Travel

Midtown

Establishment neighborhood
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.
The Chatwal
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.
Face Gym NYC
Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., Midtown,
Sessions here range from 30 to 75 minutes and are designed to “work out” the muscles in the face to release tension, support circulation, and ultimately have a beautifully sculpting, lifting effect. Each treatment starts with a warm up before going into cardio, sculpting, and cool-down therapies. Your trainer begins by gently using the knuckles to work in cleanser. With swift hand-flicking and pinching techniques the therapy gets under way, tapering off with deep finger sculpting for contouring: The trainer’s fingers dance over your face to help de-puff and stimulate lymphatic drainage. It’s different, fantastic, and feels both rejuvenating and soothing.
ReCover
360 7th Ave., 4th Fl., Midtown
Whether you need to recover from a tough workout or detox after an especially indulgent weekend, there are a variety of high-tech treatments to try alone or build into a package. Try combining a CVAC session, where you sit inside a hyperbaric chamber while the barometric pressure is adjusted to reportedly support circulation and detoxification, with a nap using the NuCalm device, which claims to be a miraculously restorative 30-minute snooze. Finish with a session inside the Sunlighten mPulse Sauna, where you can customize the ratio of near, mid, and far infrared rays.
Floating Lotus
39 W. 56th St., Penthouse, Midtown
There are tons of treatment options at this wellness hideout inside the penthouse on a particularly hectic block of Midtown. From a targeted acupuncture and cupping session with founder Joel Granik to a float inside a sensory deprivation tank (that's thought to mimic the body’s experience in the womb) to Reiki healing and yoga classes taught in a gorgeous white room with a glass ceiling, everything here aims to balance and restore the body’s chi. There’s an infrared sauna and a salt cave; the walls of the latter are made from hundreds of pounds of Himalayan salt bricks, which infuse the air with negative ions while you relax on a massage bed.
Bien Cuit
89 E 42nd St., Midtown
One of Cobble Hill’s favorite artisanal bakeries, Bien Cuit recently opened shop in Manhattan’s Grand Central Market. Husband and wife Zachary Golper and Kate Wheatcroft offer the same hits they do in Brooklyn, including the apple cardamom Danish (puréed apple, vanilla pastry cream, cardamom-almond streusel) and the orange, coriander and olive oil pound cake, made with fresh orange juice and ground coriander. After you’ve picked up a few baguettes to save for later, stroll around the market, stop by Murray’s Cheese and Spices and Tease (an Italian-American specialty spice shop), and remind yourself that yes, in fact, you are in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
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