Monday, February 01, 2010

Reader Question: Five things to do in New York

High Line August 2009

It’s been my dream to go to New York and now I've got the chance in February. Have you got any advice on unmissable places/shops to go?

This list could go on for pages, so I am going to stick to just five. I'm sure my readers will chip in too.

Park: The High Line (above) is New York's newest public space. Successful beyond the wildest hopes of its supporters, it's a wildflower filled paradise, which runs over one of Manhattan's last remaining light industrial areas.

Store: ABC Carpet & Home, just off Union Square.
So much more than the sum of its parts. There are gorgeous jewellery, china, stationery and gift sections alongside all manner of eclectic wonderful-ness on the ground floor, and on the floors above there are hundreds of square metres of converted lofty warehouse stuffed full of Eames chairs, Tom Dixon lights, mid-century modern tables, Italian linens, Persian carpets, English antiques, Ralph repro...

Breakfast: The B&H Dairy diner in the East Village. A proper, old school ex-Kosher diner that's just a few feet wide with the smiliest short order cook. You eat breakfast perched on a stool at the counter for a few dollars. It's not cool or trendy or full of ack, scene-y people. It just feels like my little corner of New York. (And the challah French toast...oh God)

Strand Some days I just hunker down under a table and spend hours here reading. I don't feel guilty, because I spend a bloody fortune in this store. Although I should point out that many of the books are as cheap as chips. I just buy an awful lot of them.

Museum: The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located on four acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, the building incorporates elements from five medieval French cloisters—quadrangles enclosed by a roofed or vaulted passageway, or arcade—and from other monastic sites in southern France. There are beautiful herbals, enclosed gardens and walkways. Utterly ravishing and an escape from urban hassle. (Take the express A train, not the bus from The Met - takes way too long for sanity.)

Photograph: LLG August 2009