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New York Goth travel guide! Ryan & Regina Cohn’s Oddities Flea Market, House of Wax bar, Archer Hotel NYC.

midtown hotel empire state building view

New York, New York. It’s always good to be back.

A lot has changed since I lived here (it seems I’m in reminiscence mode these days). NYC has become a different world than the one I knew: there’s now WiFi in the subways; everyone relies on smartphones for getting around, and takes Ubers to parties in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, I can recall the days of flip-phones and the Korova Milk Bar!

Still, this remains “Gotham City.” I was delighted to meet up with friends old and new, and check out NY’s latest Goth / bizarre bars, club nights and more. 

Read on for an exclusive look at House of Wax bar, the upcoming Oddities Flea Market run by Ryan and Regina Cohn…

stella rose saint clair fashion designer

… as well as Stella Rose’s pop up fashion boutique, Gothic nightlife, and tips for alternative travelers!

archer hotel nyc new york room

This time, I stayed at Archer Hotel NYC right in midtown Manhattan. If you’re only in the city for a few days and love boutique design hotels, then this is the place for you.

(Keep scrolling down for a full look inside, including the epic view of the Empire State from their rooftop bar.)

Ryan Matthew Cohn, Regina Marie Cohn

While I was in New York, Ryan Matthew Cohn and Regina Marie Cohn invited me to visit them in Brooklyn. As you can see in these images, their home is a treasure trove of morbid curiosities!

It was a joy to see Ryan’s infamous skull collections in person, as well as pet their British Shorthair cat, Percy Blue. (The white Scottish Fold, Princess Andromeda, was hiding!)

oddities tv ryan matthew cohn

I’m sure you recognize Ryan Matthew Cohn from his regular appearances on the Discovery / Science TV show, “Oddities.”

You might recall that I was a guest on Oddities; we’ve kept in touch since then, as we obviously share a love of all things dark and deathly.

ryan matthew cohn house tour

Ryan and his lovely wife Regina currently work together in this fascinating field. They source, restore and sell unique osteological artifacts and other curiosities, as well as curate, lecture and educate on these subjects.

baby human skeletons, skulls

Exciting news: Ryan and Regina recently launched an Oddities Flea Market, which brings together vendors of all things peculiar! Mike Zohn and Evan Michelson of Obscura Antiques will be two of the many participants.

Their first event was such a success that they’re now hosting a two-day market on September 30th and October 1st –– NY friends, you must come check this out.

human skull flowers inside

Ryan and Regina have brought together only the best purveyors to take part in the Oddities Market. In a single location (Brooklyn Bazaar), guests can browse and buy anatomical wonders, taxidermy, Gothic jewelry, bizarre art… you get the picture.

oddities flea market nyc

These photos of Ryan and Regina’s home give you a sense of what to expect. I spy an Anatomical Venus, medical preparations in jars, shrunken heads, and skulls galore… I could spend hours browsing their personal collections, which are enough to fill a museum!

ryan matthew cohn regina house

Ryan and Regina are constantly traveling in search of “morbid anatomy” objects, which will be available for sale at the market. Plus, you can browse dozens of tables from Blood Milk, Amber Maykut, Goldengrove Jewelry, Adam Wallacavage, Meagan Meli and others.

exploded skulls, oddities collector

Come join Ryan Matthew Cohn, Regina Marie Cohn and friends!

What: 2nd Oddities Flea Market
When: September 30th and October 1st, from 12PM to 6PM.
Where: Brooklyn Bazaar, NY

ryan matthew cohn apartment

Ticketing: VIP pre-sale tickets are available for purchase through Atlas Obscura (act fast, Saturday is already sold out). These tickets will gain you entry at 11 am with full access to all 43 sales tables.

Or, just show up for general admission at the door, which is only $3. There’s more info on the Oddities Market RSVP page.

ryan matthew cohn wife regina

Be sure to let your New York friends know, and say hello to Regina and Ryan for me! I wish I could be there, but we’ll get together again very soon.

brooklyn bazaar oddities market vendors

Find out more news on Ryan’s Facebook page, and keep reading to peer inside the House of Wax Bar in Brooklyn that he curated…

archer hotel nyc new york

… but first, an outfit change back at Archer Hotel New York! The midtown location was near tons of subway stations, which made it easy for me to get to appointments in different boroughs. (Address: 45 W 38th St, between 5th and 6th Ave).

I love clean design, and felt right at home amidst the modern, industrial brick-and-glass decor. 

midtown boutique hotel archer

My windows had a magnificent view of the Empire State Building (see first photo in this post). Every room came with cozy robes, bedtime books and cute his-and-hers slippers. I could have lounged all day in this plush bed, surrounded by classic brick walls…

ny archer hotel lobby interior

… but when you’re in the Big Apple, you’ve got to explore! With Archer Hotel NY’s central location, you can walk to lots of local spots. I confess I made several trips to Joe’s Pizza, which has a new Times Square location for its classic New York slices.

archer hotel restaurant new york city

Right in the hotel lobby, you can enjoy a memorable dinner at Charlie Palmer Steak. The NY steakhouse reflects chef Palmer’s bold, progressive American cuisine, which draws upon seasonal / local flavors from surrounding waterways and farms.

charlie palmer restaurant cocktails appetizers

Charlie Palmer’s menu has an impressive raw bar and seafood selection. We began with the special appetizer of the day: scallop ceviche. Our server also recommended the outstanding tuna tartare with citrus ponzu, pickled ginger and sesame crisps. It went perfectly with my Midtown Manhattan with rye, aperol, bitters and grapefruit peel. (You know I love my “old man drinks,” and the cocktails here were on point.)

charlie palmer steakhouse nyc menu

Next came a perfectly seared, melt in your mouth filet mignon. It was hard to choose from the many spectacular sides available (truffle potatoes, asparagus) and sauces (the house CP sauce is recommended).

Finally, dessert: creme brulee with black currant and Tahitian vanilla creme, with passionfruit and vanilla ice cream. For a special celebratory meal with excellent service, Charlie Palmer Steak delivers big-time.

hotels near empire state nyc

A stay at Archer Hotel NY isn’t complete without a cocktail at their Spyglass Rooftop Bar. On the 22nd floor, you can take in a panoramic view of the Empire State and Chrysler Building, while sipping a crafted cocktail.

spyglass rooftop bar midtown

The Spyglass bar also has a classic Manhattan happy hour; the “Archer Palmer” with black tea-infused gin and lemon fit with the retro vibe. Cheers to Archer Hotel New York for a fantastic stay!

house of wax bar brooklyn

I enjoyed more outstanding cocktails at The House of Wax Bar in Brooklyn, with my friend Lily Streeter of Alex Streeter Jewelry. As soon as we arrived at the entrance, which is lined with 19th century death masks, we knew we were in for an adventure.

House of Wax is a little hard to find, so listen up: it’s inside the Alamo Drafthouse movie complex on the fourth floor, in the same building as Dekalb Market Hall and Trader Joe’s. (Address: 445 Albee Square).

alex streeter pentagram angel heart ring

Lily was wearing the Angel Heart pentagram ring, one of Alex Streeter’s most iconic designs. 

We examined the cocktail list by candlelight: they drew upon 19th century ingredients, and had names such as Butcher of Hanover, and Napoleon Death Mask (made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Cardamaro, Cynar, rhubarb bitters.) Talk about mixology meeting the macabre!

ryan matthew cohn house of wax

I’ve been to a lot of theme bars worldwide, but this was one of the most outstanding. House of Wax features a permanent collection of 19th century wax moulages, curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn. He sourced over a hundred medical wax models from Germany, which were once used to demonstrate surgical procedures and diseases.

nyc weird strange theme bar

Lily and I loved trying the Anatomical and Pathological cocktails, which were perfectly balanced and creatively concocted with old-time ingredients. We snacked on small bites (the menu includes pretzels with cheese, edamame hummus, flatbreads and cheese boards).

Between rounds, we walked around and admired the glass display cases of wax figures, eerily lit by chandeliers.

crazy new york bars

This is not a Halloween kitsch bar. House of Wax is better described as a museum, with a mesmerizing collection that transports you back in time. Lily and I marveled at the wax renditions of diseases such as syphilis, floating hands that demonstrated operations, and painful-looking birth canals. (This collection was also once at the Morbid Anatomy Museum, which is now sadly closed.)

alamo drafthouse house wax cocktails

Behind the bar, there were dozens of New York beers on tap. I’m an absinthe aficionado though, and couldn’t resist this cocktail with an egg white foam.

