What’s in a Name? 5 Popular NYC Neighborhoods

In New York City, there are dozens of neighborhoods to visit and while their names may seem simple, many of them are actually abbreviations, acronyms or portmanteaus.

“Neighborhoodification” has been occurring over the past two decades when new boutiques, trendy restaurants and hip residents move in to a particular area and create one of these unique names. Confused yet? Here is the name breakdown and lowdown for five popular NYC neighborhoods:

Soho (South of Houston Street):

Blocks of boutiques, famous name-brand shops, and cafes make Soho a more-than-desirable spot for an afternoon of shopping and lunch. In this historic cast-iron district, you will experience beautiful architecture and various art galleries, featuring artists from across the globe. Weather permitting, discover blocks and blocks of new, inspiring artists in a sea of street vendors including talented jewelry designers, painters, and photographers.

Nolita (North of Little Italy):

Nolita has also become known for its boutique shopping and quaint cafes. While Soho possesses a certain hustle and bustle, Nolita is full of quiet spots that give the neighborhood an off-the-beaten-path flair. Nolita is also the home to The Market NYC, a flea market where local independent artists, designers and entrepreneurs sell their creations, which is a must-see for any fashionista.

Mepa (Meatpacking District):

MePa is the spot for nightlife whether you’re looking for a full-on club or a low-key lounge. Find high-fashion designer shops including Diane Von Furstenberg and Stella McCartney without the same overwhelming Soho crowd. MePa is also the starting point for the High Line, a public park built on an old freight line elevated above the street, which is perfect for a relaxing stroll with beautiful views.

Fidi (Financial District):

FiDi is the home of Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, and with the work crowd comes some great lunch spots and happy hours. Battery Park is just steps away, where you can catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty, the World Financial Center and New York Harbor. Snap a picture with the Charging Bull, one of NYC’s biggest tourist attractions.

Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal Street):

Home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country, Tribeca is known for its out-of-this-world restaurants and celebrity sightings. The once industrial cast-iron buildings have now been converted into beautiful loft residences, drawing only the rich and famous. Tribeca is also home to the Tribeca Film Festival, founded by Robert De Niro in 2002, which brings in nearly three million visitors to the neighborhood each year.

5 Spots to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in NYC

When thinking about some of the great eats in New York City, delis and pizzerias most definitely come to mind. The problem is, you can only have so much pastrami and so many sloppy slices before you begin craving a change of pace. Here are some sweet suggestions for your NYC visit:

Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia has been the bakery hotspot since Carrie Bradshaw devoured one of their delicious pink buttercream icing cupcakes on an episode of Sex and the City. What people don’t know is that the banana pudding is actually their showstopper. The creamy, puffy pudding, along with fresh bananas and vanilla wafers will have you saying “What cupcake?” Now with multiple locations around Manhattan, you shouldn’t have to wait in line… for too long.

Dylan’s Candy Bar
Walking into Dylan’s Candy Bar will make you feel like you stepped right into a scene from Willy Wonka. Founded by Ralph Lauren’s daughter, Dylan, this store featuring rows and rows of candy ranging from Swedish fish to hard tack to chocolate will certainly give you a sugar rush. If that’s not reason enough to feel like “a kid in a candy store”, pull out a dollar bill and head to the chocolate fountain where they’ll give you your choice of fruit to dip in the velvety chocolate falls.

Serendipity III
A young John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale come to mind when you think Serendipity. The restaurant where they filmed the romantic flick, actually known as Serendipity “III” or “3” was made famous by the sweet love story and is known for their Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which at one time drew celebs in like Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and Jackie O. This popular location, its rich history and, of course, its dessert, makes the wait for a table worth it. They do not accept “dessert-only” reservations so to avoid waiting too long it’s recommended to reserve a table for a full meal.

Owned and operated by the same Italian family since 1892, this Little Italy gem will instantly have you in a cannoli craze. And if that doesn’t suit your fancy, rows and rows of other delicate pastries displayed in their cases certainly will. Enjoy a savory sweet, sip their famous espresso and take in the old-world ambiance and you’ll surely feel like you’re in a scene from a classic movie.

Baked by Melissa
Cupcakes in New York City have become “a thing” much like pizza. One of the biggest problems when it comes to having one of those hearty cakes, however, is deciding on oh-so-many flavors! If only you could have one bite of each. With Baked by Melissa, you can. Her bite-sized cupcakes in flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Mint Cookie and Chocolate Chip Pancake give you a taste of variety without feeling the guilt.

Visiting New York City: Five Insider Tips

New York City can be overwhelming on so many levels and when you’re visiting from out of town you only have about a million questions that need to be answered.  So before your trip, you Google and Google until your fingers fall off, or you call your second cousin who lived in Queens twenty years ago, but everything you find or anyone you talk to is only telling you about the latest Broadway show or the new museum exhibit that’s an absolute must.  In the midst of all the exciting things to do and see, here are some tips that will help you to survive your visit to the Big Apple:
1. Manhattan vs. Other Boroughs
New York City is made up of five boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.  Manhattan is most likely where you’ll spend the majority of your time.  The other boroughs require you to cross a river to get there.  Most of the popular hotels, theaters, museums, etc. are on the island of Manhattan and depending on how many times you’ve visited before, you may or may not choose to venture out to the surrounding boroughs.  I guess you’ll literally cross that bridge when you come to it.
2. “The Subway” and “The Train” are the Same
There’s the Long Island Railroad, the New Jersey Transit and the MetroNorth, but you will be dealing with what’s called the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) which consists of the New York City Bus and Subway System.  When people tell you to take “the subway” or to take “the train”, they are referring to the MTA subway system–any trains that run underground in Manhattan.  So don’t hop on that train in Grand Central Station because the cool guy on the street said to “take the train.”  Lovely as it is, I’d hate for you to end up in Connecticut.
3. Public Restrooms
Sure, there are plenty of parks with public restrooms and some subway stations but I would avoid those at all costs quite honestly, because what awaits you in those restrooms is always a mystery–a less than pleasant mystery.  You’re much better off strolling into a hotel lobby nonchalantly and making your way to the restrooms there.  Also, some of the larger department stores or chain stores (Bloomingdale’s, Old Navy, Apple, etc.) provide a pleasant environment for relief when nature calls.  Starbuck’s is a good idea in theory, but unless you’re willing to wait in a 20-minute latte line, I’d steer clear of that option as well.
4. Layering
I understand that you don’t want to look like a GAP window display gone terribly wrong, but no matter what the season in NYC, you’ll be sorry if you don’t layer.  When you’re out and about in 20-degree weather and then head into a building that’s pushing 88 degrees, you’ll thank me.  On the flip side, when it’s a humid, sticky 90, and you decide to go to the museum, if you don’t have a top layer on-hand, you may very well end up frozen and put on display next to the wooly mammoth.
5. Always ask for the Cross Streets
New York City is mapped out as a grid with streets running east to west and avenues running north to south for the most part.  No matter what your form of transportation (Uber, taxi, walking, etc.), when asking for directions or looking at a map always ask for or take note of the cross streets.  It will save you a great deal of time, not to mention backlash from upset New Yorkers as you stand dazed and confused in the middle of the sidewalk staring blankly at Google maps on your smartphone.

Fashion Insiders’ Tour for the University of Manchester Fashion Students

photo 5

Students taking our Fashion Insiders’ Tour now have the opportunity to meet with top industry professionals and learn what it’s like to be a true insider in the fashion capitol of the world!  On this tour, students ranging from fashion and design to retail, merchandising and business, partake in a wide range of exciting experiences including visiting a designer showroom, speaking with a member of the design team for a top designer, visiting the production offices where some of the designer garments are made, visiting and touring a world-famous fabric and textile shop (Mood Fabrics, pictured above) and/or visiting a fashion magazine headquarters and speaking with one of the editors.  In addition to learning about the “ins”and “outs” of being a fashion industry professional on this tour, students learn about the Garment District “now and then” and have the opportunity to visit other neighborhoods and venues in the city that are influential in the fashion industry, including smaller boutiques and a designers market, where they can speak with independent designers and boutique owners.

