New York City is recognized as a rather expansive international metropolis; however, city dwellers have small home quarters in this rather densely populated urban island. There might be a grumble about not having an eat-in kitchen or enough closet space, but when push comes to shove, such living encourages a sensibility to explore and join forces beyond the potential limits of four walls. Walk out the door and the city’s great parks are the partakers backyards. The gardens boost social flower beds. NYC museums are luring educational courtyards with such notable historical significance. Restaurants offer culinary diversity that responds to a global world. The shopping truly defines treasure troves. This well imagined existence in New York City deters boredom for those who want to live in the Big Apple.
Listed below are some of my current favorite NYC spots. If you have been already, you’ll know why….and if you have not yet been, maybe this post will inspire you to explore new boundaries!
BEST PLACE FOR AN AFTERNOON STROLL: The Shakespeare Garden, Central Park/Midtown
Located on West Side & 79th street
The Shakespeare Garden is a secret garden of sorts, tucked away behind the Belvedere Castle, the Delacorte and the Swedish Cottage Marriontte Theater. A magical place to look for the first teasing signs of spring when the roses show hints of blooming. Small unobtrusive plaques whisper quotations of Shakespeare’s frivolity, serenaded by migrating warblers. Bring a book to read or just relax on a rustic bench while indulging in these harmonious moments.
BEST MUSEUM EXPERIENCE: American Museum of Natural History/Upper West Side
79 Street And Central Park West ; (212) 769-5100
The American Museum of Natural History‘s old displays, taxidermy scenes, big sweeping spaces, mind-blowing planetarium and home to the largest and arguably most famous collection of dinosaurs fossils in the world, creates an interesting visit for all. There is a presence to behold just gazing at the exterior. This past month the United Nations members convened here, so history continues to evolve in this monumental structure.
BEST BOOKSTORE TO VISIT ON A RAINY SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Left Bank Books/West Village
304 West 4th street ; (212)924-5638
Small used book store in the West Village near Bank Street that specializes in rarities including modern first edition prints and signed copies. Left Bank Books is located on one of the sweetest streets in New York City, Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” – and I am positively certain you will enjoy if venture to visit!
BEST FASHION INSPIRATION: Albright Fashion Library/East Village
62 Cooper Sq # 2 ; (212) 977-7350
The mother-daughter duo, Irene & Marina Albright, have amassed a one-of-a- kind assemblage of high fashion that is among the largest privately held collections in the nation, which serves as a lending library for designers, stylists, fashion editors and celebs alike. At Albright, the racks are impeccably organized by category and color. Visitors can find rows of neatly labeled clothes and accessories – from vintage mink stoles to gold lame evening frocks!
BEST PLACE FOR HANDIWORK TRINKETS: Tinsel Trading & Company
1 West 37th Street ; (212) 730-1030
From the time you enter the door, prepare to be mesmerized by an aw-inspiring collection of vintage trims, fabrics, buttons, ribbons, flowers, rare passementerie, tassels and glitter galore! This creative shop, nestled in the garment district, is unparalleled for materializing crafts with authentic antique charm.
BEST PLACE TO FIND A SPECIAL PERSON GIFT: Aedes De Venustas/West Village
9 christopher st. ; (212) 206-8674
Aedes De Venustas is a gem of a store in the West Village. It’s adorned with jewel tone chairs and drapery, reminiscent of a parlor in a French chateau. It is an open invitation for perfume lovers to experience olfactory Nirvana. The boutique is a personable atmosphere with choice selection from notable fragrance houses, such as coveted Serge Lutens and the always wearable L’Artisan Parfumeur. Recipients of an Aedes De Venustas gift may not want to unwrap their presents from this luxurious perfume shop, since deluxe packaging avec satin ribbons crowned with a custom fresh flower arrangement makes for a gift unto itself.
BEST CUP OF JOE: Stumptown NYC/ Midtown West
Ste 3, 18 West 29th St ; (212) 679-2222
Exceptional coffee, well executed latte art, locally roasted, expertly operated espresso machines and an overall cool vibe. Also a very elegant and inviting environment in the lobby of the ACE Hotel in which to sit and sip one’s Stumptown coffee with friends or just a place to perch and people watch on your own!
BEST BREAKFAST: Clinton Street Bakery/Lower East Side
4 Clinton St ; (646) 602-6263
Especially love Clinton Street Bakery’s blueberry pancakes served with maple butter creating mouthful bliss! Note – it’s CASH ONLY! This little jewel is the winner of many “Best in NYC” awards for delectable pancakes , muffins and biscuits – a coveted city spot to indulge in the ultimate breakfast treat. Of course, BEST BREAKFAST is even more justifiable after an early morning workout!
BEST LUNCH: Ippudo/East Village
65 4th ave ; (212) 388-0088
This East Village outpost of a 34- restaurant Japanese chain and your ticket to ramen bliss in the city. Ippudo does not take reservations and as a result the wait can stretch to an hour at times. The good news is if you venture for lunch during the week, you will most likely not need to wait! If you factor the delay into your visit, the neighborhood has lots to offer – including The Strand Bookstore within 5 minutes walking distance.
BEST DINNER: Maialino NYC/Gramercy Park
2 Lexington Avenue ; (212) 777-2410
Maialino is a Roman Trattoria located in the posh and trendy Gramercy Park Hotel, offering lovely views of the gated greenery that is Gramercy Park! I really can’t say enough fantastic things about Maialino – especially memorable for it’s simple execution of fresh ingredients and creative takes on traditional Italian cuisine. My boyfriend has easily convinced my taste buds that Danny Meyer is a talent well worth celebrating!
BEST SPEAKEASY: Little Branch/West Village
20 7th Ave S ; (212) 929-4360
Known for the single door on the corner of the street, with no name on it and sometimes a bouncer outside asking for IDs. Little Branch is a modern-day speakeasy suggestion where the drinks are fantastic naughty and the atmosphere very inviting. There is a long staircase downstairs into an old prohibition themed bar complete with dim lighting, comfortable booths and the occasional added charm of live jazz! Get the bartender’s choice and they will make an amazing drink to suit your fancy.