New York is a top destination for weekend breaks and shopping sprees, but it’s a very different case if you are moving to New York to live and work. While tourists flock to the Burger Joint in the upscale Parker-Meridien Hotel in Midtown and want to see and be seen at the Ty Bar in the Four Seasons, expat life in New York tends to gravitate to quieter off-the-beaten-path restaurants and bars.
Similarly, shopping this popularity with visitors means it gets crowded, so many residents save their visits for when they have friends and family in town.
So where do you shop and dine as an expat when moving to the USA, particularly in New York City?
If you’re a newbie moving to New York, you may want to find your feet fashion-wise in Saks Fifth Avenue before heading out to the smaller boutiques and fashion stores that line this famous street. Shopping along Madison Avenue is all part of the expat life in New York, with a range of international shops, boutiques, jewellery stores and hair salons between 57th Street and 80th. Retail therapy simply doesn’t get better than this.
However, those who have enjoyed expat life in New York for a while will recommend Nolita in Lower Manhattan. It certainly compares favourably with SoHo for chic boutiques and a local ambience. Greenwich Village has a host of independent speciality stores and food shops, particularly along Bleecher Street where studios and bookshops rub shoulders with record stores and gourmet delis. As a regular, you’ll soon become known and greeted warmly by local traders.
If you want to take some New York gifts back to family and friends in the UK, where better to find the epitome of New York life than at the NY Yankees Store on Broadway. As well as baseball shirts, hats and catcher’s mitts you’ll find a host of New York City gift items to show your friends that moving to New York really is a whole new way of life.
Times Square is the hub of New York City and certainly backs up the famous saying that New York is the “city that never sleeps”. However, those moving to New York and taking up a new job are unlikely to be living in Times Square. You certainly won’t want to waste time in lengthy taxi rides getting to and from an evening socialising with colleagues and friends. You need to think local.
East Village is the hub of New York’s club scene, notably led by Webster Hall, one of the city’s most popular nightclubs. It has an iconic connection with a string of top entertainers and with five dance floors you are sure to find something that appeals to you music-wise. If you prefer something more refined, try Cleopatra’s Needle on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It’s a top jazz club and a great choice for enjoying expat life in New York.
If you’re familiar with the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood of Midtown New York, try Terminal Five which attracts some top DJs. Alternatively try the Penthouse Executive Club on W. 45th St and Eleventh Ave for an after work gathering with a South Beach vibe. You’ll find it’s a great place to find expat life in New York if you’re moving to the USA on business.