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NYC For Free founder Rebeka Getty was excited to move to Hell’s Kitchen in 2020 and feels right at home because of the neighborhood’s food, diversity — and proximity to Broadway! This is Rebeka’s West Side Story.
So, what’s your New York story? Born here, or just arrived?
I grew up right outside NYC and remember trips to Manhattan every month for Broadway shows and other activities. I moved to NYC right after college and I’ve been here for about seven years! I first lived on the east side (Midtown East, Kips Bay, Gramercy) before moving into Hell’s Kitchen in 2020.
What was your first job? What do you do now?
My first job in NYC was as a strategy consultant, and I also worked at a startup. A few years ago, I created an Instagram page called NYC for FREE. (New York City’s go-to source for NYC freebies, events, local giveaways, and more). I never would have guessed how much it’s grown and become a resource for New Yorkers interested in finding fun and free things to do in New York City without breaking the bank. I am now lucky enough to make that my job, which is really exciting and rewarding!
What’s your favorite New York minute (or moment) so far?
So hard to choose! Probably when I hosted my own charity workout class on Pier 45 last summer. It was a beautiful early summer day, and we had 40 people working out together on the Pier while donating money to an important cause, and ending the day with an amazing brunch and goodie bags from local businesses.
Another more personal moment is when I got engaged in Central Park in 2020. The area around the Gapstow Bridge will always hold a special place in my heart!
Share with us why you love Hell’s Kitchen
I love Hell’s Kitchen for a lot of reasons! I was so excited to first move here because of how close it is to Broadway (I see a ton of Broadway shows!). I also love the amazing food and diversity of restaurants. I’m also a runner, so the close proximity to both the West Side Highway and Central Park is great for running (especially when I trained for my first marathon — NYC — this past fall)!
What’s your superpower or hidden talent?
My superpower is I probably do more activities in one day than most people do in a week! I am always running around NYC visiting events, local businesses, popups and more. The vibrancy of NYC truly gives me energy.
What else should we know about you?
I am a big traveler. As much as I love NYC, I love exploring new places! I’ve been to 31 countries and 31 states (and yes, I keep a list!).
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Rebeka’s Favorite Hell’s Kitchen Places
Il Melograno — 501 W51st Street (bw W51/52nd St)
Il Melograno has delicious Italian food. I’ve had a lot of special memories here (including dinner the night I got engaged). The food is fresh, homemade and very fairly priced. We love it here!
As Is NYC — 734 10th Avenue (bw W50/51st St)
As Is NYC is a great bar to meet some friends, grab a drink and catch up. There is a huge selection of beers and the bar has great vibes for a chill evening with friends.
Hell’s Kitchen Free Store — 401 W45th Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
I love the idea of the HK Free Store — where everyone can leave what they can and take what they need. I get a lot of free stuff from what I do, and I love dropping it off and knowing that someone else will enjoy it and get use out of it. Such an amazing initiative!
Bagel Market — 875 10th Avenue (bw W57/58th St)
Bagel Market just opened a few months ago, and they have the most delicious, fluffiest bagels! 10th Avenue needed a bagel spot and I am so happy that Bagel Market opened up.
Omakase by Korami — 400 W50th St (near 9th Avenue)
My friend introduced me to this amazing omakase spot (I think she goes at least once a month!). The team is so nice and the omakase is delicious! It’s a very intimate space and you get very personalized attention during your meal. The best omakase in Hell’s Kitchen!
Cafe 424 — 424 W54th Street (bw 9th/10th Ave)
I recently went to Cafe 424 and it has incredible homemade Jamaican food! It is run by a mother-and-daughter team and they are such nice people. They have a great lunch special!
You can follow Rebeka on Instagram @nyc_forfree and @rebekanewyork. If you know someone who would make a great West Side Story (or you would like to nominate yourself) please fill in this form — w42st.info/WSSnominations
You can check out more West Side Stories and reader recommendations on W42ST’s Hell’s Kitchen Local App.
I love this series of profiles on our creative neighbors! Congratulations to Rebeka on her innovations and success.
I just got a PT job in Hell’s Kitchen 10th and 44th. Thanks 🙏🏼 for sharing all the cool 😎 finds. Smackarys🍪 Dark side of the moo 🍔 to name a few.
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