Elevate Difference

Zinester's Guide to New York City

I love Ayun Halliday's writing voice. It balances a small, healthy dose of making fun of oneself with a snarky and sassy perspective of the world. Her world is New York City, which she describes so well in her adventures with her husband and kids in her zine, The East Village Inky. So I knew I was in for a treat when I saw that Ms. Halliday herself cooked up this tasty guide to New York built exactly for my anarcho-feminist-who-still-watches-crappy/sexist-reality-show leanings. This is the guide to New York to use when you don't have much money, you're open to exploring, and you don't mind public transit. I was especially fond of the top 100 vegan items to consume throughout all of New York (oh, I heart you zinester Melissa Bastian...). There's information about festivals, all kinds of interesting venues for music, arts, and culture, and the atmosphere at each hot coffee shop and brunch place. Microbrews! Places that host guest bartenders! The best spots to copy your zines! It's even got cartoons and illustrations sprinkled throughout the guide, including art by one of my indie faves, Christy C. Road. It makes me want to live in New York (minus the high rents and New York attitudes).

If you need any more convincing to use this honest-to-goodness, made-on-paper guide instead of just doing a random Google search before you hit up Brooklyn or any other New York neighborhood, consider a few things. What Google map will be hand drawn and point out adorable facts like a water taxi that's free on weekends? What other city guide will give little anecdotes on street pole art and advice on how to make your own? And where else can you find gracious knowledge on everything from hostess gifts (edible items from throughout New York are safe bets) to scenic views to photobooth spots? I'm in love with this guide, and I guess I'm a little in love with New York, too.

Written by: Maleka Fruean, March 22nd 2011