It’s Sharing Travel Experiences loves New York City week! Hurrah! Check the end of all our features this week for a chance to win a trip to NYC.
Given all the great info and advice we’ve had so far this week, it will be hard to top that, but today we’ve got a special interview with one of my fave New York City locals, Annemarie Dooling. She’s a travel maven and NYC expert so it was hard to track her down – but I managed to do so, and finally, we’ve got her interview here live! Read on and learn about America’s favorite city from a new perspective from Annemarie Dooling.
Can you introduce yourself?
Hello! I’m Annemarie Dooling, Digital Community Manager and travel
writer for Time Out New York and the Huffington Post, among others. I chronicle these adventures at www.FrillSeekerDiary.com
Andy: You’re so modest. You’re also incredible street smart, a virtual New York City travel concierge, amongst other things.
New York City is a massive place, spreading out in many directions (including UP). What’s your advice for the first-time visitor to new york trying to plan?
First time visitors should know that they aren’t going to see everything they want to see. It’s a little like going to Disneyland that if you try to pack it all in, you won’t enjoy any of it. Instead,pick a theme or area you really want to see. Are you interested in architecture or parks or foodie events… pick a theme and stick to it.
Andy: Agreed. Pick a theme or two, max. Then make plans to come back. 🙂
Where do locals go to enjoy the ‘true’ New York vibe?
Well, we are everywhere and we mostly go right outside our own doors. The best places to eat and see things are usually really new or really old, so it helps to consult a local, a great website, or even a twitter feed like Newyorkology or notfortourists to see what people are talking about this week. I’d also like to say that most NYC flavor comes from the natives who live in the boroughs. You’ll find amazing Italian food, great multi cultural institutions, and the most ridiculous views in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx, so don’t skip them.
Andy: This answer reminds me of one of my personal favorite things to do in New York: walk. You don’t need to strut like Carrie Bradshaw or anything, but man an hour or two stroll down avenues and boulevards, no headphones just listening to the vibe, is incredible. See what you stumble onto.
You and I are both foodies. Earlier in the week we highlighted some fun restaurants in NYC, but let’s hear your faves. What are some classic NYC foods that one should try while there?
Right now us New Yorker’s have a total love affair with snacks-as-meals.We have entire restaurants devoted to things you should eat between meals. Rice to Riches is a fantastic place to score all different kinds of rice pudding, from savory to really sweet. S’Mac is similar, but with many, many kinds of macaroni and cheese. Finally Rickshaw Dumpling is a wonderful place to grab a quick meal or a sit down dinner of dumplings. They also have a truck that circles the city.
Andy: You had me at SNACKS-AS-MEALS. OMG! This, dear reader, is enough to make you book a plane ticket right now. Yes, like, right now. Come hungry.
A ‘daytrip’ in NYC is a trip to one of the boroughs. Which ones are your favourites, and why?
I was born in Brooklyn so I’m a little partial… I highly recommend Dumbo for any foodie as well as anyone who loves art. They have this amazing waterfront park that is always filled to the brim with events and you can’t get a better view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. In the other boroughs I really love Jackson Heights, Queens. It’s called “Little India” because of it’s heavy Asian and Indian influence and there’s so much art there, too. Finally, I wish people would come to see Staten Island, where I live now. We’re the “borough of Parks” because there is acres and acres of parkland. Because the Greenbelt which features world-class hiking, we’re in the process of creating what will be NYC’s largest park.
Andy: I can second the Dumbo recommendation – it’s such a cute place with a great view. I’m loving these other recommendations, because I’ve not been to either – I do know that Queens has GREAT food and the trip to Staten Island is worth it for the ferry ride alone. 😉
Last but not least: Any tourist attractions that you just can’t stand and really recommend people skip entirely?
I avoid Times Square at all costs. When I was a teen and interned in the area I thought it was so exciting. After seeing nether regions, getting pushed into gutters, having my wallet stolen in crowds, and missing more buses than I could handle, I now have a different view. Seriously, it’s just a bunch of lights. Instead, head down to Flatiron for a better look at classic New York architecture and much, much better meal choices, only 15 mns away.
Andy: I’d have to agree with Annemarie on this one. Yeah, I suppose seeing all those crazed lights once is good – get the pictures and get out. It’s just too over the top for me. Down to Flatiron is much more relaxed and a much more authentic and enjoyable experience, especially if you have children who will just get squashed in Times Square.
Awesome interview Annemarie, thank you so much for joining us!
Photos courtesy of Annemarie Dooling.
Enter to Win!
- Laugh with your guided tour of the Big Apple…in a hearse!
- See all the museums you want with a New York City Explorer Pass!
- Sleep in the comfort of The Roosevelt Hotel, a classy New York fave!
- And…Be in the Know with a free tip sheet and suggestion guide, courtesy of Sheri, our travel concierge.
Terms and Conditions: a.k.a. the fine print:
- Entrants must provide a valid email address to win.
- Selection of a winner will be made by Sharing Travel Experiences / Hayes Media Group and their decision is final.
- All offers subject to availability with each of our sponsors.
- Winners are responsible for their transportation to New York.
- Hotel offer valid only Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Tax & Gratuity are NOT included. Certificates non- returnable, non-refundable, and non-replaceable if lost or stolen, and have no residual value.
- Offer void where prohibited by law.