This weekend I hit the streets of SoHo with my best friend get some quality shopping + eating in. Typical BFF things, obviously. When we got down there, it felt like a ghost town. We tried figuring out what was going on- is everyone on vacation? Is it seriously too cold out for New Yorkers to go shopping (the answer: never)? Is Barney’s having some major sale we didn’t know about and we need to go back uptown immediately? Then we figured out that it was NYFW, an event that drags thousands away from the cobblestone streets slicked with stomach-turning puddles and into chic warehouses filled with beautiful people. I can see the appeal.
As we celebrated the lighter-than-usual tourist traffic, we were approached out of nowhere by good-looking men handing out pink tulips. Now from my experience, men don’t typically hand out roses for nothing, and they definitely don’t do it unless they’re expecting something in return (sex, acceptance of an apology, he tells you his mom is coming to stay with you guys for a week). So we were skeptical, to say the least. They could for sure tell what we were thinking, and were quick to point out that the tulips really were free, and they were just promoting a Valentine’s Day pop-up shop around the corner. Well, it was 15 degrees out and just a few days before V-day, so we decided to head on over. The second we walked in, we were thrilled. They were handing out flowers out the door, had set up booth for local businesses with products related to Valentine’s Day, set up a photobooth and were providing free makeovers, massages and goodie bags! This place was HEAVEN!
Let’s start with some of my favorite local businesses that attended:
Cupcake Market : This insanely creative bakery (located on the Lower East Side) was selling cookies + cupcakes decorated with celebrity faces. There was everything from Kanye West to Donald Trump, and the artwork was truly awesome. My personal faves? The iconic Kim Kardashian crying face and the Sad Drake. $16 a cookie, but well worth it. You know what they say… #DoItForTheGram
IXMUCANE :Branded as handcrafted botanical skincare, IXMUCANE stood at to me. Their setup was simple, but still lovely, and their products were high quality. I purchased the Balancing Facial Toner and the Rejuvenating Rose Mask, and I’ve already noticed a change in my skin. I have really sensitive skin, especially on my face – I have to be really careful of the products I use, or I break out and dry out instantly. Neither of these products had an adverse reaction with my skin (shocking, believe me), they smelled amazing, and I noticed my skin looking brighter! Total win!
Gatherings Floral Design : Moment of transparency – I dressed up as a pink fairy for Halloween and had a flower crown and I have been sad every single time that I see pictures from that weekend that I no longer have it. Enter Gatherings. Not only did they have a beautiful set-up at the event, but they also provided flower crowns for the photo-booth. WHAT A WIN, LADIES! They were absolutely gorgeous, and it was so fun knowing that they were made by a local-owned business. Pro-tip: – their arrangements are totally affordable. New Yorkers (especially men) are well aware of the high costs of bouquets in this city – you practically need to take out a loan to buy a nice one. This shop is well-priced and has great arrangements.
There were plenty of other shops, but these ones were my favorite. Check out @popupnation.co on Insta for more deets on the pop-up shop!
When You’re Too Tired to Shop Anymore, You Get Food..
After we left the #lovecraft event feeling spoiled, we walked a bit further over to Cha Cha Matcha . I honestly don’t know when this matcha craze took over, but I will never say no to going to a cafe decorated entirely in pink. Throw in some palm tree designs and cute coffee cups, and I’m there! Which is how we ended up at Cha Cha Matcha, a small cafe on Broome Street. It was super busy when we went, but I’m sure that’s mostly due to the fact that it was around 1pm on a Saturday, and this is a newer Cafe with Insta-worth aesthetics. Check it out on a random Wednesday (because on Wednesdays, we wear pink!) and I bet you’ll have a way more laid-back experience. Good luck!
Moving on to Oficina 1m , which is just a few doors down from Cha Cha Matcha on Broome. First of all, I took a few clients out to lunch here last Friday and ordered some of their homemade bread with homemade chocolate hazelnut spread (basically their higher-quality version of Nutella) and WHOA. Order it. Just do it. Then one of my friends/colleagues offered me a bite of her mushroom ravioli, which I almost turned down because mushrooms are literally the most disgusting things in the world to me. But for some reason I took and bite… which is how I ended up back here on Saturday afternoon for lunch. I literally came back to this exact restaurant 24 hours later because I NEEDED to order that ravioli for myself. It was breathtaking. Ugh, I actually miss it just thinking about it. I sincerely apologize to my readers for not being able to post a photo of it – the one I have simply won’t do it justice. Somebody get me another reservation…
Anyway, the decor here is simple + cute, the staff is really attentive + friendly, and I had two really wonderful back-to-back experiences here. It’s not a dive, but it’s just casual enough that you don’t need to be dressed up to go, and you can go in wearing your sunglasses and dedicated hangover outfit without being judged. I’m a fan.
Have any places that you think I should check out in the area? Comment below!