New York’s thriving Instagram scene doesn’t just live within the app — it’s jumped off the screen and exists IRL. Sometimes it serves as the fertilizer for a business, like with trendy food spots getting huge lines thanks in part to obsessive pic sharing. In other cases, it serves as the seed, such as the case with That’s So Manhattan starting as an Instagram account and a blog before turning into a content marketing company.
Likewise, Nyorquina started as an Instagram account and a blog and has since blossomed into a travel company geared toward Brazilians vacationing here. The company — whose name means New Yorker in Portuguese — posts great pics of attractions around the city, so even if you’re not traveling here from Brazil, there’s plenty of good tips about what’s going on in New York.
That’s So Manhattan connected with Nyorquina’s founder Paty to discuss New York and her work. Even though she’s a Brooklynite and has come to love the borough, Manhattan still plays an important role in her life and work.
That’s So Manhattan: What’s your background leading up to starting Nyorquina? What led you to New York?
Nyorquina Paty: I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When I was 21, I came to New York for the first time with two friends for a week-long vacation. During this vacation, I met a man in a nightclub (Au Bar, which is now Lavo), who’s now my husband. We had a five-year long-distance relationship, marking half of my twenties a series of coming back and forth to the city that never sleeps.
I finally moved to New York in 2001. It was a dream come true. We got married and when we had kids, I decided to become a housewife. We now have three children, ages 12, 11 and 7.
TSM: Why did you decide to launch Nyorquina? Was it intended to be a travel company or did that come about later?
NP: When my kids started to grow up, I started to feel a little bored and decided to start blogging for fun. I started to write New York tips, mostly to my friends back home. However, the Instagram account started to grasp people’s attention, especially from Brazil.
Brazilians like researching and being in the loop before they travel somewhere, so my Instagram was giving them just what they needed, with tips on places to see, restaurants to try, interesting events to attend, etc. I started to see a very rapid growth of followers, along with a lot of requests from people asking for personalized tips. So I thought, “maybe I should capitalize on this.” And that’s when I had the idea of creating personalized itineraries and helping organize vacations. I started to contact companies around New York City to get deals on attractions and shows, and I became a personal concierge as well.
NP: I have a business and marketing degree, and my brain is always thinking of the next step. My business has grown above my expectations, and I am getting an amazing response from my clients. I have a new website in the works, as well as plans for semi-private tours in gentrified areas in Brooklyn. Gentrification interests me, and I would like to show an extremely new, unique, and creative side of New York for those who think they’ve seen it all.
And I’m always looking for new partnerships, especially with tours and attractions, so I can offer my customers a very nice variety of entertainment throughout New York City.
NP: This is very hard to answer! What I like the most is the diversity and variety. So I like the new areas, like Meatpacking or the new World Trade Center area, but I also like the old school Lower East Side with its early immigrants culture. I also love the charm of 5th Avenue and Central Park, and the new parks along the Hudson River. I love the spotlights at Times Square and the cute West Village streets. I do itineraries throughout so many neighborhoods, so how can I pick just one? Every area is unique, special, and has its hidden gems. Its like when you ask a mother which one is her favorite kid, you know? Ha ha ha.
I do, however, have a least favorite part in Manhattan. Unfortunately, I have to say that 8th Ave. in the 30s and 40s is dirty, ugly, and I feel a little unsafe there at night. I think there is a lot of work to be done there.