January 2011

The New New York

Kids have been priced out of Manhattan. Bankers are once again going wild. Strange suburban pedestrian plazas have sprouted on Broadway. The city ain’t what it used to be, but certain essentials never change. For art, culture, food and shopping, there’s still no place like Gotham edited by Mayer Rus



The Cooper Union
The academic building designed for Cooper Union by Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects looks like it landed in the scrappy East Village from outer space. Along with many other signature Morphosis details, a veil of perforated stainless steel wraps the glass building. A curving lattice surrounds a 20-foot-wide grand stair that ascends four stories through the sky-lit atrium to create a vertical piazza.

The Imagination Playground Park
Not all contemporary-design landmarks come in glass and steel. This innovative playspace, designed by David Rockwell and Rockwell Group, beckons kids with a cascading water channel, rope-climbing structure, masts, pulleys and a “listening forest.” It’s a smash success among the junior-hellraiser set.

Neil M. Denari, the former director of the Southern California Institute of Architecture, isn’t missing out on the starchitect extravaganza in Chelsea. His folded glass-and-steel condo building, which cantilevers above the High Line, more than holds it own in the company of other luxury developments by internationally renowned talents.

The Museum of Arts and Design
Formerly the American Craft Museum, MAD sparked a controversy when it hired Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Archi­tecture to radically remake the quirky Huntington Hartford’s Gallery of Modern Art on Columbus Circle, a late-modern confection designed by Edward Durell Stone. Judge for yourself whether the new design merits inclusion in the modern pantheon of New York buildings.

Lincoln Center
The much loved and oft maligned cultural complex so intimately tied to the identity of New York has been under­going a 21st-century glamour makeover, courtesy of avant-garde architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The folks at DS+R have redone the master plan, reno­vated the iconic fountain and prome­nade, fiddled with Alice Tully Hall and Juilliard and added a restaurant pavilion with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof supporting a torqued grass lawn.

100 11th Avenue
It’s all about the windows at Jean Nouvel’s bravura luxury condominium building. A seemingly kinetic arrangement of multisize panes and steel frames dances across the curved, twinkling facade smack-dab in the middle of the high-style starchitecture parade in far west Chelsea.

200 Eleventh Avenue
Not to be outdone by the gents, architect Annabelle Selldorf created her own tricked-out luxury residential building in Chelsea, known as Sky Garage. One big draw: car elevators that allow you to drive right up to your front door. But for all the motor drama, the building is exceptional for its efforts to play nicely with the industrial structures that have long inhabited the neighborhood.

Metal Shutter Houses
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s condominium residences—yet another entry in Chelsea’s wonderland of design—utilize pivoting glass walls and monumental perforated metal shutters to manipulate light, views and spatial configurations. The motorized roll-up shutters, which can completely open the walls of the apartments to the outside, nod to the security gates of neighboring art galleries.

The New York
Not known for skyscrapers, Frank Gehry has finally gone up, up and away with a 76- story apartment building in Lower Manhattan, just south of City Hall. Wrapped in an undulating skin of stainless steel, the tower is the city’s tallest residential building. Realtors will begin showing units—more than 600 layouts, thanks to the architect’s design calisthenics—in the first quarter of 2011.

New Museum of Contemporary Art
This design by SANAA, a partnership of Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, spearheaded the revitalization of the Bowery. A stacked set of pristine boxes wrapped in a metal skin creates a beacon of contemporary art amid the hardworking restaurant-supply shops that have been a neighborhood mainstay for decades.

The IAC Building
Gehry struck the first blow for “wow” architecture in Chelsea with the billowing white forms of the worldwide headquarters of Barry Diller’s media empire. It looks as if a fractured iceberg floated across West Side Highway from the Hudson River.

The High Line
After years of planning, the once derelict remnant of an elevated railway that ran along the far west side of Manhattan from Greenwich Village to Midtown has been transformed into the most delightful urban park the city has seen in decades. Lifting pedestrians off the street, it offers views of the Hudson, the architecture of Chelsea and the ever vibrant street life below. Credit for revitalizing this former meeting point for transsexual hookers goes to Diller Scofidio + Renfro, James Corner Field Operations, Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf and graphics giant Pentagram, among many others.


