Owned by two sisters with an affinity for jewelry, Doyle & Doyle features an incredible collection of pieces selected with extreme attention to detail. In 2000, Elizabeth and Pamela Doyle opened shop on the Lower East Side, but the constant construction in the neighborhood was too much to bear, so in 2013, the sisters moved the store to the Meatpacking District.
When I visited Doyle & Doyle’s spacious showroom, Elizabeth told me that she enjoyed the new location: it felt just as amiable as Orchard Street but a bit more “grown up." As I looked around, dazzled by the countless vintage gems in the blue velvet shadow boxes, Elizabeth noted that only thirty percent of the store’s stock was on display - the rest was in “the vault.”
Elizabeth detailed how she and Pamela curate educational jewelry exhibitions in-house to showcase the items that live in the vault. For example, Elizabeth explained the premise of the last show, “Sentimental Rings,” in which Doyle & Doyle featured everything from vintage engagement bands to “baby tooth rings,” which I learned were popularized by Queen Victoria of England to celebrate the landmark feat of a child surviving infancy.
The sisters’ love for history and antiques undoubtedly stemmed from their childhood exposure to the beautiful pieces their grandmother brought to America from China, but both Elizabeth and Pamela have an extensive academic backgrounds in jewelry as well. Elizabeth holds a degree from the Gemological Institute of America, where she studied both Geology and Mineralogy, and Pamela worked for years as a New York City diamond dealer before founding Doyle & Doyle. Elizabeth expressed that she and Pamela love picking out new pieces for the store, which houses vintage jewelry from the 1980s all the way back to the Georgian Era. She recalled how a man once travelled to the shop from Boston during a snowstorm in order to purchase an engagement ring for his soon-to-be fiancée. When he looked inside the ring he was to buy, he and Elizabeth realized it had been engraved with the same date as that present day, surely a serendipitous blessing.
Apart from vintage treasures, Doyle & Doyle also has its own signature line, Heirloom. The sisters designed this collection to fill the void of pieces that they cannot find in antique markets. They explained that they use their environment as inspiration. For instance, when Doyle & Doyle moved out of its Lower East Side location, it launched the West 13th Collection of handmade jewelry reflecting their new neighborhood and the idea of “finding one’s way home.”
With their roots now firmly planted in the Meatpacking District, Elizabeth wants shoppers to know that there is no need to be intimidated by the jewelry store. Doyle & Doyle has something beautiful for everyone at every price point, and is run by two women with hearts of gold.
Our senses all perked up as we experienced the exotic scents in this Mediterranean café where the Arabic name translates to welcome and peace. Bassam Omary came to New York thirty-five years ago as a student and worked at his cousin’s Greenwich Avenue Syrian restaurant. With his wife Joan, he bought and moved the restaurant to 13th street, where they have been cooking traditional Middle Eastern dishes and satisfying culinary cravings for fifteen years. The food is superb. After a long day of interviews, we stopped back at Salam for a late lunch. We were served a platter with an array of food: hummus with a lemon flair, babaganouj with fresh pita, grape leaves stuffed with cheese, crispy falafel, a filo dough spinach pie, and a cup of sweet Arabic coffee to perk us up. Bassam, Joan explained, has a stake in the restaurant both as owner and chef. He is constantly experimenting, returning to the traditional dishes his mother taught him how to cook, and using the freedom he has as owner to explore the spices, ingredients, and flavors he is passionate about. Thank you, Joan and Bassam, for genuinely welcoming us into this lovely restaurant.
When we first visited the Walker Hotel, it was known as the Jade. The 1920's speakeasy theme became obvious to us immediately as we entered the hotel and walked through the lobby, but it was quite fun to see that it was carried through to the guest rooms with their antique-looking rotary telephones by the side of the bed. The comment from the young people with me that day was that it immediately reminded them of "Boardwalk Empire. " This pleased the woman showing us around tremendously. Built from the ground up - the land was a vacant lot when Gemini Hospitality bought it in the early 2010s - the goal for the hotel is for guests to feel welcomed from the moment they step inside. There is a warm and embracing atmosphere with a fireplace and library as the focal points. We appreciated that the collection of books on the shelves will be by well-known favorite authors who once lived in the vicinity. This boutique hotel has 113 rooms on eighteen floors. We had the pleasure of previewing some of them all the way up. Besides the standard queen being perfectly lovely with all of the amenities one would need, it also sports an amazing view - with no obstructions. From the north, we could see the Empire State Building, and from the South we looked downtown to the Freedom Towers. Just spectacular. We certainly applaud the concept of the hotel, which is to introduce guests to the wonderful places, people and atmosphere that surrounds 13th Street. Rather than encouraging visitors to leave the area to explore the popular tourist spots around the city, they are providing guests with lists of things to do right in Greenwich Village and Union Square. A philosophy that matches ours completely. In 2016, the Jade became the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village. We were happy to hear that it is still spearheaded by the same management.
Originally, an offshoot of David Chang’s award-winning restaurant group Momofuku, 13th is one of the fortunate streets to have one of his well-loved milk bars open. Today, acclaimed pastry chef Christina Tosi takes the combination of baked goods and milk to a whole new level at each of her locations – yes, I have had many a treat. Soft serve “cereal milk” or jugs of this tasty milk to go, the infamous crack pie, cornflake or compost cookies... and then there are the packages of cake truffles – these are slices of cake that are condensed into supremely dense balls of sugary goodness. Definitely worth a bite or two... or three. Milk Bar also donates a portion of every dairy sale to various independent and family dairy farmers in need. All in all, Milk Bar is a dessert lover’s heaven.
Peridance Capezio Center is a mecca for dance in NYC, fostering the arts in the local and international dance communities, for over 30 years. Peridance offers multiple platforms for dancers and non-dancers alike, including more than 250 weekly open classes, a Professional Training Programs, an F-1 Visa Program for International Students, and The School at Peridance - a comprehensive children and teen program. Their adult open classes are offered in all styles and levels, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced. Peridance Capezio Center is also home to the professional dance company, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and its affiliated Peridance Youth Ensemble. In conjunction with their renowned faculty and partners (Capezio, Djoniba Dance Centre, Limón Dance Company, Baila Society, and Dance Informa), Peridance has gained an international reputation for the programs it offers. The Center is housed in a beautiful landmark building featuring six spacious studios, The Salvatore Capezio Theater, the Peridance Coffee Shop, and the Capezio dance-wear Boutique. One afternoon, I had the privilege of stopping by the Peridance Capezio Center to observe their students training. I witnessed the explosive athleticism and technical discipline at play in Shannon Gillen’s Advanced Contemporary class, as students tested the strength of their bodies in an array of conditioning and floor exercises. Later, in the large upstairs Studio 1, bathed in the sun’s rays from the skylights above, I watched as dancers chasséd and pirouetted across the room in Breton Tyner-Bryan’s Advanced-Intermediate Ballet class. I would not be surprised to find any one of these talented performers on stage someday.