The Classic New York City Guide
Laced with history and patina, there’s good reason that New York City is often cited as America’s crowning jewel. Here, some of its most iconic spots.
Barneys New York194 Atlantic Ave., Cobble Hill | 718.637.2234
Barneys buyers are famous for having an eye for spotting trends and designers—and then making them huge. The flagship store on Madison always has incredible, over-the-top displays, plus one of the best buys in the city. The shoe department, in particular, is great. There's also a location on the Upper West Side and in Chelsea.
Bergdorf Goodman754 5th Ave., Midtown | 212.753.7300
The beautiful art deco interiors come with top-notch service here, where you’ll find a classic buy of all the designer lines. We especially love the seventh floor for its inspired home goods section, which includes designers like Kelly Wearstler and John Derian. At holiday time, their ornament selection definitely stands out. (And their men's store down the block is wonderful.)
Blue Tree1283 Madison Ave., Upper East Side | 212.369.2583
Phoebe Cates and Lisa Matlin's boutique is pretty great: Downstairs, you’ll find really beautiful jewelry and a great assortment of toys, including hand-painted Russian dolls and Keith Haring dominoes. Upstairs, you'll find clothes from little known designers, especially for the neighborhood, like Ally Capellino handbags and Yoshi Kondo dresses. It's not surprising it's a hit on the Upper East Side, as it brings uniqueness and discovery back to a neighborhood that’s generally dominated by big brands.
Fivestory18 E. 69th St., Upper East Side | 212.288.1338
Young proprietor Clare Distenfeld (she's in her twenties), opened up this exquisitely outfitted Deco townhouse in 2012. While space is tight, she brings together an impeccable edit of men's, women's, and kid's clothing plus gorgeous jewelry, shoes, bags, and home goods. The mix of names we already love in ready-to-wear (Carven, Acne, Preen) plus the stream of unknowns she continually introduces make this a pretty great new addition to the neighborhood's shopping scene.
Jeffrey449 W. 14th St., Chelsea | 212.206.1272
At this legendary boutique—an early pioneer in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area—you'll find all the big brands from Alaia to Dries van Noten to Prada, each with its own rack and an eager sales person nearby. The house DJ in his booth may be a sign of better times now past, but it's still a worthy shopping venue. (And if you're ever in Atlanta, you have to go to the original.)
Zoë68 Washington St., Dumbo | 718.237.4002
We'd venture to say that Lisa Brock is a true Brooklyn pioneer, being the first to bring runway fashion to Dumbo. Right in the middle of the now bustling (and continuously developing) neighborhood, you’ll find Lanvin, Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo, and more in this light-filled, sprawling, space.
Creel and Gow131 E. 70th St., Upper East Side | 212.327.4281
Jamie Creel and Christopher Gow are serious collectors who spend much of their time traveling the world sourcing far-flung objects for their townhouse shop. We go just to see the wacky and elegant displays that mix coral and taxidermy, Suzani textiles and kitschy South African ceramics. It’s a real mix with prices to match, and if you’re looking for a truly offbeat gift—like say, a hand-blown glass hammer and nails—chances are you’ll find it here.
Aedes Perfumery7 Greenwich Ave., West Village | 212.206.8674
This gorgeous, dark, and almost gothic spot in the West Village brings all the best small and unknown perfumers together in one room. From Diptyque and Frederic Malle to lesser known brands like Agonist, and Aedes' own brand (they've now developed several scents), there's a lot to take in, so ask the guys to help you narrow down the selection.
A La Vieille Russie745 5th Ave., Midtown | 212.752.1727
The owners of this elegant jewelry store in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel have been in the antiques and fine jewelry business since 1851 when the family opened their first shop in Kiev. They specialize in antique jewelry, with a focus on Fabergé and other European lines. You could get lost for an entire afternoon ogling the gorgeous pieces with no intention to buy, but it's a great destination when you're looking for an exceptionally special gift.
Saks Fifth Avenue611 5th Ave., Midtown | 212.753.4000
Taking up an entire city block and 10 sprawling floors, the Saks 5th Avenue flagship on Fifth Avenue is as massive as it is well stocked. In fact, its shoe department is so huge that it has its own zip code. Also on premise, an Elizabeth Arden Red Door salon, a nail art studio, and several restaurants.
BK Antiques306 E. 61st St., 2nd Fl., Upper East Side | 212.888.8930
Led by Barbara Kirshbaum, who has been on more than 120 buying trips to Europe and Asia, BK Antiques carries furniture, lighting, accessories, original artwork, and silver from the 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century. BK Antiques also has an exclusive collection of limited editions: high-end desk accessories; a series of small “drinks” tables in wood, iron, and stone; oak console tables; barstools; wastebaskets and custom iron and wood benches.