Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Anniversary New York

Last week marked my 3rd year anniversary in New York. Believe it or not, I moved to New York in tears. I had been to New York so many times before and always thought that it was overcrowded, too loud and way faster than I could live in. Of course, I loved New York, but a long weekend would give me enough dose of the Big Apple until I needed it for the next time.

My pre-NYC life in Chicago was perfect. Good friends, great city and I had a lovely spacious apartment with an extra walk-in closet. Even the cold and snow didn't bother me, as long as I had the space for my shoes and bags (+ new ones.) My only problem in Chicago was that I had just finished grad school and needed a job.

So in March 2009, began my New York adventure.

3 years, 4 apartments, 2 jobs and after the wonderful times spent with countless amazing friends, I am still here. I love this city beyond words. New York is though but as the song goes: "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

Intro to New York 101

Several times a month, I am asked a simple question with the most impossible answer:  "Where should we go in New York?"
I have an e-mail template that I forward to everyone with a couple changes based on who is asking but the answers are pretty standard: Yes, see the Empire State, watch a Broadway show, Central Park is so pretty, 5th Avenue is a lovely, take a picture at the Times Square...

My favorite part is giving 'where to eat' advices. Anyone who takes eating as seriously as I do is a great mind that I think alike.

Restaurant scene is amazing in New York. I am in this city for 3 years, I try not to go to same place twice but there are so many newcomers all the time, it is impossible to catch up. Here are some of the must-see places:

Buddakan : The place where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner on the movie. I take most of my first-time visitors to Budakkan and everyone always loves it. The decor is beautiful and somehow the food is always consistently good.

Pastis + Balthazar + Minetta Tavern: The famous Keith McNally not-to-miss spots. Minetta Tavern makes me feel the lovely old-school New York vibe. Balthazar is my happy place and  Pastis' bread basket is amazing.

Standard Grill: Located right below the Standard Hotel, what can be a better place for people watching? And having great cocktails + fries.

Maialino's: Absolutely one of my favorites. Everything is delicious and my friend ran into Madonna there!

Momofuku: Go all the way and indulge in the tasting menu.

Morimoto:  Although I really really love Bobby Flay and Michael Simon, my favorite Iron Chef is Morimoto. His restaurant is as good as his dishes appear on TV.

Magnolia Bakery: Overrated cupcakes, but the amazing banana bread pudding makes my heart beat as I think about it now.

And DBDG, Nobu, Locanda Verde, La Esquina, Beauty & Essex, ABC Kitchen, Little Owl (good luck trying to get a reservation!), Shake Shack, Eataly, Extra Virgin, Bar Piti (be careful, every other table might be Turkish too)

Let me know if you are coming New York anytime soon :)



  1. Momofuku dışında her dediğine katılıyorum! Momofuku iykkhhhhhh!!!

  2. More than I love New York, I love a New Yorker who has been living here for more than 3 years now, changed 4 apartments, last one being right above mine, has been to these amazing restaurants, shared delicious food, cocktails, white wine and most importantly best times with me in New York!

  3. ya biz senden sonraki uptown'daki momofuku'ta tasting menu icin gittik, inanilmazdi. bi dene, bi sans daha ver sevgili cem :)

  4. you are one of my favorite New Yorkers ekocum! new york ve sen favorite ciftlerimdensiniz.

  5. 4 ay once newcomer olarak gittigim NY'da, aynen bu sirayla butun restorantlara gittik ve katiliyorum, inanilmaz bir lezzet festivali yasadik... midemiz hala bayram yasiyor...
    thanx to u =)

  6. seni ne kadar cok sevdigimi biliyorsun di mi ekin palaoglu?

    1. bilmezmiyimmmmmmmm =))) bende seniii uzay kadar seviorummmm