21 February 2013

Things You Have to Do in New York

NEW YORK: New York is one of my favourite places to visit. The city itself is like a great art show that is constantly being curated in new and surprising ways. It’s a microcosm, a vibrant mirror of the world, so full of energy that you can easily recharge your own creative batteries. Among the things that I consider a must, these are my current favourites:

1. Find a nice place to sleep
Hotel Wythe (80 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg/Brooklyn) opened last summer in a converted factory with a three-story glass tower addition. The interiors are a cool mix of restored brick walls, original timber beams and cast-iron columns as well as graphic wallpaper, polished concrete floors and stunning views of Manhattan. The entire block is very hip; across from the hotel are the Kinfolk Studios, an experimental emporium that houses a design studio, gallery, cafe, bar and a popular Scandinavian restaurant.

2. Have great food
There is no end of great restaurants. Try these:
Chop Shop (254 Tenth Avenue)
Bright and cosy little eatery in Chelsea that offers “Asian cuisines with an international sensibility”. It’s a great place for lunch and when the weather gets warmer, there is even a little garden. Try the salt and pepper shrimps or the green papaya and watercress salad to whet your appetite and then go for the Thai-glazed St. Louis spareribs.

Locanda Verde (379 Greenwich Street)
It’s not new, but Robert De Niro’s lovely Italian restaurant in Tribeca is still one of my all-time favourites. Despite the high star concentration, it has a casual brasserie style. Everything is reasonably priced and delicious. They have outstanding pasta dishes (everything homemade, of course), and a fantastic brunch – the sheep’s milk ricotta with truffle honey is lovely and so is the French toast with Sicilian citrus salad.

Babycakes (248 Broome Street)
The cupcakes from this Vegan bakery on the Lower East Side are delicious – moist and not too sweet. Instead of flour, eggs and sugar, they use cold-pressed coconut oil, agave nectar and garbanzo flour. Of course they also have cakes, pies, cookies, muffins and brownies.

3. Go shopping at shops you will only find in this town
Greenwich Letterpress (39 Christopher Street)
Beautiful little shop in the West Village with an assortment of greeting cards, gift wrap, notebooks, journals calendars. They also have two old letterpresses where you can have customized invitations, business cards printed.

25 Park (998 Madison Avenue)
Designer concept store below The Mark hotel with a nice selection of women’s designer finds, from Opening Ceremony, A.L.C. and Acne to Helmut Lang and Peter Som and lesser known designers. The shop has the intimate feeling of your friend’s, admittedly large and well edited, walk-in closet.

4. Visit an old friend at his place and be inspired
My friend’s loft in a converted warehouse in Dumbo is a wonderful, seemingly casual mix of fleamarket finds and antiques.

5. Visit a great art show
The New Museum has an exciting exhibition about the seminal year 1993: “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star”. It looks at art made and exhibited in New York over the course of one year. Conceived as a time capsule, it’s an experiment in collective memory that attempts to capture a specific moment at the intersection of art, pop culture and politics.

Painting by Edgar Hopper, New York Hotel Room (1931), Art show at the New Museum, “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star”, Nari Ward, Amazing Grace, Gluten-free cakes by Babycakes, a delicious dish from Chop Shop in Chelsea, a classic, Locanda Verde, the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg

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IRMA

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