The James
A welcome entry in the boutique category. Interiors are by Amanda Sullivan, an alumna of Studio Sofield (Soho Grand, Gucci). The penthouse was done by Dutch design star Piet Boon. Decorative-arts specialist Cristina Grajales assembled the adventurous furniture collection, and Matthew Jensen curated the art program. The James is giving the Mercer a run for its money as the chicest hotel in SoHo.

The Setai
Experience the luxury side of Zen at this Asian-flavored recent arrival to Midtown. The hotel was designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, whose credits include the 1992 addition to the Guggenheim. The largely monochromatic interiors are crisp and modern, and the lavish signature spa keeps the sybarites coming back for more.

The Greenwich
Robert De Niro’s TriBeCa hotel is a marvel of traditional hospitality and discretion. The design eschews va-va-voom in favor of eminently elegant, comfortable interiors with a retro vibe, very much in keeping with the spirit and history of the neighborhood. Its Locanda Verde restaurant is a big plus for gourmands.

Hipsters, bohemians and rock stars flock here for the quirky design by Roman and Williams, youthful energy and remarkably affordable (for New York) room rates. Dining options include the meat-centric Breslin Bar & Dining Room and the seafood-focused John Dory, both from the owners of the Spotted Pig. Stumptown Coffee Roasters keeps the caffeine flowing. For shopping, there’s a satellite of fashion mecca Opening Ceremony and the travel boutique No. 8A.

Crosby Street
On a quiet cobblestone street just slightly off buzzing SoHo’s beaten track, this hotel gooses the neighborhood’s sturdy cast-iron architecture with voluminous, light-filled public spaces designed around a collection of contemporary sculpture and painting. Guestrooms mix graphic stripes with abstract traditional patterns in a mercifully understated way, and the popular bar is jumpin’.

The Thompson LES
Decadent downtown glamour animates this Lower East Side outpost of the burgeoning Thompson hotel empire. Guestrooms have lightbox headboards by photographer Lee Friedlander; the outdoor pool has an Andy Warhol filmstrip photo transferred onto its floor; and Stephen Sprouse camouflage fabric proliferates in the lounge. Enough said.

Mandarin Oriental
Perched atop Time Warner Center, this paragon of old-school opulent hospitality has breathtaking views of the city and the Hudson. The brunch and spa are frequently extolled by locals. And the location is dandy, with Central Park just beyond the front door, Lincoln Center a few blocks north and Fifth Avenue shopping a mere 10-minute walk.

The Chatwal
In the heart of the theater district, this 1905 landmark by Stanford White once housed the Lambs, a profes­sional theatrical club. Architect Thierry Despont, known for his restoration of the Statue of Liberty and his interiors at the Getty Center, transformed the stately building into one of Midtown’s few true luxury lodgings, complete with a fab new restaurant and bar called the Lambs Club.

W Downtown
The conservative Financial District gets down and funky in signature W style. The bustling Living Room Bar & Terrace offers plenty of oppor­tunities to fritter away those Wall Street dividends under the twinkling lights of a trippy environmental-art installation developed by Graft.

The Mark
Pitched to well-heeled travelers with a taste for bold contemporary design, the Mark presents a vision of modern luxury that doesn’t sacrifice quality for fashion. Jacques Grange, dean of French decorating, and Parisian gallerist Pierre Passebon orchestrated an estimable collection of artists and designers, including Mattia Bonetti, Ron Arad, Vladimir Kagan and Paul Mathieu. Downtown hip meets uptown swank.


Sperone Westwater
Last fall, the attention of the international art world turned to this gallery on the once neglected Bowery. Designed by Norman Foster—with a double- height entry, a terrace and unexpected views of a pocket park—the narrow eight-floor building offers a variety of art-viewing experiences. The coup de theatre: a large elevator cum project room that moves between floors and challenges the traditionally static experience of looking at art.

Lehmann Maupin
While you’re enjoying the myriad art spaces now clustered around the New Museum, be sure not to miss this gallery’s satellite on Chrystie Street. The hard-edged architecture gestures to the once rough-and-tumble character of a neighborhood that is now rapidly gentrifying.

Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay (Mar. 18–June 5) toasts the abstract painter and multidisciplinary designer with an appropriately exuberant show featuring fashions from her own Atelier Simultané in Paris during the 1920s and fabrics designed for the Metz & Co. depart­ment store in Amsterdam in the ’30s. A candy-colored treat!

