Where The Locals Go

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Though I am no local, I do know my way around the city pretty well. This comes at an advantage when I am trying to find a new place to shop or eat. In order for my fellow non-local students to make the best of their trip to the city or for those Manhattanites who want to expand their go-to stops; I have compiled a list of my five favorite places to stop at near FIT. I strongly recommend taking a look so you never have to leave the city bored, wishing you could have stayed just a bit longer to add to your already awesome day at FIT.

1.The Smith: On the corner of 27th street and Broadway, one of my personal favorites, The Smith serves up some highly satisfying bites for people of all ages. With an underground photo booth and a classic yet rustic aesthetic, you can’t go wrong. I would 10 out of 10 recommend this restaurant as your next lunch or dinner destination after a hard day’s work at FIT.

The Smith

The Smith

2. Chelsea Market: At 72 9th ave between 16th and 27th street, this indoor marketplace is a melting pot of food junkies and shopaholics. With a variety of small businesses and great pit stops to chow down at, there is something for everybody. If you are in the mood for crêpes, American classics, Italian cuisine or any other food imaginable, Chelsea Market has you covered. And whether you want to find the latest trend or the next best thing there are countless stores to browse around in. These include Anthropologie, various pop-ups, local artist vendors and a variety of other eclectic shops to find what you are looking for.

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market

3.The High Line: On a beautiful sunny day this is the perfect spot to spend your afternoon. Running from Gansevoort street in the Meatpacking district to West 34th street between 10th and 12th; you can walk through what is almost two miles long of an old train track, admiring the classic skyline of Manhattan. The best part is, it’s free!

The High Line

The High Line

4.The Whitney: This museum that is strictly devoted to American art is located at 99 Gansevoort street. It is chock full of amazing artwork from some of today’s most popular American artists. If you are a sucker for anything modern or contemporary then I am sure you will fall in love with something, and if not the art, then you definitely will obsess over the view The Whitney has to offer overlooking the ever-changing skyline. When you are done drooling over all the museum has to offer, you can browse their awesome gift shop and sit down at The Whitney’s prestigious restaurant, Untitled. (Do not forget to use your FIT ID for a student discount on admission!)

The Whitney Museum

The Whitney Museum

Untitled at The Whitney

5.The Style Shop: Full of funky vintage finds, designer jewelry, and awesome FIT apparel there is no way you can leave this remarkable boutique without falling in love. Located right here on campus in the Dubinsky lobby, The Style Shop, run by actual students, is the heart of the Merchandising Society here at FIT. This savvy team does everything from buying to selling and makes sure every customer leaves with a bag in their hand a smile on their face.

The Style Shop via @The_styleshop instagram

The Style Shop via @The_styleshop instagram

Thanks for reading,


My Not So “Typical” Typical Saturdays

            Of course for many people going to FIT for Precollege classes seems to be anything but typical, but for us, Precollege students, it is either routine or quickly becoming. Not every Saturday is the same for me but most often this is what my Saturdays going to FIT and in being in NYC look like – basically here are the things I love to do and places I love to go (and what I recommend to anyone who may have time to kill whether it be before, after, or even in between class).

CatherineLyons_photo 2Shopping:

  • 5th Avenue

5th Avenue is known for expensive shopping. Of course I don’t have that kind of money but I still enjoy going into expensive stores like Bergdorf Goodman. It’s not as intimidating as you’d think. They are nice there, even to an overly excited 15 year old who most definitely won’t be buying anything. There are plenty of more reasonable places to shop as well though like Zara, Urban Outfitters, Barnes and Nobles, etc.

  • Herald Square

Herald Square is a nice area to shop in with the The Manhattan Mall and other shops around like Macy’s, Forever 21, Zara, H&M, Aldo, and seriously so much more. And it’s literally right by Penn Station!

  • Soho

I don’t typically shop in Soho just because a lot of the shops I like to go to can be found at a much closer location (like Herald Square) BUT I still like to go because the only Topshop in the city is in Soho and there are some other shops there as well that are only in Soho.

  • Thrift Stores

Beacon’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill (I haven’t been to a lot in NYC but I plan on going to more in the spring)


  • Pret A Manger

Ah! Where do I begin!? My love affair with Pret A Manger started only a few months ago, but EVERY Saturday I stop in (there is like one on every street) and grab a snack for the break during class. The rosemary potato chips are my absolute favorite I highly recommend them!

  • Chipotle

I don’t have to explain this one, do I?

  • Panera Bread

I adore Panera especially the one by FIT mainly because it has a cool loft (my suburban Panera does not have a loft!) but I really love the food and the “You Pick Two” deal.

  • Whole Foods

Of course it’s a supermarket, but I know for sure the one in Columbus Circle has buffets of pretty good food out, with a lot of stuff ranging from salad to Indian food. They have pretty good baked goods as well (I love the almond croissants)!

  • Eataly

Eataly is by the Flat Iron building and it is an Italian food market with some restaurants in it as well. I’ve never had actual dinner there before (because the lines are quite long on a Saturday night) but they have really amazing gelato and paninis.

(Looking at this now I realize that I really don’t eat anywhere unique AT ALL)

CatherineLyons_photo 2 (1)Parks:

  • Central Park (Near Columbus Circle)

I usually walk around the lower part of the park by Columbus Circle. I really love Columbus Circle, they have good shopping, a Whole Foods and other yummy food places, and of course Central Park is right there. What I tend to do is go to Whole Foods pick up a pastry and walk through the park. Central Park is quite nice early Saturday morning; people are out all around doing weekend errands or going for a jog.

  • The High Line

The High Line is basically a park built on an elevated platform that used to be used as a railway. I highly recommend going, it’s quite crowded but still nice.

  • Madison Square Park

It’s right by the Flat Iron building it’s small but Shake Shack is there and they have tables with heat lamps when it’s cold so that’s a major plus!

  • Bryant Park

Another nice park! It’s like right behind the New York Public Library; there is ice-skating and some little pop-up shops in the winter, places to eat, and nice seating.

Just reinforcing this – of course there are plenty of things to do in NYC, these were just some of the places I thought could be accessible and quick for a Precollege student to go to either before or after class (probably not in between except for some of the food places I listed). But I would also like to add (I wouldn’t want anyone reading this have something bad happen to them) to make sure you have your parent’s permission to go anywhere that’s not FIT. And it’s probably best to have someone with you; I don’t go alone I go with my best friend Betsy who also takes classes a FIT.

If anyone has any other suggestions – or I wasn’t clear on something and you need more information please feel free to comment below!