What to do in New York state

I promised a guide to New York, and here it is. I plan to produce a few more of these over time - how would you feel about a guide to Colorado? (By the way, my favourite accessories brand Benah interviewed me about Denver as a travel destination. If you've wondering why I'm so obsessed, check out what it's all about here.)

What not to do

Times Square is called the armpit of New York City for good reason. Unless you enjoy being punched in the face by the most tasteless aspects of capitalism, it's no fun. 

Where to spend the weekend

True life: I'm addicted to passport stamps. By the time I turned 21, I had already stamped my way through an entire passport, and the way mine is looking now, I'll have to order a replacement before it expires. If you can relate, then use your New York trip as an opportunity to cross another border: visit Niagara Falls. (Though it can be viewed from the US side, the Canadian side is far more impressive.) It's truly spectacular.

Why choose the Hamptons for R&R when this gorgeous thing is just a day's drive away? (Oh, and the drive is almost as impressive as the destination itself. Upstate New York is a sumptuous treat for the eyes.)

Where to stay

The ideal places to stay in New York City will differ vastly depending on the purpose of your visit, and whether you've been there before. If it's your first time, anywhere in Midtown will be ideal, since that's where many of the tourist attractions are. But if you've been there, done that, skip over the river and head to Brooklyn, the growing borough for which most tourists don't often venture out. For similar prices as downtown and uptown, the neighbourhoods there can be far more exciting.

Where to dance

Behind an unmarked door on a filthy street in Chinatown lies Le Baron, one of the best clubs in the city. It's the kind that reminds me of Australian clubs: small, classy, and featuring great music that swings between new house and throwbacks to early 2000's hip hop and R&B. (I accidentally discovered it by means of a NYFW afterparty that saw it endorsed by a gaggle of famous models, including Lindsey Wixson.)

Where to drink

New Yorkers are spoilt for choices as far as places to down a tinnie or two, but for something that will offer you a good amount of unique craft beers, make Proletariat your venue of choice. Or if cocktails are more up your alley, try The Blind Barber, a speakeasy-style watering hole in the East Village.

Where to eat

Vanessa's Dumplings is renowned among the locals for its 25c dumplings, and fantastic Beijing-style pancakes and soups come at equally incredible prices. Don't go during standard meal times, as it's not uncommon to see a queue out the door. Expect to have to stalk down a table at any of Vanessa's three locations.

Do it like a local

Sign up to The Skint's newsletter in the days prior to your trip to find out what's happening across the boroughs. Lots of obscure - but even cooler for it - shows end up on these daily emails. (The Skint's tagline is 'free and cheap new york', but its value doesn't lie in the low cost of the events as much as the variety of events. It excludes the awful touristy stuff, leaving you with information locals rely on to find pop-up events, secret gigs, and other hidden gems of the city.)

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Do you love New York (city or state) as much as I do? What are your tips?