City Pairings offer thematic itineraries, seasonally adjusted, that answer the six core questions of travel: Where should I stay? What should I do? What should I see? Where should I eat? What should I drink? and What should I buy?
NYC Pairings: The Creative is a New York City pairing for those who love all things arts and culture.
A Place to Stay:
The Quin is a stylish, modern mid-town property wrapped in classic Beaux-Arts architecture. Poised at W. 57th and 6th, it is in New York’s creative epicentre, close to Broadway, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Museum of Modern Art. It distinguishes itself with Quin Arts, an interactive arts program that celebrates the property’s rich artistic heritage and produces exciting new spaces for contemporary artists. Curated by D. K. Johnston, year-round programming includes exhibitions, salons, lectures, film premieres, book debuts, musical performances, artist receptions, a substantial permanent collection and an artist-in-residence program.
Something to Do:
An embarrassment of riches, it’s possible to explore New York every day and never see everything. Aside from the well-known art institutions and performing arts centers like The Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, there are layers of public art, walks and performances in every neighborhood of every borough in New York. Here are suggestions around exploring the city like a local.
Municipal Art Society of New York – Tours & Events (Ongoing)
It’s possible to visit NYC regularly and never hear about the powerhouse that is the Municipal Art Society (MAS). It’s also possible to be a local and never fully appreciate the city’s built heritage and art/architectural highlights. MAS tours are designed for locals and out-of-town visitors to appreciate what has been saved, learn about what has been lost, and get the inside scoop on what’s to come. Here are a selection of tours:
Tour34: Empire to Penn (Ongoing)
From the website: The Municipal Art Society of New York and the 34th Street Partnership are proud to present Tour34: Empire to Penn, a walking tour of the revitalized West Midtown neighborhood. From railroads to retail, hotels to newspapers, and sidewalks to skyscrapers, our expertly-trained docents will lead you on an exploration of the history and unfolding future of this bustling hub of transportation and commerce. Tour-goers will learn firsthand the latest plans to reimagine this historic neighborhood, with ideas for transforming Penn Station to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding West Side. This 90-minute tour is held every Friday and Saturday starting at 12:30PM.
Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem
12 November 2016
From the website: Join independent historian Eric K. Washington, winner of the Municipal Art Society’s 2010 MASterworks Award and author of the book, “Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem,” for an overview of this historic West Harlem neighborhood. Some compelling new features such as West Harlem Piers Park make this a neighborhood well worth exploring.
Art Deco in Chelsea
19 November 2016
From the website: Many unsung Art Deco delights are found in Chelsea. From works by Ely Jacques Kahn to Horace Ginsbern, this midtown neighborhood has something for everyone, including apartments houses, loft buildings, and even a stylish automobile garage. Led by historian Matt Postal, highlights include the High School of Fashion Industries, a former telephone switching station (now luxury apartments) built for the New York Telephone Company, and Ralph Walker’s monumental Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple.
Art Wars! The Founding of the Met, MOMA and the Whitney; and What Each Would Argue is Art
26 November 2016
From the website: After the Civil War, the stewards of our young nation sought to develop artists with talent to rival that of Old Europe. Join tour guide Deborah Zelcer to learn how the keepers of our first cultural collections defined art and decided what would or would not hang within their walls.
Arts & Culture on the Lower East Side
03 December 2016
From the website: Once a neighborhood synonymous with tenement life and overcrowding, the Lower East Side has become a fascinating area with galleries and a new art scene. Join art historian Sylvia Laudien-Meo for this tour to be determined by the most interesting gallery shows of the season.
Something to Look At:
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) – Arts & Design Program (Ongoing)
From the website: Another unrecognized gem, the MTA Arts & Design Program commissions public art that is seen by hundreds of thousands of city-dwellers, commuters and national and international visitors who travel by New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, and Bridges & Tunnels.
As the MTA rehabilitates subway and commuter rail stations through its Capital Program, it uses a portion of the funds to commission permanent works of art. Arts & Design’s projects create links to neighborhoods with art that echoes the architectural history and design context of the individual stations. Both well-established and emerging artists add to a growing collection of works created in the materials of the system -mosaic, ceramic tile, bronze, steel and glass. The art can be seen in the miles of walls within the system and in the gates, windscreens, plazas and the architecture.
Something to Drink:
The Leopard at Cafe des Artistes
1 W. 67th
From the website: One of the city’s most famous and illustrious buildings, the Hotel Des Artistes is the largest “studio” building in the city and was designed as an artist’s cooperative apartment building…Rich in history, the landmarked mural series of “Fantasy Scenes with Naked Beauties”, by Howard Chandler Christy, were painted in the end of 1920s, and completed by 1935, when Christy lived in New York City and had his studio at the Hotel des Artistes. There are nine oil-on-canvas murals – some are mounted on wood, while others are directly on the wall. Wood Nymphs (Autumn), Tarzan and His Mate, Ponce De Leon, Bird and foliage (Small insert above Ponce De Leon), The Parrot Girl, Fountain of Youth, The Swing Girls, Birds and foliage (Small insert to the left of The Swing Girls), Wood Nymphs (Spring).