Without doubt, I’ll be coming back to The House of Wax Bar with friends. I couldn’t think of a better place in NY to have a Gothic gathering.

ny jrock visual kei club

Now, time for some nightcrawling. I’ve written about Goth nights in NYC over the years; the party scene is constantly changing. Right now, a lot of the best Gothic / underground / alternative parties are in Brooklyn. 

brooklyn goth gothic parties

We started the night with a rooftop DJ set…

saint vitus bar greenpoint ny

… then headed to Saint Vitus bar in Greenpoint, for a 1980s Goth night. Quite a few Gothic dance parties take place in this venue, which has stained glass artifacts, upside-down crosses, and this resident weirdo (at first, I didn’t realize he was a mannequin!)

I reunited with my old pal Zachary, and we reminisced about fun times at the Trash! party. RIP DJ Jess Marquis…

synthwave party new york st vitus

New York’s nightlife is always evolving, and it’s not a bad thing. Zachary told me that St Vitus now has a brilliant synthwave party, called Night.Wav. As a retrowave addict, I’d love to check it out (as well as the other outrun events that are starting to bloom worldwide, like San Francisco’s Turbo Drive).

greenpoint brooklyn bars clubs

4am on the waterfront. Late, decadent, alternative nights in New York with friends… that is something that will never grow old.

stella rose saint clair pop up shop

Last but certainly not least, I stopped by the pop-up shop of my friend Stella Rose. She and I were bloggers way back in the day, and I’ve watched her grow her spirited clothing line to the success it is today.

it's stella rose clothing fashion

The boutique was filled with her charming and cheeky designs, from her It’s Stella Rose fashion collection. I have the “No Thank You” pink backpack and sheer tank top above, which she made in collaboration with Print All Over Me.

stella rose fashion boutique ny

Isn’t the Stella Rose boutique fabulously decorated? I tried on her handmade rose beret, and held on to her fuzzy pom-pom hair ties that come in different colors.

print all over me stella rose collaboration

Angry animals, tropical skirts, ghosts… the cuteness meets attitude is distinctively Stella. 

You can find these designs and more on her Stella Rose website and Facebook.

round k goth matte black latte

I ended my trip with a “Goth latte.” I heard that Round K Cafe served a matte black latte, blackened with organic coconut ash, almond paste and coconut cream. A drink for dark, lost souls.

fashion blogger nyc hotel room

Time to pack up my Minions x Away luggage, until my next trip to NYC… I’ll be back soon, as always.

Did you enjoy this peek into Ryan Matthew Cohn’s world, and Oddities Market? If you’re looking for more New York City Goth travel tips, click here – this blog has a decade’s worth of stories from the city!

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Visiting the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn: Medical anatomy wax statues & Library of Oddities.

morbid anatomy museum entrance

If you’re a fan of Oddities (the Discovery / Science TV show that I appeared in) — then I’m sure you are dying (get it?) to visit the Morbid Anatomy Museum in New York! 

Housed in Brooklyn, this collection of strange medical wonders is dedicated to “the intersections of death, beauty and that which falls between the cracks.” 

goth taxidermy magazine

The Morbid Anatomy Museum also has an extensive research library. It’s open for anyone to browse (in a devilish mix of “Guilt and Pleasure”!)

oddities museum nyc

The two-floor museum has both permanent and temporary exhibitions on display.

My friends and I saw the House of Wax: Anatomical, Pathological, and Ethnographical Waxworks from Castan’s Panopticum (Berlin, 1869-1922). It’s curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn of TV’s “Oddities.” 

Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn, New York

Yukiro, Jenny, Hiten and I couldn’t resist lining up on the staircase for this dramatic shot!

  • UPDATE: the Morbid Anatomy Museum has closed, RIP. Check their website for any updates.

weird museums new york city

The exhibits and library are open from 12-6pm, every day except Tuesday. Admission fees, tickets and event announcements are found on their site.

oddities bookstore, antique shop

Yukiro and I began our visit with a snack and coffee at the museum cafe. So many curiosities to see in the lower level gift shop.

