Ask Jess

Hi guys!  Welcome to the second installment of “Ask Jess”, in which I publicly  answer questions that I’ve received through the site!

Remember, if you have a question feel free to send me a Tweet, comment below, or post the question to UYC’s Facebook wall.  Looking forward to answering yours next!


Q: I’ve visited NYC several times and did most of the tourist activities. I would like to partake in activities and neighborhoods that natives are aware of and enjoy but the typical tourist does not. What do you suggest experiencing on my visit?

A: As far as “local living” experiences, I would absolutely recommend bringing your ipod and downloading a few of these Soundwalk walking tours. These will get you to the “off-beat” neighborhoods, while also storytelling and pointing out all the best places. Even as a New Yorker, I have learned so many cool things about different hoods, and discovered little gems I never would have known about.  And for reference, I love these things so much that I did 2 while visiting Paris, too!


Q: I will be in town for the NY marathon. Looking for an italian restaurant that is not over the top expensive that my daughter can “pre-load” the night before.  Any suggestions?

A: Yay, congrats on 26.2! There’s certainly no better way to see all of NYC! As far as Italian restaurants, here’s a few of my favorites: Eataly for it’s beautiful covered rooftop and authentic dishes, Carmine’s because it’s a NYC staple in the heart of the city with excellent food and HUGE portions, and Bottega Del Vino for its intimate atmosphere and the best lasagna and tiramisu you will ever have! Best of luck with the race, and bon appetit!:-)


Q: I’m spending Halloween in NYC. I have plans to go the the Halloween Parade in the Village. Also taking a six hour Halloween Bike tour the next evening. What other Halloween activities do you suggest? Haunted oases perhaps?

A: Such a fun time to visit the city! I would definitely suggest checking out Sleep No More, a spooky live theater event that allows you to wander through the McKittrick Hotel and witness the actors doing their magic! Or, if you’re into haunted houses, check out NYC’s very own haunted house. If “real” ghosts peak your interest, there’s a number of ghost tours in the city that are definitely worth checking out. And finally, don’t forget to stop by NYC’s many candy stores to really indulge in the Halloween spirit: Economy Candy on the Lower East Side is my favorite! Happy travels!:-)




Photo Credit: 1/2/3




  • Agness says:

    Soundwalk walking tours sound very interesting. It’s a great way to see the city from a local perspective. I like your new QA series!
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  • Mike says:

    That first question is not only right up my alley about New York but why I fell head over in heels with your blog last year, Jess! As long as I have a local guide I definitely want to be taken to the off the beaten path favorites of the locals. Especially the restaurants! 🙂
    Mike recently posted..A Grilled Veggie Pizza Delight From Last Winter!My Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Yay, so glad to hear that, Mike! And checking out the little gem restaurants is one of my favorite things to do, even as a local! So much to discover!

  • Scarlett says:

    Hopefully I’ll be coming to NY next year, so I’m going to get my questions ta the ready! x
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  • The Guy says:

    Great idea, I love the ask Jess concept.

    Not sure when I’ll return to New York but those downloadable walking tours sound like a fabulous tip.
    The Guy recently posted..Spring Hill Suites Latrobe Hotel ReviewMy Profile

    • Used York City says:

      Awesome! And they have them for lots of different cities, so maybe a place you’re traveling to has some!

  • Lydia says:

    Omg the Haunted Houses are surprisingly terrifying… I thought I was going to roll my eyes at the one I went to last year (the same one you linked to), but I was genuinely spooked.

    P.s. I love this list/Q&A idea!

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks Lydia! And awesome to hear that you enjoyed the haunted house…CRAZY scary, right?!

  • Maria says:

    Wow Jess, checking out “Sleep No More” does sound like a great way to spend Halloween in the city and I’d venture to go further and say that could be a crazy birthday event as well. Having read up on it now, seems like the right spot for anyone looking for a little something out of the ordinary. Cool tip.
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    • Used York City says:

      That’s actually where I spent my birthday last year, and had a great time! Although our little group got separated rather quickly, it was fun to compare notes afterwards;-)

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