Words by Laura Brown.
With fashion season headlining, the streets are becoming catwalks and New York hotels hangouts for invitees. It is here where we find solace in amongst galleries, diners and boutiques in the Lower East Side (LES). Whilst the property graze has swept the city streets of the LES from character buildings, a few industrial icons have been left untouched.
Where to stay:
If you ever have a reason to be fashionably late, this is it – The Ludlow NYC. A solid red brick build with granite inlayed floors and large beams to hold the structure, is boutique hotel The Ludlow. The less is more approach of the outside is contradicted on the inside. Rustic oak-panelled walls, steel fixtures and chandeliers play tribute to its neighbourhood history. An opulent bed, large framed windows, wooden floors, hand-made silk rugs and bathrooms with brass fixtures and a paned window to catch the view of the borough from the soaking tub – the rooms are bold and chic. The terrace rooms are our absolute favourite with their open space, large cosy beds (perfect for breakfast in bed), and sheers holding back the city lights. At night, the flower-patterned curtains close out of habit, although it would be just as nice to see the lights dim and be woken by the morning sun, followed by coffee on our private terrace, all in the midst of the already buzzing Big Apple. Breakfast is delicious and served in Dirty French, as well as brunch, lunch, dinner and desserts. Drinks are winking back to the ‘Speak Easy-era’ as the menu mixes in some classics – all under the same roof and behind that same reclaimed mortar-and-brick outer wall.
Where to go for coffee:
If you have time to sit-down, visit Coffee Project, where lattes and brews are reinvented and stories are told. Or take one to-go, you’re just really missing out on the whole experience of sipping coffee out of a cocktail glass.
Where to go for lunch:
The owner of Ivan Ramen learned his tricks in Japan, where he created his own noodles with a western twist and brought them back to NYC, edging off his cooking skills to the style of the fine Japanese kitchen.
Where to go for dinner and drinks:
Besides a delightful sit down at Dirty French in The Ludlow, the neighbourhood offers anything from Korean Gastro-Pub food at Ms Yoo, to delicious vegetable dishes simply rooted from the soil, as the name says it, at Dirt Candy or book a table to enjoy the evening in the vintage pawnshop Beauty & Essex for a wonderful dinner and drinks.
Where to shop:
LES is the lesser-known area of Manhattan, yet fashion forerunners find their way to its smaller boutiques and vintage stores. From Scandinavian brands in Tictail Market to old and new mixed at Reformation, and vintage accessories for modern wear at Edith Machinist or for edgy design head to Maryam Nassir Zadeh.
The walk around LES is enjoyable for the senses, even on high-heeled footwear, therefore any newly opened boutiques and cafes that might cross your path will be worth a visit. Or mimic the locals and hail down a cab, head back to your hotel for an after work drinks and dinner, before a soak in the bath and a glimpse of the evening city lights from your terrace retreat.