Ulrik Hedegaard Christiansen is a fashion and PR-hotshot in New York. He's been working with stars like Helena Christensen, Patricia Field and Camilla Stærk. We've asked him out about his favorite spots in New York to give you the perfect New Yorker-guide.
Tell us a bit about what you do as a profession in New York?
I have an agency called VIA NYC. We are a Creative Concierge for Danish companies wanting to do business in New York City. Whether it be fashion or TV production or a design company wanting to open up in NYC, VIA NYC helps with getting a foot in the door in NYC. We advice and consult on all kinds of projects our client may have and we offer a wide array of services. Having a large professional network here enables us to provide our clients with the absolute best help.
What do you think makes New York such an unique city?
NYC consumes and tempts you with it's energy - you can feel it when you get here. I have been here 17 years and I still feel it. There is no other city like it in the world.
The diversity of people, the architecture from amazing colossal to plain ugly, the choices of where to eat, drink or dance - you could choose a new wine bar every night. The fact that NYC has so many different neighborhoods in such a concentrated space is truly unique and thrilling, they change from one street to the next.
What is your favorite area in New York?
I am a downtown guy for sure! Anything below 23rd Street. I particularly love my hood of Noho, which is squeezed right in between Nolita, East Village, Lower East Side & SoHo. It's full of small unique boutiques on tree lined streets. In contrast you have the Bowery which is a very old street founded by the Dutch, it used to be a somber avenue with kitchen & restaurant supply stores. Now it's a bustling street with galleries, small designer hotels and some of NYC's best restaurants. But I also love West Chelsea or TriBeCa. Williamsburg in Brooklyn is another favorite, a lot of new urban culture and art is coming out of there at the moment and have been for a while.
Favorite restaurants and hot spots in New York?
It is said that there is so many restaurants in NYC and new ones constantly opening, that one lifetime would not be enough to try them all. So I tend to stick to ones near my home and as it happens some of the best ones are around there. I love the Moroccan food at Cafe Magador on East 8th Street, I enjoy Brazilian at Bar Bossa on Elizabeth Street, Southern cooking at Peels on Bowery is also delicious! Another regular is the Danish/American cuisine at ACME on Great Jones Street. Venturing out, August in West Village is a must, The Standard Grill below Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, Cookshop in Chelsea - all organic and amazing.
At the very TOP of that list would have to be Barney's on Madison. An exclusive department store that has everything a person with enough time and a valid credit card could desire. I love shopping on Bleecker Street in the West Village with its small store versions of Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld Pop-up etc. Mott Street and the streets nearby in Nolita are also exciting for shopping and discovering smaller unknown brands.
Where are the best places to go if you feel like doing something cultural?
This is a tough one to answer; NYC is the cultural mecca of the world as far as I'm concerned and there is something for everyone's taste here 24/7. But to name a few; Summer Stage in Central Park with its open air concerts on hot summer nights with the NYC skyline as a backdrop takes my breath away. Concerts in general at Terminal 5 or Williamsburg Music Hall. Visiting MoMa, the Museum of Modern Art. Gallery Thursdays on the Westside of Manhattan. Open air movie nights at Bryant Park behind NYC Public Library watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's". New York City Ballet or Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is worth the airline ticket alone.
Where do you go if you want to escape from the city noise and busy people?
New York City is located perfectly geographically. Snowboarding is one hour drive away in the winter, and when you want to soak in the sun, Miami is a quick two hour flight. In the summer, Long Island's beautiful beaches are just a quick train ride away also. If you have a wealthy friend in the Hamptons, you can go and stay there. There are mountains and rivers all around NYC so the options for daytrips are endless. If you can't get out of the city but still need a break, Hudson River Park on the Westside is an easy escape with bike lanes, park area and sun bathing on the piers while watching the cruise ships pass by.
We give a special thanks to Ulrik, for giving us such rich and detailed descriptions on his favourite places to go when visiting NYC and we hope that you all enjoyed reading our cultural post this week.
Have a great day! :)