5 Perfect Ways To Spend A Day With Yourself In NYC

Photo: Tom Kingston/Getty.
It was the best date I’d been on in forever: Thai food with a side of Vanity Fair at Lan Larb, followed by consignment shopping at INA, a 60-minute massage at Soho Sanctuary, and a red velvet Georgetown Cupcake for the road (fine, a dozen red velvet cupcakes for the road — they freeze so well!). See, I know how to treat a woman. As long as that woman is me.       

My impromptu date with myself was glorious and necessary, and not just for superficial reasons. As I moved through the city at my own speed, with my iPhone (mostly) tucked away in my bag, I was able to breathe, think, not-think — to wander the streets with the wonder and enthusiasm that lured me to New York in the first place. And, it's about time you did the same.     

Need a moment (or day) to take a step back and reflect? Here, find five itineraries to mend whatever ailment you're dealing with. Get ready for a delightful and restorative day with the perfect date: yourself. 
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
1. Grab your above-14th-street passport and head uptown.

2. Start at The Tailory — an elegant little fashion lab where designers create and custom-make your perfect shirt, blazer, skirt, or pantsuit. It’s a classy, collaborative, upscale-Project Runway-esque joint, complete with monograms and macarons.

3. Button up your blouse and check out one of the three vibrant food halls all within walking distance: City Kitchen, Gotham Market West, or The Plaza Food Hall. Ramen, taco, and gelato yourself into oblivion.

4. Should you choose The Plaza, see if celebrity-fave Francesca at Warren Tricomi can squeeze you in for a highlight, or try to score an insta-beautiful eyebrow wax from Maral Balian — the best brow artist in town. Otherwise, the only acceptable way to end a luxurious day near Central Park South is at the La Prairie Spa. If their $350 Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Facial is out of reach (reach hard, though, because it’s worth it), at least snag some sample products.

5. Go home. Now you're broke.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
1. Start the day right…from within. Book a mind-body session with Anu Abraham at Shift Integrative Medicine near Union Square. With her otherworldly hands, Anu can facilitate a magical (if emotional) letting-go in the body, creating space for a happy day ahead.

2. Walk over to Skin Laundry for a 10-minute, pain-free, insta-glow, super-dewy, "light and laser" skin treatment.

3. Promptly surround yourself with flowers. With advance notice, the sunny folks at B Floral can provide one-on-one flower sessions with awesome tips on chic bouquet arrangements and flower wellness.

4. Take your peonies and/or inner-peace for an afternoon delight. Have some iced tea and hazelnut-fennel salad at Haven’s Kitchen, or a hunk of buckwheat banana bread from the Smile To Go.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
1. You aren’t going to like this, but get out of bed and strap on your sports bra. You’re going to sweat your ex right out of your system at The Class — a 75-minute physical and emotional bootcamp with Taryn Toomey.

2. Taryn’s class is on another level, so you might need to go home and collapse. If you have any energy left, however, do a double workout. Get yourself to Aqua Studio, just a few blocks away in Tribeca. Water is the ultimate healer (and cellulite-murderer), and it’s a great excuse to bust out that one-piece that no one lets you wear at Soho House.

3. Pull yourself together for some museum therapy. Who needs your ex when there’s de Kooning and Rothko and all those tight-jeaned European tourists traipsing around?

4. Get lost in the mesmerizing Chelsea galleries and then refuel on the terrace at The Whitney's Studio Cafe with a glass of summery rosé and Chef Mike Anthony's super-seasonal creations. Soak in the breathtaking views, say hi to Lady Liberty, and embrace your own freedom.

5. Tipsy already? Take it to the bar at Santina. Order a Manganelli Punch (tequila, banana, pineapple, and cinnamon) and sail far, far away from reality…at least for the night.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
1. It's easy to get swept away by the money and glamour of the city, but a true New Yorker is not afraid of a little struggle. Without consulting Google maps, make your way from your conveniently located apartment to Greenwich Village on foot. Roam. Just roam. Go to bookstores and porn shops and John's or Joe’s pizzeria.

2. Hunker down at the IFC Center for an indie matinee. Don’t be scared: There’s nothing more relaxing than seeing a daytime movie by yourself.

3. After the flick, check in with Citymeals-on-Wheels; see if you can help. You might even get your own route, eventually. If not there, volunteer somewhere else that’s meaningful to you. Lending a hand is good for the soul and essential for the city we love. And, take the bus home; it’s the best way to see the world you live in.

4. Put on your least fancy pair of PJs, make a cheap and delicious "back-pocket" pasta, download the Kurt Cobain documentary, and drift away. You did good.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
1. Start the day at Counter Culture Coffee for a free and open-to-the-public tasting at their Training Center in Nolita. Geek out on funky, rare, and limited releases, and learn about the farmers behind the buzz.

2. Take those endorphins to a watercolor/ballet/Italian (you name it) class via CourseHorse.

3. Reward your hardworking brain with a cheese-fiesta at Murray’s Cheese, where you can casually browse, take a class, or even join a bootcamp. (Oh, and in case you met someone interesting at that cutting-edge ceramics course, there’s always the sexy wine-and-cheese pairings at Murray’s Cheese Bar next door.)

4. Head home with a copy of Kim Yorio’s The Joy of Writing a Great Cookbook (hey, you never know, even I wrote one!) and immediately order an on-demand massage therapist via Zeel to usher you from the wide world of discovery into a sweet night's sleep.