Category Archive for Art + Design

Offbeat New York City! Sushidelic kawaii restaurant, Edge observation deck, Paradise Lost Satanic bar, Inter_IAM art.

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New York City is one my favorite places in the world for eccentric, artsy, offbeat attractions. Every time I return to NYC, I have a giant list of new bizarro places to explore.

Such as this Harajuku kawaii sushi parlor (SushiDelic), founded by Tokyo’s Sebastian Masuda (the mastermind behind 6% DokiDoki and the now-closed Kawaii Monster Cafe)…

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… as well as Edge observation deck at Hudson Yards, a devilish tiki bar called Paradise Lost, Inter_IAM immersive digital art museum, and more. Read on for my alternative food and travel guide to NYC — there are Seinfeld spots at the end, since I’m a mega-fan of the 90s sitcom!

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Let’s start at SushiDelic, which lives up to its promise of sushi + psychedelic decor. This funky Japanese restaurant opened up in New York’s SoHo / Little Italy not long ago.

Address: 177 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013, United States

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At SushiDelic, the food is as colorful as the Harajuku-pop decor. (We came on a Sunday to try their special sushi brunch menu, which includes this tiered tower).

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The decor at SushiDelic is eye-popping, candy-colored cuteness. I’d expect nothing less from Sebastian Masuda, the legend behind the kawaii boutique 6%DokiDoki, Tokyo’s Kawaii Monster Cafe, and other Jpop meets art projects.

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A pink conveyer belt goes round and round the counter, bringing out stiletto heels, jelly bags and other fabulosities (as well as plates of food!)

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SushiDelic restaurant aims to be an immersive kawaii experience… these rotating, long-eyelashed cat heads certainly delivered that.

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Kaiten sushi gets glitzed up at this New York sushi restaurant of dreams. (Here’s a video of the conveyer belt in action.)

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Electronic music throbs as the cat-heads turn and the screen flashes with cute animations… What a vibe! (All photos Joey Wong)

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At SushiDelic, even the dishes come in bright colors and shapes. The menu puts creative spins on sushi, such as a sushi parfait (made from raw fish and seasonal vegetables, but decorated like a layered dessert), and a decadent assortment of “Delic rolls.”

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We had the sushi tower that included a sashimi assortment (salmon, tuna, scallop, hamachi) and a sampling of California, veggie, eel and wagyu rolls.

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Watch my SushiDelic video on @lacarmina Instagram for footage of the NY restaurant (you’ve got to see the adorable pastel kitties in motion).

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Sebastian Masuda’s restaurant serves drinks as well. I adored the yuzu mimosa (juice from my fav Japanese citrus fruit with Prosecco).

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Aren’t the lipstick lights and vinyl record place settings fabulous?

Dine at SushiDelic for a playful sushi extravaganza that brings a taste of Harajuku to New York City.

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Then, I got closer to the edge… I’m standing 100 stories above New York City! Be sure to watch our Insta reel about the Edge NYC experience.

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This thrilling NYC observation point is Edge, located at 30 Hudson Yards. (You can see the sky deck jutting out from the top of the skyscraper).

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The infamous Vessel is still closed due to jumpers… thankfully photographer Joey Wong and I shot inside the beehive in 2021 before it shut. (See our Vessel NY images here.)

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This time, we were psyched to get to the top of Edge. It stands out from New York’s other observation decks because of its outdoor sky deck, which is the highest in the Western hemisphere (100 floors up).

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From outside, these 360 degree views are the definition of cinematic. (You can go inside as well, for panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and New Jersey).

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Edge has several V-shaped suspension points edged by glass, which are the perfect photo spots. (It’s one of the most Instagrammable viewpoints in the city — here’s my reel about it).

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Come in the late afternoon and stay for sunset to see the light and shadows shift over the tall buildings.

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Walk all around the Edge platform to see famous New York landmarks and skyscrapers over the horizon.

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Thrill-seekers can scale and lean out over the skyscraper as well. You can also walk over a glass floor area and look down at the ant-like action below.

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So much fun to take trippy photos while leaning on these angled glass walls. (Are you afraid of heights?)

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You can book timed tickets to Edge at Hudson Yards online. We recommend staying until nightfall so you can see the twinkling lights over New York, New York.

inter_iam Interactive Art Experience in New York City

For another type of New York magic… enter the INTERverse at Inter_IAM, an immersive / digital art museum in SoHo! Guests interact with two floors of high-tech generative exhibits, which respond to your movements and shift as you take part in them.

