The Messy Nessy Chic Guide

You could spend a lifetime trying to sift through all of the travel sites and best-selling city guides about how to best explore New York– or you could start the adventure today.

This book can wake up your inner explorer; tap into your curiosity and help you to discover all five boroughs like a roaming detective; a seeker of stories and collector of local secrets.




You can now order your own copy of Don’t be a Tourist in New York and start preparing your next adventure...

Orders from Messy Nessy Chic will be received well before orders from any other book shops or online retailers.

The unusual, the unsung and unknown side of New York City

This book invites you to travel in a way that tourists rarely do, whether you’re a lifelong New Yorker looking for an excuse to leave your apartment or a first time visitor searching for a companion that won’t drag you around like a sightseer.

America’s greatest metropolis deserves a book of secrets – one that compiles its curious idiosyncracies and digs through its past & present to bring you inspiration and adventure in the least expected places.

Guidebooks are often organized by borough, or by the times of day, or categorized by activities that tourists are expected to do. These chapters are created around a person’s mood and the cards that life has dealt us on any given day. Because when you wake up in New York City, a new adventure awaits…

Take a look inside

Don’t be a Tourist in New York is a true compendium of unique ideas, inspiring addresses and places to remember. For every mood, occasion or lack thereof, we've covered all grounds. 

Here's just a taste of what you can expect:


What people are saying

“I wouldn't spend a week in New York without this book. ”

- Harriet Agnew, Financial Times

“Messy Nessy Chic taps into what really is discovery for our generation. It’s simultaneously adventurous and whimsical, and pretty much guaranteed to give you some obscure yet captivating place you simply must see for yourself—even though it will likely blow up your whole itinerary.”

- William O’Connor, The Daily Beast

“Special, captivating, edgy just like New York City! This guide explores historic houses, hidden in plain sight that reveal fascinating and inspiring stories that have shaped our iconic city.”

- John Krawchuk, Historic House Trust of New York City

“A trawl of fascinating places and people, past and present” 

- Conde Nast Traveller

Who is this guide for?

Big city dreamers, lonely hearts, collectors, historians, film & literature lovers, social butterflies, misfits, thrill-seekers, hopeless nostalgics, jazz-obsessed Dads, supermoms, good hosts and even better guests...

This book is for the travel lover who will dog-ear it and bookmark it and scrapbook the hell out of it while dreaming of a New York City experience you’ll never forget.

This book is for a proud New Yorker who will keep a copy on their bedside table, waiting for those sleepy Saturday mornings when you wake up and ask: Why should I leave my apartment today?

This book is for the imaginative reader who may never get to travel to New York, but with these pages, you’ll navigate the city’s streets and learn its stories, go behind doors and meets its characters. You’ll have travelled much farther and deeper into the city than most.

Whether you’re a lifelong local or a New York City rookie, if you have a hungry imagination, this book is written for you.

About the Author

Over the past decade, a million + monthly readers of the Messy Nessy Chic online community have trusted its founder & editor Vanessa Grall to take them with her down the rabbit holes of life, from the bygone to the bizarre to the most beautiful. Following her first best-selling book Don’t be a Tourist in Paris, Vanessa has banded together with a passionate team of local writers and explorers Luke J Spencer, Francky Knapp and Scott Walker to create the ultimate compendium of unique ideas and off-beat addresses. We’re bringing you the unusual, the unknown and the unsung side of New York City in one charming little yellow package.

This is what Messy Nessy Chic does best.

Author, Don't Be A Tourist In New York
Founder & Editor, Messy Nessy Chic


We’re a peculiar band of storytellers with an incurable obsession for New York City... 

You'll get 370 pages of

  • Collectors Addresses
  • Secret Dive Bars & Jazz Cafés
  • Restaurants to Remember
  • Strange and Underground Adventures
  • Going solo in the city & Budget-friendly Life-Savers
  • Moodlifting & Inspiring Activities
  • Mom & Pop Shops and Historic holdouts
  • Hidden Gardens & Al Fresco Eateries
  • Unique Date Ideas & Romantic Adventures
  • Underrated & Alternative Museums
  • Performing Arts Hubs & Open Mic Nights
  • Hip Hangouts & Social Playgrounds
  • Time Travelling Strolls & Neighbourhood Secrets
  • Booklover Havens & Cabinets of Curiosity
  • Family Days Out and Hobbies for all Ages
  • New York in all its glorious diversity

Order Your Copy Today!

There are enough tourists in this world. We need more explorers. Discover the city like a secret agent.