48 Hours in New York

    New York – a relatively young city by world standards – has a lot going for it, including more than 100 illustrious museums, 24,000 restaurants in Manhattan alone and of course, some pretty famous inhabitants. In its short life, it’s managed to become the undisputed cultural capital of the United States as well as bagging a spot as a leading fashion capital.

    And seeing as the Luca Faloni team are big fans of the East Coast metropolis, it was only a matter of time before we took our first steps stateside, to offer our brand of Italian style to the good American public. So, to celebrate our first US store on 386 West Broadway New York 10012, we thought we’d narrow down the endless distractions of the Big Apple and highlight our favourite spots to hit if you’re on a flying visit to the City that never Sleeps.  

    The Marlton Hotel, 5 West 8th Street, New York

    The Hotel: The Marlton

    The Marlton feels refreshingly different to the flashy towers and plush old-school establishments that have long set the standard for luxury in New York. It’s been described by Conde Nast Traveller as a “A cosy refuge in the heart of Greenwich Village” – which is a statement in itself as the Big Apple is seldom described as such. Glitzy, showy, oversized, chi-chi, yes, but certainly not cosy. It’s hard to believe when you step inside the lobby that this place was once described as a ‘fleapit’, when it was the residence of Jack Kerouac – the original rebel Beatnik – feminist writer Valerie Solanas was living when she pulled a gun on Andy Warhol in 1968. But despite its luxe revamp as a pseudo-Edwardian-style villa, it manages to retain its Bohemian charm – albeit with considerably more polish – from the wood-burning fireplace in the lobby and antique rugs to the bijoux rooms and a restaurant that serves ‘Amish’ rotisserie chicken as a signature dish. The result is a smart cultural amalgam and mix of epochs that is distinctly NYC.

    Public Kitchen, 215 Chrystie St, New York, New York

    The Restaurant: Public Kitchen

    Little wonder that this place has become one of Manhattan’s foodie meccas, when you consider the man behind it is Ian Schrager – the co-founder of the infamous Studio 54 and creator of the boutique hotel. And the restaurant of the Public Hotel, oozes all the hallmarks of the glossy, hip-as-they-come entrepreneur. As you’d expect, the kitchen is helmed by one of the Big Apple’s leading Michelin chefs of the moment, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the 150-seat dining room has been designed by acclaimed Swiss architectural firm, Herzog & de Meuron – expect clean-cut industrial finishes juxtaposed by warm wooden furnishings and an outdoor terrace brimming with plush, green foliage. And the food? Supposedly New York-inspired, but that of course means it embraces the cultural melting pot of cuisines that form the culinary make-up of the city, so think artisanal wood-fired pizzas, corn and Thai basil dumplings, gourmet shrimp burgers and north Italian frito misto. And in the likely scenario that you do overindulge, you’re already in a hotel, so you can just stumble upstairs to bed at the end of the night.

    Primo’s, TriBeca, 129 Chambers St, New York

    The Bar: Primo’s, Tribeca

    Whatever your tipple, there’s certainly no shortage of spots to slake your thirst in NYC, with an estimated 10,000 watering holes calling the city home. Located in the Tribeca district of lower Manhattan, Primo’s has late-night nonchalance, in an area better known for its spacious loft apartments and celebrity hangouts. Filled with emerald-green velvet banquettes, mid-century glass cube partitions and high Art Deco flourishes – including an impressive Bauhaus-inspired mural by Argentinian artist, Conie Vallese – it’s safe to say that Primo’s has been designed for those who appreciate a side of aestheticism with their aperitif. The Martini is king here, which are delivered with an eclectic twist, by waiters wearing Fifties Harrington jackets. If you’re less hedonistic in your tastes, the wine menu features 90% natural wines, which ought to help avoid a fuzzy head the next morning, but that of course depends how much you quaff. At the other end of the spectrum, there are snow-cone absinthe brews and coffee cocktail shot flights. Just don’t blame us if you’re up all night. But isn’t that the point of New York after all?

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave, New York

    The Exhibition: Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography

    It’s been 50 years since man first walked on the moon, so the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art is putting on a suitable tribute to mark the anniversary of this giant leap for mankind. Featuring original photographs taken on the Apollo astronauts’ medium format Hasselblad camera, the selection of candid shots reveals the first images of the moon’s surface from a human perspective in astoundingly clear detail. Other exhibits include scientific sketches and paintings of the moon throughout history, charting the cataloguing of astral bodies since the invention of photography 130 years ago, alongside images of the moon produced since the 1969 landing, including works by Gary Winnogrand, Robert Rauschenberg and Nam June Paik. Period films and technical equipment that made the journey into space are also used to illustrate one of man’s greatest achievements in the cosmos.

    The Vanderbilt ‘Triple Palace’ on Fifth Avenue, c.1900

    The Neighbourhood Walk: Mansions of the Gilded Age

    Before Fifth Avenue and its neighbouring streets morphed into the cavernous thoroughfares of high-end retail temples and towering commercial blocks of today, it was lined with the mansions of America’s elite, which they built in the image of European palaces and chateaus. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Vanderbilt ‘Triple Palace’ – a trio of mansions which occupied a swathe of Avenue – that became known as ‘Vanderbilt Row’. While this temple to the American Dream has long gone, there are remnants of this lost world to be found nestled unsuspectingly between the high-rise department stores and skyscrapers that overshadow them. Start at 600 Park Avenue at the former home of printing magnate Jonathan Buckley who built his house in 1911 in the Neo-Classical style; it’s now home to the Swedish Ambassador to the United States. 

    Next, is the Henry T. Sloane mansion at 9 East 72nd Street, which was later lived in by Joseph Pulitzer of the famous literary prize fame. Next, hit 973 Fifth Avenue – the 1880s Italian Renaissance pile built by railroad Baron, Henry Cook. Sadly, he never got to live in it as he died midway through its construction. In total, from 600 Park Avenue to banker Francis Palmer’s house on 75th East and 93rd Street, a total of 11 mansions can be viewed, each with their own singular story and architectural merits. These surviving gems are a reminder of what history has dubbed ‘The Gilded Age’ – an era shrewdly observed in the works of society novelist Edith Wharton.