2013 Best of Manhattan Award Recipient

2013 Best of Manhattan Award

Press Release


ShopNYC Tours Receives 2013 Best of Manhattan Award

Manhattan Award Program Honors the Achievement

MANHATTAN December 11, 2013 — ShopNYC Tours has been selected for the 2013 Best of Manhattan Award in the Tours category by the Manhattan Award Program.

Each year, the Manhattan Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Manhattan area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Manhattan Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Manhattan Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Manhattan Award Program

The Manhattan Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Manhattan area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Manhattan Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Manhattan Award Program

Manhattan Award Program

Email: PublicRelations@bestofbusinessawards.org

URL: http://www.bestofbusinessawards.org

Featured on CNN Travel: 6 Exclusively New York Shopping Experiences!

Self-guided shopping tours

She prides herself on her ability to guide New York shoppers to the city’s unique boutiques, but Natasha Malinsky, founder of ShopNYC Tours, also knows that some shoppers would prefer not to have her around.

That’s why she came up with the idea of the self-guided shopping tour, an e-mailed itinerary complete with map and directions, for those who want the insider take on New York shopping but would rather do the act solo.

“Many people want to take their own time shopping and don’t want to be stuck to a guided tour schedule,” Malinsky says.

Her self-guided shopping tours are either thematic (specialties include a Fashionista Fave tour, Unique Gifts tour and a Recessionista tour), or can be customized depending on what people want to buy. (Yes, she can get as narrow as just scarves.)

Purchase pre-designed tours online for US$14.95 and receive a pdf itinerary. Or, e-mail for a customized tour, which costs approximately US$99-US$199, depending on needs. An iPhone app is forthcoming.

View the full story: 6 Exclusively New York Shopping Experiences.


ShopNYC Tours – 2011 Best of Manhattan Award Recipient!

ShopNYC Tours is honored to be a 2011 Best of Manhattan recipient!  Take a look at the Official Press Release from the US Commerce Association below:


ShopNYC Tours Receives 2011 Best of Manhattan Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

NEW YORK, NY, December 8, 2011 — ShopNYC Tours has been selected for the 2011 Best of Manhattan Award in the Tours category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

Sales & Sails: A Unique NYC Experience!

Finding the best way or a new way to experience New York city in a day’s time can be a real challenge. In attempt to solve that obstacle, ShopNYC Tours and Out on the Water Sailing have teamed up to create an unparalleled, action-packed experience in one day! With our Sales & Sails day in New York, you will spend 1/2 a day with a top-notch shopping tour guide and the other half with a captain sailing around bustling New York Harbor aboard your privately chartered 22ft sloop, Wanderlust.

ShopNYC Tours provides unique, behind-the-scenes shopping and lifestyle experiences for a wide range of shoppers from the splurging fashionista to the frugal recessionista. On our shopping excursions, tourists and locals alike discover hidden gem boutiques with their very own style-savvy guide. Did we mention our shoppers receive exclusive discounts? And guys—don’t be shy—we cater to male shoppers too! With this exclusive Sails and Sales promotion, ShopNYC Tours will be offering an All-in-One Shopping Tour, complete with a mix of trendy chic boutiques, hip vintage boutiques, men’s fashion boutiques and a handful of SALES hotspots! On this tour, you’ll also enjoy strolling the streets of unique Manhattan neighborhoods including Soho, Nolita, Noho and Greenwich Village—where, after you shop til you drop—you’ll meet your group for lunch!

The program is designed for groups of 4 or 8 people. 1 Group of 4 will shop in the morning and sail in the afternoon and the other group of 4 will do the opposite. We will all meet for lunch in the West village and then continue on with our new adventure. Up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty and an insider scoop on the hottest NYC boutiques in one day—what else is there to accomplish in the city?

$1995 per group of 4 

Contact us for reservations or custom arrangements.

Looking for a Hotel in NYC? Contact True Hospitality NY!

ShopNYC Tours has recently teamed up with Robyn at True Hospitality to offer special discounted room rates for our customers!  All the hotels that True Hospitality works with are chosen based on quality, comfort, style and value in each city that they add to their collection of hotels we represent. Robyn would love to help you with your next group, meeting or single reservation. Contact her at 347-561-5430 or via email at robyn@truehospitalityny.com.  Make sure you mention that you’re taking a tour with ShopNYC Tours to get extra special offers!