For nine years, this jean shop sat quietly towards the end of West 14th Street. Eric Goldstein took the chance and opened here well before the glamourati arrived and took over the Meatpacking District. Today, his denim and leather shop has become "the" place to shop, however, we are pleased to report that there is not a hint of pretension from anyone inside. Customers are encouraged to browse freely and to absorb the hundreds of jeans in their many colors and styles while the staff waits quietly ready to answer any questions. And browse we did. There are endless racks of beautiful jeans, as well as soft leather jackets, trendy leather skirts, quirky t-shirts, and much more tucked away. Without a doubt Jean Shop NYC is a very special Manhattan Sideways hidden gem, that we look forward to returning to when we are in need of our next pair of quality, well-fitting jeans.
Beneath the Spanish Benevolent Society lies La Nacional, one of Manhattan’s most authentic Spanish restaurants and the most easily accessible part of the society. Just by walking down the steps into the dimly lit basement lounge, we felt the bustle of 14th street quickly recede and we were transported across the ocean. La Nacional has the same relaxed, no frills atmosphere as most tapas bars in Spain. We gazed at the old photographs from the society’s earlier years on the walls and then had the option of sipping a drink at the bar, sampling some classic simple Spanish tapas such as tortilla de patatas, croquetas or chorizo, or dining on a full meal of paella. Perhaps the most authentic option, though, was to simply have a seat by the television to watch the fútbol game - it is always on. For visitors from Spain who want a taste of home, those of us pining for the Spanish travels of our past, or New Yorkers simply curious about a new culture, La Nacional is the place to go.