Gavin Brown
Currently the hippest of hip New York galleries, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise has more than doubled its space by annexing the meatpacking plant next door, which, like most of the abattoirs and packers in the Village, has decamped to less chic, and thus less expensive, environs. The new space provides a sprawling playground for contemporary- art darlings Rob Pruitt, Elizabeth Peyton, Urs Fischer and others.

The Public Art Fund
This spring brings three far-flung projects: Irish artist Eva Rothschild is creating a nearly 20-foot sculpture at Doris C. Freedman Plaza (5th Avenue and 60th Street) that will be a gateway to Central Park; provocateur Rob Pruitt is unveiling his monument to Andy Warhol in Union Square; and on the opposite end of the art spectrum, a collection of Sol LeWitt’s minimalist sculptures are being installed at City Hall Park.

Hauser & Wirth
The high-profile Zurich- and London-based gallery bucked the downtown trend by opening its New York branch on the Upper East Side. Located in a townhouse that was the site of the pioneering Martha Jackson Gallery in the late 1950s and early ’60s, the space reminds art aficionados that uptown is no stranger to avant-gardism.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Doing what it does best, the grande dame of New York museums is mounting a show of Cézanne’s card-player paintings together with their associated oil studies, drawings and related paintings of peasants—predictable but lovely nevertheless (February 9–May 8). Later in the season, the Costume Institute is set to celebrate late couturier Alexander McQueen in the suitably over-the-top retrospective Savage Beauty (May 4–July 31).

One of the smash hits of last fall was MoMA’s Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, a freewheeling look at design, art, politics and social customs of the 20th century as seen through the lens of the common kitchen. Catch this smart, delightful exhibition before it closes on March 14.

Luxembourg & Dayan
Daniella Luxembourg and Amalia Dayan (fun fact—she’s Israeli diplomat Moshe’s granddaughter) made a splash last October, when they mounted a show of Jeff Koons’ infamous, pornographic Made in Heaven paintings. Like Hauser & Wirth, the gallery is located in an Upper East Side townhouse—part of a growing uptown cluster of contemporary art.

Larry Gagosian
The almighty power broker and éminence grise of contemporary art has been mounting increasingly ambitious shows at his gallery on West 21st Street (one of three in Manhattan). His most daring—and unexpected—brought together a group of late paintings by Monet. To say the lavish show was museum quality is redundant, as most of the works were lent by museums and private collectors.



Other Desert Cities
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater

When asked about his new play, Jon Robin Baitz said, “I try and think of the family as a microcosm of various prevailing attitudes, preconceptions and ideas about America.” The drama centers around daughter Brooke’s (Elizabeth Marvel) upcoming memoir—her parents (Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach), an actor turned pol and a screenwriter wife, were part of Reagan’s inner circle—and the wounds the book will either cause or heal. Directed by Joe Mantello. Opens Jan. 13.

Three Sisters
Classic Stage Company

Actors like to sink their teeth into Chekhov, to the delight of audiences who like to see big stars onstage. Says Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays Masha: “In Chekhov, every line can mean 50 things, depending on who’s playing the part and what’s happening.” This production—costarring Gyllenhaal’s husband, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jessica Hecht and Juliet Rylance as the other sisters—reunites most of the cast of the 2009 production of Uncle Vanya. Jan. 12–Feb. 20.

Good People
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

David Lindsay-Abaire (Pulitzer winner for Rabbit Hole) teams again with Man­hattan Theatre Club in this drama about the emotional and economic survival of a South Boston woman (Frances McDormand). Tate Donovan, her erstwhile savior, says, “My character came from the same bad neighborhood. He’s gotten out and become a doctor, and she forces her way into his life.” Opens Mar. 3.

Metropolitan Opera

Renée Fleming has turned the seldom performed Rossini work into one of her signature roles. Of the attraction, she says, “Because I’m a soprano, most of the characters I play are heroines and beautiful victims. Here I get to play someone powerful and enraged, which is much more interesting.” Feb. 18–Mar. 5.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Al Hirschfield Theatre

It wouldn’t be Broadway without megastars treading the boards to hone their stage cred. Daniel Radcliffe takes off the Potter glasses (and keeps his clothes on) for the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in Rob Ashford’s new production, also starring John Larroquette. Opens Mar. 27.

