Back when I was a young journalism student earnestly turning in assignments for my early classes, I fell in love with two newly released magazines that not only bucked the trend of dying mastheads by having the audacity to print, but also epitomized the kind of journalism I aspired to. The first was Monocle, with its international-facing reportage and aspirational bent. The second was Afar, which featured the kind of mindful, intelligent travel I yearned for. My favorite article from the first issue was a story where the writer went to Paris to learn how to make baguette. From a Frenchman. I mean: Come. On. Who wouldn’t want to travel and write for that?
A few months ago, Afar released its Wanderlists and Highlights, community-sourced and vetted “must-dos” that are far more interesting than any random’s Pinterest board. Having entertained dreams of my name appearing in the magazine *ahem*, I started submitting a few of my personal New York City highlights to Afar Magazine’s Wanderlists. Recently, I got a sorta promotion to “Local Expert,” so, yeah, I feel good about myself. I thought I’d take a second to share my photos and a few snippets of those things I’ve submitted (slash, please check them all out!):
“Amidst the old train rails and ‘30s train station styling, Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel oozes style while slinging incredibly potent cocktails. Host to the popular play/event, Sleep No More, the McKittrick’s newest cocktail venture is a dream Doctor Who episode: Right from the elevator, you are transported to a ‘30s style speakeasy, complete with dancers moving to the latest styles, while heady tipples like the Damned Spot (whiskey, lime, ginger beer and bitters) and Blonde in Peril (a sexy dual tone cocktail of vodka, Lillet, crème de cacao and Port) slow down time.”
“Billed as “Super Fancy Grilled Cheese” (prices range from $7.95 to $9.25), Little Muenster builds its flavors first on ridiculously buttered organic peasant bread before continuing the taste-parade with such ingredients as Merguez sausage, sirloin patties and crimini and shiitake mushrooms. The cheeses range from Ricotta gremolata and taleggio to fontina and the namesake muenster. The high quality ingredients are paired expertly with their cheese partners, resulting in appetite-busting grilled cheeses that put Mom to shame.”
“While food is served (a bon vivant’s choice of charcuterie, housemade sausages, cheeses, salads and pickled vegetables), the draw of the Birreria is its incredible selection of house-brewed, cask-conditioned ales. Though “brew” may not be the right word: these tipples are crafted. Using ingredients like chestnuts, thyme and Italian wheat, these ales ($10 a glass) are flavorful and easy drinking, though simultaneously deep and subtle. If it is on the menu, order the Etrusca Ancient Ale. Recreated from a 2800 year old recipe with the help of Molecular Archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern, the ale’s ingredient list sounds like that of an alchemist: hazelnuts, pomegranates, Italian chestnut honey, Myrrh resin, Gentian root, Delaware and clover honey and Senatore Capelli (an Italian wheat).”
By all means, don’t just read mine! My good friend Kirsten Alana (an Afar Ambassador, no less!) keeps the train rolling with some amazing photography, story-telling and curation. If you have a minute to indulge some laptop wanderlust, definitely give the Wanderlists a gander.