The Coolest, Wildest, Weirdest Things To Do In NYC: A Guide for the Freaks

i love new york veronica varlow
I have a full on hot, wild love affair with NYC.

For two years when I first arrived here, I was a tour guide on a double-decker bus,
cruising down the streets in the open air
introducing tourists to my lover.

Here’s some of my favorite must-do, must-see picks of Gotham City:

♥  Make a wish on the Empire State Building and “blow” it out at 2am.

Seeking a beautiful and romantic view of the city lights and the moonlight?
The Empire State Building is open until 2am at the moment!
Head over to this epic Art Deco building at midnight and beat the crowds.
Two years ago on my birthday, I started making my wishes and “blowing out” the lights when they flicker and go out every night at 2am.

new york city skyline

The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building from my Bedroom Window in Brooklyn.

♥  Visit the Slipper Room (NYC’s oldest Burlesque and Vaudeville House) and take a picture of yourself in the gutter out front (It’s tradition.  I say so.)

The Slipper Room is my burlesque home and where I first saw burlesque and got my start.
It’s home to magicians, aerialists, burlesque performers, comedians, musicians, and fire performers.
Go be enchanted.
veronica varlow gutter photo

♥  Dine in a secret 1870s style Parisian train car on a rooftop.

Talk about romantic! Le Train Bleu on top of Bloomingdales is one of the best kept secrets in NYC.
Address: 1000 3rd Avenue, NY, NY – enter Bloomingdales and go to 6th floor.
le train bleu

♥  Dance among the club kids and you will never want to go home again.

Kayvon Zand and his partner, Anna Evans are the King and Queen of NYC nightlife. Their parties include Dorian Gray, Sex Fifth Avenue and others. Dance in a world of hot imagination.
Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 11.54.55 PM

♥ Ride the World Famous Coney Island Cyclone!

Coney Island is an enchanted place – go take in all the sights: ride the Cyclone, go to the world famous Coney Island Freak Show, make out on the Wonder Wheel and GO SEE Lola Star! <3
Lola Star

♥  Have a picnic in Central Park and wander around the sights.

Central Park Must-Sees are:
Alice in Wonderland Statue
Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon “Imagine” Mosaic
Shakespeare Garden
Conservatory Garden (where Burke and I got engaged!)
burke heffner veronica varlow

♥ Rock out at Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke

Punk Rock Heavy Metal Karaoke is a NYC staple. Now held at Fontana’s, you get to scream to your punk rock favorites as a live band plays behind you.
Pretty bad ass.

♥ Duck down a dark alley and into a real Prohibition Era bar.

The Back Room serves up beverages in tea cups (just in case the joint gets raided). Once a real Speakeasy 85 years ago, this place delivers that old world charm of New York City.
Look for the “Toy Company” sign. Go down alley. You’ll see the secret door.
Once inside, peek behind the bookshelf to another secret room.
amanda palmer neil gaiman veronica varlow burke heffner

♥ Visit one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world at the Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum houses World-Class Egyptian treasures – not to be missed. Go early to avoid crowds and wander the artifacts in silence.

♥ Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and go grab a slice of pizza at Grimaldi’s.

Do this at Sunset or Sunrise for fantastic views and a gorgeous skyline.  Also, nighttime walks for the city lights are gorgeous.
You can wave to the Statue of Liberty from the bridge!
girl gang

♥ Screw Broadway. Go see incredible immersive theater and be a part of the action.

Check out Sleep No More and Queen of the Night.
I can’t tell you anything else,
but just trust me on this one – you’ve never seen anything like this before.

♥ Check out these secret underground party lists for the best things to do whether you are a visitor or a local!

These three lists are your new best friends in New York City.
You’re welcome.
Nonsense NYC
Gemini and Scorpio
The Skint

jeff stark

What’s your favorite things to do in this enchanted city?
Tell me in the comments.
Looking forward to seeing you on a wild New York City adventure!

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Things I Think About Thursday: The Scandalous Stories of the Second-Hand

They are referred to as “the drug bust pillows”.

David Bowie's Mugshot

David Bowie has nothing to do with this post.  But he’s got this hot mugshot and you should see it today.  You’re welcome.

They take up a 3 foot by 3 foot space on my wooden floor.
Chocolate velvet.
And they came with a sketchy past.

They once decorated a fancy Soho club until the owner was busted by the DEA for laundering drug money and everything was seized. The chocolate velvet pillows then made their way to a community second hand store and into my hands.

I live among objects of story.

There is a little pink house in Brooklyn that for years I’ve passed by and imagined it was mine.  It has a little garden in front, and did I mention it’s pink?  One day, I passed by it with longing, and was surprised to find a perfect pink velvet Victorian chair standing elegantly in front.

My fantasy house birthed my fantasy chair.

The house was just saying…no, you can’t have me yet.  But I’ll tease you and give you a tiny piece of me to take with you.

And take it I did.

In my favorite pink chair in my office.

CEO Niney and her assistant in the Danger Dame office.

The folding chairs I own were once owned by the original incarnation of the world famous Slipper Room. They once held audiences sitting at the very edges of them while watching emerging neo-burlesque in New York City for years.  They were also dragged on stage by burlesque girlies to sit down upon while peeling off their stockings.  They also have handmade decadent red brocade slip covers made by Burlesque Queen, Jo Weldon.

My clothes, almost without exception, are finds from second-hand stores.  When I do shop, I go for that love-at-first-sight moment…that *gasp* for the second that my eyes meet something beautiful and sparkly among the other tossed off things.
1920s sequins, beads, and silk.
1940s cream lace.
Still crisp 1950s gingham.
A 1960s Girl Scout Leader Uniform.
A 1970s leopard jumpsuit.
Vintage slips from the 20s to the 60s.
All with history, all with former lives with other women throughout time. And now they have landed in my hands, they know I will take them out regularly and often.

I will dance in them until the bouncers kick us out, and I will wind up in a pile of people in the gutter looking at the stars.
They get very dirty being with me. But we are living, hun-nay.

This morning at 5am…my soul mate Burke Heffner and I witnessed the sun rise after dancing all night at Dorian Gray.
Picture 47

As we walked through the dark purple/pink light of the new day, I spotted these on the sidewalk:

Size 10 roller skates.
My size. Rare.

A gift from New York City, herself.

She wants me to fly through these streets like a ghost.
Confession: I was feeling lonely for a moment yesterday morning and was filling my heart with all the beautiful pictures of you that you’ve left in the comment sections on previous posts. I love seeing you. I love being able to communicate with you like this. So…. do you have any beautiful vintage finds that have wowed you and made you gasp when you spotted them? Show me in the comments. I wanna squeal with you in delight.

Loving you from Brooklyn in my 1930s slip.