a week in new york

I have been to new York several times, my recent trip to Manhattan island in August 2015 was the first time by myself. I did enjoy the city much better going solo this time as I was able to spend as much time as I wanted to admiring art, people watching and rummaging through endless textile shops in the garment district. Without anyone telling me they were bored or hungry. Just saying. 

So here are some great places that took my interest in New York City.

If you have never been before purchasing the city pass is always handy, You save $$$ and avoid the queues.

Places to stay:
I stayed in an Airbnb in Greenwich Village which was a much quieter part of town than say midtown and less touristy, but filled with great deli's, restaurants and bars. Around Soho, Chelsea and meat packing district are also great.

A typical day:

-The Whitney Museum of American Art (buy tickets online), designed by Renzo Piano
-Then walk along The High Line, and incredibly well detailed architectural and landscape urban design project.
-Visit local galleries in chelsea, then hit the Chelsea Markets, ( corner of 9th Avenue and 15th Street in the Meat Market District ) for local designers, food and craft beer, Make sure you check out my fav shop, Anthropologie. (be prepared to by some ceramics)
-Catch the subway down to SOHO and walk the streets and soak up the locals and designer shops.
-Ensure you visit Purl Soho an incredible visual candy feast for the eye. Filled with lots of yarn and accessories. They even have great craft workshops.
-Walk back via Bleeker street and dine in one of the cool cafes and restaurants.
-To end off the day hit the Jane Hotel rooftop bar for a cocktail and a fabulous view of the city at night (thurs, fri and sat seasonally) or at the Zerzura rooftop bar at Hotel Gansevoort

Another day:
Start off at the MAD museum 2 columbus circle, New York (SW corner of central park) - great textiles and ceramics
then stroll through Central Park even hire a bike and ride around the park.
Make your way over the little lake and walk along there – stay on the path hugging the lake until you get to the Boathouse Café.  Go to the bar side and enjoy a drink on the water.  The restaurant is over-priced and not good but the bar is lovely.
Then head to the MET museum (you will need at least 4 hours here),
Opposite and up a tad is the Guggenheim Museum (5th avenue) there is also the Frick Collection (70th st)
After the museums walk down Lexington Ave and pop into Tinsel trading (828 Lexington ave)
then catch the subway to Grand Central station. Spend sometime here just people watching, in the most incredible space. Visit the Grand Central Oyster bar for the coolest 70s untouched décor.
Ensure you do a sunset at either the top of the Rockefeller OR the empire state building.
Then check out time square at night with the super buzzing action of zillions of people.

And another day:
textile and trimmings lovers:
Garment district, check out Daytona Braids and trimmings 251 W. 39th Street (near Eighth Ave.), New York, NYC and MJ trimmings (1008 Sixth Avenue)
Walk to the ACE hotel (20W 29th st) and have an apple cider in the super cool bar, free WIFI or a coffee at Scumptown (also in the ACE). Ask for a flat white, hard to get good coffee that's not drip in the US.
Catch the subway to Brooklyn and walk around dumbo then walk back over the Brooklyn bridge to NYC. If your still feeling energetic walk around china town.

And another day:
Visit the statue of liberty and ground zero.

Essential shops to visit
ABC carpet and home

Craft workshops:
Take a workshop with Maryanne Moodie
or the Textile art centre

Good art house cinemas – Film Forum on Houston between 6th and 7th, two art houses nearby on 13th and 12th, near University Place and then East Village Cinema on 11th, Angelica on Mercer and Houston and Sunshine Cinemas on Houston near Ave A.

-Jazz at Small’s on 10th between West Fourth and Seventh – amazing late night – apparently famous people show up
-55 Bar – Christopher just east of 7th – good jazz on the cheap
-Village Vanguard – some of city’s best jazz and very cool vibe – Seventh Avenue right by Doma.

