Advertisements

DOWNTOWN

Chelsea

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel Americano

Hotel Americano is right in the middle of the Chelsea art gallery district, the first hotel in West Chelsea and as befits the area, the hotel is highly designed to perfect specifications.

The sleek exterior of cement and glass is swathed in a curtain of heavy metal chains.  This clever design allows the all glass walls to have the privacy you want while still having a perfect view.  The interior of the hotel is designed by MCH’s Arnaud Montigny, designer of the famous Parisian store Colette.  Clever design elements against a clean minimal background make the hotel stylish and terribly modern at the same time.

On the ground floor, the restaurant has an entire wall of glass which opens out to a beautiful outdoor space.  The bar, which serves coffee and snacks all day is lively, full of natural light and a great place to meet friends for a drink.

Rooms are modern and light filled with walls of glass and lots of fun details like harmonicas in your amenities area to wile away the hours with music.  The strong design elements are followed through in every detail in the hotel.  We especially like the gorgeous presentation of the room service breakfast in simple Japanese bento boxes.

The roof bar and restaurant has become quite the happening scene.  It offers 360 degree views of the City as well as a tiny plunge pool to cool off in.  The hotel is right on the High Line park which connects Chelsea to the West Village making this an enviable location.  It’s naturally a terrific base for any art lover looking to check out the latest in the Chelsea Art scene as it’s the only hotel in that area.

Whether you’re looking for a lovely place to stay in New York or live here and want somewhere special for dinner or a drink, Hotel Americano is a super cool place to hang out.

Hotel Americano. 518 West 27th Street. New York. 10001. Tel: 212 216 0000

WHERE TO EAT

Cookshop

Despite the vast amount of restaurants in New York, New Yorker’s tend to select their favorites and stick firmly to them.  One eternal favorite is Cookshop in Chelsea.  It’s one of those special restaurants that always serves up something delicious and slightly unexpected, while using gorgeous seasonal produce.

The menu changes constantly and reflects exactly what’s best at the market at that time.  There’s always a great fish, meat and pasta dish. A seasonal pizza starter is always there along with an array of interesting and unusual salads.

We’ve discovered some of our favorite wines dining here. The sommelier is passionate and well-informed and super happy to chat with great passion about any wine you show an interest in.  They do a spectacular selection of cocktails too, which much like their food, change flavor with the season.

This is a place where you save room for dessert as they are to die for.  Our favorite, a plate of ever changing petit fours, delicious and perfect for sharing.  In winter we love watching the exposed wood burning oven but in summer, it’s lovely to sit by the enormous glass windows.  They have a large outside eating area too and are very happy for you to bring your pooch.

Open for breakfast midweek and on weekends serving a to die for brunch, this place is always electric and busy.  We love popping in to the bar for a drink and waiting until a table opens up as it’s always totally worth the wait.

Cookshop. 156 10th Avenue (at 20th Street). New York. 10011.Tel: 212 924 4440

WHERE TO GRAB COFFEE

9th Street Espresso

9th Street Espresso is one of the best coffee spots in the City.  The baristas are coffee purists, you won’t find a vanilla shot or hazelnut latte here.  It’s pure coffee excellence through and through.

Having spent 10 years perfecting their coffee brew their menu is simple. Recently they changed the way their menu works and now refuse to have names for their espresso drinks, so don’t even think of asking for a latte.

Apart from brewed or urn coffee, they offer only espresso or espresso with milk, it’s that simple. They believe there is no difference between a cappuccino or a latte, it’s all espresso and the amount of milk you like varies with the style you order.  Therefore, at 9th Street Espresso, you simply choose the amount of milk you require with your espresso from 4 sizes.  There’s a 3 oz (macchiato), a 6 oz (cappuccino) and two other larger sizes and that’s it.

They won’t deviate from their pure and simple menu. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t matter to them as the coffee is so perfectly good, the line is always super long.

They have three locations, all downtown, and we’ll happily trek miles to any of them for our daily coffee fix.

9th Street Espresso.Chelsea Market. 75 9th Avenue. NY. NY.  10011. Tel: 212 228 2930

WHERE TO SHOP

Commes des Garcon.

This legendary store has something for everyone.  It’s been at this hidden away Chelsea location for ever and is always .

Commes des Garcon 520 West 22nd Street. New York. 10011. Tel: 212 463 8100

 
 
 
 
 
 
192 Books

One of the few independently owned bookstores in the City.  The owner also has an art gallery in the neighborhood so the selection of art books is impressive.  A thoughtfully curated store stocked with the latest fiction as well as many classic literature titles.

