Yellow PagesLeah Lerner
April 29, 2014
Everybody has their own idea of the quintessential New York City experience. For most tourists, it probably includes the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park. But the real New York City isn't quite so obvious. To really see a city's heart and soul, you need to go where the locals go. Wouldn't it be great if you had your own personal tour guide? Someone who knows where to find the cobblestone nooks, hidden-gem boutiques, and tourist-free views.
If there's anything Ryan Serhant knows, it's New York. As a top real estate broker and star of hit reality show 'Million Dollar Listing New York,' it's his job to know the city inside out. He's all about old New York -- little side streets still unsullied by billboards, bustling Chinatown markets, and important stuff like where to get a shirt that fits, and a nice stiff drink. I asked Ryan to share his New York: where he would go if he had the whole day to explore. He took me with him (via phone) on a virtual tour as he drove across town en route to a client meeting. Here's what he said.
Take the 'Million Dollar' NYC Tour with Ryan Serhant, top broker and star of Bravo's 'Million Dollar Listing New York'.
"I typically start in Tribeca, because that's where my office is, and I think there are a lot of unappreciated side streets in Tribeca. There's a lot of little shops, like All Good Things, which is a boutique little beautiful grocer. There's a lot of really beautiful little cobblestone streets where you can just walk around and really see old New York. Because even when you go to the upper east side or the upper west side, the buildings are older -- but there's a brand-new DUANEreade right there, or there's 15 Starbucks. It's all been updated as time goes on, but there are streets like Jay Street and Leonard and Franklin and Beech Street that have never been touched. It's the craziest and the coolest thing. You look at photos taken of New York City in that area 150 years ago and it looks the exact same."
"Then I'd walk up Broadway and into Chinatown. Because no one ever goes to Chinatown. Everyone always come to New York City and they go to like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Top of the Rock, Times Square... They do the same things they see all the time. But Chinatown is hardcore New York. That's people working on the street. The open market is insane. I would show you an open truck full of pigs. We'd go and get lunch at Peking Duck House -- very inexpensive for the amount of food you get."
"A lot of people are talking about Chinatown because of the push of the Soho lifestyle into Bowery, which is now going to make its way into Chinatown. Chinatown is going to go the same way that Little Italy went. Little Italy doesn't even exist anymore. It's like half a block and you can't even tell, because there's such a need for housing."
"We'd cut over to Soho and go into some of my friends' shops, like Jeremy Argyle, which has beautiful cardigans, sweaters and cashmeres. Then we could go to the The Musket Room, which is over Elizabeth street. It's one of my favorite new restaurants and their chef -- I've had him chef private dinners for clients of mine in my apartment and they're awesome."
Meatpacking District/High Line
"We'd continue walking -- and I actually do do this walk -- up in through the Village over to Meatpacking. Get on the High Line and then to Hudson Yards, which is still a construction site right now but is going to be the second most-trafficked tourist site in the entire world next to the new World Trade Center. Because they're basically building a whole new city on top of the train tracks. It's unbelievable. They're going to have a skyscraper on wheels. It's so cool and so mindboggling, but people just don't know about it. And that's my New York tour!"
Ryan's Favorite NYC Spots:
All Good Things - Tribeca - "Just as the name implies, you'll find all good things such as Blue Bottle Coffee, fresh fish and produce, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Cavaniola's Gourmet Cheese Shop, Nunu Chocolates, Orwasher's Artisan Bakery, and flowers from Polux Fleuriste! The store opened in the summer of 2012."
Peking Duck House - Chinatown - "The Peking Duck is delicious of course! The atmosphere is beautiful and quiet, it is the perfect place to rest and refuel during a day of walking and shopping in Chinatown."
Jeremy Argyle - Soho - "My good friend Brian Jeremy Guttman owns the store and designs great fitting shirts with cool subtle details that aren't loud or flashy. Their shirts are cut at the perfect length and look great worn untucked or tucked in."
The Musket Room - Nolita - "One of my favorite new restaurants. Their chef, I've had him chef private dinners for clients of mine in my apartment and they're awesome!"
The Derby - Lower East Side - "My friends have been raving about a new spot called The Derby that I would like to try. It's on the Lower East Side, Orchard and Stanton. I've heard that the southern food, like the jalapeno cheddar grits, are delicious and drinks like the honey julep are incredible."
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker