95 Spring St., second fl.
The secret’s out, but proprietor Alisa Grifo’s finds—Japanese tape dispensers, baby lederhosen—are as idiosyncratic as ever. This fall, the Cooper-Hewitt will feature her curios uptown.
2. Best Place to View Mid-century Monoliths
Park Ave. at 53rd St.
Take a seat next to the fountain pool, and you’re primed to view two of Manhattan’s greatest architectural landmarks: The Seagram Building (above)—a.k.a. Mies van der Rohe’s only New York City building— and, across the way, Lever House, now home to the Marc Newson–designed eatery.
204 Fifth Ave.
This neoclassical building overlooking Madison Square Park has been home to the Condé Nast of design firms since 1995.
4. DASH Dogs
127 Rivington St.
A forced-perspective design in concrete, bamboo, and steel makes it the world’s best-designed hot-dog stand—a National Design Award winner.
620 Eighth Ave.
You can buy it at MoMA, but design snobs describe their trips to the Japanese flagship as a mystical experience. The American flagship will open in the fall—bring the magic home.
31 W. 57th St.
Zakka has more indie cred, but nobody beats Rizzoli’s midtown flagship for everything from Taschen’s blockbuster monographs to Bruno Munari’s book of ABCs for kids.
7. Solow Building
9 W. 57th St.
In 1975, Milton Glaser was asked by the ad agency Wells Rich Greene, who had offices in this SOM-designed skyscraper (check out its famous sloped façade and bright red Ivan Chermayeff sculpture out front), to design a campaign pro bono for the city. The designer dreamed up the now famous I❤NY in a cab.
8. Phillips de Pury & Co.
450 W. 15th St.
The third-floor gallery is the best place to gawk at $100,000 limited editions of furniture from Zaha Hadid and Ross Lovegrove before collectors swoop in.
146 Greene St.
The almost-all-black boutique features a rotating selection from Italian design collective Moroso and fabrics from Maharam, the preeminent American textile company.
10. Restaurant Florent
69 Gansevoort St.
A late-night destination for International Contemporary Furniture Fair–goers, who grab fistfuls of Tibor Kalman–designed matchbooks on the way out.
11. The Conran Shop
407 E. 59th St.
The place to check out what’s new from Milan’s annual furniture fair, and a rare outlet for Globe-Trotter luggage, the luxury cases preferred by design junkies and royals.
12. The Cooper Union
No design school has churned out more big-name talents, including Stephen Doyle and Seymour Chwast, nor power couples, as in Liz Diller–Ricardo Scofidio (pictured) and J. Abbott Miller–Ellen Lupton.
105 Norfolk St.
See what the design bloggers are carping about: Bernard Tschumi’s Blue, the first residential project by Columbia’s former dean of architecture, is among the most derided new buildings in town.
14. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
2 E. 91st St.
It’s too late to catch the triennial, but it’s always worth a visit to the garden and shop (curated by a former product manager for Moss) in Andrew Carnegie’s Victorian manse.
15. Project No. 8
138 Division St.
This ridiculously Berlinesque boutique sits on an untrafficked corner of Chinatown and carries a keen mix of limited-edition art and fashion labels (Boudicca, Bless, Margiela).
91 Franklin St.
Among the high-end denim and tailored jackets are pieces from the designer’s own line of industrial-chic furniture and a trove of rare first-edition architecture and design books.
17. 195 Chrystie Studios
195 Chrystie St.
The highest concentration of design genius in the city: nine floors of office and workshop space for firms including John Derian and the emerging stationer Superdeluxe.