A monthly installment. Real Girls. Real Shit.

Week – 04

Curated for you by OVERT City Girls, Steph + Tessa, it’s the stuff that happens from payday to the day before the next payday, from cultural commentary to where to find the best haircut in Chinatown.

A monthly installment so that you can concentrate on all the good stuff.

Something happened.

Ode to the dive bar.

In New York, there is no shortage of nightlife but there is something truly satisfying about finding a bar that’s exactly what you need it to be. Somewhere with a bartender who has good chat, serves cheap drinks and always has a seat for you at the bar.

Dive bars are the quintessential New York bar experience and most of the best ones have been around for decades. You can feel the history and the soul of the venue, obviously, this isn’t all of them, some are fratty and stink of alcohol and should be avoided at all costs.

It’s a bit of Russian Roulette until you find your place, for us, this was Leftfield, tucked away on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side.

Leftfield was a long-standing establishment attracting a clientele consisting mainly of skaters due to the fact that at one time, there was an illegal skate half pipe on the back patio.

The bar was going through a bit of a rough patch, closing down and then reopening with a new feature, a Tiki Bar. Half the venue was a fully fledged Tiki Bar, the other half was the old dive bar, there was a wall between them, and out the back was a pool table.

John, the Irish bartender who’s been living in New York for over 10 years, looked like he could have stepped out of a bar scene of any Guy Richie film, with the accent and attitude to match. He put up with any and all late-night antics and acted like he had seen it all before, probably because he actually had.

A night at the bar drinking vodka sodas with John would end up costing about $15, no matter how many drinks you had, and there were always a few tequila shots thrown in for good measure.

Maybe not so unsurprising due to the price point vs alcohol John would sling on any given night, Leftfield officially closed a few months back, sold off as part of the new Essex Street development. A stark reminder that as more of these dives disappear from the city, nothing really compares to the innate feeling of a bar that is steeped in history, stories and probably a little grime.

Something to eat

Hello, Gorgeous.

Sugar Momma is the latest venture from the team behind New York brunch scene staple, Hole in the Wall. Steering 

away from the cafe, nighttime service at HITW’s Cliff Street location has rebranded into a fully fledged dining experience with dishes and flavors that lean heavily into Southeast Asia.

The menu is mostly designed to be shared and you will want to eat everything. We recommend the oysters, obvi, the crispy pork belly which is sticky, sweet and salty, the shrimp and crab cracker that you can pop into your mouth all at once and the beautifully cooked wagyu rib eye in XO mushroom butter.

Owner Barry Dry ups the ante with his playlist that is exclusively 90’s hip-hop so you can bop along to Nas and Salt ‘n’ Pepper while you sip on carefully constructed cocktails.

Take note: this is somewhere you want to dine before heading out into the night, possibly for debaucherous behavior.

Something discovered

Chinatown jewels.  

Things that are trending: layers of fine chains overloaded with charms, crosses, and heirlooms. Haphazardly throw on a bunch of these necklaces with a worn tee, and you have yourself an instant outfit update, however, we’re not millionaires yet so it’s not always easy to add to the stack without blowing the budget. Luckily, like most things we need Chinatown comes through with the goods.  

New Top Jewelry came highly recommended by a friend, G, who seriously knows her bling. Hidden away on Centre St between bakeries and nail salons, you’ll find the store occupying number 185B, a narrow shared space with walls covered in gold and silver trinkets on the right and a large mirrored panel on the left.

Social media savvy shop assistant Jane, has grown a solid Instagram presence leveraging the store’s influencer clientele. Downtown It Girls, models and celebrity stylists that are known to frequent New Top, have been snapped for IG with their photos proudly displayed on the walls of the store among the jewels. Jane is friendly and relaxed and lets you try things on without hovering. She will let you know what length looks best on you, whether it is an earring or a chain and can even design and create a custom piece.

Check out the Anine Bing style single earrings or 14ct gold chains and charms starting from $50. As with all the good things in Chinatown, pay cash or buy more than one piece and Jane will be happy to give you special price.

Something combined

Meditation meets art.

Walking down Church St in TriBeCa you could easily walk straight past Dream House, an art meets meditation space and a throwback to the legendary, artist-friendly New York of years gone by. Founded in 1993 by visual artist Marian Zazeela and experimental music icon La Monte Young, it is designed to completely overstimulate your senses, so that when you go back out onto the city streets, the lights and noise no longer affect you and you feel a sense of calm.

But what is the cost of calm in NYC? Well, it’s a suggested $9 according to Dream House. Heading into the apartment you’re immediately hit with the smell of incense and a drone-like buzzing with intricate looping harmonies created by Young.

The placement and mix of the tones create a “psychoacoustic phenomenon” which means what you can hear in the music changes based on whether you’re moving, standing still, standing up, lying down, in the back or in the front of the room. The rooms are purple lit, with immersive light installations on the walls, there’s a shrine of some sort and you can explore a second room which has an upside down TV installation. Find your zen and you can easily lose track of time in the space.

Dream House has served as a continuously running light-and-sound installation for decades, supported by the MELA Foundation, Dia Art Foundation, and an apparently very sympathetic landlord.

Something well said.

“Everything. The chaos, the speed, the ability to hide and meditate and learn and grow and to fall and to get back up and keep on going.”

Sofia Karvela on what she loves about living in NYC




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