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Inter_IAM lets you enter various rooms filled with multimedia works — such as this infinitely mirrored one. Please watch our video of the journey so that you can see the artwork in motion.

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We received 3D glasses, which you can put on to enhance the INTERverse in prismatic ways. (It felt like dancing in another dimension with aliens!)

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Loved the wide variety of imaginative, sensory spaces, which made for interesting portraits. Some of the exhibits even emanated heat!

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Put the 3D glasses over your camera or phone lens for a filter effect.

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Have you ever been to an immersive art experience like New York’s Inter_IAM?

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The space disco vibes were immaculate.

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How many of me can you handle at one time? Explore the beautiful, digital participatory art at Inter_IAM in NYC (and see our video of the museum visit for a preview).

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Speaking of the devil… Did you know New York has a devilish tiki bar, Paradise Lost? Descend into an East Village tropical hellscape inspired by Milton’s saga of the fallen Lucifer!

Watch our Paradise Lost video for a sense of the vibe: you can drink fiery rum cocktails out of Baphomet’s head (or sip tasty mocktails), snack on international bites, hail Satan at the goat head altar, spot sigils in the bathroom… This “hell on Earth” is my type of New York speakeasy!

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Finally, as a Seinfeld obsessive, I made my rounds of New York locations associated with the 90s TV show. “Look to the cookie, Elaine…” I had a black-and-white cookie at Culture Espresso, a NY snack featured in one of their episodes (and it was spectacular).

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And I went to my old stomping grounds at Morningside Heights / Columbia University to shoot Tom’s Restaurant. You may recognize it as the exterior of the diner where Jerry Seinfeld hangs with George Costanza, Kramer, and Elaine Benes.

Address: 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025, United States

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I went here ages ago and ordered a big salad, of course (there are Seinfeld-themed menu items). The restaurant interior doesn’t look like the set on the television series, but the outside of the American diner is exactly the same.

Take a look at my IG video of New York Seinfeld food spots to see Tom’s and other spots.

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“No soup for you…” I also dared to step into the lair of the Soup Nazi at his “Original Soup Kitchen!”

Address: 259A W 55th St, New York, NY 10019, United States

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Known as The Original SoupMan in the 1990s, this soup restaurant was the domain of Ali “Al” Yeganeh. The hardcore Soup Nazi character is based after him!

You can order jambalaya (Newman’s favorite), mulligatawny, and other hearty favorites of the Seinfeld gang. (That is, if you behave — or it’s “no soup for you!”)

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Walking around and trying street food / cheap eats is my fav thing to do in NYC. Joey Wong took a big bite out of the Bear Donut, while I tried my first ever pistachio latte at Maman Cafe.

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So many excellent bakeries, bagel shops, and of course — pizza. (I’m partial to Joe’s Pizza, and also had an excellent mushroom New York slice at Andiamo Pizzeria).

We’re also fans of Los Tacos, Joe’s Steam Rice Roll, and other affordable snacks.

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I also returned to St Mark’s Place, the seminal Goth punk neighborhood. Ah, memories of Search & Destroy and eating at Kenka with my spooky friends over the years!

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For more alternative, Gothic and offbeat NYC tips, browse the New York category of my blog, and see my NYC videos on @LaCarmina Insta. I’m already as excited at this pink cat at the idea of returning soon!

Henn Na New York Hotel review! Japanese robot dinosaur, high-tech rooms & Gosuke restaurant, midtown Manhattan.

Henn Na New York Hotel robot dinosaur lobby sculpture

My bizarre travels around the world continue… Yes, that’s me with a T-Rex roboto at Henn na Hotel New York!

Have you heard of the quirky Japanese boutique hotel chain, Henn na? The new NYC location is full of high-tech surprises, and ideally located in Midtown right by Times Square. (Click here for my special discount rate for booking a room.)

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Henn na NYC has futuristic surprises throughout. In addition to a robot dinosaur in the lobby, the rooms have LG stylers (garment steamer closets) and Toto toilets. And the suites have balconies or window views that make you fall in love with New York City. (Longtime readers will know I used to live here, so it felt like a homecoming.)

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The hotel is also home to Gosuke Restaurant, run by a former Japanese woman pro wrestler! Read on for her story, and photos of the tasty sushi and tempura…

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For footage of the tyrannosaurus rex in action, come see my IG video here (the robot dino moves around and roars!)

