We are lucky enough to have wonderful, lifelong friends who live in New York City, which means that at least once a year we come up with an excuse to visit. A long weekend in New York means great food, wonderful art, a little bit of shopping, and lots of walking. Here are my favorite places to indulge!
Since most of our friends live downtown or in Brooklyn, we rarely venture uptown when we visit. While most of New York's storied hotels are uptown, staying downtown means close proximity to the city's best restaurants and boutique shopping.
The Beekman Hotel: Completely renovated by Thompson Hotels, the Beekman is a beautiful new hotel in the heart of the financial district. With close proximity to Battery Park and the World Trade Center, the Beekman is perfectly situated for both business travelers and tourists. With SOHO, Nolita, and the Lower East Side a stones throw away, shopping and great eating are a stones throw away. Even if you don't stay, be sure to duck into the Beekman and take a look at the breathtaking atrium.
The NOMAD: Not far from Madison Square (and Shake Shack) in the Flatiron District, The NOMAD is centrally located with a great bar and restaurant. Stay at the NOMAD if you need proximity to Midtown, but don't want to sleep where you work. Or if you need to work but don't want to go to the office, the Library Bar isn't a bad place to camp out.
Casa Lever: If you need a good weekday lunch spot in Midtown, and you don't want to eat at the MOMA, Casa Lever is just around the corner and serves delicious milanese food. If the weather permits, sit outside in the atrium and watch the suits rush past while drinking a crisp bottle of falanghina. (Midtown)
The Spotted Pig: A West Village institution, the Spotted Pig has the best burger I know. Fries are damn good as well. I consider this the perfect lunch after a visit to the Whitney. (West Village)
Le Coucou: Fancy new french restaurant from acclaimed chef Daniel Rose of Spring in Paris. The exceptional food and impeccable service is why a table at Le Coucou is one of the hardest reservations to get in New York right now. (Soho)
Jacob's Pickles: Busy brunch spot on the Upper West Side close to the park. Menu is southern inspired, so get ready for grits and corn bread!
Momofuku Noodle Bar: It has been around for a long time, but I still love Momofuku for lunch. No one does pork belly or ramen better. If you can, sit at the bar and watch the chef circus. (East Village)
Augustine: Pastis used to be one of our favorite places to eat in New York, so it is no surprise that Keith McNally's new restaurant in the Beekman Hotel is becoming a new favorite. This fabulous new brassiere serves delicious french food in an incredible space adjacent to the hotel. The steak tartare is one of the best I have had. Heads us, when you have to use the bathroom, don't be surprised when you are directed through the hotel and into the basement (only design flaw). Consider this an opportunity to check out the hotel. (Lower Manhattan)
Cosme: Good Mexican food is hard to come by in Manhattan (though it is getting better), so Enrique Olivera's restaurant serving contemporary mexican cuisine is hard not to love. The duck carnitas are unreal. (Flatiron)
ABC Kitchen: Take a break from shopping to have lunch or brunch at Jean-Georges ABC Kitchen. Farm to table fare in a beautiful subterranean dining room. (Flatiron)
Roberta's and Blanca: Every trip to New York must include time in Brooklyn. Not only do I have friends who live there, but it is home to some of the best restaurants in the region. If you are game to head out to Bushwick, be sure to stop in for pizza at Roberta's. It's a super casual affair but the pizza is the best. Venture through the bunker of a building into the back garden where music is pumping, lights are twinkling, and the tiki bar is churning out cocktails. Keep walking and you will come to another stand alone building that houses Blanca, the fine dining part of the Roberta's experiment. Twice a night, Wednesday thru Saturday, the chef serves a multi-course gastronomical experience to 15 lucky diners seated in leather stools at a bar with a view of the kitchen. Should you go, be sure to let your credit card fraud department know about your reservation - according to the algorithms of three different banks, there was no explanation for us dining in such a remote part of New York, let alone enjoying such an extravagant meal. The staff was very sympathetic.
Lilia: A wonderful new style Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Lilia is a beautiful spot that serves exceptional wood fired meat, hand made pasta, and soft serve for desert - and it is so good! We ate here on a recent snowy night and felt right at home in the cozy dining room.
Totokaelo: It's my favorite place to shop in Seattle, so naturally it is my favorite place to shop in New York. Incredibly curated selection of fashion by Dries Van Noten, Blake Crane, Protagonist, Nomia, Issey Miyaki, and more. Also, amazing shoe and housewares collection. (Soho)
No. 6 and No. 6 Vintage: I always stop in at No. 6 when I come to New York. No. 6 has two store fronts, one showcasing their vintage collection, the other - two doors down - housing their in-house label and a variety of boutique fashion lines. No. 6 is known for their clogs! (Lolita)
Rachel Comey: Totokaelo has a great selection of Rachel Comey, but why not go to the source where you can see the entire season's latest designes. Great basic pieces mixed with bold patterns describe Rachel Comey's comfortable style. The designer also makes great shoes! (Soho)
ABC Carpet & Home: Not only is ABC a great spot to purchase a gift, but it is a wonderful place to browse everything from tabletop to cosmetics, and jewelry to linens. On the mezzanine level there is also a beautiful collection of vintage wear. Head upstairs for furniture and rugs, oh the rugs! Good luck getting out of here without buying a gift for yourself! (Flatiron)
Maryam Nassir Zadeh: Clothing store featuring of-the-moment, cutting-edge designers like Lauren Manoogian, Rochas, Jacquemus, Chimala, and incredible in-house designs. (Lower East Side)
Mud Australia: My favorite porcelain dishes from Australia have a store in New York!! Simple designs in every color imaginable. (Soho)
Eataly: Every time I come to New York I stop in at Eataly. Not necessarily to eat - which I always love to do - but to browse the aisles. Olive oil, dried pasta, wine, cookbooks, fresh meats, cheeses, produce - if you are a cook, it's hard not to spend some time perusing Eataly. (Flatiron)
MOMA: The Museum of Modern Art is the place in New York that inspires creativity and inspiration among all who visit. A visit to New York is not complete without a visit to the MOMA.
Whitney Museum: The new home of the Whitney Museum adjacent to the Highline is a beautiful space full of amazing contemporary art. The outside terrace and its installations are a lovely addition to the indoor galleries and afford incredible views over the Meatpacking district.
Highline: The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. Try to go mid-week when it is less crowded.
Oculus: The Oculus is the building that houses the World Trade Center transportation hub. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Oculus was built as part of the master redesign of the World Trade Center complex following 9/11. The Oculus was designed to maximize the effect of the autumnal equinox that hits the World Trade Center each September. It is a stunning building that should not be missed on a trip to lower Manhattan.
9/11 Memorial: The 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center tells the story of 9/11 through interactive technology, archives, narratives and a collection of artifacts.The Museum features historical and memorial exhibitions which give visitors an opportunity to learn about those who died, and explores the background leading up to the events, their aftermath and continuing implications. The third component of the Memorial is Foundation Hall, which houses the last column and the slurry wall.
Circle Line Tour: I visited New York for the first time at age 21, with my parents and younger brother. My mom arranged for us to take the Circle Line around Manhattan. I still remember that boat trip and recall it as the best introduction to the City as it gave us a a visual geography of the island before we pounded the pavement with our feet and were lost in the towering skyscrapers. If this is your first trip to New York, take a boat trip around the island of Manhattan. It's a great way to get your bearings and see the City from a different perspective.
Whats to Come:
San Jose del Cabo (the other Cabo) ★ 04.17
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