(I’m wearing a faux fur coat from Alice’s Pig, an urban vintage-inspired clothing line from London).

morbid anatomy anthology book

I was enthralled by the Morbid Anatomy Anthology (edited by Joanna Ebenstein), a 500 page tome with lavish full color illustrations. I flipped through essays about demonic children and corpses.

(On a cuter note, my Scottish Fold rings are by PuraBobo. The designer custom-made them to look like my round yellow cat).

occult witch nail art, nails

My spooky-occult nail art fit in with the theme of the day. (They’re by Glam Nail Studio; lots of nail art inspiration photos are on their Facebook.)

new york city bizarre, strange

Yukiro looks like one of the gift store curiosities, with undead makeup and a monster-claw scarf.

taxidermy animals nyc

Curiosities lurked all around the Morbid Anatomy cafe and shop. We spotted taxidermy mice in a Ferris wheel, and mysterious creatures preserved in jars.

(Perhaps these objects remind you of the ones found at Obscura Antiques in NYC. If you aren’t familiar with the TV series Oddities, you’ve got to watch episodes here.)

creepy medical wax figures

The Morbid Anatomy project is supported by scholars worldwide. Many have lent out their private collections, and anyone is welcome to donate a curiosity to the library.

The museum also has a Scholars in Residence program. Currently, the posts are held by Evan Michelson of Obscura Antiques and Oddities, and writer Salvador Olguín who specializes in death in Mexico.

anatomical museum brooklyn

We chatted with curator Spencer, who spoke with passion about the waxworks on display. You can tell that we’re hanging on to his every word, as he describes the eerie history of the Berlin Panopticum!

medical wax faces

Spencer explained that these panoptica were used in Europe from the 18th to early 20th century. Back then, medical knowledge was difficult to share. Artisans created these anatomical wax figures in order to preserve information of diseases and procedures. (Above are reproductions of horrific skin pathologies.)

historic wax medical bodies

We felt like we were descending into uncanny valley, as we examined these life-like bodies. Some had exposed organs and fake hair, with fetuses peering out.

wax heads horror effects

Talk about a cabinet of curiosities! We’re posing with a case of death masks, featuring murderers and celebrities.

Other wax busts showed people of different races, and performers that they considered “freaks.”

pregnancy dolls, giving birth

Some of the wax specimens only showed body parts, with disembodied hands lurking about. I think this is an example of how not to use forceps to deliver a baby…

This exhibit’s run has been extended, so you can still see it now. Appropriately, my shirt is by Disturbia – they make this outstanding Ouija board Goth shirt as well.)

weirdest museum, medical anatomy

Some of the artifacts were graphic, and you might feel disturbed by what you see. However, my friends and I adore collections like this one (the Mutter medical museum in Philly is another must-visit).

These anatomical waxes are a fascinating part of our history, and a forgotten method of sharing findings. These objects were originally meant to be private medical tools, but now we can look at them with a critical and even artistic eye.

morbid anatomy library

We could have spent hours in the next room, a treasure trove of bizarre objects. Founded in 2008, The Morbid Anatomy Library contains thousands of books, ephemera, creepy art and other rarities.

goth emo boy shrine

This counter sums up what you’ll find here: dentures, religious candles, Day of the Dead skeletons, and a shrine to a Goth Emo boy! 

museum of medical oddities

Visitors are encouraged to pick up the objects. We couldn’t resist doing a tribute to “see, speak and hear no evil.” Jenny is holding strips of teeth, and I’m listening to a gorilla footprint.

human anatomy museum

Inspector Yukiro is on the hunt! The room is full of clues about how cultures worldwide represent death and the supernatural. 

death candles, broken dolls

For those of you with a dark disposition, Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum cannot be missed. On their site, you’ll find announcements for upcoming openings and lectures.

visit morbid anatomy museum tickets

I dare you to take a funny photo on the stairs like we did! (Photos by Joey Wong.)

PS: for more New York alt-travel suggestions — including clubs, clothing stores and restaurants — check out my NYC Gothic guides here.

