Tag Archives: Maps

Introducing: Eye For Style Maps

After tons of research, and many foodie photo missions over the last 2 years, I am happy to present Eye For Style’s “Best of NYC” – my absolute favorite, highly recommended, culinary and cultural hotspots. Each awesome destination has been personally hand picked and mapped out, with original photography and reviews, by yours truly. Featuring topics such as NYC’s Best: coffee, pizza, brunch, burgers, cheap eats, vintage clothing, and more!

For the complete list of Eye For Style Maps, click here.

Disclaimer: I’m a die-hard Greenwich Villager and Loisiada, and make no bones about the fact that, in my opinion, The Village and Lower East Side are the best neighborhoods in New York City. My maps reflect this biased love – and I’m totally cool with it. These are my stomping grounds, my passion, my point of view.

That said, I love good food, wherever it may live, and I can occasionally be lured above 14th Street, or to the nether lands of the outer boroughs, for truly excellent eats. I would love to hear your comments and opinions about what YOU consider to be the “Best of NYC”. Please share your picks here and I’ll be sure to add them to my list. As much as I love giving suggestions, I love receiving suggestions even more, so dish the scoop. I’m all ears!

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, you’ve probably been racking your brain or scouring the web for that perfect romantic dinner spot, some better than average chocolates, and/or an intimate booth to grab a cocktail? If you’re still drawing a blank, make it easy on yourself and check out my maps of the Best Dinner Date Spots, Best Sweets and Chocolate, and Best Watering Holes for up-to-the minute tips on the ideal locale to wine, dine, and treat your sweetheart. Every one of these places are a guaranteed “no fail zone”. Pick any recommendation from the list with confidence, so you can simply focus on charming the pants off your date. You can thank me later…

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Filed under Art, Cocktails, Culture, Design, Food, Maps, New York City, Photography, Style, Travel

Best Cheap Eats in the East Village

Sure, the economy sucks, but that’s no excuse for not eating well, especially in the East Village, where starving artists co-mingle with a thriving Latino population, and even the most jaded Upper East Siders will “slum it” for evening to partake in the hipster fabulousness of the non-stop, late night cocktail/party scene that is synonymous with the LES.  Hard times or not, everyone loves a good bargain, and these haunts won’t disappoint – your taste buds or wallet. And for those of you who, come the wee hours are stumbling aimlessly in uncharted territory, begging for something tasty to soak up all that you’ve just imbibed, I’ve made it easy for you. Print this Top 10 list and the complete Eye For Style map before you head out. You can thank me later…

1. Artichoke Pizza328 E 14th St @ 1st – 2nd Ave

Hands down, the best slice in the ‘hood. They only fire up 4 types of pizza – classic margherita, artichoke (with a cheesy, creamy sauce), crab, and Sicilian – and they’re all freaking delicious. Don’t let the long line and erratic hours keep you away. It’s worth it. Grab your slice, cop a squat on a nearby stoop and enjoy the bustling scene on 14th Street, as seating at this joint is highly coveted and minimal at best.  Better yet, head southeast to nearby Tompkins Square Park for an alfresco pizza picnic – a perfect, cheap summer date on your way for drinks at one of the many cool watering holes on Avenue B and C.

2. Snack Dragon Taco Shack199 E 3rd St @ Ave B

Amazingly delicious tacos for only $5! I love the carne asada and the fish tacos remind me of being in California, where good and plentiful Mexican food abounds. It’s a lot more difficult to find it here in Manhattan, but these tacos fit the bill nicely when my cravings stir. These tacos are full of flavor, very simply prepared with that winning combo of onion, cilantro, and salsa. The place is really small and quirky. I honestly have no idea when it’s open and they don’t have a phone. You just have to take a gamble and walk over there. If they are open, you’re in for a tasty treat. Get one of each to really fill you up and some of their fresh berry lemonade to wash it all down.

3. Mama’s Food Shop200 E 3rd St @ Ave B

This place is down home, comfort food done right – huge platters of mac & cheese, fried chicken, collard greens and salads – all made with fresh, local ingredients. You can get a heaping plate of food for $13, practically enough for 2 meals. Pick your protein and add a couple of lovely side salads, or opt for an all veggie salad medley.  Stay and enjoy the eclectic décor, a mish-mash of retro furniture that makes you feel like your hangin’ out on Mama’s back porch in the South somewhere, chillin’ with your neighbors, shootin’ the breeze. And make sure you say yes please to a piece of cobbler.

