When it comes to living in New York, Alyssa Coscarelli of @alyssainthecity does it right, from eating at the hottest restaurants to discovering all of the city’s best Instagram backdrops. Alyssa is currently the senior fashion market editor at Refinery29, but over the past year it’s her Instagram account documenting her beautifully curated life in New York, which is getting people’s attention. We chat with her about what she loves about the city and why this Florida native has converted into a true New Yorker.
Hi Alyssa. You’re originally from Florida, what first brought you to New York?
I moved to New York to attend LIM College, a private college for the business side of fashion. It definitely wasn't the typical college experience, but I wouldn't trade that decision for anything.
What were your first impressions of the city – and how have they changed over your time spent here?
I was completely wide-eyed and bushy-tailed when I first got to the city and I think that's lessened a bit. I came from Florida and Georgia so even though I had traveled a bit growing up, New York was huge and bustling to me -- I'd never lived like a New Yorker. Now, New York is home, and while I might not be as wide-eyed, I'm still chipper to walk out of my apartment every morning. I love living here.
From merchandising at BCBGMAXAZRIA to editorial at Refinery29, what made you decide to switch careers?
Does anyone really end up doing what they major in? Ha! Just kidding, but really, I knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry, I just wasn't sure in what capacity. The merchandising program seemed promising for breaking into the industry in general, but as soon as I landed my first editorial internship I knew that was the sector where I belonged.
When did you start using Instagram and what do you think has been your secret to success?
I started my Instagram when I moved to New York. It's hard to say what my secret to success is, but I think consistency and authenticity are really important for building an audience on social. I like to think I give my followers an honest and authentic look at both my personal style and my day-to-day life and career, and I think that's why people choose to follow along.
From the streets to the people, where and who do you go to for inspiration?
First and foremost, I go to the women I call friends and colleagues. I'm lucky to work alongside so many amazing people at Refinery29, and also in editorial, as well as all the amazing brands and designers I'm connected with, and I get inspiration from all of them. As far as where, I get inspiration on Instagram on the regular, and also try to travel as much as possible, because there's nothing more inspiring than a change of scenery.
Can you share any tips on how to capture the best shots of the city?
It's all about that good light! Both bright sun and shadow play are your friend. Also, two words: Golden hour.
What is it about New York that makes it so photogenic?
New York has character - it's not always picture-perfect, and yet that's what makes it such a pleasure to photograph.
What’s your favorite neighborhood to explore?
Right now, East Village, because I just moved back into Manhattan less than a year ago and I'm falling back in love with it more and more every day. Also, ALL THE FOOD.
Describe your perfect weekend in the city.
Brunch with friends (I'm a regular at The Smile), a workout (or 3 -- I'm kind of a workout freak) and love SLT and The Class by Taryn Toomey, and vintage shopping at 10 Ft. Single or The Break Vintage.
If you weren’t living in New York, where would you be?
Probably LA... or somewhere in Europe.