Michaela Guzy, founder of the blog Oh the People You Meet, travels the world 280 days a year while reporting on luxury travel, cultural engagement and humanitarian efforts. A native of St.Louis, Guzy now calls New York City?s West Village her home. Michaela recently sat down with L-atitude to share a list of her favorite home base haunts, including hidden shopping gems and local eateries.
How would you describe your own personal style?
If you're asking about my interior design style, my designer friend categorized my Manhattan apartment as worldly chic. A little bit rustic, mixed with collectibles from all my travels, tons of artwork and photography and a modern piece here and there. When it comes to fashion, I love finding pieces that fit my globe trotting lifestyle. Comfy, chic, lots of black and always a scarf. While you can find the occasional splurge from Prada and Chanel, I really like to wear pieces that no one else has. I always make a point to seek out, feature and shop with local designers whether I'm In Nairobi, Kenya, Milan, Italy or good ole NYC. I'm working on adding more color in 2013.
Fitting in Italy.
Where are you planning to go to spend the holiday season?
After spending 280+ days on the road this year everywhere from Mozambique, Qatar, France, Las Vegas and Peru to name a few, I'm excited to be heading back to my hometown, St. Louis, MO and spend time with my family. But looking forward to Paris in January and Southern India in February. I love adding new stamps and visas to my passport.
What is one of your most memorable vacations?
The Peru shoot for Michaela's Map which is airing on PeterGreenberg.com, OhThePeopleYouMeet.com, SmartFlyer.com and OvationVacations.com was unbelievable. We went from the highlands, the coast and into the Amazon. The food is unreal and you won't leave without having many Piscos. The country has great diversity in terrain, charitable projects that travelers can take part in, a huge range of adventure activities and such an old culture that's merging with modernization. But to be honest, my most memorable vacation was leaving NYC behind and heading across seven African countries by myself earlier this year. Designer Anna Trzbenski in Nairobi told me, "Travelers come to Africa for the animals, the fall in love with the landscape, but they return for the people". I left a piece of my heart over there -- I'll definitely be back. Hopefully in later 2013.
Joy's Camp, Kenya
Weavers in Peru.
What are the three things besides your passport you never leave home without?
So its more than three... I'm like a walking advertisement for Apple- my MacBook Pro, my iPad mini and my iPhone. I also always have a scarf, my vintage watch, plain old Chapstick and a Nars matte lip pencil in Cruella that dresses up whatever you are wearing and never rubs off. I always leave my keys (accidentally of course).
What are your globetrotter tips for living like a ?local? in NYC?
Selfishly I hate giving away my West Village secrets because it's already tough to get a table, but I'm a big fan of Gabriel Stulman's restaurants- Joseph Leonard is still my favorite to sit at the bar and have neighborhoody dinner. Hangover brunch at Jeffrey's is a must (pork, egg and cheese biscuit is the cure) and Fedora is a great place for a specialty cocktail and unique apps. Kin Shop just opened for some much needed Thai In the West Village and has a great buzzy vibe. Don't miss the corn ice cream with cinnamon at Cones on Bleecker. My favorite shops in the hood are Rag&Bone for edgy work wear and jeans, Sucre for the best mix of vintage and up and coming jewelry designers, Castor&Pollux have a great selection of designers and started making their own sweaters with a designer in Peru and Intermix for all your going out wear- I can't seem to leave the shop empty handed.
What are your L-atitude must-haves?
The Janavi Cashmere scarf because I need pops of color in my all black flight uniforms and will be perfect for my upcoming trip to India.
The Anndra Neen Raised Brass Cuff because I heart Mexico City and it's so unique.
The Sobek Clutch by Emi Jorge because it's beautiful! Perfect for a night on the town!