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THE VACATION REPORT THE INSIDERS’ GUIDE TO NEW YORK

From foodie hotspots in Brooklyn to Manhattan’s history-rich museums, five fashion insiders round up their favourite places in the city.

Compiled by Georgina Lucas.

ART CURATOR, WRITER AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

KIMBERLY DREW

‘My absolute favourite place in New York City at the moment is the Conservatory Garden (1233 5th Ave) in Central Park – I love walking from the Harlem Meer to the most southern tip of the park. For art, it’s always been The Studio Museum in Harlem (144 W 125th St), which is currently being renovated, or the Brooklyn Museum (brooklynmuseum.org) – stop by Unnameable Books (600 Vanderbilt Ave) for a new book while you’re in the neighbourhood. I’d also love to take over the Gracie Mansion Conservancy (E 88th St &, East End Ave), too – the art collection is excellent – and a day trip up the Hudson River to take in the Dia:Beacon (diaart.org) gallery is never a bad idea either. For theatre, I love going to The Public Theater in Noho (publictheater.org), and Papi Juice’s nights are great for music (instagram.com/papijuicebk) – Oscar Nuñez's 4am set in particular. My favourite restaurant at the moment is a Thai place called Uncle Boon’s Sister (203 Mott St) in Lower Manhattan, but I’ve been dying to get over to Sol Sips in Bushwick (203 Wilson Ave) for some delicious vegan bites, too. If I’m just grabbing a quick bite on the go, which is life in New York, I love a slice at Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street (7 Carmine St). For drinks, if I’m staying local in Clinton Hill, I would take a friend to Dynaco (1112 Bedford Ave), but If I’m in Manhattan, we’re definitely hitting No Bar at The Standard (nobar.nyc) – I’ve always loved it.’

Brooklyn Museum
European Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum
Central Park
Hudson Valley

FOUNDER, BY CHLOE RESTAURANT GROUP

SAMANTHA WASSER

‘New York has so many iconic spots. I love The Plaza where I got married – it’s classic NYC with a beautiful view of Central Park. The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in Mount Prospect Park and the Steinhardt Conservatory (1010 Washington Ave) with the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum (bbg.org) are my favourite spots in the city. I adore The Met (metmuseum.org) – pop in to see the current Camp exhibition – and The Brant Foundation (brantfoundation.org) on the Lower East Side is a hidden treasure. It’s a beautifully restored townhouse, which showed an incredible Basquiat exhibition in the winter. For food, go off the beaten track – I love a tiny authentic sushi restaurant called Taiki (134 Nevins St) in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill. The staff are friendly, the vibe is romantic and the food is so fresh. Then there’s a wonderful upscale piano bar called Bemelmans at The Carlyle Restaurant (35 E 76th St) where I love to go for a drink, listen to the live music and admire the beautiful Ludwig Bemelmans mural. Elsewhere for music, Four Horsemen (fourhorsemenbk.com) in Brooklyn is a buzzy wine bar by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. But once in a while, I love escaping the buzz of the city to my friend's farm in Connecticut, Thistledown Farm (thistledownfarmnc.com) – they grow vegetables and keep animals – farm fresh eggs are the best.’

Gapstow Bridge, Central Park
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Bonsai Museum
Magnolia Plaza, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Bemelmens, The Carlyle Restaurant
The Plaza

CREATIVE CONSULTANT and influencer

NICOLE WARNE

‘I’d love to stay at the Meadow Suite at Crosby Street Hotel (firmdalehotels.com) in Soho – it has its own garden terrace with trees and a lawn – waking up there to do yoga would be the best way to start the day. For the daytime, the American Museum of Natural History (amnh.org) is great for all ages – I love astronomy, and inside the museum there is the Hayden Planetarium, where films about the universe are projected onto the dome roof. And right next door is Central Park – I love every minute there, it never gets old. For brunch, head to ABCV in Flatiron District for vegan bites (abchome.com/dine/abcv/), where the decor is light and the food is delicious – order the almond pancakes and green cold-pressed juice. Jajaja Plantas Mexicana (jajajamexicana.com) on the Lower East Side is wonderful for vegan Mexican and Chinese Tuxedo (chinesetuxedo.com) in Chinatown is a great place to start the night with dumplings and friends. Afterwards, head for rooftop drinks – you can’t get more New York than a rooftop bar, it makes the city below feel even more magical. The Roof at Public (215 Chrystie St) or The William Vale (thewilliamvale.com) in Williamsburg are always buzzing with contagious New Yorker energy. Finish the night at Pieces in Greenwich Village (piecesbar.com) – the oldest gay bar in New York – to dance the night away.’

Left: The Roof at Public. Right: Entrance at Public
Roof terrace at The William Vale 
Meadow Suite, Crosby Street Hotel

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, TIBI

AMY SMILOVIC

‘I love wandering around Downtown – there’s so much history. When we moved the Tibi offices to Wall Street I re-read Edward Rutherford's novel New York – most of it takes place right outside of our studio doors (one of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, is buried across the street at Trinity Church). From the ropes on sea merchants’ doors to how streets got their names, everything takes on an added layer of meaning. Also in Downtown, I love the Bar Room at the Beekman Hotel (thebeekman.com) – there's a luxurious and old-world feeling that is curiously modern at the same time. Museums and art galleries are where I always find our next colour story for the label. If you have a membership to the Whitney Museum of American Art (whitney.org), it gives you special early access to attend exhibitions – the exhibition on painting colour from the 1960s is the starting point for our Pre-Fall 2020 palette. For shopping, I love Canal Street Market (265 Canal St) – I treasure the range of people living in NYC and this market offers amazing stalls from the various communities. One of my favourites is Bonsai Kakigori, which serves Japanese shaved ice – the coconut lime cream is to die for. If you have time, head north from Manhattan for a few hours to Lake Placid Lodge (lakeplacidlodge.com) in the Adirondacks – it’s magic, so still and not a soul in sight.’

Manhattan skyline
Spilling Over: Painting Color In The 1960s exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art

DESIGNER and creative director

MARA HOFFMAN

‘Culture in New York for me really depends on what show is up and where – I would most likely be walking through Chelsea for openings or going to any of the museums depending on the exhibits. My favourite thing to do is walk through the city – it’s a place where you can walk for hours at a time. I love to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge in the morning, it gets my head straight. If the city wasn’t home, I’d have to stay at The Carlyle (35 E 76th St) – it is a New York City institution. I don’t really drink, but if I had a craving I would choose Hotel Delmano (hoteldelmano.com) in Brooklyn to meet a friend. It's classic and cozy spot for great conversations. For food I love Souen (326 E 6th St) in the East Village – I always feel nourished by the food. Order the sautéed kale, the macro plate and the Saikyo-miso black cod. I also really love Aurora (70 Grand St) in Williamsburg; everything on the menu is amazing. When I need to escape the bustle, I try to spend as many days a week as possible upstate with my family.’

Left: Chelsea, Manhattan. Right: Williamsburg Bridge
The Carlyle Restaurant

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