4. Paul’s Da Burger Joint131 2nd Ave @ St. Mark’s Place

Wow, what a freaking good burger! So far, the best one I’ve had in NYC. So huge and juicy, once you pick it up and start eating it, it’s hard to put down. The bun will get soggy from all the drippings quickly, so I suggest you dive in with full abandon and power through until you finally surrender. If you manage to finish one of these monsters, and still have room, I suggest you head down the block to my next pick, for the best french fries at:

5. Pomme Frites123 2nd Ave @ St. Mark’s Place

These Belgium, thick cut fries are absolutely outstanding. Even a “small” here is a huge pile of golden crispy potato magic, all wrapped up in a white paper cone. And what’s even better than the fries? The 40+ mayo and mustard based sauces that you can pick from to accompany them! Do ask for the sauce on the side though. They do tend to be a little too liberal with it, which can be overkill and potentially make the fries soggy. They’re a great snack to share with a friend and goes great with a Paul’s Burger, if you’ve got the stomach for both. I double-dog dare ya.

6. Dumpling Man100 St. Mark’s Place @ 1st Ave

Between the hours of 3 – 5 pm, you can get a 6 piece seared dumpling plate and a drink for a mere $3.50. That’s cheap – and filling! When I’ve gone to Dumpling Man during other hours of the day, I’ve opted for the “Mix It Up”, whereby you can choose a combination of their dumpling offerings: chicken, pork, veggie, shrimp, “surprise”, or sweet. I probably like the pork best, which is somewhat curious because I’m not a big pork fan and typically don’t eat it a lot, but they do have the most flavor. The chicken ones are great too and have been voted “best chicken dumplings” according to various local foodie rags. The “surprise” dumplings of the day are usually especially yummy, often with stuffed with combinations of ingredients like ginger and scallions, yam or spinach, lemongrass and chestnuts. They also have daily soup specials, like corn & quinoa or traditional miso.

7. Mamoun’s Falafel22 St. Mark’s Place @ 2nd – 3rd

I’m a big fan of the chicken or lamb shish kebob sandwich, for a whopping $5. It comes with a lot of juicy, flavorful meat stuffed in a pita with iceberg lettuce, chopped tomato, parsley, onion, and a delicious spoonful of tahini sauce.  The falafel, hummus, and baba ganouj are also all very good in their own right and only $2 – 3 a pop. Put ‘em in a sandwich or go for the plate, which is even more food for just a couple bucks extra. This is good, delicious, filling food, right in the thick of the St. Mark’s punk and street vending madness.

8.  S’mac345 E 12th St @ 1st Ave

Mac and cheese made 10 different ways and served in a skillet. What’s not to love? Choose from old school versions like the all-american or 4-cheese, or something with a bit of a twist like the nepoletana pizza. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, try the parisienne (with figs and shitake mushrooms), spicy cajun or masala-style varieties. Whether you want just a nosh or are hungrier for a major munch, S’mac delivers a variety of sizes and some unique flavor combinations that really satisfy.

9. Café Orlin41 St. Mark’s Place @ 2nd Ave

This place has some of the best everyday brunch in the city for super reasonable prices. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to what I usually order – pumpkin pancakes slathered in cinammon vanilla yogurt and/or their mushroom shallot scramble with toast. Everything on the menu sounds delightful though and the portions are substantial. Try and get a spot on their sidewalk patio. It’s a bit of a squeeze, but you’re in prime position to watch all the activity bustling along St. Mark’s Place. I haven’t been here for dinner yet, but I have visited their sister restaurant, Café Mogador, located just a few doors down for one hell of a memorable meal with friends. Both these places serve up sophisicated, Middle Eastern and Meditterranean fare, without breaking the bank.

10. Westville East173 Ave A @ E 11th St

This place has spectacular food, for carnivores and vegetarians alike. One of my favorite things on the menu is their veggie plate – a mound of your choice of the latest seasonal farmers market vegetables. Eggs and burgers are also not to be missed. The space is beautiful, airy and open. Floor to ceiling windows line both facades of the building, providing lots of opportunity for hipster watching along Avenue A. It’s cheap AND healthy, which is a major plus in my opinion, and often not easy to find around these parts.

Want to know my favorite Cheap Eats in the West Village? Click here for the latest Eye For Style map.

For Time Out New York’s picks for Best Cheap Eats in NYC, check out this week’s cover story.

What are your favorite cheap eats? Comment below with your personal picks. All recommendations welcome!

