Celebrating National New York Day!
Did you know that the Empire State has its own day? Since 2017, National Day Calendar has been celebrating New York every year on September 21st. Officially made the 11th state in the union in 1788, New York also happens to be home to the greatest city in the world (okay, we're biased!).
Park & Lex Founder and Designer Dana Fiddes recently shared her favorite things about New York City. You may have already guessed, but the name "Park & Lex" represents Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue, two parallel, consecutive avenues in the Big Apple. Continue reading for Dana's favorite NYC picks.
Which NYC neighborhood do you call home, and how long have you been there?
DF: I was raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and - after living all over the city, including the Upper West Side, East Village, and even Queens - I have returned to plant my roots on the Upper East Side with my family.
Do you have a favorite famous NYC landmark or tourist attraction?
DF: This is almost embarrassing to admit as a true New Yorker, but my favorite landmark is Times Square. I vividly remember when my parents started taking me to Broadway shows. I think I was only four when I saw my first one. I felt such awe and wonder looking up at all the bright lights in the night sky. It was like magic. If I take a minute now to look up and remember what it was like as a child, the feeling always comes back to me.
When was the last time you visited the Statue of Liberty or went to the top of the Empire State Building? (Or did any of the classic, NYC rite-of-passage activities?)
DF: Not for a long time. But I really enjoy going to those places when friends and family come to visit, and they get to experience the wonder for the first time.
How often do you see shows on Broadway?
DF: It used to be once or twice a year, sometimes more. But since the shutdown in 2020 I haven’t been back yet.
Where do you love to go when you need quiet time in the busy city?
DF: Central Park is my refuge. No matter how stressed I feel, I immediately start to relax when I walk around the park. It’s my happy place.
How do you prefer to get around the city? Car, subway, or on foot?
DF: Absolutely on foot. I'll take a subway or bus if necessary, but if I have time to walk, I’m definitely going to walk!
Do you have a favorite neighborhood coffee shop or brunch/lunch spot?
DF: Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Gallerie is one of my favorite places to have lunch or afternoon coffee and dessert. It’s like being transported to Vienna. For a more casual meal, I love a local diner called Midnight Express. It’s my home away from home!
What’s your favorite place for a fun dinner out?
DF: Shabu Tatsu in the East Village.
Is there an art gallery or museum that you often frequent? Or another place where you find creative inspiration?
DF: I’m lucky to live so close to The Met. I go as often as I can and always find some inspiration.
What’s your favorite time of year in the city?
DF: There are things I love about every time of year in the city. I love summer when everyone leaves, and my neighborhood is so quiet it feels like it’s all mine. I love the winter holidays when everything is festive, and you can feel the spirit everywhere! I love the spring when all the trees and flowers come into bloom, and I can shed those heavy layers. And I love the fall when the mornings and evenings get cooler, but the days are still warm; all the leaves begin to change.
What part of the city do you enjoy visiting the most?
DF: It depends on what I’m in the mood for. If I want a night out, I still love going down to the Village. If I want to window shop, I’ll walk down Madison Avenue. If I want to feel like I’m “on vacation”, I’ll go down to Tribeca or over to Dumbo in Brooklyn.
What do you love most about living in NYC?
DF: There's literally always something new to discover! The city is always changing and evolving, so every day can be an adventure. Neighborhoods are always transforming, so if you haven’t been to one in awhile, it might be totally different from the last time you were there. You can take a vacation from the everyday right here in your own backyard.
Do you have a “best-kept secret”? For example, a cool restaurant, shop, theater, etc.I don’t know if it’s a secret, but one of my favorite places is Gallow Green on the roof of the McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More. It’s magical. (I also love Manderley Bar inside the Hotel.)