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Live Like A Local

Tips from NY Insiders on the City's Best Hidden Gems

The island of Manhattan serves up thousands of offerings within its 22.7 square mile radius. However, true New York locals have the inside track on the places that might be off the radar for those who don’t claim The Big Apple as home. We’ve tapped a few of the city’s notables for their secret spots and insider tips. From where to find the best pho in the city, to how to get past the stoic doormen at the city’s toughest doors, we have everything you need to conquer New York City like a local.

Larry Milstein

A philanthropist, social media influencer, and overall man-about-town, Mr. Milstein is a stylishly constant fixture on New York’s most elite social circuits. The young heir is not yet past the twenty-five year mark and has already been featured in the New York Times and the Observer. Oh, did we mention that he also partnered with the Human Rights Campaign to co-found the Millennial Pink Party, an initiative specifically created to push social progress?

The Secret to a Great Night Out: "After hosting my 21st birthday at Up & Down, I continued to keep in touch with the people who helped make the event so special. More important than getting past any door is building relationships at my favorite spots, such as Casablancas in SoHo or the Surf Lodge in Montauk. These relationships are part of what makes going out fun: you'll always run into old friends or familiar faces.”

And what’s your tip for building these relationships with these notoriously choosy gate-holders? “At the end of the day, being a nice person who treats others with respect — especially those individuals deciding whether to grant you entry — is the surest way to have a fun night in New York.”

Cedric Marian Alexander

An international DJ who has rubbed elbows with Hollywood elite and played at some of the world’s most famous and renowned venues. You may have heard him djing at a Fashion Week Balmain After Party or spinning at such hotspots as: The Box New York City, Raspoutine Paris, Curtain Club Amsterdam, or Ku De Ta in Bali.

Through Lunch to Late Night: “For lunch, Bep Ga has the most amazing pho, while for dinner you can find me at Balzem, an amazing spot in SoHo. Try the quinoa salad with steak and lamb chops. For the best parties in the city now, cross the bridge to Brooklyn and check out the Memoirs Party at Schimanski, or stay in Manhattan and check out The Box (an oldie but still a goodie!)”

Kristen Kruczowy

A self proclaimed “cross between Kate Hudson, The Khaleesi, and Mary Poppins. Figuring single motherhood out one crisis at a time.” By day, Kristen has the inside scoop on all of the celebrity dirt as an Editor at Bauer Publishing, the home of magazines such as Us Weekly and In Touch. By night, Kristen shares her take on life and motherhood as a contributor for Disney’s Babble.

Her Perfect NY Night: “For the quintessential NYC night, start with dinner at The Smith Midtown. I’d order the kale and quinoa salad and the hot potato chips with bleu cheese fondue. From there, head downtown to experience the magic of the “Don Huevo” dessert at Bodega Negra. It literally transforms from a globe of white chocolate into a molten lava cake with the help of piping hot caramel sauce. I love to end my nights at hidden gem, Apotheke, where mixologists whip up next level drinks and a chill vibe.”

Sebastian Norena

If you’re a fan of Jay Z, you may have heard his famous lyric about “ending up at 1OAK.” The Butter Group has positioned itself as hospitality’s preeminent group in New York’s competitive nightlife industry. Among their venues are Butter Restaurant, led by Executive Chef and Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, Up & Down, 1 OAK, and its outposts in Las Vegas, located in The Mirage and Los Angeles. Check out these hotspots and you might just bump into A-list actors at a table, rub elbows with supermodels, or see Justin Bieber jump on the microphone for an intimate, impromptu performance. The company also hosts pop-up events at the world’s most sought after events, parties, and festivals. As the Director of Events for Butter Group, Sebastian has the inside track on the best places in the city.

Can’t Miss BBQ: “One of my favorite restaurants is Cote, a Michelin star Korean BBQ spot in the Flatiron District. The Owner, Simon Kim, has done a wonderful job of creating and cool and fun vibe while incorporating high-end meats and truly authentic Korean dishes. The coolest part of the restaurant is the downstairs portion. In my opinion, you MUST try the butcher chef’s tasting menu – it’s insane!”

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