Many thought Alex Zagami would have pregnancy in the bag. After all, she owns a children and baby gift store. Alex, on the other hand -- she wasn’t so sure.
“As many swaddles as I’ve sold over the last six years at PiccoliNY,” Alex said, “I’ve never swaddled one baby...not ONE!” And so far, even pregnancy wasn’t what she expected.“ It feels like an alien has taken over my body,” she joked. “Everyone says this is the most wonderful time in your life… I say, that’s BS. Being pregnant is the pits.”
Alex is incredibly excited to be pregnant, especially after experiencing a miscarriage a while back. And while this pregnancy hasn't exactly been smooth sailing, she she finds comfort in being honest about what is happening to her body and in taking care of herself. “When you don’t feel like yourself,” she says, “you need to do something foryourself.” For Alex, this involves treating herself to delicious foods, goodies and pampering in her neighborhood, Nolita (or, as some call it, Chitaly).
In Alex’s mind, Nolita is the best place to be pregnant. You can literally satisfy any craving you have - from sweets to fried eggplant sandwiches to bagels - and Chinatown is only a few blocks away! For those who are close to her beloved neighborhood and who need a little “cheer-me-up” as they’re experiencing the uglier side of pregnancy, Alex is taking us on a tour and showing us her favorite spots.
Here are 10 places to treat yourself and your baby bump when you’re expecting in Nolita.
1. When you need to feel beautiful: Space NK Apothecary London.
This makeup store and studio is perfect when you need to feel beautiful and are way too exhausted to do your own makeup. They sell products -- a lot of which are natural and pregnancy friendly -- and will also be happy to show you exactly how to use them. A full face of professional makeup can make all the difference in your level of confidence during pregnancy.
2. When you need a fresh ‘do: Pembley Hair Salon.
This salon is trendy and chic, complete with a cafe and couches to relax before and after your appointment. They even have a friendly dog for you to cuddle with and curl up with a good magazine!
3. When you want to be around kids: Elizabeth Street Park.
Elizabeth Street Park is a hot spot in both summer and winter. It’s a great place to go and people watch, and observe parenting techniques as you anticipate bringing your own little one here in just a few short months!
4. When you’re craving Dim Sum: Nom Wah Tea Parlor.
Nom Wah has the best, most authentic Dim Sum in Nolita. Though it’s always crowded, which may be how you know the food is good! Marrying into an Asian family, good Chinese food is very important to Alex and her husband, Tyler.
5. When you need a sweet treat: Little Cupcake Bake Shop.
Little Cupcake Bake Shop is special to Alex because before she met her husband, she lived in the apartment above the bakery. Alex loved having cakes for dinner, and now during pregnancy she enjoys indulging herself here even more. As a family business owned by two brothers, Little Cupcake Bake Shop is the perfect hometown bakery.
6. When you need to unwind: Sky Ting Yoga.
Treat yourself to private prenatal sessions that not only provide the most zen experience, but do more than just relax you. Get everything moving.
7. When you need CHOCOLATE, of course: Stick With Me Sweets.
Tastiest and prettiest chocolates NYC has to offer. Need we say more? Try the NY NY - you won’t be sorry!
8. When you need a new outfit: Otte, the Outlet Shop.
When shopping at Otte, Alex never walks out empty handed. The sales are incredible, she says! HATCH Collection's showroom isn't too far either -- a maternity must!
9. When you crave that savory pizza: Prince Street Pizza.
Prince Street has the best and most authentic Italian pizza in Nolita. Alex usually likes to get an extra slice for the morning too. Cold pizza for breakfast is her go to!
10. When you just gotta have a sandwich: Parisi Bakery.
Get the Dennis on a semolina roll and make sure to thank Alex for the suggestion.
Photography by Mandalyn Rael Photography for Well Rounded.