The news may be saying one thing, but my city is far from dead. I’ve been here the entire pandemic and, yes, there were eerie times, but the city is alive and well. From the outdoor restaurant scene to the outdoor fitness game, the vibes are positive and the drinks are as strong as the New Yorkers drinking 'em.
“This stupid virus will give up eventually…We’re going to keep going with New York City if that’s all right with you. And it will sure as hell be back. Because of all the real, tough New Yorkers who, unlike you, loved it and understood it, stayed and rebuilt it.” - Jerry Seinfeld
WHERE TO STAY
Due to lack of tourism during the pandemic, you can find insane deals at some of the most sought after hotels. One of my favorites being the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca, fully equipped with restaurants, a cocktail lounge, a jazz club, and free bike rentals.
WHERE TO EAT
The outdoor food scene is on another level in NYC. Restaurants have truly upped their game with outdoor structures filled with space heaters and plants galore. Mayor de Blasio is allowing restaurants to use sidewalk space for outdoor seating and closes popular streets to vehicular traffic. It gives New York a very European feel and I’m certainly happy it’s here to stay.
A casual American Brasserie with four upbeat locations in NYC. They have truly taken over the streets with a massive amount of tables and heaters. Masks are required when a server/busser is at the table which I love -a company that truly cares about the wellbeing of their staff. Oh, and the mac and cheese is deadly.
By the nightclub guru and founder of Rumble Boxing, Eugene Remm, Catch OG is a downtown destination for in-the-know New Yorkers, where panoramic views of the city skyline set the stage for an intimate experience, any time of year. With both indoor and outdoor options and a dope brunch and dinner menu, you can’t go wrong. Highly recommend the truffle sashimi and the Instagrammable “hit me” cake for dessert. Catch Steak combines the authority of a classic steakhouse with the lighter, brighter style and energetic vibe of a Catch property.
I selfishly threw this one in there since it’s down the block from my apartment, but if you’ve never been to the LIC waterfront, I highly recommend taking the ferry across the East River, walking around Gantry state park, and grabbing dinner at this Michelin star Mexican gem. The spicy Margaritas and ceviche are CERTIFIED.
WHERE TO WORK OUT
While indoor group fitness has yet to receive the green light to open, the outdoor fitness scene is booming as everyone is suffering from a bit of “Zoom fatigue.” While the cold winter is coming, these bootcamps have been crushing it over the last few months. I say throw on a Rhone half zip, leggings and a beanie and come through in the snow, yo!
As a founding Trainer of Rumble’s second concept, Rumble Training, I . We’ve been rocking out classes outside at Catch Steak and WeWork at 511 25th st, silent disco style, with headphones, dumbbells, and great vibes.
Noam Tamir saw a huge opportunity for outdoor bootcamps right below his gym TS Fitness. The location is right beneath the Queensboro bridge on 61st street, giving the location a certain grungy New York edge. He has teamed up with various Rhone community members such as Matthew Forzaglia, Jason Markland, Alan Filauro, Max Karp and myself to combine forces and bring clients the strength workouts they’ve been itching for.
Founders Alex and Dean’s “ultimate mission is to bring you a smarter standard in training. Not only do we want to help you become your most badass self, but we want to unite an unstoppable community of humans.” They’ve been rocking out outdoor classes at the Hunters Point Oval in Long Island City, fully equipped with kettlebells, HIIT, and challenging circuits. Their programming is smart and their chemistry infectious, making you want to hug them and curse them at the same time.
So there you have it. 48 hours in one of the greatest cities on earth, even in a pandemic.