Mini Moon to New York CityWords by Carolyn Gerin Images by Parris Whittingham Photography
New York: as many times as I’ve been there, adrenaline hits my bloodstream like a double espresso: discovery, innovation and possibilities await– a feeling akin to falling in love.
There’s no shortage of prose exalting the city that never sleeps. Everyone from your cab driver to your concierge has an opinion – a thesis – on what constitutes the best and brightest. In New York – your experience is nothing short of curated.
What makes it honeymoon perfect? The little treasures you can call your own for years to come: that Italian joint in the Village, or the cocktail lounge playing ‘your song’ in the Lower East Side. You may want to spend a few weeks, or a few days before you embark on a more elaborate island adventure. Either way, if it’s a ‘mini-moon’ in New York you seek, the Big Apple is always ripe for you to take a big bite.
Arrival: Thompson Hotel Lower East Side
Edgy, mod, warm and cool, the Thompson is at the epi-center of where you want to be: the grittier, urban edge of New York back in the day (the ghost of CBGB’s nearby). Grab a libation at the poolside lounge, Above Allen before you head to Shang to sample Susur Lee’s global Chinese culinary wizardry. Jetlagged? Head back to your sleek, industrial-chic room, Ryan McGinness graphics, and sweeping views of the famed Bowery. The concierge staff is stellar, scoring reservations anywhere you desire.
Brekky means blintzes at historic Katz’s Deli. Wander over to Mercer Street and Soho for superior shopping and pick out a Project-Runway-worthy ensemble for your Mr. and Mrs. big night out.
A Bowery-British-Colonial-Indian-Singapore mash-up of fabulous food and décor makes Double Crown and Madame Geneva a double dip of a date. Dinner is divine with a smattering of spicy, sweet, tangy flavors and Asian influences under the expert eye of Chef de Cuisine, Chris Rendell. Try the duck steamed buns, caramelized pork belly, salt and pepper squid, prawn dumplings, marrow with dipping bread, and braised short-ribs for sharing. Transfixed, we enter a “secret door” which reveals the lounge at the Madame; exquisite libations include elaborate jam-infused drinks, and obscure gin offerings. Amidst moody, lamp-lit, brocade lace and velvet walls, the 18th century vibe is otherworld.
Tear around the LES, pop into rock clubs, and hang with the skinny jean set. When you hear the siren call of Iggy Pop you know you are in Motor City. Grab a pint and groove on old MC5 from your car-seat couch. For a more upscale, urban cocktailing experience, reserve a table (after 10pm) at Death and Company.
Pack up for the Meatpacking District
Switch gears and head to The Gansevoort, a stunning urban luxury retreat in the center of the Meatpacking district (across the street from Carrie Bradshaw’s haunt Pastis). With a 360-view of the Hudson from your chic-meets-minimalist suite rendered in soothing neutrals, life is very good. The shopping is lethal: Jeremy’s, Ports 1961, Dannijo Showroom, and Catherine Malandrino. Enjoy a glass of bubbly and view the sunset from your private lounge before dinner at the Spice Market. Styled like an Indian bazaar in shades of tangerine and teak, you are transported to a very glamorous souk. From your pillow-lined divan, enjoy a ginger-tamarind martini and a plate of samosas before you order a sampling of coconut milk shrimp cakes, green papaya salad, chili crusted short ribs, and ginger fried rice. Plate sharing preferred, you’ll want to try everything!
If bedtime is still hours away, head up to the Gansevoort’s Plunge for poolside luxury, and a nightcap. Channel your inner-international rock star and rub elbows with NYC’s bright young things.
Shower off the day in the spectacular shower/steam sauna and get ready for a relaxing and romantic respite (don’t forget the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign!).
After a delicious continental breakfast at the Gansevoort’s Tanuki Tavern (a Japanese gastro-pub which also serves yummy small plates later) grab a Time Out Magazine, be culture vultures, and explore exhibitions at Metropolitan Museum of Art or edgier galleries like Mary Boone.
How about wine tasting? In NYC? It’s always wine o’clock at City Winery, brainchild of Michael Dorf, founder of the iconic Knitting Factory, showcasing headlining jazz acts, sublime wines, and a yummy tastings menu with standouts like flatbread pizza and cassolet. Rustic and wood-lined, the space is expansive and intimate, a shot of wine country in the city. Grab a seat stage left, sit back and let it happen.
If you seek to avoid the beachside-resort-blur – NYC neighborhoods have delightful and disparate differentiation. Revel in discovery, urban treks, spectacular food, great fashion finds, hi-lo experiences (the perfect pizza!), nightlife, or a moonlight dance on the roof of your hotel. Before you know it, you’ll have your special honeymoon spots that you’ll return to forever.
You want to be a part of it: New York.
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