When it comes to staycationing in NYC, Awkwafina is something of an expert. When the Queens native and lifelong New Yorker isn't filming around the world (she's, uh, had a pretty busy few years, as evidenced by her back-to-back star-making roles in Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean's 8, and now The Farewell), she's kicking it back on her home turf. Which is why she partnered with HotelTonight, an app that lets you book last-minute deals on hotels for majorly reduced rates, to celebrate the art of the staycation and its gloriously convenient backyard amenities.
Ahead, we talked to Awkwafina about her fave hangouts for a weekend well spent across boroughs.
Refinery29: What are your favorite NYC staycation spots?
Awkwafina: The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. And then also, recently I had one weekend off and I figured, why not spend a night in Times Square? Because I'm from New York, and I've never had that experience. So I went and saw a show and then spent the night. New York is the kind of place where it's so small but it's like every block is a different neighborhood. Waking up in a different one is like a different world. I think that’s a really incredible thing about New York. And I think that staycationing is where our generation is going with travel. We're taking long trips less and less, and we want to do more spontaneous stuff like a weekend getaway around our friends and familiar places.
Favorite places in Queens that we all have to go to?
Definitely Knish Nosh on Queens Boulevard. That was like my favorite neighborhood place. And David’s Taiwanese Gourmet, which is in Elmhurst. It's a Taiwanese diner that’s open until 4 a.m., and it's amazing. I think that Flushing is also very under-explored. There are so many different regions of different foods there. And I also love Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. And I love all the parks in every borough. Flushing Meadows — good park.
Favorite bar in the city?
Goldie’s on Nassau Avenue.
How do you relax in New York?
The first thing you do to relax in New York is make sure you don’t have anything to do that day. And then I think it pretty much does it for itself. There’s so much to do if you want to do tourist stuff. If you want to go shopping, it’s all here — the city's a mall. Sometimes it's just a matter of hanging out with your friends, grabbing a drink, that’s it.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.