SuChin Pak: Correspondent, Daily Candy + Founder, The Hester Street Fair, NYC

SuChin Pak: Correspondent, Daily Candy + Founder, The Hester Street Fair, NYC

The Founder of the Hottest New Outdoor Market in NYC Is Your Lower East Side Tour Guide

You probably know her from her work for MTV, where she hosted the network's first Presidential Dialogues, covered the Haiti and Katrina crises, and Hosted/Co-Produced the doc series, "My Life Translated," recognized by Oprah Winfrey for it's insightful portrayal of young people struggling with cultural identity. In real life, she's stayed true to form creating a new, white-hot and culturally rich outdoor, artisinal market called The Hester Street Fair. This Lower East Side, weekend destination, highlights a curated and rotating selection of NYC's best in crafts, vintage and bites from lobster rolls to mexican popsicles. SuChin knows her stuff...don't even think of going to NY without checking out the spots on her "Perfect Saturday" list!

A Perfect Saturday On The Lower East Side:

  1. Breakfast at Freeman's Ally freemansVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: 191 Chrystie Street, #2F, New -at the end of freeman alley.  Off Rivington btwn The Bowery and Chrystie, New York [Lower East Side]I would start off my day with breakfast at Freeman's Alley.  They have this Swedish platter of smoked fish and capers that's pretty incredible.  I like to get there early because the later it gets, the more crowded it gets and nothing worse than starting off a day  than pushing through lines of hungry New Yorkers.  The restaurant is really romantic, you have to walk down a long alley and at the end, you get to what looks like a hunting lodge frozen in time.
  2. Shopping at MNZ Store mnz storeVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION:123 Norfolk Street-between Delancey St & Rivington St New York [Lower East Side]The next stop is shopping at Maryam Nassir Zadeh.  This place is part gallery, part clothing store.  She always has the most exsquisite pieces from the chicest lines like Vanessa Bruno and Margiella, but has racks of incredible stuff from designers from all over the world.  I bought a silk dress here from an Israeli designer that I wear every chance I can.  I have 2 framed prints I bought here for $30 and they're the pieces most people comment on in my apartment.
  3. Lunch at Cheeky Sandwiches cheeky sandwichesVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: 35 Orchard Street-Between Hester Street and Canal Street, New York [Lower East Side]There are a lot of little restaurants sprinkled in the neighborhood, owned by young people who are going after the dream!  Din Yates opened up a little spot, a throw back to his love of New Orleans cuisine.  Cheekys Sandwiches are known around town are known for their fried chicken sandwiches on buttered homemade biscuits.  Each sandwich is made on the spot, so every one is perfectly crisp and seasoned.  Din  is also a local star.  You'll always see him in the same outfit.  Black jeans, white shirt, black framed specs, black skinny tie and yes, black latex gloves in the kitchen so nothing clashes.  And for the regulars, you can't leave without a slice of his bread pudding warmed up, just enough.
  4. Cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery sugarsweetsunshineVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: 126 Rivington Street-between Essex Street and Norfolk Street, NY [Lower East Side] Reward yourself with the best cupcake I've ever had.  Now, I know you may think yours is the best spot, but truly, I have never had a cupcake as moist or icing I actually didn't scrape off.  Unlike the name of the shop, none of it is too sugary sweet.  My favorites are the red velvet, pistachio and lemon.  But if you really know this spot, you'd also get a cup of their home made banana pudding in a cup.  Everything is made on premise, so just walking in is like entering another dimension.
  5. Go Back In Time with the Tenement Museum Tour tenement1VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION:108 Orchard Street-between Broome St and Delancey St, NY [Lower East Side]Obviously, as a resident of New York, you avoid any tourist traps at any cost.  However, this is one landmark you must visit on your trip out to New York.  There is a reason why it is one of the most visited spots in the entire city.  Take an hour long tour at the Tenement Museum, into one of the original tenement buildings on Orchard Street (skip the walk around the neighborhood, since you can do that with this list yourself!).  You walk into this building that has basically been sealed since 1863.  It was discovered in the 80's and hasn't been touched.  It's literally like walking back in time, it's not a museum, it is a time machine.  Don't skip the store.  It's a true gem.  Instead of getting some cheesy, generic I heart NY tote, get some of the coolest New York mementos made by indie artists.