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Filed under Food, Maps, New York City

My intention for this blog

Firstly, I’m a photographer/stylist, specializing in architecture and interiors. I love historic buildings, eclectic décor & modern design. I’m also an art, music, and food lover. I revel in all things that create “culture” – experiencing and documenting it, both locally and in my world travels, through the medium of photography and the written word.

It’s also worth noting that, without fail, no matter where I am, people always ask me for recommendations. If I’m on vacation, I’m often mistaken for a local and asked my opinion about where to go for fun activiities, amazing food, picturesque photo opts, etc. Perhaps it’s because I love to do research about the places I visit beforehand, so that by the time I get there, I’m already an “expert” of sorts. I much prefer to go “incognito”, doing as the locals do instead of hitting up tourist destinations. Doing my homework ahead of time, enables me to venture further off the beaten path, deepen the quality of my travels, and maximize my time in a destination.

And when I discover something that I absolutely love, I always want to turn other savvy folks onto it too. I really delight in sharing suggestions about my favorite places and it fills me with joy when people report back and tell me what a great experience they had based on my tips. So, I’m currently combining all of my interests: photography & digital cartography, style & design, food & art + lists & maps, musings & recommendations = my photo website and wordpress blog, which I happily share with all of YOU, the people who love this stuff as much as I do!

Welcome to my EYE FOR STYLE BLOG!

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Filed under Art, Dreams, Hollywood, Maps, New York City, Photography

Some backstory:

I’m Carly Caryn, a photographer and stylist, based out of my two favorite historic neighborhoods, New York City’s Greenwich Village and the Hollywood Knolls in Los Angeles, CA.

I’m a rare breed of Hollywood, California native whose love of architecture first began at the age of five, though I didn’t know it yet. My mother would drag me along on the historic walking tours of Los Angeles that she lead in the early 1980’s. I was known affectionately as “the preservation kid”, and grew up attending open house tours, boarding meetings, and community outreach events sponsored by organizations such as Hollywood Heritage, The Los Angeles Conservancy, California Preservation Foundation, and National Trust for Historic Preservation. Despite my perceived adolescent boredom with these subjects at the time, something resonated deep within…

I went on to attend UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and TV and later, Art Center College of Design, where I graduated with a BFA in Film, a music video reel, and delusions of grandeur about becoming the next hot MV director, a la Spike Jonze. Shortly thereafter, Historic Resources Group, one of LA’s top architectural and historic preservation firms, offered me the opportunity to photograph the Hall of Justice in Downtown Los Angeles for its CA State Office of Historic Preservation Tax Credit application.

One photography assignment lead to another, and over the last 10 years, I’ve since become a fairly accomplished architectural photographer, working on over 60 high profile renovation and rehabilitation projects with such notable credits as: The Standard Hotel, SoCal Institute of Architecture (SCIARC), Yamashiro Restaurant, 4 major Hollywood Studios, and over a dozen historic loft buildings in the newly redeveloped Artist & Old Bank Districts of Downtown LA, in addition to many exclusive residences designed by such esteemed architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, RM Schindler, Ray Kappe, Charles and Ray Eames. Needless to say, Julius Shulman is my idol, and I should be so fortunate to follow in his footsteps.

Out of my architectural work, sparked an idea for a personal photography project and labor of love – documenting LA’s retro “googie” signage and iconic historic landmarks, which I later applied the same concept to in my travels to San Francisco and New York City. I was initially attracted to capturing hyper-colorful old signage and their neon fonts, graphic shapes and construction for fun and use in my artwork, but as the project progressed, I started to feel a sense of duty and purpose in photographing these old buildings and cityscapes. After witnessing many architectural landmarks go by way of the wrecking ball time and time again, it became a personal mission of mine to document these gems while they are still in existence and ideally, play a part in their preservation.

This idea has more recently evolved into a new labor of love project, “geo-tagging” my archive of photographs with GPS coordinates and other such metadata to pinpoint their exact location on a web-based virtual map. I’m currently geeking out with all the latest technology, utilizing Google Earth/Maps to create downloadable maps and walking tours. I firmly believe that utilizing this revolutionary technology has the potential to become an invaluable cultural resource for the historic preservation and architectural communities around the world, and I would love to play a part in photo documenting and mapping historic districts, building by building, block by block. It is my hope that, through the medium of photography, I can play a vital role in the rehabilation process of historic buildings, document our city’s most beloved cultural landmarks, creating a library legacy of photographic images and urban mapping surveys, for future generation’s use.

Carly Caryn Self-Portrait

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Hollywood, Maps, New York City, Photography