The coolest places in New York that you haven’t heard of
It’s no secret that New York City has it all: avenues lined with glamorous boutiques and authentic restaurants, historic buildings filled with art, and extravagant hotels for a reluctant but much-needed rest. Between the iconic Art Deco architecture, you may stumble upon an alleyway leading to a vintage home store teeming with treasures or another entrance leading to a rooftop bar with incredible views.
The five arrondissements are home to diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique flair that makes the city a hub of culture and creativity, and it is constantly evolving. There is never a shortage of places worth researching, so we turned to New York-based designers for their advice on where to shop, eat, drink, explore and stay. . Even visit one of these places and you will certainly be more than impressed with the city that never sleeps.
Where to stay
On the Upper East Side, The Surrey hotel was designed by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio to feel like a New York townhouse handed down from generation to generation, and it’s a favorite of the new designer. -Yorkis. Alyssa Kapito. Originally built in 1926 as a hotel-residence, it features a collection of modern art, is less than a block from Central Park, and allows guests to enjoy a stay of luxury while keeping a low profile. It feels “very authentically New York and not as touristy as some of the other hotels,” says Kapito.
Hotel Encre 48
A former 1930s printing house converted into a hotel, Ink 48 Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen offers stunning views of the Hudson River. “I love all the modern details, the high-end fittings and the ambiance”, exclaims the designer Antoine Dunning. âA huge plus is the hotel’s rooftop Press Lounge which offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and amazing cocktails. I recommend the ‘Aren’t You Cuke’ cocktail. â
The Bowery Hotel
Designed by Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode, the Bowery Hotel is made up of 135 sun-drenched rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, industrial-style windows and marble soaking tubs. Not to mention that the rooms have hardwood floors, velvet curtains, 400-thread count bedding and Oushak rugs. The downtown destination is surrounded by nightlife spots and is just steps away from upscale boutiques and art galleries.
Arranged by British designer Kit Kemp in her delightfully eclectic style, the Whitby is sure to delight any guest who loves shameless colors and patterns. In addition, its chic bar and restaurant are the favorite watering holes of New York designers. and it’s a short walk from MoMA.
Where to eat and drink
For warm coffee and plenty of seating, head to the Primrose CafÃ© in Clinton Hill in Brooklyn. âThey have great coffee and good food, the staff are always lovely and their outdoor patio is a lovely place to sit, read a book or meet up with friends,â says the designer. DÃ©lia Kenza. Among eat it are a selection of fresh bagels, baked goods, sandwiches and more.
This Italian restaurant on Christopher Street in the West Village pays homage to Tuscan roots and the simplicity of home cooking on which restaurateur and chef Rita Sodi grew up. the menu is seasonal by necessity and simple by tradition. Go there for âthe best pasta of your life in a small place with a wonderful vibe,â Kapito says. âGet the lasagna, they even make it an amazing vegetarian. “
Not far from the Empire State Building, this Chinese restaurant is “quite unassuming from the outside, but once you walk in it’s a whole other world,” Dunning says. âThere is always ambient live music, amazing food and the experience is exceptional.â Her favorite dish on the menu? Roast chicken.
Located inside the home store Roman and Williams Guild, (more details below!), La Mercerie serves simple and delicious French cuisine. The best part? All tableware is purchasable. Plus, along with Le Coucou and Veronika, Roman & Williams’ other beloved New York restaurants, closed since COVID, this is your best chance to experience the magic the business brings to dining experiences.
Roman and Williams Guild
âIt’s an amazing destination that is only enhanced by the lovely coffee shop inside and the dope library on the lower level,â Dunning said of the home store opened by Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer, founders of the design firm of the same name (clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and the Ace Hotel), which landed on our list of Best Home Stores in America.
Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn
âWhen I’m looking for unique vintage pieces or just for inspiration, I walk down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn,â says Kenza. Some of the designer’s favorite boutiques? Cavalier Antiques, which she says is packed with goodies and a treasure trove of vintage furniture, art, sculpture and lighting, spread across multiple floors. West Necklace is another store where Kenza can spend hours. âThey have a fantastic selection of chandeliers, rugs, affordable art, and vintage jewelry,â she says. She often shops there for unique housewarming gifts.
Opened by the actress who became the owner of the Phoebe Cates Kline boutique in 2005, this Madison Avenue boutique is a designer. that of Amy Lau essential for browsing “constantly evolving products that are intelligent, organized and distinct”. The store carries items from around the world, ranging from women’s clothing and accessories to household items and perfumes. “It really is a ‘one of a kind’ experience to visit,” she says.
Both store and gallery at 43 and 53 East 10th Street, Maison GÃ©rard always surprises Lau with special pieces. “This is one of my favorite galleries with a nice collection of designers and artists; the conservation of their space is just magical,” says the designer. âThe gallery has always been a wonderful source of French Art Deco furniture and lighting and over the past decades has expanded the pieces it displays to include mid-century and contemporary works alongside a stunning collection of ceramics. “
In Manhattan’s West Village, this more than 20-year-old antique store sells products that âare not just simply decorative, but highly collectable, history and design pieces,â says Lau. This is one of her first stops when researching specialty decorative accessories for her clients. âA glance at the windows makes me happy and exhilarated with so many colors, distinctive textures and unique shapes,â she exclaims.
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Where to explore
Museum of the merchants’ house
Built in 1832, this Noho House Museum was the first building in Manhattan to be designed as a landmark in the 1960s. Inside the five-story Greek Revival-style building you’ll find a collection of over 3,000 items that belonged to the Tredwells, a wealthy merchant family who lived in the house from 1835 to 1933. Most tours are self-guided with an allotted time of 60 minutes. Dunning suggests arriving quickly so you can see everything the slightly hidden gem presents, including a pair of matching six-globe gas chandeliers.
From an orchid show in winter to a seasonal walk lined with a wide array of perennials, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is a must visit for tourists and New York natives. It is an oasis in the concrete jungle where there are often plant-centric exhibitions and events. Not to mention, there’s a store stocked with everything from books and planters to wall art and clothing. Oh, and there are a few dining options so you can make it a whole day.
As one of the largest and most beautiful art museums in the world, the Met is not an overlooked wonder to explore. From her endless exhibitions to her presence in fashion (the Met Gala) and entertainment (Gossip Girl, among many other TV shows and movies), it’s a must-see destination in the city. But there’s one area in particular that Kaptio recommends walking through: the Ancient Wing. âI think it’s the most serene room in New York,â says the designer.
Design lovers should visit MoMA, as good as Museum of Arts and Design and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. If you love architecture, treat yourself to a walking tour of historic neighborhoods like the West Village, Brooklyn Heights, and Harlem.
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