192 Books. 190 10th Avenue. New York. 10011. Tel: 212 255 4022
 
 
 
 
 
 

West Village

WHERE TO EAT

Cafe Cluny

Whenever we want to impress someone from out of town, we take them to breakfast or lunch at Cafe Cluny.  It’s one of those gorgeous little New York secrets that people are always impressed by.  Hidden away on a cobblestoned West Village street, it’s close to the action yet far away from the maddening crowds. It’s also a favorite neighborhood joint.

The interior is elegant and playful with stylish objects artfully displayed and great art on the walls.  The enormous windows offer a wonderful view of the sleepy neighborhood Brownstones, making for a relaxed and sunny vibe.

The food, much like the service, is always exactly right.  Perfect eggs and pastries for breakfast, delicious salads like Baby Beet and Granny Smith Apple and their signature Frisee Salad aux Lardons are our favorites.  Their signature Cluny Burger is hard to resist and the fries are so perfect that we can never stop ourselves ordering them, even when we just crave a healthy salad.  They also offer seasonal dishes that change with available ingredients.

We love meeting friends here for a quiet and glamorous breakfast, a weekend lunch or an elegant little dinner.  They take reservations which is so refreshing as so many places don’t these days.  From the moment you arrive you feel well taken care of and terribly elegant, what could be better.

Cafe Cluny. 284 West 12th Street. NY. 10014. Tel: 212 255 6900

 

WHERE TO EAT

Bar Piti

Eating at Bar Piti this week we were trying to figure out how to explain why it’s the coolest hang out in New York City.  The food is perfect and simple and the yummiest Italian around but that’s not why. It’s not because there’s always a few celebrities and a famous artist or two eating next to you.  It’s not because the crowd is fantastic to look at, we think it’s actually because the place is a well kept secret.

In New York when a restaurant is good it becomes over run with hoards of people vying for a table. For some reason Bar Piti has never turned in to that, but instead remains constantly crowded with a sparkling crowd of interesting New Yorkers.

The brusque and very busy Italian staff are quite rude to you if they don’t know you.  They will give you a menu but nobody who eats there regularly orders from the menu, but instead order from the seasonal blackboard that’s placed on your table.  If you try to be difficult in any way you get treated very badly so be prepared.  However, go back a few times and you’ll soon be treated as an old dear friend and it becomes the friendliest joint in town.  Maybe that’s why we all keep coming back week after week.

In summer more than half the restaurant is outside and it’s the best place in New York to sit and watch fabulous New Yorker’s promenade past.  We should mention that they don’t take reservations and they only take cash.  We usually go for brunch on the weekend or a mid-week dinner.  Friday and Saturday night the lines are crazy so go prepared for a wait.

Bar Piti. 268 6th Avenue (between  Houston and Bleeker Street).
New York. NY. (212) 982-3300
 

Miss Lily’s

Even by New York standards Miss Lily’s Bake Shop & Melvin’s Juice Bar is a wildly cool hangout spot.  Nestled on a nondescript quiet corner of Houston Street, this place is anything but nondescript.Melvin Major, one of New York’s most legendary “juicers” set up shop in this super cool Jamaican cafe at the beginning of the year.  The organic juices he makes are the real deal, with right on combinations and names like Jamaican Green, Rise Up and Reggae Gold. Having juiced for some 20 years in the city, Melvin has a cult following and people trek miles out of their way to grab their daily magic made by Melvin.The menu is all things authentic Jamaican.  Grab a bottle of Ting, a jerk chicken sandwich, a patti or some rice and peas and pull up a bright yellow bar stool and sit and watch the world go by.  It’s a great spot for just hanging out, close to Soho but off the beaten track.   They also sell to-die-for cakes, a weakness of ours we must admit as well as a great espresso drink using Blue Mountain Jamaican beans roasted in Brooklyn.With a full stomach and a laid back attitude, feeling a bit like you’ve just hung out in Jamaica for a New York minute, don’t forget to check out Miss Lily’s Variety store on your way out.  Stocked with an amazing collection of reggae, naturally only on vinyl, some great books and a brilliant collection of super cool Jamaican by way of Manhattan t-shirts.  At the very front of the store, a DJ spins tracks for their very own radio station, Radio Lily so you can go home and listen live and keep those island grooves around.

Miss Lily’s Bake Shop & Melvin’s Juice Bar 130 West Houston Street (corner Sullivan Street) NY 10012. Tel:646 588-5375

Photo Credit: Adrien Gaut
 

WHERE TO GRAB COFFEE

Soho has so many cafes, sometimes it’s hard to know where to go that’s truly authentic.  One of our favorite places in the neighborhood to nip in to is The Smile.