Alarm Will Sound: 1969
Zankel Hall

The inspiration for a “what if” story of great musicians—Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen and the Beatles—told through their own words, music and images, comes from a meeting planned more than 40 years ago between the three that never came to pass. Mar. 10 only.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Palace Theater

Spider-Man, the Julie Taymor-U2 $65 million extravaganza, isn’t the only screen-to-stage musical in town. This Aussie import is also part of the trend. If you saw the film of what had to be the most outrageous road trip ever—transvestites traveling to Alice Springs, Australia—you know what to expect. Over-the-top costumes are only part of the equation. Opens Mar. 20.

New York City Center Stage

David Davalos’ work is rife with intrigue: In 1517, Dr. Faustus and Rev. Martin Luther are vying for the allegiance of star pupil Prince Hamlet, who is having trouble picking a course of study—proving he was plagued with indecision long before Shakespeare got hold of him. Director J.R. Sullivan said, “David used the geographical, historical and cultural facts—like in a Tom Stoppard sort of way—to create an intellectual funhouse.” Mar. 11–Apr. 17.

The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
Newman Theater

The beauty and curse of the titles of Tony Kushner’s plays is they are at once revealing and obfuscating. This work tackles a seemingly disparate range of subjects: revolution, evolution, Italian-American radicalism, sex (well, that goes without saying), real estate and debts. Mar. 22–June 12.

The House of Blue Leaves
Walter Kerr Theatre

John Guare’s deeply dark 1986 Tony Award–winning comedy, which takes place on the day in 1965 that Pope Paul VI visited New York City, is revived, with Ben Stiller as Artie Shaughnessy, the zookeeper with Hollywood ambitions, and Edie Falco as his wife, Bananas. Opens Apr. 25.

The Book of Mormon
Eugene O’Neill Theatre

Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame and Robert Lopez, writer of the subversive puppet-driven romp Avenue Q—all demented creative geniuses—join forces in a musical comedy about...wait for it...Mormon missionaries. Opens Mar. 24.


Opening Ceremony
The great temple of avant-garde fashion has opened a small outpost in the Ace Hotel. The shop carries a carefully edited selection of goodies for men and women, including offerings exclusive to this location, such as Tumi’s color-block luggage and pajamas from Band of Outsiders.

Isabel Marant
The French designer with a massive cult following opened her only U.S. boutique last April, conveniently right next to the shop of handbag designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, her husband. The collection falls on the pricier side, but that has not deterred loyalists of Marant’s modern take on classic silhouettes.

Left Bank Books
Known as Bookleaves before changing its name in 2005, this shop has jumped ship from its longtime home on West 4th Street and hung a shingle in an 1840s building a few blocks away in the Village. Specializing in first-edition fiction, the store also carries a great selection of photography, art, music and film titles.

Beloved by fashionistas the world over, the French label has opened its first New York shop in an Upper East Side townhouse. You’ll find the entire women’s ready-to-wear line and accessories, as well as smaller selections from the 22 Faubourg and Blanche capsule collections, all spread out over three floors.

Thornwillow St. Regis
The venerable hotel never had a retail tenant before the 25-year-old Newburgh, New York, company arrived. Luke Ives Pontifell produces high-quality stationery and limited-edition books using traditional printing techniques. With a writing desk, marble fireplace and Tiffany chandelier, the petite St. Regis shop could easily be mistaken for a private library.

Crangi Family Project
Philip Crangi’s tiny shop in the Meatpacking district showcases his eponymous jewelry line of gold and steel pieces for men and women (designed with his sister and business partner, Courtney), as well as the lower-priced Giles & Brother collection and a selection of vintage books and lovely handcrafted objects.

Alejandro Ingelmo
A fourth-generation cobbler from Miami, the shoe designer was nominated for a 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and the 2009 Swarovski Award for accessory design. His 800-square-foot SoHo shop carries his occasionally outré women’s line—definitely not for the shrinking fashion violet.

De Vera Objects
The temple of rarefied objets des vertu curated by aesthete Federico de Vera has opened a small outpost in the higher reaches of the Upper East Side. The uptown mix includes antiques, art and a higher concentration of jewelry than the two-floor downtown shop—gorgeous things, in the words of Patsy and Edina.

Creatures of Comfort
The trendsetting L.A. shop has branched out with a new boutique in an old police building in trendy NoLita. Under the direction of owner-buyer Jade Lai, there’s a wide range of cutting-edge fashion in addition to a globally sourced selection of idiosyncratic furniture, art, housewares and tchotchkes.