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Alien Botany dresses by Zoetica Ebb: cyber futuristic fashion! Hong Kong’s The One & K11 art mall.

fashion blogger brooklyn new york

What will we humans wear, in the year 2100? My bet is on this Alien Botany dress, designed by my talented friend Zoetica Ebb

I’m excited to reveal that her futuristic dress collection is back, in a limited quantity run. I’ve been wearing mine like a second skin — this truly is wearable art, designed with the body in mind.

biorequium designs, zoetica

Artist Zoetica Ebb and I have known each other for years, and I’ve long admired her multimedia work.

Her Alien Botany collection reflects her fascination with the cosmos and alternate history. Tentacles and alien flora slink over the fabric, creating a form-flattering effect.

alien fabric cyber clothing

The Alien Botany dresses are made with a breathable heavy spandex. Zoetica’s hyper-detailed drawings are custom printed in ornate, dazzling detail. A square collar and dip hem add to the elegance of the design.

I love the versatility of the garment: I’ve worn it at a crazy underground party, a family wedding, and a gathering with friends. Bonus for travelers: the fabric doesn’t crease, so it’s easy to pack in a suitcase. 

alien print dress

I’m always looking for unique fashion that reflects my love of the future, technology and subcultures. Alien Botany’s “neon space punk” is unlike anything I’ve seen in stores.

(Joey Wong shot these photos of me in Brooklyn, NY. My hair is colored and styled by Stephanie Hoy of Vancouver, Canada).

zoetica ebb, alien botany

With my purple hair, this dress seems to be made for me. Here’s a close-up of the stand-out detailing and colors.

tentacle aliens bodycon dress

Happy news: these Alien Botany dresses have re-launched today, in two styles! You can find out more on Zoetica Ebb’s web shop

I have the Venenum (left), and it also comes in the Theca (monochrome).

alien botany dress

On May 3rd, you’ll be able to see Zoetica’s editorial for the Spring 2016 issue of Auxiliary Magazine. She styled and art-directed a showcase of her Alien Botany dresses, for this alternative fashion magazine.

la carmina hair, goth model

Zoetica is an independent designer, and her collections are released only in small batches. If you like what you see, I encourage you to act now — once pieces are gone, they may not be available again…

The Alien Botany dresses are available internationally at www.zoeticaebb.com, along with Zoetica’s original prints and art. Let me know what you think of my friend’s designs, and it would be fantastic if you can share this post to support her!

chinese robot costume

Since this post has to do with the future… it makes sense to continue our adventures in Hong Kong. 

I still have photos to share with you, from my last trip to this tech-happy, pop culture city. 

robot anime statues

Hong Kong’s malls always have life-size displays for people to pose with. I came across these fighter robots and a special merchandise pop-up.

rubber ducky statues, isquare hong kong

Outside iSquare mall, I found circus statues starring B. Duck, the rubber ducky.

cute goth purses, black white japanese handbag

I’ve photographed most of Hong Kong’s streetwear malls for you, but never got the chance to showcase The One in Tsim Sha Tsui until now.

Causeway Bay remains my favorite shopping district, but TST is a close second. It has several malls dedicated to Chinese streetstyle, all within walking distance of the subway.

hello kitty haute couture, fashion collection

I could easily spend several hours in The One, a mall with dozens of levels. (Address: 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon)

I walked in, and immediately saw rocker fashion featuring Hello Kitty! I’d wear that leather jacket and clothes with all-over graphics.

asian mens streetwear

Malls like The One are in my “sweet spot” for price and quality. The designs are unique (found only in Asia) and well made, but not overly expensive.

cute designer clothes hong kong

Here’s my old favorite, Hyoma x Mini Cream. The sale prices are truly insane in Hong Kong. For example, I paid $26 US for a pair of metallic shoes from this brand — originally, they were over $200.

kawaii street fashion brand

The label’s black devil cat with round googly-eyes is irresistible.

mr happy clothing, tshirts

Other boutiques in The One had collaborations with characters popular in the 1980s and 90s. The streetwear shop Ginger teamed up with Mr Happy and friends.

b duck, garfield fashion

This mall seems to be dedicated to mascots. Garfield and Rubber Ducky are the faces of the label B. Duck.

