Thursday

Eyewitness New York City. Nicolette Orlemans


Nicolette Orlemans is the face behind the blog Cultural Reflections. She is interested in all sorts of stories about moving to the USA, and in how expats handle the new culture in their lives.

She is the founder of #CultureTrav, which is on every Thursday. Everyone working in Social Media, knows, it is best when enjoyed together, because it is all about community. So go on then, join the fun and play together. The more the merrier.

Nicolette is so lucky to call New York City home, and tells us about her special places in the city.

THE TOURISTIN: Three words that characterize New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: New York City is vibrant, diverse, and interesting!

THE TOURISTIN: How do you get around New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: The best way around is with the subway. You can (usually) get to where you need to be quickly, and it's a relatively easy system to figure out. Walking is also enjoyable and allows you to get some exercise while discovering new parts of the city.

THE TOURISTIN: What is the best kept secret about New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: Revealing that wouldn't keep it secret much longer...but I do love the historical High Line. It provides people with the unique perspective of seeing New York City "from above." When you go, be sure to bring a camera, a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy a leisurely walk! It can be a little bit windy, so keep that in mind.

THE TOURISTIN: What is your favourite borough/suburb/area in New York City and why?

Nicolette Orlemans: The West Village, Chelsea, SoHo, and the Upper West Side (around Lincoln Center) truly represent what New York City is all about, to me. I work in Midtown (very close to Times Square), so I usually leave the area quickly to avoid the crowds. Brooklyn and Queens are wonderful as well, and you'll find fun restaurants, cozy cafes, museums, and other events there. In Brooklyn, I especially enjoy Greenpoint for its Polish cuisine, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, and DUMBO for its art community. In Queens, I've explored Astoria and really like it there as well.

THE TOURISTIN: The best place for a hot chocolate or coffee in New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: Jack's Stir Brew Coffee in the West Village. Specialty coffees, interesting menu, and love the cute cafe with portraits on the wall.

THE TOURISTIN: What is one restaurant we must try out while in New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: Two of my favorite restaurants are in my own neighborhood in Harlem. Red Rooster has a nice ambiance with live music and tasty food, while at Chez Lucienne you can enjoy authentic, delicious French cuisine.

THE TOURISTIN: Where would we meet you on weekends?

Nicolette Orlemans: The beauty of living in New York City is that weekends are never quite the same. There are many events, art galleries, museums, festivals and other activities happening in all parts of the city throughout the week. I have subscriptions to several newsletters that alert me to events. Even though I've lived here for more than two years, I feel that there is always something to explore.

THE TOURISTIN: Do you have a favourite museum/gallery we all have to visit when in New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: The American Museum ofNatural History and the MoMA remain favorites, but another gem is the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). The museum showcases the artistic process behind making the art, and you can easily wander around without getting lost in a crowd or feeling overwhelmed.

THE TOURISTIN: What are some of your favourite places to shop for A) groceries and B) clothes?

Nicolette Orlemans: Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have great, fresh grocery selections. Both will be crowded on any day (especially on the weekends), but the lines move quickly and have convenient locations throughout the city! Another smaller, specialty grocery store with a wide assortment is Fairway.

If you enjoy shopping, SoHo is wonderful. There are not only many popular (designer) stores around SoHo, but also fun restaurants and cafes to stop by for lunch or coffee. On a rainy day, the mall at Columbus Circle offers fun, indoor shopping!

THE TOURISTIN: What souvenir shall we bring back from New York City?

Nicolette Orlemans: I find that the best souvenirs are your own photographs since they let you hold on to fun memories, but magnets are a nice, lightweight memento, as well.

THE TOURISTIN: Thank you so very much for your time Nicolette and safe travels.

Meet more eyewitnesses from South Africa, USA and Europe here.

From Berlin with love

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.