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Alyse Whitney

Alyse Whitney

Articles (5)

The best flower shops in NYC

The best flower shops in NYC

Since we live in the concrete jungle, it can be hard to find fresh blooms anywhere other than the best parks in NYC. But one thing there isn’t a shortage of in Gotham? Flower shops! NYC is flooded with bodegas and markets that sell lovely bouquets outside on the sidewalk, but if you’re celebrating a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, you’ll need to visit the pros to tackle those floral jobs. The next time you need to impress your boo or make someone smile, use this list to find the best flower shops in NYC for arrangements, corsages, gifts and more. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best shops in NYC

Every cheese shop worth going to in NYC

Every cheese shop worth going to in NYC

A cheese shop is about to become your favorite kind of grocery store in NYC. Because being an adult is tough, but it’s easier to work a 60-hour work week and come home to an apartment share with two other twentysomethings when there’s a fridge full of cheese waiting for you. Instead of shrink-wrapped cheddar from Gristedes, treat yourself to a truffle-infused Gouda or a wonderfully stinky Stilton from the city’s best shops. (You can even add it to a bacon egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast perfection.) Or better yet, swing by a wine store and assemble an Avengers-level assortment for an impressive wine-and-cheese soiree. Sweet dreams are made of cheese—who are we to dis-a-Brie? RECOMMENDED: Full guide to restaurants in NYC

The best acting schools in NYC

The best acting schools in NYC

Looking for your big break? Get in the spotlight at one of the best acting schools in NYC. Whether you’re been dreaming of stardom since you were born or just caught the acting bug after watching the latest Oscar-nominated flicks or the Tony Awards, the first step is hitting the stage. If you haven’t yet booked any acting auditions or accidentally-on-purpose stumbled onto the set of Law & Order: SVU, get into a classroom first to learn how to become an actor. With alumni including some of the world’s leading actors and programs ranging from part-time evening classes to full Bachelor’s degrees, these schools will get you on your way to the big screen or the best Broadway shows in no time.

The best candy stores for sweet treats

The best candy stores for sweet treats

Sure, flower shops and chocolate shops see a lot of business for Valentine's Day, but instead, think outside the box for a gift or self-indulgent treat and dive into a candy store full of all kinds of goodies. Even through the whole year (or if you’re single for V-day), these specialty stores satisfy any kind of sweet tooth, whether you’re into fun-shaped sour gummies, saltwater taffy or nostalgic favorites from the ‘90s. Get ready to be a kid in a candy store.

The 10 best grocery stores open on Christmas Day, by neighborhood

The 10 best grocery stores open on Christmas Day, by neighborhood

Did you buy all your presents weeks ago…but forget all about grocery shopping? Here are the best grocery stores open on Christmas Day in each neighborhood—so if you wind up with a burnt ham and a grumpy gluten-free friend, you’ll have a savior. There are some grocery stores that deliver on Christmas, too, perfect for when you're too busy entertaining out-of-towners or don’t want to battle crowds of other last-minute shoppers fighting for that last carton of eggnog. RECOMMENDED: See our full guide to Christmas in New York

Listings and reviews (4)

Stinky Bklyn

Stinky Bklyn

For times when you need to run in, grab cheese and host a party that same night, Stinky BKLYN has you covered. The small Chelsea outpost of the Brooklyn shop has a case of around 40 cheeses ready to grab and go, house-made candied maple-bacon peanuts, spicy jalapeño pimento cheese, bread and, most important, growlers of beer. You could ring ahead and have a platter made, but then you wouldn’t be able to try one of its dozens of sandwiches, including a taleggio-fig-speck one that’ll blow your mind, or discover its Rice Krispies Treats studded with Golden Grahams. The selection at the Brooklyn shop is a bit wider, but the vibe remains the same: relatable, comforting and welcoming. One pro tip for the Chelsea location: You get 10 percent off wine from next door when you purchase any cheese.

Murray’s Cheese

Murray’s Cheese

Murray’s is basically the Willy Wonka’s candy store of cheese. The huge West Village shop is filled from floor to ceiling with everything you need for the perfect cheese plate, basket or late-night binge-eating session. The cheese case seems to stretch for miles and is filled with between 350 and 400 cheeses at any time. This goes from familiar clothbound cheddars to exclusive cheeses like the Annelies, an Alpine-style cheese that is cave-aged in the shop until it melts like a dream, and the Other Stephen, a funky beer-washed triple-cream cheese. Once you’ve worked with the friendly cheesemongers to find the best cheese and charcuterie, the rest of the shop has all the crackers, cheese tools (like knives, fondue pots and shirts with whey too many really-Gouda puns) beer and cider, honey and other condiments you need. Still not enough? Geez, you’re hard to please. There are also cheesemaking and wine-pairing classes, in-house sandwich shop Melts, a full restaurant, Murray’s Cheese Bar, next door and a second location in Grand Central Market.

