NYC’s it-girl Olivia Perez is taking the streets and lifestyle industry by storm with her website Friend of a Friend, which covers all things fashion, food, travel and everything to keep you in the loop of this moment’s trends. Her innate sense of style and creative eye make her more than qualified to give you industry insights on the regular.
While Olivia is an LA native, walking the streets of NYC while attending NYU Gallatin has influenced her mixed style. Her NYC experience has also made her quite the expert in the city’s best spots. Specifically, where she lives and hangs out, the East Village.
“East Village has the most personality to me and has something for everybody. I love escaping to Tompkins Square Park to watch the skateboarders and there are incredible, unknown restaurants on every corner. It's very central to anywhere I need to be.”
We met up with Olivia and she gave us the scoop on where to check out, covering spots for every aspect of a fun filled day. This is, essentially, Olivia’s guide to an NYC weekend.
“I was born in LA, but now I live in New York so I feel like my style is really a mix of the two. It’s classic and refined like LA, but also really edgy and fun like New York.”
Food is often what is most representative of a city, and in NYC, it’s understandably difficult to narrow down food favorites to just one. So, Olivia recommended not one, but two places to experience. Both Cafe Mogador and Cafe Orlin are iconic East Village mainstays. Cafe Mogador is described as Moroccan cuisine that was an early pioneer in the NYC restaurant world and a downtown cultural hub. As for Cafe Orlin, the American with Middle Eastern inspired food is considered a neighborhood institution and long lines are frequent.
“The NYC food scene is great, especially in the East Village. Cafe Mogador and Cafe Orlin are my go-to spots. I love how I can either be dressed pretty casual or more put together and still feel comfortable there. Both restaurant are places I like to take people when they're visiting me in New York. I know the food will always be good.”
Next, an eventful weekend night usually entails drinks with your gal pals. However, typical cocktail bars can be stale and redundant so, Olivia told us to check out Sake Bar Decibel. Decibel is the first Japanese sake bar in the city and offers New Yorkers a “glimpse into the Japanese sake culture.” Order multiple drinks to share and have your own sake tasting with your friends since there are more than 100 different types of sake to choose from.
“I love to dress up with all of my friends and grab a few drinks here even if we aren’t going to do anything afterwards. It’s just sometimes fun to get all dolled up and have a fun night out.”
Usually a coffee bar is a place that most people need to start their morning off right so why not try Everyman Espresso. It’s a place for the coffee connoisseurs who love a foamy espresso or for those who simply just like an iced toddy and some free wifi to get their work flow going. Either way, this place is known to have lines out the door. They have three locations and recently opened one up in Parkslope Brooklyn for those of you who don’t feel like making the treck to Manhattan on a weekend.
“I usually go to Everyman to get some work done. People tend to be dressed pretty casual because people are either running in real quick to grab a cup of coffee or to be working like I am. I think the atmosphere and the coffee of course is what brings me back everytime.”
There is literally nothing like shopping in New York City. Especially, vintage shopping for designer labels. There’s something to be said about previously owned clothing with their history and stories behind them which is why Oliva—a vintage wearer herself— recommended INA designer consignment store. With five locations, the store’s inventory changes daily and frequently receives current pieces or limited edition items that could be seen in designer stores. Sometimes, there is no greater satisfaction than when someone asks where you got a piece and your response is, “Oh. It’s vintage!”
“I have found so many great items at INA. There’s just something really special about finding an item in a store where there is only one of that piece and it’s the perfect fit.”
“My go-to summer outfit is something like what I’m wearing here. A really fun, colorful dress and a comfy pair of shoes just so I can wear it all day and not be sweating in New York City Heat.”
So, if you’re visiting New York soon or are already a New Yorker and just want to check out some new places, take it from Olivia—this generation’s rising it-girl. She’s officially a petite studio fave with her relaxed, but still refined style. We love how easy going and efficient her wardrobe is. Special thanks to Olivia for hanging out and chatting with us! We look forward to seeing what she’ll be up to next.