97 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
We recently stayed at the freshly-minted Hoxton in Williamsburg and were sorely tempted to play hooky from the office and work from the lobby instead. Communal tables, rich velvet sofas (nab a seat by the fire), dependable Wi-Fi, and floods of natural light make the space a freelancer’s dream. As for the guest rooms, they are labeled as ‘cozy’ or ‘roomy.’ But size really doesn’t matter when you can lie in an insanely comfortable bed piled with pillows and stare at the Manhattan skyline (while devouring the chia puddings delivered every morning). An unexpected delight was the dining scene, the food at the Hoxton's two restaurants is absolutely top notch. You cannot go wrong with the blistered chicken, a bowl of ridiculously indulgent cacio e pepe, with a side of roasted cauliflower, eaten sprawled out in the plush, textural lobby with a friend as we did—made better only by a few glasses of Beaujolais. We also love to frequent the other, equally thoughtful and beautifully turned-out Hoxton properties in London, Amsterdam, Paris, and, most recently Portland.
Robin Evans Brows
611 Broadway, Suite 709
Face-framing, feathery brows are Robin Evans’ specialty. Over her almost 30 years of experience, she’s figured out the perfect technique: you sit upright while she uses a combination of waxing, tweezing, trimming,and tinting to perfect your brows. Evans’ likes to keep the area beneath the brow clean and polished, while leaving the top’s natural, for perfect-amount-of-groomed brows. (Bonus: She also does facials using Tata Harper products.)
Ode à la Rose
120 W 28th St., Chelsea
Ode à la Rose founders Olivier Plusquellec and Louis Brunet are Parisian. And to be Parisian means to know beauty—and in this case, flowers. When they moved to NYC, they were disappointed to see all the dehydrated, wilted, sad arrangements on offer. So disappointed, they decided to start their own floral delivery service: Ode à la Rose. Plusquellec and Brunet started small, working with a few florists who trained in the specific style of hand-tied bouquets that the French have mastered—and they've only grown since. At their NYC location (above the Chelsea Flower Market), the team creates incredible arrangements with accents straight from Plusquellec and Brunet's home country: gigantic, plump fuchsia roses delivered with French macarons; lilies, wildflowers, and lavender accented with eucalyptus and wrapped in raffia. No detail is too small—the packaging, the richness of the hue of the flower, you name it—and they’re experts in keeping the flowers hydrated during transit. The team delivers throughout the Northeast, as well as Chicago, where they have a sister location. We're just hoping a West Coast outpost isn’t far behind.
1434 Dekalb Ave., Bushwick
In this part of Bushwick, Dweebs (on the corner of Dekalb and Wilson) acts as the neighborhood’s communal office, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a small, flower-filled patio to draw in the area’s creative minds. There are outlets everywhere and a printer that actually works. And as any local will tell you: The bagels and coffee are the best you’ll find off the Jefferson L train stop. Photo courtesy of Bridget Kenny.
Citizens of Gramercy
362 2nd Ave., Gramercy
Like so many of the city’s best new cafés, this Gramercy spot was opened by a team of Aussies in a neighborhood that could do with a couple more stellar cafés (there’s another in Chelsea). The food skews healthy, and we love the all-day breakfast—especially the smoked salmon eggs, which come with a roasted beet labneh. The coffee house scene transitions to wine and cocktails at night, so after working for a few hours during the day, you won’t have to go far to unwind with a different sort of beverage.
69 Grand St., Williamsburg
A massive roaster occupies the front half of this vast Williamsburg café, adding an industrial vibe to this otherwise cheerful, sunlight-flooded brick space near the East River. Arrive early to snag a seat (this is freelancer HQ for the surrounding blocks, and tables go quickly), but once you’re in, there’s strong Wi-Fi and stronger coffee. We especially appreciate the daily newspapers and magazines available for catching up on the news the old-school way.
The Rose Bar
2 Lexington Ave., Midtown
By night, the Rose Bar comes alive, often with the who’s who of New York’s music, art, and fashion scenes thanks to a packed roster of cultural events. But we love to dip into the blush-colored bar for a cocktail in the early afternoon, when the scene is more mellow. Sinking into those pink velvet seats and simply admiring the beautiful rosy décor after a long day running around the city is—in our book—a form of therapy. Walls are heavy with works from the twentieth century’s heavy hitters like Richard Prince, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and in the depths of a New York winter, when the limestone fireplace is lit, there is nowhere cozier for an afternoon cocktail.
Union Square Cafe
101 E. 19th St., Midtown
The iconic Union Square Cafe moved from its namesake location to the corner of 19th and Park two years ago. The new space has all the charm of the original—subtle furnishings, great art, and the best service in New York City—but with more room, and more importantly, more barstools. This is one of those Danny Meyer establishments you can always rely on for a solid, even excellent, supper. A plate of Bibb and red oak leaf lettuces with a mustardy vinaigrette fools us into a healthy start every time. Following with those perfect knuckles of ricotta gnocchi in tomato sauce and ending with the banana tart is an order we rarely deviate from. Even people who hate bananas love this tart, improved only by the accompaniment of a glass of Sauternes. Trust.
130 W. 44th St., Midtown
In its former life as the home to America's first professional theatrical club, the Lambs, this Midtown hotel was a hangout for the entertainment world’s brightest stars, like Irving Berlin and Fred Astaire, to name a couple. Today, it’s The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel—one of Manhattan’s under-the-radar gems, where its relatively small size (just seventy-six guest rooms) makes it a good choice for visitors who are turned off by the busyness of the megahotels nearby. The interior is an ode to its Art Deco history, which has the delightful feel of a glamorous ocean liner, and we love the fun little details (like backgammon sets, playing cards, and copies of The Great Gatsby) in the rooms.
402 Atlantic Ave., Boerum Hill
Designed by Australian potter Shelley Simpson and handmade in her Sydney studio, Mud Australia’s products are distinguished by their unique finish. Simpson only glazes the interior of her pieces, so the bottoms of the bowls and plates maintain a raw texture that actually becomes softer over time as they’re handled day-to-day. Despite their unique textural qualities, each piece is built for everyday use—everything is microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe. You'll also find the full range at the Mud Australia Store x ABC Home on Broadway.
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