The city that never sleeps, the big apple, whatever you want to call it, we took it. Over the weekend our entire team traveled across the country to our second home, New York. While we were definitely there for work, we made plenty of room for play. Here were some of our favorites:
Brooklyn: Where the Creatives Play
While Brooklyn and its little pockets typically conjure up images of hipsters and pour-over coffee, we decided to take a second look at this busy borough. Between slices of bustling streets were the most beautiful murals, narrating the life of a younger generation of New York. The sidewalks were dotted with modern Ma and Pop stores selling everything from hats and bags to the best donuts in the state. There were natives perched at coffee bars scrolling through Instagram, dog walkers wrangling their furry friends, business men and women making their way through the crowds to the next subway stop, and tourists soaking it all in (we were the latter). While in Brooklyn we made sure to stop at a few recommended spots, the first being the Wythe Hotel. Once a factory situated on the waterfront on Williamsburg, the sprawling space is now home to some of the best views in New York. Each room is industrially designed, nodding to the hotel’s past life. It’s architecture and stunning bones are reason enough to swing by for a peek, but all of the amenities and proximity to the hustle and bustle of the city is what makes you want to stay.
After a quick jaunt through the Wythe Hotel’s quarters, we made our way into central Brooklyn. On our way to the next destination, we spotted the coolest store perched on North 7th Street. Gentry, a handsomely curated menswear shop, was what cool, downtown dreams are made of. With everything from shoes to hats to briefcases to accessories, Gentry’s style and savoir-faire was enough to make us introduce ourselves to its equally handsome owner, Kyle. After a few minutes of exchanging thank you’s and well-wishes we were on our way.
Shopping in Style
Back in the heart of NYC we made our way to Fifth Avenue, every blogger’s dream destination. Popping in at Dolce & Gabbana, we met with our good friend Pierre, a tall and tailored gentleman. Showing us his wares and staring googly-eyed at every hanger, we were introduced to some of the most beautiful garments we’d ever seen. Much to our pleasure, the palm leaf trend is going strong, as it is the core motif for D&G’s Fall 2016 collection. The bridal collection was comprised of frilly frocks and silky gowns that looked almost too good to touch. After being forced to depart due to time, we managed to carve out an hour to stop in at one of our all-time guilty pleasures, Ralph Lauren. Four stories of equestrian style, buttery leather accessories, and polished and put-together mannequins– what could possibly be better?
Big City Broadway
When in New York, make your way toward Broadway. There is no better place to get a taste of big city life than by visiting Broadway and grabbing tickets for a show. We treated our New York pals to a viewing of Kinky Boots and they granted us backstage access– and we haven’t stopped talking about it! One of the best performances we’ve ever seen, we can’t wait to snag a few more seats when the company tours in California.
The Tourist Lens
How could we come to New York and not play the tourist card? While we’ve been to NYC several times for design conferences and events, having our whole team join us meant we could hit all of the must-see destinations the city offers. First stop, Grand Central Station. Every time we see the hustling and bustling train station we are instantly whisked away to a movie set of a romantic comedy. The architecture, old-timey details, and crowds of people maneuvering their way to the train that will get them home is always a must-see when out and about in New York. After reminiscing on every flash mob video we’ve seen take place at the busy train station, we made our way to the High Line, a new city excursion. Crafted out of old train tracks and a volunteer-maintained garden, this 3-mile hike takes you through the city high atop the buildings with a perfect birds-eye view. Along the way we saw murals, art installations, pop-up shops, joggers, mommas with strollers, and plenty of tourists snapping away on Instagram. After a jaunt through the city, our team met up at the World Trade Center. Maneuvering through throngs of people on their way to pay homage to the fallen civilians and survivors of 9/11, we couldn’t help but feel morose as we peered out of the 102nd-floor window at the bite-sized pieces of the city. The views were panoramic and the city sprawling and the memory of that day heavy on our hearts.
After stopping at one of our must-see destinations and paying our respects, we headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to end the day on a lighter note. With all of the fashion that we see as designers, we were desperate to visit the Manus x Machina exhibit that was on its last leg at the MET. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Haute couture and sequins and tulle danced around our head as we examined pieces dating back to the early-1900’s. Saying we were given a serious dose of inspiration is a total understatement.
You know we had to talk about our favorite snacks! New York is hands down one of the top places for foodies to get a little taste of everything. Starting with the Polo Bar, we were treated to plenty of bubbles and bites, from prosecco and salad to martinis and pasta. The ambiance is all-American and all Ralph Lauren (not that we would ever complain about that). A few of our other stops were:
The Boathouse in Central Park
In need of a quick bite or glass of bubbles but want a great view? Visit the Boathouse for a fix on the go.
Known for its distinctive bourbon cocktails, The Edition is where our team went to relax in a speak-easy space with tasty sips inspired by the city. Oh, and start a bar-wide pool tournament. Go Team KKDL!
Trestle on 10th
A Swiss-American dining space with a gorgeous brick backdrop, this restaurant easily makes our top ten eatery list. Because our group was so big, we opted for the Pig Roast (which is exactly what it sounds like). Pre-pig we were treated to wine, cheese, and homemade pickles.
Lillie’s Victorian Establishment
One of the most interesting spots we hit during our trip, Lillie’s rocked nostalgic beats and simple cocktails that helped fuel our all-night dance party.
Think American diner with a distinct city twist. We paired fried-chicken sandwiches and poppyseed pancakes with fresh-squeezed juice and craft coffee to hold us over until our next stop. Oh, and their ice cream? To die for.
Easily one of the most interesting stops on our tour of New York, the Monkey Bar is equal parts rat-pack and laid back. A restaurant-wide mural covers the space, with the faces of Frank Sinatra and Ernest Hemingway dotting the eatery. Rooted in early New York, the space is both nostalgic and inspiring.
Virgil’s Real BBQ
After a day of shopping and a night of Broadway, we were excited to sit down and get our grub on. If you’re looking for the best chicken wings, margaritas, and hush puppies in New York, look no further than Virgil’s.
Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery
You would think we’d be full by now! Thank goodness we weren’t, though, because brunch at Lafayette is a must-do. Fresh-baked croissants, pillowy scrambled eggs, and craft coffee was exactly what we needed after a busy few days in New York.
Crosby Street Hotel
Always a must-see if you’re in SoHo, the Crosby Street Hotel is a punched-up London-inspired hotel situated in New York. Each room is thoughtfully decorated with modern art, bold patterns, and plenty of coloration. We stopped here for a bottle of bubbles to celebrate a successful east coast adventure.
Last but certainly not least, we stopped for a pastrami sandwich at the world-famous Katz’s Deli. Very New York with its bustling crowd and smells of homemade mustard and smoky pastrami, we chowed down and wished we’d had a minute for seconds.
When you’re in the big city, where do you go to? Leave your recommendations or favorite hangouts in the comments below!