Meet 19th Street
It is very exciting to have reached 19th Street – not only for the incredible depth of what it has to offer, but also because I feel I have made huge strides towards my goal of walking and documenting all of the Manhattan grid.
The space between Irving Place and Third Avenue is quiet and charming, and each time I stroll past, I must stop and admire the architecture, with its leafy-green brick, limestone and brownstone townhouses, and acknowledge that there is good reason that this stretch of 19th has been named “Block Beautiful.” The area between Eighth and Ninth, which is virtually residential, also felt like a respite. Each home is statelier than the next, and I was struck by the glorious flowers I saw everywhere, filing the block with color.I also enjoyed the intriguing details in painted muted colors, brick, cornices, moldings, wooden doors and wrought iron gates.
I delighted in discovering hidden gems in the numerous unique shops on 19th. Florisity has magnificent flowers displayed in their Japanese-influenced floral shop. Lillian August’s massive, 17,000 square foot behemoth of a store is well suited for one-stop, all-encompassing interior decorating. One flight up at Idlewild Books there is a wide range of foreign language titles. I stumbled upon Laughing Lotus only when I looked up and saw their colorfully decorated third floor windows. I do not believe that there is another studio in Manhattan that offers the bright and energetic yoga classes that Dana Flynn does. For the discerning ladies out there looking for an intimate lingerie store, look no further than Susanne Alvarado’s boutique, Sugar Cookies. And do not miss the fashion mannequins on display in the sprawling storefront window next door at Rootstein, the world’s premier mannequin modeling company. Nasty Pig, a terrific men’s clothing store, caters primarily to the gay community, while Lingo stocks professional women’s clothing from independent and emerging designers. Check out our video of Les Toiles du Soleil, a wonderful, vibrant French fabric shop.
There are numerous art galleries worth visiting from Ninth to Eleventh Avenue. I highly recommend going to the world-famous David Zwirner, or to the historically significant experimental theater and gallery at The Kitchen. Coolhouse collects and sells an eclectic mix of old-world and contemporary furniture, art, and antiques.
And then there are the multiple, exceptional eateries. Duke’s is a fun greasy diner with lots of TVs and beer fountains on the tables. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Burger and Lobster, a large seafood restaurant perfect for parties and large groups. Zio stands out for Italian and Sala One Nine is known for their authentic tapas. Tom Colicchio’s flagship restaurant, Craft, resides on 19th as does ABC Cocina, Jean-George’s Latin-inspired dining room. Several of us stopped by Socarrat, a paella bar, one afternoon, and shared a pitcher of their excellent sangria and some tapas – a perfect way to end the day. Another highlight is Dough, where warm, old-fashioned doughnuts come in both traditional and exotic flavors.
19th is intriguing. Whether it is simply to experience the residences, meander in and out of the galleries, or discover the diversity inside the specialty shops, and understand why I adore what I do every day, this is a street well worth wandering.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Burger and
Lobster, a large seafood restaurant perfect for parties and large groups.