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New York City Recap

New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com Hello peeps!

As many of you already know, I had the chance to spend a few days in NYC last week for a little ‘work’ & a lot of play ( & my whole family tagged along ). If you follow me on snap (payton_sartain *shameless plug*) &/or instagram, you’re like OKAY WE GET IT. Sorry, but NOT, because I’m a girl obsessed

My #1 reason for loving NYC? The city just doesn’t really give a shit. & I absolutely adore it.

New York doesn’t care if you’re pretty ( because there are a TON of ‘pretty’ people there ), smart ( because there are a TON of ‘smart’ people there ), rich ( you know where I’m going with this ), etc.

You can explore, eat, shop, learn, observe, & live without worrying too much about what everyone else thinks. Because really, NO ONE CARES, and something about that is so freeing to me. New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com

jacket (ON SALE! ) | top | jeans | shoes | bag 

I HAVE to add, though: the people in NYC are incredibly friendly, welcoming, & helpful. New York people get this really rude, cold, & harsh stereotype, but honestly, I have met more warm-hearted strangers in New York than I ever did living in Los Angeles ( or even Texas, for that matter ).

I especially meet nice people when shooting for H+H. It’s really interesting to see how people react to my photographer & I running around in the middle of the street ( dangerous ) shooting looks. An overwhelming number of people make kind remarks or play around getting in the background of photos ( sometimes accidentally.. like the people in this post ).

Ugh, it’s so alive. Take me back.

Okay so, as promised, here is my New York City recap from my most recent visit. Stick with me, guys, this one is a little lengthy. ON-PLANE Cocktail Kit: so cute, it's killing me | www.hustleandhalcyon.com We flew in on Thursday night, & the only interesting part of that whole day involved me using my CUTE AS HELL on-board cocktail kit to create the prettiest plane cocktail to ever exist. We stayed at the brand new Hotel Indigo Lower East Side this trip. I’ll add Hotel Indigo to my NYC Guide for sure!


On Friday, I woke up early for hair & makeup ( via the app GLAMSQUAD ) and made my way to my friend Max Gengos‘s studio next to Central Park to pull for the day’s shoot with my girl Demi. BTW: Max is a KILLER young designer & a pretty freaking awesome human in general.

I’ve shot with Max Gengos before, and his SS16 show was my first NYFW show to attend ever. Needless to say, he’s one of my fav New Yorkers. Max has been featured on Elle.com & in Teen Vogue ( nbd, he just designed for Kylie Jenner’s spread ) lately. Yeah, okay… whatevs….

New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com

After shooting all morning, my family met to eat at The Smith for lunch ( I got the Shrimp & Jalapeño Grits… OMG ) before heading to Soho for shopping & exploring.

My favorite stores in this area are & Other Stories, Aritzia, Reformation, MANGO, & Zara.

The longest day ever ended at Balthazar, a trendy restaurant in Soho that I’ve eaten at every time I’ve been in NYC. I LOVE Balthazar, & I definitely recommend it ( make a reservation, though! ) for a Euro-feeling dining experience.

I had a glass ( or 3 ) of cabernet from the extensive wine list & ate about 3 basket-fulls of bread with butter ( *gains 5 pounds* ). I ordered the Trout for dinner, but TBH I liked my sister’s chicken better.

My family is allllll about dessert ( on a crazy, maniac level ). We split a couple of desserts, but my favorite was the Creme Brûlée ( w/ a little cappuccino to get ready for nighttime shenanigans).

New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com

so snapchat pics aren’t the best quality, but YUM!


SUCH a busy day. I woke up early on Saturday to get a little blogging done over coffee at La Colombe in Soho ( responsible, right? ).

After all my hard work ( i.e. browsing Pinterest, posting, & sipping my almond milk latte ), I walked to meet my Mom & little sister at modelFit, a workout I’ve been dying to try since I read about Karlie Kloss & Taylor Swift’s love for it.

I’M CRAZY FOR MODELFIT NOW. The workout is meant to tone & tighten all the little muscles in your stomach, butt, thighs, arms, back, etc. to give you that long, lean, model-esque figure. You have to really focus on moving your body the correct way & working your muscles with very small, subtle movements.

When you get it right, it’s a freakin’ intense workout. My ass was burning/sore for days.

Fingers crossed they open up a gym in Los Angeles when I move there ( so soon )! I will live at modelFIT, if so. New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com

After our workout, I hurried over the Williamsburg in Brooklyn to meet with my blog friends Courtney & Kelly from Mimosas and Manhattan for brunch. We talked about other peoples’ perceptions of blogging ( hilarious, btw ), New York hot spots, & college experiences over lots of mimosas and delicious food at Miusa Winebar.

