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The Lowdown | New York

Impossible to define, forever captivating, New York City Words by Peter Frank

Where New York State, USA

Quick Quote $1,000 per day

Best Season Spring and Fall

Thinking of Good fun and lots of walking

Best Portrayed in Frank Sinatra’s, New York, New York

Scott Fitzgerald found "wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world" here. Simone de Beauvoir confided "there is something in New York air that makes sleep useless." Words are never enough for this city, so often evoked that even a first visit entails almost constant déjà-vu. This quintessential urban jungle delights us and tests us in equal measure; "In New York," as Charles Bukowski reminded us, "you've got to have all the luck."

Where to Stay

Despite its center-of-the-universe location—smack on Fifth Avenue, just four blocks below Central Park and just a few blocks from Bergdorf Goodman and MoMA—the Peninsula Hotel is the most understated of Midtown’s palace hotels. The shimmering Baccarat hotel offers a new definition of 21st-century luxury and acts as a centerpiece for Midtown’s high-minded resurgence. Discreet, intimate, and timelessly elegant, The Lowell commands a loyal following for its individually decorated, residential-style rooms (many with fireplaces and terraces), knowledgeable concierge, and long-serving staff. The Crosby’s prime location between SoHo and Nolita—and the loft-like rooms with views across downtown Manhattan—command a loyal following. But the utterly, colorfully charming interiors by Kit Kemp seal the deal for a fabulous stay. 11 Howard lures a young, fashion-forward crowd with its uber-stylish Scandinavian design, gentle-for-New York rates, and live-and-let-live ethos.

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Words by Peter Frank New York Editor

Peter J. Frank is an award-winning travel and luxury lifestyle content strategist and founder of Peter Frank Consulting, a New York–based firm that advises brands across digital, social, and print media. The former editor-in-chief of Concierge.com, Frank has been the Director of Editorial Product Development for Travel + Leisure. He has also held senior content positions at T+L, Condé Nast Traveler, and Men’s Journal. A passionate and adventurous traveler, Frank has visited nearly 50 countries. When not on the road, he lives in New York City's West Village.

Where to Eat

Jean Georges continues to be one of New York’s most elegant dining experiences and also one of its most modern, from the chic and intimate room just off Central Park to the food, which continually pushes the boundaries of haute cuisine.

“New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American.” - Djuna Barnes

Chef Daniel Humm and manager Will Guidara’s extraordinarily inventive culinary love letter to New York, 11 Madison, is an essential stop for gastronomes. The veggie-centric (but carnivore-friendly) dining room, Narcissa, at the Standard East Village hotel showcases the harvest at the Locusts-on-Hudson farm in upstate New York.What would a New York breakfast be without smoked fish and bagels? You can get it good almost anywhere, but the paradigm is Barney Greengrass, which has been slinging sturgeon, nova, and whitefish on the Upper West Side since 1908.On the culinary lab that is Clinton Street, Ivan Ramen, a modern noodle shop is a standout. Chef Ivan Orkin gained a cult following in Tokyo for his ramen before returning to New York.Marcus Samuelsson’s vibrant Harlem hot spot, the Red Rooster, celebrates the neighborhood’s newfound diversity. Both the food and the scene bear the imprint of white, black, Caribbean, and European influences, at once contemporary and tradition-bound.

The Spotted Pig, a genre-defining, food trend–launching gastropub on an assuming corner of the West Village still draws a mob for its always-spirited ambience and for April Bloomfield’s exquisitely balanced dishes. Daniel Rose’s New York debut, Le Coucou, is more retrospective than forward-thinking, recalling the ancien régime French gastronomy of the Lutèceera.

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What to See - Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art moved downtown in 2015 to a dynamic Renzo Piano–designed building that anchors the High Line’s lower terminus. Now the museum has more space to champion both artists from the American canon and contemporary provocateurs. Ronald S. Lauder cofounded the Neue Galerie devoted to the early 20th-century art of Germany and Austria, which includes expressive works by Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Egon Schiele, and George Grosz. The Frick Collection is as notable for its individual masterpieces (Vermeer, Rembrandt, Renoir, Whistler, Stuart) as for its transporting setting in period rooms.It’s worth trekking to 103rd Street, at the top of Museum Mile, to the Museum of the City of New York to view this collection of 750,000 objects—handwritten manuscripts by Eugene O’Neill, Jacob Riis photographs, Gilded Age jewelry, graffiti art from the 1980s—that make up the urban fabric of New York. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the world’s foremost collection of modern and contemporary art is also one of New York’s most popular destinations—and an entirely absorbing experience that will have you contemplating art, architecture, creativity, and the role of culture in today’s society. 

Where to Shop

Jade Lai has brought her unfailing eye to this Nolita outpost of Creatures of Comfort. The bright, airy space stocks cult labels for men and women, plus quirkily chosen objects like Japanese bottle openers and handmade notebooks from Postalco.The cool-girl label, Reformation, is known for its feminine, breezy, 1970s-inspired silhouettes as well as its eco-friendly manufacturing practices.If “surf-inspired menswear” makes you think of board shorts and faded tees, take a look at the slim-tailored button-downs, shorts, and outerwear at Saturday’s, a clothing-and-coffee shop, which has spawned a global mini-chain. Printed Matter, a fiercely independent bookstore and publisher specializes in books by artists and rare editions. Williamsburg-based Bird is a go-to for apparel by top designers like Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, ProenzaSchouler, and Rachel Comey. The shop stocks plenty of covetable accessories too.Boho-chic Warm hails from the sunny shores of Hawaii, where the store’s owners—husband and wife—met while surfing. These themes, of sun, sand, and sea, are the main influences on the store’s decor and its merchandise. A New York eyewear institution, Moscot has been selling sunglasses and frames on Orchard Street since 1915—from a pushcart, before moving into bricks and mortar. 

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