Best for timeless design
18 Jay St, Tribeca and 636 Hudson St, West Village
If you want to truly shop local, you can’t go past Annelore. Juliana Cho handmakes the whimsical silk dresses, blouses and coats that adorn her Tribeca atelier. The prices reflect the quality of her garments and the handiwork that has gone into every pleat and tuck of her 30-piece collection, but these are clothes which will see you through many a trend cycle.
Best for secret style
18 East 69th St, Upper East Side
Located in a whisper-quiet street just off Madison Avenue, Fivestory’s townhouse location and discreet signage will make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret style coven for the New York fashionista and, indeed, this boutique carries a finely curated collection for those who are steeped in fashion knowledge and prepared to invest in it. Swoon over decadent Giambattista Valli creations just off the Paris catwalk and the minimalist lines of Cushnie et Ochs. Up the grand staircase, you’ll find daywear through to eveningwear, and a small but to-die-for collection of shoes spanning ladylike heels from Salvatore Ferragamo and Gianvito Rossi to flats by Chloé. Accessories, gifts and delightful children’s clothing can be found on the ground floor.
Best for fine homewares
THE APARTMENT BY THE LINE
3rd Floor, 76 Greene St, SoHo
If you’ve ever imagined what a typical SoHo loft might look like inside, then The Apartment by The Line is the place for you. In an 1872 cast iron building on Greene Street, the loft’s luxe decor is styled as though the apartment is a home. Every item is thoughtfully curated to tempt expenditure, with Georg Jensen silverware, Lasvit lighting fixtures, Corriedale wool stitch blankets, and Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe photos among the delights. But it is the vintage items that pull the whole picture together: Moroccan rugs, exquisite enamelled silver teaspoons from the nineteenth century and Japanese lacquer boxes. Only open Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Best for fashionistas
DOVER STREET MARKET NEW YORK
160 Lexington Ave, Midtown East
The retail concept store founded by Rei Kawakubo, the visionary behind the Japanese label Comme des Garçons, Dover Street Market is a seven-floor wonderland of the most fashion-forward kind. Comme des Garçons leads a constellation of designers that orbit around an avant-garde sensibility. Prada, Nina Ricci, Jil Sander and Victoria Beckham inject gorgeousness into the proceedings, and the overall effect is fun bazaar rather than high temple of fashion. The onsite Rose Bakery is a cut above your average fuel stop on this strip of Lexington Avenue.
Best for heirloom jewels
DOYLE & DOYLE
412 West 13th St, Meatpacking District
A trove of antique, vintage and estate jewellery, Doyle & Doyle is a collector’s haunt for its resplendent range of antique jewels dating all the way back to Georgian times (1747–1837) and through to the Retro Moderne era (1937–1950). Its Art Deco selection is to die for, and if you want a one-of-a-kind engagement ring to symbolise your once-in-a-lifetime union, and can play in the price range such heirlooms command, its collection is unsurpassed.
Best for the big names in art
555 West 24th St, Chelsea; 522 West 21st St, Chelsea; 980 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side.
Revered and unrivalled, Gagosian’s roster is a who’s who of modern and contemporary art. Andreas Gursky, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, Damien Hirst, Dennis Hopper, Alberto Giacometti and Cy Twombly are among the titans Gagosian has exhibited. With galleries in London, Athens, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Geneva and Beverly Hills, it has a stake in every major art market, but New York is its seat of power, with three galleries on the Upper East Side and two in Chelsea. The Gagosian Shop, close to its Madison Avenue gallery, is a melange of unusual objects, catalogues and art tomes.
Best for intimate art
THE FRICK COLLECTION
1 East 70th St, Upper East Side
To enter Henry Clay Frick’s mansion on Fifth Avenue is to cross the threshold into a bygone era. The New York of the Gilded Age was awash with wealth from the growth of industrialisation, though the spoils belonged to very few. Frick used some of his fortune to collect objects and artworks that pleased him, with the intention that both his home and his collection would one day become the Frick Collection. The museum is preserved as the opulent home it was in its day. Wander the 16 galleries where 18th-century French furniture, oriental carpets and Limoges enamels create a sumptuous setting for the superb Old Masters on the walls. Works by Rembrandt, Degas, Goya and Titian are held in a collection that rivals any larger museum, but it’s the intimate setting that makes it one of the city’s unmissable cultural experiences.