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
151 W. 51st.
From the website: Located in midtown and inspired by each city block, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar embodies the energy of New York with the laid back atmosphere of Aldo’s own living room. Designed with wine director Aldo’s relaxed approach to good food and wine in mind, we invite you to drink, eat, share, relax and enjoy.
60 E. 54th
A choice meeting place for the stars of stage, screen and the literary arts since Prohibition, the Monkey Bar was purchased in 1990 by Vanity Fair editor Grayson Carter and his wife Ann who gave the aging gem an overhaul. Its most significant feature is a three-panel mural by illustrator Ed Sorel, featuring the jazz age characters that frequented the space in its early days.
Somewhere to Eat:
9 W. 53rd St.
From the website: The Modern, overlooking MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, features Chef Abram Bissell’s refined, contemporary cooking in a beautifully bright and airy setting. The ever-evolving, seasonal menu is complemented by desserts from Pastry Chef Jiho Kim and an award-winning wine program led by Michaël Engelmann, Master Sommelier. The Modern holds two Michelin stars, a Three Star review in the New York Times, and four James Beard Awards. The Modern welcomes reservations up to 28 days in advance.
155 W. 51st
319 E. 53rd
From the website: For over 20 years, Al Bustan restaurant has been synonymous with Lebanese fine dining. Now in its sprawling new location at 319 East 53rd Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) Elias Ghafary executive chef/owner and Norman Hobeika /owner take the cuisine and culture of their homeland to the next level with a breathtaking restaurant that recalls Beirut’s standing as “the Paris of the Middle East.”
Cho Dang Gol
55 W. 35th
From the website: Cho Dang Gol is a casual dining establishment that embodies the coastal village located east of Seoul famed for making soft bean curd from local soybeans and sea water. A Michelin Bib Gourmand selection.
Michelin-Starred Restaurants & Bib Gourmand
You’re probably familiar with the Michelin-starred rating system, but did you know about their Bib Gourmand collection? Bib Gourmands are restaurants that serve excellent but more affordable food and drinks within a price range that is set for each market ie. $40 for a two-course meal and a glass of wine. Click on the link for a map of Michelin-rated restaurants in the five boroughs.
Something to Buy:
The best advice for finding interesting things to buy? Walk/stroll/wander the city. Check out side streets. Ask interesting-looking people on the street for suggestions. Look at notice boards for local art shows and performances. Everyone is hustling to promote themselves (mostly in a good way) so don’t be afraid of talking to strangers, as they will often be your best resource and offer an instant local connection.
Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:
The Quin is more than just a place to rest your head — it’s a complete wellness experience that will leave you physically and mentally refreshed and relaxed. Well-known for its in-house art program. The hotel and its 208 guest rooms and suites are tastefully and artistically furnished to foster serenity, with tasteful simplicity, clean lines and soft lighting. And with Central Park just steps from the lobby, the best of New York City is just beyond the door of this luxury lifestyle hotel.
Located in the Flatiron District in what was once the iconic Met Life Tower, The New York Edition is the newest (and hottest) addition to Manhattan’s burgeoning boutique hotel scene. The 273 guest rooms and suites feature some of the best views of New York City, modern styling, incredible amenities and, of course, location, location, location.
The NoMo SoHo features stunning rooms and balcony suites with open layouts, lavish amenities, and 10-foot windows that peer over the skyline. Feel immersed in the energy of SoHo in our beautiful lobby that provides a social workspace, or relax on the penthouse rooftop with panoramic vistas. Discover our vibrant food scene at NOMO Kitchen, serving a modern American cuisine highlighting locally sourced ingredients of New York.Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Al Bustan, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, Carnegie Hall, Central Park, Chef Abram Bissell, Cho Dang Gol, Ed Sorel, Elias Ghafary, Grayson Carter, Hotel des Artistes, Howard Chandler Christy, James Bear Awards, Korea, Manhattanville, MAS, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts & Design Program, Michael Engelmann, Michelin Bib Gourman, MOMA, Monkey Bar, MTA, Municipal Art Society, New York, new york city, Nomo Soho, Quin Arts, Rafael Guastavino, Seoul, soft bean curd, The Leopard at Cafe des Artistes, The Lincoln Center, The Modern, The New York Edition, The Quin, West Harlem Piers Park