Tinsley Mortimer grew up in Richmond, Virginia and is a graduate of the Lawrenceville School and Columbia University. Known for her self-proclaimed “girly girl” style, Tinsley has since been featured on the pages of Vogue, WWD, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire magazine, to name a few. She is frequently featured in celebrity publications such as Us Weekly, OK!, Life & Style and In Touch. Tinsley has also served as a “Beauty Ambassador” for Christian Dior and helped to create a lip gloss called Tinsley Pink for the brand. She designs a line of handbags for the Japanese company Samantha Thavasa as well as a clothing line for the Japanese company Riccimie. She has starred in the reality television show “High Society,” and has appeared on “Dr. Phil,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Extra,” Germany’s “RTL,” LXTV, “Good Day LA” and “CW11 Morning News.” Her novel “Southern Charm” comes out this month.
I call my three Chihuahuas, BB, Bella and Bambi, my “babies.” So I when I started writing my book “Southern Charm” last year, I knew that the main character Minty Davenport had to have a dog too. In the beginning of the novel, Minty is just starting out in New York and barely has time to decorate her apartment, let alone take care of a pet. But she eventually finds her way to Belly, a little rescue Chihuahua (much like my most recent addition, Bambi!) who steals her heart. Spending time with my babies is a priority in my busy life, and if I have a moment to go shopping or take a walk around the city, I want them to come with me. Luckily, there are a handful of fantastic dog-friendly places within a few blocks of my neighborhood. Check out my favorite destinations below.
Jemmy’s Dog Run
Madison Square Park
West 24th Street (between 5th and Madison Ave)
New York, NYC 10010
New York has a ton of great options for dogs to exercise, play and socialize, but Jemmy’s Dog Run in Madison Square Park is one of my favorites. The babies aren’t big on running around, but it’s nice to be able to take them out every once in a while. Jemmy’s is fairly clean for a dog park, and even has a special area for smaller dogs so they don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the action. If they’re not feeling up to making new friends that day, we can always sit in the park and people watch. Not to mention, Shake Shack is a few feet away in case anyone wants a snack. The babies love red meat!
Trixie and Peanut
23 East 20th Street
New York, NY 10003
It’s so hard to pick one dog store in New York. There are so many cute ones, like Canine Styles on Greenwich Avenue and Zoomies on Hudson Street, but Trixie and Peanut has the best and largest selection for Chihuahuas. There’s so much to choose from, from chic designer dog beds (I love the “Des Jardin” and “Courtyard” styles) to apparel. The babies don’t dress up a lot, but they’re so tiny, when they go outside they need some sort of protection, especially in the rainy spring months. There’s currently a “Little Red Raincoat” on the Trixie + Peanut website that I’ve had my eye on for Bella.
Bed, Bath and Beyond
620 6th Avenue
New York, NYC 10001
Much like Scarlett, Minty’s mother in “Southern Charm,” my own mother is an interior designer and has an amazing eye for detail. I love decorating my home and I’m always looking for new ways to make it as warm and welcoming as possible. Whether I’m painting my bedroom a bold new color or adding molding for a more formal look, Bed, Bath and Beyond is an easy one-stop shop. The location on 6th Avenue isn’t far from my apartment, and they love doggie visitors! They even have a special shopping cart outfitted with a cushioned seat just for pets. BB, Bella and Bambi all fit comfortably in the seat while I browse the aisles. Many stores in New York don’t allow dogs at all and I hate leaving them at home. It’s nice to know I can get some shopping done and spend time with the babies.
West Village, NYC 10014
Bleecker Street between 7th Avenue and Hudson Street in the West Village has some of the best shopping in the city, from Cynthia Rowley to Ralph Lauren to Intermix. What’s more, pretty much every store is dog friendly! Many of the shops, including Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, keep treats on hand and even set out water bowls by their doors to attract dogs and their owners. I love taking a stroll around Bleecker on the weekends with at least one of the babies. The salespeople are always so friendly and happy to see BB, Bella or Bambi, which is not the case at many New York City shops. I think they’re smart to realize that New Yorkers love their dogs as much as they love their fashion.
For more juicy, insider details on navigating life in the big city, pick up my new novel “Southern Charm,” out this month.