Jena Kingsley was born and raised in New York City and is raising her son on the Upper West Side. She is a diehard Knicks fan and probably the most annoying fanaround, especially if you ever have the misfortune of sitting behind her. Jena literally never sits down during the game. She is funny beyond belief and recently began her career as a stand-up comedienne. She learned about comedy by practicing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and is now touring New York’s comedy clubs. You can follow her on her blog and you can also see her on the web series Nepotism.
Jena was kind enough to meet me for coffee despite her massive hangover that morning. Jena can turn a quick walk around her block into a rousing good time, and I never stop laughing when I am with her. Here are her favorite spots on the Upper West Side.
The Mermaid Inn
This is one of my favorite neighborhood spots. The staff is always friendly, the oysters are fresh and tasty and so are the margaritas. The restaurant is super kid friendly too, which is great! At the end of the meal they bring you a free cup of dark chocolate pudding and a fortune fish so you can read your fortune. What is more fun than that? 568 Amsterdam Ave., 212-799-7400, read more
The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental
This is one of my favorite spas in New York City. You can get a VIP spa room with a fireplace and private bath. You also have access to the vitality pool which is incredible. When you are done you can enjoy a cocktail in the sky lobby of the hotel with breathtaking views of Central Park. 80 Columbus Circle, 212-805-8880, mandarinoriental.com
Biking – and Eating – Along the West Side Highway
In the summer I love the Pier i Cafe on the West Side Highway. My son and I ride our bikes down the bike path alongside the water and grab lunch right on the pier. It’s like you aren’t even in New York City. Sans kids you can grab a pitcher of sangria or a beer and watch the sunset. W 70th St. in Riverside Park, 212-362-4450, piericafe.com
Blue Ribbon Sushi
Always great for late night sushi and sake. For the summer they just opened a rooftop bar. 6 Columbus Hotel, 308 W 58th St., 212-397-0404, blueribbonrestaurants.com
I can’t ever walk by this place without leaving with something fabulous. It’s not as big as the Barney department store, so the selection is easier to go through and it’s a great one at that! 2151 Broadway, 646-335-0978, barneys.com
Alison Kleinert is a mom and writer living in New York City. She created her website CrushworthyMoms to feature moms who are living their life with passion and excited about what they are pursuing. She is currently doing the same. Click here to read more of her New York City picks.