Best for unique finds
ELIZABETH STREET GALLERY
209 Elizabeth St, NoLIta
Elizabeth Street is known for being fashion central, so happening upon a life-size bronze horse in a shop window is a tad unexpected and immediately intriguing. The hunt for the unusual continues inside what was once a New York fire station: a pair of stone griffins stand like sentinels near the entrance; an 18th-century French gaming table is a fascinating insight into the pastimes of the upper class; and a 19th-century Dutch iron safe with an intricate locking system promises to keep its owner’s secrets. Exceptional and very upscale, Elizabeth Street Gallery is a place of inspiration (even if the price tag was less than $40K for those griffins, how would you get them home?).
Elizabeth Street Gallery
Best for topnotch vintage
217 Mott St, NoLIta
Upscale vintage at the modern end of the spectrum, Resurrection’s meticulously curated range spans the 1960s right up to the mid 2000s. With designer clothing as lustworthy now as it was when it first hit the catwalk at Chanel, Gucci, Hermés, Karl Lagerfeld and Issey Miyake (to call out just a few of its superb labels), Resurrection is the place to go to hunt for that Tom Ford for YSL skirt you wished you’d bought the first time around back in 2002, or a piece of fashion posterity from before Yves Saint Laurent became Saint Laurent.
Best for glass rainbows
THE END OF HISTORY
548 Hudson St, West Village
If you’ve always hankered after a little Mad Men styling in your home, the End of History is the place to pick up mid-century glassware and ceramics in all the colours of the rainbow. Its eye-popping technicolour window displays are a West Village beacon, especially when lit up at night, and inside a dazzling collection of approximately 10,000 pieces, artfully arranged by hue, awaits. Owner Stephen Saunders has an exceptional eye and has pickers scouring estate sales and auctions all over the world for his store’s precious finds, with an emphasis on Italy, Scandinavia, Germany and the US. There’s also the occasional figurine and some Art Deco objects from the 1930s. Stunning.
Best for inspirational fashion
37 Great Jones St, NoHo
Avant-garde meets exquisite at this fashion industry haunt. Dear: Rivington+ is my number one pick for inspirational fashion. The store features a mix of monochromatic couture – Comme des Garçons is a showstopper in this whitewashed space. The owners have an eye for vintage furniture (Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and J.Crew have been known to use Moon and HeyJa’s pieces in shop fitouts), lighting and curios, which can be found downstairs and shipped anywhere.
Dine, drink & stay
Best for accommodation with a twist
GRAMERCY PARK HOTEL
2 Lexington Avenue, New York
Gramercy Park was first conceived in the 1830s, based on the model of a private English garden. The park’s gates were locked in 1844, and since then only residents of the buildings that border the park have been allowed to use it. If your heart is set on entering this exclusive oasis, you could stay at the boho luxe 1920s-era Gramercy Park Hotel. They have 12 keys and you are escorted in and out of the park by hotel staff, so closely guarded is access. Nearby is Danny Meyer’s iconic Gramercy Tavern.
Best for dining
200 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn
Follow the stars and dine at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, for the borough’s only three Michelin-starred dining experience. Eighteen spots at the kitchen counter, a 15-course degustation inspired by Japanese cuisine (which changes daily), and a spot so hard to come by it’s booked out within minutes of the Monday morning reservation openings (for six weeks in advance). One way of securing this once-in-a lifetime dining experience could be to host a private event!
Best for intimate drinks
8 Stuyvesant St, New York
Japanese speakeasy Angel’s Share is located upstairs behind an unmarked door in a Japanese restaurant. This tiny two-room establishment, with a celestial mural above the elegant bar, is heavenly for all the right reasons: gifted mixologists, intimate (no parties larger than four), civilised (no standing at the bar) and romantic.