In New York, it’s easy to transform business into pleasure. Waldo Hernandez, chef concierge at The Carlyle, shares his recommendations for visitors wishing to balance work and play during a working week in New York City.
Rise and shine with a morning workout.
Instead of getting straight to business, energize the morning with a workout session. Hernandez suggests visitors try out an indoor spin class at SoulCycle, which has 10 studios located throughout New York City. “[You’re] done in 45 minutes, and [it’s the] best workout ever,” he says. Better yet, SoulCycle provides free cycling shoes for first-time customers—meaning visitors can’t use forgotten gear as a reason to skip a workout. (soul-cycle.com)
Dive into a power breakfast.
“Clinton Street Baking Co. is the best breakfast spot in New York City,” Hernandez says. “The best thing on the menu is the [blueberry] pancakes.” Owned by chef Neil Kleinberg and his wife DeDe Lahman, the storefront on the Lower East Side offers freshly baked pastries, biscuit sandwiches and egg dishes like huevos rancheros and omelets. Be sure to arrive early; the restaurant sits only 32 people at a time. Though reservations aren’t accepted, the greeters will text patrons when their table is ready. (clintonstreetbaking.com)
Find a quiet space to send some afternoon emails.
When the time comes to pop open your laptop to answer emails and check what’s next on your schedule, Hernandez advises guests to find a workspace that still allows them to experience the city. “One spot to get work done with a view [is] the rooftop at The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” he says. Every day starting at 10 a.m., visitors can hop on the elevator in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts gallery up to the roof garden, where they’ll find an open terrace that doubles as a single-artist exhibition and a casual eatery. (metmuseum.org)
Take time to network over lunch.
Following morning meetings, Hernandez suggests a couple of local restaurants for a quick bite. First, there’s Crosby Bar at Crosby Street Hotel. “You can go in there and have a nice cup of coffee, and they have a nice outside patio—plus there are always celebrities there.” Or, Nougatine at Jean-Georges’ lunch menu features a selection of cold-pressed juices from Heartbeet Juicery alongside light, seasonal dishes like crabcakes and tomato soup. Nougatine is also a solid networking opportunity—a strict dress code allows only business-clad guests inside. (Crosby Bar: firmdalehotels.com) (Nougatine at Jean-Georges: jean-georgesrestaurant.com)
Close out the evening with a bit of music.
Instead of retiring to bed early, opt for a night out at Café Carlyle, which is located on the main floor of The Carlyle hotel. “Café Carlyle [is] one of the last cabarets in the city,” Hernandez explains of the musical program that first debuted at the hotel in 1955. “Woody Allen [performs] every Monday night. And big name comedians and performers rotate every two weeks. I think it’s great to round off your night at a jazz bar in New York.” (rosewoodhotels.com)
—Written by Kirsti Correa