A few blocks from Soho, hidden away downstairs on stylish Bond Street, it’s very easy to miss.  That’s of course exactly why it’s cool.  Attracting creative types from the neighborhood, film and fashion people, it’s very much a groovy local hangout for coffee or a laid back yummy casual bite.

If you’re still in the mood to shop, they sell lovely things to buy like Wool And The Gang Knitting Kits and beautiful bath products by Santa Maria Novella giving The Smile a bit of a general store meets coffee shop vibe.

The space is super rustic and woody but the staff is anything but.  Owned by hip, bearded and flannel shirted New Yorker, Carlos Quirarte who conceived the Ernest Cut & Sewn brand and worked at Freemans, he brings a staff of gorgeous groovy staff who add to the overall artsy cool ambience of the place.

Open for breakfast until late at night, we like to pop in here after a gruelling Soho shopping session to refuel with an espresso and munch on a pastry.  Originally just a coffee shop, it’s now open for dinner and has a wine and beer license so in the evenings the lights are low, candles flicker and it’s another well kept secret.  Intimate and charming, it attracts a very local crowd and is far from the day time coffee menu, with a lovely wine list, yummy salads and innovative tasty dishes all served by friendly hip servers.

The Smile. 26 Bond Street. NY 10014. Tel: 646 329 5836

WHERE TO SHOP

Warm

It’s clever when a name sums up exactly what something is, and in the case of the new boutiqueWarm, the name couldn’t be more perfect.  From the moment you walk in, a warm and laid back beachy vibe washes over you.

Owned by Winnie Beattie, a fashion pr star, who grew up surfing in Hawaii, we think this store may be the coolest boutique in New York.

Warm is all about the ultimate in cool girl dressing.  It’s Parisian hipster meets Montauk surfer girl. Stocked with gorgeous swimsuits by the likes of French designers Roseanna, smoking hot corduroy shorts and sweatshirts by California Is For Lovers, tops from Surf Bazaar (which you can usually only buy in Montauk) and beautiful leather sandals from Jutta Neumann Popping in here is like a quick trip to Paris and Montauk all in one gorgeous airy Nolita space.

Beautiful unique jewellery, home scents and bohemian jetsetter bags by Jadetribe, had us so excited we could barely speak.  Warm is going to be one of those stores where we buy our entire summer wardrobe.

Warm181 Mott St. (between Kenmare and Broome Street.) Tel:  212-925-1200 

Saturday’s Surf

Soho can be such a crowded crazed part of town some days, but we love that you only need to walk one street east of Broadway and suddenly you are back in groovy New York.  A perfect example of this is Saturdays Surf.  Tucked away quietly on cobblestoned lower Crosby Street, is this totally hip, coffee shop surf shop.

At the front of the tiny store is a beautiful espresso bar, where cute young surfer types pull serious espresso drinks.  You can either sit out front of the store and watch the world go by or even better, head out back to their large outside fully planted, wood decked yard to drink your coffee and talk about the waves you’re hoping to catch next time you hit the coast.  It’s worth visiting simply to gaze upon the beautiful urban kids sitting in the back, chatting and hanging ten New York style with coffee in hand.

They have a nice range of surf boards and wetsuits, board shorts and their own line of hip men’s clothing to compliment the lifestyle of the cool Manhattan surfer type.  Sexy little surfer girl bikinis hang next to oversized sweatshirts.

Trendy men’s grooming products by Baxter and right on waterproof sunblocks by Waterman’s Applied Science are displayed beside a wall of gorgeous surf books and board waxes. Salt Sunglasses, styling sneakers and a fantastic array of cool backpacks make this a perfect little one stop shop to get your hip surf look on for the summer.  It’s also a perfect escape from the madness of Soho, where you can take a breath of almost salt air with your perfectly brewed La Colombe coffee.

SATURDAYS Surf NYC.  31 Crosby Street. New York. 10013. Tel: 212 966 7875

Isabel Marant.

The cult following that this French clothing store garners only gets more intense with each season.  You’ll find gorgeous clothes to help achieve that model off duty look or simply a groovy French girl running around New York kind of style.

Isabel Marant. 469 Broome Street. New York. Tel: 212 219 2284

Lower East Side

WHERE TO EAT

The Fat Radish on the Lower East Side has been open since late 2010 and remains one of our favorite downtown restaurants.  As is the trend these days in New York, they focus on local and seasonal fare.  Unlike many other restaurants who have jumped on the so-called “local food” bandwagon, the food here really tastes and looks like a gourmet meal with ingredients thrown together from an upstate farm.  The dishes are truly scrumptious and the service friendly, prompt and first class. Our favorites at the moment include their Kale Caesar Salad and the Celery Root Pot Pie.

