In keeping with the original nautical theme from the 1960′s, each room in the hotel has a porthole window and is decorated with teak wood. In 2014, the hotel’s restaurant La Bottega closed to make room for La Sirena by Mario Batali. The Cabanas, open in the spring and summer, is on the rooftop and offers a welcome reprieve from the city streets when the weather permits.
No matter what time of day we have stopped by Grey Dog, the restaurant is pulsing, but in a quiet, relaxed sort of way. Despite the lines to order food from the menu on the chalkboard and the crowded tables, everyone is calm and content. Apparently, this has been the vibe since two brothers opened their first restaurant back in 1996 on Carmine Street. Today they have expanded to four different locations, each one incredibly successful. The formula seems to be quite simple – a chill atmosphere, easy-going but efficient staff, a menu that covers all of the basics with a bit of a flair, hefty portions and, most importantly, everything tastes great. Beginning early in the morning, there are pancakes, French toast, eggs, homemade granola and coffee being served. As the day progresses, lots of sandwiches, salads and other creative dishes are available for lunch and dinner. Without a doubt, if I lived nearby, I would also become a regular.
Trendy and filled with beautiful people, the Dream Hotel has created quite an aura around it. Sitting in the lobby is certainly entertaining at any hour of the day, but in the evening the action really kicks in. There is a DJ in the lounge area right off the lobby and not far from the entrance is Bodega Negra, with a Mexican menu. Also attached to the hotel is a restaurant called Fishbowl, with a 5000 gallon fish tank behind the bar. On the rooftop, the PHD Club tends to play top 40's music, and downstairs is the Electric Room, which is described as a rock club.
I learned of Agnes B's clothing while in college and studying abroad back in the '70's. Somehow, even then, I knew to appreciate her simple French designs for women. It wasn't until I was much older, however, that I was able to purchase a few of her pieces for myself, and I truly treasure them. It seems that many of Agnes B's stores are closing around the country, but here's to hoping that she can continue here in New York.
Founded in 1786 with a grant from Robert Murray, a wealthy merchant, and educating New York’s Quaker population at this 16th Street location since 1860, the Friends Seminary is the oldest co-ed K-12 school in New York City. The institution holds true to the Quaker principles of diversity, inclusion, and peace, seeking to shape well-rounded and thoughtful scholars, artists, and athletes through their curriculum.
I cannot imagine a more beautiful way to end a day of walking a side street than stepping into this magnificent floral shop and engaging in a conversation with the lovely owner, Banchet Jagaila. This particular shop opened at the beginning of 2013. With the exception of some of her breathtaking orchids that come from Thailand, all of the flowers are flown in directly from the fields of Holland. Banchet described for me the colorful flowers that she remembered as a child growing up in Asia and the disappointment that she felt when she arrived in the States in the 1980s only to find “carnations and mums. ” She knew that there had to be more, and she promised herself then that someday she would change this. Springtime was her favorite season while living just outside of New York, as she loved the peonies and the cherry blossoms that would grow outside her apartment window each year. She believes that she was inspired by these soft pink colors and began making bouquets with them. Today, Banchet has two shops and adores planning events in either of them, or anywhere else that she is beckoned.
Although privately owned today, this grand building at No. 17 has a rich history as a health clinic. Built in 1847 as a row of Greek Revival homes, this particular house had several residents until J. Noah Slee, Margaret Sanger's husband, purchased it in 1930 to house his wife's growing Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. Over 10, 000 women were cared for in this clinic over the years, and contraceptive information was shared with all who entered. The clinic continued to function even after Ms. Sanger's death in 1966, and in 1993, under Bill Clinton's presidency, it was finally designated a National Historic Landmark.
Since being rebuilt after an 1847 fire gutted the interior and an expanding parish demanded a larger sanctuary in 1878, this church has stood as a Neo-Baroque masterpiece. Incense and New York smog took their toll, and in 2009 a massive, fifteen million dollar renovation restored the parish once again to its former glory. St. Francis Xavier now serves nearly 2, 500 parishioners.