New York has been declared by many as the greatest city on Earth, and it’s hard not to dispute that as the streets pulsate with an energy that is matched by few other places in the world. And as much as there places to be seen, there are equally places where one can have an unruffled shopping experience, a quiet dinner, and a non-ostentatious evening out. We’ve picked out eight of our favorite low-key spots in the Big Apple for you to look up on your next spin through town.
One cannot go to New York and not shop. We are all familiar with the numerous designer shops that occupy SoHo but if you want the luxury experience without the crowds, you must visit Dover Street Market. Named after its original UK location (they also have a Tokyo branch too) this multi-level concept store was created by Rei Kawakubo from ultra-cool Japanese fashion label Comme Des Garçons. You’ll walk into a nondescript building on Lexington to find a finely curated selection of designer brands ranging from A.P.C, Saica, and Comme of course, to Maison Martin Margiela, Gucci, and Prada.
Dover Street Market; 160 Lexington Ave
If you’re willing to make it into Brooklyn, Kinfolk should be your first stop. It is just a few short blocks from the Bedford Avenue subway and it puts you in the middle of Williamsburg. Kinfolk is a multifaceted location that houses a cool restaurant, coffee shop, cocktail bar, and retail space all in one. Like Dover Street Market, the exterior of the building isn’t saying much but the décor and the good vibes are in abundance.
Kinfolk; 94 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn
Everybody has a special place in mind when they talk about where to eat in New York. One of our go-to’s is Jack’s Wife Freda, an all-day bistro that serves American fare with Middle-Eastern influences. Owned by husband-and-wife team Dean and Maya Jankelowitz (who hail from South Africa and Israel respectively), their fresh, colorful dishes have been winning locals over for the last 5 years, and they now have two locations – the original in SoHo and another in the West Village. Be sure to check out their Instagram, or ‘Jackstagram’ to preview some of their mouth-watering dishes.
Jack’s Wife Freda; 50 Carmine St or 224 Lafayette St
A short hop from Freda’s is another fantastic restaurant to visit, Café Habana. This tiny Mexican-Cuban Nolita cafe is best known for its famous grilled Mexican-style corn (sprinkled with lime and chilli powder and mayo then rolled in cojita cheese). That and the Cuban sandwich – pork with melted Swiss cheese and pickles. Order both and wash it all down with a cold beer.
Café Habana: 17 Prince St
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When in New York, no-one ever really turns down a few after-dinner cocktails. If you like live music and a great cocktail then the Village Vanguard is the place to be. The historic Jazz bar opened its doors in 1935 and has hosted countless iconic artists over the years, including John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. What’s more, live bands still play weekly, so check out their schedule to find out who’s playing when you’re next in town.
Village Vanguard; 178 7th Ave S
If you’re looking for a true cocktail-centric lounge, you can’t go wrong at The Ship on Lafayette. It’s a seated cocktail lounge, meaning that it won’t be packed to the rafters, so you don’t need to worry about someone knocking over your tasty mixture. The head bartender, Cervantes Ramirez, has put together a delicious selection of cocktails that will entice you to explore the menu. And they also serve equally mouth-watering small bites if you are feeling peckish.
The Ship; 158 Lafayette St
New York City might be a global hub for the arts, but some of the best museums are off the beaten path. If you find yourself in Brooklyn visiting the Kinfolk shop, you should head over to the Pioneer Works gallery in Red Hook to take in their contemporary art exhibition and performances. They aim to push the traditional disciplinary boundaries that once dominated the art world to discover new ways of creating.
Pioneer Works; 159 Pioneer St, Brooklyn
If you plan on staying in Manhattan, the New Museum is also a fantastic space, and happens to be the only museum solely dedicated contemporary art on the island. Former Whitney Museum curator Marcia Tucker founded the museum in 1977 to showcase the work of living artists, and over the years it has grown into a worldwide symbol of excellence in modern painting, sculpture and photography. Make sure you check out the bookshop as well as the galleries on your visit.
The New Museum; 235 Bowery
Where to stay in New York
Come celebrate Holi tomorrow night, a festival of colors to welcome spring, with a full schedule of activities. Raga Kids 5:30-6:30pm Cosmogony, Special Holi Performance 6:30-7:30pm Holi Concert 8:00pm
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