THE ANTI TOURIST CARE PACKAGE CONTEST 1

Here at The Anti Tourist, we explore. We explore all the time. We pick up little things here and there from our travels and out of the goodness of our collective hearts, we’ve decided to give you a chance to get shipped a big ol’ box of treasures we find along the way the first of each month. We’ve gathered some neat stuff in our most recent travels, put it together to form a sweet care package, and want to give the care package it to one of y’all.

HOW TO ENTER: Pay attention, this part is important. To enter this month’s contest, simply comment on this post with your personal definition of ‘the anti tourist’. What does it mean to be an anti tourist? Tell us what you think. The person with the answer we like best, or maybe the answer everyone else tells us is best, will win. NOTE: You’ll have to provide us with your address if you win. Otherwise, well, you know, we won’t be able to send you the prize. Contest ends at NOON on Thursday, Sept. 2

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

Printed-by-hand tote bag sporting The Anti Tourist logo

Handmade Rosemary Mint soap from Sunny Meadows Flower Farm

An individually wrapped Blonde Sweetie from Sugardaddy’s

Cup O Joe coffee beans:  Ethiopia Moka Harrar

A box of chocolates from Pure Imagination Chocolatier

Assorted art-heavy postcards found in NYC

Homemade spelt crackers from Stutzman Farms

A classical electric guitar cd bought from subway musician, Matthew Nichols

A gift bag from Faina European Spa in NYC including a Shira Omega 3 Nourishing face mask and a soothing gel mask with plant extracts

Herbal Surrender Hand & Body lotion from Ohio Herb Education Center

Abita Beer koozie from Bonnaroo, held in Manchester, Tennessee. (Elizabeth loves Purple Haze)

YOU WANT? You should want. Enter! Comment! Tell us what it means to be THE ANTI TOURIST!

What do you want from NYC?

If you’ve been paying attention to our Facebook page, then you know we’re crazy about contests these days. On Sept. 1, our first The Anti Tourist Care Package Contest will launch. You’ll have a chance to get shipped a box of our favorite goodies from our August travels… all for free. Just because. We have only 9 more days left of living in NYC and we figured we’d try to find out what you guys think we should throw into the care package from NYC. We’ll take a hint based on the results, don’t worry.

New York Spa – Graceful Services

There are spas all over New York. When I decided to embark on a little spa series for The Anti Tourist (have you read about Ayurveda?), I figured that much out quickly. So. Many. Spas. Pick a block, pick a corner, throw a stone. They’re all jammed in here, all claiming to heal. I had to scour through internet review after internet review before finally deciding which spas I’d try out myself for this project. I chose the ones I chose all for different reasons. Graceful Services, however, hits a certain Anti Tourist spot for me.

Hidden on the second floor of a building right next to a deli (what isn’t right next to a deli in NYC? Look at all of ‘em!), Graceful is a teeny tiny space, even for New York standards. And here’s something I like about them:  they get right to the point, in every way.

When I called beforehand in an effort to figure out exactly what I wanted to try, the receptionist was more than patient with me, explaining each treatment in detail. We both decided on the House Massage for me. She warned me beforehand that my masseuse might be a little rough on me unless I asked her to go easy. I didn’t ask her to go easy. I wanted it rough.

The charming short-haired Asian woman was kind in her approach to me:  she stopped in intervals to ask me if I wanted her to go easier. I told her I didn’t. “The harder the better” I said. “You’ll regret it tomorrow” she said.

It did hurt the next day. I never doubted that it would. But she got kinks out of my muscles that I didn’t even know were there.

She followed my massage treatment with a facial, which was also satisfyingly painful. I tried not to open my eyes as she extracted all of the shit I was embarrassed to have under my skin. In fact, I didn’t open my eyes the entire time. But you know what? My boyfriend couldn’t stop commenting on my skin the entire week after that facial. I call that a job well done. A job well done in a hard-to-find spa that you’ll now find, hopefully, the next time you’re in New York.

By: Elizabeth Seward

Other NYC Spas on TAT:

Faina European Spa

Fine Living Ayurveda Spa

New York’s Best Café: The Grey Dog Café

Grey Dog Café is an oasis among oases; in my opinion, the best food in New York City. Not the best as in the most fancy, but if you’re like me, and you like gigantic sandwiches on great artisan bread followed by perfect coffee and grandma-style desserts (Peach cobbler! Cookies of all kinds! Pie! Incredible pie!), look no further than 33 Carmine Street in the West Village, unless of course you’re nearer their second location at 90 University Place off of Union Square. In that case, look there—it’s the same food, same atmosphere, and the same (I swear) beautiful people behind the counter. Not that it matters, but everyone I’ve ever seen working the counter at this NY comfort food Mecca has a sweet smile and great bone structure; go see for yourself, I don’t lie.

Grey Dog’s Coffee is certainly something to write home about. They have a full coffee bar with all the usual espresso and coffee drinks, and you can even order from their website if you want to bring the brew back home. Apart from that, they have great teas, smoothies, and other drinks, as well as beer on tap and an affordable wine selection. HELPFUL HINT: After 9pm, happy hour kicks in and you can get decent draft beer (which rotates, but I’ve had Sierra Nevada and Brooklyn Lager) for the by-New-York-standards-cheap-as-hell 3 bucks a pint—real beer at PBR prices. That said, for the hipster purist, cans of PBR are available for, I think, the same price.

Look at their menu to find your own favorites. You can’t really go wrong. I love the Chicken and the Tuna Melt, the Turkey-Apple-Brie, and the Grey Dog Club as far as sandwiches go, but the Country Salad has the best homemade salad dressing I’ve ever had. Oh and try the Baja Fish Tacos—a little on the small side for the price ($11.95) but completely worth it. Their breakfast outdoes any New York Diner in comfort food satisfaction; try the Grey Dog Breakfast which has all the usual fixings—eggs any style, french toast or pancakes, & bacon or sausage, or ham. I recently had the Baked Oatmeal, which really is a cube of baked oatmeal made with cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins and is served sitting in a bath of hot steamed milk, perfect for those mornings where you just miss your mom.

By: Ben Britz, Photos By: Elizabeth Seward