Natalie runs digital innovation at a media agency, Universal Mccann. She has been living in New York for 3.5 years, and has spent 3 years in California - first in San Francisco and then in LA. Natalie is British, but she spent her early years in Singapore and makes regular trips to the Philippines where her mother is from. She loves travel, adventure, eating, experiencing life...
What kind of traveler are you?
I am an adventurous, spontaneous traveler. Not at all anxious. I don't like to over-plan. I am as organized as I need to be... however, not a smidgeon more :)
What are your must-dos when you travel?
It is crucial to have insider tips. I don't like the idea of following the cookie-cutter tourist trail. I insist on trying local cuisine in authentic local eateries, whether that is street food in Bangkok, Hawker stalls in Singapore, Jewish delicacies in New York (such as at Russ & Daughters) and hunting down the best soup dumplings.
What is your favourite destination to date, and why? Do you have pictures to share?
Pamalican Island in the Philippines. It is my heaven. My happy place. (photo below - shot of island from the air).
Pictured above: Pamalican Island (photo credit: Natalie)
What is next on your bucket list of places to visit? Why?
India and Japan. I am dying to do both properly. These are places so rich in culture and history and so multi-dimensional that a lot of thoughtful pre-planning is required here! While I have I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to many places, I am glad I have these two gems in my future...
What are your 5 travel essentials?
Passport (obvious, but worth stating...), credit cards, smartphone (maps, camera, books, in one), Mophies galore, Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm.
What kinds of souvenirs do you bring back with you from your travels?
Something locally made and often food-related: handwoven rugs and bagoong (shrimp fry) from the Philippines, hand-crafted ornaments and Tajin (to make micheladas) from Oaxaca, something from the bazaar in Istanbul....
What are your favourite neighbourhoods in New York, and why do you love them?
I am currently in love with all places Brooklyn. There is enormous variety in the neighborhoods. From the gritty urban warehouses of Bushwick to the thespian-intellectual brownstones of Cobble Hill. I have a special penchant for Fort Greene - the park, and the Flea Market...
In each of your favourite neighbourhoods, what/where do you recommend to...
Eat: The Peasant (choose the wine bar downstairs)
Drink: a martini at Rin Tin Tin
Party: on rooftops
Hang out: just about anywhere in Nolita - I love the little stretch on Mulberry between Prince and Spring
See/Do: shop at the boutiques on Elizabeth between Houston and Prince
Pictured above: The Wine Room at Peasant NYC (photo credit: Peasant)
Pictured above: Maialino (photo credit: Gramercy Park Hotel)
Eat: Lucali Pizzeria
Drink: Brooklyn Social
See/Do: stroll down to the water, pop into the various bars and coffee shops along the way.
Pictured above: Brooklyn Social (photo credit: concreteplayground.com)
What are your favourite things to do in the city on weekends?
Explore Brooklyn by bicycle.
How do you relax in a city like New York?
I get no-nonsense massages at my favorite Tui Na place, Taiji.
Where are your favourite ice-cream joints?
Van Leeuwan in the East Village.
Pictured above: Van Leeuwen Ice Cream (photo credit: nyhabitat.com)
What about a few of your favourite bars, and tell us why?
I am currently a fan of Happy Ending in the Lower East Side. It's relatively new but in the style of a classic New York night spot, and draws an interesting crowd which is key. Otherwise I am not tied to specific places, as much as events - often in "secret locations" in Brooklyn.
Where to stay in New York
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