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Made In Manhattan


The Vale Family

I can be dressed to the nines, in anything and everything from Club Monaco to Tom Ford and the first thing anyone notices is my Michelle Vale Balancé Day-to-Night Tote. Come to think of it, I cannot recall a time I’ve donned this shoulder candy and haven’t been complimented on one of MV bags. This could very well explain why I am the proud owner of six of them. OK, I admit, I am completely obsessed. I mean, if you see my beige suede tote with rose gold karung snakeskin handles you would be too.  And I’m not the only one who thinks that. A-list celeb are rocking their Michelle Vale bags on the big screen, around town and in the pages of InStyle. These classic bags with a modern twist are coveted by the fashion elite from coast-to-coast.


Childhood friend and highly sought after fashion designer for woman’s accessories, Michelle has made New York City home with her husband, Trevor, and their two Lil’ Manhattanites, Liam and Charla. This JetSet Family not only encompasses what it is to truly be a New Yorker, but their desire to impress upon their lil’ ones the wonders of the big city is beyond fantastic. They’ve traveled around the world and back again, but NYC is still their favorite place to be.

New York City


Where is your favorite spot to eat with the fam?

Michelle: I happen to love SmorgasBar, it is within walking distance of our neighborhood (Battery Park City) in the South Street Seaport area. Smorgasbar offers an array of Brooklyn purveyors making innovative cuisine. The kids love Pizza Moto with their on-site brick oven and love Landhaus for their bacon bliss!

Do you have any special spots for date night?

Trevor: My favorite place to take Michelle sans children is Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village. Our recent dining experience had us sitting beside Bono. The atmosphere is old-world Manhattan and you really must try the Black Label Burger.


What is your favorite hotel? Where do you love to sneak away?


Michelle: Without a doubt, the Gansevoort Park Avenue. Time Out New York just named it the “Best Hotel for a Staycation,” and the very chic pool is perfect if you visit the city in the warmer months. I love it there.


New York City seems like one giant playground. Where are the places you enjoy with your family the most?

Michelle: We recently went to the Rain Room exhibit at the MOMA and Charla loved it. Liam jumps at any chance to go to Chelsea Piers. He loves playing hockey and it’s become our second home. From soccer and gymnastics to rock climbing and bowling, Chelsea Piers is an athletic family’s dream come true. Governor’s Island is NYC’s best kept secret! Now through September you can check out Fete Paradiso, a spectacular collection of vintage carousels and carnival rides. It’s a great place for family time. 


Who are your favorite designers and/or shops?

Michelle: I’m drawn to Nili Lotan and Theory, Theysken’s Theory and Helmut Lang. Nili Lotan has some great pieces for kids at J. Crew. I am happy see these brands are starting to manufacture more and more in the U.S. Supporting brands made domestically is very important to us, especially if they are made in Manhattan. For accessories? Michelle Vale, of course! www.michellevale.com

Trevor: Michelle and I are both fans of Jean Shop for casual, yet stylish pieces and Martin Greenfield Clothiers is my pick for custom made suits.


So what is your secret for looking so young & fabulous? 

Michelle: Tribeca Beauty Spa does well with flying under the radar; however it is frequented by the in-the-know New Yorkers. You really must try Nadia for a facial. The results are amazing. I resist going to anyone else.

I heart NY

What is the best time of year to visit?


Michelle: I suggest to friends to come visit New York City in the spring or the fall. Both seasons are perfect weather for sightseeing and really experiencing Manhattan for all it is worth. There is nothing better than walking through Central Park in early October, dressed in a cozy sweater with a coffee. It really is the quintessential New Yorker thing to do. If you come in the springtime, make sure to check out the High Line to see the greenery, shop and taste local fares and perhaps a nice glass of wine in the sunshine.

And the fun does not stop here. For more information about fabulous restaurants, experiences and brands that New York has to offer, follow Michelle on her Make It In Manhattan blog.


What do you want to visit in NYC?

Hugs & passports,

– Nicole

Photo credits: Michelle Vale, Gavessort Hotels, and Creative Commons


On occasion, contributors of The JetSet Family receive products, compensation and/or services gratis or at discounted rates. This practice does not hinder the influencer’s point of view. All descriptions are factual and accurately reflect the overall experience.