As you’d expect, the place is always packed with a groovy Lower East Side crowd but they do take reservations. It’s also open for lunch and coffee every day.  The space is beautiful and the bar jumping.  It’s one of those restaurants that you can’t help but want to linger in long after your meal is done.  This happened to us and they very sweetly offered us a round of champagne and asked if we’d mind moving to the bar.  We of course said yes, happy to have an excuse to stay around and delighted with how polite and cool the staff were.

The Fat Radish
17 Orchard Street. NY. 10002
Tel: 212 300 4053
 

WHERE TO GRAB COFFEE

Lost Weekend NYC is a a super laid back coffee shop serving Blue Bottle Coffee, the perfect tasting, organic coffee of the moment. They sell healthy Blueprint juices too and for those not on a health kick, delectable Mast Bros chocolate from Brooklyn.  Whilst drinking your excellent espresso drink, you can sit back and enjoy the art on the walls. There’s a selection of hipster surfing art that perfectly sums up the totally cool vibe of the neighborhood.In addition to coffee and yummy food they have board shorts and t-shirts by New York designer Saltbox, products from Malin+Goetz and a few cult surf books for good measure.  The combination of all these goods, excellent coffee and an attractive crowd makes Lost Weekend NYC a perfect place to lose part of your New York weekend.

Lost Weekend NYC. 45 Orchard Street. NY. NY. 10002. Tel:917 261 2401
 

WHERE TO SHOP

TOP HAT brings finds from around the globe to this tiny, pleasingly designed wood-paneled store.  Beautiful pillows from France, well made German pens and a wall of wonderfully designed Japanese tape.  There’s baby soft throws, lovely notebooks and a stunning wall of simplistic lamps. Many of the items are made by manufacturers that have been producing for over 100 years, something the store’s owner prides themselves on.

Dear:Rivington

DEAR:RIVINGTON.  On the first floor of this trendy clothing store you’ll find a staggering collection of antiques.  Gorgeous framed paper cut  silhouettes, antique bicycles, stylishly updated vintage furniture, marble busts, there’s literally something here for every room in your house.  With its minimalist white walls and floors, the pieces all look modern despite their age.  It’s one of those stores that just walking through gives you ideas on how to decorate your own home.

Dear:Rivington. 95 Rivington Street. NY. NY.Tel: 212 673-3494

Moscot

MOSCOT has been at this location on Orchard Street since the 1930s.  They have created their own line of glasses since the turn of the last century and despite being a New York mainstay have been made famous to a young generation of scenesters by photographer Terry Richardson. Richardson get’s all his glasses here and became so synonymous with the store that he created his own line with them.  As you’d expect, they have a groovy line of sunglasses as well as traditional frames.

Moscot. 118 Orchard Street. NY. NY. Tel: 212 477-3796
 

GARGYLE takes inspiration from the classic American country club style and reinterprets the look brilliantly to curate a hip and happening selection of super fashionable downtown style.  They sell their own in-house Garygyle clothing line as well as super cool brands like Karen Walker, S.N.S. Herning, Layla Racy and Velour.  They have a fantastic selection of hipper than hip sunglasses including a wide range of Karen Walker’s as well as shoes and bags to perfectly complete your downtown look. Great clothes and accessories for both men and women, this store is a must visit spot.

 PROJECT NO.8 has a carefully put together collection of elite European menswear as well as super high-end vintage finds.  The store feels like a small elegant art gallery and is curated much the same way.  They sell beautiful items like gorgeous minimalist tote bags and elegant fountain pens.

Project No. 8. 38 Orchard Street. New York. NY 10002 t: 212 925 5599

PILGRIM sells a darling selection of designer vintage cocktail dresses, costume jewlery, fun antique paintings and objects for your home.  A cosy store that’s a total blast to look through as you never know what you may find.  Pilgrim also has there own line of stylish clothing which hangs perfectly alongside the gorgeous vintage pieces.

Pilgrim: 70 Orchard Street. New York. NY 10002 t: 212 463-7720

ASSEMBLY NEW YORK is a boutique that sells super cool labels that we’ve never seen anywhere else.  Items for both men and women are by smaller labels that you won’t find at Barney’s Coop thus, you won’t see half of New York wearing the same item.  Shoes, cool pieces for the home and accessories are all quite unique and Lower East Side chic.  These are the kind of clothes people ask you “where did you get that” and you can smugly reply “a little boutique on the Lower East Side”.

Assembly New York 170 Ludlow Street. New York. NY 10002 t:(212) 253-5393
Advertisements

Comments

  1. Cafe Cluny! Went there a few weeks ago (my sis lives around the corner) and got the breakfast egg sandwich. YUM.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: