When moving to a new place, or even just exploring your current neighborhood, there are 5 key people/places you always need to know -
1. A Tailor - Sounds simple, but locating a great tailor is crucial! (And remember it might not be the local dry-cleaner.) Whether it's taking in a seam, adding a hem, or reconstructing a garment, tailoring your clothing takes your look from fine to fabulous. Do your research, and look who comes highly recommended. After all, many tailors really earn their reputation by word-of-mouth. Ask a friend or neighbor who always looks pulled together where they go. It's likely nearby. Feel awkward asking them? Check in with local high end retailers and see where they recommend their clients. Once located, start by working on a simple piece, and from there, decide whether or not to move forward. Finally, be sure the piece you're having worked on is worth the cost of the edits. Tailoring can be costly, but the results are worth it!
2. Shoe Repairman - Similar to a fine tailor, a shoe repairman breathes new life into your old favorites. Need a new zipper for a favorite boot or to tweak a wonky heel? A skilled repairman can fix these in a snap - saving your wallet and your feet from having to find a new pair. Oftentimes, a shoe repairman can assist with bags and leather goods too!
3. A Butcher - OK, this one sounds a bit old school, and it is! The fact is, when your cooking for a crowd or your looking for something special, a true butcher can't be beat. Not only will you get exactly what your looking for (although if it is out of the norm, you should call ahead to be safe), and they will let you know exactly how to prepare it. Have questions later, give them a call; they are happy to help.
4. Vintner - I like to buy local wines, and when the NYC area has so many wonderful vineyards (I really love Shinn Estates and Dilbertos), there is no reason not to! Don't feel intimidated. Ask questions! These guys love wine and can't wait to share their knowledge. Let them know what your planning on pairing with, your price range and any preferences (I'm currently on a Savignon Blanc kick). You'll leave with the ideal bottle and be able to speak to it when it's opened later - always a good thing! Remember to write down the names of the wines you liked for later.
5. Bakery - This is the one I'm on the hunt for currently. Again, I love an old school bakery - and not just for sweet treats - but for Sunday rolls or a loaf of Italian bread. The price is pretty on par with grocers, but the freshness is on a whole different level!