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  • Writer's pictureAbsolutely Anything

Macy Gilliam's New York

While dressed as Breakfast at Tiffany's Holly Golightly, I met Macy Gilliam—dressed as Princess Diana in the Revenge Dress—on the New York Public Library rooftop, moments before seeing Tim Gunn at the NYPL Halloween party. She saved me from a creepy guy, and we soon found out we both love Keith McNally restaurants. I feel like it is important you know this is how we met because it sets a precedent for the rest of our relationship.

Holly Golightly and Princess Diana in the Revenge Dress, Oct. 2022.

In Houston, Texas a year later, I met Nick Gray, author of the 2-Hour Cocktail Party, at screenwriter Tom Vaughan's 2-Hour Cocktail Party. When Nick and I swapped Instagram handles, I saw who we both followed and had in common: Macy. It turns out she had attended a 2-Hour Cocktail Party in New York City a month earlier, and that's how she met Nick.

Macy Gilliam is the Social Video Producer for Morning Brew, and you've likely seen her on your Instagram Discover page if you don't already follow the brand. The last time I was with Macy, we were sitting outside Caffe Reggio and people kept approaching our table, looking at her with this glint in their eyes."Are you the Morning Brew girl?" they'd ask. (That same day, we walked by Trevor Noah and Stanley Tucci. They may be big deals, but I didn't see anyone go up to them and say, "Are you the Emmy-nominated actor man?" or "Are you the political commentator comedian guy who always shows up on the Pisces section of the Town & Country horoscope section?" So, actually, how big of deals can they be?)

I've wanted to start a series asking people whose experiences and expertise I respect about their personal maps of their cities. What better place to start with than New York and with Macy Gilliam? I've always admired how tuned into New York Macy is and her willingness to seize the moment. Like all the best New Yorkers, she's from somewhere else. She has lived in Edmond, Oklahoma; Wellington, Florida; Valencia, Spain; Ojai, California; Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Montreal, Canada—and she's made New York City her home.

How? By constantly trying new places and things and fully integrating herself in the community. In fact, you should donate to her Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser here.

Without further ado, here is Macy Gilliam's Guide to New York City.


Edmond, Oklahoma

Other Cities You’ve Lived in:

Wellington, Florida; Valencia, Spain; Ojai, California; Berlin; Amsterdam; Montreal.

When did you move to New York?

I moved here in September 2022.

When was the first time you visited?

In 2008! I was 8.

Anything you remember from that trip?

My mom couldn’t figure out the subway, so we just walked everywhere. I still walk whenever possible!

When Can You Call Yourself a New Yorker?

I like the 10 year rule, but not all 10 years are created equal. I think community involvement is more important than just time put in. Volunteer, join a young patrons group for whichever NY institution is your favorite, anything! But I think there are too many people who call themselves New Yorkers and call this the greatest city in the world who have never given anything back to it.

Can you?

I definitely can’t from a time perspective, but I’m working hard on the community involvement front like Young Lions for NYPL and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Favorite Thing About New York:

There’s always something new! If you’re bored here you have no one to blame but yourself.

Outline the Best Date Someone Could Plan in New York?

I’m a big fan of the activity + short walk + dinner model. Activities are best when they’re random and/or not permanent fixtures; pop-up and short term exhibitions are great. A short walk from activity to dinner is key, it’s always fun to be the cute young couple on the street. And dinner after the previous two steps gives you more material to talk about. Dinner is preferably eaten at the bar. Sitting next to your date feels simultaneously more intimate and more social.

Best WFH spot in NY?

The lobby of the Hoxton in Williamsburg! They have different seating options so if you’re there all day you can move from table to arm chair to couch. It’s also pretty social as far as WFH spots go.

Best Meal:

Soup dumplings & a coke from Dumpling Man.

Favorite Keith McNally Restaurant:

Balthazar! It was my first Keith restaurant and remains my favorite. It feels buzziest.


Miracle on 34th Street


HBO’s Girls


Christie’s! Though it’s technically an auction house, going there to see what’s on view before auctions is the best! You’re seeing art that’s normally hidden away in private collections, and for one brief second is out in public. The added element of people-watching that makes it extra fun.

Best place to film a tiktok in New York:

Where to go when you want to impress someone visiting New York:

Nubeluz! It’s the new rooftop bar on top of the Ritz NoMad. Indoor/outdoor seating options and great cocktails!

Favorite neighborhood:

East Village. All my favorite weird little stores are there.

Dream apartment:

The neighboring apartment to my favorite yoga studio (St Marks Yoga). There’s like a 6ft gap between the apartment’s and studio’s windows. That’s exactly how close I need to be.

Favorite NY historical tidbit:

Central Park has such good birdwatching partly because in 1890, Eugene Schieffelin decided he wanted as many birds as possible that were mentioned in Shakespeare to live in NYC.


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