The One is also home to the Gudetama theme restaurant, which serves dim sum that looks like the Sanrio egg character.

crying miffy, the one hong kong mall

And then, there’s the one who rules them all: Miffy the bunny! The purse with her crying face and plush dangling ears… yes.

miffy t-shirt, clothing

I got a black and white graphic sweater at the Miffy x Two Percent store. She remains my favorite cute character.

murakami dog face statue

Hong Kong’s TST district is home to another favorite shopping plaza: K11 Art Mall. As the name suggests, the boutiques all have an artistic bent.

As I walked in, I bowed to the smiling dog by Japanese artist Murakami. (More photos below after the jump…)

More here!

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New York Gothic restaurants & nightlife! HP Lovecraft bar, Defcon Pyramid Club, Hanamizuki cafe.

mermaid hair, colorful hair inspiration

Meow — time for an updated guide to Goth New York! NYC is known as Gotham City for a reason: there’s a wealth of alternative clubs, bars and fashion to be found here.

This year, I rang in New Year’s Eve in the Lower East Side. My friends and I taste-tested the new Lovecraft Bar, dedicated to the horror author and his Old Gods. We then danced to Industrial / Synth / EDM at Defcon, a weekly party at Pyramid Club.

Read on for our spooky reviews  — and for more tips, check out my NYC Goth travel guides from over the years! 

lovecraft bar nyc

Yukiro and I were excited to visit the recently-opened Lovecraft Bar NYC. The theme restaurant / lounge honors H.P. Lovecraft and his dark, cosmic literary works.

(Address: 50 Ave B, Lower East Side, New York, NY)

hp lovecraft mural, shirt logo

The spacious bar has two floors, including a performance space in the basement. The decor pays homage to the Lovecraftian universe; all of the artwork and materials are elegantly curated. (I’m wearing this exact Disturbia top with the Lovecraft gate symbol on it. It also comes in this grey version.)

If you’ve read Lovecraft’s stories, such as his Necronomicon collection, you’ll recognize his occult symbols on this mural. Pyramids, tentacles and fear: our favorite combination!

absinthe on fire, blue flames

Upstairs, there is a fully stocked bar. The tattooed bartender prepared the favorite drink of the Goths — absinthe — and lit it on fire. 

cthulhu statue, octopus god

The New York Lovecraft bar is haunted by his evil deities, particulary Cthulhu. Part octopus, man and dragon, he lies in wait at the bottom of this fish tank. “Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!”

HP Lovecraft has a cult following, and my friends and I love his works. If you haven’t read his books before, I recommend starting with “Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales.”

pumpkin spice alcohol

The Lovecraft bar has an extensive food and drink menu. We had a hard time choosing from the craft cocktails, with delectable names like Tesla’s Blood, Mythos Margarita, Dagon’s Bite (named after the sea deity in one of his early tales).

The bartender also makes his own infused spirits, with unusual ingredients like carrots and chai. The pumpkin spice was tangy perfection.

hp lovecraft bar restaurant

At theme restaurants, the food is often an afterthought. Thankfully, this is not the case at Lovecraft NY.

The very first dish was possibly our favorite: a martini glass of watermelon, avocado and tuna ceviche.

lovecraft theme restaurant, tentacles

In honor of the octopus god Cthulhu, we ordered this fresh salad with tentacles. 

cthulhu mythos art

Lovecraft introduced this malevolent being in one of his most famous stories, 1928’s “The Call of Cthulhu” (found in the Necronomicon collection). The Elder God is hibernating in an underwater city, causing ripples of subconscious anxiety in our minds.

His worshippers chant: “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” (“In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”)

lovecraft Bar Lounge new york

Chef Shapan Karmaker brought us a wide selection of stand-out dishes, including crab cakes with homemade sauces, and other Western-fusion creations. The chef has cooked at restaurants of different genres for over a decade, and brings his expertise to the Lovecraftian menu.

goth restaurants new york city

(In honor of the occasion, I’m wearing a Lovecraft Disturbia top with his symbols; it also comes in a grey version. Shop more occult fashion below.)

lower east side hp lovecraft menu

The Lovecraft‘s dark interior design, drinks and cuisine are an impeccable tribute to the author. We encourage you to visit Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and dine in a space full of mystical wonder and terror.

