COURTESY OF THE ACE HOTEL
BY THE EDITION

The magnificent skyline is part of what defines the New York experience for many, but on the ground is where to get a pulse of the city’s culture.

The backdrop of numerous films and television shows, New York City is frequently romanticized and making it in the city, so to speak, is often depicted the epitome of the American dream. Its reputation for glamour and excess is not for naught—it is, after all, among the most expensive cities to live in the world—but its grit has its own appeal, and the waves of immigrants that have made it their home over the years are what has made it one of the most diverse, interesting, and creative capitals in the world.

STAY

Ace Hotel New York

Hotel

COURTESY OF THE ACE HOTEL

Featuring an interesting hybrid of styles from different historical periods, Ace Hotel takes its design cues from the inimitable and vibrant streets of New York, executed by the design firm Roman & Williams. Housed in the former Breslin Hotel, it has hosted visionaries and creatives through the years. As it’s situated in NoMad, the hotel offers access to both uptown and downtown Manhattan, as well as the East and West Villages.

20 West 29th Street, New York

Four Seasons New York

Hotel

COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS

A quick stroll from both Central Park’s greenery and Madison Avenue’s upscale boutiques, Four Seasons Hotel New York is is a modern haven that offers five-star treatment. Recently transformed by I.M. Pei, the 52-storey building houses 368 spacious luxury suites and rooms and offers a choice between panoramic views of Manhattan’s most iconic landmarks or the calming vastness of Central Park.

57 East 57th Street, New York

 

EAT & DRINK

Abraço

Cafe and Bakery

COURTESY OF ABRACO

There is no WiFi at Abraço—and it takes it a step further by prohibiting the use of laptops at the premises—but you will want to be fully focused at your first sip of any of the outstanding espresso-based beverages offered at this tiny East Village cafe. The olive oil cakes and salted lemon cakes made in-house shouldn’t be missed, either.

81 East 7th Avenue, New York

 

The NoMad Hotel

Upscale Restaurant

COURTESY OFTHE NOMAD HOTEL/DANIEL KRIEGER

Located in an intimate and breathtaking Beaux-Arts structure, the NoMad is not your average hotel bar and restaurant. Renowned chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara (also of the Michelin three-starred Eleven Madison Park) have crafted one of the city’s most important dining concepts at the NoMad, with dishes that appear—and taste—as magical as the setting, such as its famous roasted chicken stuffed with black truffle, foie gras, and brioche and served with brown ale. The NoMad bar, on the other hand, echoes the warmth and fun of a typical New York tavern, with an extensive selection of wines, beers, and cocktails crafted with rare spirits, making it an elegant yet festive spot at which to converge with friends at the end of a long day.

10 West 28th Street, New York

 

Atla

Mexican Restaurant

COURTESY OF ATLA

Opened by chef Enrique Olvera (whose award-winning restaurant Pujol in Mexico is renowned) and Daniela Soto-Innes, Atla is a contemporary Mexican eatery serving an elevated but authentic take on tacos, chilaquiles, and more—all day, and in a trendy, beautifully appointed space designed by architect Alonso de Garay. Offering a more casual atmosphere than the equally notable Cosme, Olvera’s New York City debut, Atla is an ideal place to sample Mexican classics whether at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

372 Lafayette Street, NoHo, New York

 

Balthazar

Casual Restaurant

COURTESY OF BALTHAZAR/MICHAEL GRIMM

There’s a reason Keith McNally’s chic, tasteful brasserie has endured years of newer peers opening up shop in SoHo—and it’s not just the regular celebrity sightings. Despite the competition, those in the know still choose this busy spot for everything from breakfast drop-ins and leisurely weekday lunches to special occasions for its consistency and casual luxury.

80 Spring Street, New York

 

Katz’s Delicatessen

Kosher-style Deli

COURTESY OF KATZ’S DELI

Established in 1888 by the Iceland brothers, this humble but iconic deli was renamed in 1910 by Willy Katz and for over a hundred years has remained a family-run operation. Katz’s is as old-time as it can get in New York City, and its colossal pastrami sandwiches (the meat is pickled in a secret recipe for three weeks at a time) are still considered a classic meal in this town, continuing to draw in locals and tourists alike. The most important thing to remember, if you’re visiting for the first time, is not to lose your ticket.

205 E. Houston Street, New York

 

GO

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Museum

COURTESY OF THE WHITNEY/ED LEDERMAN

One could spend days poring over the stunning collections of art at New York’s revered museum triumvirate of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim, and these institutions will always be worth a visit. But for a comprehensive study of art in the United States, head to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which boasts an unrivaled collection of twentieth-century and contemporary American art. Located between the Hudson River and the elevated park High Line, the edifice designed by architect Renzo Piano is a sight to behold and a great starting point from which to explore the neighborhood.

99 Gansevoort Street

 

The Strand 

Bookstore

Purveying  an overwhelming number of new and used books as well as out-of-print titles and rare collectibles, this independent bookseller close to the heavily populated Union Square area is the place to go to find just about any title one can think of. Open in 1927 by the Bass family, its selection of books—supposedly of over 2.5 million titles—is said to be able to span 18 miles.

828 Broadway, New York

Central Park

Public Park

Found between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side, Central Park measures 843 acres and is a designated National Historic Landmark. Its well-maintained paths, vast green meadows and fields, and beautiful bodies of water leave plenty of room for recreation and exploration, whether you’re there for concerts or events, tours, or just to take a walk.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

New York Public Library 

Library

Vanessa’s Dumpling House 

Chinese Restaurant

Momofuku Nishi 

Casual Restaurant

Maman NYC 

Cafe and Bakery

Pasquale Jones

Italian Restaurant

Eleven Madison Park

Fine Dining

Oiji 

Modern Korean restaurant

Wildair 

Neo-bistro

Veselka 

Ukrainian Restaurant

The Polo Bar 

Casual Restaurant

Bemelmans Bar

Hotel Bar

De Vera New York

Boutique – Home and Design/Collectibles

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Boutique – Clothing and Accessories

The Apartment by The Line

Boutique – Fashion, Home, Beauty

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