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.
17-atxl1

♥ 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.
sekhmet

♥ 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.
SleepNoMore

♥ 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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Adventures In Spring Cleaning: How To Attack Your Closet With A Vengence

It’s Springtime in Brooklyn.  And the warm weather makes us want to throw out half the things we own and run half naked through street sprinklers (i.e. illegally opened fire hydrants).

I can’t help you get half naked. But I can help you attack your closet.

1.  This is a job to be done with one of my favorite drugs…. Music.   So, please, hit play on my very first 8 track mix (thanks for the tip, Gala Darling!) and enjoy the random picture of me passed out under clothing racks taken by Burke Heffner.

I’m not explaining it.

2.  Speed Sort – It’s like Speed Dating Your Closet.   Grab the first item in your closet and in a two-second gut reaction proceed to throw clothing item in question into one of three piles on your bed:  “Yes”, “Maybe” or “Hell No”.

    • “Yes” pile:  if you love wearing it, it fits you right and makes you happy.
    • “Maybe” pile: if it’s been sitting there with no action from you for six months or more.
    • “Hell No” pile: if you bought it, brought it home, felt guilty, and kept it there because you felt bad about buying it.  It’s clothing.  It doesn’t have feelings.  Ditch it.

3. Rejoice in the Void.  Oh, you Saintly Thing.  Empty closet of cleanliness.  Ignore “Maybe” and “Hell No” and just say “Yes”.  Carefully put all the absolute 100% “Yes” pile on your bed – back on the rack.  Notice how cute your closet looks.  Notice how much room you just made for more 100% future YES clothes to join their friends here.  They would get along nicely.  Closet Fairy Godmother swoops in and allows you to pick 3 of your favorite things from the “Maybe” pile.  It is a struggle.  But you listen to her, for she is wise.

4. Release The Rest of Your Treasures into the Wild.   Donate, swap clothes with friends, or get your other friends to all do this together and team up to throw the clothing party of the CENTURY.

Wanna come to our party? *ahem!  More-vintage-slips-burlesque-costumes-vintage-hats-and-jewelry-than-you-can-deal-with…*

vintage-awesomeAnnouncing GOLDMINE – a wild closet raiding extravaganza!   Miss Scorpio @gemini_scorpio (event producer/promoter/curator extraordinaire with a closet to die for), myself and a bunch of our burlesque, designer, and cabaret circus friends are teaming up and opening our closets to the world!

When: The Sunday, May 19th!
Why: Miss Scorpio is fundraising for the Gemini and Scorpio Loft – a badass art space project now on Kickstarter and I am selling to fund the final push of re-building our upstate home that we lost to a fire.  We thought this would be a fun day to get together with some friends and create a dress-up dream sale! It’s going to be costume/vintage/custom/designer clothing heaven!
How: Click Here for all the juicy details.

This is Miss Scorpio.  And her closet is YUM.

This is Miss Scorpio. Clothes and Girl – YUM.

So Lovely Dangers….tell me about your closet clearing tips.   What would be in your wild clothes flinging music mix?  Have you held clothing swaps or parties?  Or share a picture of one of your favorite snags from a friend’s closet or party…..

I snagged this faux fur cream coat from my neighbor, Lucille, who told me stories of rocking it out in the 60s before she passed it along to me.  It has been in the gutter with me and all over the country on a tour bus….and of course, chillin’ with my lovely artist friend, Miss Zelda Devon.

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Can’t wait to share style stories with you!