(Photography by Joey Wong.)

goth nightclub new york

In the same neighborhood, you’ll find one of the best alternative venues in the city. The Pyramid Club is a New York institution. It opened in 1979 and was a center of Goth, drag and LGBT gatherings in the 1980s.

I first went Goth clubbing at Pyramid while at university in NYC. Today, the dark dance parties are still going strong. (Address: 101 Avenue A #1, NYC)

defcon industrial ebm electro dj

Every Saturday, Defcon rages in the basement of the Pyramid. DJ Mike Stalagmike (above) and his crew serve up an epic playlist of electronic body music, Industrial, New Beat, synth, electro, dark disco. Instead of flipping through the usual “Goth club” favorites, the DJs go for more obscure tracks and let them play out.

As you know, I’ve been to a hell of a lot of Gothic parties worldwide (chronicled here). If you’re in it for the music — Defcon delivers. We couldn’t have picked a better place for our New Year’s Eve “final countdown.”

pyramid club nyc, gothic party

The dance floor is also a perfect balance of underground and welcoming. The DJs are friendly and came up to introduce themselves, and all the club-goers were spooky types (you won’t see tourists here). Eccentricity is welcomed, and yet everyone is respectful of your personal space.

Defcon goes down every Saturday at Pyramid Club. Kudos to the organizers for maintaining one of most authentic Goth parties in NYC (check out their Facebook for event announcements and more).

hanamizuki cafe new york

New York is also one of the best US cities to experience J-pop culture. My friends and I had dinner at Hanamizuki, an adorable Japanese cafe that recently hosted a Sailor Moon pop-up event.

(Address: 143 West 29th Street, between 6th and 7th Aves, New York, NY)

sailor moon theme popup cafe

My pink haired pal Jenny Zych is an illustrator influenced by Japanese aesthetics. We’re flipping through Strange Paradise, a zine dedicated to Asian horror films that she contributes to.

scottish fold cat art drawings

Jenny delighted me with this creepy-cute portrait of me and Basil Farrow! (Also pictured are illustrations of my cat by Lili Chin and Naomi Rubin).

creepy yeha choker

Jenny’s shirt and choker were to die for. (More eerie fashion below):

rice balls onigiri nyc

Hanamizuki’s mission is to serve simple yet scrumptious Japanese favorites, made with the healthiest ingredients. New Yorkers can live a stressful lifestyle, and the cafe aims to be a Zen-like environment where they can chill out and feel good.

japanese cafes restaurants ny

The airy Midtown location is filled with plants and natural materials. On the wood shelves, I browsed organic teas and cute gifts.

hanamizuki menu, food

Hanamizuki’s signature dish is onigiri, or rice balls. Here, these snacks are anything but basic.

The cafe serves dozens of varieties, including vegetarian options stuffed with ingredients like seaweed, yukari (dried red shiso leaf) and several types of pickles. I also couldn’t resist getting seconds of the unagi (eel) and ume (plum) o-musubi. 

Cafe Hanamizuki

We tried several varieties of miso soup, made with fresh and clean ingredients. Hanamizuki isn’t afraid to innovate with fusion rice balls, such as Hawaiian teriyaki-spam, semi dried tomato and chili wrapped in nori-seaweed.

healthy japanese food new york

A photo is worth a thousand words — you can tell guess how much we loved this octopus and veggies bowl. 

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Simple flavors, with offbeat execution. Everything we tried tasted like it was made with love.

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Happiness is a round of desserts to share. Organic cookies, chiffon cake and mousses made us smile.

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With it cool design and homestyle menu, Hanamizuki is a New York gem. I had the loveliest dinner here with friends, and we couldn’t resist getting more rice balls to take home with us.

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Yukiro and I hope your 2016 is going devilishly so far! We’re thankful we got to reunite with friends in one of the world’s greatest cities.

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If you’re planning a trip to New York, I hope you find my NYC alternative travel guides helpful. These include tips for where to buy clothing (St Marks, vintage), eat, party and sleep. 

Are you a Lovecraft fan? Have you heard of Pyramid Club, or the Sailor Moon theme cafe that Hanamizuki hosted?