Written by Nicole Standley

Nicole Standley

Founder + Creative Officer, Nicole Standley, shares her favorite trends in travel, food + wine, fashion, health, and fun on The JetSet Family and is a long time travel + lifestyle contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Huffington Post, and Hilton Hotels. She is a brand ambassador for Netflix and O, The Oprah Magazine, and has been named Top Family Travel Blogger by Trip Advisor and Red Tricycle. Follow her on Instagram at: nicoleDstandley

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Review overview
  • Jenn August 20, 2013

    Usually when you think of NYC you think of husstle and bustle. This shows a more relaxing side of NYC. Thx!

  • Lexie Lane August 20, 2013

    You know, I really started liking Nili Lotan as well. I think it’s the simplicity I love. Part of the reason I too, love Michelle Vale. Nice review! And beautiful scenery too!

  • Babushka’s all about Plebian Pride, but I’d make an exception for those MV bags!! Enjoyed the post and the landscape scene was Bella. BB2U

  • Bella Vida Letty August 20, 2013

    Great tips. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in NYC.

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell August 20, 2013

    I’ve stayed at the Gansevoort on one of my NYC trips and I thought it was absolutely incredible! The staff was amazing and I tried their restaurant too which was DELISH!

  • @teresalolvera August 20, 2013

    Love the picture of the park, so peaceful! I have not been to New York yet, but will keep in mind the tip to visit in the spring or fall.

  • Christy Maurer August 20, 2013

    I really think I was meant to live in New York City 🙂 I’ve been there once and I just fell in love. I could totally handle the hustle and bustle and traffic. Love the bag and the interview 🙂

  • Nicole Howell August 20, 2013

    I have never visited ny but this makes me want to!!!

  • Suzi Satterfield August 20, 2013

    I’ve never been to NYC, but there are some places I’d love to visit. Mostly historical stuff like the Statue of Liberty, but I’d also like to visit Central Park, the Central Park Zoo, the Cloisters, and some commercial bits like FAO Schwarz with the kidlets. <3

  • Vinma August 20, 2013

    I haven’t been to NYC yet.. But I will be going probably this year.. thank you for sharing this wonderful post.. Love the cute bags 🙂 I am so obsessed about bags and shop for them like crazy 🙂

  • Missy Homemaker August 20, 2013

    I would LOVE to visit New York City. I’ve never been, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do before I’m too old to enjoy it! And I want to see it all.

  • Beeb August 20, 2013

    I’ve only been to NYC once during a late-night flight layover. I got to hit up a few places like Times Square, but I would love to return when it’s not 3 AM. 😀 I love getting suggestions like this from locals.

  • Allyson Bossie August 20, 2013

    We go to NY yearly to visit family, but we go upstate to the dairy land, not to the city. I SO want to go to the city, sigh

  • Mel Cole August 20, 2013

    I’ve been in NYC 3 times. We stayed at a friend’s house in Edison, New Jersey. We commute via train. It was an amazing experience in such a huge city. Been to that subway stuff and all that. There was one restaurant that I liked there and I forgot the name. lol. But we’ve been to the Rockefeller and Empire State building. It was so cool. That was both in the Summer that we went there.

  • Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly August 20, 2013

    Great recos! I am handbag obsessed also! I did a round up of family friendly places to visit in NYC to help bloggers that were coming in for BlogHer 2012, let me know what you think when you get a chance: http://www.ascendingbutterfly.com/2012/07/nyc-summer-fun-my-top-10-list-of-family.html

  • dailycurlz August 21, 2013

    great tips< i will need it for Latism 🙂

  • Pamela R September 4, 2013

    Beautiful photo’s –I want to visit NYC!!!

  • Sharon Garofalow September 10, 2013

    i LOVE New York and reading about it makes me want to go back So bad. I can’t wait to try out some of the places they shared!

  • Fan R @TeddyOutReady September 12, 2013

    I think I follow your advice to come to NY this fall, at least it is not that far as Europe. And with our little one, not yet at school will be easier too.

  • Danielle @ We Have It All September 13, 2013

    NYC intimidates me, not sure if I’ll ever visit. But that Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel does look inviting! I would imagine NYC isn’t much different than Chicago, and I am at home there. We’ll see, maybe some day 🙂

  • Jennifer Hall September 13, 2013

    My hubby wants to travel to NY and I just want to travel, hopefully we’ll get to use your tips!!