Bedford Cheese Shop

Bedford Cheese Shop

Bedford Cheese Shop started in Williamsburg but has since expanded with an equally expansive, cheese-packed shop in Union Square. With 200 to 400 cheeses on average and a hearty charcuterie and pantry selection—from local chocolate to Italian pasta to all the pickles and olives you could ever want—it’s easy to assemble a gift for a friend or a smorgasbord for yourself. (If you can’t make decisions, it also offers platters, cheese-of-the-month clubs and pre-assembled baskets.) A handful of homemade spreads like hummus and addictive onion dip are also available to grab and go, plus sandwiches and house-made salads and roasted veggies. Some cheeses are cave-aged in house, and the shop specializes in fun yet detailed descriptions of cheese. (Example: Colston Bassett Stilton: “You would be a fool to let this buttery and warm-veined creation pass you by. Don’t be a fool. Really, it’s not charming at all.”)

Lucy’s Whey

Lucy’s Whey

The experience at Lucy’s Whey varies on what neighborhood you’re in. At the teeny-tiny Chelsea Market outpost, there are enough tourists crowded around the small case waiting for samples or an oversize—and totally worth the wait—pressed grilled cheese to give you a heart attack. But at the spacious Upper East Side location, you can chat with cheesemongers about its 100-plus cheeses—from familiar Manchegos and Goudas to the exclusive washed-rind, bark-wrapped Heinennellie hand-delivered from Vulto Creamery upstate—and pick up other cheese-plate favorites like assorted charcuterie, crackers and spreads. Attached is a farm-to-table restaurant that has seasonal fare plus staples like mac n cheese and chicken liver mousse, and a quick sandwich station for those looking for something on-the-go. If you do have time to stick around, it also has events like cider-pairing dinners and cheese classes, or you can bring the party to you with custom cheese platters.

News (2)

Musician Andrew McMahon takes us on a tour of his favorite New York spots

Musician Andrew McMahon takes us on a tour of his favorite New York spots

We’d usually be hesitant to spend an afternoon in Times Square, but when Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate invited us along to celebrate the upcoming release of his latest Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness record—Zombies on Broadway, out February 10—we had to go to the place that inspired it all. Zombies = slow-moving tourists in Times Square, of course.   We start the afternoon at Sapporo, an unassuming spot that’s cash only and no frills with a giant laminated menu of ramen and other Japanese food. “I know Times Square isn’t necessarily considered the hotbed of culinary magic, but this is the place where I ate vegan miso ramen almost every day while recording,” McMahon says. Later, he adds that you could “probably get your week’s worth of salt” in one bowl, so there is a chance he is made up of about 99 percent salt after his few months writing and recording in New York last year.   But more important, where did he like to drink? Not Times Square. “My go-to was a place called Hotel Delmano, which makes a really nice old-fashioned. Or I’d visit my friend Bobby [the guitarist from Jack’s Mannequin] at Olympia Wine Bar in DUMBO, or Hops Hill.” The morning after, he’d wander across the street to Devotion Coffee or hit Sweatshop for the undeniable pull of avocado toast.     After slurping some of the best ramen, we head around the corner to Gregg Wattenberg’s studio, who produced most of Zombies on Broadway. McMahon plays a private, keyboard-only renditi

New York will be warmer than all of these cities on Christmas

New York will be warmer than all of these cities on Christmas

The weather outside has been mostly delightful this winter, and for Christmas, it’s warming up yet again. This global warming phenomenon is weird on its own, but it gets even crazier: Los Angeles and San Diego are going to be colder than New York City on Friday. Yep—the Golden State is going to get chillier weather than the normally frigid East Coast, and it probably means the apocalypse is near.   In New York, even though Santa Claus is comin’ to town in mere days, the high for December 25 is predicted to be a toasty 65 degrees (with a low of 53, still well above freezing). There’s a 60 percent chance of rain, but basically a zero percent chance of the white stuff.   And that’s not all! Check out a dozen cities that will be colder than NYC on Christmas Day, and then keep dreaming of a white Christmas:   Boston: High of 60 San Diego: High of 57 Pittsburgh: High of 57 Los Angeles: High of 56 Indianapolis: High of 53 Cleveland: High of 48 Las Vegas: High of 47 Chicago: High of 44 Seattle: High of 38 Minneapolis: High of 37 Denver: High of 35 Salt Lake City: High of 28  

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