Andrew Corrie, an ex-banker from Britain and board member of Aid to Artisans, launched a home-furnishings line with the idea that simple, sustainable style is the right look for today. Most of the furniture and accessories have a socially responsible or green angle. Ten percent of proceeds go to artisan nonprofits.

Alexis Bittar
The jewelry designer’s first store north of Bleecker brings some glitz to upper Madison Avenue. East Side ladies allergic to downtown now have an embarrassment of Bittar riches, including his colorful Lucite, Miss Havisham (punk meets 1930s) and Elements (big stones in elegant settings) collections.

Reed Krakoff
After a two-year gestation, the designer—known primarily as president and creative director of Coach—birthed his own line of ready-to-wear, leather goods and accessories. He designed his 1,500-square-foot boutique with high-style furniture by maestros Ron Arad, Mattia Bonetti and Joris Laarman.

Cire Trudon
The 367-year-old French candle company has opened its first new shop in 126 years in the hopping retail and restaurant corridor of Bond Street. Its discreet, below-ground space uses antique mirrors, busts and taxidermy to create a suitably elegant setting for a collection of the world’s most gorgeous candles.

Gagosian Shop
Not content to rule the inter­national contemporary-art market, gallery potentate Larry Gagosian now has his eye on the T-shirt and poster crowds, with limited-edition artworks, books, toys and mass-market goods created by stars of the genre. It’s cash and carry for those who don’t have millions to doll up their walls.


The Lion
This may be the hardest reser­vation in town but well worth it for John DeLucie’s (formerly of the Waverly Inn) menu of classic American food. A fantastic room, with amazing art (portraits of Warhol and Basquiat), high ceilings and skylights.

ABC Kitchen
Another outpost of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s brilliant, fresh, locally sourced food, in a key home-wares hub of the city.

For his latest venture, Patina Restaurant Group CEO Nick Valenti teamed with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on Lincoln Center’s new signature eatery. Chef Jonathan Benno is concocting the modern Italian menu.

New York is renowned for its pizza. Right now, some of the best can be found in Brooklyn—and Roberta’s is at the top. Definitely worth the schlep.

Manzo in Eataly
This restaurant in Mario Batali, Joe and Lidia Bastianich and Oscar Farinetti’s Italian emporium is fast becoming the power-lunch place to be. The food is wonderful, and the on-site shopping is a toothsome delight.

Hecho en Dumbo
New Yorkers are always touting their Mexican food. Usually it doesn’t stand up to what you’ll find in Los Angeles, but this Mexico City–style restaurant just might be the exception.

Locanda Verde
Chef Andrew Carmellini’s version of an Italian taverna is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With great food in a casual setting (dress code: “a shirt and maybe something on your bottom”), it’s easy to see why Carmellini is one of New York’s darlings.

John Dory Oyster Bar
This recently opened restaurant is April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s second try with the John Dory. Casual atmosphere but serious food.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Don’t let the location adjacent to Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal throw you. Four & Twenty, the great pie mecca of New York, always delivers a little slice of heaven.

The Smile
Hip downtown café on fashionable Bond Street. The executive chef is Melia Marden, daughter of artists Brice and Helen.

The Meatball Shop
Have great meatballs your way: with pasta, on polenta or simply as the heart of a hero.

Osteria Morini
Chef Michael White spent years in Italy mastering the food of Emilia-Romagna.

Bark Hot Dogs
Find the best hotdogs in town at this Brooklyn stand.


Death & Company
Cocktail: The Valley of the Kings Punch

Pre-Prohibition drinks with a postmodern spin.

Dutch Kills
Cocktail: The American Trilogy

Where the gangs of New York might have sated their thirst.

Cocktail: Division Bell

A Latin-flavored temple to mezcal and tequila.

Cocktail: Behind God’s Back

Williamsburg hipster magnet.

Lani Kai
Cocktail: Lelani’s Fizz

Say “aloha” by way of SoHo.

Cocktail: Foreign Legion Punch

Speaks the language of liquor with a French colonial accent.

Cocktail: Ernesto

A rum-soaked speakeasy with the soul of old Havana.

Cocktail: The Turf War

A tip of the hat—and bottle—to Holland and Denmark.

Hotel Delmano
Cocktail: The Willamsburg

Go lavish in swingin’ Brooklyn.