Sure, we’ve spent our fair share of time scouring the retail and restaurant scene of New York City’s streets, but it seems as though there’s always new inspiration popping up on every corner (and across the bridge). Skip the crowded streets and breakneck speed, and check out this snapshot from the Big Apple and beyond.
Jing Fong – Chinatown
We hustled to Chinatown (early) to line up for this Dim Sum spot, which involved fighting a crowd of locals to get up an escalator to enter an enormous grand hall with a traditional Chinese ambiance. Food carts bustle around to deliver varieties of the authentic cuisine. Order cards are given to guests, and every time you take an item off the cart, your food ticket is punched. From steamed buns and dumplings to chicken feet and egg rolls, you can quickly fill up fast. Afterwards I swore I’d never be hungry again, for a few hours anyway.
Brooklyn – DUMBO
We worked off the dim sum walking across the Manhattan Bridge to the DUMBO area (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). While the familiar acronym has been around for almost 40 years, it hasn’t been until that last 20 years of gentrification for the area’s industrial past that its become more commonly known. Home to tech start ups, big brands, and independent this is where art, business, and leisure meet.
A perfect little pitstop for anyone strolling through Front Street is the Front General Store. As a curator of vintage goods, clothing and accessories, this intimate space has a million stories to share and is getting some serious recognition with a place on GQ’s 2017 list of the 25 Best New Stores in the World. While the product collection might speak for itself, I experienced, hands down, the best customer service from the storeowner, Hide.
Kith Treats – Williamsburg
Fashion and food always seem to be connected by trends, so why not sneakers and cereal? Founded by footwear industry titan Ronnie Fieg, the front partition of this sneaker shop is a “cereal bar” mixing up cereal, specialty milks, and assorted toppings. Guests can select from 24 brand name cereals packaged shoeboxes (of course) to create their own breakfast inspired creations. Once you’ve had your fill you can check out the mash up of in house designs and curated brands of footwear and apparel.
Apple – Brooklyn
Go home Apple, you’re drunk. But really though look at this apple store! I did a double take when I saw that blade sign. To fit in with local architecture the brand even rebuilt the archway entry to reflect its original historic state. Inside brick walls and concrete floors find balance with warehouse lighting and timber ceilings. Honoring this culturally rich area, Apple has even gone as far as employing as staff that speaks 38 different languages.
Todd Snyder – Flatiron
With the brand’s first U.S. flagship debut in October, this store has mastered the art of the shop-in-shop. Todd Snyder branded products are presented alongside a curated selection of collaborating partners including Champion, Moscot, while sunglasses, footwear, and toiletries all divided up into their own department. Apparel aside, the 5,700 sq. ft. space offers an in-house tailor, barbershop and whiskey bar for an elevated shopping experience.
Nike – Soho
In five stories and 55,000 square feet, Nike has successfully managed to bring together the digital and physical worlds of retail. In unexpected fashion, the whole first floor has no shoppable product, but instead is used as a museum for the AIR insole cushion—celebrating the 30th anniversary the technology. The next four floors focus on elements of personalized services including bra fitting and pant hemming, product trial zones–like a real-life half-court and hoop, and customization areas for exclusive NYC icons. Furthermore an impressive 54-foot dual-gender footwear wall shows the progressive merchandising strategy. Navigating all the immersive elements was a workout of its own!
Red Rooster – Harlem
Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson opened his first restaurant, Red Rooster in Harlem in 2010. As a celebration of comfort food and the cities rich neighborhood roots, this place is bustling with culture and music, and I had to come back for the food. Named in honor of the original Harlem speakeasy that attracted a vibrant community and noteworthy individuals like Nat King Cole, this space exudes a truly soulful energy right down to the original artwork on its walls.
World Trade Center
You’ve seen this already but I just wanted to reiterate what an amazing space and tasteful memorial to September 11th and hope for the future it represents. Notable elements of the memorial plaza are the two gigantic sunken fountains symbolizing remembrance and renewal that take up the entire footprint of the original Twin Tower buildings. Each pool approximately an acre in size lists the names and honors those lost.