Okay, so you’ve visited New York more times than The Boom Boom Room’s witnessed a celebrity catfight? Luckily frolicking along Fifth Avenue, marvelling the greats at The Met and locking eyes with Lady Liberty are merely dusting the surface of this iconic city – there’s a host of alternative offerings to tempt repeat visitors. Peel back another layer of the Big Apple with these top picks.
If you’ve previously bedded down in Beaux Arts belle NoMad Hotel, and are a sucker for old-world atmos and plush vintage decor, you’ll love The Beekman in Manhattan’s Financial District. Martin Brudnizki’s richly kitted-out chambers mix pre-loved antique furny with bespoke design accents, while a central nine-storey, Victorian-era atrium towers above velvet-clad lobby-lounger The Bar Room. Stellar on-site sup options include opulent Temple Court for classic NYC fare and swoonsome Gallic brasserie Augustine.Wythe Hotel Brooklyn
Intent on exploring New York’s over-the-bridge borough? Base yourself at the Wythe Hotel, a former factory on Williamsburg waterfront that’s been gracefully nip/tucked into a 70-room sleeper. Design, attitude and food all pay homage to the surroundings with BK-made interiors (including custom beds crafted from reclaimed pine of building’s ceiling), as well as local produce-driven American bites at Andrew Tarlow-conceived Reynard. What’s more, you’ll – quite literally – get a different perspective of Manhattan from across the river courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows, or from breezy roof terrace The Ides.
Every broad and their bulldog have dined at Balthazar, but these days, scene-hopping Gothamites are swapping hearty steak-frites for farm-to-nutritionist-to-table nibbles at chic Cafe Clover. This chic, buzzy haunt draws an A-list crowd looking to hop aboard the wellness wagon with an array of lean, flax, chia and sunflower seed-studded eats enjoyed amid plush blue leather banquettes or on the outdoor terrace – don’t be surprised if you’re seated next to an Insta-snapping socialite or fash industry IT-gals.
No first-time trip to NYC would be complete without sampling succulent bivalves counter-side at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, but for regular visitors, The Grand Banks has you tasting the city’s plentiful seafood while bobbing across The Hudson River on a historic wooden schooner. You’ll have to brave the queues for an evening aboard Grand Banks’ exquisite sip-ship which opens exclusively for the summer, but it’s worth the wait for the convivial atmos and tasty n’ sustainable maritime morsels.
The Studio Museum Harlem
So you’ve taken in the big guns (MoMA, The Met – here’s looking at you), now prepare to schlep uptown to Harlem for a visit to The Studio Museum. Dedicated to profiling black and Latino talent, this early C.20th building is home to a teeny but top permanent collection, as well as special exhibits of painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media by the likes of leading African-American artists Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis and Jacob Lawrence. This cultural hub is an oft-overlooked must-see in one of the city’s most dynamic nabes.
Think Broadway’s the bees knees? Many of its star-studded productions were born straight out of Manhattan’s Public Theater, an esteemed platform for homegrown and emerging talent that’s having produced everything from Shakespearean plays and hit musicals (think: Hair, A Chorus Line and Hamilton) to avant-garde performance art. Stop by the East Village headquarters for a show or saucy cabaret performance across five different stages.
The Apartment by The Line
Barneys and Bergdorfs might be shopping meccas, but for an altogether different retail experience, make an appointment with a personal stylist at SoHo’s dreamy The Apartment by The Line. This airy loft is home to an array of covetable goodies spanning interiors and boudoir objets by local artisans and est. names including Tenfold New York. You’ll also find The Line’s own collection, and a neat stash of minimalist, modish womenswear.
If your first trip to Manhattan’s ABC Carpet & Home’s six-storey mini-city left you itching for more similar spoils, venture out to Brooklyn’s Sharktooth boutique where you’ll find a collection of Swedish shags, Amish rags, Persian carpets, Turkish kilims, and flatweaves from Central and South America that would make Aladdin blush with envy. These Brooklyn textile hunters have combed the country to create a collection of vintage and antique rugs as intricately woven as the country’s migrant history, with absolutely no imports or reproductions.