I didn’t actually spend my whole weekend in New York crying, I did manage to get out and see a few cool things. Okay sometimes I did both, so sue me.
#1. Julian Schnabel’s pink townhouse. There are few words that accurately describe the fantastic, fairytale grotesquerie that is Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi. The above photo doesn’t come close to doing it justice, and not just because my camera’s a piece of crap. I was expecting to be shocked by the color, which I wasn’t (it’s not Pepto-Bismol or Bubblegum pink as the mags and blogs described it, it’s more of a washed cherry), but I was BLOWN AWAY by the architectural heinousness of it. Imagine if Donatella Versace and Paris Hilton collaborated on an extravagantly gaudy, 11-story Italian villa and then decided to paint it pink and plop it down on top of a 3-story historic West Village stable building overlooking the Hudson river. I wasn’t expecting to hate it– I’m pretty open-minded about these things– but good lord, it is god-awful.
#2 Lower East Side coolness. No, the Lower East Side isn’t what it used to be, but there are still good times to be had.
My insatiable sweet tooth loves this place.
PawnShop– gallery posing as an old school pawn shop. Tiny but oh so cool.
TG-170, one of my 3 favorite clothing boutiques in NYC. 9 out of 10 visits I’m there browsing their wares just for creative inspiration.
Also– Cake Shop for a coffee and a muffin. Every girl about town’s gotta take a break sometimes.
#3. Dinner at The E.U. (photo courtesy of NY Magazine). I have a slight (okay, maybe greater than slight) obsession with the design shop AvroKO and begged my friends to pretty please come with me to check out their new restaurant in the East Village when I came to town. Good friends that they are they obliged, and we had a lovely, classic New York-in-February meal under big windows that began at 9:30 and ended somewhere around 4 hours later. Service could have been better (“abysmal” per Jonah… I didn’t really notice), but the food was excellent, wine reasonably priced and atmosphere everything I was hoping. I couldn’t take my eyes off their gorgeous light fixtures.
#4. The Morgan Library. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never been to the Morgan, despite working 3 blocks away in the Empire State Building and having a best friend with an apartment around the corner. Maybe since I associated the neighborhood with work, I was always trying to evacuate the area as quickly as possible once the work whistle sounded, and wanted to stay far, far away on the weekends. Said friend with apartment around the corner had embarrassingly never been either so we decided to grab the shame by the horns and go on Sunday– and we were STUNNED by the beauty of the space. Forget the exhibits (though the current Irving Penn portraits are spectacular), the tall, airy atrium, original library and basement auditorium are what you go for. Even the glass elevators are cool! Well worth the $12 entrance fee and overpriced café lunch.
#5. Sol Moscot optometrist on 14th and 6th. True, Sol’s seriously lacking cool factor, but I have to give them a shout out for their always-incredible customer service. I love that they quickly pulled up my original file, gave me a new hard case for free and are replacing the lenses in my pricey sunglasses for $50. These are the guys who gave me my Chanel eyeglasses for the cost of the other no-name pair I was considering because they saw how much my heart (but not my wallet) was set on them. It’s one of those old school New York institutions that just make me happy.