spotlight on new york city | alex merrell.
Name: Alex Merrell
Star sign: Leo
Hometown: Vancouver, Canada
Where do you live now? New York
Describe yourself in 3 words or less: Always pursuing magic.
describe NY in 3 words or less: Pure unfiltered energy.
What do you do here? I am an entrepreneur and DJ. I created TREC, a social platform that connects users through shared travel calendars and socially curated city guides, which is currently in beta. We're launching our full v1 later this year. I've also spent the last 8 years DJing for top tier brands all over the world.
What does a normal day for you entail? Every day is different but being in start up mode means lots of meetings and lots of time in cafes on my laptop. I work out 4-5x a week and have wonderful friends, so that keeps me centered enough to handle the workload.
What makes New York so special? Living in NYC means embracing the unexpected. I can't tell you how many times I've left home in the morning and had my day go in a completely different direction than I'd planned. There is so much excitement and so many incredible people in New York and things just happen here... I could never be bored.
Favorite coffee spot? The apartment I just moved into has a door that opens into a coffee shop which, for a New Yorker, is better than Narnia, so I'm there every morning. I also just discovered La Colombe and am hooked on those beans.
Best place for something green and healthy? Juice Press and Sweetgreen are perfect for a quick midday bite. Also, my kitchen, because I've been making salads out of everything recently.
Where do you work out? I use the ClassPass app, so all over. I love the variety, and have also been taking my friend Daniela's SoulCycle classes. She's amazing.
You entertain a lot, what's on the menu? I love trying new things when cooking for friends (which is probably why I'm always running a touch late) but in general I try to keep dinners on the lighter side so there's room for dessert, which may be my favorite thing to make. The conversation is always better when you don't put your guests in a food coma.
Farmers market or super market (and where)? I recently moved to Manhattan from Brooklyn and hosted my first dinner party at our new apartment. The first stop was Union Square farmers market for watermelon radishes, fresh greens with flowers, and chickens. Whole foods is across the street so it's easy to fill in the blanks.
Favourite spot for a sundowner? Grand Banks. It's an oyster bar with great cocktails on a historic wooden schooner at Pier 25.
Where do you go for karaoke? Baby Grand.
Favourite weekend getaway out of the city? I need to get better at taking getaways that don't involve planes, because there is so much I want to check out locally. After years living on a plane, I'm planning to be in NYC more this year, which will be a great excuse to explore.
Next trip...? Puerto Vallarta with one of my best friends to get some sun and a short mental recharge. We're calling it TACOchella since our trip is at the same time as the festival, and are planning to explore the Marietta islands.
What are some of the quirky things you always do when traveling? For some reason, I love mornings and find them very romantic. If I'm staying at an AirBnb apartment, I like making breakfasts at my rental and listening to music, imagining what it would be like to live in that city. Feeling like a local is so much more interesting to me than a cookie cutter hotel experience.
What's an interesting fact about you that most people wouldn’t know? I have no tattoos, no piercings, and have never dyed my hair.
What's on your stereo? I have Sonos playing in my apartment 24/7 so there's a lot of variety, but recently Future has been on heavy rotation.
Words you live by... I had a conversation with a friend the other night about the words that give you strength in different phases of your life. Starting a company has had its fair share of difficulties so the words that mean the most to me right now are those that reframe the challenges as opportunities. Recently the quote that has been resonating with me most is: "Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."