This is a departure from my usual content, and I’ll admit it might be veering too much in the lifestyle influencer genre, but I thought it might be an interesting and perhaps useful exercise to share some of my favorite things from the past month. Of course, each thing I talk about in this NYC monthly favorites post will be related to NYC. Have to stay on brand, amiright? So, if you’re willing to indulge me, join me as I reflect on my NYC monthly favorites for July 2022.
Favorite NYC Film of the Month: Ali & Ratu Ratu Queens
This 2021 film follows the story of Ali, a 17-year old Indonesian boy who decides to go to New York to find his long-lost mother after the death of his father. But this isn’t a story solely about the search for Ali’s mother, Mia; with the help of four aunties he meets, Ali actually finds his mother pretty quickly into the movie. The real story begins after Ali and Mia are reunited and now have to grapple with all the baggage that comes with a parent leaving the family to follow their dreams in a different country. This is a side of the immigrant story that we don’t frequently hear about, so it was refreshing that Ali & Ratu Ratu Queens addresses it. However, I wish that the movie had done a more thorough job in showing Ali’s mother’s perspective. I also wish that we could have learned more about the four aunties. While Ali’s storyline is great (aside from his forced romance with Eva), I could watch a whole other movie centered on the aunties and their friendship/chosen family. Ali & Ratu Ratu Queens, which translates to Ali and the Queens of Queens, can be found on Netflix.
Favorite NYC Article of the Month:
“New York Moving Companies Go to War Over Tech Secrets” by Kim Kelsey (Curbed)
I had no idea New York’s moving industry was so cutthroat. This medium-dive into NYC’s moving companies reveals the rivalry between the city’s top moving companies, Dumbo Moving and Storage and Piece of Cake Moving & Storage, as well as the recent allegation of software theft that has set the whole industry abuzz. It’s a spicy read on a topic seldom thought about.
Favorite NYC Podcast Episode(s) of the Month:
The Story of Flatbush: Brooklyn Old and New and A Walk through Little Caribbean (The Bowery Boys)
Anything to do with my home neighborhood of Flatbush always has my attention. So I was rapt when I heard that The Bowery Boys put out a two-part mini-series on Flatbush. The first episode goes into the history of Flatbush, from its origins as a Dutch settlement through its current iteration. Then in the following episode, The Bowery Boys are given a tour of Flatbush by Shelley Worrell, the founder of I AM CARIBBEING and Little Caribbean, organizations that celebrate and promote the Caribbean culture of Flatbush. Listening to these episodes will probably inspire you to take a trip over to Flatbush to experience this vibrant, historical neighborhood for yourself.
Favorite NYC Restaurant(s) of the Month:
Elsa La Reina Del Chicharron (Inwood and Washington Heights) and Eataly (Flatiron and WTC)
Forgive me for putting two restaurants in the this category; I really couldn’t decide between them! These are both eateries that I tried for the first time in July and they both made me a real life heart-eyes emoji. 😍 So let’s gush about them both.
Elsa La Reina Del Chicharron is aptly named. This is the best spot to get this Dominican dish of crispy, crackling fried pork. But don’t just take it from me, multiple reviews from both food critics and regular patrons can confirm that the food here will send you to hog heaven. If you order the namesake meal, Mofongo a La Reina, be warned that it may take 15 to 20 minutes to be prepared, but it’s worth the wait.
As for Eataly, don’t come for me for not visiting it sooner. I’m usually more of a dollar pizza girl than a gastronome. But their Quattro Formaggi e Tartufo, or four cheese pizza, was worth shelling out the few extra bucks. That slice of pizza in the photo above was so good that I’m seriously contemplating framing that photo and putting it on the fridge so I’ll never forget how delicious that slice was. Of course, there is way more to eat at Eataly than pizza, but this market/restaurant hybrid is overwhelming with tempting food to try. It’ll take dozens of visits to get through it all.
Favorite NYC Building of the Month: The Police Building (240 Centre Street)
I had always heard the Police Building in Nolita was pretty, but DANG, she really is a stunner! Built between 1905 and 1909, this block-long Beaux Arts building is considered one of the anchors of Manhattan’s tiny Little Paris section. Once you see it, you’ll totally understand why. Looking at this building made me feel like I had teleported to Europe. As the name suggests, this building was the headquarters of the NYPD from 1909 until 1973, but since 1988 it has found new life as a luxury apartment building. But don’t even think about ever living here unless you have a minimum of three million dollars you’re willing spend on a place.
Favorite NYC Creator of the Month: @Winnie_thepooj
Actress and content creator, Pooja Tripathi, does spot-on caricatures of NYC stereotypes like FiDi bros, SoHo House members, and New Yorkers in LA. Aside from on TikTok and Instagram, you can watch her in the web series Amsterdam Ave.
Favorite NYC Video of the Month:
Kidnapping Benedict Arnold: the Saga of John Champe – ‘City Full of History’ (Bookworm History)
This may sound like alternate history, but dear reader, I can assure you that what I’m about to say is true: there was an attempted plot to kidnap Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War. Let Bookworm History tell you all about this wild NYC tale.
Favorite Thing I Learned about New York This Month:
Real SoHo cast iron buildings are magnetic.
It seems obvious once you think about it, but this wasn’t something that crossed my mind until I took Yukie Ohta’s SoHo audio tour via Gesso, an audio tour app that spans multiple NYC neighborhoods and cities. If you want to check out the app while also supporting Shiloh in the City, download Gesso using my affiliate link. Also, watch me stick a magnet to this building. So cool!
I hope this edition of my NYC monthly favorites gave you some useful NYC recommendations and inspiration to experience more of what New York has to offer. As for me, this was a fun exercise in being more mindful and reflecting on what I’ve experienced in NYC over the past month. I’d appreciate any suggestions for things you think I should check out this month.
But before you go, if you liked this NYC monthly favorites article and want weekly articles on NYC history, culture, and things to do, sign up for the Shiloh in the City email list and follow me on social media. Thanks for reading!