Good Places to Eat - (all the below is advised and words by a local New Yorker)

West Village and Greenwich Village

  • Taim – good felafel on Waverly
  • Pizza – for a slice, visit Joe’s on Carmine just west of Sixth Avenue.  For a real New York pizza, go to Johns’ Pizza on Bleecker at Jones. Get there early as they are very long lines most dinner hours.  You might also see a fire truck or police car out front, as all the cops and firemen go there!  But possibly even better, though different style, is Neopolitan Number 28 on Carmine between Bleecker and Bedford, across from the church.  That place has amazing pizza, nice vibe, you can sit outside in warm weather – and if you love soccer, you can be sure you can watch a game if there is one. New place on north side of Bleecker right at Morton is supposed to be very good.
  • Gottino – Not crazy expensive but not cheap, small plates for brunch and light dinner/lunch and good wine.  Lovely bar to sit at, or out in the back garden.  But go for breakfast/brunch/lunch; it is a crazy crowded scene at night.  Greenwich Avenue between Perry and Charles Streets, east side of the street.
  • The Humus Place just around the corner on 7th Avenue is good and very reasonably priced.
  • Tartine on 11th and West 4th – brunch is huge there so you have to get there early and order coffee and such til brunch starts.  It’s not as good as it used to be, but still tasty -- also check out Café Cluny two blocks down on West 12th and West 4th, or The Place, next door
  • Corner Bistro – great local bar on the corner of West Fourth and Jane (where West Fourth ends)
  • 10 Downing – Downing and 6th Avenue – fairly toney, wonderful food and nice dining room to watch the world go by
  • Café Henri – nice little French-ish café on Bedford just east of Downing – good for snacks or light fare – excellent bread and sandwich shop across the street from it
  • Wallse on 11th and Washington Street – very fancy, possibly the best meal you’ll find in NYC – this chef also runs the WONDERFUL café in the Neue Gallerie on the Upper East Side near the Met, worth the trip for both café and museum
  • Spotted Pig – 11th/Greenwich – very good food, kind of pricey, hip
  • Pepe Verde—Hudson between Perry and 11th – very good, very cheap Italian
  • Sapore – Greenwich Ave on the corner of Perry Street- good, cheap Italian thoughwe prefer Pepe Verde
  • Elephants and Castle – very good homey food, a real Village place where you’ll see all the good old Bohemians
  • Market Table – amazing food, very cool atmosphere, extremely crowded (you need a reservation) – corner of Carmine and Bedford
  • Little Owl, Taverna, Casa and Moustache, all on Bedford between Morton and Grove – first three excellent and Moustache very good and not so pricey, all different regions of our globe
  • AOC – Grove and Bleecker – French bistro, good, amazing back garden, not cheap but not crazy
  • Cornelia Street  -- every single restaurant on this street is truly excellent, and some of those on the east side of the street have gardens.  You can limit yourself to this street for each nice meal out you take and you will go home amazed and happy.  Cornelia Street Café also has good music/readings in basement theater space.
  • Macdougal Street between Houston and Prince -- Another lovely block on which pretty much every restaurant (but especially the smaller ones) is excellent.
  • Blue Hill --  http://www.bluehillfarm.com


Other Neighborhoods but Worth the Trip


  • City Bakery on 18th just west of 5th Avenue.  Amazing gourmet buffet usually with local greenmarket food – yummy desserts.  Very pricey for lunch/breakfast food but worth at least one visit

Soho/Little Italy
  • Gitane – Mott Street between Houston and Prince – very cool but loud café,  good food at a reasonable price though it is inconsistent since it got so popular
  • Jean Claude – Sullivan or Thompson below Houston – very good French bistro
  • Palacinka – Grand Street just west of Sixth Avenue – wonderful savory and sweet crepes, nice hang-out
  • Pain Quotidienne – Grand near Mercer.  Nice but very expensive organic bakery and café with huge common dining table  -- there is also one on Hudson and Perry but it’s not as nice a spot to sit and people watch and gaze out window

East Village

  • Veselka – best ever Ukrainian diner place – get the pierogis (potato) and the borsht – corner of 9th Street and 2nd Avenue

the brroklyn bridge

the whitney museum

my stash from purl soho

on the high line

grand central station