From the moment we walked into Henn na New York and were greeted by the lovely staff, we knew we were in for an unforgettable stay. (Address: 235 West 35th Street, New York, NY)

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Henn na is a Japanese hotel group known for its remarkable robotos that greet guest when they check in. The various Japan locations have uncanny robot women, samurai, and lizard-dinosaurs manning the front desks (and there’s a Seoul outpost too).

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NYC’s Henn na has a ginormous T-Rex swishing his head and tail, baring his sharp teeth and roaring! Watch my NYC Instagram stories highlight to see and hear the dinosaur.

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Henn na Hotel New York is ideal for anyone who loves funky, artsy boutique hotels (which you know are my preference).

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And the midtown Manhattan location is perfection: just a few blocks away from Times Square, with easy access to Penn Station and Port Authority (where you can transit to the airports). Henn na Hotel is also close to my fav cheap / street eats including Los Tacos, Best and Liberty Bagels, Culture Espresso, Maman Cafe, and Joe’s Pizza.

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On the balcony attached to one of Henn na’s suites…. now that’s what I call a New York moment. (And I was having a good hair day!)

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Looks like I found a new Instagrammable photography spot in NYC. (All photos by Joey Wong.)

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I’m back to Y2K era… funny how styles come back around. Wearing a crochet knit bolero or shrug, and Windsor Store linen corset. (Windsor opened 5 stores in Ontario — their first locations in Canada — in May).

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My pants are Kuwalla Tee baggy cargo jeans — I’m transitioning to a mostly microplastics-free wardrobe, and loving it. My tan heels are Dream Pairs Shoes 

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The ground floor is home to Gosuke, which serves up authentic Japanese cuisine in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The laid-back space is fantastic for catching up with friends while you eat sushi, sashimi, and sake.

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Gosuke Restaurant is run by Itsuki Yamazaki, a former pro wrestler from Ieshima. She wrestled for All Japan Women’s Wrestling and was in the American WWF in USA, winning the Survivor Series match in 1987. As you can see from the album covers on the wall, Itsuki was an 80s idol as well!

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Itsuki opened Gosuke in order to bring the traditional dishes she enjoyed on her hometown island to the isle of Manhattan.

The lovingly prepared dishes include a chef’s choice (omakase) sushi platter, and amberjack (kampachi) with a jalapeno, tomatillo and ponzu sauce handmade by the chef.

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Sit at the long wooden counter, and watch the chef — who has decades of experience in Japan and NYC — meticulously slice sashimi in front of you.

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Generous portions, and the freshest cuts… Gosuke is a rising star among New York’s Japanese restaurants.

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And the vibe makes you feel as if you’re in Japan.

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Try the tempura — the crisp exterior contrasts wonderfully with the fresh vegetables, shrimp, and egg with a soft yolk inside.

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You can get takeout at Gosuke as well, and enjoy happy hour discounts.

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Thanks to Itsuki for the warm welcome — Gosuke is a smash!

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Although my favorite thing to do in NYC is walk around all day, I was just as delighted to come back to my enormous room at Henn Na Hotel. (Here’s a special rate for booking a stay: the hotel has many types of rooms including singles, doubles, and suites.)

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The elegant, minimalist Japanese decor puts you in a Zen state of mind.

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Rooms are well-equipped for work (with large desks, WiFi, etc), and come with embroidered robes and slippers.

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And how about these picture windows overlooking Midtown Manhattan!

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The suites also have LG Styler closets, which are a rarity outside of Asia. These devices — which open up like a fridge — use state-of-the-art steam technology to sanitize garments, much like dry cleaners.

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The bathrooms have everything you need to pamper yourself, including mirrors with beauty lights, high tech Toto toilets, and large bathtubs (they’re a Japanese hotel, after all).

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Henn na Hotel New York is great value: the rooms are luxe and have a boutique aesthetic, but are affordable.

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I’d love to stay at their other properties in Seoul and all over Japan.

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“Henn na” means strange, but also conveys change in a positive way — which sums up my fabulous experience here! Would you stay at this extraordinary New York hotel?

Find a room here (with my discount code / rate!)

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For more of my Goth Y2K outfits and NYC travel tips, check out my Instagram @lacarmina.

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All photos by Joey Wong. We were also traveling around Europe, and have tons still to share with you.

PS: Some new travel writing… I did an Osaka, Japan travel guide for, which includes my recommendations for subculture / heavy metal bars, street food, and more.

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Have you been to the Big Apple? If so, what are your favorite places to visit here?