Los Angeles is home, but I love visiting New York City. I generally get out to the Big Apple about twice a year – just to get my fix – and I’m pretty sure many New Yorkers do the same (to LA) in reverse. You always hear about the “battle of the coasts”, duking out the pros & cons and which is better… but let’s just all agree and face the facts: we all love the best of both worlds and the amazing & unique things each has to offer. I’m sure plenty of people would happily live bi-coastal, splitting time 60/40 (with the 60 at your more preferred city), but unfortunately that lifestyle is limited to the rich & famous. So, we have to choose. I’m sticking with LA (which is heavily weather influenced), but hats off to NYC… I’m happy to visit anytime! (except in the middle of winter)
My recent visit was a fantastic long weekend hanging out with friends, visiting all my favorite shops and restaurants as well as checking out a few new ones…
A NEW PLACE TO REST MY HEAD (and feet): I stayed at The High Line Hotel for this first time during this visit. I was totally won over by the charming and comfortable rooms and the small, cozy feeling of this hotel. Bonus points for the Intelligentsia Coffee bar in the intimate little lobby! The location is great, and the staff was super friendly too.
How great is that wallpaper behind the bed?!
Some details and collections in the lobby entry…
OLD & NEW FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT: I don’t care what anyone says – I’m still a fan of Freeman’s, and at 10 years old and going strong, it’s obvious that others are too. A good meal in a great atmosphere is like coming home after a long trip – comforting and welcoming. From the moment you walk down that alley, you’re wrapped in its warmth and ready to settle in for the evening as if it’s your own dining room.
I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot about the restaurant Navy for a while now, so we finally got around to giving it a try. It also delivered on all levels. The interiors are amazing (even the restrooms are charming) and food was good too. “The city that never sleeps”? I beg to differ… who knew no one in NYC gets up early for brunch. We went shortly after they opened (around 10:30am) on a Saturday morning and had the place to ourselves!
SHOPS & SHOWROOMS: How is it possible that I had never been into BDDW in Soho?! I must have walked past it every time I’ve been there. It instantly became one of my new favorites, and will now be on my list of places to pop into every time I’m in NYC. A stunning showroom of fabulous furniture, art and objects, arranged together in inspiring combinations. Additionally, the staff was welcoming, cool and relaxed, unlike many of the other upscale showrooms in NY that have a tendency to be a little “uptight” (shall we say?).
Gotta love this quirky detail on the wall…
….and speaking of rugs, Urban Outfitters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (also known as Space Ninety 8) has pretty much nailed it with this new location, complete with a rooftop bar and other special features throughout the store. These layered rugs covered the floor in one the smaller boutique rooms which featured special designers and artists.
Proof that the city dwellers can’t resist the coast… the Saturdays Surf NYC shop, now with two locations, provides a splash of California culture & color. (However, I realize they’re actually surfing in Montauk, but let’s face it – surfing on the west coast is the real deal!)
Last but not least, ABC Carpet & Home never disappoints. This massive, multi level store is packed with so many beautiful things, it’s actually hard to take it all in during one visit. Since I was last here, the new abcmkt has opened in the lower level. Stocked with tons of unique and beautiful kitchen, dining, and cooking related product, you’ll want to give your kitchen an entire culinary makeover.
A dusting of saffron on objects from India…
Well, that concludes my NYC highlights for this time. I’d love to get back again during the fall before it gets too cold, but if not, I’ll be waiting it out until the snow melts and spring is back in the city air. Until then, I’ll be enjoying the California warmth and sunshine…. even on Christmas.