My Top 10 – NYC “Actor Hangouts”

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Sarah Louise LilleyI often find myself downtown with a random hour or two between auditions or before my next appointment. Here is my top 10 list of NYC actor “hangs” – all convenient to busy casting offices, great places to relax, look over sides or eat a tasty, inexpensive meal. In no particular order:

1. The High Line (Gansevoort – 34thSt, btwn 10th & 11th) My favorite park in NYC – a walk along the high line is guaranteed to leave you refreshed and inspired. A stunning mix – abandoned railway tracks and cutting edge, contemporary architecture. Take a stroll and enjoy the views or sit and peruse a script.

2. Westville – (4 locations – West Village, Soho, East Village and Chelsea) It’s been years and I’m still obsessed with their veggie plate – don’t miss the Brussels Sprouts! The Hudson (Soho) location is the most spacious and lingering-conducive.

3. Chelsea Market (9th Avenue & 16th) An old Nabisco factory turned into a foodie destination. A plethora of delicious lunch or snack options and a branch of 9th Street Espresso – one of my favorite NYC coffee shops. (And some fun options for that agent gift, you’ve been meaning to pick up!)

4. Blossom (9th Avenue btwn 43rd&44th) Their slogan: “Shrew Fast Food.” Great juices and vegan food. Small bar with stools set up.

5. Marriott Marquis (Broadway btwn 45th&46th) Huge lobby. Nice bathrooms. Comfy chairs. Great place to go over sides.

6. Madison Square Park (Madison & 23rd St) Get a snack from Eataly or Shake Shack and enjoy some greenery. The park also hosts wonderful public art – Rachel Feinstein currently.

7. City Bakery (18th St btwn 5th & 6th) Famous hot chocolate and delicious by-weight salad bar. Watch out for the tofu though, delicious but deceptively heavy (aka expensive.)

8. Taim (Waverly & 7th Ave) Ok, this isn’t convenient to any casting offices but sometimes I just have a craving! The best falafel in the city – inexpensive and very satisfying.

9. Schmackary’s (9th Ave & 45th St) and speaking of cravings…. Sometimes I just want something sweet.

10. Bryant Park (42nd St btwn 5th & 6th Ave) Feel the grass between your toes, sit in the shade or use the World’s Cleanest Public Bathrooms! (And come back on a Monday summer night, sit under the stars and watch a free movie.)

What are your favorite NYC spots? Let me know below, I’d love to hear!

About Sarah Louise Lilley

Always up for an adventure- Sarah has crossed the breathtaking Namib Desert on horseback, done a grueling century bike race around Lake Tahoe and run the inspiring NYC Marathon. As an actress she has witnessed crimes twice on Law and Order, had sidesplitting recurring roles on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and enjoyed numerous jam-packed days on the festival circuit with such films as Blue Road, Zooey and The Date. She’s devoured Japan and Europe with avant-garde luminary Richard Foreman and collaborated with the provocative artist Julia Mandle. She has produced two award winning short films. Her latest, Nothing Happened, has screened at over 30 film festivals including; Cinequest, Berkshires, Bend, Woodstock, Edmonton, Outfest and BFI London. When she is not acting or chasing her 3yr old around the playground, she is trying to figure out when she can go horseback riding again. SarahLouiseLilley.com

  • Angelique Toschi

    I <3 Balducci's (I may have spelled that wrong). it was my go to for Italian deli things and pastries/bakery items when I lived in NY. I think there are a few locations around the city. (it has been over 10 years since I lived there. 🙂

    • sarah louise lilley

      Yes! There is a great one on 8th Ave now in the 50s – super easy for the theater district!

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