I LOVE getting to actually meet people I follow on social media/via blogs. It makes the whole experience more personal & real. I LOVED these two babes…. like, a lot.

After brunch, I did a little vintage shopping with my dad & sister before heading back to the hotel to crash for a little bit.

For dinner, I met up with another friend that I met via social media ( & fellow Texan ), Brittni. Brittni is a designer & the founder of her own label, in all honesty. Basically, she’s a badass. Another badass that I’ve met through blogging. Did I mention I love this shit?

We ate at The Mercer Kitchen, and let me just say that THIS WAS MY FAVORITE MEAL OF ALL TIME IN NYC. It was flawless.

To start, I had a couple dirty martinis & a few oysters. For the MAIN ATTRACTION, Brittni & I both got the Salmon ( w/ mashed potatoes & brussels sprouts ) and every. single. bite. was pure heaven. Mercer is a must-go. For-freaking-sure.

New York City Recap: Lower East Side, Soho, Queen of the Night, etc. | www.hustleandhalcyon.com


On Sunday I insisted that we brunch at The Smile before doing anything else ( as Lauryn of The Skinny Confidential recommended in her NYC guide ). We had to wait a little bit, but the food, drink, and dessert situation was on point.

I ordered the Baked Eggs & Avocado, but I really should’ve taken my Dad’s lead and gotten the French Toast. That shit was too damn good. I’m still dreaming about it.

After brunch, I walked around Soho a bit more & I made a little time to sit and blog from a coffee shop. One of my favorite NYC activities is walking around Soho alone with my headphones in & just existing. Its oddly therapeutic.

Sunday night was the best night in New York by far. I finally got the chance to go to Queen of the Night NYC, a dinner/show experience that is full of hedonistic drinking & dining, beautiful-bodied dancers flinging themselves from the ceiling & other various platforms, performers playing with fire 3 feet from your face, and other really, really weird but amazing things.

My mom got sick & bailed on me, so I made Max Gengos tag along and experience this crazy show and dinner with me. It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain ( similar to how I describe The Box in my NYC Guide ), so I’m just going to sum it up by saying you MUST go to Queen of the Night.

I will definitely be a repeat QOTN-er.

sunday in soho ☕️❄️ | #wiw #ootd #newyorkcity #soho #samsgirls #off5thfinds

A photo posted by PAYTON • HUSTLE + HALCYON (@paytonsartain) on

We left the next morning, & what a good freaking vibe to end on.

I know this was a long one, guys, but I didn’t want to leave anything out! I hope y’all check out some of these places/things to do during your next NYC experience!

I’ll also be adding all of the places mentioned here in my already badass NYC Guide.

If any of you have more suggestions, please share! I’ll be back in the city soon enough.

Right now, I’m thoroughly enjoying being home for the holidays. I don’t really have to be a real person ( with school responsibilities, house chores to do, budgeting to track ) when I’m at home. I’ll just be chillin’ at the country club, living in the sauna/steam room, and eating perfectly-cooked salmon & veggies for lunch before spending the rest of the day deciding what to do with my life/blabbing to y’all via my blog.

WTF is going on with my life? This is ridiculous.

Today, my biggest issue of the day was: Omg, do I order my salmon & veggies BEFORE I enter the steam room or do I order BETWEEN the steam room & sauna? I NEED to make sure that its ready at the perfect time, but I still need to have my spa time, shower, AND BLOW DRY MY HAIR!! 

I mean, that’s embarrassing. I was super stressed about it like a moron.

BTW: I ordered it after steaming/sauna-ing and it was ready right when I got out of the shower/blow dried my hair a little. That is what you call pro-time-management. Now only if I could apply that to something productive…

Anywho, I’ll stop now.

Talk soon, ya beebuses.


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6 Responses
  • Emma
    12 . 27 . 2015

    Ahh you’re sooo glamorous! I loved this guide. My older brother just moved to NYC (well, Brooklyn because you know, money) and we only visited for a quick weekend but I hoping to get there by myself so we can actually have some fun (i.e. party). Thanks for these great suggestions!

    Emma | Seeking the South

    • payton@hustleandhalcyon.com
      12 . 28 . 2015

      LOL– LEAST glamorous human on earth, but I’m glad it appears otherwise!! Brooklyn is so freaking cool right now, and I can’t wait to go back and explore there a lot more. Hope you can use this on your next trip! xx

  • Krysta
    12 . 28 . 2015

    Seems like you had an AMAZING time! I’m jealous!

    xx, Krysta


    • payton@hustleandhalcyon.com
      12 . 28 . 2015

      Ya know, you can’t go wrong with NYC. x