  6. Shhh....Secret Spot For Amazing Vintage, The New World Order newworldorderVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: 13 Avenue B-At 2nd Street/Houston Street, New York [East Villiage]This is my secret spot....one I don't even share with most friends.  Every beautiful coat I have is from this vintage spot.  The New World Order is one of those places you stumble into after living here for 10 years and you wonder how it hasn't been ransacked every time you come in.  If you're lucky, you'll meet the owner, Rene who I have a not so mild crush on.  He travels European markets and gets the real sh*t.  Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciega, Chanel, oh my.  And these are reasonable prices.  Try comparing it the OTHER designer vintage reseller we all know and you'll see what I'm talking about.
  7. The Best, Chinese Qi Gong Massage in NYC fishionVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION 107 Mott Street-between Canal Street and Hester Street, New York [Chinatown]:I rarely travel East of the Bowery.  However, I make an exception at least once a week to get the best Chinese Qi Gong massage in New York.  Fishion (yes, that's the correct spelling), is a little hole in the wall.  For $40, you can have an hour of torturous ecstasy.  Ask for Esther or Jenny.   This is no frills....no oils, no fancy new age music, just good old fashioned work out the knots in my shoulders till I melt kind of place.
  8. Visit the New Museum for a small but mighty dose of Art newmuseum1VISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: 235 Bowery-between Rivington Street & Prince Street, New York [Lower East Side] While you're on this side of town, stop by the New Museum.  It's a small museum, so check the site for the schedule of exhibits.  It's 3 floors so you're not going to get lost or overwhelmed.  I like my museum experiences to be tightly edited and no more than a half hour at a time.  But, let's be honest, I'm a sucker for museum gift shops, so you'll probably see me in there leafing through the amazing selection of books and odds and ends.
  9. Rest and Nourish at An Choi anchoiVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: 85 Orchard Street-between Grand Street and Broome Street, New York [Lower East Side] You're probably a bit tired and peckish right about now.  Head to An Choi for a cool resting spot.  It's a really beautiful little Vietnamese restaurant run by 2 very photogenic brothers.  All the interior and furniture has been built by one of the owners, older brother Hui and it's just a wonder what he's done to the space. Grab a Ban Mi and a Vietnamese Iced Coffee and sit on one of their benches on the sidewalk and partake in the best New York past time...people watching.  On this strip of Orchard Street, you will see basically every character in the Lower East Side pass by.
  10. Round the Corner and Shop Top Hat top hatVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION:245 Broome Street-Near Ludlow, New York [Lower East Side]Right around the corner from An Choi is the newest kid on the block, Top Hat which is one of the coolest stores.  It's the closest that we come to my other favorite store on the West Coast, Tortoise in Venice.  You never know what you'll find here.  I once bought a friend of my a balloon lamp for her baby's nursery.  The shop will sell items from handmade porcelain fruits from England and paper products by the Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa — as well as unusual things and, in winter, they rent toboggans.  Prices range from $3.50 for a box of Puntine Colorate pushpins to $710 for a ceramic “bird cage” wall plaque by Royal Tichelaar Makkum.

AND DON'T FORGET....

  1. The Hester Street Fair hester street fairVISIT WEBSITE | LOCATION: The Corner of Hester Street and Essex, Saturdays, 10-6 You can start, end or stop by in the middle of your day at the Hester Street Fair.  It's a perfect way to get a real sense of the Lower East Side.  Sit under the beautiful canopy of trees, have a lobster roll from Maine, try a Mexican Popsicle (coconut is my favorite) or get a giant bowl of Tawianese shaved Ice with hand made mochi and red bean.  Stop by one of my favorite vendors Estate Jewels for some of the best estate jewelry around.....all of my "where'd you get that" pieces are from George at Estate.  From $12-$7,000, he's got your price.  You can get beautiful hand blocked print scarves in silk and linen from Juli Raja.  Stop by one of the most interesting booths, Naughty & Nice and pick up a beautiful framed piece of art that is part cuddly cute and part spooky goth.  Don't leave without trying the Proferjtes Man, Danish pancakes made hot on the spot, smothered in homemade cream and topped with farm fresh strawberries.  There are over 60 vendors to taste and shop from, so it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Take a seat on the communal mats on the lawn out back and chill out.  It's the best picnic spot in town.

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