Creative Coordinates: New York City

Travel inspires us. It takes us to new places and new spaces; it transports our minds, animates our spirits, and enlivens our senses. Creative Coordinates, our travel guide series, charts the world’s creative hotspots – places beaming with musical, artistic, cultural, and culinary inspiration.

For our latest installment, we asked LA-based Leica photographer Riley Harper to scope out a place we know well: New York City. So here’s a list of what to see, eat, and do if you have just a weekend to spend in New York— as seen through the eyes of a West Coast native.

NEW YORK CITY. With its packed city streets, chaotic yet powerful environment,  and overall vibe on a daily basis, it’s sometimes hard to find your sanctuary in the “Greatest City on Earth.” As a California native traveling to NYC so much in the last five years, I’ve had to find the places that fit my lifestyle. Here’s a list of my favorite places and spaces to beat the city chaos.

Stay—Crosby Street Hotel Located in the heart of Soho, and backed up to the extremely hip Lafayette Street, The Crosby Street Hotel is the best located and best decorated hotel in New York. It boasts amazing outdoor eating areas, a screening room, and little library dens and nooks located throughout the entire hotel for privacy and relaxation. And having every hot spot within a mile radius means less walking—a great thing for this Los Angelino.

Coffee and Shopping—Saturdays NYC  A New York Surf Shop with an entryway full of beautiful new surfboards and the warm sweet smell of brewing espresso. There’s an amazing little hangout in the back of the shop to enjoy their coffee and the books they have on display. Once you’ve finished your coffee, you can browse the cool clothing they have for sale, all surf-inspired with a high fashion twist.

Art and Culture—The Whitney Museum Hop on a Citi Bike—unlimited thirty-minute bicycle rides for twenty-four hours for only twelve dollars, saving you a bunch of money on taxis and Ubers—and ride over to the cobblestoned streets of the Meatpacking District, where you can spend an afternoon in awe of the art, views, and architecture of The Whitney Museum.

Food—La Esquina This old hole in the wall doesn’t look like much from the outside, but that’s what’s amazing about it. This quaint little Mexican food place has some of the best grilled corn in all the land. You can get food to go, sit outside, or, if you’re lucky, go to the secret downstairs dining room which is heavily guarded by a security guard with a list in his hand for reservations only.

Exploring—The East Side Cap off your day with a bicycle ride on the east side of Manhattan and find yourself in awe of the bridges that lead you to Brooklyn. These monstrosities never cease to amaze me. Fishermen and onlookers collect here to take a break from the ceiling of the city and check out the horizon.

Photos courtesy of Riley Harper

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