those faces in your life and realize that no matter how tough living here can be, you are damn lucky to have those incredible people in your life. As Carrie Bradshaw said, ‘they say nothing lasts forever; dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.‘ That to me is an iconic NYC moment, any moment I get to spend with my best friends.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: A trend in my friends, apparently, is you’ll never be bored when you’re around them. Chris Turk is no exception. This brassy Chelsea boy has the sharpest tongue in the room but a huge heart. He’s fun, witty, and the time he and I made turkey cupcakes for our annual Friendsgiving we both put them in the oven to keep them fresh not realizing we had turned it on. RIP cupcake turkeys.
Name: Noelle, 34
Neighborhood you reside in: Upper East Side
Hometown: Mamaroneck, NY
Occupation: Marketing Manager
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Eat. This city is a foodie’s paradise and home to a plethora of diverse eateries that span the spectrum of many palettes. Any neighborhood in any borough can offer amazing eats, and a lot of them at all hours.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “Pomander Walk. It is small section of homes tucked on the Upper West Side that are constructed by an architect who used colorful London flats as an influence for building residences in New York. It’s quaint, cute and great contrast to the pre-war and modern buildings common in the area.”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “Accepting that you will pay $7 for a box of cereal. Haha. Honestly, I would say breezing through the hustle and bustle of Grand Central terminal at rush hour. While some consider it just a tourist trap and commutation hub, to me it is a place of history, grandeur, beauty and energy.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: My very handsome friend Vinny somehow landed the best wife anyone could ask for: Noelle. These two lovebirds got married this past Summer (see the aisle of Gremlins in attendance below) and it was a magical, magical evening. Noelle is easily the most sane and lovely person who’s made it onto The New York Narrative, but she’s also got quite a Gremlin-y side that let’s her fit right in.
Name: Mallory, 30 “…flirty and thriving”
Neighborhood you reside in: Upper East Side
Hometown: Wayne, NJ
Occupation: Media Buyer
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Happy Hour after work! Nothing better than letting lose with the people you love and cocktails after a long day at the office. Running in the Park or on the water on weekend morning tops the list— got to work off those calories.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem: “King Cole bar in the St.Regis Hotel. Someone once told me your not a real New Yorker until you’ve had a drink at the iconic Bar. It houses the world famous mural by Maxfield Parris, of King Cole and his servants as he farts, tee hee— rumored to be worth 17 million. Fun Fact: the bar created the Bloody Mary! On a Budget my favorite place in NYC is any Drive Bar like Malt House. in Soho, McSorley’s, or East End!”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “Leaving the Bar at 4am and knowing the diner or pizza place is just a block away and open! Any moment walking around taking it all in, those moments when you look around and know you’re one of the lucky people who isn’t just visiting but gets to call this home. When people ask say ‘I don’t know how you like it here is so dirty, loud, crowded, scary,’ and you can just look at them like you just don’t get it. NYC is everything!”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: If you’re looking for a gal who enjoys Fleet Week, Carrie Bradshaw buns, quoting “Happy Endings,” and interacting with Drag Queens look no further: Mallory it is. Mal is the kind of Jersey Girl who who will listen if you need to talk and lay down the law if you’re in need of some assistance—there is a St.Patrick’s Day that will forever go down in our friendship history that we keep in the vault. She’s a doll and always has the biggest smile on her face. What more can you ask for? Please enjoy the time Mal met Matt Bomer and forced him to take a photo, because, Matt Bomer always get’s included.
Name: John, 26
Neighborhood you reside in: Chelsea,”No judging!”
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Occupation: Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing at Here Media & Indoor and Cycling Instructor
Favorite thing to do in NYC: “Waking up early on a Sunday morning and walking to anywhere. If you’re out before 10am the city is oddly quiet and tranquil. I’ll grab a coffee and walk through the West Village— there’s always something new to stumble upon, whether it’s a brunch spot or hidden bookstore.”
Your favorite hidden NYC gem:“Bhatti Indian Grill. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant on 27th/Lexington. The surrounding area is dubbed ‘Curry Hill’ because it’s mostly Indian restaurants and markets. I’ve eaten Indian across the city but none compare to Bhatti. I remember eating their chicken tikka masala my first time there and thinking, I had no idea food could taste this good!”
What to you is an iconic NYC moment: “Waiting in a gigantic, out-the-door line for a fresh bagel. As with most New Yorkers, I hate waiting— for anything! But still I’m willing to stand in a line 40 people deep for an everything bagel, toasted w/lox spread. I’ve lived in 5 different neighborhoods across Manhattan, and in each it’s easy to spot the best bagel joint by the line it garners. No Yelp required.”
*The New York Narrative fun fact: A relatively new friend, John is a fellow Kickballer and one of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time. This handsome fella will be joining some of the Boys and I in our Fire Island house this Summer adding to whatever ridiculousness we get ourselves into. He’s got cheekbones for days and even though he’s originally a Floridian, he’s a total through and through New Yorker.
All images courtesy of the gorgeous New Yorkers featured, cover photo courtesy of good friend of the site the beautiful Jenny. How stunning is that view?
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