Insider’s Guide: New York City

Gulfshore Playhouse founder and longtime New Yorker Kristen Coury on what you need to know before visiting the Big Apple.


Naples is fortunate that Kristen Coury stopped for a night on her way to Miami in 2004. After falling for the Paradise Coast, Coury moved to Naples and founded the Gulfshore Playhouse. Under her leadership, the Playhouse has grown to a staff of 41 and an annual budget of more than $4 million, and also has launched plans to build a state-of-the-art theater and education center. Coury lived in New York City for 12 years, during which time she worked on the Broadway productions of Beauty and the Beast and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, among others. As Gulfshore Playhouse’s producing artistic director, she regularly returns to the Big Apple, where her days are filled with cast auditions, meetings with the Playhouse’s architects, and seeing shows.

VIBE Vibrant, driven, and arty

FASHION ESSENTIALS for day A leather backpack I got in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood and a lightweight Burberry raincoat

FASHION ESSENTIALS for night A Cabi pink coat and great high-heeled boots or black Karl Lagerfeld heels

When TO GO May to October. Anytime when it’s not snowing.

HOW TO SPEND A FREE DAY Seeing theater or walking in Central Park.

WHERE TO EAT My favorites include a Japanese place called Azuki ( and Casa Nonna (, which has a great old-world feel and comfy leather chairs.

For a pre-show meal A dinner go-to is Hu Kitchen ( on Fifth Avenue. It is organic, vegan, grain-free, and affordable.

For a coffee break Le Pain Quotidien ( It has great coffee and healthy, organic snacks.

Worth the Splurge Blue Fin a the W Hotel ( and Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne (

GUILTY PLEASURE Reflexology on 77th Street and Broadway

WHERE TO SHOP Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor

BEST SEAT IN TOWN The View Lounge (, a revolving lounge atop the Marriott Marquis

A MUST-DO ACTIVITY Visit The Frick Collection ( It’s a smaller, off-the-beaten-path museum in a beautiful mansion, and it’s easy to see it all in a couple hours.

A FUN CULTURAL EXPERIENCE Wander the streets. I’ve run into some interesting people, including Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin, and Frances McDormand. You can always find music playing or stumble on a film or TV shoot. The city is always keeping you on your toes.

GOOD TO SAMPLE AND STOCKPILE Macarons from Ladurée (

Facebook Comments